Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Through the Years

Clockwise from top:  Krissy, Vicky, little Jules-a-Bug sucking her thumb, and Me!

Rich Ladies
We loved being rich ladies.... even when it wasn't Halloween.

Heck.  I still love pretending to be a Rich Lady.
Top Row:  Julie, Vicky, Krissy
Bottom Row:  Little Frenchie Andi, and Me rocking the side ponytail

Chiquita Banana Girls

 The True Meaning of Halloween

Krissy, Vicky, Me, and Mom (pregnant with Julie!)

1999 (?)
Mad Scientist
1998 (?)

Vagabond/Roamer/Started Out as a Gypsy/Got a Little Grittier

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Preschool Problems

In September Kole started preschool.  His classroom is idyllic.  Little chairs, little tables, little computers.  Well.  I guess the computers are normal sized just on little desks.  He likes preschool and he likes that he gets to go by himself.  Without Joey.  As much as he has taken to Joey lately- it still seems like Joey is the pebble in the shoe of Kole.  Joe Joe sure is a happy pebble though! 

Most days Kole is so happy when he comes home.
Mom!  We sang about Scat the Cat!  She's blue!
Mom!  We had GRAHAM CRACKERS! (He was so happy about this.  I was like, "What?!  CHILD!  I be giving you graham crackers every day!)
Mom!  I can button my shirt! Look! Peek-a-boooo, Pull It Through!
Mom!  They have a new turntable for the trains!
Mom!  I like Rockwell.  He's my friend now!

But a couple times Kole comes home all weighed down by the Preschool World.
His shoulders are drooped and he says he is "just very tired." 
(But he can't say "j" so it's "I'm woost very tired.")

One day he was especially low.  When I asked what was wrong he just sighed and looked away.

What is it little cub?
Today, I really wanted to sit by Bridger.  But somebody else sat in the seat by him and the teacher told me to pick a different chair.

And then Kole sobbed.  He sobbed until his face was blotchy and his body was limp.

The most practical part inside of me said: This kid. Poor guy thinks he's got it rough because he couldn't sit by Bridger.  PREschool problems.  Itty bitty preschool problems.  Life is so easy for him if all that's wrong is he can't sit by Bridger.  He has no idea.

And then I realized...
Preschool problems happen our whole life.
There will be more times he won't get to sit by the person he wants to sit by.
And more than once it'll probably be someone telling him that he can't sit by them instead of him just not getting there fast enough.  There will be friends that aren't really his friends.  There will be people to call him names and call him out and not call when they say they will.  He won't make every team he tries out for.  There will be times he'll only get 2nd place.  And times he won't place at all. He'll have break-ups.  And college rejection letters.  There will be jobs he won't get.  There will be unfair consequences to unfair rules. He will fail even when he works hard.  He will be hurt.  A lot.  And there will be many days when he'll want to sob until he is limp.
He will have preschool problems for the rest of his life.

Because Preschool Problems are real-life problems that start too young.

And when I realized that...
I put his head up on my shoulder and told him,
"Today was just a bad day, Cub.  But, don't worry.  Its probably your last one."

And I broke out the Double Stuffed Oreos* and we went out to watch the tractors.

*Gotta start eating through emotions at an early age.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Irreconcilable Differences

Today is our 8th anniversary.  The weather today is the same as it was 8 years ago.  Sunny.  Warm.  No clouds.  The weather is the same but it feels like everything else is different.
How do I say this.
We've come across some "irreconcilable differences" in our time together.

1. I consider corn a vegetable. 
2.  I call it Downton Abby.  Ken calls it Boring-ton Snobville.
2. Ken always gets the "arm atop elbow" position for sleep in our mini-queen-sized bed.  Which makes my arm (from the elbow down) numb. 
3.  He thinks you have to make your bed everyday.  (What.  Like we're 4 and live with our moms?)
4.  I think every dinner should be followed by dessert.
5.  He thinks every meal should have a vegetable.  (Neither corn nor potatoes count.)
6.  I think every Friday night should be date night.  And if we're not going out- we at least have to get a Redbox.  Watching Netflix doesn't count.  That's not special. 
7.  If a rebate check shows up for $50, I think "Dinner Out!"  Ken thinks "Retirement Money!"
8.  I think Reese's are as good as Godiva, Lindt, or Dove chocolates.  He thinks I say Reese's funny.
9.  I think the bird feeder should be constantly full.
10.  Ken thinks "Santa Claus" is the best Christmas movie.  I'm a big "Ernest Saves Christmas" fan. 

Being married (for this long) has been hard work.  It's not like the movies (or TV, or other people's lives) where a kiss solves everything and joking about one another is funny.  It takes commitment to be married.  Because there were (and most likely will be) days when one or the other or the both of you go, "Really?"  as you stand back and scrunch up your eyebrows and squint your eyes.  "Really?"  Something will just knock your socks off.  Something about your partner that you had no idea about. 
Personal example:  We have a glass door on our shower and after every shower I squeegee it down.  Ken is a very neat and organized person.  He values cleanliness. I hate doing the squeegee because at the end of a hot shower the last thing I want to do is stand in quickly cooling water while I get cold wiping the door down.  But I figured, Hey.  It looks nice and it makes Ken happy.  But, you know... even though I was squeegee-ing the door everyday it was still getting major water spots.  So I asked Ken, "How do you squeegee the door because I think I'm doing it wrong.  It always looks dirty."  To which Ken replied, "I don't.  I don't want to stand there and get cold just to keep the door clean." Really?  REALLY?  And now we have a "fogged" glass door.  Negotiation.  Compromise. 

Our Marriage Motto is "Teamwork makes the Dream work."  So, we watch Christmas Vacation at Christmas time.  We eat veggies every night and I have a bag of butterscotch candies in the cupboard for when I need a dessert.  Ken buys food for the birds and lets me fill it up. I feel cold and lonely when his arm isn't on top of mine at night time.  I make the bed and he brings me home a Reese's every now and again.

It's not picture perfect.  But I feel appreciated and loved.  I feel valued and supported.
Feeling that way is essential.
So, even though there are some irreconcilable differences from both sides of the table...
...we're celebrating each other today.
And all the irreconcilable reasons we love each other.

 Seven Year Anniversary Post
Six Year Anniversary Post (with video yinz.)
Three Year Anniversary Post

More Irreconcilable Differences:

Cookie Jars
Let It Go
Didn't Know THAT!
Snack Attacks

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Maid, Arise.

Sometimes we lose something- we very much needed.
It could be lost hope.  Lost faith.  Lost confidence.
Maybe you lost a friend, or your job, or your child.
The hurt is deep inside of us.  And we don't want to share it.  With anyone.
It's an actual physical pain.  And it's hard to breathe.
Or feel like yourself. Or be happy.

When we're hurting...
When we have a terrible loss....
We want more than anything for everything to go back to normal.
Back to the way they were before.

But they will never be the same.

Pain changes us.
And we try to find the way to tell someone that it's changed us.

But when someone asks if everything is okay...
.... we say "Yeah.  I'm fine."
But we're pleading.  Pleading....

I feel heavy inside... it hurts by my heart.
I can't hope for things anymore.
I feel like I'm on a boat.  By myself.  And I don't know anything about boats.
I'm terribly sad.
My heart not the same.
I'm grieving for...something.
I feel like everything in me has crushed.

I've never been able to find the words to really express the pain you feel when you lose... everything.  When you lose all emotion. When you're completely empty.

Then I found it.
In Jacob 2:35

"... many hearts died. Pierced with deep wounds."

"Hearts died."  That's it.  A heart can die.  My heart died.  It pushed too hard until it couldn't push anymore.  It couldn't take anymore bad news.  It couldn't survive.  The hurt and the pain was too much.  My heart couldn't keep going.
It died.
If that happens you no longer feel recognizable as the person you were.  My body is still alive.  I'm still functioning.  But it's motions.  It's a well trained routine.
When your heart dies- it can't pump life into you anymore.
And you're just... there.

I've been thinking this for a couple weeks.
There is no other option to death.  No way to come back from it.
It's final and irrecoverable.
When your pain is that severe.
When you've lost everything that made you hope or believe...
...that's it.

But then, I thought, Jesus raised people from the dead.

His friend, Lazarus, was dead four days.
 "Jesus wept.  Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!...  Jesus cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.  And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go."
John 11

 Jarius' Daughter
  "Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.  But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.  And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.  And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.
And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway."
Luke 8

The Son of the Widow of Nain
"Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.  And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother."
Luke 7

I remember the day my heart was pierced with deep wounds.  And over time it slowly died. But when I found these stories... I knew that Jesus has wept because my heart died.  And He's been saying, "Weep not."
But with a heart that has died isn't it hard to hear compassion?

My favorite scripture is in 2 Kings 20:5
"I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee."

If Christ can bring people back from the dead I know He can bring hearts back from the dead.
He can heal.

I know He can take my heart in His hands and say, "Maid, arise."

More thoughts:
One Year Ago
I'm A Survivor

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


There's a lot of information about how to lose weight and eat right and get fit.  Professionals, psychologists, teachers, friends, normal people.  Everyone has a theory or a trick or something they're trying.
You know what there's not a lot of?
Information on how to gain weight.

I've got a few secrets to looking the way I do.

For breakfast I drink a Coke and have something sugary.  It could be a doughnut.  A PopTart.  A Little Debbie Snack Cake.  The trick is to make sure you've got a couple stockpiled just in case you're still hungry after the first one.
Your next step here is to invest in some loose waisted pants.  There's lots of fashionable options.  You don't have to buy the Walmart baggy sweats with the tapered ankles, but I do because they really keep the heat in.
For lunch hit up McDonald's.  The Dollar Menu really has I think like 25 options?  Yeah, pretty sure about 25 options.  I recommend the Hot n Spicy McChicken sandwich.  And order up a large coke with no ice.  It's only a dollar and if you don't get the ice there's more room for the Coke-y.
Have a sensible dinner.  To keep your body regular.  And to avoid stomach aches and lots of trips to the bathroom.... if ya know what I'm sayin'.  heh heh.  YOU know what I'm sayin.
After dinner don't be shy with the snick snackies.  Munch.  Snack.  Grab a few Doritos.  Eat a handful of cookies.  Pop some popcorn and put in a movie.  Eat the whole 2 hours.

Within a week or two you'll notice a difference.
The key here is knowing when to stop.

Hints You May Have Gone Too Far:

Your chub hangs over your jeggings... which have no actual waistband.

When you put your bra on- it digs into your back fat.  Is there a name for that?  Bra Bulge?

You're shaped more like a triangle than an hourglass, or pear, or cylinder.
Your arms are like gorilla arms.

Here's the real secret.
Listen close.  I'm gonna whisper it.
No matter what you look like- you're still the same person.

The same lovable person.
You're funny.
You're going out of your way to help people.
You take care of your family.
You're the same person no matter what you look like.
You're still you.
I'm still me.
This girl

is the same as this girl.

Who is the same as this girl.

It doesn't matter if I have gorilla arms, pudge, bra fat, and thighs as wide as a combine.
I'm still me.

And I'm not switching to Diet.