Thursday, August 28, 2014

Splish Splash

A few weeks ago my mom decided to take Canon on a "date" and I was lucky enough to tag along. She took us to see Planes : Fire and Rescue. I found myself laughing on several occasions at jokes that Disney so kindly included for the adults that accompanied their target audience. Canon enjoyed the movie, and LOVED the popcorn. That is the reason to go to a movie theatre, after all.

The theatre itself is located in a shopping center that also boasts a sweet splash pads for the kiddos. Mom suggested that we round out our date with a little splash action. I think you can guess who was game.

It took him a few minutes to decide that getting completely soaked was, in fact, a good idea.

But once he did, all bets were off.

He ran and splashed and kicked and karate chopped the water until we dragged him away after more than an hour.

He studied the way water reacts when you step on it or sit on it. It was all very scientific.

He tried to join in the games that the big kids were playing, but found it much more fun to play alone.  They wouldn't really give him the time of day. Bless his heart.

Some children his age did finally arrive and he was so excited to finally have a little boy his age to play with. How is it that every child instinctively does the same thing at splash pads? They all hit and kick the jets and run under the water arches. Is it an unwritten rule that they must all follow?

On numerous occasions, he would look directly into a jet and wait for the water to splash his face. Though I would likely find that unnerving, he seemed to find it completely amusing and continued to do this over and over again.

I'd say it was the best date he's ever had. Good luck trying to top that one for a while, ladies.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

An explanation

First of all, yes I know it's Wednesday. And yes, I know that Wednesdays are usually reserved for all things "wanderlust". However, yesterday was a little bit crazy around here. It all started with a little dude named Canon who decided he just could not take a nap. When that happens, 'hectic' isn't half the word I would use for our household. Also, routine is thrown out the window. And sanity. Heck, I may as well have been on the moon yesterday, and there is no wifi on the moon so I didn't get a post done. You understand. I hope.

The other reason I didn't post, though, is a much more terrifying and traumatic reason. In the spirit of openness, I have decided to share this story with you. I pray it doesn't give you nightmares.

You see, it all started when I went into my closet yesterday. I was minding my own business, picking out clothes to workout in when all of a sudden I saw something out of the corner of my eye. No. It couldn't be. Alas, it was.

A spider.

On one of my hanging shirts.

Of course, it wasn't one of those teeny tiny spiders that you can kill with toilet paper without thinking it is going to bite your finger off. No, of course not. It wasn't the biggest spider I have ever seen, but at that moment it was the most menacing. It had taken over my closet.

I briefly considered taking this route :

...but then I remembered that this is a rental house and that probably wasn't the smartest move.

So I did what any sensible person would do at that moment. I ran to the basement to grab the broom. You can never be too careful with these creatures.

But God made all creatures great and small.

Yes, well I am not sure God intended for it to take up residence amongst my scarves and raise a family in my shoes!

So, I raced down to get the broom and returned only to find...that the spider was nowhere to be seen. I began poking around its last known residence until finally I saw it dart backwards - further into my shirt! The creepy, menacing, conniving arachnid was planning its attack on me. It was waiting until I fell asleep that night to come and murder me in my bed.

I could read its mind at this point.

Although I couldn't actually see the eight-legged demon at this point, I began swinging. I swatted blouses, pants, and scarves. I took the shirt that I saw it crawling on and threw it on the ground and beat it to a bloody pulp...only to find it was no longer hiding inside. So I returned to the closet for more. I wasn't going to rest until I had proof of its demise.

I carefully moved hangers of clothes around until I saw movement. On the ground. IN MY SHOES.

Oh, heck to the no!

I began stabbing at the ground with the bristles of my broom. Shoes were flying everywhere. Canon was cowering in my bed at this point. My eyes were bloodshot and my hair was standing on end. Nostrils flaring and smoke coming out of my ears. I became a monster.

It continued taunting me with every shot - a menacing laugh emitting from its fanged mouth. I finally defeated the evil being. I got the last laugh.

But it was for a good cause. Sleep is very important in this household. As is sanity.

I commanded Canon to grab the dust buster, as I was not about to take my eyes off of this thing lest it slink away and hide to heal. I sucked it up and dumped the contents outside. And that shirt that it had apparently called home? Also, trashed for fear of eggs hatching one day.


So you see? I couldn't post yesterday, because I was basically saving the world. For over an hour!

You are welcome.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A More Natural Lifestyle : Change and Growth

I am not sure if this is the best title for the new series that I want to begin on this blog, but we'll go with it for now.

I have been thinking for a while now about getting back to a simpler, more natural way of living. Everything from diet and exercise to cleaning and healing. Although these ideas began before our move, the dive into nature that we have experienced in Georgia has catapulted my desires into action much sooner than I anticipated. Nevertheless, here I am and I wanted to share my journey with you.

There is so much sickness in the world - be it physical, mental, or spiritual - and I can't help but feel that some of it is preventable. Notice I said some. I am not, and never will, state that some who is suffering in one way or another brought it upon themselves or anything of that nature. To suggest that someone battling cancer or depression is somehow responsible for their ailment is preposterous, and quite frankly, ignorant. No, I am not saying that at all. However, I believe that there is a reason that we are seeing an upswing in things like obesity, preventable diseases, mental illness, and yes, even cancer. I believe that there are so many things in our environment that are hurting rather than helping us thrive in life. I am slowly but surely edging my way into the belief that all natural is the only way to be.

Now, let's get one thing straight. I am by no means the following:

     - an expert in any of these fields
     - monetarily wealthy {I practically had to look that phrase up in the dictionary to find its meaning}
     - a chef
     - a tree hugger / hippie {we'll talk more about this in a moment}
     - completely transformed into an all-natural-and-nothing-but person

I am literally inching along - trying one change at a time - and testing my results before jumping in head first. I'll admit that part of my reason for changing some things stemmed from the fact that some ingredients are cheaper than store bought goods {i.e. household cleaners, personal hygiene, etc.}, but the vast improvements that I have seen thus far have forced me to take a second look at everything that we use in life to see if there is a more natural way of doing it.

This journey, which is in its infant stages even now, has garnered some attention from others - mainly my dear husband and son. Canon is constantly asking for oils and wondering when we are going to do yoga while Craig has begun calling me a tree hugger / hippie. Not that there is anything wrong with that. He is quick to note, though, that every single facet of this lifestyle that I have tried thus far has worked ten times better than "the old way of doing things". I guess that I can only conclude that he just likes to pick on me...which I already knew.

All of that to say that if you decide to join me in this lifestyle change, just remember that you will have mixed responses from those around you. That's ok. They will begin to see a change in you and your home and will want to be a part of it soon enough. If nothing else, they will appreciate that you are at least trying to provide a healthy and happy lifestyle for yourself and your family. And hey, who can argue with that?!

With all of that said, I am going to begin a lifestyle series on this blog that I will try to update once a week. I plan to address just one area or "product" or practice per post so that I can try and fully explain what I have found that works. I know that you can find a million and a half ways of doing these things on Pinterest. I mean, I have found a lot of what I am doing from there, so no harm in that. I have just really decided to commit myself to this way of thinking and decided that an accountability community here may just help propel me along. I hope to show you that there is an inexpensive yet effective way of leading a more natural lifestyle.

Bonus points for getting in shape again. Yes, it is actually starting to happen for me. Not there yet, but I did wear a bikini this weekend. First time since before Canon was born. The fact that I could even put it on and wear it in public without throwing up in a mouth a little {a lot} was a huge step. I wasn't quite ready for Craig to take a picture of me yet, though, steps.

I really feel that before the advent of all things 'technology' {or manufactured, industrial, etc}, people had a better grasp on what they put in their bodies or in their homes. They used only what God provided. In nature. That's actually natural.

What a novel idea.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Enjoy the ride

I know I talk a lot about wanting to see the world and experience grand adventures. And it's true. The sights, the smells, the sounds of different cultures beckon me everyday. There are days when I want to pack up some food, clothes, and my boys and just go. Travel the world. Because nothing can be more beautiful than the unknown.

And then I remember. God's creation is everywhere, just waiting to be experienced. There is beauty in every square inch of this world, if we only look for it. 

I am reminding myself today to be happy where I am. Not to stop dreaming of what's to come, but to enjoy the ride along the way.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wanderlust Wednesday : Where in the world

Does everyone remember the game Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Let's just take a moment to reminisce, shall we?

Man, I loved playing that computer game during lab at school, party because I love figuring out mysteries, but mainly because I was so jealous of dear ole' Carmen traveling the world. Never mind the fact that she was a criminal - I wanted her life.
I guess not much has changed. I want to do nothing but travel...see the world. I want people to say "Where in the world is Whitney, hm hm hm hm?!" Clever way of finishing the phrase or just plain dumb? You decide. I know I have. Sometimes I really can't even handle myself.

Anyway, if you need me today I will be daydreaming about all that traveling I am hopefully going to be doing...when I retire. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Family Affair

As promised, I am back today with a short recap of a family reunion that we attended in Reform, AL a few weeks ago. As I mentioned before, the reunion was held at the family's old home. In years' past, there had been several different structures on the property, including a barn, fencing for animals, and {I believe} a silo of sorts. Now, however, all that remains are the original home and relics of memories past.

It was a rather hot day, and the house on the property doesn't have a/c so we spent most of our time outside and under shade. Eating watermelon and drinking water were the only things that kept us cool so we definitely indulged in those activities!

Canon found plenty of ways to entertain himself, including pretending that his great great aunt's walker was a race car. Oh, the imagination of my little boy.

Perhaps the most exciting event that happened came when one of the "kids" that grew up in this house remembered burying a treasure in the yard. You see the guy in the gray shirt on the left of the picture? That's Butch, my dad's cousin. He said he remembered burying $0.35 as a boy along the now-long-gone fence line. He brought a metal detector and a shovel to see if he could find it - for posterity's sake. Of course, an entire group of people decided to help and it turned into a hilariously entertaining sideshow for those of us in the "audience". Just picture large group of folks following around a metal detector and digging a hole any time a beep sounded. There are now at least 15-20 new holes in the yard in random places. It's a good thing no one actually lives there anymore, otherwise there would surely be some twisted ankles in the future.

They found nails, screws, small pieces of metal tools, but the vast treasure? Nope. Never found. Speculation was that as soon as Butch buried his loot all those years ago that one of his brothers immediately dug it back up. That money would have bought a comic or some candy that no doubt was enjoyed unbeknownst to Butch. Poor kid.

After finally giving up the search for the lost treasure, Canon decided to join in on a game of croquet. Actually, he decided to join the girls and they just happened to be playing a game.

The boy does love girls. I had to explain to him that just because he didn't know them didn't mean they weren't family.  #keepawayson

Before our meal, my grandmother's brother led the family in prayer, thanking God for bringing everyone together. I know it isn't a great picture, but it is priceless to me to see such a strong faith being represented by multiple generations.

We had a wonderful time connecting with family members we rarely see, laughing at stories from days gone by, and eating more food than we knew we should. We are so blessed to have the family that we have - and I am so glad that we got to know some of them more on this day.

Monday, August 18, 2014

If the sight of things that are no longer living repulses you, do not read this post

Ok, so not the best way to title my blog post, but I didn't want any backlash over these pictures. Here's the back story on them. And, for the record, no I definitely did not kill {or witness the killing} of these animals. Most assuredly not.

Our last trip to Reform, AL happened to fall on the same weekend as a family reunion. I say "a family reunion" because, although technically they are related to us, it wasn't a reunion that I would have normally been invited to. It was the family of my grandmother's sister's family. That would be my great aunt, for those following along. My grandmother really wanted her see her nieces, nephews, and their families so we went. I didn't know about 80% of the people that were there, but we had a great time nonetheless. I will post about the reunion itself tomorrow, but it was held at the house where all of my great aunt's children grew up. The house has been vacant for many years, but has been used as a hunting camp in some instances because it sits on a lot of land owned by the family. Thus, the house is habitable, the barn and surrounding structures are in disrepair and there are more than a few interesting "artifacts" to be discovered on the grounds.

I am not sure why, but one such item really caught my eye. I am told that this skull belonged to a deer at one time. I don't know if it was the fact that it was completely clean and so didn't appear to be even real or what, but I just couldn't stop shooting it.

At one point, Craig asked if he should be worried about me. After all, I usually shoot beautiful things like flowers and landscapes. Now, I was fixated on death. I didn't see it that way though. I looked at this skull and saw the absolute perfect craftsmanship of a graceful creature. Yes, he was no longer alive, but he was still beautiful. To me at least. As they say, perspective is everything.

I am not one to decorate with skulls in my house. No one in my immediate family even hunts. Normally, I would probably be repulsed by something like this. I really can't explain the draw that day, but I am glad that I was able to see the beauty in something that I would have normally shunned.

This guy reminded me of a dementor. I can't pinpoint exactly why, but that image never left my mind.

I apologize if any of these images were disturbing to you - though to be honest I did warn you. I promise not to include any more macabre images in the rest of the posts to come. I hope you will join me tomorrow to hear about all things reunion and well, life.