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Bibliophile

Reasons to love a book:

It stretches your mind.

It exposes you to new ideas, people and places.

It shows you new ideas.

It teaches you something.

It makes you think in different ways.

It helps you escape the world.

It relaxes you.

It’s fun.

And, as a bonus, kids and books are cute together. 😀

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The Lesser of Two…Choices

Facebook is awesome.  If not for any other reason, for its “On This Day” feature.  (Which I’m counting on to help me fill I the gaps in A’s baby book. Mom of the Year, here.) But, yesterday I was reminded of a gem.  One of those things you’re sure you won’t forget and then it totally escapes your mind.

At school, the students had a mock election.  They did a bit of studying on the two major candidates and I tried to help educate the boys at home.  Like most of us, I had lots of options about the candidates, but I really did try to keep my big mouth shut and just give the facts.  Most of the time…  I get credit for trying really hard, right?

On Election Day, the boys were off to school and Facebook was suddenly filled by everyone’s posts from the polls.  I snapped a pic of baby A sporting an “I Voted” sticker and tried to steer my attention away from all political arguments.  Yikes.

Later that day, on the drive home from my parents’ house we talked about the school election – probably in an attempt to avoid talking any more about the real election. D dropped the revelation that he simply didn’t vote for either of the two choices, as he didn’t agree with either.

I assumed he voted for the major third-party candidate we’d discussed.

Never assume to know the ways of D, though.

He voted for Jose Molina.  Now D’s the biggest Cards fan I know.  But he emphasized that he didn’t vote for Yadi.  Nope.  The Cardinals need him.  Somehow his sweet D logic had him figuring Jose would be a better choice for president than either of the two major choices.  Maybe he’s not wrong?  You know, natural citizenship issues aside?  Who knows…I know virtually nothing about the guy, but D loves baseball and catchers and Molinas so he seemed to feel pretty secure in his choice.

The school later returned his ballot as a commemorative item to look at in ten years.  I wonder who he’ll be voting for then!

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#lovingit

I’m convinced that everyone needs someone like E in their life.

Stuck in traffic for hours while on vacation?

E: Hey!  At least we’re getting to spend a lot of time together as a family!

Raining while at Disney?

E: I bet the lines will be shorter when we come back.  Plus we get to sit down and rest for awhile so we have more energy later!

Terrible service at a restaurant?

E: At least she got Mom and Dad’s drinks right!

In trouble with Mom or Dad?

E: I understand that you love me and want what’s best for me.
So, E’s new to sleeping in the basement and I think he gets cold.  The Dad says I’m projecting, but… At any rate, I jumped at Grammy’s offer of a velour blanket.  By jumped at, I mean I may have used my influence to help E realize what a good idea it would be to accept the offer.

Last night, he hopped in bed on top of the blanket.  I’m pretty sure he was half-roasted the night before, since his regular comforter was relegated to a heap beside the bed.  Yet, E said he wasn’t too hot and had a new idea. He wanted to sleep on the blanket and under the comforter.

Okay.

In he goes.  He flops like a fish for a bit.  (This is his method of finding the right place and position for sleeping.  He repeats this until he gets it right.  All night long, I think.) Then, an “ahhhhh.”

E proclaims it to be an “envelope of comfort and coziness.”  As I reached for the light, I heard, “hashtag loving it.”  

And I smiled.  Because, being his mom?  I’m #lovingit.

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In Black and White

Inspired by the black and white photo challenge going around on Facebook, I really wanted to document an entire day of my life.  So I went for it.

A couple of times I didn’t snap a major event of the day.  A couple of times I felt like I was spoiling the moment by taking a picture.

Overall, I loved it.  I felt more attentive to what I was doing.  Aware that moments were passing and the day would happen, regardless of how much I focused and how much I got accomplished.  I loved framing the things that happened in ways I felt would tell the story. 

In reality, I want to do it again.

And I probably will.


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One Day

Almost anything can happen in one day.  Everyone writes about appreciating the day you are living because these moments matter.  Everyone tells you to enjoy it because you’re going to miss it someday.

That’s true.

But I’m not going to write about that. I’ve spent too much time wistfully recalling the past.  Feeling melancholy about what I missed or didn’t appreciate.  Choking back tears over things that wouldn’t happen again.

This isn’t about those moments.

I was going to write about days to come, but we aren’t promised those.  Not to mention that I know I can’t control the decisions my kids (or anyone else) make to determine the fate of those days to come.  

So, we’re going to lighten things up over here.  (Although I really do hope these days are coming.)

One day I will finish E’s first year photo book.

Another day I’ll start D’s.

Let’s be honest. Yet another day, I’ll get a Groupon to print them.

Oh, and another day…many days later, I’ll start A’s.  

One day I’ll figure out how to keep the grout in my bathroom tile from getting brown.

One day I’ll clean out on of those drawers I stick things in when I can’t stand to see them on the counter anymore.

One day there will be only one person in my house who laughs when I say that “I have duty at school.”  (I’m side-eying The Dad so hard at this.)

One day I will actually deep clean my oven and my refrigerator, instead of the wipe down it usually gets.  Probably not the same day though.  Let’s be real.

One day I’ll feel like I’m totally caught up with school stuff.  I’m pretty sure this will also be the day I retire, but…

One day I will paint our bedroom – the only room that’s gotten no attention since we moved in 7 years ago!

One day I’ll paint my yellowing ceilings, even though it kills my neck.

One day, I’ll put my phone down and finish the vacuuming and laundry I’m in the middle of…  

That one is going to be now.  Aim high. Dream big. Start somewhere.  

My somewhere is a pile of sheets.

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Small Town

We went out to dinner tonight.  A fancy affair.  Burgers at Hardee’s squeezed between an organ lesson and church praise band practice.  We live a wild and extravagant life, people!

Not particularly noteworthy in and of itself.  

Yet, during dinner we were approached by a family member of one of our old friends.  Chatted with by someone who used to work at The Dad’s parents’ store. Caught up with The Dad’s former co-worker.  Not to mention, had our days brightened by the employee who tucked in a few extra cookies for our kids and doled out drinks for them that we didn’t even order.

Day brightened.

And, I have to admit, it’s because I live in the same small town where I grew up.  The town I once desperately wanted to escape.  The place that I felt stifled my career dreams and our family.

I was wrong.

As an only child who hasn’t managed to stay particularly close to her childhood friends, my links to my past are tenuous.  I don’t have a childhood BFF that I meet for drinks on a regular (or irregular) basis. I don’t have a sibling to share childhood memories with on holidays.

What I do have is this town.  The people at my church who watched me grow up. The people whose homes were built by my dad. Those who my mom touched in her job.  The random connection who just happened to know my in-laws many years ago.

They keep me tethered.  Help me remember who I am. And it’s good.

Living in a small town, in a place that wouldn’t stand out on any map, is good.

And a night at Hardee’s is apparently good for the soul sometimes.

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Pots of Hot Water

Tonight, I tweaked my back.  No idea what I did.  Between picking up the baby/toddler, helping a satyr (half man, half goat for those not in the know) pull on his legs, sitting in a car and rocking said baby/toddler in a less than comfortable chair (which I’m too stubborn to put the pad back on…it doesn’t match), I’m out for the night.  Suffice it to say, I may be walking more like a goat than our satyr ever will.

So, to the bath I go.  Hoping the warm water will work some magic on my back.

And, after awhile, I hear the door open.  It’s The Dad with a pan of water he heated on the stove.

He’s done this for years.  When I was relaxing and reading a book for a masters class.  When I was pregnant and uncomfortable. Any time really.  

He knows I like the water warm and the length of time I soak is usually limited by how quickly the water gets cold.  So he often warms it up for me.

It’s not that he isn’t doing anything else.  In fact, when I goat-walked out of the living room, he was washing dishes.  He just loves me.

And to me, sometimes real love looks a lot like a pot of hot water.

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