Thursday, March 3, 2011

There's something about Caleb....

that I really love! Well, actually there is a LOT about him that I love!

When I was a young girl dreaming of motherhood, I never thought that I would be a BOY mom. I assumed that I would have girls and do girlie things.

When I was pregnant, we decided that we would not find out the gender.  I wanted that surprise moment in the delivery room.  But, for the whole time I was pregnant, I sort of knew deep inside (my womb! haha) that I was having a boy.    Oh, we chose a girl name too.  Had Caleb been a girl, he would have been named Mackenzie Grace or "Kenzie".  I had known a sweet Mackenzie when I was younger and loved the name.   The name Caleb Andrew, on the other hand, has totally different origins. We'll save that story for another day.

One of my favorite moments in life was when the doctor delivered the baby via C-section and prompted Jeremy to tell me the gender.  Jeremy's voice was thick with emotion and excitement.  Even though I could not see his face, I could hear his smile and amazement as he shouted, "IT'S a BOY!  You're right!  You are always right!!"

Now, one of the many reasons that this is a special memory is because I was able to witness my love become a father and hear that in his voice.  But, I also delight in the fact that we have Jeremy's declaration of my "rightness" on tape!!

Oh, wait... this post is supposed to be about Caleb, not me.  Well,  maybe we could say that that sweet boy has inherited some of his mama's enjoyment of being "right"!

And so I will end this post with a list of 10 things that I love about Caleb:

10.  I love that he can tell me the most obscure facts about most college and professional sports.  I always ask "Where did you learn that?"  He says, "I read it in a book."

9.  Relating to #10, I love that he LOVES to read.  Once, he got a new book from the bookstore and when we got home, he came to me and said, "Bye mom" as he headed to his room to curl up with his book for hours!  I think that I must be the only mom in town who has to fuss at her kiddo for reading too much.

8.  I love that he is such an encourager to others.  I watch him as he talks to others on his basketball team and I am so proud of the way that he builds his teammates up.

7.  I love that he hates to be late.  (He probably does not love that I am often late.)

6.  I love that he has great comedic timing.  The other night he had me in stitches at the dinner table!

5.  I love that he is a planner.  He writes himself notes all the time and plans out what he is going to wear for the week.

4.  I love his determination.    He sets high goals for himself and then pushes himself to reach them in sports and in academics.

3.  I love his quick smile and great laugh.

2.  I love that he is such a gracious gift recipient. I have seen him open presents that I knew that he did not totally enjoy but he was still so grateful and thankful to the giver.

1. I love that he wants only butter on his English muffins, only strawberry cream cheese on his bagels, his sandwiches cut with the crust cutter and not too much jelly, his quesadillas "easy on the cheese", fries instead of tots at Sonic, ranch and honey mustard on the side of his chicken nuggets, only regular cheese goldfish, and bananas without too many brown spots.  I love that he loves all that just so AND that this morning he said, "I am not picky about food."

Oh, I love that boy!  I do! I do! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bing? What's in it for me?

Have you seen those commercials about the search engine Bing?  It is touted as the "cure for search overload." 

I don't get it. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Skating through it all.

I sobbed as I watched Joannie Rochette perform the other night after the passing of her mother this weekend. I prayed for her as I watched her perform. I cheered as she won the bronze medal.

After her mother died, Joannie had no other choice but to go on and skate. She had to. It was the Olympics. Her mother would have wanted her to do it. It was Joannie's dream for herself. It was what she was made to do.

However, I imagine that there was a part of Joannie that wanted to NOT skate, not compete, not participate at all-- to call it a day, hang up the skates, go home, curl up into the fetal position and be done.

She might have wondered how she could possibly breathe much less skate since she had no mother. What strength would she have in her legs to jump and propel herself across the ice? Perhaps,  the moves that she had tirelessly practiced and perfected in preparation for the Olympics now seemed like fuzzy memories that really didn't matter.   Triple salchow, triple-Lutz, double-toe-loop combo... What do they matter in the big scheme of things?  Except that they do matter.  They mattered because they were what made her who she was. 

So, Joannie made a decision.   She decided to go out there and skate with strength, courage and perseverance to show the world the kind of champion her mother had raised.
I cried to watch her skate so beautifully and gracefully.    Knowing that she carried such a heavy burden of  pain.  Knowing that what pushed her to give an extraordinary performance was born out of  that same pain. 

In no way to diminish this skater's grief and spectacular strength under pressure, I don't believe that her skating  is any less beautiful than the strength, courage, and perseverance that the rest of us show when we go on with our lives in the midst of grief, pain and suffering.    Her courage was just more public. We have no cameras, no emotion evoking music, no announcers to champion our courage and bravery to get up and go on with the show without our loved ones.

But we must persevere.  We must become who we are intended to become even though our hearts are missing a part. 

Joannie Rochette made it to the podium.  I hope to see you there as well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like CHRISTmas!

A few years ago, a friend asked me to join her and 23 other ladies in an ornament exchange intended to prepare our families to celebrate the birth of Jesus.   We used the book The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to  Prepare for the Coming of the Christ Child at Christmas as a guide. 

Following her lead, I decided to host my own group of ladies this year.  I invited ladies from many different circles:  neighborhood, church, school, etc.  We had our first meeting about a month ago and shared a lovely lunch and conversation.  Each lady left with an assignment to make 25 ornaments which symbolize some part of the Christian faith history.  Some examples are:  apple with a snake, sheath of wheat, slingshot, coat of many colors and others.  From the pictures above, you can see that I am the sheep with a shepherd's staff. 

We meet again tomorrow to share our ornaments and exchange.  Each participant will go home with the devotional book and 25 different, wrapped ornaments to open for each day in December. 

My hope is that the ladies and their families will be blessed in many ways by setting aside time each day to go to God's word and focus on Him and his truth during the hectic Christmas season.  May they be reminded of the realities of God's grace and love for us.

I challenged them to host their own group next year with 25 of their friends.  Maybe you would like to host one as well! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Move over, Nellie Olsen.

What a sweet picture of Mother (35) and Daughter(7). 
Mama's smile just about breaks my heart in two pieces.  
At her baby shower for my brother, Justin.  

Don't you just envy my outfit?  I am almost positive that Mama made that dress for me.  She sewed many of my clothes when I was younger.  I remember that I loved that dress so much.  It was Laura Ingalls Wilder Chic!  Don't laugh.  I was trendy at the time.

It was June, 1979 in my small Texas hometown.   I had just finished 1st grade and been promoted to Big Sister status.  I was sporting a well-coiffed Dorothy Hamill hairdo and was headed off to a baby shower for Mama and new baby brother, Justin, at the First Baptist Church.  I am sure that my inner dialogue went something like this: 

What to wear?  What to wear?
Oh!!   I know what will be great in this sweltering summer heat:
My black, long-sleeved, floor length, patchwork quilt dress.  
You just never know when Almanzo will show up and whisk me away! 

I remember having a disagreement with Mama about wearing this dress.    I also remember being resolute and determined to wear this dress. "I just HAVE to wear it."  She was probably trying to reason with me telling me that it was too hot.  But, you know as well as I do, that, sometimes, one must sacrifice comfort for style.

I'll bet that you are probably thinking that I sacrificed both. Hey, I was 7 and times were different then.  Give a small town girl a break! 

 Don't you think I'd fit right in On the Banks of Plum Creek ??

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ode to Diet Coke

Dear Diet Coke,

I miss you so much that it hurts.
It has been 2 weeks, 1 day, 3 hours and about 15 minutes since we have been together.
I know you are there, but I will not have you.
I have seen you in the mall, the grocery store, on tv ads.
I stopped in my tracks at the sound of your familiar poptop.
Just hearing you fizz made my heart skip a beat.
Oh, how I miss the bubbles that sting my throat and tickle my nose.
Everywhere I turn, you are there.  I miss the feel of your ice cold can in my hand.

 Water is such loneliness.
Tea pales in comparison to your refreshment.
No one can find your kind of fun in coffee. 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kids say the darndest things: Caleb version

Two weekends ago as we were getting ready to drop him off at childcare for Parent's Night Out at church:
"Mom, I am really getting tired of you abandoning us all the time so that you can go out on dates with Daddy."

Nice try, son. You almost had us, but not quite.   We continued with our plans and abandoned him for 3 whole hours while he played video games and basketball at church.

Fast forward to this past weekend as Caleb was getting prepared to go to an overnight sleepover lasting from 4pm until 9 am the next day:
"Caleb, we are really getting tired of you abandoning our family to go to birthday parties.  We think you should stay home."  (wink, wink)

But that turkey did not miss a beat, he replied, "But, Mom, I will be having fun when I go."

There you go.

How's that for good driving?

Yesterday, the boys and I were in the van headed to drop Jonathan off at a birthday party.  We were not late, but there was not a lot of cushion either so I was driving fairly quickly through a green light at an intersection.  This intersection was a little higher than the road so I was able to get the van to catch some air and we felt like we were flying for a few milliseconds. 

Jonathan said, "Wow, Mom.  That felt like a rollercoaster.  My penis was flying through the air."

Well.  I have nothing to add to that one. 

There you go.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pork fat rules in the gym, too.

This morning, I was working out with my trainer at his gym.   Jeremy brought the boys about halfway through my work out because he had to go to Cub Scout training.  He was looking mighty dapper in that Grown Man Scout Uniform, let me tell you. Psst: Not really.  I think that the grown men look a little silly. But the boys look so so cute!!  I do applaud him for the effort that he puts forth with Scouts and with our boys so I overlooked the uniform and greeted him with a kiss.  He got the boys occupied in the foyer so that I could finish up the last half of my workout. 

All was going well:   Jeremy was on his way to training.  Kids were patiently waiting doing whatever.   I was working up good sweat while chatting with my trainer about my eating plan and how following it would ensure losing another 2 pounds this week. 

 Between my repetitions of seated rows,  I heard a small disturbance come from around the corner in the foyer.  The boys were struggling about something.  They settled down soon enough, but I still thought that I should take a look at them.  After I finished that set, I used my luxuriously-long 45 second break to waltz over to see what was up.

I wish that I had had a camera, but I never ever expected to see anything like this.  Guess, I should take some scout training myself and "Always Be Prepared."

Let me describe for you the scene:
Jonathan was sitting in the chair playing the DS game.  (You may recall that I have a love hate hate hate relationship with the DS from this post)

Let me continue: 

Jonathan was sitting in the chair playing the DS game with Caleb's head so close that you might have thought that they were connected.  Both boys' eyes were glued to the small screen.  As I wiped my sweaty brow, imagine my surprise when I saw the bacon.  Bacon? Yes. Bacon. 
Jonathan had a piece of bacon hanging out of his mouth that his brother was holding for him.   Caleb was shoving it in as Jonathan chewed.  All while never missing a beat with  the video game.  

Being the good Cub Scout family that we are, we have taught them the buddy system.  Stick together with your buddy and help him out as needed.  We encourage them to use it and praise them when they do.  But, I never, ever thought  that they would use it as a food delivery method for a buddy who was in the middle of a video game. 

It was wrong on so many levels, y'all.  I shook my head in disbelief, shock, and a tiny bit of shame as I headed back to my work out. 

You may be asking yourself, "Why did they have bacon?"  Obviously, it was because they needed it to round out the breakfast of donuts and chocolate milk that they also had with them.  I mean, what is the use of massive amounts of trans fats and high fructose corn syrup if you can't wash it down with a little pork fat?

The worst part of it was when my trainer asked me what had happened.  I could not think fast enough to make up a better story so I told him the ugly truth all while avoiding eye contact with him.  All I could do was to try to laugh it off.  Oh well. Parents of the Year Award goes to.....

Before you think that I am just throwing Jeremy under the bus for giving this stuff to the kids, I need to confess:   After my work out last Saturday,  I bought them donut holes and chocolate milk, too. Also, I have no problem with them eating bacon, just, maybe, not at the gym.  And maybe, just maybe, they could manage to tear themselves away from the DS long enough to feed themselves rather than using the buddy system.

There you go!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Have you ever had a friend that you haven't spoken to in a long time and as time drags on, you start to wonder what you might have done to make them upset and not call? You ask yourself, "What did I say that made them mad?" and replay your last conversation analyzing every word for what you might have done wrong. You get the picture.

I think that my blog has started to wonder what it has done to offend me.

I have not written in many months. However, I have started a few blogs but left them unfinished. (I am holding out hope that this one gets completed. The jury is still out.)

Never fear, my dear blog, you and I are ok. We're good. I am not mad at you. You have not offended me. I just lost my voice for a little while, but it might be coming back little by little.

To say the least, my life has been different and difficult since April. Sometimes, I have to use my sheer determination to fight off grief. If you who know me, you know that I am quite determined. Sometimes, though, grief does not care how determined I am. It creeps up when I least expect it and I find myself defenseless (or so it may seem at first glance.)

Like today, I was driving to Bible study and I had the urge to call my mom as I have done on Wednesday mornings for the past few years. I reached over to pick up the phone and then WHAM! I get the sudden realization (again) that I can call, but she will not answer.

It hit me like a ton of bricks right in the middle of my chest. Seriously, this is a physical pain that I feel. It made me feel so vulnerable and disempowered. In a strange way, I had to go through the intense feelings of losing her again in that moment. I was flooded with grief and confusion mixed with guilt and anger. I scolded myself thinking, "How could you let that happen again? You know that your mother has died. How could you forget? What kind of daughter are you?"

Once I was done with the scolding and needed to deal with the emotions at hand, all I knew to do is to pray for comfort and peace. (which is doing quite a lot, actually.)

Sometimes comfort comes in the form of a distraction, or a task that awaits demanding my full attention, or a sweet friend that calls to chat, or simply a song. Today, it was a song. When the worship leader started playing the hymn, "Because He Lives" and I realized what we were singing, I felt like God was giving me a big hug. I am so thankful for that. I really needed it. I prayed and comfort came. Thanks for thinking of me God.

I CAN face uncertain days because He lives.
Hey, I finished a blog post! There you go!!