Posts Tagged ‘mistakes’

. . . . wearing my seven year old’s GAP hoodie.

You got a problem with that?

(photo courtesy of Gillian Martin)

It actually started out with me being silly. There were a couple of teenagers over here and we were joking around. I put on Liam’s hoodie and was like, “hey, I could do this!” One of the girls was like, “yeah, you could totally wear that!” I figure if a teenager tells me it’s cool, it MUST be, right???

Then again, she could have just said that to see if I’d be weird enough to actually do it and now they’re both having a nice laugh at my expense.


Oh well.




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There’s being frugal, and there’s being smart, and when you’re a busy mom, sometimes the two don’t work together. Like in that moment when you decide to finish off your kid’s orange juice because you don’t want it to go to waste. So you pick it up and start guzzling down that orangy goodness, only to find some unidentifiable glob of something sticking to the bottom inside of the cup. Yum!

Oh, and there’s a pretty good chance that if this happens, you will spit orange juice out your nose.

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It’s All In The Start

On my knees, open hands, humble heart. That’s how I want to start out, but that’s not how I do start out. It’s one of those things I know I should do. One of those things that in conversation and reflection makes so much sense and there’s always a, “yes, I’m going to start doing that,” but I never do.

Instead I lay in the bed until the very last minute–until the cries of the kidlets can no longer be ignored, the requests for breakfast put off, the dirty diapers unchanged.  Wring the very last drop out of the last moment of the soft warmth that holds me, pretends to be a comfort to me, but really is lying to me–really is chaining me down, making me captive to my idleness.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Prov. 31:27

. . . and does not eat the bread of idleness . . .

. . . idleness.

It’s ringing in my ears this morning. How many idle mornings? How many lazy starts? How many days that drag along with the work piling up and my heart bogging down in this deepening pit that’s full of wasted moments, accusations and declarations of failure?

More importantly . . .  why?

It’s in the start. It’s in the way I keep my day in my hands and somehow believe that it’s mine to do with as I please, so that when I’m halfway through and haven’t lived it fully I can believe the lies that say I’m a failure and a sham. It’s fumbling my way through to 1:00 with the breakfast mess still decorating the kitchen, only one school lesson half done (and that fraught with discord), the mountain of laundry mocking me and lunch looming before I fall to my knees and cry out for help.

How else could these things get so big? It’s just dishes to wash and clothes to fold. It’s just living life with my kidlets and it shouldn’t take a saint right, because millions of moms have done it before me. I think that’s one of the dangers of the mundane. I get to thinking that it’s all so simple and I SHOULD be able to do it on my own. Navigating through my day isn’t like preparing sermons for thousands, writing legislature or presenting million dollar proposals. “Woman up!” I seem to say and I plow forward on my own, only making me feel more worthless when I fail or don’t have the motivation because, again, this stuff should be EASY.

It’s all in the start. There’s clearly this connection between prayer, or rather a lack of prayer, and idleness. I don’t mean that I’m beating myself up if I take a nap or sit down to read a few blogs instead of  cleaning something. It’s more an idleness of my heart. I feel like I’m just sort of rambling here and I don’t know if I’m making the connection clear. It’s just that I’ve been really noticing that these really crappy days when I sort of fall apart because everything about my life and my house seem overwhelming, I haven’t started the day right.

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It really is Eliot’s fault.

I started out so sweetly! I was scooping him up, planning cuddles and tickles, typical night time love-tank filling, when I put him on the changing table to change his diaper. I often make up songs when I’m changing him and this time was no exception. To the tune of Frere Jacques, I began,

Are you sleepy,

are you sleepy,



Then the little stinker put his nasty, smelly feet right in my face. I was like a robot. The words were then coming out of my mouth before I knew it.

Ew! Your feet are stinky! 

Ew! Your feet are stinky!

(Surely you can see where this is going). And as the diaper came off I continued, horrified at myself . . .

So’s your butt!

So’s your butt!

Commence raucous laughter and giggles from the six year old and the four year old. Echos of “so’s your butt, so’s your butt!” resounding off the walls. I sigh. I’m the one who just helped them realize how beautifully ‘butt’ rhymes with ‘Eliot.’ I suppose I now owe an apology to my husband, at whom I normally roll my eyes and say, “I wonder where he got THAT from!” whenever Liam starts spouting potty humor.

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This was a fun exercise in creativity. After you read mine, head over to Dear 18 Me and write yours. Do it today and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $10 iTunes card!

18 Year Old Me

18 Year Old Me

Dear 18 year old me,

I (you) recently watched this episode of Star Trek (yeah, a day will come when you think it’s cool again, even though right now you roll your eyes whenever it comes on) where Captain Picard was mortally wounded and Q offered him a chance to go back to his youth and make changes that would keep him from dying in this particular accident. He made the changes, played it safe, and ended up not dying in the present. The problem was that his now present self was this pansy version of his real self, and he wasn’t anything like the successful, courageous and ambitious captain we all know and love. I guess the moral of the story was something like, “don’t be too hard on yourself, because your mistakes are what make you who you are.” Well it was a pretty predictable episode, not too profoundly presented, but I kind of have to agree with it a little in that there are a few mistakes you’re going to make that will change your life for the better. They’re going to really suck, but they will be used in a huge way to change who you are and what you believe.

That being said, here are just a few tiny pointers:

1. You still need to go to PCC. You’re going to meet your husband there. Go, try to complain less about the rules, and try not to get so bitter about the hypocrites or the legalism. You’ll learn from that too and realize that you’re one from time to time. Enjoy the beach more.

2. Call your folks more while you’re in college and be more honest with them about your struggles and why things are so frustrating. That dialogue could be very helpful. Call them more in general just to say “I love you.”

3. When you meet a crazy red head wearing Buddy Holly glasses and are strangely intrigued, go with that. You two are gonna make some cute babies! (Although you might re-think having him come live with you and your family for the summer BEFORE you get engaged-just sayin’.)

4. Work harder at maintaining a few of those college friendships-there are some good people you’re really going to miss.

5. Stop making statements about how things are going to be when you have kids. You’re clueless.

6. You’re going to have to work out a lot after the kids, so you might do yourself a favor and start earlier.

7. Enjoy your little debbies and coke a cola, because you’re going to learn about all sorts of nasties in them and won’t let yourself have them anymore.

8.  You really aren’t going to listen to Celine Dion forever, so you might as well stop now.

9. Don’t worry about being cast in the roles of little girls–you’re gonna get to fly!

10. Theater isn’t everything. That’s going to be a tough lesson to learn, I’m just telling it that you’ll learn it someday.

11. You aren’t a very good listener–you could avoid a lot of misunderstandings and awkward moments if you’d work on that.

12. Pay more for your wedding dress and less for your flowers–they aren’t going to be right anyway.

13. Don’t take your grandmas for granted. See them as much as you can.

14. Work harder at staying in touch with your brother–you guys won’t see each other much over the next few years.

15. Keep at it–He’s worth it!

PS. If you read this and were part of my life when I was 18 and you DID try telling me some of this . . .  sorry. Hey! I was 18!!! Who listens to anyone when they’re 18???

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Yay! I finished the skirt! It only took two more attempts to get the waistband right. Oy! I had quite a time getting any pictures too because Miss Gillian doesn’t want to have her picture taken, doesn’t really want to wear a shirt that matches the skirt, and doesn’t want to have her hair combed either. In fact, she refuses to twirl. How can you not twirl in a twirly skirt? How can a child possibly resist the overwhelming NEED to twirl in such a twirly skirt? Sigh. Sometimes I wonder why  I even bother.  Finally, after much coaxing, I managed to get a sweater on her and a couple of smiles, only if I would promise to be sure and post a picture of her shoes and the one of her being silly.

Isn’t it funny how we (supposedly out of love) do things for our children and when they don’t show what we consider to be the appropriate appreciation, we become angry? If I’m doing this to make her happy, couldn’t I control my own feelings if she’s not jazzed about it? Getting angry at her for not twirling certainly isn’t going to make her happy. So do I stop making her stuff? Do I try to get more input? Do I give it to someone else if she doesn’t like it? (Heck no! I’d be too afraid of anyone else seeing my inside seams!) I think for my next project I’ll work on something for one of the boys. Maybe if someone else gets the fruits of my (grueling) labor she’ll be a little more cooperative.

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I’ve been dying to get some new posts up with pictures of all the projects I’ve recently been inspired to undertake. The problem is, that sadly, my actual skills are far eclipsed by my inspiration and enthusiasm, so most of the things I’ve been working on have turned out a horrible mess and I’ve either had to set it a side for a moment of less frustration, or scrap the project all together. Those stinking rogue stitches that just don’t want to stay in a straight line!!! Right now it’s a skirt for Gillian made out of an old circular table cloth my dad gave me. Antiqued fabric, lace trim, the stuff a crafter’s dreams are made of. Alas, I made it too big. It’s going to be another evening with the seam ripper. Andy’s been trying to gently remind me that I’ve got to practice if I want to be any good at it. Sigh. He mentioned some old proverb about taking something like 3000 photos before you ever get your first good shot. Please tell me I’m not going to have to rip out 3000 seams before I make my first descent skirt–Gillian will be in college (and probably not want to wear skirts made by mom). SOooooo, that’s why I don’t have any pictures, just gripes, and gripes are depressing, so I’m going to go make nice with my seam ripper and keep at it.

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