Saturday, May 29, 2010

Love Bigger than Betelgeuse

I know the worst way to start your morning. Looking for your missing child.

I woke up at 6:00 am (my usual time) and peeked in on my sweet little princess before heading for my coffee and quiet time. The fact that she wasn't in her bed was a bit odd, since I already knew she wasn't with us in ours, and there is no reason under Heaven why she would wander all the way downstairs in the middle of the night to cuddle with her three stinky, non-maternal brothers. Our room is right beside hers...she visits more than often. So, in my perplexity, I checked my room princess. Checked downstairs with the princess. Checked the couches...the tub...closets, under princess. Heart is racing a bit now...clenching my stomach. Horrifying news stories flash in front of my mind. Logic pushes them away as I recheck for the third time, every place imaginable. Time to wake up Dad and start calling her name.
After about 5 minutes of calling, I hear a sweeter sound than Bach, ocean waves and birds singing...a groggy, faint, toxic breathed princess, coming from the bottom end of the already filled brothers' bed, under the covers.

Sometimes a little virtual peek into someone else's reality, can make you very thankful. Just 10 minutes of your absolute worst nightmare is enough to make you sick...literally. At about 9:30 that morning, I suffered severe nausea and stomach pain for about 2 hours...then it was gone. The unproven but suspicious cause of my illness, was enough to make me a very thankful mom. My kids got away with "bloody murder" that day. They are such beautiful, brilliant, gracious bundles of joy!!

This morning, they are a little less inspiring. Tomorrow they will be a little less than that...and so goes the degenerate human mind. If evolution were fact, this lesson would have been learned and branded on my soul in order to survive as one of the fittest. God's grace and transforming power is fact though, therefore I press on in victory, knowing that He is the teacher and I am his student. He protects, provides and keeps me, even when I don't feel like learning.

Life's happenings are largely out of our control. Knowing that there is one bigger than Betelgeuse (Google that one), more caring than Mother Theresa and wiser than Solomon, makes life worth living.

"Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone."

I'm going to start locking doors at night now too. The blond haired, blue eyed "night creeper" WILL be kept INSIDE my fortress!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

We planted our garden yesterday. It's a dirty, detailed job, but well worth it. My husband tills the rows, my older boys lime them, Dad tills again, then I come along behind planting seeds. In the hot sun and little wind, it was a rather long day. At one point, my husband and I were working side by side. I looked at his sweaty face and said:

"Do you come here often?"

him: "Only once a year."

me: "Are you married?"

him: "Yes."

me (gathering up courage): "Wanna get together after this is done?" (I guess his being married didn't bother me too much)

him: no words...just his typical snickers of affection and joy

You've gotta have a little bit of fun in these situations. My flirtatious words were born out of reaction to his chivalrous garden acts. There is one section of the garden that has the freshest chicken manure. It is disgustingly mucky, swarming with flies and you sink a foot deep into it as you walk through it. I had to plant corn seeds there...or at least I was rethinking planting them there. My prince charming, covered in a fragrant mixture of "Eau de Lime et Manure", stopped the tiller and seeded the pit of death for me. I heard him telling our oldest son, "I'm not letting your mom work in that mess."

All the roses and chocolate in the world wouldn't smell as attractive as that man, at that moment. Even the Old Spice guy on his white horse doesn't smell like my man does.

Our post planting rendez vous included bon fire roasted hot dogs and smores, and dinner accompaniment was crickets and laughing children. He's got me for life.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Kinda Bling

I've REALLY got the shopping bug for some reason. I guess spring reminds me of fresh, pretty, new things and I want to go get some. Just so you don't think I'm completely all Birkenstock and drab, dark and practical, I thought I'd post a few things I consider beautiful and have a virtual shopping spree :)

I love hats...
...and more hats. These are very practical too on those bad hair days, but that's just an extra
(I can't help my practical self).

I love this...I may have my fall knitting project picked out already.

Thumb rings are awesome. I had a chronic scab on my thumb. I wouldn't leave it alone to heal, so I got a thumb ring to cover it and protect it from my constant picking. It healed and now I'm a beautiful thumb rings.

Being someone who has a strong aversion to hair hanging in her face, head scarves are a welcome friend and come in SO many great textures and colors. I just have to figure out how to keep the elasticy ones from popping off the top of my head.

Neck scarves...mmm...nice. I reeaaallly like covering my neck. Not sure why...too many zerberts as a child maybe?

This whole thing is just perfect. Comfy, colorful, tailored tunic, ...casual the hippie in me showing??

Chunky, stone bling...mmmmm.

I've loved silver since childhood...simple dangly silver.

Wouldn't I be the most fashionable pray-er in church wearing these??!! Sorry, I know we are supposed to keep our eyes closed when we pray...but they are great bracelets ;)

...and finally, the most important bling accessory is...a sincere smile. I think it is illegal for models to smile these days. I guess people relate better to pouting, dark eyed, rib bearing millionaires?? Bring the smile back!! It just makes everyone in the room feel better!

"Your adornment must not be merely external...but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God."
1 Peter 3:3 & 4

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Harley

When I was little, I would have these fits of rebellion. They rarely manifested themselves into an action, but they were felt. I would lay crying on my pillow, with Mom and Dad at the bedside, trying to help. Trying to articulate my unwanted emotions, my best explanation was "I just want to be bad". My parents, trying not to smile too much, would go through the list of "bad things" I might possibly want to do and I would honestly reject each one as the object of my obsession. With compassion and true concern, they would listen to my dramatic download and assure me of my mental health. Good parents.

Many years have past and I still haven't gone of on a rebellious crusade (yet) ;) I have, however found an outlet for my "bad girl" identity...and it's a blessing in disguise. Are you one of those people who just cannot live with yourself when you make a mistake or do wrong? I am. It's simply another, passive form of pride, but still pride. I get angry at others for expecting too much of me when I mess up, I feel depressed when I don't reach my own expectations and delve deep into a great movie when reality is just too awful to think about for that moment. Not great reactions to your failings.

So, the other day, I tried something new. I messed up with some un-earthshattering thing and forced myself to say, with attitude, "Who cares? So what? Whatcha gonna do about it?" Pictured myself with heavy black eyeliner, lip rings and a cigarette (gross). Has it really taken almost 40 years to give up the "I need to be perfect" ghost??? Yes, it has...and I have only just begun. I walked out of my room feeling free, human and still had a clear conscience. I can hear my mother applauding and cheering right about now...and my father, still protesting that I am able to do anything wrong. I think I've got it now...must practice...not messing up, but not caring so much about messing up. It's a pseudo-rebellion for me. A fighting against the powers of perfection and self exultation. I think I'll buy a Harley and get a tattoo. So if you come for a visit and see dirty dishes in the sink, me lying in bed at two in the afternoon watching a James Dean movie or hot dogs for dinner instead of home-grown chicken, remember...I'm actually bettering myself. Give me an "attagirl" and be glad about my choice of mid-life changes.

This is the part of aging that I like...shedding those hangups that you finally realize are pointless and peace robbers. I'll take wrinkles over hangups any day of the week.

I think I'll skip school Monday, go spend too much money on something and get an extra cream in my coffee...eeeewwww...I'm soooo bad ;)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Of Birks and Backpacks

As I approach 30, I am trying to be a bit more honest with myself :) Those blings of fashion that once lured my soul, somehow have lost their attractiveness, once my comfort is interrupted. Those pretty, colorful purses, those smart heels that just make you feel...well...tall, and those short waisted, tight fitting, sequined jeans...ok...since I'm being honest...I really never liked them...ON ME, of course ;) I'm perplexed by the one inch zipper on many of these jeans...what's the point?? We all like to feel pretty, but pretty is in the eye of the beholder. I behold those afore mentioned items on other women and, ya, sometimes they look pretty, but try them on myself...Is this October 31st, or is it just me?
My feet, my shoulders and my waistline are in love. They are in love with comfort. They have found their soul mates and have been wed. I would like for you to meet these three additions to my family...all of which, I will never betray, trade in or deny. If they wear out, they will be replaced, but only by another of the same. I have flirted with going back to the others for a fling, but my heart (and other body parts) just can't. I will be faithful and true forever to:

The leather backpack purse. It gives me free hands and saves my family from endless shoulder massages.

Levis...preferably, stretchy. A tried and true, country girl staple. These shoes have to go though...they look like killers for all day shopping. She needs....

Birkenstocks!!!!!!!!! The true love of my life. When your feet are happy, your whole body is happy. I have COMPLETELY worn out two pairs of these, each within one year. I'm a high maintenance partner. Time for another pair...or two.

and the honeymoon continues...

Saturday, May 8, 2010


More than a doctor, more than a teacher, more than anything else in life, I wanted to be a Mom. That is a fairly natural desire for any young girl. Playing house, choosing names and feeling productive, pretty and nurturing are all part of girlhood. So are building forts in the woods, canoeing on the river and playing with trucks in the mud and grass till the sun goes down...all of which I did as a young girl. Wrestling, hunting and boogers were not huge drawing cards for me however...and still aren't...unless it's Guy I'm wrestling with or I'm hunting at Frenchy's.

The last couple of years in University were somewhat of a marathon for me. I was greatly distracted from my studies by the sights of moms walking their baby strollers down the road and the family dinners we were invited to on Sundays, made me dreamy. All I wanted was to finish this blasted degree and start my family. We announced the pregnancy of our first child the day I walked across the stage to accept my teaching degree. That little piece of paper, though a great accomplishment, was overshadowed by the new bundle of life, tucked away, deep inside. The newness of momhood is infatuating...dreamy. Momhood has a somewhat different aura now...still great...but definitely different.

It never looses it's honor or value, it just becomes more real...specialized. I've chosen my major and I'm in the thick of the research. It is nothing like I imagined as a girl, but better. Momhood is intense, awesome, tiring, inspiring, educational, transforming and satisfying. Momhood 101 is over for me...diapers, nursing, chasing, basic training and sleep deprivation have been passed (not with flying colors...but passed). I am in the midst of Momhood 102. Education, heart analysis, communications, habit forming, spiritual training and apron-string-cutting are in full swing. I am preparing my heart for the field training. They have to try out their skills in the real world, without Mom directly beside, before they fly from the nest permanently. Momhood 103 is yet a mystery to me. Mothering adults will be altogether different, I'm sure.

I cannot imagine trying to do this Mom thing without the example of my own mom. She has made my job SO much easier by providing the template to follow. Nine times out of ten, I know just what to do because I just follow my mentor. Her gentleness, patience, sincerity, logic, and faithfulness are at the forefront of my mind as I tackle each mothering challenge. You can't buy that just anywhere.

There is no graduation from this program, just more specializing. There are no fancy letters to precede your name and no write-ups about you in the journal of your peers. You rarely wear the power suit or attend an awards banquet. Your accolades are sticky hugs and a handful of dandelions. You have awards banquets daily with hot dogs and speeches about bike stunts. You may not make it into a renowned journal, but into the diary of their hearts. What an honor and joy to be a mom. If you have a child, give it everything you have...nothing else will have eternal value. What a great profession...the pay isn't great, but who needs more stuff anyway? I don't remember many great "things" I had as a child...what I remember most are her smile, hugs, guidance and hot cornmeal rolls on the woodstove after school. Priceless.

Happy Mothers' Day!!!!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hungry Mama

Dinner time is a most complicated but wonderful time. I'm one of those people who gets a bit nasty when they are hungry...and patience is not the strongest virtue in my character profile. Get the food on the table before it gets cold, make sure the little ones have the table set (and wiped under the dishes), make sure the princess has the pretty fork and amigo#3 has his special plate, ice in this cup, but not in that one, call the big boys from wherever in Kingdom-Come they might be, don't answer the phone and do it all with a smile!! Heaven help me if I forgot to turn the dishwasher on earlier...that just sends me over my time urgent edge. We sit, hold hands for grace, my plastic smile makes everyone giggle as I ask with an airline stewardess' voice "Whose turn is it to pray today??"
It's quite amazing what change can happen with one or two bites of beloved carbohydrates. My smile and voice begin to soften, genuinely. I gradually feel the motherly affection for my babies once again and all is right with the world. The conversations of hockey, rap music, finances, and sibling antics shoot across the table like a ping pong game. I try to throw in some interesting words about curriculum or window boxes...but no one bites. This world of boyhood is still so strange and perplexing to me. I have 3 sisters. Our childhood conversations were very different. This is an unfamiliar and very different world I live in...but I love least the boys like to go shopping with me. When the princess grows out of barbie movies and high heels, I'm sure we will have lots in common to talk about.
My husband gives me a knowing grin from the opposite end of the table and the princess leans over to hug my right arm...which is still gravitating toward my plate of rejuvenation. I am understood and still loved by these wonderful people I so cherish.
Oh, I just had a thought...someday my 3 amigos will likely marry 3 charming, interesting and kindred women for me to have stimulating conversation with! But...what if they are annoying and stupid? I guess I'll just keep appreciating what I have and when I feel like I need someone to really listen...I'll blog!
I also think I will try to have a few crackers just before take the edge off...and to preserve the life of my wonderful family.