Monday, December 30, 2013

Goodbye 2013

Its coooooming-- I can feel it in the air. (Heck, i can feel it in my tight waistband)


And you know what that means? Time to take a few moments to think about the old and ring in the new!

I think the year 2013 at our house can best be best described in a few lyrics by the one and only Miley "not so Disney anymore" Cyrus.


"2013 Came in like a wreeeeecking baaaaaaalllllllll....."

Okay, as i look back over the year I have continued to love Jimmy Fallon--though I don't love the enormous amount of success he has reached--because now eveyones jumping on the Jimmy train and I liked it better when it was more intimate, you know--just me a Jimmy and a few other night owls. But for him--i suppose i am glad.

If i had to pick a surprise movie that had me at the edge of my seat it would be "Prisoners". It definitely was hard to watch at times and very "real" and i enjoyed it alot. Although about 5 minutes into the movie Jeromy looked over at me (after the child had been kidnapped) and said " I do NOT  like this show." And i agreed.  But it had been recommended to us and i was hooked. And then about 3/4 into the show I looked over at Jeromy and said, "If this is the end of the movie then this is the worst show i have EVER SEEN!!!!"  But alas, i enjoyed the stress of it and came away with a sore jaw and a headache.  So for me--two thumbs up!! I like movies that make me think. And this didn't disappoint. (reminder--i said its hard to watch--especially as a parent)

Also, i have come to the conclusion that if i was a producer/director i would like to keep a few actors in my back pocket--kind of like Scorsese does with DiCaprio. I find Casey Affleck mesmerizing. I love his face, his high raspy-ish voice, his light accent and just about everything else about him. If he's in it--i'm watching it. I also love the kid who plays the brother "Roderick" from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. He is hilarious. And Jake Gyllenhal. Those are my guys. Talent. Not just blockbuster guys--but real actors actors. Indy films that mean something, say something, make you feel something. (okay, maybe not the Wimpy kid actor, but the other two. Him i just really like.)

If i could describe the perfect night, it would be about 10 pm. No one else would be up.  Me in my jams in front of the TV awaiting an intense drama to start. Heaven. That is what i enjoy.

I find that sometimes when i am out with my friends---i wonder what's on tv.

 Although if i'm with a really good friend--we probably already have the TV on!

This year when Sam and I were leaving Trader Joes, i hit the button to open my back hatch on the van and it automatically opened (and it was snowing super hard) and as i walked towards it, i forgot that my hatch doesn't stay open in the cold weather and just as i got to the back of the van...SMACK!!!  The hatch fell down--cracking me straight on top my head--crushing my teeth together. It hurt like a sucker punch--i never even saw it coming.

In the van a few minutes later Sam asked me how i was feeling?  To which i responded, with crossed eyes, that  "I didn't remember his name." (Cause i'm fun like that, ya know.) And he said he felt so bad that that happened that he had a stomachache--and then he said "My twin pain is kicking in--now MY head hurts too...."

(Because i always tell Sam we are like twins, he gets hurt and i feel it.)  So that moment.  When his" twin pain" kicked in--reminded me that he is literally one of greatest people on this earth! :)

I have continued to embrace drama on tv. Though i have faced a bit in real life.  Like always--i like comedy in real life and drama in movies. Not the other way around.

If i were ranking my friends husbands (which i don't....or do i?), Josh Weinzetl would sit at number one. I have spent more time than i care to admit watching movies with them on their couch (maybe even snuggling their dog--you don't know) and there has even been a time when Angie broke into full on snore--which only confused me--but didn't even make me consider leaving before the show was over.  Like hellooo--i'm dedicated!! So, here's to more late night movies watching in 2014, Weinzetls!! :)

If i was to rank my friends husbands (which i don't?)--here is the one i would rank the worst---....

Gotcha!....Are you kidding me? That's a secret, sister!  But he's out there--and i know who he is--i assure you!

I think i have become a bit of a foodie. If its not good--i just don't want to eat it. It may sound lame, but its true. I'm over burgers i want classy food and i want it now.

I have come to realize i am a bit jaded this year. Seeing people for who they pretend to be in public versus who i have seen them to be behind closed doors?? It has confused and jaded me.

My heart broke when i heard of  Paul Walkers death. Its still hard just seeing pictures of him.

I realized that this past year when i turned 32, i have officially known my husband half of my life!! I met him when i was only 16?!? Crazy!

Speaking of husbands, Jeromy got me a robe and slippers and snowpants for Christmas (which i love) and when i looked at the size he choose, i realized that he got me a medium snowpants and an extra, EXTRA large robe....which made me wonder if he even knew they created tags and sizes for things, but then as i thought more about it--i deduced that he got me a medium for something that goes around my child bearing hips and an XXL for something that wraps around my sternum...err, i mean bust.....and that is A-okay with me!!! :)

I love baths, books, and long walks on the beach. Minus the long walks on the beach.

As i go into 2014 i would have to say my favorite songs are Say something by A great big world. And Avicii's Hey Brother.

The movie that left me dumbfounded, a little confused and feeling a bit crazy was a movie that i-unfortunately-anticipated greatly.  It was called "Out of the furnace." But darn it if Casey Affleck was the big draw. At least i didn't talk Jeromy into going to it for HIS birthday....nope, wait, that's exactly what i did...lo siento.

Again this past year i have evaluated friendships and really thought about what i want in a friendship and what i have and i have concluded that you can't beat an "old" friendship. Because you just "can't make old friends."  That light bulb actually went off after a bad night with friends and a song that came across the radio by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.(i had never heard it before) It is truer than anything i have ever known. I believe it, i live it and i am thankful for it. Always. And you all know who you are!! My old friends. My people.

If i could do life over again,. i think i would want to be on top.  Not for the fame of it, but to be able to evoke emotion through film. By directing, producing, writing, or acting. Anything. I would just love to be part of that creative process. To have that power--it would be exhilarating to create the kind of things that i love-and to share them with others.

I continue to love television and movies--obviously--and i stand by it.  So don't even start it with me if you disagree.

I enjoyed making sauerkraut this year with my Mom. Its a special memory that i have.

I got to see the Pink concert from the FRONT ROW, with my beautiful and wonderful friend, Jenny. And it is a memory that i think about--and smile about--almost daily! Thank you.

I made ricotta cheese (well, watched the process) using the fresh goat milk that we just collected, at a friends house and its something that i think about--alot.

I experienced lice for the first time this year.  Not cool.

I believe that piracy actually IS a victimless crime. There i said it. What?  (disclaimer: I actually don't know how to and never have done it-just to clarify in case the government is reading this.)  Its just that that think that comes across the screen before movies is so annoying.

Best new television series? Easily, The Blacklist. Its so great. James Spader? Yes, please.I can hardly wait for the season to start up again.

I realized that i really do like my dog. After he was sick and i though he was dying.

I literally got mad at Jeromy once when we were talking about what we would do if we won the lottery and he wanted a brand new truck. Brand new?!? "Ummm, that's a waste--isn't a 2013 truck equally as good and more sensible?" Yea--that's what i thought.  (lets just say that the rest of the car ride was a quite one. Ha!)

Which leads me to the fact that Jeromy pointed out that when i argue with him i sometimes talk like "The girl you wish you never started a conversation with at a party" from SNL. So now if we are ever in an argument he sometimes starts to laugh---which makes me smile because i know he's hearing "her".  Ha. Its kinda funny and it can really diffuse an argument quickly. So now i really play it up. This isn't the clip i wanted to show but I couldn't get the other one to copy for some reason. But i think you get the my drift. Right? She's a hoot. I randomly throw out "Pick a hand, Seth." when Jeromy and i are talking.

I have found who i am, a bit, more this year. By knowing what i will stand for and what i don't. By what i will tolerate and what i won't.

I want to continue to grow.

Not physically though--please, Lord, not physically. Before long, i'll be ducking through doorways and splitting the seams of my pants. (my MEDIUM sized pants, dontchaknow)

I've been burned this year.

I've realized that parenting is getting harder and harder. And its not something to take lightly.

I've adopted a "who cares" attitude about things i can't change. (mostly)

Our kids make Jeromy and I laugh on a daily basis and we thoroughly enjoy them and all their crazy antics.

I've realized that there is no one i would rather watch a movie with then Jeromy Boone. On our couch, alone, at home. Because after 10 years of marriage--we just get each other and its so natural to be together. I told him just last night that marriage is hard because but you just kinda gotta "do it" ya know?  You actually become like one another after a while. Whether you intended to or not.  And i think that's a good thing. Or at least i hope so, cause that is what we have done. We are "one" now. One-big-weird-person-that-plays -too-much-Tetris-and-watches-alot-of-nighttime-television :)

Now, if i am dissecting a movie or talking about it--Then there is no one that i would rather do that with then my brother. Sam and i can go layer upon layer into a show and talk deeper than anyone--and really get it.

My big accomplishment of 2013 is getting him to watch the movie "Warrior". It has UFC fighting in it and Sam loathes fighting movies, but the last 30 minutes has more emotion, more depth, more layers, and more unspoken revelations that just about any other show i have ever seen. So i pushed and pushed for him to watch it so we could "Please just talk about it!!" And it did take ALOT of hounding to finally get him to sit down and watch the whole show. But alas when he finally gave in, he "got it" and now he advocates for it as well.  Yes!!

I also feel like this year, if i had to get into a fist fight with a particular person? I might just welcome it. ;) But that's all i have to say about that.

So as 2013 comes to a close and i think about the past year--i can say its been quite the ride.

What started out as the worst year of our life has now--thankfully-- almost come to a close and we can truly say we are seeing the silver lining. And for that--we are very thankful.

We won't go into 2014 with loose ends and headaches. Its up hill from here. We can almost taste it.

My resolutions are many.

But this year, i m not sharing them. 'Cause they are important to me and not something i am going to shout from the roof tops.  They are mine. And they are going to be private.

Another thing i am learning....some things are to remain off limits.

Don't be a grouch about the New Year. Don't brush it off and say resolutions are just another thing we "fail at." (i'm talking to you, Alamo)

Make them. Fail. It doesn't matter.

Think about last year. Ask yourselves questions. Evaluate. Talk. If nothing else, get a conversation going. You might just be surprised where it takes you.

Plan, be better, do more, think, read, explore, love, learn, take time for others, reach for the stars, dream big, think outside the box, don't count yourself out, fail, but then get up and keep trying and keep thinking--because this could be the year when it all happens!!!

So here's to a safe and happy and RESOLUTION filled 2014, friends!!!!

As my good friend Garrison Keillor always said "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch."

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Buck up.

Yesterday i had the privilege of going to Ruby and Laney's school and watching them as they participated in the schools first "Sing along".  I was excited, since Laney had been talking about it since Tuesday and i was totally confused if this was something that parents could be part of or what.

As i dropped the girls and presents off at the office i asked the secretaries if we were even allowed to watch the "sing along" and she excitedly said Yes! Which made me feel excited as well.

Though she did want me that here would likely be standing room only for parents who wanted to be there. No problem.

Junior and i were busy around the house getting Christmas stuff done until 2:00 when we headed to school.

I didn't really know what to expect but waited with the other parents to be let in the building. As i stood in the entry way i saw Ruby walk by.

Excited, i waved at her and smiled, she threw a glare my way and continued walking to the gym.  I really appreciate her kind and loving heart. Geez.

Finally after the parents next to me "snuck" in without someone giving the okay, i looked around at the parents next to me and said "Well, that was sneaky?!" They agreed and then we decided we should follow...

In the gym the kids were all sitting in rows, in their "elegant day" wear.


As i sat there the first thing i though was how very proud  I was that my kids went to a school that wasn't caught up in all the political correctness of celebrating everyone's holiday except Christmas.

Actually, that was the second thing i thought. First i actually thought about the questionable guy sitting next to me and i wondered if he may be carrying a gun?

And then i thought if he snapped and went nutzo and decided to shoot up the school, would i run or save the day?

Run or save the day???


Or save the day?

I felt like i would maybe want to run, but decided that in the end,  i'd definitely take a bullet to knock the gun man down. Yes. That is what i would do. I could do it. I prepared myself for it....

But after that dark and ugly thought passed --i really did think about how grateful i was that he kids were "north" and could still celebrate Christmas and sing Carole's!!

The kids sang as the music teacher casually directed and the words bounced across the screen. It was glorious.

In fact, if feels like all things that take place in the gym end up being wonderful!!

I was enjoying all of it. The beautiful Carole's, the songs celebrating Hanukkah (with the familiar and wonderful beat) and couple catchy Kwanzaa songs were sung.  Sure to please everyone.

As i sat there, talking to a friends Mom, she asked if i knew where Ruby was and i said i hadn't seen her yet. She pointed her out to me and said she had seen Ruby looking around--as if to find me.

Which made me smile and watch her every time she moved and when i finally saw her looking around, i stood up--against the wall--and waved and smiled at her--my eyes sparkling with joy and gladness.....

....until her eyes me mine, that is.

I waved and blew her a kiss.  And she instantly frowned at me and slunk out of my view.

She's fun like that.

About 50 minutes later the music ended and we headed out.  I congratulated the music teacher on a job well done and grabbed the kids and headed home.

Like always i am proud around Christmas time of the strong beliefs that are up here and the stance we take on celebrating Christmas.

And then i think of so many other schools that are further south that can only say "Happy Holiday" and it makes me crazy.

And then i started thinking about the whole Duck Dynasty thinking that is blowing up and that made me crazy.

Which in turn made me think of so many people that i know and they make me crazy.

(i may have had a little too much thinking time on my hands--yes, i see that.)

But you know what bothers me the most about things lately?

Its our worlds need to be victims. The way people fight for "tolerance" and yet don't extend it to all. The groups of people who feel like the "minority" or a group that feels "discriminated" or "unaccepted" and "judged" by society. They fight for themselves as if they are fighting a war against the world. The mean, cold, judgmental world.

When in reality, you are only as much a part of a  stereotype as you allow yourself to be. You can only be offended by choosing to be.

Like, take for example, the saying "you throw like a girl? What is that?  Is that a fact? Do some girls throw crappy? Yes. Yes indeed. But because it has become such a popular saying, does that make it a fact? Um, no. And anyone who disagrees with me can meet me on the softball fiend. And you can play catch with the one and only Emily Thielke--i guarantee you will not harass a female about throwing again. (and you'll likely have to ice your hand!)  Do you see what i am saying? Because people think it, doesn't mean i get offended by it--no, i rise it. I take it as a challenge. I train to throw harder, more accurate. So i don't have to beat anyone with my mouth....but with my actions.  Its about rising up and just "playing harder". My Dad has always taught me that you don't beat someone by talking bad or complaining about injustices on the field or court. You play harder and do better. In the end it will always win. If not for the world, for your soul. Your character. Your integrity.

Offence is a choice.

And my gosh, isn't there alot of offended people in this world?

Frankly i am so over it.

I feel like its not worth it to hold on to every little offense we have suffered. Every word misspoken. Every act, unkind. We are hyper aware of our feelings and yet completely unaware of the ones hurting around us.

One think i look at in a person is--are they crying for their own hurts or do they weep for the ones who are being hurt? Its a big deal to me.

Its so easy to see. Take your friends--you know the one who hurts for others. And you know the ones who are always hurting for themselves.

And truthfully, i'm so sick of our touchy society.

I believe in the "buck up" attitude.  Obviously there is a time and a place to be hurt--i'm not saying there isn't. But if you can't do something about a situation or a wrong or an offense or someone elses actions--then buck up!

Buck the heck up. Its the Minnesotan way.

When i see people hanging on to to many hurts its like i can see that person--inside--drying up and shriveling away --like a prune. And that's not healthy for anybody. (and i'm not saying i haven't done it too)

Holding on to our hurts can only do us good--if we move towards reconciliation.

But if we don't and it festers?  Well, then prune faces appear.

I often think of a post that a nurse friend of mine posted on facebook awhile back about the top 5 things patients regretted on their death bed and one of the things was holding on to anger, because it was usually that same anger that ended up killing them.  If it doesn't come out and get dealt with--then it goes inside--and does damage

I don't mean to sound too mean about it. But with this whole Duck Dynasty thing happening (i have never even seen that show) but i can read and i see the different thoughts and opinions popping up all over facebook.. The people standing for or against one party. Rednecks Vs. City folks. Homosexuals vs. Christians.  Liberals vs. Conservatives.  And i hate it.  Because the core of it all is selfishness. Yes we stand for what we believe. But just by posting things on facebook or coming out of the woodwork to attack someone elses opinions?? Its such a weird world we live in. When big talkers hide behind computer screens and shoot to kill over things that don't even directly affect them? Its weird.  Right?

Everyone feels like their party has been "persecuted" in our society and yet everyones yelling and fighting about it. You rarely see Love spoken in these times.  Its judgments--from every side. Its people just waiting with bated breath to see this Duck Dynasty family, since they are Christians, fall from grace. Its like the people just devour the misstep of a Christan.

And i think that is unfair.  Heck, the Christians are the most persecuted of all.  I believe that to be true.

But i am not going to hate over it. I won't give into anyones words. To connect hate and Christianity (though it is there in some people) isn't what i want to represent.

I don't know. I guess i feel like we feed on peoples sins. Though we are all sinners. And we have no grace for each there--though we demand it for ourselves.

Its confusing. And it leaves me feeling heavy hearted sometimes.

Last night i came home late but my kids had just gone to bed (cause their cool Dad snuck them to the sky zone with out their Momma) and when i got home i was frustrated and i was talking to Jeromy and heard a sound in Juniors room....

I finished talking and washed up for bed and i snuck into Juniors room. In the darkness he didn't see me. I walked quietly over to his bed. And as i pulled back his covers and climbed in, I heard his precious little tiny voice whisper "Mom?" and i whispered back, "Its me.Sorry to wake you, Mom just wanted to cuddle you." And he said, as he wrapped his arm around my neck and settled in "you didn't. i just woke up cause i wanted to see you."

And at that very moment, all things that weren't right in this world--melted away. And the love i felt in my heart was so great that i thought i may just explode.

After he drifted to sleep, i climbed into Ruby's bed and she told me about her day and we layed in the darkness, snuggling, and loving our time alone together.

And i was reminded that i don't have to be anything that i don't want to be. Anything people say or claim or assume about me???

Well, that just doesn't matter.

All i have and all that i want was right there under my roof.

And i was so full.

Monday, December 2, 2013

I didn't have to know him to feel the pain.

I guess i can't quite explain why the death of Paul Walker has stayed with me so heavily.  I didn't know him personally.  But i can close my eyes and see his smile.  I've never spoken to him. But i can hear his laugh.

It sounds weird, i suppose.

But i can't quite shake my sadness at the tragic loss of this human.

I found out a day after it happened.  And i found out via a facebook post talking about how wrong it was that the driver of the car hadn't been acknowledged yet.

I felt weird when i read it. Panicky, almost.  I quickly read the rest of the post to find out there was an accident. I immediately googled his name and the first thing i saw was his dateof birth and date of death.

Again, obviously i didn't know him.  But i did love his movies. Always.

As i read about the accident, i found myself holding my breath.  And feeling that familiar feeling of adrenaline and panic run through my veins.

I just can't believe it. To have just left a charity for "five minutes" to take a car for a spin??? And then to crash, so tragically, and die??? Its upsetting, to say the least.  My mind has difficulty processing it.

I've gone to bed thinking about it. And i have woken up thinking about it.

And i don't know why.

Something about him dying is really bothering me.

People are posting things on facebook about his death being no more important than any other death. And i agree.  But the difference is, lets not make light of his-- they are all so tragic.


It is so final. So palpable. So uncontrollable.

As i walked on the treadmill today--trying to focus on something other than this death, my mind raced.

Why?  I pray as if we were friends. I pray for his family. I think about his daughter. I wonder about the movie. I am sad for the loss.

And then i wonder about heaven???

I prayed as if to beg God, to make him be there.

Whenever someone dies, most people assume they are in heaven.  Though we know that not all humans will be there. I thought about Lazarus and the tax payer. How he begged God to let him tell his brothers about this awful place, how he wanted to warn them about Hell. How he would do anything to keep his loved ones from spending a second in this fire.

I cringe at the thought of Paul Walkers smile not being in heaven.

And then i cling to this verse "For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?" 1 corinthians 2:11

I didn't know Paul Walker and i didn't know his heart. But i pray he is in heaven.

For some reason i saw humanity in a different way today. I begged and pleaded for the sinners. For them to truly know God and to love him.

I wanted God to fight for Pauls soul like i felt like i wanted to. (Though i know he did)

Again, i know its weird. I don't know why i feel so connected to this.

But his isn't just a death that I can read about and say "aww, thats too bad."

This is staying with me.

And i don't like it one bit.

I almost want to forget about it. I want to rewind and be able to go on--not caring, like so many others.

The burden of this feeling is heavy on my soul.

I didn't want to post any photos. But i did find a quote by him that read "If someday the speed kills me, don't cry because i was smiling." 

Honestly, that little quote gave me a bit of hope. i don't know why.

As i reenact the accident over and over in my head, i keep thinking that it had to have happened so fast that he didn't suffer. He didn't even know what happened.

I imagine that it just went dark.

And that's where my prayer turns into a plea.

What is the line? 

We know that John 3:16 says that "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." And i believe that with all my heart.

I only hope that Paul believed as well...

Sometimes i think i get stuck in all the rules.  Instead of just loving God and loving others. I wonder if i am loving Him enough and loving others the "right" way. (i'm embarrassed to even admit it)

And just seeing death, so in your face and vivid, i just want to shout it from the roof tops. Its not enough to just live--we need to live for Christ. Each day. every moment. Always.

Because tomorrow isn't promised to us. And we aren't entitled to any second chances. And hell is real.

Our lives can go from life to death in an instant.

If you let your self really take it in, if you let yourself really think about eternity--it should change you.

Honestly, it can scare you. Our human brains often times get in the way of eternity.

But lets think about it.


Right now.

Those are my thoughts today.  I just wanted to work it out and writing helps. I know its weird how it has affected me. Heck, its probably lame. But i can close my eyes and see the scene of the accident. And I wish i couldn't....believe me.

I have nothing more than this today--

I'm just sad about the death of a man, that i never knew, who was far, far away.

And I can't tell if its making my vision clearer--or foggier........

Friday, November 29, 2013

Life t' death

So here's the D--i am sure nobody is too concerned about what i did last night, but you may be bored and i do feel like talking! :)

Yesterday  we went to celebrateThanksgiving at my parents house and my brothers were all there and their kids. It was fun. Especially since we haven't all been together in a while.

We all got there and visited until the food was ready and then we loaded up our plates. I have no idea how my Mom manages to make the most incredible food each year or how it seems to get better and better? She is amazingly talented and i very much appreciate all the hard work she puts in so that we can just be together and enjoy every moment.

(Thanks, Mudder!)

Dinner was superb, obviously. And we were full. Oh, my mom even made a side of jello. Ya see, my mother doesn't even like Jello. Actually i am pretty sure that no one likes Jello, but every year she reminds me that the meal plan should maybe include some sort of jello? "Dontcha think, Christina?"  I always agree---cause that just what i do, okay?! "Absolutely, we do need jello, Mom. We love jello!"

So i took this picture of the jello--which turned out beautifully and tasted really great too.(btw) We just like to give Mom a hard time. So i though i should take a picture to share.  She's going to be really happy that i did-- i can just tell :)

Behold "the jelllo"

Yumm-o, right? Don't be fooled by the milky color. (or make a joke about it...believe me) cause its "SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK, CHRISTINA!" Or so she "gently "reminded me. Ha! And it was know, as far as jello goes....

Anywhoooo, enough about the jello.

Dad prayed and we all dug into eat.  And i forgot to get a photo of all the amazingly beautiful and delicious food that my Mom prepared--i was just too exited to care about my camera.

I do love this group! 

Then we went on to take our seats at the table to talk or in the living room to just let ourselves digest all that good food. If i am remembering correctly--it wasn't long before my sis and nephews broke out "what does the fox say?" on their fancy phones and we all laughed and danced (mainly me) and sang. 

I noticed the incredible amount of pictures that i  took last night of no one looking at me--they were too busy living life behind those screens :)

"Hi my handsome Nephew--just look up real quick for a picture. Just a quick one? Real quick? ......No?"

"Oh, my beautiful niece, "Hi!!  How are you? Oh, your having trouble hearing me? I'm right here? Just look up.....real quick.....just look up for a second......a quick sec......No?  Okay."

"LOOK UP AT ME NOW!!! Awww, Thanks guys! :) You can carry on watching your MMA fight now....."

The main even of the night was that i got stuck helping with dishes---Gag! We had to take a picture--i guess it was a historical moment?

It really was a super good day filled with laughter, laughter and more laughter!!! I loved it! The fire was warm, the company was cool , the food was delicious and the day was perfect!

After hours of talking, eating and looking through the paper. Sam and i decided that we were going to go out at 8 pm.


I know.

We're daring like that.

We were about to embark upon brown Thursday! (also known as Thanksgiving!)

Lisa headed our with her crew, and Sam and i headed out with our--well, us. Only us.

We went to Target unsure of what we wanted. We looked for a Tv that was on sale. Realized it was a "ticket item" and saw the line around the store and both agree to blow that pop stand. Yuck. No thanks.  Lets grab a coffee and hit the road, Jack.

We left towards Herbergers and then decided that maybe we could see a movie instead?!?!? Which felt really exciting!

We looked at Showplace and the show we wanted to see wasn't playing until 10:15. Too late. He had to work in the AM.

So we found another show The Hunger Games,"Catching Fire" to see in East Bethel.

We grabbed our candy and headed up....

Only to see the worst show in the history of the world!!!

Seriously?!!? Kids are watching that and loving it? It has a cult following and everyone is okay with that?

After the show--which was both literally and figuratively  DARK--we got into the car and had to talk out our feelings.

"What the huh?! THIS is what our teenagers are watching and idolizing?!" I said.

He agreed.

We came to the conclusion that the movie--filled with kids trying to kill their friends--was a movie that left you feeling "icky".

We pinpointed our disdain for the show by realizing it missed the component of hope. There was nothing to hope for. No light.No redeeming qualities. A world void of hope that felt awfully dark and well, hopeless wasn't one i would ever pay to see again.

And even more so--i feel worried about the generation coming up looking to ol "dead in the eyes-- Katniss McGee".

It felt like they trivialized the value of a humans life in that show. Ugliness.

We agreed that we would rather our kid watch Bridesmaids than the Hunger Games.  I would rather they hear a swear word then take joy in watching young kids kill each other.

And don't get me wrong, i'm not some ol' hag that just doesn't "get it". I'm hip to shows. I feel like i'm down with whats cool.

But that movie made me feel like a frog in warm water--if ya get my drift.

It was gross.

I explained to my brother how we are so accustomed to deer hunting and seeing a deer dead on the road or hanging in a garage that its no biggie, but that the one time i hunted with Jeromy and he shot a deer and i watched as it went from life to death?!?!? Traumatic--to say the least.

To see it try to run away and then fall and still attempt to get up even with a bullet through it?

It haunted me.

The value of life is something that we are losing. These naughty video games where we hunt and seek and kill other humans--its creating a generation of crazy-school-shooting-wackadoos!!

I know thats a big statement, but i stand behind it.

We talked about heaven and how we shouldn't be afraid to go there and that as Christians there is hope in that. But to witness something (even a dumb animal) go from living to dead--its real. Its a real thing that should kind of effect us, right?

(Clearly a human life is ten thousands time more important then an animals. So that's not the point here.)

As we drove, pondering life and all of its questions I put some words to my feelings and felt better about them. Especially since Sam had felt the same thing.

That movie seemed to trivialize the value of life. And we didn't like it. Period.

It just didn't sit well for either of us.

Trying to forget what we just wached we looked for a happier note--we talked about the fun day we had and all the good things in life as Sam continued to drive me home.

And just as we were about to turn onto my street,(in our own little happy places) a rabbit jumped out in front of us and Sam yelled out "Life t' death!!" and i let out a gentle (clipped) scream (as my throat immediately closes when i get frightened) and Sam hit the breaks and veered right as i watched the bunny disappear under our bumper. I held my breath and waited for the "thud"...


...finally we saw the rabbit run out from the right side of the car and into the neighbors yard....

......silence...... hand went up to my heart......

....i felt my pounding chest......

.....the adrenaline was pumping...... head was pounding.....

And then my mind remembered that Sam yelled out "Life to Death!!!" as we thought we were about to hit this rabbit and witness what we had just been talking--so seriously-- about....

.....And i cracked up......

...And then he cracked up.....

And then i yelled out "LIFE TO DEATH" about twenty seven more times and Sam mimicked my closed throat scream, over and over and over again, until we got to my house....

And it was another perfect night in the books.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Bring on the Holidays!

Well, today officially marks the beginning of the "holiday season" and i couldn't be more happy about it!!I am anxious to head to my Mom and Dads house this afternoon to see my family!  I know that the holidays can bring out the worst in people some times and that many people don't even look forward to spending any amount of time with family. I get that. But i don't want to give into that.

Yes, our families can be a bit--eclectic--and challenging at times. But who cares. That's how i'm feelin' morning.

Honestly, i 've got lots of people in my life that cause me stress and frustration. Tons. People that i may even want to get into a fist fight with, you don't know.

But today, i am going to forget all the things that have been causing me stress and pain and i am going to focus on all that i have to be thankful for.

And that starts with my family. No matter how crazy we can be, i always love being together!!

I watched this video that i saw on facebook yesterday and i think it is such a great reminder for all of us who complain about--or don't show up for gatherings together because we are offended by the misfits in the family--to love them anyways.

This isn't the best copy if the video that I could find but it was the only one that i could link to my page. Hope you got to listen to what he had to say because it is a very powerful minute.

Very honest and true. Sometimes we don't know what we got till its gone. And then its too late. 

My next set of business this morning is Black Friday!  I know it strikes fear into the hearts of many.  You know what I have actually found? It seems to cause the most ruckus with the Christians??

I think i can accurately link the Christians who boycott Black Friday with the ones who have their lights off on Halloween. The debbie downers of the world. The ones who like to sit in thier house talking about Jesus, but never even turn their lights on to even meet their neighbors!? The ones who say it is "Satan's Holiday", so their kids don't get to experience the joy of being in their neighborhood--together as a family--talking to those neighbors and embracing their own community. It has always kind of embarrassed me, to be honest. We are so judgy and mean about things. And now Black Friday is one of them. Like its okay to be super offensive to the people who want to shop, while only loving on the homeless? Say whaaaat?

I see people starting groups all over trying to somehow cancel this day of shopping by creating other events that, like, 12 people go to?  As if the world has a black heart and they--being the saviours that they are--are going to change that? Its not about rebelling against th world, but changing it from within. And i think that is way more powerful than gathering all the christians in a house and ignoring the problem? Right?

Again, i think its weird.

For me, Black Friday is a day that i look forward to with such anticipation and excitement. Its the day that we prepare for at Mom and Dads-- as Sam and i sit and look through the papers and Lisa makes her list of where her and Jamie will go this year. Its about finding the perfect gift for someone else. Its about calling your friends at 3 in the morning to assure they are awake. And then calling again at 5 to see where they are. Its about sitting in line behind 6,000 other people at Target--outside-- in your hat and mittens freezing and cursing the day you ever thought this was a good idea. Its about listening to the people in line ahead of you and asking their opinion of  the camera at Target versus the one at Herbergers.Its about laughing as people show up with a blanket over their head and silently moaning inside as someone walks by with a glass of hot chocolate that  you would kill for since you can't even feel your lips and you brother hasn't shown up because he OVERSLEPT!!

Uhh, i mean, its all good.

 Its about community and its amazing.And i love it.

 I give you this beautiful photo that Jeromy took a few years ago--at 3 Am--because he we shocked that i was going to wear that outfit in public! HA! Whateves....its how i roll :)

Every year is different. Especially now that stores are changing their open times. 8 o'clock on Thanksgiving? Uhhh, i don't think so.  I mean, probably not. Its not likely. Unless we decide we want to try it.

When those doors open and there are scarves for 8 dollars??? Its like people become animals and suddenly the courtesy that we give each other on any other given day is lost. Lost i tell you. 

Sam and i laugh as we follow the crowd. We have a "herd mentality". Where they go---we go. They grab it--we grab it.  Ha! And there is nothing better than that.  People get crazy. Yes. But people also come together. We see the "Crazies" and we all look to each other for support.  Like a friendly eye roll to let that person know you just saw that other person cut them off. Its glorious. I feel like my goal is to just keep smiling and having fun. You don't know how rare it is to run across a smile in the middle of the night on Balck Friday. Its like an invisible hug!

Going from store to store in a mad dash--unaware of what for. Suddenly you need those socks since they are only $2!!!  Sure, i've been swept up in the crazy. We both have.  But usually one of us can remind the other to bring it down a few notches.  I will say one of my proud sister moments was when my brother and i waited in line at the return counter and Sam gave the women the "what for" and argued a deal--they weren't willing to give--into existence. I felt like I was with William Wallace that day. Frrrrrreeeedom!!!

And its a memory that we share and that we both still laugh about!

The beauty of coming outside and watching as the sun starts to peek up behind the trees. Its a moment you won't get anywhere else.

To be in the car with my brother, listening to a special Christmas CD that he has put together for this very day--and seeing that sun start to rise while listening to David Phelps--we equate that to heaven. Truly. I remember the day well when we sat there and decided--unanimously--that this might be what its like in heaven. The music. The beauty. The company.

And it was good.

It wasn't evil, savage, or selfish.

It was warm, loving, caring and breathtaking.

Nomatter how crazy it gets or if i return home with an empty van--its always worth a million dollars in the moments shared and the memories made.

I can't wait to see what tonight holds. If nothing else---i may just drink a coffee at midnight.

And that is perfectly fine by me!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all--and Godspeed at Target, my friends!! :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

"No" is better--but not easier.

Today has been the end of a long week--to say the least.

This morning Jeromy and i both were having to go our separate ways. One to Ruby's basketball game and one to Juniors hockey practice.  And we aren't a family that likes splitting up-or being busy-for that matter.

But then as we were racing around getting ready i double checked the schedule and it turned out that we could actually go to both games--all together.

So as i was loading up the stuff and Jeromy was taking care of the chickens i suddenly realized that I may have choir practice for the Christmas program at church this morning as well.

...i frantically checked old emails--praying that we didn't have it today.

But alas, we did.

The practice was from 9 to 12.  It was now about 9:35 and i ran outside and informed Jeromy that i had practice and asked if he could manage getting the kids to both things without me.  He said "yes".....but it sounded alot more like "no".  (ya feel me, ladies?)

So instantly i felt torn. I don't like missing my kids stuff.  Even if i leave them in the capable hands of their Dad, i still like to be at everything.

Cause they're my kids. Why wouldn't i be there?

My parents didn't miss my games--and that is a wonderful memory for me. And i am determined to make it theirs as well.

So then i--lets say argued--with Jeromy about what to do....

I threw up my hands and just decided that i would have to forfeit the program.  But i wasn't happy about it and now was mad about the way our conversation had taken a turn....

In the car i stewed--quietly--frustrated.  I though about all the things that men do and then i thought about how us women just adjust to make it work for them. And honestly, i felt like it was unfair that he couldn't "adjust" today to make it possible for me to go.  Though if you ask him now--i'm sure he would say he would have. (funny, huh?)

If you're a wife of a hunter, this feelings tends to occur right around the end of November.  I'm sure others women recognize this.

So as i sat and watched my girl play (and i use that word lightly today) basketball, i loved it. Like i always do.

I love being with my kids. I feel obligated to be there for them. And i absolutely enjoy it and wouldn't want to do anything else.

I feel like i have to be at the parties they go to, the practices, the games---anything.

Not in a helicopter way--but in a Mom way. I bore these little buggars--why wouldn't i invest fully in them?

So, as we grabbed a bite to eat and headed up towards the rink--the frustration of having to give up any thoughts of me doing something fun-- started to fade.

And it only strengthened my already strong opinion on the value of being there for my kids and how sometimes even when we want to say "yes" to ourselves, we have to say "no."

And that doesn't mean we are deprived, because we aren't entitled.  It means we tip toe the line between sanity and overcommitment. And i never want to land on the side of over committed.

I don't want to have to arrange rides and sitter and ask others for help on a weekly basis because i overbooked my life--and my kids.

As i talked myself off the edge, i assured myself that this was the right choice and one that i believed in anyways.

Sometimes we have to say no to our own wants.  And that's okay.

Too many women i know schedule, schedule and re-schedule their lives and fill their calendar like its Christmas. Unable to deviate from their deadlines or commitments.

We are so overly committed. Mostly to self.  Though no one would admit that.  People give into society and into the pressure of getting kids started young. Or they're afraid if they miss this event they will be the odd ball out, because even if we can't afford it or don't have the time for it--our kids are doing it!

I'm sure a few faces pop into your minds as you read this. Because we all know that person.

And today i reminded myself that i have never agreed with that way of living---and then i actually had to say "no" to something to ensure i didn't fall into the very tempting trap.  And i gotta say--its easier said than done.  But i am determined to stand firm in this.

We are an entitled people. Generation.  By never saying "no" and never being home with time on our hands---we are affirming, an already entitled generation, that your worth is synonymous with your calendar.

And that is the opposite of truth.

I know for me, value lays in my family.  Even when we aren't  perfectly happy or when we're perfectly frustrated, that is where i want to invest the most.  Their little futures depend on it.

Sanity.  Stillness. Peace. Being able to play--and waste time.  Those are very big deals.

Sometimes we forget that no means no, mister.

I deal with adults that can't even register this one. No doesn't mean no. Its only means "wait" until they can make enough racket to change it into a yes. To benefit ourselves, of course.

As i stood in that freezing rink. With my husband and kids, and we watched as Junior continually tried to skate alone--even after he fell and fell and fell some more. I finally felt positive that i had made the right choice. That is was good to say no to something even if i felt like i "deserved" it. Nothing is worth missing my boy as he smiles and gives us the thumbs up--moments before hitting that ice once again.

Standing there, smiling, watching Junior skate on one side and Laney distract the boys from her class on the other half of the rink--our neighbor came up to us and surprised us.  We visited and found out he is the coach of the boys hockey and that his girls would be at the rink at 5 and 7 tonight playing hockey as well.

For me, just sitting there, visiting, living life, engaging and investing in my community felt so good.

Choir would have been great fun today. But its safe. And i have talked--very passionately-- about how critical it is that we (as a nation and as a body of believers) really know our neighbors, invest in them, give to them and show love to them. And when you're too busy--even if its "in the church"--i feel like we're missing the call to love our neighbor---our actual neighbor--as ourselves. (just a note: I'm not saying being in choir means i can't do that-- its just the commitment that would have over committed me.)

As we left that freezing cold rink (and after i broke some poor little boys water bottle) i told Jeromy that i was so glad our kids were playing sports and testing the waters of St.Francis (Ruby is in Andover for b-ball though) because it is so valuable to connect with "our people". Our community. Their classmates. Their friends.  To be totally invested in them--helps to assure me that they are going to be alright. That we are building a family that values our time away---because we are still together for it.

Do i wish i could be in the Christmas program at church? Most definitely.

But will life go one even if i miss it? Unfortunately,Yes. And likely even better due to my absence.

I am still totally bummed that i couldn't make it. If Jeromy would have offered and i would have been prepared, i might just have gone anyways....and that would have been okay. But the bottom line is when i find myself shuffling everything around and running frantic---maybe i should just say no. For the sanity of all involved.

I never want to get lost in my own selfish wants and desires--because its so easy to do and we have all been there.

 The bigger problem is when we become so busy thinking about yourself.....we accidentally lose sight of the others God has placed in front of us.

So today i will continue to break up the fights between siblings, i will fold laundry like i do EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE and i will remember that i want to make a difference in my community and for me, that means putting others first and leaving myself time to actually see the needs that are right around me.

And by doing that---hopefully  i won't be too busy when that need does arise.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Then vs. now

Here's the dilemma i (we) are facing.


Right now we have so much "stuff", so much knowledge, so much information, so much drive, so much confidence,so much self.

But back then we had more quietness, less "stuff", more consideration, more humility, more love, more respect, more hardwork.

Here is a subject that i think about--often.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that "we" as a people--really stink right now.

We are overly confident, unaware, self indulgent, entitled, quick witted, vain, consumed, busy, distracted, and rotten. If you're asking me. (which you are, right? ;))

 Ha! Bet you didn't know what you signed up for when you started reading this post, huh.

I have made it clear--recently--to a few of my friends that i am not a fan of Jen Hattmaker. I know, gasp away. Everyone loves her---Pffft.

(I am sure you are suddenly finding the need to defend her and you are thinking, "she's about 110% more talented than you, Chrissssstina".  And that's fine with me. You are correct. But i don't care.)

But ya see, the reason that i don't like her (and many others) is her snappy comments and her "attempts" at being so in the weeds when she is clearly totally not.  I don't know if her humor is offensive because it actually offends me----or that it makes me jealous!?

But as i read recommended blogs and listen to all the women who are spouting their opinions (me included---i KNOW) I just kind of get sick of the same old schtick. Ya know?

We're clever, we're witty, we say weird things at funny times, we make fun of ourselves, we are honest, self defacing.

i'm not saying "we" as if i include myself in their caliber of writing or knowledge or teachings.  But i do say "we" because i find humor and comedy to be right up there with holiness.

But ya know what i've found?  The people that i like the least in this world??? Are the ones most like ME!!!

(Except  perfect Jimmy Fallon, of course)

I have thought about this for a while now. I mean, if anyone has read any part of James in the Bible, you're pretty much going to learn the power of the tongue and how to use it correctly.

In fact, i have never liked that book much. (isn't that terrible to even admit? Sorry) Because it is the one that has corrected me the most in life.  Contradicted my everyday living and reminded me of the power of the tongue. For good and bad.

And don't get me wrong, i feel like i have a kind heart and i use comedy to lift others up and as to not take myself too seriously. But too much of that is just --well, too much.

My Mom and i have had many conversions about our (my) mouth and the way it is sometimes (most times) overused. And that sometimes its just okay to "be quiet Christina".  Then she reminds me of the verse that says "Be still and KNOW that i am God." And then i counter that with the fact that i can be still while i'm talking and then i go into "this is how God made me, and maybe i'm different then everyone else, and sometimes we need a "buffer" in life to get us through those awfully weird silences, right? Can you imagine a world of introverts? Oh Gag (Unless they were all like you, Angela). That's when i plead my case--the case of the mouth that never stops,  "Mother, how can you put a damper on my light!? (say it very dramatically, will you?) This is all i have to give, to say, to share....its a special gift!!...." And on and on. Eventually i run out of things to say and i think my Mom ends up leaving the room about 13 minutes before i even notice she's gone because i am passionately defending my whole being....(okay, that's not true)

The reason i say these things is because this weekend my Mom and i sat down and watched "Heidi" (starring the ridiculously mature adn amazing, Shirley Temple) with the kids and we both loved it. The way it captures your heart, pulls at its strings, brings you joy, shows you loyalty, how to love, how to persevere,  long suffering, brings you to the brink (wink, wink) of tears as the Grandfather and Heidi are finally reunited. Her love softens even the hardest of hearts. Her dear old grandfather.  It is like, a super moving kids show. If you haven't watched it lately, do it. And show your kids. I think you'll be happy you did.

There is so much that we can learn from that movie. So many things that we have lost--and yet desperately need to find again.

But how?

That is my dilemma.

There's no one elbowing Heidi during a serious scene saying "Amiright?!?" and making light of a that particular situation. They are actually allowing themselves to feel. The joy, the pain, the sorrow, the happiness. These emotions are exercised through out the show and it teaches our kids to be in touch with them. Its not just a slap happy, sarcastic and rude cartoons. But real life.

Compare, if you will, these two scenes from the two different movies from two different times and just let yourself  wonder what has happened to us....

I picked this Heidi clip because it is a special one to my Mom. She says it reminds her of when she was little. The church, the simple hymns, the congregation, the way the people talk. So obviously is has a special meaning to me, as well.  Even though i didn't live in those times--i feel like even i miss them.  What a simpler time it must have been.


And this next clip i found is one that infuriated me the moment I saw it. Wreck it Ralph is a bratty show that just promotes sassy talk and disrespect. When i saw it in the theatre--with my kids--i couldn't believe this show had been recommended to me (never trusting Ms.Faith again)

Its not like i am a overly-protective-television-mom, either. You all know that. I love tv more then the next guy, soooooo i feel i have a pretty big platform to stand on here, okay?! ;)

Alright, watch this clip and then just consider why our kids aren't quite like the generation before us....

I have zero answers. I only hope that i can somehow figure out how to get my house going in that direction.

I want my family to be good.

I want to be the kind of family who has patience for their neighbor.

Love for their sister.

A heart that is loving.

Respect for their Father.

Ears that listen....

and a mouth that is quiet.

Its what i long for.  I think its what our world needs. Desperately. But until we can put away the electronics and stop running through life and start living in it--i don't think we will ever get there.

Its a big reminder to myself to settle down and use less words and more actions.  I won't have to say it---if i continue to show it.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Join me

I should have known what today would hold when my girls woke up quietly and turned their light on, shut the door and started playing together. And then Junior woke up, came and snuggled me, and then grabbed his toys and went into the girls room to join them.

Or when the girls actually made it to the bus ontime with their snacks and water bottles.

But alas, i didn't even know what was to come.

After getting Junior to school i had to run to Target and return a few items and shop around for a tiny bit of stuff.

I slowly strolled the isles, wandering aimlessly, enjoying my alone time.

I had brought a special $20 bill that i had been given as a gift and i knew exactly how i wanted to spend it.


I grabbed some liner, a little mascara and even a bronzer to complete the special "me" treat.

On my way out, i grabbed a pumpkin spice latte--with an extra shot.(cause i live on the wild side like that)

I slowly got into my car and headed to Play it Again Sports to pick up a hockey helmet for my boy.

I talked to my Mom on the way and lingered in the parking lot--just sitting and talking on the phone.

Sadly when i got inside the helmet that we were planning on getting two days ago, was already gone today.

 But whatevs, i didn't care. i had coffee.

I left to my car to finish up my drink and head back North to the house.

When i arrived home, i put away a few groceries and headed to the laundry room to separate the clothes and start the wash.

I realized that i haven't been home--alone--in such along time, that i turned up the tunes and happily folded Jeromy's work shirts.

And then i went into the kitchen to make some tuna to prepare for lunch.

And that's when it hit me. 

I'm not doing any more laundry.

I stared a the TV and it stared back at me. Longing. Calling my name. "Chriisssssstina".  Whispering sweet nothings into my ear.

I couldn't resist the urge. The pull. I felt a nervous excitement at the idea.

I was going to watch a big kid show--during the day--alone--while i ate lunch.

Its like i was experiencing full nirvana.

I anxiously got my tuna together and my chips.  I took out last nights blizzard to thaw, in preparation for the gloriousness that  was about to take place.

I carefully set the ice cream next to me on the coffee table. I had my water within reach and my tuna on my lap.

I text a few friends my plan. Teasing them. Letting them know---i was checking out and wasn't afraid to say it.

I giggled in anticipation as the blue light turned on--signaling to me that the TV would soon be ready as well.

I fingers daftly found their familiar place on the remote and i opened my screen of DVR'd shows. I smiled, as if to say hello old friend.

I chose 'Hostages', a real adult show. No kid stuff. No laughter. No comedy. Straight drama. Straight big girl stuff.

As i kicked up my legs and crossed my ankles on the couch. I was in heaven.  Tuna and chips in my hand, ice cream thawing, and Hostages about to play....

I have no words.

Its like i have discovered a little secret and i'm not going to bury it, sister--oh no, i'm going to shout it from the roof top for all to hear.

I watched adult tv during the day!!!

I knew there would be repercussions for it. I knew i had to take out meat to thaw. I had to switch the laundry. i had to put the dishes away.I had to get Awana bags ready.I knew this was my time to "catch up".

But i didn't care, ya see. I refused to.

I was going to check completely out for an hour.

The show began to twist and turn and my eyes were locked on the screen.

At one point i may have even said "This is sooooo great!" out loud. To no one. And i liked it.

I started the show at little before one and was finished around 1:20.

It was like a heaven i have never experienced.  I mean, I've watched tv a night. Or I've been on the computer while the kids were home, but never, have i experienced the thrill of watching my show, alone, with no one in the house.

It doesn't get much better folks.

I am telling you this because i want you to try it.

When the shows credits rolled and i snapped back to reality. It was as if i was a new person.

The refreshing feeling, the excitement of a little secret, was wonderful.

So wonderful that as i went back to my bedroom to fold some laundry....

...i said "no."

"No i will not do this"

And i ran a bath instead.

I had precisely 22 minutes until i had to be back in the can to get Junior, and i was going to use every one of those minutes doing nothing at all.

As i sat there, in a blanket of perfectly warm water, i was happy.  So happy that i decided not to read the Food Network magazine that i had brought in there with me.

I just sat, smiling, warm, and listening to Jason Mraz  croon over the airwaves coming from my bedroom radio.

Nirvana, i tell you.

And if you don't understand. Try it.


Waste time.

Enjoy something.

Be alone.



Take a bath for absolutely no reason.

It soothes the soul.

I got out of the tub with exactly 9 minutes to get dressed and in the van.

And i was out the door, cool as a cucumber, with two minutes to spare.

As i backed out of the driveway, i nodded at the dog, maybe threw him a wink, as if we had a secret.

He just looked at me--confused--and bummed i didn't give him a treat.

But i just smiled--pointing back to him in slow motion.

"We did it, Gus." i whispered.

It made no sense to either of us, but it felt necessary at the time.

As i sat in the van, radio playing Jimmy Fallon, i didn't need a coat--due to my incredibly warm internal body temperature--thanks to the bath, i was happy.

I drove out of the neighborhood enjoying the beautiful fall leaves as they fell off the trees along the road.

I felt like i had a secret to tell. Like i had witnessed a mystery.

The wind howled back at me--nodding in approval.  I felt it.

And i drove on, smiling all the way.

Slowly reality settled in.

But i reminded myself of what happened today. The joy i felt. The freedom. The bliss.

I wasn't going to let anything ruin that.

Like a Mario character who retrieves a magical star that makes them run faster, i had enjoyed my own star of sorts today in front of that TV and as i drove closer and closer to pick up Junior from school, i felt it fading....slowly....the bliss was leaving....

The nirvana slowly extinguished until another day.

I reached out for it, calling "Noooo!" in hopes to catch it again, but alas--it was gone.

But no matter what the rest of the day holds-- i'm gonna smile---

Cause i watched a big kid show--during the day--alone--while i ate lunch. And it was wonderful.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Just say no.

To fully explain my blog today, i have to rewind a full year and a half.

You see, that's when i took Laney to the dentist for the very firs time.  Her teeth were--errr--not bright and shiny white. I already prepared myself for the news i would probably hear from the dentist, informing me of a cavity or two.

But alas, looking back, i would have welcomed a cavity.

Laney, i found out, has a condition where her teeth basically have no enamel.  So pretty much any junk that gets on her teeth and sits there will just- burrow down--quickly--and attack/break/damage her tooth, gum, or mouth.

So upon hearing that--i did what i usually do. I comfortably threw my head in the sand.  When the doctor informed me that she wanted my girl to get about 4 teeth crowned--i'm confident that i blacked out entirely.

If i don't go back to the dentist.....there will be no more problems, right?

Ummm, obviously.

So fast forward one year to last week.

Laney had complained of pain in her tooth and after looking into her mouth and seeing a large hole in her back molar, i figured it was time to have them take another look.  Though i didn't want to return to that dentist, its where i went.  Because its supposed to be the best.

Laney freaked out just laying back in the chair--if that is any clue as to how the rest of my story is going to go.

They confirmed that she had an abscess and was definitely going to need antibiotics and to get it yanked---i mean "extracted" and soon.

Sooooo, i pretty much felt like the worst mom in all the land and Laney proceeded to cry the whole 6 minutes it took the assistant to brush her teeth.

She got her prize--a bouncy ball--and we were on our way. To the pharmacy to see my brother and to get her prescription.

I detoured to Caribou--looking for anything to bring Laney back to life from her comatose stare out the window in the back seat.

After Junior freaked out because Panera had no cinnamon crunch bagles, we walked next door to get a cookie coffee for the spoiled bunch.

As i waited there--head in the clouds, anticipating the next 6 days--Laney bounced her sitnkin' bouncy ball once and lost it--somewhere under the counter or whatever.

Lets go, was all i could say between clenched teeth as she started to cry again and Junior was unhappy with the chocolate chips on top of his drink instead of the oreos.  I kind of just wanted to slap thedrink out of both of their hands and just walk to the car. See how they liked that, but instead i kept my cool.

Until we went about 1/8 of a mile on the service road and Laney was bawling over her bouncy ball.

Well, where was it!? i said--totally exasperated.

She told me it was behind the counter and that i could likely get it, so i turned around in a parking lot and headed the rocks throw of a distance back to Caribou.

And then it happened--a cop whipped a U-turn and turned on his cherries. Right. Behind. Me.

Are you kidding me!?

I pulled over and this A-wod walked up to me and i asked how fast  i was even going? And he informed me that i was going 40 in a 30. WHATEVER. That basically walking speed. Ugh,I wanted to punch him in his throat and cry all at the same time. Instead i fumbled for my evasive insurance card and license and didn't even look at the jerk.

The kids freaked. I threatened their life, reminding Laney that i turned around to get her sitnkin' ball!!!

Cop came back, gave me a ticket. I gave him the bird and we were off.

Wait, no....i don't think that's how it happened.

But i can't be sure, i think i blacked out.

On to the pharmacy where Junior proceeded to spill his coffee in the car, i got mad, felt overwhelmed, and got my prescription.

That night, Laney can't sleep because she is so afraid of the dentist--in 6 days. Of which she has NO idea what they are even going to do.

I tried to prepare her as best i could with out ever telling her they were going to "extract her tooth".

I was all, "just breath in your nose when they tell you to sniff this stuff and all will be fine, okay?" And if they offer a sniff to me??? So be it.

So for 6 days i am silently agonizing over this.

Like, seriously, anticipating her doom.

Then late last night, i happened to check Juniors preschool calendar and he was the STAR student TODAY. 

Enter panic mode, where i quickly order pictures from Walgreens, but i have to take the broken truck because we need to get a new battery for the van, i have to drop off tools at the Jungbauers, get a battery, pay Josh, get the pictures, bring a treat to DQ, hope the school is opened and get home in time to make a STAR page with out going coo-coo.

The truck has no heat, i can feel the fire in my veins as i head to my friends. (ps. Sorry for being crabby, Sarah)

Got the battery, returned the tools, froze--cause we have not HEAT in that junker--and headed to Walgreens.

Got my photos, see the church IS indeed open. Let out a squeal as this is my lucky day.

I Sneak into the church as i pass a quiet table and notice dim lights in the chapel as i announce "i'm just running downstairs, okay?"

I turn on the lights search around like a thief looking for the mailbox that has my kids STAR student sheet (cause i always forget to check that when i am actually supposed to be at school)

I stop just shy of throwing a rock through a window--planning how i can grab the sheet and run away with no one even seeing me.

But alas. I get nothing. But i do see someone elses sheet and copy all the questions. "That's about as good as it'll get tonight". I say to no one.

As i shut off the lights and sneak back up the stairs.  Some man--from nowhere--happens behind me and asks if i "help with the teacher down there??" Completely accusatory. And i just smile and say "oh, no--i'm just a parent of a STAR student"

Which i'm pretty sure just confirmed his thought that i had broken in, placed a bomb downstairs, and was not trying to escape. Yeesh.

But i just carried on.

As i sneak by the chapel i see them look a me, i smile--awkwardly--as i take another look behind me to see if the weird janitor guy is following me--just as i walk past the front table where i see brochures on "Cutting".


I think i just interrupted an anonymous "cutters meeting" as i start to sweat and run to my aggressively loud truck all while i yell out "Jesus loves you and you should too!!"

Okay, i didn't yell that--but maybe i should of?

But then maybe they would have cut me?!   I don't know. But i took a brochure just so i could find out more.

No, i didn't. I'm sorry.

Enough about that secret group.

I get to DQ hand the treat over, pick up a treat for myself and head home in the freezing cold, loud truck with pictures in tow.

Jeromy and i watch the Voice as i throw together a beautiful 12x12 of my boy and all is right in the world.

Oh yea--except the part where my little angle baby is getting a tooth forcefully pulled out of her jaw tomorrow morning--and she doesn't even know it!!

Morning comes, i get Ruby to school late--visit with the secretary--assure her this won't happen tomorrow and fly to get Junior to preschool with his STAR in tact ready to answer the questions on the sheet that i will finally possess.

As I walk in, i meet my friend, Courtney, who informs me that she got an email late last night form the teacher and it looks like Junior isn't the STAR until Thursday.


Oh, well, then super. I'll get the info and my whole night last night of running around like a nut job is all for not. So glad that i managed to screw that up.


This day is starting out worse than i had anticipated.

As we leave the school, Laney starts to weep....

Which stresses me out.....

i am stuck between a rock and had place with this one.

As much am my nature says RUN!!! Run as fast and as far as you can!, i know i have to do this--even thought it is going to be royally bad, in order to salvage her mouth.

We get to the dentist, after staling a Home Goods for 20 minutes and as i sign her in and pay, i suddenly feel like i am signing my babies life away.  I think--crap! i feel like crying.

I suck it up--by completely disengaging.

They call her back. And the second that the nurse walks us in the room, Laney begins to cry.

And cry.

And cry.

She is so nervous i can feel it. And she isn't having anything any of us are sayin'.

Ya feel me?

Its bad. I try to hold her hand as the nurse finally gets her in the chair and lays her back--which naturally made Laney tense up as if she was being put on the chopping block.

I start patiently whispering for her to calm down.

She doesn't even acknowledge i am talking.

She is like, unable to even catch her breath at this point. Oh yea, and i want to die.

The nurse decides to put the gas thing over her nose--which looked more like something they have in a gas chamber--if ya ask me!!

And Laney hits the roof. Panicking, crying, unable to breath, begging for a sip of water and saying she is dizzy.

No one seems to care about this--except me.

I feel like i am having a heartattack as i sit there. Painfully watching my darling girl fear for her life.

I know having that thing over her nose made her feel like she was being drowned. I know she can't breath well in general. And i know she is scared.  Not only because i am her mother, but because she is begging and pleading, saying "I'm uncomfortable with this.....please, i'm not comfortable!" Between breaths.

The nurse acted like she was lying and i was one second from grabbing the mask off Laney--taking a huge swig--and grabbing my girl off that darn reclined chair and storming out of there.

I hated it.

Every second.

It hurt me.

Finally the doctor comes in and says that she has to calm down so that her tooth can get better---blahh, blahh, Laney is not having it.

And then the nurse informs me that she is going to give her a topical thing to numb her gums for the shot of novocaine.

And while Laney is pleading for her little life--unable to breath--the nurse puts this swab thing in her mouth along with a gauze thing and tells her to shut her lips for two minutes so the thing works.

At this point, i feel like I can't breath. Watching her panic with a hand in her mouth and a thing over her nose and tears streaming down her face.

Seriously, its hard to even revisit that moment.

I ask the nurse if she is even getting any of this stupid gas stuff and she says no because Laney is crying and talking so much she hasn't gotten any. And I say "Just take it off then!" Bordering on losing control.

I promise the nurse that Laney will do better if she doesn't have that thing on her face. And the nurse listens.

The doctor comes in, threatening (in a soft, but firm voice) Laney that if she doesn't calm down that "Mom is going to have to leave the room" so that Laney understands that the doctor means business and that this is happening. She continues to give me a few options. One being leave the room. Two being hold her down--physically--while the procedure happens and three being--i don't know, i think i blacked out.

I look at that doctor. With eyes of steal. And i tell her that "Laneys moms won't be leaving the room. No matter what. Okay?"

She proceeds to give Laney the shot and then her and the nurse leave to give us a few moments to allow that novocaine to kick in.

I reached down and scooped Lane in my arms and kind of cradled her in the chair and assured her the worst was over and that if she would just listen and follow the doctors rules that we would be able to leave very soon. Please, just listen Laney.  At this point i am half begging.

Well, the doctor comes back in and Laney lays back down, tears start to flow and then the doctor asked her to open her mouth and when she did, she put this thing inside that held it open so she could work and thats when it happened--that's when Laney went all Helen Keller on us and i thought i was going to have to break the window and run--as far and as fas as i could.

She freaked out, mouth open but against her will as the doctor went in for her back molar--with what looked very similar to the tool i use to get the hook out of a fish's throat when its stuck--and she grabbed Laneys tooth and yanked it out.

I thought i was going to faint.

Laney let out a shriek. And it was done.

They tried to make her hold gauze in her mouth but Laney just sat up and crawled to my arms and cried. It was pathetic and heartbreaking.

As i rocked Laney back and forth the doctor continued to tell me the plan of attack next visit and asked me if i wanted a filling or a crown for this one and said we were for sure crowning this one and this one and.....

I literally looked up at her, as Laney sat--bleeding and crying in my arms--and said "I am not hearing anything you are saying right now. Can we just go."

In the waiting room, i had to fight my charge for the 40$ nitrous fee and i got refunded 67$ for the spacer that they couldn't put in due to the difficulty Laney was having. And the assistant continued to tell me that next time maybe we need two people to "hold her down" during the procedure.....

But i didn't care--all i wanted to do was leave.

I grabbed Laney and threw her on my hip and we left that building.

In the car i just sat. Feeling a bit in shock. Trying to wrap my mind around what just happened. I felt like i had been through war--and i might have returned with a bit of PTSD.

Laney wanted a 13$ pillow from Home Goods and i got her it. It made no sense for her to have it. It was beautiful and shaped like a rose and she doesn't even make her bed in a day and has clothes all over her floor. But she got it.

She wanted it....

So she got it.

I met my Mom at Target where we proceeded to get Laney a Halloween costume and a sweatshirt. She seemed to chipper up as we shopped. Randomly telling us she "didn't want to talk about it" when we asked her about the day.

On our way out I got her a personal pizza. Which she ate at Moms while she watched a bit of TV.

My  Mom let Laney borrow her Ipad--as a treat--for a a day.

So we packed up the pad, said our goodbyes and headed out.

And as we drove back to preschool to get Junior--though it was only 2 o'clock in the afternoon--i felt like it was midnight to me.

But then the darndest thing happened.  Just as we turned onto Hwy 65 Laney says to me, while looking down at the ipad--playing a game and smiling- "Geez, you're the best Mom ever. You let me do everything i wanted're the best mom, ever....."

Whats that you say Laney? I can't hear through the pain of my ulcer.....

And with that, i blacked out...

What. A. Day.