Wednesday, December 26, 2012


i am going on vacation.  the last big vacation we went on was two summers ago, when we drove to new jersey.  that is a long drive from texas.  it was especially long coming home because my husband and oldest son flew back and it was just the four younger ones and i.  but we made it.  and we were bad asses.  and it was cool.  and exhausting.

so tomorrow morning, at 4am, we're heading to colorado.  really, we're heading to santa fe.  we'll drive to colorado the next day.  but we're doing it.  it's been awhile.  the spouse will be present for both legs of the trip.  awesome.  my guys have gotten so much bigger...i mean physically bigger...i'm a little nervous about how comfortable we'll all be on the road.  but i think we'll be fine.

can i say one weird thing?  usually, i resist all of the technological advancements...the old school stuff they replace.  but can i tell you how much cooler it is to pack an ipad and a nook instead of a computer or even a television and vcr (yes, we did this...probably ten years ago on the way to the grand canyon or colorado or somewhere) and a ton of books and gameboys and games is really so much simpler.

life has been so incredibly busy.  i think i have changed my posture and my musculature from all the anticipation and stress and just physical ready-ness and lack of relaxation.  my neck and throat are just always so freaking tight.  i wonder if this contributes to thyroid issues?...  anyway, i digress.  i am looking forward to a chance to rest.  to relax.  to sit and not have anything to do, nothing to plan, nothing to be preparing to do.  it sounds like a foreign country to me.  but definitely a place i'm interested and intrigued by.

so i'll be outie for a week and a half.  (like i haven't taken years long breaks without mentioning...)  but i do have a wedding reception to attend the night we're coming home.  and i'm thinking it's going to be crazy awkward and probably something we regret making the effort to attend.  but i have to say, we never have one of those "i'm SO GLAD we went" moments after the events we don't attend.  so we're going to give this one a try.  i feel like we're getting close to letting those opportunities go...but for now...we're not quite ready.  at least not today.  and probably not next saturday.  but after that, who knows?  life is too short to hold a grudge and turn away from people you love.  but life is also too short to keep throwing yourself (and your five kids) against a brick wall.  when you're this tired, the line between those two things isn't so thin.

see you on the other side...
peace out

Thursday, December 13, 2012

what now?

i have really lost the rhythm of my life.  the beat.  the routine.

some people hate routines.  i love them.  my brain gets tired of all the decisions i have to make in a day.  i guess i resent some of them.  and if there's anything that can suck the fun right out of life, it's resentment.  a routine keeps the beat going and just lets me dance.  i like to dance.  it's no fun when you have to think of each step as you're going...and not just each of my steps, but to be directing so many other steps.  anyway...i'm looking for a new rhythm.

my husband didn't come home last night.  we're not in a really good place, and i think i could get mad about it if i tried, but i drove to visit family on tuesday, and got a day away (well, just me and my three year old), and well, i'm just rather apathetic about it.  i've got my own rhythm to find and he and i haven't really danced together in a long time.

and frankly, i'm mad at him about it.  i have tried and tried to make it my fault, put the power to change things in my hands, change my attitude/change my life sort of deal.  but i'm tired of it and it makes me pretty miserable.  because there are just some things he sucks at.  and some of those things really, really affect our relationship, whether or not he agrees or wants to take responsibility or thinks he already has and it should be done and over.  but the truth is, i have no idea how he feels about things.  he's not much of a talker (and what with him being gone overnight and all, there's not tons of opportunity) and i'm tired of asking (he says i'm not a good listener anyway).  so maybe for advent, i just stop fighting to make things different and surrender where i'm at, admit my failings, and wait for the next operating instructions.  my fourteen year old just asked me if we could go to the family penance service tonight...oy...where did i get these holy kids?

it is two weeks til christmas.  well, less actually.  why did i keep thinking it was more than two weeks yesterday when now, one day later, it so obviously isn't?  aging is kind of crazy like that.  always fun house mirrors changing everything.  anyway.  i haven't bought a thing.  i haven't even thought of a thing to buy.  i better find some focus. 


Monday, December 10, 2012


yesterday in church, i was thinking about pieces of us.  i hope this doesn't sound too disturbing, but i was thinking about it during eucharist.  it has choked me up in the past to think about jesus in pieces, being distributed to the church.  but it's kind of cool, too, because he's broken up in pieces and given to the members of the church, who are united in one body through the sacrament of eucharist.  but those are past thoughts...  yesterday, i was thinking about jesus in pieces...and that made me think of my five children...and how of course my heart was going to have to be broken in this life so that each of them could have a piece.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

the weekend

things have been busy.  the last...three or four years...i've just totally lost my feet...the horse has been dragging me...i feel beat up...disoriented...hurt...even a little bruised, but i'm sure that's just from age and not my metaphor. 

we drove three hours friday night so my two middle boys could compete in our regional rock climbing qualifier.  this allowed them a chance to qualify for divisionals.  which will be a two hour trip (one way) in january, but i'm not complaining.  (well, not a lot...)  we stayed in a hotel friday night, took our three younger kids swimming (and that oldest younger kid is thirteen and in a swimsuit, his father and i really had a chance to appreciate how much he's big he's getting...i know his father noticed because we gave each other the same look at the same time and i just knew what he was thinking and he just knew i knew and i knew he knew i knew...after being together for almost twenty years, this is huge to have these moments in the midst of our chaotic life with five children).  anyway...digress much? 

i think the swimming was what did it.  i didn't even swim.  but my husband and kids had a blast.  i could tell he was all tanked up on those good feelings you get when the toddler who normally runs from you is jumping into your arms and yelling "daddy???  are you re-dee???"  and doing little butt shaking, wing flapping butterfly dances before she jumps to you.  i could tell he was drunk off of the puddle she'd melted his heart into.  but then there were also the swimming races with the thirteen year old.  anyone who has teenage boys knows (please tell me you know...humor me...make it up if you have to) there are those alpha male moments....where a simple race becomes the stuff that legends are made of...or remember the titans and, well, mommy dearest with guys.  where he's just playing with his son, but then somewhere between the start and the middle, it's like he's competing against someone trying to take his family...and he suddenly HAS to win...his family, his pride, his i don't even know what is on the line.  it's enough to make a middle aged dad pretty sore in the morning.  well, combined with all the dolphin rides for the pretty butterfly princess.

so it was tough getting everyone up in the morning.  if we were one of those families that did a million things and did them on time, then we might have been able to get into bed and get adequate sleep and be physically prepared for our next day.  but since we didn't get to the hotel until 9:30, and swimming took about an hour, well, the kids didn't get into bed until about 11.  or so.  and 8 o'clock came awfully early.  but we made it up and got our things packed with minimal arguing (hey, cut my husband and i some slack...we were tired) and made it down to breakfast at a reasonable time. 

now, i don't know if it's because we're a big family...maybe because my husband is the youngest in a big family....maybe because we've had some lean financial times (i always laugh when i say it that way...a family of six on school loans..."lean financial times" is kind of a joke...but i'm digressing again)...  anyway, my husband cannot turn down free food.  buffets are a terrible idea for him.  he always eats to the point of making himself kind of sick.  and breakfast was no different.  and it is hard to be sympathetic toward a man who is hurting because he over-ate.  again.  for the bla-bla-bla-th time in the twenty years you've been together.  add to that, him being sore from the fairy princess/testosterone driven episodes in the pool the night before, and you've got a dude in a pretty sad state of affairs married to someone who is just not feeling it for him. 

yes, we've gone from parents weathering and tolerating with love our children's tantrums to tantruming in front of our kids, getting overtired or underprepared and pissed about it, and hoping our kids will just stay quiet through it all so as not to turn any of our irrationality on them.  and they complied.  which i hope, in some way, is an indication of the good parents we used to be...but that's only to make me feel better about being so out of it lately. 

am i digressing again?  i'm not even sure what i was writing about anymore... guys competed.  it was awesome.  my fourteen year old is so tall, he was able to skip most of a route just by reaching up to the finishing hold and putting a finger from each hand on it.  he looked down at the judges like "is this legal?" and all the judges just started laughing and applauding.  he is really tall.  and he won first place in his category.  my thirteen year old won sixth place, which is a pretty decent showing for a guy just short of two years younger than his bigger brother and probably eighteen inches shorter and competing in the same category.  they had so much fun.  climbers are so fun to be around.  climbing families are just a wonderful family to be a part of.  they're a little well-to-do...but if you can look past that, they're pretty generous, kind folks.  and it was a good time.  the drive home was kind of brutal, with all the tired and cranky and sore parents, but the kids slept and we made it.  everyone promptly got into their pajamas (hey, it was 7 o'clock....that's not too early) and talked as little as possible.  well, the spouse and i talked a little.  i have to admit, as annoying as he was this weekend, he's kind of cute when he's all pathetic from overdoing it in the good-dad category...even if he does need to start taking better care of himself so he can handle this stuff better....  oh, wait.

ahem....  this morning has gone pretty well.  i'm grateful.