Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Photo Shoot, a Princess, and a Whopper.

Now doesn't that sound like a full day? The super cool idea came where most super cool ideas come. . . at Target. I had this gift card burning a hole in my wallet, and rather than spend it all on luna bars (tempting) I decided to get a frame and then fill it with an adorable picture of me and the kids for Daddy D. After circling the frames aisle at least fifteen times looking for something masculine, cool, hip, and unique, I finally found something perfectish. Then came the photo shoot.
Picture People is a wonderful place. A wonderful, crowded place that really should invest in a dvd player or some kind of brain-numbing device for everyone under the age of 17. Especially those that have been jammed into an outfit they hate to smile at a camera being held by someone they don't know. Doesn't it seem obvious that movies should be involved in this process? Honestly. Well, I at least was wise enough not to attempt a solo photo shoot with the kids in any serious kind of fashion. I let them wear what they wanted (except for Emma, I still control her) and brought a bag of books and toys for them to use as props, distractions, or tools of destruction. The photographer really enjoyed what came next, which was me getting crawled on by all three children at varying levels of intensity while at times looking at the camera and yelling "CHEESE!!" Honestly, it was exactly what I wanted. I wanted a picture for Daddy D that would capture the laughter and energy that make our family so fantastic. Of course, another reason it was successful was that, being an evil mother, I put a cookie out there for all cheerful photo participants. Worked like a charm. . .until we found out that the Mrs. Field's cookie shop had been shut down. What kind of soul-less mall czar would close a Mrs. Field's? So, we walked a few laps in search of appropriate sugar laden bribery and as I walked around with Princess Belle a.k.a Lucy, I got to bask in all the smiles she brought. I really think she brightened people's days flitting about in that gown, and I decided she needed to wear it more often just to spread some joy. As one person said, "you only have so many years in your life where you can pull that off, I think she should milk it." I agree.
Well, we found some cookies, and then had another waiting period where I became an even more evil mother and then promised Burger King to whoever could sit on the bench until I said go. And that is why the day ended with a whopper and a very deep breath. Unfortunately I couldn't tell Daddy D anything about why the day was chaotic and I made the kids hide their kid's meal toys so as not to risk discovery of either the bribery or its purpose. But on Father's Day morning when he opened the fan family photo, it was the perfect reaction, and it made it all worth it. It was even better than a cookie. . . almost.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Belated Birthday Story

So, my nephew turned 12 in December and I am just now getting him his birthday story. In my defense, he is a very demanding audience and I think I froze up a little bit trying to create a story for a twelve year old that also really loves Moby Dick and Lord of the Rings. But, finally I plowed through and finished it. It isn't perfect, but I think it has some good bones to it. I think it is too much for most young readers, but I think the core story and characters have some promise and with some serious editing could make a nice picture book. What do you think blogosphere??
The Trumpet

Monday, June 14, 2010

Zumba Revelations

This last weekend was a gal's weekend with my mom and sisters down at the beach. It was Latin Fest at Virginia Beach and our hips were groovin' to Latin tunes pretty much the whole weekend. On Saturday morning I went on my standard long Saturday jog then hit the waves. It was June and it was beautiful and the water was. . frigid. But, I'd come to the beach and I was going to play in some waves,darnit. Everyone was kind of doing their own thing so I was all on my own, no kids to lather or buckets to lug. So after wading in a bit I took the plunge and quickly hollered out to anyone who would listen, "I AM ALIVE!" Whoo. It was quite a rush. Then I frolicked and dove and swam and really felt the joy of a strong, whole body. Then came Zumba. An hour of shimmying, kicking, hip-popping joy. If I'd been in a dance club as opposed to a big open field full of women in workout clothes, it might have bordered on inappropriate. But, as it was, all I felt was joy and movement and the thrill of having a body that in one morning had ran, swam, and danced. The final zumba instructor that took it home was a pistol. She grooved and shook pretty much everything God gave her and gave us all permission to have a wonderful time doing the same. And the best thing? She was so far from perfect. She jiggled and wobbled, and there wasn't a firm six-pack in sight. But who cared? Noone there, that's for sure. . and apparently she didn't either. It was liberating to watch her and to feel some of my own insecurities shake out as well. Who cares if I don't look like the girl on the cover of Runner's World? I have hips that groove and legs that run and the gumption to jump into very cold water. Who needs a six pack to "glorify God in your body"? Not me. Bring on the music.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I once read a book that suggested we mothers take life in chapters. Just like we have to read a book one page at a time and let the story unfold as it will, we have to be aware that every stage of motherhood (and life) has its cans and cannots. Right now I cannot read a novel a week. Right now I cannot set up a quilting frame in my living room. But right now I can get fifteen hugs a day from a toddler that adores me. And I can snuggle on the couch with a three year old who knows without a doubt that Jesus loves her and tells me that He loves me too. Someday those other chapters will come. Chapters with more rest, less sweeping, and maybe,just maybe, some appreciation. But, my head would be pretty sore if I banged it up against the wall wanting all that now. Life is in chapters, and I think we enjoy the book more if we don't rush it.
So, if life comes at us in chapters, is a day a page? Is an hour a paragraph? Are there things in the morning I need to seize because they simply won't come again later in the day? I think so. These kids are growing up and time is passing. Sitting around this afternoon doing nothing but ordering carrot soup and hot chocolate from the stuffed animal restaurant staffed by Isaac and Lucy was a wonderfully unproductive chapter in my life. I think I need more of those. Do you?

Friday, June 4, 2010

The End. . . for now

Today was my last day of teaching Early Morning Seminary. Until September. I am exhausted and waffle between this overwhelming gratitude for the fact that I get to sleep in until 6:30 on Monday morning, and dread for how I'm going to make it through an entire year of exhaustion next go round. And then I'm wondering if God's blessings are prorated. Many blessings have been showered on my family as we've all placed something on the Seminary altar over the last six months. I can't pinpoint what blessing is attached to what leap of faith, but I do know that we are happier than we've been in awhile and I hope that doesn't expire over my 3 month sabbatical. I have learned so much about myself over these last six months. I've learned that when we are weary, the Lord is not. I've learned that when I am weak, He is strong. I've learned that saying no is okay and naps are sometimes necessary. I've been amazed by the support of a husband that handles breakfast every morning and deals with mediocre housework when Fridays roll around and it takes most of my energy to will my heart to keep beating. He is okay with sandwiches for dinner and that is quite the boon. I've prayed for these youth, ached for them to feel the love of God, the power of the Word, and the importance of this time in life. I've cried that I can't go on, fully aware that both God and I know that I will do just that. I will go on. "Let the weak say, I am strong." (Joel 3:10) Let the tired say, I'll get up anyway. Let the teenager say, God actually loves me. And let this mom say, I've never loved a Friday so much in my life.