April 30, 2012

On Loving You



 
I'm gonna tell you what. Loving you is easy. Loving you - being all in - was one of the easiest things I've done as me. It's also one of the biggest blessings God has ever given me.
 
Over the past few months we have grown together in ways I never expected. Ways that I never achieved in any previous relationship. Ways that drug us through dirt with filth and bullies, ways that required our four knees upon the beige carpet being footstools to the Lord. I am in love with our marriage. Did you know? Not just you, but with our marriage, too.
 
I admit, I love our arguments. They are passionate and strong. But from inside of them, even when the hurt is swirling, I can feel you trying to care. You are entirely Bryon, the exact Bryon that I love. And you make me want to try 1000 ways to tell you my side in a way that you will understand with your blue brain. You struggle with pink, my love. But you STRUGGLE. One cannot struggle without effort; thank you for that. And when you tell me that you know I'm hurting and you have no idea what to do, well, that sort of heals a lot right there, I have to say. And you never stop trying to learn me. You never stop listening. You are relentless in trying to understand this me that I am. And let me tell you, I don't even get me sometimes.
 
There are so very, very many things that I adore about you. Your courage and demeanor in battle is one. The way you lead our family and prioritize our relationship, even when it's hard - that's another one. The way you father our four, individually and uniquely catered to each of them [including the 3 that you didn't make], oh yes. Your green eyes and your willingness to help shoulder my life's load. The way you share with me and dump your day on me, just to clean out your head. I adore the MANness that you are. You are a stubborn, sometimes-crotchety, not-old man who speaks man, breathes man, and hurts like a man. You also communicate like a man. I'll never get it and I'll never get enough of it. 
 
Your love for the Lord, now that one's my favorite. This afternoon you told me that you rocked out to some David Crowder Band on the way into the plant this morning, breathing every lyric from your heart. Yes. THAT.
 
 



This place is trying to break my belief
But my faith is bigger than all I can see
What I need is redemption
What I need is for You for to put me back on my feet

Wha ah ooooh ooooh oooh
Wha ah ooooh ooooh ooh oh

I swear I'm trying to give everything
But I feel I'm falling, oh make me believe
What I need is resurrection
What I need is for You to put me back on my feet

Wha ah ooooh ooooh oooh
Wha ah ooooh ooooh ooh ohhh

If I could feel You shine Your perpetual light
Then maybe I could crawl out of this tonight
If I could feel You feel You shine
Oh let me feel You shine
So beautiful and warm
So beautiful and bright
Like a sun comin' out of a rainy sky
Oh let me feel You shine Oh,
Let me feel You shine

I lift the knife to the thing I love most
Praying You'll come so I can have both
What I need is for You to touch me
What I need is for You to be the thing that I need

Wha ah ooooh ooooh oooh
Wha ah ooooh ooooh ooh ohhh

If I could feel You shine your perpetual light
Then maybe I could crawl out of this tonight
If I could feel You feel You shine
Oh let me feel You shine
So beautiful and warm
So beautiful and bright
Like a sun comin' out of a rainy sky
Oh let me feel You shine
God I need a Savior
O come Generous King
O God I need a Savior
To come rescue me

Oh let me feel You shine Your magnificent light
Then maybe I could crawl out of this tonight
If You let me feel You feel You shine
Oh let me feel You shine
So beautiful and warm
So beautiful and bright
Like a sun comin' out of a rainy sky
Oh let me feel You shine

Let me feel You shine
Let me feel You shine

April 25, 2012

Weddennessday

I love how I am able to capture daily life so much more easily with Instagram. I am inspired to count the smallest blessings.

I'm working on a large and new project and would love some prayers to see this come together. If and when it does, I will share. It's entirely in God's hands and should mean more time to update the blog.

I didn't forget to show you new haircut pictures. They're still in the big and fancy camera. I've been so in love with Instagram that I haven't transferred images off of my big camera in a couple of weeks. So I recently had a photo shoot with very poor lighting just so that I could share it with you, finally.

Why is it that you can't say words like 'uterus' and 'fallopian' in some offices? Heck, to some people even, they are shockworthy. I realize it's not dinner conversation [table for 2 at Old Spaghetti Factory, circa 2001 with Lulu] but it's your body. Everyone's got one or seen one and all. So - a dude I work with just became a daddy. Each day I asked him how his wife's uterine child was. And there were gasps. Why is this weird? Mindy and I used to have very physiological discussions when we worked together and I assure you, we omitted anything sticky or untoward. "Has the baby dropped into her pelvis yet?" (Oh my, she said PELVIS.)  Miami, you're cuter than an interuterine. Still people gasp. And I have to tell you that once they gasp, I am then convinced that repetition is the way to make them more comfortable, and so I make an ass of myself. I'm not advising anyone to try this, but it's my method however accidental or on purpose. Today I brought two boiled eggs for breakfast. I peeled them in the kitchen, salted and peppered, and then carried them downstairs in a paper towel. When I arrived at my desk, my pal Steve observed the eggs with a concerned look upon his face. "What?" I asked, when he shook his head. "I just ovulated." There were little gasps. Hmpf. I thought it was funny.

Shoes has 3 days left before he must inform if he is going to take the children for the planned, 8-week summer visit. Please pray that everything works out the way God intends for that. All 3 of them want to see him and are very much looking forward to going. We're so happy for them to see their family - it's been since July! 

Somehow we scored a babysitter for both Friday and Saturday night this week. That NEVER happens, yo. Never. And I'm not wasting them either. We are planning a date on Friday night AND Saturday. Now ordinarily we wouldn't scoot two nights in a row, but again, NEVER WASTE A SITTER. It'll be another 3 months before we get one again. What to do... what to do... what to do...

I'd like to register a plea with the musicians that live in my iPod. Could you please tour in middle part of the United States at least once this year? Please? I mean, I realize we don't have the attractive nature of say, NYC or Detroit, but come on. Lots of music lovers live here. Pretty please?

One night recently my husband and I were talking about what we will be like in 40 years. I know, for example, that he will be crotchety sometimes. Grumpy until I elbow him and shake my boobs; then he smiles. I may have to swivel my hips to get the same effect when I'm 75, but nonetheless. Bryon said he knew I would have beautiful hair. Now, this causes me pause because I've always wondered what I would do once I begin to get gray. [Does a woman stop dying her hair and be skunky until it grows out? Does a woman have all of the color removed from her hair to reveal the gray? What's the secret, I need to know.] Despite all of this my husband says to me with a glimmer in his eyes, "Your hair will be silver. I know it; like Paula Deen's. Silver and stunning." Huh. I don't get it, but my liver spun a circle of love for him right then. Kinda don't care about getting old now.

What say you, Readers on the wide headband trend? My bloggie friend NatTheFatRat wears them constantly, as does Casey Wiegand and - well, if you follow me on Pinterest you already know I Pin gobs of their photos for inspiration. Time to try one out, I say!

Over this past weekend two of The Boys came to play with their families at our house. It was too windy for a fire so we grilled in the garage and chatted inside. At one point, Uncle Shannon had an elephant in his pants. And that was just as disturbing to say as it was to witness.

My iPod was found by #2. Thank you, Andy!
I made shrimp tacos again this week. If you like shrimp, I implore you to try them. The spicy and sweet, east meets west sauce is made from Ortega taco sauce, plum jelly, honey, garlic, lemon juice, ginger, cayenne, Tabasco, and black pepper. It is AH-mazing. Then we shred and dice any veggies we can find and load up whole grain tortillas. Yellow tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, and TONS of cilantro were in the frigo this week. This meal is quickly becoming a staple. Though I must confess to you that I need to continue practicing so that the sauce reduces a bit more before I add the shrimp. To that, our tummies say bring it.

Psalm 130:5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.

I woke up wanting to go for a run this morning. In the blue fog of 5:45am with my husband in the shower (late for him), I let the laziness overcome me. And then when I got up and looked in the mirror at 6:15 (far too late to go), I kicked my own ass. I am so disappointed in myself for letting life prevent me from doing something I love, something that my body needs. First, it was too cold. Then, I was out of shape. Also, it is windy in Da Plains, yo. Now it's quickly going to get too hot. Come on, Rachel; this is horse shit. So for the rest of today the plan will include going for a quick run tonight when I get home. Hopefully husband is there and can join me. 

April 24, 2012

The Bat Wrassling Story

When I bought my very first house in the small, rural town, I had been told that the area was rich with bats. Big, gorgeous trees are their favorite places to live - and those we had plenty of. And so I enlisted the help of a local bat abatement organization to ensure that my 105-year old residence would be clean and bat-free before we ever moved in. I mean, EWWW. [And yes, there were bats there when I looked at the empty house. Just two: one in the living room curtain and one in the basement, clinging to the cinder block wall.] After I was completely wigged out, I hired the little, old, bat-abatement dude. Batman and his company folks climbed the very high roof on my house and blocked every entrance they could get in. The attic was cleaned and sealed up. Every board, every crack, inside and out - sealed. And so it was for a year that I had absolutely no problems at all whatsoever. 

Until the day I listed my house for sale.

It was early in the morning. I'd showered and started my morning routine. Naked because... why not? The kids were all still sleeping and it was dark outside. I opened the bathroom door and steam rolled out into the dim hallway, where Kiki was sitting and watching the way she does every morning before work. After a few minutes I heard my alarm going off again. This was confusing because I was awake and standing naked in the bathroom; I'd turned it off already. As I walked across the hall to the bedroom to make sure the alarm was off, I noticed Kiki sprawled on the floor. With something black flapping against her face. I quickly flipped the lightswitch on and realized it wasn't an alarm I was hearing; it was a bat chirping because it was stuck in the cat's teeth!

CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP

I wasn't sure what to do but I knew the cat couldn't eat the bat without getting rabies and me barfing on her head. "Kiki, drop it!" Again, People: naked and pointing at the cat. I took the towel off of my hair and slapped the both of them. The bat began flying through the hallway and I learned something right then: bats are stupid. They make the same flight pattern over and over and over and over again. The cat would leap every time the bat flew over her head. It was still chirping. And me, naked.

CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP [ouch the freaking cat tried to eat me] CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP **KIKI JUMP!** CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP

I timed the bat and swung the towel again. This time, the bat landed right in front of the cat with its gross and pokey claws stuck in the carpet. Aha! Stuck! The cat glared at him and watched me, ever curious. I threw the towel down on top of the bat to hold him there. He wasn't very big after all. Then I ran around trying to find something to hit him with. Knocking him out was the only thing I could think of because I sure as shit wasn't going to pick him up and politely carry him outside when he was wriggling around and trying to eat me.

CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP

I mean, I might have jerked and hopped and jumped and gagged a little. Maybe.

I flipped on every light I passed and a variety of large material objects went through my mind: fire extinguisher (too big), book (too flat), hair dryer (not big enough), frying pan (eww, I have to cook with it after!), SHOE. Not the worst thing. Of course in my panic I picked up the smallest, daintiest flat ever. I went back into the hallway where the cat was guarding the moving towel lump.

Slowly, I reached for the towel. I shuddered and gagged. I pulled the towel off of the bat, half expecting the sucker to start flying in his stupid pattern again. But his claws were still stuck in the carpet and he was getting pissed. You think you're pissed now, Buddy, just wait til I start this! [wrenching his furry head and pointy teeth and beady eyes to look at me].

I gripped the dainty, yellow flat in my right hand (size 10 suddenly seemed so small), kneeled down (but not too close), gagged and flapped a little, and in one quick motion, shut my eyes and slapped the bat with my shoe. When I felt it hit him, I was overcome with yuckiness.

He did not die.

He did not faint.

He also did not shut up.

He DID become even more pissed and more stuck. I think he leaked a little guano on my carpet.

With each FWACK! of the shoe he made a loud squeak toy-noise. And immediately upon him making this noise, I screamed and flapped and flailed and gagged.

Naked, People. With the cat just standing back to watch.

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! * SQUEAK TOY* SCREAMING

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! *SQUEAK TOY * SCREAMING

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! * SQUEAK TOY* SCREAMING

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! *SQUEAK TOY* SCREAMING

After a few rounds with the shoe, my oldest son (who was almost 10 at the time) opened his bedroom door a crack. Only one eye peeked out of the crack. "I heard you screaming, Mom... are you ok-AAAAAAHHHHH!!!! THERE'S A BAT, MOM!"

I stopped with my naked self, wet hair all over everyplace, all red and snot and flapping and gagging and holding the freaking yellow shoe and paused. I said, "Really, Son? Where is it?"

He closed the door.

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! * SQUEAK TOY* SCREAMING

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! *SQUEAK TOY * SCREAMING

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! * SQUEAK TOY* SCREAMING

DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP * FWACK! *SQUEAK TOY* SCREAMING

The sucker would NOT shut up. He just shook his head between hits, and took some more.
He would not faint.

He would not die.

I tried to hit him harder each time, I really did.

I was the weakest thing on this planet and in the face of a little bitty furry flapping chirping creature, I was useless.

And the cat? Can we just address the fact that the cat didn't do jack shit during this?
By this point I was certain I was going to be late for work [oh well, I'll have a hell of a story, I thought]. The cat still sat and I was still naked. I decided to trap the bat instead. I mean the current plan to save the day was not working out so hot.

I retrieved the garbage can from the bathroom. I chucked the contents onto the floor and almost slipped to my death on an empty tampon tube. Jeesh, because THAT would be humilating.

I turned the garbage can on top of the bat. His tiny little claws were spread so wide that his knuckles were stuck under the rim. Then to be absolutely certain he wasn't going to go anywhere, I stacked a basket of folded laundry on top of the garbage can. I said a few curse words to the thing, and picked up my phone.

Oh yes, I am here to tell you that chivalry is not dead. I called Bryon and sputtered out a cluster of words that sounded ridiculous, some knot of DEEP BREATH * CHIRP CHIRP *FWACK! * SQUEAK TOY * SCREAMING and he promised that he would come over and take him outside later for me.

I could finally breathe again. And got dressed.

On my way to work I called my real estate agent. We confirmed where the key would be hidden, what he was going to take pictures of, and what would go into the official description of my home.

"One more thing," I said before hanging up. "Don't move the laundry basket at the top of the steps in the hallway." John, the realtor was puzzled. "Yeah, there's a bat under there. He came to visit this morning. Probably shouldn't take pictures of that in the hallway either," I offered. Good thing John's got a sense of humor. Also a good thing that he didn't tip the basket or mention that to the buyer when he sold my house FIVE DAYS LATER.

I could end my story here, Folks. Except that would be leaving out the part where Bryon came home with me that afternoon to rescue me from the nasty little bat. He was very certain that a simple piece of cardboard slid under the trashcan would do the job, trapping the bat inside and covering the top while he carried it outside to set it free.
Except he hadn't listened when I explained that his tiny, little, stuck claws were spread so wide that his knuckles were right under the rim. Or how pissed off he had been.Oh no. Homeboy had a plan. And he's the man and so I let him have the plan. I found a piece of cardbard and we crept up the steps.

No chirping.

There was Kiki, guarding the contraption and looking very put-out.

We took the basket of folded laundry off of the trash can. Still no chirping. I wondered if he died after all that fwacking in the head. I felt a little bad about that.

Bryon gave me a flick of his eyebrows and slid the cardboard beneath the rim of the trash can, all stealth-like and cool. Except it didn't slide so easily. It hit the bat in the [very sore] head and woke the sucker up. I mean, how would you like a big, fat papercut in the face after being beaten and trapped?

CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP

CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT FREAKING OUT CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP

By now there was no choice, so Bryon shoved the cardboard and we heard the little claws scrape across the carpet and he started trying to fly under there, fluttering this stealthy cardboard. I imagine he was kind of mad about that, too. To reward my assult, there was batshit (guano) smeared all over the place.

I've never seen Bryon move so fast as when he jumped over the cat, flew down the steps and out the front door, across the porch, and outside with that trashcan and fluttering cardboard. I stayed back on the porch steps to watch the release. And yes, I realize that releasing a bat outside of the house he just got stuck in was NOT the smartest way to go, but I tell you again he's the man and so I let him have the plan.

He stopped at the sidewalk and in a very grand gesture, removed the cardboard covering the trash can's opening. Nothing happened. He shook the can and still, nothing happened.Dang, maybe he IS dead.

[This is the part of the story where my husband holds up his hand and interrupts me telling it, so that he can finish the story with his account of what happened after this point.]
After shaking the can a few more times, Bryon looked inside of it ever so cautiously. There was the tiny little bat, very scared and very pissed off, holding on tightly to (who knows what or how, it's a bat for pete's sake) the inside of the empty metal can. The bat stared at him with his beady little eyes, reared up, and leapt out of the can. Not dead!

In a re-enactment not unlike a great and fiercely large dragon, the bat unfolded his not-tiny-at-all wings and flapped away, off into the sky. I think his wingspan gets bigger each time this part of the story is told. Ahem.

"That was NOT a little bat, Rach. That thing was HUGE!" Bryon said to me from the sidewalk.

I was perplexed. Do I feel bad for my boyfriend who wrassled a big, huge bat for me? Or do I feel kind of bad-assed because I beat the ever loving shit out of a big, huge bat with a dainty yellow shoe? WHILE NAKED?

Yeah, I thought so.

April 23, 2012

If You...

 
 
 
If you looked into my home you would see:
  • laundry that wasn't put away last night because the kids were too busy playing and I was just too tired.
  • papers from Spongebob band aids, because Mabel's wart finally fell off.   
  • new curtains that were put up this past weekend. I'd been waiting for just the right ones to come along and when West Elm put them on clearance, I pounced.  
  • a box of pink golf balls, just waiting to be lost in the pond by yours truly.
  • a mess of shoes by the door, including Bryon's favorite white slides.
 
If you looked around my office
  • you would see prize artwork done by my girls: John the Baptist, a spider, and a lion specifically.
  • you would hear my husband's voice paging over the intercom, sounding stressed and tired.
  • you would find way too many snacks in my bottom right desk drawer and 4 bottles of water in varying degrees of fullness.
  • you would hear someone in my area so very unhappy with her life and her job that she is constantly negative about everything in this world, and it really has become a challenge to work nearby her on a daily basis.
  • you would see white flux dust on the floor beside my chair, where my husband stood this morning after prooving yet again that he is, in fact, a Jedi.
 
If you looked into my phone
  • you would see hopeful texts to our rotation of sitters for the upcoming weekend.
  • you would see an Instagram photo of an elephant in Uncle Shannon's pants.
  • you would find a locked message from Bryon that says "I love you, my dear. I am so blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for always being there for me." I go back and reread it sometimes. Okay, a lot.
 
If you looked into my head you would see:
  • parts of date plans for this weekend including which restaurant, which day, and wonderment if my husband will have worked more than 12 hours at that point.
  • meal plans for the week, including weekend leftovers, tater tot hot dish, and shrimp tacos.
  • uncertainty and hope surrounding a very important and new project that I can't discuss yet.
  • the words "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,and in his word I hope" from Psalm 130:5. 
  • lots and lots and lots of constant prayer about that project.
  • lots and lots and lots of constant prayer about Shoes and the summer visit.
  • me, trying to remember where I put my iPod last (please don't be lost).
 
If you looked into my heart
  • you would see a little conflict between human and spirit
  • you would notice the worry about this new project and this summer - two things heavy on my heart right now - causing so much human insecurity and fear.   
  • you would feel joy and warm peace in the arms of my Heavenly Father, who loves me and finds me capable and worthy of eternal life and joy - this is battling it out with that worry I mentioned.
 
 

April 19, 2012

A Phone Call With Grandpa Larry in Heaven

On a recent evening, Mabel was tooling around the house with her ditty bag, shopping cart, and baby. She had a backpack on her back and Barbie heels on her feet. Clip clop, clip clop. Not sure what she was imagining, but she was going at it, strong style. The boys were off doing her own things and Hayley was at her mom's. What I'm saying is Miss Mabel doesn't long for imagination or friends - she plays on her own just fine. So on this evening she had her Ariel cell phone out and was dialing up Flounder, Mickey Mouse, and whomever else while she pushed her baby through the living room.

Bryon and I listened to her chirp and giggle for a few minutes as the sun set outside and flared through the dining room curtain just so.

Mabel walked up to me and handed me her little purple phone. "Mama, it's for you."  I stopped what I was doing and stood in front of her little body. I asked her who it was (Flounder, Daisy Duck, Spongebob?).  "It's Grandpa Larry in Heaven." And with that, she smiled, let go of the phone, and stepped back to listen to me talk to Grandpa Larry.

Grandpa Larry is Bryon's father, who passed away just months after his exwife's final departure from their marriage. It was a rough time for him and tears still surface easily. Now he's been gone almost 5 years - long before my love ever touched Bryon's heart.

I held the purple phone in my hand and I could hear my heartbeat in my head. I flashed a glance at my husband on the couch and his eyes rimmed pink in about .005 seconds.

"Why hello there, Grandpa Larry!" I said. "Yes, it's so good to hear from you. Okay, I will tell her..." and I handed my little daughter her Ariel cell phone back. "He wants to talk to you again," I said.

After a few more minutes of chatter with Grandpa Larry about going fishing, she hung up. Bryon walked to where she was squirreled down on the floor, and scooped her up in his arms.



He held her tight and stopped in front of Grandpa Larry's picture hanging there in the hallway. In the bottom shot he is standing in front of his boat (the Dolphin), holding a prize fish. There were some whispers that I could not hear (and don't need to know), he nuzzled her with kisses, and then put her down.

He walked slowly back to the kitchen counter, nodded at me with his half smile, and sat down again.

That night in bed during prayer time Bryon said to me that he'd been jealous of Mabel's ability to hear his dad's voice. She was free to feel his spirit, even having never met him. I gently reminded him that his father had visited him that evening, too; he just chose to do it by way of little Moo Moo. Touched his heart just the same.

Thank you for that visit, Father-In-Law. We've missed you.

April 17, 2012

Always










My foes are many, they rise against me
But I will hold my ground
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

Troubles surround me, chaos abounding
My soul will rest in You
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
From You Lord, from You Lord

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always, always


Oh Yes, The Weekend Was Documented










#2 - those boots were first Andy's  - seems so long ago
#3 - Mabel drew a lovely picture of me
#5 - because brownies are better in vintage Pyrex
#7 - look out MaryLou Retton

April 16, 2012

On Your Birthday...




There will be, on today of all days and especially because it's today, the following:

Angel food cake made by yours truly
Boobs (uh... belonging to yours truly)
Sideways glances
2 cards
4 gifts (shut up, nobody goes a birthday without presents)
Your family of 6 gathered to celebrate you (plus your mama)
Admiration of your left ring toe
A clean house courtesy of your boys
Plenty of Neil Diamond (he's so proud of you, you know)
Dinner of your choosing, either homemade by moi or Granite City for a Duke
Other items which should not be included on this list. Ahem.

Also please remind me later to thank your mother for making you. She changed my life by doing so. You are amazing and I promise to celebrate your life and the things you love much more often than once per year. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KRUTSCH!

April 11, 2012

Weddennessday


Sisters, last night.

This is my mantra today:
Psalm 130:5   I wait for the Lord. My soul waits, and in his word I hope.

Mabel and I enjoyed sushi for lunch on Friday last week. I had Good Friday off and so after running errands, the Moo and I went out for lunch all girls-only style. She ate Fry Chicken (great way to start the littles with Japanese) with Japanese sauce, miso soup, and dang near all of the edamame. She wants to try the maki, but puts the brakes on at the last minute. Her curiousity will get her eventually. She is the only little who has tried sushi.

Last night, Husband and I read together in the bed. He, For Men Only and me, For Women Only, by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn. These two books are new and very big favorites of ours. They are small and chock full of scripture and messages on communication, the way marriage was meant to be managed with God involved. Men speak respect and need certain things and behavior from us wives - this book is an instruction manual (using scripture as the basis, of course). Same for women; we speak love and need kindness and understanding from our husbands. The husband's book is what Bryon calls my "maintenance manual." God designed us exactly that way on purpose and the Bible indeed holds the instructions on how to do that. Anyway, excellent and quick reading. We would both highly recommend these books to every couple we know. In fact, these might be Christmas presents this year for several couples we love.

We did lazy egg-dying this year. It is what it is. I wanted SO much to gather the ingredients to do natural egg-dying (onion skins, beets, and so on) with the kids (and what a great science project!), but time got the best of me again. I didn't want to buy the kit and have the mess either, I'll admit. So, come Saturday morning when we still didn't have pretty eggs and I had quite the hankering for my favorite breakfast of boiled eggs, I started up two pots of water with eggs inside. Then I mixed 1/2C white vinegar and a big spooge of gel coloring in a cup and poured it in with the eggs, pink in one pot and blue in the other. Fifteen minutes later we had pretty eggs. The kids were amazed it was that easy and not one of them complained that they didn't color or dip or sticker anything. They were happy and it was ... easy. I love it when easy just happens.

On Saturday morning I awoke with my husband in my arms. Or maybe I was in his arms. Probably both. That doesn't happen often anymore, as his work beckons VERY early - like BEFORE the asscrack of dawn early. But on this holiday weekend my darling husband became allergic to work and didn't open the laptop or check his email even once. Sleeping in for us usually means making it to 8am. It's still early enough in the year where 7-8am means that it's still blue outside. You know, blue. The blue light of morning when everything is still and quiet. The kids don't know it's time to get up yet. This is the time of morning when I can hear him breathing and see the blue light seeping in through our bedroom curtains. I rolled over and rested my head on his right shoulder and he turned into my hair. He always turns into my hair and sniffs. It is blissful. P E A C E. God is there, promising a new day and glory in His name. 

Husband and I both need new glasses. I'm excited. I'm sure Bryon's less excited because he is a boy and, well, he told me it took him months to pick out his last frames. Homeboy is pickAY. That's cool, though, so long as his prescription gets updated and he isn't blind anymore. My frames are just worn out and my prescription is expired. I ordered a year's worth of lenses last time, but was content with the frames I had at the time. Now they've been stepped on a few too many times, I sleep with them on constantly, and we find them in the bed all the time. So. I'm looking for tortoise shell or black. Haven't decided but I can't wait to try them out!

I want to see October Baby when it comes to town this weekend. Sadly the timing won't work out because we're celebrating Bryon's birthday this weekend, yo! Whoop whoop! Because it's a limited showing, I'll have to wait until it hits DVD. That's okay with moi.

I love seeing his balding head in the hallway at work. Random husband sighting at 10:01am? Yes, please. Hearing his voice over the loudspeaker paging someone to 1-2-ZERO-4 with that sexy, gravely voice? Alrighty then, sign me up. Of course it has occurred to me, People, that God's intention may change and we might not always work in the same place. That will take some getting used to, but I'm confident that God will pave the way. He knows exactly what we need from one another and I know He will make the way for us. But it will be hard, especially when the love of my life appears at my side at 2:13pm to ask me to order flux paste. And I can look in his green eyes and say, "pail or syringe, Babe?" It's all very sexy and coy-like. We started here. We flirted here. Here, he told me that I gave him the 'whirlies.' We have been blessed for years now. Thank you, Jesus.

So back to last Saturday morning. After Bryon got out of bed, I laid there for a few more minutes. I like to roll over and check my email, Facebook, read my favorite blogs for a few minutes. If I could hook up an IV of coffee while I do this in the bed, it would be perfect. I make do instead. While I was reading I noticed a headline that said Android now supports Instagram. Say WHAT?!  I had that app downloaded in .003 seconds and was Instagramming away. Booyah!  LOVE IT. And, I can now see what my friend Christy's bulldog Ditka looks like before CCL surgery... which is delicious, if you want to know. I'm secretly praying that Lulu gets Instagram so that I can see what her children look like now. I mean, they're probably married and driving by now. Jonas, at least.  *pppppsssstttttt* Mindy.... INSTAGRAM. 

So, the boys got new tennisshoes recently. Both of them needed some desperately because yo, the boys beat the CRAP out of shoes. Seriously unsure what the deal is there. Anyway, it was time. Bryon took them because he's the main point of contact for boy attire in the house now. They are old enough that I have become disqualified. The stuff I pick out looks like I picked it out, instead of you know, cooler. I'm okay with that. So off they went until I got a picture via text later that afternoon of a pair of grubby little boy fingers holding a shiny black box with Michael Jordan on it. I immediately asked Bryon if he cried. [They'd been on sale, in case you're curious.]

Right now I am dreaming of weather that stays warm, and blog reading in comfies at an outdoor cafe downtown. Big cup of coffee and the iPad I don't have. Dreaming is dreaming.

Right now I am also dreaming of going camping or roadtripping with the hubs, wearing pajamas on the road and stealing romantic tickles en route - jamming out to 80's big hair Def Leppard and such - and eating in local restaurants. Sleeping wherever. Vacay from life. With lots of kissing and bare feet blue jeans. 

Summer song prediction:  Springsteen, by Luke Bryan  [Last year's was Barefoot Bluejean Night ]

April 10, 2012

On Mushroom Hunting and Gary Gnu

My daddy hunted mushrooms every Spring and put them in a pillowcase. He went out first thing in the morning, looking for morel mushrooms. 
 
He'd bring home these lumpy, bumpy, knarly looking fugal caps that were sometimes more than 6" long. Mom would wash them up in the sink first and then out came the dredge of milk, flour and seasoning. Then she'd fry them and people... oh Lord, the people that came. People would come in droves to swim in our pool and eat fried mushrooms and fried green tomatoes. It was like a community fish fry except with fungus. Sometimes frog legs were included, though I refused to ever even try them (too much in love with Kermit). 
 
The chief of police - my Uncle Harry - and his brother, my uncle Billy. Their whole family and that means like, 20 people.  
 
The mayor and his wife, Sandy.
 
Two or three deputies (dad was a deputy, too, you see), sometimes dropping in for a bite when they were still on duty.
 
The town banker.
 
And always my mother would cook. She took care of the lot of them, standing in the kitchen with her boufant blonde hair and polyester pants. It was the 80's you know. She was recently recovered from a radical mastectomy, radiation, and chemo at this time, too.
 
And then there would be Uncle Harry sitting on the last black stool at the kitchen counter. He hankered down on pickled pig's feet with such fervor that the juices would shout themselves onto our yellow flocked wallpaper. Ick. Damn, those pig's feet were disgusting. 
 
Once dark and tired of kids screaming, the men would retire to the dining room table to play a raucous game of pinochle with sunburns on their faces, and the ladies went to the den for Skip Bo. 
 
There usually weren't many children. Perhaps cousins Jessica and Johanna, but that's it. Usually it was just me, the only child with two kitty cats. I'd hover between the very loud and booming group of men in one room and the cackling group of hens in the den. I liked watching the ladies because they were so complimentary of one another and shared stories, always checking in to see how mom was recovering and how they could help. But I also enjoyed listening to the guys because they were loud and animated because they always cheated. All in good fun of course, but I clearly remember times when my dad would STAND at the table and slap his hand down. Oh boy. He meant business then. Makes me smile now.
 
On a completely unrelated note, my dad also turned on The Great Space Coaster on weekend mornings and would shout from the other room when Gary Gnu was reading the news. 
 
And nothing made him laugh - great big ole' belly laugh - harder than Prince John in Disney's Robin Hood, when Hiss the snake was talking in his little brown lion ear. His slithery, forked tongue would tickle and the lion would willie out with crossed eyes. Dad ROARED with laughter every time. Every single time.
 
So there you are: a walk down memory lane, complete with morel mushrooms, the chief of police, and Gary Gnu.

April 9, 2012

April 4, 2012

A Weddennessday Bedtime Story

On this Weddennessday, I'd like to share another bedtime story with you.
 
Bryon loves our boys. His love is equal for both, I'm sure, but that love is unique to each of them - who they are and what they need from him. 
 
Trevor is older and more mature (the product of divorce) at 11. He loves Bryon, seeks his parenting approval and discipline, and they have a very healthy relationship. That said, Trevor slips with respect sometimes, thinking of Bryon as more of a friend instead of a parent. Bryon expected this - oldest boy divorce scars, he says - because he belongs to that same club. Trevor feels a pull toward Shoes sometimes, as if he's the one most deserving of that "father" bucket of respect. He is the defender of his dad's actions no matter what they are - but he is also the one who will absolutely ask his dad some very difficult questions about the decisions he has made. Nobody ever coerces Trevor; it doesn't happen. Trevor is inquisitive by nature and VERY direct. My point is that Trevor's love for Bryon started from friendship and has grown into parental love over the past couple of years. Now there is trust, respect, and appreciation that Bryon is raising him and teaching him how to be a man of God. Trevor sees that effort and sees how Bryon loves me. They go play ball together and Bryon considers it mature enough to be considered 'guy time' instead of family time. They talk about friends and girls and b00bs, and what Jesus expects from men. They high five and beat on each other at bedtime every night. Then they fart on each other and call it good. 
 
Andrew is different. I forget that he was still little when he met Bryon - only 7. So, he loves him like a 7 year old loves their daddy. He doesn't love Shoes any less - oh no - but he recognized early that Bryon was all in for them, too. Trust came super fast. Also, Andy requires smooshing and attention and Bryon gave it. Usually at bedtime. Andy waits until everyone else has been put to bed - partially because of embarrassment and partially because he wants the attention all to himself (typical middle). After the house is quiet, Andy slinks out into the hallway and asks Bryon for a hug. It's very sweet. So the other night, Andy emerged from his room (with the handmade loft bed built by Bryon last fall) and plunged his hands out for that hug. His little gecko fingers were flexed in ten different directions. In a big swoop, Andy leaped and Bryon grabbed until they looked sort of like a praying mantis with stick legs was attacking the daddy. Andy had him around the neck and Bryon hugged around his tummy quietly for a moment or so. "Hug tighter," Bryon said. Andy giggled and squeezed more. "I always wish that I'd hugged my dad tighter than I did and now he's gone... so hug tighter," he said again. Andy smiled hard and closed his eyes. Then he smiled, rubbed his beard on Andy's face and said, "And remember this, too, okay?" More giggling, still. Then Bryon teared up and put him down, high-fiving his little critter off to bed.
 
My heart went pitter pat.
 
He knows that he didn't make our two boys (and he insists that they remain respectful and in contact with Shoes), but God gave them to him for a reason just the same. They are HIS boys, too. I think that's finally sinking in for Bryon.
 
How blessed they all are.

April 2, 2012

On How You Love Me


You taught me how to golf. You smack my ass and give me your sideways smile on weekend afternoons when I flirt with you. You told me yesterday that Mila Jovovich has nothing on my legs.

You never question me. Never my motives or my thinking. There is always trust between us. You came in with that and it is gloriously blue, that way of thinking you have. Thank you. 



You love me differently than I have ever been loved. It is raw and deep and real, and God is in it and all around it.

You tell me that I am beautiful and I know what that means to you. I know that you look at beauty in the traditional way, but also much more. You rub the softness of my skin and inhale my scent and you close your eyes to it. You love that I am curvy and imperfect and real, natural and unfussy. You love that I don't work to impress others, and my confidence and outspoken nature curl you around my heart even tighter.

You know I will tell you if I'm hurting and you are amazing at making things right.

You pray with me on the floor in the living room.



I am, without a doubt, the luckiest wife EVAH. You sit on the couch with me and fake English accents. You giggle. You stop in the middle of telling someone else a story and get bulgy eyes and jump up and down when you remember you forgot to tell me something. You call me to share your day and you pray for me in the morning on your way to work. You let me pick the thermostat temperature and the flavor of ice cream that comes home. You let me pick almost everything, come to think of it. You hold my hand in church while I bounce and shout and praise. You call and invite me out to guys night and you'd be happy for me to join you everywhere you go. I am grateful that you are my very best good friend.

You are the most gracious person. You are kind and honest and strong, and deleriously handsome. And God gave you to me to love! I pray nightly that I get at least 50 more years to touch you and hear your gravely voice. I want to rub your ring toes and pluck your ear hair and pray so much for you that I forget where I am. I want to see you the way Jesus sees you always.

You are loved for many reasons, but I love you so much because of the way you love me.