Sunday, June 29, 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Popcorn's Pals: Paul and Paula, That's RIght, They're Married

The best man in our wedding, Paul, married a girl named Paula. Their last name begins with a "P" also. I love when I run across people with once in a million name combos. I ask you, how many times has a Paul married a Paula?? And with a P last name to boot! Amazing. Here's another one, my dear friend Jana has another set of married friends with the same names as the Popcorn's! Cary and Melanie. Now those two names are not all that common, so for someone to know two sets of us is well, noteworthy, wouldn't you say? I work in a little gift shop and enjoy reading the names on the customers' credit cards. It's entertaining to see how many women married men with names that are wonderfully compatible with theirs: Zoe Zimmerman ( What are those odds?!), Melanie McCormmick (nice, huh?), Susan Susman (like a little jingle), Kristen Kleinpeter ( not kidding). I sometimes ask them if they married their man for his name when they seem like such complimentary combos. Names have such an impact on people's lives. I love my name and I tell mom thanks every now and then for giving it to me. If I didn't like it, I would not hesitate to change it because I think your moniker plays a role in your overall feeling about yourself. If you like your label, you feel positive about yourself; conversely if you are not a fan of it, it creates a feeling of nagging embarrassment. It was fun to name my babies. I gave them all three old names that have English roots. They have told me they like their names, so I hope they really do and weren't just trying to validate my choices for them. What about you? Do you like yours?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Popcorn's Porch Possum

This is what greeted me at my front door tonight as I leisurely returned from my dog sitting duties at my neighbor's two doors down. This creature was huddled in the corner of the porch eating Queen Charlotte's food. Charlotte, sitting a few feet away, patiently surveyed the situation. It didn't seem to phase her that this ugly-tailed visitor was polishing off her dinner. Popson tried to shoo him off, but he cantankerously continued munching. Afraid he would try to run in the front door if we opened it, we opted to walk around to the back door. He stayed there eating for at least 15 minutes. We were able to peer out the window at him and get a really good look at his funny pink toes and his fur, which was furrier than expected. It was messy fur like one might see on the head of an absent minded professor of the human variety. Poor possums, they are just nothing but ugly. But this guy was halfway cute. I found myself glad that he enjoyed a good meal tonight. Charlotte, caught up in a spirit of feline charity, seemed happy to be of help to the less fortunate fellow.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wisdom Teeth: Who Needs 'Em?

Oldest popgirl had her wisdom teeth extracted today at the hands of the best oral surgeon in the world. The Dr. also happens to be the dad of one of popson's best buddies. He and his family are good people and a blessing to us. His chair side manor complete with kindness, humor, and compassion cannot be matched. Popdaughter's mind was completely at ease as she climbed in the chair this morning. She knew all would be well and her aching jaws could finally claim some relief. Heartfelt thanks go out to our friend for taking such good care of our girl.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pretty Plants Positively Perk Up Popcorn's Page

These are a couple of pics of my front beds that flank the sidewalk leading to the front door. These two flower beds are such a cheerful welcome squad every single time I walk past them. Most of the plants are perennials and push up through the soil with more enthusiasm than the year before. Then I add a few seasonals to perk things up a little. The yellow day lily in the top picture is an old (over 20 years) remnant from my Aunt Dena's garden. When my mom moved a couple of years ago, she carefully dug up some bulbs and took some with her to her new house and shared with me. These beds also have some orange day lillies from my Nanny Ruth's garden in east Texas but they weren't blooming that morning. The stone-outlined beds are celebrating 4 years of maturity this spring. Many a butterfly and hummingbird call it home. Queen Charlotte surveys her kingdom from her mulchy throne under the shade of the Salvia. It's the little things, isn't it?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day Mr. Popcorn

Mr. Popcorn doing what he does best!

Time for a post about my man, Mr. Popcorn. Father's day can be my excuse for obsessing about him online right in front of everyone. We are marching towards anny # 28 on the 23rd of August. Relationship wise it doesn't feel like it has been that long. But when I cast a backwards glance at all that we've enjoyed (crammed in) over the span of years, I realize it has been a long running show on life's Broadway. Like every other married couple, our marriage journey has enjoyed smooth sailin' but yes, we've also treadeth choppy seas. I have to say that through thick and thin, behind the scenes we have enjoyed a strong bedrock of contentment, fun, and amusement with each other that has sustained us and grown stronger and more steadfast through the decades ( : 0 ) Mr. Popcorn has a hilarious sense of humor and no one can make me laugh like him. Aside from that, I like to watch him do ordinary things like drive, mow the yard, watch or listen to any sporting event, (it is a spectator sport in and of itself) cook out on his gigantic grill, (thanks Grammie, father's day '02) tell a story, laugh with twinkly-eyed gusto, teach his Sunday School class, toss the ball for our dogs, grocery shop (at any given moment he can tell you to the penny what we have in the basket which is at once annoying and uncanny) take notes on the pastor's sermon, play basketball with popson, swim, run, wash our car, play a card or board game (he takes no prisoners) and of course, sing....Mr. Popcorn throws 1000% of himself into every single thing he does. He lives life full tilt, all out, gung-ho, with serious intensity every day all of the time. He is a wonderful father and has an authentic and loving relationship with each of our kids. He knows them inside and out and loves them unconditionally, perfection not required. They know their dad lives every day from sun up to sun down with their interest uppermost in his mind and heart. He attends their physical needs, educational needs, emotional needs, and most of all their spiritual needs. He fathers like he does everything else, full throttle . Happy Father's Day Mr. Perfect, I mean Popcorn. We 1000% love you.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Isn't She Lovely?

Isn't she lovely?
Isn't she wonderful?
Isn't she precious?
And she's now 21 years old.*
I never thought through love we'd be
making one as lovely as she
but isn't she lovely made from love?

Isn't she pretty?
Truly the angel's best
Man I'm so happy
We have been Heaven blessed
I can't believe what God has done
through us He's given life to one
but isn't she lovely made from love?
***Stevie Wonder***
Love this song, don't you? It so aptly speaks of the amazing love parents have for their kids. This daughter never ceases to amaze me with her resilience and the courage that she summons from within to face life's challenges. She views life with enough of a come si come sa attitude that even the hard places don't hold her down for long; I am so proud of her. She is truly lovely both inside and out. In the picture below she is recording some background vocals for her Dad's cd. Her voice is one of her multitudes of talents, and it is as strong and beautiful as her soul. MKC, you go girl.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Popcorn's Pets: Charlotte, Jackson, and McKauley

Summer Hairdo

Winter Hairdo

Needs a hairdo

We are a lively household aound here. As if three kids and an intense man, and an angelic woman : ) aren't enough, add two dogs and a cat. Jackson the Golden Retriever, McKauley the Miniature Schnauzer, and Charlotte the Queen of all Kitties. Once upon a time the two doggies lived in exclusively...then we had a in our house...and Mr. Popcorn banished them from the inner kingdom. Now they spend more time out than in, but relax dog lovin' friends and family...they seem as happy if not more so. They are so entertained by the singing birds, the fluttery butterflies and the cross-fence conversation of their doggy neighbors. They get plenty of attention from all of us all day long and love their daily walks. Truly they are the sweetest doggies in the world. Charlotte is a one woman kitty, and I'm her gal. Anyhoo, here they are in living color.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Popcorn Ponders God's Process

I am beginning to realize something. God performs modern day miracles everywhere, every day. He answers every one of our prayers in some way. Like the intimate nuances between close human relationships, His ways are subtle. He moves quietly, steadily. His ways are woven into the fabric of our ordinary existence. In our daily rhythmic routines like sleeping, rising, eating, speaking, sharing, and interacting. As I put one foot in front of the other, He works. As I move forward in faith, despite the backdraft of the day, He works. His yes and His no appear as gently as a vaporous morning mist; a thought, an inspiration, a new vantage point. One moment when thoughts feel thick, the mud sweetly gives way to the rushing waters of His grace and equilibrium returns. Amazing.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Popcorn's Plea: Leave Me Alone!

I am afraid of these:

When I run along my tree lined path I am always coming upon these horrible creatures on the sidewalk or in the grass. Fear grips me, what if I frighten it and make it mad at me? I am afraid that he'll look down from the tree he scampered up, see my brown hair, and mistake ME FOR A TREE. I am not kidding, this is a true fear I have. As I run past the tree I cringe in fear and imagine a headline: INNOCENT UNSUSPECTING RUNNER VICTIMIZED BY BERSERK SQUIRREL. RODENT JUMPS ON BRUNETTE'S HEAD SCAVENGING FOR NUTS...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Popcorn's Place: A Mess

It seems like I'm always getting ready to go somewhere. Getting ready to go to spin class. Getting ready to go to my part time high powered executive job at the local gift shop. Getting ready for church. Getting ready for.... departure. Showering, shaving, exfoliating, blow drying, make-upping, perfume squirting, lotion rubbing, hair teasing, clothes changing, shoe choosing, jewelry donning: getting ready for going somewhere. Do you know how many hundreds of products, appliances, towels, robes, coffee cups, and outfit rejects this whole process entails? Factor in the fact that I am always in a hurry and that equation equals a BIG GINORMOUS MESS. First there's the coffee pot and coffee cup drips...then there's the dropped p.j.'s by the tub. Once in the tub there's the shampoo, conditioner, razor, shaving cream, loofah, lit candle, unlidded bubble bath, soap. Tub exit requires towel for self and towel for wet head. Moisturizer for face and bod. Nail polish for toe touch ups. Remover and cu tips for mistakes because in such a blame hurry. Then out comes all the hair products...something to give it volume, a heat protector before blowing dry, a "shine enhancer" once it is dry, now a product to assist in straightening process. Velcro rollers to stick in whilst applying ten thousand beauty enhancers. The hair process required a "ion" dryer and pricey straightener. As for the face...powder, eye liners, lip liners, eye shadows, mascara, brow brush, lipstick...Honestly sometimes I look at the beauty landscape strewn across the counter and think mercy sakes am I THAT UGLY? Then comes the odious task of choosing what to wear...that entails discerning one's "mood" for the day....I am telling you not only is it messy, but it's exhausting. This every time I get ready to walk out the door, give or take a few steps. Is it any wonder that I have to stop every few days and re-hang, re-sort, re-box, re-everything I own so that I can start all over. I am considering going Amish, no wonder their houses are so tidy.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Good News/Bad News: Summer Is Upon Us

Yippee! School is out and summer is here. Oh my, what a relief to have finals week behind us. Mama Popcorn had to bare her teeth this week to "encourage" popson to hang in and study hard for his final exams. I really had to show some fang on the afternooneve of his (honors) Geometry exam when he rang my celly and said "hey mom, a bunch of us want to play golf this afternoon".... (in this 97 degree heat). He assured me that he would "study later around 8" !!! Then I had to endure his cold stone face on the drive home. Anyhoo, all's well that ends well. Finals are in the past as of today and the tug of war of summer has commenced. The constant tension between parent and child over what they want to do and what you want them to do with their time. "Hey mom, Brian's sister is going to come by and pick me up and we're going to Wendy's and then....go to......not sure when....I don't know..... maybe Jack's...when he calls...oh mom!" Those constant conversations battling vague vs. specifics, the ratio of not home to home tipped in the wrong direction, ignoring the fatigue factor ... "Mom I'm not tired"...and then falling into a drooling snore fest on the couch ten seconds later. I sit here now awaiting dispatch orders from all three popkids...o the joys of summer. There are some major no homework, no lunch making at dawn, no matching sock trauma, no poster board runs ten minutes after you get home from the grocery store, spontaneous movie rentals, watermelon at midnight while watching funny u tubers, looking in their rooms and seeing them cozily sprawled and snoozing at 10:30,...oh ok 11:30 a.m., all three of them watching Lost episodes in the middle of the day when it's too hot to do anything else. The popkids work hard the nine months of the school year and seeing them relaxed and chillin' is really a pleasure that balances out the little inconveniences it brings. Happy Summer!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

In The Blink of an Eye

In the blink of an eye...that is just how quickly God can turn a circumstance around. We think that a difficult situation will take a huge sweeping event to fix it. Sometimes, I guess. But most of the time a situation can make a u turn in the time it takes to blink your eye. A quick phone call, a simple apology, a receptive heart, a touch, a gesture, a smile, an explanation, a letter, an ear lent in sympathy, grace extended to seems these are the ways God causes situations to flip from south to north with signature simplicity.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Popcorn's Pride Pummeled

About five days ago, mom handed me a book entitled Humility, by Andrew Murray. She's read it and enjoyed it and thought I might like it, too. This is not unusual. Mom and I share books often. Weeelllllllllllllll, WHO KNEW that three days later I would suffer a horrible humiliation???? A set of circumstances over which I had no control was set into motion and I have never in my life been so embarrassed. This topped when I drooled on the glass counter at the jewelry store when Mr. Popcorn and I were shopping for diamonds for an engagement ring! The thing is, the entire day before this incident happened, I was having heart palpitations worrying that it might could happen, similar things have happened....I would be more surprised if it didn't happen...and then lo and DID happen. As the writing on the wall became evident, my body broke out in the cold, clammy sweat that happens when I realize circumstances aren't going as planned. I did not even want to leave my house because this time it didn't just involve me, but also a kind hearted friend who was doing us a huge favor. Our friend was going to be totally inconvenienced and at the same time would become privy to a part of my life that I downplay to protect the innocent. I could not bring myself to call the person I needed to call to offer my apologies for the behavior of the offending party. I was frozen. Dumbfounded. Horrified. The whole situation rendered me speechless. And to make matters worse, when I did finally venture out of my tortuous mental cave, I was told of a conversation that took place where the whole matter was discussed under raised eyebrows. I felt the blood drain from my face and neck and just stood there slack-jawed. I was dying on the inside. Cringing. What were people going to thing of me? Did people think I condoned this behavior? It made me tremble. I did finally muster up the chutzpah to bodily present myself to the person deserving of an explanation and an apology. But I'll tell you one thing, I am reading that book on humility asap. I see now that the pride I take in not being prideful is a problem. I am fooling myself. I am full of pride and I know God hates pride. Can you believe mom gave me that book when she did?