Friday, September 4, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday, #30

1. We've had an unseasonably cool week here at This Heavenly Life, a week of 75 degree days and 50 degree nights, and I've been soaking it up. Pretending it will last - just like this - until at least November when I will grudgingly grant permission for Winter to begin her long, slow descent towards the cold and dreary pits of February. I am definitely an Autumn-lover. Not Summer, not Winter; Spring is nice enough, but aaaaahhhhhh Autumn. She is perfect.

I do believe Mia is an Autumn-lover, too. The other day as she passed one of our thrown-open-to-invite-fresh-air windows, she bent close, inhaled deeply, and declared, "Mmmmm...the weather smells wonderful."

Well said, my dear. I wholeheartedly agree.

2. Tomorrow morning we're leaving for a weekend visit to see Justin's family in Wichita. It's a few hours away, and knowing how much Lauren despises car trips, it promises to be tons of fun. But I am looking forward to seeing his extended family, and the girls will be positively doted on. I'm always buttered up when compliments are thrown their way, so this weekend should be smooth and golden, rich and comforting; Yes, I'm comparing a weekend to butter. Is that abnormal?

3. I'm thinking of starting a weekly children's book report sort of post. Not a review, but just a short listing of some books we found that week and what we liked about them. The girls and I have been really enjoying some of our library finds, and as well as wanting to share them with you guys, I'd like to have a list of some favorites to return to in case we want to reread something or if I'm looking for a special gift. What do you think? Would you be interested in our favorites? Would your eyes glaze over until you reached some embarrassing story or touchy-feely post? Would you scroll to the nearest exit, post haste, rather than be tortured with a report about children's literature?

4. Lauren got a new pair of pajamas at the end of last spring, and they were too big so we saved them. But since it's been too warm all summer, we hadn't gotten around to trying them on her until this last - cooler than usual - week. And now they're almost too small. But stinkin' adorable. I tried to snap a photo of her at bedtime one night, but as bedtime is the time of day when Lauren goes slightly off-the-wall hyper, all I ended up with were blurs of her rolling around and misaligned close-ups when she charged the camera.

The next morning, however, she was lulled into a stationary pose by the glossy pages of a board book, and I snuck a picture.

See what I mean? Tight like spandex, but stinkin' cute.

5. For several months now, Lauren has had three bottom teeth. Two central incisors, and one lateral incisor. It's strange because I always assumed that teeth usually erupted pretty much in pairs - both front teeth within several days of each other, both cuspids within several days of each other, etc. But once she got the third bottom tooth - nothing else happened. It was May 2nd when that tooth came in, and no matching opposite has appeared since then. I worried about it because a commenter once told me that her son had the same thing happen, and one of his teeth just never appeared. Not that it was a big deal, but it made me wonder if all of Lauren's other teeth would be OK if that bottom tooth was a no-show.

But this week, I noticed the tell-tale white blush on her gums right where the missing tooth should be. Her matching lateral incisor is finally breaking through!

Whew! Aren't you SO relieved?!

6. And in that same vein of missing-things-being-found:

When my grandmother found out she was sick with lung cancer, I decided that I wanted to sit down with her and hear the story of her childhood again. I'd heard many times the details and stories of how she grew up, but knowing that she wouldn't always be around to recount the dates and particulars, this time I wanted to have a recording of her voice telling the stories. Something that we could all listen to and laugh over, while also keeping a record of those things that we didn't want to forget. In the back of my mind was the thought that I wanted to write down 'Grandma's Story' and I'd need interviews to do so. Hopefully one day that will get accomplished.

I got a handheld digital recorder - like a college student would have to record lectures or something - and sat down with her to hear her story. I asked dumb questions that came out of nowhere, but knowing that she wouldn't always be able to answer them, I asked anyway.

Within days after she passed away, I went to get the digital recorder so we could edit it and make copies for family members. But I couldn't find it. Anywhere. I was heartbroken; my Grandma's voice, her story - they were priceless. I searched every place I knew to look, made giant messes tearing through unlikely hiding spots - the recorder was lost. I prayed that it hadn't accidentally been tossed in the trash by a curious toddler or mixed up in some household donations. I prayed that it would magically show up again.

Last week, I needed to drive my husband's car - a rare occurrence - and when I sat in the driver's seat, I spied a slim, black, digital recorder in his cupholder. It had been almost a year since I'd made the recordings, and I couldn't remember if this was my recorder, or just something Justin had picked up for work or school. I picked it up - almost reverently - and called Justin (from the driveway, no less) to ask where he'd gotten it. My voice was shaking.

He said he'd just found it buried between the back seats, and thought it was probably his tennis buddy's - sometimes they carpool. He hadn't gotten around to calling his friend about it yet, though, to find out for sure. I tried to turn it on and hear what was recorded, but the batteries were dead - I hoped it wasn't just broken. When I told Justin what I thought it was, he went and got the box I'd saved with the manual and USB cable to see what the brand and model were: they matched. It WAS my recorder - I got chills knowing that I held my Grandmother's voice in my hands.

I went straight to my mom's house with some new batteries, and we hesitantly pressed play. Out came my Grandma's beautiful, joyful, expressive voice. We cried and laughed together, so grateful for this small, perfect gift.

7. Isn't it strange how Lauren's un-paired tooth came in the day before my Grandma died, around the time the recorder was noticed to be missing, and the belated tooth is finally showing now that we've found the lost recordings? It's like they go together...

Here's wishing you a weekend that's LIKE BUTTAH. Drizzle yourselves on over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes, and don't forget to leave comments on everyone's fabulous posts. Comments are like little love pats.

Get it? Pats? Of BUTTER?

You're free to go now. Have a beautiful September weekend.


  1. 1. Oh, I agree with Mia too...this weather smells wonderful!

    2. I would totally love the children's book list -- I'm always looking for good kids' books and it'd be nice to see what someone else recommends!

    3. Those pajamas -- adorable.

    4. I almost teared up when I read the story about your grandma. What a sweet idea! We just found out Monday that my Grandma has been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. I'm going to steal your idea and go get a recorder.

    Have fun in Wichita!

  2. Oh, I've done a recording of my grandfather, too! It's such a nice keepsake - and I have lost mine as well. Luckily all my grandparents are still around, so thanks for the motivation to go (re-)record them all and put it somewhere safe!

    And yay to butter!

  3. I'm with you on fall - LOVE it! I've had our windows open most of the week. Fall makes me happy, but also a little sad because it is so fleeting. Or maybe it just feels that way because I love it so - the wind in the tree tops, the amazing blue of the sky (only at this time of year).

    I would also LOVE to see a children's book review here. I know Abigail is still a little young to be interested in books, but my husband and I really want to cultivate a love of books in her. We would really appreciate some guidance in the "books for little ones" department!

    Finally, I would like to tell you how glad I was to read of you finding your recordings. It is really so very precious - I have a cassette tape of my great-grandmother singing Amazing Grace. I couldn't begin to describe the sentimental value there.

  4. It's been unreasonably cold here too. Like 93.

    No need for children's book for me. I have no kiddos, yet. But I'm sure others would benefit and since I'm not your only reader, you probably shouldn't take my advice.

    #6 - LOVE IT

    I also love butter.

  5. Butter- yummy! I just saw the movie "Julie and Julia" and its merits are praised in it as well :)

    The story of finding your Grandmother's recorded memoirs really touched my heart. I'm actually sort of speechless about it; I'm so glad you found the tape and have it to treasure again.

    I lovethe fall season, and those jammies on Lauren are very cute! We just slipped Eli this week into his first set of "big boy" pj's, and I almost died from how adorable he looked- best thing ever!

  6. Amy - I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandma's diagnosis - I'll be praying for your family :)

    Lenae - I recently saw that movie too! Maybe that's why butter's on the brain. Either that or I'm a freak. I choose the former ;)

  7. One of my favorite sights is my boys in their jammies - what is it about baby/toddler bodies in jammies that makes them so precious? Lauren's are, in fact, adorable!

    Have a great weekend of travel and be safe on the road. I'll be anticipating hearing about your weekend away!

    By the way, I got to listen to your recording thanks to your Aunt Sherry. Even as it made me miss her, it warmed my heart to hear your grandma's voice again. Thanks for taking time to do that.

  8. I was that commenter who told you about my son's missing tooth - I'm sorry I freaked you out! Glad to hear Lauren's finally came in.
    Loving Fall here too!
    Have a great trip.

  9. I think Autumn smells wonderful too!! And..I'm hoping that we will have another weeny roast/hayride out at the Creed farm this year..maybe for my birthday in?
    Who doesn't enjoy some good childrens literature?!
    Adorable PJs!!
    I hope you guys have a wonderful trip this weekend-safe and maybe Lauren will nap most the way....?
    I'm so glad you found your recording, just reading that post made me well up with tears. And I wish that I paid as close attention to time and happenings as you...I'm not really sure I even know when Savannah got her first tooth much less the others. I aspire to be more like you. ;)

  10. Gail! - I thought that was you! I haven't seen your name around lately, have you been doing ok?

    Oh, Katie - Be careful what you 'aspire' for. If you become more like me, the world might implode from too much worry and second-guessage. You are perfect, as is :)

  11. #4 - I agree, stinkin' cute! I saved several outfits from the girls growing up years, just because they were so cute in them.

    #6 - How excellent that you found the recorder!! I have all my grandparents letters from the years that they courted (1927-1934) and they are precious to me.

  12. What's with the butter on the brain?

    I'm so glad you found your recorder and the recording were intact. Last summer, I got a digital video camera and recorded interviews with my three living grandparents. I still feel bad about all the sad memories my grandfather dredged up--life was harder back then. He was clearly uncomfortable talking about things he'd probably not thought about for years. But I am glad to have them recorded for posterity.

  13. I was out of town for a while over the summer and without my "favorites" button I just didn't get around to all the blogs that I normally do at home. Plus, I really should be spending less time online anyway. I'm working on that. But I enjoy your blog, and your cute girls, when I can.

  14. I'm a big fan of fall! But, I'm also a fan of winter. This is because I'm heat sensative, I mean, I can deal with it if I have AC, but I like naturally cold weather. I despise car trips too! This is probably because I use to go to school in a town 2 hours from here, that is the drive was 2 hours, but the bus ride, oh, that was 4 and a half hours! here's my 7 Cheers!

  15. We're just back from our long weekend and I'm a little late with the comment, but I think your children's book idea sounds great. We read a lot over here and I'm always looking for the next good idea. Actually, it seems like you have a lot of readers with kids around the same age. Maybe you should open it up, add a linky list and make it a veritable book swap!

    Oh, and I'm so glad to hear about the tooth and the recorder. My great-great-grandfather wrote a short memoir and even though I never knew him, I treasure his story. It was so wise of you to make that recording!

  16. I would definitely enjoy your posts on children's books. I can't get enough of book talk, for all ages.

  17. I was on the edge of my seat with your grandmother's story... Praise God that you found it and will have that cherished treasure forever!

    And yes, Lauren looks so super-cute!! Love those one-piece button rompers.


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