Friday, April 12, 2013

To Be Known




Ooooh friends! They are the refreshments of life.

I gathered with my best friends who grew with me through the growing pains of college last weekend in the hills of Tennessee. The occasion? Not that we have to have a reason to get together, but this time we did actually celebrate something other than our friendship. A baby!!!! New life on the way!! Oh man, nothing like a bun in the oven to get us excited. Sara is our first friend from our college (and only my second close friend to have a baby or be preggo... like who I would definitely consider myself to be an auntie to their child) to take the pregnancy plunge and she is doing it with class. So much class that we think she should name her child Tally. Short for Talladega. Because Sara was definitely pregnant at Talladega but didn't know it.... hot dog! That child is gonna be a race car driver. Or really like beer...

I'm kidding! Geez louise.

The truth is, that baby is going to be so well loved by not only Sara and David, but also by all the aunties. And the aunties' husbands. Because yes, the husbands came along on our weekend get-together. It was certainly nice having them there, but honestly, there were some low points. Like when my husband (remaining nameless for anonymity's sake - HA HA) decided to tell everyone what we hope to name our baby boy if we are ever blessed to have one.

Which is so out-of-bounds!

Yea..... the thing is, no one would have ever known that we like the name that Michael said except for the fact that I gasped "WHAT???" right after he mentioned it as a suggestion for baby names if Sara's baby is in fact a boy. I was so caught off guard that I didn't have time to even think clearly enough to keep my mouth shut and play it cool so that no one would know that the name he said is actually a name we love.  

That's supposed to be sacred information shared just with your hubby! Not to be revealed until the baby is born! Oh for heaven's sake -- I know. I am being overly dramatic. And a lot of parents actually do reveal their child's name beforehand. But really, it was so shocking to me that Michael said that name. And it was kind of funny to hear everyone's reactions to it: it wasn't exactly well received. We got some puzzled looks and comments. Oh wellll.... can't please everyone. We still love that name and I trust my friends to take the secret to their grave (or to when we have a baby boy one day.)

Side note -- the cake in the above picture is 2/3 blue and 1/3 pink which reflects the percentage of the group that thinks the Lewis baby will be a boy (blue) or a girl (pink). I think pink!

Anyway.........

It was a huge joy to get to see my dear friend about to be a mother. Sara literally was there on day numero uno in Dallas when we moved to town when I was 6 years old. She taught me how to ride a bike while holding a slurpee. And now she is going to have a baby. Wow! I mean, really. It's crazy to wrap my head around. It's the Circle of Life! And it moves us allllll.....

It's also always, without fail, incredibly wonderful to be with these friends. I need to stop here and say that one friend couldn't come, and that definitely meant that the fun quotient was lowered by a good bit:


Oh hey, Tilly! Tilly was so missed. Here we are as bitty first years at UVA.

As we all discussed together last weekend, it is just sweet to be with the girls who know you so well. These are the girls that we lived with in some shape or form for 4 years, the ones who grew with you through hard times, the ones who can make you laugh and cry in an instant, the ones who know what you mean when you say "I can't feel my elbows," the ones who roadtripped with you 8 hours away to visit a sick parent, the ones who knew your bizarre eating habits, the ones who knew who your crushes were and would go to frat parties with you so you could spy on them, the ones who walked-in on each other all the time when they were kissing their boyfriends, and the ones who would stay up with you into the early morning hours talking on the sofa about the future.

It is a sweet, sweet thing to be known by these women.

Any future babes of ours are in good hands, I'm confident of that!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

T'was an Easter Fiasco

I swear this is my last mention of food for awhile. Actually, I really can't make any promises.... It's a big part of our lives. But there is SO MUCH more to life than food. Like what, you ask? Ummm well, hold your horses. Give me a moment. I have to talk about food first.

It's hard for me to admit this:

But man OH MAN, pride goeth before the fall. Literally. As in, chocolate banana bread fell all over the kitchen floor.

And inside the oven.

And on the stove top.

Yes.

It was too disastrous to photograph. And I cried. And Michael somehow already was wearing his superman cape and quickly ran to the store to get me more bananas and Reese's PB cups so I could start over. And that was after I did nothing but stand frozen in disbelief as he used a dust pan to scoop the batter on the floor into the trash, de-crusted the batter that had fried against the hot oven door, and wiped the stove top clean. I think Michael knows by now that when something like this happens, I tend to melt down into an very sad mess, and he has learned that the best way to avoid this happening is to act quickly. Clean it up! Check. Run to the store! Check. Say kind things like "well, that was a first" and "well now we know what banana bread batter looks like on the floor" and "you know what? I actually really wanted to go outside. I was tired of sitting. I'll just run to the store and be back in a jiffy."

And I'm just standing their frozen in utter disbelief because I have dumped banana bread all over the floor.

All of this happened on Easter's eve. I was baking on Saturday for a brunch we were going to on Sunday so that we wouldn't have to worry about it on Sunday morning and could just enjoy the morning and drink coffee and be grateful for Jesus and not rush around like wild animals to get out the door on time. But no matter how much I planned in advance, I still ended up with banana bread all over the kitchen floor, and we were not as on-time as I would have liked for an Easter service we attended on Saturday evening, and because we were not as on-time as I would have liked, we had to sit in the balcony (no me gusta) behind a giant stone pillar that totally and completely blocked our view of anything at all except the giant stone pillar, and all in all, I was feeling disgruntled, if you know what I mean.

No? I will tell you what I mean: I was totally writing my autobiography befittingly titled "Carey Beth and the terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day." On Easter's eve, of all times.

But honestly, it wasn't a bad day at all. Saturday was gorgeous and a brief glimpse of springtime here in DC (finally! But what on earth happened on Sunday? We went back to November.) I had gone for a run along the river and sat outside to read which is pretty much my favorite thing in the world (reading, not the running.) But somehow in the mix of the banana bread fiasco, finding a parking spot that would make it actually worth the fact that we drove to church instead of walked there, and being sufficiently late enough (in reality, we were still 15 minutes early) to have to sit behind a giant pillar, I had totally forgotten that it was Easter and that the whole point of the banana bread and going to church in the first place was not AT ALL about me and my wacked-up priorities, but about Jesus.

It was all about celebrating Jesus.

Easter means the risen Lord -- and this, THIS -- is good news for you and for me. This is what causes me to slow down, and to not freak out, and to not turn into a crazy woman. This is the reminder that the Lord allures me and speaks tenderly to me and that he has betrothed me to him forever. This is the truth that because he is risen, I am free to not let such trivial things unnerve me and consume me. Because he is risen, I can rest in his grace. I can cease striving, and sit with the knowledge that his love is the only kind of love I can ever be secure in, since it is the only kind of love I can't possibly lose. (That last bit is from Tim Keller.)

Banana bread on the floor? There are worse things.
Terrible seats at church? I can worship the Lord just as well from here.
Still late to brunch on Sunday even though you baked the day before so as to be on time? Oh well.
Feeling your major need for humility? God gives grace to the humble.
Dear friends grieving over some hard changes happening in their lives? "Call to me and I will answer, and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."
Need a savior every day, not just Easter Sunday?


Lord, not what I will, but what thou. Not what I, in my misery, and ignorance, and blindness, and sin, but what thou, in Thy mercy, and holiness, and wisdom, and love - E.B. Pusey