Tuesday, September 28, 2010

...

I slept all night,
and woke up on my own.
A gift.

Yesterday was long.
12 loads of laundry at home
in the washer that doesn't spin well.
My mind was focused on cleaning out closets,
but my body stayed tethered to the kitchen.
Another trip back to the doctor,
and soccer practice,
where two little boys could run their energy out.

I consider the day successful if:

  • Maryn eats meals instead of scraps.
  • Everyone makes it to school.
  • No one throws up.
  • No one draws on anything. (Corbin coloring in his belly button doesn't really count)
  • Everyone goes to bed in their clean sheets.
A really successful day involves my hair being combed,
(which didn't happen)
Funny how my standards have changed over the years....

I admit that I went to bed feeling dejected.
Purposely dumped boxes of juice on the freshly mopped kitchen floor pretty much put me over the edge.
And every time I turned around,
there was more laundry.
I put myself in timeout.

I really needed the children last night.
This is difficult work to do alone,
and there is always so much to do.
A good attitude about helping makes all the difference in the world to me.

This morning it all begins again.
And so I should make sure it starts off right.
A little time in the scriptures and a good prayer with the children that I love so much.
They don't know that my world revolves around them,
and it makes me happy,
but sometimes it's a lot for me.
I am trying.


Monday, September 27, 2010

best

Caleb told me I spelled all the names wrong from Diary of a Whimpy Kid.
I need to read the books.
Dan said they are really funny.
They are in my 'stack of things to read in my spare time' pile,
which is getting increasingly higher.

Caleb also informed me that my blog is lacking in media.
Other blogs have pictures and video.
I told him I would work on that.
(As soon as I figure out how to download pictures from my camera and phone)
Why is that so complicated for me?
I should just ask him to do it.

Well, we made it to church on time yesterday.
There is always that moment just before when I seriously wonder.
But, we were there.
Everyone was extra clingy.
Cade fell asleep in my arms,
outside
in the extreme heat.
I was sweaty.
When I came back in,
Sacrament meeting was nearly over.
I was in the hall with this other guy and his 2 year old.
We both agreed that the first hour for us
could be more appropriately termed.
Instead of Sacrament Meeting,
It's more like Sacrament Moment.
Apparently Corbin was having trouble in singing time.
He was just excited.
I substituted Colin's class when his teachers didn't show.
The kids had never heard of Job before,
so that was kind of fun.
Considering I was there without Dan

and the kids were stuck like magnets to me,
it was okay.

This week will be long again.
Practices,
School Conferences,
Big exams,
Work.
This morning it's band.
I really want to hear my sons play their instruments more.
Somehow,
I have to finish some of my house projects.
Colin went in yesterday and started organizing my closet.
I appreciate his motivation.

I spent some time talking with a friend this weekend.
She has been on my mind.
I asked her how things were going.
She said "Fine."
I said, "Really?"
She said, "Well everything is good. I can't complain. It's just me."
That's when the tears appeared.
And then we talked for a long time about our inadequacies.
There isn't a mom out there who doesn't carry a load of guilt like a ball and chain.
I told her that she is too hard on herself.
We do the very best we can.

So it's Monday.
My list is long from the things that didn't happen last week.
The last few weeks have been hard on me,
or good for me,
Not sure which.
I am very humbled to be reminded that I am not in charge.
And I can trust the One who is.
So we will do our very best.

Last week,
someone said this:
"We can attribute the good things in our life to God and the bad things to coincidence."
That gave me comfort,
because it sounds right,
because I always try my best,
but things don't always happen like I hope they will.

Sooooo......Hello Monday. Go ahead and bring it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Good.

Nearly every day this week began near 4am.
Yesterday, Saturday, I was awake at 3:15.
I convinced Dan to take me down to the temple.
(It closes for the next 2 weeks.)
At 5:30am, we were gathered with a small group of early risers.
We had a little conversation about being pre-programed with a 4am alarm clocks.
I felt comfortable in that crowd,
not different at all.

The temple is the very best place for me to remember my purpose here.
It's the place I feel closest to Dan,
and connected to my children.
It's the quiet place where I can listen.

We were there a little longer than I had anticipated.
It gives me tons of anxiety to leave the kids,
and my mind was overflowing with all the things that burden it.
As we drove away from the temple at 7am,
we saw my brother standing near the road.
He didn't look well.
Dan turned the car around,
but when we came back,
he wasn't there anymore.
Seeing my brother opens a flood gate of feelings.
I love him.
I am sorry for the life he suffers through every day.

Thinking about him always brings back the exact same memory of my dad.
We are sitting in Don Jose's.
A booth.
It's lunch time on a week day.
He is telling me about someone he had helped,
someone who struggled with problems his whole life.
He said,
"Life is just so hard for some people."

My dad didn't know he was talking about his son.
He didn't know that conversation would stay with me forever,
and whenever I see the homeless,
the mentally ill,
the incarcerated
the lonely,
the depressed,
or the down-trodden of the world,
that it would break my heart.
We all began exactly the same
and life is truly unkind for some.
Compassion is the dominating emotion for me when I feel the crushing sadness for my brother and his illness.
No one will ever know his kind heart.

In my mind,
we are still kids
in my parents back yard.
We are playing and having fun like brothers and sisters are meant to do.
His is well and we are happy.
He is safe.
I only hope that he finds some peace in his troubled world,
and that angels will protect him when his mind cannot be controlled.

Some of my best moments were the quiet ones,
the time spent in the car,
or eating chips and salsa.
Those seem to the be moments that matter most to me.

Last night,
I missed something important.
(I can keep practices, scouts, homework, schooling, etc in my head,
but I seem to always forget about birthday parties.)
Last night,
I had just walked in from picking up Sydney from a party
and dropping her to a babysitting gig.
We gathered the kids in the living room to say goodbye to Dan for the next 70 hours.
We hugged him and he left.
I was just settling into a quiet Saturday night when I noticed that Colin was feeling down.
He finally told me that all his friends were at a birthday party,
and he didn't get invited.
He mentioned something about an email.
That sparked a vague memory of an evite from a name I had never heard before.
I looked it up,
and yes,
he had been invited.
It was really late,
but I loaded everyone up and we drove 25 minutes to the party place.
I apologized all the way there.
I dropped Colin
and then turned around and drove the other kids home,
put them to bed one by one,
dealt with the dog,
picked up Reagan from her party, took her home,
and drove 25 minutes back to pick up Colin and his friends.

With an empty van,
free from any disruptions,
and a long ride home,
I encouraged the boys to talk.
We talked about the other boys at the party,
their mannerisms and behavior.
The boys told me about their language
and the trouble some cause.
We talked about 7th grade (which comes next year).
We joked about "Diary of a Whimpy Kid."
I told them that junior high is really like that.
We laughed about Fregly and Rawly and Roderick and Greg.
The all picked someone to be.
I told them,
basically,
everyone feels a lot like Greg,
and it's so hard to come out of junior high with any self confidence at all.
The boys talked about how they could get through it.
We talked about friendship
and how they have something unique.
They have been friends for quite a few years now.
Each of the four brings something unique.
They are a strong presence and are capable of doing amazing things.

The cool thing about a car ride like that is
something magical happens when kids get a little undivided attention.
They really open up.

We pulled in late.
Sydney would not be home for a few more hours.
The house was silent.
I crawled into bed.
Colin came upstairs and informed me that everyone was accounted for.
The doors were locked.
We could sleep.

Wow. They grow up fast.

It's now Sunday morning.
I wanted more than anything to wake up feeling refreshed.
But today, I was curled up in a little corner of my bed,
next to Reagan,
who was next to Presley,
with Corbin at my feet,
and Cade next to him.
Caleb was at the foot of my bed.
Lars the Alarm clock was barking his head off.
No one wanted to put him out.
(We all keep wishing a fairy dog mother would come and turn him into a cute, fluffy, yorkie-poo.)
We could hide a little yorkie-poo under the stairs where it could bark all it wanted,
and we wouldn't hear it.
I don't mind having the children nearby.
They wake up every night Dan is gone.
They come in looking for security.
It won't last forever.

Anyway,
it's Sunday.
We miss our dad.
Really,
a super lot.
It ended up being 130 hours total on the work week.
We survived it,
but a new week is already beginning.

In the car at 5am yesterday,
we were talking about how we are different.
Why do we work so hard?
Why are the days so long and the hours so short?
We know that there are families just like us,
maybe much more than we think.
And we know there are families that are nothing like us.
They cannot even fathom what it's like.
I sometimes feel frustrated, because, I am *by nature*
an over-the-top kind of girl.
We are extremely purposeful in our efforts.
Our ambitions are high.
BUT,
Just feeding this crew is a full time gig.
Then add Education - full time.
House Keeping - full time.
Sports - full time.
Religion - should be top priority where our most time is spent.
Oh....and then the full time jobs - count of 3, divided between 2.
Somehow,
the numbers just don't add up.
But most people's numbers don't add up.
Dan was full of compliments and kindness yesterday.
Our efforts are making a difference.
We have good relationships with our kids.
They are advancing in their learning.
They never go anywhere without a book.
They love sports,
and the arts.
They have good friends,
and they know how to help.
When I remember all the good things they do and have become,
it's easy to get through the work behind it all.

Today is Sunday.
We were more prepared for it than we have been lately.
Last week,
I told Dan that I need to have certain things accomplished.
Floors cleaned,
toilets scrubbed,
laundry done,
uniforms together,
car cleaned,
grocery shopping completed.
You know...the basics.

He did all he could to help me,
and I appreciate it very much.

This morning,
the children are together,
playing like brothers and sisters should,
without any interruptions
on a restful Sunday morning.

Our world is so far from perfect,
but it is good.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nothing about this night makes much sense.
I've been awake for hours,
worried about our little 8-year-old daughter.
She seems to have the symptoms of severe dehydration,
at least that is what we are hoping.
The doc took some blood tests and will let us know tomorrow.
Meanwhile, we are doing our best to force fluids in a child who lacks all appetite and strength.
Thus,
I can't sleep.

I woke up Corbin to use the potty.
He moved from Reagan's bed into the arm chair next to my bed.

I was hungry
and decided to eat the only snack available tonight,
a chocolate Hostess cupcake.
Actually, it sounded nauseating.
I showed it to Corbin,
and told him I had two.
I asked if he wanted one.
He said yes.
So we sat cross-legged on a rug,
and ate our treats in the middle of the night.
I felt sick.
3/4 of the way through Corbins little cupcake,
he said he felt sick too.
So now he is sleeping,
and I am blogging.

Dan had been here Wednesday night.
He came in about 10:30pm.
I was already asleep.
It had been a few days since he had been home,
and would leave early the next morning.
About 1am,
we were both wide awake.
We talked for a long time about football and work and everything and nothing.
He said he missed me.
I denied missing him back.
He said,
"Ya right, that's why we are talking in the middle of the night?"
Okay,
maybe a little.

So my sleeplessness could have something to do with the fact that I haven't slept much this week.
It also has a little to do with a headache,
which I just made worse with a cupcake.
It could have something to do with the 3 sleeping children in my bedroom,
although they are completely silent.
It certainly has everything to do with the little girl who is too lethargic to move this week.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On my list of "Not So Proud Moments"....

Today,
for punishment,
I sent a kid up to empty a few garbage cans.
One had a bad diaper (in a baggy...so not that bad).
After a few minutes,
he called from upstairs that he had just puked.
I replied,
"Clean. It. Up."
So he dry-heaved through the cleaning of the can,
which he threw up outside of.
And then informed me that he might have gotten some on the carpet.
I told him to get the Spot Bot.
I was in the middle of giving him instructions on cleaning up vomit off the floor,
And I never could get past step one:
Remove the chunks.
Every time I tried to say it,
I lost it....belly laughing.
Then Caleb was laughing.
Then Sydney.
Then everyone.

Not my best moment.

He cleaned up the puke.
I am pretty sure that next time,
he will think twice before giving in to his gag reflex.

You see,
in our crew,
we have "Pukers."
and then we have "everyone else."
The pukers are going to have to get stronger stomachs.
For reals,
I can't do any more laundry.

I admit,
I am in the 'puker' category.
When Dan is here,
he cleans it up.

Well,
that was an entire post about vomit.
Anyone hungry?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday

It is quiet for a minute.
I will probably regret stopping to blog,
but it's super hot,
and I just walked in from running around.

The up-side of today:
I took a shower,
got dressed,
combed my hair,
and put on makeup.

That makes up for the fact that we were 5 minutes late getting back to the house from picking up Sydney,
and the bus driver was real grouchy.
The kids were mortified that a line had formed.
Really,
it doesn't bother me a bit.
I do the best I can.

When I came in,
Presley wasn't home yet.
No one picked her up to walk her home.
That always happens when the children are sick
and someone stays home.
So I walked up to get her,
And she was happy to see me.
She is never bothered by lines of cars,
or the fact that she was forgotten today.
I love that about her.

Sydney had a very busy day:
A report due.
A song to present.
A Spanish test.

All I can say is,
I am so glad to be out of school.
Last night,
I was supposed to edit her report for her.
Corbin and Cade were too wired for me to think,
so I shut the house down.
I turned in "All Standing."
(That means, I slept in my clothes.)
I didn't sleep all night,
because I promised her the edit.
It felt like school all over again,
Waking up over and over,
worried that I wouldn't wake up in time to help her before she was supposed to leave at 5:45am.

Her paper came together.
I ran my errands this morning in the same clothes I wore yesterday.
gross.
At 1:30pm,
I finally made hygiene a priority.
And so now I am all dressed up with nowhere to go.
But there is a kitchen to clean,
and homework to attend.
We are back into soccer now too.
Thursday nights will now be the only free night here,
I hope.

Anyone have any thoughts on baby formula?
I hear that soy is bad,
and so is milk based.
Today I picked up a can of lactose-free.
Does anyone have an opinion?
2 more months,
but I would like this little angel to have a settled tummy.

Well,
it's back to the grindstone,
but at least I look hot
(not that anyone is here to notice).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Monday

Friday night team building left me scratching my head about boys.
They practiced.
I made Costco lasagna,
Costco salad,
Costco strawberries,
Costco Rolls,
Costco Chocolate cake.
My mom wrapped up candybars,
and Dan handed them out to the boys with compliments.

In my mind,
I had this whole uplifting night planned.
The boys could write something inspirational to each member of their team,
and then we were going to watch 'Facing the Giants.'
Somehow it played out better in my head.
They did write something to eachother.
Mostly things like:
"Colin is beast"
and
"Too legit to quit."
After 15 minutes, a piece of cake, and a candy bar,
they were literally bouncing off the walls.
We changed course,
and released them like hounds into the wild,
where they chased eachother down in a fierce game of tag.
(That's when I started scratching my head.)

Sydney's friends sit nicely on the couch.
They do motivational activities.
They are sweet.


The boys piled into the room to watch the movie for 10 minutes,
and the stench of their sweaty cleats nearly knocked me out.
And they would prefer to run the neighborhood barefoot
with their coaches hot on the tails.
Right.

Saturday began at 4am at the temple with Sydney.
6-8am we loaded the laundry.
Record breaking week at the mat
(because of Dan)
45 loads in 2 hours.
We rushed home,
rushed lunch,
rushed to the game (which was awesome),
rushed back to clean,
and rushed to get ready to go out.
In our effort to exhaust our children,
we exhausted ourselves.
Date night was typical.
I fell asleep in the car.

Sunday was a great day.
It's always a little busier when we both teach.
Church was uplifting.
Dan teaches just before me,
and I told him not to mess it up.
He didn't (because he is a great teacher).

We all came home happy.

Last night ended with Family night.
That's always a challenge.
We laughed at some old video about being prepared.

Today is Monday.
It's not my funday.
Wish it was Friday.

What's on tap for this week?
104 hour work week. No lying.
How is that even possible?
I wonder how my posts will sound by the end of the week.
As we sat down this morning for a few minutes to calendar,
we were both wondering just exactly how everything fits into 7 days.
Saturday will be 3 games,
all coinciding.
Tough days.
But it's only supposed to be 100 degrees on Saturday.
That's a bonus.

Well,
I am rambling,
and I need to be getting ready to show houses in a minute.
Why share all this?
No idea.
Someday I might want to remember what my days were like.

Mostly,
more than anything,
I need this sickness to leave our house.
Reagan hasn't left the couch since Thursday.
Presley dropped last night.
No one is 100%.
I Cloroxed EVERYTHING.
Please,
no more laundry.
Please. Please.

Have a great day.
Today is the day!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday

Wednesday was kind.

I feel like the outcome of my day
depends entirely on my perspective.
It's hard sometimes, in words, to convey feelings.
I re-read my letter to Wednesday.
It sounded heavy.
It wasn't meant that way.
I will try to be more careful to accurately reflect my thoughts.

A typical response here to an over-the-top day is usually laughter.
When I need a day to regroup,
everyone ends up sick
or something unavoidable changes the course of my plans.
I seldom feel upset by things like that.
We have learned well to roll with the punches.
8 children keep the punches coming regularly and routinely.

What's on my mind this morning?

It's been since Sunday that I combed my hair.
I like hats,

but Dan comes home today I hope,
and I should actually give more than 30 seconds to my appearance.

Of course,
my head is headachy,
but I have a few doses left so that shouldn't be a problem.

The Laundry.
Yes,
I still need to go to the mat.
I like it there on Fridays,
but Thursday is 79 cent day.
I should go today.

My son is sick and having trouble recovering.
Dan and I need a meeting about that.

During the course of this stomach virus,
Corbin taught us a new word.
It's 'peepoop'.
I am ready for peepoop to leave our house.

Last night,
we were a little unambitious.
Instead of doing some of the important things,
we returned the books to the library.
It's weird that returing books brings me so much peace.
Lots of kids beg for trips to amusement parks
or Peter-Piper-Pizza-kinds of places.
My kids beg for the library.
So we drove in to the big one,
and they were so content.

I looked at sweet little Maryn in her high chair last night.
She brings angelic peace to our home.
Really, she is super adorable.
I would think that in this crowd,
she might feel neglected,
or content to be left alone.
You would think that she is happy with just about anyone holding her.
In truth,
she is only herself with our family.
She plays and laughs and crawls around comfortably,
and she definitely knows who we are.
She prefers me,
although, as is customary at this age,
she has found her place in her dad's arms whenever he is available.
(Our babies spend at least 2 years there.)
Because he can do just about anything while holding a baby,
and our little one's pick up on that early.
I will try to take a few more pictures of our little princess.
She makes us so happy.

Corbin and Cade are back into art.
They keep drawing all over themselves with markers.

Presley took a great school picture.
It is the first picture in her life that she smiled.

Reagan is expressing her independence.
I didn't give permission for that,
and so it surprises me.

Sydney is getting brave enough to let the dog out in the mornings.
Thank you.
Thank you.
It's one less time a day I think about putting him on Craigslist.

Colin and Caleb need to get some strength back.
Me too.
I am desperately wanting to go back up Camelback.

It's going to be 106 degrees for the next few days.
That's almost hoodie weather here,
not.
Fall here means we are still wearing flip flops,
but not quite burning our feet on the pavement.

I hope your Thursday is a good one.
Anyone care to join me in the hood today to do a little laundry?
(You better not.
Going once is liking trying drugs for the first time
and kicking the habit is tough.)

Oh,
and in case I haven't mentioned in awhile,
I feel really grateful for my life.
I know that 15 years ago,
if I was given a vision of this last week,
I never would have willingly chosen this path.
Something easier would have been more appealing.
But I am so thankful for my little crew,
and all the hard things that are required of me.
I wouldn't trade this for the world.

And, I have a sneaking suspision that we will end up in a hospital tonight.

Monday, September 13, 2010

FYI

I rarely post about work,
but since I have been virtually missing from the blog sphere for a few weeks,
I thought I might share what occupies my days.
I have spent the last few weeks becoming an expert.
I am not sure if I have succeeded,
but I would like to share what I know,
from a professional perspective,
in case this helps someone out there.

I work in real estate,
and as many know,
lots with short sales,
a little with loan mods,
always happy with the rare regular sale.
In short,
the work is interesting.

A few weeks ago I heard a report saying that the financial industry is speculating cutting it's losses on the current wave of home-owners in trouble.

This affects the people who are working loan mods
or attempting short sales,
specifically
those facing a foreclosure sale.

Translation:
If you are a homeowner in the middle of a loan mod process, or hoping to short sell,
stay on top of your file.
All docs need to be 'perfected',
and the file needs to sit with a negotiator or underwriter to even stand a chance.

In the old days
(3 weeks ago)
a lender could put a hold on a sale.
It now takes 'Fannie Mae approval'.
That is nearly impossible to achieve.
and takes a minimum of 7 days.
My guess is that many, many will lose their homes if they are not really careful.
And many could lose, regardless.

So to all my real estate pals,
watch your files.
Perfect your files.
Call often.

And to homeowners,
life just got really complicated,
but remember that you are not alone.

I would like to think that the little guys are being protected,
but I don't believe.

If you work in the industry,
good luck in the next few months.
The winds of change brought the stench of foreclosure.

Happy Monday.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9-11

Pictures that made me smile today.


Our hike up Camelback.
Who's that guy in the back?
(And that's not my husband)
And those are not all my sons,
but I would have any them.
They are amazing boys.




"Seriously, mom?"

When I wasn't paying attention on Sunday morning,
they did this.
And I wasn't really happy.
I am environmentally conscious,
so I made them use all those cups that week.


This was the day I wasn't paying attention,
and these boys kept themselves busy on a blistering summer afternoon in the blazing AZ sun.



This was the day that Dan earned "Coolest dad award."
All Colin's buddies were sitting at the table drooling.




First day of school 2010.





This kid melts my heart.






Okay,
they all melt my heart.

My angel daughter and her good cousin on their first day at the high school this year.


Today is 9-11.
In 2001, I had no idea how much this date would change our lives.
I woke up this morning feeling defeated.
As the day progresses,
I am feeling a little more fired up.
We have a government upheld by the people,
for the people,
Or we used to.
In the whirlwind of daily tasks I try to accomplish,
I sometimes forget to stop and attend to some of the basic needs that will nurture the existence of our independence.
I don't ever want to forget what our purpose is here,
and what my responsibilities are to maintain our liberties.
Our future holds no place for complacency.
If we want a nation built on the ideal of freedom,
we must fight.
On that note,
we are off to football.
It feels like a good day.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Still alive

Finally feeling better.
I think Dan dropped 5 lbs.
I lost 3.
Maryn didn't have any extra weight to lose,
but she was a little trooper.
It's not been our best week.
I hope tomorrow is better.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I can't think of a title for this post.

In the busy-ness of our days,
I have to remind myself of our purpose here.

In my mind,
we are still young.
It's still all about us.

In reality,
we have added considerably to "us".
8 little angels fill our days to max-capacity.

Last week,
I questioned whether he remembered me.
I don't know why I ever do that.

I asked Sydney how she felt about her dad's post.
She was impressed (except with his punctuation :),
but she said it made her sad.
She told me that she has never considered life without me in it.
Dan and I joke about it all the time,
you know,
who will go first.
He knows I wouldn't survive without him very long.
We joke about old crazy people,
and how we plan on being just like that.
We laugh about nursing homes.
Maybe reality is a little too harsh,
and laughter eases the strain.

Still,
we are young right now.
Our babies occupy our lives.
Our big kids still like us.
If I could freeze our family right now,
I would.

The picture he spoke of hangs in our stairwell.
It's my favorite too.
The bags he referred to,
are on a shelf in my closet.
They are the little suitcase bags we take to the temple.

Dan and I share something amazing.
We both love the temple.
In past years,
the only opportunities for us to get there,
required us to go separately.
With older kids,
we can slip away together.
Still,
I don't like leaving the children,
and so we continue to go at 5:30am when it's the least intrusive to our family.
He knows I love to see the sun coming up behind the temple.

I know we are abundantly blessed to share this life together.
I am sorry I ever question our time or circumstances.

Today,
I am sure that I am being punished for complaining when he came home sick.
I ran a marathon this weekend,
and that was after the marathon I ran while he was on shift.
The progress I had been making came to a halt with the sickness,
and
like I mentioned before,
I do not accept defeat well.

Monday was a great day for me.
I felt peace again.
I felt sorry for not loving him more when he was sick.
We took some of the football boys up Camelback.
Dan wasn't in any condition to go to the top,
and Colin was sick.
I went up with Caleb.
It was my first time up Camelback,
and it was beautiful.
There really is something inspiring about climbing to the top of a mountain.

It was extremely hot that day,
and we were sweaty and exhausted.
A hard hike in the heat made most of us feel like puking.
That's what we call, "A respecatble workout."

At the end of the day,
all was good.
Dan still wasn't 100%,
but he was finally on the mend.
(It's helpful that he pals around with paramedics,
who offer assistance in instances of severe dehydration).

Today is Wednesday.
He is scheduled to leave me,
but as punishment for my lack of compassion,
I am now really sick too.
And so the progress will remain at a stand still,
and that is oh-so-frustating.
I had been on such a roll.

Today,
I feel grateful to know that he loves me.
And........sorry that I need him.

Monday, September 6, 2010

thank you

Dan reluctantly stayed home yesterday.
When he resisted,
I told him to consider it a gift.
4 hours alone.
That never happens.

And when I came home,
I read his kind words to me.
Thank you.
And I promise not to complain about long shifts anymore.
You always come home, and I appreciate that.

(And I forgive your computer-hacking skills also.)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

To the one I love

He hadn’t used an alarm clock in over fifty years. Elizabeth had cured him of that need. She was better than any rooster in the countryside. She never let the sun beat her up. It was her time of peace before everyone else was awake. Often she would lie in bed during those quiet moments writing in her journal or blog. It was her time before any interruptions that the day would inevitably bring. That was when she did most of her best work. She enjoyed the time well as could be seen in the bookshelf of journals that he now displayed proudly. As such, Dan learned to wake up early just the same. He would occasionally moan and complain that he was tired, but after the years went on he began to understand and enjoy the quiet time for peace in the mornings just as Elizabeth had.

It was 4:30am and he found himself wide awake in bed. It was still dark outside. He turned to sit up in bed and set his feet on the ground. The next step was always the hardest. On a good day, his knee wouldn’t give out on his first step, and today already seemed like it would be a good day. He woke up with more air in his lungs than he had felt in some time. His doctor had been recommending a series of medications and breathing treatments at home every night which he continued to ignore. “A little drink of herbal tea at night will do me just fine.” His knee groaned on the first step, but did not give way as he walked. He hesitated briefly and gazed into the family picture they had taken years before after all the children were born. Elizabeth thought it was a great idea to gather the family together at a studio and take one of those old style portraits. It was a tortuous experience for nearly forty minutes, but the final result was one of his all-time favorite family pictures. Elizabeth wanted to capture the age and moment of the family forever. Their personalities came through even then. Now, when the children come over, they love to stop and look at that picture.

Dan stopped at the sink to brush his teeth. A smile came to his face. He remembered years ago having an argument with Elizabeth about sharing his toothbrush. “Can’t I use your toothbrush?” she would ask. Funny that something that he found gross at the time, became mildly amusing after time. He chuckled and put the toothbrush back. He walked into his closet and found his grey suit. One of the buttons had come off of the front. He had been meaning to take that in to get fixed for some time. He put it on anyway. It would have to do for today. He sat down on the footstool in his closet and laced up his shoes. He looked down again at the footstool remembering how often he had found his Elizabeth in their closet praying on this same footstool. It had been her source of strength. Together they had prayed earnestly for their children over the years, even pleading for each in this same spot.

He stood up and found the two black bags on his top closet shelf. He grabbed the one on the right and walked out. He went into the kitchen and made himself an egg and toast. His eyes lit up when he noticed there was still some cake on the counter from the night before. His family had come by to celebrate his grandson ready to serve a mission. They had a wonderful night together. He has grown up so quick, Dan thought.

He sampled a small bite of cake, then cleaned up plates and walked out to the garage. He started his truck, put it into reverse and drove down the road. It was just beginning to become light outside, the sun not quite up over the distant mountains. There was an orange glow coming from the eastern horizon. He pulled into the parking lot and got out of his car. Angel Moroni gleamed down on him, the sun reflecting off the gold statue. He walked up the pathway to the front doors of the temple. Today was the thirteenth of May, and a day to celebrate. For today he wanted to feel her near, and he could always feel her close here. She believed in forever, and when she told him, he would always believe it too.

no sprite for me.

I write to remember.
Mostly,
it's all good,
But sometimes,
it's just real.

Complaining never solved any problems,
and raising children isn't always the picture-perfect picnic that I thought it would be once-upon-a-time ago.
Still,
the days are full of good moments,
even when I am tired.

I have spent far too much time thinking about the harder moments.
I sometimes go over things in my head,
and try to understand,
or prepare my next move.
I try not to over-analyze.
Yesterday,
I spent too much time remembering hard days.
Days when it was just me,
with way too much to accomplish.
I am not sure why I did that.
Perhaps my expectations were a little too high.
On Saturday nights,
I want to close the book on my week.
I like to be prepared for the upcoming days.

Being flexible is more valuable.

When the laundry didn't happen,
and the car didn't get washed again,
and the list was still a long,
I knew all that stuff would spill over into my next week,
I felt frustrated.

I got over it,

although I still feel a little raw about it.
Well, not raw, but tender.
I think I don't accept defeat well,
nor do I care for hindrances.
But,
I accept them.

I wish I was Pudge the fish and I did control the weather,
but I am just me.

Dan is sick.
Really sick.
I am trying to give sympathy,
and not remember all the times when I didn't have the luxury of laying in my bed and knowing that all my peeps were being cared for,
like this week,
But...
if I really stop to think about it,
there are many times when he has done that for me.
And I appreciate it.
He loves me honest.
We laugh about many things we say to each other.
For example - Amish dresses....
A painfully honest, laughable moment
and I love him for those too.

Today is Sunday.
I will be taking 8 peeps to church by myself.
I hope there is something amazing I am meant to hear today,
from the hallway,
with a baby on my hip,
and one at my feet,
and hopefully the other only an arm's length away.

And if my older children love me at all,
they will sit nicely today,
maybe even pay attention,
hopefully sing off key with me,
because I love the hymns.

Happy Sunday.
Today is the day.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sprite

Post Edit included at the end....


When the week sucks all my love from me,
I have to dig really deep to find motivation.
For example,
it's Saturday.
It's been forever since we had a Saturday here,
and then someone thought they would work a clinic today,
which leaves me here
to do chores by myself.

I am very conflicted today.
The last day I worked hard, took a shower, combed my hair, put on something cute and exhausted the children in an effort to put them to bed early,
no one noticed.
And I went to bed very defeated.

The last time I went shopping for a new 'date night' dress,
someone made a comment like this:
"So....what's with the Amish dress?"
And he followed that up with,
"You have an entire closet full of maternity clothes.....so why did you buy that?"

Yes he did.

And I haven't shopped since.

But every now and then,
I feel like I want to get dressed up.
Like a few weekends ago,
when my dark hair was new,
and I got dressed up,
but we went......
to a scout court of honor,
and that wasn't exactly romantic.
We did have that night 2 weeks ago
when we were too exhausted to care that we had a whole night to ourselves.
I was too tired to even shower.
So was he.

And since then,
I am pretty sure he doesn't know I exist.

So I have 2 hours till he gets home,
and my conflict remains.
Because I want to work hard today,
and maybe have some time away tonight,
but maybe I should just clean up,
and take myself out,
and let him watch the kids.
And then I can go drink a Sprite,
all by myself,
and that sounds kind of heavenly too.

The children would rather stay in their beds today.
It makes me sad,
but I am not taking it personally.
More work for mom,
less fun for the children.

Right now that Sprite is looking better and better.


Post Edit:
Because it was only a few minutes after I posted this that he came home early from work.

He was sick.
Went to bed for the rest of the day.