Monday, June 16, 2014

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

I'm late on my Father's Day Wishes, but I'm late for most things so nobody is shocked, right?

And there are so many wonderful fathers in my life (Todd, his dad, and our brothers obviously included) but this year I want to talk about my own Dad.

The one I drove crazy for 18 36+ years.

The one who taught me how to play softball and ride a bike and change the oil in my car.

The one who tells the best stories ever. Seriously. I don't care if I've heard them a  million times before, I want to hear them again because he makes you feel like you were right there with him while he describes his own hilarious shenanigans. He weaves a tale better than I do almost anything.

And like his stories, Dad and I have many stories of our own; and honestly, some of those stories, I would like to erase. There are stories that make me wish I could build a time machine and go back to the nineties, re-stack my bangs, tight roll my jeans one more time, and do some things differently.

 Our relationship through the adolescent years was not always smooth sailing; most likely due to the fact that we are very similar and stubborn, and people who are similar and stubborn sometimes use that stubbornness against one another similarly.  (Read it again. It makes sense in my head.)

And sometimes when that stubborn daughter grows up, she realizes (and this pains me to admit) that he was probably actually right the majority of the time.

She realizes with the onset of adulthood and mothering her own children that she may have been an overly dramatic teenager who felt she could never live up to her older brother.....(even though nobody really expected her to.)

He may have been a dad who loved her anyways and just wanted her to do the best SHE could do.
(And maybe clean her room every once in awhile.)
(And tell the truth a little bit more.)
(And stop forging his signature on progress reports in classes she was failing.)
(And stop dropping the F-Bomb when she thought he wasn't listening.)

But anywho......we don't really need to unpack all my her transgressions......

The point is we had our ups and downs.

But when the chips were down, he was there.

And I'm learning that's really what counts in life.

When I had jaw surgery and was drooling all over the place?
He made me the best coke floats in the history of coke floats.

When I was 17 and my heart was broken for the first time? Truly broken?
He sat with me on the porch at 3:00am while I cried and cried and cried.

When I got beat up in the seventh grade?
He parked himself outside of the principal's office and refused to leave until they had a chat.

When I didn't believe in myself? He got frustrated enough for the both of us and believed in me.
(and speaking of that, he always thought I should be a just took twenty years for me to realize he might, once again, be right.)

When we told him we wanted to adopt? He helped us out financially.

When Owen was in the hospital for five weeks? He postponed a major trip so Mom could come help me. He knew I needed her.

When I haven't seen my sister in forever and I'm going crazy? He offers frequent flier miles to send me out there.

He's been there for the violin recitals and the twenty billion cross country meets and the graduations and the births and all the big moments plus many of the little ones that make up all the inbetweens.

He's a quiet, witty, hard-working father. And while it once used to scare me how alike we are (minus the quiet part...obviously) I am now realizing how lucky I am because if I can be half the parent to my kids that he has been to me, they will be blessed.

And PS - he absolutely LOATHES any kind of attention whatsoever. So if he asks, somebody else wrote this public blog post.......

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Life With a Literal

I'm going to start a new "series" of posts titled Life With a Literal.

Because I'm living life with a Literal.
Black and White.

Every day.

And sometimes that means we laugh when we shouldn't, we have to explain things a lot, we hug a lot, we console a lot, and you know what? Sometimes we're the ones who need the hugs because our feelings can get hurt. A lot.

For example, this was a conversation a few days ago:

Owen: Why did you give me green cheetos today?

Me: Because obviously I knew you liked them and I'm the best mama in the world.

Owen: You're not the best mom in the world.

Me: I'm not?

Owen: No. There are a lot of moms that are better than you.
Me: What are their names?
Owen: Well, I don't know their names, but they are better than you.

Me: True story. Thanks son. (I'm going to go into the bathroom and cry now. You just sit here and enjoy your green cheetos that a better mom would have made from scratch.......)

Or how about this one? Owen screams every time it's time to leave his friend Leah Kate's house. My awesome friend Danelle works with him EVERY SINGLE WEEK on making this transition easier:

Danelle: Owen, what are you going to say when your mom gets here today?

Owen: I'm going to cry.

Danelle: No, remember, we're going to say "hi Mommy! I missed you!"

Owen: Why would I say that? I don't miss her.

Does he mean for his words to be hurtful?

Not in the least.

That's the world for him. Black and white. True or false. 

Good news in all this?

He's honest to a fault.

Me: Owen, what was that loud noise?

Owen: That was me hitting Emma Grace over the head with my play sword because she wouldn't let me play with her. She's crying now.

Alrighty then.

Life with a Literal.

Little Lamb.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Busy Badge of Honor

So I was in a meeting yesterday and we were discussing busyness.

Have you ever noticed people wear their busyness like a badge of honor?

It has become a competition.

Who does the most? Who has the least amount of time in the day to relax? And if you actually do relax, holy crapballs, you would never ever fess up to it.......

Want to see a woman go from loving to murderous in 0.03 seconds?
 Ask a stay-at-home-mom what she does all day?
Do it. I dare you.


You see, we constantly see all sorts of facebook posts that say "I was up at 4:30am, worked out, came home, fed my kids cage-free organic eggs and turkey bacon, folded 16 loads of laundry, mowed the neighbors yard, and took homemade muffins to the kids teachers and it's not even 9:00am yet." (Of course now they're on facebook which kind of proves that they are not always super busy.....but I digress.....)

Rarely do you see the post that said "I laid around all afternoon watching Breaking Bad while my kid was at pre-school."

 (That's exactly what I did yesterday) but of course I didn't post it because I fall prey to the Busy Contest as well.

I see your homemade teacher gifts and sixteen soccer tournaments in one weekend and I will raise you those things as well as church obligations, working, school, exercise, cooking, pretend playing with my kid while I'm on facebook, cleaning, shopping, and buying a partridge in a pear tree.

This is what we do.

We do Busy. And we do Busy well.

But somewhere along the way, I think we've confused Busy with Better.

In fact, to be honest, while I was not excited about having ear surgery, a part of me was straight up jacked when the doctor said, "you have to take it easy for several weeks."

Several weeks?

Of taking it easy?


An excuse to not be busy or at least pretend I'm busy at all times? 

Now don't get me wrong, there is value in activities. There are lessons to be learned on the soccer field. But there are also lessons to be learned at home, relaxing in your pj's on a Saturday morning, drinking coffee while the kids argue over the guinea pig maze they're creating upstairs.

Life is full of seasons and some of those seasons are just plain gonna be busy. No way around it. But some of those seasons could be better than busy. They could be full of intentional moments of rest. We could be busy just being. To be honest, I've quite enjoyed my doctor ordered rest which has brought me to the conclusion that I need to change some things. So I'm going to challenge myself this month and ask myself this question:

Is this activity going to busy us or better us?

And if the answer is just busy, I'm going to practice saying no.

And if you're not too busy, feel free to join me in this challenge. :)

PS - Owen just left for school. I better get back to Breaking Bad. That show is not going to watch itself!

PPS - I realize that some of you may think watching Breaking Bad is not actually bettering myself. But it is.....really.....I now know the ingredients that go into crystal meth so I can be on the lookout should anyone of my family or friends all of a sudden start asking me to stock up on sudafed....... I'm prepared and I'll know they need help.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Third Time's a Charm........ Hopefully

So we SUCK at guinea pigs.

Like really suck.

They've probably posted our pics at all local pet stores with warning signs.

Yes, we're on our third guinea pig in one month's time. We change guinea pigs more often than I change underwear.  Edith was great, but because I suck and wasn't being diligent about watching her when she was out of her cage, she got injured on accident. She is at the vet and they think she's going to be fine after some rest and isolation.....neither of which she would get in this house, so we now have Margo. And we told the kids, there were three sisters in Despicable Me and if Margo doesn't make it, we just weren't meant to be a guinea pig family.

So far so good but we're only four days in. Give it time.........

The kids saying goodbye to Edith before I took her to the vet:

EG cried. Isaac was indifferent. And Owen said, "don't forget to bring home Margo."

As Mom says, he's not going to have any problems down the road with the ladies.

Owen at 16: "Oh? You're dumping me? That's fine. Tell your sisters and friends I'm available."

The new love of his life:

We're winding down the school year with EOG's and parties and field days and all the excitement that comes with summer on the horizon.

Our sweet friend Molly took some awesome pics of the kids. Awesome!

I may be biased, but they're pretty stinkin' adorable and I'm ready to have some summer fun with them.

And this goddaughter of mine? She is growing like a weed. All chunk and adorableness wrapped up in one package.

Happy Almost Summer!