The CD gods and marriage

When I first met Jimmy Alley, he drove a Ford Ranger pick-up truck. Since we were pretty much inseparable from the time we met, it didn't take long for us to travel together in each other's vehicles. I was driving a four door Mazda 626. Music was important to both of us, but I was still listening to mixed tapes made from my CD's, or using my portable CD player with the tape adapter to make it come through my car's speakers. Imagine how impressed and excited I was to discover that Jimmy had installed a 10 disc CD changer in his truck, allowing him to choose from 10 CD's at just the push of a button. I was rather fascinated with it and enjoyed choosing songs and trying to remember which CD was in which numbered slot, so as to find it easier. Jimmy however, liked to put his player on "mix all" and let the "CD gods" as he would say, choose the next song for him. I didn't much like relinquishing control, but it was fun to let the player do it's thing and decide whether or not the CD gods had done a good job choosing a song that was appropriate for our mood or day or whatever we were doing or wherever we were driving.

Recently Libby stuck approximately 9¢ in our vans CD player and we had to replace it. Jimmy made sure it was equipped with a way to hook up his iPod, so now we bow to the "iPod gods" while driving around. I could go on about how many times we laugh or are amazed at what is chosen at what time, but the most recent one was the song "Trust" by Sixpence None the Richer. It was less than two weeks until our friends Brian and Andrea were getting married, and they had asked us to sing together at their wedding ceremony, and we had been unable to agree upon a song. One day Jimmy was on some errands with some kids and he came home suggesting this song as what we should sing. I said, "what made you think of that?" and he said with a grin, "it just came up on the iPod while we were out. Sometimes these things just happen, Julie." He's still trying to convert me.

Our kids were in their wedding (except Penelope). It was wardrobe overload for me (I barely ever dress myself up from head to toe, much less the whole family!) but I didn't forget anything huge and managed to get everyone ready in time too. (With the help of Jimmy's mom and various others at the church!) In the midst of all the zippers, buttons, shoes, etc. we were privileged to bless them with the song.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your path straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

P.S. This is Cash's latest sharpie endeavour.


the Breakdown

So, our Christmas tradition of traveling all over Florida has finally come to an end. It went something like this:
12/25 drive to Waldo
12/28 drive to Brandon
12/31 drive back to Waldo
1/2 a.m. Jackson and Libby drive to Brandon
1/2 p.m. Jimmy, Julie and Penelope drive to Tally
1/5 Jimmy, Julie and Penelope drive to Brandon
1/6 all drive home, picking up Cash at a Gainesville exit on the way

Why?? You may ask. Well, for a lot of reasons, but the dropping off of children to give Jimmy and I three days here with just a baby was much of the motivation. As my mom said as I left, it was to get a fresh start. And that is just what I needed. A fresh start, a new year, a clean toilet. I had not done much housework since Penelope was born. So I got my fresh start. I cleaned, reorganized, and put away as much foolishness and mayhem as possible in two days. At one point during our time off I said to Jimmy, "don't you feel like all the life has gone out of our van? It's like we've let the air out of a balloon." To which he responded, "NO. I'm having a great time!" Well, anyway...

What I would like to address is the Breakdown. It's happening. I had this fresh start. Not only were my surfaces clean, my attitude was rejuvenated. But I have realized that you can't stay rejuvenated forever. If you could, rejuvenation wouldn't exist. I tried in my mind to keep my attitude and laundry looking and feeling fresh, but then tonight it hit me that we're back to normal, and normal, around here, is not always clean and organized. Oh well. And it's not one big event, it's just the day to day. It's Libby peeing on the floor of my pristine bathroom less than 10 minutes after we arrived home. It's me opening the refrigerator only to have syrup start dripping on the floor, because it's been dripping down the condiments in your refrigerator door, just waiting for you to open it and discover it's sweetness. It's Cash, while you're wiping out the refrigerator, pulling out the bag of tortillas, eating through the plastic, and then taking a King Kong sized bite out of the entire stack of them. Heck, it began before we even got home. It's me, the matriarch of this troupe trying to take a nap in the car Sunday afternoon, hearing a Disney video coming from the back of the van and Jimmy's punk music coming from the front. (Do YOU think you could sleep with "It's a small world" and some Greenday song playing at the same time? I can, I did, and I am proud.)

So in the midst of all this, I am just thankful that I am not personally having a breakdown. It's not possible with these fun-loving kids. AND Penelope slept over 8 hrs the last two nights so that's huge for my sanity. She is a great baby and still quiet and easy. And to prove I'm always able to find something to laugh about: Tonight I told Jackson we were taking Penelope to the Dr. tomorrow for her 2 month checkup. I said that she was going to have to get some shots. He said, in an excited, drawn out voice, "And then she's going to get a special treeee-eat!" And I was thinking I was going to have to remind him that she can't have candy, when he pats me on the boob and says, "And it's going to come from right heeee-re!" Am I really living in the middle of this hilariousness? I think I am, and I think I love it. Bring on the breakdown. We'll laugh all the way to the nasty, dirty floors.

She's super baby!

Diaper buddies

Jackson got a bike!