Gloom despair and agony on me. For your weekend....

So do you ever just get so cold that you worry you might shake to death?  Because I do.  I really do. 

There used to be an exercise machine that jiggled you half to death and women everywhere fastened themselves in for a crazy ride hoping for the best.  Anyway, if I could shake off some excess in certain areas and have it land in another, I'd be all in too.  But I'm so over this winter thing even making me think about it.

Do you ever in the middle of a surprise snow storm want to call your garage door salesman and ask if he knows what the heck is going on with your missing door that you ordered over a month ago and can he come over here right now and lift my broken, frozen door for me?  My sales guy was named Fester which I will remember for the rest of my life because it reminded me of Festus from Gunsmoke.  And the fact that he kept calling me Lieutenant during our entire visit.

Do you ever look over at your sick husband with the flu all laid out all over the couch and say a thank you prayer to God that you didn't choose to be a nurse or a doctor or anyone else that has to take care of sick people?  Because I would be so terrible at all those jobs and I think this is one of those days where husband is questioning his choice of life partner.  He says he thinks I would just stick him out in the back yard in a shed if I could.  To which I reminded him that just last week we did go shed shopping.  Just a coincidence.  

We've been cooped up way too long and I did some research.  Here is how you say, Man I feel like poop, in three different languages: 

French:  Man , je me sens comme merde .

Portuguese:  Cara, eu sinto como cocô .

Swahili:  Man, Najisikia kama kinyesi.

But I just speak English and Man, I feel like poop.  But not wanting to steal husband's sickly thunder because he is definitely at the time of this writing, sicker than I am.  But I'm toying with the idea.  And a sore throat, pounding head and low fever.

And of course it snowed again and I have no cute kid snow pictures to share.  They've been out sledding with a totally different family in the neighborhood like homeless kids looking for someone to love them.  We're just terrible winter weather people. 

I felt like this is a more appropriate family picture of the Walters for the weekend. Hoping yours is a lot warmer and healthier. 

Savages is what they are

So as of late, I've been spotted around town in sleeveless dresses all covered in pink and flowers, while out shopping for an outdoor serving table for my patio. Because I'm obviously both a fool for warm weather and a fool for believing spring was here, totally seduced by the few nice days we had last week.  Much like a little tree I saw up the road from me in full bloom and freezing its buds off in the ice this week. 

Which is why I sit here for my first minutes alone in days with snow falling outside and my kids on a crazy, slippery bus ride to school.   Because they were out of school for a teacher work day last Friday, plus the weekend,  then the two bad weather days which all in all just turned out to be a surprise pre- spring break vacation.  So needless to say I'm treasuring the quiet of the house with just me, the dog and my blog here for a few minutes.  And I cannot tell a lie.... I did keep my heated mattress pad turned on in the event I hear my name being called back for a nap in a bit.  

The kids always ask what goes on in the fun adult world while they're at school... and we always tell them that we go to parties and movies and amusement parks and even take quick trips to sunny beaches far away while they sit in math class.  Because all of that sounds better than saying that sometimes Mom goes back to bed till about 9:30 on her day off and then gets up and eats pancakes.  Now my secret is out. 

So I think the boys were ready to go back today.  Especially ready to get out and see some friends and do the things that kids do out of sight of their parents.  There was general happiness this morning since I cooked the good kind of biscuits and not the cheap canned ones that daddy fixes for them.  One kid was overheard singing the Star Spangled Banner and another played a few choruses of Hot Cross Buns on the recorder, and the other one even took a reasonably short shower and made it out the door on time to catch the bus.  All the ingredients of a gung ho attitude about the return to business as usual.  And no one threw a fit or name called when the pan of scrambled eggs got knocked off the stove and all over the floor because our little vacation got us all relaxed and zen like for such emergencies.  So we just called the dog over to eat the eggs off the floor for her breakfast and ... I'll worry about the mopping in a while.  Maybe after my nap. 

Anyway, I checked out a few Facebook posts over the ice days to see how we compare as an ice bound family.  And it appears we rank high in the movie watching category but fall short in the area of dining. Which is a direct result of my not planning ahead for gourmet ice day meals.  Here was our refrigerator yesterday before the city thawed enough to go to the grocery store.  Choices included sour cream, chocolate frosting, and ground flax seed to make it all a little healthier.  

And here is an action shot of day 5 of captivity - where all my men turned into savages and either wrestled each other in the manliest strength contest, or sat around in underwear and played video games.  Actually all very manly activities, I think,  whichever route was chosen. (And husband won the wrestling match, in case you were wondering.)

And like I said, we watched a lot of movies.  A LOT OF MOVIES... all in celebration that our power never went out with this storm.  And I had the boys help with a few larger chores... like scrubbing the dirty wall behind the dog bed which was just disgraceful for way too long.  And luckily due to perfectly placed lighting, does not show in any of my home tour photos I've shown on  here.  So don't look back trying to spot it.  And I agreed to pay $5 to Kid 1 for scrubbing the mess only later to find out that daddy would've paid him 50 cents for the work.  Which tells me I was taken for a ride on that one or daddy is running a slave labor camp around here when I'm gone. 

Anyway, here is what my hopeful mom eyes saw for the long 5 day Ice-pocalypse in Dallas.... I saw boys that played together without fuss.  I saw smiles from kid 1 that I've been missing for a long time.  I saw kids venturing outside and around the neighborhood like kids should. I heard little to no name calling and almost no fighting. And I heard my couch creak and crack under the weight of wrestling boys at play with their favorite way to bond and show love to each other.  

So really it was good - now that I think about it.  And especially now that it's over.  Though if I may, allow me to quote my beautiful friend Nicki on this one... I'm pretty over having the kids home... they are so messy and eat soooo much.   Yes ma'am... and indeed.  Such truth was never before spoken. 

I think there comes a point in every mom's life where she loves her kids with every ounce of her being, but the love blooms its brightest after the school day.  There, I said it.  

And proof that I wasn't the only one thinking the same thing is that yesterday when I slid my way into the gym for work.... so did about 10 million other moms who quickly learned that YMCA childcare was open for business and rushed right on down.  Good for them.

Most of the time I'm good with admitting that it's okay to need time to ourselves as parents.  Because we are investing time and again in the bank of our children's lives.  And I think so much of our time investment as parents is so caught up in the details of it all... the activities, the meals, shopping, cleaning, and making a home the best it can be for when they get home,... that we forget we need time for ourselves. Or we just can't figure out how to fit it in. 

I had a facial appointment one day recently - a splurge and a treat for me - and kid 3 asked why I always have to leave to do those things.  Like I get to do those things all the time. He's a funny one, that kid 3. (And the real answer is  that I'm trying to hold off the years with everything I've got.  But I chose a better path.)  So I went with,... I know you want a healthy and happy mom... And I took an hour to myself.  

I used to feel really guilty about leaving.  Occasionally I still do, but not as much as when the boys were little.  But that's really why I quit subbing for other instructors at night after everyone's home.  And it's why I try to get all the errands and chores done during the school day.  So they can have my full attention and energy when they get home.  And no, it doesn't always work out, but at least its a plan.  

And I try to allow myself time to read or shop or have health and beauty appointments as needed.  And in recent years I've made a point of having one day off in the week so I can take care of things neglected around the house, as well as taking care of me.  Without worrying that I'm missing out on family or that they're somehow missing out on something because of me.  

And down deep inside I know that a stressed and prematurely aged Kristi is just no good to anyone.  Sign this girl up for a massage, asap, please.    

post script.... the snow stopped mid morning, I left the house in basic wintertime black just like Johnny Cash - but in snow boots, and I went shopping.  Of course before I left the house I started the dishwasher, changed the kids' bed sheets, started the wash, and fulfilled all my mom responsibilities up until there are more added which will be in approximately one hour.  And, today no nap was taken.   I'll probably regret that about 5:00.   Oh, ... and I ran the car into the side of the house.  More like a bad scrape times 4, but still not good.  I'm totally blaming it on missing my nap.  To be continued....

Did you miss a post?  Did you know that not every post gets shared on Facebook?  Some of them are just for us - Bloglovin and email subscribers. 

And then I'll just bust out crying for my daddy in the cereal aisle

Is there ever a time in a girl's life where she gets to the point that tears just don't flow so super easy?  Like when I hear a song that makes me cry in the parking lot about to head into the grocery store.  But then I'm all a mess and can't go in because I might run into someone I know and they'll ask what's wrong that's making me look a fright.  And then I'll just bust out crying for my daddy in the cereal aisle.  Or in honor of my dad, maybe the beer aisle.  

Blame it on girl hormones.  Blame it on the fact that my headache has lingered for days and the vertigo is all good and well till I lay down and try to get back up again.  And then I need a cane.  Or maybe just get me a full fledged walker for support.

Maybe it's because 2 of the brothers got into a fight before school this morning that resulted in cuts and scrapes on one of them and Chapter 201 of I've Got a Sucky Attitude from the other.  

Maybe it's because I was crazy and thought all our living room furniture smelled like dog and I started the long process of stripping and washing all the slipcovers on everything and now I'm cursing the day we got a black haired stinky dog.  

Maybe it's because I stood in the return line at Walmart today trying to return something only to be turned away and told I have to go to another store location for this particular transaction... when the return line under any circumstance at Walmart is already enough to provoke tears.  

Maybe it's because I'm dreading 4:30 today when kid 1 and his team of middle school big kids will take on kid 3 and his team of 5th graders on the basketball court because someone thought this may be a good idea.  Maybe it's because I'm practically a meteorologist only that I don't predict tornadoes and hurricanes of the weathery kind ... but I have mom sense that can see a storm brewing from a mile away.  And this one just can't turn out well. 

Maybe it's because a lady fell in a class today and hit her head on the floor and laid there looking at me all dazed and sad.  And I just wished I could rewind the previous 60 seconds and play it all over again but stand next to her and catch her before she fell.  

Maybe it's that I had 4 classes today and I never got to eat anything till about 2:30 and that was a vegetarian, high protein cookie from the checkout line at the sports supply store where I spent at least an hour trying to find waterproof pants for kid 1 to go on a rainy weekend camping trip with scouts.  

Maybe it was all of the above plus the fact that I totally forgot to remember my dad on the anniversary day of his death.  Which I thought I would never forget.  But I did. Because I got too busy living a life of my own that I forgot to remember another life wonderfully lived.  

And y'all, I'm not a big observer of death anniversaries or anything like that.  And I don't do anything special in remembrance when they roll around, but I think there's something to be said for taking time to be thankful for the life I have today because of all the time spent with people I loved.   

Maybe I'll always cry when I miss someone because somehow I just ended up with a heart like that.  Maybe I'm one of those people that has, over time, put layer upon layer of piled up uncaring into pieces of my heart because in some areas I've had to.  But somehow a few parts stayed in their natural state of tenderness and need. (I also cry in almost every Disney movie and each and every time a kid choir sings at church.  I'm completely weird that way.)

And I think it's just normal for a girl to sometimes miss her dad, and wish for another chance to get some things right. 

So here's the song I mentioned that kept me from grocery shopping because of a heavy and thoughtful heart.  And it's not really a sad song at all.  Beautiful, in fact, I think for its reminder of hope in seeing loved ones again. 


One year I got new closet doors for Valentines Day

I got a borderline migraine headache with a side of dizzying vertigo at work last week which is really one of the only times I don't like my job.  Hard to be active and look like I'm not in pain when I'm really in pain.  And a friend told me I got the migraine because of my age.  Those were her words, complete with eye contact and all seriousness in her voice.  Proof that life marches on and walks all over our bodies along the way. 

And kid 2 called from the bus stop feeling awful and as white as I wish my sheets could be.  And I thought he was really sick.  But it turns out he must've taken a giant growth spurt sometime between lunch and 4pm because he was just hungry and possibly to the point of a low blood sugar crisis.  Dallas ISD has the greatest lunch and breakfast program where every student in the district - no matter who or what or where - gets free meals at school.  But they appear to be meals for people who are dieting, and not meals for growing teenage boys.  So we told him to make sure he eats every last bite of the lunch the school feeds him and to ask all the other kids around him if he can finish theirs. 

And kid 3 and I finished up the last of the Valentine party preparations ... for the last elementary school Valentine party for a Walters.  Which is really fine with me because I totally hate assembling Valentine cards and filling tons of little bags with candy.  And at the parties it's kinda like a race to the finish to see who can eat the most junk in a 30 minute time frame.  

And today kids 1 and 2 had a Valentine dance at school but I haven't gotten the scoop on that yet.  Maybe they'll fall in love with lovely, responsible girls who will encourage both emotional and spiritual growth and improved performance in important life endeavors.  Oh how I make myself laugh.  Or maybe they'll come home and say the dance was lame like they did last time and then plop down on the couch to play XBOX.

I've actually never been a big lover of Valentines Day.  Because I would much rather be loved every day of the year instead of concentrating it all into one.  I think I've got the right idea on this one.  

Husband asked me as we walked the aisles of the grocery store one exciting Friday night, following our upscale dinner at Subway, ... what I would've been doing on a Friday night when I was about 22 ? .... 

And I told him, .... maybe walking the aisles of the grocery store.  Probably with Mr. Wonderful for the moment, pretending that we were a family.  Which, as it turns out, seems to be what I always wanted.   

One year I got new closet doors for Valentines Day.  Have I told y'all that before?  We were fixing up our first house and we desperately needed them.  And to me nothing says love more than a pretty closet door.  And digging a little deeper into that rationale... love speaks to me through a home to call our own, a place to feel all at once welcomed, accepted and comfortable.  A place that shuts out the worst and invites in the best.  So to me, good food and a pretty place for the soul is my love language to my family. 

But I wonder often if I'm setting a good example of love for my kids.   Specifically, how to love.  How to show love.  I wonder if I'm doing enough.  Or if I'm doing things right.  

Do they see in me, in us, a loving family?  Do they see that love means more than words and more than a card with a heart on it?  Do they see that love means more than that first rush of emotion that comes when a relationship is all new?  Do they see in our family,.... commitment, persistence, endurance, patience, do-overs and second chances?  Do they feel joy in this place?  

I don't know.  Because it turns out that I'm still learning what love is.  I grew up in a home where I think at one point there had to be love.  But it wasn't loud or big, and it wasn't spoken a lot.  So I grew up a little bit naive ignorant of healthy relationships.  Oh, I had plenty of chances to practice them, healthy or not.  And I had fun and good and youthful kinds of love that everyone should be lucky enough to have.

But as much as I hate to share this and say it out loud...I grew up in a family where I never knew that love was expected for me.  I never knew if love was hoped or wanted for me.  And I especially never knew that I could want it for myself.  And that's hard for me to say.  Because saying something out loud for all the world to hear makes it real.  

I never played wedding.  I never had Barbie in love with Ken.  In fact I don't think Ken lived at my house.  I never heard about how little girls grow up to find good men and become wives and mothers.  I never looked at rings or dresses in magazines and I never once had a discussion with anyone in my family of me one day getting married.  I was never told that one day my prince would come and that I could have a day to celebrate a future of promise.  But I never knew any better.  And I never knew it was weird.  Now I think it might have been. 

Embarrassing story alert..... 

One time when I was in college I knew this older girl who was always hanging around with the same fella.  And I seriously thought he was her brother.  Her brother, people.   And once she and I were at the airport at the same time, saying goodbye to some folks... me to my Mr. Love-o-the-Moment, her to her brother ?  Whom she was kissing rather intently at the departure gate.   And the embarrassing part is that I actually called him her brother and went on and on about how close they were.... (do y'all get it?  Oh my goodness... Do you see my awkward weirdness and sad misconception of relationships?  He wasn't her brother, y'all...and I was given further proof that I was oddly out of place in the adult world of love)

So I talk to my boys about life and love and hopes for them finding a sweet girls to love and marry.  And they roll their eyes like I have said the most embarrassing thing a mom could ever say.  But I try to give a little love lesson every now and then as I learn along with them.  And when all else fails, bring in husband to do the teaching.  

A remedial love course for me.  A beginning love course for them.  

Speaking of love..... I would love for y'all to get every post.  See the little Heart icon over on the right side of the page?  That's Bloglovin... and they will send every post to your inbox.  For the low low price of FREE!  Or you can follow by email and there's a little box over there, too, for you to fill out for that.  

I love that you are keeping me company here on the blog.  Thank you a million heart shaped boxes of candy for that! 

Random thoughts about life and other deep subjects - volume something or another

Kid 1 was running around this morning looking for underwear and I told him to go look on the fireplace mantle or the back of a chair.  Because we've had temporary dryer issues the past couple of days and you can find lots of stuff hanging around. 

And this is a picture of no kitchen light.  Because I can't make up my mind what I want up there.  More on that subject in a bit.  And you can see the green paint that our kitchen was painted when we bought the house.  I  lived with that green paint on every cabinet and surface for about 5 years and I deserve a medal.  

This is a picture of our broken garage door that is there but not really.... present only in body, with no spirit at all left in it.  And every time I leave home or come home I have to get out of the car and wrestle the thing up, then drive in/out, then get out of the car and wrestle it back down.  Just like the Olympic sport of garage door wrestling for which I am in training.   3 weeks or so and counting till the new door arrives like royalty.  We got a wood look door that's really a steel door because real wood is for people who have won the lottery.  But y'all wood or faux wood, fancy is coming to town. 

And yesterday after my last class I got my hair cut into a short and sassy  extravaganza.   And I feel like 10 pounds of dry scarecrow grass has been removed from my head and a burden lifted.  And I kinda already knew I was walking around looking somewhat questionable but didn't fully understand to what extent till the stylist told me.  I apparently  had a weird line cut in the back of my hair, but I told her I never look back there so it hasn't bothered me at all.  Then she had a coughing attack and left me sitting for a while then came back and told me at least twice that I will look tons better when I leave than when I came in.  For which I thanked her assuming she meant it as a positive and nothing more.

And my friend, Debi, and I went to something called a Chocolate Crawl. Which was fun and for the most part yummy.  And we laughed and tasted lots of good things - except for the chocolate beer that tasted like cough medicine and the mushy white chocolate something-something cheese ball.  But I loved the chocolate cinnamon rolls and the devils food cake gelato.  And we visited the Woo Hoo chocolate snack mix table twice.  Because we are wild and crazy girls.  And since today is a new day, I'm ready to crawl through chocolate again.
(each tasting station was carefully monitored and small taste test samples served to prevent us from having a full chocolate meal courtesy of Central Market.  So we followed up dessert with a plate of shared Mexican food and called the night a success.)

And going on for a while now.... I have an aspiring businessman on my hands and his name is Kid 2.  But as of late he has learned the very hard lesson of live, learn  and spend your money wisely or you might end up taking a big ol' loss and then asking your mother to list things on eBay for you to sell. 

So I  eBay listed some things that he had purchased based solely on peer pressure and nothing else.  That... and a million legos that have been  in my living room floor for way too long.  And if we had all the legos that I've sucked up in the vacuum over the years still around to sell, kid 2 could probably pay cash for a house in an up and coming neighborhood.

And kid 3 laid down in the booth at a restaurant and cried.  Because we didn't know he felt that bad and were bad parents and let him go to a sleep over, then to a scout function and brother's basketball game.  All pre-meltdown activities leading up to throw up and falling asleep crying on the couch.  (Once I had all the kids - little at the time - at a fast food place and Kid 3 claimed potential throw up with immediate follow through.  And I left the other 2 sitting at the table and ran the sick one outside to the trash can where he put on a show for the drive thru lane.)  Oh the mistakes I have made.  

So that's what's been going on.  The end.

No, really.  I've been oddly tired the past few days and I've slept like crazy so I  haven't written in a while.  Maybe I've put too much energy into shopping for a kitchen light to replace the old one that's been hanging over my sink for the past 12 years.  The one I always thought looked like it needed a bra.

So I had husband hang a new one to try and I hated it -  so I took it down myself because I didn't want to ask him to do it after I just had him hang it up.  Now we have no kitchen light, no clothes dryer and no garage door.  And a kid passed out sick on the couch.  You probably don't want to come over here to visit. 

And kid 1 was particularly surly this morning and I can't understand why.  Because I even fed him pop tarts for breakfast which is a treat and he should be hugging me for me for being so tired and listless that I sold out on all I believe in and let them eat junk to nourish them for school.

Y'all, this week I sat at the Jason's deli after my last class and being already tired and wearing the same sweaty clothes I had been in for the last 5 hours, I had little to no tolerance for the lady in the next booth and her curses of all that the world has sent her way.  Including but not limited to 2 men who took issue with her dog and all the choice words she used to share her unhappiness with them.  She also had a bad experience with her Retin-A wrinkle cream and it's undesired result when mixed with her facial cleanser.  And she cursed much like I think men who have never been taught better talk when they think a lady isn't around.  So I gave up my sunny booth to get away from grumpy lady and decided it would be better to sit in the dark crowded part of the restaurant than to hear more of her sucking the life from my soul by way of my ears.

And I have no idea why she bothered me so much.  Maybe because I was 4 classes worth of exhausted and wearing sweaty pants and every little thing seems to be magnified at that moment.  But I keep thinking about what an unhappy person she must be to fill her lunch hour with ugly.

Maybe that's why I've been silent here for a few days.  Because I was taught -  and try to teach the same to my kids - that if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.  And nothing in particular is bothering me.  Nothing I can put a name or face on anyway.  But sometimes quiet time is favorable to noisy nonsense. 

I like to think of it as blank spaces.  Spaces in our homes and time and thoughts that are intentionally left blank to be filled with whatever God may surprise us with at the last minute.  And I didn't know that I was intentionally creating blankness....  till day by day I had no words.  

And I waited.  And tried writing.  And wrote a couple of things not worth publishing.

So I'm listening.  I'm waiting.  And I'm wondering what I will see... and how that message will get to me. 

post script... Dryer problem has been resolved and it is hard at work as we speak.  And kinda' related is that husband posted as his Facebook cover photo a recent photo of the family on our state park adventure in Arkansas.  A picture documenting my lack of sleep and swollen bacon face that I may or may not have mentioned.  And thankfully for him, he spent the better part of the day fixing the broken dryer.  So with that saving grace, he earned points to counter the hell he would've paid for the photo incident.  

Kid 1 has gone from surly to silent which is a plus as far as the lesson of intentional blank spaces is concerned.  I'm proud of his muteness right now.  

Kid 3 is still asleep and we are hoping he wakes up nicer than when he gave up all hope in the restaurant today.  

Kid 2 will be building a 3 dimensional robot this weekend as he claims he was the only kid in the 7th grade who did not get the memo about it being due yesterday.  I guess he was too busy looking for things to sell.   
Designed by FlexyCreatives