Tuesday, March 31, 2009

en vogue

Poor Reesie. She had no clue what she was getting herself into when she entered the world. As she rounds the corner to one year, she's had more pictures documenting the past eleven months of her life than any other child on earth.

Seriously. I have issues.

Having grown accustomed to her mother's picture taking obsession, now she refuses to smile for the camera. Instead she makes the most bizarre face she can.

I think it's all a ploy to deter me from taking her picture.

If that's the case, her plan backfired.

These shots make me laugh so much, I'm bound and determined to get 20 more. Where's my camera?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

your eyes lit up

Dear Reesie,
Today you did something I have to document, for fear of forgetting it. And I really, really don't want to forget it.

A little while ago we went to the bookstore. While we were waiting to check out you sat in your stroller, examining the customers in front of us. One of them was a girl about 12 years old.

And she looked sad.

You stared her up and down. She turned for a moment and looked at you. But she did not talk to you or even smile at you. She was too sad.

As you gazed up at the girl, you raised your little arm, wiggled your fingers and beamed a big, bright smile. Your wave beckoned her out of her sadness. Your smile was so bright it melted her face into a smile too. For a few minutes she forgot she was sad. Because of you.

I hope I never forget what you did today Sweet Girl. I hope as you grow older you are as kind as you are now. I hope you never lose your fascination with others nor your innate ability to reach out to them.

Because Honey, there will be many many more people you will meet in this world who are sad. Who need someone to reach out to them, even when they're not acting very worthy of our affection. Sometimes it will be hard to let them know we care about them anyway. And sometimes, even after you've made the first step, they still will turn down your attempt.

But you must smile anyway.

Wave anyway.

Love anyway.

I love you. And I pray above any accomplishment you might achieve along the way, you will be kind.

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:16

safety schmafety

When people ask me what Big Girl is up to these days I reply as honestly as I can.


The child is a little whirling dervish of demolition. Where there is order, she overturns it. Literally. If you happen to leave a basket of clean, sorted laundry, you will return to a room scattered with socks. She is devoted to disarray.

After this eye-opening realization and finding her sorting through bottles under the kitchen sink, I made a trip to Target for some child locks. I came home and installed them on every cabinet within her reach.

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I heard an all too familiar racket coming from the master bathroom.

And imagine my dismay when I entered the once child proofed master bathroom to find this.

That's signature Reesie. An exact replica from the days of pre-baby locks.

Here's the little perpetrator. Undeterred. Ever proud of herself for confronting and overcoming the child-lock challenge.

And here's her defeated opponent. You've failed me, worthless piece of over-priced plastic.

I still don't know how she removed it. She's either super conniving or freakishly strong.

I'm so mad I could spit. Or sue. Reckless endangerment of four year old cosmetics. Sounds like a valid argument to me!

Friday, March 27, 2009

there are no words except...


Click here to watch one of the best parts of last night's smack down.

We shot 100% from 65 feet.

I have to go find our Mizzou flag to hang outside. I hope nobody eggs our house down here in Memphis country!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

this doesn't feel very sweet to me

In case you haven't heard, the month of March is madness, madness I tell you. It's especially true this year because our beloved Alma mater the Missouri Tigers are still in tournament. Tonight we're battling the Memphis Tigers for a chance to continue to the Enormous Eight.

Excellent Eight?

Exotic Eight?

Oh I kid. (I'm feigning ignorance to see if I can get a rise out of the husband.) He's educated me better than that! :)

I'll be honest, I'm not going to watch the game. My innards can't take it. My heart starts racing, and all my intestines knot up. And then I look at the clock and realize there's forty-five minutes left in the game, and seriously, who can handle forty-five minutes of that gut-wrenching suspense? I'll flip to it occasionally so as not to be a complete disgrace to the Hinton name.

Reesie's ready for the game! The best part about watching the game from the comfort of your own home- you don't have to wear pants! :)

GO TIGERS!! Her Daddy's raised her right.

No fan is truly complete without a foam finger.

So will you be glued to your TV tonight?

**Edited to Add: Three minutes until half and I've watched the entire thing. Why, oh why do I do this to myself?!**

PS- 3 for 8 for free throws? Are you kidding me Mizzou?! We'll never get to the Electric Eight with those kinds of stats!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

11 months!

Happy 11 months Reesie!! No, she's not hacked off, just trying to get her bow off her head.

Successfully, I might add. This month Lamb came prepared.

At least for a little while.

Oh no! He's exposed! Wait a second, is it possible? After all these months of violence, are Sheep and Baby finally co-existing, side by side in relative peace and harmony? Is a round of Kumbaya in order?


Definitely not. Abort the song. Her lamb-extermination tendency has reared its head once again.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

go fish

My favorite part of the spring break trip to Atlanta this past weekend was the Georgia Aquarium. Don't get me wrong, the crowds were insane. We were shoulder to shoulder the entire hour and a half we were there. I'm not sure if the aquarium has an off day, but Friday definitely wasn't it.

Thankfully the crowds didn't detract from how spectacular it all was. This is the largest indoor aquarium in the world. I told the girls if I lived in Atlanta, I'd have a season pass so I could come whenever I wanted to sit, think and marvel at it all.

We walked through this tunnel and thousands of fish swam over our heads. I couldn't help but wonder...

Who is the Creator who dreamed of giving a creature this type of head and whose words made it so?

The tail He designed for this species...

became a nose for this one. Who could think this stuff up?

The Author of this cannot be dull. Have you ever seen anything so mysterious? So ethereal?

Who is God that He imagined these colors?

That He would paint a creature's lips to match its fins, then give instruction of how to use both.

Who are we, privileged to feast on the fruit of His labor?

"Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them."

"How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures...

There is the sea, vast and spacious...

...teeming with creatures beyond number-living things both large and small."

I'd say so.


Danny and I came home from our trip late Saturday night to find this all over our wall.

Reesie's Nana came to town to watch her while we were busy hanging out with these crazy kids.

Apparently, baby-sitting isn't the only thing Nana does. When you're hundreds of miles away she'll tag your house. She has no fear. Who knew Nana was such a thug? Did you notice how she totally used the gangsta spelling of "love"?

Here's the Homies' good-bye picture. This is Reesie's attempt at being as hard core as her Nana.

And don't even get me started on the secret gang sign. There's a reason this baby's hand is blurry. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

tomorrow's a mystery

Early tomorrow morning 50 of us are hopping on the closest charter bus on its way out of town. Round and round we'll go, where we'll stop nobody knows! It's time for our annual Mystery Destination Trip. I still have some things to finish up at the church.

Before every trip I have to go to the bank and ask for hundreds of dollars in specific amounts of bills to give the kids for their meals. Just for kicks, when I do a bank run I glance around suspiciously before lowering my voice "I need X amount of unmarked five dollar bills." It makes me feel like Jack Bauer. Until I remember I'm not saving the country, just getting some cash for teenagers to spend at Burger King.

Oh, bloggers I should be packing.

I should be praying.

Would you pray too please?

I'd tell you where we're going but then *whispering* I'd have to kill you. :)

No, I trust you implicitly. But there are impressionable, trip-attending eyes out there (Hi Gandolf!!) and I can't risk it.

So long bloggers, I'll see you when we get back!

Monday, March 16, 2009

big brother caught me!!

Oh my gosh, this is so embarrassing! Now the whole world knows what I look like every time I go to the Kroger!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

becky and rachel's grand adventure part 2

Let see, where was I? Oh yes. After saying "So long!" to the Opryland Hotel, Becky and I checked into the Radisson. We ate at Applebee's and tried to rest in our room before heading to the church. We tried really hard. We read and re-read our event information. We watched our nails cure. Just as we were running out of things to distract us, Becky B said, "Why are we doing this to ourselves, we might as well just go now!" I seconded the motion and we were off. So what if we were two hours early? We'd browse the book store, buy a coffee, and hang out in the lobby.

All was going well with our master plan until we drove up to the church to a handful of women outside. We never saw that kink coming. I thought when the brochure said the doors opened at 5:30, it meant the doors to the sanctuary.

I was wrong. Did I mention it was 30 degrees outside?

In true Carmen the Garmin fashion, we recalculated our plan. After examining all the angles we decided to forge on. We had come this far. We hustled up to the doors to join the other certifiable women. And I thought to myself how unfortunate it would be for my toes to freeze off when they've never looked that good.

We passed the time by devising Operation Closest Seats We Can Get. It was safe to assume the other women were on a similar mission, so we made sure to speak softly and carry a big tote. The last may be first in heaven, but that is not the case at a Beth Moore conference. :) We were focused. We were ready. And we were not about to have spent the past 40 minutes in frigid weather in vain.

The doors swung open and we were off. Sweet volunteers handed out free scripture cards as we zipped by. Unfortunately, in the stampede of senoras, I got overlooked. I waited patiently to get my cards, and just as they were in my hand, another arm swooped down and snatched those cards right out of my fingers. I was robbed. I was robbed of my free scripture cards by a fellow pastor's wife. I staggered down the aisle in disbelief. Luckily Becky B, ever the veteran had nabbed two seats on the center aisle, seven rows from the front. The first three rows were reserved for Lifeway authors and special guests, so according to my calculations, it was as if we were sitting in the fourth row! Go Becky B!! She totally redeemed my scripture card altercation.

Here we are enjoying the fruit of our labor.

Here's a picture of the worship band. These pictures are kind of blurry because I didn't use the flash.

Look, I got my picture taken with Beth Moore! And it's true what they say, she is so much smaller in real life!

Here she was when she wasn't poising with moi.

A couple of times she came down the aisle and I could have touched her. But I didn't because:
1. That would have been weird.
2. She had this female body guard who seriously could have taken me.
3. Our seats were too good to have risked getting thrown out.
4. I've never been thrown out of anything.

In all seriousness, the weekend was something else. Lifeway (so graciously!) gave us tons of free stuff. The worship band was unreal. Beth brought the thunder.

And God did His thing. You could sense He was moving. Taking care of business. I learned so many things, but the story Beth told at the very end hit home for me.

Her neighbor, a young mother, was diagnosed with a deadly type of cancer. When she passed away, and the ambulance came to get her, her three year old son walked right up to a paramedic, tugged on her pant leg and asked, "Are you God?" The paramedic bent down, took the child's face in her hands and replied, "No, but I work for Him."

Whether we're pastors' wives, paramedics, secretaries or attorneys...we work for God. And that is the most noble calling of all.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."
Galatians 6:9-10

becky and rachel's grand adventure part I

Hey Bloggers, what's going on? Remember when I revealed only half my birthday present? I'm sure the curiosity has been eating you alive, so today I'm going to relieve you of your torment. (And if you don't remember what I'm talking about, and have since forgotten I even had a birthday, that's ok. I'll fill you in anyway.)

Several months ago my mom was at the Beth Moore simulcast when Lifeway advertised an upcoming conference specifically for ministers' wives. Actually attending said conference became more of a real possibility when I read it was going to be in Nashville. I added a ticket to my Christmas list and sure enough, come December Danny's parents purchased a ticket for me. I called Becky B, our senior pastor's wife to see if she'd want to join me for the trip. I was a little nervous dialing her number. I've known and loved Becky since we moved here, but I don't know her on a take-a-trip-together level. As soon as the invitation was out of my mouth she replied immediately with a resounding "yes!"

Danny having witnessed this chain of events said he would take care of the details of booking our hotel room.

Did he ever.

On my birthday I unwrapped a notebook. Inside was a map of Nashville, directions to our hotel...


a pamphlet to the Relache Day Spa & Salon at the world famous Opryland Hotel. Danny and Bill (Becky B's husband) had made us appointments prior to the conference for a full service manicure & pedicure. I know.

Not only were we going to join hundreds of other ministry wives from around the country for a weekend in the Word, we were going to be sporting the best looking nails there!

The night before we left I couldn't sleep. Early Friday morning I popped out of bed to make last minute preparations. I skipped around our room exclaiming, "I can't believe this is happening to me! I'm so happy to be me! If I weren't me, I'd be so jealous of me right now!!"

Somewhere there's a third grader missing her attitude. Or maybe a first grader?

We loaded up the car and plugged in our third passenger.

This is Garmin, our GPS on loan. We called her Carmen. Carmen the Garmin is definitely someone you want around when you're navigating a new city. She's a back seat driver who actually knows what she's talking about. There were times we doubted her. There were moments we completely disobeyed her, forcing her to recalculate. But she never held a grudge. Her calm steady voice guided us to each and every destination even if we had to take the scenic route. Here's to you Carmen.


We pulled up to the Opryland Hotel a little late for our appointment, so we had to rush through the entrance and on up to the spa. As we hustled through the lobby, I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head! The lobby is an expansive atrium filled with plants. Everywhere you looked there were tropical flowers. Instead of elevator music, we climbed the stairs to the sound of rushing water cascading down a waterfall.

I wanted to pull out my camera and take a picture of everything I saw, but we had some pampering to do. The photos had to wait because there were two nail specialists waiting on us.

We entered through double glass doors into the Relache and it was just as I imagined a famous salon to be. It looked like all those bathrooms on Divine Design that Candace Olsen had decorated. The hostess ushered us into the pedicure room, where a wall of nail color awaited. I'm the kind of girl who's conflicted over the chip selection at Subway, so I almost hyperventilated from the copious assortment of colors. I took a few deep breaths. The inhalation of lotion, hair color and moisturizer brought instant clarity and I went for the brightest, most obnoxious pink I could find.

Soon after I made my choice I met Jana. She must be a real live angel, because the next hour and a half was pure heaven. (Is it just me, or is my blog starting to sound like a cheesy pick up line?)

Jana was a pro. I could have fallen asleep but I didn't want to miss a second of it all. So I talked to Jana. She has a daughter, Bella, who is four years old. Her husband is a sound engineer who has worked with Keith Urban. How cool is that?

It was all over far too soon. I made sure to get a pic of the final product. One of these pastor's wives is wearing "Party in My Cabana" nail polish. She shall remain nameless. And in case the elders catch wind, you didn't hear it here!! Ok, forget what I said. Our nail colors were "Holy Shade of Servant Woman" and "Submissive".

I heart toe separators. Even if they do make your feet look like Shrek's.

After the treatments we went down the hall to the relaxation room. We had some strawberries and tried not to look directly at the people dressed only in robes. After some deliberation we decided our church needed its own relaxation room and a full time Minister of Nails. For the sake of the kingdom of course.

Our nails needed time to cure, so we meandered through the hotel in our flip flops. Along the way I snapped some shots of my favorite flowers.

Here we are just before we left. We had a conference to get to after all.

I'm working on my recap of the conference. Let me just say I was borderline victimized by another pastor's wife...stay tuned for Part II of our Grand Adventure!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

20 pounds

Our sweet baby girl weighs about 20 pounds.

(That's the look of a woman whose weight was just announced on the world wide web.)

Out of curiosity I decided to google things of similar weight. (Why not, right?) Here's what I found. Each time I bend over to pick up Reesie, it's the equivalent of lugging around...

a car tire...

a large hen,

or this fish.

I'm so thankful she's not a fish. Could you imagine trying to shop for that body type?

picture day

Yesterday was picture day at Reese's school. When I went to pick her up, her teacher said she did a great job with the photographer. Believe it or not, thanks to her slightly neurotic mother, girlfriend's had her picture taken more than once. I'll have you know it's been almost a week since I've taken her picture. I attribute her posing precision either to her vast experience, or to her recent modeling withdrawal. But it was encouraging to hear, nonetheless.

Whenever picture day rolls around immediately I go home and proceed with my own photo session. It's an attempt to convince myself it's unnecessary to shell out big bucks for a professional picture of Reese when I have three thousand free pictures of her in the exact same outfit captured on the exact same day of her life.

(I'm thrilled with how our beautiful spring grass is coming along, don't you think it's just lovely?)

Here's hoping in her official school picture she gave the professional photographer a face just like this one...

...or ate all the scenery.

That way, I won't have to buy it! :)