Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thanks Ben...Words Left Me

I couldn't come up with any words to say it better than my friend Ben did.

I just want to share with you the wonderful community, family, that God has been gracious enough to let me be a part of since since living in Philly.  For me, it all started in Rome, GA and has found it's way up here.

In the beautiful words of Ben,...(check out his blog here)


“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone…
…they paved paradise, and put up a parking lot…”
I am one of those who, like the song, all too often doesn’t recognize what I have until it is gone. I want to change that – I want to be mindful, thankful, and grateful as I admit that Yes, my cup is filled to the brim. One more drop, and it will overflow with the sweetness and bitterness, the joy and sorrow, the heart-stopping beauty that means you are alive and breathing and seeing.
I moved to Philadelphia in August, not expecting that I would find a family, a community that would surround me, laugh with me, speak into my life, and allow me to speak into theirs. I didn’t imagine their lives and mine would intertwine so quickly. And last night as we sat around the living room, sharing our highs and our lows of the past week, sharing a meal and laughter and music and prayer, something shifted in my heart, and I really saw those around me. In just a few short months, these (plus a few more) have become a part of me and my heart – my community.
I think that 90 percent of the time, I blunder through life unaware. Yet there are moments the veil is lifted, and the warm, rich, buttery light floods in and illuminates the darkness. My heart and my limbs thaw a little more, and the chill of frostbite that has me frozen recedes a little bit. Last night was one of those moments.
I saw men and women admitting their brokenness, doubt, and pain. I saw honesty and truth piercing the lies that would keep us apart. And I heard words of love, of hope, and of faith being spoken over each person there. Last night, spring came just a little bit closer for each of us – spring and the promise of new growth, of green, of life, of warmth, of dancing and rain and beauty. And I saw it.
My cup – my heart – my life – is overflowing. And I just want to shout it from the treetops – or at least sing it in the forest…

I hope everyone gets to experience this at least once.  God is so faithful.

Keep Posted,

the rave

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Man Day + Girl Day = Dinner at PYT!

The culmination of life!
L to R: Josh, Andy, Potter, Ben, Stephen, Kelly, Me, Dustin
Yesterday began as an all girl day.  Me, Andy, Kelly and Amy (Mills stayed home to do school and Potter was at school) started our day off right with an amazing French Toast and Fruit Salad breakfast.  Our plan was to hit up Fabric Row and check out some cool shops on South Street, then come home and get crafty.

Fabulous plan right?  Right.  Only thing we didn't plan on was the weather.  The high yesterday was around 15 degrees.  So. Cold.  But we were brave and determined and had a great time.  However, I am now convinced  that being out in the cold weather wears you out.  We got back home at 2 and I was exhausted.  I trudged through my sewing project and Andy and Kelly trudged through school and project planning.  Andy did whip up some incredible omelets for lunch.  Onions. Peppers. Feta Cheese. Woa!

Okay, so all of that to say, little did we know what was going on with the men at North 52nd Street.

First of all, I have to say I think it's really cute when Dustin gets together with his guys and hangs out.  It really does the both of us good to nurture and indulge in our friendships outside of ourselves.


These guys had breakfast together as well, Man Omelets and Blueberry Pancakes.  They had their blood pressure checked in Upper Darby in order to get free pizza and pretzels.  Took a trip to Home Depot. They went bowling.  They went rock climbing (indoors) in Center City. And when Kelly was finally able to get a hold of Stephen, the boys the men were all giggling in the background like 13 year old girls and mentioned they were going to shower together (which they later claim did not happen).  So cute right? And kind of scary too.

We were starving by dinner time.  They were still out galavanting.  Which brings me to the culmination of all the days events.  Dinner at PYT.

Outside of PYT...random fella in the pic.
We all met up at PYT in the Northern Liberties section of Philly and had so much fun here!  They are known for their crazy burgers and adult milkshakes, which definitely sound weird and gross, but weird no longer equals weird for me.  Weird = Probably Really Awesome!

For instance, Dustin order their Krispy Kreme Burger.  The buns are KK Doughnuts with a Burger Pattie, Cheese, and chocolate covered bacon in between and a side of Sweet Potato Fries.  Yum or Barf?    Try Yum.
Krispy Kreme's Prodigy

Pay no attention to the greasy fingers
Chocolate Covered tempting
Hunka Hunka Burger Love.....Elvis' Fav.....Beef Burger with Peanut Butter and Fried Bananas.

I opted for a Veggie Burger, not because I'm vegetarian, it just sounded so good.  Titled the Calibunga Burger, it featured a White Bean, Garlic, Basil and Tomato Patty, topped with Avocado, Lettuce, Tomato, and Caramelized Onion Special Sauce.

It was a killer choice.  I would order it every time.  Not lying.

Check out their Menu.  We will definitely be going back.

Big Hand #1 
Big Hand #2

See.  Doesn't that look fun?

Keep Posted!

the rave

Friday, January 7, 2011

With A Little Love And Some Tenderness...

So sorry for the abandonment.  A whole month? Really? Sheesh.

World Domination

Much has happened since the last time I posted.  My family and immediate friends/relative are single-handedly re-populating the world.  Or at least the state of Georgia.  By early to mid summer of 2011 there will be at least 6 new babies in my world since November.  Where are they coming from?!!  Wait, please don't answer that.  Let's move right along....

Dustin and I recently returned to Philly from our Christmas visit to Georgia and I must say that I sure do miss a lot of folks from back home.  You guys make it really hard for me to want to get up and go to work tomorrow morning.  Staying up late and writing this blog is going to make it really hard for me to get up and go to work tomorrow too.  Oh well, sleeplessness can be productive, right?

While at home, we made the normal rounds to visit all parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters and their offspring.  I did get to squeeze in a visit with my Big Mama (translation: great-grandmother) who is definitely in her prime.  She will be ninety in March and I don't think she's worn a bra in the past 25 or 30 years.  Just sayin.  Age ain't nothin' but a number ya'll.

I was thinking earlier, whilst tossing and turning in my bed, that I have a pretty large family: divorced parents, both remarried and 6 sisters and 3 brothers, most all of whom are married with kiddies.  I sometimes wish that we were closer as a family, though occasionally I do feel very connected.  As I was thinking about this and how I could compare it to something to make it make more sense (you know, an analogy...Dustin loves those) a mosh pit came to mind.  Weird, right?  Then it began to click for me.  In a mosh pit, a lot of people are in pretty close quarters all at one time.  However, not everyone is close to every person in that grouping at once.  You move around in the mosh pit getting closer to different people at different moments.  All the while, you're connected, on some level to everyone in the mosh.  Not everyone at every moment, but to each his own.  And I am okay with that.

Certified, Grade A, Mosh Pit
At different times in my life I have been closer to different siblings, different parents, different grandparents even, developing a connectedness that lasts even when a new period of my life (or theirs) brings me further from one and closer to another.  I can remember be really annoyed by sister Caitlin on a very regular basis when we were younger.  We had nothing in common and I didn't really want to have much to do with her.  Now that we both have grown (and through much forgiveness on her part) we have morphed into two sisters who care deeply for one another and are closer than we ever have been, though the physical distance isn't fun.

So, to all those out there who share my blood and those who don't; be it by marriage or by being a great friend;  you are my family.  And I just wanted to say thanks.

I also want to say that I had Hootie and Blowfish serenading me in my head with "Hold My Hand".

I want to love you the best that, the best that I can...

Side Note: We have come a long way in our music videos since the nineties.  Style too.  If you watch the video, which I would recommend, please check out the the crew socks on the guitarist on the far left.  Where was his stylist?

The End.

Keep Posted,

the rave