Tuesday, October 30, 2012

HaRim West - The newest member of the family.

Everyone, meet the Byuns. Sook, Sarah, HaRim and Michael. These are some of the most wonderful friends that we've ever met, hailing from Incheon, South Korea. But sadly, they all flew home this past Saturday. 

Well, everyone except for THIS guy.

Everyone, meet HaRim. The newest member of the West family. No, I'm not kidding. We have legal guardianship over this young soul for the next three months. AND WE ARE SO EXCITED!!!

But not as excited as him!

Long story short, he and his family wanted him to have a more "American" experience, and give him the chance to work a little bit more on his English. So we've decided to let him move in until mid-January, take him everywhere we go, and treat him as if he were our own child. (Which meant he cooked us Korean dinner on Sunday night. Including sauteed anchovies, squid, and rice wrapped in seaweed. I win no awards for how I did with the anchovies on my plate). 

I do want to leave you with this conversation between HaRim and Patrick on night #1:
Patrick (ordering at Chick-fil-A): I  got a complikated order! Sekurity!
HaRim: I want to learn to talk like that.
Patrick: Like how?
HaRim: Like British people.
Patrick: That was ebonics. 

In other news I punished Lucy today for eating out of the litter box.

That is all.

Monday, October 22, 2012

YAMMO, Indy, Weddings and Friends

Re-capping the last three weeks seems utterly impossible. I had a brief (and early) visit with Lauren. Pardot was acquired by ExactTarget. I went to ExactTarget's user's conference in Indianapolis. We went to our first Jewish wedding. And we celebrated Benji's wedding in Athens with some old friends. 

Everything has been SO FUN but man, I am beat. 

Co-workers at our YAMMO party. We rented out the roof of the W in Buckhead, and were transported in limousines to this fabulously swanky event. And have I mentioned that I LOVE my co-workers? I'm pretty much obsessed with these incredibly smart, sweet, and talented women. 

If you go on a walk with me, this is what I do. I instagram. Shamelessly.

At Greg and Lauren's wedding. Mazel Tov!

Our FINAL meal with our Korean neighbors. They leave this weekend, but are considering leaving the 15-year old with us. And by considering, I mean we've signed the paperwork to be legal guardians for the next 3 months. 

Indianapolis with fellow Pardashians. Minutes away from hearing THE Michael J. Fox. Yep, we're spoiled. 

LOVED this "Hub" crawl in Indy. Each sponsor of ExactTarget sponsored a dj, food, drinks, etc. at 8 different bars/clubs around Indianapolis. So we spent the night dancing, laughing, and seeing the city lights of Indy.

Aaannnndddd we had a private concert with The Fray. Who we then met at the airport the next morning on their way back to Denver. Isaac Slade I love you. 

This was in Athens on our .7 mile walk from Benji's wedding to the reception. But naturally, we had to stop by 579 Pulaski. Otherwise known as "The Heezy." Let me know if you haven't heard that story, because it's awesome. 

With the groom at the MOST FUN WEDDING EVER. And I mean EVER. Praise God for Ke$ha and Gangnam Style.

Brunch at the Farm.

If you can see that journal I'm holding, Frankie made that baby out of a dryer sheet. And it's pretty incredible.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Love and War

A few weeks ago, Marcy encouraged me to read “Love and War” by John and Stasi Eldridge. And I politely said, “No, thanks. I don't like John and Stasi Eldridge.” But she responded with “Hey. You're reading this book. Sorry.” Except she didn't apologize. She just told me to suck it up and order the book, and said it might provide some good talking points with Patrick. Ugh. Fine.

So I did what she said. I got a $3 copy off Amazon and prayed that it got lost in the mail. Because I'd rather read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn which comes way more highly recommended than some lame-o Christian-y book, by the authors of Wild at Heart and captivating. Two books that made me want to vomit. (Not really. That was sarcastic. But they weren't my faves).

Well the book came and sat on my nightstand for a few weeks. And Marcy is a nice and classy girl and never asked about it. But I got to a stopping point in another series I was reading, and decided one night before bed that I would start picking through the dreaded “Love and War.”

And y'all, I couldn't put it down.

The weight of every word seemed to settle on me in a way I didn't expect. And I was challenged. Convicted. Empathized with. And inspired. I was embarassed at how ignorant I'd been to the position of my heart in my marriage and in my relationships. But John and Stasi gave me permission to take a breath, to re-calibrate my heart, and to come at my marriage with a new and fresh perspective.

They helped me see what agreements I've been making about love and marriage. They helped me see where the enemy has set up camp in my relationship with Patrick – and what lies tend to creep into my heart when we argue. Lies that come from the enemy, and not my husband. John and Stasi helped me see how Patrick and I can be united against the enemy, rather than divided against each other. I've started to get more of a vision for mine and Patrick's relationship. And to see that we HAVE TO HAVE a vision for US, and believe in the significance and the power of US if we're ever going to make it. That when we have a family, we can't make our children the center of our universe. Because it's unhealthy for them and for us. We still have to have a relationship in the midst of children and family.

Page after page pushed every button, struck every nerve, but gave me hope for a new marriage. One that has forged through storms and mountainous terrain, yet remained intact. One that has learned to shut down the spiritual attacks that come against our marriage. And one that has experienced healing in its depths, and so gives grace to one another day in and day out. To quote John:

“So long as we choose to turn a blind eye to how we are fallen as men or women, and to the unique style of relating we have forged out of our sin and brokenness, we will continue to do damage to our marriages.”

Seeing all the crap that I alone have brought into our marriage is hard. But knowing that Patrick too brings his own stuff, from his own family, and his own mistakes to our marriage is kind of intimidating. And it has shaped us. Our thought patterns, the way we argue, the way we relate, and how we set our expectations. I'm so glad John and Stasi were so realistic about all this stuff and addressed it so candidly.

They offered hope in the midst of trials, strategies and encouragement. All of it being so insightful and powerful. Powerful in a way that gets me re-energized to fight the good fight, and to keep contending for breakthrough in our marriage and those marriages around us. I was truly blessed by “Love and War” and I hope you'll pick up a copy and challenge yourself. It will not be easy, but I'd rather know how to prepare and position my heart to thwart off attacks from the enemy.

Love you guys. Praying blessings and peace and abounding love over your marriages and relationships today. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Dogs, Apple Picking, and Cabinet Re-do

This weekend was quite the adventure. Picnic in Piedmont Park with 100 of my closest friends, their spouses and dogs. Keeping Libby Gray, and going apple picking in Ellijay with our small group. 

My favorite memory was from Friday night. I met Kathleen at her house, and she, her dog Murphy, Lucy and I all got into her truck. The cab of the truck. Murphy is young, and can't sit in the bed of the truck or he'll jump out. So Lucy and Murphy shared the backseat. Think of Murphy like a hormonal adolescent who can't keep his hands off of anyone. Which meant we spent 30 minutes in traffic pulling the two dogs off of each other, pushing them back in the backseat, watching them dig under each other's behinds, and helping Murphy keep his 'red rocket' in his pants (he hasn't been neutered). 

And then we picked up Libby Gray. A five-year old in a car seat. With her sleeping bag, toiletries, pillows, stuffed animals, and clothes. And toys. We put Lucy in the bed, and Murphy sat next to Libby Gray. Lucy had never been in the back of a truck so we weren't sure what would happen. But she did great... until it started pouring. And Lucy HATES the rain. So we had to pull off and put Lucy in the cab, with Kathleen, me, Libby Gray, Libby Gray's things, and Murphy. So a little chaotic, but we made it to Piedmont Park. Slightly frazzled, humbled by our lapses in judgement, and entertained that we actually drove through Atlanta  with 2 dogs, each other, and a 5-year old in the cab of a truck. 

Piedmont Park at sunset. 

Saturday morning, I felt at tap on my arm at 6:30am. "Mary, I'm up." Oh Lord. That makes ME the responsible one. For a 5-year old. At 6:30am. ME. The night owl. Who doesn't function until I'm well into the 10 o'clock hour. Ugh. I don't know how parents do it. So we had breakfast and colored and fed the pets. And I silently wept on the inside.

THEN... we went APPLE PICKING!!! See below for my enthusiasm.

And after a full day on Saturday, we spent all day Sunday in our pajamas. Listening to Eric Johnson. Enjoying a big breakfast. And around 2pm I finished up this guy:

The bane of my existence for the last 6 weeks. I went through two bottles of paint stripper to get the lime green off. Which didn't actually come off. Then I sanded it. Painted it with two coats of black paint. Had to re-sand all the places that never got smooth enough. Touch up with black again. Replaced all the knobs, but had to first drill new holes as no one makes drawer/cabinet hardware in these sizes any more. Spackled/painted old holes. Then I put a sealer on it. At one point I tried crackle paint on the back, then painted black over top...hoping to achieve an antique-y look. That failed, but I'm too lazy to fix it. Or too annoyed with this whole project. 

If you need furniture re-do help, do NOT ask me. I am a sorry source of information. Natalie Geiger is true champion. Maybe I'll just pay her to do my next piece. If there is a next piece.