Friday, May 2, 2014

Why Bikes? Why Habitat? Why Us?

I was duped.
My Clever boys
Next week is Mother's day. Mother's Day is for moms. It's a day where moms get to sleep in, eat breakfast in bed, long hot soaks in the tub with bubbles and no action figures. Other people make lunch for you. You go to church and they give you a flower. It's Mom's special day to relax.
I was hoodwinked.
By my husband and my sweet charming son.
"Hey mom," They said.
"Wanna go on a bike ride?" they said.
"For Mother's day. Because we love you." They Said.
Turns out the bike ride is 52 miles. Stinkers!

I'M JUST KIDDING!! I knew what I was getting into. 

But it's not just any bike ride. 

Do you know what Habitat is? Do you know what Habitat does?

Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that builds affordable housing, and works with families financially to allow them to live in and own their own home. A safe permanent dwelling. So families can experience the security and blessing of living in a place they can call their own. 
The safety of living in a well built house that isn't falling down around them. A house that will keep them warm in the winter. A house that will keep them dry in the rain. A house where their children can play, and learn, and grow and dream. 

I have always had a house like that. I'll bet you have too. 
My Childhood home

Try to imagine for a moment how your life would be different if didn't know these things as a child or even as an adult. 

Why a bike ride?
Jonathan's artwork 2013

Well, in all honesty, it's just an activity that some people involved in Habitat enjoy. It's a way to get the word out. It's a way for people who are passionate about bike riding to take what they love and use it to raise money and awareness for Habitat. 
The house Jonathan built to take to school to raise money, 2013

Why are WE riding?
Great question. Because we're dumb.

I kid! I kid! Everette several years ago, was asked to serve on the Habitat Board of Directors. He served for several years but continued to be involved in a more technical capacity. As Everette was finishing his time on the Board, he stuck a bug in my father's ear about a  position opening up. My Dad now works for Habitat, doing... uhh... I'm not sure exactly what his title is, he does a little bit of everything. With a big focus on managing the equipment and building materials.  And stuff. 

Then a few years ago.. Everette and I were going through a phase in our marraige, where we really didn't like each other. And really didn't like to do stuff together, or be around each other. 
Hey! I'm just keeping it real here, folks. 
This is not really a great way to be married. Enter, bikes. In an effort intentionally spend more time together, we started riding bikes. Slowly.
It's really a great balance for our tortoise and hare personalities. Everette strapped our toddler into the bike trailer (i.e. Wind sock), and he slowed down enough for me, the tortoise to keep up with him. 
The wind sock
 So we began riding. And Riding. And we remembered that we loved each other. And we realized when you are exhausted from riding a million miles, who's turn to take out the trash, doesn't seem that critical. 
Last year, Everette decided he was going to combine his love for his son and for biking and his heart for Habitat and do the Cover Indiana Ride with Jonathan. Just the first day of the week long tour.
Jonathan is six now and he no longer fits in the "wind sock" much to Everette's relief.
Jonathan and Everette riding in the Cover Indiana 

 But he's not quite ready for a 52 mile solo trek. So we bought a WeeHoo! The WeeHoo attaches to the back of Everette's bike and they ride together. Jonathan can take breaks, but they are a team. Team Mills. They rode 52 miles from Lafayette to Crawfordsville, Indiana. And I drove the SAG wagon. 
Me, in the van, with the junk.

But their team wasn't complete. They missed me. Aww..

So Everette asked me to join them. And I said yes. Because I love him. And I love Jonathan. And I love my dad. And I like bike riding. And I think what Habitat is doing for our community is awesome. 

Now that you have heard my awesome story, I know you want to get involved too. Here's how you can help. 
You can donate money. You don't have to give up your mother's day breakfast in bed. But if you donate money, then I won't give up mine in vain. 
Our goal is raise $3000. What? Yep. $3000 for a bathroom. A Habitat bathroom costs $3000. And we want some other mother to sit is a hot bubble bath
The interlopers in my bathtub (that's my niece back there).

In the words of my delightful son, help us "raise money for people who don't have houses."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Year of the Dog

Anyone who has ever known me for any amount of time, knows that I am not a dog lover.
Not really at all. But still I find myself with a large obnoxious dog. Why? Because I am married, and being married requires a lot of sacrifice. Just ask Everette. :) The story of how I ended up with a dog is a long story for another time. But the fact remains I have a dog.

As far as dogs go, we have been pretty fortunate. He doesn't get into the trash (only rarely when it over full). He never destroyed a diaper. He doesn't jump up. He doesn't get on counters. He is incredibly tolerant of children and he is rather protective of Jonathan. 
That being said. I HAVE HAD IT UP TO HEAR WITH THAT DOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Remember a week ago when I posted these beautiful pictures

The fruit of my labor of an afternoon spent in the beautiful sunshine on my knees digging in the earth.
Something I generally enjoy.... as long as I have gloves on, and my hands don't get dirty. (I know I am a paradox)

By Friday, they pretty much looked like this.

Decimated. Barren.

By my ridiculous dog.

At the time I was unsure how much was bunny damage and how much was dog damage.
I am now fairly certain it was dog destruction.

Saturday, I zipped over to Bennett's to buy my second twenty dollar flat of broccoli and cabbage. Since a monsoon had just been through, I wanted to wait a few days for the soil to drain. So I placed my flat full of beautiful green broccoli plants just inside the garage. Certain it was too close to the house for the the bunnies to come munching. Two hours later, I walked outside to absolute carnage. Max, the dog, had pulled three packs of three broccoli plants out of the flat. Yanked the tiny tender plants out of the sleeve, roots and all, chomped off the beautiful green leaves and left the decimation splayed across the driveway. I was too angry to do anything more than rescue the rest of my plants. It was one of those moments, where self-control was hanging on by a thin thread, and dangling violently in the breeze. I believe my body was trembling with anger. I did what any good woman would do. Left it on the driveway for Everette to deal with.

Monday, I set out to plant what remained from my veggie flat. I replanted EVERYTHING I had planted only a week before. Broccoli, and Cabbage. Max had eaten everything in the bed except for the two Chinese Cabbage plants (No one wants to admit that their dog is racial profiling, but he totally barks when the Chinese Delivery guy comes by).   Again the day was beautiful, and my heart was full as I bent over the dirt, thinking of a beloved friend of mine and Master Gardener, and the conversation we've shared over the years about vegetables and gardens. A friend, who was, that very day, leaving this world for the next.

I sat back once again, satisfied with the fruits of my labor. I meticulously sprayed Deer Away over every little chute. Main ingredient: Putrefied Egg Solids. Yep it smells as delightful as it sounds. It is good for keeping bunnies and deer and most dogs away from your vegetation.

Tuesday I went outside between rain showers. To discover this...

Total Broccoli Devastation.

THAT BLASTED Dog had made it a sport. He left his trophies. He uprooted my broccoli plants, chomped off the leaves and tossed them about for play.

Then there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. It wasn't pretty people.

So now we bought a fence, and another twenty dollars of broccoli. That's right folks. $60 in broccoli plants. I told Everette I could buy a lot of broccoli at the grocery store. But now it's personal.

I'll keep you updated as the saga continues. If you see an ad on craigslist for a vegetarian dog, don't be surprised. Even Everette has his limits when it comes to his vegetable patch.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wedding Finale

Ok. ok. Enough is enough. This will be my last post about the wedding weekend. That is of course until I change my mind and write something else because this is my blog and I can do whatever I want. :)

Have I mentioned that the wedding was beautiful. Just beautiful. Picture perfect. It was smallish and intimate. and just so much gosh darn fun.

Once again, the pictures are all from Aaron Ide. Except this one! I took this one, of Karie and Aaron Ide (uhh with his camera). Thanks again Aaron!

The reception was across the parking lot at The Stables, you know, where they keep the horses...
Here's the view from the balcony where cocktails were served....

Beautiful flowers. Beautiful flowers.

Table cards. Hey! I made those. And by made those, I mean printed out the template Meghan sent me and glued it onto the purple paper I chose.

 Head table.  Family style. It was so fun to sit across from people and have a conversation.


Cake! Wedding Cake! Yummy Delicious cake! Wedding cake was three different kinds, I don't even know what kind I was served, but it was delightful. The grooms cake was Oreo served with glasses of milk. I won't lie, I had a piece of each. 

 Bride and groom's first dance. Now things were just getting started!

Did I mention that I had a great time?!

 Guess who else had a great time! Grant and Kelsey, you are up next! I can't wait.

Proud Mammas!

 Everette, always ready to help out!

Party is over! Good night everyone! It's been grand! 

I told you this wedding was amazing!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Wedding Part 12

So I'm back.

Sorry about being gone. I started reading a book. And when I read a book, I pretty much don't want to do anything else. Like blogging. Or laundry. Or dishes. Or vacuuming. You can ask Everette, he will happily agree.
Plus I trimmed my fingernails and I trimmed them a little too close. So it hurt my fingers to type. I know. I have real problems.  You all feel real bad for me. I do too.
Anyway back to the task at hand. You are still waiting to hear about the awesome wedding.
All 3 of you. Make that 2, my mother was already there.

The rehearsal was much like any other rehearsal. Except that it was short, which was awesome.
Then we all headed out to Murder Rock for the rehearsal dinner. That's right I said Murder Rock. I'm not sure what you are thinking, but you are wrong. The name had something to do with events during the Civil War. But I didn't really read up on it. I would say that if you were looking to murder someone, this place wouldn't be bad. It was on top of the most giant hill in the middle of nowhere. You drove on a road that made you want to put your hands up in the air and scream, because as you crested a hill, you weren't sure if there was a road over the other side. It is similar to the Beast at Kings Island. Only, it was longer than 70 seconds. But then when you arrived, you were literally sitting on top of the world (or at least Branson Missouri). The view was breathtaking, especially at sunset. I have no pictures. Because who has time for pictures when you are living.

The drive home, in the dark, was, exhilaratingly terrifying. I know, because I drove it. I used my GPS and it was saying things like, "go until the road drops out beneath you, free fall 900 feet and then turn left." It was super fun. Let's do it again.
Let's skip all of the hair styling, and boring stuff and get to the wedding.

The day was sunny and warm. The view was spectacular. The Bride was stunning. And I got home and realized I had two pictures. Lame.

So I will shamelessly steal what others made available on Facebook. In fact Aaron Ide, husband of one of the bridesmaids took all of these amazing pictures. I did not take any.  These are all his. Thanks Aaron.

This is the Chapel at Integrity Hills. Behind it is breathtaking view of the Ozarks and Table Rock Lake
The Groomsmen: Everette (sorry ladies, he's taken), Grant (soon-to-be-groom himself), and Dr. Jack (that's right ladies, he's a doctor, and he is single, and I can also say, he's a pretty good dancer)

The Father of the groom, has nothing to do except be anxious.
That is one proud Mamma! Mary A Mills and her son, the groom, Brad.

This is Meghan's mother Margaret, and her two brothers, Robert and Jared (Left to Right)
Look at my handsome escort!
 So the big question of the weekend, was Jonathan going to go down the aisle alone. We spent a great deal of time practicing, But in the end he went down with me. I was a little disappointed, but in the end, I don't think it mattered.
Here comes the Bride! Beautiful. 

The View from the pew. Not bad.
The wedding was straight out of a storybook, or better yet, a movie...
except..... duh. duh. duh....

This is me... and Karie. Her husband took all of these beautiful pictures. 
Karie stood next to me at the front of the chapel.
Five minutes into this dreamlike wedding, a GIANT and I do mean Giant wasp floated down and landed on her golden hair. 
My instinct was to recoil. But I was not going to be the one to ruin this wedding. So I held firm with my smile  in place, but my eyes trained on the killer wasp seconds away from injecting it's deadly stinger into Karie's poor head. I was sending telepathic messages to the wasp to move. I was trying to decide if I should warn Karie to spare her life, at the risk of ruining this picture perfect event or if I should just scoot closer to her so I could catch her should she slump over from the deadly sting. Thus keeping her erect until the ceremony was over so the bride was none the wiser, and nothing would ruin her glorious day. Having spent the weekend with Karie, I was confident she would prefer I do the latter. Suddenly the wasp took flight. 
It was now my mission to destroy the deadly wasp, and save the entire wedding from imminent peril. I was limited to commanding the wasp with only my eyes, as my body was frozen in the perfect bridesmaid pose. I was shooting death rays with my eyes, but the wasp was deftly outmaneuvering me.
I then began to concentrate trying to will the wasp closer to me, Risking my own death. My plan was command the wasp to land on the ground close to me, so that I could free my foot from bridesmaid stone statue pose and squish it with my lethal bridesmaid shoes. Trust me, they really were lethal. But the wasp was smart. And at the last second it swooped up out of my reach.
I nearly gasped at the sight of that smug little bug defiantly landing it's giant ugly wasp body right on the bride herself. But I never broke character. I was a bridesmaid after all.
While trying to decide the best course of action, to my relief the wasp buzzed off the dress. Suddenly the wasp tripped himself in the air, and dive bombed to the ground. Just as the preacher was stepping toward the happy couple.  I held my breath, concentrating all my super powers on maneuvering the preachers foot directly onto the struggling wasp. But alas, I was unsuccessful. Thwarted again. 
But I guess the pesky wasp saw the writing on the wall, and he high-tailed it to the back of the chapel where he was no longer a threat to anyone, or to me at least. 
And that, it the story of how I, the super bridesmaid saved the day, and the bride and groom and pretty much the entire wedding was totally unaware.

 Tomorrow we'll close this puppy out with the reception.