I wrote the following on November 1st, but could never finish it or get it quite right, so I never published it.

. . .

Today I was sweeping and washing and taking off Alice's shoes and folding and putting away and sweeping and washing and putting Alice's shoes back on, all day, without even stopping to sit down for a moment, for ten hours.  Ten hours.  I washed off the chalkboard in the kitchen, the calendarish one where we always write out the month and the things that will be happening.  October is gone.  I wrote NOVEMBER in capital letters but the word looked and felt all wrong, so I erased it again. 

November means our house will get warmer and warmer as the outside gets colder and colder.  Thanksgiving happens.  When I was a little girl I kinda disliked the Thanksgiving activities at my grade school, mostly because they always made us go around in a circle and say the things we were thankful for, one at a time, and it filled me with anxiety.  I hate going around in a circle and saying things one at a time, even now.  I panic and say dumb awkward statements too quiet or too fast or both and bite the inside of my cheek while I wait for my turn, eyes frozen wide.  Even though I always knew that it would be an okay free-pass answer to say that I was thankful for my family and held onto it as a backup plan, it seemed generic and dumb to me, so I would instead think really really hard trying to come up with something interesting and unexpected but still true.
(You could probably psycho analyze me and my personality based on that last part, but anyway.)

As I was doing all of the washing and shoe-tying and chalkboard-writing this afternoon, I thought long and hard about many subjects.  Out of nowhere I was nearly knocked over thinking about Thanksgiving -- all the Thanksgivings I have had and all the ones I will have.  How thankful I am for my family.  Oh, wow.  I am.  I am thankful I am thankful I am thankful. For the family and cozy house of my childhood.  For the family of tiny kids I have today. For the house full bigger kids and adults in my future and Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving.  I can't wait to have them all.  This is my life, these are my years.  No one gets many.  I can't wait for my house to get even louder and for my kids to have conversations with each other and with me and for us to all love each other and eat a bunch of salty sweet food and maybe fight but that's okay, because you know, it's family.



I cannot believe I wrote that this month.  I cannot believe my Grandma is gone.  I cannot believe that we spent Thanksgiving in mourning. The family of my childhood will never be the same.  The house of my childhood is empty.  November, you kicked my ass.




My beautiful wonderful Grandma Sue unexpectedly passed away yesterday.

Last night when I was falling asleep I thought maybe I could turn it into a dream, and then I dreamt that I rode a bicycle as fast as I could to her house and ran inside and saw her and she was gone. I woke up confused about reality, feeling sick and shaky as I recalled the phone call from my mom the night before.  She is really gone.  I just dreamed the bicycle part.

She was healthy and fine and this came out of nowhere.




My heart is sick.  Please pray for my family, especially my Uncles and Mom who have lost both of their parents in a little more than a year.  She was our family cornerstone. I cannot believe this.


the real deal

When I was younger and people asked me what I wanted to do, someday, when I grew up, I got into the habit of saying, "I dunno, I just want to do things and make things."

Do things.  And make things.  Okay.

I knew exactly what I meant but never knew if other people did.  I was too scared to get more specific than that because if I did? Someone might point at me and ask me to perform. And then I would have a panic attack.

I am a coward. I take creative things stupid-dumb seriously.  I have high expectations for myself.  I don't put my name on something unless I think it is truly me: my brain, my vision, my good and my bad. This is silly for lots of reasons, but nevermind any of them because it is how I am and how I've always been and I don't think I can be talked out of it.

(But it is ruining things for me.)

I dabble all over place, but what is my thing?  Do I have a thing?  Do I have lots of things?  I am half-assing all of them.  Dabble dabble dabble.  I want to get better at everything but I don't even know where to start and in the real world I'm too shy to own up to any of it.  I don't put myself in any position that I can't explain away as, oh that, that's nothing, that's just a dumb thing I do sometimes. Seriously, ask me about my blog in person and I will stammer all over the place. Compliment me on anything I've ever done and I will shake my head no as fast as I can and explain how bad I truly am at most things, how much I have to learn, how it's all just for fun and to pass the time.  How I'm not, you know, the real deal.

I think that despite my fears, it actually doesn't work like that.  The Real Deal thing, I mean.  I think, maybe, that if it is authentic and true and shows the world how the inside of your brain feels?  Then it is the real deal.  No matter the skill level involved.  No matter what other people think.  No matter what it looks like or seems like.  No matter if someone out there rolls their eyes at it.  (And they will.  People love to roll their eyes.) No one is born knowing how to read or write or use Photoshop, but we are all born with a unique perspective.  And that is the fascinating part. So let's exercise our God given desire to put things out there and forget the naysayers and forget the blushing and just do things and make things already.

So, you there, what is your thing?  Where is your creative energy?  What do you create in your mind but never spit out?  Do you dream in movies, like I do?  I want to hear about it.   I want to see it.  Let's tell each other and the world.  If you have ideas, they are valid, no matter no matter.  You are the real deal.


because i love him

My husband is turning 30 on Tuesday.  I can't really believe this.  I have known him since he was 15.  Half of his life.

spring 2001, i think we were making gang signs? my hair is totally insane. and i am pale.  like a vampire.
summer 2005 - i think we were making homemade pretzels? my hair is much better here.  we were skinny and tan and childless.

photo by kai
november 2009 -  the photo was taken by my 10 year old (9 at the time) brother kai at a colts game. our two kids were with grandma.

 july 2010 - i am 8 months pregnant with our third kid.  holy wow.  we have many children.

We are eating here tomorrow night.

And I bought him this.  Oh yes I did. He says he always wanted it when he was a kid, and never got and of course thought it was the coolest thing in the world.  Nothing says Happy 30th Birthday like a trip to Toys R Us.  (I didn't mean to tell the cashier who I was buying it for but it may have slipped out.)

And we are having these at some point:


Are you reading that package?  Those are not any ordinary Reese's cups, they are TWO HALF POUND CUPS.  A half a pound a piece.  Two in a package. 

I fear this will not be the week that I finally lose some baby weight.
Maybe next week I'll do better!  You know, except for Thanksgiving.

Nine months up, nine months down, right?

Happy birthday Luke.

I would rather buy toys and make pretzels and throw up gang signs with you than any other person in the world.


oh we'll have a lot of fun

There are a million reasons you could judge me as a mom while watching the following video clip.  Okay, I'll go ahead and do it for you.

Number one?  I am video recording while driving.  I know.  I KNOW.  But in my defense I was on a super quiet street and very slowly pulling up to a stoplight and I didn't have my eyes on the camera, I had them on the road.  I was just holding my phone up in the air and occasionally glancing in my rearview mirror to see what was being recorded.  Promise.

Number two?  The seatbelts are all over the place and their chest clips are not at the proper armpit level and tightened and whatnot and for that I blame the unseasonably warm weather today and the fact that I had adjusted them yesterday for Winter coats and today they wore no coats at all because it was like 73 degrees.  This is Indiana's fault.  And a little bit God's. (I kid!)

Number three would be that we are listening to crappy Top 40 music, but hey.  Our car has 170,000 miles on it and the check engine light has been on for six months and the CD player has been broken for about two years.  In a couple weeks I will bust out my Bing Crosby Christmas cassette tape and we will listen to nothing else until December 26th.  (You know you are jealous of this part. You know you want to be an Andrews sister. Jingle bells, Ja-Jingle bells, Jingle all the wa-ay. Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh, buhduhrudarup burup! Jingle bells, ja-ja-ja jingle bells! Or is that just me? Ahem. Don't make me sing.)  Also, I am kind of okay with crappy Top 40 music. So what.

ALL OF THAT TO SAY?  Check out Alice's sweet dance moves.  My favorite are the ones at 29 seconds in.  She cracks.  me.  up.

Also?  Notice how she is singing along at the end.  "I love you."

Also? Notice how entirely bored out of his mind Clark looks?

Just wait 'til I pull out my trusty Bing Crosby tape.  That ought to liven him up.


eviction notice

I started writing a post a few days ago but it didn't feel quite right so I stared at it for awhile and blinked and changed the way I worded things and then hit "save as draft" instead of "publish".  It is a fine post, nice even, but it was all too sweet-sweet for the way I feel right now.

I haven't had a productive, stirring thought in days or maybe even weeks.  Instead I have festered; distressed by the ever exploding house, the Winter Laundry (three times larger volume than the Summer Laundry!), the cold weather, the sick kids, the Daylight Savings change, all of it.

I've felt annoyed and negative about absolutely everything.  People, stuff, myself.  I've been holed up in my cave, pointing my finger, rolling my eyes, wanting new things (new curtains, a new rug, new dishes, new pots and pans, a new camera, new shoes and dresses and tights and a haircut and all expensive and fancy and ridiculous and the list GOES ON) and ranting to Luke about topics I'm not even sure I actually care about.


Where did it come from?
When did it move in?
I think I invited it and even enjoyed having it around, at first.
It gave me energy for awhile but has left me feeling kinda weary.
How do I kick it out?

Tomorrow I am going to move the furniture around and take the kids outside and tell myself over and over that it's okay to be positive and sweet-sweet and content.  Maybe I will create something or cook some good food or draw a picture or sing loud loud loud for the first time in months.  This is how I kick it out.

(I am so ready.)

(Also it is 1am which used to be 2am which is late and insane and I need to go to sleep because Alice will wakeup at 5am which used to be 6am which is early AND INSANE.)


treats and tricks


Halloween and October are history but we watched the Charlie Brown movie again today, anyway, and both kids announced that they want to be Charlie Brown next year.  Both of them.  I said okay.