Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In Like A Lion

To be quite honest, March in the south hasn't come in like a lion. We have had beautiful, sunny weather and calm nights. I know we need the heavy rains to bring a lush spring, but March has tiptoed in so quietly, that I am sometimes surprised to look at the calendar and see how far into the month we really are.

Life has been great at the McCash house. David is staying very busy with his new job, working six days a week, long hours, meeting his new crew, other engineers, and learning new software. He has been taken out on dinners to meet new engineers and has enjoyed learning more about the Motor City. Though Detroit gets a bad rap for high crime and a recent housing crisis, David reassures me that it is a city that will steal my heart- it is unique, diverse, enormous, and full of history. Like all big cities that have suffered economic change, Detroit is full of art and culture.

I'm so happy for this new direction in our lives and am thankful God loves us enough to meet all of our needs. With Him, I know to trust and obey. And, for the most part, I do it with a cheerful heart.

I attended Brandy's husband, B.J.'s, 30th birthday party solo. It was a function where I missed David's presence. Being apart a full month now has given me an ear to listen and a heart of patience. Though it has been challenging, it has been a very positive experience. A big thank you to those who have checked on us- we appreciate your kind words of encouragement. 

With warmer weather, Harbor has been enjoying more time outside. This picture makes me realize Harbor's days in big open fields, abloom with dandelions and wild honeysuckle, are numbered. We will soon be trading the country for the concrete jungle of the big city. Crab apple trees will be replaced with people movers and rabbit holes will be swapped out for steaming manholes. And I'm okay with that. It will make "coming home", especially for Harbor full of sentimental magic.

It is bittersweet to think of leaving my classroom in a month's time. I have spent a good deal of life working on my teaching career. Five years in college, six years in the classroom, numerous trainings and additional classes to stay current... Rachel and I lament the time we had dreamed of teaching together someday. Both being Christian gals though, we know that God knew this was an obstacle we would encounter that would derail our best laid plans. And knowing that, we both brush it off, shake it off, and move forward. God always has plans to help up, to prepare a future for us. I know He has ordained a classroom for her. And
I'll be on the next plane out when the time comes to help prepare her for the big interview or that super-sized bulletin board.  : )

She recently came to observe a special education inclusion class that I teach. We all loved having her with us!

Harbor loves ice-cream and asks for it by name almost nightly. I'm happy to oblige!

I know you are bored stiff of library pictures, but, in all honesty, as a mom, I find my parenting, like my classroom management,  to be routine and predictable. Harbor thrives on the structure and I like that he can anticipate how most of our days will play out. I also took Harbor to have his haircut by myself. In Harbor's short life, I have only taken him twice, so it has been fun for me to step into daddy's shoes where I can and help out.

Sunday was such a fun day! My mom, Harbor, and I went out for lunch, to Hobby Lobby, thrift store shopping, and to feed the ducks. We found lots of good bargains- remind me sometime to show you the three new ingenious scrapbooks I picked up for birthday parties. I bought three to accommodate a bigger family down the road- no news on that front. Just wanted to have a few on hand for "someday"! Ha! I love the idea of coordinating multiple books. 

Harbor loves the ducks- to see them, feed them, read about them, and talk about them. Though it was terribly blustery, it was a perfect day to toodle around and relax.

And to keep it real, my mom snapped this right about the time a bully of a duck- mean ol' thing!- scrambled out of the water right at my face. Not pretty! Ha, ha! Scared me to death. I'm not a fan of birds, not at all. I do it for Harbor, but I struggle to get close to the ducks. So, anyway, this picture is a keeper! Ha!

I would be remiss If I didn't share that this is the first year we haven't gone skiing- minus the year Harbor was born- in the last six years. I even skied pregnant. It is just an ingrained family activity that we are all missing this Spring Break week.

Here we are, exactly one year ago, in Keystone, Colorado. Baby Harbor in snow bibs makes me giddy with happiness.  : )

As we speak, Rachel is vacationing in Santa Monica, California, and I am leaving very early in the morning to make a short trip to Detroit- my first trip- to meet my new city. David turns 30 on Thursday and I couldn't bear the thought of him eating butter cream cupcakes without me!

I hope she, Detroit, is ready to meet me. I've been dreaming of her for weeks, wondering what we will have in common.

Have a great week!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sponge Rollers

We have had a great week- a fast week, for sure! Though the weather has been cool and cloudy for the most part, many days were full of sunshine and that became a small promise for spring.  Plants are blooming everywhere and I have started - this week- an exercise regime to prepare this worn out winter body for swimsuit season. I wish I didn't have to start in March, but I'm not a young chick anymore. Turning 30 is fast approaching and I need all the help I can get! Ha! With warmer weather, going outside to play with Harbor is the perfect way to "chase" and "slide" off these ol' winter blues.

We ended last week with our weekly library trip. As an alternative means of entering, we decided to park across the street from the library and enter through the grounds section. They do a great job of landscaping and have such pretty rock work. Harbor was a bit disappointed to not be in the parking garage, but was quickly won over by the blooming day lilies.

This is the view of the library from the back side- on the far left is the parking garage. There are many terraces and balconies for reading, and on the far right side are a series of rocks steps leading to the front. It is a gorgeous facility and I feel so lucky our city has such nice buildings in the downtown.

Every area of the children's library is either dedicated to earth, fire, water, or wind. The carpets and murals match the theme, so wandering in the children's sections are really quite an adventure! Above, Harbor is working a puzzle in the "water" section and you can see some of the mural paintings below. My mom did a great job of watching Harbor and taking pictures for me- thanks, mom!

This is one of many outdoor terraces for reading that overlook the children's section.

From this particular balcony, you can see the University of Arkansas's Campus- Old Main.

Harbor and my dad have really enjoyed spending so much time together. I know they will both miss one another when we move. I'm hopeful we can find some creative ways to keep that bond intact, even when we aren't able to fly in to visit whenever we wish. Does anyone live away from grandparents? Any neat ideas to share?

Nap times are so much fun with new books!

Harbor and his Mardi Gras beads make us both smile!

My friend, Lyndsey, who was pregnant and recently had a baby shower, delivered a beautiful, perfect baby girl, Emmary Grace. The neat thing? She delivered on her birthday, so both Lyndsey and Emmary share a birthday now. I can only imagine the fun they will have one day when they are able to jet-set off to New York to celebrate in style! Lyndsey loves New York, New York and seems to go almost every year. What a perfect excuse to shop- double birthday parties!  : )

Mom and I were so excited when Red Riding Hood came out this weekend! We both love that mix of fairy tale and action, so my mom bought tickets Friday afternoon while I was teaching, and later that night, after Harbor went to sleep, we took off together to the 10:00 p.m. showing. My dad kindly offered to listen for Harbor while he was sleeping, and we were so happy to be out on the town, just the two of us. As we were finding our seats in the dark, my mom started giggling. As she was walking up the steps, she looked down and noticed that in our frenzy to get out the door, she had forgotten to switch her house shoes with her flats. So, there she was in the theater in her fuzzy house shoes. We got a good laugh out of that! The movie was so romantic and suspenseful ( I loved the cinematography!) that I went back again Saturday night with Rachel and her roommate, Ashley, to the 9:35 p.m. showing.

This Saturday, we were so happy Rachel could join us at the library. My mom, Rachel, Harbor William, and I got Taco Bell and McDonalds drive-thru and had a picnic lunch in the garden terrace at the library before going inside. The weather was perfect- low 70's and full of singing birds and swaying dogwood trees. Just perfection!

While we were inside, Rachel ran into her other roommate, also named Rachel, who was doing some studying upstairs. She is in school to be an RN, but we were glad she took a break to come and visit with us.

This section, above, is the fire section.

A change from last Saturday's picture is this graceful blooming dogwood. What a pretty tree, indeed! I seem to remember my granny telling me the dogwood petal is a reminder of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. It was definitely a reminder that Easter is on its way!

Many of you have asked about how I curl my hair and what products I use- I am so flattered by your emails! Ha! I think I tend to feel like most girls in that my hair is pretty flat and I never have enough time to take care of it the way I want to. But, since some of you asked, here is what I do:

I use a set of black jumbo sponge rollers from Sally's Beauty Supply, roll my hair to the scalp, and sleep in the rollers. I roll a mohawk from my forehead to my neck, and then roll the sides last. Since my hair is wet when I roll it, I spray a thermal setting gel after I roll it up. Even though I'm not using heat, it helps keep my curl all day. I will use an inch barrel curling iron to touch us any places where my hair didn't curl just right, but I have learned that if I roll it in small enough sections, I really don't need to curl it at all. My curling iron is a Conair from Wal-Mart- super cheap! It has a little green turbo light on the barrel that gets it really, really hot. I think that is the key to making those curls long and loose. In the morning, I wake up, unroll them, use my fingers to tousle them a bit, and spray hairspray. I like Big Sexy in the red canister and I get it at Walgreen's. It is a bit more pricey than regular sprays, but not all hairsprays are created equal and Big Sexy holds all day without being sticky.

I took some self portraits before going to bed:

Eight hours later:

And just for fun, since we are talking "hair", after the library today, while Harbor napped, I gave Rachel a little makeover. She was going out to eat and to the movies (I joined up for that), but I rolled and curled her hair and did her makeup. It was a fun time together. : )

I hope I adequately answered your hair questions, but if you need to know something else or want the product names of those sprays, just let me know. For me, it is an easy way to get big hair in a hurry! Ha, ha!

Have a great week back to work and school!