Friday, May 25, 2012

Moving Weekend!

Well, it's here.

We get the keys tomorrow, paint on Sunday, and move in Monday. 

Oh, and I have a marathon packing day ahead of me today to finish up the last of it. 

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend...We'll be remembering with one of our favorite vets by making him help us move. Thanks, Dad! :)

I'll let you know how it went next week. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Simple Dream

Source: Chez Nous

"Give me books, fruit, French wine, and fine weather and a little music out of doors, played by somebody I do not know." ~John Keats

Mr. Ford found this little gem in a tiny book of quotes about...books...while packing up all of our...books. 

Maybe we have an obsession.


He read it aloud to me and said, "That gave me chills". He was moved by the simplicity and beauty therein of the image it conjured in his mind. Every word was exactly what his (and my) heart desires.

This is our new dream:

A sweet little cottage in the Normandy region of France, with some land on which to plant a small orchard of fruit trees, a vegetable garden, and of course, lots of lavender. A wine cellar full of aged French wine. A room purely for housing the myriad tomes we have collected in our travels across the world together, while in the Foreign Services. A large garden behind the cottage where we'll have a table and chairs set up for us to while away our days drinking the wine, reading the books, eating the fruit we've grown. And as the finishing touch a gramophone playing old Cole Porter and Edith Piaf records. 


Can't you just see it?!

Ah! The image of little old Mr. and Mrs. Ford in that diorama just makes my little heart soar!

And it's really rather know, once we actually get over there and find the cottage.

It's never too early to plan for retirement. :)

Generational Narrative

My beautiful Grandmother, Maybell.

I spent the majority of my Saturday in bed with one of the worst headaches I've ever had. I couldn't really read because of it and I could only sleep so much. We don't have a TV, much less cable, so to keep myself occupied, I got on Hulu to find anything to watch. I wasn't picky. I landed on "Who Do You Think You Are?", a show where famous celebrity types go on a hunt to discover their family tree and family histories. I was completely enthralled and ended up watching an entire season of it. It inspired me to try to do the same.

I realize, of course, that I do not have the resources that these major celebs have to travel all over the world to uncover the stories of their ancestors all in one go, but I think, over time I could begin to piece it together, bit by bit, as resources and time allows. But I feel almost as though I owe it to my future children and grandchildren, and even to our cousins and other family members, to begin forming the narrative of our family.

Over the last year, I have begun to understand and embrace the idea and the truth of generational wounds and the importance of understanding those wounds and confronting them in order to become more fully who I am meant to be. This idea is much more than the "sins of your mother and father" kind of thing, though that is part of it, I'm sure. It's about circumstances, environments, and yes, choices, that surround each branch of the family tree and how that has affected them and informed their experiences and choices and so on and so on. As I've become more aware of this idea, I've begun to see it everywhere. I see the pain, the suffering, the difficulty that these wounds can cause when not confronted and dealt with. I've also seen the joy and freedom that confronting the bondage of these wounds can bring. And I start to feel an urgency to learn as much as I can about these generational wounds and how far back they go, so that I can take my place in the narrative and, maybe even change the course. 

Some of the episodes spoke directly to this idea, though without the same verbage. For example, Jason Sudeikis learned that there were several generations of men on his paternal side raised without fathers and it was then that it struck him how huge it was that his father was there and was present. His father broke the chain and it gave him a renewed sense of commitment to being a father himself one day. 

The other side of these discoveries is finding the strength and determination that so many ancestors have exhibited to overcome those harsh realities and those wounds, which can serve to gird your own strength to face the sufferings that come your way. So much about who we are and who we can be and are meant to be can be found in the stories and the over-arching narratives of our family lineages. It's absolutely fascinating, and to me, speaks to the bigness of God. To think that He sees as far back as you can trace it and beyond, to where YOU are, right this generations to come, that you will's humbling and mind-boggling and comforting. 

I have a new hobby, I guess. My dream is to craft an actual narrative, a book of sorts, from both mine and Mr. Ford's family lines, as far back as I can go, all the way down to our story, that I can give to my children and share with my grandchildren. I want them to know where they come from, the legacies that have been passed to them. I want them to be armed with as much knowledge as possible about these legacies so that they can live their lives as free from the generational wounds as possible. This may take me a lifetime to complete, but I'm committed to it. I already know a lot about my grandparents and my parents, though I realize there is still a lot I don't know. I think I know where I want to start. I know where my story meets some of these others, but I want to know how their stories started. 

One other aspect to this, is just the opportunity to know my parents and my grandparents as young adults and as children. I think so often, as we grow up, we don't bother to understand and realize that our parents had lives before us...and their parents before them. What were their childhoods like? You remember your childhood, right? Did your parents experience the same carefree joys that you did? Or did they experience deeply traumatic moments that left them wounded? How does that affect you now? And how can an understanding of those moments affect how you relate to them now, as an adult yourself? Who were they as young adults? What experiences shaped them in those years? The last several years have been a lesson in this for me. 

One of the great joys of my life, was getting to know my Grandmother Maybell as an adult. It started, three years ago, when I helped move her into a new apartment from a place she had lived for years and years. Uncovering old photographs and other memorabilia that she had held onto opened avenues for those conversations. There was a wounded, but terribly resilient woman. So many stories that I only heard bits and pieces of, but even that gave me a better understanding of who she was, what she fought against, and the legacy she left. I had so many questions I would have loved to ask her...but she's not around anymore for me to ask. So I have to find another way. And that's just ONE story in a long line of stories that form one greater narrative. 

The narrative of the human experience, really. Hm. What a thought. What an adventure! The adventure of the human story is vast, expansive, and intricate. And we are part of that greater story. 

Whoa. Chew on that. 

PS - If you're related to either Mr. Ford or myself, and have pieces of the story you can help to fill in, get in touch! The best part of this whole thing is the opportunity for deeper connection it offers us.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Here We Raise Our Ebenezer

So...after that last post...things happened really fast and with much less stress than anticipated and we found an absolutely adorable little place, less than 24 hours later. It is so perfect for us and we instantly fell in love with it. Not two hours after we saw it, we were turning in our applications and the leasing agent was telling us it was ours. 

It's a sweet little two bedroom, one story condo with laminate hardwood floors, crown molding, a GIANT pantry, open floor plan, tons of storage, security screen door that the silly canine can't claw his way through, and no shower doors! That last thing sounds weird...but it was a biggie for me. I hate, hate, hate doors on a shower...I think they're super gross and super hard to clean. I much prefer a pretty shower curtain. SO much easier to clean. Our current place has shower doors and I was really insistent that the new place did not. Silly, yes. But whatever. It's the little things.

The front of the house...I'll post inside pictures once it's like I want it. :)

The landlord and the leasing agent are both great and are pretty much willing to let us do whatever we want, which means I can PAINT THE WALLS and we can plant a little herb garden in the front and there's plenty of room for our grill and little table and chairs. The place is the front unit on a building with only four units total, and the only one story on the building, so it's ALMOST like owning our own house. Almost. We'll take what we can get for now. And the leasing agent is going to push to get us our own washer and dryer in the unit too. She seems really optimistic that the landlord won't have a problem with it at all. Yay!

Needless to say, we are thrilled. And we get the keys a week from tomorrow! So, I've spent the last two weeks purging closets and nooks and crannies getting rid of stuff and Mr. Ford has been collecting boxes from work. Things have been moving right along. But I've started to get a little nostalgic too. The place we are in now has its set of issues that really drive me crazy and I couldn't be more thrilled to be moving out, but...this was our first place together. The place we came home to after our honeymoon. And I've worked hard to make it a place where intimacy can flourish. 

Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to snap a few pictures before I got too caught up in the packing process. Forgive the awful, awful quality and the less than stellar appearance. I'm moving. ;)

My (very) little kitchen. 
Our expanded kitchen/library/study. 
"Dining Room"
Living Room
Beverage Cart...maybe one of my favorite parts in the house. :)
And because I just can't resist a cute picture of my pup...
We have lived so much life here already, in our 8 short months of marriage, and even in the year before that when Mr. Ford lived here alone before we got married. This apartment holds our tears...tears that have been shed over sorrows and tears that have been shed over joy. This apartment holds so much laughter...late nights of endless laughter and fun. It holds a young woman's first attempts at figuring out the duties of a housewife...many experiments in the kitchen gone horribly wrong and also wonderfully right. It holds a young man's first attempts at providing in many ways for his young wife and their canine. There are moments of self-discovery held within these walls, both individually for each of us, and as a married couple. And most of all, a deepened comprehension of one another and who we are called to be for the Lord and for each other, were observed and found, here in this apartment. The Lord has been so faithful to us and has provided for our every need...emotionally and physically and spiritually...and so much of that is held here, in this apartment. I felt like I needed to remember that...somehow. 

So, I suppose this post is really me raising our Ebenezer. When the Israelites were being pursued by the Philistines in 1 Samuel, chapter 7, Samuel called them together and they prayed and offered sacrifices to the Lord and asked for His provision. And the Lord delivered the Philistines over to the Israelites to be defeated. And in verse 12, it says, "Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer, for he said, 'Till now the Lord has helped us'." Till now, the Lord has helped the Fords. We have prayed and offered our own kind of sacrifices and asked for His provision. And He has responded with the kind of provision that only the Lord God Himself is capable of. He has helped us till now and it should be recognized. The Israelite's Ebenezer stone was established so all would know of the Lord's help to them till now. This Ebenezer post is established so all will know of the Lord's help to us till now. 

All we have and all we are is a direct result of God's goodness to us and we are grateful beyond measure and we move on in faith that He will continue to be good to us. Here we raise our Ebenezer. Amen.

Friday, May 4, 2012

30 Days Notice

The Fords have given their 30 day notice to move out of their current apartment, which means a lot of this:

and this:

and this:

and this:

for the next 30 days.

If you need me, I'll have RENT and Newsies playing on a loop to get me through.

Godspeed to us.