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desperate times call for desperate measures.... says me every dang day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Happy Anniversary, Fireman Dave, now can you go pick up three picnic tables I just found outside at a restaurant and take them to the school?  Then take me to lunch to celebrate our love?

And he said yes to both.  Which, in short, explains how we've been married 17 years.  17 years plus countless ones before that when we weren't actually married, but were in our hearts.  Plus the ones as kids when we knew each other and laughed at all the crazy things teenagers laugh at without a clue that one day all those things would become the building blocks of a lifetime of love...

Wow.

But I don't  have an anniversary picture.  And remember I don't even have a wedding picture.  Only the pictures in my mind.  And I wore something not so wedding like that may or may not have involved a sweater and loafers.  


But I do have this picture from about a year ago at Cowboys Stadium - the night I got separated from everyone in the world that I know in a crowd of 10 million people and had no cell phone service.  So I asked a little boy if I could use his phone to call someone to rescue me and I think he reported me to the stadium police as stranger danger.  Anyway, Kid 2 finally found me because he was smart enough to look where the upscale ladies restroom is located and knew deep in his heart that I would be close by.  

Y'all, I try to write on the blog about once a week, if I'm lucky.  Sometimes I write even more - IF - I actually have something to say.  Thank you to the sweet friends who asked where I've been the last few days, and for checking into my online home to see if you might find me doing something fun.  Or not.  Or maybe just something weird and life-like that makes you think you're not the only one that's living in a crazy world.  Here's where I planned to share a picture of me and Boris the Hog at the State Fair of Texas - but Boris didn't look too good in the photo so I deleted it. 

I've actually been in a struggle of motherhood known as Kid 1.  I sit here at the desk writing, and on the desk is an old picture of him helping his daddy fix the garbage disposal in our first little house.  And I think to myself, Oh how cute and sweet that little angel was.  Then I think, Where the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks is that sweet baby now?  Then I quietly, in my mind, wish that I could give him a half lobotomy surgery because I hear things like that return the patient to a more child- like state.

Y'all, desperate times call for desperate measures.... says me every dang day.  

Anyway, it's been a busy week as the mom of teen boys.  And in short, I can tell you there have been intimidation tactics, fit throwing, a pair of missing pants and a trash bag involved.  Remember that verse somewhere in the Bible that says that there will be gnashing of teeth and some other bad stuff?  Well, the Bible does not lie.  It happened in my house this past Monday morning and nothing good came of it.  Except for when we made the guilty party express his regrets through the scrubbing of bathrooms and vacuuming of floors.

Then that very same day I sat out at Kid 3's middle school football game and I watched the opposing team in their surprisingly new, matching jerseys and color coordinated helmets.  And they arrived with double the number of players, a few thousand cheerleaders - and a band.  And a half time performance of Michael Jackson's Thriller dance.  



And our boys were just our boys.  Wearing the uniforms that have been passed down from year to year, some better fitted than others, and mismatched helmets  - probably collected from whatever sources would agree to donate so there's enough for all the boys to play.  They also each have their names masking taped to the back of the helmet to make sure each kid gets the one that belongs to him for the season. God bless them. 

Our team lost the game.  And from the beginning Kid 3 already had the nerves of a first year middle school athlete going in to face his giant.  His giant not being so much the greatness of play of the other team, but their image and their reputation, the flash of new uniforms and the strength of numbers.  The loudness of the cheerleaders and the Zombie costumed band didn't help. 

And for whatever reason that night as I watched the boys play, and I watched Kid 3 give his coach a big ol' no thank you nod when told to get out on the field - I thought of the verse in the Bible that says, .....  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  

And yes, my Bible scholar friends, those words are taken right from the middle of the verse and possibly out of context.  But the words spoken to me that night were just those few.  Let us run the race set before us.  

I've tried to explain to the boys how I hear God.  I've never heard his voice and am so very curious what that might sound like.  I think a deep, southern drawl with a side of understanding and a whole lot of love.  Can't you just hear that in your head?  I also think he and I will one day exchange a giant love hug and then he'll look around Heaven and say, Hey Y'all - look who's home!

These days I think I mostly hear God when I write,  and when I read something so powerful that makes me feel like it was meant just for me.  Maybe that's how Moses felt when that bush caught on fire right next to him that day - a message just for him.  I think I've also been sent some very strong messages through experience.  Funny how just the other day I had been feeling all sorts of lonely about the boys growing up and suggested to Fireman Dave that we need a new baby to try out some new and better parenting techniques.  How maybe we could get one to turn out right if we just keep trying.... I had just held a friend's new baby that day.  

But then God sent me the wrath of Kid 1 and his missing pants to set me back on course.  And I felt like a loser all day.  And I maybe came to work and told a million people about it, asked their advice and if they could please trade lives with me.  

So that's where I've been.  I've been busy being married for 17 years, I've been busy being three boys' mom - though it be all trial and error - And I've been waiting to hear the encouragement that comes from within when it's time for me to share.  

I try not to be the person in an ill fitting life helmet with my name taped to the back of it, hoping to be as good as my more impressive and better dressed opponents.  But sometimes I am.  Today I feel like texting one or two of my kids and telling them that I don't like the people that they are right now.  But that I always love the people that they are - no matter what's happening right now.  

And I want to be the mom that runs the race set before me, and the mom that runs it in front of these boys and the world, so that one day I can say that I did.  

I needed those words whispered in my ear that day.  Perfect timing once again.   



post script - Kid 3 did go out on that field and played his best.  Good for him and for his opponents to see that there's always a challenge before us.   Here's to running this race together Kid 3. 

And the picnic tables?  The luckiest PTA president find of the century, y'all.  A local restaurant is replacing all their patio furniture as money allows, and had already put 3 great picnic tables out behind their building.  I was driving by, thought the tables were probably out for the trash, but took a chance and called the restaurant.  And now I love the owner and all the staff for donating their used tables to the students at Bryan Adams High School.  Here's a picture of what the kids are sitting on now if they want to eat outside at lunch



I've wanted to replace this for them all year - and now I can at least start. Yay for nice people!!


Enough is enough. Volume whatever.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

This week is another bullet point week, probably with it's fair share of poor grammar and typing errors.  And right now, that's perfectly okay with me. 
Where oh where to begin....

Monday:  

  1. Taught 4 classes, got my flu shot, and found out I had to attend a mandatory work meeting if I wish to keep getting paid.   
  2. Skipped the teacher conferences for Kids 1 and 2 to attend the mandatory meeting, but emailed teachers selling the idea that I'm a good mom anyway.  
  3. Got phone call from numberless Kid 's Spanish teacher saying he decided to share his quiz answers with a kid named Samson and now is forever labeled in Spanish class as Cheater Walters.  Rethought the idea of me being a good mom. 
  4. Finally sat down and took a Facebook break  - and found out that when not fighting fires, Fireman Dave can be found in public discussion of all things controversial   Here was my contribution to the discussion:  

  5.  
  6. Took Kid 1 shopping for Homecoming clothes and had a blood sugar crisis so sent Kid 2 to the dollar store for an emergency Snickers bar as we tried on a variety of ties and pocket squares.  
Tuesday:

  1.  Taught 3 classes, got my hair cut and highlighted then went to SAM'S to buy food for the football team.  
  2. Picked up Kid 1 from football practice, felt unappreciated and borderline flight risk, and put Kid 1 out of the car and told him to find his way home if I'm all that annoying.  He obviously did because there was a trail of potato chip crumbs leading to his bed.     
  3. Fed everyone else frozen corn dogs for dinner and me a bowl of cereal.  
  4. Decided that enough is enough and went to bed as early as possible.  
Date Day Wednesday:


Fireman Dave and I went to the State Fair of Texas and took lots of fun selfies.   I forgot everything else.  

Thursday:


  1. Taught 4 classes and was starving.  
  2. Remembered that I forgot to order the corsage for Kid 1's Homecoming date and begged the florist at the grocery store to help me.  
  3. Went to Kid 1's football game, felt once again unloved and unappreciated and threatened to never feed him and his team mates again.  
  4. I also wrote this post for the church.
Friday:

  1. Taught 3 classes then went to a luncheon with some of the sweetest ladies a gal could teach aqua aerobics to each week.  
  2. Argued the finer points of Homecoming mum gifting with Kid 1. 
  3. Became borderline enraged with conversation about mum gifting and threatened to wear the girlfriend's mum myself.  
  4. Reminded myself to keep trying not to say damn so much.  
  5. Went to the Homecoming game, got ditched by our friends, so left and went to Sonic with Fireman Dave.  Decided to drown our sorrows in fried foods and chocolate malts.  
  6.  Ate boneless hot wings for the first time in my life because I'm always late to the party.  
Saturday 


  1.  Dreamed that I was paying the cashier at some restaurant and she looked at me all disappointed like because I was obviously supposed to do something for her but I wasn't sure what.  Turns out I was supposed to make tons of dream ham sandwiches for her.   
  2.  Considered it odd to be dreaming of sandwiches.   Two more team meals and I plan to take a long awaited sandwich vacation. 
  3. Woke to Kid 2 telling me I gave away his underpants to Kid 4 and the world is ending because of it.  It was actually his baseball sliding shorts that he needed for a double header in about 20 minutes and so maybe his world really was ending at that moment.  
  4. Checked to see if Kid 3 actually spent the night at a friend's house or if we accidentally left him at the football stadium.  Found him safe and sound.  
  5. Went to Kid 2's baseball game, but snuck out early because I had a post due for the Dallas Moms Blog that I waited till the very last second to write.  Drove out of my parking place at the game and got a phone call from another mom saying Kid 2 was having a health issue at the game... and hurry, - come back now.  Ran like any scared mom would to the side of her ailing kid to find out that it wasn't my kid at all, but another kid named Jose', bless his heart, who was in full panic attack mode with Fireman Dave by his side.  Got bit by fire ants as I held Jose's hand and talked to him as a person who knows all too much about panic, and promised him I wouldn't let go till it passed. 
  6. Had Homecoming corsage drama. 

 

um.... wrong answer Kid 1... 



But I obviously didn't give up because then I ran to the fabric store to get stuff to make Kid 1 a make shift pocket square for his suit... Then got the house all straightened up since Kid 1's girlfriend and her dad chose to meet him at our house to travel to the Homecoming dance.  I guess to make sure we're not maniacs.
  

Found these items on the side table by the couch.  Probably wise that girlfriend and dad did some fact checking before the date.  (fyi... that's an air soft gun, but a real knife.)  There was also some sort of brown goo on the front door that I discovered later.  Maybe we really are maniacs.

And presenting the cutest couple at the dance....  She even brought me flowers to soften the blow of her stealing Kid 1's heart. 

Y'all, it's been one of those weeks where I wore my bra inside out all day and wondered when I got so lumpy  and why I never noticed it till now.  It was one of those weeks where fast food became the norm and no food was the only other option.  It was one of those weeks that became a check list of items to mark off the list.  

And it's times like this that I completely understand why the body rebels against us and puts us into a panic, whether that be the kind my new friend Jose' and I experience, or whatever your body uses to get your attention.  

Dreaming of sandwiches was a good reminder for me to slow down.  It was a good reminder that it's okay to say no.  And for Jose', I prayed for that young man, that he will see at his young age that we are the hardest on ourselves.  And that we don't have to be.

This I know for sure... nothing is easy

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

I wrote this post last week for the church.  Actually, that's a complete lie.  I wrote most of those words two years ago and saved it in the draft folder of my blog - for a rainy day.  Last week was that rainy day because I had nothing else to give and the post was due.  So I updated the first paragraph and hit publish. (The post?  you should totally read it... but short version, in case... it talks about my efforts at homemaking, and the value of it in the bigger picture of family.)

But then in church Sunday morning a new friend told me that she liked what I wrote.  Yay!  for new readers and new friends.  But then she said she felt bad about her own home.  Because of what I wrote?   Lord, y'all.  I hope not. 

Because people, that's just a NO.  In fact it's a triple NO wrapped in bacon  -  because nothing I ever write is supposed to make anyone feel less than, or worried, or self conscious about his or her own state of affairs.  Except for the occasional post where I might talk mean about an ex boyfriend and/or his current lady.   (sweet baby Jesus, a while back I saw the new Muppet Show and in it, learned that Kermit the Frog has left Miss Piggy for a new floosy pig named Denise.  And it just reminded me too much of past heartache.)  I'm aware that I'm awful and I know I have a problem.

So this week let's talk the truth.  The fresh truth, not words from two years ago.

Nothing is easy.  And a whole lot of the time it isn't all that pretty.  Let's take a pictorial tour of my week......



This is the wall in the entry hall.  I thought I could paint it quickly while Fireman Dave was at work and not home to tell me no.  Then I learned that I can't paint fast and that I get tired trying to.  It'll probably be like this forever.  There are two matching spots just like it in the den. 




This is a shed that I saw in the Home Depot parking lot and made a u-turn in the street to go take a tour.  I'm seriously considering this for the backyard and whatever children are taking up the most space in the house. 



These are my legs wearing Kid 2's sweatshirt as pants.  Because the mosquitoes at Kid 1's football game were terrible and I wore shorts that night.  Kid 2 is a  hero of epic proportions, and if you see him.. tell him happy 15th birthday.  Yes,  that happened. 



And this is me after teaching 4 classes on Monday and I desperately need a shower.  But I did put a filter called warmify on the picture - I think that means it gave me a tan.  I did that to save you from bad dreams.  I usually just end up putting on dry clothes and trying to comb out the dried sweat waves that have made my hair crunchy - and spend the rest of the day like this.  And if you look closely, you can see that the bedroom chair is used way too often as a laundry holding area.  And my kids are all scared of my childhood Raggedy Ann dolls sitting on that shelf back there.  Mine's the naked one.  My sister's ended up with a dress.  

This I know for sure..... things are messy and dirty, and all too often, all kinds of mean.  And sometimes out of the blue, what started as a normal day can steal away my blogging words.  

Kids are hard.  I'll tell you the dishwasher story another day.  But it made me consider the possibility that Kid 1 was switched at birth. 

And marriage is hard.  Y'all, I mean it.  It's just so hard sometimes.  Every now and then hard enough for me to wonder how we got to 17 years and if we'll ever make it to 18. 

And getting older is hard.  So is trying not to eat carbs.  And finances, and balancing work and family and time to sleep is a complicated mix of difficult and frustrating. 

Sometimes I just want to go shopping for cute shoes to make me feel better about this game called life.  

And sometimes I write pretty words that inspire and encourage.   And the words come easy.  And then on days like today, I find myself trying to drag the words onto the page, but they come out sounding harsh and desperate.

But I'm thankful for the good that comes before the bad, so I can mix it all together like soup.  I'm a huge fan of soup.  

I'm thankful for the stores of faith that the easy days bring, because more than I would like to admit, I have to pull from the stock piles of plenty to fill in the gaps of the empty. 




post script:  for the curious out there, I've always taken pride in calling myself a housewife or homemaker or whatever.  Because loving on my people through cookies and cute throw pillows happens to indeed be my love language.  

post post script:  yes, a while back I really did watch one episode of the new Muppet Show and the whole dumping of Miss Piggy and the suggestive nature of the conversation between Kermit and his, um... friend, brought me back to places of darkness.  It also disturbed me deeply to know Kermit has such relationships.  My muppet interest ended that very day.  
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