Thursday, October 21, 2010


a few nights ago, i guess it's been over a week, i got to go to some friends' house and look through their telescope. (it was a big, big telescope) through their telescope i got to see jupiter, the dark ring around jupiter, and all four of its moons...all in one little round view...further away than i know units to quantify...there it all was...clear as day. now, i'm not a seasoned telescope viewer. i think this might be the first time i've looked through one and seen something that could be identified to me. (kind of like when other people look at ultrasound pictures and can't find the toes or the nose...but i can usually find those...) anyway, i have seen people look through telescopes on tv...and i've also seen the depictions of what they've seen on tv. (i know, i know...but i am a child of tv and a good chunk of my world has been experienced sitting on my butt looking at a box...) now, let me tell you something that happened in real life that i'd never seen on tv. jupiter kept moving out of our view finder. i'd tell someone to go look through that telescope and they would and they'd be all "yeah, they isn't anything in it." and i'd feel that despair that you feel when you are young and your toy runs out of batteries and you know it'll be forever til your mom puts new ones long, you'll probably forget how to work it. but then the man who built the telescope (i used to think it was cool i had friends who knew how to knit...dude, i know someone who BUILT a telescope...) would come adjust it and there would be jupiter and all four of his moons (i know planets are usually girls, but jupiter just seemed kind of like a single dad kind of planet..). it was crazy to me. to think about how i was watching something move and change that was so huge, so otherworldly, and so far away. and that it would happen quickly enough that i could actually observe it.

last night, i took two of my kids to their religious education classes. the third, who normally goes, had team pictures for soccer, so he was going to miss class to be in the picture. my husband has been working on two major projects for the week and completely unavailable. which is fine. all of this is fine. all of this is manageable and doable and reasonable. my bil had offered to help me out, but i actually turned down his help. my plan was to pull the soccer player a little early to pick up the religious education guys and get home a little earlier than usual on a wednesday night. and everything was fine. i mean, the baby's diapers keep leaking and last night was no exception, but otherwise, it was rolling along fine. until i got to the church to pick up the religious ed kids and my second grader was not in his classroom. that is when things started not rolling along so finely and got a little bumpier. a parent meeting started coming to mind. oh wait, was there a parent meeting that night? let me find the director of religious ed and apologize for missing the parent, if i could just find her. i walked all over the whole grounds for our church...from the religious ed building to the parish hall, to the church, to the high school building, back to the religious ed building, back to check the classroom. no religious ed director...and no child of mine. (and admittedly, i was much more panicked about second than the first...) once i did find him, his teacher informed me that i'd missed a parent/child meeting. and it was all i could do not to start crying right then and there. but i'd already made my kid attend a parent/child meeting without a parent...i didn't want to put him through that absent parent bawling in front of his teacher. i apologized profusely, to my kid and to his teacher. i began to offer up some explanation, but it just sounded lame and so i stopped and went back to apologizing. i made it through the rest of the night, apologizing every now and then, trying not to be angry at my spouse (because i really wanted to blame him, even though it really wasn't his fault). once everyone went to bed, though, i went outside and i cried. i cried because i felt like a lousy mom. i cried because i do not want my fourth born son to get stuck with exhausted, over-committed parents who forget his stuff. i cried because i worry that i have too many kids to be a good mom to them all. i cried because i felt like i was judged by the parents who were there, looking at my beautiful son with no parent. i cried because preparation for his sacraments is important to me, and i wish, man, i WISH i had freaking remembered to be there. and then i looked up. and is aw jupiter. and i realized that if something that far away...that huge and that otherworldly can change before my eye, then i can change, too. and it won't take years or months or reading twelve books or several therapy appointments or prayers i haven't learned to do it. that i will simply change.

so some things were different this morning. much the same. i have been working hard on not being afraid of failing...knowing that failing is not a permanent statement on my being or character or, you know, failure. that it is a chance to realize things need to change. i'm not changing to avoid being judged, by the way...or some of the other reasons for why i was crying. some of that stuff i cannot change...i cannot even do anything about because it's not my shit. but the stuff i can address, i'll address. but i will not resign myself to being less than i can be. there are things i do well, and there are things i can do better. and that is what i'll work on.


Sunday, September 26, 2010


there's this parable in the bible about blind men and an elephant...that if each man feels a different part of the elephant, each one will describe an elephant differently. and they'll all be right. there may be some other levels to it, but that's the explanation that's always stuck with me.

this weekend, we went to visit my husband's family. i feel like kind of an ass when i call them his family, because they're my family, too. but they aren't exactly behaving well, to be honest. so i get a certain satisfaction out of calling them his family (much the same way my sister and i try to pawn off our dad on each other when he's behaving badly..."YOUR father..."..."oh NO, you mean YOUR father..."). anyway. we've kind of stayed out of the thick of things. it was safer and frankly, we have a lot of our own bullshit going on and didn't feel particularly feel the need to get drawn into their bullshit. but the eleven year old really wanted to celebrate with his family (ah-ha! it's HIS family...). he wanted a big dinner with the WHOLE family there (yes, we actually say "all of the family" like we're wannabe gangsters or something...). so god love them, the whole family came. and they kept their bullshit in check. and the eleven year old gave me the big thumbs up and that smile he has that makes me feel like the world is a magical place with no bullshit.

but this is about perspective.

and blind men.

and elephants.

as i have listened to people, observed people, just shared space with occurs to me that we are all on this huge obstacle course. and we're all taking pictures. but good luck making a map using all those pictures at all those angles. it would never happen. some things would be photographed multiple times from multiple angles and we may never actually figure out two pictures are even of the same thing. while other things would probably be missed entirely. there is something delightful to me about this. because there is an inherent knowledge in me that we will never see the whole picture....and perhaps even more importantly, an acceptance. how could we know it all? and why would we ever need faith? and faith is just something that's always with me. like my little toe or something. (ok, ok...i chose my little toe because i broke it once and there have been times my faith may have been a tiny bit fractured or something...)

this is something i've been thinking about. this and the fact that this really pisses some people off.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

so here's what i've been up to...

this is my teenager, my baby girl, my third born, my fourth born, and my second born...
see? i've been busy. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

it's not that i'm not thinking about blogging

because i do think about it. not necessarily things i would say, because my thoughts just aren't that fluid right now. but i think about how much i used to enjoy it. sometimes i read old blogs and wish that earthmama chick would start blogging again. then i remember that i'm that earthmama chick and i feel really happy and really sad at the same time. it's a mixed bag these days...

i don't really even have time to read blogs, either. and i feel like i need to make some time....i mean, at least a little, you know? because it helps to read others' words. it really does.

anyway...i have some housekeeping to do. yes, in my house, but also, i mean, around here. cleaning up my blog roll and such. there's actually a blog i've been reading because my sister sends me links. and a few others i haven't added. and then probably a ton i should delete just because i never visit anymore.

i am listening to my teen play his new guitar. he bought a really, really nice guitar. and let me tell you, really, really nice guitars? they sound really, really nice. super nice, to be honest. and it is really freaking sweet to hear him play indigo girls tonight...because they're the most complex acoustic players he's familiar with, donchano?

alright, i'm out for the night. i will try to make it back soon. because i need the release.

peace out

Monday, August 9, 2010

yawn, stretch

what a long weekend. a beautiful weekend. an exhausting weekend.

today would be my aunt and uncle's 37th anniversary. would be if my uncle had not hung himself in january. and my aunt is here visiting us in texas because she said she just needed to be here for their anniversary. i'm glad she came. i'm glad i took my family to go see her. it was lovely and hard and wonderful and sad and emotional and, well, it just felt right for some reason.

there is so much more i want to say...but it is hard to find the words. and i have a beautiful little baby girl trying to climb my leg, so there's that, too...hehe


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

well, hello there

long time, no post...

it was busy. and it was good. and it was exhausting. and there were a million things i wanted to write about. but the words would only come at times that i could only write on the chalkboard in my head (hey, remember chalkboards?...). and when i had time to blog, the words would scatter...yep, like cockroaches when you turn the light on (no, i've never experienced this in a house that had my name on the loan). but something i learned this past week...everything's connected. and i don't necessarily mean in some sexy "crash" kind of way (i mean crash the movie, btw). it may not all seem connected or even relevant...but be patient...those dots will start connecting and you'll just sit there, trying to remember to close your mouth while you are totally having an amazed, i think i'm floating out of my body right now kind of moment. just sayin...

and here's another thing i learned...this song is awesome. i will not even try to put into words the love i have for those who shared it with makes me get tears to think about them, all that they're going through, how much i love them, and how much they give the world...

peace out

Monday, June 28, 2010


today was good. i am bone tired...but today was good.

my oldest is at what is called discipleship week. he's spending four days and three nights with a team of kids, learning about his faith and, i imagine mostly, himself. it is an awesome experience to get to watch a young person develop their own spirituality, to be able to share in some of that, be inspired and touched by it. it's been raining like crazy around our area...and though he's spending the week four hours away from here, i imagine he may be getting a little rain, too. i've been praying for him today. we miss him like crazy around here. but there is also a peace, i must admit. no heavy metal playing, no electric guitar in the background. it's not something we're looking for everyday. but knowing that he is off doing important work makes the peace appropriate. i'm sure i'll be crazy electric guitar by the time he gets home.

last weekend was a crazy one. my spouse begins his fourth year of residency next know, on thursday. but he pulled call like a fourth year this weekend, heretofore called chief call. chief call sucks. in the beginning, i'm told. i'm told after the first few months, the other residents will stop calling the chief on call all the time. one can hope, but i don't know... i mean, i guess it must be true, because seriously, how could you ever convince someone to take chief call for a whole year if this is how it's going to go? my spouse tries very hard to avoid cesarean deliveries. but all weekend, someone else would call for a cesarean and my spouse would have to come in and do it...even though he wasn't necessarily part of the team that lead up to the decision. and he was called...let me tell you... at seven on friday night. again at two on saturday morning. then he rounded on everyone at six on saturday morning. then another cesarean at two on saturday afternoon. and rounding on everyone sunday morning, with removing an ectopic pregnancy thrown in after rounds. then another cesarean at three o'clock this which point he just stayed at the hospital for rounds at five and went on with his day, which ended at seven tonight. i took one kid rock climbing practice and the rest swimming so the doc could just come home and sleep. by the time we made it back to pick up the kiddo from climbing practice, in the DRIVING RAIN, he was still asleep and hasn't moved, except to kick off his covers and snore.

babiest girl had a heck of a night. she really enjoys swimming. she really does not enjoy driving in wall to wall rain. and it was such a slow drive.... but her three brothers that were in the car did their best to entertain her, and we made it home and cooked some dinner, bathed her in the kitchen sink, and started nursing her. but she didn't quite fall asleep. and then she got so overtired and wound up, she was kind of absolutely crazy there for awhile. she was biting and tensing and just having a hard time of it. i would hug her tight, and that would help her out for about two minutes. so i just held her and rocked her and it took almost an hour for her to settle into a restless but completely resigned sleep. and while i felt sorry for her that she had such a rough night...and i looked at my diet to figure out what i ate that could've made things so tough for her (too much sugar today...doh)...i have a small confession to make. i did it. i was able to help her fall asleep, help her work through her frustration, and i didn't absorb it. i didn't reflect it. i didn't even feel anything but sympathy for her. so i did it. and i am proud of that. kind of crazily so, because i am very tired. and i also did another good thing tonight. i let the doc sleep. it was kind of hard because it felt like i was doing something nice for him...and i'm ashamed to say, that kind of thinking always makes me think about what has he done that's nice for me lately?...and then i get all frustrated and don't do anything nice for him. but what i did tonight wasn't nice so much as a good thing. he's been getting kind of bossy and unpleasant with the kids, so i just felt like i needed to do something good for the household...everyone in it. i don't know who will appreciate it, or if anyone will. but i think it'll bring good things to my house, and for that i am grateful.

i really think that praying is important. i know that when i do it, i open myself up and good things come through. not something born in me. something that already is good moves through me. and tonight, i felt very humbled and very grateful to be able to channel that. it exhausts me. but it's a good exhaustion to feel like you wore yourself out doing something that put good out there. i imagine it is very similar to the exhaustion my sister and her partner are feeling with their three little ones. yep, i've been praying for them, too.

and good things happened for me today, too. i spent a little time in the sun. i read a book today. holy shmoly, a whole book. yep, it was really short. but i got to finish it. and that was incredible. and some laundry got done, and food was prepared, plans made for the week, a little cleaning done. i'm taking care of my other friend's adopted daughter tomorrow night. another chance to be a channel. i better go get some rest so i'm up for it.


Friday, June 25, 2010

let's just continue

not necessarily with the bitching, although i admit, there will be an update (hanging head in shame).

but first things sister is a mama!!! and i'm not talking about they got a new fish or a new dog or something. they got kids!! three of them! ages one, two, and three. so, like almost triplets! hey, i'm pretty sure we can call them irish triplets. only, they're mexican, and beautiful, and lucky to be my sister's kids. she's gonna rock soon as she gets a nap. but seriously, i'm an auntie. well, we've been through this before...i'm an aint. and i am so freakin excited about that. like, my sister's kids. not my husband's sister's or brother's sister's kids. this allows me so much more p.o.w.e.r. not that i'm on a power trip or anything, but seriously, it's so much cooler when it's your sibling's kids. (trust me, it just is...) and she has kids. and they're spending their second night at my sister's (and her partner...i don't want to leave her partner out of this) house...lucky little ducks.

so, we also went swimming today. the two little guys, babiest girl, and i. we went to a friend's pool. kids had a blast. and i really like this mama, so i had a really good time, too. lots of time in the sun. and fourth born (or babiest boy, i'm not sure what to call him now that he's staring down seven) learned that he can swim without his freakin cool is that?!? well, i'll tell's pretty freakin cool. i felt really good getting home.

then...medicine happened. spouse brought home all this stuff to be grilled. five minutes later, he was paged, and had to go back to the hospital to do a c-section. what?!?! so he starts the coals on the grill. (and can i just say, i realize some mamas would be less than impressed to know that their doc started coals on the grill before he drove up to the hospital to do their cesarean, but seriously, if the docs didn't at least do some stuff like start coals on the grill, their families would probably just move their shit out of the house because they wouldn't even seem like part of the family anymore, you know? like they'd just be some boarder who pays little, but you still have to clean up after him and shit. and i know it is hard to find a good doctor these days...but let me tell you, it is lonely as freakin hell being married to a good doctor. just something to think about. and something i have been needing in a deep, deep say.) and then he is the fuck out of here. i have to grill. after chauffeuring and life guarding and all that stuff. i don't want to grill. i am not good at grilling. (well, unless it's hot dogs...i rock hot dogs) so i grill. and the grill gets too cold. and i have to bring everything in and finish it in the kitchen (which i am sure i will clean later tonight, but whatever....). and i am trying so hard not to hate him each step of the way tonight. but it eeks out a little at a time. and i feel bad for that. but i just don't have much patience. and i'm equal opportunity no patience person. i have no patience for his job that sucks all his time. and i have no patience for my own frustration. i'm just kind of pissed. oh well. and life goes on. right?

but i will share one cool thing that happened tonight while i was cooking. my teen was holding babiest girl while i was running around flipping chicken quarters on the grill and putting on asparagus and whatever the hell else. and she sees me when i catch a break and am ready to hold her. i walk over to them, and she gets all excited, jumping up and down in teen's arms and squinching up her face in happiness. so i give her the same back...moving my arms and bouncing and squinching my face up in happiness and sweep her up in my arms. then teen looks at babiest girl, looks at me, and rolls his eyes and shakes his head at the same time. and i look at babiest and announce, "it's ok. he doesn't get it. it's a girl thing." and this delights me more than words can explain. because she smiles at me like "yeah, it's a girl thing." and we have our girl moment. something that, in fifteen years of parenting, i've never had. but now i do. cool, huh?


Thursday, June 24, 2010

decisions, decisions

i have been trying to decide if i was going to get on my blog today and bitch for awhile, or wax nostalgic about laundry, or write about something like books or whatever, or maybe just try to solve some problem of the world. but yeah, i'm gonna bitch...let me set it up first.

we've been cleaning around here. decluttering and reorganizing are our buzz words. made it through the huge bookshelf in the living room and the little boys' room. three categories for everything...trash can, donate, keep it. we have been making some good progress...the garage is full of stuff we're getting rid of. seriously, it's like a fabulous garage sale that's even more fabulous because it is all free to anyone who wants to come go through it and pick stuff out.

anyway... i was working a little with the big boys in their room today. actually, my preteen was not working in there because he just didn't feel like it, but i am not going to talk about his challenging puberty riddled ass right now, 'k? i was really proud of my teen, because he decided to throw away his f-bomb today. now, he has this f-bomb that his godmother sent him (yes, i know how to pick them, don't i?) when he dropped his first f-bomb two summers ago. and he said today that he was going to get rid of it because he doesn't use it anyway. and there was something very mature and cool about hearing him say that. and then i uttered an f-bomb in his presence and he told me to settle down and i thought i was going to throttle him so i left the room to collect myself.

ok, that didn't all happen right after he told me he didn't need the f-bomb anymore. what happened was, i forgot they had rock climbing practice tonight. they've been up at the gym volunteering anywhere between six and twelve hours a day this week. but they had today off. for robotics. but then robotics was cancelled. and hallelujah, we had some time at home for a change. and i also had book club tonight. and i was going to go to book club and leave the kids at home because tonight happens to be my spouse's late night at work. you know, the spouse who had to take an avocado salad to work today? i haven't mentioned that? well, let me tell you about it...he had to make an avocado salad for work. and when he made it last night, he trashed the whole. damned. kitchen in the process. i mean seriously, how do you get it that messy making one freaking salad? and who the hell did he think was going to clean that mess up as he sat his ass at my computer? well, obviously he KNEW who was cleaning that shit up, because i did a great job of it. and then he had THE NERVE to go to work and leave the damned salad in the fridge. so guess who had to take the salad to him? yes, the same fool who cleaned the kitchen. so i took the teen to the church to practice with the musicians (see how i do that? say i don't have anything to do because there's really only one thing i have to do...but then it turns into a little more...) and when i picked teen up, i called spouse to say i was on the way (i swear, this is what he asked me to do when he called to tell me he forgot the if i didn't already notice that the minute i opened the fridge this morning) to drop off the salad, and he didn't answer. so i called again. and a doctor who was not my spouse called to tell me that my spouse (and apparently everyone else in their whole department) was delivering a baby and couldn't leave right then, so could i bring it up? only, i'm in the parking lot with teen and the baby driving around. and so i have teen run it up to them so they can have their stupid salad and their world won't crash. (how much you wanna bet they won't all be delivering a baby when it's time to eat that salad? i mean, i don't want to sound totally bitter, but this is just how the universe seems to work out these days...score a couple points for the doctors and zero for marci)

anyway, so after all that, i decided that hells yeah i was going to book club. i'm talking to my bigs about their room...teen's talking about what he'd like to do, preteen is being frustrating...and somewhere in there, i remember they have rock climbing practice tonight. so "oh shit" comes out of my mouth. and right after that, i realize this means i don't have bigs home tonight during book club. that it's me and the three littles til an hour, maybe an hour and a half after book club starts when spouse gets home. and this just takes all the wind out of my sails. and apparently, the wind coming out of my sails sounds like "fuuuuuck" said kind of lowly. but not so low that the teen couldn't hear it. and then he said "hey, settle down" and i left the room because i had tears in my eyes and was going to pound him.

it wasn't that i was mad at him at that moment...that wasn't why i wanted to throttle him. it didn't hurt my feelings that he drew attention to the fact that i was using language in front of them that i don't normally use, that i shouldn't use. i was just so totally pissed. and i don't know that it was all even that big of a deal. but i was still just so pissed. my therapist says it's because i don't have much reserve left. that i had reserve going into this journey with medicine. but that i've used it up. and i think maybe she's right. or at least it feels like she's right...but maybe it just makes me feel better about being an asshole. i mean, i don't necessarily feel good about being an asshole, but i feel better to think there is a reason why. the crap part is that i don't know how to build up my reserves again. i mean, i try to build them up. but then shit like this happens and it just defeats me. it's not even that book club is the shit for me. i never even read the books anymore. but i feel so damned trapped sometimes by this stupid life of mine. i mean, the kids i feel aren't ready to be alone in the evening...they aren't stupid. and the baby i'd rather not take to book club, but would've...she's not stupid. and the bigs who are climbing tonight...they're not stupid....maybe a little selfish...but maybe not...and definitely not stupid. the spouse who's working and saving lives and shit...he's definitely not stupid....he's definitely a whole slew of other stuff, but it's not stupid. so i don't know why i call it a stupid life. probably because i'm frustrated and everything seems kind of stupid right now. but just between you and me, saying fuck in front of my kids feels really, really stupid.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010


i have been listening to music today. i wish i did this, at least for a little while, everyday. hell, even the thirty minutes four times a week they recommend for exercise would probably get me through. my friend, corey, has music night every monday night...maybe i could just try that. i don't know, but i can't even explain how great i feel going into tonight, and especially at the end of it. it's wonderful.

each little song transports me to a different time and place in my life. and so many of them are so full of life and energy and happiness and good things in general. i emailed an old friend tonight because a song came on that she gave me the cassette of...and i'm talking about twenty-some years ago. and her grandmother had just died. and it was really a neat thing to connect with her and let her know why i was thinking of her. kind of hilarious in this great, loving way.

there are many, many things i've thought about blogging about in this peaceful, sated state. but i chose to blog about the vehicle that brought me here. maybe i'll get to the other stuff later...


Monday, June 14, 2010

a few breaths of air

yep, i've got a cold. runny nose, sinus headache, raw throat. crap. i tried to take it easy yesterday, but it was really one of those "do most of my normal stuff but don't go outside and totally bust ass and call it taking it easy" kind of days. today...i think it's going to have to be one of those "maybe i'll get a shower in but otherwise i'm on my ass because i seriously need to take it easy" kind of days. i think so anyway.

babiest girl woke up early this morning. was crawling and making noises all over my bed and my head. so we got up to watch wiggles. biggest brother came in at some point and said he'd lay with her, so i got up and grabbed some coffee. (i am almost embarrassed by how grateful i am when things like this happen) babiest fell asleep with biggest before she's usually up for aa typical day...silly girl.

my friend got her prayer flags. i got pictures. oh my....can i just say how gorgeous she is? and those prayer flags were beautiful around her. seriously, i think prayer flags are the way to go from now on. beautiful and get the point across. i miss her so terribly, but am so grateful i had a chance to send a little piece of each of us to her. god working both ways...

i just heard my thirdborn get in bed with my waking babiest and say to her, "well hello there little wonder." where do they get this sweetness from? and really, who cares? i'm just honored to be able to witness and be touched by it...

and i think that's about it. i have no idea what they day will hold (although i'm pretty sure it will hold sausage...sausage is what i crave when i have a cold) but i wanted to stop and take a moment to think about those moments of light that didn't make my head ache...those breaths of air today that didn't burn my sinuses or make me cough. food for my soul.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

a little quiet time

every night, i go out and feed my dogs. and it is sacred time. i don't do it when the kids are up. i wait for them to get in bed and settle down. i've blogged a number of times about the shade of night or even some insight i've gained from watching my dogs' behavior (although i admit i have not blogged in a long time about my dogs). it's a funny thing...there were times when i would go over the kids' school work and plan the next day or plan the next week, whatever. i used to read outside at night. i used to sit on the phone and talk for hours even at one point in my life. but feeding them at night, once things have quieted down, has long been a habit of mine. i give it up when i'm pregnant...sleep seemed to take priority. but one thing i do a lot at night is pray. maybe because it's finally quiet. maybe because i'm outside and i've always felt god's presence outside. i think i've always partly thought it was because i was "done" with my day and had resigned to let everything else go until tomorrow and so praying and reflecting just seemed natural. lately i've been wondering if there is a way to capture that feeling, that peaceful mindset somehow during the day. because i often feel like cuddling up to my kids afterward. i want to read a book with them, talk to them about this that or the other, make sure that they know that at the end of the day, i usually think they're pretty wonderful, or at least that things are going to end up better the next day than they did that day.

tonight my spouse is at work. it's his last night on call where he has to be at the hospital for his full call time. from here on out, he gets to be home. (unless he becomes a staff member at a teaching hospital after residency, in which case he'll have to stay at the hospital for a night of call every tenth or eleventh night or something like that so that he's there if the residents need him, but let's not talk about that right diminishes the importance of what i'm saying here...) at least for the next year, he won't have to sleep at the hospital. he'll go in if they need him, but then he gets to come back home and sleep in our bed, with me...and our babiest girl. and that makes me feel warm and happy we're almost at a place of rest. and after the last seven years, a place of rest sounds delicious.

while i was feeding my dogs tonight, i took a moment to let myself settle in to the night. to lift up some thanks. ask for some healing. feel grateful and satisfied and appreciative and maybe even let a little awe come. then i remembered about my brother's girlfriend's miscarriage. ok, so she's really his ex-girlfriend. but she was pregnant with his baby. and i believe that even though she was pretty unhappy that he was not her boyfriend anymore, and even more unhappy that he has a different girlfriend right now, i do believe she was happy to be pregnant. and that made me inexplicably happy. i guess i should explain that my brother is not the sharpest tool in the shed, the brightest bulb in the chandelier. he's pretty close to mentally retarded, if you look at his i.q. scores. and while he doesn't have anything obviously wrong with him, it doesn't take a long time hanging out with him to be able to see that he's pretty some ways he's the kind of different that you imagine god would like us all to be...simple just comes easy to him. but then he's also different in the ways that makes living in today's world independently impossible. my sister and i often discuss which one of us will have this brother living with us after our parents either die or give up. i don't think i would mind him living here because the times that he's been here, he tends to follow along with whatever my kids are doing. but the times he's been here, my kids have been fairly's been a few years...and i don't know how he'd do with teenagers in the house. it's one thing when he plays baseball with the neighborhood kids, brushes teeth and gets ready for bed at nine because that's what the kids are doing, and looks for word searches to do because everyone else here reads so much. but i do not know how he would handle being in a household where the children are becoming young adults and their self-responsibility is changing and growing in ways he's never seemed to be able to quite get the hang of. and i guess that's not really what i was thinking about tonight anyway. because even though he's a pretty simple guy and will probably never really be capable of living on his own, i had started to think that he might not make too bad of a father. call me an idealist (you wouldn't be the first), but i kind of thought eventually he'd figure out he really loved the ex-girlfriend...or at any rate, he'd figure out that the ex-girlfriend really seems to love him, and he'd end up there and they'd make this cute, quirky little family, the end. but the end came a little sooner and the ex-girlfriend miscarried. and that made me sad. not that i'm going to go encouraging him to get another girl pregnant or anything. he's considering a vasectomy just because buying condoms requires a little forethought that his frontal lobe, since it doesn't function much, can't seem to handle (yeah, for real, the light's not even home in the front of his brain, so i guess no one's ever been home).

my sister and her partner are thisclose to being certified as a couple for foster-to-adopt. so i guess even if i don't become an auntie with my brother, i'm pretty much getting ready to be an auntie with my sister. but i should be honest...if it's my sister, i won't be an auntie...i'll be an aint. it's just the way we say it in my southern family. and i'm looking so forward to being an aint in this capacity. it will be different and it will be challenging and it will be beautiful in a whole nother way from how becoming an auntie was. but it makes my toes curl and a lump form in my throat when i think about being an aint.

and i guess these are the things i think about when i feel like i can breathe a little.

i have been working hard in my yard. and working hard with my family. and working hard in my marriage and in my own head. i am grateful, as always, for those who walk alongside me. today was a particularly lovely day...the teen got his new guitar, the other guys got their video game they've long wanted, and the littlest played hard, crawled with her belly off the floor, ate bananas and learned to make this terrific coughing sound that elicits much reaction from her brothers. and the dad will be home for good tomorrow morning. the mama will crawl into bed with the babiest and we'll see what tomorrow holds...


i think he's in love

and i am totally fine that it's not human yet.

this is his new electric guitar. aside from being really pretty, it also sounds really good. (just between you and me, i always thought he sounded kind of amateurish....i had no idea it was because of his guitar...whew!) he is over the moon. spent more on the guitar and the case than i have probably spent on any one item for myself....i'm trying to think here...i mean, there's my car...i don't know...never point is that i am very proud of him for saving so long, researching so completely, making a decision, and going with it. and i think he is, too...see it in that big grin on his face?

a day in the life

my cybertribe had a photo assignment about a day in your life. you were supposed to take a camera around and snap pictures of your day and share them. i did this yesterday. today, there was too much driving around and the cold my guys have all gotten to some degree this past week has made my throat raw and my head kind of stuffy, so i did not even think to take pictures with us today. well, i did take two pictures today...and one is at the end of this post and the other gets its own post in a minute. i don't know...this evening is not making much sense, so let's go back to yesterday...

this is where i check my email and log onto my cybertribe each morning. there's my coffee and my glass of water (and a bunch of other junk that just seems to always be around that area in case i suddenly need it).

this is my youngest son and babiest girl watching wiggles and playing together. this is kind of their routine lately. that laundry in the background that needs to be folded is also part of the routine lately. but notice how littlest son's eyes are so sleepy...i think out of all of us, the cold hit him the hardest and he's had some tough mornings this week. but his baby sister always makes him smile.

this is my third born...he loves listening to harry potter audio books and reading the book at the same time. since we've lightened our school load, this is one of his favorite pastimes.

my first born and my second born fight over this window to sit and read in each morning. second born won this morning. i just love his curly hair in the morning.

if he's not reading first thing in the morning, this is what my first born is doing....but he gets his own post in a minute.

here is babiest drinking her water in her high chair. you know, she really is usually that happy.

and here's a pic of me and babiest before i go out and conquer part of our yard. i've been working on trimming trees and bushes and just kind of taming our landscaping (and getting some great work outs in there at the same time...ouch)

and this is from today...but i love this picture of my two little ones playing in the little splash pad we bought yesterday. she loved it and he loves it right along with her. good times...
peace out

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


i've been meaning to keep a gratitude journal. well, start using mine again, is what i really mean. because i have been having some frustrating times. i think i have mentioned here before that i remember well what having four little ones was like. there were things that didn't get done around my house for years. and it didn't bother me in the least. i really didn't even notice a great deal of filth just because i was so busy chasing those little ones. but see, i've been to the other side. i've had older kids, learned how darned dirty ceiling fan blades get in the course of months (and i went at least seven years without ever even noticing this when my guys were little, btw), i got used to baseboards being cleaned, gutters being cleared, trees trimmed (i don't really even remember what kind of trees i had when my kids were little), stuff like that. and it is so very frustrating to be in this place where i can no longer maintain the house and my life the way i was used to. and this brings up the topic of asking the people in my house who are no longer little ones to help me maintain what we were all accustomed to. but see, i suck at asking for help. and who likes to do what they suck at? seriously. so for six months, i haven't been asking. and monday, i cried a whole lot and had some chest pains and just generally figured i needed to try something different. (ok, ok, my therapist had a big hand in convincing me i needed to try something different...and then my good friend who is also a therapist convinced me the rest of the way...but i was the one who made the list that asked for help, so i still get credit, 'k?) so now i can breathe again...without chest pain. and that's kind of nice.

but i am going a little stir crazy. it is raining, which was's the kind of rain that just makes the whole world outside of the window look greener. i knew we'd get out of the house later, so i was enjoying our time at home. and then my six year old started running fever. and we've been trapped, er, i mean stuck at home since. i think i'm starting to go cross-eyed from the boredom. you can only spend so much time researching online the things you've never had time to research, shopping for things you don't have money for, or playing mindless games on facebook. and i'm tired of cleaning. i'm tired of laundry. i'm tired of thinking about what can be thrown away. and most of all, i'm tired of whining.

so where does the gratitude come in? i'm not sure. i just thought if i put that at the top of this blog post, that maybe it would work itself in somehow. because my brain feels done. it's tired, too. i remember babyhood being difficult. but i did not have these young adults in my house the last time i was here. and it's nice to have them here this time around. i mean, i feel like a fool sometimes with them watching me struggle and have such mindless days where i can't remember anything for longer than sixty seconds. but they are a lot of help. they play with their sister and take care of her. they make me laugh. and they make me practice crap i suck at...and they're kind and gentle enough that it's not too awful practicing it with them. so there...i am grateful as hell for these four guys i get to walk with each day. because somewhere along the way, they turned into guys that really honor and love their mother. and while i have no idea why they feel this way about me, i am humbled and inspired by their love.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


i have a headache. right between the eyes. making my eyes sooooo sleeeepy...

it was a rough day. my baby girl visited the doctor. i really love our family practice doc. she's really laid back...just a nice, matter of fact, not much bs kind of woman. the fact that she has four children and a spouse who is also a doc may have a little tiny bit to do with it, but who knows? anyway, i got to hear all about how beautiful baby girl is, how great she's growing. as a bonus, the nurse we had has worked with my spouse in ob/gyn/oncology, so i also got to hear how wonderful he is, how wonderful he is with his patients, how well he listens to them, how pleasant he is to work with...and i was pretty damned gracious about all of this, ifidosaysomyself. and i do. and it's not that it's hard to be gracious when hearing lovely things about my spouse. it's that it's hard to be gracious when i woke to no coffee in the house, and it was already 10:55 and i was still on no caffeine, had a pounding headache, and knew my baby girl was slated to receive some shots, which makes me anxious and just a little grumpy to start with. the nurse kept saying how beautiful my baby was, and how MUCH she looked JUST LIKE her dad. in my headache-y state, it kind of felt, just a teensy bit, like she was saying i wasn't much to look at. but i'm sure that's not what she meant. was all very sweet and great. until it was time for shots. then it all just went to shit. baby girl cried. and it wasn't an "ow that hurt" kind of cry. seriously, it was a heartbroken "that bitch did that ON PURPOSE" kind of cry. she was really offended by the whole deal. the second shot just added insult to was heartbreaking, for real.

so as i was driving home, all jiggly inside with sadness and guilt, my oldest son's chemistry (teacher? mama? what to call her....) instructor called. she was letting me know we could move up the chemistry time today so he could go to this birthday outing that was slated to begin when chemistry would normally begin. and i was all jiggly inside already (with the sadness and guilt), but now there was gratitude and humility involved. so i called the kids and told the two bigs to get ready so i could take them, the oldest to chemistry and the second born to the house where the outing would begin. i got home with baby girl totally crapped out in her car seat, ran inside and got the bigs, to find my oldest visibly in a grumpy mood. shoulders slumped, eyebrows furrowed, eyes dark, mouth set. i asked him what was up, and he said "i've just been in this awful, angry, bad mood for a few days. i don't know what's up...but i hate it." so in my hurryingness, i just got everyone in the car, kissed the two littles (they're littles, but big enough to be home on their own for an hour or so), and we took off.

i started asking the oldest what was going on. we talked a bit. i really couldn't intuit anything actually going on, so we talked about hormones and i told him when he's just hormonal (meaning if you can't figure anything else out going on specifically and you happen to know it's a time in your life when hormones can be working their magic, like say, oh, maybe at fifteen/almost sixteen) that he doesn't have to "own" those emotions...he just has to get through them without doing any damage. i mean, this has been my mantra for most of my menstruating and pregnant and nursing years. so i thought i'd pass it along. the three of us (who were awake) prayed together. this is something i've been meaning to do more of with my kids...pray together...especially when there's really nothing else to do and words don't seem so important either. so we prayed. and then i took him to chemistry. i hugged him in the car, and he kind of surrendered for a minute, let a few tears fall, and then got it together and went on to chemistry. then i took the second born to his destination, talked to the mom there about maybe keeping an eye (and a little heart) on the oldest while they were birthdaying, and got in my car an extremely jiggly mess...the previously mentioned sadness and guilt still brewing, steeping with the gratitude and humility, and now with a little concern and vulnerability added. so i did what any woman would do in this situation (well, if they were me, you know) and i called my sister.

have i ever mentioned how much my sister rocks? how much she is a piece of my soul outside of my body? so we laughed, i cried a little, and i ordered sonic. and then she suggested maybe i was going to get my period. ha! i haven't started having periods since baby girl was born. and even though my sister's never had a baby (she's never even had sex to be honest...well, i mean intercourse...she figured out she was a lesbian way before most, i think), i have to say, i think she was right on the money. i sure feel like this could be pms. she's so smart.

so i took care of myself today...tried to be gentle with me. i did call and talk to my oldest after chemistry and he seemed in a better place. and i also bought lots of dark chocolate. and some diet dr. pepper. i'm not so into artificial sweeteners, but i wanted caffeine and hey, diet dr. pepper really does taste more like real dr. pepper.

so tonight was good. we're not getting much school work done this week, but i'm okay with that. tomorrow was the day i was going to do this big push for school work. and i will, probably. but i also scheduled us to hang with some friends for a couple of hours. you know, just to break things up a bit. and there is always next week. but for now, everyone seems in a pretty good place. and that's what i want. my little mantra, "everything i need right now, i have" is working for me. it's true. and for that, i am grateful.


Monday, May 24, 2010


i am tired tonight. worn out. all used up. but in a good way.

i took care of my nephew today. actually, my kids mostly took care of him. it was what he needed and i think it was what they needed too. and i was happy to facilitate that. cute story from today...nephew and my youngest were all decked out in dress up clothes...nephew was wearing a bright orange ball cap and a bandana, western vest and a hawaiian lei. youngest had on a bandana around his head all ninja style and a silver knight's cape. they had been playing under the dining room table, and nephew told me, "our fwiends are coming to live with us...we have to look ouw best." loved it.

i talked to my sil today. there's some rage in that house. but i firmly believe there is more love than rage. sometimes they spill over and it gets kind of messy, but i know the love will win out. she was talking to me about some stuff. and we just took it bit by bit. it was good. one of my nephews, he's sixteen, called her an effin' b. but i saw it in my head as an f.n.b. this was hilarious to me in a way i can't explain to completely explain the hilarity, but i'll try a little by mentioning one of our banks has the initials s.n.b. probably doesn't capture it fully, but it was funny to me. (and no, he didn't actually call her an effin' b...he called her a fucking bitch...but if you can find some light in the dark, why turn away from it?) anyway...we talked through it, an i really think they're working through stuff. if nothing else, they are trying hard and really, what else can we do?

then i talked to another friend. her brother died this past week. she worked through a little rage. just a little. mostly she talked about homeschooling. she just finished her first year of homeschooling, so this is appropriate use of a diversion in my book. so we talked. back and forth. luckily, my brain is pretty flighty to begin with, so it wasn't too hard to keep up with the switches in conversation. and really, all i wanted her to know is that i love her and i'm here to listen to whatever she wants to talk about. i really do love her. and i'm grateful for her friendship. and this was the best way i knew to honor that.

i also talked to another friend somewhere in all of that today. she's got some of her own excitement brewing. in many different aspects of her life. and i love her more than i can express. she's definitely a soul sister to me.

and i sent some prayer flags for my friend battling (more like KICKING THE ASS OF) metastatic melanoma. ok, i don't know that kicking the ass of is the appropriate expression, but i've been dying to scream it out loud, and while typing in all caps was a poor substitute, it'll do for now in this quiet homeschooling life of mine...snort. but we loved making the flags. i don't know why we don't do it for everyone we know. it's a fabulous idea, if you ask me, and i am going to try to remember it. you know, like tomorrow...

so i feel like a tissue all wadded up with peoples' tears and snot and whatnot. but those are sacred tears...sacred snot....sacred whatnot. a baptism of sorts.


Friday, May 21, 2010


nice title? if one person reads that and remembers they aren't alone, then my work is done.

but as i do so often, i'm not going to stop there...snort

i get so bogged down sometimes in trying to make my life "work"...for me, for all those i am responsible for...just trying to get it all done. and i'm not talking about manicures or pedicures and haircuts and matching clothes and crap like that. i'm talking about paying bills on time (or close enough) and making sure animals are fed (dead animals from starvation just sounds like a total buzzkill) and clothes and diapers are washed ('nuff said on that one, i'm sure).

now let me be clear, i'm not knocking manicures and pedicures and haircuts and matching clothes. i look forward to returning to the time in my life where my nails aren't constantly snagging on stuff, my toenails aren't always chipped, i can wear a hairstyle more than a ponytail, and, well, i think my clothes match, but who knows? i'm just not there right now. i truly forgot how exhausting having a baby is...i don't think it was this exhausting before. but then i didn't have so many places to get kids to in a week, an electric guitar playing the background music i did not choose for my life, and when it's not the electric guitar, it's a piano pounding.

my kids are actually pretty good musicians. it just all sounds like pounding at the end of the day. well, at sometimes by the middle.

but i get so overwhelmed by trying to make my life work. and there is a lot of work to be done in my life. but i do forget that i'm not the only one trying to do this. and that i'm not the only one working on the things that are important to me. and my friend jeanni will understand when i say that i forget that i am an instrument of a peace that doesn't originate in me, but works through me. and when i forget that, i wear myself out.

last night i called my friend. i hadn't called much lately and when i had, i felt like i had not been a very good i just didn't have much to offer. but i called and i listened to the things going on in her life and it filled me up. i mean, i did share stuff going on in my life, but it felt so good to listen to her and think about how much i care about her and her family, and just share that. because life is meant to be shared. not lived in isolation. at least for me this is true. so i have to remember i'm not alone. it makes my load easier to bear and gives me a light in my life that i can't provide hunkered down on my own.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


i had some anxiety last night. i don't know why it gets so bad...maybe read the previous post for some understanding...maybe i'll go back and read it so i'm not always figuring out the same shit over and over ("oh yeah! i knew that!!!"). it was hard to fall asleep, but i have to say, my spouse was pretty sweet about the whole deal, so it wasn't tooooooo bad.

everything is just in this weird state of flux....continuous change...and while i realize things are supposed to be in a state of flux, i was under the impression that hit was a more mellow pace...a little more gradual. but lately? not so much. and i'm tired trying to keep up with it. trying to keep on top of it. or at least alongside it. and while surrender comes to mind, i can't completely surrender. i must pay bills. i must buy groceries to have food in the house. i must cook meals if we are to eat...or at least plan them. i must get up each morning or else...i don't know...maybe we'll just skip a day this week and not get up. oh wait, i did that last sunday when i slept til noon (hey, the baby slept in with me til noon,

there are just so many things out there that are kind of crappy right now...and i wish those things would get on the super flux wagon, you know? my sil's still are on the outs with each other...i wish that healing would go faster. same thing with a friend of mine and her sister...i wish her sister would get on the super flux wagon with a change of attitude and heart and all that good stuff. my friend jeanni's in the hospital with her third round of THERE'S something that could use some positive super flux. my friend marcy's brother died last friday...i hope there's some super flux in healing for that family...i can't imagine that pain. even my cyber tribe is having some super flux...and i wish that would settle, even though that is just one thing i could've skipped fluxing, to be honest. but everything changes....i know this. my spouse's paycheck...oh please, come on super flux!!! i am tired of stressing over money. i know we made this choice. and we're doing what we need to do, but sheesh, it's so tiring to always have money in the back of your mind. my brother's ex-girlfriend is preggo with his, i have no idea how things need to flux, but they need to.

i am hoping to go camping weekend after next. i need to get out of my house for a few days.

oh, but let me share this super cool story first... when i go outside at night, to relax and reflect and pray on the day, i always have it in back of my mind that a shooting star would be a really cool way to know god's listening...or here...or whatever. i mean, if i were god, i'd probably be shooting stars all over the place to let people know i was hearing them...but that's probably one of the million reasons i'm not god. anyway...i was outside two nights ago. my husband and oldest son had a big fight that night over the stupidest thing...well, not exactly the stupidest, but pretty dumb stuff. men just need to learn how to express themselves, but that's a whole different post. things had settled, they had reached a place of some peace, everyone felt good (if not a little raw after it all). i went outside and thought i saw an airplane in the sky between two trees. i remember i even contemplated that maybe it was a ufo...because i had seen a light and then the light was gone. kind of weird. up until the light reappeared in a different place in my was a firefly! i love fireflies and anytime i see one, i feel like i'm seeing a dinosaur or something, because where there used to be tons of them in my backyard as a child, i can't think of a time i saw two in one spot in a long time. so anyway, i'm watching this firefly. he comes a little closer. flies around me. finally gets a big smile out of me because the little thing just keeps lighting up right around me. then it lands on me, and i almost start bawling. it was awesome. like god reached a hand out and touched my arm. very comforting.

does that heal jeanni's cancer? does it heal the pain between sisters i love a lot? does it bring peace to the cybertribe? fix our money problems? give my brother some more i.q. points so he can handle this situation he's in? nope. but it helps me relax and get through the next day...and maybe the next. see, i'm kind of finished with the notion that peace will come. i believe peace is already here. we just have to work through our shit so we can feel what's already there. so...i better get to work...


Sunday, May 9, 2010

heart squeezing

and some gut squeezing, too...

it's just been a crazy 2010. i'm just going to call it that (yes, i know it's may) because this way, i will continue to expect craziness, lose the expectation that i've somehow reached the pinnacle of the craziness, and stop being so winded when things just keep unraveling. i'm typing this with a bit of courage, because i'm not trying to get the place where i lose the expectation for normalcy...i'm there. and it's okay. i've learned in little situations here and there how it can free you to let go of expectations. and i appreciated those lessons. and now, for whatever reason, it seems to be a time to do a little of what we homeschoolers call "drill and kill." rapid fire situations that remind me of yeats' poem the second coming...that spinning gyre, things falling apart, the center cannot hold and all that rot. i don't mean to make it sound like the whole year has gone to hell in a hand basket (frankly, i still don't have a concept of hell in my worldview...well, not yet anyway...hehe). there have been many moments of beauty in this craziness...moments i might not have noticed if i still had my fingers nicely and tightly cramped around a sense of normalcy...whatever the hell normal is anyway. (remember that phrase "the new normal"?...yeah...i'm done with that phrase.) so yes, i will admit there's been much heart squeezing and gut squeezing. i'm wiped out from it all, to tell the truth. but i've also learned that life goes on even when i feel wiped out. and that i can function so much further out of my comfort zone than i ever thought. honestly, i can't even remember where my comfort zone was at the start of this year...


Wednesday, April 28, 2010


some milestones tonight...

my three middle children finished their first years of religious ed at our church. they said a rosary and had an ice cream social. it was sweet watching them walk into the building swinging their rosaries...little e made his in class last week, and i made one for s and one for o in honor of their first communion that was last weekend. it was also sweet picking them up with big ice cream mustaches around their big grins. little e couldn't wait to tell me all about it. they each chose huge hershey bars to give to their teachers for the end of the year, and while o's teacher said she really liked chocolate, e's teacher said "chocolate is the BEST!"

my oldest got to attend his first concert tonight. three days grace. no, they're not a christian rock group...hehe...that was tricky of them to choose such a confusing name. my teenager has been over the moon ever since i told him he could go if he found an adult to go with him. as soon as his dad walked in from work that night, and n asked him if he'd be the adult to go, and dad said, "sure, i'd love to" and then asked me what he'd just agreed to. there were some rocky moments for my spouse after agreeing to go. he's not very fond of this music that our teenager listens to...he gets worried about what about the lyrics appeal to n and why does he have to listen to music that sounds so angry?...i'm guessing he doesn't remember the nights in high school we drove around screaming nine inch nails at the top of our lungs, bubbling with teenager energy...but i think he pulled tonight off fairly well. well, they aren't home yet...but they're on their way. he also took two other of n's friends whose parents were overjoyed to find out that n had managed to get his dad to go and therefore, their children could go with an adult that wasn't them. hey, we all get our turns...

but tonight wasn't my night to attend a three days grace concert. (whew) tonight was my night to watch my middles go off to and return from a fun pizza and make a pallet and watch a silly movie (baby geniuses definitely qualifies...). it was also my night to play with my baby girl and even get in the tub with her. she had a blast. she is growing by leaps and bounds...making these cognitive leaps that make it hard for her to balance meeting her needs and exploring the world around her. like so many people i know and love, i already see her wrestling with herself...needing to nurse but wondering what that noise was and sometimes just waiting to make sure nothing else is about to happen before settling down to nurse. i forget how babies (or at least my babies) only really relax when they're nursing or sleeping. otherwise, she's trying to sit up, stand up, roll over, reach this, turn to see that, put this in her mouth, make spit bubbles (ooh, she loves spit bubbles). it's exhausting. which i guess is why she needs her naps and i get to see her relaxed for awhile, only to be surprised once she's up at how active she's become. maybe if i slept more, or more uninterruptedly, it wouldn't all be such a damned surprise all the time. maybe i'd be able to remember something for longer than a few minutes without writing it down. hell, sometimes i forget what i was going to write down so i wouldn't forget it. but it's good. it helps me stay in balance. when i sleep too much, i obviously get this misguided notion that i am far more capable than i am. my children help me remember how heartwrenchingly human i am. and i think i'm better for it...

there was probably more i wanted to type, but i can't remember it anymore. i can't wait to hear how the guys enjoyed the concert. and i've got a bottle of wine chilling to pour my spouse a glass of once he gets home. i'd say i'd whisper sweet nothings in his ear (well, at least sweet thank yous), but he probably won't be able to hear anything after being at a concert for the last four hours. he was already screaming into the phone when he called to say they were on their way home. what a good sport...


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

a little more sharin...


just sharin...


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


life has been hard lately. i have felt so tight inside...homeschooling, marriage, finances, mothering, balancing all of it, friends going through tough times and i never feel like i can give enough because of all the previously mentioned things...add in the small things like trying to eat a balanced diet, or trying to exercise a thirty-six year old body that's birthed five children (holy moly! five!!! really?!?!), family things swamping me in the beginning of this year, eczema trying to take over my face, doctor appointments, dentist appointments i keep meaning to make, eye appointments and glasses, rearranging my house...blurg and ack and pant, pant...i was having a hard time breathing.

but tonight feels light. feels brilliant, to tell the truth. i have an amazing circle of friends. soul sisters, and sisters, and cyber sisters, and friends here doing amazing things for me that i can't even who just keep hanging in there and being wonderful to boot...a church family that continues to draw me in and give me inspiration...i am blessed. and grateful. and i can breathe.

my writing lately has felt like trying to talk through a mouthful of sludge. garbled and not quite right and hard to understand, even for me. but it is something that helps me, even when it's crappy. i guess a lot like life. so i just wanted to put this out here before another mouthful crammed it all up again.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

the wisdom of youth

i often feel like i find wisdom in folks who've gone before me or traveled alongside me. but i know that jesus said we should come to him as children. and i do know that i've learned a lot from children. my years spent as a counselor at a camp for special needs children were probably some of the most formative years for how i view the world and those in it. but a lot of those lessons came from how that time stretched me, showed me who i could be, how i could meet the needs of others and find that i was meeting needs i wasn't even aware of in myself. i learned the power of watching and listening and in the end, found a voice in me and learned to listen to that voice.

a few nights ago, i was babysitting my three year old nephew. my children had played outside for a long time that day and were pretty droopy when my nephew got here. he was ready to play and hang out and they were ready to rest. so i got to play instead. and it was magic.

while we were doing our thing, at one point, my nephew asked me "what can i do to tell you i love you?" now, i'll be honest and say that he wanted to make valentines and that's how he asked me. it took me a minute to figure that out. but what an awesome question to be asked. it made all of us stop and listen. it was one of the sweetest moments in my life.

tonight in our high school youth ministry meeting, we talked about the sacrament of marriage. and as we talked about love and growing up and relationships, it reminded me of the adoration service speaker i blogged about earlier. about lust being the opposite of love. about how looking to serve your own needs is the opposite of offering something purely for another. and i've been thinking about how tricky that can get...i can love my kids. but i can also get caught up in wanting my kids to reflect well on me. and that's when i tend to make poor parenting choices. because i am not trying to meet their needs...i'm trying to meet my own. and i do the same in my marriage...oy, my marriage can be so tricky sometimes.

but my nephew gave me the string to bind all of these thoughts earlier this week. when he asked me how he could tell me he loved me. it felt awesome. but it's a question i need to ask more often. because we can all read the books about different love languages and explore our needs, but i know that i need to look at what those around me need. it always changes. my friend lana and i were just talking about the changing needs of our children tonight. and i think i've plugged into those changing needs fairly well...i mean, i know they're changing at least, and i'm aware of the need for me to change to be able to meet them. but i don't often think of my spouse's changing needs. or my own. they always seem stagnate to me. maybe because we aren't developing pubic hair or starting periods... but even once those milestones are met and passed, our needs still change. so this will be the new ball of yarn the kitten in my mind plays around with...the new sign posts my eyes search for...and the prayer i send up and try to stay open to the answer to.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

still learning...always learning

i have this post about judgment brewing, but it's not for tonight. tonight i went to an adoration service with my teen, and we heard a speaker, and that's what i want to write about.

it wasn't just my teen and i...i took the babiest girl, too. and then the other three joined us once their religious ed classes were over. there was a speaker tonight from another youth ministry in another town. he wasn't the best speaker, but he made so many jokes about what a bad speaker he was and what he would've done differently if he were a good speaker, that you couldn't help but like him by the end.

my teen's been asking me to attend these once monthly adoration services with him, but i know he doesn't mind going alone. and i've felt kind of proud to watch him go alone, to tell the truth. but i knew he was kind of waiting for me to go, so i went ahead and went tonight. and i'll admit, it ran through my head that i could actually have a few minutes to myself tonight if i didn't go. but i've been working on being a vehicle for love...not the genesis of it, but a vehicle. so i decided to leave behind my selfish desire and join the group. and i'm so glad i did.

the speaker tonight talked about love. he asked what the opposite of love was, but then he just went ahead and told us (i think he was trying not to forget his point right in the start...). he said the opposite of love is lust. and that really surprised me. i'd never thought about that before. but as the love he was speaking about was godly love, selfless love, then lust as a selfish love meant to fulfill your own desire made a whole lot of sense to me. i've been playing with the concept all night in my mind.

the people i know that i feel the most drawn to and that i admire the most seem to be filled with a godly love...a love that comes from something bigger and beyond them, a love that is their beginning and end. they share it easily and reflect it readily. they're just fun to be around. you always receive something from them, if it's just feeling better for some reason you can't pinpoint or if it's something more specific like a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen or even a hand to hold. but when i've tried, consciously tried to be that way, i often feel like whatever someone will receive will come from being the generator of something positive for someone else. and i haven't always failed. but i have often ended up wondering what all the hoopla was about, because sometimes it can leave you feeling quite icky and empty and even resentful. but when i give, focusing on how i'll feel or even just focusing on myself as the giver, i think that's more self-centered love than i mean to be giving. and according to this speaker, it's lust. and i have greatly desired to be loved in my life. and that's the opposite of the godly sense. which really, is the only sense of the word to me.

this feels pretty disjointed because it is still pretty fresh in my mind, new to my thoughts, and something i'm still stumbling over as i roll around in this new area of contemplation....

the music was really good tonight and the people were awesome. and babiest girl was the sweetest little thing...


Monday, April 5, 2010


that's what my teenager says when he feels, at least as i imagine, like i feel right now. blurg.

my house is torn up. i guess this is what you do when your baby girl is four and a half months old and you've had time to look around and see all that's gone to pot during pregnancy and the last four and a half months. and then you get a little time, the babiest is entertained by her brothers, the spouse is tearing up the garage, so you have a go at the living space. and because you tend to work in a domino effect style of reconstruction, and because that babies is still four and a half months old, you get halted along your domino process and regular life takes over and you're left with a process you've begun but don't have time to complete. blurg.

my friend jeanni is going home tomorrow. she's completed her first round of biochemotherapy and is doing alright. and as much as i yearn to share space with her, i know peace and prayers are what is called for. i am hoping to visit her this weekend, but you just never know how life will go... blurg.

my great aunt died last week. her name was celie. her husband died before her and his name was c.b. when i was a little girl, i told them i couldn't wait to be an old person if i could be as funny as they are. and because they were such joy loving folks, they just laughed when i said that. (they were probably fifty when i told them this...snort) my aunt celie was 91 years old when she died. and she was an energizer bunny type of woman. i took my kids to celebrate her 85th birthday and told her that i was so grateful that they could celebrate with her as children the way i did as a child. and she took a sip from her bloody mary and gave me a very sweet hug and i can still feel if i think about it. she was living up north when she died and they had a memorial service for her there today. i can only imagine the laughter and smiles that were there. there will be another service closer to home sometime in the future and i plan on attending with my kids...if life doesn't get in the way... blurg.

my fil was admitted to the hospital tonight. he went to the e.r. for stomach pain, but because of his heart attack two years ago, they tested his cardiac enzymes and they were somewhat elevated. so he was admitted and will probably be cathed tomorrow. that in and of itself is something to offer up to prayer. but then my husband's sisters are not getting along. it's more than not getting along, but that's a whole 'nother blog for a whole 'nother day. but one of his sisters is stating her case for this whole deal right now to him on the phone. sigh. because this is energy that i realize needs to be spent, but at the same time, it's...yes, you guessed it...blurg.

so what, in fact, does blurg mean? i guess it means yuck. yawn. okay. i'll sit in it. well, that's the best i can come up with.

busy day ahead at co-op tomorrow. robotics is half over, so i don't have that tomorrow. but there is a soccer game and soccer practice and oh yeah, chemistry. i should get to bed. babiest is sleeping and while it gives me time to blog, i have to be careful not to miss my chance for some sleep, too.

peace and prayers...lots and lots of peace and prayers

Friday, April 2, 2010


ever wish you had someone to share joy with? hehe, i promise i'm not going to turn this into a pity party... is what we make of it. i get that. but it's nice to have folks along that either celebrate the joy while it's happening, or help you remember it when it's not exactly happening...or better yet, help you find it when you think it's gone.

i try to be one of those people. but i know i fall short. i know i get caught in my moods...and i know i share those moods when i should probably shelf them for a bit before looking for someone to share them with.

tonight i'm in one of those moods where you feel on the cusp of joy, but weighed down by something that i can only guess isn't joy. and you just wish someone would push you over. but probably, when i feel this on edge, i should just go to bed.

i wish i had a beer...

it does bring me joy to think of my sister fishing with my dad right now. i can almost feel the wind on the gulf when i think of her doing that. i can definitely hear her laugh. and she might not be laughing right now. but i'm pretty sure if i was there, she'd be laughing...(probably AT me, but i digress...)

my sister is on a journey to be a mother. she's not least not physically pregnant. but i think she's probably pregnant in other ways...reading about parenting, thinking about kids, wondering what hers will look like, imagining how she'll rearrange her home, her life, relationship with her partner once her kids arrive to her. she's going through the process to foster to adopt. and i am so proud of her. and so grateful to be able to be a part of her journey. i'm joyously excited to be looking forward to meeting my nieces or nephews or both...whichever she is given. (she's looking to foster to adopt a sibling group, but like always, i guess we'll see what life shoots her way...)

i am also thinking of my friend, the hospital in the middle of her first round of biochemotherapy. jeanni has taught me a lot about joy...feeling it in the moment...appreciating it. i will go stay with my friend lana and her beautiful, wonderful family next weekend so that i can visit jeanni and her family. this brings me so much joy, i think i might cry.

and tonight...tonight does bring me joy. it's been pretty warm lately. but it rained today. and now it's really cool outside. with a little breeze. the weather has a huge affect on me and tonight feels awesome. like i could sail away in that breeze, arms open wide, feeling it all.

ok...that's enough of that...
peace out

Thursday, April 1, 2010

just some stuff today...

things i thought or said or heard today...

my youngest son, e, started off this morning by finding a long lost stuffed animal, squirt, and declaring it a "happy ever after kind of morning"...this is one of the beautiful things about having children.

ack...he later said something to n, my baby girl...but i cannot recall it. grrrr.... maybe it'll come to me before i finish typing.

at mass today, we had our penitential rite. i like this part. i missed it for YEARS when my older kids were small and i consider it making it to mass on time if i made it before the second reading. so it's meant a lot to me to be able to make it and recite it these last number of years. "i confess to you almighty god, and to you my brothers and sisters, that i have sinned through my own faults. in my thoughts and in my words. in what i have done and what i failed to do. and i ask almighty god and blessed mary ever virgin and you my brothers and sisters to pray for me to the lord our god." the thing i thought while i said this was that i am one of those sisters everyone else in the church is asking to pray for them. how i missed this for so long, i'm not sure. i may have the tiniest bit of egocentricity. i often look around and think about everyone present at church (and those not present) as my my brothers and folks traveling along this same earth. but i guess since i'm still kind of new to the penitential rite, it makes sense that this would be a new revelation. i have a lot of praying to do...

and my friend, mama jeanni, has completed her second day of her first cycle in her clinical trial for bio-chemotherapy. facebook has become the avenue to hear how she's doing...funny, isn't it? i almost fell over dead when jeanni joined facebook...she's just not much of a techno mama. well, i mean she's one hell of a techno mama...all programming space shuttles and whatnot. but she's not much of a recreational techno mama. but how grateful i am to get to hear about her on facebook. :D she and her husband and her son continue to be in my thoughts and prayers and, as always, in my heart.

why is it that after working on my lawnmower today, i can't stop smelling gasoline off and on? it's grossing me out.

my sister and i had a text discussion today about that lawnmower. and i am, as always, grateful for my sister.

and i am keeping my nose out of everything...even my own life. i realize that out of all the havoc i can cause in life, it's never as much as the chaos i'm capable of bringing to my own life. so i'm just staying out of it. hehe

and that's it. obviously, i'm just typing here to exercise my fingers and put some thoughts on the screen...organize a little of the knot of thoughts and experiences and feelings and words that is my brain. things are alright. but i am just tired, tired, tired.

oh hey, but i remembered the other thing e said. as baby sister was clocking him on the head and grabbing handfuls of his face in a way that was painful, and i was coaching him on different ways to work with her so that they could interact but him help her to be a little more gentle, he said, "mom, you sure know a lot about babies." and he then smiled his million watt smile. and that was awesome.

peace out

Saturday, March 20, 2010

god's thumbnail

tonight the moon was what my grandmother used to call "god's thumbnail"...i believe astronomists call it a crescent. but it just seemed exactly like god's thumbnail once my grandmother pointed it out, and it's been that ever since.

i like to look at the sky at night. i'm looking for operating instructions, to be honest. sometimes it's very bright...sometimes it's very clear. i can almost always see orion in the late fall and winter, it seems. although i will admit i am so spatially challenged that as we rotate at night, i have a hard time finding him and it makes me shake my head and roll my eyes and laugh because it seems like as he moves in the same direction each night, it shouldn't be so hard to find him...but i admit i often walk inside, shaking my head and laughing and having no idea where the hell he went.

there's a sky i see's dark blue...midnight blue i guess (haha, snort)...but there's enough moon that when the clouds make this cool pattern, it looks like a dark blue tie dye pattern. and it reminds me of my friend jeanni. i think she has a shirt like this, but maybe i just made that up. so either way, it is what i have termed in my mind a "jeanni sky." and three nights ago (hell, i think it was's been a busy week), there was a jeanni sky. and it didn't surprise me. jeanni's had some stuff going on, and i've been thinking about her lots. and i hadn't heard from her that night, so i'd been thinking about her especially because it felt kind of foreboding that i hadn't heard from her..."no news is good news" be damned.

i have since heard from her and it wasn't good news. it wasn't necessarily bad news, although jeanni could probably argue that with me if she had a mind to. and she might have a mind to. but she might also not freaking feel like it. the news was that life will change...and it always does...damn it. but why is it that when life deals you those lessons about change, it's always more than you ever wanted? and it is never the way you would've chosen.

marriage comes to mind at this point. we obviously choose to get married. but even then, it rarely goes the way you would've chosen and it's often more than you ever wanted.

but there's been a lot of change in this new year.

my friend julie is here with her new daughter...she's a week her life as julie's daughter. well, a week and a day. julie's daughter is actually four years old. and she's from india. and she is the most amazing thing to hit my house since my daughter. this little one, who i've been calling ruby-roo, is beautiful and mesmerizing and just a damned good sport all around. no, she doesn't speak english. and no, we don't know her language. but we teach her a few words and she teaches us a few words and we all smile a lot because we are just so darned happy to hang out together. i am very honored that julie brought her here to share with all of us and hope it's been worth her while. (what the hell does worth her while mean? i mean, i know what the phrase means, but is that really how it's written out?...) but i'm not going to share with julie my feelings right now about change being more than we ever wanted or rarely going the way we would've chosen. we'll let her get a little further down the way and see if she notices this on her own...

but for me, right now, as i sit in the middle of these changes this year has brought, to those i love (and god, do i love them), as well as the change it's brought to my own life, i can't help but reflect on the things that stay the same (you totally saw that coming, right?).

love. love stays the same. it changes in our relationships, strengthens, weakens, waxes and the moon...but it's always there. sometimes in different people, in different relationships, in ourselves and out. but it's there. we may ache for it in the same relationships, ache for it in ourselves, ache for it in the same ways it used to be there. and the ways will change. but the love will always be there. will always find us.

the older i get (and while i realize i may not be THAT old, i don't think anyone would argue that i'm not THAT young anymore either), the more surprised i am by the places i find love that i never would've thought i'd find it. and i'm even more surprised by how much love i find in me. now maybe that's because i've given up the belief that i am the generator of my life and i've opened myself up to the Love that is the true generator of us all. but even that surprises me. it's an act of faith. and while i've always had an easier time believing in good things (i mean really, santa and the easter bunny have never been a huge stretch for me and i never saw the big deal in my parents being the ones to really do it all still happened and was good in the end...), i've always also believed that if i was good enough, did the right thing, earned it somehow, love would come. but now i know love is always there. always has been. always will be.

it may be a perspective thing. one person's trash is another's treasure type of deal. and i have learned not to push my trash on someone who doesn't want it...and the same goes for my treasure. people like to make these evaluations for themselves. we have to. that's part of the whole deal. but i know that love will always, in the end, find us. just like god's thumbnail found me tonight.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

question authority

i have a tshirt that says that..."question authority". my spouse doesn't really like it. or at least all he's said about it is to express some concern that a parent in our house wears a shirt in front of the kids that says that. i don't know why he's bothered by it. they questioned me long before i bought the tshirt, but anyway... (maybe he sees himself as the authority in our house and doesn't want me to encourage them questioning him? i dunno...) i got stopped by a police officer. i didn't get a ticket, but i did get a lecture. he was driving down a rather busy street in our town that i was approaching on a side street. and yes, i was approaching pretty quickly...a screaming baby in her car seat and being five minutes late to a guitar lesson can make your foot a little heavier. plus, it's a crappy side street, full of pot holes, and i can miss every single pot hole going exactly forty-five miles an miss any cars that happen to be on that street, which is very few since it IS such a crappy street (that i must admit, i do not know the speed limit of). anyway...i stopped at the stop sign, noticed the crappy look the officer gave me, then pulled out behind him, where there were no other cars. i noticed him stopping in his lane (the right one) when i passed him (in the left). when he got behind me, i pretty much knew he was going to pull me over. at the light, i started wondering how i would see his lights since he was on a motorcycle and i didn't see where his lights would light up. but as soon as the light turned green, it didn't take long for the universe to answer that question for me. (rolling my eyes WAY BACK in my head...) so i pulled over, with him behind me...did i mention the fifteen year old was right next to me in the passenger seat? the officer came up and asked me for my license and registration, all official-like. so i got it out and gave it to him (OF COURSE wondering whether or not my license was current...and i knew it was, but cops just make me feel guilty even when i'm not). he told me that i shouldn't drive so fast down that street, asked me why i would endanger my passengers by doing so (which just ruffled my mama feathers, i mean seriously, what does he know about what i do to keep my passengers out of danger?). he then explained that i stopped passed the stop sign and how that is called "failure to stop" (which i felt was BULLSHIT but kept my mouth shut...the street's busy...people drive fast down that stretch and you have to pull out enough to see if they're coming but not too far where you might get hit...) and then proceeded to explain how i turned right into the left lane and how that is called a "wide right turn" which i guess, since he pointed it out, should be avoided? but i honestly don't remember that in driver's ed, which i admit was awhile back, but since there was NO ONE ELSE ON THE ROAD i just don't see why it was relevant. so then he let me go.

now, i was pretty ticked at this guy. i mean seriously, aren't there CRIMINALS or something he could spend his time pursuing? i was going fast, sure. but he doesn't know how fast...he was driving (on a MOTORCYCLE if we want to consider danger), not clocking my speed. and those other things he took the time to mention...seriously? i mean, seriously? maybe it ticked me off because he sounded like my husband listing shit that doesn't matter but proving that he, too, can come up with a list. maybe it was just that i KNEW he was not going to give me a ticket because really, there was nothing he could ticket. maybe it was just his manner during the whole thing. i was also ticked because my fifteen year old was watching the whole thing and i just knew i wouldn't be able to handle it, afterward, with the grace i wanted to be able to handle it with. i mean, my baby was crying the whole time the guy was lecturing me. and he made us late to boot.

sigh. i will talk to my teen tomorrow. i will explain that i will slow down on that stretch of crappy road. i will explain that while i drive that road multiple times a week (sometimes multiple times a day), that the officer was right in telling me to slow down (but i admit i will also probably tell him the rest of the stuff was fluff). i will also mention to my teen that perhaps if he'd get ready when i tell him to, we won't run five minutes late. but then i guess it's better he tell his guitar teacher we ran late because he wouldn't get his crap together rather than because his mom got pulled over.

and life goes on...