Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pasty is a color, too

Just got back from the pool with the puppies, er, kids. While there, I laughed outrageous laughs over 3 things.

First, as I walked in to pay, I find myself face to face with a former student. He is now the head lifeguard at the pool and has just graduated from High School. He didn't remember me, so I did the unthinkable and introduced myself. Poor guy turned 13 shades of red as he realized what a toot he was and was forced to make grown up conversation with a former teacher. He laughed and shook his head and just stared at me for while. Guees he's never seen a teacher in her swimsuit with no makeup and 4 rug rats in tow. Or he could be amazed that I've kept myself up so well and is wondering why I haven't aged while he has now learned to shave.

Then, it hit me again that my kids are SO WHITE! The life guards put on their sunglasses when we got there because the glare off of my kids was so bad. After I deftly covered them in SPF 9000 spray and turned them loose, they were easy to spot. I just followed the beacon of their whiteness. In fact, I'm pretty sure I could hear our northern ancesters from the great beyond, like Duncan Reamhair (all phonetic for those who don't speak gaelic), clan chieftan from the 1100s I think, wailing about letting the wee bairns play in that awful sunlight. And I'm sure that Sir Willingham of the Western English Midlands was bemoaning the parenting tactics of his offspring.

And finally, after hour number 3 at the pool, the former student-head lifeguard had the undesireable job of asking me to pull my youngest from the pool for a "rest break". See, Boy Wonder just learned to swim last week. But he showed that he could swim well enough for the deep end, so I let him enjoy it with the 3 older kids. Well, his stroke is a little rough still, so the lifeguards were really worried that he was too tired. Or maybe they were thinking that I was letting him flail until he went under for good.  All that splashing and gasping and slow seemed to bother them.  Any way, the poor guy had to ask me to give him a break per his supervisor, and he was blushing the whole time. I swear he thought I was going to make him miss recess or sit next to a girl! It was all I could do not to laugh out loud until he left.

I do love our summer pool time.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

MY time

Today was a rare treat. Chris took the kids to the Astros game (after asking me 250 times if I was SURE I didn't want to come as well). So I found myself with 6 hours + of time to MYSELF. Just me. No questions to be answered and no one else's problems to solve. I also realized that this doesn't happen nearly enough to suit my solitary tastes. I know that because I spent 30 minutes trying to decided what to do.

 "Hmm, do I want to clean more of the house, sort through boxes of stuff, go shopping, call a friend, take a nap, watch TV, learn to sew, bake something new and original??" So many choices with my block of free time. I think it's kind of sad that it is such a treat that I didn't know how to use it.. and felt like I had to use it well. Like there was a committee judging me on my performance. "Well Simon, she gets a 10 for productivity but a 3 for creativity."

Then I realized, hmmm, that's kind of how I view my life. So many choices. And a schedule that when altered, takes me a bit to readjust. I worry about how others will think about my choices and I hope they approve. Ok, I don't really worry about it, but I do consider it. And I don't take a lot of chances. Just not in my nature.

Now, many blogging chicks will go from here with a great insight into finding themselves and maintaining good family balance while not losing their identity. They include cute little pictures and catch phrases that make readers chuckle and nod their head. Hmm, me, not so much with the pictures and catch phrases. I am trying to maintain an identity that is mine, not related to being Wifemomfrienddaughtersisterteacher. I am unique as God intended and I embrace all those things about myself. But I also embrace the me that He created before I was any of those things. She gets a little lost and is undeveloped in many ways. But, I think that's the journey of life. At least while I'm in my mid 30's.

MY time today was spent as I wished and I have no noregrets. Except maybe that I have a lot of laundry to sort before I go to bed since it is all on my bed in a large, unfolded mound of fabrics. My kids came home and I gave each a hug and inhaled the sweat infused fragrance of  Little Boy. Not a fragrance for sale anywhere, btw. And I am glad they are back. And ate their fill at the ball game so I don't have to cook a big dinner.

And I am satisfied.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oh my! It can DRIVE!

Tomorrw, I celebrate a special day. Tomorrow, IT turns 16. Tomorrow, my marriage will have reached that age where teenagers think they are grown ups and start making those BIG life decisions, like do I use a blinker or not? How can I afford to drive if I don't have a job? and if I do have a job, I don't have time to drive anywhere. Why do I want a license?

I really hope marriages aren't like that. It's been pretty smooth sailing so far. Even when life has been hard, The Hubby and I are all about attacking the problem and not each other. And when we have issues, we eventually handle them. Neither one of us gets what we want all the time, but we don't worry about being loved or if the relationship will disintegrate or who's gonna take out the garbage. Knowing how different we were before we got married has made all the small stuff stay small. That's a total blessing.

So, I can celebrate fully and honor every day that I've had this wonderful guy by my side. Even if the day wasn't so good, I knew that I had an ally. And that's what marriage should be, I think. Having an ally as you face the day is a blessing of untold worth. I like knowing that I don't battle alone and that my partner is right there all the way.

And I really like him still. Shocking, I know. But he still makes my toes curl up and down when I see him enter a room. I still crave time with him just to talk about nothing.. or anything at all. I can't wait to hear about his day and to share mine, because I know he listens, even when he doesn't really care what I made the children for lunch. And I love that we have built a life that is ours. All ours. Like no one else's.

We have taken what we learned from our birth families, and what we have learned from other wise people, and what the Bible says, and formed something that works for us. And I like it. I love that people say my home is a safe place. I love it that my kids want to bring their friends over. I love it that I can mean it when I tell someone to come on over ANYTIME.

So, Yay for us! Happy 16th Anniversiary, Baby! I love you and I love what we have.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Optimism PRIME

Today is the first day of year 38.. I have completed 37 years and am looking at that number thinking, hell, I really am middle aged. I'm halfway there, maybe. "There" would be my eternal reward with Jesus in heaven. It could come sooner. It might come later. But I have to understand that time is merely a tool to measure how far I have come and how far I have left.

Year 37 was most definitely a Prime year. Chris was able to work at his long awaited calling, for pay! The boys have grown into B-O-Y-S! They are more aware and smart and self reliant. I am needed less and less. But that is them.

This year I have battled depression, confusion, and being somewhat unsure of what to do next. I have also found extreme joy in a new teaching position, made new friends, enjoyed my family a lot, improved my housekeeping skills (eh? ok a little, but I'm counting it), and come to understand that when a family lives in crisis for years at a time, it's hard to adjust to noncrisis living.  I'm still learning how to do that.

I see life through a different colored lens than in previous years. Not rose colored, just merely tinted with a new color I'm not familiar with. Little things don't matter. Little things are material things like stuff, being on time, what's for dinner, and getting cut off in traffic. Big things matter so much more. Big things are caring for people whether I know them or not, not being afraid to feel the emotions I've been given, living life in a way that honors God above all my understanding and earthly ties. My lens probably has an astigmatism, like my real eyes. Things are twisted  enough to prevent clear vision. That I won't get until I am perfected in Heaven. But I feel like I got new glasses this year, improving on my degenerative condition. Because of that, I am optimistic about this coming year.

So, if I finally hit my prime.... I hope it lasts for quite some time.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer

We have reached the dog days of summer.. I wonder where that phrase really came from..

Anyway, the boys are finally sleeping past 7 and I am so excited about our upcoming trip to the big D to enjoy the lodge life at Great Wolf and see our friends. Not much sounds better than relaxing by the pool with no dishes to do and reading a new book that I purposely haven't read just for this time.

And of course, there is drama in the mean time. Chris is battling a random bout of gout. On Monday he woke up with his toe swollen and painful... and he's been pretty good with his diet, avoiding the shellfish and such. Unfortunately, we just never know when this will  take off. So now he has his entirely swollen foot elevated, I'm pumping cherry juice through him as fast as I can, and I'm trying not to get antsy about the coming vacation. Can I tell you how much I hate being the one who has to pack everybody and do all the prep work when I can't even ask someone for help?? And, if the attack doesn't relent, I'll be driving and all that jazz too. sigh... When will we be able to have a "go as planned without some crap happening" trip???

Well, as I was saying, it is the dog days.. summer is here and the heat is high.. I find myself with lots of little pieces of time. In between driving people here there and everywhere, I do the laundry, wash the dishes, sweep the floors, cook the meals, buy the food, pay the bills and still get to read about 3 books a week.

I do enjoy my summers. I need tomake sure to take care of my insurance signup online and complete some inservice training next week. Hopefully we'll get to use our pool passes more. We've used them a total of 1 time. First, it was overcast looking like rain. Then we have trips to take. There is the weekend at Mimi's and the drive to take The Niece back. Yep, it would be great to have a few unrainy hours to enjoy our neighborhood pools.

I am amazed at the things I haven't done, too. I have some items, ahem, dozens of boxes that need to be emptied and have their home found. I have a garage that is INSANE and desperately needs an overhaul.  The plans for working out have failed miserably. And I haven't cleaned out the pantry either. The dog needs a big visit to the vet and the boys need to see a dentist. How depressing.

But to end happily, I am enjoying the time to relax. I love the time with the boys. Not being so tired all the time is a definite wonder. And I can actually see my sink most nights. See, I am keeping up with the dishes. Finally. Yay! Small progress counts. I've started a pretty good Bible Study that is helping me get back in The Word regularly. I'll call that a Big progress. So Double Yay!

So, for the last half of the break, I hope to get done those things that are naggin on my heart and face the coming school year satisfied with my time off.

Woof woof! It's great to have time to relax and enjoy.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It is OFFICIALLY Lazy Day!

Yes, you heard it here first.. Some say it's Canada Day (??huh?) but it's my first day that I don't have to do ANYTHING that I don't want to, other than make sure the children are safe. So I am in my comfy clothes, have colored my hair, read my book, done some laundry and let the children make their own food choices. We have burned our eyeballs out with stupid television and The Little One is still in his night time undies. The Big One broke down and got dressed around 2:30. But no one but me has brushed their teeth. I'm not proud of that. I just don't intend on making them. Every moment is not a teaching moment. And some days are just for lazing around ... for rejuvenating your spirit.. for enjoying without shame the simple pleasures that our hard work brings us.

So today has been Lazy Day.And I intend to make it last until I go to bed. And that will be whenever I want. I don't have to go to work tomorrow.  Dinner will be a simple affair. It will involve someone bringing dinner to me. His name is probably Nathan and he'll drive a blue Honda with a Pizza Hut sign on top.