Monday, December 3, 2012

Pretty much Scrooge-ish

I used to blog more often when I had things to complain about. I still largely like to write when I have serious frustrations to vent...but then I noticed a sad result of this trend: that I missed chronicling all of the great things that were happening in my life.

So I tried to write when I had happy things to report and wanted to celebrate and remember. Well, in case you haven't noticed, I haven't blogged in 6 months and it HASN'T been for all the JOYful things I've forgotten to share or that I'm so bust enjoying life that I forget to blog. The one positive thing in this is that I have broken the negative blogging pattern apparently, because the biggest reason for my non-blogging is that I DON'T want to write when I'm just going to complain. BUT, a quick recap before the  impending End of the Year survey that I am DREADING...

I dislike EVERYTHING right now and I feel terribly like Scrooge McDuck. I do not even LIKE Christmas or winter time. I do like getting presents, I only occasionally like giving presents (because I don't like feeling pressure to do gifts just because its a particular time of year. I'd rather buy you a present when I just happen upon something that is just "perfect" for you any old time of the year!)

There's, these are the positive things I DO like to try and balance out the grouchiness:

Twinkly lights
Icicle lights
Flannel sheets
Blue Powerade

That's all right now. And there aren't many of those things in my life right now.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

10 years

Well, I have made it through ten years out of highschool. It is incredible to me that it has been that long already. I can't believe that the kids who are graduating this year were my last group of cheerleaders at Mini-camp...I can't believe that it has been a decade since I've cheered [but don't let that fact fool you into thinking I don't wear my uniform every few months OR still know the cheers.] Speaking of cheers, it has been so funny hearing the cheers my softballers come out with and the ones I have pulled out of nowhere from softball days. The best was last week when I overheard on of them saying to another in the dugout, "Coach Catherine doesn't like us to do that one, she said we are banned..." I just smiled and thought, at least they hear SOMETHING I say!!!

I went and it actually wasn't the end of the world I imagined...I was not the ONLY one not married and without at least one kid...(although there was only ONE other person there that this was the case for.) We sat around and talked [about kids] and one of the guys said, "I'll say this, never in my life would I have thought I would be 27 and have 3 kids." I added, "Never in my life would I have thought I would be 28 and have none!" But we decided we needed to have made those predictions back in highschool. If we had, they would have all said I'd be the one with a ton of kids already.

I think it was harder Sunday night than it was on Thursday afternoon on my last day with the twins. Thursday felt like it was supposed to, that I was leaving for three days as usual and would enjoy my break. But Sunday night when I was supposed to be rushing to the grocery store, making 4 identical lunches, frantically finish the laundry and pick out my clothes for the week and looking ahead at my evenings in preparation for another week with the twins...I was just getting in from poker night, dropping my stuff in the middle of the floor and climbing in bed [earlier than I ever would have when I knew I HAD to get up early] sad! I don't think I have it in me to start another job in the Fall...

Monday, July 2, 2012

River of Life

When I was in high school I participated in a summer service project every year called River of Life. My youth group would bring a group to the host church, Lincolnton United Methodist Church, where we would join other groups of teenagers and complete construction projects for people in the community. You could be on paint teams where you would scrape, make minor repairs to woodwork and then (obviously) repaint the exterior of the homes; you could be on building teams where you would build a deck, or wheelchair ramp to make a home handicap accessible; or you could be on a roofing team where you would repair and re-roof homes.

[Here is where I will seem to have a split personality to some of you…I was ALWAYS a roofer (and looked on with disdain at all those who were below me…get it…) Seriously, I decided roofing was the only serious enough team for me. I wanted to be up high, on the roof, because after all, the higher you are, the closer to God (as Erika always reminded me about the height of our beds). Non-roofers were non-Holy. And I mean paint fights, pshh, that stuff was oil based, you’d have that kid’s hand print slapped on your leg for WEEKS! You couldn’t be afraid of heights, afraid of heat, afraid of REAL hard work…afraid to use a hammer, afraid to kiss the “shangle” the entire team had to kiss…roofing was NOT for the faint of heart. But you could be afraid of talking and people and not matching…That helps a little, right?]

We would wake up with the sun, have breakfast at the church and head out to our work sites and work all morning. We came in for a hot lunch and a cool break at the church for lunch and head back out for a few more hours until it got too hot in the afternoons. We had free time in the afternoons for lake fun, naps, and anything and everything else you can imagine when you add “teenagers” plus “free time.”

We’d shower and gather for dinner and then a worship service each night. There were games, videos of the day’s work, an ongoing skit, worship music, a teaching and ministry time afterwards. This event in my life every summer is one of the most meaningful and memorable events in my life.

So if I had to use only one word that described what ROL means to me, of an overarching theme of my time there through the years…it would be tears. Um, what? You heard me correctly…stick with me and see what I mean.

Back at the hotel my very first night after dinner, sticking close to Leigh, I followed her out of a hotel room when I was unmercifully splashed in the face with an ice bucket full of water. I cried. Then I ran back to my room, filled up my OWN ice bucket and joined the fight.

I gathered with my first roofing team the very first morning before the sun was up. I didn’t know anybody and I clung to Leigh Randall, begging her not to make me go. She did. I cried.

As I floated safe in my innertube one afternoon at the lake until Mitchell swam over and flipped me into the water. I cried

Since I was already wet I was convinced that it would be real fun to jump off the rail of the double decker dock like all the cool kids were doing…I did…and I swallowed about 47% of the lake…and threw up all night long. I cried. I learned to trust my gut and not do stupid things people try to get me to do…wait, no, I didn’t because…

I let a girl named Lisa Marie talk me into laying on the ground with her while the boys rolled a hay bale over us. [For you city people…a bale of hay weighs about 1000 lbs.] It hurt and I cried.

I had to leave early and go baby-sit at the beach one year and when my mom came to get me, I cried.

I played wiffle ball in the backyard after dinner the year Hamp was one and I scooped him up, rolled back in the grass holding him high in the air…and laid on a bee. It stung my back and you guessed it, I cried.

I started college during the summer of 2002 and had to miss most of the event. I drove back and forth every morning and afternoon and I really cried.

That year I left in the middle of a service one night and sat outside on the steps of the church. I was having a really hard time in life. And Leigh Beggs, a stranger to me, met me on those steps and talked to me for hours. I never stopped crying the whole time.

Another year we had worked all day stripping the shingles off of the roof of the house we were re-doing when it looked like it was going to rain. It was if I was watching the whole thing in slow motion: the rain approaching, the team coming together, lined up and and working like machines, in the BEST display of teamwork I have EVER seen and got tar paper rolled, tacked and a tarp covering the roof while the heavens opened up in torrential rain on us. It was beautiful, and it was totally the Lord. …But the roof fell in. I bawled. Poor Chuck, in a neck brace and I think on crutches already telling me it was all going to work out and be fine.

I visited ROL one year to hear my college pastor speak at the service one night. We got about 30 minutes from home when I realized I had left my keys in Licolnton. I cried. MY friend turned around to get them for me the next morning instead of us going back that night in my exhausted emotional state. I cried.

I watched several of my best friends give their lives to Christ on Saturday nights. I cried.

A fellow roofer died unexpectedly in college and we all cried.

I walked down the aisle in the Lincolnton United Methodist Church EVERY year and nailed my sins to the cross and took Holy Communion with people who loved me and I cried.

And as I drove home from Hilton Head Island last Wednesday I thought about River of Life as I approached Augusta. I wondered if it was ROL week…? I began to get excited…I looked on the website (as I was stopped at a red light, I’m sure…) and ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!?! IT WAS!!! Tonight would be the first night and I was most assuredly stopping in.

But in accordance with this entire post, as soon as I pulled into town I started sobbing uncontrollably. I asked myself, whoa, what was the matter with me!? I was supposed to be excited!!! I started to think about all of the things I loved and laughed about, the light hearted funny things, when we used to do flips across the beds and Jessi missed and only my suitcase saved her life…How the lights to the bathrooms are on the outside of the door so anytime you attempted to take a shower the lights would undoubtedly get turned off on you and be plunged into total darkness…The cup game that the entire group would join in on at meal times, singing “I’ve got a River of Life” as fast as humanly possible, Hot-Robbie-Lester, the MacGuyver skit, and so much more. Happy things make me cry a little, but there was more. I started thinking of all of the tears, the things that I shared above and realized a little deeper what all of those things meant to me…and that the Spirit of the Lord is and always has been overwhelmingly sweet in that place.

James and Billy from the water fight were on my roofing team the next day. James also went as my date to my Senior prom a few years later. James’ mom Mary was my table leader at Chrysalis. He eventually married Kristina, one of my college roommates.

Also on my first roofing team I met Elizabeth and Erika. Future college roommates and best friends. I was in Erika’s wedding five years later, and five years ago this month!

Lisa Marie became my college roommate as well and introduced me to her sister, one of the best friends I have ever had. This group of girls is the only reason I ever made it through college and have helped to make me the person I am today.

I learned that the Lord works through strangers, people I barely know to love me in the hardest times and that sometimes the people I want aren’t always the people I need. Life is about the experience and the process and the journey, regardless of the end result. Regardless if the roof falls in…God is good, God is working and He will never fail. I will NEVER forget that year.

If I was as courageous as I am on a roof, I would make a toast and have every teenager, every person who has ever participated in a River of Life in any way hear, “There is sweat, occasionally blood, and tears…but the Spirit of the Lord is in this place. Fires are started…Kingdom work is done. People are knitted together in the most intimate of ways. Roofers become roommates and prom dates, sisters and friends. Look around you, people you will have for the rest of your life, who will love you and support you and pray you through anything, the body of Christ. There is something special about this place indeed. You’ll never believe what the Lord has in store for your life and it all started here. Where faith is being expressed through love. And after all, that is the only thing that counts. Here’s to River of Life.” 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Now it feels like Summer!

So my summer fun seemed to start immediately after I left work on Thursday with a much needed dinner date with Erika. And after I saved her frozen foods, all I could be talked into eating was sushi. Mmm…I only have one other friend who EVER wants to go have sushi with me and she lives in Texas. Boo.

I had some good quality time with friends. By the time we looked at the clock it was 1:30…and an unforeseen sleepover ensued. It was such a great feeling when I woke up to these girls who were delighted to find me sleeping on their couch!

I played on the roof helped friends working on their house. Sweeping off a roof in the hot sun in the dead of summer brought on a bittersweet reminisce about the mission trips I’ve been on, but especially River of Life. It kind of filled a little, tiny hole in my heart.

While working on the roof I got a text from a friend that said this, “Any chance you can sneak away from the office this week & join us at the beach for a couple of days? Hilton Head is only 5 hours away…and by office I mean babysitting ;)”

Ummm, let me think about it…yeah! Did you KNOW that I don’t even HAVE to babysit for 2 weeks!? Don’t you realize that this is perfect timing and a gift from the Lord?!? I LOVE the beach. I LOVE Lauren. And I LOVE blessings.

So I just got back from four glorious days at the beach! We woke up with the sun, embraced beach hygiene (minimal showering, enjoying sweat, salt, sunscreen and sand, realizing your hair is just NEVER going to be tame again…) and relaxed all day with no schedule or agenda at all. We soaked in the sun, walked and danced ballet on the beach. We swam at the pool, people watched and made up stories. There was kid-noodle soup, talk of Disney World (best subject ever…) and other quality subjects, and occasional outbursts of song. We devoured our books, ran lines for Annie and napped wherever we fell. We got ice cream [twice], French braided hair, shopped a little on the rainy days, and there was no shortage of Woodchuck, Mike’s AND FUN! It was EXACTLY what I needed.

Since then I’ve had dinner at 9:00 on balmy outdoor patios with old friends, enjoyed a day at Six Flags with my youngest, but newly TEENAGE brother, and hours of Dr. Mario. The temperature have reached record breaking highs for an extended period of time this week, but I could not be enjoying summer more. From beach to Six Flags to ice cream and ruffled-bathing-suit littles…Endless summer, please commence. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Unamused Owl

Filling in the blanks with stories from my summer job is a risk simply because some of the lessons and stories are so good that I have to save them to go in the book I'm planning on writing one day. 

The facts. Twelve year old boy, six year old girl. One mom. One dad. One loathsome, indoor dog. Three days a week 9-6. 

Problem #1. My disposition. As you may know, babies require a lot of energy. What you may NOT realize, this is usually just physical energy. You must get up, you must feed, you must change. You don't have to think, it's not usually stressful, just physically demanding. You're tired, you want sleep, and your muscles might hurt. This kind of strength must be easier to come by for me...

But bigger kids require a different KIND of strength. They talk. (I'm serious). They argue, they tease, they whine, they badger and backtalk and complain. It taxes your patience, the questions, the NOISE. 

"Stop kicking my seat."
"6, please don't put your feet on my seats."
[feet go down, probably not "kicking" in the first place, 30 seconds later 12 rams his seat back to 6's knees]
"Um, is THAT helping anything?"
"She is being so annoying."
"I'm telling!"
"You are so annoying"
"He called me annoying!"
"No I didn't!" 
"Yes you did!" [x47]

"Can we go to the pool?"
"I don't want to go to the pool!"
"Can we have a snack?"
"Is it time for lunch?"

"Is it time to leave?"
"Can we leave now?"
"When are we going to leave?"
"Are we leaving yet?"
"What are we doing for lunch?"
"I don't want to"
"You do it"
"Do I have to?"

"I don't have to"
"I already did it"

Solution #1. Stick to babies.

Problem #2 They're missing two big R's: Responsibility and Respect.

"Your friend has gone home, it's time to do your chores."
"I already did them."

[Really?] Because a.) I've been here all day long and know you have not. b.) I have these two things on my face called EYES and SEE you have not. BUT in the case that I was blind, do you really think I would believe you did your chores when you had a friend over? Not a chance. 

"Are you kidding? You practiced piano? You vacuumed? This bed is...made?"
"I don't have to do my chores today."
"Really. Well, you're 12 years old and I can't MAKE you do anything, but I'm going to give you something to think about. Your mom and dad come home and see you haven't done your chores today. They think or ask, 'Wonder why?!' and learn you had a friend over alllll day and you couldn't get your chores you think you're going to be having any more friends over this summer? I didn't think so. Get on it."

"12, you need to get your bathing suit and sunscreen on while 6 is having her piano lesson because as soon as your lesson is over we have to leave for your swim meet."
"We don't have any sunscreen."
"Yes, you do, it's on the table."
[12 continues to sit at the computer, 6 finishes her lesson, 12 takes his place at the piano, lesson ends]
"Alright, let's go."
"I need to get changed."
"No, you missed that opportunity, you can change at the pool now. I've packed your stuff for you and it's already in the car."
"Which bathing suit did you pack?!"
"Your swim team bathing suit, the one your mom laid out."
"That's not the right one."
"Well, you should have gotten your own suit in the first place, today you'll have to swim in whatever I packed you."
"You only told me ONCE!!!!!"
"You are TWELVE YEARS OLD, I should only HAVE to tell you once."

"Can I have a snack?"
"Sure, we have apples and goldfish."
"I can't eat an apple, I just got my braces tightened."
"Alright, I'm sorry I didn't think of that, have the goldfish."
"Goldfish are crunchy and too hard too. I can't eat those."
"Alright, well that is what we have, you can choose to eat it or be hungry, that's your perogative."
"Babies with NO teeth can eat goldfish!!! This is what we have, I don't care if you eat it, you can stay hungry, but those are your choices and I do NOT want to hear about it again."

"You can get in your carseat now and we can go get icecream or we can just stay here. Your choice." Even two year olds know the better choice. Goldfish or be hungry? Duh. I mean what does he want? We have nothing else...I'm not going to drive us home, I'm not running to the store or a drive thru when there is a perfectly good option...It baffles me.

[The snack thing gets me everyday.] They eat breakfast before I arrive, we have a snack after 10, lunch around 12:30 and another snack after 3. every 2.5 hours. Again, newborns don't eat every 2.5 hours! They don't eat every 2.5 hours at school! Those eating times are perfectly acceptable. 
[9 AM]
"Can I have a snack?"
"Is it after 10 AM?" 
"But I didn't get any breakfast."
[No idea if this is true or not, but regardless]
"Why didn't you get breakfast? You knew you were coming to swim team, like every other day, and that you'd be starving afterwards."
"My mom had to flush out her sinuses [PAUSE to CHUCKLE and think of that Chewy Granola bar commercial "Are your kids talking too much...?"] and didn't wake me up in time to get anything but some bran flakes." [Holds up a ziplock bag of bran flakes.]
***FIRST, if it's true about his mom not waking him up in time to eat, that is sad and unfortunate. BUT, YOU'RE HOLDING A BAG OF CEREAL, EAT THAT!]
"Oh, well, just eat that."
"Well, I can't even eat the flakes part of it because it get stuck in my braces."
[The braces card again...seriously, the kid must not realize that I had braces for SIX AND A HALF YEARS and KNOW all about what you can, can't and just SHOULDN'T eat...]
"Um, who packed that for you?"
"I did."
"Well WHY would you pack a snack that you can't even eat?!?"

Solution #2 Consequences. 

You must allow a child to reap what he sows. If you do not eat breakfast now, you will be hungry later. If you want a snack for the pool, you must pack a snack yourself. If you want to have friends over, you must do your chores beforehand. If you step in with a scrumptious snack when they come crying that their hungry, why should they ever eat breakfast? Mom will have a great snack for me in an hour. You don't get your dirty clothes in when asked? You might not have a clean soccer jersey. But I HAVE TO HAVE IT FOR MY GAME!!! You MIGHT should have thought about that yesterday when I told you to bring me your dirty clothes. Please note that I'm not talking about if your kid legitimately forgets his lunchbox one day. I'm talking about blatantly refusing to do things or making bad choices when they've already been warned.

I have never claimed to be a genius, but I am not stupid, and especially compared to a 12 year old, I think I know a little bit about the world...I hate it when KIDS think, talk, act like, an ADULT is stupid. Sometimes the problem is the subject matter, talking about things he really has no clue when he tries to tell me how to drive a Ferrari, or even how much money his dad makes...Um, do you have a driver's license? Has your dad ever told you his salary? No? Then shut up now. That is like someone who has never picked up a guitar telling James Taylor how to play a guitar. They'd just make a fool of themselves. It's one thing to say something you have no idea if it is right or not, its another to argue that you totally are right even if you have no idea. It's worst of ALL when you don't know if they know what they're talking about because it doesn't matter at all...and you can't say, "That's not true. Stop making things up and making people miserable" because the Lego Death Star really might be 4907 pieces. NO ONE CARES...but if you really needed that useless bit of information, if you weren't 12 years old, you'd just google it on your iPhone. Don't waste time or brain space. Maybe your aunt WAS in a high speed chase with police officers, maybe they DID truly catch up with her in the next county, maybe she DIDN't even get arrested for that high-speed chase [NOT], but I have no way of knowing for real and it is not worth my time or energy to argue with you or care. Stop talking. How one can possibly want the TV on after a day with children is beyond me. The humming of the refrigerator is about to kill me! 

I think I just don't have the emotional or mental strength to handle it. My tolerance is low, my nerves are made of the opposite of steel, and my expectations must be too high. Because (call me crazy) all of these issues from dishonesty to responsibility to respecting authority and one another should have been established by 2 years old, when the battles are usually goldfish- or toys-centered as opposed to back-talking and disrespect, honesty, and irresponsibility (and sex, drugs, and rock and roll further down the road.) At that point, you can still pick them up and carry them. 

Which leads us to Problem #3. Their parents. So after I say all of the awful things about the all reality, none of them terribly even their faults. I'm going to play a little game of if/then AGAIN...

If you want me to get your kid dressed, sunscreened, nebulized and to swim team on time then you need to have me arrive earlier.

If you want your kids to have a snack, towels, toys and etc. at the pool, then you need to pack those things up the night before OR as stated above, have me come EVEN EARLIER.

If you do not want your kids to eat unhealthy, sugary snacks, then you do not need to buy them. 

If you do not want your kid to also have pizza for a snack or a hotdog for lunch then you need to tell me specifically what they CAN have for snack/lunch every day.

If you don't want your kids to snack all day you need to enforce set snack times and also have substantial food in the house.

If you want me to enforce set snack times then you need to make sure your kid gets breakfast.

If you don't want your 12 year old to get sunburned, then you need to have him put sunscreen on BEFORE YOU drop him off at the pool, because I don't arrive until 9 AM.

If you don't want your 12 year old on the computer for more than one hour then you need to make use of the parental controls.  

If you want your kids to do chores while I am there then you need to make your kids do chores while you are there. Of course they hate me... "My mom doesn't make me! My mom would let me!" Right, well, she told me no. What am I supposed to do?

If you want your kid to do something other than TV/computer games all day then your need to give him some suggestions or me some MONEY. 

If you don't want me to do certain things, then you might want to tell me that before I do them.

I know that this venting post is probably offensive, I'm very opinionated about kids and parenting for someone who has never been a parent (which is quite hypocritical, like some jerk trying to tell James Taylor how to play the guitar or something...) but just know that this experience has been VERY emotionally/mentally challenging, I have had many nuclear meltdowns about it, unable to figure out WHY a 12 year old is getting to me so badly, and I was DREADING going and panicking every single night before I had to go. Fast forward to Thursday, the day I arrived and 6 didn't have her swimsuit on. Dad began giving me information contrary to information mom had, regarding important medical info, I didn't know who I was supposed to go by...we didn't have time to even grab a snack seeing as how we were hunting down a dry swimsuit, AND doing the customary frantic search for towels, flip flops, and sunscreen. 6 was late to swim practice regardless, and I met 12 at the gate already hungry at 9 AM. The day he hadn't have breakfast and but had packed bran flakes that he couldn't eat... I was barely holding on by a thread already at 9:15 AM...which is never good.

I decided to ask another mom to watch my kids, walked to the playground, called a very awesome friend and cried my head off for 20 minutes straight. I'm pretty sure I just kept saying over and over, "I can't take it anymore. I can't do this more another day."  Sooooo, long day short; we made it through the day, and the kids' mom got home and said, "Um, I can't remember if I told you or not but I don't have my internship for the next two weeks." 

Really? God, you just think you are SOOOOO funny, don't you?! It is not amusing to me at all that I LITERALLY get to my wits end, crying on a playground, feeling absolutely unable to stand one more day... and He says, "Psych! You don't have to!!!" 

I was not amused. 

Unamused owl. 
[I'm going to coin that phrase. Get it trending... #Unamusedowl]

Not amused, but I was SO thankful. Not just relieved that I didn't have to work, that I didn't have to deal with the stress...but that the Lord is for me, looking out for me. He knows exactly how much I can handle and He threw me a rope when [and I can't help but to feel a little justified here] I am obviously at the end of mine. 


If you know that my title is not a misspelling then you can keep reading...

The best-friends-who-have-finally-decided-to-read-Harry-Potter list has gone up to THREE!!! I am ecstatic. Earlier this month while embarking on another long road trip I [for the THOUSANTH time...more like EVERY time I get in a car] thought how unbelievably amazing it would be to just be able to Apparate. I could LIVE in Athens, WORK at Disney World, and go to the beach for the day every weekend. I could zip on over to Paris for the evening and never have to pay for lodging anywhere. Besides the money it could save, think about the TIME you could have. Even the tiniest minutes that you spend driving to work daily, gone. It would absolutely be my "if you could have one magical power."

However, in discussing our thoughts on book 5, I started thinking about how much I wished I could also have a Pensieve. When my thoughts, my mind, my LIFE get so close to overwhelming...what I wouldn't do for the ability to just remove those thoughts, save them for a rainy day. If I could just extract them in a single strand of silver and place them inside a pensieve for further review, when I had, no, to make space for, more rational thinking. How about the stories? "Did I ever tell you about the time... No? Oh, well let me SHOW you. Come with me INTO MY MEMORY AND SEE EXACTLY AS I SAW IT." Yeah, that'd be so super cool...

Well, I've realized that my blog is the closest thing to a Pensieve I will ever have, which is terribly depressing, and not even CLOSE to what a real Pensieve would have to offer me...but exactly where I go to release the overwhelming thoughts swirling around in my head threatening to overflow at any second...and here we are. It's going to be a loooong post, I fear. Maybe I'll break it down into two posts...

After the best Spring and start of a birthday year, possibly, in my life, I crashed into an unforeseen wall.  With the end of my time with the twin and MISSING them EVERY DAY...It's been SO HARD! I feel like I've lost everything that was making life so easy for me. The non-structure of my life makes me feel like it is crumbling around me...No more schedules or routines--which I thrive on. I miss everything about our day. Bottle mixing in my chemistry lab, diaper change wrestling matches, bouncing on an exercise ball for hours; the constant companions, walking buddies, shopping pals...tiny people who need me, LOVE me, and thought I was hilarious. (They ADORED my lunchtime comedy routine...I mean have you seen me sing and dance show tunes (slightly under the influence of International Delights Sweet Cream coffee creamer and coffee)?! I'm the best Newsie/Galinda/Fiona/Rapunzel they've ever SEEN! (And if they knew how to clap, or stand...) I'd get standing ovations every time...)

I love the touch, the constant tugging, climbing and crawling all over me, sitting in my lap, on my hip, in my arms. When they lay their heads on my shoulder, or bury their heads in my neck or chest...I love it. I'm so thankful I have them laughing as I tickled them recorded. My car looks naked without car seats and my stroller is offended that it got put up in a closet. Now it seems strange that I have baby sunscreen in my pool bag. I miss the solitude, my simple, quiet, day...Living the tempo of a God-breathed life? Island time? Gone...I'm stressed all. the. time!!!

So if I had a Pensieve I would climb in every night after work and watch memories of simpler times with twins and cupcakes and frolicking through the meadows.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The 28th year

I had someone wish me a happy birthday this year saying "I hope it's the best year yet!" And let me tell you that I do believe it has been!

Recap (because although it's an awesome year...I still can't manage to to care to keep up with regular blogging) because I haven't posted in awhile:

This year I reread the entire Harry Potter series.Oh wait, I do that every year? Yeah, well THIS YEAR...I got two other people to read it for the first time, as well. I am SO proud to have converted two more loyal Harry Potter followers. All of my witnessing and planting of seeds has finally paid off and there will be two more souls in Harry Potter heaven. AND we made an amazing HArry Potter scavenger hunt that really deserves it's own post. Maybe soon.

I decided to color my hair red for the first time and it has been super fun. It really is interesting how different colors look on me now because I changed my hair. Also interesting, or at least humorous is how children react to it: "MISS CATHERINE! You've changed your hair 3 times!!!" "Has your hair always been orange-ish?" And when asked which one they like better, "The last one."

I am helping coach 9-10 year old softball for the first time. It is hilarious. I've learned so much about myself, about parenting and just life through it. First of all, I would MUCH rather be playing than coaching or watching anything...I would much rather do everything FOR people than let someone them try, and I would rather do everything myself and my way in my own life (rather than accept help). I think both of those things mean I have a lot of selfishness and pride deep inside... I would rather do things FOR other people because I think can do it better or at least faster... So? What's wrong with that? It means I believe that I am, and my time is, more important than them learning how or helping them to succeed. I wouldn't have thought I think that way, but these actions point to it...

To paint myself in a little better light, my heart really is to HELP people...I just tend to go about it the wrong way sometimes. This has been hardest for me recently when I can see easy solutions to problems that my friends are having but they aren't ready to see yet. And I can't make them, some people [Me-me-me] have to learn the hard way, learn from their mistakes, or at least in their own time. But man, if I could save my friends, my kids the pain of making those same mistakes...I wish I could! 

"Um, did you know that by holding your hand like that while you're catching your hand can easily get hit by a bat...?" That's something a girl could benefit from being warned about right? Who wants to test that one out for themselves? But she did. And now she has learned...does it HAVE to be so hard? I could tell her all day long about how much it [did] will hurt...But one thing is for sure, she knows it now...I LOVE to fight other people's battles, take up other people's offenses and solve all of the world's problems. The problem is...that that is not my job. What is my job, to love them anyway. To ALLOW them to make their own mistakes and let the Lord use these situations that frustrate me so to teach me to die to myself and any selfishness that there may be in there. Because really, why else do people EVER feel frustrated? Selfishness. MY time is being wasted, MY hard work isn't appreciated...MYMYMY... So though it is SO hard, I'm at least aware and I can ask for God for His help.

My job is AMAZING. I've stayed at it longer than any other job I've had, and it has only gotten better everyday. I absolutely adore the twins and could not be more content to just live each moment with them. It never ceases to amaze me how every child in the universe is unique, it never fails to blow me away at how they grow and develop and change. I always say that crawlers are my favorite, and they are, but when their receptive language takes off and they can understand me way before they can utter a word of their own. It's an everyday wonder. I love love love being recognized and LOVED by small people. I love that they get really excited to see me when I walk in a room. I think writers who first used the phrase "their eyes lit up" must've had babies. Their faces just light up when they are happy about something. How can you NOT smile when they smile and their giggles...I think they TRY to kill me with the cuteness. It is irresistable. 

A book I just finished reading, although I wasn't the biggest fan of the rest of it, had a phrase that really stood out to me: "Living the tempo of this God-breathed life." And I think I really embrace this lifestyle she was describing. I also feel like it is like the locals in St. Simons say, living on "Island Time." The way I think about both of them in regards to my own life is being relaxed and content with whatever happens in my day. I like to think about things that I used to see as "interruptions" "bad timing" "inconveniences" that I now try and see differently. It could be called positive thinking, it could be hyper spiritualizing things...but I feel like I'm moving more and more toward that end of the spectrum anyway...because I believe that EVERYthing happens for a reason and God is orchestrating even the TINIEST details of our lives. 

The other day I had this strange kind of made my chest hurt, like my heart was going to explode and I was in danger of tears...because I loved "everything" so much... I decided it was joy. It's like that math theory the sum of the parts don't equal the whole...I could list all of the things I love about each day, about my life, but it wouldn't seem as extraordinarily wonderful as it is. But life is wonderful, and I am enjoying this 28th year.