Friday, August 3, 2012

be a father.

i took a little break from my blogging glory. it has been a crazy year. a year of ups and downs. but mainly ups. having a kid is one of the most amazing/tiring things i have ever done. everett definitely rocks my face...thoroughly and daily. i hope her fearlessness never ends.

So for the next task. Be a father. that could be kind of challenging for me...considering that i have to be a mother and i might have to hand this one over to joel. so far he has done a dang good job. he does so well at being patient and not giving into her cute face.  he can put her to bed with ease and can put her to sleep and endure the crying, knowing that she will go to sleep soon enough and know its for the best. he loves her so much already. i often catch him looking at pics of her after she has gone to sleep just to get a glimpse of her sweet smile. she is gonna be a daddy's girl...i can tell already. she cracks up at just about everything he does. i try and compete for those laughs and it just doesn't work for me...but i'm okay with that because i am laughing right along with her. so somehow i think joel has got the hang of this father stuff. everett and i are pretty lucky i think.

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.
Bill Cosby

Thursday, October 6, 2011

lessons i learned from one of the greats.

my papa passed away yesterday. argus lincoln martin. can't have a much better name than that. i mean that just screams awesome. and if you saw him you would know it.

i woke up at 3:30 am this morning and started thinking about him. i woke up hearing an owl hooting outside my window and all i could think was my papa would like that owl. so 30 minutes later i am writing about him...something he wouldn't do, don't know if he ever looked on the internet, which is sometimes a luxury i wish i could say i have.

do you have that family member that you just feel like gets you somehow? you think "yep, that's where i get it from..." i don't know how many girls feel that way about your grandpa that's 50 years older, but i felt that way about him. We were alike in a lot of ways minus the cool hat collection, the john deere tractors in the garage, and sheds full of treasures in the backyard. so here are some lessons i have learned from one of the greats and one of my favorites and a fella i will miss a whole heck of a lot.

1. Do what you love.

Sometimes i think that my papa was happy every day of his life. of course i didn't know him as long as i would have liked, so maybe he found that later in life (or when i came along, i mean i am pretty special, ha!). But he did what he loved. He loved being outside and farming. He loved working hard and coming home to granny's cooking. shout out to granny's cooking by the way, i would love coming home to that any day. It could have been that being in World War 2 helped him to not take things for granted and find joy in the everyday. I'm not sure but he loved life and he loved it well. So find those things that make you happy and do them. Or live life happy where you are. it isn't as hard as you think.

2. You don't have to leave the county to be adventurous. carpe the diem.

I always thought it was kind of funny that my granny and papa didn't like to travel too much. i mean they did their share of traveling early in retirement. or the crazy road trip up north when my mom was young. still wish i could have been in that car in with them when Papa was just driving throught NYC while people were yelling at them that they were gonna get killed. but the majority of the time, they stayed in good old ansonville, nc. but my papa he was an adventurous fella.
why not start beekeeping at 80?
join and start a band at 80 too? alright.
start singing in the choir.
plant a field of sunflowers just cuz you feel like it?
run after an ice cream truck on a hot july 4th with your granddaughter when your 86 just cause you feel like it?
i think he would just get ideas in his head and be like "i could do that". and do it. not just think about it. not say, hmmmm...will this be profitable? will i be able to do this and watch reality tv? nope he just did it.

3. Be generous.
My granny and papa are pretty much the most generous people i know. my parents run a close second. it was almost like nothing was theirs. i was always overwhelmed by the generosity that they showed me and the community of people around them. they saw the best in people. whether it was their relatives, people at church or a random stranger they always see the best in people and try to bless them in any way they can. even their stray cats have it good. whether its with free honey, letting their tenants off for a months rent (or 5, ha!), they did what they thought would help that person. its something i try to work at daily.

4. Do something unexpected just to get a laugh.
ok. so i don't think that papa tried to do anything that he did. i think it was probably just his personality to get people to smile and laugh. he would let out a hollar at an unexpected moment. he would know what to say to you to get you riled up and then look at you and grin which you couldn't help but laugh out loud. just do hilarious things at the dinner table that i just can't describe. Dance to Justin Timberlake at your granddaughters wedding, you know i loved that. play.

5. Be proud of what you do. it seems like everytime i went to their house, i would be taken on the "garden tour". He would go out and show me the stuff he was working on in the yard. i would get to see how the blueberries were coming along and how the tomatoes were growing. sometimes i would get to go in the truck and look at the fields and how they were coming along. you could tell he was proud of it. i want to be that person that looks at the work they did that day and know that i tried my hardest and that i am proud of it.

6. Other small lesssons:

always go for seconds on thanksgiving or christmas.
and bojangles biscuits are good. but don't ever ask for an extra biscuit in your family pack because they get really confused.
if you leave the county make sure you don't stay overnight. :)
go panthers. and nascar.
an apple a day or some kind of fruit makes you happy. it always helps to have the fresh fruit on the tree right outside your house.
you can never eat too many nuts.
or own too many flashlights.
the more rakes in your shed the better.
the early bird gets the worm. or 5:30 am is the best time to get the paper, check on the yard, eat breakfast made by granny on the tv tray and turn on the weather channel for the rest of the day.
nothing is better than a comfortable chair.
you can never watch enough old westerns.
oh and remember to wear whatever hat makes you happy that day.

i learned alot more but that might have to wait for another day. i might need to get back to sleep now, right when papa would be getting up, ready for a new day.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

be a friend.

what a better way to be a friend than to know what it means to begin with. in my 8 month of pregnancy i have slim to none motivation. so i am especially impressed that i am writing this blog right now. but i might have to take the easy way out. and research the web a bit for some good friend stuff. you love here you go.

Some friend quotes for the fridge:

A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.
Elbert Hubbard

A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often - just to save it from drying out completely.
Pam Brown

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing... not healing, not curing... that is a friend who cares.
Henri Nouwen

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.
Henri Nouwen

The latest news story on friendship:
When Friendships Go Wrong

all this to say is that friendships are pretty dang important in my life. i live with my best friend now. my best friends are the ones i look to when i need advice, a good walk, watch reality tv, and just someone to sit back with or spaz out with. i am so thankful for the random group of ladies (and joel) that have fallen into my life and i know will be there even if i haven't chatted with them in a long while and they live cross country. they are the reason i have a guest bedroom, just in case they need a place to crash. i love them and how unique and beautiful each one is. heart you. and if you are reading this. you should probably call me, because i am too lazy to leave my house. love that this is the only time i can use this excuse. better take advantage of it...

p.s. i took this pic in korea, and these girls were way too cute.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


i have been putting this one off for a while. not because it is especially hard for me to forgive people. unless its myself. i feel like this is not unusual for a lot of girls. we put so much pressure on ourselves to be and do everything.

to be a size 6.
to keep your house clean and smelling pretty good.
to spend equal amounts of time with each friend.
spend time with family.
to serve the community around you.
be crafty.
cook something decent.
keep your legs shaved.
keep learning.
be fashionable.
keep up with pop culture.
work 8-5.
figure out how kids work.

and this list goes on and on.

we can be pretty hard on ourselves. usually it gets to a point where i give up and just take a nap. (its my go to therapy). but lately i've tried to slow it down a bit (not always a choice these days). to slow it down and forgive myself if i don't get to everything on my list, if i don't do everything perfect. and just try to feel reassured that my friends won't drop me. that the politics of the world will pretty much be the same next week. that drinking a glass of tea on my back stoop without worrying about pulling weeds and taking out the trash is allowed. and if i don't exercise that day, that my non-existent muscles won't sag...

it will all be there tomorrow. and tomorrow i will be ready for it.
unless its another southern tea day.

Next: be a friend.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


i get on kicks where i want to watch the news. i am partial to the 6:30 world news with diane sawyer to be specific. anyways last week, they did a weeklong story on the famine in somalia. this meant that i cried for around 10-15 minutes each night this week between 6:30 and 7. good times right? but it was not only sad because 30,000 children under the age of 5 have already died, but that this only got covered for 5 minutes on one channel. imagine if 30,000 children died in a couple of months in the US? there would be mass hysteria...
instead we are focused on the debt ceiling, and our triple A rating whatever that means (still trying to figure it out). and americans are freaking out about it. meanwhile in somalia there are mothers having to carry their children 50 miles to another country just to get their family food and meet their needs. we are worried if we can still go out to eat as many times a week or go on vacation next year.
anyways, this stuff riles me up. but at the same time i feel like i can't really do anything, like can i really do anything about the stuff going on over there? well i can do a little bit...i can give. i could reason that we have a baby on the way and joel is going back to school and that we don't have that much money leftover, but really in comparison, we have too much to give. i could find other things that i want to spend money on, like a starbucks treat (which i will probably do anyway...i can't lie) or going to the movies, or some cute stuff from forever 21. a quick fix to make me happier for the moment. but i found the same joy (and i cried some more in my cube on friday) when i just put in my credit card numbers for doctors without borders, a charity with low overhead that is helping people right now. so its almost like i am there...

so i encourage you to give. you don't have to give to this cause. but find something that does make you cry in your cube a bit and make you thankful for what you do have and what you can give.

To learn more about somalia and what is going on in the horn of africa:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pay Back.

sorry about my absense from the blog, i was distracted by the summer sunshine. Dang summer, it gets me off task in a good way.

So the Conklins are having a kid. which is pretty crazy and a big deal and overwhelming and humbling. but in the months of pregnancy that i have experienced so far, i have gotten so much help which is amazing... a full wardrobe of maternity hand me downs, a ton of used baby gear, a dozen baby how-to books (which is pretty overwhelming but awesome), and more words of advice than i know what to do with but are necessary because i am so clueless. All this to say that having people around that care about you and help you when you are in a place where you don't really have any idea what you are doing is amazing. This is the first time in my life where i have welcomed this kind of help and advice and i am not trying to do it all on my own, and i have to say its pretty freeing.

But all this to say, is when i am on the other side of the fence, i will pay all those new moms back with all that has been given to me. and i will be well equipped with all that has been bestowed upon me. or i will at least try.

a special thanks to my team of baby and pregnancy gurus: angie hairgrove, becky donaldson, lauren tate, kristin chadwick, emily okie, amanda phillips, lauren scott, denise flanders, christy meyers, jennifer fisher and of course my mom.

Next: Give.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Task 11: Revel in the Kindness of Others.

I feel like I see this everyday in life. Kindness. Maybe its because i live in the south (yep i am biased and think the south is the best). Or maybe I am just lucky enough to know some really kind/dang good people.

People really can make a difference by just being considerate and taking a bit of time out of their day to do something "good". On Saturday, we decided to volunteer for the first time at an apartment community in Charlotte that houses a lot of low income, immigrant families. My eyes were opened to a piece of America that i had never really been in contact with. The conditions were very poor, with large families living in very small apartments...

But a group of people showed up on Saturday and gave up their time, to clean the families homes, to paint their walls, and even cheer up their apartments with bouquets of flowers. A smile and a conversation can go a long way. Playing with a kid on a dirt soccer field can go a long way. 2 hours on a saturday can make a big difference. It encouraged and inspired me. I have to admit lately i have been a big slacker on giving up my time for anyone but myself and what i want to do. But a little kindness goes a long way even in your own life.

Task 12: Pay Back.