Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's My Birthday, Baby.

It's my birthday.  I love my birthday, as you know.  I feel grateful for my life--each of the thirty five years that I have been alive--and for each of you who is now or has ever been a part of it.  I love each of you deeply.  Thank you for giving me such a wonderful life.  Just because I never got a chance to post it, this is how I celebrated my birthday last year:

And this is how I celebrated today.

Looks like I've aged a lot in this last year.  :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Clean House and a Note to My Kids

So it's been a while.  Again.  What can a girl do?

I'm really disappointed. My next post was supposed to be a long time ago.  I was so excited to do a reveal post when I finished Camp's room....but then I never finished Camp's room.  I take that back.  For the most part, I am done with Camp's room.  It's just the beds I'm waiting on--the beds that Brian is building and has been building for the three months.  And you know me--beds are a big deal. The bed makes the bedroom.  So I'm waiting.....  And I'm really having a hard time being patient.   It's hard for me to be patient in general, anyway.   But this time it's been especially hard, and I think mostly it's just because I've never had to wait this long for Brian to finish a project.  (Like I've told you, I realize I've gotten a little spoiled.)  But also, it's been hard for another reason:  it's hard for me when Brian puts off doing things for me in order to do things for other people.  I know that sounds super selfish, but do any of you know what I mean?
 Over the last several months, I've been taking a class at my friends' church on the Five Love Languages (for Kids).   So I've been really trying to figure out my love language and that of each of the members of my family.  I've joked for years that I'm high maintenance when it comes to love languages--that is to say,  I receive love in all five ways:  quality time, words of affirmation, service, physical touch and gifts.    Bummer for Brian, right?  Totally.   But lately, I've really been trying to figure out what it is that really does make me feel the most loved, and I think I've finally nailed it down.  The problem is, I'm not sure how it fits in to the five languages.  The fact is, I feel loved by Brian when he makes me feel important.  That might happen when he pulls me onto his lap, or when he surprises me with a gift, or when he does something for me, or when he says something really nice or when he sets aside time to be with me.   But I just like to feel like I'm important to him.
This might seem like a tangent, but what I'm getting at is that when Brian puts off doing something special for me, to do something for someone else(and that happens fairly frequently), it makes me feel like I'm not important.  It makes me feel like he cares more about surprising them or satisfying them, than he does about me.   You know what I mean?  And I'm not talking about doing stuff for work that he's getting paid for.  I'm talking about little projects that other people have him do or that he does for them without them asking.  It's really great of him to always be helping people, and I really do love that about him.  It's just that sometimes it makes me feel....unimportant.   I'm a whiner, huh?

So anyway, I'll keep waiting for the beds.  I'm really hoping they'll be done before all our company arrives for Thanksgiving and Janey Mac's baptism, but who knows?  I'll tell you this, though:  when they're done, I'll do a reveal post.  And will you guys act excited for me?  That will be great.  :)

You know,  I think writing on my blog is kinda unhealthy for me maybe.  Because when I write on my blog, I kinda exist in this imaginary world where I have these long-time loyal friends who read what I write and they understand everything I say and get excited for every new toss pillow I put on my couch, and they get me.  That's just not realistic, right?  And does that make it unhealthy?   Either way, that's the way it is.  The thing is, when I write on my blog, it's like I'm imagining I'm having a girls' night with all my favorite people from throughout my life and we're all sitting around in our sweats, eating hot spinach dip and pita chips and talking about life....

So did I ever tell you that when Laura and John were here visiting at the end of the summer, I had them take pictures of my house? Cause at some point, we would like to try to sell our house, and I would like to have good pictures for when that time comes. And I only have a basic digital camera (and my phone)--Aaanndd I am like the only person on the planet who still knows nothing about photography.   So here are a few pictures they took for me:

Also, I want to talk to my kids (whom I'm hoping will care to read this at some in the future.)

Skip.  Man, have I enjoyed having you.  You are the most darling, enjoyable, little boy ever.  You and I spend every morning alone together these days, and it is wonderful.  Most mornings, I hustle around the house, cleaning and doing laundry, and I work on the computer, paying bills and doing work for daddy.  And some days I take a shower.  :)   And you are right with me all the while.  Most days, when we get back from taking the kids to school, you ask, "Mom, I watch Mater?"  And I usually let you.  You know the movie by heart by now, and it's funny to hear you repeat some of the lines.  I've decided that Mater is my favorite of all Disney's characters.  So good choice, Bip.  And very often you will run and hide from me and I will hear a holler from the lump under a blanket saying, "Moooommm, come hiiind me!"  And whenever you ask me for something and my answer is "we'll see, " you always reply, "Uhh, why not?"  Apparently you've already learned that "we'll see" doesn't usually leave room for much hope.  You're a real goof off and when you get going, you'll go around telling everyone, "You dot poop in ya pants." You think you're so funny.  And you are.  And perfect.  I love you, Bip.

And Shugee. Giiiiiirl....You are quite the sassy little fire cracker. I have this feeling that of all my kids, you will be the one to give me the biggest run for my money. You are smart and you easily interact with older kids and you are very social. You make friends everywhere you go. Because of this, I thought for sure you would love school. As it turns out, though, you would forego school everyday if I let you.  I ask you everyday how school was, and everyday, you give me the same answer:  "Normal!"  For the most part, you tell me school is just boring.  You arrive home, toss your backpack onto the floor and then throw yourself onto the ottoman, moaning with boredom.  You ask to have a friend over and several times a week, I consent.  It's usually Roxi.  She is your best friend--a perfect match for you.  On Monday night, Daddy and I played Clue with you kids for the first time and you and I were on a team.  It was so funny to see how much you enjoyed the game, even though you weren't totally getting the way things worked.  Why do we have to say the lead pipe?  I want to say the revolver!  And if Jane were a little more experienced, she could easily have deciphered all of your cards, just by listening to your comments.  Aw, well.  It's all good.  You're a very fun girl, Danin.  It's no wonder you make so many friends.  I love you, Sugar Plum.

And Gain Goo.  You're turning eight in ten days!!  My girl Ganey's getting baptized!  We're in the process of making some birthday/baptism plans.  You want cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and Zuppa Toscana (Thank you, Katie.  It has become a family favorite) for dinner, and a piƱata, and a dance party.  We'll see what we can do.  You still do artwork nearly every day, and you've got your nana's talent.  You can draw far better than I can, already.  You have a very endearing personality.  You spend a good deal of time planning activities for whatever upcoming occasions--making charts and signs and games.  The sad, but endearing, part is:  most often your plans are never realized.  Things just never seem to go quite as you have imagined.  At this moment, there is a sign on your door that says Karate class.  3:00.  Ages 3 and up.   You had been anticipating the Herring kids staying with us and had obviously planned a Karate class that hasn't yet, and probably won't, happen.  But don't worry, girl.   You never get too disappointed.  I think for you, the planning, imagining, anticipating part is the funnest part.  So it's OK.  You were delighted to play the "mother" or "teacher" role tonight by reading the second bedtime story to the little kids.  You always want to be the reader.  And you are a great reader.  Yep, a smart little whipper snapper, you are.  Lately you've really been bugging me to take you on a date.  And I will, Janey Mac.  I promise.  I'm just waiting to get paid again and then I'll take you out.  I'm super excited to give you real pierced earrings for your birthday.  I think you've forgotten that I said I would allow you to get your ears pierced for your eighth birthday, so that will make for a very fun girls' outing to Eugene for us.  I love you, Janey Mac.  You are such a good girl.

And Camp.  Ooohhh, Camp.  We still have our ups and downs, but I have this wonderful feeling in my gut that you and I are going to be great friends.  Oooh, it is so reassuring--especially considering all the horrible mistakes I make as your mother.   Will you please forgive me, Homie? ( Jane, Danin, Skip.  Will you all forgive me? ) I feel that friendship forming when we throw the football and when we laugh together about something, and especially when you talk to me about all of the stuff you think about.  (Surely talking is also one of my love languages.)  Man, you've got a lot to say.  You've got a lot of things going on in that head of yours.  (So much that you are currently really struggling to stay on task and finish assignments at school.  Your teacher called me today.  We both love you, but neither of us has any idea of what to do about this...) You tell me about paracord-tying techniques, and survival strategies and Lego characters, and you rehearse all the lines of Studio C to me.  They're always 10 times funnier when you say them.  I have felt like listening to you and trying to have and show genuine interest in the things you tell me about will be what ultimately saves me and allows a friendship to form.  I hope so.  I really am interested in the things you tell me.  You are very interesting and creative and imaginative and I love that.  I've loved watching you become a better and better athlete these last couple years.  You're an amazing soccer player, especially, but just this last season, you really progressed in football, too.  I love you, Homie.  Hang in there with me.

And you, my friends.  I love you, too.  I love you for being there in my mind--encouraging me, understanding me, being excited with me.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 9, 2013

So there is definitely an inverse relationship between the number of children a woman has and the number of times she is able to post on her blog in any given year---something like the following, maybe:

y = 52 - 3(x)2  (I can't figure out how to make that 2 an exponent), 

where y is the number of blog posts in a year and x is the number of children.

So if you have 4 children, por ejemplo, you are likely to only write on your blog around 4 times (and if you have five or more children, you may as well kiss the your blog goodbye for good).  Sigh....

And I'm not about to try and recount everything that's happened in the last however many months, so I'll just start typing and let the pictures do the rest of the telling.  

Did you know I love red onions?  In case you haven't learned for yourself, the best sandwich in the world consists of slices of red onion, tomato, and spinach with mayonnaise--all on some super good bread--like Dave's Killer Bread.  mmmm...   Thank you, Heather Murphy, for the introduction.

I also love cutting mushrooms--but that's neither here nor there.  (Brian taught me to say that.)  

Hmmmm....I kinda took a hiatus from running and exercise and stuff over the summer and finally got back in the gym last week (to try and prepare for the Tough Mudder that Brian signed us up for) and guess what, peeps?  I held my own :)  Turns out running around outside all summer does a girl some good, too.  It's the dunes, I'm telling ya.  Oh, and guess what?  I can do a pull up like Brian now!!  (I think I'll post a video as proof for my descendants.) If you've ever read my little side-bar description thing, you know that this has long been one of my dreams.  Granted, I still cannot do pull-ups (plural)  like Brian, but I can do one, legitimate, dead-hang pull up--all thanks to the pull-up bar Brian installed in our closet door way.  The man's got Tough Mudder preparation equipment all over our house.  For the love....

I cut my hair.  Or rather, Laura cut my hair.  It was time.  And I've loved it--except that while being outside does a body good, being outside in Florence DOES NOT do a hair-do good.  Too humid.  So the next time I'm somewhere hot and dry, I'll take a picture of my short hair to show you.  
I miss you, Brooke.  It was so wonderful to spend a couple hours with you, but it just reminded me of how much I miss you.  Please come back.  

On a date with my girl, Gain Goo.  She ordered chicken enchiladas and was loving that virgin strawberry daiquiri.  
The kids are doing fine, too.  They are active and creative and fun.   With all the things I have not done well to provide for my kids in the way of perfect motherhood, I feel very grateful to live in a place that-- despite the bad hair days and no Target-- allows me to let my kids be kids.  They explore the bear trails behind our house; they ride bikes naked around the block (or Skip does, rather); they sell artwork from our driveway;  they ride scooters and bikes on the skate park; they paint;  they swim;  they catch tadpoles; they have friends over; they eat popsicles; and yep, they watch TV, too.  Netflix.  So that's cool.  A little healthy variety to balance out my shortcomings.

Shugee leaving on her date with Daddy.  She made sure to wear her pink high-heels.  :)
And Brian seems to be doing well, too.  I say seems because even as his wife, it is sometimes hard for me to tell.  Brian prefers to avoid communication about feelings and stuff like that, so I've just got to watch for other cues.  He's stressed, I think, but he's always stressed to some degree.  But I think he's happy right now, too.  I hope.  He is gone a lot--super busy with work and church and service--but he is good to me and good to the kids and he is always willing to take time out for us when we need him.  I love that.  He will soon be building new beds for Camp and Skip that I designed, and I seriously can't wait.  I'm afraid I've become a little spoiled when it comes to designing furniture and then putting Brian on a timeline to build it.   Oh, well.  His fault.  :)

Barbie and the Rockers, anyone?

Cousins reunited.  :)

Ward Talent Show.

Sportin some briefs, baby.

That curtain pinned above the window was actually a shower curtain I scored at Grocery Outlet.  I soon decided it was better used as it was intended.

Janey spent hours creating a variety of games in her room for kids to play when we had our annual 4th of July barbecue.  She lay on her bed waiting and hoping for someone to want to come inside, and finally one child did.  Thank you, Alyssa.


Afton and Skip really hit it off this trip.  They were always holding hands.  :)

You did know that giraffes are my favorite animal, right?  I can't help admiring their long eyelashes...

but have you seen the tongues on those suckers?!!

My first race ever with my BSF (and BFF, too).  So fun...

Our 2-day, 16 hour drive was AL-most over...

First visit to Hugh and Theresa's.  Such a delight.

We seriously had a wonderful summer.  We visited Las Vegas, Utah and even Brian's dad's side of the family in Denver; and it was all just so wonderful.  I feel so grateful for my family.  

That's it for now, I think.  Skip is pulling on my arm.  He has played with his trains and eaten some toast, and now he needs my attention.  

Perfect end to what was possibly the BEST. SUMMER. EVER.

Thanks for reading.  I'll post a video of my pull-up(s) soon, and then I will be posting Camp's Room Reveal when the beds are done.  Like I said, I'm super excited.  This is the first time ever that I have ever saved my money up just long enough to have a small chunk of change to kinda re-do a room all at once.  And it was fuuuuuunnnn.  So anyway...