October 2013

Happy Halloween! And welcome, Great Pumpkin!

I thought about giving this post a cooler title, but with the original intentions of it really being more like a newsletter from the East Tennessee Clyde Crew, I figured a simple date would suffice.

Matt & the minions

In a nutshell: Matt and the minions are doing gloriously! I am HUGE!

After only a week of being out of work, Matt landed a new job with Rengo Design and to say that he is in his element doesn’t even do it justice. He loves the challenges that come his way, working in the corporate world. A night doesn’t go by where he isn’t rattling off with full enthusiasm about what he accomplished that day at work, or what is in the works for the following weeks. I love seeing him so happy with what he does. And apparently he’s good at what he does. That makes me even happier. He’s able to apply so much of what he’s learning in his Masters program and there is such a massive satisfaction in that. And speaking of school, Matt has consistently been pulling A’s (and maybe once a B) in his classes – even when life was hectic and a bit overwhelming. This man truly impresses me with the amount of responsibility he carries.

MattMatt has joined the Cumberland Worship Center’s Men’s Bible Study and is thoroughly enjoying it – gaining new insight and utilizing it daily. We really enjoy the worship and messages this church consistently puts out there. The spirit is definitely moving at CWC and we’re so excited to see what God has in store for this church. We’re also so blessed that we may possibly be a part of that!!

The minions are beyond thrilled to be back at their old school with their friends for yet another year as opposed to readjusting to city life in Murfreesboro. So far all looks great on the academic front, of course report cards aren’t due out until next Friday, but I haven’t been informed of any issues so “no news is good news”. Their homework appears to be hitting high marks and that’s enough for me rest easy at night.

EthanEthan (minion #2) turned 8 this month!! I can’t believe how time has flown! He was enrolled in guitar classes for a month before he decided to take matters into his own hands. *sigh* What can I say? He’s like his mom. Slowly but surely, he’s learning chords so he will be able sing and play the songs he wants to. Matt and I tried to assure him that if he really wanted to play a mean guitar he was going to have give in to lessons eventually. (I don’t play a mean guitar. Case in point.) He’s now hoping to direct his focus on basketball. Matt and I will sign him up in about two weeks for that – we love basketball, so that should be fun to watch every week anyway. Besides, the kid (an 8 year old) is the height of a 10 year old. Tall and skinny. If he can handle the ball well, this may be a niche for him.

AidanAidan (minion #1) is holding out for saxophone lessons…still. He’s been obsessed with this idea for about two years now. Hopefully, someday, we will be able to not only find a teacher but afford the actual instrument. In the meantime, Aidan continues to search for the perfect extra-curricular activity that will not only keep his attention (aside from sax lessons), but also cater to his quirkiness. He is, however, gearing up for his second round of being “big brother” as he impatiently awaits minion #3’s arrival. I’ve never seen him so excited – nothing against Ethan’s arrival, for Aidan was only 2 then. Actually, Ethan is excited, too. He’s moving on up from “baby” to “big brother” – though I admit a tad bit of concern over middle child syndrome he may encounter.

Minion #3Minion #3, tentatively named Liam, is clearly doing wonderful, because I am physically miserable. (haha!) In all seriousness though, we all can’t wait to meet this little guy – possibly in 10 weeks. We’re hoping to see his cute little face before the turn of 2014. Not only will it be great for tax season – ha! – but Matt will be doing his last week of residency in Missouri at Evangel University for his Master’s program from the New Year until days before I’m due. Like the other two boys, Liam will be delivered by cesarean to avoid risk of uterine rupture, so his birth date will be planned in advance to prevent going into labor. I don’t care how I have him as long as he’s healthy. He’s going to be a hoot, that’s for certain!

Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsThough it may not seem like exciting news to you, for me and the minions, this takes cake: Back in January, on our return drive from Joplin, MO when they met Matt’s family, we all agreed to start reading the Harry Potter series. *gasp* Yes, I know. Some of you are either offended that we haven’t read them before or your offended that we’re reading them at all. We had never even watched the movies so we were seriously flying in the dark on these books. All I knew was that I had heard so many awesome things about this series and because it was so popular, I was determined not to give it platform – probably because I’m a natural born snob. (At least I am aware of this. Right?) Anyway, we agreed to start these books when we returned to Tennessee and from the get go, we were HOOKED! After every book we finished, we set up a “Harry Potter Movie Night” that Matt swiftly became involved in. There were times even that he would harrass me to “hurry up and finish that book so we can watch the movie!” Due to custody rights with their dad, I get the boys every other week so this series has stretched out from January until this week! Alas, we will finish Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in no more than two nights, making Wednesday night (October 23rd) our last “Harry Potter Movie Night”!!! Perfect for Halloween! And I must say, these books have been far more enjoyable than almost any other book or series I have ever read. The hype was legit! My only regret (as well as Matt’s) is that we didn’t read them earlier enough to take part in the big screen debuts of the movies. Still, it’s been a fun journey this year and I’m slightly disappointed to see this series end… and no, I have NO IDEA how it’s going to end. As far as the books being “evil”? I’m not going to waste my breath on explaining one Christian’s different journey and conviction from another’s. I’m saving that chat for my official website “Grace and Glass Houses” that I plan to launch in 2014. But I will say that the books were awesome and just downright fun and I found nothing but positive results in sharing these treasures with my minions. Someday, I hope they take the time to read these books to their kids. Our next literature conquest – starting in November – will be “Lord of the Flies” then after that I’ll let my mom and Matt duke it out over what our next book should be. Mom says “Treasure Island”. Matt says “Huckleberry Finn” or “Tom Sawyer”.

NickabobWith Halloween upon us our annual Nickabob wars are in full swing! Back story: Three years ago my sister and her husband moved into a new home where the previous owners left a lot of their junk in the garage. Among this junk, my mother saw an eerie sight – a scarecrow. No, not one of those happy and friendly Hobby Lobby scarecrows. I’m talking about something homemade and…well, quite frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if it walks around at midnight eating children. Just kidding – haha! Anyway, as a family tradition – when we made friendly scarecrows in the past – we always named them Icabod. So “Icabod” it was! Icabod was strategically placed around the house that first Halloween at my parents and by the end of the season Ethan begged for us to put him in the garage, calling him Nickabob (his best attempt at “Icabod”). He watched with the strongest distrust you could imagine at several paces away, my dad retiring Nickabob that year – placing him in the garage with the other seasonal decor. Nickabob returned the following year and this time the minions strategically placed him to scare me as well. It became a game for sure and this year Matt is part of the game. Our family may seem sick and twisted, but we definitely have fun with this game and it has bonded us for sure. Besides, while I’m preggers, haunted houses and corn mazes are O-U-T. (Next year will totally be a different story.) I’ve been regularly posting updates on Nickabob through Instagram and Facebook, so feel free to follow me. And yes,he has his own hashtag. #Nickabob

Maybe someday he will have his own Facebook fan page where people across the grid can post pics of their own “Nickabobs” in action. 😛

As I have mentioned, I have been moved to begin a website called Grace and Glass Houses, inspired by a combination of things I have learned while obtaining my counseling degree, basic human observations, and judgments that we as Christians cast onto to one another as well as non-Christians. Even judgments cast upon God’s children. (It’s all wrong.) Originally, I was going to debut it in September, but I have chosen to give myself some healing time before I start. Although life for us is finally settling after our move to Crossville from Murfreesboro and it was clearly in God’s plan, the move itself was far from our plans and involuntary to say the least. He really does all thing for our good though and it has taken this transition to really brand that into me. Our lives today are better for this move – happier, healthier – and for that I am ever so thankful, but please don’t assume that how it all transpired didn’t hurt emotionally or even financially. In fact, if I can be transparent for a small bit here, I am still very hurt with it all and even angry at times. Yeah, yeah… I know; we’re supposed to “forgive and move on”. This is often easier said than done, especially for a Melancholy – we have a tendency to keep score. However, I have been diligent in my prayers not to just forgive but to let go. I’m asking my friends out there to keep me in your prayers over this matter as well. It’s the very root of what has prevented me from being capable to launch Grace and Glass Houses without the fear of being hurtful in any of my posts – that’s not my intention at all. This website is supposed to promote and inspire healthy relationships among the church, outside of the church, and within our families and right now, I find myself focusing more on the very unhealthy behaviors I see within churches as opposed to the good. This hurt/anger has also kept me from wanting to fully plug into our new church – out of plain and simple fear of being hurt again. So until this matter is dealt with in a healthy manner – between myself and God – I have not only put off the launch of Grace and Glass Houses, but I have actively made the decision not to take part on a worship team yet – which is clearly what God continues to push me into. It just doesn’t resonate with my spirit to drive forward when I have a few things I need to work on. It’s much like the song by For King and Country when they say, “If I sing but don’t have love I waste my breath with every song. I bring an empty voice, a hollow noise. If I speak with a silver tongue, convince a crowd but don’t have love I leave a bitter taste with every word I say.” When I am finally able to look beyond this hurt, leaving it with Christ, and look with eyes of pure love, then I know God will place the opportunity again before me and I truly look forward to that time. But I want to do it right.

“If I sing but don’t have love I waste my breath with every song. I bring an empty voice, a hollow noise. If I speak with a silver tongue, convince a crowd but don’t have love I leave a bitter taste with every word I say.”

Until then, while healing, I’m focusing my efforts (not just on healing) but on writing – books and music. I’m also in full preparation mode for Liam. My mom and sisters are throwing a co-ed baby shower for me and Matt on November 9th and I am so grateful. I haven’t one single baby thing left from Ethan – 8 years ago – so we are seriously starting from scratch. I never thought I’d be doing this again at 36. It’s definitely not as easy as it was in my twenties, but it’s still been fun. An adventure. Liam is an active little twerp that enjoys long walks on the beach, moonlit nights, margaritas, and dancing on my bladder. I’m a frequent visitor of the bathroom because of this…the precious angel.  Also, the numbers are in, for the first time in my LIFE I weigh about 190 lbs!! What the Heck!? I’m not devastated yet, but I probably will be after Liam is born. Matt has already promised to put me through “zombie apocalypse training” this winter…he’s holding out for a smokin’ hot wife, clearly. Other than that, I’m still redheaded, still drinking my favorite coffees, and plan to finish this short hiatus from school soon and jump back into my Master’s program in Christian Counseling. Matt is clearly going to beat me to the finish line this time.

IMG_2145 (2)To wrap up this update: Married life is hilarious. Not that we’re being flippant about our “adventure” together, but Matt keeps me laughing. Never in my life have I laughed on such a consistent basis and sometimes starting first thing in the morning – which is HUGE for this chick who hates mornings. Sure, much of his humor is either inappropriate or an inside joke, but nevertheless he will leave my stomach hurting from laughing so hard. We have fun together and are still discovering how much more we have in common – as well as things we don’t have in common. Daily, I am reminded how thankful I am that we have found each other. We’re hoping that maybe – a big maybe – sometime next year after Liam is born we can start working on music together again. He’s got the itch to drum as I have the itch to play keys and sing again and who better to do that with than your soulmate!

Not to Shop PledgeI hope everyone is enjoying this fall weather and ready for Halloween! The holidays are just around the corner and the Clyde Crew is excited to be spending our first holidays together as a family while we await for the arrival of baby Liam!! Start your layaways if you haven’t already done so and I’m asking that everyone, no matter how tempting the sales may be, to take the pledge to not shop on Thanksgiving Day. I know it may be asking a lot, but while others are asking you to save the pit bulls or to protest Obamacare, I’m asking you to not shop on a holiday. Because if you’re shopping, someone else is working and not spending time with their family. Just give it a consideration…Black Friday is still Open Season in my book though!

I’ll post again next month – turkeys, family, and “Catching Fire”! Until then, be blessed and be thankful! And don’t forget to pay homage to the Great Pumpkin!

It's the Great Pumpkin!