Monday, July 30, 2012

they're my favorite place.

Listening To: Someday by JJ Heller
Line Obsession: "Silence made space for other people's words, which was important for those who needed to be listened to." - from The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

Happy Monday, Friends! I can't wipe the smile off my face this morning because I spent the weekend with the coolest guy in the state of Georgia.

Actually ... he is the coolest guy in the world.

This is my nephew, Andy: 

I love the way his eyes sparkle when he smiles.

Andy will be in third grade this fall. He loves Star Wars, Spiderman, Harry Potter, superheroes (he created a superhero named Mini-Mandy and she's my most favorite superhero EVER ...), robots and legos. And lots of other things too.

But he really, really loves the legos.

Did you guys play with legos when you were kids? While I remember having a few legos, I was more into Barbies, My Little Ponies, She-Ra ... Dukes of Hazzard. That sort of thing. Thanks to my nephew, I've learned much more about legos. And I can affirm that legos are awesome. Also, legos are not for the faint of heart. The Legos involve high levels of commitment and smart-ery.

Thanks to legos, I have learned that my brain does not boast high levels of either element.   

Recently, Andy and I built an Incredible Hulk Helicopter that took hours. I am not exaggerating - HOURS. I'm fairly certain it took HOURS because I slowed us down ...  because building contraptions is so not my forte. (Like, I'm still convinced that I deserve some kind of honorary degree for the Hulk's helicopter.) Andy, on the other hand, is an expert at lego construction.

Incredible Hulk Bear also made the trip.
Recently, my mom asked Andy where he would go if he could go anywhere in the world. His answer was: "Lego Land."

This weekend, Andy's awesome mama took him to Lego Land in Atlanta. Andy described the experience: "like Christmas". He was so excited that he didn't think he'd be able to sleep on Saturday night.

Isn't the "Like-Christmas" feeling the best ever?! I can think of lots of times I couldn't fall asleep because I was worried or afraid. But I love the nights when I can't sleep because I'm too darn happy to close my eyes. That's the best; when your heart feels like it's flipping-skipping-cartwheeling instead of pounding.

We had the best time. On Saturday night, we stayed in a swanky hotel and ordered room service and played board games and laughed until our faces hurt.

My sister and I managed to sneak away and hit the treadmills for a while (after which, I kid you not, I hit up the snack bar and got a cupcake ... it's all about balance ... or something ...).

The next day, while half the fam wen to Lego Land, I got to have some shopping time with my fantastical niece, Erin. She's awesome.

That morning, before we left for Legoville and the mall, I woke up early. I listened to JJ Heller, leaned against the window of our 21st floor room, and watched the sun rise over Atlanta. That skyline is one of my favorites. Atlanta always looks so starry; the way it glitters and shimmers and shines.

I watched the sky turn dip-dyed.
I watched the glassy buildings light up with star-specks of sunlight.
Planes sailed easy-breezy through the blue.
Cars stopped for red,
then sped away.
And the sun was steady,
rising up higher,
up toward the someday-forever.
Sweetest morning.

Through the headphones, JJ Heller was singing:

Someday ... your broken heart will soar. 
Your wounds will turn into wings. 

The world seemed so big and blue and full of hope. So sacred and so special. I was watching a sunrise while I was surrounded by people who I love, who love me back. I wish I could have frozen that minute. I wish I could have reached for a rising sunbeam and stilled it; like you still the hand of an old clock. The tick-tock would have stopped and I would have held the weight of that moment tight against me; all the happy and peace and I-love-you. I'd have made it last an infinity-minute.

But that's impossible, obviously.
The sun kept rising. (Thank goodness.)
I kept watching.
And I felt like the most blessed girl in the world.

If I could pick anywhere in the world to go ... I might not pick Lego Land. Maybe not. Or maybe I would. Because I'd pick wherever I could take my whole crazy family - all of them - all together. Lego Land. Las Vegas. Hogsmeade. Wherever. They're home to me. They're my favorite place in all the world.

How was your weekend? Have you back-to-school-shopped? Are your fall classes looking snazzy? 


  1. What a brilliantly happy post. They're always amazing. Right now if I could go anywhere I'd pick the Olympics. I have loved them my entire life and have always wanted to go to them. And London. Always London. That's pretty much how I've been spending my weekend, watching gymnastics and beach volleyball and swimming and loving every minute of it. Oh and I saw The Dark Knight Rises. Absolutely awesome.

  2. my weekend was this crazy mix of heartbreaking/intensely happy. what is it that Charlie says in Perks? the good and the bad are always mixed together? that's how it was for me.

    I second what LF said: what a brilliantly happy post. Andy is the cutest ever, and I just want to hang out with Erin and talk about girly stuff. your family is beautiful, the end. :)

    ps. 'dip-dyed sky' is my favorite description, ever.

  3. Working at camp this summer the staff became family and I totally had those moments, all summer long, it was glorious.

    Been book shopping for classes and most of them are wonderful. I'm taking Children's Lit so of course I've read half of the books but am excited to read them again. I got my Soc. of Education book and it finally hit me and I told my mom, "I get to start learning how to teach, finally!"

    I don't know where God's gonna take me this year but I'm hoping it's full of heart adventures. I'm sure it will be.

    Was so stoked to see there was a new post. Made my week. Thanks. :)

    P.S. Your family sounds like the second coolest (only cause I'm partial to mine of course). We are very blessed girls for sure.

  4. Your niece and nephew both look a lot like you, I think. And Andy sounds *so much* like my little cousin, who is all about Star Wars and superheroes.

    I was definitely a Lego kid. That sort of surprises me because I've never ever been math-oriented/technically minded. One Christmas I got an underwater set that included the boat (with a yellow shark cage you could lower and raise! Awesome) and the whole coral reef scene with seaweed and hammer-head sharks. It was my favorite thing, and I still have most of the pieces stored somewhere.

    Anyway, lovely post. Family is the best.


  5. Your nephew sounds like the coolest kid ever!!

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  7. Wow! Sounds like such a fun time, and your nephew sounds awesome! So glad you guys got to go to Legoland. We actually took our nephew to the one in California (it's closer to us) and I was going to recommend it to you. Turned out I didn't need to. :-D