late bloomer

Stories, musings, and pictures… a little bit late.


Remembering Rainie

I referred to Rainie as my dog in law.
She was our long term, temporary house guest.

She often used her nose to get attention.
And her breath usually smelled bad.
She did the best cartwheels…
and was amazingly flexible for a big dog.

100 Pounds of Love.


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One Month In

I started working at my newest job a little over a month ago. For the past month I have been completely happy.

When I was working in the warehouse and when I was finishing out my last months in the lab work was the only thing that really wasn’t going that well. I was good. Aaron and I were good. Family was good. Friends were good. Work – meh. I constantly reminded myself that if that was the only thing “wrong”, then I really didn’t have it all that bad.

Here are some highlights of why I like my new job so much:

Getting dressed in something better than a t-shirt.

Speak with really intelligent people with pretty good grammar

There’s a strict tobacco policy!

Climate control. Yeah, baby. Heat in the winter. Air in the summer.

Life. Is. Good.

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My Impatient Outpatient

Waaaay back in February on a Wednesday evening I got a call from Aaron during one of his recreation basketball games.

A: “Can you find someone to come with you to pick me up and drive your car home so you can drive me home in my truck?’

L: “Yeah, what happened?”

A: “I hurt my knee. Some guy landed on me when he came down from a rebound…”

My sister came with me to help out with the logistics. Actually she drove. But she could not drive fast enough. My husband was injured and in pain. I needed to get to him – and fast!

Melissa and I supported Aaron, one on each side acting as human crutches, out to the parking lot.  Aaron and I stopped by a pharmacy for a knee brace, then onto his parents’ house for a sweet pair of antique, wooden crutches.

Aaron arranged a ride to work for Thursday morning, and upon waking decided to test out his knee. No good. But, ever the trooper and supportive older brother, Aaron waited until Friday to get his knee checked out at the orthopedic clinic where his little sister works. The diagnosis: a fracture of the tibial plateau.

From the initial doctor visit he was told that it would be at least 12 weeks until he could resume his regular activities. 6 weeks on crutches, 2 weeks with a cane, and 4 more weeks in the brace after that.


On one of his last visits to the orthopedic clinic Aaron was first to bring up physical therapy. Apparently Aaron is a star pupil at the physical therapists’ office. Really, is anyone surprised?

He is an Ironman after all.


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Happiness & Resolutions

On our way out to LA I bought myself a new book, Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project.

Front Cover

The premise is that Gretchen (not an unhappy person, nor afflicted by something like depression) seeks ways that she can be happier, because well, why not? Spoiler alert: she finds some.  Anyway, this book has really got me thinking that I have some room for improvement.

For the month of May I decided to challenge myself in the kitchen. My challenges were to drink only water and not eat after 8 pm. I really didn’t think not eating after 8 pm would be a big deal since I did it so rarely anyway. Well, thankfully, it hasn’t been that big of a deal, but when I started paying attention, I realized one week I ate after 9 every night. And it wasn’t like I was eating wholesome meals. Who eats vegetables after the sun sets?

Drinking only water, which I thought would be the easier of the two, has seen many more slip ups. So far this month I have only eaten after 8 two times. As I have not made a chart yet I’m going to estimate  50% success rate on the water drinking.  I am deeming it a success rate because although I didn’t meet my criteria, my consumption of juice, chocolate milk and the occasional soda is way down.

So for June, not only will I continue to Not Eat after 8 p.m. and strive for Drinking Only Water, I am adding Be On Time and Say Nice Things.  Be on time is pretty self explanatory and I suppose say nice things doesn’t require a lot of brain power either. However, there have been plenty of times where I have replayed something I said and then thought about how I would react if someone else had said it.

This month I will also be more diligent about charting my progress. I’m excited to see my progress. Assuming I make some!

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Quick Rundown

I have some drafts I’ve been working on and I have composed some in my head but I have been having trouble getting them onto “paper”.

Instead, for now, a summary of what has been going on:

Aaron broke his leg in February and has been recovering quite well. He is back to swimming and cycling, and after a few more visits to physical therapy will re-enter the realm of the running!

Aaron and I went to Los Angeles last month. It exceeded my expectations. For some reason I didn’t think I would like it that much. I loved it. Really hard to come back to real life and work in the warehouse after that one.



And speaking of the warehouse… Tomorrow is my last day! I start a new job on Wednesday of next week.

Oh yeah, we also took a beginner photography class through UT – a Christmas present from Aaron. If you are interested, I highly recommend Tom Geisler’s class.


Of course there was more, but those are some highlights for now.

Maybe now  the other words will flow more freely.

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Photographic Memories

My parents put our house on the market. I haven’t lived there for years, but I when I visit that is where I stay. This weekend Aaron and I went “home” to Tryon and stayed our final stay at 130 Bradshaw Road.

When my dad told me the realtor was getting offers I contacted a classmate from high school, now a professional photographer, to help us say goodbye to our humble abode.

My sister and I are both married, my sister with 2 kids.  My mom and dad, well, they aren’t married anymore. But that was our house.

Amazingly 5 separate schedules allowed for us to have a photo shoot at home, with the Churchill family all grown up.

©Grace Hill Photography1 ©Grace Hill Photography11 ©Grace Hill Photography18 ©Grace Hill Photography47

These are just a few of the photos Kelly took. (The quality isn’t as good in this format, so don’t hold it against Kelly.)  You should really take a look at her blog Her work is amazing.



Cold Water Potter

I signed up for a pottery class earlier this winter at a place called Mighty Mud.  I already knew the instructor, Wendie, from the local triathlon circuit.

The first morning Wendie introduced us to each other and to throwing pottery.  One of the first steps before we got to the wheel was dividing our 20 lb blocks of clay into manageable pieces. To do this we used our wire tool to cut smaller blocks off of the main block.  As I pulled my wire down and through the clay my line went screwy. Immediately exasperated I said out loud, “Wow, that’s real straight.” Wendie looked over at me with an expression that I thought looked like part fear and part amazement as though she was trying to process how somebody could be so harsh about something so insignificant and how she could deal with them early on Saturday morning. That is what I saw on her face, but all she actually said was “You’re going to be kind of hard on yourself about this aren’t you?”0228131714

At that point I realized it didn’t matter how square the edges were on my blob of clay and told myself to let go.

That first day was very exciting. In a few short hours I went from having zero experience to forming structures that resembled geo ducks to bowl like objects.
Session 2 was even  better. Armed with a little bit of knowledge and slightly better form, I could tell I was making progress.0119131112

Session 3 was tough. My pots kept collapsing. What didn’t collapse was ugly. Geo ducks were no longer acceptable.

Session 4 was back on track. I could kind of convince the clay to go the way I wanted it to go. Up or out…


Each Saturday when I left I usually felt ok about what I had made, but when I got back the next Saturday, it was like someone had replaced my pots with something slightly better.

I did this? Heh. I did this.

There were so many pieces on the racks to be fired that it was sometimes hard to identify which pieces were mine. I seriously didn’t think that would be a problem. I made this with my hands. I spent quality time with this clay. We have a connection, a bond…0228131635

At last when I returned to pick up my masterpieces, shining in their glaze,  there were a couple pieces that I passed over because they looked “too good” to be something  I made. When I re-checked, there were my initials.

I did this.