Monday, February 23, 2009

Wisdom of the Ages.

Birthdays and anniversaries of important days always make me reflect on where I am and what I am doing with my life. Since most of my reflection takes place amidst piles of laundry and conversations with my boys (which somehow always include either the theme Pokemon or questions about male anatomy that I don't have the answers to - an entire post in and off itself...), I hope no one is expecting anything terribly profound. I did want to write this down, though, so when I have it all together someday I can look back and smile patronizingly at my younger self...Or something.

When I was a kid, I used to think people in their 20s were so incredibly grown up. They seemed like they knew what they wanted and where they were going. People in their 30s and 40s were practically sages with all the right answers to life's difficult questions.

I hit my 20s and couldn't quite find that kind of wisdom or any kind, really. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who I was, what I wanted and what all the answers were. Now that I have moved through the 20s and am a few steps into the 30s, I'm beginning to wonder whether I am just a bit on the slow side or whether it all was an elaborate scheme to prevent my generation from going completely Peter Pan. (An option that seems more and more attractive as the world gets more and more insane.) I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I don't know how to deal with the fact that the world seems to be spiraling out of control. Most nights, I don't even know what to make for dinner. Who is that kind of confused at the age of 32?!

There are a few things I know for sure. I know that God lives and knows me. I know He loves me. I know that Jesus Christ's Atonement makes my life worthwhile and (when I rely on Him) makes me happier. It gives me the only peace there is to find in a world run amok. I know I love my children, my husband and my family. Both the one I grew up with and the new one I've found here. I know there is a secret society of house elves that bring all the laundry I've just done back into the dirty laundry basket. I know I love reading, and traveling, and pretty things. I know a few more things, but beyond that, I don't know.

My goal this upcoming year is to do something a little more lasting with my time than laundry and lunch boxes. I don't think it will provide all the answers, but I need to do something that isn't undone 30 minutes later to maintain a passable level of sanity. I'll let you know how it goes.

If you don't hear from me, check the island found by flying second to the right, and straight on till morning.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tomorrow Is A New Day With No Mistakes In It.

Yesterday was a bad day. The kids yelled at each other. I yelled at the kids. The boys pushed each other at the top of the stairs, they didn't listen to a thing I said, they were tired and whiny. There was crying and a general gnashing of teeth. (Theirs and mine.) Oh, and we all lost our tempers somewhere we couldn't seem to get them back from. They walked out holding hands with my sense of humor. And possibly my sanity.

I am still not entirely sure what caused all this. I have a few suspects...First off, I had work this week and neither the kids nor I are used to working around that as I don't work very often. Second, we have been ridiculously stressed with the house situation. And finally, my oldest decided it would be a great idea to wake up at two a.m. and read for a few hours - thus rendering himself completely exhausted the next day. (I know a few people who are laughing their heads off at the karma in that - my dad used to come in and tell me to turn off my lights. And then come back to find me reading by the light from the hallway...)
In any case, yesterday was miserable and I was determined to make today better - which I did by completely selling out: After picking up the boys after work, we got pizza for them and sushi for me. We sampled ice cream at the store (before dinner) and read a story after bedtime. And we were all much, much happier. (Is this considering cheating if I want them to vote for me as mother of the year?)
I realize, this won't work long term and I'll have to feed the kids veggies again soon, but for now peace has been restored and our reservoirs filled a bit. we'll try again tomorrow. Which is a new day with no mistakes in it. Yet.

(Bonus points if you can name the book the famous quote in this post is from.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What A Man, What A Man, What A Man, What A Mighty Good Man. Or: Ode to my Husband

First off, apologies for putting that song in your head for the rest of the day. And now, down to business.

I have the world's best husband. I know, I know. Some of you think you have the world's best, but nope, sorry, too bad. He's mine. And since I don't believe I tell him often enough, let me publicly declare --

Honey, I love you. And I appreciate you. And all you do; for me, for the kids, for others...I appreciate how hard you work to make ends meet. I appreciate how you take the garbage out before garbage day. I love how you play with the boys, toss them around, tell them stories, take them places, change their diapers, teach them stuff....etc, etc, etc.
I like how you bribe me into hours of sports TV by massaging my neck. I love how you read books I like, just because I like them. Even "Twilight." (And sometimes you like them too. Not "Twilight.") I appreciate how you've taught me all I know about baseball, so I now know more than I ever wanted to. I love how you don't always agree with me. And I love how you do, when I'm right. (So, often, right?! :)
I love that you never "babysit" your own kids - you just spend time. And how you understand that I need time away sometimes. I love how you had to do just one more push-up. (Even though you totally cheated!!!)
I love how you go to church and how you teach there. I love it when you share your testimony.
I appreciate how you (try to) mediate when people argue. I love how smart you are. (Even if you didn't do any work for Hebrew class and still got the same grade as I.) I love how you still aren't full of yourself in spite of the fact that you may very well be the smartest person I know.
I appreciate that you have passions and opinions. I never liked vanilla, you know. I love how you try to make me happy. And very often succeed. And how you don't buy me tennis bracelets. (Although I will blame you if the kids do...)
I love how you watch me have my melt-downs and then quietly try to make things better. And how you came home when I needed you so much today. Thanks for helping me face the dragon and looking for a way to slay it. (Can we please do that soon?!?) I don't think you'll ever get how much that meant to me. Thank you.
I love it that you make me laugh, even in the face of the aforementioned dragons(s).

And so so much more.

I declare - I love you.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

There's a saying in Danish that translated would go something like "nothing is so bad that it's not good for something." So while I feel crummy and either have the stomach flue or food poisoning, at least I have time to update my blog a bit. And I feel too sick to clean or do laundry. Hah! Now, where to start...We've had a wedding, a wonderful family visit, a 30th birthday and I have more pictures from the holidays. (You have been forewarned!)

Let's begin with the wedding. My husband's younger sister got married January 12th. It was a wonderful day - I loved seeing the way the groom looked at his bride. So tender. And I highly enjoyed how much fun the event was. It wasn't overly serious or minutely planned out; it was a beautiful, simple ceremony and a fun party with family. Great, great day!
I got to tag along with the groom's aunts who were shooting the photos before the wedding. A few of my favorite shots:

And finally this one: (Pretty sure both the aunts and the couple thought I was crazy when I asked them to sit like this, but I like how the shot turned out.)

My family came to visit for two weeks and although almost everyone managed to get sick while they were here and temperatures dropped below 0 (Fahrenheit) a few times, we still had so much fun just hanging out and enjoying our (rare) time together.

The boys got to build Lego creations with their morfar - who surprised even me with his Lego-talents. I guess that never came out when he raised two daughters who liked Barbies.

L and S totally wrapped my mom around their little fingers and I'm not sure whether there is anything they couldn't get away with.

We shoveled snow - well, some of did more snow ball fighting than shoveling:

We played wii and lots of other games as well: (I am happy to say that this time I actually managed to hold my own in Settlers of Cataan. I usually lose spectacularly.)

We also did the Wii Fit that I got for Christmas from my darling husband. But there are no (and will be no) pictures of that. Snarky little machine.

It was so wonderful to have my family here and see them enjoy the kids and vice versa. Is it really not time to move the continents closer yet?!

Finally a few photos from the holidays that I haven't posted before (because I was lame and forgot my camera time after time...) - all courtesy of my sister-in-law Meghan. (Thanks lady!! :)

Hanukkah was so much fun. We had a huge (and delicious) meal- as always. The kids got to play dreidel and they lit the candles with grandpa. We realized once more that no one ever remembers the prayer, but it was still a special experience and so touching to see the kids' eyes light up with delight. I may now burst out with a rendition of "Tradition". Pardon my Fiddler-moment.