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Lifestyle

A lifestyle is rarely something you set out to create, but rather a series of influences and choices that converge to create that rhythm in which you feel most comfortable. Our lifestyle is led by a spirit of determination and celebration, and you’ll find it often revolves around the haven we’ve created in our home.

The Awkward Stage

We took our annual trip down to my parents’ for the 4th of July last week.  (Isn’t it funny that you can call something an “annual” occurrence once you’ve done it twice??) This year was much less hot– but no less humid!– than last, and I was disappointed how, yet again, the weather betrayed me.  However, we found lots to do with several home-furnishing trips to Ikea, relaxing at home with my parents, and hosting Tyler’s parents for the last few days.  We capped it all off with a Saturday wedding reception attended by many of my parents’ dear friends, some of whom I’ve known as long as I can remember.  My mother planned and pulled it off spectacularly, and we really appreciated the support shown from my Southern kinfolk.

But before that little party actually came together, my mother had other projects too.  It seems one other very important task that week was unloading on us the complete dossier concerning her eldest daughter, now married and no longer her parents’ legal responsibility.  This purge included all documents that hadn’t already been passed on to me– report cards from all grades, medical records, bank statements, etc.  And of course, every newspaper clipping and school photo of me.  Oh and the orthodontist’s before and after photos.  Yes, those.  There is nothing that brings you to humility more than having your new husband gaze, for the first time, upon every stage of your young life.  Thankfully, there was a disproportionate (in my favor) number of photos from the teen years, and I was not half bad as a wee one.  But there were those two before and after photos.  Nothing can soften that blow.  Tyler, our kids better not inherent my mouth. That, or we better start saving for braces now. 

I’m sure you all would love to get a glimpse of my awkward stage.  Maybe not the teeth, but perhaps the 7th grade volleyball team photo?  (There were bad decisions made that day, I tell you what.  What was with tucking your shirt in only in the front? I mean, nothing will disguise the fact that the shirt’s too big.  So get it in there all the way, or let it hang to your knees.)

Well, I hate to disappoint, but all those photos stayed down South, where they belong.  I mean, no one thinks you’re more adorable than your own mother, right?

But to give you just a little something to smile at, here is our Hobbesy in his teen years, displaying a couple of trademark teen traits.

Looking caught off guard in, ironically, any staged picture:

Abd, bad decisions all around, but especially when sleep-related:

Hope you had a great 4th too!

The Cat’s Pajamas: How Hobbes Came to Be

About a year and a half ago, I co-led a Sunday School class with a college friend. We were an odd teaching combination– he, flamboyant and theological, and I, guarded and practical. However, we fell into our roles easily.  Z always prepared the lesson and led the discussion, and I made sure new people were introduced, snacks were present, we opened with prayer, and we closed on time.  It was a partnership that I really looked forward to every week.

A few months into our class, Z gave me a greater gift than just that of a successful ministry partnership.

He gave me a cat.

In the middle of worship one Sunday morning, I got a text.  Thinking it was my sister or a friend trying to find their seat next to me, I checked my phone.  Instead, I saw the frantic plea of my Sunday School co-leader– “I found a kitten! And I don’t know what to do!!”  Not phased by his near hysteria, I calmly asked where he was.  Seeing the response that he was in the parking lot, I slipped out to find him, thinking that only Z would be wandering outside when church had already begun.  I found him in the back, pacing around a small fir tree. He explained that he had, in essence, treed the cat.  Apparently it didn’t want to be held by him, but I guess my no-nonsense manner subdued the little feline fellow because I snatched him right out of the branches and wrapped him securely in my big yellow scarf.  The three of us snuck back into the church, and took turns holding the squirmy kitten and feeding it milk from the coffee bar.

I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight with the little kitten… I was always more of a dog person. But I decided to keep it til I could find a good home.  Many people, including Tyler (then just my boyfriend), laughed at that and smugly assured me that, in that case, I would be a permanently “temporary home”.  While I didn’t admit it verbally, I did concede internally. I knew the cat was there to stay.

The first order of business was naming the thing. After what seemed like weeks of arguing over the sex of the cat– (it’s so hard to tell with a fluffy kitten!)– we determined that it was a boy.  None of the names I proposed seemed to please my sister and finally Tyler suggested Hobbes, from the comic Calvin and Hobbes.  With his orange and white stripes, it seemed fitting.  We would later find the name fitting in more than a few ways, (namely his entertaining antics).

In the months that followed, I began to bond with my new pet.  I hated to leave him for my semi-frequent work trips, but the few times I had to travel that winter, Tyler cat-sat (ha) and kept me updated on everything back home.  Here is a photo from one Hobbes’s cute kitten days with a note from Tyler, then still just my “friend”.

And because I just couldn’t resist, I now bring you…. Hobbes’s First Christmas.  Mischievous from the start.

The Cat's Pajamas: How Hobbes Came to Be

About a year and a half ago, I co-led a Sunday School class with a college friend. We were an odd teaching combination– he, flamboyant and theological, and I, guarded and practical. However, we fell into our roles easily.  Z always prepared the lesson and led the discussion, and I made sure new people were introduced, snacks were present, we opened with prayer, and we closed on time.  It was a partnership that I really looked forward to every week.

A few months into our class, Z gave me a greater gift than just that of a successful ministry partnership.

He gave me a cat.

In the middle of worship one Sunday morning, I got a text.  Thinking it was my sister or a friend trying to find their seat next to me, I checked my phone.  Instead, I saw the frantic plea of my Sunday School co-leader– “I found a kitten! And I don’t know what to do!!”  Not phased by his near hysteria, I calmly asked where he was.  Seeing the response that he was in the parking lot, I slipped out to find him, thinking that only Z would be wandering outside when church had already begun.  I found him in the back, pacing around a small fir tree. He explained that he had, in essence, treed the cat.  Apparently it didn’t want to be held by him, but I guess my no-nonsense manner subdued the little feline fellow because I snatched him right out of the branches and wrapped him securely in my big yellow scarf.  The three of us snuck back into the church, and took turns holding the squirmy kitten and feeding it milk from the coffee bar.

I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight with the little kitten… I was always more of a dog person. But I decided to keep it til I could find a good home.  Many people, including Tyler (then just my boyfriend), laughed at that and smugly assured me that, in that case, I would be a permanently “temporary home”.  While I didn’t admit it verbally, I did concede internally. I knew the cat was there to stay.

The first order of business was naming the thing. After what seemed like weeks of arguing over the sex of the cat– (it’s so hard to tell with a fluffy kitten!)– we determined that it was a boy.  None of the names I proposed seemed to please my sister and finally Tyler suggested Hobbes, from the comic Calvin and Hobbes.  With his orange and white stripes, it seemed fitting.  We would later find the name fitting in more than a few ways, (namely his entertaining antics).

In the months that followed, I began to bond with my new pet.  I hated to leave him for my semi-frequent work trips, but the few times I had to travel that winter, Tyler cat-sat (ha) and kept me updated on everything back home.  Here is a photo from one Hobbes’s cute kitten days with a note from Tyler, then still just my “friend”.

And because I just couldn’t resist, I now bring you…. Hobbes’s First Christmas.  Mischievous from the start.