Friday, July 31, 2009

Long Run Jitters

So tomorrow it feet have never before carried me as far as they will tomorrow. And from now on until September, my Saturdays will be full of uncharted territory.

I know I shouldn't really be nervous. After all, there's nothing really riding on me actually making it 14-16 miles tomorrow. If I have to walk a few steps, no one's life will be in danger. If I do 14 instead of 16, I won't have to pay anyone large sums of money. My children will have enough food to eat regardless of what pace I run.

So I need to take some deep breaths and remember that all is well, spending time talking to good friends is nothing to dread, and that if I'm too slow for Liz, I can just send her on her way. My iPod has a new This American Life episode, a downloaded audiobook and plenty of music, so I won't be lonely. And spending time alone with my thoughts would be welcome, too.

OK, mission accomplished. I'm feeling a little more zen about the whole "run a really long time tomorrow" thing. Now if I can only convince myself to go to bed on time...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Curse You, Nancy Drew!

Once upon a time, I was a little redheaded bookworm. I even had lovely brown glasses to better fit the book-loving profile. I read and read and read and read. My uncles teased me. I remember being forced out of the van (away from my book!) on a family camping trip to hike with my cousins. And of course, as with any mystery-loving bookworm of a certain age, Nancy Drew was one of my best friends. I had a set of the first 20 Nancy Drews (a gift from my piano teacher. She also gave us the first 20 Hardy Boys) and I read all of those in no time flat, and then devoured every one on the shelf at the library.

It's been years since I've spent time with Nancy, her roadster, Bess, George, and Hannah, but I've recently remade her acquaintance, thanks to my sweet Sophie and her choice of books on CD. We have to drive to Bountiful a couple of times a week for soccer practice for Josh (because we thought we'd better let him try out for comp soccer both here AND by the new house just to cover our bases) and so we're listening to a lot of audiobooks, among which have been The Hidden Staircase and The Mystery at Lilac Inn.

Ahhhh, Nancy. Listening to your books reminds me of some of my life's little disappointments, including:

I've never been able to solve a mystery based on a typewriter's idiosyncrasies (as in, "Oh, look! The "a" on this note is noticeably lighter than the other letters. If we can find this typewriter, we'll find our thief!").

My dad never bought me a cute little blue roadster.

I didn't get to just take off for weekends (in said blue roadster) to hang out with my vast number of dear dear friends who happen to live in really cool old mansions.

Real life crimes are so much dirtier than stolen diamonds and pretend ghosts.

I have no Hannah waiting at home to cook me lunch or dinner or snacks or to worry about me and take care of all of my household needs.

And truly worst of all, no place I've EVER lived has had secret passageways or hidden rooms. I'm very devastated about this. It's always been a desire of mine to have a secret staircase, and NOW I KNOW WHY!

It's all those Nancy Drew books I read. They've spoiled my view of the world forever. So curse you, Nancy Drew, you and your sleuthing upper-middle class hobby-filled ways.

Oh well. At least we share titian hair...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Midsummer Day's Musings

It must be said: It's been a lovely summer so far. We've had lots of little pleasures (neighborhood barbecues, swimming, trips to the library) and some big pleasures (the Wasatch Back, staying at Stein Eriksen in Park City last weekend, having visiting family (Bri, Celia, Brent), the Green reunion, and Kurt and Ash moving to SLC).

And then my neighbor Joni said this morning that school starts four weeks from yesterday. Four weeks? Four? As in FOUR? First of all, this week is nearly OVER. Then we have next week. Then Josh goes to Scout Camp for the following week. Then we go to California for my tenth (OK, my 20th) high school reunion. Then SCHOOL STARTS.

School starting has its charms. Monday was one of those days that I thought would put me under. If you read my blog on Google Reader, you already know that after my very honest post about my very loud screaming. I think my chest still hurts from screaming. I deleted the post, because I think it was just a little too much information. I know that none of you pictures that life is perfect around the GreenHouse, but still... Let's just say, there are days that I think summer can't end too soon.

But there are many more days that I think summer should just keep on spinning its lazy charms. I want more downtime, less time pushing the kids to "PLEASE GET YOUR WORK DONE." I want more reading outside on a blanket, less trying to keep the house ready to show at any time. I want more happy children playing with friends and less bickering children whining about this or that or this again. So I have decided that we will take some time off of the schedule I've been forcing us all to stick to. Two and a half weeks without music lessons or practicing won't hurt too much. Two and a half weeks with less planning, less screaming, less structure...I'm breathing easier just considering it.

So here is what I hope for the rest of summer: More concerts, more friends, more pool time, more park time, more bored time, more relaxing time, more reading time. Less yelling, less fighting (As If), fewer rules, less stress. Will it salve our souls? I hope. Will it give my children some lovely memories? I hope.

(And underlying all of these plans, there is that constant hum in my brain: Will the house sell? Will we have to move? What do we do if the house doesn't sell in time? What will happen by this time next month?...I can't wait to know the answers...)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Heaven Help Us. There's a Teenager in the House.

Josh is THIRTEEN today. He really truly is. And just to make matters worse, he got a CELL PHONE for his birthday.

A teenager with a cellphone.

He wasn't always a teenager. Once he was a little tiny blond boy with curls who played with imaginary friends, loved puddles, and ate quesadillas, eggnog, pancakes, and not much else. We went to the library twice a week. He loved hanging out with his friend Mathew. He loved work trucks of all varieties.

And now he's a teenager. He loves hamburgers (they used to make him gag), pizza, and pie. He plays the cello and the piano. He likes tennis and skiing. He adores soccer. He loves little children, especially babies, and they love him. He reads too late at night. He sometimes gives us attitude. He often makes us laugh. And did I mention he now has a cell phone?

My mother-in-law tells me that she loved having teenagers, that she missed them when they grew up and moved out of the house. She also tells me that she was terribly sad at the end of summer vacation when they went back to school. Here's hoping that I'll feel the same way for the next six years. I really really really love this kid. I hope he maneuvers his way through these tricky years with grace, good friends, a lot of fun, and few major mistakes. I hope we're all living at the end of it. And I hope he doesn't go over his text message limit.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Beautiful Sisters, Take Two

I have not yet been convinced that taking down the previous pictures I posted is necessary (bribes still accepted...) but I think you should see my sisters in their more natural settings...

It's true, they don't look as glamorous as they did in my last post. Hope you'll forgive me, girls.

I'm a Little Disturbed

I know. I'm 37. I'm not totally fashion-forward. But I'm afraid I really don't get this.

I didn't get the Native American Headband look either, but apparently it's still pretty hot.

I guess I'm better off not trying to make fashion forecasts, because most of what I think looks funny ends up being tres tres chic.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Beautiful Sisters

You know, I have really lovely sisters. It's a good thing they aren't closer to my age, because I would have been mad all the time that they were taller than me AND get lovely tans AND are so darned pretty.

Anyway, I think you'll see the family resemblance. Aren't they just gorgeous?

Seriously. Can you see why I have a complex?

Dude, Bri, you look crazily possessed. Man. Don't let your daughter see this picture or she may have nightmares. And Chelsea, your jaw just kind of disappeared. How did that happen?

Darling sisters, I'll accept bribes of many kinds (babysitting, food, cold hard cash) to take this post down. If I receive NO offers, however, these get posted on Facebook and tagged (and retagged if you untag it. And retagged. And retagged.)

My mailbox will be waiting for your email...

(I love you guys! I've had a blast hanging with you the last little while. Can't wait for more sister time!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Green Reunion 2009

Last weekend was the sometimes annual Green Family Reunion. (It's annual when responsible people are in charge. It's bi- or semi-annual when other people ( David and me. Or sometimes Paul and Cindee) are in charge.)

Thursday night the siblings met at the Provo temple to do sealings, then headed to Mike and Debi's for dinner. Friday those not burdened with small children (being facetious, of course. My small children never make me feel burdened. What? My post yesterday? Oh...yeah...that. Moving on...) helped with major projects at Mom's house. They worked on tearing down the barn and the playhouse, painting the outside trim, weeding, pruning, etc. Friday evening we met at the church camp above Heber for a night of camping and a day doing various activities and a skills course, complete with zip line. Wonderful memories with wonderful people. Honestly, I really dig David's family. They're great people, and I'm lucky to be part of the clan.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


No. Brain. Power. Left.

Must. Send. Children. Somewhere. Far. Away.

(where someone else will practice with them, feed them, clean up after them and put them to bed.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Computer Therapy and Some Updates

I'm escaping from reality for just a minute. Reality is making me a little crazy today. I didn't sleep enough last night (mea culpa) and my lack of sleep has me woefully ill-prepared for whiny children who don't want to do their work.

So here are my updates.

Dog update: Our vet visit left me feeling good about Natalia's future, such as it may be. She did not have a stroke, but had what the vet called canine peripheral vestibular syndrome. She is probably as well now as she'll ever be. Her head will tilt to one side, she'll have less energy and need help going up and down stairs. She's simply not as steady on her feet as she used to be. I can live with that. She's eating well, able to go outside when she needs to, and seems happy to just lay in the kitchen (which is where she has spent 98% of her time since last week.) The vet did prepare me with the "end of life" talk. I did not enjoy that and forced myself to ignore the meaning behind the talk so that I didn't get all teary-eyed and freaky, but it was good to be reassured that an end of life decision will most likely be an obvious one.

House update: The sellers of the new house have been building a home. It got finished six weeks early, so now they're desperate. After some convoluted negotiating, they've dropped their price to us if we drop the price on our home here and have extended the contract to August. Another month of living in Limbo Land! Hooray! (Dripping sarcasm, of course.) I am just moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other until the end is made clear. I would LOVE for the clarity to come quickly, but life doesn't usually work that way, does it?

Marathon update: Haven't decided.

Summer update: Aargh. Oh, OK. That sounds whiny. Let's say Today's Update: Aargh. Except today had that great second of 12:34:56 7/8/09. We got all excited about it here in the GreenHouse. And then promptly forgot to watch the clock. That's the way things go here. Oh well. At least we figured out it happened today, right? And the next time (12:34:56 7/8/90) something similar happens, I'll be long dead, but the kids could possibly still be kickin', so maybe they'll remember to watch their clocks. Nothing better to do when you're in your 80's or early 90's.

Computer therapy complete. Time to re-focus and try to accomplish something of worth. Yuck.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fourth of July

I love the Fourth of July more every year.

Maybe it's the neighborhood parade. Kids on decorated bikes and scooters, snowcones, popcorn, fish pond, face painting.

Maybe it's having down time in-between activities, time to relax, nothing scheduled.

Maybe it's hanging out at the pool with family and neighbors.

Maybe it's pizza and treats on the front lawn with people I love, watching the boys light off all the fireworks they could dream of, talking lazily and happily.

Maybe it's the Sugarhouse fireworks show that we watch while lying on the lawn.

Maybe it's the slow heading home, cleaning up, sending tired children to bed, satiated with good feelings about my country, my neighborhood, my friends, my family, and another wonderful, practically perfect Fourth of July.

Whatever it is, I can't wait for next year.

And to go along with the overabundance of fun, here is an overabundance of pictures...Just living large, that's all...

Friday, July 3, 2009

I Need Another Swift Kick. And SWIFTLY...

Just one of those days, and I don't feel like talking myself out of it today. Positive thinking blah blah blah, finding the silver lining blah blah blah, look on the bright side blah blah blah blah blah.

The day itself was actually fine, and I even got to go to lunch with great friends. The kids were decent, the dog is still improving, and I ran a hard eight miles in the morning. So really, the day was fine and I know rationally that all is well.

However, the whole selling the house/to move or not to move thing is driving me a little batty. Today is one of those days that my brain just can't figure out what the next steps are.

Through a glass darkly... I can't wait to see face to face.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Swift Kick in the Pants

After reviewing conversations with many different friends over the last few days, I realized something about myself. My optimistic self has a real gift for complaining. Now, I know there is something to say for rallying the troops, for recognizing that all of us have hard and nasty paths to walk at times. I know that we need our friendships to stay real, for our friends to paint the real picture of life, and not just tell us how rosy their lives are. But in all of the talking I've done this week, I don't know if I really painted the real picture. I think I've just plain been a big fat baby.

Sure, life stinks sometimes. An over-the-top grumpy and sick baby makes me exhausted. Too little sleep and too much cleaning makes me exhausted. Living in Limbo Land makes me exhausted. My inadequacies make me crazy. The economy? It stinks! Believe me, I could go on and on about the imperfections of life. that all I should be noticing?

No. No. And again NO.

So here's the real picture.

Life is messy. But life is beautiful.

Ben had seven time outs today and had seven terrible diapers. BUT...he also grinned at me with that angelic face, with shining blue eyes, and patted my back, copied everything his buddy Kyle did, and wanted me to sing "There's a Little Wheel Turning in My Heart" at bedtime.

Sophia threw a massive fit about practicing today. BUT...she also said that one of her favorite parts of the day was seeing her violin teacher and having a good violin lesson.

Josh got caught playing his DS for the third hour. BUT...he admitted that he shouldn't be with a charming grin and made me laugh.

Kate cried and cried because the other kids were outside playing while she was still having to practice. BUT...she finished and told me how proud she was of finishing.

I ate too many pieces of cake today (maybe five? or six? or seven?). BUT...they were little pieces of cake, they tasted darned good AND I ran this morning.

On our run this morning, Bliss, Liz and I talked about the next life, and the promise that all things will be restored to their perfect and proper frame. (Is that the right quote? I don't feel like looking it up right now. I'll change it later if I'm wrong.) We were all talking about our imperfections and how much things bother us about ourselves, and we wondered if we would really be "perfect" in some abstract physical ideal or if we simply would be perfect because we loved ourselves as we were. Maybe that's what I want in this love my life as it is and to stop looking for some other kind, some unattainable kind of perfection.

Life is messy. It's hard, it's sometimes outright nasty, but dang, would we really want it any other way?