Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I operate better with a list. 

I like to make a list every day for the things that have to get done.  Occassionally On a regular basis, I like to throw in things like "feed kids" or "brush teeth" that are (generally) givens....but I like the idea of being able to cross things off my lists.  Even if they are givens. 

Sometimes I really need a list because if I don't write it down, even if i know it needs to be done, I will put it off.  Because it isn't on my "list."

Today's Checklist:
(i'm sure you are dying to know)

  • brush my teeth   (check. check. check.  I am a fan of dental hygiene)
  • feed the kids  (corndogs on sale last week at Jeffs Market.  carrots on sale this week.  combine the 2 and it is a wash for nutritional value. CHECK.)
  • edit and submit assignment for Quad-City Times.  (CHECK. this may be the most normal-looking thing on my list today. i love it and i'm trying to make the moment last without missing my deadline.)
  • let my wildcat know that i am thinking about him at his golf tourney today. show up to clubhouse so i can buy him his lunch. (negative on the CHECK.  showed up a few minutes too late.  The kid paid for his own meal. I bought him a gatoraide out of guilt. Told the coach to let him know and was rightfully reprimanded for not following the rules at a previous golf meet.  in my defense, i didn't know the rules.) 
  • work on personal ministry writing project.  (negative on the check. I have been on a role lately with this. i am taking the roadblock as an indication that i AM on the right track.  OTHERWISE, why would the enemy (evil evil) be trying so hard to stop me in my tracks? remind me tomorrow to put "kick the enemy in the teeth" on my list of things to do)

I'm not batting a thousand on my checklist.

I'm thinking of doing away with checklists. 

Think I'll write that one down for tomorrow's list. 

Clearly I have issues.
Surely this is not news to you.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kindergarden Roundup

My "kindergardner" is just a few weeks from graduating from 4th grade. 


I have to give the girl credit.  She has advance in spite of my efforts to hold her back.  Or at least slow her down. 


I am seeing friends on FB with preschool kids who are getting ready to go to kindergarden next year, and it is reminding me of two things:

1.  I wrote a children's book or poem for my youngest daughter the summer before she went to kindergarden.  I never submitted it to book or magazine publishers.   It is like I am holding on to it for some reason.  Afraid to let go?  Afraid of rejection?  Just afraid?

 I'd make a good study for a psychology student.  Maybe that is what I am waiting for.

2.  The second thing I remember about kindergarden roundup was the meeting for parents.  I was a pro.  This was my 4th child going through the process.  I was probably the oldest mama in the room of parents of preschoolers.  I had this down. 

Until it was my turn to be called back by the school nurse.  Every parent had their turn. 

Mine took a bit longer. 

Not because we had a long health history to go through. 

I felt it necessary, for some reason, to tell our school nurse my baby's entire history, I guess.  And it led me to tears.

I thought it was important that someone know that my baby likes to do yoga stretches with me every afternoon and that she enjoys dill pickles and Dr. Suess.  And that this whole "school schedule" thing was going to cost me my grocery shopping buddy.  Perhaps those things needed to be noted somewhere? 

The school nurse graciously held  me back in the room for a while.  And she brought in extra tissues.  And re-assured me that my baby would be well taken care of.  And that none of the other parents would be able to tell that I spent the entire time crying in the back of the elementary library. 

And now my kindergardener is graduating elementary school. 

I believe my mistake was that I let myself blink.  And time just flew right past me. 

Enough of that.  No more blinking!

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

It's hard.

When you are caught between someone you love (who doesn't love you back) and those you love (who love you both). 

(It probably makes better sense in my mind than it does in print.  my apologies.)

Sometimes you just can't change that. 

The only thing you can change is yourself.  I guess.  And move on.  I guess. 
And hope that some of those moments still meant something.  I guess. 

It's hard.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Last night Marz ran in her first meet of the year.

She is already beating her personal best times from last year.

She has some speed, good form, and most of all:  she is coachable.

She likes it when I come with her to the track after practice to help her out with hurdles.  About a hundred years ago, I was a hurdler.  I like it that she wants my help.

And when I say "help," what I really mean is I watch her do her thing, encourage her to do what I know she can already do and throw in some pointers here and there.

In no way does the word "help" mean that I do the hurdles.  Anymore. 

I tried.

As it turns out, I can't jump over a hurdle without peeing my pants. 

Hey, it's been a hundred years.  What did you expect?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekend in Review

The busy weekend turned in to a really non-busy weekend.  Thanks to the weather. 

But let's not confuse non-busy with boring.  Or dull.

Thanks to not being busy at all, the Wildcat had time to kill a really huge snake that we found in the garage. 

Not cool.

He asked what I would have done if he wasn't there......
.....well obviously I would have called 911.

Im super glad that he is willing to mow the lawn and dispose of snakes for me.  He is gonna make some woman so happy some day. 

Marisa's weekend was freed up and she got to spend time with her friend, Emma. 

The last time Emma came over, she had to leave early because my cooking made her ill. 

This time, she got here just in time to witness the Wildcat killing a snake...which made me feel ill, she was talked in to going for a run with Marz, and all of the kids joined forces to create a horror-film movie trailor.....which was complete right before the storms hit and it was time for bed. 

It is times when people who don't live with you come to visit you and you are suddenly super aware of how scary things must appear to outsiders. 

And yet, she continues to come back. 

Love this girl. 

In other weekend news:
Claire went to a birthday party.  And she came back missing me.
I did a whole bunch of nothing but spending time with everyone else.
I loved every second of it.

....except the snake part.  That is the stuff that scary movies and genuine nightmares are made of. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Admittedly, I do not know much about the game of golf.  I feel it is necessary to say this right away before you get all caught up in my new and expert opinion about the sport.

And when I say "expert," I mean that I went golfing once as a teenager when I was tagging along with my grandparents who wanted to impart their love of the game on me. 

I thought it would be a good opportunity to work on my tan.

As an adult, but still several years ago, I went along with my son who has a genuine love for the game.  He was still young enough that he needed a parent or "responsible adult" to go along.  I supported him in his sport.  While I worked on my tan. 

(and you read the title to this post and thought it would be deep and rich with philosophy!)

Yesterday the Wildcat golfed in his first home meet.  As a member of the varsity.

This was not something taken lightly for him.  There are several members on his golf team.  He is a freshman.  To be counted as a varsity member was not something that was an "automatic" position.  He had to work for it.  And he may not keep it.  It is understood that this position can vary week by week and meet by meet. 

Last week he golfed varsity at a tougher course than he is used to.  As far as personal goals go, he rocked it.  As far as team goals go, he impressed those he golfed with.  It was a tougher course than the home course, and he was pleasantly surpised  completely hyped up about doing as well as he did. 

Yesterday, the Wildcat had the home course advantage.  He felt confident.  He couldn't wait for me to be there, and have the camara in hand.  I had very clear instuctions that I was to follow him and take pictures, but not follow too close...
...and not ever speak out loud to him
....and to be as invisible as I possibly could,
while taking fabulous photos of him participating in the greatest game ever played.

I can do that.
I can be professional
and Mom
at the same time.
...for the most part.

It seemed like things were going well for his first few holes. 

But then there was a bad hole.

A really bad hole.

I was there, and it seemed like it was a bad hole for everyone.  The wind and hazards all seemed to work together against everyone on this hole.


That bad hole got to my Wildcat.

He lost his cool.

I'm not an expert on the game...and I already told you that....but I could tell that my kid was not over the last hole when he teed off for the next one....

....and the next one. 
But...the "rules" I had were that I was not to speak to the Wildcat unless spoken to.

And this makes sense, since I admittedly know nothing more about the sport than it is a good way to work on your tan. 

But then he came up to me and asked me....specifically...."do you have any words of encouragement?"

I did.

I don't know the sport, but I know my kid.

"Slow down.  You are  walking through the putt.  It looks like you are already decided that your effort won't be good.  But you are good.  Slow down.  See it.  Feel it.  Do it.  Don't walk through it." 

So that is what I wanted to say.  But it didn't come out that good while I was there. 

And I don't really know if he wanted to know what I thought anyway.  Because he knows I don't know anything about the sport. 

He did not do well at his first home meet.

I have pictures that look good, but won't load here, for some reason.

He stayed later than anyone last night to work on chipping and putting. 

And he didn't say it last night, but I think he agreed with my assessment. 

Poor kid. 

He has nothing more than to go with the wisdom of someone who thinks HIS sport is just a great way to work on a tan. 

But I think it is also a good way to look at life. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Nothing says "Easter" like.....

The kids are only with me on Easter every other year.  On the years that they are with their dad's side of the family, they come home and want to hear all about what I did for Easter and then they JUST CAN'T HARDLY wait until next year when they get to go to Easter brunch or have an Easter dinner with my side of the family. 

So this year there was much anticipation.

But the "plans" that they were looking forward to just didn't happen. 

I was all set to take them to an Easter dinner over at Brian's parents, but then found out that Brian's kids couldn't come until late afternoon after they had had a big brunch or dinner with their mom's side.  Gramma didn't think she wanted to cook a big dinner after that so Easter "plans" started to turn out to look more like "Easter pizza." 

I'm okay with this.  The kids aren't overly excited about pizza, though, since we had it last night and last week on my birthday and I'm not sure, but it sounds like they had it at their dad's house too....
...I didn't think it was possible, but we might be all pizza'd out. 

I could make a big dinner here, but I didn't have time to run to the store since I found out we weren't having dinner elsewhere, so "Easter dinner" actually looks like
"EAster Popcorn and a Movie"

And Easter Cereal:

And Easter Egg Salad, minus the 2 eggs that we couldn't find. 

(edited to note that the missing eggs were found and/or eaten, but did not make the cut for the Easter egg salad)

We went to church as a family last night.  LOVE this!  Loved church.  Love my parents there.  Love that I personally knew 3 people singing in the choir:  Hannah, my favorite pharmacy tech, Mandy, a friend I met last year or the year before, and my brother-in-law Andy. 

But guess what else happened at church.....

....I held hands with the guy sitting next to me!
This is soooo unlike me!
I have never in all my many many years have held hands with anyone at church unless we were told by the pastor to hold hands and pray. 
It was super romantic.  Just sayin'. 

Okay, that was a rabbit trail but a moment that I never want to forget so it had to be documented because I am getting more forgetful in my old age. 

Here are some more pics to get me back to the story:

Beware, the enthusiasm from these pictures is so powerful that it may be contagious. 

Claire searching for eggs.

Tookie decorating her egg.

And here's the family all gathered around the You-Tube.

So our Easter plans didn't turn out in the norman-rockell-ish way that looks great in pictures. 

But they weren't bad.
(like i don't know if i mentioned it, but i held hands with a hot guy sitting next to me at church, you know)

We just adjusted.

And besides, Easter is about Jesus.  Conquering death.  As in...dying on the cross.  Being dead.  Coming back to life.  So we can have life.  This was not a plan-gone-bad.  Or a plan B.  Or something that God had to adjust because it didn't go the way He thought it would or should. 


It was THE PLAN all along. 

Now, next year, if anyone is up for some "EASTER-POPCORN-and-a-MOVIE-FOR-BREAKFAST" let me know.  I'm planning ahead. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The very last day of 38

The biggest reason why I never tell anyone that my birthday is tomorrow is because nobody would believe me. 
Since it's April Fool's Day. 

But today is the very last day I will ever be 38.
(I'm so dramatic, aren't I?)

Welp, I have some "resolutions" about how I would like to spend the last year of this decade. 

In no particular order, I would like to:

1)  Go to the party.  Or don't miss the party.  Or throw some parties.  I sort of mean this in a figurative manner.  Laugh.  Alot more than I do.

2) Celebrate.  Along the same lines as #1, only for real.  I may not be where I want to be, but steps towards progress are still worth celebrating. 

3)  Waste some Time:  Don't look at "me time" as a waste of time.  Take a "vacation" from the everyday. 

4)  Buy the Shoes:  Not because I need them, but because I want them.  (another phrase I am using in the figurative sense, although I may actually shop for shoes.)

5)  Eat Dessert:  Don't fill up on so much of what I don't want that there is not room for what I do.  This is the whole rocks-sand-water-in-a-jar analogy.  If you fill the jar with the water and the sand, there is no room for the good stuff.  Do it the other way around and everthing fits. 

6)Be More Flexible:  Life may not change, but I can.  Even if it only my attitude.  Or outfit. 

7) Love more deeply:  Invest more in the relationships that are important to me. 

8)  Give it my all:  Whateve the season, embrace it before it slips away.  I have spent too much time letting one season slip into the next one in a way that seems to pass me by at times. 

9)  Be my own friend:  Weird that I would have to say this.  But true. 

10)Be more Generous:  This does't necesarilly have to me with money or materialistic things.  But it doesn't exclude them either. 

11)Stand Up, not Stand Out:  Stand up for the things that run deep to my core.  don't Stand Out for a bunch of things that don't really matter to me.


I heard a sermon once about the most common things that people wish they had spend more time on when they could.  The list was something like this:

Love more deeply
Live more boldy
Give more generously
Laugh more often.

I'm not at the end of my life, that I know of.  So the end of a decade seems more appropriate for me to examine some of the things I want to accomplish, achieve or be. 

It looks rather deep.  But it also sort of looks like I will be partying more, shopping for shoes, eating cake and other junk-flavored-carbs on a regular basis, and generally be selfish. 

Told you I was dramatic