Monday, August 31, 2009

In Which I Write about Many Many Many Different Subjects

I know you love catch-up posts, and I promised you one. And like I said, I know you've been waiting with bated breath. So here goes:

Long run on Saturday:

Hard and nasty. 20 miles was NOT just 2 more than 18. No. I swear it was 10 more than 18 and I had a worse attitude in the mix. I felt slow and tired and weak and just plain lame. And then I was a basic beast for the rest of the weekend.

HOWEVER...I think sometimes when I push myself to the outer limits of exhaustion, I end up with some remarkably emotional experiences. This can be bad (as in crying for 10 minutes about how hard 20 miles was) or it can be good (as in feeling overwhelming love for my husband, my God, my children, my friends, and gratitude for the ups and downs in life.) Really crazy "one with the universe" kind of stuff went on after the run. Loved it. This did not make up for the next 36 hours of emotional battiness, though, so I think I'll refrain from using a 20 mile run as a way to commune with the infinite, thank-you-very-much.

My general incompetence at many things:

This deserves a nice long post of its own. Let's just say that while I am good at some things (I play a mean piano, I bake decent chocolate chip cookies, I forgive quickly, I generally see the good in people, I read fast), there are many more things at which I (ummm, sorry Mom...) SUCK. These include not procrastinating, following through on important details, being organized, stopping myself from eating the fifth chocolate chip cookie of the day, reading too late at night, staying up too late at night in general, etc. etc. etc.

But by far one of my worst failings?


Honestly. I am a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad packer. I can plan, make lists, start laundry three days in advance, swear up and down that "it will be different this time" and guess what? It's never different. I have stayed up all night trying to get things packed more than once. In fact, once I stayed up all night TWO NIGHTS before we left on vacation, just trying to get it all together. I still stayed up until 3:00 am the next night. I get distracted. I spend 1 1/2 hours on a new vacation playlist. I decide every article of clothing in the house must be washed and folded. There's the clothes for 6 people, the food for the drive, the chargers for every electronic gadget we own, the bills that must be paid...

I'm having a panic attack just thinking about it.

Twentieth Reunion:

That will get its own post.

Summer Vacation Pics:

Own post.

Driving with Ben:

Terrible. Rotten. Horrible. Mind-numbing.

I love the boy. He's a joy. He's darling. But he becomes a whiny demon when he gets strapped into a car seat. We're supposed to be going to Spokane to see Dave's brother this weekend. I want to cry when I think about it.

First week of school:

Oh. Sweet joy.

I felt so guilty before school started. I felt terrible for being angry at the fighting children. I felt worse when I told them how happy I was that they were going back to school. My mother-in-law swears she was terribly sad for the first day of school every year. She missed her children dreadfully when they left. I somehow think that's a sign of good mothering. If it is, however, I'm the poster child for bad mothering. The first day they were in school I couldn't believe how much less stress I felt. Whew.

So I love them, those sweet children of mine, but it's OK for all of us to get a break from each other a few days a week. (That judging voice in my head? I'm trying to shut her up. She still thinks I should feel guilty...)

The one caveat: I truly miss Kate. It's easier to have only Ben around, but I miss having her around to play with him. I miss practicing with her while Ben naps. Sigh. (Now the judging voice is becoming more shrill. "You should enjoy all your children equally." Shrew. Keep your judging to yourself.)

And the showings:

Hate them. Love that my house is clean most of the time, though. Today I got a call at 9:50 that someone wanted to see the house between 11 and 1. I sent Ben to Liz's and did the cleaning blitz.

Got home at 1:15. No one showed. Nice.

So there you have it. A lovely little catch-up for all of you. Pictures next time.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Love Letter

(This picture of Dave cracks me up. I love it when he works it for the camera.)

The Wild Rose

Wendell Berry

Sometimes hidden from me
in daily custom and in trust,
so that I live by you unaware
as by the beating of my heart,

Suddenly you flare in my sight,
a wild rose blooming at the edge
of thicket, grace and light
where yesterday was only shade,

and once again I am blessed, choosing
again what I chose before.

I love this man.

Eighteen years ago, I chose to marry David. He is a good man, a kind man, a funny man.

And I love that in eighteen years of marriage, we have grown together, to rely on each other, to laugh with each other, to keep choosing again what we chose before.

I wish I could write all that I've learned through my marriage to this wonderful man. I wish I could do justice to the agonies we've faced, the amazing joys, the small pleasures, the looming worries, the niggling irritations, the thoughtful kindnesses, the unthoughtful unkindnesses, the opposition in all things. I can't. I don't have the words for it.

But I will say that there IS opposition in all things. It's like the journey of life. Stick with it long enough and you'll find that each burden has its contrasting blessing. One of my blessings is this: we keep choosing each other, over and over and over. And that's saying something.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Know I Know I Know. You've Been Wondering Where I've Been, Haven't You?

Just kidding.

I do have many posts to make, though, so you can wait with bated breath for each of these:

My general incompetence at many important things!

How much I hate keeping my house clean for showings! How much? SO MUCH!

The joys of a road trip to California, complete with puking two-year-old!

A 20th Reunion post, wherein I realize I really MUST look old because so does everyone else! (except for you, Lori, of course.)

Obligatory summer vacation pictures! Pool! Beach! Brent's birthday! He's an old man now! Family! Hooray!

The joys of a road trip home from California, complete with screaming two-year-old!

The sadnesses (and relief) of the first day of school, and just how devastated I am that Kate is gone from me ALL DAY LONG!

So many posts to write. So little time. So many exclamation marks.

Be back soon...

I know you can't wait.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Long Run Recap

Oh my heavens. Today was hysterical.

Let's just say the run involved rain, thunder, lightning, hail, soggy socks, and WE LOST LIZ!!!!

Yes, it's true. After only mile 7, we got separated from Liz. The worst part was that we were nearly convinced that she got abducted after a porta-potty stop. I mean, come on, we're not 12. Liz could kick anyone senseless who tried to abduct her. But we were a little freaked out, standing in the grey thundery weather, wondering how we could have missed her and where on earth she might be.

Finally we decided Liz was not a kidnap victim and kept going. Apparently, I had made a wrong turn, and she kept trying to catch up to us. She met up with a few guys and ran the rest of the eighteen with them. We four split up into pairs to try to find Liz. Bliss and I ran up to the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon (I just wanted to type that. Here. I'll type it again. Bliss and I ran up to the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. I know. I NEVER WOULD HAVE BELIEVED I COULD RUN TO THE MOUTH OF BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON.), didn't see Liz, turned around and took Wasatch Blvd home.

And on the way, we got pummeled by another hailstorm. We laughed and screamed in pain and laughed some more.

But we made it! 18.2. Good conversations, complaining about soggy socks and lead legs, and a feeling of great was all worth it.

Except I'm still sad we lost Liz. And I'm just glad no one stole her after all.

And my boy is back from Scout Camp. Love that boy. He had a great time. I'm so glad.

(Later. Must clarify. Liz did NOT run home with a bunch of guys. She told me she did, but she was lying. She was referring to the guys on her iPod. Stinker Liz.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Things I'm Looking Forward To

Josh coming home from Scout Camp tomorrow. Hooray! It's been so sad to go up to kiss the kids goodnight and realize there's no one in his room. Sigh.

My long run tomorrow. 18 miles. I'm not being sarcastic. There's a feeling of accomplishment that goes along with the end of the run that I can't quite describe. Or maybe it's just the end of the run that feels so good. Ahhh, sitting down...

The Deer Valley Music Festival ends tomorrow with Elvis Costello. Double date with E & N and the end of my husband's busiest and most stressful time of year. Nice.

Next week's trip to CA. Family, the beach, the pool, games, walks and runs in the lakebed, friends, my mom's cooking, my 20th reunion run and party. I just wish my friend Ilsa was going to be there (hear that, Ilsa? You've been called out. You need to take a trip to SLC to make up for it...).

Having some kind of closure to the whole sell/no sell house thing. My kids DO need to know where they're going to school, considering school starts in a week and a half. But every time I think closure is near, something happens to mess with our minds again. Through another remarkable set of circumstances, the sellers are dropping the price on their home AGAIN so we can drop the price on our home AGAIN. The next couple of weeks should be interesting.

Having a microwave in my kitchen again. One of the strangest parts of my life right now is that we moved the microwave into our detached garage to make our kitchen look bigger for prospective buyers (I think they probably just say, "Where's their stinking microwave?"). So when I want to pop some popcorn, I have to open the garage door, walk to the garage, unplug the sprinklers, plug in the microwave, pop the popcorn, go outside to retrieve said popcorn, unplug the microwave, plug in the sprinklers, go back inside and close the garage door. Whew. I haven't been popping as much popcorn for the last three months.

Getting my dryer fixed. David's very good at many things. I'm hoping we can add "fixing dryers" to his list of things at which he is is very good. (He doesn't know that I didn't call a repairman yet. The "do-it-yourself" website made it sound like he could handle it. I'm sure he'll be thrilled.)

Going to sleep. I'm heading there soon (or at least I would be heading there if I were a reasonable person who knew that she was going to be waking up at 5:30 for a 5:45 run. I'll probably wait for David to get home from the concert, though.) (No one has ever suggested that I am a reasonable person, so why should I start now?)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ben Quote


Isn't he charming?

(He actually is, when he's not trying to kick me.)

Kate Quote

"I love Magic Tree House books so much. I wish I had them all in a glass case locked with a golden key." (6)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Scout Camp and Other Sadnesses

I just dropped my boy off at the church for his first Scout Camp. He's done overnighters before, but this is his first long far-away official camp. He'll be gone Monday through Saturday.

I'm not a clingy mom. I'm all for my kids growing up and learning and exploring. I know they have to have an identity apart from our family.

But I'm totally sad. Sad sad sad sad sad.

I tend to not be a worrying mom. I try to block my mind from what-ifs.

But I'm totally what-if-ing.

What if he gets lost? What if he throws up on the way there? What if there's a lightning storm (which I wasn't worried about until one of the leaders started asking the boys what they'd do in a lightning storm)? What if there are bears? What if he gets sick? What if he's homesick? What if he's cold? What if he's sad? What if someone is unkind? What if HE'S unkind? What if the leaders aren't responsible? (They will be. They're great leaders. But I'm what-if-ing, so I am being a little crazy.) What if an older scout talks about or does things that I don't want my boy to know about? What if...

It's not really Scout Camp that's worrying me, I guess. It's just a symbol of all the changes ahead. In his life, there will be times he's lost. There will be people around him telling him things I don't want him to know about. There will be times he's sick or cold or sad or treated unfairly without me there to help. Life won't be easy for him. It's not easy for any of us. But I WANT it to be easy for him. I want him to be happy. I want him to be safe.

He's such a good kid. He'll have fun. He'll be a good Senior Patrol Leader and will help the other guys feel comfortable. He'll learn about being independent. And then he'll come home to me and I'll laugh about my anxiety.

But just for today, I'm going to be sad. I let him get leave without giving him a hug because none of the other boys were getting hugs. Now I wish I'd grabbed him and messed up his perfectly spiked hair and told him one more time how much I love him.

(And I'm also sad because I thought there'd be less fighting with him gone, but Sophie has decided to fight with Kate instead. Blah. And also my dryer broke.)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Facing the Fear

So I was pretty freaked about my long run last week. The can be a little unnerving, can't it?

I didn't sleep well. I set my alarm for 4:15 to eat a little, drink some water, and take some Imodium (don't ask), then I went back to sleep, or what might pass for sleep, until 5:40. I had many nightmares of the running variety...making everyone wait, missing the meeting place or time, running in strange places.

And then I woke up, strapped on my watch and did it. Not only did I do it, I kind of blew my expectations out of the water. I kept my pace slow enough that I made it to sixteen miles instead of the fourteen I'd planned and didn't even feel wiped out.

Dang. It was really cool.

So last night I wasn't as freaked. And today Liz and I hit seventeen, including some wicked hills, and I picked up the pace just a teeny bit.

It was really cool.

I think a little fear never hurts. It kind of keeps things interesting, anyway, and it lets me know that I'm trying something new, something a little out of my comfort zone.

So hooray for you, fear. I'll be expecting you the night before the marathon. And then we'll have to figure out another way to shake things up, because, well, I'd rather hang with a little fear than a lot of boredom.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Where I've Really Been

OK, so I haven't been anywhere much.

I've been at the pool for swimming lessons, at Nicole's for cello lessons, at Kathy's for violin lessons, at Bridget's for piano lessons.

I've been at Lewis Park in Bountiful for soccer practice and in front of the sink washing dishes.

I've been on the front lawn for therapy, on the pavement for more therapy, on the phone for still more therapy.

I've been on my knees praying for help, for perspective, for faith, for patience.

I've been hiding in my room with my heart pounding after yelling at the kids too much for fighting too much yet again.

I've been watching children learn, complain, play, imagine, bicker, practice, complain, work, read, love, have tea parties, laugh, complain, and grow.

I've been begging for time to slow down so I can bask in a glorious hour, then begging for it to speed up again so I don't have to endure one more argument.

I've been watching David leave early in the morning, the weight of his world on his shoulders and wishing I could take some of that heaviness from him.

I've been waiting for him to return late at night after yet another concert to do what I can to lift the burden, even if I never feel that it's quite enough.

I've been weeping for the loss of a friend, for the pain of mental illness, for the darkness that waits just around the corner for so many of those I love.

I've been speechless with joy at the light that waits right around the other corner, the joy that comes from love, from kindness, from compassion, from lifting each other in our hardest times.

I've been baffled by questions, filled with faith, overwhelmed with inadequacies, enriched by family, stretched by hardship, reassured by the quietest voice that all will be well.

I've been living.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Just for Eric (and Mom)

Eric and I spent most of my childhood Saturday nights in front of the Lawrence Welk show. It was my mom's favorite, and I would guess no other TV show has ever made her quite as happy (right, Mom?). We'd have just finished our baths and Dad would comb out my tangles while we watched. Good times.

So Eric, I hope you enjoy this just as much as I did. And Mom, I'm sorry. But it just had to be posted.

(Thanks, Motherboard. Funny stuff.)