Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Rain in Spain...

Okay, there's actually no rain and five of the six of us are not in Spain. But... I ache and am bone tired so the fact that I can come up with a title is... a miracle.

Let me back the rain-train up. When I said "five of the six of us are not in Spain" what I mean is "Adam got sent on a business trip to Spain and none of us fit in his suitcases and I think his pictures are mocking us." Pictures like this:

This is the view from his hotel room. I love the man deeply but I currently hate him.

Backing way up to two weeks ago, Adam called me from work at nine in the morning. I answered the phone with, "Uh-oh."

"Why uh-oh?" he asked.

"Because a phone call from you in the morning means you either left something at home or you have bad news!"

I won't say it was bad news, because someone ill or dying is bad news. But the co-worker who was supposed to head to Spain en-route home from his job in Asia has... a toothache.

You bet I cursed like a sailor when I heard that. I mean, a dang TOOTHACHE. People. I gave birth and WALKED OUT OF THE HOSPITAL ten hours later. And he has to come home for a toothache?!

Adam clarified that it is more than a toothache; it's a "fly straight home, do not pass go, head straight to the oral surgeon and here's some antibiotics until then" type toothache. I had a little more sympathy for the guy but not much.

Thankfully, Adam called my mother to make sure she could come to visit while he was gone. She can AND his parents helped out! The last time Adam had to go away for over a week, it was an epic mess around here. Coupled with summer break, no camps, Therapy Week and so on, I was sure this would be worse but it shouldn't be, not with help.

Adam left early Saturday morning and I did the whole pick up and drop off from cello club and AG "camp." Then Grandma and Grandpa took the older ones. It was supposed to be from 2 Saturday until 2 Sunday but they got in at five! They had a great time with their grandparents.

I had the little boys and we went to Mass, where the only Commandment I didn't break was "thou shalt not murder." We left alive but barely. I was ready to strangle the boys. They KNOW how to behave at Mass and normally sit in the pew with their penguins and read the missal. Yesterday they ran around the cry room and were so loud. I did the "Receive and leave" thing before bolting. I took them home where we watched the cartoons the older kids don't like and had snacks for dinner. They went to bed late but that was the whole point of going to Saturday Mass- we could sleep in the next morning!

I was glad we could sleep in because I stayed up late watching The Book Thief. It was really good and followed the book pretty closely. I'm always amazed when a movie is nearly as good as the book. I think I can count on one hand when that happens!

Today I was super busy: mopped the kitchen floor, deep cleaned Camille's bedroom for when Mom comes, dusted my room, trimmed the bushes, watered the trees, swept the garage, cleaned off the back deck, trimmed back the mint plant that was about to overtake the deck, put on the sprinkler and painted the play set. Oh, and Higgins escaped two times because he is too small for his collar but I refused to go after him. If he's dumb enough to run away...

Tonight a friend I hadn't seen in ages stopped by. We ended up chatting for hours and the end result is a very crabby five year old who has been up two late nights in a row. Tomorrow will bring house cleaning and a much needed pool day!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Quick Takes Friday: Harry, Hunger, FanGirl moments and, oh yeah, the kids

1. Seriously. Huge Hunger Games fan here. I adore the whole thing. I was so late to the party but I am totally into it now and cannot wait for Mockingjay: Part One to be released the day after George's birthday! (I love you kid but I am going to be in line the moment that theater opens.) I especially love how they are promoting the movie. The propaganda is so in line with the books! I am so picky about my book-to-movie adaptions and these have been really, really well done. Better than the first Harry Potter movies and defiantly better than Percy Jackson. (Please, Hollywood, never ever let Chris Columbus near a children's book to movie script. Please.)

photo credit: here

Click here to see what President Snow has to say about Unity.

2. Speaking of THG and HP, how did the internet not blow up with sheer awesomeness when this happened?

3. Is it wrong that I am re-considering a bob based off J-Law's (oh, yeah, I went there) haircut? I had one before and grew it out. Maybe it is time to reconsider that again.

4. Memo to self: You are a 35 year old, overweight housewife and mother of four who lives in the midwest. Stop trying to be cool.

5. Okay, adorable things my kids have said:

Cole: I hungee!
Me: What do you want to eat?
Cole: ummm (thinks hard) Food!

George: Cole, haven't you been wanting to swim underwater YOUR ENTIRE LIFE!

Me, sitting at the head of the table: I feel like the lady and mistress of the table! I am in charge!
Joe: And that's why the table at blahblahblah peace talks was round!

And, no, it wasn't a King Arthur or Knights of the Round table reference.

6. Okay, fangirl moment again: You can read JK Rowling's new short story about the Harry Potter characters here. I admit that I loved it. Harry is supposed to be my age, so it was cool to see an update on "Dad-Harry" not "Boy-Wizard-Harry."

7. Bombshell moment: I went way out of my comfort zone and offered myself as tribute, I mean for consideration for a potential coaching position. Long story, weird story but there we go. Maybe this year will be the one where I go all ballsy into life?

You know the drill: Go to Conversion Diary and have your own fandom moments with Jen!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Those days

I write about my family and my feelings. I don't write about other people on this blog, generally, for privacy reasons and because this blog is about us. Therefore, when I write this, I am speaking of only my emotions and how I deal with things, not other family members.

I wish I had some magic words to tell you how to survive the first "angel-versary" of a loved one. I wish I could write and article that says if you do this, this and this, your day will be perfect, you will be fine and not collapse into a sobbing heap.

I got nuttin'.

I did survive, as you can see. I think the days leading up to yesterday were worse, though. It was like the anticipation was worse than the real day. I was super tired- not physically, I couldn't nap- but emotionally. My writing muse took off for Parts Unknown and forgot to take me too. I kept myself busy with a little sewing and a little reading and alot of pool time with the kids.

Friends sent me texts and messages and kept me occupied at the pool. I think being out, in the sun, with people I love really helped. I had a slice of lemon tart for lunch (does Trader Joe's make anything bad? I think not!) and took the kids to Sonic Happy Hour.I cut some roses from the garden and put them on the mantel. It was a normal day, but not. Kinda like the last year has been.

Normal, but not. I suppose that describes everything, huh?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Life of Faith

The other day I heard two woman chatting and one woman was clearly in love with her life. She said to her friend, "I have everything I ever wanted! What did I do to deserve such a wonderful life?"

Her friend patted her hand and said, "You're living a life of faith, dear. Of course God would bless such a wonderful and faithful person!"

I left before I punched that woman in the face or threw up on her. Or both.

Okay, well, crying would have been on the plate too.

See, I hear this all the time. "I prayed for your healing and God listened!"

"You are such a faithful person! Of course you have a nice house and life! God only blesses the faithful!"

"I have a wonderful new house, my husband/myself was promoted at work and the kids are straight A little darlings! We are so blessed!"

Here's the thing: if your baby is premature, you are still blessed. If you prayed for something and the opposite happened, God still heard your prayer. If you just lost your job, your spouse, and your kids are the kind who don't make straight A's, you are still blessed.

See, when I hear "you got just what you wanted because you are a faithful person!" it reminds me that I didn't get my heart's desire and makes me feel like a crappy, horrible person who didn't pray right or do God's will. It's an insult to people who pray and sacrifice and offer up in hopes of something happening and having God gently say "no" to their request. Plus, it makes us sounds like needy, whining little children who tug at our Father's robes pleading, "I promise to love and feed him and walk him every single day for the rest of my life and never ever EVER ask for another thing EVER if you let me keep the puppy!"

If you really think that having the perfect faith is a recipe for a Pinterest-perfect life, you're only fooling yourself. Now, of course, you should pray and offer up and praise God and all that jazz. Just remember that God will answer your prayer but it might not be in the way you wanted... because, even though it doesn't seem like it, God can see the big picture.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Snap, crackle, pop!

The kids, Adam and I spent the Fourth at my parents' house, attending my sister's baby shower, smell the new baby, playing with the nephews and stuffing ourselves with ribs. I held the new baby, read tons of books to two year old Moose, entertained him with crazy cats videos (look for the Pallas cat video- hours of entertainment in a 47 second clip!), smelled the baby, hung out with Zee, smelled the baby and did I mention there was a baby to smell?

My newest nephew loves me. He proved this when he pooped all over me. When I changed him and borrowed a shirt from my mom, he promptly puked on it. Thanks, Rainbow.

The baby shower went great. We held it at a frozen yogurt shop and the owners were super nice. They only charged us for the yogurt and not the room. It was quiet and we got to chat as much as we wanted. And smell the baby, of course!

Because we are proud Americans, we blew stuff up! My brother in law set of sparklers and stuff in the driveway, including chicken who, according to Joe, pooped atomic eggs.

Joe went with friends to their land to set off rockets and hike. He was gone all afternoon and got home at ten at night. We shoved him in the shower before feeding him a huge bowl of pasta with Nono's meat sauce. He was exhausted and happy!

Now we are home and everyone is tired, crabby, full of sugar and exhausted. I'm planning on laying low this week before all sorts of fun begins in WI!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Reading List

(This post contains affliate links via Amazon. I get a small kick back if you purchase items via these links.)

Joseph, Camille and I have committed to read 10 books each this summer. I don't know about those little turkeys but I am working my way through several. (We have a bet going about who is going to read the most. So far, I am winning! HA!) Some of my top favorites have been:

The Fault in Our Stars:  I was ambivalent about reading this book but I ended up loving it. As I said on a friend's Facebook wall, "Anyway, I was also impressed with the length of the book. It could have easily been much longer but it was short. It has enough of what we need to know and no more but the characters are incredibly complex. Even their parents, who are minor characters, are pretty well rounded. I have (thank you, God, no hints!) ZERO experience with childhood cancer (and would like to keep it that way, thankyouverymuch) but it seems like it is a fairly realistic portrayal. 
Someone commented (on Amazon, so not the be all and end all of reviews) that they felt the dialogue was "fake" and not realistic of teenagers. I felt the dialogue fit the characters perfectly. It's in line with their personalities and life experiences. Plus, I have read so many stories with very bad, horrible, no good, terrible dialogue that it was AWESOME to read something that is INTELLIGENT."

Rhett Butler's People- The only official sequel to Gone With the Wind, as approved by Margaret Mitchell's estate. (I'm looking at you, Scarlett.) The novel tells the story of GWTW from Rhett's (third-person) point of view. His background, and his relationship with Belle Watling, is explained. Not only do you learn more about Rhett but the author delves into the mind of Melanie Wilkes too. Scarlett fans, be warned- she's not really in the book much! Much like Rhett pops in and out of GWTW, she pops in and out of this book. Events that are fairly major in the original novel, such as the death of Bonnie, are glossed over in this book. That's not to say they aren't there- they are- but since the readers know what happened, it's just mentioned in passing. It doesn't distract from the novel but rather gives space over to events the reader might have wondered about.

A novel about Mammy is rumored to come out this fall and I am looking forward to it!

The Kane Chronicles- Joseph received The Red Pyramid for his birthday and when he finished it, I stole it. To be honest, I like the Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus books better but that's not stopping us from devouring the story of Carter and Sadie Kane. Side note: Joseph and I want a hellhound and now a cat named either Bast or Muffin. I wouldn't be opposed to an albino crocodile either. 

Something Other Than God- The conversion story of atheist turned Catholic Jennifer F of Conversion Diary fame. The majority of the book focuses on her study of Catholicism and how her very scientific and logical mind came to accept and believe in God. It's not a heavy or deep in that it won't take a theology degree to understand anything. She explain why she/we believe what she do and how she came to God.Ir's not preachy at all and  I think people of all faiths would enjoy her journey of discovery.

The Selection- The back of the book puts it perfectly, "It's the Hunger Games meets the Bachelor with the bloodshed" (on both parts). Both The Selection and The Elite are light reads but they do suck you in! I want credit for having read the first two and NOT running out the next day to grab The One. Is it as good as The Hunger Games? Uh, no. But for a dystopian fairy tale it's pretty awesome.

What's up next? I have The Book Thief on my nightstand. I was saving it for our trip this summer but, you know, it called to me. I'm definatly buying The One. After that, I'm not sure! Any suggestions? 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Support group for people who know me

I "ran into" a former professor on Facebook. He and his wife taught young adult literature classes to future educators and I took several classes from them. I loved the classes and got along well with the professors, so I sent them a friend request. This means I am now Facebook friends with several of my former English/literature teachers.

I feel like I should introduce them so they can form a support group. Heh. I was a smarmy, smart aleck. Heck, I am STILL a snarky person but at least I've learned to keep my mouth shut. Mostly.