Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving thanks for so much

It's that time of year to give thanks. I have an abundance of reasons to be thankful, so many reasons that it seems foolish to ever complain about anything. Here is my partial list in no particular order.

  • I'm thankful that not only do I love my siblings but I really LIKE them too and am thrilled that we keep working on our friendships.
  • I'm thankful for a husband who supports me and my cornucopia of obsessions and only makes fun of me every once in a while, in a loving way of course!

Giving me a break - Thank you!

  •  I'm thankful to two beautiful daughters. I will never come up with enough words to properly describe their perfectness.
  • I'm thankful that being a mother is more wonderful than I ever thought possible, even when it totally sucks sometimes.

So Sweet!
  • I'm thankful for parents who, no matter the circumstance, have always supported me, always loved me and always made sure I knew it.
  • I'm thankful for my imagination. It makes me laugh and cry and gets me into trouble when Steve asks me what's wrong and I have to confess that I'm worried about some character in my head!
  • I'm thankful for my new boots, which I REALLY wish I'd had last year when I was in Paris...whatever.

Why yes, that is us at the LOUVRE!
  • I'm thankful for Candy Corn.
  • I'm thankful that Candy Corn is only in season one month out of the year.
  • I'm thankful that it's acceptable for grown women to play soccer and that I found a team of them to play with!
  • I'm thankful for a job that I actually enjoy. It makes all of the balancing between office work and home work worth it.
  • I'm thankful that the love I feel for my babies gives me a mind boggling inkling of what God feels for me.

There are no words...

  • I'm thankful for grace, love, forgiveness and hope.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Get a Job!

A friend of mine recently commented on Facebook about their son chopping wood and learning a good work ethic. It made me think back on a few of the different jobs I've had...

Black Walnut Picking - this is not as glamorous as it sounds. In fact it's not glamorous at all. The tree in question was HUGE. You could build a village of tree houses in it's branches! It rained walnuts over the entire yard. Mom and Dad paid us a penny for every walnut we picked up from the yard. With a tree that size there was potential to make some serious money (serious for an 8 year old anyway!)  However, the value of the income was seriously questioned by the actual physical labor! Black walnuts don't come out of the tree like acorns - a cute little nut with a hat on top. No, they come down in their own protective cover. Why? I don't know, black walnuts are hard enough that they could fall from the highest point on the tree onto hard concrete and not even crack... Then, if they sit on the ground for longer than say, 30 seconds, the protective covering starts to rot and what you're left with is a sticky, slimy, black oil slick over each walnut. That substance sticks to your fingers and then stains them for ages. Recap: 1 penny in exchange for bending over at the waist for hours while handling decomposing, finger staining, smelly walnuts that didn't need the protection in the first place.

Tree Trimming - Are you picking up on the tree theme??  Dad had connections to tree farms so one summer my brother and I were hired to trim the trees. No, not a Christmas tree farm where we'd lovingly shape the trees with pruning shears while imagining happy children opening their presents on Christmas morning. These were trees being grown for wood products (I'll leave it at that and not go into the finer details of tree pulp, chips, knots, lumber and harvesting... You're welcome.). We were each handed a small curved saw blade attached to a long handle and told to cut off the branches as close to the trunk as we could. I've always had weak arms...this was not the job for me. Thank goodness my younger but stronger brother was there too. Otherwise I might still be there hanging from a branch that my saw got stuck in and I couldn't wrench it free. I have no idea what they paid but I probably spent it on ice packs and ibuprofen!

Hauling Wood - I don't think I actually was ever paid for this, but it was definitely a job. Having to haul wood was the only time I've ever felt true RAGE at my Dad. This is stupid because he was out cutting and hauling with us AND it was the way we heated our house in the winter (in Maine!) so it was a family job and sort of essential for survival!  But, teenagers aren't known for their reasoning skills... You should know that the few times I've hauled a little wood as an adult I've quite enjoyed it!

All of this wood/tree experience is probably one of the reasons I really enjoyed my first real job out of college working at Weyerhaeuser in their research building with all of the foresters and loggers. I spoke a little of their language, knew how to use a saw and wasn't afraid of a little sawdust! 

Now...I'm just storing these stories up to tell my kids when they complain about "building character"!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Living in the Age of Why

There's a stereotype out there that 3 year olds always ask "why?" and drive their parents nuts.

If you come to my house you can see how that stereotype came to be.


The days are full of why questions but I'm the only one providing answers. It's a thought that comes full circle; no end, no beginning; just another question, another curiosity.

Below is a sample of true life questions...and a few of my answers, or lack of answer...!

Why did I open the car door when the car was moving?   To make my heart stop, apparently.

Why did I break the chair?   And why are there teeth marks on it too???

Why did I make a bad choice?  ???????

Why am I awake?  I have NO idea!

Why am I crying? Besides the fact that you tripped, fell headfirst onto the ground, bit your lip and are now bleeding?

Why are those flamingos in that yard? Good Question!

Why is that dog not a bird?  ??????

Why did you fold that?   To make it smaller
Why is it smaller?  Because I folded it.
Why did you fold it?  To make it smaller
Why is it smaller?  Because I folded it!

AND...repeat 10,000 times!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Life List

This morning I ran for the first time since The Sweetpea made her arrival. It was early morning; cloudy and cool with a little mist in the air as I ran along the river. I passed a guy running (granted, he was about 80 and the fact that he was even out running trumps my passing him any time...) and I didn't fall over! It was good in a painful sort of way. Hopefully I'll be recovered enough by next Monday to do it again.

I'm now sitting at Thatchers drinking coffee, eating a most amazing yogurt and granola blend and working on my computer. I've always wanted to take my laptop to a coffee shop and work on it while drinking coffee.  Yet another goal I can cross off my list!

I might not have to eat until dinnertime!

Of course, I'm not dressed in a cute outfit and I keep having to pick granola out of my teeth... But since I didn't specify "awesome boots with cute wool skirt" AND "clean teeth" on the list I'm going to cross it off anyway.

What's next on the list?

Where can I find a camel to ride?