we left the house at 3:30am this morning bound for the sunny NC coastline. we surprised even ourselves by having the car packed before dinner. amazing. although it never fails that I remeber the most random items as we walk out the door. this morning it was push pins to rig up darkening blankets over the windows so the boys sleep at least a few moments past sunup.
it never fails that something humorous occurs to keep me humble. earlier in the week i was bitten by a spider....apparently one that originated from the black widow genealogy because only one so mean would impart such a bite with the worlds greatest beach trip looming. after enduring several days of pain, trying hard to not whine as usual, I showed my bitten leg to mr. Clinto who immediately exclaimed "whoa that doesn't look good." excellent. the one time I try to be brave is inevitably the one time I should have already frequented medical treatment.
i found myself a walk in appt and a compassionate doctor amidst our packing yesterday. her exact words "yiekes...you poor thing." after finding fang puncture wounds (skeevy....I hate the word 'fangs') she prescribed a month of knockout antibiotics. the warning label reads "avoid sun exposure due to extreme burning."
perfection...just the words everyone longs to hear the day before embarking on a week long OBX siesta. then I googled "spider bite" and found what can only be explained has horrifying. i resolved to think a little time in the cast of our beach tent shadow is a small price to pay compared to my google findings. my spider and I are far from good friends but I have her to thank for the new cabana style sun hat I'm going to purchase when we arrive :)
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we closed in our house on Friday! we walked out of the meeting with such relief. a chance to start over...although the sentimental side of me loves the memories out family grew there, I can't help but view the unknown with excitement.
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the new me.

(and yes, i'm trying to wear big sunglasses so i don't look so much like a boy :)


death, taxes and errands

there are several events in life that can't be avoided. death, taxes, and errands.
oh how i loath errands. returning things, running in for "just a minute," or for "just one thing." i usually have a stash of "errand" items somewhere looming...waiting...hoping to be brought back to their original venue. 
i REALLY loathe them when i am toating children. not because it takes twice (nay, thrice) as long to get out and in and out and in, but because i know how much the kids dread it.
today we ran errands worthy of a noble prize. we made 6 stops, the most i've ever attempted within such a short amount of time, including one to comcast to return our old remotes and dvr which required no less than 27 minutes of standing still in line. i also made it into jack's camera shop to return a faulty handgrip, only to find it was paid on clint's card. bummer. i fear i'll never make it back again. we attempted stop number 7 at sally's beauty supply to find my new hair color, but two little people melted down in the middle of the parking lot and i decided we should call it quits before all three of us threw a tantrum right there in the middle of the shopping center.
i still have errands number 7,8 and 9 left undone, and one is the post office in which i need a money order. i'm already expecting the line to be half way to canada.

the next time you have a million dollars hanging around, hire me a personal shopper/errand runner. oh and maybe a chef too. wait, maybe i would want a house cleaner? paperwork and bill payer? family photographer? adoption processing specialist? gardner/landscaper?  muralist? makeup and hairstylist? wardrobe stylist? personal trainer? wouldn't that be glorious!?? maybe for a few moments. i'm sure i'd just get board...but i'd like to try it anyway :)


wide open spaces

we have suddenly embraced country living. my in law's 18 acre plot has renewed our dreams of land and wide open spaces. i realized all of the amazing things my kids have missed out on during our stint as crappy condo owners. frog catching and turtle nesting have been delightful...but even simple things like playing wiffleball and rolling down a grassy knoll were out of the question in our old abode. even the small "park areas" of our condo association were filled, nay COVERED, in dog poop. the grass was so toxic we never walked on it for fear of squashing a giant turd.

i feel like a farmer again, and i love it. as a kid, my brother and i ran barefoot most of the time. we helped pluck vegetables for dinner from the garden and fetch fresh eggs from the chicken coup. we played ball in the yard most nights and chased lightening bugs around the campfire. i don't remember watching tv. we didn't have video games or cell phones. no, it wasn't the late 1800's...it's how we were raised.

i've been turning off "handy manny," "dinosaur train," and "chuggington" and we haven't missed it...at all. we dig holes for shrubs and plant bulbs for next year's harvest. we search for unusual bugs and eat water ice while we sit on the porch swing. while the boys nap, i weed and rake and plant seeds. i feel alive again. fresh air seems to heal my recent overwhelmed status and births a new outlook on life. the grandness of creation will do that to a person. like seeing little radish seeds sprout to perfection in 4 days with little more than dirt, rain and sunshine. it's a small thing, but when you think on it, it's brilliant! just the concept of creation. the exact positioning of the earth in it's distance from the sun. how on earth does an orbit work? i've just got to know. when you think about the fact that outside of the cars zipping by and the long to-do-lists, and the stress of the balance (or deficit) of the checking account...when you get past all of that and remember, "i am standing on a planet right now. it's floating on an orbit in space...infinite space that cannot ever be explored to it's breadth nor can it's intricacies ever be explained or understood. and all i am thinking about is the unfolded laundry? seriously?"

i need to re-evaluate my processing. i've been seeing it more...the things God wants me to see and acknowledge and ponder. that's it...ponder. i've been doing a lot of that. thinking about the way things are and even the smallest of details which are formed and placed in such an amazing way. like earth worms. i love them. digging their tiny tunnels, burrowing deep so water can seep where it's needed. what if we didn't have them? just that one little species. bet my garden couldn't survive. maybe all plants would perish without their squiggly neighbors. maybe trees need them too. if we didn't have trees, then the birds would nest on our houses. wait, could we even have houses (or ikea for that matter :) without wood? oh wait, trees make oxygen. we couldn't have ourselves without trees. oh and shade. yes, we need shade. i guess we could just build everything out of concrete. talk about a heavy shelving unit :) do you see where i am going? it's so complex, one cannot even begin to compute anything but what we are able to compute. but then again, we were created with minds and pondering capabilities so that we would, in fact, use them.

i don't have any grand misconceptions. i know we won't have anything nearly as beautiful as our interim housing at my inlaw's estate. in fact, we may never own any land this huge or amazing...and that is fine by me. but, i have realized this week, we need a plot. maybe a small plot, but indeed something with more than a 10x10 square of grass. something with room for more than 3 people and grill. we need room for a little adventure...and lots of pondering.


our first stitches.

we had a slight run in with a rod iron baker's rack this evening and landed ourselves in the ER for a few hours. mr. rowan was all smiles as he flirted with the nurses and charmed the super sweet ER doctor. this kiddo didn't even flinch when they put his 2 cute stitches in! perhaps it was the post-stitches water ice i had promised him that perked his cheerful motivation or maybe it is just his amazing little self. either way, i'm so proud of this brave little one...and my husband says "chicks dig scars" so look out ladies :)

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new ladies

these sassy ladies are my newest creation. what appears to be a delightful clutch bag is actually a cleverly disguised diaper changing station. i'm especially partial to the wrist strap with clasp, as i have been wanting to figure out how to make one, and finally took the time to do it. though the fabric choices were not my own, i ended up really liking how they turned out.

the best day....ever.

there is nothing quite as delightful as seeing your child discover something brand new for the first time.
bright and early this morning, we were marching through the woods en route to the field behind my in-laws lovely home. foster was, as usual, out in front charging forth through the briers. lo and behold, he stops suddenly and exclaims, "mom! a turtle!!!" 
i could hardly believe my eyes...a sweet little box turtle...the kind of thing that makes little boys dreams come true. the kind of thing we have talked about for months, and there he was...less than a foot from our trail. i scooped him up and we trudged back to the house giggling and squacking about how much we loved him. we took turns holding him and testing his rough, yet smooth shell. we felt his over-long turtle nails and marveled at his little orange eyes. we quickly fashioned him a habitat out of an old diaper box and he now resides on the porch. 
in true angie fashion, our first order of buisness was a turtle photo shoot. i no longer need to prod my children into poses...they are accustomed to my photog obsession, and i'm sure they figure it's better to pose and get it over with :)
as you can see, rowan's a bit unenthused regarding the photo session. apparently i've overstayed my camera's welcome.

pretty cute little turtle habitat, right? he even has a rock with a slug on it :)


ceiling tiles and bathtubs

in all of this moving around, i keep looking for ways to keep us anchored. the boys were pretty confused about our move especially since we are in a temporary place at the moment. they were both a bit frantic when they saw everything we owned in a stack of boxes. we talked for days on end about the things you take with you...and the things you don't. like door knobs and light fixtures and ceiling tiles and bathtubs. it's funny how their little minds see things so differently. they don't have preconceived notions about life. they see it as it comes. their little hearts trust immediately. truth is truth. what mom says goes.

we talked a lot about what makes us a family and how our stuff isn't what we need to help us feel at home. our piles of endless stuff piled high in my in-law's barn. getting down to the basics makes me forget what i even have in all those boxes. out of sight out of mind is a wonderful thing because it makes me realize all of these things we take with us don't really mean as much to me as i think they did.

today, we played for a bit in our soon to be planted garden. clint tilled it on sunday and we plucked out some of the newly unearthed rocks and threw them into the surrounding brush.

thankfully i remembered to set aside a few small shovels in all of our packing...it seems that vehicles and shovels are two of our necessities...even topping towels and sweatshirts...both of which i had to hunt down yesterday amidst our mammoth storage pile.

i wished she were there with us so much it hurt.

maybe i'm a little more exhausted than usual, but some days i just can't help but cry for her. i see the boys scooping and shoveling and finding random spiders and ants. i so want her to experience all of the things in life that she hasn't seen yet. there is so much she needs and so much of life i want to live with her. i can't help but think we are missing out on her wonderfulness and the joy she will bring to our family.

it motivates me to work harder and keep perusing her. every part of this process has taught me so much about God's pursuit of us. it is deliberate. it is planned. it is done with utmost love and tenderness. even when we aren't ready, He continues the pursuit.

the boys have been talking about her alot. a random person at church asked them about their sister and foster spoke right up and said "she's coming from china".
it was really sweet.


water balloon genius

this miracle maker was invented by a 4th grader. we are in love with it!
neighbors be ware...i cannot be responsible for the rocket launcher aim of my 3 year old  :)

tea time

it isn't just for the ladies...

granted, our tea session only lasted 15 min and there was literally a pool of sticky iced tea under the table, they loved it...and we only broke one tea cup and the tea pot lid :) after all, we are used to more indestructable items like monster trucks and wiffleball bats so our tea service needs some practice before we dine with the queen of england :)


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