Monday, August 01, 2011


My DH and I learned a little lesson in communication this summer - a reminder that you can't take it for granted even after 7 years together. He decided to till up the empty lot next door and turn a third of it into a neighborhood garden. I decided to buy a partial share of a CSA (community-sustained agriculture). Needless to say, we have been eating very healthy this summer. And it's been mighty fun to be able to share our abundance.

We have had to seek out some education - tonight, I am going to make kale chips. Apparently they're awesome. We'll see. The kids have been devouring the broccoli and cucumbers, along with the bunny rabbit carrots (long carrots with stems on). They also have been enjoying the sugar snap peas. For some reason, we have had no green beans from either source. Oh well, there's always the farmers market.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A little hung up on death

I don't remember thinking about dying much when I was a kid. Perhaps I did, but it certainly wasn't consuming and I don't equate the questioning to my childhood memories. Unlike my own kids. Oy.

We took them to a couple of funerals in January of this past year and both were kind of high-stress occasions, in my book. Not only were they a long drive away, but we stayed with some of my husbands' family who I didn't really know before then and both funerals meant lots of in-law time.

Both funerals involved people taking snapshots of the corpses. Both involved all kinds of interesting behavior that, of course, the kids questioned us on incessantly.

Fast forward to today and they still mention death offhandedly nearly every day. Just last weekend, I was sitting at home with Lillian, who was recovering from a recent tonsilectomy. As I folded and folded and folded laundry, I sighed and said, "When will I ever be done with folding laundry?" She matter-of-factly replied, "Don't worry, Mom. You won't have to fold anymore once you're dead." So true, I hope.

At bedtime last night, I tucked Breanna into bed like a little burrito and kissed her goodnight. She said, "I love you, Mom. I hope you don't die tonight so I can see you in the morning."

Boy, I hope they're not going to be traumatized into weirdos as they grow up. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Although, I do hear there is good money and no such thing as a recession in the funeral business, so perhaps this might turn out ok.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Why can't I let it rest?

I am driving myself crazy, trying to find a way to get my Bell's Palsy-stricken face to allow me to breathe out of my right nostril. Big deal, right? But it drives me crazy! It doesn't hurt and it is not killing me - heck, most people don't even notice where the flesh is caved in. But it drives me crazy!

I can't chew with my mouth completely closed because then I can't breathe. I love to eat good food, love to dine with wonderful people, but hate to be seen as I do it. Vanity, oh vanity, I know you too well. As I harp on my kids about chewing with their mouths closed, they are quick to ask why, when their mother doesn't even do it. They also are quick to ask if they can wear tape on their nose to bed (because I wear a dang BreatheRite strip each night). Grrr.

Each spring, I have a resurgence of hope that perhaps there is some doctor smart enough to be able to perform a surgery to open my airway without giving me a big, ugly nose. And I blow a bunch of money, juggling my way from ENT, to neurologist, to naturopath, to chiropractor, to... this month, I have made an appointment with a plastic surgeon who specializes in interior tissue repair.

Poor DH is ready to kill me - I have literally spent thousands of dollars in search of some mystical cure. And then I give up, swearing off doctors (usually by the end of summer, and when I have maxed out what I feel I can drain out of our savings account). And then I deal with it and then the cycle begins again each spring. Why not let sleeping tissues rest? If I hadn't fuitlessly spent all this money, we could have easily gone on a deluxe family vacation each of the past five years. I kick myself all the time over this. Where are my own selfish priorities, anyway?

Some friends tell me I have the patience of a saint. I do not think I do in the least. I just have a lot of fight in me - and maybe some insanity, to boot. Apparently, I'm not so good at not getting my way. I know I should be celebrating that the pain I experienced the first year of this journey has disappeared, but instead I remain ticked off that there is no "cure." If anyone has any extra peace laying around, please pass it my way.

Monday, May 16, 2011

How to Prioritize

I cannot imagine life as a TV watcher. The thought is one of the most depressing I can think of. Every night when I crash into bed, absolutely exhausted, sometimes with my shoes still on, I go to bed thinking about all the things I accomplished that day, from the mundane to the profitable. I even include things like remembering to start my day with morning prayers, learning a new song with my kids, and trying a new tea. And then my mind drifts to what's ahead.

There are so many things I want to do in my life and I just cannot imagine I will ever have enough time to do them. It's often difficult to even prioritize and figure out where to begin.

I really want to learn how to play trombone.
And I want to master painting on fabric.
And I want to learn how to can the homemade applesauce I make in the crockpot.
I also want to figure out how to actually be good at creating a website so I can make something great come out of the one for my hubby's contracting company.
I want to learn Spanish with my kids.

I want get back into writing more feature articles for magazines.
I want to learn how to tune my piano.
I want to video tape myself reading children's books so they have it to cry over once I die.
I want to write my parents' biographies in 10 pages or less each.
I want to see my friends from all over the world. (This is a lonely town to live in.)
I want to find an exercise routine that I enjoy and I can honestly work into my life. (Salsa dancing just isn't cutting it these days - DH is Polish. Enough said.)
I want to figure out the right method for marketing on a national, public scale, the safe environment videos my team created this year.
I want to hand-bead barrettes for myself.
I want to try sewing bandana pants for the girls before they get too tall.
I want to write more love letters to my hubby. And my kids. And my family and friends.
I want to gain the confidence to use our gas grill again (now that it's hooked up to the gas line on our house, I am scared to death I will blow up our house).
I want to volunteer at more TEC retreats.
I want to make fresh crab for dinner sometime.
I want to be the one who has the patience to teach Lillian how to tie her shoes.
I want to find new bedding for my bedroom.
I want to bring treats to my grandma in the nursing home more often.
I want to learn more about the healing properties of essential oils.
I want to do a million things each day and have no idea how I ever will have the time to do them all.

So there you go, I have just wasted a half hour babbling about just the start of all the things I want to do and how I don't have enough time to do them. Gah!

All Boy

 I distinctly remember the shock and horror that overcame me the moment I realized there was a penis growing in my uterus. How could I be pregnant with a boy? A dirty, snotty -nosed, worm eating, video-game playing boy? And then this sweet little cuddle bug named Grant entered our family and all the icky stuff disappeared from thought. He cuddles, still carries around a soft blankie, tells us he loves us all the time. When he was a toddler, I even wondered a few times if he might turn out to be gay - what a sensitive little darling who told me how pretty my fingernails were and wanted to wear barrettes in his hair.

But boy oh boy, there is no doubt that this kid is 100% boy. He growls. He can fart on demand. He is attracted to the idea of hunting (already at age 3!) and he uses his strong bodily force to get his way. I haven't seen frogs in the bathtub yet, but I did find a shriveled up worm in his pants pocket when I was about to toss clothes in the wash machine. He even whips out his "peanut" to pee in our yard when inspiration hits. My shoulders are slumping as I write.

I just have to thank God for those countless moments with my sweet-smelling darling. And that this brute of a boy will fit in just fine with society at large... if he can find a way to stop exposing himself in public.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Still Falling in Love

If you are turned off by mushy gushy, consider this your fair warning. Close this page now.

I can't help but write about my wonderful hubby and how much I continue to grow in love with him. When I first started falling in love with him, it was because he simply was the nicest man I'd ever known. It's still true. His kind heart still inspires me and amazes me every day. He works on forgiving the jerks in our lives all the time - and never gives me a hard time about how long it takes me to get over grudges. He doesn't judge, he doesn't gossip, and he doesn't belittle. He is a wonderful leader through his great example - I can only hope I can be as good as he is some day. I feel so blessed that our kids get him as their dad.

He's also a leader when it comes to work ethic. He is incredibly driven. He never takes the easy or lazy route, and he really uses his gifts in beautiful ways. We make a great team in that way, which is a large reason I think we even found a way to make time to start dating. We both respect that the other works a lot and works hard. He never gives me guff for all the hours I put in and when he's in a particularly busy work time, he still makes time to show me his love. How awesome is that!

Not only is he a good guy, but he's a fun one, too. I don't always appreciate his corny humor, especially when it ventures into the 12-year-old boy-in-a-bathroom variety, but for the most part, he's growing on me. Somehow this wonderful man has found a way to make me laugh a lot, and frequently. Might not sound like such a feat, but if you know me well, you know that most things people around me find to be funny simply make me roll my eyes. I rarely laugh out loud at the same things most people do. But my DH has found the formula and I so deeply appreciate it.

And it doesn't end there. He's nice and he's funny, but he's also very interesting. Not in the "interesting" way you respond when someone asks what you think of their sauerkraut casserole. But truly interesting. He pays a lot better attention than it appears and he takes in a lot of what's going on around him...which makes for great conversations. He is so bright and observant and interested in life!

My DH is my very best friend and I appreciate him tremendously. And I know it's safe to gush about him here because he doesn't waste time reading blogs about personal feelings (like I do). So have no fear, you won't see him walking around with a big head. But don't be surprised if you see my lipstick mark on his cheek. I just can't seem to kiss him enough!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Not Sure What to Post

I just realized that my most recent post here was way the heck back in beautiful October... right around the time of our last boat trip and sunburn. I've been really struggling with what to write, so I simply have not been. My mom always stressed that unless what you're saying is nice, keep quiet. Rather than get into some of the not-so-fun turmoil that seems to surround our little family, I've just stepped back.

But my heart has been so lonesome for writing. Perhaps I ought to just move to a private journal format. Or just stick with love notes to DH and thank-you notes to my loved ones. But I like to blog. So, here I am. Back at it. Wondering what to say that won't stir those rotten proverbial pots. Unfortunately, we have a few turbulent relations on both our sides of the families, so I simply bite my tongue and put my typing fingers in my pockets.

Thankfully, not everyone in our lives creates turmoil - it's just that the ones who do, do it in a huge way. My dear folks and my sweet sister and her family are still incredibly awesome. And thanks to a couple of funerals in less than a week, we have had the fantastic opportunity to get to know DH's uncle and family and fall in love with them. And our wonderful collection of friends all over the world continues to be our cherished "family by choice."

Speaking of awesome families, our dear kiddos are getting bigger and bigger. Both of the girls are really "getting" how to share and be kind to others. They are praying spontaneously for others and thanking God for the goodness we continue to encounter. Besides the beauty of watching them mature emotionally, the girls have learned how to read recently. I've been so excited for this time with them, and the number of books we pore through each night amazes me.

Lillian really seems to love our great language. And Breanna, while equally as good as Lillian with words and letters, has a real affection toward numbers. They both are adding up streams of numbers (2+4+3=9) and learning together. The more we work together on all this, the more I realize I would really love to study Latin - I've been finding myself looking up pronunciations on YouTube so I can better explain the roots of our words to the kids. Yes, I realize they still don't know Winnie the Pooh's name (they just call him a bear), but man, they are really just as interested in the roots as me! We can be nerds together!

Because they were May babies and premies at that, I used to wonder if they would end up entering kindergarten at age 5 and be the youngest or at 6 and be the oldest. No doubt, they're going next fall at age 5.

Grant has not missed a beat with all this learning going on. He is very hands-on, like his dad. All of our scissors, screwdrivers, knives, etc. are far out of reach in a locked closet. This kid will take apart everything he can - I recently caught him using a toy car to loosen a screw beneath our recliner. He also silently used his thumb nail to unscrew the bow of my glasses that sat on my nightstand while I slept. Besides being such a "handy helper," Grant is really developing a wonderful vocabulary. Plus, he's been fully potty trained for about six months now, which is a real treat in my book.

Amidst all the excitement within our house, DH and I have been thoroughly enjoying our down time together once the kids go to bed. We have shared some wine, shared some laughs, and had some of the nicest conversations. I look outside past our sweet little neighborhood and can't avoid seeing turmoil all around us, but right here at home, wow, are we blessed.