Archive for September, 2009

You Capture – Fall


Fall.  I thought about being literal here, but then I realized that instigating my children falling was probably not really the best mothering technique even if for a good picture.  So instead I went with typical fall-like captures.

First is our pumpkin.  I’m not sure if the size of this thing is properly represented in this picture.


It is over 2 feet wide and about 18 inches tall.  The girls tended to this pumpkin in our garden and are beyond happiness at the thought of turning it into a jack-o-lantern and eating the seeds.

Here is one of our more normal-sized pumpkins that is still growing, but probably not for long as a freeze is coming Wednesday night.


Last weekend part of our adventures was going to our local arts and crafts festival called the Candy Dance.  It was fun, but very busy.  There is no rhyme or reason to the flow of the booths.  So we kept getting turned around on which way we were headed.  For lunch we enjoyed Indian tacos, and then we enjoyed cotton candy and shaved ice.


So what did you capture this week?


I think I’ve lost it

Let me do a little list for you.

Monday – school with big girls, preschool drop-off (sometimes pick up), gymnastics, work, exercise

Tuesday – school, work

Wednesday – school with big girls, preschool drop-off (sometimes pick up), gymnastics, work, exercise.

Thursday – school with big girls, swim lesson for 1, homeschool co-op, RCIA meeting, work

Friday – school with big girls, preschool drop-off (sometimes pick-up), work, exercise

Saturday – gymnastics

Sunday – church

Add to this once a month I play bunco and once a month I have a board meeting to go to in the evening.

So you would think that adding anything to this insanity of a schedule would be even more insane.  So what do I do?  I add teaching my 3rd-grader’s CCD class.  As of next Tuesday, my Tuesday’s will not seem so empty.  I will be teaching a class and also Sass will be going to her class at the same time while Sweet Pea gets delivered to my parents.  I am also looking at once Sass gets better at swimming signing her up for the swim team – which meets twice a week – instead of gymnastics.  So, really, I’ve just added more chaos and running around than necessary.

T was asking me last night about whether I felt I was doing too much – because he thinks I am.  Honestly? I probably am, but at the same time, if I’m busy enough I don’t have time to think.  And if I’m not thinking, then even though I’m constantly running around, I’m not as stressed.  Does that make sense?  Thinking in my world is deep and desires communication and talking things to death.  I have three kids, a husband who travels, and a job.  I don’t have time to talk things to death.  I’m busy, people!

So, on top of everything else to do today, I have a teacher training meeting tonight for the CCD program and again, part 2, on Saturday.  Then we are participating in Reno’s Race for the Cure on Sunday.  Now I know why it feels like time is flying.  The weekend offers no respite.  Oh well, at least I get to hang out with the kids during the day.  It doesn’t feel like I’m missing out on time with them when I spend my days WITH them.

RCIA (What I learned this week)

(So I’m using this as my post to join in Jo-Lynne’s carnival

For those of you who don’t know, I am what is called a “cradle Catholic”.  I was born into Catholicism and grew up immersed in it.  I took a break from church for about 5 or 6 years, and now I’m back.  All three girls have been baptized and SmartyPants made her First Communion last spring.  We go to mass once a week (unless we are out of town).  For the past 4 years or so Traveler has talked about going through the process to become Catholic.  He was baptized Episcopalian and during his early childhood years his family attended a Lutheran church.  I never pushed him to convert.  (And to me that word has a negative connotation.)  He talked about it when we lived in Idaho, but we didn’t feel comfortable with how some things were run in the local parish there.  When we moved here, he talked about it a bit more, but because of all the traveling he was doing he couldn’t commit to the weekly meetings.  Last Thursday was our third night of classes.  I’m going too as I will be his sponsor.  (A sponsor is sorta like a godparent.  They support you through the process and they are kind of life your “go-to” person if you have a question or want to dialogue with someone about something you are being taught.)  In being his sponsor I thought I’d get a lot out of the class too.  Or at least I would learn more about the way Catholicism is practiced in our parish.  I’ve mentioned in the past that I really like our parish here.   The head priest is big into social justice issues and I don’t think I’ve ever hear him say anything about abortion that didn’t include remembering that we need to protect ALL life including the mother’s.  Which is huge to me, and I may go into more depth at another time about this.  But knowing that the head honcho of the church I go to cares about doing right by people and by his call to God means something to me.

Anyway, RCIA – Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.  Part of the reason I’m writing this is because I have a feeling I’m going to be more comfortable with my religion (not my faith, I’m pretty comfortable with it at this point in my life).  Take for instance last night.  We were talking about different words that have been used to describe God/Jesus, and then we were asked to help find passages in the Bible that make references to how God/Jesus was perceived.  The leader of the RCIA program is a deacon.  He was actually the one who baptized SmartyPants 8+ years ago.  One of the words that came up was “father”.  Because most people think of God as a father figure.  We live in a patriarchal world, so it isn’t a surprise that “we” view God as a father.  But Deacon Bob pointed out that some people didn’t have a positive father figure in their life and they have difficulty wrapping their brain around how a father figure could be kind/compassionate, etc.  So he showed us two parts in the bible that associate God with a nurturing mother.  So what I was hearing from this conversation was that I (or anyone else) felt that thinking of God as a mother figure instead of a father figure made more sense to us, that was okay.

So, night one of “lecture” gave me more comfort in my perceived strictness within Catholicism.  My parish doesn’t feel that things are black and white.  This thrills me because life isn’t black and white.  I am looking forward to learning more and going through this process with T.

I’m Planning

I think I’m going to make this a recurring theme on Monday mornings.  I think it helped me last week to put things into perspective a little and strive to have a better week.  So here goes nothing.

1.  I’m planning on visiting with a good friend this morning.

2.  I’m planning on enjoying the fact that my husband is home all week.

3.  I’m planning on doing my very best at NOT losing my temper with the kids.

4.  I’m planning on continuing to work on healing my heart.

5.  I’m planning on walking in Komen’s Race for the Cure on Sunday in honor of my mom – a 6+ year survivor.

6.  I’m planning on having a good dinner made every night this week.

7.  I’m planning on running 3 times this week.

8.  I’m planning on not going insane with all the stuff I am doing with the kids.

So, if you want to join me in making a plan for the week, I’d love to see what everyone else’s plan is for the week.

Getting over it

So, on a Saturday night with much hilarity and laughter and friends, I come home to put the girls to bed and it’s quiet.  It is just me or do the quiet evenings seem to be what brings out the “thinker”?  I have always been this way.  Even back in high school I remember many an evening during my senior year that I would grab my journal, a good pen, and head down to Denny’s (one of few places I felt I wouldn’t be scorned because I was only ordering coffee or iced tea). I would just sit and write.  And watch people and analyze things – repeatedly.  Yes, I was that person.  I had come to a point where it seemed the close friends I had over the past few years were growing apart.  It seemed everyone was in a relationship that consumed them entirely.  But I wasn’t that person.  My senior year of high school was one of fun and trying not to be serious.  I wanted to enjoy this last year.  And for the most part it was fun.  I enjoyed who I chose to hang out with.  I worked.  I went on dates.  I made a point to attend all the dances that year.  I hadn’t attended one up until that point.  I went stag with one of my girlfriends to one, insisted I took one of my younger coworkers to the Sadie Hawkins dance and went with a good friend to prom.  I just wanted to relax and enjoy.  But I spent quite a bit of time alone by choice that year.  About a month before the end of the school year I ran into T.  It was unexpected.  I was in an outstanding mood that day.  We said things like “we should get together and catch up” and ” sure, give me a call sometime.”  Honestly I never expected that he would, but he did.  We ended up spending the summer inseparable except when we were at work.  I spent the summer surrounded by T and his friends.  It was an awesome summer.  It was the first time in a relationship that I legitimately gave 100%.  I always felt like I had to go over and above the “call of duty” to make sure that the guy really liked me.  (Which is total crap, but I wanted to be ‘special’ to someone. Ick, I know.)  But with T it was so easy and comfortable.  Even with his friends.  I never felt awkward that I was, if not the only one, then one of two girls around.  I loved it.

I have always felt more comfortable around guys.  They are easier to get along with if you can take the jovial shit that gets thrown around.  I prided myself in being able to sling it right back.  Guys I understood.  Girls?  Well, I always felt that if you got more than 2 girls together then things would catty or people would pair off  and get bitchy.  But with guys?  Well it seemed you always knew where you stood with them and that was what I needed in my life.  I have so many memories of that summer.  Most of them incredible.  We attended a friend’s wedding that summer.  T treated me like a queen and his friends seemed to have respect for me as well.  My fear?  Going away to college in the middle of August.  I knew it’s what I wanted.  I knew I had to go – for me.  But I didn’t know how my relationship with T would hold up over the distance.  I didn’t know how, after spending the summer surrounded by guys, I was going to manage living in an all-girl dorm; how I was going to share a 20×20 foot room with another person.  It was frightening to me.

Fast forward through the crappy boyfriend relationship and feeling let down by my friends, I had finally reached a state of contentment.  I felt truly happy with where my life was.  I had changed schools.  I was living on my own.  I was supporting myself through the summer, paying my own bills, and being accountable to only myself.  It was an amazing time.  I felt a level of confidence in myself that I had never experienced before.  That summer my parents celebrated their 25th anniversary and we had a family reunion at Lake Tahoe simultaneously.  It was during that visit that T and I ran into each other again.  I wasn’t looking for a relationship.  He came over one day and we hadn’t seen each other for about a year.  He gave me a hug.  And I sickenly melted.  I knew at that time that I wanted to be a part of his life.  That I wanted him in mine.  I spent the following semester back at college 1000 miles away wishing I was with him the whole time. T proposed that Christmas, but I didn’t make the decision to move back home until after his mom passed away the following January.  He was extremely close to his mom and I knew that if he didn’t have a healthy support system in place, things would go sour.  It tore me apart to head back to school for the beginning of the semester at the end of January.  I knew he was hurting, but I couldn’t bring myself, at the time, to acknowledge that quitting school was a viable option.  It became evident even before school started that I couldn’t go through with the plan.  I ended up moving back home after about 6 weeks.  We had some rough patches, to say the least, as we got used to the reality of a full-time relationship within normal lives and jobs and school.  But through it all I was still welcomed by “the guys”.  I was still respected by his friends.  It was during this time between us getting engaged and actually getting married that I got to spend a lot of time in the periphery of T and his friends.  I learned a lot about them just by watching and being around.  They didn’t seem to see me as someone to be cautious of.  (I prided myself on this fact.)  “The guys” would come over to the house in the evenings and hang out and sometimes drink more than they should have.  They talked and I felt I knew a lot about their personalities.  I remember one night, as everyone was on their way out the door, that C stopped and put his arm around my shoulder and essentially said that he thought I was good for T.  I was a good person and he really admired me.  This was a huge compliment because I viewed him as one of the only ones (at the time) that seemed to have a grasp on what family meant and how important relationships were.  Granted he has about 5 years on T and I, but his was the wedding we went to during the summer after I graduated.  I felt I had some clue into his personality and his sense of self, and I admired that he didn’t take shit from “the guys” because sometimes he chose his family over “the guys”.  This was a defining moment for me with him.  He was like the big brother I always wanted and looked up to.  (I have a big brother, but not the stereotypical stick up for your little sister kind of brother.)  His presence always gave me a sense of comfort.

So fast forward to our life back in our home town.  I didn’t want to move back.  That was no secret.  I told T that if we moved back that I was going to have a hard time being that close to all the family.  We had spent the previous 7+ years going it alone – at least physically.  We didn’t have family we could call on to show up on our doorstep 15 minutes later.  If something happened, we had to figure it out for ourselves or call and ask for advice.  But because we didn’t always want to call someone, we did figure a lot of things out on our own.  So moving back home and INTO my parents’ house was really difficult.  By this time we were a family of five + a dog + 2 cats.  (Why, yes, my parents are awesome.)  I felt part of me belonged in Idaho.  Another part of me felt like I was failing because I couldn’t make it outside of our town.  Logically, I knew we weren’t failing.  I knew we had succeeded.  But it felt like failing.  I felt a hit in my pride.

Can I just say that moving back home has been one of the best things to happen to us?  I have made so many friends who I love to spend time with.  We now get to see friends we rarely got to spend more than an afternoon with every 6 months when we happend to be in town and their schedule was clear.  My kids get to spend time with their grandparents and really get to know them.  They get to see their cousins.  We have much more of a social life than we ever had before, which is a good thing and a bad thing.  My schedule has trouble accommodating all the fun there is to be had.  When we finally bought a house and moved in less than 5 minutes away from C and his family, it was pretty cool.  I love them.  They are wonderful friends.  They, like the rest of us, are just doing the best they can and trying to do right by their family.  I have great respect for them.  There is so much love in my heart for them.  Their daughter babysits our girls and they love her to pieces.

So, sitting here tonight, in my kitchen – just over a week from “the conversation”, I want to be moving on.  I want to get past this ache in my heart.  I delivered a letter to C on Tuesday.  I didn’t know when we would get to finish the conversation that was started last Friday, and I am not one who can handle when a situation isn’t resolved.  I need to feel like I said my peace.  I delivered a letter that said all the things I wanted to say.  I read and reread it trying to make sure that my points were clear – that my perspective was coming through, but that I wasn’t being bitchy.  As control-freaky as I am, I printed out the damn thing and read it in print and then make changes to the letter and printed it off and hand-delivered it to his work.  Yeah, that wasn’t mildly awkward.  I haven’t heard from him since.  Granted I said that I was going to work on moving past this situation.  That I was putting the ball in his court.  It was up to him on whether or not he wanted to finish the conversation.  And for the most part I am okay about it all.  I have moved to a different place.  But it isn’t a place where I know any more than I did a week ago about him.  It’s not a place of acceptance.  But it is a better place because I’ve said what I needed to say.  Unfortunately my heart doesn’t have answers to a lot of questions.  And only time or a new conversation will rectify the situation.  I tell myself to breath a lot.  I’m past the tears, but I’m not past the hurt.  Acceptance is a hard place to reach when your heart aches.  I know there is nothing more I can do.  The control-freak part of me has a hard time with that – a really hard time.  And then I think, I cried over this.  I poured my heart out.  I cried in FRONT OF SOMEONE.  And yet I don’t have any answers to any of my questions.

Time.  I know that is what it will take.  I’m not willing to make things possibly more awkward by doing anything more than I have done.  My husband deserves to have both his wife and one of his best friends in his life.  I want to move past, but I know time will have to heal this wound.

And I don’t want to wait.

My weekend

This weekend is going to be a little busy, but hopefully fun and not with a lack of sleep.  I think I’m still trying to catch up from the last two weekends.


1.  Drop SmartyPants off at gymnastics.

2.  Grocery store/post office.

3.  Make more granola bars.

4.  Pick SmartyPants up.

5.  Lunch.

6.  Nap (for at least Sweet Pea).

7.  Birthday party #1.

8. Birthday party #2.

Somewhere in there I need to get some more laundry done and think about finding my closet floor.  It has been buried underneath layers of clothes that are too small for the big girls and too big for the littlest.

Tomorrow has a little less running around to do.  We are going to an local arts festival that I’ve always wanted to go to but never remember to look up what weekend it is and usually miss it.  Then there will be nap and church.  Before you know it Traveler will be home.  And on top of it all?  I was proactive and motivated last night.  I finished my work.  Yahoo!!  I subverted my own efforts at procrastination.

On a positive note, Sweet Pea didn’t crawl into bed with me until about 6 am.  This is a vast improvement from the last two nights.  I think she has been feeling a little separated from us now that she is going to preschool and to rectify that feeling she has been crawling into my bed at night.  I’m a firm believer in everyone has their own bed.  It a boundary I need.  And when I am squeezed between T and a child, I don’t sleep well.

So, despite not having a  husband this weekend, I think it will be okay.


So, I’m just stealing all of Tiffany’s stuff today.  Love this!