Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Movie Meme

I'm shamelessly stealing this from HP and inviting all of you to play along!

Pick ten of your favorite movies, go to IMDB and find a quote from each, post the quotes, and make people guess.

Here we go!

  1. "It's time to separate the wheat from the chaff, the men from the boys, the awkwardly feminine from the possibly Canadian."
  2. "Okay, I'm pretty sure this isn't what Jesus had in mind when he said, "Help Dean." Look, don't be too harsh. I'm not the first person to ever get the message screwed up. Looking at her, it's like life is too amazing to be this random and meaningless consequence of the universe. There had to be a God... or something out there. "
  3. "What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?"
  4. "They outrageous, them rules. Who live in this cider house? Who grindin' up those apples, pressin' that cider, cleanin' up all this mess? Who just plain live here, just breathin' in that vinegar? Well, someone who don't live here made those rules. Those rules ain't for us. We are supposed to make our own rules. And we do. Every single day."
  5. "I know what it's like to want to die. How it hurts to smile. How you try to fit in but you can't. How you hurt yourself on the outside to try to kill the thing on the inside."
  6. "I will not hurt or harm you. Just give me back the board, Lance. It was a good board - and I like it. You know how hard it is to find a board you like."
  7. "On the good days, I feel like I get it, like it all makes sense. I can stay in the moment, I don't have to control everything in the future, and I believe everything is gonna work out fine. On the bad days I just want to grab the phone and start dialing numbers. I want to pull my hair and run through the streets screaming. But thanks to the people I've met in these rooms, like Margaret and Jim and Sarah, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna make it through today."
  8. "Anti-wrinkle cream there may be, but anti-fat-bastard cream there is not."
  9. "Every day I come by your house and I pick you up. And we go out. We have a few drinks, and a few laughs, and it's great. But you know what the best part of my day is? For about ten seconds, from when I pull up to the curb and when I get to your door, cause I think, maybe I'll get up there and I'll knock on the door and you won't be there. No goodbye. No see you later. No nothing. You just left. I don't know much, but I know that."
  10. "I'm hearing horses! Parry will be so pleased!"
If you do this at your place, let me know! And if you can help us out over at HP's place, that would be super!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

On Purpose?

It's that time of year again. Time to send the letter to the bishop requesting another year of Family Leave. July will mark two full years of leave and, yes, I'll be asking for a third. As far as I can tell right now, I'll also be requesting a fourth and a fifth. Shoot, I might even request an extension when the time comes.

The decision for one of us to stay home with our children was a no-brainer for Jay and me. Both of our moms stayed home with us and we never even considered anything else. When Joshua was born and I was working a job that provided our housing and health insurance, Jay was the primary caregiver. When he was offered a job that allowed us to be close to my family, I quit my job and became the primary caregiver in our home.

The switch to one income has been a greater challenge than I think either of us anticipated. Even when Jay was in school we still made enough to splurge on dining out, fun vacations, and plenty of impulse buys. But the decision forgo some of the things we used to take for granted is as much of a no-brainer as the decision to keep one of us at home.

What never ceases to amaze is that some folks think that my decision to stay home is just a phase, something I'll get tired of soon enough. I think they fully expect me to run screaming from my home one day, begging for someone--anyone--to give me a job just so I'll have an excuse to get out of the house. The truth is that, during the several budget meetings between Jay and I when we've discussed whether or not I'm going to have to go back to work in order to make ends meet, I've been reduced to tears. Very little is more traumatizing to me right now than the thought of turning over the daily care of my children to someone else. So here I am, for as long as I need to be.

And if I needed any more motivation, my mom was good enough to send me a link to this article.

Thanks mom!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sad

Clare eats food now. I'm sad.

Since November 3, 2007 I have been her sole source of nourishment. For exactly nine months I grew her inside me; and for six months, one week, and one day, I nursed her exclusively. She wouldn't even take a bottle.

And now she eats food.

We went to her six-month appointment and found out that she weighs 19.5 pounds, which doesn't even register on the growth charts. I knew she was a beast, but I didn't realize she was that big. The doctor, who nursed her last two children exclusively for an entire year, said she really had no opinion about whether I should start her on baby food. She obviously didn't need the calories, but I really felt like she was interested in the social aspect of eating.

I think I felt a particular kind of bond with her that I didn't feel with Joshua since he drank from a bottle. It just feels different to have been responsible for every single ounce that has nourished her from the moment she was conceived. I guess I'm just sad that my baby's growing up. I remember that I couldn't wait for Joshua to develop. I was completely intimidated by caring for him as an infant. I just wanted him to not be so needy already. Don't get me wrong, he's my heart and soul--it just took me awhile to adjust to being needed all the time.

Maybe it's because Clare might be our last that I'm sad. But she's going to grow up whether I'm ready for it or not.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The State of Things

I can't believe it's already been almost a week since the tornado. I'll pick up where I left off...

Wednesday morning brought the creation of the Union Emergency website, which has since morphed into the Union Recovery website. On Wednesday afternoon the website contained a phone number to call if you were a student needing temporary housing or a faculty/staff member willing to provide temporary housing. I called and was immediately connected to a junior nursing student. She and her freshman brother needed a place to stay. They're from Memphis, but wanted to hang around at least one more day to see if they could get on campus and find her car. By Wednesday night they had been made aware that her car was trashed, so they arranged for their mom to get them on Thursday morning.

They were wonderful guests. Jay picked them up and took them to Wal-Mart. The two Wal-Mart bags increased her possessions by about 60%--all she had made it out with was her backpack. We went to church for dinner and then came home so they could collapse. Their mom came on Thursday morning. It was obvious after meeting her where they got their "home training," as my 5th grade Social Studies teacher would call it.

We've since been asked on multiple occasions to house a student or two for the rest of the semester. As much as we would love to, our home is simply too small and our children simply too disruptive to make it work.

Things are progressing at an amazing speed at Union. They plan to have housing for the rest of the semester worked out by the end of tomorrow (one of the Baptist church in town owns a hotel and has given it for Union's use until December 2008, so that helps). The Assistant Provost has arranged a new class schedule that will allow graduation to take place on schedule. Dorms rooms are being cleaned out and students whose belongings are available for pickup are being contacted daily. Procedures were set up last week for students to get replacement IDs, driver's licenses, and FEMA assistance. As exhausted as Dr. Dockery is, I hope he still has the energy to pat himself on the back every night for surrounding himself with such unbelievably efficient and competent people. It's truly amazing.

And to answer Anna's question:

We didn't do much, to tell the truth. We opened the windows and turned on the news when we heard the tornado sirens, but that was about all. I sat on the couch with one foot out, ready to run at any second. We already knew that we'd each grab a kid and a mattress and hunker down in the bathroom. It was just a matter of deciding when. But there was never any indication that it was coming our way, so we just sat. Once we heard that Union had been hit we knew it was too far north to hit us. Everyone else I know sat in a closet with a weather radio, snacks, and toys. I guess we should've done that, too, but after living in Tennessee for so long I've become kind of oblivious to the warnings. I know that's not smart. Oh well.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

More Updates

For obvious reasons it's been difficult for the university to provide up-to-date information about what's going on. By the time Jay got to campus last night, the students had already been moved twice and no one had any information about where they were or how to get to them. So it was just the four of us last night. We found out early this morning that one of the high schools near our house was being used as an emergency shelter, so Jay went there when we got up. The students were, again, gone. I'm not sure how they've managed to spirit away hundreds of students so frequently in such a short amount of time, but it's pretty impressive.

Anyway, campus is completely closed to traffic. It seems that they are conducing insurance assessments this morning and will begin cleanup tomorrow. At one point they said they were going to escort students to their rooms to claim belongings, and several minutes later said that no one was allowed on campus. I can't imagine how frustrating that must be for the students.

After Jay's outing this morning, we all piled in the car to join the Lookie-Lous that were driving slowly by the campus. I've never seen tornado damage before...it's really wild to see how it obviously cut a clear path of destruction and left everything on either side of that path alone. It's heartbreaking to see those dorms and amazing that no one was killed.

According to the president, 40% of the dorms were destroyed and 40% were severely damaged. They're going to try to resume classes on February 18. I'll be really impressed if they can make that happen.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

All the Good Thoughts You Can Muster

I'm blogging about it because I'm not sure what else I can do.

A tornado hit Jay's campus tonight. A good portion of the dorms were destroyed. Eight students are currently trapped with crews trying to get them out. No fatalities or severe injuries so far, but another line of storms is on the way.

I'm trying to figure out who to call, how to help...The campus is closed to everyone but emergency crews so going there isn't an option. There's no way to get in touch with anyone in the area because the phone lines are down. I just want to say, "We have a warm, dry place and a hot meal for as many kids as you want to send," but there's no one to say it to!

So send good thoughts this way, please, for the students and for all the other folks who lost so much tonight.

Update: About 30 minutes after I posted this, the university president called into the local (rhymes with "yokel") television station and announced that faculty and staff were to come to campus and pick up students. Jay is there now and I'm frantically cleaning the house and preparing for an unknown number of cold, wet, and hungry students.

Other news is that there were no serious injuries on campus but there are several students still trapped inside a dorm. They are in constant contact with the crews working to free them. Classes are canceled until further notice. The university president reports that the damage is ten times worse than the damage sustained from a tornado in 2002, and estimates that the campus has sustained "millions and millions" of dollars worth of damage. Power is out indefinitely in the northern part of the county.

I still haven't been able to contact several friends who live in the area that sustained the most damage. Prayers, good thoughts, please.

Close Enough

Joshua has a new message for all the pre-readers out there:

"Q and U stick like blue."

Words to live by my friend, words to live by.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Decidedly Absent

That's me!

I'm working on a hah-YOOJ freelance editing job that's taking up nearly all of my spare time, and also getting ready to preach at chapel at Local Methodist University.

What I am not doing is blogging. But I'm still alive and still having fun. And I will return to blogging shortly, barring any other fabulously lucrative (ha ha) jobs that might come my way.