Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Canned Peas.

It is 11:29 pm. I am sitting at my kitchen table. The floor is not swept, but the dishes are done, so that's progress. I am addressing wedding invitations for someone who lives in San Diego. My Beloved is in Dallas, which is a 20 hour drive away. Or something like that. The Wee One is screaming in her room, and has been (off and on) since I put her to bed.

There is only one thing I want at a time like this, and it is called canned peas. But I'm all out.

And I'm not even kidding.

I miss you, Beloved.
Come home soon.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Week.

Confession: I'm really terrible at celebrating Easter. I've just never known how to do it. How to strike the balance between the beauty of springtime with it's bunnies and Cadbury Mini Eggs with the serious observance of Holy Week and Easter.

So we've dyed Easter eggs and hunted for them the Saturday before Easter. We've tried to emphasize the importance of Easter Sunday.

But it's always been small and understated, and it somehow always felt... flat.

This year I was determined to really celebrate Easter. I "invested" in some more Easter decorations. (I have to say "invested" to justify buying them at all.) The Spouse and I started a countdown to Easter two weeks ago Sunday where, each night, our children open a numbered Easter Egg that contains a jelly bean for each child and a scripture about Jesus' life and ministry. We hung colorful plastic eggs on our front tree and talked about the symbolism of things in the spring that can remind us about Jesus.

In short, we did everything we harped and pounded on the subject until it was exhausted.

Sunday was Palm Sunday, and began the nightly opening of eggs that also contained a symbol of Holy Week and the countdown of this sacred time of year. We have talked about the life of Jesus a lot for two weeks now. I have drilled this into my kid's heads. This is going to be a week where they really get it. My hopes are high.

We sat down to read our scripture. My beloved Little Ones are gathered around me.
Filled with anticipation, I asked my five year old daughter what holiday is coming up.
"Easter!" she exclaimed.
"That's right!" I encouraged proudly, "and what is Easter about???"

A heartbeat of a pause. The Humpty Dumpty of my hope teeters.

"THE EASTER BUNNY!!!!!!" she screeched, and both she and Thing 2 started writhing on the floor in delight, amongst the shattered remains of all my plans.

But like a doomed sea captain in a fog, I floundered onward.
"Um, no. Not the Easter bunny. Well. Kind of. But what is Easter REALLY about?" I pressed.

"CANDYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!" they both exclaimed.

Deep breaths.
"What, besides candy, is Easter about?" I insisted.

Blank stares.
"A person?" I asked hopefully.

Oh well. Maybe next year. At least there will always be Mini Eggs.

Friday, March 26, 2010


For the past two days, I have been up in the mountains of North Carolina.

You know, Appalachia is a special place. And it isn't just the charming street names like "Possum Trot" or "Bodwich Bottom" that give it such allure. No, while those are lovely bonuses unto themselves, it is really the view that captures your heart.

Because, really, it's worth the drive just to observe A Century of Cars, all in people's front yards. I was also, of course, SO glad to see that there are places in our great nation where young men can go to their local McDonalds in overalls. I can imagine that my joy is overshadowed, somewhat, by the people who are welcomed with open arms at BBQ establishments sporting signs that say "SMOKERS WELCOME."

You heard 'em right. They can make whatever laws they want in Raleigh, but up here?? You are WELCOME.

(This flies in the face of the sign I saw on a restaurant in South Carolina recently that was going smoke-free due to "an overwhelming healthy consciousness." I have no idea what that means. "Smokers welcome" at least makes sense.)

We stayed at a tiny little mountain inn that was built only 20 years ago, but made to resemble a MUCH older building. Complete with wood burning stoves, very thin walls, and snoring Scottish tourists. We contributed to the ambiance, as we love to do, by bringing in small children that run up and down the halls, slam doors, and a one year old that wails hourly, on cue, throughout the night.

I am assured that old people don't sleep well at night anyway, so I wasn't really worried about disturbing them.

The capstone of our trip had to be the visit to the North Carolina Arboretum, with a special exhibit called "The Scoop on Poop." You might think that just because nothing is blooming, the greenhouses are closed, and everything looks completely depressing and lifeless, it might be better to wait to visit the Aboretum. But then you would miss your chance to learn about feces, take hilariously posed pictures by placing your face in a cutout of someone reading a book in an outhouse, and give in to the temptation to scratch and sniff the "SNIFF HERE" stickers on the exhibits. We even got to race dung beetles pushing balls of "dung."

My trip was complete.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Spring is here. Truly and for real.

Every year, our subdivision ("village" as they like to call it) has a kite flying festival. I left the car home and walked there to meet my family, which--right now--includes my own parent in laws and sister in law. The blossoms on the bradford pear trees on our street are in full bloom, as of yesterday. It is a blissful avenue of white. In the little ponds and lakes, the turtles are sunning themselves.

That is the sign. It is spring. No matter what, winter can't catch us now.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Maybe not the Sharpest Knife in the Drawer.

This morning, I was trying to clean out my vaccum with a knife and managed to stab myself in the hand.

And then I fainted.

(I am a fainter. I'd forgotten that. But at least I didn't pee my pants this time, which I've done before when I fainted. When I was 21. That wasn't embarrasing at all. *snort*)

But the funniest part is that when I related this to my mom/husband/nurse/friend/sister they were less concerned about the fact that I have a puncture wound in my hand than the fact that I was cleaning my vaccum with a knife. "WHY were you using a knife???"

Well, what else are you supposed to use to remove nearly SEVEN YEARS of collected threads from you vaccum? Really--I'd like to know.

But at least I got a tetanus shot. That's a bonus. Bring on your sharp objects: I'm covered.

Unedited Life: Monday Morning

  • I finally figured out what was causing this insane breakout of teenage nightmare proportions: my anti-wrinkle lotion. Figures.

  • I have deep cleaned my house so thoroughly that there's no hope of my regular house ever being clean again. But the insides of all my closets, drawers, and cupboards look awesome. Maybe I'll go live inside one of them.

  • As I dragged myself out of bed this morning at 5:30 (even though the clock said 6:30) to drag my 5 year old out of HER bed, in the dark, I thought "Move the clocks forward an hour? Really? WHO'S DUMB IDEA WAS THIS?" The fact that all of us, en masse, will follow along like sheep proves that--together--there is nothing that we can't accomplish. Because we'll do whatever we're told.

  • My youngest is 18 months old and just started walking. But I still woke up this morning wearing a maternity shirt and maternity sweats. Boy are they ever comfy!!

  • On Saturday, I got to go get "into" some beehives. And guess what? I loved it just as much as I thought I would. It was amazing. These beautiful, graceful creatures buzzing softly around me, covered in pollen, and checking me out just as much as I was checking them out. I held a frame with thousands of bees on it in my two hands and felt not the slightest twinge of fear. Just amazement. Now if I could just get a hedgehog my life would be complete. Hmmm....

Friday, March 12, 2010


Today is my 7th engage-iversary.

It seems like such a long time ago. The weirdest thing, though, is that it was such a long time ago.

I have the perfect engagement story. My Beloved really wasn't to be underestimated in his wooing abilities. When he decided to propose, the man decided to propose. It was fabulous. But my favorite part of the whole thing?

The fact that he proposed with a small, gold wedding band. Because he just couldn't wait for a diamond engagement ring.

And I said "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes."

That's love.

If you haven't read our love story, and you want to, click here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

An Open Apology.

Dear Grandparents,

We are so looking forward to your visits in the upcoming weeks. I have been scrubbing every inch of my house to make it ready for your welcome. I've picked out your sheets, stocked up on yummy soap, used lavender in the guest towels, planned a menu, and nagged The Spouse about possible things to do and places to visit.

But alas.
The Terrible Toddlers have found us, right on cue.
And I'm really not kidding when I warn: She bites.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Play in the dirt.

(Don't laugh at my poor, crooked, broken toes. It's not nice.)

I have spent the past two days outside. Barefoot. With my pants rolled up.
It has reminded me that doing that is so good for my soul.
I'm pretty sure that it's working wonders for my kids' childhoods as well.

Today, we all mixed compost (which I explained was cow poop and dirt) together with regular dirt and then planted a beautiful new blueberry bush. We added "apple mint" to our array of herbs that make up the border of my garden. The spearmint and oregano are sending up their green sprouts. I consulted with the kids on where we might want to put some lavender (English is better for attracting bees than French), and if we want to put strawberries near the front.
My oldest made her own lasso and played cowgirl. My son used his blocks to make his own "garden" on the porch. The munchkin crawled and rolled around in the dirt.
I could've lived in today forever.
Today, I was the kind of mother I always wanted to be.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I am missing my grandmother.

Which is strange because I wasn't close to my grandmother. Not for any reason except lack of time. She died the summer I was 13 years old. I didn't go to her funeral, but went on a road trip with my friend. We'd been planning our trip for months. I was a teenager, and selfish.What good would it do to miss my trip, anyway? It wasn't like she was actually going to BE at the funeral. I believed she would understand.
I still believe she would've.
Now that I'm older, I'm not sure that I do.
It's hard not to judge your young, stupid self.
After I got back from my trip, most of my grandmother's things had already been divided and given away. To children, grandchildren, and Deseret Industries. I only inherited a very few things. The things I remember most from her house and her garden weren't things I could carry away anyway... the glass door knobs, her raspberry jam in the freezer with the ghost, windchimes on a clothesline, and an apricot tree that knew no rival.

Even writing about those things makes me ache. It's strange, because I don't think I mourned her at the time. Not really. With her beautiful blue eyes, and a smile that sparkled. Only now do I wish for long conversations I never had. I feel cheated. I want to know who she was, and what she might have thought of me, now. Maybe she could've helped me make sense of myself. I wonder what she would say about my children. I want to know more about her parents.

I just never got the chance to ask.

But in my kitchen is my tangible reminder of her. A strange, cast-off thing, on it's way to D.I. when I rescued it and packed it away. I don't think it was special to her. But it's special to me, because it was hers. A french fry cutter, made of steel. It's sturdy and old and makes me think of her, every time I use it. Tonight I used it to make homemade fries for Sunday dinner.
I miss you, Grandma Jean.
I'm sorry I missed your funeral.
I hope you understand.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


This morning, I was perusing through Creative Loafing, looking for cool things to do this month here in the N.C. There were the usual small bands playing at small bars. Support groups. Opera. Theater. A parkour group. Then this listing caught my eye:

North Carolina Naturists!
Celebrating more than 20 years of family-oriented, clothing-optional recreational activities. Call for more info.

My mind began to race--what, pray tell, is a naturist? Well. "At The Naturist Society, we have members who are deeply committed to naturism, and view it as a defining idea of their lives. And we have members who don't give the philosophical side of naturism much thought. They just know that not wearing clothes often feels better and makes more sense than wearing them." (From "The Naturist Society", emphasis added.)

Glory be! There is a TERM for what my children are! Naturists!! (Not to be confused with naturalists, people. Very different.) Not only do my children have a genus and species, but they even have an official club for them! The ultimate opportunity to rub shoulders, so to speak, with their own kind.

I wonder if it's frowned upon for parents to drop their naturist progeny off for the "recreational activity" and head for the nearest clothing mandatory restaurant... hm.

Although, if they offer a special lecture series on "Chafing: Don't Let it Rub You the Wrong Way" then I could consider recreating along with them. Especially if they offer gluten free spelt or oat groats for refreshments...

Monday, March 1, 2010


An update on the beautiful bedroom set.

I lost the receipt.

I am humiliated. And a bit delighted.