Tuesday, August 31, 2010

For Real?

Since arriving here in this humid, bug infested place, I've tried to be tolerant of the "wildlife".

Last night, I walked into my bathroom, and look what was hopping across the floor:

I'm not kidding!! I screamed and the kids came running. We watched this amphibian try to jump up onto the shower door. Sam eagerly scooped him up, played with him for a while and then set him free outside.

On a brighter note, look what we found when we got home from church on Sunday:

This thing was as big as my hand. He was perched on the window just beside my back door. Again, screams proceeded from my mouth. And a few gasps. Makell just rolled her eyes and killed it.

I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm totally positive that spiders should not look like they took steroids, and frogs should not, I repeat NOT, take a stroll through my bathroom.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Day Of Rest?

If I'm reading my scriptures correctly, the Lord rested on the 7th day. Right? So, why does that modern day translation seem to require more work than resting? My perception of the actual word 'rest' is more than likely my problem. Maybe in the days of Christ, that didn't necessarily mean, 'lay on the couch and take a nap and the kids don't talk'. Maybe the biblical version of 'rest' just means 'doing different stuff than the rest of the other 6 days'.

While I 'rested' this day, the offspring asked if they could bake a cake. That simple request turned into a crazy mess of dishes and food coloring. It created so much 'rest' for me, small squirts of tears formed in the corner of my eyes.

What kind of a mother lets her kids do this? One that's tired? One that's crazy? Or, one who wants to rest? More than likely, it's one that only has half an eyebrow.

Hidden beneath the layers of frosting lies a pink (very, very pink) cake. At one point there was a serious debate on which food colors should be used. Debate is a nice way of saying 'argument'.

You all know how much I adore cake. So, of course I ate it. Lots of it. For those few mini-seconds where I scrapped off all the frosting and licked my fork, I rested. Maybe that's the part the scriptures don't teach us. You don't get to rest for the whole day. But, just for 5 minutes and frosting is involved.

Definitely food for thought.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

This Week's Ridiculous Questions

In no particular order of ridiculousness--

Question #1:
Addie: "Mom, why don't you ever buy liquid cheese?"
Me: "Because the words liquid and cheese should never be used together."


Question #2:
My sister: "Do you rat your hair before you pull it back?"
Me: "Um. I'm nearly 40, so that would be a 'no'."


Question #3:
Me: "Hey mom, do you remember when I mentioned that I should get a part-time job?"
My Mom: "Uh huh."
Me: "I'm thinking about checking out Hooters."
My Mom: "They'd make you work in the kitchen."
(I'm assuming she said that because I'm such a good cook. Right?)


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I've Hungered

There are only a few things in life that can bring me more joy than baked goods topped with frosting. This is one of them:

I don't dare break open it's cover. Once I start, I just may not be able to put it down.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Real Mother's Day

1 off to Elementary school.
2 off to Junior High.

I am hyperventilating on my happiness.

My body isn't used to this much joy.
Don't worry, I'll adjust.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Where It Dwells

Three years is a long time to miss someone. Especially when he was your best friend.

I've tried to take an internal measurement of where my sadness dwells today compared to this moment three years ago. Grief tends to shift and move around. After awhile, it seems to find a comfortable spot and it lays down it's roots for the duration of forever.

Three years ago, I could not have imagined finding joy. But today, I find myself seeing it all around me. The sadness is there, with it's roots deep and firm. But, it has loosened it's grip every so slightly. It has made room for the joy to seep in.

I have yet to hang a picture of my dad anywhere within this home. It is still too hard. I wonder when that will change? Year 4? Year 8? Somewhere along the road, I'm sure that more joy will wear down the edges of the grief. At least I hope it will.

My sister-in-law is wiser than me in these things. She has sweetly reminded me that the hole carved out of my heart from tragedy, is always filled in with hope. A delicious and bright hope in another day and another place where we will be reunited. A hope that allows the joy to wiggle its way in.

Three years is such a very long time.

I miss you more than I ever thought possible.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Now I Have Everything

For a girl with only half an eyebrow, this is a really amazing gift. Now, even my teeth will smell like frosting! Pure heaven.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Gift

I would categorize myself as a quiet believer in miracles. I know they are there, I just have a hard time seeing them sometimes. So, I guess my belief is grounded in the knowing. I fall short in the seeing.

A year and a half ago, my sister was told that this extraordinary girl was on the short track to a heart transplant. The shattering news laid itself on top of an ever growing mound of adversity.

But this week, a miracle arrived. Her heart is now functioning like yours and mine. Granted, she will forever remain on her perfect cocktail of medicines and the doctors warn of future degeneration. But even they are stunned. We are elated. Hearts like Riley's don't get better. They just don't. But miracles happen in the most unexpected places. They just do.

'Angelic' is too generic a word to use when describing Riley. She is simply a Gift. In the purest form of the word. She is one of those special people the Lord sent to bless those around her. Her soul speaks of a wiser place than this. Her smile offers a joy that melts away the world. She is a Gift.

In my steady and quiet acknowledgment of the Lord's hand in our lives, I offer my faith in miracles seen and unseen. He is ever aware of us. He is our constant companion and the giver of gifts. This week, He has blessed one special, little girl. And in turn, she is the gift He has given all of us. May we ever be worthy of her.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

I thought twice about taking pictures of my 'eyebro'. (I'm calling it that because some of it is missing. Therefore, it can't be a complete 'eyebrow', so it is now an 'eyebro'.) But then I realized that, after the day Kellie called a nice African American man a fudgesicle, I simply have no pride left.

This eyebro has had quite a history. A couple of years ago, I started using a face cleanser that bleached certain sections. People started asking me if I highlighted my eyebrows. Stupid questions deserve stupid answers. So, I always told them "yes".

Then one day in primary, a teacher asked the children to point to something yellow. The little boy next to me pointed at my eyebrow. Just in case no one noticed, he said, "I found something yellow right here!" Imagine my horror, when I told my sister about my new 'eyebro', and she replied, "Hey, do you think you'll be able to find a yellow pencil to fill that in with?"

I'm not going to elaborate on the details of my shaving accident. Those are going to the grave with me. But, I will let you in on a little secret. I simply can't stand anything, and I mean anything, that's uneven. So, I kinda shaved off part of my other eyebrow to balance things out.

I'm serious.

And I'm stupid.

Monday, August 16, 2010

If Only It Were Imaginary

Once upon a time, there was a girl.

She was a lovely girl with long eyelashes and a really loud voice.

She had a storybook childhood where all her wishes came true and her shoes always appropriately matched her outfits.

She grew up.

She graduated from college. She was smart and still wore pretty shoes.

She had children.

They were really, really special children.

She became crazy.

One morning, she accidentally shaved off half her eyebrow.

She screamed and called her sister, who then laughed so hard she had to double over and rest her hands on her knees while trying to catch her breath.

That sister was evil. She did not wear pretty shoes.

But, the girl was now half an eyebrow short.

Now she is crazy AND stupid.

The End.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Summer List #14

Painting pottery.
One delightful afternoon.
10 more days of summer.
There is a serious countdown I keep in my head. I'm about to reach the single digits. At that point, I might start to hyperventilate from the excitement.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Within The Walls

Do you think that houses hold memories? I tend to think that they do. Silhouettes of voices, people, events embedded within the walls. Maybe I'm the only one to think such notions. But, I really believe that a house holds a bit of soul from those who once lived within.

My mom is in Utah this week, taking care of my Grandma. She drove through my old neighborhood and snapped this quick picture on her phone. When I opened her message, it took my breath away. All of us gathered around this small picture and just gazed at the screen. We looked at it in silence.

I like the home I live in. It holds it's own set of memories. But that house feels like it holds a different life altogether. I brought each newborn through those doors. I became a mother within those walls. My babies learned to walk on those floors. Todd received two college degrees in between all the baby and toddler stages. It feels like a lifetime ago.

A new family now lives there and I live here. But even now, a quick snapshot seems to draw me back to days within those walls. I would hope that there is still a piece of Foster Circus left inside it's core. How could there not be? We tend to leave a mark wherever we go.

I wonder how I'll view future pictures of my current house? Will I be drawn to days of constant yelling and frustration? Or, will I remember smiles, laughter and moments shared together? I guess my answer remains to be seen. It lays within these walls.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Would You Rather

Would you rather: Go school shopping with my 3 kids, or eat gallons of shattered glass?

Hands down easy answer. Eat. The. Glass.

Can you tell that my day has been a nightmare? One where I've been awake and I'm spending countless dollars on children who make me want to hurl myself from my moving car? Right now, at this very moment, I really, really need something. Like, hard liquor. Or Valium. Probably both.

Oh, and to make this day even more special, I was required to speak with a policeman. For reals.

I left children #1 and #2 in the car while I ran into the post office. They're old enough, they were watching a movie, and I needed distance between us. When I exited the building, Mr. Officer was waiting. I smiled at him. He asked me if I'd left my 'little' children in the car. My response: "Yup".

I let him know that they were 11 and 14. He stared into the car and said, "Really?" Again, my response (showing my true intelligence): "Yup". He in turn, told me that they looked kind of small. "I know, I get that a lot". But listen, just ask the girl sitting in the back seat--you know, the one with the super sweet scowl on her face--to open her mouth. The words, "you never listen to me!" will come tumbling right out. Then, I just know you'll believe me that she is 14 (in 4 weeks).

Official policeman assured me that they were definitely old enough to be in the car. I gave him one of my extra twinkling smiles and said, "I know".

Before he drove away, I thought about asking him if he had any shattered glass on hand. Just in case.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Absence Makes The Heart

Vacations always seem to shift the way I view my life. Time spent away tends to sharpen my focus. It's probably a result of simply not being at home where dishes, meals and tasks are ever present. Vacations make the mundane slip away.
I try to be more patient on vacation. I try to have more 'non-type A' fun. I try to actually SIT and not feel the need to be getting things done. I'm not always successful, and I'm not quite sure why it takes a vacation for me to actually attempt these things.

I look more closely at my kids when they are removed from our every day environment. I also seem to find more joy in the smallest of moments. New surroundings tend to make my children appear new as well.

But, I am also a person who craves the regular rhythm of the every day. Vacations stir the rhythm. A part of me tends to fight the change it brings.

This is why I also find great joy in the returning. Coming home is like rediscovering peace. Laundry washed and folded. Everything settled back in its place. Comfort seems to trickle way down into my bones.
Vacations are a lot (I repeat, A LOT) of work. But they are also a refresher course on life. They give you the chance to saturate yourself in family. To see them dig in the sand or bend low to grab a sea shell. They let you relax all the rules and let memory building become your sole purpose.

But, at the end of the day, vacations pull you home. Right back where you started.

As it should be.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Returning Home

Why is it, that your car becomes a breeding ground during a road trip? Clearing all this out just may require a haz-mat suit.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer Vacation, Day 7

To vacation in Florida, you need the perfect shirt.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Summer Vacation, Day 6

Dolphin watching off the edge of the pier.
Best reality show ever.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer Vacation, Day 5

Believe it when you see it.
Real tar balls.

And yes, I took them home with me.
I tucked them in between my sea shells.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer Vacation, Day 4

When we are not at the beach, the kids are here. They swim non-stop. Kellie has taught them all the safest tricks. Can't ya tell?

And what am I doing? Sitting. In-doors. It's sooo taxing.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer Vacation, Day 3

Sand that feels like you are walking in flour. I could roll in it.

The beach has it's own unique kind of silence. It is mesmerizing.

That is, until one of the salty, sand covered-kids screams, "I hate the beach!"

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Summer Vacation, Day 2

Live sand dollars caught by a man with a southern drawl as long as the Mississippi River.
Best. Sabbath. Day. Ever.