Friday, May 21, 2010

Sleepless In Smyrna

It's 4:45 a.m. and I should be sleeping. Obviously, I am not. And this is the second time this week that 3:00 a.m. has been my wake up time. I think my body has reached its limit in how much stress it can take and it's telling me "enough"! My counselor friend whom I chatted with a couple of days ago told me the same thing. So my immediate and short term goal is to every way. And I will - as soon as there's time. :)

It's been another interesting week in the Jones household. As you know, we began the moving process from our first apartment last Friday night and I went to bed at 3:00 a.m. Then Saturday we moved all day and around 10:00 that night as I was helping Joey unload my car after a quick run to Target, catastrophe struck. My foot caught the concrete barrier meant for the end of a parking space (but due to restriping years ago, was randomly in between two parked cars) and I fell, landing on my left brow bone area. Six hours and nine stitches later we finally called it a day. Almost a week later, the stitches are now out, but the remaining purple eyelid ringed with yellow and green looks like a 70's makeup experiment gone terribly wrong.

I also skinned my right knee and sprained my left arm that apparently helped break my fall, so most of the week has been spent taking Advil, bandaging wounded areas, and recovering. My glasses broke in the fall so an overdue trip to the eye doctor was worked in as well. It could have been so much worse and I'm truly thankful it wasn't.

Let's move on to other news, shall we? I did have the presence of mind to capture a couple of pictures of how we removed the smoke smell that was in EVERYTHING we owned. Most of the clothes were just washed and dried, but when it came to the hanging stuff, drycleaning everything was too expensive of an option to consider. So first the items were lightly sprayed with Lysol and then they were hung outside in the breezeway where a nice cross breeze replaced stale smoke with fresh air. I'm sure the neighbors thought Sanford and Son had moved in, but it worked!

The same Lysol spray was lightly applied to mattresses, furniture, and all sorts of items and they were left outside for a while before they were brought into the new apartment. But I am happy to say that we are now in a smoke free environment and I'm working on being able to say that it was all worth it.

I guess it's technically Friday, so I have to now say that yesterday was Matthew's 30th birthday. We had dinner with him and Lindsay and her family and she did a great job of bringing decorations, etc. to make everything very festive for the occasion. If I had time to really think about it, I'm pretty sure I'm mostly astounded that I now have two children who are in their 30's.

Tiffany wrote a really sweet blog entry about her brother, so if you'll click here you can read it. Hamp and I echo her sentiments with a hearty "Amen!" and we continue to be so thankful for all three of our children and the additions God is bringing to our family. Here are a few pictures from the birthday dinner and we'll be celebrating again next week when we're all together for Michael and Bekah's shower.

Thunder is rumbling in the distance, so I think I'll head back to bed and see if I can add to my night's sleep total. In talking with my counselor friend this week, she told me how her son had coined the phrase "defrag" for us as humans and I realized it was the perfect description for where I am and what I need. If I don't answer the phone or return calls immediately or commit to much in the near future, just know that I'm defragging in the hopes that my operating system will work as it was designed to when the process is complete.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Can't Keep Up

Another week has passed in the lives of the Jones family and my, what a week it has been! I really wish I could stop the world and just get off for a few days. Or weeks. Or maybe for good. It depends on what day it is as to which I would choose.

Our trip to Boston for Michael's graduation was nice. The weather, not so much, but we decided since it was 75 in mid-March for his and Bekah's wedding that we couldn't really complain about rainy, windy, and cold. As many told us, after all it is New England. (Which is why most of our family is now back in the sunny south!)

Here is a picture of the more educated Michael.

With his new wife, Bekah. :)

And with his proud parents (one of whom had already changed into winter clothes because she was freezing!).

Tiffany with her "little" brother.

We missed Matthew and Lindsay not being able to be there, but they were not forgotten!

Bekah's parents came for the weekend to support Michael which meant a lot to all of us. I continue to be so thankful for the godly family he's been blessed with in Bekah.

Tiffany battled a stomach virus all weekend, but she and I did get to enjoy some of the beauty of the area. Most of our appreciation came from the car windows, but it did start to warm up right before we left on Tuesday (of course) and she got great pictures. She would say I'm biased, but I think Tiffany takes great pictures. She has a natural eye for seeing beauty in unique settings and it's showing up more and more as God restores her heart. I love watching that childlike joy and wonder of His creation shine through her from the inside out. Here are a few of my favorites.

While the trip was basically a good one, there was an undercurrent of dread knowing that we were going to have to deal with the stale smoke smell not going away in our apartment once we returned to Georgia. That fact was ever-present because when we opened our suitcases after arriving in Boston, we realized that everything smelled like smoke. So to make a very long story short, I really should be gathering and packing instead of writing this entry. We're moving into another apartment in the same complex beginning later this afternoon and throughout the weekend. I'm still surprised to find that we haven't completely run off any remaining friends we have in various states, but they continue to be loving and kind and supportive...and they keep helping us move. Hopefully this one will last for the next 15 months, but we know at least one more awaits us then. But like a true southerner, I will think about that tomorrow......

I would like to tell you the insightful things I'm learning through all of this, but I cannot. I have reached a point (or maybe been there for a while) of complete numbness and I don't feel anything anymore. I'm not surprised by sad, tragic, or bad news anymore and I don't get excited about happy, exciting, or good news. I'm just here. And yes, I know that's not healthy nor the way I was made to live, but it's where I am. I'm hoping the next few weeks will find a thawing of my emotions as life settles down. But then again, I'm not sure that will be happening any time soon. Between Matthew's 30th birthday next week, wondering about his job for next year, his upcoming wedding, Michael and Bekah's next chapter, their belated Georgia wedding shower, Tiffany's entry into grad school and the life changes that will bring, and figuring out life in a new area, I'm not seeing anything settled about any of it.

So for now, I must begin the washing and de-smelling of all the bed linens so we can sleep in our new apartment tonight without coughing. If there's something to pass along from this latest experience it would be this: don't rent an apartment without looking at the specific one they want you to move into, even if it's being renovated and they say you can't. Should you find yourself in a situation where something is not acceptable, don't be nice and worry about being a nuisance. Assertiveness is not the same thing as aggressiveness.

Have a great weekend and good luck keeping up with the Joneses - if you can!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

I realize it's been quite a while since I've updated my blog - I just haven't had the time to get to it. We've been in our apartment a week and in just a few hours we leave again to fly to Boston for Michael's graduation from seminary. I seriously can't believe it's been almost 3 years since we drove in a family caravan to move him and Tiffany there. As you can imagine, we're quite proud of this latest accomplishment and now the wait begins for what the next bend in the road will be for him and Bekah. It will be the first time we've seen them since the wedding and her parents are coming too, so it will be fun. Tiffany will get to join us but Matthew cannot due to his school schedule.

So on a totally random side note, can I just say that the state of Georgia has lost its mind in how its handling the economic struggles in education. Excellent teachers are losing their jobs and careers while bureaucrats pad their pockets in the local and state offices. And we wonder why Georgia sits at the bottom of the national average in education. Matthew didn't even consider trying to attend Michael's graduation for fear that taking a day off would jeapordize his job. He'll know in the next week if a career change will be forthcoming. No pressure.......

Our adjustment is going okay. The apartment is smaller than the one in Baltimore so it's been interesting trying to figure out where things will fit. We still have a long way to go, but it will be waiting for me when I get back. We're surrounded by green and trees and birds and Kit has enjoyed looking at it all again.

There might be some time to catch you up more in the next few days. Tiffany and I are staying until Tuesday to visit some of our favorite places since we don't really know if/when we'll go back. Between the two of us we'll have lots of pictures and adventures. Our biggest adjustment will be the temperature. She's going from 90's, we've had 80's, and the warmest we'll be is in the 60's there. We like the south for a reason. :)

I'm leaving you with one of the cutest pictures I've seen in a while that Ellis sent us via his iphone.

We're missing our Baltimore kiddos and the wonderful friends God gave us there. Right before we left, we were introduced to duckpin bowling and had a blast. I think my favorite part, though, was watching Albert prop my camera up on Robert's car to get a group picture. I was impressed with his final result.

I need to try and get a few hours of sleep before we head for the airport. To close, I want to encourage each of you to think about how intentionally you're living our your days. This move made us realize anew how we have great intentions about getting together with people or visiting somewhere nearby, but we let the busyness of life distract us and don't follow through. Don't let the last memory you have of some you love be in the back of a moving truck as you prepare to drive away.