Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Trip of a lifetime

I know that I “wisely” and “knowingly” titled this blog “Flying Years”, but I am learning more and more with each passing day and week and month how true that phrase is. So much has been happening in the Bass family over the last several months, but it happens in the middle of our glorious chaos and is captured in pictures and phrases on Facebook and Instagram and on iPhones and (hopefully) in our memories.

Today, I am excited to share that in just a little over a week, Caroline and I will be heading to Haiti to serve a ministry there for a week. This was Caroline’s dream and desire and she sacrificed going to summer camp with her friends to go to Haiti. I would like to say that I was the instigator and led her to this opportunity, but she has been the driving force and is giddy with excitement. I am looking forward to this time with her and I am also grateful for a very tangible reminder that our family and our lives are beyond blessed with comforts and amenities and health and food and that we are beyond wealthy and “lucky.” I have been explaining that we will be seeing firsthand what “not fair” looks like. Caroline and I get to go with two of our best friends, Lacey and Kennedy Caldwell, as well as a woman who has become a dear friend to me, Alexis Ware, and her mentee, Alexis. The six of us will be helping with some painting and cleaning and crafts and any other way that we can assist Caleb and Debbie Lucien’s work in Haiti.

Of course, we would ask for prayers for our health and safety……we will be out of our comfort zone in so many ways and expect God to show us things there as we are a little more desperate for Him. In a moment of humility, I would ask for specific prayers for me regarding food safety. I have developed some pretty intense allergies over the last few years to gluten and nuts and pray that I never need to break out an epi pen while there.

Finally, we are still accepting and asking for financial support for our trip. It will cost about $2200 for the two of us to go and we have not met our goal. I am horrible about asking for help in any way, but as Alexis keeps reminding us, “This is not about me!” IF you would like to contribute financially to our trip, please follow this link to the Lessons for Life website (this is the ministry organizing our trip) and donate there. You will need follow that online donation up with an email to Alexis (alexis.ware@att.net) indicating that you would like it to go towards Caroline and Rachel Bass’ trip to Haiti.

We will be so grateful for however any of you choose to support us—prayers, financial, or checking in on Josh and the other 3 munchkins while we are gone. I cannot wait to give you a long and, I’m sure, emotional testimony to all that God does.

Love,
Rachel and Caroline

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sometimes

sometimes you have a day where you just want to wallow. today is not necessarily one of those days for me, but i had one recently. you know the kind--you just want to go ahead and let yourself feel how you feel. and to make matters worse, for part of that time i felt bad for feeling bad. you want to ruin a good self-pity kind of day? feel guilty for feeling that way--guilt, by the way, is never the kind of emotion i like to wallow in.

but sometimes you do have a day where you want to wallow. sometimes you don't want to put your chin up and acknowledge that someone somewhere has it worse than you or count your blessings--you just want to say that life sucks for that moment and it sure does look like a noticeable amount of people have it better. sometimes my husband is a jerk (sorry, Josh) and my kids are handfuls (and not the good kind) and my house is a wreck and my thighs feel jiggly and i wish i could take back 98% of what i have said or done that day. sometimes i wonder if i am successful or will ever feel successful. sometimes i wonder if i will ever feel rested or be able to sleep in without feeling bad or behind. sometimes i just want the remote for my car to work every time i try it (or at least while it's raining and i have bags in my hand and a couple of my kids in tow.) sometimes i have to tell my 4 year old to hurry because there isn't time to stop and lick the snocone before we miss the window to make it to the carpool line before it winds around and ends up throwing off getting Bo to therapy on time (curse you blog writer who quit telling her daughter to hurry and now taunts me with guilt when i use that phrase).

anyway, i decided on one of those days, that sometimes that's ok. i don't think that God intended us to be chipper and glass half full all the time. i don't. i'm pretty sure people don't enjoy being around people who never seem to so much as stub their toe (and i'm pretty sure that sometimes i try to be that person to keep from appearing to be a bitter betty or a sad sally or a burden to anyone.) anyway, i'm pretty sure that God planned on us being sad or overwhelmed from time to time since He suggested we cry with those who cry and mentioned in the Bible that there is a time to weep. so i guess it's ok to camp there for a period of time as long as i remember that He doesn't want us to live there.

but just so you know . . . sometimes i wake up and i can't believe how blue the sky seems. sometimes i cannot believe that i get to live the life i have. sometimes i look up from my book at the pool (yes, i just used the word book and pool in the same sentence) and i see my kids playing with each other and laughing and they can all swim and i remembered money for the snack bar during adult swim and it's only 80-something in august and i can't imagine that i could ever feel anything but happy. sometimes i serve a nutritious dinner that people like and sometimes the laundry is not just done, it's also put away and all the beds are made. sometimes i can list things that i like about myself and my husband and my kids all at the same time. sometimes the diet dr. pepper is the perfect amount of fizzy. sometimes i wake up before my alarm and sometimes i run faster and further than i thought i could. sometimes i am keenly aware of my blessings and have the chance to reach out to someone less blessed that moment.

so at those times, i will be thrilled that there is also a time for laughing and a time for dancing and i will happily camp there for a while too.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

I am a very lucky mom to get to attempt to not screw up too badly the 4 sweet boogers God gave me.

I know that in their short lives so far, I have created many "couch worthy" moments. (My and Josh's term for events that will probably send them to therapy. Ha ha.) But last week a thought also occurred to me that freed me up just a little bit.  And since I am nothing if not giving, I thought I would take a minute to share it with you.

They remember things differently than we do.

(And this is a very good thing most of the time.)

I had this little revelation when I went to Bo's kindergarten tea and read all about me according to Bo. Here are some highlights:

 - I am 20 tall and 10 pounds. (Awesome. What does that even look like?)

 - My favorite food is ham. (I actually am not a big fan of ham at all, but my family loves it, so I serve it.)

 - He loves that I make cupcakes. (Hmmmm. Not sure when I last made cupcakes, but if he remembers me doing it, then score!)

 - I read his Bible with him. (Do I ever? Yes. Would it have been something I guessed he remembered and recorded? No. Because I don't think I do it regularly enough.)

And therein lies my point. He's not measuring me against my standard for me. He's probably not measuring me against anything--he's remembering the times he felt happy or loved. He can't remember every detail of his day or week or month, etc. But he will probably catch the overarching themes.

Sigh of relief.

(Now, I do have one of my four who will be more likely to remember the times I missed it or the times he/she felt bad, but even he/she won't recall every mistake.)

So, maybe I can give myself a little grace and try to make a few outstanding memories that will stick with them and worry less about creating a therapy fund.

Happy Mother's Day.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Words

Running out of words is not something I usually struggle with (just ask my mom, or my husband, or my kids). There is a legendary story my Granny used to tell about the time she and my great-aunt Verna took me to Austin . . . back in the day, backseat seat belts were not required, so I scooted myself up to the back of their seats up front and wrapped one arm around each headrest and proceeded to start talking. Hours later, one of them turned around and said, "Could you just shut up for one minute? Please?" (Or something very close to that.)

Anyway, finding words isn't usually a problem. And even now, in this season of life I am in, it's not so much FINDING them as it is having the time to filter them or record them or even acknowledge them. There is so much noise in my life right now that, sometimes, it's like I can't even hear my own thoughts. But to be honest, sometimes it's more that I am just craving silence.  There is such bliss in quiet.

Lately, however, I have felt a void in my life. It's the feeling I have when I am missing a friend. I realized this weekend that it was writing that I miss . . . 

When I was in the 5th grade, my dad asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told him either a writer or an FBI agent/CSI-type person. (It's ok, I laughed a little too typing it.) I would like to stop here and give my parents some credit for instilling enough confidence in me to have 2 such diverse and lofty vocational dreams. And I'd really like to thank them for then setting me up to meet with someone who worked in the crime lab and a professional writer/editor. It is something that stayed with me forever. They believed I could be either of those things.

Somewhere along the way, the CSI/FBI dream withered away, but my hopes to write stayed with me. In high school, my favorite classes were easily Southern Writers and Advanced Writing. (Both with Mrs. Blackburn.) My Creative Writing class in college was another favorite. When I am happy, I want to write; when I am sad, I want to write. In my head, even when I can't get to a computer or a notebook, I am often narrating my situation or my emotions or whatever the kids have just done. It is my outlet and my sanity. And (Josh, no comment) I think it would be safe to say that lately I have been lower on the sane chart than other times.

A few years ago, my mom introduced me to the Big Mama blog. It made me laugh out loud. I can totally relate to her and I love her writing style. Before I knew it, she was part of my daily routine. My mom and I sometimes act like she's actually a friend of ours. Not long after I started reading her, that same longing I described earlier overcame me. I knew I wanted to write on a regular basis, and so my blog began. And with the blog came other opportunities to write; I also found myself writing and saving it and dreaming of one day putting together a book. I met Jeannette (my editor) and realized that maybe, just maybe, my dream could be part of God's plan for my life.

This is NOT some announcement about being published. It's a thankful post because I know that even though life is crazy and it's harder than ever to find the time to write, I need to. I owe it to myself and (cheezy as it sounds), I owe it God. It's a hope He planted in me and I would be wasting His gift and missing out on something to ignore it. 

Thanks to my mom, I had enough alone time this weekend to actually have these thoughts and realizations. And, thanks to my mom, I got to meet Big Mama this past weekend. I was very excited to thank her for reminding me that I loved to write. 


Here we are Friday night . . . yes, I know it's blurry. I don't care. I was so tired at that point that this is what she actually looked like to me. Ha.

And this was her response to my thanks . . . 


Writing for me won't always be on this blog, but there will always be writing . . . 

Monday, February 11, 2013

80's, Mardi Gras, and some love

Almost 20 years ago (sigh, that hurts to type), I set off for college. While I graduated from UGA, I spent the first year and a half at Belmont University where I met some of the best friends in the world. There is something about the first year away at college that is very bonding--that and they are just amazing girls. I wouldn't change my college transfer at all, but I never made better friends than I had in Nashville. We have done a lot of laughing over the last couple of decades . . . a lot of crying too. Some of my smarter and dumber moments were made with these girls. We've walked each other through some of the best and the worst moments of our lives. And, really, we could not be more different, yet we work and we fit and when we have long amounts of time between us, it's crazy how quickly we pick up right where we left off.

This weekend, we managed to reunite to celebrate the marriage of Amanda and Jason. Amanda married (in total Baker style) in Hawaii over the summer, pretty much unplanned, but just right. We had the "bachelorette" party at the Baker's and did some awesome 80's karaoking. And a lot of laughing. The hair, the clothes and the company were just what I needed after a long week of working and mommying.

Saturday included a delicious brunch prepared by Superwoman/Donna Baker. And what weekend with the girls (and John) doesn't include shopping? Josh joined us towards the end of our little spree and then we all got gussied up for the Mardi Gras themed celebration. My legs are still sore from the dancing and my cheeks hurt from laughing and smiling. It was one of the best weekends and I am so thankful for these girls. I've known them for half of my life and I am so glad that we have a long way to go and many more memories to make.

Here are a few then and now snapshots (Aims, I couldn't find any uploaded of us from the early years--that's how long we've been friends!) . . .

 dinner at Mike Jay's 
 Disco partay
the bride and I back in the day heading out to bootscoot

 Aimee (Chicago), me, Amanda (Dallas), Betsy (Knoxville), and Jill (Nashville)

 Thanks for the rides, Randy, and good for you!

I'm not gonna lie . . . the mask was fun. If you only knew how many pics we took with the masks . . . 

Finally, a little taste of the talented Mrs. Amanda Baker Adams. Y'all, girl has some chords. (I so wish I had Betsy's solo to finish off the evening, but alas, my phone had died.)

video

Congrats to the whole Baker-Adams clan . . . I cannot wait to see what God has in store for you!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Truiser Bruiser's birthday

Yesterday was Tru's 9th birthday. Nine. Wow. I cannot believe my bobblehead baby is 9. I am so proud of the kid he is and the young man he is growing up to be. He has a tender heart and such a creative bent. He's smarter than I am without question, and we have discovered in the last year that he has such an interest and knack for videos--acting and producing. He LOOOOVVVEEESS to make Lego movies on his iPod and is really very clever with his story lines and action. He and Josh also were in this video for a men's study that is hilarious. His belly laugh is the most contagious thing ever, too. He is STILL a Lego-maniac and that makes me super happy. Tru has become a green belt in karate and is continuing to train and test. He wants to go all the way to black so he can make a poster to warn mean kids at school. He is suggesting a pic of him in his karate uniform with the words BULLIES BEWARE below him . . . love that kid.

Tru . . . you are such an amazing guy . . . I love seeing how God created you with your technical mind and your creative spirit and how they come together in such delightful ways. I love watching you absorb information like oxygen and retain it all. You have such a sensitive heart and really notice and look out for people. I am beyond words proud of how amazing you are with your contacts--didn't think it would ever be this good! One of my most favorite things about you is what an individual you are--you know who you are and what you like and that's all that matters to you. I want to be like you when I grow up! I am so glad that you are my son and I pray that we will raise you to love God well and to use your gifts just the way He intended them. I am such a lucky mama and I love you so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so to infinity much, my little booger. Love, your nose!







Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The speed of life

or not the year of the blog . . .

we are all alive and well (or mostly well, sassy has strep) . . . just enjoying the crazy life we have created. dancing and karate-ing and going to OT and ST and working, working, working.

my words are somewhere jammed up in my head and sometimes i can't seem to get them out verbally, much less in eloquent prose for the world wide web.

so, instead . . . here are 3 pics that haven't made the blog but make me smile . . .

 from the lice incident. purposefully didn't blog about that. i'd rather NOT remember

 who better to fight fires than a super hero?

love the dawgs and our favorite bald fan