Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monster in the Closet

I realize I haven't posted in a week, and I did want to post sooner but wasn't able. For so many this is a hectic time of year. I enjoy Casey's schedule being less busy, but it feels so strange when the students aren't around. Yes, Steph, that means I miss your smiling face and our awkward hugs!

I don't know how many of you watch horror movies -- I have a strange relationship with them. I mostly don't like them, but I find (some of) them too fascinating to pass up. Casey, on the other hand, will not watch them. I don't think he gets scared so much as he just feels it's a waste of his time. And I don't want to see every scary movie out there, it's just a few that catch my interest...which means that if I do want to watch one, I have to do it alone. Because of this, as you may have guessed, I don't get around to watching many scary movies. If I do, it's in the daytime during Miles' nap, and usually in bits and pieces.

Another thing about me is that I am scared pretty easily. I should say that comes more with the jump-out-and-scare-you type of scaring, not as much with the spooky stuff. But yesterday something happened that was pretty spooky and for a moment I was scared.

Miles had either woken up or hadn't slept at all during his 'quiet time' (our new name for nap time so as to reduce the whining) and there was a loud bang in his room. I was pretty sure it was his closet door because he's been known to close it very loudly. As I was walking through the kitchen I heard him open his bedroom door and say, "Mama?"

"Yes?" I answered, and then he mumbled something I couldn't quite understand. I went to his bedroom to find out what he needed.

"There's somebody at my door," he said, looking at the closet door.

"What?" I asked, not sure I had heard right.

"Somebody's knocking at my door." Miles was saying this like it happened every day. But to me it just seemed like I had walked into a horror film, where the small child keeps directing all the adults toward the scary thing behind the door. I know Miles has an imagination, but this was not what I'd hoped for at all. For one split second I wanted to run the other way, but I knew I needed to stay composed for his sake. Besides, I was thinking, how could there be anything in his closet door...trying to get out? Gulp.

I took a deep breath and stepped to the closet, realizing how silly I was to think that something would actually be there. Not two seconds had passed when I saw something move (amazingly I didn't scream) and run out.

It was Junebug. The cat. Our cat.

I laughed in relief and also wondered how long she'd been in there. I asked Miles if he'd closed her up in the closet, and I can't remember what he told me, but at this age it is so hard to know if what they're saying is really what happened.

One thing I do know: I've had my fill of scary movies for a while.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Old Friends, New Friends

Miles and I went to visit one of my best friends, Joy, and her family last week. We met Joy's husband Charlie and their adorable little Macy for the first time. Macy just turned one year old a few weeks ago.

Our visit was much too short, with Joy and I staying up late both nights talking and laughing -- at one point I was laughing so hard I had to run to the sink to spit out my Coke. We've laughed that hard every time we've been together, whether it was at summer camp or just hanging out in one of our rooms as kids.

But this visit was so special, because it's been more than five years since we've seen one another in person. We had only seen pictures of each others' kids, but we felt like we'd known them already, having seen pictures and heard stories. And yes...Macy is just as cute in person as she is in the picture below -- actually, even cuter. If she hadn't been so wiggly I would have held her and squeezed her and kissed her little cheeks a lot more!

Miles and Macy became fast friends in that short time we were there, with her usually following him around, and both of them giggling at each other at whatever it is little ones find funny. After that visit, all I wanted was to know that Joy and I would get to see one another much sooner than five years from now, and I think she feels the same.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Joy That Needs Sharing

Casey mentioned to me yesterday how much better I seem to be doing emotionally since 'the news'. I guess I had noticed as well, but if he's noticing then something really must be happening. It hasn't been a month yet and I feel I'm covering so much healing ground. Sure, at first I was taking one step forward and then five steps back...but slowly it was two steps forward and one step back, and so on.

After traveling down at least a couple different roads of grief this year regarding my infertility, and of course having had grief over several different things in the past few years stemming from one main source, I am finally learning that grief is neither seamless nor is it linear. It happens the way it happens, and it is different for all of us. And so I didn't know exactly how my grief over this would look, or how long it would last. Sometimes it looked...well, not very pretty. And as far as how long it will last? I still shed my tears over it, but those moments are much fewer and farther between.

But something...something has really happened inside me lately. And I hadn't looked at it closely until Casey's comment to me yesterday. I've not only had a sort of leveling out of my emotions, but I'm beginning to go beyond that and really do more. I'm getting back into exercising, which makes a huge difference in one's emotional state. I have more energy (that might partly be my hypothyroid medicine), and I have a real want to get out and live life instead of just being.

Today it really hit me. I took Miles to the park to pull his wagon around in the warm, gorgeous sunshine on this November day. We were both smiling, he was having his lunch and I was listening to my iPod...and I realized that God has not only brought me through something devastating, but he has worked in me to make me stronger than I have been and felt in a very long time. Tears of joy and gratitude welled up in my eyes, and I looked back at my sweet Miles and we laughed together over something silly. I begged God to let me hold on to that feeling, that glimpse of heaven and its pure perfection. Even as I share this now I can tell you that He has graciously filled my cup to overflowing.

Praise God for warm fall days, precious little boys, and brightness after a long, dark road.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Arrrrr...And All That Stuff

It's a week late, but I'm posting a couple of pictures of my little Halloween pirate. This year was our first try at trick-or-treating with Miles. We were smart enough to go along with some friends who have two kids a bit older than him, so seeing what they were doing helped Miles get into it more quickly. I knew he'd be shy about it, like I had been as a child. I also knew that, like me, he would do what it took to get that candy.

One of the best things about being a parent is watching your child experience something for the first time and begin to grasp what's really going on. We would visit one house where Miles would say, "Trick or treat!" and get a handful of candy, and only seconds later he was asking me, "We're getting more candy, Mama?" He also wanted to eat the candy right there on the porch, but I had to lead him back down the sidewalk to his wagon each time so we weren't blocking the next kid waiting in line.

I went up to every house with him (Casey stayed with the wagon), and at one house the man asked, "And what are you?" Miles' response was simple and honest: "I'm Miles!" Kind of like, Duh...isn't it obvious? We laughed a lot that night, but we were also extremely tired by the end. All in all, I would say it was a successful Halloween.

Friday, November 06, 2009

What's That? Hugs For Free?!?

Last night I uploaded our campus ministry's newest free hugs video. I'm so proud of the students who get out there and do this, because it's not the easiest or most comfortable thing to stand there with a sign. There is possible rejection, you might look silly, you might feel silly...but the best part is that you get to share God's love with strangers walking by, and you never know what any of them are truly going through. Sure, a hug doesn't solve our problems, but just that one small act of kindness can go much further than you think.

Click here to see the YouTube video!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Blessed By a Song

My brother Trevor has always been a very gifted musician, something he most definitely inherited from our dad. Both of them like to record and mix and all of that stuff I don't even come close to understanding.

I wanted to share Trevor's (the name on his music is Laing, which is also his last name) latest song that can be found at CDBaby as well as in the iTunes store. It's called, "May His Mercy Fall on You" and is something you've got to hear. I know I may be a bit biased, but tons of people know Trev's music and will tell you the same thing: he is truly talented. I'm always impressed by both his musical knowledge and his ability to make what he's doing sound so easy, but I know he puts so much work and passion into all that he does. What's best is that he uses his gifts to God's glory.

If you want to be encouraged and blessed today, go and listen to this song!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Monday, November 02, 2009

My Calendar: Scenes From Oxford

Do you already have your 2010 calendar? No? Then have I got the calendar for you! It's something I've been working on, and I'm very pleased with the final product. The title is Scenes From Oxford (as in Oxford, Mississippi) and captures some of the most well-known spots in town and on campus like Taylor Grocery, Square Books, the Walk of Champions and Rowan Oak (home of author William Faulkner). All but two of the photos were taken this year, and all are my own personal work.

Each calendar costs $22.50, which includes tax and shipping. Here's the catch: Because I'm just one person, not a big business, I need to order in bulk. In order to do that, I am hoping to find out how many are genuinely interested in buying a calendar before setting up a 'Buy' button. I need at least 25 people to send an email telling me "I'll buy a calendar!" If one person thinks they'd buy two calendars (or more), I need to know that as well.

Here's the fun part: I decided to make this a giveaway as well (assuming I hear from enough people). Once I have 25 emails, I'll put those names into a random name generator and one person will receive their calendar for FREE! And if I get 25 more? Another FREE calendar from those names will be drawn!

So if you are interested in buying the Scenes From Oxford 2010 Calendar, send an email to me at costonoxford@yahoo.com no later than Monday, November 16. This will ensure that I'll have enough time to set up the 'Buy' button for you to officially order your calendar(s) and get them in time to give as a Christmas gift or just have them in time for the new year. Remember, your email to me is not your order. It's just a way to let me know that you want to order a calendar if I am able to make a bulk order.

Here is a small preview of all 12 months in Scenes From Oxford
(December's month is also the cover of the calendar.)

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