Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ouch, my heart

This week we have anticipated the start of 3rd and 4th grade basketball. We jumped on the bandwagon very late, as we missed the deadline and weren't even sure if we wanted it, until i heard from my friend--the coach--that they had a few openings on the team, if Ruby did want to play.

We himmed and hahhed, over it. It was a bit more to sign up then we had liked, but we also know that if there was ever a time that Ruby would enjoy it it was with this team, with her favorite friend and with this coach- who just so happens to be one of my favorite friends.  As of Wednesday, we were officially "in". We committed.

And truly as i went to bed on Thursday night, i was nervous. Like, maybe this is too big of a commitment, maybe it was too much money? What am i doing?!  Its as if i was the third grader--but whats new.

Friday came and we had a super headache trying to commit to our co-ed softball team and knowing how important that is to us, and being able to be at Ruby's first practice.  Long story short, even though i had dreamed about getting to her first practice, i had to go to softball--due to necessity.(or so i though)

But i did bring her there with Jeromy and got to see her shoot around and play and have a great time. It truly made my heart happy. I knew i made the right decision.  She was gonna love it.

As Ruby and Jeromy got to the game, she told me all about practice and her eyes had stars in them. She was ecstatic!  (and so was i)

She informed me that "i was a good softball coach, but that Laurie was a really good basketball coach."   She even told me that she should have taught me how to play, cause she's a really good teacher. And i was alright with that. I agree 110% .

We went to bed excited and anxious for our double header in the morning.

9 o'clock game time came and Ruby was pumped. Practice in the gym for a bit and she as thrilled. Jump ball time came and her face changed. I saw it the minute it happened.

Not only was she nervous, but she was scared.

But i just kept smiling and clapping, hoping i could fake her out. Trick her into being okay.

After they ran down the court one time, she was too scared

"No," i whispered. Cause i had seen this before. I had only seen her crack under the pressure one other time. And wouldn't ya know, it was when i tried to sign her up for a four day little basketball thing in St. Francis.   She made it about an hour into those practices before running across the court, trying to stifle a cry, until she reached me and just grabbed on to me and cried. Begging me to leave and never make her come back.

It was awful.

And here it was, that same face. That same frozen stance.

"Oh, no." I whispered again, looking at my Dad, who was sitting with me.

Ruby proceeded to cover her ears and run up and down the court. And when i say "run" i mean, slowly walk. It was painful.

Eventually she came over to my side and cried, telling me she didn't want to do this. She didn't understand it.

I knew the pace was too quick for her. SHe didn't understand the game. But what could i do now?

And in that moment, honestly, every thing i have ever done as a parent, i second guessed.  I suddenly thought i created this and i had ruined my kids. I wanted to push her and demand she play, but i also wanted to cry at the very same moment that she was.

It was so terrible. I felt sick. I felt nervous. I felt sad. I felt like a total failure. And i wanted to scoop her up into my arms and walk her out of that gym, and never return.

But i couldn't. I just had to say "Keep it up. You're doing great. Just do your best."  As she tearfully walked back to the game--already in process.

I was praying for the quarter to be over so she could just be out. Please, Lord let her sit out this next quarter.

And she did sit out.  And she sat down on the bench by the coaches husband, Jon, and i can say in all honesty, when you have a child scared and a mother who feels at her breaking point and protective there is no one, and i mean no one that i would have trusted my daughter with, in her delicate little state, to care for and encourage her--like Mr. Jon Klippenes. I only made it through the game because she sat with him. I watched as he talked to her--even when she wouldn't acknowledge it--I watched as he continued to talk to her and wouldn't ya know, within a few minutes, i saw her crack a smile.

And oh, how that smile was my saving grace.  I was literally breaking inside as i watched her attempt to get through this.

I contemplated taking her out, why would i force her to finish? I just wouldn't. No way.  We just got to get through these two games and then we will just get our money back and never return to a gym again.  We are a family that plays on fields. Nice, slow paced softball fiends.

Lord, get me to the end of this.

Well, six minutes later, and the quarter was over, and there she was again, out on the court.

Ugh, this hurt.

She cried again, coming over to me--pleading silently.

I just said "get out there and do your best. You can do it. You don't talk to me you talk to your coach."

When she finally started guarding someone (even when she was supposed to be playing offense) i felt like maybe i could get through the game.  That was until a ball missed the hoop and barely bumperd her in the back....

And here came the tears. I could see she was fighting them. As she ran. But suddenly her "defense" stopped and she continued to just nervously grab her ear. Completely stopping. Standing on one side of the court and not moving--even as the game went on around her.

It was painful.

But Laurie, continued on, encouraging. Being Laurie. Being perfect.

And i continued to trust, that if anyone can get her through this, its her.

And wouldn't ya know. The buzzer finally rang. And the game was over.

Ruby came and sat on my lap and i tried to encourage her and tell her that i didn't care if she did terribly, but i didn't want to see her give up. Please, don't have a bad attitude. Its better to shoot in the wrong hoop because you tried, then to quit because you had a bad attitude.  I recognized that attitude- i knew where it came from.

She seemed to chipper up about 10% as we waited the few minutes for the next game to start.

This next team--praise Jesus--came in looking a lot smaller than the aggressive team we had just played.  Oh, please let this team be weak.

Back to the bench Ruby went, nervously sucking on that waterbottle.  Game time came and she was out the first quarter, Hallelujah. I had 6 minutes to relax and just watch the other girls play.

Now our team was picking up by this point and we were the aggressors.  I continued to watch Ruby, as she watched the game. Praying that she was picking it up.

Buzzer rang and we started the next quarter. Ruby came out and Laurie matched them up and reminded them who to guard.

Ruby did a good job guarding her girl. Even when she was supposed to be the one shooting the ball, instead, Ruby still guarded her girl--who was in turn guarding Ruby as well. But i didn't care. She seemed almost happy and i saw her smile a time or two and that was all i cared about.

A few times the ball came directly to Ruby, and she ducked, avoiding it. One time Molly actually passed it to Ruby, but she twisted away--avoiding it.

Oh boy.

If only she would touch the ball. Feel it. I know that would change things.

Ruby played two quarters in a row and by the second quarter. As she got comfortable with the little role she was playing, i suddenly saw her rushing to her "spot" on the offense. Though she definitely wasn't calling for the ball. I saw her guard her player--even when she was the one bringing the ball down.  And i saw her smile, and sweat, and try.

I guess words can't express it. 

But this day. These two games. And this girl. Almost killed me.

The amount of anguish i felt inside seeing my brave girl continue to try, even when she was completely confused and afraid. Made me happy--and oh, so sad.

It was a learning experience for me today as well.

And it was a hard one. I looked deep within myself and saw all my shortcomings and failures, coming right to the surface. And it was ugly.

I second guessed life today.  I wavered.

I knew i couldn't be the one to change Ruby. I trusted that we prayed before the game and that God heard us. And i put all of my faith into Laurie's amazing ability to do anything she puts her mind to.

After the game, Ruby was on cloud nine, talking like this tough basketball playing girl. I just laughed.

If she only knew.

I was so proud of my girl today. She did it. She faced her fear and she made it through. With the constant encouragement and understanding and positive feedback from her coach, Ruby grabbed the ball and shot at the end of the game. And then she got a pass, and she dribbled.  And in the deepest part of my heart, i am so thankful to Laurie and Jon.

Their light shines bright--and its hard to miss. And its hard not to feel good when you have them on your side. And for that, i am eternally grateful.

One week down.....only 648 to go...Uffda. Baby steps.

But as i type this post, you know where my girl is???  Shes outside on the wet driveway, waiting for me with her new basketball. Ready to play.

We just may get there.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm grumpy

Let me tell you....

I love having chickens---but i LOATHE chicken poop....everywhere!!  Like, i was at a fancy place in St. Louis Park and i looked down and i had chicken POOP on my flip-flop...okay, it was on my heel too, if that's not enough to make you wanna call it quits on our friendship, i don't know what is?!

Lesson= if you have chickens. Be responsible and tip toe.

I love being able to stay at home and care for my children---but i LOATHE house work. Just in general. I am being completely honest. I hate it, like to the core of my being. Hate. And i don't even say hate--do you see how mad this has made me?!?  This is how i think of it-- Its like telling an artist that they have to play ball for the rest of their life.(i mean, right? Can you imagine?) Or an athlete that they have to paint, quietly, for a living. It just DOESN'T fit.  That is me. A big ol square, trying to fit into a circle.

Lesson=If your job is to take care of the house.....just do it. Get your butt in the cupboards and organize. I don't care if you can't see through the tears, JUST DO IT....  (that's totes on my agenda for tomorrow--tears likely included)

I love that i get to wear clothes (for many reasons, amiright?) but i don't love laundry. Or picking up. I feel like i am owed the ability to undress before i take a shower and that i can just leave the clothes where they fall.  WHY NOT?!?  I just don't get that i have to then pick it up,. hope i didn't get it wet, AND bring it back to its rightful place.....WHYYYYYYY, why do we have so much to do at home!?

Lesson= If ya take it off, pick it up.

I love baking.  Love it. I love the pouring, the measuring, the sifting, the mixing, the cracking of the egg (cause i love chickens, dontcha know) the greasing of the pan and the baking. All. Of. It.  But ya know what i DON'T love?  Trying to clean a muffin tin, or trying to get the cake out of the corners of a pan (after you've eaten it and neglected it for a few days, of course) scrapping off the cookie sheet or trying to get the peanut butter and chocolate goodness off the glass bowl....with your tongue! (right?)

Lesson= Just starve.

I love waking up and thinking about all the wonderful things that i am going to accomplish in a day.  But you know what i DON'T love??  Never even doing any of them.  Its like my body is programmed to get the same amount of stuff done in a day--no matter how. hard. i. try. (insert hand to fist...maybe a tear...nope, just fist)

Lesson== Set your goals low. Shoot for "just good enough". Aim small miss small.

Its good that my kids are learning at school. Right? But lawdy, the homework and the reading and the speed it is all done at. Its enough to make me stab my own eyeballs out.  Right? (i know Jen Hatmaker wrote it so beautifully at the end of the year....blah, blah. I don't love her)
But it is a fact, and it is hard. Or frustrating.

Lesson= Just ignore it and hope someone else will do it.

I love being really active with my kids and their school life. I love visiting them for lunch and chatting with the kids. I love seeing them play at recess. I love the politics that are at play (and i hate them at the same time--depending)  I love just gettin all in there. But what I don't love is that every year i run the half mile with Ruby and her PE class---but now that she's in 3rd grade, they upped it to a mile.(Waaa!) I know, i know, i can do it--but i just don't want to be all panting and sweating and needing of the water--and i especially don't love that Lydia beats me EVERY YEAR in front of the other kids and Mr. STUDnicka, alright?!? Its not my fave.

Lesson= Pretend you sprain your ankle half way through and walk at a fast-ish pace to show your "can do" spirit.

I love being clean. Or at least i kind of like it.  Its important. Especially when you wear organic deodorant, (or live with chickens, Guh) like i do. Yowza. You don't want to miss showering. Ya feel me?  But you know what i don't love? The process. Oh that process of showering. I hate it. Loathe it. If it were up to me, i might never even do it. If, of course that was acceptable and not gross and it wouldn't lead to bugs crawling on me and my husband giving me the cold shoulder. Seriously, otherwise, i would totally do it. Showerless for life??  Yes please.

Lesson= Wear Organic deodorant, it like totally works....for a couple minutes anyways.

Thank you for staying with me on this journey friends.  I'm sorry to say that I have absolutely zero point for this blog, except to complain.  So there ya go.

I think this just brought us closer, don't you?

Whats that? You need help with your laundry?  Ummm, i got a thing....i mean, I want to....but i gotta go shower, i have this big run coming up and then i have to reorganize my cupboards in alphabetical order while doing laundry so that i can manage my time wisely while i wait for my cake to be done. Okay? But any other time. I swear, i would help.

Seriously though, I gotta get dinner on the table while I anxiously await my friend to arrival, so that I have someone to talk (complain) to as we watch TV, paint our nails and laugh-- into the wee hours of the night.

Lesson= Get good friends. They make life tolerable!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Another TV post

The Fall line up is coming....the fall line up is coming......the fall line up is coming.

I can feel it in the air. And it excites me. It thrills me. It makes me want night to get here so i can start watching.

You see, i love television.  And i know this is a taboo subject. But i'm talking about it anyway.

Its taboo cause too many of you are haters.  Yea, i just called you a hater. And i mean it.

And no body likes a hater, sister!

 I have a handful--that's overflowing--of friends that don't seem to have time or interest in tv.  They're a little above it--or so they passive aggressively think!

Let me explain why i love it so.....

I love comedy and drama just about more than i like anything. A good episode of 30 Rock or a dramatic Law &Order: SVU just does it for me.

And i'm not afraid to say it.  I know there are a few closet TV lovers out there as well. Ones that watch, but would never dare admit how addicted they are to American Idol or The Voice. And I'm here to say embrace it. Embrace your love for won't make you dumb, like everyone warns.

And the world isn't square and you won't sail off into the sunset only to fall off the planet---who knew.  I'll tell you who knew...the one who sailed!

This is my thought process as i vacuum today.  The Emmy's were on last night and it brought me great joy. To have all those actors in a room together honoring the talents and skill set of their peers and recognizing the power and the performance and depth of each others work--its so great to watch.

I know Hollywood is lame. I hate that they pay $60, 000 for a watch and i struggle getting my mortgage together every month. That's not what i am loving here--not the lifestyle or their idiotic views. But their craft.

Like, take Alec Baldwin--Can't stand the guy. Hes such a raging liberal and i disagree with just about everything he has ever said--but whenever i see him as "Jack Donaghy" from 30 Rock, i can't help but love him. I laugh. And i smile. And i don't hate him for our differences, i love him for his skill. He has perfected the craft and mastered comedy- by only having to use his eyes. He can speak volumes and bring contagious laughter with a tiny gesture.

How can you not love that?!

Here's the way i see it.  Television provides a break from real life. A moment of depth in a life that is lacking. Comedy can break its way through the most hurting of hearts. A day that feels overwhelming, suddenly seems tolerable. A situation that feels dire, can seem doable. All with the distraction--or inspiration-- of television.

Are you picking up what i'm laying down here? (i'm talking to you, TV haters)

My favorite thing i hear when i ask (which happens alot) "So whats your Monday night line up look like"  And my friend looks at me with a blank stare. And i continue with, "Did you SEE what Severide did last night? Can you believe it?"   or "Do you think Christina is going to be bald again this year, or will her hair grow back? And where did Hadey go?"

(That sentence, which just confused about 3/4 of you, might make sense to a person who watches Chicago Fire and Parenthood.)

Ahhhhh, now you are getting it.

My favorite response to that questions is "Ohh, i don't really have tiiiime for tv."

Oh, DON"T YOU?!  (say that in the most sugary and sarcastic voice that you can muster)

I think that answer is bull.  I mean, we all have time for facebook, right? And what is that fostering that's so important in you life again?  Laziness?  Ahh, yes. Thats what it does. Causes fights? Uhhh, check.  Makes you feel bad about yourself? Most definitely.  But no one criticizes that, cause its our link to the world and we all need to know what our friend down the road is cooking for dinner or how naughty their two year old is acting today, right?  (now this is not a facebook attack, cause i like that too. Only less than TV.)

I'm only saying, everyone has something that steals their time. So we do in fact, have time for tv, we just spend it elsewhere. Right?  Are you TV hatters getting hot under the collar yet?  I'm only trying to make you drink the koolaid and follow bigs.  Don't ask questions, just do it.

I think there is so much hate in this world today. So many feelings, opinions, hurts, wrongs, and politics that get us all going--at each other--until we are all hate filled and mad. Our opinions are so free to spew on others, and so many of us use that power for bad, instead of good. We don't lift each other up, no way--we attack through our opinions.  I mean, don't get me started on the "Vote Yes or Vote No" that came through facebook a few months ago. I saw so many Christians be so unbelievably offensive and hateful, i was shocked.  I'm not saying i don't have my own feelings on it, i just don't want to spew my views too hatefully as to offend someone from the truth and love that Christ offers, right?  As we protected our sacred truths, we did damage in the process. At least in my opinions.  You can't take back words.  Its its hard to hold love in one hand and judgment in the other, right?

I digressed a bit, but what i am saying is, people seem to attach TV with stupidity. And i happen to think, if we wrote our controversial opinions on facebook a little less, and turned on the TV a little more, we might just crack a smile and forget how mad we intended on being. Suddenly that hate post seems less valid.


I'm not saying TV is the answer to all lifes problems.  But its pretty close ;)

I love TV. And some days i just want to shout it from the roof top.  And i know its weird. But if you know me, you know i am loyal. And that is to everything i love. And when people are hating on my thang, i have to interject.

Television will most certainly not make you dumb(and yes, i have read all your posts and articles about that) Its not just a waste of time. Its full of depth, its thought provoking, its uniting, its emotional, uplifting, its informative, its satisfying, its real, its fake, its dramatic, its moving, its hilarious!

It does more for the soul than laundry and dishes, i'll tell ya what!

Watching NPH open the Emmy's last night with a funny monologue that included a few of my favorite comedians (Conan, Jane Lynch, Jimmy Kimmel (he's only okay)) and my friend, Jimmy Fallon--its like everything was right in the world, for that bright moment when they all came together..  Throw in Amy Poehler and Tina Fey in the front row doing their shtick, comedy gold, my friends. I was in heaven. Laughing and smiling, as if they were my friends and i was in on it.

I had a day where i felt a little like my light was growing dull. Like the world didn't want to laugh and they were tired of my relentless pursuit of the good and the humorous and the positive.  And i felt kind of bad about it. Like maybe i should just be quiet and smile a bit less....have less fun in a situation and just settle down.

But alas, the Emmy's were on. And i was with my (wannabe) peers.  Standing when Bob Newhart was awarded his first Emmy and clapping when his friends all stood for him, making him tear up.  It was amazing. My cheeks hurt from smiling. From the joy i felt, for him. Like, yea, he deserves this. He has worked so hard and long at comedy and is so humble....Go, Bobby!!

Same reason i like to see a girl burn a guy in the outfield, i like to see a female hit comedic gold on stage! (and that exactly what Julia Louis Dreyfus did in her acceptance speech last night.)

Boom, girl power. All day. Every day. All night. Every night.

I have decided that if i could do life over, i would definitely work my tail off,  to get to audition for SNL. And that is crazy scary, and they are crazy talented, but what a dream. An opportunity. And i know, i've read Tina's book and Darryl Hammond, i know its maddness and i would likely just curl up into a ball and cry, but what a glorious mess it would be?!  You know what, maybe when my kids go off to college i may just do that...i'm gonna seriously consider it. I only have to change 1,983,000 things about myself and learn--alot.  But i just may try....

My mother and i disagreed about my thoughts today as i told her my opinions. She reminded me that people might not be "lame" just because they aren't watching TV at night. Maybe they are reading a book to become a better parent, or reading about how to help the world.  And i half disagreed. And by half, i mean wholeheartedly.

Yea, i guess they could do that. (snooze)

But they still talk like they are better than tv. And thats what irks me. Its creates this foundation of not only succeeding, but being a teeny, tiny bit better than others. Like you're going to make big changes in this world, but not by watching TV.


Tv can inspire people to be more, better, and persevere, i believe that 100%.

Insert my plea that the world watch 'War Horse' and NOT feel inspired.  I dare you. I double dare you.

Here's my point.....


Oh, i don't know. I guess its that i am so excited to DVR 999 shows a night and watch them all into the wee hours of the nights. Never interrupting my time with my kids, or my hubby, or my quality house work and organization time.

The only person i am hurting is myself. And my lack of sleep.

But, come on, sleep??? I'll sleep when i'm dead!!

Just kidding, i literally hate that saying.

I'm gonna be watching TV when i'm dead, up in heaven with Jesus---and we're going to be laughing--and its going to be glorious!

So, here's to the fall lineup. Check your DVR's people, cause this weeks gonna blow our minds!!

Now, if you're offended by any of this clip, i'm sorry. I didn't write it--obviously--but i did laugh.  And ohhhhh, how i love to laugh!!

Lighten up world....Start seeing the funny, and stop being so offended.