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Am I talking too much?

Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive–it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?But am I talking too much? People are always telling me I do. Would you rather I didn’t talk? If you say so I’ll stop. I can STOP when I make up my mind to it, although it’s difficult.
― Anne of Green Gables

Year of Big Birthdays for the Burtons

My family.  What a fun group of people.  

For over half of my life, I lived far enough away from my family that I didn’t see them all for birthdays.  Growing up, we always celebrated everyone’s birthday in our family.  It’s not to say that a huge party was thrown, or anything like that, but ensuring that everyone was celebrated at least once a year – that was a big deal.  We’d have the occasional birthday party (mine, of course, was my sweet sixteen), but for the most part we kept it low-key.

Adding people into our family, via my brothers getting married and nephews being born, added even more fun to the Burton birthdays. Until recently, I didn’t live by family for any of my one sister-in-law’s birthdays (Tiffany), nor my two youngest nephews’ birthdays (Ross and Ryder).  But I would attempt visits home to get everyone together to do a Burton Birthday Bash.  With the exception of Ross, whose birthday is in February, we have family celebrations from April through September, with most of them being in August and September.  Whenever we do a cake for a BBB, we’ll light the candles and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to…everyone.  We all throw in different names when it’s time to name the person, or we’ll just say everyone’s name really fast, or sometimes we just end up saying, ‘everyonnnnnnnnnne, Happy Biiiiirthdaaaaay to you…’

So we get to celebrate each other in big doses, and we truly enjoy doing it.  It’s the whole Christmas concept of – it’s even more fun to give than receive.  My family does that well.  No one really cares about what they’re going to get – at least not as much as we care about how much you’ll enjoy the gift we’re about to give you.

My family does that well.  No one really cares about what they’re going to get – at least not as much as we care about how much you’ll enjoy the gift we’re about to give you.

I love that.

This has been an extra fun year for birthdays.  All of my nephews hit those milestone birthdays.  Ross turned 16.  Ryder turned 10.  Robert turned 21.  I’m pretty sure that my brother and sister-in-law didn’t plan it that way, but it’s fun to realize.  To top it all off, my mama is going to be 70 on Sunday.  Man, Ilove her.  I’ve been nothing but blessed since I moved in to hang with my parents for a short season, back in June, while I transition back to live by my family.  She’s amazing.  (So’s my dad…but we’ll get to him later.)

A few weeks ago we did a Burton Birthday Brunch Bash – brother, David, got a waffle maker for Christmas last year and I don’t get enough use of it, so I requested a brunch bash.  We brunched, and swam, and laughed a lot.  Ryder brought the fun, and we do a mini version of that this Sunday to celebrate a few more birthdays.

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Accents

  

Awhile ago I took one of those online assessments where they ask you how you pronounce certain words. Upon completing the quiz, they tell you where they think you’re from based on your pronunciation.  I tend to confuse these tests. They can’t seem to figure out where I’m from!

See, I grew up in Philly, yo! There are moments when my Philly accent comes out more strongly than others, like when I spend a decent amount of time with my brother, Todd (which sadly doesn’t happen nearly enough).  There’s something about him that brings out the Philly girl in me and the accent comes out like a fighter.

Then I transported myself halfway across the northern U.S. to go to college in Minneapolis…which also maintains a strong accent. By Christmas of my freshman year, my internal accent couldn’t quite figure out which city I belonged in! It was a bit of an identity crisis, to be honest.  My Philly friends that were in school with me were fighting the Minnesohta accent strongly and making fun of my mishaps frequently.  The joke’s on them…most of them stayed in the upper Midwest after college…and now they sound like natives.

After five years of Minnesota-loving talk I moved to the Mitten.  Michigan. The Detroit area, to be exact. Now, Michigan has its accental quirks-especially on the western side. But let’s be honest-I spent most of my time in Motown, where the Detroit city speak was prevalent ands where my students yelled out, “I gotta use it!”  It wasn’t so much an accent that I picked up there, as it was a whole new way of speaking. I taught for seven years in the D and you could always tell when I’d been talking about my students in the classroom.  It would come out. I had morphed into a different person. It was comical.

Almost seven years ago I moved to D.C.  This area is such a melting pot that there isn’t truly an accent…until you crossover into Virginia.  There is something about that line. All of a sudden you get closer and closer to southern accents. It didn’t help that I developed a ton of friends that are from the south and who have kept their accents from the days they used to fish with their pawpaw and have low country boils to feed a hundred folks.  Nowadays, people meet me for the first time, hear me speak and they often assume I’m from the South. I just laugh and say, “Yea, no, but that makes sense.”

In two months I will be moving back in the Philly area. I look forward to carrying a little bit of everywhere I’ve had the honor of living over the past nineteen years back with me, if in no other way…but in through the many accents I’ve picked up along the way. 

Thanks for the blog idea!  http://www.nextstepediting.com/your-30-stories/

This Love

Basking in the love of my Father…words from this song by Housefires hits my heart in a deep place.

This love is every moment. Everyday. Always.

Walk with You. Be with You.

This love is an everyday kind of love.

This love doesn’t leave me all alone. It never forgets its own.

It doesn’t leave me ’cause my past is bad.

It lifts me up above the waves. I don’t need to be overwhelmed.

Forgive yourself.  Those who have hurt you.

There is no chain this love can’t break.

Be free.

This love will ruin every fear.

#lovewins

17 Posts in Draft Form

I have 17 posts in draft form behind the scenes here at Memoirs.

So much to say, and yet I don’t say it.

So many blogs started, only to feel like that’s just too much right now.

Even though you can’t tell from this blog over the last couple of years, I do actually consider myself to be a writer…who only writes occasionally, and even at that, not really much at all.

Even as a fairly transparent individual, too many of my experiences are just not ready for the world.

Ever feel like that?

I will find spaces in my world to share. Because I miss living out my love of writing.

These are, after all, my memoirs.

Half a Decade

Five years ago, yesterday, I showed up in Alexandria with my family and all my stuff in a UHaul. It was moving day. I had just left my seven year stint in the Detroit area-the place I moved to after college…you know…every girl’s dream. It was a place that I loved being.

But…

It’s been a great five years here in the DC area for so many reasons, and it’s also been a considerably tough segment of my life. Some things have changed in the last couple of months that are bringing refreshing to this weary soul, and healing to this broken heart.

More to come on that.

Now…what to anticipate over the next five years…

Healing

Truth: God uses the thing that crushes us to heal us. If we’ve been injured in community, he uses community to heal us. That’s not to say we run headlong into toxic relationships. We are to grow up and learn discernment from our negative experiences. It means God leads us toward healthy community to help us recover from difficult community. It means we risk again for the sake of our healing, even though that seems entirely counterintuitive.

Mary DeMuth, The Wall Around Your Heart: How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You