Saturday, November 14
My sweet friend, Amy, just commented on a previous blog post of mine and finished with the encouragement... "Enjoy these days." That makes me smile.
These days, I spend most of my moments in wonderment. I am in wonder of the life growing inside of me, wonderment at the fact that God would take me, a broken vessel, and turn me into a sacred temple. Voila! This concept, this bit of theology, that our bodies are temples of the living God has never seemed quite so real to me as it does now... as it has for the past 10 weeks, the amount of time I've spent knowing that there is a life growing inside of me.
I have been in Kansas City with the Alexander children since Thursday and we have had some interesting talks about the fact that there is a baby in my tummy. Yesterday morning, I was explaning to the children how, right now, my body is helping God make the baby inside of me. Whitby (age 6), completely on the edge of her seat, asked me the most amazing question.
"Can you feel it? Can you feel God's hands?"
To be honest, I know very little about what is going on inside. I read my "What to Expect When You're Expecting" iPhone app every Wednesday (my turn day) to find out what is happening with the baby this week. I've spent serious amounts of time poring over the charts in my midwife's office looking at what grows when and how the baby looks when eyelids are forming, etc. but, ultimately, I am clueless about how this child is actually being formed, like, biologically.
But Whitby gets it. God's hands are inside of my body and they are lovingly and, with intricate and careful detail, knitting our baby together in this secret place. It is a complete and utter mystery. It is an incredible and awe-inspiring miracle. And the fact that God allows me to co-labor with him, the fact that my body knows to do the things it does, the fact that Trevor and I had the privelege of being involved in this process of creation, the fact that we are now partners with God in building this life, I'm... well, I'm... speechless (and we know how often that happens).
"These days" are spent thinking about every thing that I eat, slowly, as the days go by, ruling out certain items in my closet, feeling the sensations of a growing uterus, talking to the baby (Liz, can the baby hear me yet?), running to the bathroom, counting the weeks (14 weeks and 3 days gestational age, which is a new term in my vocab), drinking tons of water, paying attention to the baby aisle at every store I'm in, experiencing the bathroom at every store I'm in, trying not to toss my cookies every time I take my pre-natal vitamins, trying to think up new ways of avoiding calling the baby "it" (until that glorious day sometime in the second week of December when we'll find out if the baby is a "he" or a "she"), trying not to crave Diet Dr. Pepper, bouncing names off Trevor, thinking, praying and talking about labor... and, mostly, dreaming about who this child will be and all of the ways that Trevor and I are going to continue our story with this sweet baby in our life.
It is my distinct pleasure to introduce to you, dear reader, Baby Chapman!
At 9 weeks.
_______ can't wait to meet you.
Thursday, September 3
Whew - I went somewhere for a minute there! Back now!
So, the painting afforded an awesome opportunity to jam to some good 80's rock. My sweet husband acquiesced and soon we found ourselves dancing to the music! Now, if you at some point, find yourself overcome with this craving as I did. Let me give you the remedy. Create the "Journey Station" on Pandora.com and you will quickly be transported back to the days of neon, big hair and t-top thunderbirds.
Kinda makes you wanna watch Saved by the Bell, doesn't it?! Now, be honest, you know you always wanted to be Kelly Kapowski!
For some of my (ahem) older friends, this musical journey might conjure junior high, high school... maybe, for some of you, even college memories! For me, however, it takes me back to the delightful days of childhood, specifically ages 2-7. When I hear Heart's "These Dreams" or Madonna's "Papa, Don't Preach", I'm immediately whisked back to Saturday mornings dancing in the living room while my mom cleaned the house with all the windows open... She would always play the music loud when she cleaned the house. I can literally smell the freshness of outside, the subtle scent of baking blueberry muffins still hanging on the air and a little bit of Lysol. I can feel the breeze on my face as I twirled around the living room and I can hear my sweet mommy's beautiful voice. When I listen to 80's music, the thing is... I'm not moved by the lyrics or the beat neccesairily. I'm inspired, I'm entertained, I'm moved because of the memories associated... and because, in my head, I hear my mommy's precious voice, singing along.
Isn't she lovely?
What memories do 80's songs conjure for you?
Friday, August 7
Really? Was that really the last time I blogged? Where in the world have I been?! I don't even have any good excuses! Amy has a newborn and 2 other little ones and she's blogging... Elizabeth has a newborn, a toddler, a big move and a new job and she's blogging... Jane has 6 kids and she's blogging... I am inspired!
Okay, so what have I been doing since June 16?
Hmm... There was Father's Day, for sure. I revelled in my "housewife-ness" and took the opportunity to get crafty! I made all of our Father's Day cards and had so much fun doing it! Here are a couple of pictures.
A couple of days later, Trevor cut a hole in the ceiling of our garage so that we could get cable... oh, and because he needed to scope out the attic space above the garage so that he could begin making plans for his "man space". (Thank you, Rush Harvey!)
Don't worry. The hole got bigger than that... but, I'm tellin you what, it was pretty amazing when Trevor shimmied up into that hole off the ladder. His last words were, "I think I'll only have one chance at this." He got his torso in and then commenced with a little wiggle action and (voila!) a whole new world was opened up to us! It was definitely exciting... and now I get to watch CMT whenever I want! Not to mention, Bear Grylls, International soccer, TLC, the Food Network, HGTV, NatGeo...
To celebrate the 4th of July, Trevor and I drove to Kansas City to spend the weekend with Creighton, Nikki, Canon, Whitby, Cosmo and Apollo Alexander. As it always is when we are able to be with these dear friends, it was refreshing to our souls.
Here's Trevor, or, as Cosmo called him - "Treasure", and the children as a "Trevor Sandwich"...
And here we are at the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead... a little piece of heaven one earth...
The goats aren't shy...
Chapmans and Monkeys...
Me and my soul sister...
A couple of days after we got home from Kansas, our sweet friends from Belize came to stay with us for a few days. They are Liz and Emilio, Hadassah and Bella Zabaneh and we love hosting them! They came last summer as well and we always have so much fun together.
Trevor and Bella being adorable...
One day somewhere near the middle of July, I spent a wonderful day golfing with my dad. Well, he golfed. I was the cheerleader, moral supporter, water girl and arm candy. We met a couple of charming young entrepeneurs on the golf course. They must have been 7 or 8 years old and they had a whole operation going. They sold Capri Sun, water bottles and used golf balls that they fish out of the water hazards. They also had donuts but, when I asked, the little darlings made it very clear that the donuts were not for sale. My dad purchased 3 high quality golf balls and a capri sun and told the kiddos to keep the change. As we drove off in the cart, one of them yelled, "Thanks for the tip!" They were really adorable. Later, we had lunch in an old railroad depot in downtown Frisco that was absolutely charming. My dad and I enjoy each other in this totally wonderful way. It's hard to describe... Of course, he treats me like an adult and we absolutely level with each other... but he is still my Daddy. I know that there is still a place for me on his lap. I know that he is ready to rescue me at the drop of a hat. I know that he still sees me as his little girl. There is so much security in that for me... and, yet, he respects me as an adult and trusts me as a friend. Hmmm... what a treasure he and my mother are.
Okay, so this is an old photo but I was looking for one of my mom... My dad and my brother are way thinner now. I'm currently far less sunburned and Trev's hair isn't quite so long as it is in this photo... but this is a GREAT picture of my mommy.
So, more recently, as in a couple of weeks ago, I went back to Kansas by myself. (Trev had to work!) I had an amazing time being with the monkeys, hulu-ing with Nikki Jo, assisting her at the National Worship Leader's Conference and meeting famous people! See below.
A sleepy morning with Cos...
Play time at Target...
Sound checking with Mac Powell of Third Day...
Hanging with my def posse at the National Worship Leader's Conference...
I also got to meet Dave Crowder and I was proud of myself for shamelessly and sneakily stealing the set list that he dripped sweat on throughout the whole concert. Dave signed it for Trevor and wrote "Sorry we missed you"... I thought that was very kind. :) I was sad to leave Kansas but the adventure had to continue.
After spending one night at home, I left again to visit my Yaya and Pop in Paris, Texas. Yes, there is such thing as Paris, Texas... They even have a mini Eiffel Tower. The distinction, however, is that Texas' Eiffel Tower has a red cowboy hat perched atop. My Yaya is very proud of that monument and constantly refers to Paris, Texas as "the second largest Paris in the world".
The Texas version...
I got to spend three days alone with Yaya and Pop, something that probably hasn't occured since early in my High school career! They took good care of me. We shopped and watched movies and made pancakes and went out for ice cream... I truly felt a little bit like a kid again! It was precious time... absolutely precious.
When I got home from being in Paris, I was delighted to simply be home for awhile. Trevor and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary that weekend and into the following week... :) It is a personal conviction of mine that birthdays should last a whole week. I've applied that conviction to our anniversary as well. We have SO much to celebrate and SO much to be grateful for! It truly takes a whole week to do it justice!
This was the best anniversary yet... I am continually amazed at how much deeper and more poignant our love becomes as the time goes by. On the day that I married Trevor, I thought my heart would burst for all the love that was there. Now, when I look back on that day, I think, "my goodness... it was only the beginning..." I didn't think I could love him more. I didn't think it could be better than it was on that perfect, blissful day... and, yet, I am even more captivated, more smitten, more cherished, more full of love than I've ever been. God, you are the giver of good gifts! Hallelujah!
Tuesday, June 16
Here's the thing:
I want to write about the trip but I want to include pictures... and the pictures are on the external hard drive which is, I think, connected to the TV right now? This is a bit of an issue as I'm terrified to even walk too close to the external hard drive being that it holds very important photographs; wedding, honeymooon, every significant and insignificant event that the Trevor Chapmans have ever documented with a camera is stored on that little machine.
Since I don't even like to walk near it, I'm most certainly afraid to actually touch it, much less figure out how to attach it to my computer and then, like, download(?) the trip photos to my blog... (Btw, please do not tell any of my potential employers that I'm scared of my external hard drive. I mean, they always throw things into job descriptions like "must be proficient in database, blah, Excel, etc..." and I always think to myself, "hmm... proficient? probably not. teachable? definitely..." and then I'm sure to include something in my cover letter about what a quick learner I am.) :)
Bless my dear sweet techie husband... (Isn't he handsome?)
I love that he has so lovingly stored our memories. I just wish I could get to them. If I remember tonight, I will ask him to work his magic so that I will have pictures to share with you, dear reader. I promised trip blogs and I will deliver!
Thursday, June 11
It updates your facebook status?!
But, still, it kinda seems fun to tweet.
Tuesday, June 9
My blogging delinquency is due to the fact that I have been out of town (sans laptop, PTL) for over a month! Yes, Trevor and I had the delicious pleasure of spending 31 glorious days on vacation.
Anecdotes and reflections from this 31 days of fun will be soon to follow here at paisleyleather.blogspot.com and I hope you'll return here over the next few weeks and journey with me as I process my thoughts, record my memories, post photos and laugh and cry again over all the things I felt and experienced.
Here's a little something to whet your appetite: I decided... after almost 6,000 miles in the car with my husband... that life is most definitely about the journey. We spent hours upon hours in the car together going from place to place. The destinations were surely delightful, the things we saw memorable, the people we met amusing but, had Trevor and I had the seeming luxury of a "beam me up, Scottie" device, we probably would have taken it and we would have missed out on so much. The hours in the car were time we will never get back, time we couldn't have had any other way; unique, precious, delicious time... and I'm so grateful for it. I think the cheesey saying goes something like, "the joy is in the journey". I definitely agree... all 5,832 miles of it.
Saturday, April 25
A picture is worth a thousand words... whew! I got that pedicure just in time!
So, besides being a part time Assistant Equestrian Coach at SMU and part time Campus Minister for VCM, I'm also a part time babysitter/tutor for a family with 3 small children. That's too many parts, I know. Believe me. Yesterday, I took aforementioned small children to Thackery Park. It was a lovely Friday afternoon so the park was FULL of children. I was doing my best to dodge the children on scooters, dogs on leashes and moms pushing strollers by sitting quietly under a tree with a book. It was delightful; the sun was shining, the kids were enjoying themselves and I was sitting in the dirt with my back against a tree. Just what I needed at the end of a hectic week. I do have three jobs, you know. A little R&R is quite the luxury.
All of a sudden, my reverie was disturbed by Ronak screaming to Tej, "Get her! Get her! I'm slipping!" I was too thorougly enjoying the warm sun to immediately realize that the "her" Ronak was referring to was me. I looked up to see Tej begin running the opposite direction from where I was sitting and Ronak struggling on the monkey bars. Ronak and I made eye contact and I could see the terror in his eyes. My motherly instinct immediately fired up and I sprang from my restful place in the dirt, hitting my head on a branch in the process. I stumbled forward and began a dead sprint toward the monkey bars. Ronak continued screaming, "Ms. Chelsea! Ms. Chelsea! I'm slipping!" As I bounded toward him, I yelled, "I'm coming, Ronak!" and then, all of a sudden, I felt the all too familiar feeling of my ankle rolling over in a hole in the grass. I fell to the ground, just as Ronak lost strength in his fingers and landed with a thud in the dirt.
My rescue attempt had completely failed. Ronak was in the dirt and I could barely walk. "Ronak, are you okay?" I asked, wincing. "Ms. Chelsea, are you okay?" Ronak asked as he brushed the dirt off his rear end. Tej arrived back just in time to find Ronak and I both on the verge of tears. "What happened?!" he asked... Ronak and I just looked at each other as we started back to the car, half laughing and half crying all the way. Tej followed us, completely dumbfounded.
We had had just about enough of the park for one day... and now, I'm laid up with a swollen ankle and a bag of ice. Dang that motherly instinct!
At least my brilliant husband is a brilliant engineer and he was able to lovingly rig this bag clip to hold in place the bags of ice that are perfectly incapsulating my hurt ankle... Thanks, baby. McGuyver's got nothing on you!
Tuesday, April 7
Oh, the sweet, earthy smell of the feed permeating the building, the walls full of brightly colored curry combs, halters and brushes, gorgeous honey colored bridles with fancy sterling silver buckles, buckets of horse treats in all flavors, all kinds and colors of saddles, both western and hunt seat, spurs, crops and cowboy hats. Everything is blanketed in this delicate, delightful layer of fairy dust because the doors to the feed store pretty much stay open all the time and the feed bags themselves tend to puff out this fine powder when they are stacked on top of each other. Oh, how I love the feed store. I enjoy the leathery skin and husky voices of the old cowboys who work there. I love the cowboy hat that you know they only take off to sleep, eat and pray and their friendly way of treating people. I also love the way they don't rush. Everything happens at a slower pace at the feed store. Today, I revelled in that. I didn't hurry. I thought about my Dad telling me about how, as a kid, he would delight in being able to go with Grandat to the feed store on Saturday mornings. I imagine he felt like a prince as he sat on the stacks of feed sacks drinking his Orange Crush and listening to the men talk shop. Today, thinking about that slower pace of life, I took my sweet time and shot the bull with those cowboys as I picked out a cribbing collar, a riding helmet for myself, two bags of Omelene 100, which is this super yummy, sweet, sticky feed that helps the horses gain weight, a bag of rice bran to boost their energy and a bag of apple flavored horse treats because I couldn't resist. I especially enjoyed meeting Jacob. He works 4 hours a day at the feed store and spends the other part of his day working as the horse manager at a ranch near by. If I had to guess, I would say that Jacob is probably 65 years old but still going strong. He, of course, would not let me carry my feed bags to the car so he had one of the young whipper snappers working there take the heavy bags to the car for me. (Confession: I was totally embarassed about pulling up to the feed store in a Maxima and was really really missing Peppermint Patty.) The young guy who carried my feed was wearing Wranglers, a plaid shirt, boots and a ball cap and he looked as though he loved the feed store as much as I do. He called me ma'am and opened my car door. Jacob and I talked for a little while about what alfalfa cubes could do for our horse's energy levels and said that the feed store would be happy to "send some out our way". As we stood there talking by my car, Jacob lit up a cigarette and continued speaking to me with it sticking to the edge of his lip. I kept waiting for it to fall but, miraculously, it stayed perfectly perched and I thought, "years of practice... years. of. practice." I thanked him for taking the time to help me find what I needed, walking me to my car and giving me such great advice on alfalfa cubes. As I was leaving, Jacob said "God bless you, Chelsea." Wow - As I drove away, the sun shining and the feed sacks in the trunk already sending their sweet aroma throughout the car, I thought, "God bless you too, Jacob. God bless America and God bless the feed store."
Friday, April 3
Thursday, April 2
(Dramatic pause for emphasis.)
I have put off starting my blog for far too long.
Dear blog reader, I have been thinking of you for such a very long time. I've dreamt of you, imagined your frequent and witty comments, written to you over and over in my head... Heck, I even started a list a couple of weeks ago on my IPhone notes app entitled "Future Blog Titles"! And, yet, I have delayed. The illusion that I must wait for the perfect time, the perfect title, the perfect opening lines, the perfect font, color scheme and graphics was a paralyzing force that kept me from deliberately opening blogspot.com and simply signing in!
Marshall Terry, one of my favorite writing professors at SMU, once said, "You are not a writer unless you write."
I want to be a writer. I've believed that I could be good at it... and, yet, I haven't chosen to be disciplined about doing the very thing I want to do! Today, I am beginning the dialogue with you that I've looked forward to for so long. I would like to thank the scores of brilliant bloggers who have challenged me with your faithfulness, your creativity and your charm. I am happy to finally be joining your ranks.
Although it has been a long time a comin', I can now officially say, with a bit of fear and a lot of excitement, that I am a blogger. Thank you for being patient, dear reader. Now, let's talk.