It’s time. We have officially found a home to rent in Seattle (at least I think it’s official, since I’ve mailed a contract and deposit check) that we are extremely excited about, and as I look at the accumulation in our basement from the last seven years of living, I decided it was time to start chipping away. The girl’s clothes were my first task:008 I’ve been emptying Pace and Mary Aplin’s drawers, at the end of each season, into huge Tupperware bins. Then, I pilfer through all the bins to try and find the clothes in Mary Aplin’s size that once belonged to Pace. I’ve been sickened by some of the little outfits Dapples has missed out on wearing because of my lazy organization. So, now that I don’t want to move a whole bunch of clothes we don’t need to Seattle, I decided it was high time I get organized…and it only took me three days to do it 🙂
021 It might have gone faster if it weren’t for my strong emotional attachment to clothes. I mean, I feel like I’m on my way to becoming one of those scary “hoarders” you see on television. But, when each outfit represents either a love gift or a precious relic of childhood
032 Or, most especially this. The last dress my Mom ever made, and the only little dress she ever got to make for Mary Aplin. I could just picture her sun-warmed hands–oval tips with little nicks from where she always bit at her hangnails, making each stitch with love…even though she was hurting so bad.

030 And I’m going to tell you that I went ahead and laid down on the floor and cried over this one. Cried about her hands, and the fact that she doesn’t know the little personality she was making this dress for, and the pain of knowing my sisters won’t have one of these treasures made especially by her, especially for the bundles they’ll welcome one day…

SO, you get an idea for why it took me so long to get those clothes organized!

We’ve also still been doing P90X bright and shiny at 5ish every morning. We’re just about done with week 3, and Taylor and Ashley have been troopers to get up even earlier to pack bags and drive over to my house each morning.

Yesterday was the first morning we wimped out. Rest was simply needed, by one and all, so we skipped the early morning and pledged to each individually do the day’s work-out on our own. For me that meant that Pace and Mary Aplin got to do a little yoga 🙂
They were hilarious!
I know Pace, I don’t know how they expect us to hold that position either.
Mary Aplin didn’t stay interested quite as long as sister; she disappeared to partake of her newest guilty pleasure–WASHING HER FACE IN THE TOILET!!! It’s happened around twice a day for the last week. What in the world?! Each time she comes walking up to me, soaking wet, with a big grin on her face–like I’m NOT going to spank her this time. This time I will surely understand how much fun it is and not be mad!
014 After an hour and a half of some hard core YogaX, an intermittent disciplinary action, and a lot of giggles about the contortions Mommy was getting herself into, we all wanted to do this along with Dapples:
And one more final thing that we’ve been enjoying around here lately:
I remember loving this story as a little girl (which is why I checked it out from the library while Pace was busy pouring over her dinosaurs), but when I read it to the girls a few days ago, it was my first time to re-visit the story as an adult. Y’all I boo-hooed. Maybe I was already geared up from all those depressing baby clothes, but what a beautiful picture of salvation this story is!

My friend Lanier recently wrote about her experience of glimpsing salvation in another story, The Lord of the Rings. She captures so perfectly what I felt about this story that I think I’ll quote her instead of muddling through my own explanation:

The Lord of the Rings is not a perfect allegory or anything of that sort, any more than Lewis’ Narnia was. And that’s why I love it so, why I believe it carries such power at its heart. He doesn’t spell everything out for us; he doesn’t merely recast true but familiar stories in a different mold. He makes us think, and ache and search—he speaks first to our hearts and then our heads, in a way that, for me at least, was a humbling and intensely personal experience.”

The following excerpts are from Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit:
Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.

I am not suggesting that we place The Velveteen Rabbit on the same plane as The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia, but the way it spoke to my heart–not as a perfect allegory (in fact, I’m not even sure the author is a Christian) but to truths and beauties that my heart aches to see, was something profound.

That night he was almost too happy to sleep, and so much love stirred in his little sawdust heart that it almost burst. And into his boot-button eyes, that had long ago lost their polish, there came a look of wisdom and beauty, so that even Nana noticed it next morning when she picked him up and said, “I declare if that old Bunny hasn’t got quite a knowing expression!”
And something I’m thankful to plant in my girls’ hearts. I smiled at the thought that they too would one day get to experience this story as an adult and have my same epiphany–“So that’s why I loved this story so much. I couldn’t have understood the deep meanings, but my heart longed for the truth it conveyed.”
028“Little Rabbit,” she said, “don’t you know who I am?”
The Rabbit looked up at her, and it seemed to him that he had seen her face before, but he couldn’t think where.
“I am the nursery magic fairy,” she said. “I take care of the playthings that the children have loved. When they are old and worn out and the children don’t need them anymore, then I come and take them away with me and turn them into Real.”…
And she kissed the little Rabbit again and put him down on the grass….
He was a Real Rabbit at last, at home with the other rabbits.

9 Responses to “Boxes, Bending, and Bunnies”

  1. Stephanie says:

    I also love The Velveteen Rabbit….I had forgotten about how touching it was too until an excerpt from it was read at a funeral I attended last month. The granddaughter read it aloud, because she said it was her grandmother's favorite story to read to her. It was truly beautiful…

  2. Rhonda Hennessy says:

    Hi Abby! I'm a rando blog stalker and I just had to comment – one of my favorite quotes, the one about being real, lies within it's pages. I've loved it for as long as I can remember! I think we get so caught up in appearances and things (myself at the front of that line!), but every time I read or remember that quote, it brings right back to what's most important – being yourself and that people that REALLY know you, love you just the way you are 🙂 I have a 14 month old, and that's one of the first books I bought her, and I can't wait for the day that she sits still long enough to enjoy the entire book! Good luck with the move!

  3. Love Being a Nonny says:

    I know your mother would be so proud of you! What a precious thing that you said about her hands! Oh how sweet!

    Good luck with the move..UGH…not fun!

  4. Caroline says:

    Deleted comment?!? Wow. It must have been a bad one. Im curious!!

    Anyway, yeah I hope you are saving ALL those dresses because you KNOW they should be hand me downs not only to your other children but mine as well!! 🙂 haha

    Love you

  5. Gail says:

    WOW! ONCE again..YOU and Lanier have touched my heart and right where I live! Thank you, sweet, sweet, girl. I have NEVER been able to speak from my heart, how I felt about– The Lord Of the Rings. Lanier can and did~ And, now– you, too… with The Velveteen Rabbit. I think C.S. Lewis said…We read so we know we aren't alone. I think that is right. At any rate…if he did..HE was so right on! Thank you, sweet, Abby. Love, G

  6. melissa richie says:

    i'm pretty sure you've inherited those hands. i know your little girls will look at all the things you've made one day and feel the same way. do you remember that passage about handmade clothing in 'freckles?"

    oh, and the hand descriptions reminded me of china court , as well.

    love the boxes of clothes! is that what my stash will look like if we have another girl?? i can't imagine getting rid of any of vale's sweet things.

    and, i loved that book, too as a child. i think i need to go check it out pronto.

    hope to see you monday, friend.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If you like the book you really should listen to the book on CD done by Rabbit Ears read the stories…in this case Meryl Streep reads and the music is done by pianist George Winston, It is wonderful!

  8. Jessica Matz says:

    I just started using google reader and it "recommended" you blog. Grady Maddox is a dear friend of my husband and myself from college – we spent the night at the farm a few times on the way to the beach. What a small world! Loved your pics and sweet posts – they were an encouragement.

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