Saturday, June 25, 2011

What Love Looked Like Today

Today was my birthday + 1 week. My make-up Saturday birthday.

It started much too early and quite poorly, if I'm being honest. But once we wrangled our wileys out of the house, things took a sharp turn towards the serene.

In typical fashion, I daydreamed about every single thing we might cram into our 6 hours - the fun and the necessary.

We debated for minutes and minutes about which movie we were going to see.

We encountered last-minute drama of the teenaged variety that inspired me to proclaim, "I love busting people!" It's totally true. My kids are in for it.

Then, somewhere on the way to the theater, we found ourselves waylayed by rinky-dink city yard sales, complete with make-shift cardboard signage and piles of clothes they didn't even bother to fold. Hey, I don't mind. I scored a ziploc full of Barbie clothes (R's dream item is Barbie socks. Thoughts?), a box of Star Wars figurines and a ten-cent pair of red knee socks with snowflakes.

We coasted on over to lunch, then ran a few errands.

And then we parked it.

This park was truly woeful. They don't even bother to mow this park. There were no kids to be found. It's near a busy street. It was a real piece of work.

Also? It was Heaven.

The blanket was positioned exactly half in the sun, half in the shade.

I read for thirty-five seconds or so before a daydream pulled me away. Cory conked.

We didn't even talk much, and it's the most fun I've had with him all week. I just really like the guy, that's all. He's the best do-nothing company I know.

So, the paint might be a bit faded sometimes and the grass a little long. We all have days like that.

But when I take the time to look closer, I see two hearts that have simply made room for the other. We take the late night laughing , cereal bowls in our laps, talking in the dark - good. We take weeds that over time can look almost like flowers, so we pluck them up and put them in a soup can.

We hold hands in a sketchy park edged in chain-link and decide to pretend that we don't even notice the garbage-can smell that wafts over when the breeze blows from a particular angle.

Marriage is work. Sometimes, it's hard work.

But mostly, it's perspective.

PS - I totally, totally do not have muscles in my arms.
Magical lighting, I tell you.
I told Cory, "Maybe I do have muscles and we just never knew!"
His response: Two slow shakes of his head.


  1. Good for you for finding the bliss in doing nothing. Those days are the most treasured in my book.

  2. looks like you've been pumping some serious iron! :) also, thank you for posting late. i'm always and forever up late, so seeing your name pop up in my reader is always a fun little late night snack.

  3. that's so funny....i was thinking wow...she has some muscles! :)

    i love doing nothing!!

  4. dude!! just finished that bonhoeffer bio-awesome!

    you are gorgeous-happy birthday.
    what a perfect date.

  5. I was totally dying about those muscles. I was like, that girl is something else! I just know she is waking up uber early every day to do p90x ; )

  6. reading alone & not in bed?? that is a novel idea ;)
    happy birthday!

  7. You're the hottest of mamas. Happy Birthday + One Week. I am excited, for you, about this year of your life.

    Do you know how to pop the heads off those weed things and shoot them at people? Because, if I had been at yo sketchy park, I would've right away plucked up those weeds and shot the heads off, at you. I wouldn't have thought to take a photo. And, huh. It's a nice photo. Tall-y and small-y. Nice.

  8. happy birthday...such a lovely, lovely day!

  9. Dear Miss Flower Patch Farm Girl,
    You make me smile. You're a metaphorically speaking kindred spirit. I just really quite like it here today. Love that the mister shook his head. I figure it simply means... they just can't believe how lucky they are.

  10. Have I told you that Sonic drinks and dates with my hubby are two of my biggest misses? You are one lucky lady...

  11. hooray for make-up birthdays! those are the best.

    and the camera never lies. face it. i see the actual muscle definition shining through:)

    this post made me smile. it was a really good break and delightful read in the midst of unloading a truck full of meat in the middle of the night; which i would think to be a direct contrast to a sketchy park in the middle of the day.

    thanks my dear for the smile:).

  12. Sounds fun :) Love days like that. You look super cute, by the way!


  13. you know real fun, and i love that about you.

  14. Loved this heart warming post of two friends who love and live together and enjoy being together, having fun in simple ways. Keeping your love and friendship alive, communication, fun, that's the way to go. Marriage is an awesome adventure.

    You are a lovely young woman.


  15. Sounds like my kind of day!!
    Love your thoughts and love these photos!
    Aww you are so cute and yes, I was thinking, must be nice to have muscles! :)
    You look great and Im sure you have some muscles! Lol
    I agree with you..I find dandelions are pretty and everyone is mostly trying to get rid of them :)
    Have a great week!

    Deborah xo

  16. I love this.

    "But mostly, it's perspective."


  17. I see one of my books! Dreamy day, too!

  18. maybe your shoes were really heavy. i just told nate yesterday 'i like to hold heavy things because it makes me look so muscely.' he guffawed i think is the word. i love the nothing days too. those are the days i realize how VERY blessed i am. you are so very good at taking pictures of things that aren't your kids.. good job. but that feet picture cropped tighter could look like thumbs. it made me think of that story about the guy who had to have his thumb sewn on to replace his big toe. which made me think about the fact that thumbs and big toes give the creepies. not yours in particuliar just in general. rambling over now. happy sunday. :)
    lauren :)

  19. LOL-I saw your buff arms and thought you must have a great workout that you're not sharing! Sarah came in yesterday and I got meet Glo!


  20. all of true. marriage is hard, but so worth it! And, the nothing days are what we live for....

    this whole date that you guys had reminds me of our days when we first met...we'd take blankets and books and snacks and sit on North campus at our beautiful college campus.....UGA.

    those were days that got us hooked on "nothing" days......

    okay. you DO have muscles!!! loved all your pictures! Happy late bday! I turned 38 on June is going by FAST.

  21. "But mostly, it's perspective."
    So true! How often it's all that lies between a good day & a bad day or a good day & a great day.
    LOVE the new header pic red gate n all!

  22. my favorite! so beautiful shannan.

  23. it is mostly perspective. love this and happy birthday + one week to you.

  24. NO wonder we share a like mind....our birthdays are days apart! My birthday was the 23rd :) Happy belated to you Shannan!

  25. What a perfectly sweet day, I'd love it too!

    Have to say that your previous post on the bible reading really touched me as well... I feel the same way too, but am newly inspired by your comments. Thank you for being so honest and open!

  26. AHH HAHAH - so funny you posted the muscle disclaimer! I was already thinking - wow, i had no idea she worked out like that lol... great pic of you even without muscles;) glad you had a nice day!

  27. I find myself overcome with the need to find Ruby some Barbie socks...and the realization I've never seen them.

    I like you and CMB. Everything you said is so true... we all forget from time to time, the amount of work needed to stay married...and happy.

    Dang the muscles. I'm so jealous.

  28. So very sweet!!! I think your arms looks fabulous...muscles or not:)

  29. I am so happy for the two of you! It sounds like a dream date. I was wondering if Cor took the time for a shave?? But then it was Saturday. And I have to admit, I was amazed at the biceps in the photo. It must be from "uppy Mommy, uppy".

  30. I noticed those muscley arms right away! Too bad is all just smoke and mirrors, lol. Happy belated birthday :)

  31. WOW Those arms look muscley for sure! Thanks for showing some new books to read. I think I read all the ones you last talked about.
    p.s. Marriage is hard work. Ours is turning thirty next month!

  32. Hey!!! I saw your little peeps in the grocery store yesterday - actually, two of them were giggle boxes :)
    Good to hear that you guys had some time to catch up - some momma and pops time! YAY! I need that book on top - did I say NEED? I WANT that book on top - saw it on my night out with hubby and would really love to read it sometime....(haven't read Radical yet - but maybe I don't NEED to!)

    After seeing the photo of your jie-normous bicep - you've been holdin out on your homeys girl! :0)

    Yard sales are my favorite thing to do! Hitting 50% off Saturday at Goodwill is second in line :)
    Missed you all this a.m. - hope to see you soon!

  33. I don't buy it....I know muscle when I see it. Those are rockstar arms, ma'am.

  34. Thanks, FPFG - I really appreciate the bit at the end. Not about your muscles (or lack thereof), but about marriage and perspective.

  35. Sounds like a great park day---time to indulge in something that is sometimes too easily forgotten---both the park and for some, the marriage. You are so right in that marriage is work....and I like your thought that it is also perspective. How easy it is to get caught up in the comparison with others even with relationships or in the expectations that maybe once were rather than focusing on the appreciation of what actually IS. Thanks for sharing your inner most thoughts---always appreciate and relish them!

  36. You totally looking like you're lifting some serious weights. I would love to have your arms. Trade you some Barbie socks for some muscles?

    Kidding. I don't have any Barbie socks, but if I did, I'd give em' to ya.

    Sounds like a great day.
    Oh, and I love your ruffly shirt. So cute.

  37. Seriously, how skinny are you?!?! No fair. I actually workout...I work HARD for those arm muscles. How heavy are those sandals? Made of lead are they? Either way, you look amazing.


  38. A wonderful day spent, Happy Birthday!

  39. A-to-the-MEN. A little rearranging of expectations, some perspective shifting, and suddenly, they guy who saves a turtle he caught to show you is a knight in shining armor (hypothetically, of course). So glad you had a make-up birthday of such wonderful magnitude!

  40. Sounds like a most delightful day! And I was seriously impressed with your arm muscles in that picture. I was thinking, wow! that girl is seriously toned!

  41. Alright sister, we are meant to be pals. I currently have that Bonhoffer book and the Potato Peel book on my nightstand. Also? I never met a fashion mag I didn't like. btw have you ever checked out The Satorialist? You probably have but if not, it's the coolest fashion blog ever. Totally inspires me and takes me to faraway places like Barcelona and Prague.

    Happy Birthday!

  42. I cannot spell.

  43. i need some of that magical lighting. also, i would take your flat tummy in a second.

    man, you have got some loyal fans. you really get the comments over here!

  44. What a day, what a day!

    Good books, yard sales, magical lighting, and Sonic sipping all in one afternoon with your hubby in a sketchy park...sweetness. I'm with you that some of the very best days are do-nothing days.

    I'm swoonin' over that blanket!

  45. happy birthday, you sweet girl. i'm so glad you had a day like this one.

  46. Boy, it's taking me a while to get caught up on blog reading. I just had to pop in to say that I just read (for the second time) the Guernsey book LAST WEEK! How weird is that? I'm working on a blog post about it. I must meet you.

  47. I loved Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. It was one of my summer reads last year.

    Love the vintage park with the old metal equipment. Parks just aren't the same without the rusty, squeaky equipment.

  48. You don't have plain old muscles, you have GUNS for arms!

    I think it's all that kid-lifting. I'd rather have a small child to carry around to get those arms, but for the time being, I'll have to get out those damned 5 pound weights. Argghhh!

    Two tickets to the Gun Show, Shannan!

    You and your hubby: I feel that way about mine. I just really like him as a person. He is just GOOD and funny and I like sitting with him in a car for a 6++ hour drive, a very unusual thing for me.

    I'm glad you were both able to ignore the garbage smell. Looks like you all added some much needed love and life to that park!

  49. People always ask if I work out. I always bust out laughing. out.

    Sounds like you had a great birthday!

  50. LOVED radical together! :) just got back from student life camp in alabama where david platt spoke! (pssst - he's adopting from china!)