Sunday, April 27, 2014

Where are we now? We've been busy, takin' care of business.

Wow. November 2012. That was the date of my last post. 15 months ago! I could have had a baby! But I didn't.

I have all the same babies, no new ones, just my three, all the same activities, the same silly little problems which I reserve the right to complain about when I feel like venting, you could hashtag them as first world problems and when I think that, I get embarrassed and stop usually. I also have the same prayers and hopes as usual (mostly to just be a better mom, wife, sister, friend or general person than I was today, because I usually end the day knowing I could have done better - WAY BETTER - it doesn't help that I'm a morning person, and I'm at my worst as the day winds down and I want to crawl into bed before everyone else, but please...excuses, excuses - just be BETTER!) and I still have the same overwhelming feeling that I live a completely blessed and luxurious life. Things are still the same. I think I even look the same, and I've only had my hair cut twice in 15 months, so I'm pretty sure of that. I just forgot, in these 15 months, that I had a blog. I've been busy. (We took a trip, we ran a race, we changed grades, we've gone to lots of Dodgers games, played a lotta ball, had a lotta fun, we had birthdays and Christmases, great grandma broke her hip and healed, we hopefully all got a little wiser along with older.)

I also don't read ANYONE's blogs anymore, and I blame that on two things: Google Reader being discontinued and taken away from me as one of my favorite apps, and my laziness. So it took a girl named Shari to ask a question about reading blogs, and a girl named Stephanie to remind Shari and me that we hadn't updated in a while, for me to come back and figure out my password. It took me three tries. I couldn't even remember my blog password! Ugggh. I've been busy, and the part of my brain that used to store passwords has been filled up with other stuff in the past 15 minutes, none of which I could bring back out of my brain because it's probably useless information. Other information was lost, I'm sure of it. I've been busy. (And I'm slowly remembering which blogs I used to read and adding them to my new feedly app on my phone. I LOVE it.)
Then after I say, "I've been busy," I feel really guilty. I have been busy, and I like to be busy. There's nothing that's on my plate that I want to scrape off. But I feel guilty, because what if someone who is "really" busy reads that statement and thinks, "ya right, girrrrl, you don't even know what busy is." (And that lady saying that to me, hypothetically, is pointing her finger and moving her head around in a little circle, lettin' me have it.)
Sometimes I write out the activities of my day in an email to my grandma, just so she can have a little taste of what we're up to around here, and as I list it out I think, "How in the world did we do all that in one day?" To be honest, I also send it to her as a little bit of a "look, Grandma, I do a lot during the day, even though I don't use my college degree like you wish I did!" She says I burn the candle at both ends. I love it when she says that. It's so cute. It's one of my favorite things she says. I run into lots of people who say I'm "too busy." I don't agree, I just happen to put off an "in a rush" kind of vibe, and people have sort of canned responses for that kind of person. I hear "slow down," a lot, or "take a break." It's funny. I mean, what else are they going to say at that moment? They just want to say SOMETHING. I get it. I do it all the time. There are girls I say those same words to! That's small talk, what you do as a busy mom who is running past another busy mom on the way to your next gig.
Being "busy" as a mom who doesn't work, I feel like if a working mom says she's "busy" that's way more relevant than my busy, because I AM allowed to blow off a whole day if I want to and not have to worry about being fired. That's my super duper job security, although that's horrible and lazy sounding. It's also a huge luxury. See, I live a life of luxury. So I feel like I'm careful who I say "I'M SO BUSY" around. I hear my husband tell his friends or coworkers things like, "She's busier than I am, and I have a full time job." And I take that as a compliment sometimes, but I've also had a discussion with him before where he sweetly said, "You are so busy, you're kinda defeating the purpose of being a stay-at-home mom!" I think he's right, and that one hit me hard. Things that are true hit you harder. And as I said before, I don't have anything I want to scrape off my full plate. I just want to be BETTER at the stuff on my plate so they don't take me as long to do. That's my dream.
Sometimes I see people I haven't seen in a while and they ask me what I'm up to. I just say I'm up to the usual stuff, because they get it. They're moms, too. They're up to all of my usual stuff as well, if not more. I'm not doing anything they haven't done or won't do soon. I'm sure in ways they're more busy and less busy than I am. I'm sure I don't do any more than them, but the way I deal with the list I have that may be the difference. I'm not calm. I'm not together. I am scattered and forgetful and wound up and I always think I'm late and I'm always in a hurry and always hurrying people up around me. I'm racing around doing so many things that overlap and overwhelm me, sometimes it overwhelms me just for a second, only because I think I'll leave a kid behind somewhere, or forget something major, or miss something big. I'm a hurry with fear and forgetful mixed in. But I'm not oblivious. I know what I have. And once I look in the rearview mirror and do the headcount of just three kids and see that they're all there and have seatbelts on, that's when I'm calm. I think I'm the MOST calm in the car, driving from thing to thing. Because all my chickens are there in my mobile coop, we can't turn back now, and I have a captive audience, and I'm choosing to subject them to old N'SYNC music and we're all loving it. But anyway.....

I live a busy life of luxury - I'm busy because I get to be EVERYWHERE and see everything and I wouldn't trade that for being bored or having more time to myself or being more organized if it meant I had to miss stuff. The things I'm involved in mostly happen to be things that my kids are involved in somehow, and I'm only a few steps away, and they know that. Their clothes may not be folded right out of the dryer and their uniform may feel a little damp every now and then as we try not to be late for a game. And sometimes I have to convince someone that their socks match, but I know the truth. But I'm at their game, watching most of it as I talk to other moms. And I'm at their school picking them up and asking them about their day. And I'm home packing their lunches and drawing on their lunchbags and picking their outfits and doing their hair, and I have to remember THAT IS WHAT I WANTED. That is what I ALWAYS WANTED! It was my dream to stay home with them, and I do. And I have a good guy to thank for that.
A few days ago, I filled up my car with gas, bought a new small kitchen appliance, someone gave me a new dining room set for free, I was strong enough to move it, I had a cute shirt on, it was sunny and warm and felt like summer, I found something I'd been looking for, I was driving a nice car, an older fellow blew me a kiss from the sidewalk as I was stopped at a crosswalk and let him walk across, a kid got an award, my husband said something really nice, I felt really good and healthy and I wasn't sneezing, congested or tired, I finished a small job I needed to get done that felt like a big job because I had procrastinated, I bought a present for someone I love, my stomach was full, I got a nice phone call and someone listened to me and heard me, my favorite song finally came on the radio and I got to listen to it ALL THE WAY THROUGH, I found a great sale, I wore peep toe wedges and didn't die, noticed a pretty cloud and blooming flowers, and the day just couldn't have been more shoved-in-my-face-happy to remind me of the very easy and comfortable and blessed and luxurious life I live and the people I share it with. Because of God, and because of who my husband is, to always want me "taken care of," I feel VERY well taken care of, so I have time to enjoy the little things. I have no excuse not to extend that to others, no matter how "busy" I make myself.
(And stop - hold up - uh oh! Suddenly, this reminds me of that quote that says something like, "Stop the glorification of busy." Hahaha. That' so funny. Sorry, I have to glorify busy a little bit. I've gotten out of MANY a situation I didn't want to enter, or shouldn't get into, because I was able to say, "I'm busy," and not feel like I was lying, because I wasn't.)
That happy, in-my-face day renewed me and made me just want to be an all around better caretaker of everyone around me. I'm busy with that now, but that's always been on my plate, I had just pushed it aside and it got kinda crusty. So instead of complaining at how busy I am, or complaining that people don't see what I'm doing for them or appreciate anything, instead of worrying that I'm doing too much wrong, I'm going to have to be happy at my busy - it's hard work making people feel "taken care of," but when I shove the clothes off my bed tonight without folding them and putting them away, I won't beat myself up about it. Someone, somewhere, better feel a little more taken care of. That's my hope.
Busy, gotta run.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

pictures from here and there

It's been too long since my last post, so this will be my photo dump of things I haven't been able to blog about, or just plain forgot!
 I just adore the picture above. The story behind it: Jack had a paper come home from his teacher with information about his benchmarks and what he still needed to work on. One thing that caught my eye was that Jack, when he counted to 20, would forget 15! It was so cute, but obviously not something we wanted him to continue to do. So for about two days we set out to ENGRAIN 15 into his head. Even my dad stopped by for coffee one morning and helped, and that's when I snapped this photo. And I love it. As I recently said on my facebook page, I'm so glad my kids have genuine, unique relationships with each of their four grandparents, and even their great grandparents. I will always remember my dad helping me help Jack get 15. :) Thanks dad.
 This is just a snapshot of Ginger, Sidney's favorite LPS toy. We ALL love Ginger, and we have all been caught up in the peril of Ginger being lost at one point or another. It's stressful. We all know that when Sidney LOVES something, she LOVES something, and so the entire family helps her when she's in need. It's very sweet. But at the time, when Ginger is lost, there's a sense of panic that flows through all of us, especially Sid, and it is SUCH a relief to find Ginger and see Sidney's body go from tense to calm. When I saw Ginger just hanging out on this dress of Alyssa's, which had been thrown off so she could jump in a pool, I just had to take a shot of it. Nothing like KNOWING WHERE GINGER IS! :)
 I finally got to take family photos of my DEAR friend Marti and her family. This was just one of the shots I thought was kinda cool looking. They were VERY fun and easy to photograph. And I think we went to about four or five locations. It was a blast, and made me realize once again how much I love taking family photos.
Jack and I helping out at a golf tournament. This was after my portion of the job was finished, and we got to hop into a golf cart and drive around the golf course taking candid photos of the players. SO much fun. Jack and I LOVE golf carts.
 Here we are, Jack and I, putting together the Playmobil house he and Alyssa saved their money up to buy. I was so proud of them, and I LOVe to put things together, but OH MY GOODNESS did it stink to have to put this thing together! So many pieces, and soooooo much time! At the end of a long day. but it's beautiful, and I secretly want to play in it and rearrange the rooms all the time. I love kids' toys.
 This is just a snapshot of a breakfast outside, only possible because my kids start school so late in the morning these days. We have so much extra time each morning, it's wonderful.
 Here's a snapshot of Sid's room one day, as she was delving into all the National Geographic magazines my Great Aunt Inge handed down to her. She LOVES them! I love to see her going on little expeditions in her imagination because of what she has read in these magazines.
 A shot from my phone during our last day of our camping trip to Leo Carillo beach in Malibu. I just loved the group of crazy sweethearts in this picture.
 Another phone shot of my new favorite bread in the world - the pretzel slider buns from Costco bakery. Yum. Lucky agrees. When he gets a hold of one, he hides it. Usually we find it a few days later, all crusty, in our laundry baskets. Oh, Lucky.
 Another shot from Leo Carillo beach, with Alyssa pointing out the opening of the cave where the water comes in from the waves!
Yet another phone shot - Sid used some charcoal to write this out on the side of the fire pit at our campground. I love California, too!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

one of my fears - just one for now

I read a blog today that had a list of 30 questions to answer - I think it was geared either as a "post these answers on your own blog" or a "go on a date and ask your date these questions." Either way they were cute and reminded me of my friend Kelly, who likes to ask questions like these when she has guests.
One of the questions involved fears. What are some of your fears and why?
Mine? If you know me, you know one of my greatest fears is an earthquake. Not just a quake, but a BIG quake, although the littles scare me quite a bit, too.
It's not the shaking so much. It's the logistics. Where will I be in relation to the people who I will need to save from some cavernous hole, or shards of glass flying, or falling ceiling chunks? Who will I go to first? What if that mirror on the stairs breaks and the kids can't walk past it? What if that particular window breaks and we have to crawl over broken glass? What if my pantry is crushed and I can't get food? What if my garage is stuck and I can't get my car out? What if that big bookcase comes down and crushes someone? What if I can't find a good triangle of life for us to hide in?
I have a husband who would be needed if there was a large quake. If he was here, he'd have to leave. If he wasn't here, he wouldn't be coming home anytime soon. So it scares me to think I'd have to be alone with my kids while I'm scared myself! Will bravery just kick in? I hope so.
I also think about how it relates to school. I was recently telling an equally earthquake-aphobe friend that as I pass under the NUMEROUS power lines to get to my kids school, I frequently think to myself "oh man, these are going down, and how will I get across them? Little wooden shoes? Okay, put those in my emergency bucket."
Honestly, power lines are scary!
I'm not scared of scary movies. I'm not scared of being home alone. I'm scared of the CHANCE of an earthquake.
And for most of my life I KNOW it has been a very irrational fear. Not that it can't happen, but how SCARED I get myself is fully irrational.
And that's when I have to remind myself, "self, snap out of it. You know God doesn't want you to worry, doesn't want you to fear and sit thinking about the unknown. Take care of what you have today and are building for tomorrow without thinking of the outrageous and extreme possibilities." And that's good to remind myself of, or I could go crazy. Or I could go crazy more often.
I wonder if I will pass this on (or already have) to my kids. They KNOW I'm scared of EQs, but they don't seem to be nearly on my level.
They're more scared of losing a favorite toy or not wearing something that matches their friend at school. :)
Anyway, so of all my fears, that's one of my greatest, in that I think of it most often. I truly think of earthquakes daily. I think i wake up thinking about them, and fall asleep thinking about them, and I'm not sure where I got it.
I do think it's crazy that I happened to purchase a parcel of the earth that is right on a big huge fault line.
I can't even THINK of what else I'm scared of anymore. Now I'm all worked up. Gonna go get batteries in my flashlight.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

naming humans is fun

Pioneer Woman's recent blog got me thinking about my own choices for baby names - I'm not pregnant. I probably won't ever be again, and that's okay, but when the people around you continue to have babies, or start to have their first babies, and then you look at your babies and the youngest of your litter is 5, you get a little jolt of wanting another baby. By you, I mean I.

Anyway, PW made two little blog posts about her favorite baby names right now.
My sister in law will have a baby boy Kaden in a few months. My other sister in law is pregnant but it's fairly early, so we'll see what they decide. My older sister got to name 8 different humans - she's so lucky, that's a lot of naming, she could have run out! I got to name 3, and I do think it's a fun job!

So, other than the first names of MY kids and their middle names, Mae, Michael and Elise, which I think are wonderful and perfect and my favorites forever, here are my current favorite names that would be in the running if I found myself in a situation where I'd be needing to name another human:

Girls (always way easier for me):
Indiana ( so I could call her "Indy")
Bridget (so I could call her "Gidget," of course)
Claudia (so I could call her "Cloudy," of course)

Russell (so I could call him "Rush," of course)
Walker (even though that sounds horrible with our last name)

And that finishes the lamest post I've ever written. Thanks PW. Why am I even thinking about this?

Because names are fun. And even though my kids think their names should be changed to Helen, Heidi and Jake, I think I did a pretty good job on theirs. They seem to fit them perfectly. :)


Friday, July 13, 2012

on tv

You know when you're watching a game on TV (or pretending to pay attention to a game that your husband is watching on TV) and you see those people waving into the camera behind the batter, on the phone, obviously talking to loved ones who can see them on TV? Well, now I get it. Bobby brought Sidney to a game about two weeks ago and called to tell me about the seats they relocated to toward the end of the game. I turned it on, and there they were, right behind the score graphic! See them? Right behind the red Cincinnati score? Pay no mind to the score. I'm sure the Dodgers came back and whooped them 54 to 8 or something. :)


Friday, July 06, 2012

packing babies

I loved this look on Al's face when she saw that we noticed all she was trying to sneak into the car to bring to Grandma's:

 And I love her happy look when we said "okay, then, you can bring them." She's so happy to have her babies tag along. Three dolls and a double stroller up to Grandma's. Those are her necessities when she packs.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

jedi training

I am SO glad we waited and got Jack into the Jedi Training at Disneyland a few weeks ago. My goodness was it cute. So we told Jack to REALLY step up his cuteness a few notches (it's not hard...he just smiled and waved his hand a lot) and the guys chose him first from the crowd, as they were looking for about 30 little kiddos to train. Here are some of my favorite photos from that Disneyland trip....the one right before our passes expired. Sad face.

And a few of Grandma Mary riding Big Thunder Mountain with the kids.


what would I have done?

I had a big job this week of putting lots of photos on my external hard drive. I don't know what happened, or how, or when, but yesterday when I looked for specific photos from last month, which should have simply been in the "June2012" folder on my external hard drive, that folder didn't exist. I panicked a little. Then I looked for June2011 and that didn't exist either. Every folder that had the year 2011 or 2012 in the title was gone. That's two years of photos. And if you know me at all, I take a LOT of photos. In the folder where some folders were missing, there are a total of more than 117,000 photos. With at least a third or more missing, I could have lost tens of thousands of photos.
Two years. Two years ago my kids were 3, 6 and 8. Imagine the things that have happened since they were that age. School things. Summer things. Holiday things. Silly things. Candid things. Planned things. My heart ached.
But today my sweet friend Andrea's husband FIXED IT FOR ME! Over the phone! What he had me do took HOURS (of the computer sounding like it was going to take off like a helicopter) but it was the kind of computer stuff I could walk away from, I just let it sit there and fix itself for hours....literally - from 9:30 a.m. to about 2:45 p.m. - that's how long it took for the computer to repair whatever happened to this 750 GB hard drive! Yikes.
I had tried all I could do without wanting to mess anything up more, and I needed JP. He came through and it feels SO good to see those two years of photos back in my list of folders. Ahhhh. HUGE sigh of relief. JP will surely have plenty of hugs coming his way when I see him this week.
So once the folders were in existence again, I had to look through the pictures of what could have been lost. What would I have done without these?

I would have been so sad.

Thanks JP. You're the biggest, most helpful nerd on the planet. I am so grateful that my best friend married YOU. What if she had married some guy that I had no use for at all?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

cherry picking and orchard snooping

Cherries from my parents' orchard are ripe so my mom called us over to pick some. I'm obsessed with her orchard and the flowers around it so I brought my camera. These are just simple scenes from cherry picking today.

Cherries! I think that's one of the prettiest colors in the world! When I say my favorite color is RED, that's the red I mean!

Strawberries - teeny, but OH so good!

Mirabellen - not yet ripe, but can't wait!


Lots of apricots