Friday, September 28, 2012

Scrambled Thoughts V (part 1)

1.  Life goes on.  Even when you're sick.

I wasn't actually sick when I took all of the photos in this post.  But I got sick before they were edited, and something about Photoshop made me dry-heave every time I opened it... so picture editing was put on major hold.   The nausea is halfway gone now... Photoshop leaves me alone, but something about all of these Utah pictures still gets to me.  Unfortunate, I tell you.  Nothing like seeing my dad's smiling face in a photo and feeling like running to the bathroom.  But I care too much about these pictures and some of the stories behind them to let them go untold... so, bring on the nausea!

2. It was a good thing we asked the lady toting a $2500 camera with a $1000 lens popped onto it to take our picture.  

Who else would have known that we cared more about the carpet ten feet in front of us than Christ's head?

Here we are... sitting in the very spot where Brian nervously gained courage to grab my hand for the first time over 10 years ago.  I'm pleased with how our lives have gone since, but Brian's face here seems to suggest his feelings might be different.  His thought bubble would probably say something like, I've made a terrible mistake.

3. There is no way to ruin a Lake Powell trip. 

Especially if you're surrounded by some of your very favorite people on the planet.  The kids and I met up with a few old NC friends who have since moved to Utah and Arizona, and camped on the shores of Lake Powell.  Husbands couldn't make it (Brian was already back in NC, Jason couldn't get away from work, and Merrill was only able to spend one of the two nights with us), so we three women braved the camping with our 13 collective children alone.  The kids had a blast reconnecting...

...but I think we women had even more fun catching up on the troubles and triumphs of our hearts.  How terribly sad that I didn't ask one of the kiddos to snap a picture of us.  Oh, how I love them!  They made the whole trip possible... Brooke, packing food for my whole family; Cami coming up with the brilliant idea of meeting at Lake Powell in the first place and securing a campsite for us all.  Thanks, again, ladies!

Miles and Ty hit it off quickly when they discovered their mutual love of a football.  They played...

 ...and played...

...and played and played and played and played and played.

The last day we were there tried hard, but unsuccessfully, to ruin the vacation for us.  The wind picked up and blew our canopy, upside down, into the lake, and stung our faces with the sand it whipped up.  Also, McKenzie almost drowned and I sliced the bottom of my toe clear to the bone while rescuing her.  Kept me awake at night and then gave me nightmares for a month, I tell you (the near drowning part... not the toe part).  I can't decide whether I want to write about it so I don't forget, or if I want to keep it inside my head so I do.  *shiver*  Maybe I'll compromise and jot down the lessons learned instead.  1) Don't let your beginning/moderate swimmer go swimming off after an AWOL rubber duckie that is far away from the shore.  2) If she doesn't respond to you when you ask if she's okay, then she's not.  3) If you think of it, watch where you're stepping so you don't slice your toe open while you're running into the lake.  4) Don't exert all of your energy getting out to her... you'll need some left to get her back.  5) Don't try to calm her once you reach her - it won't work, and you might both just drown if you waste the time.  6) Swimming like a dolphin with her on your back is not the most effective way to carry a panicked swimmer.  After clearing my head I realized I should have wrapped one arm around her and backstroked back to the shore.  Probably slower, but I could have kept breathing that way.  7) Don't forget to thank the Lord in your prayers that night that your friend was watching and caught the problem in enough time.  8) Drowning is so silent.  So very silent.  No splashing, no yelling, no desperate cries for help.  Just silent, panicked thrashing underneath the water.  Watch those precious children...

Funny... all the sudden I don't feel much like continuing.  I think I'll go play a game with my kiddos instead and soak in their energy and happiness.  Especially Kenz.  This episode of Scrambled Thoughts, to be continued...

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Rock

I think I love him.  The thought surprised me a little.  Shocked me a bit that I hadn't really noticed the new feeling creeping into my heart.  But there it was... a glimmer of something that closely resembled other kinds of love in my heart, but spun in a different, unique, new and welcome pattern.  I suppose this is where it all started.  Really started, anyway.  There in the passenger seat of my boyfriend's old, red Honda civic, traveling south on I15 after meeting his family for the first time.

Over the months the glimmer grew stronger until all doubt had been erased and I confidently whispered yes through the lump in my throat and the glowing smile on my face to the most important question ever posed in my life. 

As we drove away from our reception in a golf cart, small wisps of curled hair fell from my bun and tickled my cheeks.  I scooted closer to Brian, my new husband, and he grabbed my hand with an eager excitement as he let out a laugh.  Our eyes locked, and I'm sure the excitement in my eyes mirrored his as we laughed at nothing, or was it everything?, on our way up the hill.   Excitement, of course, for the days and nights to follow, but also for the years and decades after that.  I'd heard what they said, that we could love each other more in ten years than we did in that moment, but it seemed impossible.  My heart was already overwhelmed and overflowing... there was simply no more room.

Yet here we are.

A decade of life behind us.  Or, maybe more accurately, a decade of life under us, around us, in us and with us... enclosing us in a cushion of security and love truly unimaginable to our newlywed hearts.

A decade of discovering each other; of discovering ourselves while with each other.  And still occasionally being surprised by both.

A decade of compromising and, in so doing, realizing that the middle ground is actually often a better choice than was yours anyway.

A decade of building trust.

A decade of sharing hopes and secrets, dreams and insecurities, laughs, tears, responsibilities, ice cream cartons, toothbrush holders and closet space.

A decade of mistakes.  Of forgiving and of being forgiven over and over again.  Of coming to realize that, though the mistakes can hurt, the simple act of forgiveness (on either side) heals you stronger than you were before.  And you begin to trust in the security that - though you wish you didn't need it - you will be forgiven next time, too.   

A decade of looking, every day a little deeper, into the soul of another human being.  Of loving and learning to love every new layer discovered.  And of learning to let another look deeply into you.  This is where the trust comes, for me.  Knowing that my ugliest, rawest side has been exposed, and being met with open, loving arms in response. 

Oh, how this man loves me.  And he is a master at showing me.  There is a phrase sung by Faith Hill in a song called The Way You Love Me that says It's not right, it's not fair what you're missing over there.  Someday I'll find a way to show you just how lucky I am to know you.  Ooooh I love the way you, love the way you love me...  (Now you're singing it in your head, aren't you...)  Brian never seems to tire of offering the same compliment just when I need to hear it; of folding the laundry or doing the dishes without a prompt because he sees that it needs done; of sensing my emotional stability and sending me to my room for a break just before I snap.  If only I were better at offering these traits back to him.

He is my best friend.  Sometimes my only friend.  Always standing by with a gentle hug, a simple solution, a dose of reality, a goofy joke... always.

  Happy tenth anniversary, love.  Thank you for being my rock.  I truly am the luckiest.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Getting Crazier

I know.

It's been a while.

I have a good excuse though.

You see... I've been sleeping a lot.

And eating a lot.

And laying on the couch throwing goldfish crackers at my children a lot.

And watching Curious George a lot.

And Dora.  Too much Dora, actually.  Waaaaaaaaay too much Dora.  After grocery shopping one day, I staggered into the house carrying only the fridge and freezer items, shoved the entire bags into the emptiest shelf I could find, barely made it to the bathroom to empty my stomach contents in an appropriate place, and then collapsed on my bed feeling a bit triumphant for accomplishing a Costco/Kroger run.  I let my head bob along to the victory song in my mind, "I did it, I did it, I did it, Hooray!" and felt like I had finished something as noteworthy as crossing the singing snake river, climbing over marshmallow mountain, and going through the chocolate forest.  It wasn't until after several minutes that I remembered I'd left my 3 year old strapped in his carseat.  


But, I've started to see color in the world again.

And less of the bathroom.

And my children have started to see a bit less of the television and a few more fruits and vegetables.

Miles and I usually get out of our pajamas these days, and the computer screen has lost much of it's nauseating effect.  

But Carson is on day two (and Miles is on day three) of not wearing any underwear, simply because there are no clean pairs in the house.

And all of my children are getting a little too much practice on Mario Kart.

And my bed has not been made for... ... ... ?

But, oh boy, is there excitement in this house.

Mostly from McKenzie.  She was let in on the secret early - around 6 weeks when I started melting into an unrecognizable lump on the couch - so she would know why I was asking for so much help from her.  And she sure stepped up to the plate... perfecting toast and pancakes, picking up the house, keeping the boys happy and entertained, and (my favorite) consistently offering sweet eyes in my direction and loving pats to my belly.  Several times she would whisper in my ear, "I love you, Mom.  I hope everything is going well with the you-know-what."  It was a happy day for her when the news was spread to the rest of the family and she was given the green light to tell whomever she wanted. 

Carson is a little excited, 'but a little not excited because,  you know, babies need to, like, cry a lot, and get taken care of a lot...'

Miles doesn't really get it.  'I not a baby,' he says.  "I know, buddy... the baby is in Mommy's tummy."  'I can hold it?'  "Not yet because it's still growing up a little bit in Mommy's tummy.'  'Oh,' long pause... 'den it will come out?'


Waiting for early March...