Selah Springs: The Tweedledummies

On the 2nd day of our vacation, my Mom and I loaded up my 2 little girls and flitted off to the charming city of Fredericksburg, Texas, to spend the day shopping and eating and doing all sorts of non-Ranchy girly stuff.

The day had started off very well, but as it wore on, I noticed that my Mom was acting a little strange, walking slowly, turning down restaurant ideas even though she had skipped breakfast and it was nearing 1:00 p.m., and as I finally turned around to study her and make sure all was well, I immediately realized what had been the cause of her odd behavior. She had been harboring a surprise…

For there, walking toward us on the busy sidewalk, was my Aunt Bea, Mama’s sister and the closest thing I have to a second mother. Her 3-hour drive to Fredericksburg was much more manageable than her 9-hour drive to our house in Oklahoma, so she had loaded up early that morning, determined to spend the day with us and join us for a relaxing night on the Ranch.

We embraced and laughed and chattered about this sneaky plan (that apparently everyone had been in on but me), but the funny thing about our relationship with Aunt Bea is that, within minutes, we were shopping and mozying about as if we spend every minute of every day together. The 3 of us have always had such a bond, and few things make us happier than simply being in each other’s company.

We are also the living emodiment of Tweedledee, Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber, and spend most of our time together laughing at ourselves and/or each other.

Especially when we are out among our fellow citizens.

Our conversation immediately turned toward where we should have lunch, a discussion Mom and I had been having since we left for Fredericksburg. We so badly wanted to eat something heart-breakingly delicious, in a restaurant that was chock-full of cozy and inspiring ambiance…you know, somewhere perfect. Somewhere that would leave us full of longing and expectation for our next trip to the Hill County.

“So what do you think?…” Mom asked, looking down the street lined with quaint shops and restaurants and fudgeries and ice cream parlors.

“Uhhh…” I replied. “I dunno…I just want to eat somewhere really, really good.”

“What kind of food sounds good?” Aunt Bea asked.

“Hmmm…” said Mom. “Something really, really yummy.”

A morning of thinking, and we were still absolutely clueless.

“Let’s ask someone what they would recommend.” my Mom suggested.

A couple just happened to be walking out of the Brewery in front of us. My Mom hailed them. “How was the food there?” she asked.

“Oh, it was delicious!” the woman raved. “Really good.”

If you remember, “really good” was what we had been looking for, but, upon peering into the windows, we decided we’d rather not try it. It lacked ambiance and perfection.

But our stomachs were really starting to get hungry. We wandered down the street once more, pursuing something we weren’t even sure existed.

“Ugh!” I exclaimed. “I just don’t know what to do. Let’s ask someone else.”

“Yes, let’s…” agreed Aunt Bea.

Looking up, we saw a hefty motorcycle lady sitting on a park bench, smoking a cigarette.

“How about her?” my Mom asked an unsure look on her face.

Our heads nodded while our brains vehemently disagreed, but it was like we were no longer acting of our own accord. We had shifted into our signature Tweedledummy autopilot and were moving, as a group, into the land of no return (at least where our lunch was concerned).

“Hi…” my Mom approached her. “Can you recommend any good places to eat?”

“Oh, sure!” she croaked, pointing at a restaurant we had passed by numerous times. “I ate lunch at that German restaurant down the street. It was awesome.”

We smiled widely like we always do and exclaimed our thanks, as we said encouraging things like “that sounds delicious!” and “oh, great! We’ve been wanting some good German food!” and immediately began to walk in the direction she had pointed us.

We didn’t look at each other.

We didn’t talk.

We just walked.

Onward, Christian soldiers, too timid to disagree with a Motorcycle Mama, even though she was as kind and friendly as could be.

Did we ask each other whether or not German food even sounded good?

No.

Did we discuss whether or not we should seek out anyone else’s opinion?

No.

Did any single one of us express our mutual reluctance to enter in to the place where our feet were taking us?

Nuh-uh.

Forward we trudged, obedient to our new friend’s opinion, unwilling to hurt her feelings by walking in the opposite direction of the place she recommended.

We got a table…

we sat ourselves down…

and we cheerfully perused the menu of German fare that we did not really want to eat.

If someone had drawn a picture of us, sitting around our table, blinking at our menus with smiles pasted on our faces, the thought bubbles emerging from our heads most certainly would have read “Duh…”.

But it gets worse.

By this point, my brain was so exhausted by the entire ordeal, and my mind was so removed from my body, I made our situation even more hilarious and ridiculous and inexplicably chose the most far-fetched item on the menu…

The “Texas Schnitzel”.

Why?

I have no idea.

I’m sure that this Tex-German concoction would be delicious to many palates, but the hot mess of schnitzel, guacamole, sour cream and melted cheese that soon sat in front of me was a far cry from what I had set my heart on that day, and I spent the next 30 minutes or so trying to figure out how to rearrange my plate to make it look like I had devoured my lunch rather than picked at it.

We were less than enamored, but regardless of our true opinion of the place, Mom, Aunt Bea and I continued to talk brightly and happily about our restaurant of “choice” and the “awesome food” we were “enjoying”,  paid the whopping $50 check without batting an eye, and finally, rose and said “Auf Weidersehen!” to our lunch of madness…

But we laughed all the way home.

Which is, after all, exactly what Tweedledummies do best. Self-entertainment is our forte.

~

Coming up next…Selah Springs: The Cave

The Rock Farm is Not My Home (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1

So like I said in yesterday’s post…”The Rock Farm is NOT my home.”

~

Nor is it a farm at all, but rather, a large piece of property that my Daddy bought when I was in High School, about 1 mile down the road from his house, accessible at the very end of a “Dead End” road.

As precious as the “homestead” is to me, and as cherished are its gently rolling hills and majestic oaks, the Rock Farm is foreign and…and… and creepy. While my Dad seems to prefer the Rock Farm to the beautiful tamed land that surrounds his house, I suppose I just never have grown attached to it.

But how could I?…

While the land I grew up on inspired daydreams and sentimentality and a deep love for the gentle side of nature, the Rock Farm still manages to feed the darker and more morbid side of my imagination. The minute my Daddy turns into the gate that leads to this wily land, I go from dreaming of autumn hayrides and writing books to vividly picturing giant black bears and mountain lions jumping out at us and bad guys making moonshine on top of the hill and…dead bodies floating in the creek. Sorry…I was born morbid and there is no cure.

The Rock Farm is wild. In my mind, it is reminiscent of Jurassic Park, with its steep hill covered in huge boulders (most likely crawling with poisonous snakes), towering skinny trees that block the horizon and almost make a sky-high roof over the acreage, pterodactyl-like birds that live in the very tippy-tops of those trees and hover above us, most likely looking for pedestrians (like me!) to swoop down and carry away, and a big river that runs right through the middle of it, probably also full of deadly snakes, surrounded by sandy inclines that look as scary as the rest of the place. And then there’s that Native American burial site on the property…

It utterly astounds me that these two patches of land sit roughly 1 mile apart, for truly, they could reside on different continents in different eras of time, one bringing to mind Beatrix Potter, the other, The Lord of the Flies.

But like I said, my Dad loves it, and has worked hard to make it an outdoorsman’s heaven on earth. There are wild hogs to hunt, and lots of deer, and ducks, and fish, all in one convenient and masculine locale.

Oh, and before I move on, there is one other detail I should mention about going on Kawasaki Mule rides with my Dad, especially to the Rock Farm; a true pioneer spirit, he gets lost in the great outdoors. And I’m not talking “lost” as in “I-don’t-know-where-I-am” but “lost” as in “I-love-it-so-much-out-here-I-think-we-should-stay-5-hours.”

After looking at my Mom with desperation (and receiving her responding smirk of amusement), I said goodbye to her and and my sweet Baby Betsie and loaded up in the Mule, Gideon wedged in between me and my Dad, Rebekah snug on my lap. Despite my misgivings, we took off down the driveway, most likely to be killed and never seen again.

But as we sailed down the remote gravel road, cool wind blowing our hair back from our faces, and then entered the gate to begin that long, steep descent into dinosaur land, I begrudgingly had to admit that the view was kind of amazing, especially from my seat safe in the mule, Rebekah’s warm (and gloriously heavy) body sinking into my lap. Hearing Gideon’s one million questions about everything we passed, I thought of city children, cooped up in apartment buildings, who would possibly go an entire lifetime without seeing a place like this, and I loosened up a bit, even as I gazed warily off into the distance looking for those bears. Gideon and Rebekah were laughing as we bumped perilously down that steep road, driving past “the scary tree” (that seriously looks like it could grace the cover of a children’s Halloween book), passing the giant hill of boulders, crossing a large pasture and slowing down, coming to a stop on the “landbridge” my Dad built up over the river.

He turned off the Mule and my heart sank even lower than it had since I found we were coming to the Rock Farm. “Why are we stopping here?” I thought to myself…

“Who’s goin’ with me to check the corn feeder?” my Dad asked, stepping out of the mule.

“Seriously?” I asked. “We’re supposed to get out?”

“You don’t have to.” Daddy answered.

“I’m wearing flip flops…” I feebly replied. “And Rebekah has on sandles.”

“Gid, you can come with me,” he said, and Gideon, after retrieving his camouflage toy rifle from the gun rack, hopped down to follow his Granddaddy. My Dad pulled a freshly harvested cob of corn from the flatbed of the Mule, and handed it to Rebekah. “This is for you.” he said, before turning to walk into the wilderness.

“Thanks!” she piped up, with a big smile on her face.

“You’re leaving us?…” I asked, misgiving continuing to enter my already fearful soul.

“You can go with us.” he reminded me.

“But…I’m wearing flip flops…and Rebekah is wearing sandles…” I repeated, eyeing the rocks and the river and the sand that lie ahead.

“We’ll just be a minute.” my Dad assured me. (Which, to an outdoorsman, loosely means 1 hour and 53 minutes).

“Okay…” I said, my voice growing smaller with each word I said. I didn’t want the pterodactyls to hear me.

Gideon pulled his gun strap over his shoulder and began trying to step across the river on the stepping stones, high weeds on either side of him. Picking up a large stick on the ground, he used it to aid him in his crossing, and I fought back the urge to ask if he needed help or even to say “Be careful!! Watch out for snakes!!” It took major self-control to keep my overprotective mouth shut.

Rebekah, watching his every move with bated breath, quietly whispered, “He is so brave.”

I knew then that what I was allowing Gideon to do was a good thing. This was boy stuff, and I needed to get used to it, regardless of the fact that the son I was sending off into the Wild still gets slathered in Johnson’s Baby Lotion after his baths.

“Gideon,” I called out, as he finished crossing the rocks, “Rebekah said that you are so brave.”

He smiled hugely, then turned and tromped off after his Granddaddy. But before he turned the curve of the river out of our sight, he looked back at us and waved, shoulders back, head held high. This was a big moment for him. “Rebekah!” he yelled. “I’ll be right back, and when I come, I’m going to give you this big stick to fight off wild hogs!”

“Okay!” she yelled back, waving, “Thank you, Bubba!!”

Turning to look at me, she said conspiratorially, “Mama, do you know what I’m going to do if a wild hog comes to get us?”

“What?” I asked.

“I’m going to throw this corn right into his mouth.” she said, holding up the yellow cob that Granddaddy had handed her before he left us on the landbridge to die.

“Then what will happen?” I asked, a smile of amusement stealing across my face.

“The wild hog will say ‘Oh thank you! That is so good!” she said, in a deep and wild-hog-inspired voice.

This made me laugh, and the two of us continued to chat, as we waited for our menfolk to return to us.

Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, my Dad pleasantly surprised me by returning straightaway, and before I knew it, we were on our way again, Rebekah holding on tightly to her corncob and to the stick her Bubba had promised her with one hand and a new treasure from Granddaddy in the other hand — 6 beautiful tiny shells that he found near the river. I loved looking down at her tightly-clenched fist, and tried to imagine what girlish and innocent thoughts were racing through her head as she held on to her treasure for dear life. I miss the simplicity of childhood sometimes.

“Well that wasn’t so bad…” I thought as we pulled back onto the path that would lead us to the gate and then back “home”…

Nope.

I should have known better. Rather than driving back to the main road, my Dad made a sharp right turn and drove us into the heart of the forest, shoulder-high weeds surrounding us, grasshoppers smacking us in the face. “Let’s go look for some deer!” my Dad bellowed with a grin on his face.

I spent the next 20 minutes or so trying to understand why we were here as I held on to Rebekah for dear life lest she bounce right out of my lap, occasionally brushing spider webs out of my hair.

But it is no use to try to understand the mind of a pioneer man. Just do your best to enjoy the ride, and know that “this too shall pass”.

And it did. Never spotting a deer, we eventually mozied our way back to the home I love, unloaded from the Kawasaki Mule, loaded up into the quiet, electric (and more spacious) Mule, and picked up my Mom and Betsie for a beautiful drive through the 160 acres that sits right in my heart with my family and most cherished friends. My agitated spirit immediately calmed within me, and my gaze moved heavenward as I contemplated the beauty of creation and the grace and power of the Creator. I spent the next 30 minutes or so inwardly singing praises of gratitude for my husband and children, my parents, my homes, my family, my friends, my life, my freedom…everything, really, but the Rock Farm.

The breeze was fresh, the horizon was viewable, and guess what?…

We saw a deer.

(The Rock Farm is apparently not their home, either).

Mrs. Gore Slips and Slides (and pays for it the next day)

A couple of weeks ago, after a full season of photographed birthday parties and social gatherings, wherein our clothing was carefully chosen and our hair was meticulously groomed, I made a total departure.

Total.

Departure.

No cameras and no other adults around, I made an unprecedented decision, and wearing my super-awesome matronly swim dress…from you guessed it, Dillard’s (complete with “waist cinchers” and “hip slimmers”)…I spent the afternoon playing on the Slip n’ Slide with my children and 3 nieces.

It was my 2nd time ever to “play” on a Slip n’ Slide.

If I haven’t told you 54 times already, I am the baby of the family, as well as the only girl. Thus, by the time I had arrived in the Slip n’ Slide stage of life, ours was all ratty and tatty and had been slightly eaten by mice in the garage. When we did pull it out for birthday parties, it was teeming with reckless pre-teen boys, and my timidity and fear (and good common sense!) kept me safely in the house with my Mama.

That’s why I was 22 years old before I ever had the opportunity or the inclination to partake in any kind of  Slip n’ Slide fun.

{would this also be a good time to confess that I never learned to ride a bike? No? Okay. Some other time.}

My cousin’s elementary-aged boys were visiting that summer, and although my parents were hosting them, it was my job to keep them entertained during those long summer days in the middle of nowhere. Setting up a fancy new Slip n’ Slide my Mom had purchased just for them, I watched them make a few runs, and then, in a moment of spontaneity and perhaps a bit of unfulfilled childhood longing, I thought I’d finally give it a try.

Their cheers for me echoed through the distance as I made my stance and set my eye on the target. “Go!” I yelled in my head, and my legs began to run toward the long, yellow plastic runway, crunchy heat-scorched Oklahoma grass breaking underneath my bare feet with every heavy step I took (I’m dense in more ways than one). Reaching the Slip n’ Slide, I lunged, and jumping into the air, I flew

and landed with a thunk, flat on my stomach, the rain-thirsty Oklahoma ground beneath me as rock hard as my skull.

The same skull that I could feel my brain rattling around in as I laid there on the Slip n’ Slide in acute discomfort, vowing never to come near one again.

But it’s true…time has a way of healing all wounds…and Momnesia has obviously made me an absolute lunatic…so when I saw my kids suiting up to go play in the water at my Mom’s house this summer, some kind of madness overtook me. I felt young. I felt spontaneous. I felt charitable, and I didn’t care one whip if my hair got wet or if my cellulite made an appearance.

The kids stared at me, aghast, when they saw me come outside in my bathing suit, not because I was huge or weird looking or an uninvited guest, but because…I was a grown-up.

“You’re swimming?!” my 8-year old niece, Abigail exclaimed, a smile of disbelief lighting up her face.

“Yes!” I replied, with a laugh, which was soon echoed by all the kids as they gathered around me, the novelty of having someone who usually sits in a rocking chair while they swim dare to venture across that secret boundary that keeps kids in the pool and grown-ups comfortable and, most importantly, dry.

“Come on!” they shouted in a cacophany of young voices, 5 sets of hands pulling me toward the Slip n’ Slide.

But I needed to buy some time. Stagefright had set in and I wasn’t ready yet.

“So how do you do this thing?” I asked tentatively.

They gladly demonstrated, each child explaining to me the hows and whens of the Slip n’ Slide, and before I knew it, ready or not, it was my turn.

I stood in position and stared at the obstacle before me. Gee, it looked like fun with its runway of sprinklers on either side and the little pool at the end surrounded by a soft, inflatable ledge …

But it was so far down on the ground. And I felt so stinkin’ tall, the Goliath of the party…no, scratch that….I was the more like the big dumb giant on “Mickey and the Beanstalk”…

“How do I get from here to there?” I calculated in my mind.

But then the encouraging chants of the Lilliputians around me did their magic, and I was off like a retired racehorse, running…and praying…and positively flinching at the thought of having my brain rattle inside my skull like it did 8 summers ago.

Well…the result of my fear and over-thought resulted in a truly sad display of old-lady Slip-n-Slidery, an awkward slide/fall/lying-down/roll that eventually landed me at the finish line, freezing, exposed, and perhaps bruised…but I had done it, and my brain was still resting comfortably inside my spacious skull. As the children swooped down next to me on the Slip n’ Slide, a well of laughter bubbled up from my soul, and mingled with their happy giggles.

“Help her up!” Abigail said, and I felt those 5 sets of hands on my bottom, hoisting me up like I was truly ancient. It amused me to realize exactly how old these kiddos thought I was…and didn’t I feel the same way about my own Mom until I had children of my own?

I took a moment to glance at the expressions on the faces of my own children to gauge what they were thinking of their silly Mama, and what I saw there completely made my day: Gideon was obviously excited, a huge smile lighting up his entire face. But Rebekah’s smile was one of pride and a little bit of wonder, and I noticed that she kept sidling up next to me to hold my hand and partake in the fun right alongside me.

This observation must have spurred me on, and the childish mentality that had overtaken me that strange summer day said “That was fun! I wanna do it again…”

And so I did.

Over and over and over again.

Sometimes I ran and slid with the kids, sometimes I performed alone while they cheered for me, sometimes I stood and threw them down the runway like little rocketships, and finally, I just sat down on the Slip n’ Slide and, instructing the kids to grab my wrists and my ankles, allowed them to pull me all the way down to the end.

I can’t recall ever having so much fun swimming in my entire lifetime of memories.

But there are 2 morals to this story:

1. To my dear young ladies who feel self-conscious in a swimming suit, there is a bright future ahead for you – someday (sooner than you think), you’ll be flopping around on a Slip n’ Slide like a beached whale and won’t care a bit about all your wibblies and wobblies. Because no matter what you look like, you’ll be the most popular girl at the party.

2. The Biblical truth of reaping and sowing applies even to Slip n’ Slides. In this particular instance, the sowing was full of unparalleled excitement and joy; the reaping, however, was 100 degrees of painful. Meaning, I had my fun on Slip n’ Slide Day…but I couldn’t move for 3 days afterward. Pain. Muscle soreness. Headaches. Aches ALL over. Ouch.

Thankfully, there was no permanent damage, and my ego was soaring so high from the sowing that I was able to keep my temporary pain in perspective. But once I was able to move again, I mozied back over to my comfortable rocking chair on swimming days, especially after it was pointed out to me that there there is an age recommendation on the Slip n’ Slide box: ages 6 – 12. So that explains it.

I suppose my Slip n’ Slide days are over.

Now maybe I should see about riding that bike….

Ah, Sweet Fatherhood

When Mr. Gore came home from work yesterday, he volunteered to distract the children for a bit so I could fill some granola orders (another story, altogether). But I had to pause in my cooking to snap a few pictures of the chaos (and the fun!). Of all the pictures I’ve shared on this blog, these are the most representative of our life…

That last picture is my favorite, as well as the last one I snapped before tiptoeing back to the kitchen to make my granola in peace…

Many thanks, Mr. Gore!

A Boy Called Peter

The pants of his Peter Pan costume were hitting far above the ankle.

The shirt was getting more difficult to slip over his head.

And Gideon began to cry…

“Mom, I just really don’t want to grow up anymore.”

“What’s the matter, Gid?” I asked, concerned by this sudden outburst.

“I mean, I want to be 6 on my next birthday, but not any more grown. That’s as grown as I want to be!” he wailed.

And that’s when it hit me.

The Peter Pan costume.

“Gid…” I said, about to cry, myself. “You know we can get you a new Peter Pan costume, right?”

~

He first wore that costume almost 3 years ago…

It was Halloween 2009, and Peter Pan was an obvious choice, for the classic Disney movie had seemingly been the theme of our year – we had watched it countless times. And when we weren’t watching it, we were playing pirates or flying through the house or seeing mermaids in the lake…

{This was, by the way, fitting rather nicely into my master plan, for Peter Pan is one of those clutch-to-my-chest stories that had defined my childhood, my adolescence, my young adulthood…and I was determined to find a way to keep it around}.

Gideon’s cousin Abigail dressed the part of Wendy, her sister Anna represented Tinkerbell, and the happy trio had the best time traipsing and flitting around town with their Halloween treat bags on their arms that perfect October night. (and I’ll give you a dollar if you can guess who dressed as Cap’n Hook – more on that when October gets here!)

But just because Halloween was over the next morning did not mean that Gideon was going to put his costume up in the attic for keepsake memories, or even in the closet for other days…

He lived in it.

He ate in it.

He slept in it.

He wore it…

All. the. time.

And just like his childish hero, he had many wonderful adventures in this special costume.

One day, when he was about 4 years old, he was invited to accompany my husband and our friend, Zac, to a local sporting goods store to buy supplies for the church softball team.

When Mr. Gore came to pick him up from our house in the church van, Gideon was, not surprisingly, dressed as Peter Pan from head to toe, his little foam sword tucked snugly into his Peter Pan belt.

If you think Mr. Gore was embarrassed to be accompanied on an outing with a miniature Peter Pan, you’d be wrong, for in truth, my husband is the one who has taught me to lighten up and let our kids wear what they will (on most days). Thus, he met our son with a huge smile, and complimented him right away. Gideon…er, Peter…ran straight to his arms, excited to be included with the big boys on this fun trip to “town”.

As he turned to wave good-bye to me, that little green hat with a brown feather sticking up in the air, my heart constricted, and I took a mental snapshot of my little lost boy. “If Peter Pan had been this loved by his mother,” I thought, “he never would have stayed in Neverland all those years…”

Off they flew to the sporting goods store, and everything was reportedly ticking along quite nicely…

until Mr. Gore was checking out at the cash register, waiting for the cashier to ring up and bag the many items that needed to be purchased for the softball team.

During the long wait, Gideon had apparently wandered over to take a look at the clothing section behind him…

and the room suddenly exploded with noise.

Turning quickly around, Mr. Gore watched in amazement as clothing rack after clothing rack fell slowly over in domino fashion, one right after another, seven racks in all.

Boom!…

Boom!…

Boom, boom, boom, boom!…

BOOM!

The “dust” settled, clothes lying everywhere, and there in the clearing stood none other than our Peter Pan, his sword raised defensively in his right hand, his eyes as round as saucers.

Where was his pixie dust when he needed it?! For I am quite sure he would have flown the coop if he could have.

As Mr. Gore recounted the hilarity to me when he returned home, I gasped “How did it happen?!”

“We’re not really sure…” he admitted.

“Well what did you do? What did the cashier do?!” I asked, my hand over my mouth.

“We just stood there for a few seconds, and started laughing.” he replied.

As my husband helped the young cashier clean up the mess, he continued to apologize profusely.

“Dude…don’t worry about it man, ” the cashier assured him, “when am I ever going to get to tell a story like this again?…’everything fell over, and there in the middle of it was…Peter Pan.’

It was an epic moment in Mr. Gore’s life, in Zac’s life, in Gideon’s life, and in mine…even though I was not there to witness it firsthand.

Gideon is 5 years old now, and still occasionally squeezes into his beloved costume, a new (and permanent) Wendy-bird by his side:

He won’t stay little forever and he will certainly outgrow that costume in the months to come…

but I pray his adventures never stop.

Miss Sunday’s Third: The End.

Guess What?

This is it…

the FINAL post in Rebekah’s 3rd birthday extravaganza.

I, for one, am exhausted. And frankly, a bit ready to move on to other things. Even Birthday Queens can burn out on birthdays, I suppose.

But I just had to end this series with a collection of photographs that display many things…

1. Typical birthday highs and lows.

2. Girls are nuts.

3. Girls (and women), on their birthdays, are just not to be crossed. Tread lightly, my friends.

The following series of photos were all taken in the course of 30 minutes.

Happy.

Spittin’ mad.

Very sad.

Distraught and in the depths of despair.

Dreamy.

Asleep.

Is she bipolar?

Crazy?

Emotional?

Not completely…

She’s just the birthday girl.

And she is 100% related to her Mother.

Happy Birthday, my dearest darlingest Rebekah Sunday. I will love you to the end of time.

In other words…

Forever.

Even though you’re bossy and have a super mean mad face.

The Wrath of Miss Sunday

I have a new favorite picture of all time…

and I’ve been dying to share the story behind it.

A few weeks ago, Gideon and Rebekah (who were karate-kicking and jumping on my bed) called me into my room and made a special announcement:

“In one hundred years,” Gideon proclaimed, “Me and Rebekah are getting married.”

They were both beaming with childish innocence, and I think they were both quite pleased with their scheme. And let’s face it…I was pleased that they weren’t duking it out and seemed to genuinely like each other at the moment. Thus, rather than explain that brothers and sisters really couldn’t and/or shouldn’t get married, even in one hundred years, I simply said “That’s great!”

Cut to the picture above as we drove all around Tulsa running errands with my Mom.

Rebekah had just told her Grandmother of their marriage plans…

and Gideon chose to drop some heartbreaking news from his seat on the row in front of hers.

“We aren’t getting married, Rebekah.”

Shall we take a look at that photo again?…

“Yes we are.” she emphatically said.

“No…we aren’t.” he said matter-of-factly. “Abigail told me that we can’t get married.”

Rebekah was greatly troubled by this turn of events.

“We are too!” she barked.

“Here we go…” said Betsie (with her eyes) from her rear-facing carseat.

“No we’re not, Rebekah” Gideon persisted.

“That’s not nice, Gid!” she yelled.

Her wrath turned to sadness…

which turned back into plumb-mad wrath…

Hell truly hath no fury like a woman – or a sister – scorned.

Gideon finally did have mercy on her and said “Well…I guess after I get real married, I could pretend marry you. But I can’t be pretend married to you as long as I’m real married…”

Whatever that meant, she accepted their new terms, and before I knew it they had both fallen asleep and our family was once more at peace.

I’m just glad the two lovebirds worked it out.

And I pity the fool who ever breaks Miss Sunday’s heart.

Mrs. Gore’s Year in Review

~ Am I the queen of publishing things late or what? Here is my 2011 year in review ~

Any way you slice it, 2011 was a good year.

Minus the part where Regis said he was “moving on”.  And minus all the times my kids threw up and the 3,487 poopy diapers I changed.

Here are some of the highlights:

Funniest moment: When I jumped around the corner with a light saber and scared the living daylights out of Mr. Gore while he was brushing his teeth. First time I’ve EVER scared him since I’ve known the man. I laughed for 20 minutes. For 2 of those minutes, I was doubled over.

Scariest moment: One word. Scorpions.

Worst moment: Realizing that Rebekah’s finger was in the closed hinge of the van door…did I tell you guys about that?

Saddest moment: When Rapunzel was kidnapped from her Mother and Father. Geeze, Disney…they missed her entire childhood?! That’s just harsh.

Weirdest moment: When Baby Betsie grabbed both of my ears, pulled my face directly in front of hers and started suckling my chin.

Best meal: When Small Elephant (that’s me!) ate 4 pieces of French toast, 2 eggs, and 6 pieces of bacon at Cracker Barrel. The very thought of it is saliva-inducing. Almost makes me want to be pregnant again. (for more detail, click here).

Best blog: You tell me.

Best dessert: Baked fudge at The Bistro in Tulsa.

Best purchase: 75% off industrial barstools from Anthropologie on Black Friday. The best part was that I woke up, rolled over, clicked “buy”, shut my laptop, and went back to sleep.

Best musical discovery: Max Raabe and the Palaste Orchestre (namely singing their rendition of “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf”) and Celtic Thunder. True to his nature, Gideon has become obsessed with both “bands”, meaning we watch a lot of all those guys on their PBS specials/infomercials. Our coolness is unprecedented.

Best reads: “The Help”…”Interrupted”…”7″…”The Hunger Games”…”Sense and Sensibility”…it was a good years for books, of both the new and the revisited variety.

And my family awards:

Best use of costuming and accessories, including, but not excluded to, mustaches: Gideon

This kid knows how to rock a ‘stache. This one in particular perfectly matched his hair, causing his Mother to do two double-takes. I thought it might have sprouted overnight!

Bossiest by a mile: Miss Sunday

choke-holding her baby sister. Betsie never stood a chance…

Best (and most loveable) baby on the planet for all time never to be outmatched: Betsie Fair

sleeping through her first bath. This baby was a slice of heaven.

Best at consistently being the best: Mr. Gore, no contest.

our first time at In-N-Out Burger before seeing the stage production of Les Miserables. What a date!

A Good Day for Mrs. Gore:

Christmas 2011

A Bad Day for Mrs. Gore:

8 months pregnant, mustached, and practically miserable in every way.

Best lessons of the year:

1. The Holy Spirit is not to be ignored.

2. Earthquakes suck.

3. Being funny is better than being pretty (as proven by the photo I just shared with you in the foggiest hope that I might get a laugh).

‘Twas a good year, was it not?

What were your 2011 highlights? If you can remember them…