Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sadistic Muse

“Tears are words that need to be written.” - Paul Coehlo

Smart man. Excellent writer. A friend of mine on FB shared his picture and this quote, and it resonated with me. I often find I write best when I am in distress. It's as though my muse needs my pain to be called forth.

Ah, what a sadist, my muse.

Christmas this year made me feel a bit off kilter---but not in a bad way. Ok, I did have a horrible case of vertigo which began Thursday night while hubby and I were out on a date. :::gasp::: Yes, we took our annual date. I thought I was managing quite nicely, he told me he thought I'd taken drugs. I guess what I hear about people drinking and trying desperately to act sober must be true. You don't fool anyone. So I've been on some drugs to help me defeat the vertigo, which make me sleepy. Apparently I passed out and missed most of Christmas Eve at my sister's house . Yay me!

On Christmas day we had the sister missionaries over for dinner so they could Skype with their families. It was sweet and tender to see these two young women, far from home to serve the Lord, interact with their loving families. There were tears on all sides---and it was touching. And I mean that---I was deeply touched by their love and devotion to each other. One missionary told me that her mom was her very best friend. I had to suppress a sudden pain in my heart. You see, our two oldest were here, neither of whom consider their father and I more than a nuisance. Neither had asked if they could help with getting the rest of dinner ready. Nothing.

Then we had dinner and our two oldest finished their meal before the rest of us, took their plates to the sink and then said goodbye. Apparently there were things, important things, that needed to be done. Places to go, places that weren't here. People to see, people that weren't us.

So I teared up. I couldn't help it. After just witnessing the joy on the faces of those two families, witnessing their fervent desires to be united with their loved ones, and our two oldest couldn't get out of here fast enough. I know I shouldn't let it bother me....I know I should develop a thicker skin.

And I'm trying---believe me, I'm trying.

I'm pretty sure we didn't raise them to be this way.

So perhaps next year we'll celebrate Festivus instead. You know, the traditional Airing of the Grievances and all that. I'm sure it will be a hit. Either that or my husband an I will leave all of them here and we'll go off to Hawaii.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Never Give Up, Never Give In...

"You're ridiculous!!!!", my 14 year old daughter sneered at me. "Why are you SO over protective??"

We'd just spent a chilly five minutes on the porch arguing. She had refused to hand over her precious cell phone, and I wasn't allowing her to open the door and go into the warmth until she had done so. She asked me how long I was going to keep her phone. I told her two days.

"NO!"
"Hand it to me."

"NO! I don't see why I have to!!"

She is fourteen years old, she probably didn't see the reasoning behind my demand she turn over her cell phone. But it's my job to teach her.

"If you don't hand it to me, you're going to lose it for longer than two days."
"NO!!"
"Trust me, I mean it. Give it to me."
"NO!!!!!!!
"Fine, you've lost it for a week now."
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
"Yes."
"FINE!", she bellowed at me as she thrust the phone into my hand. "But can I have it back on Friday?? I'm gonna hang out with Emma!"
"No, you may not."
"WHYYYYYYY???"
"Because that's not a week. That's only 3 days."
And with that she went through the door after me and slammed it as hard as she could.
"WHY ARE YOU SO OVER PROTECTIVE?? I DON'T UNDERSTAND!!"
It was then I used a tried and true Mom Favorite. "Go to your room and stay there."

I'd just spent a frantic time driving through our ever-darkening neighborhood searching for her and her friend. She hadn't called me when she met up with her girlfriend at the corner and she wasn't answering calls or texts. I'd made her promise before she left that she would call me. She didn't.

I'd been in the kitchen about to mix up Christmas sugar cookies. As I lay out the butter, flour and sugar, I kept calling her. No answer. Why isn't she answering her phone? Where is she?

After what seemed like an eternity as I drove through the dusk, my cell phone rang.
"Ashley!"
"I'm sorry mommy! I didn't hear my phone in my coat. We're at the school but we're coming home now."
"You are in trouble. I'll be right there."
"No, mom we can walk."
"I'm nearly there right now."
Heavy sigh. "Oh all right."

It's a small thing, right? Not keeping her promise to call me. She forgot, I get it. She's mad because she said she won't forget next time. I'm hoping the sting of losing her phone for an entire week will make an indelible impression and make sure she won't forget next time.

"You are the worst mom ever!"

Sometimes that might be true. I don't know. I don't have a Users Guide for Teenagers. I hope that one day when she has a fourteen year old, she'll remember me being 'ridiculous' and 'over protective' and finally understand that it would be much easier on me to have given in and not taken her cell phone. Then I wouldn't have to put up with her surly demeanor for a week.

Never give up, never give in.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sandy Hook

I was sitting in a dark room Friday morning when my phone buzzed. I looked at the alert and CNN informed me that there had been a shooter at a school in Connecticut. Closing my phone, I looked up to heaven and said a prayer in my heart for those in harms way. I had no idea of the scale of this tragedy at that moment. I was at Seattle Children's Hospital watching the brain waves of my youngest child as they moved across the monitor during her EEG. She was sleeping peacefully, all wrapped up in white gauze with wires protruding out of bandages. I gave a sigh and silently thanked my Father in Heaven that I knew where my child was and that she was safe.

As the day progressed, more of the tragedy came to light. I wept for the families, the children, the first responders who would have to process this unimaginable horror. Openly crying in front of my children and hugging them each time they came near me. I work in our school district. This hits close to home.

What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School is something that should never have happened. Like me, everyone wants to know if there were signs this young man was troubled. Was there something that someone near him could have done to stop this? How and why were there so many guns available to him? Did no one see?

My husband has gently asked me to not watch the news, because he comes into the room and sees that I have been crying. I'm filled with nearly unbearable sorrow for these families, their friends, everyone connected to this tragedy. And yet...I can get up in the morning and go into my daughter's bedroom and they are there. There isn't an empty bed with toys strewn around the floor and tiny clothes that will never be worn again. Tonight I will take my four children to dinner. We will get Santa pictures taken, just as we have for the past 23 years. We will buy each of them a Christmas ornament and we will love each other. We are whole.

And yet....there is a hollow place inside of me, my heart is a mother's heart and it weeps in anguish for 20 mothers thousands of miles away. They don't know me, I don't know them, so all I can do is pray for God's mercy to rest upon them. For angels to be their companions and hope that one day they will be able to find peace.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Nad Whacking

We did it. Well, WE didn't do it, our vet did.

He wasn't too thrilled to be taken somewhere in the kitty carrier though.



Professor Tubbington had his lil nuggets removed yesterday. This will take care of a few things, namely his aggressive behavior with the other cats, his tomcat tail (EW) and his desire to do his business anywhere he feels like it. Due to those three issues, he's been an outdoor kitty since the summer. Plus, we are being responsible kitty owners by taking him out of the gene pool. And it makes Alli very happy to have her baby back in her arms and snuggling with her at night.

Bobo is not thrilled. Now he's no longer top of the cat heap in the house. He has to share. He's not big on sharing. He'll just have to adjust.

My girl Cassie isn't doing too well. We're not quite sure what's going on with her. We were told that all her 'tumors' were benign, but that doesn't mean they aren't affecting her somehow. She whimpers...cries and then barks. She's never been a very vocal doggie---except when someone knocks at the door, then she goes off like the redneck doorbell that she is.

And that's the animal report for the day. You're welcome!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Festival of The Nativities

Yesterday afternoon we took Ashley and Alli over to Belluvue Festival of The Nativities and saw something so beautiful it touched our hearts. There were over 500 nativity scenes, representing over 44 countries, set up in the Stake Center behind the Temple. It was interesting to see the unique cultural differences in each nativity.

It was incredibly touching. I took some pictures... I hope you're touched by them as well. Here are my two youngest and most beautiful daughters. Ashley Rose and Allison Marie. Oh how I love these girls. Alli was the one who really wanted to see all of the nativities. She LOVES Christmas so very much.


And here are the nativities...







































My apologies for the poor quality of the photos. There were over a hundred lighted Christmas trees...lights everywhere. One room was called The Christ Room. Paintings, drawings, statues and other unique items outlining the life of Christ were set in that room. I teared up as I walked through the line and came to the suffering in Gethsemane and His death on the cross. He died for me. He died for you. He suffered for all and I am eternally grateful for His love and His mercy.

May your family celebrate the gift of the Christ child, now and through all the year.