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