Wednesday, June 30, 2010

she grew up...


Is beautiful, amazing, kind, lovely, hilarious.

She is graduated.

And I.

I can’t believe it.

I decided to surprise the girls—Tayte for her 17th (gah!) birthday, Korryn for her high school graduation. As chance (& schedulers) would have it, Korryn’s graduation was the weekend after mine—as in, 5 days later. To say it was a whirlwind might have been an understatement. So we left West Virginia from my graduation, hosted (from a hotel since our “extra” bedroom turned into a storage room) Rusty & Gay for 3 days, and then the very next day I flew out to Washington.

If I would have known that Tayte’s adorable friends were planning on pulling her out of bed at 11:30pm & brining her blindfolded & screaming, bra-less & shoe-less into the airport, I would have had my camera ready. Alas, I did not have my camera ready & missed out on what might have been the best blackmail material ever.

Korryn, thinking she had the right to a social life or something, didn’t find out I was home until the following day. Jerk face. (just kidding).

And then the moment came: with borrowed clothes & accessories & shoes (I literally carried underwear & my purse on the trip), we walked into the giant arena & watch the little miss graduate.


There were tears: mine.

There was cheering: ours.


There were air horns: tayte’s.


There were snears: people around us.


And then there was the graduate: beautiful.



I can NOT wait to see what God does in her life. She’s grown into an incredibly stunning young woman. Plus, BONUS!!!!, we get to live in the same city for the next three years. DARN excited about that (little Taytie? Will you come live there too?).


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

the Pritchard's visit....

We returned from West Virginia (after a short pit-stop at “Uncle Glen’s” house) fuller, fatter, & filled with all sorts of happy feelings. What a JOY that weekend was! (Despite my mushroom hat & polyester unitard—but how many people actually get to wear those pretties?).

Rusty & Gay, Jon’s adorable parents, joined us for another few days on the ranch. Well, okay, not a ranch at all. More like a zoo—the barking puppy next door (who woke us up at 4am this morning thankyouverymuch), the kids running upstairs, the loud music driving by, the giant planes flying overhead…yup, ZOO. Since it was Memorial Day, we took off to see the sights of Raleigh, avoiding the glorious beaches since we knew they’d be full-to-the-brim with sun bathers & ocean-pee’ers.

We visited Duke and WOWZA what a campus! I was in awe at how small the school attendance was and how huge the campus was!




And we followed the day with an Italian-style dinner at Maggiano’s. YUM and elastic pants is all I’ll say.


AND—this is so exciting!...we bought a new camera! We found a super-deal on Craigslist & pulled together the saved stashed special cash for the purchase J We couldn’t be happier with our new toy!

Monday, June 28, 2010

{pixels} the M family

edit 16 watermark
new shoot up @ the photo blog!

graduation: day 3




The weekend, the one I didn’t want to attend & made up every excuse to avoid, came to a close much too quickly. Breakfast was had (my pants were getting tight by then), hugs were given, and goodbye’s said. It came & went faster than my memories could catch up, soak in, linger.



But that is why we have pictures, right?

Looking back on the whole weekend, it confirmed that people are willing to sacrifice for us. and how honored we are to have a family, to have parents & siblings & aunts & uncles, who model that sacrificial behavior. Who stand up & say yes we want to be there, despite my fit-throwing & avoidance-seeking; who love on us when we don’t want (or don’t think we need) to be loved on.








The pride that was expressed at this accomplishment pales in comparison to the lessons learned from the journey. Jon & I have been through a lot over the past four years (but who hasn't?). And this accomplishment--& the photos posted here—shouldn’t at all detract from his accomplishments, too. But those will come out—you’ll all be awed & amazed at his humility through it all.

One thing I must say, though, is that we got through this past year without complaining, for the most part. We made it a goal: him in Iraq, me who-knows-where on rotations that we would take each day as it came, embrace what we were given, & try to be the best person we could be despite the trials & frustrations & strains that life seemed to slip in to golden moments. And we did it. Together.

With time, the memories of this weekend will fade. The specifics will blur together...and I won’t remember that I drank a 16-oz chai everyday while I was there. I won’t remember that our room at The Greenbrier smelled like an old woman’s perfume (probably for good reason as lots of old people stay there). I won’t remember Jon standing on his chair in the middle of the circus tent doing fist-pumps & shouting my name. I won’t remember the humidity or the polyester unitard or the wine we sipped at dinner.

But this. This is what I will remember: that we were loved. That we were together. And that life, at the present moment, was good, wonderful, full, & sweet.

And those are the memories I choose to carry with me. Like sunshine in my pocket, an umbrella for when the rains come. No doubt, the storms will come someday…but for now, I’ll bask in warmth & leave the post-storm rainbow for someone else.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

graduation: day 2

The “BIG” day. Which in all reality, wasn’t really the end—more like the beginning. The odd feeling I had, the one that found its resting place at the bottom of my stomach, seemed to echo the sentiment that yes this is an accomplishment…but yes you’ve got a LOT of work to do. I guess if I was confident in what I didn’t know my future patients might run the other way. For good reason, too.


The humidity was bearable (certainly better than North Carolina), but still thick. And the polyester unitard (as I fondly took to calling it) was NO help at all. I had to pee. I kept drinking water because I was nervous. I was afraid my family would do something embarrassing.

But in the end, it didn’t really matter. I stepped up on stage, shook hands, got my GIANT diploma (I thought they’d at least try to save paper), & then walked down (I won’t tell you that it was followed by sprint [in my polyester unitard with my mushroom hat nonetheless] to the bathroom. I thought after those shenanigans I might be dubbed the “runaway graduate” since it was a professional ceremony and all. But my bladder told me otherwise.




Anyways…the ceremony was over…we snapped some photos…ate some snacks (good thing my hefty tuition paid for something!)…and then Jon & I left for more chai, a lunch alone, and a long walk (with my then-blistered feet from uncomfortable shoes).









The evening was the highlight of the day. We had dinner inside the mini-house my family rented at The Greenbrier. It was DELICIOUS. There was conversation, wine, laughter, memories, and encouragement.








It is an odd thing, these big “events” that come after the wedding. Perhaps it’s been my own selfishness, but the more we are surrounding my loving, encouraging people; the more we put ourselves in the middle of the legacy our immediate family provides, the closer our marriage becomes. It is in the recognition that we are something together instead of just two people wearing rings, in the recognition that we are supported by those more wise with more miles on their proverbial tires, and in the recognition that although I might not have chosen the people in my family that they were chosen for me by Someone who knows so much more.


I chomped on my oh-so-amazing chicken & sipped down the red wine in my glass until just smears of sauce & a red-wine drops were left & couldn’t help but think about how blessed we are.

We topped the night off with bowling. In the basement of the Greenbrier. Yup…the place IS that amazing. It was hilarious. And muscle-pulling. And squeal-provoking.






And it was perfect.

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