Because some thoughts are swirling, I'm writing a sentence or two so I can look back and remember that I DID think about some ideas:
It's just on my mind, the whole idea of responsibility. Sometimes I just feel like I want none, and in those moments I just seem to get more. I think this is a normal thing.
It's kind of like this quote I see flying around, which tells me I'm not the only one who wants someone to DO the cooking, READ the books, DRIVE the errands, SING the songs, PUT ON the movie, TUCK IN to bed: "I can't adult today". Feelings come and go, thankfully, this one passes and it helps to just SAY it.
Also on my mind. Just being aware of the responsibility of using what we've been giving - specifically, not striving after other's gifts/callings, living out our own with joy. Appreciating others' calling. Encouraging them in it. Being comfortable in our own. Instilling the idea into our children feels important to me, the sense of purpose and unique giftedness.
And adding to those things, I've been thinking about how growth into responsibility and calling is so blessedly slow! We don't all of a sudden have school age kids. We're not all of a sudden helping them with calculus. They're not all of a sudden soccer super stars (a tangent, I think cross country sounds like the perfect sport). At this I think slow growth is how it's designed most of the time - I guess there are plenty of seasons of phyiscal/emotional/mental/spiritual growth too (usually more painful, I think. And, that's life too).
And of course some of the recent memory-making moments:
Momma Beth & Eliza invited me and Judah to ride the bus from their house to YUM. It was a cozy Friday morning adventure, Judah sucked his thumb all the way there and on the way back chatted to anyone within earshot about the man driving the bus. Love that boy. And we sure love those people, sweet friends who enjoy sweets with us.
We found a different hourly preschool place 5 minutes from Karis's school, also attended by some of Judah's friends. He's only been there twice, but it's been great. I have a whole 2 hours a week to myself (HA!). I never love dropping my kids off and despite feeling like I need this break, I feel sad for a wee bit . . . and then I read For Me and My House in a coffee shop, run a couple childless errands, make necessary phone calls . . .and the time flies and is satisfying and productive and good. I love his huge smile at pick-up.
Petting zoo, corn maze, TRAIN! IN THE TUNNEL! DONUTS! MORE DONUTS! (Judah loved it all and screamed all the way out). Most fun was celebrating Liam's birthday there, sweet friend.
Sometimes things just pop up over and over. Might I remember . . .
Three times in one day: "Let your yes be your yes - your no your no" (two books and one scripture reading). Crazy.
Twice another day: The Golden Rule. Mentioned in a book and a reading.
Weirdest week (a few weeks ago now), that started with a can of pumpkin:
Should've known it was going down when I opened a huge can of pumpkin . . . it's kind of like putting gingerbread men on my list of things to do. Bad idea! Because inevitably I'll feel compelled to use every bit of the pumpkin, scouring for new recipes that hit the spot of whatever craving I can't name. Not. a. good. idea. (results: pumpkin banana muffins that no one really likes and pumpkin butterscotch cookies that came out a little doughy). It reads like a "give a mouse a cookie" book: "If you give Andrea big can of pumpkin, she might need to look at recipes. If Andrea looks at recipes, she might want to make them all. If she makes them all, she might be tired and frustrated . . . "
Judah got sick - couldn't suck his thumb (congestion) and had the worst night of his life. Poor baby. As always kicks into gear, when my kids are ill the purpose is so clear and in some ways it's easy to just call everything off, leave the house however it is and just BE. And interestingly, Judah sick leaves him with little energy to exert his . . . two-ness. He was markedly pleasant to me! I knew he was feeling better when he started his usual little antics. Like sitting in my lap whining for me (advice, please).
Dishwasher broke. Humidifier broke. No big deal, just . . . weird.
Trev had a day trip to Dallas. DAY TRIP TO DALLAS. My background is in the non profit world, so this kind of thing is still foreign to me. Getting up at 3:15 am - both of us - uff da. He got home at 12am. How, Trevor?! I sacked out after a good day with the kids topped with a friend giving us homemade mac n cheese and tomato soup. Seriously?! Grace. I'd already promised the kids Wendy's and so there was enough left to share with Trevor, perfect.
The week ended with Trev's race: which included a little uncertainty in the sleep deprived fog of Friday as to whether it could happen. A good night of sleep, a morning bleary eyed bowl of oatmeal and coffee and he was on his way. In the past it's been quite a run around to just see him pass mile 7, so I didn't plan on even trying. But I woke up feeling like I HAD to see him cross the finish this year. So, dropped K off at a birthday party (blessedly right on the way to the race). Judah and I drove to Theo Wirth and found the finish line and drove around for about 30 minutes believing someone would leave and we could snag a walking distance spot. And sure enough - boom - front row, right across the street from the finish (this at a place where people park and take a shuttle to the finish). Halleluia. We even found a friend waiting for her hub. And hooray, he made it! So thankful and proud to watch Trev and his mustache cross the line. He said it was a tough race and that he might not have made it had we not been waiting for him . . . and so, as Ma says, "alls well that ends well".
CONGRATS TREVOR! Proud of you. I admit my horrible attitude about the race this year. I'm glad you ran it. I had a bit of a revelation about being really together on "marathon-ish" life events. I felt really tired from your race, but didn't run it - helped me understand how my giving birth made you so exhausted/back ache/headache. Love you!
And that afternoon - Scaredy Bats . . .
After Trev's race while the boys slept, Karis and I headed to our outdoor reading spot . . . and as I raised the umbrella and Karis came to join me, she exclaimed, "Mom, there's a bat!". Whoa, sure enough. AHHHHHHHH. Karis ran around and came in through the front and I ran in the back door. Eesh.
And then looking back on that funny week, I felt God's love and care in such specific ways. And I really thought about it, because I don't expect things to just get better or fixed or go the way I think they should. But I really did ask Him to help me trust, and I really did feel that deep trust. And I fully realize our "woes" are small - so, so small. And yet, I remembered He cares. He really, really cares. And His comfort and even restoration of our creature comforts . . . well, they just made me smile, made me feel connected to the Giver of all good things, made me thankful. Made me want to remember the weird week that had such a cover of Grace. I wonder if these little things are practice for growth, because it's not "when" more will happen. It's "if". And I want to grow and learn now and always. To trust now and always.
Wonderful trip Home to Bismarck . . . because it IS home
Pretty good ride ("how long do we have to go" turned into "Karis, I will give you updates once in a while" turned into "is it time to update me yet?!") and a whirlwind weekend making lots of memories - baby shower for Hope, best duck hunt ever for Trev, and a day on the prairie watching Karis live in her Little House on the Prairie imaginative world. Watching Wonder Woman under the grandpa built tent, eating pizza in the pantry, attending grandpa day care. Togetherness. Fabulous.
Refreshing with tons of park play (enough to make Judah a bit ill on Friday, it would seem - thankfully quick bounce back) and a random Friday morning trying different outings: library, had to leave with Judah screaming (probably not feeling great but I didn't realize it yet). Playground, had to leave it was freezing. McDonalds, almost had to leave the movie playing (Smurfs) was frightening Karis. A random bakery stop where a man gave us free cookies, winner.
We loved an evening visit from Grandpa and Grandma, passing through on their way to a Canadian vacation.
We loved having a family over for an afternoon of outside play and dinner, fully enjoyed this new phase of not having to hover over safety or meals for children!
The boys kayaked, me and Karis ran girl-y errands, met up all together at a park, pizza and Pooh . . . oh these are good days.
NOT perfect days. Let me cast no illusions here. There are ups and downs for ALL of us. Foot stomping, screaming, hitting, grabbing. All of it, people. I try to be careful with my attitude, which can be a bit, well, in need of adjustment.
Saturday backyard picnics - Karis begs to eat dinner outside on the grass on Saturdays. Love it.
"Chores in the leaves" - Trev trimmed branches (he's such a good homeowner) and the kids had a blast playing among them for a day.
Boys' kayaking outings (while Karis and I enjoy girly things like haircuts and errands and connecting with friends)
Watching a Chef's Life (Trev and I), dreaming of a vacation to North Carolina someday.
Afternoon friend meet-ups at Schmidt Lake Park (huge slide!). Thank you A, for the introduction. So grateful for dear friends who happen to be neighbors. Bliss.
Collecting ladybugs as pets. Having little brother sabotage big sister's efforts at pet-caring. Lots of screaming.
Reading outside. The afternoons have been so glorious Karis and I take our tea and juice outside and settle in for what is my fave part of the afternoon. She sits right in the middle of my lap and lays her head on my chest and we get wrapped up in our stories. And a random intersection of literature and life - we're in the middle of The Long Winter (Little House book 5) and ironically we've been reading chapters that take place during an "Indian summer" (probably not politically correct anymore, but that was truly the chapter name) in October. So very fitting as we've been soaking in the October sun while we imagine we live on the prairie. I'm also finding a little intersection of Laura and Karis - Laura is going to school and we read Laura's thoughts of being scared to be in town and around a lot of new people. And yet on the outside she is brave and fearless. That is my Karis! So brave and outgoing, people don't believe when I tell them how nervous she is for Fridays (chapel buddy/sitting by a high schooler) or that she clings to my legs sometimes and begs me to stay with her until class starts. Precious season. And I'm grateful to that wise and deep Laura for helping me understand my daughter.
Recent reading quotables:
From The Count of Monte Cristo:
Albert: "But why need this annoy you?"
His mother, Mercedes: "You know, Albert, women are singular creatures."
". . . for in the tacit relations which maintain the bond of family union, the mother, to maintain her ascendency over her daughter, must never fail to be a model of wisdom and a type of perfection" (Madame Danglars thoughts)
From The Quiet American:
"Find me an uncomplicated child . . . when we are young we are a jungle of complications. We simplify as we get older."
From By the Shores of Silver Lake (Laura Ingalls Wilder):
"Oh, drive dull care away,
For weeping is but sorrow.
If things are wrong today,
There's another day tomorrow.
So drive dull care away
And do the best you can,
Put your shoulder to the wheel
Is the motto for every man."
"These times are too progressive. Everything has changed too fast. Railroads and telegraph and kerosene and coal stoves - they're good things to have but the trouble is, folks get to depend on 'em." (wisely stated by Pa and sooooo true at the time of the reading our dishwasher had its final kaput)
From One Tough Mother:
"We are an obsessed mothering culture scared to death of being perceived as anything less than utterly and totally conscientious. It's not enough to believe and know we did the best we could as a mother despite obstacles . . . but settling for nothing less [than extraordinary] day after day and year after year can make one very weary."
"Little else rattles our confidence and ability to trust in our . . . . maternal common sense quicker than . . . inordinate attention to details that don't really matter. And little else falls quicker to the wayside in the midst of those details than the soothing and raucous relief of laughter and pure unabashed enthusiasm for life as it is right here, right now."
- "You know what I had after you left momma? Another toaster doodle" (as in, toaster strudel, delivered to us by Asher and his parents. Adorable)
- "Introducing the amazing and incomparable Karis!" (also said to Asher's parents)
- "Momma, I'm so sorry to tell you - William Shakespeare died. BUT congratulations! We found two new worms!"
- "Let's have a quesadilla picnic! . . . now it's time for picnic games! Anyone who has a leaf invitation can play"
- "Daddy, why do you go potty for a long time?"
- "Momma, I know William Robert Tennison has zero teeth" (our friends new baby)
- "Okay, this is the end of all our nursery poems" (she loves dictating poems to Trevor, they are delightful. Lots of "hum dee dum didelee dum" and many are about holiday dinners prepared by her grandmothers)
- "Look at our life savers!" (light sabers bubble wands from cousins)
- "WHY are there so may AIRPLANES?! Do you think there's a world fair or something?"
- "Me try an onion? No thank you!" (when Trev offered an onion ring)
- "Momma, I never knew fall was so HOT"
- "Momma, all these pants have HOLES in them!" (wandering clothing section at Target)
- "Well, thanks for keeping supper hot for me!"
- "Boy am I so glad I don't go to boarding school!"
- "I wanna be a pioneer when I grow up! Except I can't because I didn't live 100 years ago"
- "Judah has a river of snot!"
- "Looks like it's a Star Wars year for Kohls!"
- "Can you please not pat my toosh?"
- "Daddy, don't talk about the Hobbit when it's past my bedtime!"
- "Winnie the Pooh . . . ewwwww!" (singing in such a punny way as we drove through some pig country)
- "It just makes me cry when I think of how the years have passed!" (she is SO my daughter. She can be moved to tears looking at pictures of Judah as an infant)
- "You just CAN'T cut his hair yet, it's so beautiful!"
- "So mom, where are the bathrooms in this country?" (said as we approached the Old Country Buffet)
- "I LITERALLY almost fell off the haystack!"
- "Mom, Judah just shoved me, but it was a love shove"
- "Mom, 4 is the perfect number for our family, dontcha think?"
- "I would never ever travel the sea unless I HAD to" (after watching "Savior Pilot Me")
- "Pray I'd have dreams about make-up parties and baby showers" (before bed)
- "I gotta watch for the frost!" (she's so excited about frost)
- "I could tell that you needed a hug"
- Some fave picture books and also chapter ones: Nora's Ark, Somebody Loves You, Mister Hatch, Whingdingdilly, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Potter
- "They're so pretty!" (after putting on his Star Wars jammies from Lukas. Precious)
- "Daddy like it" (spitting out an onion ring)
- "I WANT DADDY!" (when I'm saying something he doesn't want)
- "I WANT MOMMY!" (when Trev is saying something he doesn't want)
- "Judah likes play with Jo Jo" (when I picked him up from the nursery one day)
- "There's a HUGE garbage man truck!"
- "Mommy go lake way!" (loves to drive by Medicine Lake)
- "Mommy go get Wendy's!"
- "NO Mommy eat!"
- "NO Mommy sing!"
- "Going to other one Fargo" (his way of describing Bismarck)
- "Go back Grandma's house!" (crying as we drove back to Plymouth)
- "I don't like it" (said to much food)
- "I want _____" (insert whatever he wants at that moment, remember to use a very whiney and insistent tone)
- "I want a SUCKER!" (said at Old Country Buffet, spying the cones of cotton candy)
- "I want CHOCOLATE MILK!"
- "I want CHOCOLATE WATER!" (aka root beer)
- "Read Baby Brains!" (new fave)
- "Grandpa Bobby has a GREEN tractor" (heard through the monitor after he was in bed)
- "Read Little Boy Drummer! Rat a tat!"
- "Baby in momma's belly? no no no no no! Baby in Judah's belly? no no no no no. Baby in Karis's belly? no no no no no. Baby in Melanie's belly! Baby in Cassie's belly! Baby in Sarah's belly!"
- Or, he just randomly assigns anyone a baby belly. Like, asks us in front of random acquaintances: "______ have baby belly?". Only a little awkward
- "Ducks go waterskiing!" (literally - they watch ducks do this while on the kayak)
- "Go get gas car" (while riding in his coupe)
- "Car wash with daddy!"
- "Mommy go wrestle!"
- "I toot!"
- "I have appetizer applesauce!"