Tuesday, July 29, 2014

There's No Place Like Home

Surely you've noticed I've been gone. Right? Because I've been "3,843 driving miles with the fam" gone. 2 weeks, friends. That's 14 solid days with my people. Being on the road that long has made me bone weary.

And I promise to tell you all about it. Truly, I do. If you think this family is crazy when we're just hangin' out at home? Well, you won't believe what we're like when we take the show on the road. Let me give you a tiny teaser:
Child #1 decided to imagine what our family would be like if we were all whales. She even drew a picture of us as whales. We each have some kind of symbol on our bellies to signify what's important to us. I'm not sure I value acorns above all else, but whatevs.

We were also forced to practice our mating calls. #1 feels totally confident in her ability to catch a mate. The other 2 need loads more practice. Oh, and we also discussed how much we would weigh. You know, as whales. And it was also mentioned that whales are pretty much naked 24/7. Totally immodest, but how on earth can one be expected to find clothes that size?

 You know that feeling you get when you pull into your driveway after a long time away? Yah, I have that. It's home. Inside, out, and all around. Home. Even though it's all the same stuff, in the same place where you left it, it still feels new and safe and lovely. I want to bask in the beauty of this feeling. Bottle it up and keep it forever.

Being home means being with the twins. They are the one thing we whole and completely missed. Life felt full-circle once they walked in the door. Home at it's finest.

I promise to give you the highlights. Soon. I just need to get my brain and laundry back on-line. But if I forget, remind me to tell you about our family conversation on who should die if the roller coaster crashes. For legit, we had this discussion.

But for now, I'll leave you with this (because it's too awesome not to share):

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Stats

I shared some statistics with a few friends the other day. And now I'm going to share them with you. Because, that's just what I do. I have these thoughts that simmer around and around in my head. So, I write them out. Once they're physically on a page, they take on a life of their own. I don't know why it works that way. It just does.

Here are the statistics: Every day there are about 300 billion emails sent and each person sends about 88 text messages. Did you catch that? Billion. And if you have a teenager living under your roof, you know they hit the 88 text mark within 15 minutes of being awake.

That's a lot of data. Technology at it's finest. But here's the message I read that followed those statistics: "Try to think of this (your cell phone) not just as a communication tool or a music player, but as a tool to build up another's soul." (You can read the complete devotional here.)

I'm a words person. I breathe them in and write them out. I read them. I see them everywhere I look. But, how often do I/we use our words to lift another? How often do we take for granted what we send out to the world? Just think of what we could do if we took just one text and one email a day to add joy to someone's soul. That thought feels rather life changing. In a global kind of way.

So, let me say this: You are good. You are brave. You are strong. And you are enough. Just as you are. In all the flaws you wear. Today. You. Are. Enough.

Because we so often take the message the world gives and we turn it over and around in our minds, and we twist it into a message of failure. We convince ourselves that we fall short. That we always fall short. We lay in bed at night and think, "If I could just get it together, then I would be good enough. My kids would act better. Our finances would be better. My house would look nicer. I would be a better person....." We are our own worst enemy.

But here's the truth. The real truth--You already are good enough. You always have been. Even when your life feels royally turned upside down. Especially then. Your value never decreases based on the outcomes that surround you. Your value remains steady and high. It will forever. We just need to be willing to live up to that kind of goodness. And we need to take the hands of those we love, and even those we don't, and make sure that they are rock-steady sure of their own goodness too. That's the way we make it. Together.

So, let's do just that. Believe in our own goodness. Own it. Together.
Soul to soul. Words to words. We can build.

What awesome statistics that will make.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The What Up.

1. I'm calling this last week the 'Tonsilgate'. It's been epic. Which is code wording for terrible.
Several mothers had told me that this surgery was a doosey. For legit, them's was tellin' the truth. Doctors should send these kids home with better warning labels on what's to come. And I really think it should be legal for the caregivers to smoke weed for the week. I'm so very not kidding. I know you can't see me, but I'm wearing my serious face right now.

2. Good friends feel your pain. So they come over to the house and entertain the star of the Tonsilgate drama.
And the teenagers try to get fancy and sophisticated with the hair and makeup. I may have let out a loud gasp when I first saw this. I'm pretending that this is the "theater version" of makeup design.

3. And speaking of makeup. You won't believe what happens to The Favorite Baby Child's eyelashes when they get a coat of mascara.
These are the real deal. I'm fairly certain they're long enough to measure with a ruler. They are ridiculously amazing.

4. This girl:
Told me this morning, "I've decided I really want to meet a prisoner. You know, like from jail. Just to chat." I did not ask her to elaborate, because, why?

5. And this!!!
I found this on Pinterest. I almost strangled on my acorn love. So I sent it to all my kids and told them I must have it! They were not impressed. Or motivated to make my dreams come true. Shocking.

Is it totally obvious that I've tipped over the edge of crazy? I mean, I'm hunting for mini acorn tea sets. Clearly I am not of sound mind.

It must be the summer heat.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Find Your Joy

Lately, I feel untethered. A kind of unraveling from the inside out. The pros and cons list of that is rather vast. A bit upending.

There is this strange kind of clarity that comes with this cycle. When life slants away from normal, all that's left is all that really matters. Joy circles close and concentrates your focus. The simplest of gifts become bright and clear. I suppose it's a gift in the eye of the storm. Truth laid bare.

Today I don't have to look far to find joy. It giggles right in front of me.

Take a moment to look around you. With a laser kind of focus. And find your joy. Everything else, all the other "stuff" that fills up the margins in your life, that will all work itself out. Just like it always does. So let your joy fill up the center of your page and hold you steady.

Monday, July 7, 2014

For When She Sleeps

She's gotten into the habit of sleeping in my bed. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that my bedroom is 15 steps away from the couch. I'll find her here at random times throughout the day. Everyone needs a nap after watching TV and texting your friends.

I've created a bit of delusion in my mind that she just wants to be near me. So she snuggles down into my comforter. Because she doesn't pick her dad's side to sleep on, she picks mine. That means she loves me more. I'm just sure of it.

Most of the time I take a second or twelve, and just watch her. There is something magical about your children when they sleep. The quiet stillness somehow fills up with all the goodness that this one being has brought into your life. Everything that makes her such a teenager falls away. And my mind flips through years on autopilot. I can't seem to help it.

Usually, I take a deep breath and move on. Life clicks back to its usual rhythm. And within minutes I'm yelling (with my super sweet inside voice) for someone to do something. Life ebbs and flows. Mine generally ebbs. I long for more flowing. Yes?

So I say a quick prayer of thanks, because that's just all the time I have. For stolen moments tucked into the every day. For children and all the ways they make me stretch beyond myself.

And for a girl. Well, 3 of them actually.
Gifts beyond measure.

Sleeping is a bonus :)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Afterparty

Here's the recipe for a killer holiday weekend:

Take your Favorite Baby Child. Stick her in the hospital. Let the doctor take out her tonsils and adenoids.

Tease the head of anesthesia that you deserve some "Happy Gas" too. She's almost convinced when you tell her that you have teenagers. Oh, and you and your husband decide that the time spent together in the waiting room is the first couple date you've had in months. You fist bump each other and wink an I Luv You.

Within minutes of coming home, the patient starts crying as she tries to convince you she feels "totally normal" and wants to have friends over.

So, you drug her.
Because you're a Totes Ma-Goats Rock Star mom.

And a full day later, when The Favorite Baby Child is crying because the pain is so bad, you and Teenager #1 draw on her leg with marker. To try and entertain her.

Then. Oh, and then. Your girl keeps throwing up. So you decide to take her pain meds just to see what the real story is. You quickly discover said meds are the worst kind of cocktail ever. In the history of ever! You both fall asleep at 8:00 pm during fireworks.

We need a serious holiday do-over.
As soon as we can swallow properly again.