Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday ~ Civil War Reenactment, Part 1

It's been a busy few days - howabout I just say busy life and be done with it? - so editing was put onto the backburner. But the good news? Here for your viewing pleasure is Part One of my Civil War Reenactment phaga. Yes, I just made up that word. You know, photo saga...phaga? Okay, never mind.

Due to the mass amount of photos to try and sort through, the photos are in no particular order although I have tried to maintain a general continuity in the progression of a reenacting day. And I know I keep saying this sorry for the bad edits and over-saturated colors, my monitor still has it's coloring messed up.

And huge photo credits go to my mom, who took the majority of the shots in this post. She's a much better photographer than I am. Thanks, Mom!

The morning starts out early with the bugler playing reveille ({rev-i-lee} click the link and listen to it!). This is one of my favorite sounds that can be heard at a Civil War reenactment. There's something about it's fast-paced tune that ignites the fire in a reenactor's blood. From my pallet bed on the bare ground floor our wall tent, I hear it's energizing sound floating out over the camp...and I roll over and go back to sleep. Because even after the fire's been lit in the blood, a few more minutes of sleep never hurt anybody. :)

On Sundays, we have Church in the Camp. Someone shouts "church call!" and we grab our bibles and a chair to sit on and join the trickle of fellow reenactors who, despite the fun of the weekend, still hold Sunday mornings to be something that belongs to the Lord. Only a small portion of the reenactors go to church, but there's something really powerful about being one of only few in a camp full of many.

At some point in the morning, us women tie off the straps of the tent door and begin the transformation from 21st century gals to 1860's belles.

This reenactment was especially exciting because my roommate and her sister (pictured above left) came for one of the days to do it with us! Can I just say so much fun to have more people and more girls to hang out with? Seriously, reenacting is really just adults playing dress-ups. :)

Above: Katheryn, Colleen (roomie), Regina and myself

Above: That young man in the brown hat holding the flag is Stuart, my 13 year old brother. Next year he'll be old enough to carry a musket and fight in the battles! When did this happen?

Above left: my 21 year old brother Seth, who is Lieutenant and in command of our unit while on the field.

Above: James, our unit head-hancho addressing the unit pre-battle. Due to knee injuries, he's unable to fight on the battle field, which is why Seth, as Lieutenant, commands on-field.

Above: My brother Scott (18).

Above: the 43rd Virginia (our unit) in the midst of battle, with a spectator train passing in the background.

Above: First Sergeant and Lieutenant.

There's still more to follow!

Blog poll: when reading a post such as this that has pictures with captions, does it make more sense to the reading/scrolling-down-the-page brain to have the caption above or below the actual photo? Let me know!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday ~ Civil War Reenactment Sneak Peek

Between my mom and me, we probably took about a thousand pictures of this past weekend's Civil War reenactment. And you're welcome in advance for not posting them all, although it will be hard to try to narrow it down to a manageable amount that won't have you all suffering from Civil War overload.

Since I know some people are waiting for pictures (and there are some amazing ones I'll be posting later!), here's just a sneak peek at what my life was like the past few days. 

This morning, life is aching limbs, droopy eye-lids and an emergency Starbucks run. Because that's what best reenactment ever does to me. 

Sorry for the slightly over-saturated shots, I don't have my normal editing software handy right now so I had to fallback on cheap edits. But I couldn't wait any longer to at least share a few pictures with you. I'll be posting more throughout the week in different installments as I work my way through post-processing them all. No, not the whole thousands...but definitely a few. Or several dozen.

Happy Tuesday, my friends, I hope that your three-day holiday was as amazing as mine! What did you do?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday ~ It's a Beautiful Day And I Can't Stop Myself From Smiling

Ch'yeah, it's Friday, friends! There is a three-tiered happiness level going on right now, since...1) it's basically the weekend 2) it's a three day weekend and 3) it's a three day weekend where my family, some friends and I will be doing that Civil War reenacting thing we do at a really awesome place. So, expect some pictures of me and my peeps circa 1860's coming next week!

I feel like I'm behind in my posting lately, since I still haven't posted the totally adorbs photos of my niece's birthday from like three weeks ago or the photos of Wednesday night when my sisters and I went to that park I told you about and played on the playground like wild women, which resulted in me and my wimpy back needing a visit to the chiropractor. Yeesh, I'm falling apart already. I'm too young to die.

On a totally unrelated topic, anybody have thoughts on Michael Buble's newest album? I have lots of thoughts, some of them being "Oh wow, I love this cd!" "I can't stop listening to this cd!," and "best album EVER!" Although I have to admit to being slightly surprised at a lyrical choice on the second to last song - anybody know what I'm talking about? But otherwise, I'm in love. On repeat.

So, in other minor news, you're looking at the future Miss Kellie, Sunday School teacher for the 1st & 2nd graders at my church. It's been over 5 years since I did my two-year ministry stint as a traveling children's minister and frankly, I'm missing working with kids. I'd originally hoped to teach the 2 & 3 year olds, since my niece and nephew are in that class, but someone else got there first. Which is actually probably good, since the Auntie Kellie part of me would find favoritism very hard to beat.

So, this post served no purpose other than to say all the above, which wasn't really all that exciting. Oh well, The fact that it's Friday should make up for it.

Happy Friday and I know that I for one am very grateful for the people who've fought for us and our way of life in ways that I've never even imagined. Thanks, heroes!

P.S. The post title is a line from my favorite number on Michael's new album. Go listen to it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday ~ I Forgot About Jesus

I miss a lot of things right now. I miss my best friend Anna in Ohio. I miss my daily dose of cats. I miss well water that tastes so good. I miss that glowy anticipation of the future that I had when I was a young, idealistic teenager. I miss the days before I had a full-time job when I could read, sew and languish in relaxation all day long. I miss living at home with my family. I miss that certain smell that Home gets on summer evenings as the water-cooler's constant blowing cools down the hot air circulating the house. I miss that overwhelming, all-encompassing feeling of safe that only Home has.

But most of all, I miss Jesus.

I miss Jesus because, you want the truth? I'll give it to you. I miss Jesus because I've been forgetting about Him. I've been leaving Him behind when I leave church on Sunday morning and leaving His Word closed up inside my Bible. Not on purpose, but it just sorta happened over time without me really realizing it.

And it's left me just missing things. Because when Jesus isn't a part of everyday, nothing else feels quite right. You know what I'm talking about? I've still functioned and managed my life like I always have, but that fullness of joy that Psalms 16:11 talks about has just been missing.

I'm working on this, friends. Because I just need Jesus. All of Him, every day, all the time. And one of the biggest ways that I've let Him go was I've not been in His Word. I underestimate the importance of it, although you'd think I'd really know that by now. 

I'm a proud thing. I like doing things myself and I don't like asking for help, especially when it comes to my spiritual walk. I want to be strong enough on my own. But hey earth to Kellie, I'm not. One of the things I've always looked down my nose at was...Bible reading plans. I wanted to be strong enough to find my own path through the Word and I thought that I could follow the Spirit enough to just let Him lead me "wherever the winds may take us." And even though, yes, He can and yes, I could through Him...I haven't.

Last night, I googled "Bible reading plans." I picked one. And I've started it. And I'm learning that what I pridefully thought was a just crutch for half-hearted Christians...can actually be the directional guidance needed for wayward, weak sisters like me.

I want to know Jesus, friends. Not just as a name or a Deity I pray to, but as my best friend, my confidant, my stability and my fullness of joy.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday ~ Of Children and Of One Who Might Still Be a Child-at-Heart

Welcome back to Monday, friends and family!

I'll admit it. I was not ready for the weekend to be over. I used to be that girl who came into work on Monday all ready to go and never understood the whole "I hate Mondays" thing. Folks, things have changed. I now understand. But at least Monday means that it's the beginning of a whole new week that I can work and make money and just be that much closer to being rich and famous some day. Hey, check out that silver lining, eh? 

Anyways, this post isn't about Monday, actually. It's about Saturday morning, in which I picked up Bethany and David and brought them to "Auntie's house" for the morning, in hopes that my sister would be able to get some extra much-needed sleep.

{ Ever since I was younger, I've loved these cars that Chevron gas stations put out. Aren't they cute? I've been collecting them as fun toys for the nephlings }

{ I'm thrilled to say that I now have my own toy box, which ahem, also doubles as my tv stand. Isn't that Peter Rabbit cute? I love bargains! }

So, that's how I spent my Saturday morning - playing with toys, eating peanut-butter-toast and grapes and watching Strawberry Shortcake with a little boy snuggling in my lap and a little girl commandeering my bed as her personal tv watching platform. It was a lovely.

And on a completely unrelated topic, I'm super excited, because...I found a swingset in town! Now, I love my little town - it's basically a modern-day Mayberry where it feels like everybody knows everybody else and you smile and wave at people as you drive down the street.  But it's lacking in one important detail - even though there are numerous parks in town, none of them have had swing sets! Believe me, I've looked, but after countless searches (even looked online!) for a swing set, I'd finally given up. 

But last night, as I was out taking an evening stroll a few blocks from my house...there, tucked in an itty-bitty corner park that I'd not even known existed because it was so small...was a swing set. And not only was there a swing set, but there was a tire swing and one of those old-fashioned big twirly riding things that make you sick because they spin so fast but you absolutely love anyway! It was like the park that forgot that swings and twirly-riding things are supposed to be "dangerous for children" and therefore, a "liability." May it ever forget it, for I have found in it's sweet embrace my new sanctuary.

Have a lovely Monday, everybody! Have I thanked you lately for sticking around and doing life with me here on this blog? I don't think I have, so...


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday ~ The Day My Heart Got A Little Bit Bigger

Sometimes the best days aren't the days that are full of extraordinary adventures, but instead, are the ones that fill your heart to overflowing with the joys and tears of ordinary life.

And yesterday was one of those days. An ordinary day that, at it's heart, held the height up triumph. Because after nine months of waiting, I finally got to meet Baby Joshua, my nephew, who threw wide the door to the inner circle of my heart and made his little home there.

Can you see that? That's auntie-pride oozing out of this post. :)

My day started at 5:33am with a phone call from my brother-in-law Mark asking if I could come over and stay with a sleeping Bethany and David while he and Kristine headed to the hospital. I was out of bed and in my car within probably three minutes. And it's a good thing I live so close, because Baby Josh was born a whole twelve minutes after they got to the hospital! That's only 45 minutes between me waking up to the come-over phone call and the actual birth! Baby Josh's a fast one. :)

Left: David's face as he sees his little brother for the first time.
Right: Bethany holding Joshua for the first time. The first of many times. :)

It's easy to see that Bethany is in love. She was glued to Josh's side, hugging, petting and lovingly caressing his little head almost non-stop.

Left: Davo was excited about the baby...but I think it's also safe to say that this momma-lovin' boy was actually more excited to see his mommy. :)
Right: baby Josh.

David being handed his little brother.

A family of five!

Baby lovin'.

Mark's parents arrived at the same time that me and the kids got there. The room was fairly bursting with excitement!

And then Auntie Kellie got a turn. Or three. ;)

Left: Grandpa and his grand-kids.
Right: holding baby Josh also now consistently involves having Bethany draped across your arm or lap. She loves her little brother!

I took the day off work, just because that's the kind of Auntie that I am...or maybe it's just because I CAN'T STAND not being a part of the birth-days of my nieces and nephews!

As I drove Bethany and David to the hospital yesterday evening, I was truly just marveling at the blessings of the day, big and small. The blessing of Josh himself. The blessing of a quick, "easy" delivery. The fact that I'd moved closer to my sister just a month ago which enabled me to get over there fast (otherwise, it might just have been a road-side delivery by daddy!). The blessing of getting to spend this life-changing day with my niece and nephew. The fact that my boss is just so awesome that she gives me these kinds of days off! 

And then, my favorite part - the immense privilege and overwhelming joy of being the one to take Bethany and David to the hospital to meet their little brother for the very first time.

I'm a proud auntie of six.
With one more due later this year.

I'm blessed, ya'll!

Baby Josh, I love you already!