Thursday, May 26, 2011

right now being me looks like 20 things

1. It looks like scrambling to make a medieval costume for my eight-year-old.
2. It also looks like scrambling to fulfill my obligation of providing cooked and cubed chicken and 30 cut up apples for said medieval feast.
3. It looks like putting away about three tons of winter clothes. (Some of which are baby clothes...for the last time....sniff.)
4. It looks like loving on a new neighbor who is fabulous and wonderful and broken and doesn't know Jesus.
5. It looks like hauling little girls to Home Depot, Dept of Labor and Industry, BMO, Menards, Minneapolis Permits and Licensing place (whatever that's called).
6. I would say it looks like a tornado has hit my home, but now that I've seen pictures of real tornado damage, it looks more like it's just been ransacked. By toddlers.
7. It looks like a new kind of growing up as I try to be stronger in my home while my husband adjusts to a new job. (No more, "PLEASE come home ASAP!!!")
8. It looks like baseball games. Lots of them.
9. It looks like singing new songs with Jillian. Even if she makes them up, I try to sing along. It looks kinda like this:

10. It looks like demolition of windows and walls and dust everywhere.
11. It looks like boxes of kleenexes everywhere.
12. It looks like laundry at every stage. Dirty, washing, drying, waiting, partially folded, almost put away and some in the drawers. All the time.
13. It looks like nobody wants to cook. Lots and lots of pizza these days.
14. It looks like letting Miles stay up a little later, because that's really the only time he wants to talk.
15. It looks like milk spilled. Everyday. Because Phoebe feeds herself cereal and ain't nobody gonna take her spoon.
16. It looks like mama's not gardening this year.
17. It looks like coupons and board books.
18. It looks like Danskos have made a place in my heart and on my feet.
19. It looks like...I actually made the bed today.
20. It looks looks like I better go make that chicken!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

a guest post from a little birdie

My parents call my sister, Neely, "Bird." The following is her tribute to our mom on Mother's Day.


...she'll pack a picnic for anything including the time she drove with me to jefferson city so that i could take a licensing exam.
...she'll buy you a commercial-sized air conditioner if you need a fan.
...she's madly intentional about some things in her life and maddeningly unintentional about others. it makes me feel normal.
...she let me drink NA beer* in high school and would occasionally buy six packs of the NA beer for me because i really preferred the taste of beer over soda. Still do.
...she threw caution in the wind and encouraged me to travel to foreign lands in high school and college. now we get to trust in the Lord as she lives overseas.
...she allowed us to watch the best of the 80s movies: Annie, Private Eyes, Mr. Mom, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Working Woman, Baby Boom, Trading Places; name it, we watched it, and we still quote it.
...she always, always believed in my ability to be a tiger lady at the office, but listens to me cry on my worst days without judgment in the path chosen for me in corporate life.
...she loves well her three, very different, daughters, differently.
...she loves our dad and you can still see that i-treasure-you-twinkle in her blue eyes when she looks at him.**
...she love her Lord, Jesus Christ, above all things.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom-A-La!

*for those of you wondering what NA beer is, it's non-alcoholic!
** yes!!! good call, neely!

to mom from #3


With each year that I get to enjoy the blessing of being a mother, my respect for you grows and my heart is humbled. Here are some things for which I am so grateful.

You are a mom I could share anything with. You told me the truth and I told you the truth. We weren't afraid of being real with each other. I felt like the only girl with a mom like you.

You didn't have all the Bible studies under your belt in the 80s that you do now, but you had rock solid faith. You taught us with confidence that God has a good plan even when we go through hard circumstances. I remember vividly these lessons.

I was mesmerized by you as a child. You were so funny. Your spontaneous dancing and general silliness shaped me. (I think Avery looks at me the same way I looked at you.) All my friends loved your laugh. The burst of a howl followed by the unselfconscious hoo hoo hee hee ha ha made us giggle.

You are so comfortable to be with. We don't need a plan. We just plop down on the couch and share our hearts over hazelnut coffee. I love that.

You always give all you have. You give yourself. Growing up, I watched you give time, rides, money, groceries, hugs, smiles, encouragement, gifts...all.the.time.
You have the patience of Job. I didn't really know how self-centered I was as a child until I was an adult. One day you and Dad said, "Oh, Jenna, we are so relieved to see how sensitive you are to other people. You were the MOST self-centered child of the bunch." You didn't immortalize my weaknesses by pointing them out and trying to root them out of my life at a young age. You lived by example and waited patiently for the Lord to work in my heart. I find this extremely encouraging as a parent.

You were adventurous. You even tried to home school me. We lasted a good semester. Honestly, though, it was the best semester of my life. I loved being with you!

You valued arts and cultural experiences and thus made sure we had season tickets to the St. Louis Repertory Theater. I still remember Conversations With My Father, Fences, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Christmas Carol, A Little Night Music, etc.... Maybe, this was a tiny influence on me ;)

You concocted and carried out some of the most hair-brained ideas, which turned out to make hilarious memories. My favorite was the time we got tired of the ducks. We'd acquired them on a whim at some rural county fair. For whatever reason, they became a nuisance and you decided that they belonged at someone else's farm. This didn't mean that you'd pick up the phone and find a new home for them. No, you spotted a good pond on someone else's property and didn't need to consult them. The plan we carried out was that when it got dark, we'd each hold onto a duck and lay low in the back of the pick-up while Dad drove. Then, when he stopped by the pond, we threw them over the fence as their feathers flew and they were quackin' at the moon. You're the only person I've ever thrown a duck with. I love you for that memory.

You are the best mother in the world for me. Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Today's Top Five Things on My Mind

1. Just got a new roof today. Not for the whole house. Just the addition that someone put on like 40 years ago. It leaked for years, but not every time it rained. It was so tricky. It would either pour in or not leak at all! We kept trying to patch it, but to no avail. Now we have new roof and mama so happy.

2. SOoO...Now, that the leak is fixed, we are ready to FINALLY remodel our family room. We're gonna knock out walls and build stuff and put in a new floor. Also, we're gonna finally say goodbye to the early 90s linoleum in our kitchen! I'm so excited!!!

3. I love Becky Laparra. She babysits my kids once a week, so that means I get to see her at least once a week. Basically, I'm hiring her to be my friend. And to keep me sane.

4. Baseball season is upon us. Little league, that is. I LOVE it. It completely messes up our eating, sleeping and everything else schedules, but who needs normalcy? calories? rest?? Avery was starting pitcher in the first game of the season. My eyes welled up with proud tears the first time I heard the ump utter "strike."

5. Laundry. If baseball is on one end of the happiness spectrum, then laundry is on the other end. It's all I do.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May the Fourth Be With You

I wonder if Miles knows that it's Star Wars Day. He's obsessed. The other day, it occurred to me that his friend's Dad is indirectly raising our son. Or, at the very least, he's raising his Star Wars awareness. Miles has learned Weird Al's song and various trivia from him his son.

It seemed appropriate that Miles would say the following quote today. This should offer a glimpse into daily obsession life with Miles.

Miles looked into the mirror and asked with great hope, Does this [chocolate milk mustache] make me look like Lando Calrissian?

Yes, he said his last name. No, I didn't know Lando had a last name. I most definitely Googled it to figure out the spelling.

Would you like one more? Here's a conversation Brent relayed to me a few weeks ago:

Miles: Dad, can you understand R2D2 when he speaks?
Brent: No.
Miles: Sometimes, I really think I can.

And in the off chance that you haven't seen this public service announcement...