Wednesday, March 31, 2010

it was what it was.

this winter. oh, this winter. maybe it's time to acknowledge what actually went down.

i just want to say, that i refuse to complain about it. the entire 12 years that i have lived here i have ached for it to snow. and a lot. if it's gonna be too cold to go out, it might as well be snowing, was my silent, winter mantra.

so it did. and it was no joke.

we enjoyed it. i think.

it kept robbie busy. which is kind of his thing.

olive, was very occupied with it. and self-occupied, is something that is a rare thing for her.

it was really beautiful overall. and it forced our busy family to slow down, cancel things, call things off, let ourselves off the hook, hole up, shut her get the point. and we needed it.

but what am i, without my grumblings coupled with gratitude? i also have to keep it real and say that i am very thankful that the sun is shining, that the flip flops have made their appearance for the year, that i have friends again...

now i'm not sure the following story was the snow's fault. i thought it was until last night the girls were busted in their room after bedtime for ripping a foam basketball to pieces with their teeth. but one sunday morning in the thick of winter, robbie and i woke up and realized that the kids had let us sleep in till almost 9am. there was no rude awakening at 6:30 to ask for us to put the tv on the right channel, or put a movie in, or get to their favorite baby getting a vaccine while we steal a few more minutes of precious sleep.

so sweet of them, right?

*please note that pictures were not taken until the post freak out*

you know who's really sweet? us, for letting them continue to live here.
oh yeah. bean bag chairs. and it was everywhere. even crawling up their bodies and up the walls. they must have been upstairs swimming in this while we slept away like chumps!

lucy, who was the self admitted ringleader of this incident, no doubt had to be nude for the job. the picture just above to the left is right after robbie blew them into a pile with the shop vac. much to robbie's chagrin, i took pictures. only because this was the perfect visual to express this time in our lives. this daily sensation of feeling like we are being punk'd. like surely ashton kutcher should have jumped out from underneath the bed with cameras. surely there should have been a clean up crew to follow. this took us three hours to clean up! there was no church this sunday morning. only cold, hard clean up. weeks later we are still finding these "beans".


there are days that i cannot believe the things that i have seen, heard, said, and done inside these walls. as they are happening i barely recognize anymore how odd they are in the moment. it isn't until at the end of the day, when i'm closing everyone's doors for what i hope to be the last time of the night it kind of all flashes before me in a heap and i have to reconnect myself to it all. i have to be honest and say that some of those days that realization makes me sad at myself. i could have done better. i could have been less selfish. i could have loved harder. i could have relied less on myself and my own strengths. i could have gone easier on her. i should have held him a little longer. shame, guilt, blah. but as i've expressed like a broken record. every day it gets a little clearer. that rational seems a little more distant. i'm not getting better. i'm just letting more and more....go. letting go of what i thought it would be like. letting go of who i thought i was. letting go of who i thought they would be like. and letting us and it just be what it is and what God designed. we is what we is. and it has shed everything in this hilarious light. lately i feel like God has allowed me to flash ahead 10 years and see it all from those eyes.

"did i really do that? why would i have done that?" i think to myself as i'm checking on finn for the last time. i guess i did put him to bed with my sunglasses case and a very, very, dirty, solitary sock. pull out the said case and sock that he's curled up with and barely recall trying to take these things from him earlier, but him fussing about it and i gave in.

this past fall or maybe late summer, i was nursing finn on the bed laying down. lucy was beside us letting herself fall hands free, head hitting the pillow. great fun. until she misjudged a landing and her forehead hit my nose. i really should have known better. besides giving birth, this may have been the most painful thing that has happened to me. i've never broken anything or had any other health problems. so it really threw me off. i was on prescription pain pills for several days. those things are nice. noted to self- stay away from those nice things.

another day this winter, lucy comes into the room to tell me that she thinks finn would like some hot dogs and could i please cook him up some. "oh yeah, why do you think he wants hot dogs?" lucy leads me into the kitchen to find finn standing at the bottom freezer, door ajar, sucking on/chewing through a package of frozen hot dogs. safety first over here.

on a similar note, i found lucy chewing off her toenails. i soon realized that this must not be the first time she's done this. i was painting their nails and toenails when olive very motherly said "now, lucy, we can't suck our thumbs or chew our toenails until all this has chipped off. ok?" ew!

another foggy headed winter morning i was sitting across from lucy at breakfast. watching her with a clean, dry watercolor paint brush, pretending to paint the table. i knew it was coming, but then got distracted. she spotted a mostly empty yogurt container and had found something to paint a large portion of the table with before i noticed what was going on. a few hours later i caught her dipping her play cell phone in a cup of milk. dipping it in and then putting the phone in her mouth and slurping it off. i would really love to be in her head for a day and understand why these decisions get made.

sound bytes both said and overheard this winter

"no you may not lick him. he's sick." because i guess if he wasn't sick, it was ok to lick him?

and along the same lines "no licking the edge of the table."

"you must wear panties. OK NEW RULE EVERYONE." (i'm kinda known around here for my spontaneous, albeit genius, rule making) i don't care if you wear shirts or pants, but panties are non-negotiable." yelling this at the top of my lungs.

another rule made "you may not rub your toothbrush on your bottom". and, "you may not use your toothbrush to brush your eyeball"

"no stabbing the fruit with pencils"

"don't toot on me!"

aye yi yi!

the kids and i, for the most part, were snowed in a lot.
i had bought them a yoga for kids dvd for Christmas, after watching their uncle john and aunt katie do a little yoga with them before our 6 hour drive home after thanksgiving. i thought to myself that this could really be a tool to bring out at the right times. i was right. when it was clear that things were taking a turn for crazytown, i put this in.

it's movement for them, that requires focus and quiet. and they love it! i definitely recommend this.

sometimes judgement got fuzzy for me after days
upon days in the house. yes, that was my 15 month old standing on a table. no, he isn't incapable of falling or getting knocked off of it and badly hurt. and yes, i stopped to take a picture because i couldn't resist the light coming in the room. see what i mean? fuzzy.

but that was then. this is now. and i really think this town is going to look back at this winter and smile.

i leave you with a picture that sums up the essence of our winter. a little relaxing, a little beautiful, a little crazy, a little boring, a little simple .

Friday, March 19, 2010

the love of music - part 1

i need to talk about music.
i mean, i really,

and i didn't realize it until my friend tessa sent me a link to a blog, written by tori. so i hope you can indulge my need here.

tessa, and her sweet baby, ella, picutred here.

we went to school with her. tori. she was a little younger than us and i felt a connection with her at the time though knew close to nilch about her. outside of school, she dressed in clothes that looked like mine. a porcelain dolled girl dressed in clothes i could understand. and at that point in my life... in my world of private, christian collared shirts and belted meant pretty much everything. it meant that she, though we rarely spoke, got me. i just knew that if we had been friends she would have understood that i rose above that school. that i was going places, that i was thinking thoughts, that i was more than met the jock's eye. you know, all the things that you hope are seen in you at that age.

my love for music dates back to second grade when somehow i caught wind of george michael's video for faith. oh yeah! sunglasses, black leather jacket, worn out denim, boots tapping on a juke box. puh-lease! i woke up while watching this video. i knew who my imaginary boyfriend looked like finally. his name was johnny and he looked just like george michael and he made me feel like that song made me feel. and there, at 8, began my love for music that won't let up.

for me. music is the most powerful thing God put in our hands. it's the only way that i understand the word - holy. everytime i hear that word i think of the way that music makes me feel. lost, weepy, caught up, momentous, inspired, clarified, understood, ....holy. when i think about eternity, i immediately imagine the sounds of music. and how God will be like the most beautiful song that i won't ever want to stop hearing. that i won't ever want to stop singing. music is the closest i can get to bliss. music is the way that i start my quiet time with God. it gets me right there in that sweet spot of emotion where i need to be. it sluffs the edge off that creeps on me throughout the day.

anyhoo...tori expanded on a facebook note craze and spoke on her favorite songs. and i feel the need to do this too.

kids, you are the bees knees. really. i was born to mother you. but sometimes i do fantasize about something entirely different. it's not at all thought or planned out. i have no idea what it would look like. but when i hear a song i love, it's there looming and waiting. i'm somewhere other than with you and i feel this sense of another life that i almost entered. a sense of my life had it taken some weird turn, if God's will for me had slighted to the left a little. and i have no choice but just to get lost in it. to just go with it and let it intoxicate me like it does. and then the song ends and i'm back in my minivan on I-40, driving you home from your doctor's appt. i'm mom. i promise. and i'm privileged. down right, blessed, to get to be.

but mommy's got her jams.

and i want you to know about them. this will certainly not be summed up in this blog entry. consider this installment 1 of many of the love of music.

here we go yo. and in no particular order. because i could just never, ever rank. (aside from ranking jacksonville city nights the best album ever. ) but nevermind.

1) mellow mood, by bob marley.

"i'll play your favorite song, darling" - he's definitely trying to romance his lady here. and who could resist a "darling" ? it's southern. it's gentlemanly. it's aparently, jamaican. it's just plain old universal.

"open up your heart
open up your heart
let love coming running...IN, darling
cause i've got your love, darling,
love, sweet, love

raspy, sincere voice. you just can't not love, bob. everyone has their bob song. this is mine.

2) you don't know my name, by alicia keys.

this song has mood from the first beat. from the first note. descending piano notes in the chorus. soul throw back from the oldies. and it doesn't try too hard. she's just feeling it.

"and i swear on my mother and father it feels like ooh"

it definitely does feel like ooh.

3) bouncing around the room, phish

one of my first phish songs. gotta love a live one.

"and in a sweet sound bouncing 'round"

can you help but dance? and wonder what your high school boyfriends are up to now?

4) for the widows in paradise, for the fatherless in ypsilanti, sufjan stevens

"if you have a father or if you haven't one
i'll do anything for you.
i Did everything for you.
i Did everything for You. "

"if you ever make a mess
i'll do anything for you"

this guy gets it. he understands how much we're loved. how much was done. and it can't go unnoticed that he's playing a banjo, singing about Jesus, and managed to be unlabeled as a gospel artist.

5) karma police, radiohead

it's never quite the words with this band. for me, it's very cure-esque in this way. the music is transcendent and speaks over the words. it's very rare and special. you look at thom yorke and know that whether or not he had the words, he absolutely has caught a moment of your life in music.

6) sweet illusions, ryan adams.

"let me go
i'm only letting you down
i've got nothing to say to you now"

you knew i had to go there. this music is a complete package of the senses. it's in the words. it's in the music. it's ambiatic. he knows what you're trying to get at. he's singing what you were. he's singing where you're at. he's singing the would have been. it's best alone with your thoughts and with wine.

"you and i used to shine like a jewel
but times been nothing to us but cruel"

when cold roses came out, this song was a stand out. it haunted me.

"we were nothing
we were only the best"

it comes off very easy, vulnerable, no second guessed lyrics.

"i ain't got nothing but love for you
love, i can't use"

ugh! head in your hands, down on your knees kind of music.

more on music to come. it may just go on and on and on, so bear with me.