afternoon at the zoo.

Everything in Nashville is so green. After getting 3.3 inches of rain on Saturday, everything has bloomed and we're enjoying 70s and sunshine. After work yesterday, I was planning on going to the zoo to walk. Fortunately Nate got out of class early, so he went with me! Nate doesn't love the zoo, but he loves me. :)

We were walking toward the petting zoo when we saw two Canadian geese and six babies! I've seen a gaggle of adult geese walking around the zoo before. This group waddled over to the concessions area to eat up dropped popcorn.

We sat down on the benches, and the little goslings got really close! Nate took this photo.

The mama goose kept watch. (Photo by Nate)

The tapirs weren't in their exhibit, so Nate didn't get to see baby Felix. We saw the red pandas and clouded leopards before heading to the nearby rhinoceros hornbill. Usually it stays up in the tree, but as soon as we walked up, it jumped down and came right up to the fence. Then it grabbed some bamboo and was trying to stick it through the fence. Such a strange creature! It hopped on the ground like a kangaroo. And look at those feet!


soft ball, sore muscles.

Me jumping up *and catching* a fly ball in right field!

Yesterday morning, my coworker Katy came by my office and asked if I play softball. I think I laughed. Growing up, softball was the sport I didn't like because I wasn't good at it. Volleyball, basketball, track … all fun. Softball, well, let's reserve that to P.E. and college intramurals.

But Katy's team just needed an extra body; if they were short on players, they'd be forced to take an automatic out every inning. So I agreed and showed up at the fields in Mt. Juliet yesterday evening for a double-header. It was a great day for softball. Mid-70s, partly cloudy. A little windy, but not terrible. I warmed up and headed to my spot in right field.

Fortunately it was church-league slow pitch softball, so it wasn't highly competitive and everyone was there mostly to have fun. I was nervous; it had been at least four years since I put on a glove. I don't have cleats, but I found Nate's in the attic. A bit big, but better than nothing.

One of the reasons I'm not good at softball is because I don't understand where I'm supposed to be and when. If the ball comes to me, I don't know where I should throw it. I like basketball because I have court knowledge. I have no field knowledge. I watched the other outfielders to try to gauge how far I was supposed to stand from the infield.

Fortunately the other team only hit the ball to right field a few times. And a few times it went over my head. But twice, I caught a fly ball! First one standing; the second time I jumped up and caught it over my head. (See photo above, from Katy's husband. Try not to go blind from my whiteness and don't laugh at my form. Nate says I look like a ballerina!) Nothing sounds greater than the "whoosh–thunk" of a ball landing squarely in your glove.

I was at the bottom of the batting order, and only batted twice in two games. (The other team shut us out both games and I think the run rule kept us to three innings each game.) :) My first time up to bat, I didn't even know which bat to use, so I used a red one—the same one as the batter before me because it was already at home plate. One strike watching, then I swung—whiff. The next swing, I got a piece of it. Not enough to get it out of the infield, but I took off. Any success I have at softball is from natural athletic ability. I can't run long distance, but I can sprint. And I beat that ball to first base by a half-second.

Next time up to bat, I picked a black bat. A Louisville Slugger. Mostly because it was one of the longest, and it looked nice. :) First pitch, swing! Contact felt good, solid. I knocked it just left of second base and made it to first, no problem. Unfortunately the next hit was to shortstop, so I was thrown out at second.

It was a fun two hours. Loved being outside, loved playing on a team. Even if we didn't win. I probably won't be a regular, but it was fun to fill in. And today, I'm sore. Every muscle from the waist down; back and shoulders. Hurts in a good way.


birthdays and anniversaries.

This past Friday, I flew to Kansas City to join in the celebration of my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. Since Nate had just arrived home from Orlando, he stayed in Nashville to get caught up on his schoolwork. My sister picked me up from the airport, and we drove home.

The party was Saturday afternoon in El Dorado. Neither of my grandparents were feeling 100%, but they were glad to see everyone. Probably about 50 friends and family members came to celebrate. We had cake and punch, and my dad put together a slideshow of pictures of my grandparents.

Me and Grandma (Mauricia)

Grandpa (Roy) and me

There were also some old family photos on a table which were fun to look at. It is crazy how looks are passed down! This first photo (left) is my dad at age 9 months. The photo on the right is my brother, probably close to the same age.

This next photo is Grandpa Roy. It looks exactly like my brother's face. I couldn't find a good example of my brother to compare it to, but I seriously can't stop looking at this photo because the resemblance is crazy.

 Sunday was Mom's birthday, so Erica made a homemade ice cream cake.
(I helped by crushing up the Oreos.) It was good.

Mom's not that old, but old enough for us to start throwing around old-age jokes. I got her a card that said: "I decided not to get you a funny card for your birthday …" "… because I know how easily people your age pee their pants." ahahahaha


sunshine state.

Nate's view from his hotel in Orlando

Nate is coming home! He has been in Orlando since Sunday at The Gospel Coalition conference. He's driving back and should get here around 10 p.m. But then Friday afternoon, I'm flying out to Kansas for my grandparents' 60th anniversary celebration, so he'll have a weekend alone. I'll miss him but hopefully he can get caught up on homework. :)

I had big ambitions of spring cleaning the entire house while Nate was gone, but … didn't happen. I'm just so dang tired when I get home from work! On Sunday, I did start to trim bushes in the backyard, which was a lot of work and I feel like I made no progress. Monday I did errands and washed/vacuumed my car. Tuesday I installed two sets of shades in the study. Tonight I'm hoping to get another layer of mulch down and do some light cleaning/dishes. We're supposed to get crazy storms here Thursday.

More later. Ciao.


throwback thursday.

Image credit

I Call Her "Harriet"
Death hangs outside my window,
a dumb silhouette before the blinding light.
Small silk coffins shudder
like nervous hammocks.
Connect the dots.
An eight-legged ambition carried out flawlessly.
Premeditated murder.

by Alyssa (Reeves) Jones

Throwback Thursday. Throwing it back to Sept. 22, 2008. A poem I wrote in my Intro. to Poetry Writing class as a third-year/senior.



Nate is used to me reaching for the phone to take a picture (or 12) when Miles or Otis is looking extra cute. But sometimes I catch Nate and Miles or Otis looking extra cute … and I take a dozen pictures. Nate always says, "No Instagram-ing!" Maybe he is embarrassed to be seen as a man who admittedly likes cats. ("You've turned me into a cat-liker," he says.) But I loved this photo too much not to share. (And until we have kids someday, Lord willing, you all get photos of us and the cats, haha)

It was about 4 p.m. I came home after work and a quick grocery store trip. We put up the groceries and were tired, ready for a nap. I was asking Nate about his day. Otis joined us. We napped maybe 10 minutes and I got up because I needed a snack. And okay, so Otis was at the end of the bed but he never fights a cuddle. I kind of posed him, but he happily stayed when I started taking pictures. The sun was coming through the window. Warm afternoon, relatively.

This is my favorite place to be. And I always say that I love Miles and Otis equally; they are just different. I have a special place in my heart for Miles because I adopted him when he was 4 months old, 3 years ago. He was with me my first year in Nashville when I was single. Sometimes Miles meows for seemingly no reason; he just wants me to pick him up. Maybe once a week he'll sit on my lap if I'm brushing him. Otis is a year and a half younger; a snuggler, always happy to climb on your lap. Purring and playful.

How is it that April is here already? We had incredible Good Friday and Easter services at Immanuel this past weekend. I love our church. What a gift. April is a busy month for us. Nate to Orlando for The Gospel Coalition conference, me back to Kansas for my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary, and some frantic cleaning and organizing to get ready for a summer roommate moving in next month.
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