Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon

I woke up at 5:00am, stumbled into a scalding hot shower, scurried into my running clothes, brewed two cups of coffee, grabbed my iPod and jumped into the car before the 34 degree weather could numb my fingers or toes. I got to Dodes' house at 6:00am and Blake dropped us off at the race start. No one really wants to hear how it really was. No one cares about your commentary on hills and leg cramps and blue toenails and bodily functions. But I did run 13.1 miles, along with about 10,500 others. I had never ran that far before, so I am patting myself on the back as I write this. I am registered for the ING in March.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Half Naked Photo Shoot

Warning: You are about to see a whole lotta flesh and maybe a little drool. This baby is so amazing and sweet and beautiful and I admit I went overboard in posting photos. But his little expressions are always changing and I love the way he looks at me and I love to look at him. He is 22 lbs of perfection and I can never get enough of his shugar. There is simply no way you can look at these and not say, "Awwwww".

Half Naked Photo Shoot- II

Half Naked Photo Shoot-III

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Half Naked Photo Shoot-IV

He does have a name. It's Nathaniel. But he is pretty much just called "The Baby".

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

God and Chihuly

Ephesians 3:14-20 -The Message
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

As Tenia Workman says, "her cornbread ain't cooked". This phrase may also go through your mind as you read what I am about to say. But, I really don't care. I have suffered much to be at a place in my life where I finally relinquish self and seek His face and can actually hear Him speak. So this is what He told me:
Last night in class we were all told to lie still, asking God what He thought of us. I am the world's worst at this kind of stuff. I am not a seer, not imaginative and don't really think of myself as creative. When I am still and attempt to focus and ask God questions, all I hear is, "go pick up the drycleaning, you forgot to pay the gas bill, you need to make a hair appointment, you need to call Chairman Whatshisface tomorrow first thing". But I tried. In the still and in the quiet, I heard Him say, "What do you want?". And I asked, in a very selfish way, not expecting to get answer, for pearls. Yes, pearls. I like pearls. I was wearing a strand at the time. I was on my face and the pearls around my neck had fallen across my cheeks. So I asked for the first thing of beauty that came to mind. He said, "Okay, what else?". So I replied, "Diamonds". These need no explaination. Who doesn't want diamonds? He replied, "Ok, what else?". I was really taken aback that I felt like I was truly having dialogue with the Creator of Heaven and Earth, so I said, "Chihuly glass". I love Chihuly glass and find it lovely and a symbol of beauty and oppulence. It is the Picasso of glass.

I heard Him chuckle and this is what He said to me:

"I give you pearls because the oceans belong to you and everything that dwells in the ocean's depths is yours. I give you oceans filled deep and wide with oysters, full of pearls that all belong to you. I will place them before you to gather, like a treasure hunt or a game of hide and seek that delights you. I could give you diamonds that are found deep in the Earth on the continent of Africa, but how about diamonds that have hearts, ten fingers, ten toes, bright smiles, diamonds in the rough on the continent of Africa? These diamonds shine much brighter and you will delight in them much more than any real diamond. There are diamonds in the rough of Africa that I have set before you, to go and find and gather for me. You ask for Chihuly glass that is vibrant, full of color and glistens, but I would I would like to give you colorful eyes and let you watch them turn from blue, to gray, to brown and watch the colors of blind eyes turn and watch them see living color for the very first time. Wouldn't you like to see blind eyes open? This is the gift that I would like to give you".

I'm either psycho or on the verge of something great. I can't wait to find out.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jimmy, anybody dead we know?

This is what Granny McCarley used to (and I assume still does) say to my grandfather when he would open the paper, reclined in his Lazyboy. I thought it was so funny...still do. I just recall this as a childhood memory. For some reason lately I find myself doing things that she does that I used to laugh about. Christine and I daily talk about the weather (she even owns a rain gauge!)and gas prices. These conversations are totally Old Lady Conversations, but as I get older I am beginning to understand that the weather and gas prices are a big deal! She has been asking Papa this question for years, even when they were young and their friends weren't dying. But, I too find myself scanning the Obits when I read the local paper. But even those in the AJC ( fascinate me and I love to read them. Last week I came across this one for Dr. Mark Silverman who was the founding cardiologist of the Fuqua Heart Center at Piedmont Hospital, a medical historian well-known in his field, and a teacher who liked to "don theatrical costumes as a way of enlivening his lessons on anatomy and other subjects. Dr. Silverman was known to surprise freshmen students at Emory University by coming to class in 17th-century garb, accompanied by chamber music, to lecture on blood circulation in the persona of English physician William Harvey. Dr. Silverman, 69, died Wednesday of a heart attack at Piedmont Hospital"
( The tragedy seemed like a bizarre mockery, dying of the one thing that he knew so well and he played such a pivotal role in saving so many lives of this fate. I just found it so so sad and he seemed like such an animated, happy, amazing, brilliant man.
Today, I found this one:
Henry Philler, decoded top messages for White House
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sunday, November 16, 2008
As a codebreaker assigned to the White House, Henry Philler sent the official telegram to Washington, D.C., announcing the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Warm Springs.
He also played late-night card games with President Harry Truman and was among the first to know of important events taking place during World War II — including, probably, that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, said his stepdaughter, Sally Mills Bowman of Atlanta.
“So much of what he did was classified, of course, and he was not a talkative man, anyway,” she said. “But he decoded all of the messages to and from the White House.”
Mr. Philler, 90, of Atlanta, died Tuesday at Hospice Atlanta. He had prostate cancer and other ailments. The body was cremated. A memorial service will be 2 p.m. today at Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. Cremation Society of the South is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Philler was an Atlanta native who graduated from Emory University. In 1941, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. His first post was as a radio operator in Fairbanks, Alaska, where it was dark much of the time in winter and there wasn’t much for a young man to do, Mrs. Bowman said.
While in Alaska, he taught himself to use the Army’s coding machine. One day, he volunteered to send a message for an officer; from that day on, he was considered a cryptographer or decoder.
Through a series of lucky breaks, he ended up assigned to the White House, according to a written account by his nephew, Mills Kelly, an associate professor of history at George Mason University.
Mr. Philler traveled with the president and was in Warm Springs in April 1945 when FDR died.
The telegram to Washington announcing the death was the only message that he, as an enlisted man, wrote himself, according to Mr. Kelly’s account. His commanding officer was too upset about FDR’s death to compose the message.
While working for President Truman, Mr. Philler sometimes manned the White House switchboard at night. Since there was little to do that late, the switchboard operators would play cards. President Truman had trouble sleeping and often would come down and play with them.
After leaving the service, Mr. Philler worked as a technical editor in the aerospace industry and for Georgia State University, where he retired in 1983.
He also was a birder who often practiced bird whistles, Mrs. Bowman said. “He whistled all the time, not always in tune,” she said.
He edited the newsletter for Central Presbyterian Church and had served as an elder. He was sensitive to the concerns of disabled persons after serving with President Roosevelt, who used a wheelchair, and was involved in a project to improve accessibility at his church, his stepdaughter said.
Other survivors are his wife, Betty Philler of Atlanta; son, David Philler of Brunswick; stepchildren Chriss Mills and Kelly Mills, both of Atlanta, and Patrick Mills of Champaign, Ill.; six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Call me crazy...blame Granny McCarley. But you must agree, Mr. Philler had a pretty neat life!? He played cards with the President! There could be a long sermon here, about living life to the fullest, appreciating all the blessings around you, looking back over the places God has brought you from and the mind blowing gifts He's given you, or what you haven't been doing, or broken relationships that you need to restore...But I will save it, you get the general idea.

Trail Run

Well, I did the Serenbe 15K trail race without you. It poured rain the night before and I just knew that it would be raining the next morning. However, I woke up before the alarm to the quiet sounds of East Point and no rain drops on my roof and took that as a sign to just go for it. I didn't even make coffee, I just got dressed and drove south. I thought for sure it would start raining and I would use that as my excuse to head to the Blue Eyed Daisy for coffee and a hot breakfast. When I got there all the other gung-ho runners were warming up. I was bundled up in rain gear, but they were all in shorts and tshirts. So I shed my hooded jacket and braved the cold with the rest of them. The whole race was done Serenbe style. ( By this I mean, yummy hot coffee with real creamer in a large thermos awaited me at the Registration Booth. As well as four large brown pastry boxes of baked goods. I grabbed a cookie the size of a salad plate and put it in my goodie bag for later. The race was small so nothing was super official, no time chips, no official start time. They even waited on those standing in line at the porta potties before we started. They prayed and off we went. The first mile or so were through the little town of Serenbe, toward the newly developed area called The Grange. We then hit the woods. Most of the first mile in the woods seemed to be wet and muddy. It took me awhile to get accustomed to running on wet leaves, but soon the views and moist air and the sun shining on bright yellow leaves and Misty Edwards worship on my iPod whisked me away to another place. So it was fun! About mile 7 I was ready for a break and pulled out my secret weapon...gummies. I ate my carefully selected individually wrapped in packages of 5, gummy lifesavers, berry flavored, and got a nice little sugar rush to push me through till the end. The end was pretty cruel, with steep, narrow hills, and steps and even a tree across the path that I had to hoist myself up to climb over. At the end, the Serenbe owners, Steve and Marie Nygren were there serving what I assume to be Sweetwater 420 (cold beer) from a keg in transparent Dixie cups. Phidippides, the local running store, had a booth giving out Snickers Marathon Bars and I recognized the lady working the booth as the sister of a House member and introduced myself. She gave me a box of Marathon Bars, a whole box! Yipee! I got my drifit tshirt and went to the Bakery for breakfast. I had eggs and grits and whole wheat toast with yummy homemade jam that had cranberries in it! I read the New York Times and drank coffee and put on my Patagonia and walked around the shops and blended into the small quaint little town for an hour or so until my tired legs could walk no longer and I came back inside the Perimeter, poured a big ole glass of milk and ate the most yummy cinnamon, oatmeal raisin cookie I have ever had. And after running 9.3 miles, I felt no remorse. P.S. This guy wrote about the race too. Evidently someone got ran over by a deer?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mozley's in Marietta

Tonight I went to a Welcome Home/Farewell Party in Marietta for my friends Mark and Jen Mozley. They are home on furlough and are full time Missionaries in Mozambique. On my very first day in Mozambique I walked out on my porch and above the sounds of hundreds of African children, I heard this booming voice, with a southern accent having a one sided conversation on a cell phone. At first I was impressed he had a cell phone and secondly the accent made me feel so at home, I knew this was a man I had to know. I soon found out he was from Dallas, Georgia and was married to beautiful Jennifer. He had been in Southern Mozambique a few years prior and they were actually married in a ceremony there. So he became my hook up on how to get communication to the outside world and he and Jen and I became the best of friends. They took me into town the very next day and I became the proud owner of a Mozambican Cellular (MCel) phone. I got a free T-shirt with that phone. I left it in Moz. Mark got one too and wore it all the time. It was an obnoxious yellow and you would see it all over town. Everyone else in Mozambique had the T-shirt too. It had a smiley face on it and said Diz Ola (Say Hello). So I got my T-shirt and phone and it felt like I had been into Tiffany's ( and walked up to the counter and bought the biggest bangle bracelet they had. People kind of crowded around and even the man behind the counter treated me with a different kind of respect. I assume not a whole lot of people just walk in and pay cash and walk out and don't ask questions. It was a type of respect that I didn't like. I didn't want to be different, I wanted to fit in. But I guess when you just HAVE to have a cell phone in rural Africa, you are going to experience it. Perhaps I should have just lived without one, but nothing brought me more joy and excitement than when that phone rang. So much happened to me there and to have people from home call me and there I was standing under those big bright stars on the coast of Africa, I just wanted to be able to share it and send some of it back to those of you. Plus, I will never ever as long as I live forget Carla text messaging me that she was going to have a baby. I was under my mosquito net and I cried for hours I was soooooo happy. You would think it would go away after three times, but it doesn't. So! I got a cell, it was probably $35US. Mark helped me. It had the coolest ringtones ever! I had it on the Ribbit ring tone that sounded just like a frog. We don't have phones like it here. So! Back to Mark and Jen...They are amazing. Jen stood up one time when Heidi asked for testimonies. I was expecting a small shout out to God about what He had done for her that day and I got one of the most amazing heart encounters of His love and redemption that I have ever experienced. She is wonderful. She is beautiful. She is captivating. So I went to their party in Marietta tonight. Here they are:

I was sitting under a Baobab tree with Jen when this was taken. I remember that little kid just came out of nowhere and sat in her lap. We never knew if they were girls or boys, but it wasn't too hard to find out. They knew we didn't speak their language so they wouldn't bother trying to talk and many were so young that they didn't say much. I would give them a made up name like "Virginia Louise" and rock them till they fell asleep or wet on me or saw something more interesting and would tottle away. This child had a really snotty nose and sneezed all over Jen. I think I even went to get a tissue. What was I thinking? This must have been early on. We quickly got over snot and used our capalanas for nose wiping (but I do still gag, just a little). We were supposed to be playing soccer with the kids. But there was absolutely no way I could even begin to keep up with these kids. If you throw them a ball, they drop it. But kick it to them? Watch out!The following is from their website

Mark and Jennifer Mozley were called to Mozambique in a dramatic fashion during the last weekend of March, 2007. They sold everything to move to Africa! After first completing Iris' Holy Given Missionary Training School that same summer, they returned as staff for the October missions school. Currently they serve as Directors of Hospitality, accommodating over 650 yearly visitors to Iris Pemba.
Mark and Jen's heart is to serve the Mozambican nationals and help them reach their full destiny in God. They lead a weekly discipleship course for a group of young men. They also help facilitate village feeding, prison ministry and periodically teach in both the bible school and Iris Harvest College. They realize their highest calling is to love their Lord God with all their heart and out of that love, to serve one another (to put the first commandment first). Realizing that you can't love others without first loving yourself, one of their life messages is to help others discover the extent of God's love. Because of what God delivered them from, most of their messages center on purity, holiness and the love of God. They love to release the testimony of this amazing Jesus, leave the control in the hands of the Holy Spirit and watch the Father get all the glory.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Nature vs Nurture

All Davis' read at the table, drink coffee and are not morning people.
Here's proof:


These are just too good not to share. The one above is Republican Uncle John. There he is leanin' on a Chevrolet, but a Porsche is now his car of choice. It's funny that he's standing like this on the car. He looks like a toy doll. He loves cars more than anyone I know. He participates in Motorcross races in Albuquerque and wins! He is married to the sweetest, kindest woman on earth. They gave me the greatest gift anyone as ever given me, a massage and a hot bath at the Pemba Beach Hotel, when I was in Africa. But most importantly, they called me every weekend and still do. This is my great grandmother, Madge McDowell. She grew her own coffee and tea. She sheared her own sheep for wool blankets. Her husband died when she was just weeks pregnant with my grandmother and she had 6 young children. I complain when I have to cut the grass...

I love this picture of Uncle Henry with his fish. He drowned in 1994 while fishing in, most likely, the same pond. His life was cut short and death never makes sense, but I know that he's in Heaven.

This should be a Hallmark Christmas card, Republican Uncle John and chubby face Dad and Cousin Miriam- I think I see a Red Rider BB gun behind the Christmas tree.

Five Children! John is holding new baby Nancy, Dad is up front and is seven years old. Henry is on the right and about 3 and James is in the middle.

This one is just funny. It is the way I remember Granny Davis. Those polyester dresses that remind me of Mama from "Mama's Family". She dressed just like that, but didn't cuss and drink beer like Mama Harper. But she was a farm girl for sure. She probably caught, cleaned and cooked this fish. I have never in my life cleaned a fish. Daddy was always around to do that. I had to watch, out of cultural respect, the killing and cleaning of goats, pigs and chickens and have not eaten them since. So perhaps it's best for my pescatarian lifestyle to have this pleasure in life.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


This is my Grandmother, Madge in South America, in the mid 1940s. We just celebrated her 90th birthday in June. Just looking back at those silly pictures from 7 years ago (entry below), I think about how quickly time has gone by. I am sure she may view a lot of her life the same way. That it seems like only yesterday she met and fell head over heels in love with Johnny Davis and just could not be without him and he whisked her away from Saluda, SC to Venezuela, SA.

She is wearing pants here! That is funny to me. She used to wear her hair in a bun when I was a kid and NEVER wore pants or drank Coke from a bottle or played cards.

And then they had these two adorable little punkins, the bald one being my sweet daddy, the older one, Republican Uncle John who likes to drive fast cars.

Ironically, they both kept journals about these times, together and apart. Madge kept one all through college filled with stories of getting up early to make biscuits (which my Father's says she NEVER made when he was a child- I guess she had a right to swear them off) and just when the journal gets juicy with mentions of a boy here or there...she writes in short hand and I haven't a clue!! I guess there are somethings best left alone, and your grandmother's love life before she met your grandfather can be one of those. He kept a journal while they were apart and he was in Venezuela alone. He talks about the money that he made and buying new suits, but mostly of missing her so bad he could hardly stand it. I need to find those and make sure they are safe and read them again. I can learn so much from their life and their love. They truly did just love each other to pieces. They would just sit on the couch and hold hands. When they were old! Papa Davis would follow her around. She was such a rock and a matriarch and so strong. She let us run wild in her house and play hard and do whatever we wanted to. I want her mantle passed down to me and my sister. Carla already carries a lot of what she was all about. I just remember her praying at the kitchen sink. She was a true intercessor. I want to be like that.

Atlanta History Museum c.2001

My recent entry about the Atlanta History Museum made me search for these: Woah! This was back when Roy was Guv!
You girls look so sweet and gentle

The Fallins...before boys

Mother with Mr. McFeeley- crazy

Something happened in this puppet show...but I can't remember what?

Carla bossing Santa

Mr. Roger's Neighborhood

You girls have grown up sooooo much. I love watching you grow.

Let's do this!

Catherine, Gracie and Carson...This looks like so much FUN. The Atlanta History Center is hosting this exhibit until January 18th and a Norman Rockwell one until the 15th of February. For those over 21, they are hosting screenings of Jim Henson movies during the weekends this month. It looks like fun. I want to go to the screening of The Dark Crystal on the 15th, but will be out of town! Ugh! They do some interactive stuff for kids on Monday's with Muppets and Puppets that looks like fun too. But you can always just go during their regular hours to view the exhibits. Remember when we went to the Mister Roger's one? You girls were just babies!! And Carson, you were not even born yet! Oh, how time flies.