Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bend it Like Brownie

Mariah wrapped up fall soccer with a nice, big "W" yesterday. They ended their season with 5 wins, 1 loss, and 1 tie. My middle child, who up to that point had left the soccer playing to her older sister, absolutely blew me away with her determination and perseverance. This is the same child who asked me after the first practice, "Do I have to come back?"

Not only did she come back, she pressured me to get her to practice on time twice a week. She improved right before my eyes--from not wanting to hurt anybody on the field into a tenacious Lil' Beckham prepared to do battle against the opposing teams every Saturday morning. Here's my hero in action:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Battle Buddies

Let each of you look out not only for his own interest, but also for the interests of others.

~Philippians 2:4

It's hard to believe that Halloween is only a week away. When J deployed in June, fall seemed so far off. Now, we are anticipating his return within the next several weeks. It will definitely be a time for celebration, but I can't help but think about the soldier who will be sent to his take his place. I can't help but think about his brand new daughter born just this past summer...the fact that he won't be home for her first Christmas. Truth is,I know more about this family than I would like to know. They are our friends.

L, the wife, called today. I was prepared for her disappointment, despair, maybe even some tears. I was prepared to reassure let her know that if things could be any different, I would try my best to make it so. What I didn't expect was reassurance from her. She knew it was out of our hands and is truly excited for our opportunities in D.C. They are embracing the "bright side" of the deployment--including the fact that her husband will have a shorter time downrange than the rest of the soldiers. They will also be able to take advantage of some financial perks. Not to mention she and the kids are going to take the opportunity to visit her family back home in a tropical paradise. With the memory of wicked Nor'easters lurking in the back of my mind, I almost begged her to take me with her.

Of course nothing could replace having him safely by her side, safely home with their 2 small children. But as duty calls, I am glad to know that our friends are as concerned about our family as we are of theirs.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Still, Life

Move over blogging and sewing ~ Mama has a new hobby! Ever since J's anniversary gift arrived, I've gone from casual picture-taking to appreciating actual photography. My Rebel tags along a lot. And when I'm without it, there's always the moment I think "Man--that would be an awesome photo! Wish I had my camera..."

Great photo opportunities are everywhere. This is still a new arena for me and I am still exploring my "eye". But I seem to be drawn to still life , natural light photography. Maybe it's the abundance of fall foliage that appeals to me right now. Or maybe it's because the only time I seem to be able to concentrate on taking pictures is during Isaiah's physical therapy sessions, which happen to be located in a very photogenic part of town. I wander around for much of that hour with my camera strapped around my neck taking random pictures of objects. I'm just waiting for one of the adjoining businesses to call the cops on me. Maybe I should start freaking them out by wearing a "CSI" jacket.

Taking the picture is only half of the fun, I've discovered. Editing the photos is what takes photography to a whole 'nother level. After tucking in the kids and downloading a day's worth of pictures, I start working the magic. It is absolutely delightful ~ totally rewarding. I'm not familiar with the technical settings and such, I just recognize that moment when a photo satisfies me. Whatever the "photography rules" are and whether or not I am following them isn't a concern, but I think I'd definitely benefit from taking a class. Right now, I just know what I like to see.

A few random shots from yesterday:

*A special thanks to Christine Tobin, Trina Gueck, and Amber Ferrell for your inspirational photography.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Good Try

With fall here and winter right around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to freshen up my "work clothes". So I spent an entire day last week trying on jeans. It proved to be quite a challenge. I found a pair that worked, but yearned for at least one more pair to put in the rotation.

This past weekend, I had to take Savannah to Burlington Coat Factory for a heavier coat to wear at her bus stop. And of course, I couldn't resist heading over to the denim department. I grabbed just 3 pairs of jeans and shepherded all 3 kids into the cavernous handicap dressing room. The first 2 pairs garnered only a lukewarm reception.

Me: OK, this is the last pair. What do y'all think?

Mariah: Ooh, Mommy--those make you look like you are 27! No--26!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Blogiversary to Me

A year ago this week, I succumbed to peer pressure and composed my very first "Blogger" entry.

Three Chocolate Brownies was born!

From the start, I knew I wanted TCB to be a place where I could share not only pictures and tidbits about my family, but also insight into who I really am. Over the past year, my family and my life have experienced change and growth. As a result, so have my posts. I try not to censor much of what I write. Honesty is refreshing and tends to breathe life into my words. But there have been times when I have to go back and temper my posts. My intent is to express myself, not to offend my readers in the process.

Just so we're clear ~ I'm not ashamed to be a Christian, a Democrat, a stay-home parent, the mother of a special needs child, or the wife of a soldier. What you see is pretty much what you get.

Almost a year after my initial post and TCB seems like it's here to stay. It'll keep chugging right along unless, of course, I run out of things to talk about. But if you know my life, (and if you are a regular reader, I know you do), that's not likely to happen.

And if you've managed to read this far, thank you.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Peace, Be Still

Hey, America!

The President that you elected was just acknowledged and appreciated by the world with a Nobel Peace Prize! What are you going to do now?

"Well, definitely not go to Disney World because since he took office, Disney World just isn't as much fun...."

I honestly believe people blame President Obama for winning a Nobel Prize. Send your hate mail to whomever nominated him. Or better yet, the committee that awarded it.

I'm not going to go into whether he "deserves it" or not, but apparently they felt he did. President Obama has global appeal, something we are obviously not used to in this country.

I have come to the conclusion that no matter what President Obama follows through on or what promises he keeps, there are going to be people poised to rebuke him at every turn. They have already made up their minds about him. And that make me sad. But we are all entitled to our opinions ~ including the Nobel Prize judges. Ha!

*The opinions stated on this blog DO reflect the opinions of the writer.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Miss You, Daddy.

What did we do before Skype?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Joy and Pain

Over and over you can be sure
There will be sorrow but you will endure
Where there's a flower, there's the sun and the rain
Oh and it's wonderful they're both one and the same

~Frankie Beverly

Every year around our wedding anniversary, I dust off the old wedding album. Looking through the photographs never fails to bring a smile to my face. Total nostalgia. J makes fun of me, but it is always amazing to me to reminisce about that beautiful Indian Summer day~ most notably, how young we looked. Geez, we WERE young --both just 23 and crazy in love. Fourteen years later and we're even more in love. And thanks to our three children, we're even more crazy.

What struck me the most (besides how wide-eyed and naive we were), was that so many of our loved ones who witnessed our union have passed after photo of J and me smiling with the most important people in our lives. As I turned the pages--past pictures with my grandmothers, J's parents, his older sister, my father-- an unexpected wave of sorrow washed over me like never before.

My wedding anniversary is a special time to reflect on the wonderful life my husband and I have thank God for all of His mercy and many blessings. Yes, we have lost many loved ones these past 14 years, but we've also been blessed. Savannah, Mariah, and Isaiah are proof of that. Their unconditional love, innocence, and laughter reminds us of the unspeakable joy in this life that helps balance the inevitable pain.

In this life, I can't think of anybody I'd rather have by my side in good times and in bad. Happy Anniversary to the love of my life, on the other side of the world.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Picture Perfect

The petals on that pansy have obviously been chewed, but I just love this picture. Why? Because I took it with my brand new Canon Rebel.

J bought me the camera of my dreams for our 14th wedding anniversary which is on October 7. He's good. I didn't have a clue. And I am beyond estatic--it's truly a gift that keeps on giving.

Thanks for knowing me so well, baby. I love you.