Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Once Upon A Time...

...there was a little girl. She was just a regular little girl; one who loved to read and play with friends, and just be outside. She was a better-than-average student, but a daydreamer, so she probably could have had a stronger academic performance. She didn't think about boys much. She always had close friends and boys were either stinky or weird, unless they were needed for a good game of kick-the-can or ghost-in-the-graveyard and then they were welcome into her little world.

That little girl grew up a bit and boys were noticed but still not necessary. She had very close friends who were girls and great friends who were boys and that was usually enough. She still loved to read and go to school. She also loved to run. Running created a pocket of time where she could allow her mind to drift along. It wasn't often she had the opportunity to be completely by herself and it forced her to think about her world more deeply than she would have cared, but knew it was necessary. Running forced introspection, at least as much as a teenage girl who wasn't a total flake could handle.

And then, one evening, the Girl was at a different church with her youth group and saw a Boy. He wasn't an ordinary boy, although she didn't know that at the time. All she thought was "Hmm. That boy is very, very cute." And she found out his name from one of those ridiculous "let's force ourselves to get over our introvertedness and talk to strangers" activities she still hates to this day (but in this ONE and ONLY instance appreciates). And she found out he had just moved to her town and went to her high school and was in her grade. Yay!

So they talked on the phone and at school and dated for oh, about 3 months. He always brought flowers and/or ice cream, so we know he was a smart boy. But then summer came and people go on vacations and hang out with other friends and somehow the Boy and the Girl weren't dating any longer. Such is life.

So the Boy and the Girl then proceeded to be ridiculous and ignore each other for a year or so. It was easy to do, especially since they never had classes together or mutual friends. But THEN came Senior Year and oh-my-stars the Boy had to sit right behind the Girl in math class because they were placed in alphabetical order. How annoying. Sill very cute. No. Annoying. But he was cute and there always had been those flowers and ice cream and conversation and a general nice-ness factor. Good penmanship, too. How incredibly frustrating.

And that was it for awhile. The physical distance and surreal experience of college change a person and the Girl certainly had a lot of growing up to do (she still does). It is good that the Boy and the Girl did not run in the same circles any longer. She still loved to run and read and be outside and study, but her world was changing and she wasn't changing along with it very well.

Then one summer, the Girl went to a party and the Boy was there. Drat? Hmm...lots of talking and catching up and it was very, very nice. But his parents were moving and since he was still in undergrad, that meant he was as well. In a couple weeks or days or something horrible like that. Great. Fabulous.

So they called occasionally and, since this was a few years before email, wrote letters occasionally, but that was it. Somewhere along that time the Boy finished college and started grad school and in that short in-between time the communication escalated to the point where the Girl thought about the Boy lots and lots and lots. She was still figuring out her world and where she belonged in it, and starting to realize she needed something more than herself and the activities around her to be complete. That's when Faith entered into her life and she took it and ran. God helped that silly Girl figure out loads and loads of things and helped her finally get her act and priorities (mostly) together. She'll be happy to share the details some other time if you ask.

Then one day, the Boy called while she was making an apple crisp (she is not sure why she remembers that part) and told her had bought a pair of running shoes. He had also found his heart loved God and, well, what else does an ordinary girl need in a boy? The Girl realized she really, really loved that Boy.

Two years ago, The Girl married The Boy and it was lovely.

Fifteen years later, it is still lovely.

Happy Anniversary, Baby.

The Girl

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Don't Blink

I sold a small load of baby things a few weekends ago and it did not bring me joy. Oh okay, there was a little thrill because I do like to purge the house whenever I have time (it is so cathartic!), but I was mostly sad. We do NOT desire another body in this house and there isn't an inch for another car seat in the Super-Cool Minivan, but a chapter is starting to close in our life-story and I'm not quite ready to turn the page.

What is wrong with me???? Why did I get all verklempt when I put Annie's wee little baby newborn clothes in the bin and then the 0-3mo and now the 3-6? Why did my heart hurt when her first teeth came in? When she started eating baby food? Now that she is sitting independently? Why am I already dreading and getting misty about 1st grade because then Ainsley will be at school all day instead of a 1/2-day? Why was I a little sad when Johnny had his first drop-off play date? Or when the little girls were invited to their first birthday party? It's ridiculous. I'm ridiculous.

If I had my way, Ainsley would stay 6, the trips would turn and then stay 4, and Annie would get to the crawling stage and stay that way forever. I know it's selfish to think this way. I know it. But there are so many, many lovely times, even on the very roughest of days and those sweet moments make me want to stop time or at least slow it down.

I've mentioned this before, but someone told me a couple years ago I would turn around twice and the kids would be off to college. So no turning around for me, especially twice.

I won't even blink.

Eating frosting. I wish we had more room on the counters...

Sweet baby girl.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

So Tempting

I gave up soda, but that's old news.

But this is what faces me every time I open the fridge:

20 oz of loveliness. A real Coke. I'm not sure I can take it. I open the refrigerator no less than 40 times/day and this baby is begging me to twist the top and have that coveted first sip every single time.

No one who has come over drinks real soda and I'm too frugal to throw it away (that whole dollar, you know).

Oh my.

And now I'm taking a closer look at the picture and I also see: 3 gallons of milk, a few beers, 1/2 and 1/2 for my coffee, formula for Annie, and some eggs.

Yup. Seems like we have our priorities straight.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Boy.


Apparently when a boy:

has one of these in his chubby little boy-hands:

And one of these is close by:

(the car, not the people or hose)

This happens:

And then a sweet little boy is very, very sad because he realizes he has done something very, very wrong. Part of the reason why he knows this is because his oldest sister said "Johnny! You hit the car?!?!". But because he knew he had messed up, we were able to launch straight into Forgiveness because he felt so terribly burdened. It broke my heart to see him in so much misery, but it also made me rejoice because he came to us. He didn't run away. He didn't deny he had done it (we did not witness the act). He didn't lie about what happened. He told the truth and came to us for mercy and love, which we of course gave him with lots of holding close through his tears and explaining that John and I love him regardless of what he does. That we love him and we don't love the car. That we forgive him and adore him and he is ours.

This is what boys do. They take baseball bats to cars.

Friday, July 8, 2011


I did two stupid things a couple days ago.

The First Questionable Act:

I gave up soda.

I've done this before and my longest streak was 2 years (?). Give or take a month or two. It ended when I was coaching track. All coaches get meal tickets at the meets and dreamy items like non-diet sodas that have been in huge ice baths for hours are there to tempt. And one day when the girls were making me a little nutso because they probably did something like not practice hand-offs before a relay AGAIN or barely warmed up for their race AGAIN or forgot all/part of their uniform AGAIN, I needed a Coke. A real one. Not that diet nastiness. I caved and it was sooooo gooood. I fell of the wagon in a state of bliss.

But now I have all these kids and I should, I really should practice what I preach about being healthy. So when I realized I was up to 3 cups of coffee and 2 sodas/day (ahhh...no wonder Annie doesn't nap well!), I figured the soda - which truly is horrible for you - needed to go. I'm two days into it and Oh My Land do I want to drive through somewhere and get a Coke.

The Second:

I signed up for a 1/2. If you run, you know that means a 1/2 marathon and this is another oh-my-word what was I thinking!??!? I don't have time (or the inclination) to clean my house, let alone put in some training. But a friend I care about sent out an email and asked if we'd help her celebrate a birthday with this race.

I debated. I hemmed. I hawed. And John said I should. So I am. And he is right.

He's right because I love my friend but I also love to run. I haven't trained for anything in years and, while speed work is no longer an option for me, it will be wonderful to make running a necessity instead of "well, what day/s can I run this week". When I'm out on a run, even though what the observer sees me doing is plodding at best, I feel free. I feel normal.

I feel crazypants.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I Do Not Heart Great Clips

We got a free hair cut the other day because my son's perfectly lovely locks were destroyed by Great Clips. We take the kids there because of one reason only: we don't need an appointment. In this house, appointments sometimes have to be last-minute cancelled because someone either: threw up, accidentally destroyed something or made an unholy mess, or I simply forget.

Now, I don't expect my children to look perfectly coiffed after their cut. I get it that they are kids and they tend to unpredictably whip their heads around (which is how Johnny lost his side-burns from the last disaster), can't hold their head steady long enough or at the right angle to get everything perfectly even, or the stylist is fresh out of school or is having a rough day. I get it.

What I don't get is why my son looks like someone took a weed whacker to his head and did a crappy job of it to boot. Johnny has (had) envious hair. It's crazy thick and has just the right amount of curl so it would turn out under a baseball cap if we allowed it to grow out. In fact, it's so thick it's hard to get completely wet to wash for baths...sort of like a Labrador.

And just because pics are necessary:

I don't get the front. And he is so sweet and happy and oblivious.


Not the best angle...

Ainsley was just in awe and kept rubbing her hand up the back.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Good Day

We were winging it this year and I'm not sure why. We have one established tradition and that's attending a parade in the neighboring city in the morning. Ainsley loves it (candy, candy, candy!), the triplets mostly love it (candy! but this thing takes for freakin-ever! I'm hungry!), and Annie didn't seem to care as long as she was being held which is fine with us.

Other than the parade, though, we had nothing on our dance card. But then the day just kept falling together. Friends ended up coming over for post-parade lunch. Naps happened. The kids mostly got along (big, big bonus). We quasi-spontaneously went to the local pool and that was bliss. I was waffling because I've been to the pool with our sweet chuckleheads and was not up for what could potentially happen, but John wanted to go and so we did and it was lovely. Hardly any people so we weren't constantly owling our necks to keep track of children, no one seemed to need to rush to the potty (figure out the logistics of gathering 5 children from the pool to take the one child who probably waited a wee bit too long to let me know), Annie was bliss, and Lizzy was feeling brave.

A and C, her very, very bestest friend.

Crappy Happy Meals for the kidlets for dinner because we closed down the pool. Then friends who understandably couldn't make it to the pool because I called on a whim as we were getting ready to go, brought us dessert and hung out because they are that nice.

What? No grilling? Not worth the effort today. No fireworks? A couple of ours would freak and so it would be painful. No putting the family through torturous over scheduling? Exactly. I didn't even try to pick up today. It was just lazy and wonderful and perfectly perfect.

Happy 4th of July!

two notes:
1. For some reason Johnny calls Happy Meals "Happy Males". I don't want to think about this, but it needs to be recorded for posterity.
2. Gracie seriously calls McDonald's "Old McDonald's" and we don't correct her. It's too funny.