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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How She Teaches Me Magic


We sit on the couch. Together. Just talking. One of my favorite things to do with her. And she asks for my thoughts about the choir concert. She genuinely wants to know which songs were my fave. She also wants feedback on her solo part. So, we discuss. We talk all things choir. Her sister interrupts every now and then with her "music nerd" comments.

For this concert, the Director switched up the formation of where everyone stands. We talk about this too. Because I couldn't see her that well. And when this girl sings, my eyes never leave her. So, I tell her that the new standing arrangement made me sad.

"Oh, I love it when we stand that way. I can hear better, which helps me sing better." When I looked confused, she explains it for me. Normally, all the singers are bunched tight together based on their voice range. In that kind of a setup, you can only hear the singers nearest you, the ones who sing in your range. But when the group loosens up and spreads out, they can all see one another. That's when they can hear the full range of everyone's voices put together. They can hear what the full song really sounds like.

And it makes sense. And she uses big hand motions and her eyes get wide with excitement while she breaks it all down for me. She convinces me just with the truth of her explanation.

And this thought sticks with me for days. The thought that spreading out helps us to see and hear one another better. That when we stay tightly confined to what we've always known, that's just all we ever hear. But, if we take the courage to broaden our space and step into an unknown light, we just might find the bigger picture we've always hoped for. It's like a majestic view is just waiting for us to be bold enough to change it up. Move out in order to bring it all in.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. And again. These kids of mine are my teachers. They are my leaders showing me the way. They are bold and brave and honest. It's gut-wrenchingly beautiful sometimes.

We're not all singers standing on a stage. But we are all humans living our own story. Just think of all the beauty that waits for you to step out of the path that you normally walk. Think about all that you can hear if you stand at a different angle. And all the magnitude you can see once you plant yourself in a place where you can understand better what everyone sounds like.

We are all in this together. This daily living and doing, thing. We need each other, there's no way around it. It's all a part of the master plan anyway. So, let's decide together to broaden our steps. To move into a space that gives us a better life view. Just think of the extraordinary way we can shape where we are. Just with a step or two. Or, maybe ten.

And once you're there, open your eyes and see.

Look at what can happen when we all sing at perfect pitch. Not perfect by the world's standard. Perfect just for you. Which makes it perfect just for me.

It's magic. Simply magic.
Let's do this.

Together.



Thursday, October 16, 2014

#whatthe?


Listen. Right now, right this very moment, I'm sitting at my computer (duh!) and eating animal crackers. For legit, I've lined them all up like a circus train. And I'm inspecting them as I ingest them. You know, to see if I can tell what animal they are. It's an epic morning. This is what my brain does when I take migraine medicine at 4:00 am. It makes me think all weird. Well, and BE weird. Nice.

But really, here's the thing.

Because I have a thing I really, really need to discuss.

No shenanigans. No animal cookies. This is serious.

Here goes...
You know The Husband has an affection for butterflies, right? Well, I've never told you this, but he has a Butterfly BFF. Oh, yes. Yes, he does. Her name is Mary. And she's lovely. They work together (kindof). Wow. That makes it sound weird. But really, it's not weird. Other than the butterfly obsession and all.

Guess what? They call each other and talk "butterflies". I'm. Not. Kidding.

And just so we're clear, it's only Monarch butterflies. That's their specialty.

And here's where the awesome bumps up a level. People know, they know, about their butterfly love. It's crazy. You know why?


Because friends are now buying them customized butterfly gifts. Nice ones. Encased in glass. It may have been suggested that I could buy a special light to mount above the case. You know, to shine down and illuminate the butterflies. Ah, heck no. No, no, no.

Here's my question-- Why, oh why, could he not be obsessed with BMW's?

Seriously.

And this morning, in between my cookie eating, and just because I'm snarky, I asked The Husband if he wanted to wave goodbye to his friends. The butterflies. Let it be known that he was not pleased. Not even a tiny bit.


Happy Thursday, my friends.

I think I'll name them. I'll get back to you on that.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

And Just Like That, She's The Favorite Again



We stand outside waiting for the bus. And we wear jackets. Because today is Fall in Texas. Just this one day. That's as long as it usually lasts.

And the Baby Child, the one I've pinned all my hopes and dreams on, decides to do something uniquely awesome.


She picks acorns right off the tree. Holding the cup in her mouth allows her to use both hands. She has to tip-toe reach for the branches because she's so tiny.


She giggles while she holds the cup by her teeth. And she jumps from branch to branch. All while I take her picture. Because this, this right here, is so beautiful, I memorize the shape and sight and sound of it all.

And just like that, I forget that she's in junior high. I forget that most words out of her mouth are aimed to make me feel like an idiot. I forget that I hate this age. Because, acorns! It's joy overflowing. And I want to hold this moment forever.

And just so we're clear, these two:
Stole my phone and took weirdo pictures. They are definitely not the favorite. Nope. Not at all. No acorns for them.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Hair and Other Stuff


Have we ever discussed my hair? No? That's a shame. Because there's tons to say. Let's start with this-- I loathe washing it. Like, I avoid it because I hate it so much. Truly. I'm not even going to tell you how long I can go between hair scrubbings. It's an extraordinary amount of time. You'll be jealous. I just know it.

The root of the problem is that I have so, SO much hair. It's thick, it's long, it's everywhere. You wouldn't believe the tendrils that fall out every day when I brush it. I could fill the earth with stuffed pillows of hair. I'm not kidding. My sister has even more than I do. And we go to the same hair-cutter-person-gal. She "thins" it out every time. I lose 10 pounds just from a hair cut.

There's long hair everywhere you look around here. The next time you're over at my house, just rub your hand along the carpet. Hair. That's what you'll find. We could sell it as a commodity. It doesn't really help that I don't have proper working vacuum, but that's a story for another day. Or not.


The Baby Child has a crazy obsession with shampoo. She can't seem to find the energy to walk upstairs to her own bathroom. So, she showers in mine. The other day I realized that she's created a salon in my shower.


And no, I don't know why this collection is here. Parent Rule #3 "Don't ask, because you don't want to know."

***


Have you ever tried to make plans with a teenager? It's maddening. They're so all over the place. And I'm soooooo NOT. I'm a Type A planner. 'Spontaneous' is a bad word. So, imagine how difficult it is to get your teenagers to verbalize some sort of time table to you. I don't think it's even possible.

For example, I know they have plans tonight. My people and their friends. There's a rehearsal, and a met up (my house?) and dinner and a drive-in. That's the jist. Even though I know it's futile, I called Teenager #1 this morning to see if she had ANY idea how the night would run out.

I couldn't really get the teenagers to discuss anything because they were giggling so hard. There's a mobile mammogram truck in the high school parking lot. They think it's the greatest thing ever. Their friends have all gathered together to discuss how that actually works. Oh geez.

I sighed and hung up the phone.

***

When was the last time you really felt loved? For me, it was yesterday. People gave me gifts! It was the most unexpected and extraordinary thing.


A beautiful friend bought me acorn salt and pepper shakers. Say to the what?! They're too cute for words. And my sister (who is an awesome gift-giver) scored me an exquisite old, chippy window pane. I nearly cried with joy.

I should pay it forward and make someone feel loved today. How about we meet at the high school for a mammogram?

***

And just in case you haven't seen the buzz around the web, the Mormon movie opens today. Check the website here to see one near you.

I can't imagine why that film crew didn't choose this family to follow around. What a spicy little film that would make.

***

Happy Friday homies.
Feel the love. And the hair.



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Write It On The Wall


I attended my first Women's Conference when I had just 2 little girls at home. I stayed overnight at a hotel with my mom and cousins. It felt like Hawaii. My soul soaked up every word and every moment.

During the Conference, I attended a panel lecture hosted by grown-up moms. Women who had been mothering so much longer than me. I watched them with awe, just knowing they had all the answers and could show me the path to march as a parent.

And now? I'm one of those women. The ones I assumed had it all figured out and plotted on a map. And guess what? I didn't have a clue then, and I still don't today. Mothering and parenting are a mix-as-you-go type of deal. A live and learn.

One mother on that Conference panel offered the audience her best piece of advice. I still remember it to this day. Here it is: "Never do a job so well that no one notices it's been done." Let's give an internet fist-bump.

So, I'm going to tell you one of the ways I make sure that "Everyone notices the job has been done."

I write a quote on the bathroom wall.

Ta-Da.


I'm a quote collector. I have scads stashed in a book. And every time I clean the bathroom, I write a new one on my wall. Sometimes I've even let my girls do the writing. Once it was The Husband's turn. Tells you how often he cleans the bathroom. Wink, wink.

There are times I make it fancy, and others that I just slap it up there. Yesterday I wrote down a pretty lengthy quote. It replaced, "Love is a Verb", by Stephen Covey.

All you need is a dark wall and some chalk. Wipe it off with a cloth when your ready to switch it out. I'm fairly certain this is the only way anyone knows this area of the house gets cleaned. New wall quote=Clean for the moment.

I was looking at these words on the wall today and realized that they're powerful. I think I've shared them before. Maybe? I can't remember. So, I'll just share them again. I believe I originally found this on Pinterest. Maybe? The raspberries are my own :)


And when I offer up the words, "Change the world.", I mean the world right where you are. Within the walls that house you and your people. That's the world. The whole of it. In every day that you get up and do it All. Over. Again!, you change it. For the better.

In all that you do that goes unnoticed. All the mundane, tireless acts you perform without any thanks, that is you speaking your truth. Don't stop. Don't you dare. Because you are right where you're supposed to be. The center of it all.

Be strong. Show courage. Breathe.

And don't forget to write it on the wall.



Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sa Junk


There's this thing I do. It's sort of so ingrained, it's just my life. And yesterday I wondered, "Sa, you should be talking about this. Your thing. Your way." Am I the only one that talks to themselves? Most of the time I think it's a normal thing to do. But maybe it's not. I think this is what teenagers do to your brain.

Here's the deal. I do pain and pills (it's so cute they both start with P's) all day. Weird, right? To me its just life as usual. Migraines and hip pain (that is unexplainable and can't be diagnosed). Pain is my co-pilot. And so, pills are my best friends. Have been forever. But, the average over-the-counter stuff? Pfft. Those are vitamins. I'm at a much higher pay grade.

And let me just stop you right here from giving me a lecture or advice. Especially about migraines. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, I haven't tried, considered, tested for, etc.  When someone new finds out that I have a headache Every. Day., they get real wise and think they know more than someone who has lived this way for 20 years. Oh, you silly people. You're funny.


Every 6 months or so, my pain doctor convinces me to try another round of "injections". That's just code for-- put you under and inject some sort of nerve block in your joint with a needle as long as a wiener dog. The end.

But, here's what I really, really want to tell you about. There is this moment. This glorious, beautiful moment. It happens when they transfer your hospital gown clad body onto the operating table and they strap oxygen onto your face. And then....oh and then...they shoot some sort of miracle drug into your IV. This is the stuff that will eventually knock you out, but it takes a beautiful while to do so. Yipee!

But listen up. Super close. Lean in. For about 30 seconds, I. Love. The. Entire. World. That juice is golden. I have never ever, ever, ever felt so good as I do in those 30 amazing seconds. In that blip of time, I have prophetic visions. Most of the time, they boil down to this: I would be a way better mom if I could run this through my blood stream all day long.

Maybe my new nickname should be Junkie. That's got kind of a crafty twist to it. Oh, I know. It can be my "Street Name". Like, I'm bad to the bone. That up's my cool factor by like, 120%. Maybe my teenagers will like me better if everyone starts calling me Junkie. Actually, how about Sa Junk? That's got Street Cred all over it! I like it. Lots and lots. Sa Junk. I'm so cool now, I may just start using emoticons in my texts. (Probably not, I hate when adults use those.)

I'm thinking of starting a club (I tend to do that a lot). The "Beautiful 30 Seconds" Club. Only true, experienced members can join. You get a Street Name when you enroll.

I'm giddy.

Enjoy your weekend, my people.
Take some pills and think of me.



Monday, September 29, 2014

I Am A Paper Towel


I spy something with my too-large-for-my-face eye.
It's a mess.
The same variation of the crap I pick up Every. Single. Day.


I know if I really analyzed this for one holy, hot minute, I'd know that this problem comes down to my lack of parenting skills. But I'm pretty adept at deflecting those kinds of thoughts.

But this morning, I sat on my couch and looked around.
And I realized this: I'm the quicker-picker-upper.
I am a paper towel.
For legit.

When you boil it all down, that's all there is.
This mantra: I got a college degree so I could pick up after my family, all day long.
Without anyone ever noticing.

Again.
I am a paper towel.

Good grief, that's awesome.


**Here's a thought: Let's start a support group for us Paper Towel Moms. We'll call ourselves The Towlettes. You with me?

Our first order of business will be an "off-site retreat". Far, far away.
You know, to set up the rules for our club.
And maybe get a massage.
Being a Paper Towel is exhausting.