Friday, August 31, 2007


Welcome to Practicality.

Dear Kyle,

Last night was a first for us. In three years of marriage, we have spent most of those nights sleeping in the same, king-sized bed. Last night, however due to the fact that I am a forgetful person (and because I was reading Harry Potter), our sheets were still in the washing machine (read: not dry) when it came time to go to bed - a situation that I recognized too late to rectify. So we still slept together. And for some reason, we chose the smallest bed in the house. The smaller-than-twin bed was our place of rest for the evening. It's the softest bed in the house - my bed from before we were married. The twin sheets that I bought for it only fit the extra-small mattress because of the two layers of pink foam I added to give it the "sleeping in a cloud" effect that you so love to hate. It is divinely soft in a way that only I truly appreciate.

So I fell into a deep sleep pretty quickly. The warmth of the big, strong man I love next to me on the softest bed in the world. It was everything I imagined marriage would be.

And when I woke up at 2 am, in my favorite bed, still completely glued to your side, my first thought wasn't, "Gee, how nice it is to be married to someone who can keep my feet warm at night." But instead, "I'm FREEZING! Why must he always take the covers off of me and throw them on the floor!?!"

And when the alarm clock went off this morning, you bounced out of bed, ready to be released from Divine Discomfort and were a whopping 25 minutes EARLY to work. Unheard of. Must've been as uncomfortable for you as it was for me.

And this might be the picture of marriage for some people. High expectations of romance and roses and candles and cuddling and laughing and affectionate love for a lifetime. And it is those things. But it's also fighting, and paying bills, and dogs pooping in places they shouldn't poop, and waking up next to an extremely smelly person thinking, "Really? Is this what I signed up for?"

Three years ago today, we made the command decision to move our wedding from Saturday to Friday, because of an imminent hurricane. It was the joke of those around us that 'this was a sign of things to come'. In their "joke", they meant to imply that it was an indication of the stormy nature of our relationship.

I translated it differently, however. I choose to believe that it was a true analogy of our ability to stand together through whatever comes our way. And three years is only the beginning.

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I love you.

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Monday, August 27, 2007



From an email exchange with friend/Journey Church person, Tarah:

Hasn't this been the theme of Journey Church so far: that God provides more than we can imagine !! I am not a crier. But I get all misty-eyed just thinking of how God has used this church to be such a blessing to us.

The Polk Family was definitely hanging on a precipice in early 2007. My prayer was that God would provide a place where we could find a couple to be our friends. Just one. Someone to encourage us at a church where we could go and be marginally involved without completely stressing ourselves out.

What. A. Joke.

I can imagine the conversation going something like this:

Rita: God, give us just one couple. One really solid couple. (Meanwhile thinking that this would be a "church friend" situation like others before, where I would find a close girlfriend with a husband/boyfriend who Kyle would tolerate when I asked him to.)
God: One couple? How about six and some singles?
Rita: And God, show us a church where we can get some rest. Something that meets our needs without a great demand on our time. Some place we can proudly take our friends on Sundays.
God: You dream of a church where you can find rest for your physical weariness. I have a church where you can make peace with your qualms about church. (And you can sleep in on Sundays! BONUS!) I am giving you the chance to recreate the church and make it into a safe haven for your friends. Church should be about more than yourself. Think bigger, Rita.

And if you'd asked me in January to be a part of this church planting process, I'd have told you "Noooo, thank you!"

And when I talked to Hal (as my boss) when Kyle and I had decided to leave FBC in February, he said, "Rita, I'd like to suggest that you guys check out the Journey Church. I think they're going to do good things." My first thought was, "Noooo, thank you!"

But by April, we were sick of being disappointed and not finding what we were looking for. I began to think we were being too picky and we should just pick something and commit to it. Boy am I glad we didn't!!

All this really long email to say ... I am so looking forward to what God has in store. Because I have already seen my expectations just BLOWN out of the water. I can't even think of what must be coming. My mind can't even conceive!!

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Friday, August 24, 2007


Passive-Aggressive Wifing

Recently, a friend was telling me about a trip she took to the Market in Downtown Charleston where she saw a unique trinket. I don't remember what it was really called, but for the sake of story, let's call it the Anniversary Jar.

On one side of the Anniversary Jar is inscribed the Couple's Name. And on the other side is their Wedding Anniversary Date. As the story goes, it was a custom that every couple would receive a jar like this for a wedding gift. Then as the anniversary approaches, the wife turns the jar around so that the date is showing. This would be a "subtle reminder" to the husband, "Hey, don't forget to make plans! It's coming up!" And when the husband has successfully made the plans, he assures his wife by turning the jar back around so that their names are showing.

So, in the tradition that this entrepreneurial old man has passed along:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Osama, Obama, and Yo Momma

I am not a fan of the easy joke. I do not appreciate comedians like Larry the Cable Guy (et. al) whose brand of humor is dependent on the simple-mind of the "consumer". Perhaps it's just that I'm pretentious, but more than that I, personally, have a bad habit of cracking the easy joke every time opportunity affords itself. I'm only just learning to reel them in. To bite my tongue when necessary. (My husband notes this quite often. He'll pause and then say, "Good restraint! I saw that one coming!")

ANYONE can crack the easy joke! Why should some overpaid, chubby man with a cut-off flannel shirt make money cracking jokes that I crack at home!?

I digress.

I heard an easy joke recently. In a group of church ladies. I only heard the punchline, which was something to the effect of "I'm only afraid of three things: Osama, Obama, and Yo Momma". (Later, someone explained to me that, as the joke goes, this comment was being made to Chelsea Clinton.)

Not only is this joke just generally a bad joke, it's the easy joke. Who, when they first heard Barrack Obama's name, didn't think, "Hm. That's an unfortunate rhyme"? But what devout Republican person decided, "Oh yeh. I'm going there. This'll be the best joke ever!"

The point of this post is to say that if you've heard this joke, you can appreciate it's badness.

But if you've TOLD this joke ... STOP! Stop right now!! It is NOT funny.

The end.

*This post is not a statement about my presidential preference or political persuasion. It is simply in response to the badness of this joke.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Good Things About Today:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007



About a year or so ago, my aunts contacted me to design a logo for their new business. They were opening up a yarn shop near their home in the North Georgia Mountains. They had a very specific idea in mind about how the logo should look, but left the actual details to me. And this is what I came up with:

And you've never met more happy customers. They brag on me every chance they get. They make sure I know how much they appreciate my work. And they show it off as much as possible.

And because of that, I know they're really happy with it, so it makes me feel good too.

Yesterday, I got a package in the mail from them with some goodies inside. Among the items were a project bag with the logo on it. And a local magazine that featured their store! And MY LOGO!!

They'd been telling me that someone had written an article about them, but apparently my aunts are the queens of downplay. It was the cover article! With lots of pictures and quotes other good stuff!

I haven't been up to see the store since it's opened. When I was visiting at Christmas, it was just an empty storefront with a few shelves and baskets laying around. Now I can't wait to get up there and see it for myself!

Yay, Aunt Janice & Aunt Karen! And, if you're ever in North Georgia, you should go pay them a visit.

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Monday, August 13, 2007


Side by Side in this Gentle Descent

I love my husband.

A lot.

The end.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007


More photos

Bridesmaids - South Carolina Style.

And a Complete Set.

Aunt Karen & Me

The Family ... without Kyle & Amy ... after the wedding.

In this picture, Derek and I are bickering. I suggested we take a Simpson's family photo
so I could reach across and choke him. He said only if he could put a bag on my head first. We settled for something a little more normal:

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Rita Plugs In Again ...

My sister was recently married. Last Saturday, to be exact. It was a very nice wedding and took several months to plan – as weddings often do. And as the more organized sister in the Moss family, I helped a lot with the details of planning The Big Day. I was constantly telling her, "Make a list. No, now. Get out a pen and write down what I'm telling you." It became a joke that when anyone would ask her direction about a specific wedding detail, she would say, "I dont know. Ask Rita." read more ...


Monday, August 6, 2007


The Wedding Pictures

For some reason, I frequently forgot to take pictures this weekend. Like I was busy or something...

But this is what I have until I get something else to post or link to.

Thursday Night: Bachelorette Party / Lingerie Shower

I thought I got pictures from Friday morning, but apparently I was mistaken. File under: too busy.

Saturday: Wedding

Somebody send me some more pictures!

Oh yeh! And the video from the rehearsal dinner!

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Thursday, August 2, 2007


Upon the Wedding of Little Sis

Dear Mendy,

It’s finally here. The weekend we’ve been planning for months. The weekend you’ve been dreaming of your whole life. You found each other. You’ve plotted and planned and delegated and … delegated again, and it’s upon us. This weekend, you become Mrs. Derek Goebel. Not just my little sister. Not just the Baby of the Moss Family. But someone’s wife.

Pardon me if it takes me a while to get used to the idea. During the past 23 years, I’ve been The Big Sister, a role I’ve taken very seriously. Fierce Protector. Counselor. Guide. Second Mother. Sister … with all the good and bad that the job entails.

And as my final act as Self-Appointed Primary Protector of Mendy, I pass along the lessons that I have learned over the past three years: My Marriage Advice.

This list is a compilation of Lessons Learned By Rita The Hard Way and also the wise advice of some respected persons. I hope this helps you.

I also kept this list of stuff from a sermon that Pastor Hal preached in May 2005. At that point, I hadn't been married yet a year, but it already meant a lot to hear at that point. I remember that the Sunday this sermon was preached, we had a group of single friends visiting from out of town. After church, they were all, "Duh! Those are so easy!" and Kyle and I just looked at each other and knew we had appreciated the reminder.

I hope it will mean as much to you as it has to me.

20 Principles and Practices
That Will Build A Stronger Marriage:

  1. Grow Spiritually
  2. Love Completely
  3. Work Continuously
  4. Play Often
  5. Share Equally
  6. Serve Cheerfully
  7. Give Selflessly
  8. Laugh Heartily
  9. Talk Honestly
  10. Praise Frequently
  11. Criticize Gently
  12. Spend Wisely
  13. Protect Fiercely
  14. Parent Jointly
  15. Celebrate Happily
  16. Forgive Easily
  17. Believe Stubbornly
  18. Pray Daily
  19. Sacrifice Gratefully and
  20. Grow Old Joyfully
Spend the rest of your life being a student of your husband. Learn his interests and encourage him. Learn his love language and become fluent. Learn his communication style and speak it.

Spend the rest of your life making it what you always dreamed. You hold the keys.

And know that I will always love you. And I will always be here for you.

Your Big Sister

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Are you sick of hearing about the wedding yet?

No? Good. Because here are some more wedding things.

First, programs. They're finished. And, naturally, beautiful!

The inside paper is white and sparkly (in keeping with the Theme of the Day)
the outside paper is white, striped vellum with their monogram and a fleur de lis showing through.


Second, Lingerie Shower invitations. Boys, avert your eyes. The 1980's sexiness of this invitation just might lead you down the path of unrighteousness.

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