Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. . .

I was going to start a post about the things I'm thankful for - it's been my habit for many years now to spend my journal entry on Turkey Day listing off everything for which I have serious gratitude until my pen or my stamina runs dry.

But today, there is so much, I can't even begin to put it down. Today I am grateful that my heart is full - to bursting - with the amazing gifts in my life, from the children who snuggled with me this morning (for the 30 seconds I could get them to sit still) to the stranger who took the time to say "Hello" to me. From my internet community to family to church home, there are so many of you who bring so much to my life. Thank you for that.

And thank God for pie. Happy Thanksgiving Day to you all - love, hugs, and pie to everyone who brings small and large miracles into my life.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My son made the sermon!

Growing up, Erika, Kirsti, and I would groan weekly when Sunday morning rolled around and we just knew that some personal story was going to make it into the weekend's sermon. We loved it when David would talk of a movie review or something equally mundane - and leave us girls out of it. Yet I have to say, the sermons I remember the most - the ones etched into my mind - these are the ones that we girls were in.

The last sermon I watched David preach that was about us girls wasn't about us at all - it was about our boys. My stepdad preached it on July 2nd, 2006 - the day of Carter's baptism. The general tenor and theme was tough - he'd just been diagnosed with a more rare, more aggressive form of liver cancer. We faced a difficult journey - and yet the diagnosis confirmation came between the baptisms of two of his grandchildren within a week of each other and his sermon, while tough and realistic, was imbued with a faith and hope that we all needed to hear.

And now Carter's found himself woven into another, happier sermon. This time, upon describing the faith of the preschool kids at Holy Trinity, pastor Dave had to share Carter's "Why do you people keep telling me this!" answer to "Do you know God loves you very much?". The snickers through the congregation tell me that this story might possibly be fairly well-known already.

That kid.

You should know, though, he got Pastor D back during the children's message when he asked Pastor "Why are you such a silly man?"

Oy. Seriously, every time that boy opens his mouth in church, I'm left with the competing feelings of awe - at the depths of his innocent and abiding faith - and great, great fear for what might come out of that little mouth of his!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Well. . . one week from now. . .

I'll be checking in for an induction, unless Baby Elsa decides to come before then. I seriously doubt it.

However, she's out of room. She's currently squished up tight in my belly wondering why it's so dark, why she's upside down, and why she consistently hears strangers saying "WOW! I mean, just WOW!"

I'm sporting the kind of torpedo belly that makes strangers think "Oh, you poor thing."

But it's OK. Nobody need pity me. I love this belly - its hugeness, its gravity-defying torpedo nature, and its symbolic state as the end result of two years of long, dark roads. I am so very blessed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The nasty, nasty truth:

Carter (poking at his pumpkin pancakes): Mom. MOM! MOM!! This looks like squash a little.

Moi: Oh. Well, here's a newsflash: Pumpkin is squash.
Carter (pushing plate away): I'm done. I don't want any more of this. I don't like squash.

Moi: I'll remember that when you want some pumpkin pie. I'll call it squash pie from now on.

Carter: Mom ruined pumpkin pie.

And now, the lovely, lovely truth: 11 days to Pumpkin pie day!! Bring on Thanksgiving, the family has something truly awesome to celebrate this year.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

HONK HONK: An open letter to the neighbors

No, not you, neighbor. I'm not talking about you, across the street, with a 3-year-old and a minivan he likes to break into. It's not your car horn that bothers me, because it's both rare and understandable. To a 3-year-old-boy, the front seat is akin to nirvana and the car horn is a rare and unusual beast that beckons everybody. What astounding power! That, I get.

And I'll be honest. When it happens, I grin a little and say "Oh, AJ" and move on.

So please don't think that this letter is for you.

Nor is this for our neighbors to the north who busily and sometimes not-so-quietly leave the house in early morning. Your noise is both purposeful and incidental. And rarely involves a car horn.

No, friends. I suspect you share my cantankerous attitude for the neighbors to whom this letter is aimed.

Now. You. The people who need to read this letter. I want to tell you that I've tried for months now to understand your peculiar habit. I've discussed it at length with friends. I've tried to explain to myself and others why every day, every time, upon entering your driveway, you honk - twice. HONK HONK. Some friends offered up the idea that perhaps the driver lacks keys to the home. I told myself that after an unfortunate incident walking in on an embarrassed teenage son's onanism, you opted to announce your arrival or that, perhaps, your 1980s Honda had some short in it that made the car honk twice every time it was placed into "Park." HONK. HONK.

I do not think this is the case. I have a deep suspicion that this is simply your way of saying "Honey, I'm home!" and that you have little clear understanding of the idea that your neighbors - ALL OF US - can hear your honking as well. HONK. HONK.

Let me tell you something, sweethearts: We can. We hear your double honk at 3 p.m., 10 a.m., and it rings particularly well throughout the neighborhood when you pull up at 11:30 p.m.. HONK. HONK.

We live near a lake that is inhabited practically year-round by geese. Trust me when I say this: their honking is enough. Yours is over the top and I've grown weary of it. HONK. HONK.

I've tried to imagine practically any scenario that would allow me, as a good citizen of a neighborhood, to make a nightly noise after 9 p.m. that rivals your double - or sometimes triple honk. Each time, the explanation includes serious illness, emergency, or perhaps fire. Rarely, in my mind, is it a nightly habit practiced after your average neighborhood citizen has gone to bed. HONK. HONK. HONK.

Every day. Every night. HONK. HONK.

I've thought of thousands of ways to respond. Few of them include civil conversation, partially because I'm in my 67th week of pregnancy over the course of the last 104 weeks, but also because I cannot imagine a scenario wherein honking one's horn in one's own driveway several times a day for no discernible reason is civil or worthy of civil response.

My only thought now is to grab the car alarm Emergency button and try to beat you to the punch. Or announce my leaving on mornings when I teach, with my own HONK HONK at 6 a.m.. Or perhaps waddle over some night with a dozen eggs and give them a toss at the offending vehicle. Or waddle over and ask "What kind of short does your electrical system have that the car HONKS every time you put it in park?"

Unfortunately for me, I'm a bit too civil. This is my only weapon. HONK. HONK.

And I haven't even BEGUN to discuss your epic battle on the front lawn of last Friday. That was both civil AND classy. Thanks for delivering to us a sweet soap opera. HONK. HONK.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Okay, okay, okay, it's probably time for another post

but let me be clear: I don't have anything to say.

Or, rather, I probably don't have anything to say that you want to read.

This is the end, folks - the last 19 or so days of pregnancy and most likely my *last* pregnancy. Since this pregnancy is coming on the tail-end of the great Crapdom of 2009, I'm going to say this about these last 19 or so days of pregnancy: I'm plagued with the routine ills of third trimester and I'm extra bitchy about it, but I realize what a blessing it is. I really do.

I realize it so much that I'm not going to talk to you about the "routine ills of third trimester."

I am, however, going to tell you that this kid is about to burst out of my belly Alien-style so she needs to consider maybe possibly listening to gravity and just doing it the easy way.

But back to why I haven't been posting. I'm going to let you in on a little secret here. Or maybe it's a big secret. Or maybe, if you're someone who's been around someone who's pregnant, it's really no secret at all.

I promised not to talk about the routine ills of 3rd tri, but I will mention this one: often the woman engaged in the routine ills of third trimester can occasionally become a raging, hormonal, evil, terrible, horrible bitch.

There, I said it. Pregnant friends, I'm sorry. Maybe you're better people than me. But I'm not better than me, I just am me. . . and me is a horrible person right now who thinks terrible things, says terrible things, and considers throwing erasers at students or walking outside screaming "IF YOU HONK YOUR HORN AGAIN AT 11PM STUPID NEIGHBORS I WILL COME BARF ON YOUR FRIGGIN' DOORSTEP". Look, it can't be helped and I guess knowing is half the battle, maybe?

So for those of you I love - and for those of you who read this blog - please understand, my silence isn't personal. I'm not avoiding the phone or Facebook or Blogger because I've forgotten you or no longer care. On the contrary, it's because I *do* love you. I love you way too much to subject you to. . .


And since hormones are such awesome fluctuating things, I'm sure I'll be sunshine and puppies in a few days and I'll come back for a longer, sweeter post.
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