Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Welcome to Holland


Emily Perl Kingsley.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Monday, June 28, 2010


warning: this post may be overloaded with gushing about ross pinson. proceed with reading at your own risk.

we woke up early & enjoyed a quick little breakfast of sliced cherry tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs at our kitchen table.  the sun was just coming up on our drive to the airport; a brightly glowing grapefruit warming the cool blue sky and thin cotton candy clouds.  we just couldn't stop looking at each other.  thankfully, we'd both given up on stifling that pesky uncomfortable feeling in our throats last night and finally let it out; so this morning was calm and warm with love.  until we got to the airport, that is, but even that wasn't so bad.  i parked the car and got out with him, and we must have looked like a couple of high schoolers the way we were kissing and looking longingly into each others eyes. the whole goodbye scene was kind of silly, which was nice and it helped the tears go away.  but hey, the longest we've been apart since we've been married is a whopping two nights, and today we embarked on our 5 weeks of long distance marriage- so i don't feel too bad about being cheesy or a little teary or anything else for that matter.

i know it's easy to say right now, since i was just in ross' arms a few hours ago, but i feel really good about this season.  ross prayed over us last night and again this morning, and theres a peace in my heart about how sweet this time apart will be.  the way ross and i enjoyed every little minute this past weekend proved that sometimes we need a deadline to stop taking our time together for granted.  and speaking of this past weekend, i have to take a few minutes to gush & brag about how cool my husband is. 

we got back on sunday from what seriously felt like a second honeymoon.  ross planned every detail & kept everything as a surprise, and he completely swept me off my feet.

late friday afternoon we arrived in dallas and pulled up to an incredibly beautiful hotel, the adolfus. i fell in love with the gorgeous french style and had ross cracking up as i freaked out about all the beautiful furniture, mirrors, fabrics, etc. straight up swoon. 
we quickly headed out to catch our dinner reservations at a resturant ross picked out for the evening, nonna. mouth wateringly-delicious. incredible service, atmosphere and especially food. the lobster ravioli is to die for. 


afterwards we headed to the big event of the weekend/year: WICKED! i'm afraid even my most eleoquent descriptions would fall flat & i would fail miserably at describing what was by far one of (if not the) most entertaining, talent-packed, captivating performances i've ever had the pleasure of seeing. my super high expectations were puny in comparison to the reality. we had a blast.

that night we also had the pleasure of celebrating one of ross' best friends' engagement with a whole house filled with baylor people. can a day get any better?

yes it can. when we got back to the hotel, there was a bottle of champaign waiting for us. i was practically get whiplash from all of the surprises my husband had up his sleeve.  seriously, my husband is the man. 

we snoozed & snuggled our way through our breakfast plans, but managed to get up & going in time to meet one my best friends for lunch before the next surprise: rent bikes & ride all around round rock lake. the weather could not have been nicer and i was very grateful to be burning off some of the calories from friday nights praline nougatine semifreddo with pistachios and acacia honey (basically a fluffy little white slice of heaven).  we took lots of breaks to admire the views, and enjoyed riding by all the pretty houses an dreaming of one day (many, many years from now) owning a house of our own. 

that evening we enjoyed a couple of drinks at the adolfus so we could walk around and admire it some more before our next surprise: dinner & dancing at sambuca. loved it. we definitely want to go back. for us, sambuca has it all: swanky atmosphere, great food, live music, and a dance floor.  of course ross told the band we were celebrating our anniversary while i was in the bathroom.  so they called us out later in the evening to dance to the song ross and requested: brown eyed girl. 
and THEN, as if my heart wasn't already exploding with love and gratitude and shock, ross says to me,
"i know we said that the wicked tickets were are gift and we weren't going to do anything else, but..."
and pulls out from his pocket the infamous pretty little teal box with white ribbon and i couldn't keep from tearing up at the words that came with it, as he talked about this past year, our future, and especially the next 5 weeks. 

it was nice coming back to college station yesterday and enjoying a usual sunday.  unpacking, laundry, a game of tennis, a long walk and snow cones.  spanish salad and garlic bread for dinner and then a movie.  

ross said he wanted to make our anniversary weekend extra-special since we wont be together on the 4th, and he absolutely did.  i am incredibly blessed to have him as a husband and best friend, and i'm also starting to feel pretty spoiled. the reason i wanted to write down all those little details is because i know in the next 5 weeks i'll be drawing from the fullness of our weekend and reliving it all.

i feel like shouting out elf-style "i'm in love, i'm in love and i don't care who knows it!"  can't freakin wait to drive back to the tiny college station airport in 5 weeks and pick him up.  thankfully, i have that long to try and plan a few surprises of my own. that ross franklin leaves a tough act to follow...

Friday, June 25, 2010

happy friday!

here are a couple of the songs that have been on repeat in our home this week. 
they are especially sweet on a lovely summer friday afternoon.

for our one year anniversary gift to each other- we got tickets to WICKED!
can't. freaking. wait!
...and some pump up music for tonight:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

cupcake love

i am dying to make these!
maybe for ross' 25th birthday party? 
you know you want one. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

forward thinking

it's been a big year for my new little family of two.  in a little over a week it will be our one year anniversary, which is as hard to believe as it is exciting.  we've been so challenged, stretched, humbled, grateful and blessed this year.  when i think about how dramatically different our lives were this year compared to the year before alone, i can't help but feel awe.

friends, though ross and i are still complete beginners at the whole marriage thing, i can't express enough how much love we have for this institution given & ordained by God.  when i think about how ross loves me my throat instantly closes up into that uncomfortable i'm-not-going-to-cry feeling.  i constantly go back to the same insecure-girl thoughts of "why does he love me?" but more questions than that bounce around my mind, like "how does he have to strength to serve me, day after day?" "how is he so quick to forgive?" "how does he choose to love me on the days i fail so miserably at loving him?" marriage is 100% humbling & eye-openeing.  when i look at ross- my heart is moved in a new and powerful way, not because of his imperfect human love, but because of the powerful, heart-stopping, shocking love that Christ has for me.  on my ugliest and darkest days the perfect Christ loves me. and because i'm so dense and forgetful of that fact, he gave ross to me as a daily reminder of the intimate love Christ has for me, for us.  even when ross fails at loving me perfectly, i'm glad of it, because i'm reminded that there is only One who loves fully and flawlessly.

for some reason yesterday ross & i independently had the same thought and shared it with each other when we were hanging out on the porch yesterday afternoon.  we were talking about our upcoming anniversary and all the ups & downs of our first year of marriage, and we both felt that sometimes we dwell in the past just a little too much.

ross admitted that he's all for nostalgia (he's mr. captain-of-the-high-school-football-team, after all. sidenote: i already know he's going to be one of those dad's that makes our kids groan from hearing the same high school/football/college/fraternity stories over and over [but they'll secretly love it, like me]) and i've never lived in the past so much as i have this year.  seriously, i always thought those people who were obsessed with high school were so lame...and then i became one of those people who lamely obsesses about college being the best four years of my life.

obviously, we'll never give up on nostalgia, but as our one year anniversary approaches we're going to try and focus on the next year(s) more than looking back.  we've done plenty of looking back.  it's been a big year, but there is so much more to come.

so, in the spirit of looking forward, here are some of the big upcoming events happening in the pinson family:

* this weekend ross & i will celebrate our one year in dallas!
* on monday, ross leaves for five weeks air force officer training in alabama. welcome back LDR.
* next week i'm heading down to new orleans for the first official tribe (my college community) reunion...and my best friend, my other other half, sarah miller will return from spain. ummmm it makes me want to yell at the top of my longs in the rain on a cliff, garden state style, and that's an understatement.
* on july 12th, i'll be having some long overdue sinus surgery.
* in august, ross will start his second year of medical school & i'll start my full time job! Praise the Lord.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

website update

just updated the site with some fun photos of the one and only baby owen.

this is so cool

i disapprove of graffiti as much as the next person, but this seems to be something entirely different.

my favorites are the space invaders & the pop-up dog.

found via.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

b&a no. 4

After years about hearing about the amazing antiquing trips my mom would take every spring in fall with her friends and sister, i finally got to go with her this past spring to Round Top. I went excited and with unintentionally high expectations, and was completely blown away. My mom warned me that everyone's first time to this antique far is overwhelming, and suggested not buying anything and simply trying to take in the miles, and miles and miles of tents filled to the brim. It was such a blast, and I kept feeling like I found this secret.

I kept thinking, "so THIS is where people get all the good stuff." And it's true; people literally come from all over the world to explore here. The cool coffee shop you like to go to with the amazing style? I promise you, whoever decorated went to Round Top.

Though I mostly just walked around and took in the sites of gorgeous antiques, fun flea market finds, and straight up weird stuff and junk- I did come home with a few fun little treasures. Namely: two lamps, a vintage pillow, a dress, a coupe sweet flower pins, and a giant metal letter "R."

It was love at first site:

After living with my college roommate Sarah-I-love-lighting-Satterlee for four years, I gained a love and appreciation for truly well lit rooms. So naturally, I did like any other crafty girl would do with a giant metal letter "R"- I spray painted it gold and put some lights in it.

Yes, we now have a giant glowing golden metal "R" in our apt, and we think it rocks. Now we just need to find a giant metal "K" (if you ever see one, let me know, please!). Also, there are now big plans in the works for the rest of that wall which looks a little naked behind all that giant golden glowy-ness.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

DIY: desk organizers

here's the easiest little craft on the block:

if you love organization & the container store as much as i do, you probably also have the problem of parting with anything random box that could be used for more storage. when i worked at starbucks, almost every week i would bring home a box of tea- which then gave me the happy problem of many empty starbucks tea containers lying around. unable to just toss them in the trash, i knew i had to do something with these cute little boxes.

...so i scrounged up some fabric scraps,
cut them to be the right size
got the hot glue gun out,
and voila!

could not have been any easier to make, but they really brighten up my desk and do a great job holding markers, colored pencils & other random little supplies.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

summer days

kebobs on our porch are our new favorite thing.
especially when enjoyed with friends & followed up with cranium.

when we got married, we started our quest for recipes that were easy, cheap, healthy and good- and since last night's dinner fits the bill, i figured it might be worth sharing on here:
our kebobs were inexpensive, easy to make, and surprisingly filling. we just used mushrooms, onions, green & red bell peppers, pineapple, tomatoes, and chicken. to season them we just threw on some salt & pepper, lemon juice, soy sauce on some, and of course, tonys. next time we want to find a good marinade (any suggestions??), but our make shift flavoring worked out pretty well. for sides we grilled some deliciously sweet corn on the cob & christa made some awesome rice with lime that i might have had three servings of.

i only have two weeks left with ross this summer before he leaves for 5 weeks of air force officer training, so we hope to enjoy the heck out of our time together. heres to more grilling, time with friends, little adventures, and time with each other. he's my favorite.

Monday, June 14, 2010

late night driving tips

shot two weddings in norman this weekend with stancy
& drove all the way home on saturday night
from 11-4:49 a.m.
{don't freak out mom!}
i was planning on stopping whenever i got tired-
but the tiredness never came.
i feel like i could run a marathon now with all that mental strength & focus.
{that's probably how long it would take me to run a marathon, too}
the only problem is, i can't pull all-nighters like i used to-
my sleep schedule got totally thrown off and now it's 4:22 and i'm
wiiiiiiide awake.

so, i thought i would share
'katie's tips for staying awake & alert for long late night drives.'
they are as follows:

1. diet dr. pepper
2. pumpkin seeds
3. new moon audio book

yes, that's right: twilight on tape. no, i'm not a twilight fan. but you can rent audio books at cracker barrel, and new moon was the longest one i could find at a whopping 15 hr. length.
and the thing is, it kept me entertained & awake for my drives to and from norman. in my experience, the lighter the book- the less likely you are to get sleepy when listening to it.

and now i kind of want to drive around for a few more hours and finish it...

Monday, June 7, 2010

kianga photo shoot

we've been in and out of town all week;
it feels good to be home today.
on our way home from dallas we stopped in waco yesterday
and spent the day with friends
and worked on a little photo shoot for
a super cool business some of my friends are starting.

click here to see more
& find out more about what the kianga project is!


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