Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mercies Made New

Well, yesterday wasn't one for the record books.

I take that back. It may have, indeed, been one for the Most Spills In One Day (don't ask) record books.

But other than that? I'm quite happy to have turned the page.

We did have a stellar 5:30-6:30 hour. So there's that.

But once the kids were in bed, I found myself in a most pitiful way, without an ounce of joy or vigor.

I took to my bed, at 8:00 in the pea-em.

I read for a while and then Cory came in and told me all kinds of stories that made me think and laugh.

Then he brought me an orange and I ate it. In bed.

Then Silas woke up crying so we brought him down and sandwiched him between us while we time-traveled back to our trip to Charleston, two years ago.

He was interested to see Mommy and Daddy in the photos, but even more-so to see the wide variety of light fixtures. Or, as he might put it, "De pitty lights."

Our trip to Charleston* wasn't really one for the record books, either, now that I think about it.

No offense, South.

But it was chilly and rainy and expensive and all we did was walk-walk-walk.

We had fun. We relaxed.

But there was no hot sun, and in my book, a true vacation requires one Hot Sun. And two books.

Alas, as is always the case, these sub-par memories age so well, and last night I found myself wistful for those 3 Carolina days.

The Spanish Moss.

The Willow Edging.

The hours and hours of walking on sidewalks like these.

The gorgeous homes.

The quirky bits.

Fort Moultrie.

OK - that was a lie.

I am not wistful for Fort Multrie.

But the Camellias!

Oh, how I pine for the Camellias.

Hours and hours and days and days of hanging around with this guy.

(All of these photos were taken with my wimpy ol' point-and-shoot.)

(Cory took lots of fancier ones with his beast.)

And speaking of fanciness, I took my first photo in Manual mode yesterday:

It's a stunner, no?

Ha ha ha!

I still have no idea what I'm doing.

But it entertained me for about 36 seconds.

This photo has no bearing on anything in this post, except for to illustrate why my days are sometimes difficult. And she travels in a small posse.

The moral of the story is this: Not every day can be a crowd-pleaser.

But, if at the end of the day, you find yourself under an electric blanket with an orange in hand, those rough edges do file down a bit, just as they did for the dreary vacation.

And if everything you more experienced Mamas say is true, I'll one day look back on yesterday with wistfulness. I like that.

Tell me - what was your orange-in-bed from yesterday?

Instructions for Africa dresses coming tomorrow!

Pinky swear.

* Youn's are worrying me up in the comments! Yes - LOVE the Carolinas. I love them both! We simply got buggered with unfortunate weather. my mind, there is a sizable difference between a "fun trip" and a "vacation". This was more of a fun trip. I will most definitely go back again. I cherish the thought...of always having you here by my side, oh Baby I cherish the joy, you keep bringing it into my life.

(That goes out to you and Charleston.)


  1. Sorry you didn't love Charleston. We do love it there, as well as Kiawah Island where we will be in just a few weeks and I cannot wait!! I know what you mean about the weather though--kind of unpredictable.

    You know, this more experienced mama doesn't really look back wistfully on those days. I like these days with three teenagers a whole lot better than when I had three little ones. Maybe I'm a bad mom or something, but I hold on to what my mom told me when I got older. She said that she felt she was a much better mom to older kids than younger ones. I think I'm that way too.

  2. I needed an orange in bed last night- yesterday was a doozy! Nothing major, but piled on mess on top of mess.

    Reading a chapter of "One Thousand Gifts" helped take my edge off.

  3. i hope you'll give south carolina another go. today? it is in the mid 60s and just lovely. and the camellias are in full bloom. of course, i'm a south carolina girl through and through so i'm awful loyal.

    my orange in bed yesterday? for the second night in a row, we maintained routine. i know it sounds silly but we are dipping our toes into the world of children with extracurriculars and it throws everything off. i find that if i don't find five minutes to read from the Word and about Mary and Laura Ingalls and whatever other book dug out from the teetering library stack with them, i don't know, i just feel like i ran the last mile of my marathon at break neck speed right into a stony wall.

  4. I need an orange in bed tonight - but I think going to my women's Beth Moore group at church will help. I hope it will help. I'm all up and down and worrying and waiting and well patience is not a strong suit of mine at all. Hope today was better for you!

  5. i'll be having my orange in bed night on thursday when i fly solo for 10 days. mercy me.

  6. My orange in the bed was actually spending the evening without my child. She's sixteen now, but we've been on our own practically her whole life, so when she's gone, my world is a little less bright. I too look back wistfully on those crazy preschool days... when she was cuddly and everything I did was wonderful in her eyes...even the times like the trip to the ER for blue playdough up the nose! ;) Those times slip by all too quickly.

  7. Sweet post!
    My "orange in bed" yesterday was when I picked my 10yo dd up from school and she asked me if I wanted to join her at school lunch on Friday because they were serving tomato basil soup!
    I couldn't say yes fast enough!!!!

  8. Oranges are one of the greatest gifts from God. Literally. Granny Smith apples too. I can't think of an orange in bed... wait... I finished a good book that had me aching for the sequel.

    As for Spanish Moss and brick sidewalks a la Charleston and Savannah, well if we get to design our own heaven, mine will have spanish moss... and a nearby beach so I can eat fresh crab :)

  9. Shelly - I LOVE the Carolinas! Both of them! We just didn't pick the best time to go for a vacation. :)

  10. As a mama of three... one in college, one in high school and one in diapers (the surprise of our lives), I can relate. I've often thought I would take the physical exhaustion of motherhood over the mental exhaustion as they get older. I am having an orange in bed week.... as our family is involved with the youth of our church and school. This world is not kind to our young adults. Only by the grace of God can we raise a child of character, and a child that fears Him. --- So I hope to encourage you! You are playing of life's most important roles. Keep your eye on the prize! It's so hard... but it's so WORTH IT! My oldest child is living a life that is drawing others to Christ. Praise Him for that! Makes those orange in bed days seem so worth it! --- I highly recommend listening to a 2006 Focus on the Family radio program by Josh McDowell titled The Vital Role of Fathering. I almost didn't listen to it because I am not a "father", but it is loaded with wisdom! --- Sorry for the lengthy comment... maybe I should have sent an email. :)

  11. I realized yesterday that my hubster is leaving for the ENTIRE weekend for a conference in Chi-town. (yes, 2 measley (sp?) hours from my parents). I think I'd blocked it out.

    But then I got three (or was it four? lol) email from you and that was my orange. hahaha. They made me laugh.

  12. Well, I will totally honest here and say, I create my own "orange in bed" moment(s). This crazy, gloomy, cold Indiana weather has really got to me this year! I am grumpy and restless. The bad part is, I interalize ALL of it just so I don't make my family miserable as well! SPRING??? Where are YOU??? My running shoes are staring at me wistfully, they miss me...

  13. a dream of mine is those carolinas. and yes, it is peculiar how memory is seen through rose colored glasses. i LOVE the way you tell a story. i'm first in line when that elusive book appears.
    pinky swear.

  14. You didn't like Charleston? My husband and I are moving there in two weeks for his job and neither of us have ever been so there is a lot of anxiousness/excitement going on. I do hope there is sun! Now you have me worried!

    My orange-in-bed was my Corey telling me right in the middle of a flip-out moment that I shouldn't worry because everything is going to be ok : )

  15. Great post. I decided to stop lurking today. Sometimes we just have to be determined to go out and find the beauty around us. You certainly did that with your post. Sometimes choosing to see the beauty will lift your spirits right up. I am having a giveaway over at my Gloryfeathers blog if you are interested. Keep looking for the beauty in the mundane and you will find beautiful little gems that glisten in your memories. Blessings to you.

  16. Thanks for this.
    I am currently a Canadian Fugitive in Oceanside,CA, and can't get back to my babies. I am in paradise and all I want to do is stick my head under the blankets.
    Maybe I will remember this differently. Hope so.

  17. I honestly do not even remember yesterday. I need to sprinkle some dreamy into my day somewhere. Maybe it will stick with me longer.

    Charleston is lovely. I have been there 1,246,782 times. Be thankful you missed the hot. The South is hot and humid, and beleive me, you do not want to see your hair in that climate.

  18. I'm sorry you had one of those days yesterday. And also glad for you. Know what I mean? To have three little maniacs to drive you nutty and a husband that chats with you at the end of the day -heavenly - even if it doesn't make those days (or every day) easier :) :) :) That's what I tell myself anyway! Plus I have one of those annoying (heaven-sent) friends who I can complain bitterly too and her response is always, yes, I hear you, but you're still so lucky!

    I'm lovin that picture of your little girl! Too funny.

  19. Yesterday was a blah sort of day! My "orange -in-bed" was fuzzy socks, and hot cocoa.

    Loved your post!

  20. I've been a reader and follower for a while, but haven't ever commented...but I live in Charleston, so I figured today was meant to be the day I said hello :)
    Your blog is fresh air and blue skies and I love coming here to visit. Thanks for being real when things are good and when they're somewhere-far-below-good-but-still-always-blessed.
    Hope you have a great week!

  21. I didn't have an orange in bed, but I did have the People magazine puzzler and pen in hand on the couch under a very green, heavy, king-sized quilt! I only worked half a day and you would have thought I could have pulled myself together alittle bit more than I did, but to much dismay, I just couldn't.
    -Heather P.

  22. Yesterday my 3 yr old Sophie spilt her water, EVERYWHERE. As I was cleaning it up, she ran over and got in an empty box on the floor and said, Mom push me! I thought to myself..push you! I'm cleaning up your mess girly and you want to play??? But it just dawned on me! That means I did something right as a mother! When she spilt her water, she was not scared, didn't start crying, didn't back away from me... I have never yelled at my kids for spilling, for what does that do? My baby girl knew I wouldn't get mad over that. I'll admit I was irritated,but I quickly changed my attitude, no use cryin' over spilt milk.

  23. When we we went to Charleston it rained like crazy. Maybe we were there at the same time. I really loved the shopping though, and the food and to just get away, so I was pretty happy.

    My kids eat in my bed so much that I could probably live off their crumbs. The orange for me was to curl up with my book and lights out at ten.


  24. Sorry yesterday wasn't stellar. Hope today was better. Glad you have Cory.

    Totally agree about vacation and warm sun; they go hand-in-hand.

    My orange in bed? Hmmm...after dinner, my husband cleared the dishes, read to my boy and got him ready for bed while I passed out on the couch. (I have narcolepsy, so occasionally it is imperative that I get to lie down, even when I haven't planned it out.) He always comes through for me.

  25. Silly as it sounds, my "orange in bed" was strolling through Walgreens make-up aisle looking for a new color of eyeshadow. Five peaceful minutes to silently debate the "romantic looks" collection or the "urban basics" collection. I'll spare you the suspense and admit to buying both!
    Hope today is better day:)

  26. I understand completely about Fort Moultrie! The most boring couple of hours of my vacation, but we went in early October and had perfect weather. Best meal :Poogan's Porch!

  27. My orange in bed would have been a successful dinner with people we're just getting to know. It comes after a day that I could have done without and a dissagreement between my hubs and I just before I needed to start cooking.

    I would love to comment about the Carolina's they pics look soo pretty, but I'm on the other side of the world, never been there. I have a friend from North Carolina, ok not the same thing I know.
    Love the chamelia's!!!

  28. I don't have much time to comment tonight.... but I wanted you to know I enjoyed your "orange in bed" post!! I sometimes get a "grapefruit cup" in bed. Funny how the little stuff makes such a huge impression.


  29. Yay wimpy point-and-shoot. That's what I use 99% of the time. And your posse is a handful but dude, they liven up your blog! I love hearing tales of the littles posse. Or are they more bandits?

  30. My husband and I are going to Charleston for our 15th anniversary. So loved the pictures and comments.
    My orange in bed happened after I'd settled a fight between dd & ds. My son then said "I love you, mom. You're a great babysitter to me."

  31. my husband is going to start working in south carolina sometimes and he says it's beautiful there and I hope to join him sometime. We were given a list of yummy restaurants to try which sounds so fun to me! I've had it rough for about 2 weeks now and an orange wouldn't even begin to cut it at this point. Maybe some salted caramels would help though...

  32. yesterday's orange in the bed: 95%+ of discipline had to do with infractions against the cat. her chanting innumeramble times- I will not choke the kitty. I will not hit the kitty. I will not pick up the kitty.
    gratefully though, the kitty fared rather better today. whew.
    now, i will watch "funny face" and eat an orange, in homage. :)

  33. pure grace.
    this post is such a kind gift.

  34. yesterday wasn't so bad, but today is one of those days. tough, tough crowd at work and having to sit here on a 6 hour plane ride when I just want to be home sooooo badly! i think when i get home I will tear into a sweet little mandarin orange from California! the oranges in NYC suck! :)

  35. Oh, how I love Charleston! And I'm not gonna lie, I even get a kick out of Fort Moultrie...but I think the plantations are still my favorite!

    Hope tomorrow is a better day! :)

  36. Wish I could remember yesterday, it seems a little foggy...So how about Monday. My orange in bed moment on Monday was a sweet husband who came home and cooked dinner for me. I am so thankful I have a friend and partner, what would I do without him. Think I need to visit North and South C. The pictures are amazing. Love the moss on those trees. Praying for a great night sleep for you, and a wonderful day tomorrow!

  37. Goodness, Farmgirl....that Ruby makes a rugrat rebellion look pretty darn entertaining. However, I would imagine that your daily front row seat may lend itself to a different perspective on occasion.
    Teenage driving and dating are what send me to bed early these days.....makes those preschool shenanigan days gone by look pretty rose colored in comparison. (Although I admit to wanting to run away from home many a time when my three drove me batty back in the day.)

  38. I'm just dyin to go to Charleston one day. All that architectural beauty is almost more than I can stand to think about. You are so lucky to get to go off together as a couple. I reckon I will have to wait until Emma leaves for college before we can get some alone time!

  39. ohhh! charleston is so pretty...but i agreee...if the weather is stinky...the trip isn't so great. savannah is beautiful also...the best times to go are march, april, october! not cold...not sweltering hot! :)

  40. what a bummer that your trip to S. Carolina didn't provide great weather......

    have you ever been to Asheville, N.C.?

    perfect little city....go in the fall..late OCTOBER...or the late'll love it!

    I'm from N. GA and we're 30 minutes from both of the carolina lines....been there all my life.

    our lydia has the minnie mouse shirt...she's been known to wear it 3 days straight.

    my orange in the bed moment this week....
    two nights ago..time with God after a hard psalm 62...and realized again..he is my only hope....and then peace came and all was well with my soul..again.

  41. Another great and honest post. Not every day is a sunshiney day at the beach.

    My orange in bed moment was working with a dear friend last night. We both have two jobs and she has the most delightful sense of humor and I am an appreciative audience. After a long 8 hours at the first job, she made the remainder of the day a joy. Love her!

    Hoping your day is filled with joy and lots of orange in the bed moments!

  42. i put a tangelo down the garbage disposal yesterday - the yummy smell made me smile. maybe you should try that for fun sometime? citrissy smell with lots of grinding sounds... and a fresh start.

  43. My orange from yesterday was actually strawberries - sweet, juicy, Florida strawberries that I turned into a salad! I made a fresh, from scratch strawberry and balsamic vinaigrette, and a big tossed salad with lots of veggies, mozzarella and roast pork loin chunks, and of course more sliced strawberries, and topped it with the vinaigrette, and it was divine!!!

    Oh, and I got what you meant about Charleston. It's one of my favorite places to visit, but I've been there when it was cold and rainy and blustery, and it's hard to appreciate walking on cobblestone streets when you are cold and wet.

    Hope today is better! Becky G. in GA

  44. It started with a rough day at work, like I haven't had in ages. My orange was kneeling by a 99yr. old saint and praying for her as she is making the journey we will all make someday, the journey to her Savior's arms. It made all the "other" seem so small and insignificant in comparison.

  45. my orange yesterday was when i dropped my girl off at school and she got half way into the building when she ran back because she had forgotten something give me a hug and a kiss. it was a sweet, sweet orange!

  46. Your description of your moment without joy or vigor perfectly describes how I felt yesterday evening. Or, as I put it to my fiance when I walked in the door, "I feel like my entire life force has been sucked right outta me." And, then I sighed.

    My orange in the bed was the scrumptious dinner The Frenchman had ready and waiting for me. His signature homemade tomato sauce and angel hair pasta. Yum!


  47. Things I remember about Charleston...walking a lot, sidewalks,wind whipping around us, great vintage-y diner.

  48. My orange in bed? It came in the form of blankets piled high, pillow behind me propping me, as I studied the book of Daniel. There's just something about studying God's Word in bed that can't be matched. Maybe because it's rest for the body AND the soul.

    Yes, there's lots of wonderful things in the Carolinas...if I do say so, myself. :)

  49. Is that what you're doin' in the picture with your man? Pining for the Camelias? : )

  50. My cousin lives in Charleston and now I really want to go visit him!