Friday, June 29, 2012

find me over here

today i am so honored to be posting over at my sweet friend erika's blog, chambanachik.

erika's the kind of girl who sends you pretty vintage things in the mail, leaves you the kindest wall posts on facebook, and is just an overall wonderful person to call friend. i think she's the bees knees and i'm sure you will too. check it out here.

have a great weekend, xoxo!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

seconds, minutes and hours

robert and i drove down the road yesterday in the balmy carolina summer air. the kind that hangs stagnant without relief of breeze. we rolled the windows down and pablo stuck his head out, catching the sunshine and heat square on the nose.

and as we drove, we tried to remember last week. what we ate for supper, how we spent our evenings. for events that happened less than seven days ago, we had a terribly difficult time recalling their details. between the day-in, day-outs of how was your day, lie on the couch, bachelorette on monday, bacon and tomato sandwiches every evening on the porch, crash on the couch in that old blanket, lunch breaks at the grocery store, midnight trips to the water bowl with  pablo, thrift store perusing, etsy selling, sleepy, tired, exhausted workdays we just lost track.

but that's the glory of it, sometimes. the forgetting.

letting the seconds and minutes pass, but holding on to the hours.

i think it's one of God's greatest blessings and one of life's greatest kindnesses that some things we forget. at least, some things lose their momentum with the passage of time. a few months ago, i ran into the boy who called me a stutterer in front of the entire lunchroom in the seventh grade. it wasn't bad, and i wasn't mad at him anymore. that sinking feeling in my gut eventually rose. and i can look at the facebook page of my sweet friend who passed away in that awful car wreck in 2007 without my computer screen fading away behind blurred, watery vision. it doesn't mean i will become friends with that boy, or that i don't miss and think about my friend every single blessed day. it just means i forgot the initial shock, and for that i am grateful.

but then, there are things i can't hold onto tight enough. memories of my mama running down the hill behind our house. my day out with dad, when i got my first cast. the time against that old honda, when robert turned to me on my driveway and whispered that he loved me. my first job interview, and the letter that followed.

i want to get to the end of my life with a storage vault of such hours. an arsenal of time. that i can slowly unlock and resavor. but maybe, after all, it's the seconds and minutes we save (the good ones at least).

if we're lucky, we'll get to the end with one good, solid hour. of a million nanoseconds of love.

that's all i can really hope for, come to think of it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

this morning, for four minutes (+giveaway winner)

this morning, i had a sliver of time. between packaging etsy sales and setting my hair in rollers and running out the door with my zucchinni bread sliding out of my hands.

i had exactly four minutes.

i wrapped my hands around my mug and sat in my absolute favorite spot in the house, propped up on the kitchen counter, looking out over the yard. a sunbeam hit me square between the eyes. i let my gaze rest on the gravel drive, then a bird running across the grass. then i shut my lids and breathed in the cool, new morning, whispering a prayer while robert and pablo slept in the room nearby.

practically 20 hours of crazy were sitting there, waiting for me. and i'm convinced that moment prepared me for it. with my legs dangling against the cabinets and seven thirty on the horizon.

it's amazing what a little sunlight can do.


p.s. thank you ALL for entering my shabby apple giveaway! the winner is:

congratulations April! i'll send you an e-mail with all the details.

Monday, June 25, 2012

our plans, and His

sometimes, your best laid plans get washed.
sometimes, you pay out the ears for a groom and a haircut for your pup.
you put your own hair in one of those "i'm so hippie and free yet this took me quite a while to do and required more bobby pins than a real hippie probably owns" topknots.
you wear your new shoes handed down to you from your mama. the ones that didn't quite fit her feet and came along on the exact evening the tennis shoes you've had since high school decided to shed themselves  as you walked down the driveway.
you wear your favorite shades and your t-shirt with a pickle on it, and you're feeling pretty fabulous as you start out for the dirt road, just a pretty sunday evening in june.
then, the heavens open up and from nowhere at all black clouds spin into view.
you start walking fast, then a little faster, almost to a power walk (because even in the most dire of circumstances, running must be avoided)
and you realize you're still a good half mile from home and the rain is pounding furiously
then, you look down and see your fluffy, manicured, pampered, prissy pooch
soaked to the bone with his held thrown back
taking the water square in the face
jumping up and down and wagging his tail harder than you've ever seen
happy as a lark
deliberately jumping in every.single.puddle on the way home
and you realize that sometimes
God's got better plans in store than yours.

Friday, June 22, 2012

on brothers and milestones

my little brother leaves for college this weekend. between beach trips and summer school and a busy schedule and the crazy/hectic/beautiful life of a teenager, i haven't seen him much these hot months. but i still call him every night and i'm still planning the long trip east this weekend to move him in. the same way i did for my sister, and they did for me upward of ten years ago.

and it's wonderful. it's such a gorgeous thing to grow and go and move and experience new things. but it's got me thinking about life and children. about the cycle of it all.

because no one ever tells you how to love a child. they tell you how to make your own hair bows with ribbon and a hot glue gun, how to sneak vegetables into a casserole, make all the voices on sesame street, bury pets discreetly, and make a halloween costume from a bed sheet. you learn how to pack a baby dress without crying and to drive away from the preschool with only one eye left lingering, sobbing and hot, still searching for her face pressed against the window. you become a doctor, blowing kisses on a skinned knee when the training wheels are taken off too soon. you are counselor and culprit, bank and hotel.

until one balmy summer, you find yourself in the middle of a little college town wondering how in the world it came to all of this. how the one person you know better than anyone is getting smaller and smaller in the rearview and you think as the pit forms in your gut if you really loved her the way you could have. if you didn’t have to learn all those things and take on all those roles. if all you had to do for eighteen years was lie in bed and cocoon her against your chest, rocking her back and forth as she grew in the nook of your elbows, her knees against her belly at first, then jutting out and resting against your own, until eventually you are two well-rested persons who have not really lived, but who have loved to their core.

it's times like these i think on such things. and lo, when that day comes that we are faced with this time, i hope i handle it with half the grace and optimism my parents have. because while no one teaches you these things, you do indeed learn. that's the mercy. and the learning and loving make a padding for the leaving.

love you, clint.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


hi friends! today i’m teaming up with the gorgeous clothing site shabby apple to present a chance for you to win $50 credit toward any purchase in their shop. i’ve fallen for their modest cuts, clean lines and throwback glamour. the giveaway will be open until next tuesday, june 26. to participate, you must be a blog follower and enter a comment following the simple rules below. open to u.s. residents only.

mandatory entries:

optional, additional entries:
leave a comment telling me which shabby apple dress or item is your favorite
tweet about this giveaway (post link in comment)
blog about this giveaway (post link in comment)

(a winner will be announced wednesday morning.)

*Also, through july 20, enter coupon code “vintch10off” and receive 10% off any order at shabby apple!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


there's this odd little thing about me. a quirky little catch in an otherwise normal, standard personality.

i really, really, for the life of me, can't read any book or watch any movie more than once without getting utterly, despicably bored. when i devour something for the first time, i do it headfirst and slowly. deliberately. it took me months to get through extremely loud and incredibly close. i paused and rewound "the last kiss" a million times before finishing it.

these experiences-these deep dives into culture and escape and hollywood and different worlds, they are all so much for me, that to do it again somehow diminishes the first time.
but i think i've found an experience i wouldn't mind repeating.

we're driving from our little town in north carolina all the way across this beautiful country to canon beach, oregon this october. to see it again. the second time in less than three years. the first time we saw it, we got there at sunset and ran down under a thicket, and emerged on the shore as the sky was in flames of amber and haystack rock was looming in the distance, touching the heavens. my breath literally escaped me.

it's too far. it's illogical and costly and time consuming to go there again. you people who live in the northwest are so, so blessed to call such a gorgeous place home.

but we're going. mostly because i want to see it again, and partly because i want to see mount rushmore, and this way we can do both.

what about you? what could you read, listen to, watch or see again?

Monday, June 18, 2012

scenes from a country cottage: a sunny weekend

after a week of sharp inhales, short breaths, tight ponytails and pressed pants,

finally, an exhale. a deep, bellowing exhale.

with suppers under the pin oaks and clothes on the line and harvest from the garden.

a renewed appreciation for life in the country. beside the cornfield and the tractor shed. living out these honey-slow days, storing them up for when the phones won't stop ringing and the people won't stop talking and the clock won't stop spinning madly on.

we're building a time capsule, he and i.
of slow glances and early suppers and late night swinging on the porch .
burying it deep beneath clean sheets and warm earth
digging it up again when we're tired and have lost appreciation for this little town we never left
remembering these days
remember your blue collar?
what about my dirty feet, wet with clay from the morning?
ah yes, now it's coming back to me.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

in the country, where the prayers grow like weeds along the road

it was a sunday in october when we set off on the ferry. a short jaunt from long island to connecticut across a sea of blue glass, seamless save for a few boats that cut through the currents. it was cold and you were wearing your members only jacket, my goosebumped arms tucked into it too. i told myself in that moment, remember this as a time you were happy. my mind literally formed that exact phrase.

i reminded myself the same thing that afternoon in charlotte. when we snuck off from the walking trail to explore the vacant playground. the slides and the merry-go-round and empty field. there are some times when i am so cognizant, so fully aware, of the desire to remember something, to store it up and preserve it, that it almost breaks my heart.

such a moment happened this morning. in the laundry room out the back of the house, with the late dawn sunshine pouring in through the glass door and old blinds. pablo lying in the exact place it chose to dance across the worn carpet. you came in wearing your blue collar and pants stained with dirt and something about the way the light hit your forehead made me drop the shirt i was folding and drink in the room.

remember this as a time you were happy.

i waved goodbye to you on the brick porch and went back to finish getting ready. it was then i found your note on my laptop. i went outside to check on our garden at 1. a.m., you wrote. let's build a farm one day.

i'll follow you. down the driveway. the road. the country. as we build our life with these happy mornings. remembering all the way.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

a plentiful harvest


we wanted to leave the vegetables as long as we could. tucked sweetly in the shades of the giant squash leaves, and the cucumber trellises that sprawl across the lawn. but at the urging of our grandparents, who told us they would get pithy and hard to eat if we let them grow past their capacity, we went back to the garden this weekend, our shoes wet with june twilight, and snipped off the first harvest.

we're saving a majority of the bounty to grill this weekend. with a little olive oil and some flank steak. but as soon as we got into the kitchen, we couldn't resist the urge to peel and cut in half one of the cucumbers and devour it over the sink. i'll always remember that night. weighing them on my grandpa's old scale and arranging them in pretty piles on the counter.

for some reason, i thought the cucumber would taste weird. like socks. or cardboard. i just couldn't, for the life of me, believe we could create real food. but as the sweet water ran down our chins, and the tiny room filled with the scent (and i immediately recalled my middle school obsession with bath and body works' cucmber melon shower gel), i realized we did it. from dirt and mulch and a few tiny seedlings came up from the earth true-to-life produce. oh, summer of 2012. you have redeemed yourself. and proven yourself a flightly little thing. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

where i have and haven't been

i apologize for the silence in these parts lately. truth is, i've been super busy. so busy that when robert surprised me at work and asked if i could take a quick walk to the end of the parking lot with him i said no. and right there, at eight in the evening on a saturday in june, those words were the meanest things i've ever spoken to my husband.

because yes, i could have taken a break to walk thirty feet with him.

yes, i could have put my ipad down and sat with pablo while he ate supper. my back against the warm knotty pine cabinets, stroking his back as he dove headfirst into the red bowl, then to the blue one for a drink. but i sat in the office instead and he moped around until he finally got his courage up enough to go into the kitchen without me, gulping down fistfulls of food in a fit of nerves.

yes, i could have called my sister and brother instead of texting them goodnight, like i've done every evening for the past week. heard her voice on the phone and his music in the background. but it was past midnight and i figured they'd be asleep. so i shot off a quick message and sunk dizzily into the bed.

and i could have made myself breakfast. or coffee. i could have taken a minute to sigh into child's pose or downward dog. just a second of stretch.

i could have read my Bible and played my hymns. tended to the garden better or made robert a home-cooked meal. well, at least a meal in the crock-pot.

because as terribly busy, exhausted and sleep-deprived as i was, those things matter. those things matter more than anything in this entire earth and they are worth my time.

it's important to do things as you are called. and it was actually an honor to be tasked with the work i was this week.

but i have another calling too. a deep, sacred, privileged calling. and it's about time i picked up.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

blogger mixed tape project-the playlist!

thank you all so, so much for partipating in my blogger mixed tape project. i had so much fun compiling all the songs into this playlist. i love the mix of genres and styles, as well as the personal stories you all shared for each song you chose. music is such a beautiful thing-i was up last night until almost two in the morning for work, and a little glass of lemonade, a midnight BLT and sweet piano music in my headphones made it almost fun. so, my friends, please enjoy. and thank you.

Blogger Mixed Tape Playlist by vintch on Grooveshark
two of the songs weren't available on grooveshark and can be found here and here.


Monday, June 4, 2012

garden of love (and giveaway winner announced!)

we've had several  bouts of heavy storms in these parts of carolina lately. tremendous, omnious showers that begin with black clouds that seem to roll in unannounced, then spill their contents across the thirsty plains. they've washed out ballgames and picnic plans, and one day last week, robert and i rushed to find shelter after realizing ourselves stranded on the beach, ankle deep in sand, clutching mango italian ice, as the waves grew tall and the rain started pounding, spraying sand against our bare knees.

but the upside is a lush garden. and new flowers. tangible evidence that with enough water and light, things will grow.

which reminds me. one of my favorite lyrics by the glorious sara bareilles is:

as soon as you start making room for the parts that aren't you, it gets harder to bloom.

there are words before and after that phrase, but i want to stop there because that's the message. i'm reminded every time i pull a weed out of the compost, what does and doesn't belong in my garden. flea beetles? no! the deer peeking out behind the corn? of course not! and don't get me started on the family of squirrels making a home in the trees above the shed, dangerously close to swooping down and grabbing a bite of something tasty.

what belongs there are the plants we put into the ground with our hands on that cloudy tuesday evening on the eve of may. with six o'clock looming around the corner and supper with nanno waiting. back when he was around and still holding our hands around the kitchen table.

my friends, don't let anything crowd your garden. not rude people, not deadlines, not traffic, not busy, faceless phone lines, not stormclouds or sticky heat, and especially not anything or anyone that questions the beauty of your blooms.

don't make room for them.

and if by some act of nature they sneak their way in, just do what we do. tie an aluminum pan to a string and pray for a gust of wind to come, strong enough to startle them and rattle their weasly butts on out.

the winner of the mixed tape project giveaway is: jessica miller from delightfully unspeakable joy

congratulations, jessica! please e-mail me your contact info ( and i'll get your CD in the mail!*

*i'm planning on creating a playlist of all the songs and having it up here this week!