Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gift

The other day I was on my way home from a run when I bumped into a neighbor I hadn't seen in a long time. Red-cheeked and out of breath, I talked to her for a minute about the news in our house and how our children were doing. I was half-in/half-out of the conversation, because in truth, I was totally digging the fact that I had just completed a three-mile run without stopping: a first time accomplishment in my own personal history. When the she asked me about Lucy, I braced myself for the inevitable, "So you're done now, right?"

***
Grant and I got engaged on the day before I graduated from college. Saying "yes" to his proposal was the easiest decision I ever made. Yet, I was very much still a college student - unpaid bills, lofty ambitions, and girlfriends who dreamed of and pined for their very own engagement. I don't think I will ever forget the moment we announced our engagement to one of my very best girlfriends. She was a recent graduate with a good job, a live-in boyfriend, a new car and no engagement ring. I showed her my ring and she started to cry. "I'm happy for you. Really. I am. I just never pictured this for you. I always thought you'd be living downtown alone with cats."

***
My mother always worked when I was a child. She was a beautiful, feminine example of how a woman can have a foot in both worlds and reap the benefits of both. Her office always provided good dinnertime stories and when I imagined my life I always thought that I would follow her example. For a long time, I let my paycheck define who I was as a woman. But, when I had Ben, the truth is, I was too exhausted and too overwhelmed to return to work. (go here for more on that.) My husband had always wanted me to stay home and so the choice was clear. I called my boss and told her I wouldn't be returning. At first I was relieved, I got to nap in the middle of the day when I needed to and if I wanted to stay in my jammies all day, I could. But after a while, the indulgences got too much and I felt as if I was falling. My "self" was slipping away and I didn't like the new me. This is when God intervened. He told me to attack this new life with the same vitality that I did my previous life. So I got out of my jammies and I started living. Life has been pretty darn good ever since.

***

Six months ago, my husband agreed to support me in my long held dream of homeschooling my children. Shortly after moving into our house, about 7 years ago, I made friends with a big group of Catholic homeschooling mothers, and I fell in love. These are truly some of the most inspiring women with whom I have ever made acquaintance. And their children.... They are talented, they are interested, they are respectful, they are devout. This is the life I wanted for my children. After lots of research and prayer, we took the leap.....

and there have been moments that I have sincerely doubted the sincerity of this calling and my abilities to complete this challenge. I am weak in places where I thought I was strong. My patience (which is often attributed as my greatest virtue) has waned and I have found myself on my knees begging God for the strength to just get through this year.

Strength. Dear Lord. Grant me strength.

***

The other night I was sitting in front of the television with all the children. Lucy was having a particularly difficult day and we just needed some time to have the tv entertain us. Grant sat down with us and started to watch as well. Something(one) inside my head said "You should run." And I continued to watch tv. Then it felt like a thunderclap went off, "You CAN run." WHAT??! "RUN!"

I went upstairs and I put on my running shoes. It should be said that my "running" shoes have never seen a pace beyond a shuffle. I don't run. I never have. But this night, I decided to be obedient. I bundled up. I told my husband that I was going to run. I left my children with him and into the cold, dark night I RAN. And I didn't stop. For three miles. And I felt the muscles, usually tense in my forehead, release. My feet, my legs carried my weight at the pace of a run for three miles. And I felt something....

strength.

That's when I bumped into my neighbor.
***
Merry Christmas.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Said to Me

Our UPS delivery guy just told me that he likes to deliver on this street because we have "the cutest mothers on his route." What a Ladies Man! I'll bet he says that to all the mothers....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Today

Today I have to:

9:00 drive Josh to speech
9:45 drive Josh to school
10:00 Run to the grocery store
10:15 Attend Mass (my only respite)
11:30 Meet friend for kids playtime/lunch
12:30 Home to Nap Lucy
2:30 pick up kids from school
5:00 take Ben to scouts meeting
6:00 take Josh to scouts meeting
7:00 take all kids home and drop off friend
7:30 Grant has meeting
8:30 Collapse into Bed

But all I really want to do is:
Sometime: Attend Mass
Whenever: Go pick up a Chai Tea Latte/Skim Milk
After That: Go to TwoGuys Antiques and go shopping

Wednesdays Stink.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Somehow, Someway....

I will be the owner of this lovely necklace. I think it will be an Easter gift to myself.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dad Jeans

I've never had what one may consider a overly-feminine body. The places that should be curvy are straight and the places that should be slender are not. And that is ok. Because I overcompensate for the curses of nature with clothes. I love to dress my schlumpy body in delicate and feminine pieces. Scarves and ruffles and skirts, O My! They make me happy. But every once in a while I get a desire to don a pair of jeans. And that is always a bad decision. So bad, that even my 3-year old notices.


Sunday, I decided to wear a pair of dark wash denim jeans for the first time since I gave birth to Lucy. Mostly, I was curious to see if they'd fit. I pulled them up, up, up over my hips and secured the button and zipper easily. SCORE! My prepregnancy jeans fit! I put on a sweatshirt and some fuzzy socks... and then I bumped into Annie. She squealed, Mommy! You look handsome in those jeans! I said, "You mean pretty?" And she answered, No, not pretty, Mommy. Handsome. Like a boy.

Pop. Bubble officially burst.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Self-Portrait Artists


When filing through our masses of pictures - there are two photographs you are sure to find: self-portraits of me and self-portraits of Ben. I find pictures of Ben's face everywhere: in my camera, in my phone, on our refridgerator, front and center on our Christmas tree every year. Of all the rotten things to inherit, he got my fondness for capturing the essence of my own face.
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Swine Sister

I took one look at this lovely pig and I thought, "Yeah. I know where you're at, honey."
I've never felt sisterhood with a pig before. There is a first for everything.
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

"and life barrels on like a runaway train"

(a winter haiku for you... because I am feeling generous)

winter and sledding
this time no tears and new life

nothing is better


Soon the daffodils will replace the snow...
and we will be 3 months older than we are right now.
See Here...

(I told ya so.)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

An Exercise in Nonsense

(a real conversation as overheard in the backseat of our van...)

josh: I hope I get my head stuck in a potty!
michael: I am going to bite on an electrical cord.
annie: Mommy, can I be a mermaid when I grow up?
ben: Oh yeah, guys? Tell that to President Obama!

all is still well in crazytown.
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