Monday, August 31, 2009
Because that's not what happened.
What we didn't consider is that lawyers aren't bullet proof. If you look at the track record at these firms you can be easily fooled. They bring in these young attorneys and those young attorneys work hard, pay their dues, make sacrifices and finally become old partners. That's it. That's the way it works. Only it didn't. What we didn't consider was a serious tank in the economy where even hard working young attorneys get let go. We didn't consider that the banks would fail and our safe little Charlotte town would start to struggle. We didn't consider that so many people, well educated, smart people would be left to scrape at the jobs on the bottom. We didn't consider that there would be a time when we couldn't pay the mortgage and they would take the house away.
And yet here we are. We're sinking and if this old house doesn't sale by the end of the month, they might take it away. And then we won't be able to buy another house until our oldest is out on his own. There will be no house that he grew up in.
Yes, it's sad. If you've been with us long enough, you don't judge us, you just shake your head and say, "that's just the way it goes for them". And you'd be right. It is the way it goes for us. At the end of this year we will celebrate ten years of marriage. In some ways this year will be a fitting end to this ten year journey we've been on. It has taken a full ten years for both of us to be fully broken. It's ok, broken pieces of glass make the prettiest mosaics.
Our's is a good story. A story of pain and struggle, of deceit and ugliness, of joy and happiness. Don't forget the happiness. I see it everyday in a rough and tumble boy and two little princesses.
Looking at ten years, I've decided to tell our story. Slowly. In sweet drops of rain. Washing out the hurt. If you don't want to hear it just skip over the posts with this title. I understand. This is for me. I need to share it because under it all is a faithful God that deserves to be seen. His hand is ever present and His grace needs to shine.
And don't worry. We'll be ok. You'll see, despite it all, we're always ok.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Oh, this girl. Can you see it? Can you see her grown up teenage self looking into the same mirror, maybe with a few pictures stuck in the sides? Can you see her getting ready for her first day of high school? Can you see the horrible fashion mistakes she'll make and the phase with too much make-up? Can you see the jewelry scattered across the dresser and the brushes and hair products? I can. I can see it coming way too quickly. I want to savor the princess dress and the chapstick and the bows. I want to tell her over and over again that she's beautiful just the way she is, so that later, in those awkward years she might believe it. I want to play with her hair while she'll still let me. I want her to know she's loved so that those pictures aren't boys that she's trying to get love from. I want her to know in her heart that she has a God who made her exactly as He wanted her to be and to be confident in that person. Oh, this girl.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
time to get up
groggy kids rubbing sleepy eyes
getting dressed in fresh first day of school clothes
the excitement, the nervousness
"mom, make my hair stop doing that"
"Chris, make your hair stop doing that"
the cool new shoes
the giggles at too heavy backpacks
the ever increasing smiles as we get closer to the entrance
"mom, that's far enough"
"mom, can you take me to my class"
"Hey Chris!" and off he goes
"Cile!" "Analiese!" hugs and hands held and off she goes
Then the turn around, "bye mom" "Have a good day Chris"
And another turn around, this time with a hug, "have a good day sweetheart"
the ever increasing smile of a happy mama heart as I get farther from the entrance.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Chris loves the Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne. He said his favorite of the series was Christmas at Camelot. (The one in the picture is the one he's reading right now, Night of the New Magicians.) These books are great. I especially like them as a chapter book series for boys because unlike some of the other series out there right now, the characters are curious and witty without being disrespectful and crude.
I've also started introducing him to some of the classics. This summer I bought him Treasure Island. He surprised me today when he said that it was one of his all time favorites. Score 1 for the classics!
Analiese chose Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner. If you haven't read this book you should. It's pretty funny. Get ready to use your best story telling voices for the read aloud because this book definitely calls for nothing less!
Her second choice was Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor. If you have a girly girl like I do then these are the books for you. No character captures the true over the top daintiness of a 6-8 year old girl quite like Fancy Nancy. Warning: After reading these books you may find that your little girl wants to leave the house in big pink boas. Or maybe that's just my drama queen.
Sicily chose Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. We've had this book since Chris was little but she's the one who has really loved it. It fits. She is a wild thing. Of course this is a classic and for good reason, it's wonderful. If you haven't heard, let me be the first to tell you that a movie version of this great book is coming out this fall. I'm pretty sure that I'm more excited than the kids! The previews look awesome. The wild things look like they popped right out of the book. It's on the calender as a must see.
I couldn't leave out my favorites! I love this little story. The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton is on the top of my list right now. It's about a little house in the country that wonders what it would be like to live in the city. Over time the land around her get developed and before she knows it she is in the city. She becomes neglected until one day when a little girl notices her. The little girl's family decides to move the house back to the country and the little house is happy again. I think this book appeals to my secret desire to live in the middle of nowhere. It's really a very sweet story.
There are so many good children's books that it's really hard to stop at these. There are so many more I want to tell you about. I think it's story time.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I am a coward. I am faithless and pompous. Who am I to demand a sign, a miracle, relief?
So instead I thank Him for the rolly-pollies in her hand. For the water splashing at her feet. For the smiles these simple pleasures bring. For the graceful crane and the boy who can climb trees. For reminding me with a simple red leaf that this too shall pass; that a new season will begin soon. I can move on with the seasons or I can remain in this dark winter of discontent. The choice is mine. He will remain with open arms.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
She lost her massive jumble of curls, but this should be a little easier to manage. Plus, the lady blow dried it, which I have no intentions of doing, so I'm betting that after a wash those curls will pop back up. (I hope!) I fear my baby's growing up.
She loves her hair short. I think it makes her look younger but hey, I'm not complaining about that! She's such a little diva. When the lady was done she asked Analiese if she liked it. Analiese flipped it around a bit and said in a very drawn out high pitched voice, "It's bea-u-tiful!" Oh, my. She's started spending large amounts of time in front of the bathroom mirror, brushing her hair and reapplying chapstick. I see "confessions of a teenage drama queen meltdowns" in our future.
There is no before. You may have notice a lack of boy pictures around here. Don't worry; he's not being neglected. He's just stubborn and extremely against taking pictures right now. Some battles aren't worth it. Other battles currently not worth it: wearing the same shorts three days in a row, actually wearing pajamas as opposed to the shorts he has worn for three days, and this punk-skater-disney star look he has going on right now. Ok, let's be honest. I'm loving his long hair, skater clothes, and converse. I don't fear, I know, that my boy is growing up.
One of the blogs that I read daily is SouleMama. It's full of inspiration for living a bit more handmade, enjoying the seasons, and loving on kids. I love following her creative household. Her first book, The Creative Family, has become a constant go to for me. (Have I told you lately that I have a deep need for creativity? Oh, that's right, I did. Extensively. Thank you for indulging me.) So when I read that she had written another book I preordered it immediately. I've been anxiously watching the mail like a child at christmas. And yesterday, it came! It's everything I hoped it would be. Handmade Home is full of wonderful projects turning repurposed goods into useful and beautiful things for your home. I love the way handmades and vintage fabrics immediately soften a room. I have my eye on several projects already. I plan to keep you posted as I finish them. So this post is simply a plug for one of my favorite mama artist. I hope you'll stop by and visit.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
This one is for Analiese. It's the first time I've done a pleated waistband. It's a little tight so I might have to go back and adjust that. The flowers on the bottom weren't part of the plan. She took one look at it and said, "It needs flowers here, here, and here." Ok designer; if you say so. Overall she was pleased, so I was pleased.
This one is for Sicily. It's a simple A-line with pleating at the neckline. It was super easy and only took me about an hour to make. It's comfy and fits her no frills personality. I like this one a lot. Once again my little fashionista insisted it needed a flower.
This is my favorite of the bunch. It's for Analiese. It's the same pattern as Sicily's. (She's a lot thinner than Sicily though. Shhh. Don't tell Sicily.) It's simple but really pretty on her.
And the ultimate test of a good dress: does it spin?
Yes, they spin very well. A very well spent 99 cents, wouldn't you say?
Friday, August 14, 2009
We love this cd! The title track (Catch the Moon) is really beautiful and perfect for little girls. It also has classic children's songs like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star but they're just so pretty. My girls love to put on princess dresses and prance around the kitchen. But mommy gets tired of the Disney Princesses Songs (quickly). This is one I never get tired of.
This book was a great read, not to mention full of great recipes. I've used so many of the recipes that it now lives on my cookbook shelf.
My Calphalon omelette pan is the one piece of cookware that I guard with my life around here. I love it! And the omelettes practically cook themselves. ps: It will help you make excellent crepes too!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Am I a good mother? Am I a good wife? Do they think I'm doing a good job? Do I look like I've got it together. I'm not good enough to be an artist, a writer, I'll stick to the laundry, thank you very much.
Along the way this ugly self doubt caused me to hide away the artist part of me. I have a closet full of paintings and drawings that no one will ever see. Secret writings threaten to spill out of my bedside table. When the creativity threatened to burst out I poured the energy into kid crafts and family meals. Good things no doubt. But the secret art, the me art, the art I pour myself into was hidden away, and before I knew it I was beginning to drown in my own self doubt. The creativity is my air, it lets me breathe, and I was suffocating.
At some point this year I snapped. At the point when I thought my melancholy was going to consume me I said enough and I started writing. I started writing in rambles of peace seeking conversations with myself and God. I hung a piece of my art on the wall because I thought it was good enough.
I'm still working through it all. I still have moments when I crawl back into the comfort of my shell. Though it's dark there, it's easy. Like I said, working out hurts.
1 refrigerated pie crust
1 Tbsp cinnamon/sugar
1 1/4 cups half and half
1pkg. vanilla instant pudding
1 cup whipped cream (homemade always best)
any seasonal fresh fruit you have sitting around
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups water
4 cups of cubed seedless watermelon
juice of one lime
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan set over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow the syrup to cool.
Puree the watermelon chunks (it is fine if small seeds are still attached) in a blender until smooth. Pour the simple syrup, lime juice, and watermelon puree in a 9 by 11-inch nonreactive baking pan and stir well. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. After 1 hour, stir the mixture well, using a fork. Return to the freezer for another hour, then stir again. This time allow the mixture to freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight (it is not necessary to continue stirring after you have done it twice).
Remove the pan from the freezer and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Using a fork, scrape the fruit ice and serve it in a small bowl.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
quiet meditation and reflection
comfort food. mmmm, banana bread.
lots of games and puzzles were pulled out and dusted off. Chris can beat anyone at Monopoly. Take him on, I dare you.
This week has been refreshing and necessary. We took a step back, slowed down, and enjoyed one another's company. We slept in, ate late breakfasts, and stayed in our pajamas until noon. We went out and explored. We walked through our quaint little downtown and stopped at the old hardware store to play with baby chickens because we were in no hurry to be anywhere else. I wrote and drew and sewed and released an abundance of creative energy that had been pushing at the seams to get out. We reflected and reset our course. We rested.
" Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you." Psalm 116:7
Monday, August 3, 2009
I'm rambling, I know. I ramble a lot lately. I think it's a sign of exhaustion.
My spirit is depleted and I think I'm bordering on depression. I struggle to peel myself from bed most mornings. We have a wonderful life and if any family is able to find fun in the mist of chaos, it's our family. I have so much to be thankful for. And I am, I truly am, but that doesn't change the fact that I want to be locked outside of my house so that I can't go back in. It doesn't change the fact that I feel like I'm sinking.
So I'm going to fade away this week. I'm going to spend some time nourishing my starved soul. I'm going to spend some time hugging my weary children. I'm going to spend some time loving my frayed partner. We need to mend our walls and we need our Lord to restore our spirits. We need to find a place of rest and beauty and to start fresh.