Rising and Falling

It's like a heat wave!

All that jabber about San Diego being paradise...I think it is the age old grass is greener sydrome. Don't get me wrong, it is lovely here. But let's face it, no place is perfect. There are down sides to not having rain - you have to sweep up ALL the hair you cut in the driveway. There is a layer of dust on everything. Your car never gets rinsed off. Spiderwebs never get knocked down. There is a down side to no cold winter - fleas don't die out for a season. Less pleasure in knitting hats and scarves. You have to find a place to store all your winter clothes that you don't want to get rid of because you will likely travel East at some point during cold weather. And 95 degrees, humidity or not, is still hot when you don't have air conditioning. We feel like Matthew Mc??? and Sandra Bullock in A Time to Kill - sitting indoors sweating all the time. (It's not really that bad - we just saw that movie on t.v. this week and I was reminded of how silly it was that they sweat so much indoors...as if Mississippi didn't get indoor air conditioning until the 70's...maybe they didn't.) Anyway, it wasn't intentional but we ended up spending a lot of time at the edge of the water this weekend. The first couple of pictures are of Sunset Cliffs at Point Loma. We will definitely go back there and I will get you actual pictures of both the sunset and the cliffs. It was getting dark and I couldn't get many pictures - but it was so pretty.
We had heard that the La Jolla seals had been scared away, but not true! Look at all those babies! There is an ongoing fight between a Protect the Seals group and those who want to use that beach and see the seals. It is kind of silly - silly how obnoxious the animal protection people are and silly how stupid people are who can't just stay off the durn beach and watch and appreciate the seals without pestering them.

Mom, do you remember that story about the two seals on the rocks last year? The one got washed off and his buddy looked so confused. That was funny. Probably had to be there.
We hope to spend more and more time at/near the water. Olivia really loves it. She begged last night to just go put her feet in it - it was already dark and she knew we were headed to get milkshakes and she still wanted to go down to the water for a minute. I need a good "going to the water routine." I get overwhelmed with the stuff you need and the mess that comes back - I am open to any suggestions. Olivia's standard question of most people we meet right now is, "Do you like cold water?" Implying that her mother does not...implying that I am a fuddy duddy mother who doesn't get in the water with her children. I need a little loosening up.

Decorating Demerit

A friend gave me a decorating magazine a while back. Despite what I am about to say about it, I really enjoyed flipping through it - even got a few ideas. But one "tip" they had confused me. They said when you are hanging things on the walls, don't just do it willy nilly (my word, not theirs). There should be a theme in every room. The things you hang should be connected, not random. The example they gave was of a wall that had a huge roughed up white wooden frame hanging on it. Inside that frame was about 12 or so black roughed up frames of different shapes and sizes. NOTHING was actually in any of these frames. I can appreciate it I guess. I go into Pottery Barn and kind of like looking at stuff like that. It doesn't mean anything to me (or anyone else really), but it is fun to look at. I read the magazine about the time we were getting all of our things up on the wall. Sadly, our house will not be making it into House Beautiful. (Oh, but our St. Louis house is going to be on HG t.v. House Hunter - more on that later.) The three pictures over Mike's desks are some incredible shots he got while living in Ireland a few years ago - a meaningful time for him. The picture to the left is one he bought from Accenture (for my birthday while we were engaged!) when they were moving offices in Atlanta. It is a pencil and water color of the intersection at Marietta Street in Downtown Atlanta where the Henry Grady Monument stands. An intersection that is almost a literal intersection of the rich and the poor in that area - something that means a lot to us.
The picture above the fire place is an Andrew Wyeth - one of my favorites. He typical paints multiple portraits of the same subject over time - allowing his knowledge of them as he gets to know them better and better to inform his art. The quilt piece was a gift from New England from a couple in Jackson, MS who themselves influenced me and represent many others who influenced me while I lived there. My dad gave me the clock on the left for Christmas.

My Tootsie painted that one...and that is her mom's china on the tray...and that blue plate belonged to the mother of my mother's best friend when she was little who I ended up being close to when I was older.
In contrast. Our kind landlords left this. It ain't bad, but it don't mean nothin'. Just a Bed, Bath and Beyond print I am sure. I guess it means a little...we think of our landlords every time we look at it and our thankful for them - they are great. Mike might get to play a little golf with them next week.
My point: Our stuff may be random, but it sure means a lot to us. I would rather have a house full of meaning.

Is this weird?

I had to wake Olivia from her nap today and carry her to the car - so we could get to the grocery before supper time. She stayed semi asleep and dozed in the car. About half way there she all of a sudden opened her eyes and in this odd, nasaly, half whine, half sleep talk voice started singing, "Zacheaus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he..." Sang the whole song, then threw here head against the other side of the the car seat, closed her eyes and didn't utter a peep the rest of the way.

Sunday Sunshines

For everything there is a season...

I now know how true that statement is. I was in Wal-Mart the other day looking for some cheap beach toys. When I asked a sales associate she said, "Oh, the season is really over...if we have anything left it will be on aisle..." What? It is 70 degrees and sunny YEAR ROUND here. What season is over?

Out back

Here are a few shots of our back yard. The house kind of makes a horseshoe in the back. The left side is coming out of the laundry/mud room, in the middle is our bedroom, and the right side is the 1/2 bedroom or playroom. Since it never rains here (at least this time of year) we are keeping the foosball table outside, covered. That's Scrapaw's truck under the dark blue cover - like any good collector car, we are keeping it covered. There is a raised garden area with some canas and the fruit trees...and one odd stalk of corn?? You might be able to see pain on Mike's face if you blow this up - he just conked his back on that tree. There is a garage/storage there on the left and a bit of driveway in front of it before the fence - good place for bike riding. The clothes line is hung between two yummy smelling Jasmine vines.
And one little sweet potatah growing back there.

We'll do a video soon.

Party time!!

The St. Louis house officially closed today. It is a sentimental day for the McBrides. Many, many thanks to all of you who prayed for us, sweated for us, lent us money, kept our children, made us food, didn't make us feel stupid, and for the hours and hours of very sweet fellowship you shared with us in our home. Now, come break this one in - come and see us!

Making new friends

I have to say, when we left St. Louis we figured it would be long time before we were a part of a small group that cared for each other as deeply as our group from Crossroads. While that still may be the case, we are so thankful to have joined a group here from the Harbor Downtown site that really enjoys one another and has so graciously welcomed us. This past Sunday we spent almost the entire day after church grilling out, eating, swimming, watching Tiger lose the PGA Championship (none of them are real golf fans, but not only did they support having it on in the background, they took some interest in for our sakes). This is Justin and Minna. I think we are going to like them.


We went to a pirate birthday party yesterday. I'm not the handiest with make-at-home costumes, but I think we did all right. Mike came up with all of it! I couldn't get to my wrapping paper and we didn't have tape, so Olivia drew on some of the packing paper we had left over from the move and we wrapped it with some of Grandma's stickers...now making do in a pinch I am a little better with. The pirate instructor - Nathan (This is one of the Harbor pastors and his family I am talking about here.)
The lovely pirate assistant, Amanda.
The dutiful pirates in training - the birthday boy, Ryan is at the end.

The whole motley crew (is that how you spell that?) Nathan was kind of pirate/magician.

"You have bras!"

The other night we were singing with Olivia "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing" as we have sung with her almost every night since her birth. All of a sudden on the verse "My gracious Master and my God assist me to proclaim and spread through all the earth "a bra" (abroad) the wonders of Thy name" Olivia yells at me, "You have bras!"

Sure enough.


Love triumphing over bitterness

I don't know if anyone ever reads the articles I post on here. This is pretty interesting story - a little more personal information about the small plan/tourist helicopter crash over the Hudson River last week. I think you would be encouraged. It is written by a Catholic priest who has been ministering to the family of the helicopter pilot.


In case you don't read it, here are a couple of notable quotes:

"In my opinion, they are giving evidence to the Judeo-Christian belief about how God responds to humankind's suffering. We believe that God's response to our pain is a promise that he will bring forth a greater good out of every instance of evil and suffering in this world, if we let him."

"In similar crises of sickness and premature death, I have seen people go the other way (away from love, forgiveness and faith). It is as if, in every crevice of the heart where we do not cultivate love there, anger, fear, recrimination and self-pity seep in and take hold without ever asking our permission."

(emphasis mine)

Look at this!

It is a little odd that there was never an "Under Contract" sign and we don't actually close until the 20th. But hey, if she's confident we're confident. See what the Lord has done!

Sister love

At home she would push him off the bench for "being in her space." At the end of VBS lunch, she squeezed him on and held him tight so he wouldn't fall off while he ate his hot dog.

...and harvest

Stuff of the week

Olivia day 3 of VBS. She made this pretty little crown with ribbons flowing from the back - but had no idea why. For some reason she can remember what she had for snack, but can't recall the Bible story. She's all tense in the picture because she is trying to keep the crown on.

Those are the latest on-the-go bags in her hands. I have no idea what is in them (except the see through bag of course). They are currently in bed with her for nap.

Since we have been in San Diego, two of Mike's best buddies have been here on business. Tim actually got to stay the night with us, but I didn't get any pictures. Last night we drove up to Costa Mesa to have dinner with Erik.

Finally got the kids real tennis shoes. Everyone keeps wiping out in the dinky flip flops, so we are saving those for around the house and the beach and moving on to tennis shoes. I went to Children's Place...actually all the way down to the border to go to the outlet, but all the shoes have all those fat rubber soles. Seriously, Olivia falls standing still - she doesn't need any extra help. Thankfully there was a Converse outlet and they had a buy one get on 1/2 price. Now Olivia is wearing the same shoes her mother wore in high school - pink, low top Converse. That's right, I was always right on the edge of fashion (no comment as to which edge please).

Love to Josie!

The only thing better than garage sale-ing for yourself is when others love you enough to garage sale for you. Josie (of Joe and Joe and Josie as Olivia used to call them) sent us some cute monogrammed stuff she found recently. Olivia, as you can plainly see, was quite excited about the robe. Mike walked in on the taking of this picture and said, "You aren't putting that on the blog are you?" It's almost a full moon, but I think decent enough for a 3 year old. Too cute! We love it! Thanks Josie.

I am learning

Yesterday Joseph fell asleep on the way to pick Olivia up and then never took his nap. And Olivia was beside herself hungry by the time we got home. Today I took their lunch and we ate it outside the church. Duh, should have thought of that yesterday. The excitement of holding his lunch box kept Joseph awake and Olivia survived the ride home.

Post VBS crash

"Cities Tolerate Homeless Camps"


What? This article published on the same day as the one I posted earlier - two different papers. Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Two pretty different perspectives. Part of me wonders if we don't find what we are looking for, you know? You are either looking for solutions or looking for people to blame for the problem. I am not saying one is right and the other wrong. They both make interesting points. One article is definitely more opinion motivated...granted it was an op-ed piece. I suppose she has the right.


"I can marry Joseph!"

"You can't marry Joseph. It's illegal."

That's the parenting moment I overheard from the bathroom yesterday while getting ready for church.

Is it Now a Crime to be Poor?

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It's not illegal in San Diego, by the way. The homeless are everywhere here. We see four of them every Sunday at church. Mark, Anita, Adam, and Debra. They are two couples. One couple is expecting a baby. They share the Gospel on the street. They are a little stinky. They are super nice. They groove during the singing during worship. There are 3 nationalities between them. They take what food they can get and their blankets to the Embarcadaro (marina type place) and listen to the outdoor concerts...for free because they are sitting outside the gate...just like we did last summer.

It's not always what you think.

What are they good for?

Absolutely nothing! All he does is poop in them.

Weird dog

She's not peeing on the kitchen floor. She sits like this. Weird dog.


We're trying to get legit around here...and it takes a lot of trying...especially when you start the drive to the DMV by backing into the trash can and busting out your back tail light. Now, I won't say which one of us did the backing and which one of us totally over reacted about it. Let's just say the roles could have been entirely switched and the EXACT same thing would have happened - on both sides. But after a 6 hour stint at the DMV we have new plates and Mike has a new driver's license. The tail light is still busted. But I really took this picture so you could see Mike's stylish hair cut. I did it! I've been cutting his hair off and on for 3 years, but I am proud of this one. I used to just use the clippers and buzz the whole thing. Now I use clippers up the back and then real (not very sharp, cheap) hair cutting scissors on the top and front. He looks haaandsooome - you should see him in person, and not blurry. No flobies here, Veerman!

McBride Update - July 31, 2009

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Feeling like home

There are some things falling into comfortable places around here and we are feeling more and more settled. We know where the ER is. I haven't gotten lost coming home in about the last 5 outings. It won't be long before I will quit saying "back home" about St. Louis. It is bitter sweet. One of the pastor's wives here encouraged me the other day to "plant my roots in the soil of God's love and be at home in Jesus". Good advice - reminds me where I really belong. She said a couple of other things I found encouraging. "Give yourself the grace to wrestle with God and to know that he receives it as worship." and "Rejoice in your weakness so Christ's power can rest on you." In light of our experiences since we have been here, those thoughts are particularly meaningful. Most of you have heard, but in case you have not - we miscarried our baby this week. Please know that though this has been very sad for us, we are not discouraged or overwhelmed. The Lord has been very present with us - in his word and his spirit and his people. Please do not be discouraged either. Mourn with us, but rejoice in the Lord's steadfastness that carries us even through this and pray for the spread of his Truth in our city.