Sunday, June 12, 2011

I think I have a new calling in life . . .

Meet and teach the author of this article how to write. 

I know it's Kinston.

I know our paper shouldn't be held to the same standards as The New York Times.

But it pained me to read this.

I am still gritting my teeth.

Aside from the fact that it's just crappy writing in general, I am appalled by the errors I would expect from my former sophomore writing students. 

I know my blog is not a shining example of grammatical perfection.  I make errors.  I probably make multiple ones.  Some of you probably leave a reading of my blog gritting your own teeth.

But I don't write for the newspaper, dang it, and there should be standards.  Has the press no pride?

Reall, Mr. Hill?  Really?

As an aside, Corbin was a former student of mine, and I am thrilled to hear he's beating his battle with cancer. 

Thursday, June 09, 2011

On Tuesday

I had a great morning.  I took Kaden to his first ever story time at the public library.  In reality, he is still too young to really love it, but it was a great way to get out of the house and do something kid-oriented for free.  He did dance along while all the kids sang the welcome songs and paid close attention to the enthralling reading of Who Sunk the Boat.  When craft time started we opted to audit the class, since Kaden was more interested in eating the paper plate that was supposed to become a jelly fish than actually making a jelly fish.  We got to stop at the fish tank on the way out and wave to all of our fishy friends, so all in all it was a pretty successful trip.

Then, when I got to my car I saw I had a missed call and a text message.  I instantly fell apart when I received the news that Eric Edge, a young man who is a member of our church, passed away unexpectedly.  He was 22.  Eric's sister is one of my good friends, and I have always liked Eric.  When we first lived in Kinston during Chad's summer internship and I didn't know very many people, Eric was always so nice to me.  He played softball with Chad that summer, and I believe he was getting ready to serve his mission at that time.  Eric is the kind of person who always had a big smile on his face.  He was so genuine and friendly.  My heart ached for his family upon receiving this terrible news.     

While Kaden napped, I planted the flowers we bought the night before and contemplated how fragile life really is.  How everything can change in an instant, and we have to be so careful to appreciate every moment we have with the ones we love. 

I received another text message while I was working in the yard.  This one to inform me that my nephew, Tanner James, had arrived safely, and that my sister, Meredith, was doing well.  It was so tender to think that while one beautiful life had drifted out of this world, another had drifted in to it. 

Other hard news, one piece about the health of a woman I care about very deeply, and another piece very personal, was received during the day.

I cried a lot on Tuesday.

Even though I cried, my heart was full of gratitude.  I am so thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am thankful that I know this life is not the end.  I know families are forever, that the relationships we share here on Earth do not end with the grave.  I am thankful for the reality of a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers our prayers, who loves us unconditionally and wants what is best for us.  I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who through his sacrifice made it possible for us to return to our Heavenly Father some day.    The last couple of days have been hard, and a little bit scary, but I have felt so much peace and comfort when I need it most.  I know that when Heavenly Father closes a window, he opens a door.      

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ball Game . . .

And then take me to an Indian Restaurant.

And then take me to the beach.

OK, Kaden.  Sounds like a plan.

On May 31st, Bruce and Joy invited us to go to the Kinston Indians' baseball game with them.  We had BBQ, hush puppies, fried chicken, and ice cream sandwiches before the game thanks to Edward Jones Investment Group.

Doesn't Kaden look thrilled to be there?

It was miserably hot outside, but once the sun started to go down it wasn't as bad.  There are a lot of reasons I love living in the south.  The summer heat isn't one of them.  Usually, we don't start in on the massive heat waves until July and August, but this year we started temperatures in the high 90s at the end of May.  Nice.  Thus, I chopped all of my hair off in a heat-induced fit of passion the next day.

We also celebrated Chad's birthday with his family early this year.  His birthday isn't until the 12th of June, but Chad's mom is flying to Denver to help his sister, Meredith, who is expecting her second baby.  We went to Dale's, a very yummy Indian restaurant in G-Vegas.  Kaden tried his first coconut korma, tandoori chicken, tikka masala, and basmati rice, and gladly accepted repeat bites of every dish offered to him.  After dinner, we drove back home and had slices of Joy's deliciously perfect homemade carrot cake.  So good.  Don't think Kaden didn't enjoy a lick or two of cream cheese icing along with the rest of us.

Here's Kaden, taking a ride in one of Daddy's presents--a new wheelbarrow!
 With a curry-filled belly after dinner:
 Playing outside the restaurant before we drove home:
 Flying with Uncle Tyler:

We took Kaden to the beach for a few hours on Saturday.  Chad had a golf tournament in the morning, and I worked on the yard while Kaden napped.  When Chad came home, and Kaden awoke from his snooze, we jumped in the car and headed for Atlantic Beach.  Lauren's mom is always so nice to let us use her beach cottage while we are there.  Kaden enjoyed his first "real" trip to the beach.  This time he could actually play in the water.

Here he is skim boarding:

Do not let my glowing appearance frighten you.  Every tan has to start somewhere, mine just starts off much whiter than most people's.  Let us remember also, for a moment, that my poor skin saw little to no sunlight last summer, as I was hibernating in air-conditioned buildings due to a condition called pregnancy.  (I bet you feel guilty about judging my pasty complexion now, don't you?  Nothing like playing the pregnancy card to get yourself some pity.) 

Kaden started off the trip with a befuddled look of concern on his face, as he often does when we go to a new place.  He is a very observant child, and he just sort of quietly takes in new surroundings.  He warmed up a bit towards the end though, and I think he had a lot of fun.  He tried to ingest two seashells, but luckily Uncle Tyler and Aunt Lauren caught this before he choked to death.  He wasn't too interested in eating the sand.  Mostly he just held out his fingers and looked at me with an expression that seemed to be asking, "Why aren't you wiping this mess off of me?"  We didn't get to the beach until his afternoon nap time, so he did surprisingly well staying content with a missed nap--I guess that is the beauty of distraction.   

He passed out almost immediately on the car ride home, and slept for about an hour before he realized he was hungry and still had sand in his hair.  Then he wasn't too happy. 

I love the ocean so much, and I can't wait to go back for another, hopefully longer, visit!
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