Sit still, look pretty

Every time this song comes on the radio I feel empowered.  I am not the type of person to sit around and do nothing.  Yes, I can spend a Sunday doing nothing except for odd tasks and playing video games with my kids, but for the most part I am a busy person.  I was talking with fellow PTA moms and leaders last Friday and I call us yes-ers, the people who say yes to doing anything and everything.  Some things I have said yes to:

negotiating the teacher’s contract, being president of the union, subbing for after school tutoring, opening our small business, being our accountant, being president of my kids’ school PTA, yearbook chair, running regional tournaments for our karate association, keeping attendance records for our regional workouts, board of education strategic plan committee, running for school board (election is April 4th) and other miscellaneous things like field trips, outings, projects, etc.

I think it is hard-wired into my DNA to just say Yes.  When I was growing up we learned to “Just say No to Drugs.”  I think I needed to learn the lesson of “Just say No to extra stuff.”  All the volunteer activities, committees, and extra fun stuff mixed with the required day-to-day events like work and school make me appreciate lazy Sundays more.  Like yesterday.  Nothing planned.  Kids had a sleepover and friends were going home.  All I had to do was laundry and pick up my daughter’s glasses.  So Paul and I decided to install cabinets and shelves in the laundry room.  Why not, when you have nothing to do?  May as well keep busy, and cross one more project off the list.  Since I always seem to say “yes” to things, we fixed the laundry room.  But on a lazy Sunday, we can do this project at our own pace.  We took time to hang out with the kids, grocery shop, and pick up those glasses.  We didn’t start the project until almost 3pm (which for us is VERY late).  There is no need to rush on a lazy Sunday, but also no need to sit still, and look pretty.


How to Torture your Husband

Yesterday we decided to defrost the mini-fridge.  Our mini-fridge is technically my husband’s domain. It holds all the beer for him because I don’t actually like beer.  He subscribes to the theory that “all beer is good, some beer is better.”  In our mini-fridge he has at least 10 different types of beer to choose from on any given night.  But this is a slice for another day.

Yesterday we decided to defrost the mini-fridge. Paul, my husband, decided to put all the beer in shopping bags next to the space for the fridge. Since it was so nice out last night, we moved the fridge to the deck so the ice in the freezer could melt out there, instead of in our house on our hardwood floors.

Today the fridge was ready to come back in.  He wiped it clean and we plugged it in.  He left to go grocery shopping (something I have proven unable to do time and time again) and I stayed behind to prepare for the day.  I took it upon myself to restock the beer fridge. Bottles, cans, soda and beer all found their rightful place back in the fridge.  Only I neglected to turn it on.

This evening Paul went for a beer out of the now defrosted and cleaned mini-fridge.  Only his beer was warm and the fridge was off.  As he put it: I am “sweet and a torturous witch, all at the same time.”  I guess I won’t have to do this job ever again either.  Now if I could just find a way to get out of doing the laundry. 🙂

Peace of toast

My daughter is sick.  Not just sick, but SICK.  She has pneumonia and it makes her miserable, especially as the day goes on.  She wakes up somewhat refreshed, but as the day goes on her fever goes up, she coughs more, and she naps more.

My daughter also got a phone for christmas.  It was a truly coveted item that she had been asking for for quite sometime and it has come in handy during this illness.

“Mom, can you come switch out my movie?” she texts me.

“Mom, may you get me some spirit in an straw cup?” she texts me which I think meant sprite.

“Mom, can you bring me a blanket?” she texts me while laying in my bed surrounded by blankets.

“Mom, can I have a peace of toast?” she texts me. (I really need to work on this kids spelling.)

When I was a kid, I had to yell hoarsely, or ring a bell for my mom to come and do all these things.  She sends me texts.  Modern times call for modern methods.

“Thank you for taking care of me.” She texts me.  Anytime kiddo, anytime.


Have you ever wanted something, and yet the idea of having that something is terrifying?  Today this idea was at the forefront of my thoughts.  I want to be there, yet am terrified of what that means.  I feel ready yet know that no matter how much I prepare I will never be ready.  I am not worthy of the honor yet want someone to say that I am.

As I struggle with my own self-confidence I continually watch Facebook.  Many of my friends are there enjoying themselves, learning, training, being part of the “family.”  I am here living through pics and status updates….waiting….waiting…waiting….

For that day that someone else says I am worthy to attend.

For that letter to arrive in the mail saying I need to be there too.

For that moment when I finally feel that my skills are good enough to join them.

But then the waiting is just part of the journey as well.

Until then I will be here, sharpening my skills, teaching my students, growing my studio, and working on myself both inside and out.  So that when the day comes that I get my invitation to Master’s Camp, I will feel worthy or ready or honored or scared out of my mind or a combination of all of these and much more.

But until then I will be waiting….and learning….and sharpening…..and growing….and waiting…..

Boom!! Crash!!

Greeting a friend at the door.  Welcoming their son for a sleepover.  Boys run off to play.  Adults make idle chit chat.  Everyone know the way of parent drop off.  Today we add something different.

We begin by discussing the new patio.  “Did you put in locking sand yet?”

“Why no.  Because it is raining, it would have not worked properly. Would you like to see the new patio?”

Very mundane conversation.  We walk out of the house discussing village requirements and where we will put the fire pit.  And then…..


We both have the same look.  “What the H3!! was that?”  It came from the garage.  I already knew it would be difficult to figure out what the sound was because our garage is filled with stuff….stuff from the move….stuff from construction….tool stuff….garden stuff… name I probably have it stuff.  I wasn’t sure what stuff had fallen over. Wheelbarrow? 2×4’s? Old windows? Table saw?  What could have possibly have created such a ruckus?

Imagine my surprise when I got in the garage and saw the entire wall of hung cabinets laying on the floor.  They were full of screws and nuts and bolts and nails and small tools and lightbulbs and paint supplies and oil and sealer and Paul only knows what else.  He and I had hung those cabinets making sure to attach them to the studs.  Apparently I need better studs.  I’ll have to ask him to find me some when he gets home.

No Stranger

He is no stranger to hard work.  And because of him, neither am I.  As I sit here and listen to the whirl of the chop saw, I feel just a little guilty.  Guilty that I stayed in bed for a while longer to read.  Guilty that I took the time to sort through the stack of mail at my desk.  Guilty that I stopped to eat breakfast.  But I also helped the last 3 days, moving gravel, setting stone, sweating, and building muscles.  Maybe I have earned an extra hour (or 2).

He is no stranger to hard work.  Because of that our walkway is almost done.  As I sit here typing up this thought, I wonder if I can time it out just right to walk out as the last brick is laid.  And then i remember that we still have all the gravel to move for the patio next.  And then those bricks to lay.  And then the packing sand to push in-between.  And then the pots to plant and place out to make the warm, red brick paver stones feel even more welcoming.

He is no stranger to hard work.  And neither am I.  The whirl of the saw is calling me to go out and help before he feels he has done it all.

After Wednesday

I meant to write….I really did.  I wrote on Wednesday about promises of a new day.  I had such hopes for Thursday.  Something happened to get in the way.  Thursday was a good day.  It lived up to my expectations of what should happen during the day….right up until my youngest got sick.  I meant to write…I really did.  But as I sat down to write about how much better my day had gone, “Mommy” as he ran out of his room.  My youngest was sick and that was more important.

I meant to write….I really did.  I was going to write about our newest project.  I was going to share how you don’t need to go to the gym and lift weights when you are moving millions of wheelbarrows of stone (probably only 100, but I think a million is a good estimate). I was going to write about getting a tan in 40 degree weather because I was hot and sweaty from moving all the stone.  I meant to write….I really did.  But as I sat down to write, my youngest spiked a fever and needed extra cuddles.  And that is more important.

I meant to write…I really did.  I like to write at the end of the day. To recapture a moment, or share my goings on.  But today I can already tell will be busy.  So I mean to write right now.   Today, I will teach 3 karate classes.  Today, I will go to Target and try my hardest not to stay for hours on end. I have a list and I will try to have the fastest shopping trip ever.  Today, all the stone we moved will be painstakingly covered up by brick pavers and then the side entry of our house will be mostly done.  Today, we will color Easter eggs and laugh and giggle and share.  Today, I will make seven layer salad…minus a layer because I don’t like peas.  Today will be a busy day with my family because that is more important.  I meant to write….I really did.  So I wrote before they all awoke, those most important people in my house.

Such Promise

Today held such promise.  Warm this morning.  Meeting with a good friend.  Good breakfast.  Fabulous talk.  Wonderful planning.  Ordering the patio to put in over spring break.  Today held such promise….and then….

Something happened between lunch and 2:30.  The weather turned colder.  The sky grew cloudy.  The kids arrived ready for spring break, even though we still have one more day. Ears were lost. Respectfulness was forgotten.  Everyone was more interested in those around them, instead of worrying about themselves and doing what was necessary.  Patience was hung onto by a thread.  Anger.  Frustration.  Helplessness. Trying for uplifting.  Trying for positivity.  Trying and failing after everyone had left.

Today held such promise.  Tomorrow does too.  Meanwhile, I will eat my dinner and practice being mindful.  Live in the moment and savor my wine and remember that tomorrow holds the promise that today did not live up too.


Yesterday my son turned eight, and yes we did celebrate it.  Earlier he insisted that his birthday would not count due to it falling on a Monday.  He woke up and saw presents and was happy he was having a birthday.  Apparently presents trump Mondays for birthday countage.

He has always been my prankster, my jokester, my old before his time little man.  From the moment he decided to make his entrance into the world, he laughed, made faces, and took it by storm.  He just has a way of saying things that make you laugh, yet he is serious.

Yesterday, taking toys to the car.  “I thought about what you said about taking responsibility.  I’m taking the toys so you don’t forget them.”

Yesterday during karate when asked to do a different form: “I want to practice this one to get down the little details. They are important.” (what 8 year old boy says that!?!)

He wears “tall” socks and they are usually black.

He watches Mythbusters and MacGyver.  He loves to drink “Jack Punch” (hawaiian punch, 7up and sherbert).

He starts his day with “Good Morning Mom,” and ends his day with stories and “don’t let the bed bugs bite.”  He is my talker, my socializer, my friendly little boy.  He mispronounces words like backpack (“backcack”).  Last night he told me “I know it is backpack, I just like how I say it.” I like how you say it too Jack. And when you no longer say it your way, I will mourn the loss of “backcack.”

Yesterday my son turned 8.


We decided as a district to all write about the same word.  I have been reading lots of different viewpoints on the word surprise today.  From pregnancy, to flowers, to parties, all are wonderfully awesome surprises. But…

What do you do when you hate surprises?  Not just deal with them, but go out of your way to avoid them.  That is me.  Most people enjoy unwrapping gifts, tearing into the paper to find out what is below.  Not me.  It fills me with dread.  It could be too many years of my family getting me gifts they thought I would like because they thought I was “really into” NKOTB, or Wizard of Oz, or _____ (insert some other type passing interest or one brief comment about how i enjoyed something).  It could be too many years of having to “fake” how much I love it, and then I get more of the same theme for the next year or 2.  I hate presents.  I go out and buy my own.  I wrap them myself.  I open them with excitement because I finally get to use, or wear, or watch whatever it was that I bought myself.

Most people enjoy surprise parties.  Not me.  Just let me get together with my closest friends without all the hooplah. Let me sit back and enjoy a glass of wine.  When I am the host, or guest of honor, there is too much pressure for me to enjoy the party.  I don’t want that.  I just want to be me.  And if I don’t clean up the mess right away, or talk to that one person at the party because I got to talking to someone else, I don’t want the emotional upheaval such a faux paux may indeed place upon my family.  Just let me hang with some friends and enjoy my life.  It is, after all, my birthday, or my anniversary, or my wedding.

Most people enjoy surprises. Instead, this word fills me with dread.  I want to know my plants are returning.  I look forward to when they bloom and become anxious if they have not.  Anxious that it is still winter, anxious that I may indeed have to replant and I really liked the ones I picked out and now I can’t remember what they were in the first place.  Everything has a place, everything has a job, and if it doesn’t then I have to deal with it and I really don’t have time for that.

Most people enjoy surprises.  This post may make you believe that I am inflexible, or unable to roll with unplanned events.  This is just the opposite.  I teach small children, everyday is full of surprises, and I can adapt to the joys they bring.  But those surprises don’t make me anxious and I don’t have to please anyone when they happen.  I just smile and praise and thank and those fabulous students of mine love it.  I can handle day to day things and put out problems that I am surprised have occurred.  I can jump into a situation that I have no experience with and learn along the way and don’t become anxious because I am in some way removed from things.  It is only when I am in the spotlight, or have to give the “proper” reaction that surprises are the most dreaded moment in my life.