There are zero carbs in birthdays

It's summer and there are dishes everywhere.  And food.  And cheese wrappers by the dozen, found in chair cushions and under things and just wherever someone decided to eat some cheese.  I never knew there were so many cheese eating choices.

And Fireman Dave and I are trekking along our low carb eating plan, still, and I seem to get more resentful every day about people who can eat bread.  I think, no... I'm sure....  I gave a mean look to one of my instructor friends the other day because she was wearing some really cute and tiny white shorts.  Because in the blink of an eye, my sugar starved body experienced both jealousy and rage.  And THAT was my reaction toward someone I actually like and think is adorable.  I also fussed at a gym member for raising the window shades in the group ex classroom.  That could also be blamed on hunger and deprivation, or simply the fact that sometimes I can be mean. 

But Y'all, here's the rundown of summer so far.  No trips or vacations yet.  But we've got a little something planned soon.  Kids 1 and 2 both got jobs as lifeguards this summer, maybe I already told you that - and their schedules combined with mine and that of a fireman that works his own set of crazy hours plus some exhausting overtime  - coupled with everyone sharing cars is proving to be the summer challenge of a lifetime.  As we speak Kid 1 is not so happy because he's trying to get to a friend's house and probably considering hitchhiking instead of waiting our turn for the car.   

We've managed a few trips to the pool already and that's really one of my favorite places.  Give me a lawn chair and some dappled sunlight and I'm set for the afternoon.

We also discovered that the Dallas Arboretum is open late on Wednesdays and its not crowded.  Did you hear that part?  It's not crowded - so you should definitely go for a picnic.  

We did,  and all three boys went with us.  Or should I say men?  I took this picture walking in.  I love pictures taken when they don't know about it.  And I love when I can get them all in the same place at the same time without beating up on each other.  

They ended up playing an aggressive game of catch with a dinner roll until it was pretty much only crumbs.  That's what happens when parents make teens go on picnics in order to get fed their dinner.  Desperate times and all.... 

And I haven't written for any publication in weeks, even my own.  Seems that I am completely devoid of thought.  Except for the fact that I have been searching for an opportunity to use the word devoid in a correct sentence.  I even emailed my church yesterday and told them I was lacking in wisdom so count me out of writing for a while.  I blame carb depletion.  Or maybe I just need time to soak up some rest and relaxation and inspiration from someone else. 

And I hope that may be a little girl in Uganda named Loyce.  She is my new pen pal and she's adorable.  I know I'll never meet her.  And I know that writing letters is just writing letters.  But I also know that reaching out beyond myself is the best way to move from this stuck spot that I've been in for a while.  You know.... I've never been one for sitting still for long.  So I'm hoping to step outside my recent set of confines and shower this little doll with letters of love, encouragement, and some lessons about a different culture.  (And a care package or two -let me know if you want to add anything to the box.  Or even give me some ideas of what a 10 or 11 year old girl might like). 

I can't wait to find out more about her.   This picture was taken just a few days ago, right before the sun was setting in a village outside Kempala, Uganda, as she was taking water back to her home.  I heard that jug of water was pretty heavy so it's easier to just leave it up on her head for a photo op rather than having to lower and lift it again.  She knows the drill. 

Hello sweet Loyce!  Watch for the mailman soon.  

Insert blog post PAUSE button here.  

Y'all, I wrote the above words yesterday.  Then today happened and I think I waved my white surrender flag at least three times.  I guess I was frustrated that it was Kid 1's birthday, and I love that part.  I really really really do.  But that he couldn't muster up enough energy to speak a full sentence to us at his birthday lunch, I find those things hard.  True confessions of an emotional mom.  

But as Fireman Dave said, it could be worse.  Because the kid's actually on the exact path we prayed for him 17 years ago - that he not be on drugs.  Check.  That he not be in jail.  Check.  And that he be living the full promise of his life as God would have, not that we would have.  Can't decide whether to check this box or not yet.  Lord help Kristi as she tries to pretend that her kids are still little and that they give a darn about what she wants for their lives. 

So please be patient with me again in this writing as I deal with the fact that maybe I'm the one who is not on the path I'm supposed to be on.  Maybe watching 17 years fly by so fast got me all confused about how I'm supposed to feel about these successes and separations.  And maybe he is supposed to be totally overwhelmed with love with Princess You Know Who, and planning all the what's nexts with her and not us.  

Maybe.  Maybe not.  

My mom instinct is betting on the maybe not.  But the me that loves that boy with more love than a heart can hold knows that I need to encourage and lead by example, not words.  And maybe that means taking the boy out to a birthday lunch, even in some very pronounced and uncomfortable silence;  and gifting him not only with what's in that gift wrapped box, but with my patience and understanding.  I'm trying, though I honestly admit to giving up time and again in private.... and in some fairly dramatic one act plays with Fireman Dave.  

I've decided that my heart can't really deal with the full reality of what I see right now.  Not at his age.  But my mind can.  Because I was 17 once as well.  And I'm trying to give him the grace that I never got.  Trying and doing turn out to be two totally different things in my world.  

I think I'll start by fueling up with a piece of chocolate birthday cake and see where it goes.  There are zero carbs in birthdays, I heard. 

Y'all, that's it for now.  Happy summer. 

Well slap with me with some perspective and understanding....

Well Hello there and welcome to summer - where my house is already filthy, the dog isn't feeling so well and I've got to find more stuff for the boys to do.  I did, however,  finally get a new dishwasher and that may be just enough reason to throw a party.  

I think I may skip all the technical and creative writing lessons of my youth on this one and just go with some bullet points.  Then I'll make it a world class Kristi challenge to see if I can tie all that interesting stuff together into a lesson for the week.  I hope I'll win a prize if I can do it.  

1.  If I were to write about someone or something that I've been banned from discussing in public anymore, I might to do it like this.  You'll probably have to draw from your knowledge of back issues of the blog and some sleuthing skills to get it, but I have faith in you.... 

So if I were a top CIA operative and I was trying to find out some key, yet harmless, info about a young person that someone I know very well spends way too much time with, I would probably first go straight to the source.  I wouldn't even put on a trench coat and dark glasses.  I would just ask, Hey, unnamed young person that hangs out with someone I know very well?  What's your new info that I need but can't say out loud on the blog?  Simply for the records, of course, not for spying because I'm just an Operative, not a Spy.  I collect the necessary info and then file it away to do something or other with it as needed later.  

But let's say that asking for the needed intel didn't work because apparently it is considered top secret....  then I would have to go somewhere else to find out that info and that may or may not be to the higher level manager of the person in question.  Sort of like a MOM, but I can't really say that because, well, we're talking spy language here.  

And then let's say I get that nugget of info from the higher up manager but then the lower level person of interest now holds an even larger amount of animosity toward me because I have so many darn tricks up my CIA Operative sleeve.  

Anyway, this all happened this week.  And if you didn't understand a word I said, see me in private and let's talk.  

2.  Then in the middle of the week I got fussed at very aggressively by an older naked lady in the locker room of the gym.  Because of some missing shoes.  Shoes that made her so very angry that her choice of profanity got me all confused about which to pay attention to the most - or least - her language or her naked.  Both were extreme and quite disturbing.  

Short version of the shoe drama.... one lady said her shoes were missing, so she left a note on the locker room mirror about how the person who took them should be ashamed and fearful - as she has a very contagious foot skin condition.  She claims.  So then all the other locker room ladies were alarmed and refused to get into the pool after they found out that missing shoe lady is a participant in my aqua class.  Then they all ganged up on me when I least expected it and when they were all scantily clad in tiny towels that were never meant to cover the bosoms that I just saw - and told me that I was pretty much to blame for missing shoes, starving children and all lack of civility in our society.  It was weird and I was longing for the good old days of when we gave out larger sized towels at the gym.

3.  Then I shared a post on The TODAY Show Parenting site, and it got picked up and added to the list of essays to be voted on to be moved up in the reader ranks.  I hate popularity publishing.  Let me just say in my very mature way, that its just stupid.  But here's the link that I shared and that I am now pandering for votes to move it up the ladder of posts to get it more widely read.  It's about my dad.  And I would love for you to read it and get to know Bill.  I actually never called him Bill till after he died, but now I do on occasion because I think I see him a lot better now for the multi dimensional person that he was, more than I ever did when he was alive.  Drink a beer to that one up in Heaven, Daddy. 

4.  And finally, after I read my post about my dad again, I realized that the Bible verse that I shared in it has a whole lot more to do with me now than maybe it did with him.  Here it is...

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

Y'all, people love to quote the very last line of this passage.  And they love to quote it all kinds of wrong.  

It's not about how God gives us power or privilege or even honor over anything or anyone.  It's all about those first lines leading up to that famously overused last verse.  It's about learning to accept your now.  And accepting it to the point to where it becomes ok.  And then it goes on to talk about how we (the writer) will see both times of trouble and times of awesomeness, but that no matter the circumstance, it's not the circumstance that feeds our attitudes and perceptions.  It's about knowing that contentment comes from relationship with God and THAT is the strength that gets us through the day.  Y'all.  Boom.  Bible lingo for Just shut the heck up and deal with your circumstance.  

I'm guilty.  Oh. So. Guilty.  

I've been overly sensitive and overly worried about circumstance of late.  Whether that be about my latest CIA Operative situation or how many thousands of times lately I've been feeling sorry for myself because of this or that. 

Then I got the big remind that I don't get to choose the situations to be happy or sad.  It's actually gently encouraging me in this passage to be content despite the situation.  And should I remind us all?  This passage was written by a man in prison.  Well slap with me with some perspective and understanding....  

You know, I can't promise to get my attitude all 100% fixed up on such short notice. But I can promise this week to give it a try.  On Monday.  Then again on Tuesday.  I'll see how that goes first.  

post script - typos and misspellings brought to you courtesy of the summer noise and mess in my home.  

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