Saturday, October 27, 2007

I Told You It Was Too Early For Christmas

Because if I were thinking about Christmas, I might have missed this:

And this:

And this:

And, the ultimate in pumpkin-y goodness....This:

Although, I kind of wish I had missed this:

But never mind my CRUSHED SPIRIT general, I'm thinking Fall itself just can't be rushed. It must be savored. Because really, is there is anything more savory than a child, dressed as a vegetable (or is it a fruit?) downing as many packs of the anti-vegetable (also known as M&Ms) as is humanly possible? Does a witch with shocking pink hair normally mix it up with those little elves and their flighty reindeer? I think not. Apparently people, fall has arrived!

I intend to savor it.

And we'll just pretend fall football doesn't exist. We can face that tomorrow. Or next year. Whatever.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I've Fallen Off the Wagon

Maybe it's the full moon.

Maybe it's the many hundreds of dollars I dropped on new brakes today. You may not know this, but brakes are apparently coated in 18K gold these days.

Maybe it's Sabrina the cat's fault for coming in and out of doors all day long. And also pooping on the white carpet. And also tearing open the garbage bag in a quest for 3-day-old chicken legs. She looks innocent, doesn't she? Don't let her fool you.

A day like this one can only end in one way:

Look at all the lovely uneaten fruit in the background. I don't even care. I'm so glad I got this new jar of peanut butter this morning.

For the kids.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

"Marcia, Marcia, Marcia....."
See more Wordless Wednesday here.

Why? Because We Like You!

And because anything that makes me laugh out loud at my computer screen is worth sharing.

So what is the deal with the perfection gene? I have been pondering the topic of Worry lately. It seems, through many intersecting conversations, readings and events, that the Big Guy is flashing a neon sign at me, you see. It's like one of those crawlers at the bottom of the C-SPAN screen: Stop Worrying....Cease Fretting....Desist Hand Wringing....I Am Not Kidding....Are You Listening to Me, Woman????? Worry. I know it's wrong. I know it's bad. It makes me yell at my kids. It makes me snappish with the mister. It gets me all wound up in a tight, furious little ball by the name of Mrs. No Fun. And what really gets me (and Worries me, if you want to know the truth) is that I know better! Worry gets me nowhere, and it implies an extreme lack of faith and gratitude. And still I do it. Why? Because I want to be perfect! I want to hold on to the delusion that I'm in Charge Here People, and I'm Doing it Perfectly and Don't You Forget It! Even Big Stuff, at age 6, suffers from the struggle with perfection. Yesterday, as I very proudly read the teacher's comments about her from her report card (She is a delightful child! She is a great reader! She excels in almost every area!), she immediately blurted out - "What does she mean, ALMOST?" Oh dear, dear girl. Indeed you are your mother's child. Have I passed it along to her, or is it just the common struggle of the crazy humans? I don't know, but I'll tell you this. I got the nicest comment from Cutie Pie the other night after he listened patiently to a tirade of my worries over the gals. He said the sweetest words - You are Too Hard on Yourself. Which I would never have believed or accepted from anyone else but him. Because he's smart. And he adores these little creatures too, so I know he's not just blowing me off. My voice of reason guy reminded me - they are kids. Tomorrow is another day. They will be all right. Of course, he almost blew all his street cred when HE read the report card and commented - "What does this mean, she could 'Work on Her Handwriting?' What's wrong with her handwriting?" Oh dear, dear man.

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Merry What??

OK, I'm looking at a Web site recently about organizing Christmas, and I am swaying between two opposing thoughts:

a) Wow, this is a great idea! Some entrepreneur was really using her head.
b) Organizing Christmas? What the?

Has it really become necessary to obtain organizational tools to handle the overwhelming toil and stress of Christmas? The stress of Christmas? Did I just say that? I am not happy with Society at Large and what they have done to my favorite holiday. Really I'm not. A recent topic of conversation (in OCTOBER) was Christmas gifts and how some of us aim to be finished shopping by the time school starts. Which again, is a fantastic idea to help simplify and avoid the stress of the holidays (there's that word again), but an idea I wish was not thought necessary by so many of us. It's Christmas, people. Not an impending war or famine! What happened to the joy, the happiness, the sweet anticipation? I also saw some ladies looking for Christmas cards at the new Target yesterday. With excitement. I refused to even glance at the display. I may be in a completely different card "mood" by next month. Why would I buy them now and be stuck with cards in December that no longer inspire me? Besides, I am in a spooky, spidery, witchy kind of mindset at the moment, and New Target, nor any other freakish peddler of premature Christmas joy, will deprive me of it. If you still see pumpkins outside my door on December 1, you'll know why. I'm rebelling!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Who Was That Girl in the Floral Dress?

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Guess what internets! I cleaned out my closet. That's right! Earthshaking news, people! This is a BIG accomplishment. Well, not really. Not in the whole scheme of things. But a stay-at-home mama has to grab hold of the accomplishments where she can get them. I used to clean out my closets once or twice a year, thanks to much smaller closets and an insatiable thirst for new clothes. My closet is much bigger now, and I still have the insatiable thirst, but thanks to a lighter load in the wallet (see the stay-at-home mom thing), I'm not as likely to overfill the bigger closet as quickly. I think the last time I cleaned out the closet, I lived in a different house and my outgoing trash bags were full of maternity clothes. I shudder to think how much unwearable apparel I hauled between houses during the move because I couldn't handle the thought of cleaning out. Because I hate the thought of cleaning out the closet, but I rather like the act of it. Once I'm in the middle of it. It's soothing, you see. It's manual labor, and you don't have to think too much. And you do get a free and groovy trip down memory lane. Especially when you're finally letting go of clothes two sizes too small that you haven't worn in 10+ years. Because you are finally accepting the fact that even if you could fit in the darn things, they really are NOT in fashion anymore. And never will be. It was all there.... the red silk dress Cutie Pie gave me when we were dating. The ivory floral suit, with shoulder pads and large pearl buttons no less, that my mom bought me when I got my first job in the big city. The black and orange floral dress, with shoulder pads, that I wore on my honeymoon. The short floral sundress (Hmmm, I see a pattern emerging here...) that I wore once a month for photos when I was pregnant to show how much I was growing. (Why do we want to document these things?) The really cute shoes I bought on sale, because they were on sale, even though they were about a size and a half too small. (Why, you ask? I'm not smart.) The Harley Davidson jacket with polyester lining, purchased during our brief fling with a motorcycle (not even a Harley Davidson), that always made me sweat. Everything had a little memory attached to it. I didn't linger too long, however. I slapped Cutie Pie's hand and told him he wasn't allowed to look in the bags and try to talk me back into anything. I was brutal. Heartless. And four overflowing trash bags later, and I feel like a load has been lifted from my shoulder-padless shoulders. From my mind. From my very soul. Now if I could just live in the clean closet, everything would be A-OK.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Virtual Bookclub...Installment One!

I wrote this a few months ago, but thought I would post for The Virtual Bookclub....

If you haven't yet read Eat, Pray, Love....consider this your spoiler alert. If you're going to read it, progress no further! Because really, I would love to hear your opinion untainted by mine. I read this book just last month, and the author was on Oprah this week (love those serendipitous surprises). For me, Eat, Pray, Love was Magnificent, capital M. And although she and I will disagree on her theology, or lack of it, I rooted for her throughout the whole book. What I liked about Liz was that she was off to find not only herself, but she bit the universal bullet and decided to try to find God too. Not to mention her Purpose, Inner Peace and a host of other completely elusive and seemingly unattainable goals. What I really liked about her was that she was so purposeful about it. She knew what she needed to learn, and she chose three locations specifically for what they had to teach. Liz said that one of her main (and one of the more daring, to my mind!) goals in India was to be still, something she had rarely been able to do before. The Hebrews believed that if you saw God's face, you would immediately drop dead. Maybe a little of that terror still exists in our modern hearts, which is why so few of us seem to be able to sit still and listen to our inner thoughts for more than 5 seconds. She really dove into it though. She was determined to heal. And finally, she nears the end of her yearlong journey. She feels that she's heard her Creator's voice (she describes writing comforting words to herself in her journal in a voice, "not quite mine"). She believes she's sat in the "palm of God." She's experientially learned something about what it means to be on this earth- she's grasped love and compassion. And then she abruptly concludes by saying that maybe the voice she heard back in the dark days, comforting her, was just herself. Her future self (more mature and growing) comforting her present self (crippled and struggling). And I thought, OH NO, she's missed it! No, no, no! You were right the first time! God was there. God was guiding you. God was revealing Himself to you. You spent all that time trying to give up control, just to snatch it back when things began to go well. You found inner peace and then tried to take credit for it. I felt strangely disappointed in the ending. I listened closely to her interview on Oprah, trying to figure her out. I guess the conclusion I came to is this: We all have completely unique paths to God. And certainly He is awesome enough to take every one's unique journey into account, to even delight in each twisted path. Because that's how He made us. No two exactly alike. And maybe the point I'm trying to grasp here is to have the courage to take the journey. How He must love it when we do that! So more power to you, Liz. Keep going! And it was nice to see you on Oprah. Smiling.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Family Trees

Let me just tell you what Small Fry is doing as we speak... She is dressed in a pink princess costume, bouncing a Barbie basketball in the marble foyer and saying (loudly) "Praise the Lord, I'm going to meet Beanie B. Jones!!!" (AKA Junie B. Jones) She's a vision in pink chiffon, let me tell you. She has kept us laughing these days, as we have been saddened by the recent loss of a family member. You know what they say: We never get together like this, except for weddings and funerals? Wish I had been at a wedding. But it was truly touching to see so many family members gathered in one place, and my girls got to meet some lovely people for the first time. They got to hold their four-month-old cousin, with the beautiful red hair. They got to play with cousins Shelby and Cranky (Small Fry-speak for Frankie), whom they have not stopped talking about since. They "searched for clues" in the Selection Room. (Can you guess what that is? I didn't, until it was too late. So much for protecting them from life's harsh realities.) But the larger point is that they were part of something big, huge even. Two newly formed leaves on a family tree with many, many branches - some broken, some grafted on to the trunk, all going in different directions. And what a legacy to the one who has gone ahead that all those branches were gathered for a few days under the same roof. Unified in purpose. At peace with each other. Loving each other. Comforted by the promise of seeing their loved one again. As we circled and held hands in prayer before the service, I was overwhelmed with the thought that Life goes on. Love goes on. And maybe the most important mark you can leave on this world is to be a part of that cycle, nurturing the love part and loving the life part. Praise the Lord indeed.