some more pictures

[Quick update for those of you who were concerned: I found my phone when I came back to the apartment. See, it was all okay! If you don't know what I'm talking about, see yesterday's post, venting on cell phones.]

Scot and Trace (shortly after a nap, I believe)

Kylee (on the beach where Baywatch was filmed...)
Always posing--- Myka

So, I wondered if my wedding dress still fit. And then mom found me like this when she came home for lunch :)
I love being home. It is beautiful.

Buddy's Animal Park
They were chasing me...what's new?
Grandma Pat always has ice-pops
Favorite pictures to follow

Dad breaking Brent's arm...actually, just practicing on him. A rite of passage into our familyBrewing tea on the back porch
Kali's baby shower!
Trip to Atlanta to visit Micah :)
The farm mom grew up on. Another beautiful spot.
And of course, we had to line up rocks and flick them into the creek
Visiting with Grandma
Great Grandbaby #30


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I finally went to the pool today. I got there, spread out my towels, put my flip flops in the shade under my chair, filled up my spray bottle with cold water, got out my current book, and then reached back in y bag for my cell phone.


So, did I just brush it off, shrug my shoulders, and begin the hot ritual of damaging my skin to a rich, beautiful tan?

NO. I frantically took everything out of my bag, then got my keys, walked briskly to my car, and frantically searched its contents. To no avail. The silvery purple phone never appeared. I debated heading back to my apartment to sear. Then I debated calling Brent to see if he knew where it was (well, duh, that wouldn't work!). So I went back to my chair, and laid down.

Maybe I panicked because I had told Brent to call me and I knew he couldn't now. Maybe I panicked "in case of an emergency." Maybe I panicked because I had planned on making some calls whilst tanning.

But I know non of these are the reason. I panicked because my society has conditioned me to do so. I panicked because this world tells me I need to have my cell phone in my hands.

What has happened to me?!

When I was in high school, very few of my peers had cell phones. My family purchased a "bag phone"-- remember, the big bulky thing that sat in the console of your car? This truly was "in case of emergencies." Later my family-- yep, for ALL four of us-- purchased ONE true, blue cellular telephone. It was the Nokia. Ya know-- the original. The phone you could repeatedly throw against a cement wall and it wouldn't break? A phone you could swim with and it would still make calls. A phone that may or, GASP! may not, have had texting capabilities.

This phone was given to the family member who was going to be on the road. "On the road" of course defaulted to the person who would be driving outside of Dekalb County limits. You know, to the land of stoplights. I knew I was not allowed to actually talk on the phone while driving, or make calls on it for that matter, but it gave me and my parents peace of mind while my inexperienced hands took the wheel.

Sidnote: I do remember breaking the "no-call-while-driving" rule once, however. On windy E Highway after dark. Like every rural-raised girl at one point in time experiences, I had a run in with some wildlife...yes, coming around a big curve a huge raccoon sprinted from the ditch and became a buzzard's treat after I did as I was raised to do and "didn't swerve." Surprisingly I was a little shaken up (not thinking about the critter, but rather about the wreck I could have had), and called mom to console me. I think she said something like, "Yeah, those feel like big suckers when they go under your car. Just keep your eyes peeled. You're fine. Now GET OFF THE PHONE!" End sidenote.

As a high school graduation present I received my first personal cell phone. Awesome.

And then the perilous spiral downward.
To "the panic" of today.

Although I do make phone calls while driving (sorry, Mom and Dad), I don't text, and try to yell at all those I see driving by (unfortunately I don't think they hear me).


I know I'll be find here at the pool today, listening to the "1-2-3-Jump!"s of the children. I know 98% of the time I'll be fine on the highway, and heck, I know how to change a tire!

I hate that 10 year olds have cell phones. That texting has taken over real communication. I hate that cell phone chargers have taken over "Brite-Lites" in children's rooms (remember those?). I hate hearing some one's conversation in the grocery store that should be happening in the privacy of their own home. I hate that we can be standing in the breeze under a canopy of trees, and not hear the whippoorwill chirping because we are making a phone call, or changing our ring tone. I hate that the "turn off all electronic devices" announcement on airplanes causes panic, boredom, ignoring, even anger. I hate accessing information off the web via your phone, instead of figuring it out amongst friends. I hate that some would rather hold their phone instead of their spouse or child's hand. I hate that churches have to make the announcement to turn off cells and that some simply cannot, or won't, heed this advice.

I hate that we can sit on our back porch, with our family, and the sunset and the cottonwoods, and completely miss the moment because we are "obligated" to take this call, or are watching a clip on our video phones.

Am I guilty? At some points. Am I ashamed? Absolutely. Am I worried? For my children.

I know I frustrate some people by not answering every phone call. I just don't want to be so reliant that I miss beauty somewhere important. I don't want to be so "connected" that I fail to speak to those around me.

I would like to say I have no flaws in cell-phone etiquette, but by my panic earlier I'm afraid it would be too obvious that I'm lying. But that panic awoke something in me I needed to revisit.

It awoke a simpler time. A slower time. A better time? I know there is no going back...but if the next time you call and I don't answer, I may be sitting on my porch reading a book, or enjoying supper with my husband, or maybe, I've just turned off my phone to go for a walk.

Your thoughts? (And please, don't text them to me :)



As I sit here in my apartment, listening to the rain outside, I know that vacation time is over. As emails from school folk start rolling in again, and meetings are beginning once again, I know that vacation is over. But oh how wonderful it was.

Yes, I was exhausted by the end of it all and sick and tired of being in a car, but I would do it again.

Being on vacation reminded me of why I write. I write because others may never know that July cornfields in Iowa look like velvet, or the stories the wrinkles on my Grandma's hands have to tell. I write because of the sound of kids' laughing against the backdrop of ocean waves. I write because I think people have forgotten the miracle of flying, and the miracle of sitting on your porch drinking sweet tea with your family. I write because I have to somehow try to describe feeling your niece kick and squirm inside your sister. I write because of a dad who understands perseverance, sweat, blood, and accomplishment. I write because of family, the ocean, the midwest, friendships, popsicles, and the Fourth of July.

I've been working on sorting through my pictures, and I'll leave you with just a few and post more later (posting pictures can be a little time consuming).


she's baaaack...


And I'm not exaggerating: I just pulled into my parking spot about an hour and a half ago. I sorted through mounds of mail, ate some chocolate, hauled up luggage, and am now sitting here typing this to say:

Tomorrow I will write.


still here

Brent and I are still enjoying vacation. However, I've heard many (well-intentioned) complaints: "I keep checking your blog...and NOTHING!" "Pretty quiet in blog land." Etc.

So, to appease my rabid fans, here is a brief update while still away from Louisville. :)

Trips made:

- Drove to St. Louis.
- Drove home to Missouri
- Flew to California (8 day trip!)
- Flew back home (MO) for a day.
- Drove to Jefferson City
- Drove back home.

Trips still to be made:

- Driving to Iowa tomorrow.
- Driving back to Louisville next week.
- Driving Kali back to Nashville.
- Driving down to Atlanta to see Micah
- Driving back to Louisville.

Events and Activities:

- Time with family
- Time with Brent's brother(in California).
- Disneyland. The happiest place on earth. (It was my first time and a dream come true).
- Dad's graduation from Highway Patrol. (Way to go, Buddy! So proud.)
- Kali's baby shower.
- Time at the lake and with family in Iowa.

Downfalls of being on vacation so long:

- Living out of bags.
- Not packing my razor and having to use disposables.
- 3 different time zones.
- Messed up sleep schedule.
- Gas money.
- Fast food (more frequently then when we are home, anyway)
- Hair supplies leaking in suitcase.
- Doing two loads of laundry.
- Sleeping in 2500 different beds.
- Being tired enough that you feel the need to exaggerate the number of different beds you have slept in.

Benefits of being on vacation:

- So many obvious benefits I need not list
- Family time.
- No work schedule or demands.
- No grading.
- Getting tan.
- Being fed many, many, many great meals.
- Not feeling obligated to keep up with email
- Being somewhere where everyone really knows you and looks out for you
- A very low electric bill for the month of June and July :)
- Hugs from nieces and nephews
- Realizing we've been in Louisville long enough that we actually know someone well enough to ask them to check our mail while we're gone.

I have taken about a thousand pictures (unfortunately not an exaggeration), and will sift through them and post some of the best when we return.

I hope that this will suffice for many of you for just awhile longer. I've realized now it is harder to stay connected while on vacation than while working! That seems strange. Brent and I are so thankful we have been blessed to have this time to vacation!

If you haven't had the time yet, be sure to congratulate my dad for his accomplishment in becoming a State Patrolman! Dad, Brent and I were so glad we were able to be there for your graduation and are amazed at what you have done.