Monday, September 30, 2013

This Is For My Sister

I'm going to do something spontaneous. And just so you know, I am never spontaneous. Ever. The last time I was, it was a planned spontaneity. It was so hard for me, I had to give myself a 24 hour lead time to get ready. To be spontaneous.

So, today is rather monumental. I'm covered in a light sweat as we speak. Because I just had an idea and I'm going with it. Just like that. No over thinking. No wondering. No calculating through things in my head. I may hyperventilate.

I've decided to show you the real me this week. Ta Da!

In this space I usually just spout about my kids and our crazy. Every now and then I feel the need to offer my inside view of the world as well. But that's about it. This week, every day, I'm giving you "stuff" that makes me who I am. I'm pretty sure you really don't care all that much. But I'm doing it anyway. I'm not an 'open-book' kind of person. So this feel like a challenge I'm forcing myself to do.

I'm going to start by doing something for my sister. I'm going to show you a teensy, tiny bit of the way I decorate. My sister has been begging me to do this forever. In all her sisterly wisdom, she has declared that I need a "Mantel Monday" post every week.

Normally, I never listen to my sister. Because, that would just be ridiculous. I've had to explain to her before that when we were in heaven, and family birth order was being assigned, I was the smartest (and bossiest). That's why I was sent first. End of discussion.

She likes to give me lots of opinions. And I like to give her kids candy bars for dinner when she isn't looking. We're the perfect yin and yang.

But today, I'm giving in.

This is the current state of my mantel. It's nothing extraordinary. At least, I don't think it is. But here is what makes me weird...It will only stay like this for 2 weeks. Maybe 3. I redecorate all the time. And that means everything. I move pictures on the walls, move wreaths, and every decorative object on any surface gets moved to a new location.

Decorating and arranging is just like breathing to me. It's what I do. I go to other people's houses and I mentally note all the ways they should move furniture and group different things to make their house look better. I can't help it. My sister has begged me to find a way to turn this obsession of mine into a career. So I just christened her My Manager and told her to figure it out. Sneaky of me, right?

If you can't already tell, I'm obsessed with the letter F. I'm planning on doing something like this soon. Chalkboards and the #5 also call to me. I heart them. Like, lots. Oh, and I also collect quotes.

I'll see you tomorrow.
Where I'll be spontaneous.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Exhibit A

This is what a teenager looks like when she can't remember the password to her phone. And she has tried so many times, she is now blocked out for 2 hours.

Best entertainment I've had in a really long time.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Just For Today

Over 5 years ago, my mom bought new bedroom furniture. And funny enough, I bought the same set as well. So our bedrooms are matchy-matchy. Kindof. Hers is elegant. Mine is packed with extra decorations, loads of puzzles and empty frames waiting for a future.

Before the new goods were delivered, I quietly packed away all of my dad's things. All the things he had touched last. Personal things. Change emptied from his pockets. His glasses. The tie he had last taken off after work. Up until this point, no one had gathered up enough bravery to even open his drawers. So one afternoon, while my mom was away, I packed it all up. And part of my heart fell into the boxes as well.

The other day, we finally opened those boxes back up. Not because we were brave, but because my mom was strong enough to tell us it needed to be done. So, we did. We touched, we held, we remembered. I opened his work bag and it felt as if he had just set it down the night before, ready to be picked up in the morning. Notes from a meeting, a pen from a Disney trip when we were all together.

We gathered, we stored, we set aside items to give away. And we breathed. Because even that felt too hard.

And after a while, time sped back up to its usual speed, and went on. Just like it always does. Normal settled right back in. The kids came home and wanted to know what was for dinner.

Time can be a fluid, fragile thing. It's something I take for granted. But not this week. Opening those boxes brought out a bit of truth. Love fiercely. Today. Let those around you, those people you hold in your soul, know that you love them. Let the world stop, just for today, and gather your heart and hold it close.

The world will still be there tomorrow. With all its stress and lists and problems. But maybe today, you can set it aside. Open the boxes. Hold the ones you love and let them feel your joy. Soak it in and store it up. Your heart will thank you.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The What's Up.

I go through spurts of time where I forget that I write here, in this space. I actually write all the time. In my head. I guess it's just what I do. But then I have these time gaps where I can't seem to find the energy to put the words onto the page. After about a week, I convince myself that all my blogland friends must miss me. Or, at least that's what I tell myself.

So, I feel the need to catch up. You know, let you in on the goings-on. I'm sure you really don't care, but I insist you must...

I'm officially a model. Yes, it's true. Not the runway kind. The sit-for-your-talented-friend-who-is-an-artist kind. Oh, and her artist group of friends. Let me give you a little secret about the modeling world: It's hard. M'kay? Here's the deal-- I couldn't talk. Like, at all. And I had to hold still so they could correctly paint my striking features. Crazy hard. And totally awesome. I've asked my kids if they want my autograph. They're disgusted. And now I think I need a more regal name. Her Majesty?


The Daughter Who Must Not Be Named (but her name rhymes with 'Belly') jokingly threatened to hide my Kindle. I told her that if that ever happens, I'll put on the robe I wear when I dye my hair (that used to be my mother's!) and come to the school during her lunch hour.


I used glitter.
This may not seem monumental to you. But, it is. I loathe glitter. I've banned it from my home. And yet, I bought some and actually touched it. This is a huge deal. Like, end of the world kinda deal. One by one, my kids walked into the kitchen and just stood there, speechless. It was fantastic to watch.


Every year, every stinking year, I convince myself that this school year will be different (that's code for- Better than all the other years). My record of remaining in that delusion was 17 days. And guess what? This year I made it to day 22. The bright side? A teacher contacted me instead of the Principal. Small gifts of goodness.


I had a biopsy taken of my head. Well, not my whole head, just this little section on the top of it. And now I have this fear that the doctor will call and tell me that I'm officially crazy. That they can now scientifically prove it. My mom sweetly reminded me that it doesn't take a microscope or a genius to figure that out.


My sister has this lovely weakness for buying me gifts. I rather like this flaw of hers. She bought me a weeble-wobble nativity. I think they're amazing. I'm pretending that they're gourds. It's still hot enough outside to wear shorts and flip-flops, and I have baby Jesus and His entourage sitting on my counter. That makes me either cool or weird. I can't decide which.


We are addicted to Duck Dynasty. I know we are getting on board late in the game. But seriously, pure awesomeness. Rednecks are the new vogue. For reals.


And lastly, a picture from the past. It showed up in a pile of old photos. This is Child #3 at the age of 3, in a cow costume the neighbors gave her. It's priceless.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


This girl of mine is now 17.
I have no words.

I adore you Samantha Suzanne.
Thank you for being such a radiant young woman.
You are my light.

Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Teenager's Lesson On Courage

This is the first time in over 3 years that my athlete isn't running. She gave it up. Last May, to be exact. It was not a decision she made lightly. It took time. Lots of it. Now, she no longer runs 50 miles a week and I no longer get to whine about cross country meets in September.

She struggled with this choice. She asked my opinion, and I gave her the opposite of what she wanted to hear. And she knew there would be backlash from her friends. But, she kept at it anyway. She thought about her life and what direction she wanted it to travel. She really thought about it. And then she overdosed on prayer.

And all the while, I stood on the side, and let her make the decision. I watched her battle with the choice. I listened as she explained what she wanted to do with her future. I tried to point out ALL the things she should think about. And she did.

So, my runner put away her running shoes. And she set her focus on music and singing and theater. And with her choice, she has found peace. She has found her passion. And it is remarkable to see.

I'm in awe of her courage. Because, she did this on her own. It wasn't the choice her parents thought she should make. It was simply the choice her heart told her to make. It takes a great amount of courage to take stock of where you are and correct your path to where you want to be.

I think I had forgotten what courage looks like. I'm always too caught up in just getting from day to day. I can't even remember the last time I closely examined my own path and where it's headed. Realistically, I feel too tired to even begin thoughts down that road. But I should. We all should.

Because courage is often quiet. It helps you really admit what you want for the future, not just what you want right now. And then courage gives you the permission to change. No matter how big or small. It lets you focus your sights and move. It lets you step off the track, even when everyone around you thinks you should stay on.

Take courage today, this week, this month. Take it and hold it. Get used to it's weight. And then use it. Maybe you won't find anything you want to do differently. But then again, maybe you will. If a 16 year old high school junior is brave enough to give courage a try, I think I just might find a way to do the same.

A lesson from my Sam:
Have Courage.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The August 6

August is my least favorite month. I call it my "Mean Month". It's the end of summer, the blazing heat has evaporated my patience, and everyone is fairly sick of being together all minutes of the day. It's just yicky. (Is that even a word? Yucky? Icky? Maybe a combo of both?)

1. The Fosters went boating. With friends--people who actually do this kinda stuff for fun. You know what this means, right? Me+swimsuit+sunscreen+sand. My lethal combination. If someone would have thrown in glitter, I would have dropped dead on the spot. No joke.

I must admit, it was good times. And it forced me to do something very un-Lisa like. And that's always a good thing. I think.

2. I love a good buffet. I'm not kidding. Love. Somehow, all those food options let you throw caution to the wind and eat everything. Fifteen dessert choices just feels like heaven. Why? Because I eat all of them.
Child #3 ate 4 servings of cotton candy and a roll. For dinner. I didn't even care. I told her just to make sure she drank a lot of water. I'm pretty sure she drank 5 glasses of root beer instead.

During dinner, my sister fell on top of her chair. Well, it was more like the chair tipped over and she didn't notice before she sat down. So instead, she fell on top of the toppled chair...and then onto the ground. It was one of those slow motion kind of moments. I didn't even try to help her up. I was too busy laughing. It was the special kind of laughter that reached all the way down into my soul and made me happy. Geez, that was a special moment. See what I'm saying? Buffets are awesome.

3. If I could write a letter to my teenage self, here is one of the many things I would tell her: save all those books you read in English class. Because one day, you'll spend endless amounts of money buying the same ones for your teenage daughter.

4. My oldest will be 17 in less than a week. It's starting to freak me out. I don't know why this birthday feels so hard. It just is. 17 feels too close to moving out and college and life on her own. That's a hard fact to swallow.

She told us the other day that her and a group of friends were swapping "dad" stories. A few people stated that they were scared of their dad. Sam then said, "That's nothing. You guys are scared of your dad, but my dad raises butterflies." That shut it all down real quick. Because honestly, how can you compete with that? Then she had to spend the next 20 minutes explaining, in detail, how you can actually hatch a butterfly in your house.

People, I'm telling you. Being a Foster gives you special powers. I should sell tickets to let anyone brave enough spend a week over here.

Holy Moly.

5. My hair is having a mid-life crisis. It's kinda ridiculous I even feel this way. But, whatever. The young women at church told me that my long hair is "cute" and makes me "look more like a teenager". I have no idea how I should feel about that.

6. We bought the soon-to-be-17 year old a car. The story involved in that is so overwhelmingly crazy, it will have to remain unspoken. But, with all things teenagerish, the car has brought on it's on set of new challenges. Um, car insurance? Not even talking about that either. We need some 'Car Rules'. I've been thinking some over. I'm feeling the need to make a list and share it with you. I'll keep you posted...

Here's to a lovely September :)