Tuesday, October 30, 2012

sisterly love

I have sisters. Did you know that? And a brother! I don't want to forget him! Because he is the sweetest, most kind hearted person and I love him dearly. But this post is about sisters.

Do you have one? I've got a gaggle. A whole slew of these sweet blessings. And I'm going to tell you about them today. Because my love for these girls is endless. And I want you to love them, too.

First I'd like to introduce you to Beth, otherwise known as Elizabeth, these days. She is my older and bigger sister. She comes with the gift of age. 6 years on me, she's my favorite big sister ever. She loves me unconditionally and she has a heart that chases after Jesus as she chases after her four kids. She's been down all the roads I still have ahead, and I love her calm in my storm. She laughs with me, cries with me, and prays with me. And I am forever grateful for a sister like her. I will always be her annoying little sister, but she accepts me anyway, toots and all. And that's LOVE people. (Yes, I did just admit outloud that I toot. You know you do, too. Get that smirk off your face.)

Here she is, my very best biffle in the world. Baa (as I called her when I was two).

I'm certain there are better pictures of us, but I'm having trouble locating them. OOOO! Like maybe this one?

Either way, she boo-te-full! And I love her sweet cheeks.

Next in the sister line is Haley. She's the first little sister I ever had. She is in college, finishing her student teaching, to become an English teacher. I could not be more proud of her. But not because she symbolically followed in a sister's footsteps. I look at this gorgeous girl and I see Jesus. Haley has a heart of contentment that is hard to find in her generation. She has a peaceful spirit and an uncompromising love for the Lord. Being around this lovely lady has a calming effect. And I LOVE THIS GIRL!! Watching her grow up has been a pleasure. And knowing that she's getting married in 4 months is surreal. But I know she will make a fabulous wifey. And Mom! Someday. Hopefully not too soon. I'm still too young for her to have babies.

So without further ado... here is my favorite 6 foot tall baby sister!
Copyright 2012 Shevaun Williams

Oops! That's a modeling picture. Shhhh! Don't tell her, she gets embarassed. She's the most humble beautiful model I've ever known. OK, she's the only model I've ever known. But you have to agree, she's a stunner.

And here's the Haley I know...

Which leads me to my favorite short baby sister EVER! MEREDITH!!!

This girl is a ball of fun. She has been wreaking havoc in the lives of our family for 19 (almost 20) years. She is FUN, FUNNY, energetic, and of course, beautiful. My dad passed on some good genes! Mere (as we call her) has the sweetest heart. And she, too, LOVES Jesus! I love to spend time with this sister because she always makes me happy! She and I got the "little sister gene" and we tend to be the crazy and outspoken sisters in the crowd. I love that she says what she means and means what she says. I love that she is not afraid to be herself. And I love that she attends the same bible study as me now and I get to see her precious face every Wednesday!! Mere is in college, too (good OU girl) and she is a blessing to me in the most awesome way.

Wanna see this cutie patootie?!?! I've got pictures.... OHHHH do I have pictures. But she might kill me for posting many of them. However, they all show her fun and crazy side, which is the best side of her. So, I'm taking a chance she won't disown me now.

Here's an oldie but goodie... (eek! I've got braces!)

And here's a fun one we took at the same Chinese restaurant.

Ahhhhh SISTERS. Are there many greater joys than to have one? And I've got three. My cup overfloweth.

The whole silly lot of us, in height descending order.

Aaaaaaand, this pretty much sums it up.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

thinking outside the box

We took a trip recently. Our family drove to Branson for fall break. The kids had a blast, the parents had fun, and all was well with the world. Until this mama climbed into a cave-simulting box made of wood. A speleo box.

Have you ever been in one of these? This was not my first look at a speleo box. I had watched The Man climb into one of these a few months ago, here at this same cave in Missouri. Only the one he climbed into was indoors, built into a wall. It was much smaller, made for kids, and had trap doors that could be removed, should you get stuck somewhere inside.

And there he goes!

This is the view looking in the hole. Can you see why I wouldn't climb in there to save my life??

But he, being a big kid stuck in a 40 year old body, climbed in with laughter and made his way through this crazy thing, while I waited... and watched. I did not even dare climb in that box that day. I know my limits pretty well. And although I can employ mind-over-matter in many things, THIS is not one of them. So I passed.

But then our family came upon the outdoor speleo box a few weeks ago. And they all climbed inside, laughing and talking cheerfully. The kids loved it so much, they were climbing back in as soon as they finished.

Soon, all eyes turned to me. "Mom! Come in! This is so fun!!" my kids call. "Kim, seriously! You can do this! Come on!" The Man tosses out. And thus the internal monologue began.

Kim!, I says to mysef. Seriously. How bad could it be? Well, sef, it could be bad. I could get stuck in there. And I only see one escape panel. Plus, they're closing soon, and there may be no way out if you get stuck. PLUS. PLUS!! This is the stuff nightmares are made of! Now wait, Kim, let's get ahold of ourself here. So what, you get stuck. You just turn around and climb out. Come on, sister! Mind over matter! You do that all the time! You can totally climb in this huge box and conquer your fear!

Now, as the monologue is going, my kids are yelling out, "Mom! Take my picture!!" And I see their joy:

Even The Man is jovial, sending out an upside down horns sign in honor of the OU/Texas game that will be played the next day. And getting all caught up in their fun, I decide.... I CAN DO THIS! IT WILL NOT BE FUN! BUT I WILL CONQUER THIS BOX! IF THEY CAN DO IT, SO CAN I!!

And in I went. There were turns and climbs and although there were tight fits, I was making my way, thinking how well I was doing, not getting claustrophobic or anything. And then I took a turn upward.

I was in the back corner of this box. And I was sweating and wondering how a woman who can run 8 miles for fun could be this worn out. And when I went up the corner and turned to my left, it happened. My leg was stuck. I tried manuevering. I tried twisting. And then I realized it was my foot, that because of the length of my calf, could not clear the hole. But my side was being stabbed now, by the wood box underneath me at an odd angle. And I was starting to panic.

At about this time, my husband was standing outside the box, talking to me, and attempting to be encouraging when he said the words: "You're doing great! You're about 25% finished!" RRRrrrrrrttttt! STOP THE PRESSES. WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?? I'M NOT EVEN HALF WAY THROUGH?? AND I'M STUCK!!!!

I tried really hard. I wiggled my butt, I twisted some more. I yelled at Abby (behind me) to take off my shoe. Maybe that would help my foot clear the box. But nothing was changing, and that's when I had a sudden panicky need to abort my mission. "Get me out!" I yelled! "Help me! Abby! Move!! I've got to get out of here, NOW!!"

And out I backed, with more tenacity than I knew I owned. And when I was safely on the bench outside the box, I sat. Wondering how I had just escaped death's grasp. Fluffing my mussed hair, and wiping my dripping skin of it's sweat. And thanking GOD for SAVING ME! It was a bonafide miracle really, that I could come out of that darn box alive.

I almost died, you know.