Friday, January 20, 2017

Just call me Eeyore



 Yesterday:

I woke up after a fitful night of unsettling dreams.
It snowed. all. day.
My knee hurt.
The skin on my fingers is so dry and fragile that I am covered in bandaids.
I felt annoyed.
I was still stinging a little bit from unpleasant YW leader stuff.

In an avoidance strategy (because I really should have been cleaning the kitchen), I sat down to work a little on a photo book I'm making.

I came across this picture.


I am their mother.

And their pretty sister's mother too.

It's OK if the rest of everything is annoying me.  Because I've got these guys. 


 And this one too.


They make up a lot of the difference.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Ill conceived idea

Sometimes I just want to do something.  Be creative.  Sometimes I should just let that notion pass and go do something safe.  Something that doesn't involve glitter.

What I started with:

several glass ornaments
a bottle of Elmer's glue
a half full bottle of silver glitter of indeterminate age
a half thought out idea

What I ended with:

a mess


A big mess.

Do you know how to get glitter off of everything?

I'm asking for a friend....

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Life goals

You've gotta have dreams.

I decided I want to read every Newbery award winning and honor book.  Then I decided I want to own every one.

It struck me that someday, when I am a teacher again, it would be a very nice thing to have a whole bunch of Newbery award winning books in a library that I could encourage and coerce my students to read.  (Because more often than not, you need to coerce.)

There are 379 books that fall into this category.

I own 55 of them.  (Although I didn't look in Emma's room and some more might be in there.  Also, I thought we owned Millions of Cats and I can't find it.  I told Emma I was going to go see if we had Millions of Cats in the basement and that's kind of a fun thing to say, because am I under the delusion that I may have millions of cats in my basement?)

Here's my collection so far (in alphabetical order by author).  One small shelf and a little bit more.




Laura Ingalls Wilder is pretty much amazing.

I've read about 50 of the books on the list.  It's "about" because I'm not counting the ones I only vaguely remember.  And I'm sort of counting the ones I sort of remember.  (When you make up your own life goals and criteria, you can do it however you want.)

I now have a ready made list for Adam for future gift ideas.

I want books.

Lots and lots of books.

(And now if you'll excuse me, I have some...reading...to do.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What's next

Sunday evening Clarissa and Desi and Hannah (Clarissa's roommate) came over for dinner.  It was fun.  I told them that from now on, it's a standing invitation.

I also told them that when Emma and Braeden are in college, it will be a REQUIREMENT (not really) that they come for dinner, but I will not require it of my darling nieces.  Or even my darling nieces' darling roommates.

I'm easy going like that.

Yesterday there was no school and I loved spending time with Emma and Mark.  They make me laugh and they are pleasant and helpful.  (Mark helped me find Newbery award books for a project I'm working on.  Emma helped me format a document because she's a whiz at stuff like that.  They helped with dishes and laundry.  I think I want them to drop out of school.)

It turns out I really like having older kids.

Sometimes you want to put the brakes on and make your kids stop growing up and changing, but sometimes, I think, bring it on.  I like what's next.  (Especially the part when Braeden will come home.)





Monday, January 16, 2017

People who can do things

I love people that can do things.

Emma had a fancy dress up party at the theater where she works.  She enlisted Adri's help for her hair.


Adri can do hair.  She just can and it is amazing to me.  (This doesn't surprise anyone; I can't do hair.)

And she brought her own curling iron because the antique I got for a high school graduation present apparently doesn't get hot enough anymore.  I've probably used the thing 5 times so it's not worn out from overuse.  Maybe it's just tired of the neglect.

I sewed Emma into this dress again because we haven't had the zipper repaired.


As I was hurriedly making stitches minutes before it was time for her to leave, I thought, "This is no way to live."

That thought occurs to me periodically in my life....

That night I was talking to one of the other YW leaders.  She asked me where Emma was and I told her about the fancy party and the fact that I'd sewed her into her dress and needed to get home so I could cut her out of it.

Susan said, "Bring it over.  I used to sew prom dresses and wedding dresses.  I can fix the zipper."

Saturday afternoon, our YW were in a basketball game.  Five laurels were playing.  Bekah seemingly could make a basket every time the ball touched her fingers.  Heather, who is a natural leader, was talking to the girls and encouraging them the entire time.  Rose, a dancer, was doggedly trying her best.  She ended up where she needed to be then she'd quickly pass the ball to someone else.  Then she would smile in relief.  Emerie and Larisa were solidly doing their part.  They made a few baskets.  They got a few rebounds.  They laughed a lot and made sure everyone was having fun.

Every single one of them made her contribution.

Isn't it lovely that we're all so different and have something to give?  Sometimes our contribution is saving the day in a big way.  Sometimes our contribution is getting the ball into someone's hands who can score a basket.  Sometimes our contribution is giving someone the benefit of the doubt or a smile or a listening ear.

Martin Luther King day seems like a good day to remember we each can make a contribution.  We can make a difference.  Even if it's just keeping a houseplant alive. 

(Because sometimes that feels like an accomplishment.)

(Seriously, one of my plants is dying and I can't figure out why.)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Unfounded optimism

I decided I might as well try it.

I had another anxiety dream about France.  I dreamed it was time to go to the airport and I hadn't packed.  I know me and this will never happen.  I pack early and often.

I woke up with a little glimmer of excitement too.  The trip might just be spectacular. 

I have decided to be optimistic.  About everything.  Call me Pollyanna.  Yesterday I talked to Marianne.  We both are tired of cold stormy weather and we're both tired of the sickness we can't seem to shake.  Olivia's in Mexico, at the beach.  Rotten kid.

But I get to see Marianne tonight.  There's something to be happy about.

I've decided to ditch thoughts that make me downcast, not to dwell on the people that have let me down or the cold that is trying to kill me.  I've decided to think things are going to work out just fine.

It's unfounded.  I don't really know that everything will be fine.  Adam told me that's the best kind of optimism to have.

So here I go.

(And reading this by President Hinckley makes me think maybe my optimism isn't so unfounded after all.)


It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It all works out in the end. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers.
Gordon B. Hinckley




Thursday, January 12, 2017

You've had a birthday, shout hurray!

Who knew I would be celebrating Braeden's birthday right along with him?  It was a day of happy surprises for both of us.

In the morning, Stella and I video chatted.  She congratulated me on Braeden's birthday.  She also gave me a little doctor advice for my cold.  (I'm tired of it.  I'm not sick enough to stay in bed and I'm not well enough to feel like my regular routine.  Stuck in a grumpy middle ground.)  It was wonderful to see Stella's warm smile.

Then the text messages started coming in from Rebecca.  Adam asked, "What did we do to deserve the Justesens?"  

I really don't know.  They are incredibly kind and completely made my day.

They went to his apartment (passed Braeden and his companion leaving, but he didn't see them) and decorated his door.

                                                                              
 Her kids had hung candy from the ceiling above.


Rebecca had borrowed a friend's phone to set up a fake appointment with them so they would for sure come home to their apartment at lunch time.

She texted:

Then she sent this:


and this:


THAT is my boy's most genuine smile.  I loved seeing him that happy.  That's the kind of picture that would warm my gloomiest day.

They went to lunch and I got a few more pictures. 



I can never thank them enough.  There aren't enough emojis in the world to express it in text messages. (But I tried.)

Then Cortney invited me to lunch.  Her twin sons have the same birthday as Braeden.  She said we should go to lunch to celebrate the birth of our awesome sons.

Sounded good to me.

I had chicken noodle soup (as ordered by my doctor, Stella) and we talked to each other about the births of our boys.

I think that should be a new custom.  When it's your child's birthday, you go to lunch with other mothers whose children were born on the same day and you share labor and delivery stories and congratulate each other on a job well done.

I love technology and kind and generous people and awesome sons that were born on January 11.


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