Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mirabile dictu

(~Wonderful to relate)
My very first blogging award! Thank you to my very dear, deeply inspiring, and most prolific blogging friend, Luisa Perkins, over at Novembrance for the nomination. I will do my best to live up to this honor.

I'd like to thank Luisa for encouraging me to venture into blog-land. Her advice is usually right on the money. I'd like to thank my husband who read my first entry or two and thought I should keep going. I must give credit to my parents, who have always cheered on any and every writing project I've ever endeavored, and to whom I owe any genetically-based talent, as they are both excellent writers. I'd like to thank my children who listen without complaint to my tales of the blogosphere, and most of all, I need to thank God, who orchestrates my life so that I have something to write about. I always give all glory to Him.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Solvitur ambulando

(~The problem is solved by walking)

I did it. I put on my walking shoes and got my derriere out the door. This was an essential move for my happiness today.

For one thing, every single ding-dong day I tell myself I'm going to start walking again, and every day that I do not chips away at my personal integrity a bit. It does not, however, chip away at said derriere. I feel so much better when I honor the commitments I make to myself.

Conor gets bored in the house all day. I shake it up by moving from room to room trying to accomplish various tasks, but he's on to me, and he likes to go outside. So, into the stroller he went. He didn't even mind that I first hosed off the stroller with him in it. Kept him cool for the ride.

I do some of my best thinking while walking. And I have a lot of thinking to do. Yesterday I inadvertently hurt the feelings of someone I love by some things that I said. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon for me, and I'm working on it. Feelings are so delicate. I have always tried to be slow to offense and quick to forgive, and to cut people slack, and I can only hope that this may be returned in some favorable karma.

Also, my second wedding anniversary is coming up on Monday, and the issues of my first failed marriage, my second in-progress marriage, and our blend-ing (can't really say blend-ed because it's not in the past tense yet) family are abundantly on my mind. There's nothing like marriage to really show you how much work you still have to do in life before you can die. I am bossy, structured, and I know pretty much everything, so apparently this makes me a somewhat difficult partner. I'm not sure of completely why, since my way is usually the right way, but I'm trying to adjust and make allowances. I say all of this tongue-in-cheek, of course. God bless the men that have taken a chance on me! At least I'm a good cook.

During our walk, we stopped to look at all the dogs. Conor loves dogs. This was put to the test when on one jacaranda-lined street, I saw out of the corner of my eye an enormous Saint Bernard barreling across the street toward us. I quickly assessed the situation: Either he is very friendly, or a mom and a baby in a stroller look like appetizers. Fortunately, it was the former. Though he dwarfed the stroller, he was oh, so friendly, and Conor was charmed. After about three minutes, his embarrassed owner came out and apologized and called him back home: "Beast! Get on over here!" Hmmm...aptly named.

We walked through sprinklers, tried to guess what everyone was grilling for dinner, touched flowers, and waved at kitties. After about an hour, we headed back. Walking does a body and a mind good.

Adam isn't home. He started a new moonlighting job valet parking, and will be home late. Conor and I watered the grass, admired the growing sunflowers, and picked a few tomatoes. Now we'll whip up some dinner, put the boy to bed, and get some reading done. Walking saved the day.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Eheu! Fugaces labuntur anni.

(~Alas! The fleeting years slip by)

Today marks a milestone for me....I am officially the mother of a teenager! Today is Lyndsay's 13th birthday.

Lyns is in Arizona with her dad, as she always is on her birthday. We celebrate a month early, but when the big day comes, she is, of course, on my mind.

I was due with her on July 6, 1994. We were so excited to be parents and we tried everything to get Lyndsay to want to come out as the big day approached. I went for long walks in the mall, sat in a squatting position throughout the day, even painted the trim on our house, but because a week had gone by (and I was an inexperienced and more timid first-time mom), my doctor decided to induce. I remember very clearly waking up that morning to call the hospital and register. We hung up the phone and went back to sleep, thinking it would be hours before they called us with availability. Not so! Thirty minutes later, I was in the shower and shaving so we could hop in the truck and head over to the hospital. (First time moms feel the need to shave before giving birth.) I distinctly remember the combination of emotions that flooded through me as I walked down the corridor of Labor and Delivery. I actually had to do this and I couldn't go home till I did. Yikes.
As far as actual births go, it wasn't the best. There was an epidural that went awry, an episiotomy that later became infected, and a vacuum delivery. But I was so thrilled with the end result, and had nothing to compare it to, so I was ecstatic. At 9:14pm on July 13, 1994, I became a mother, though I look back at pictures and think I look like such a baby myself! I remember in the stillness of the night she was brought to me to nurse and as she and I gazed into each other's eyes, I couldn't believe my good fortune, and the love that swelled within me. I had this perfect, beautiful little girl. Beautiful from second one. Seriously. And she changed my life. She still does.
Happy Birthday, Sweet Lyns. You make a mother grateful.

Sororum societas

You may remember that I took a trip to Fort Knox, Kentucky a few months ago to visit my youngest sister, whose husband is deployed in Afghanistan. Last week I had the brief pleasure of catching up with my other two sisters who live in the Phoenix valley. I was on my way from Los Angeles to northeastern AZ, and I stopped in for an overnight stay with my darling sister, Hannah. I simply adore Hannah.

Hannah's home is filled with Christian rock and warm vibes. Her 6 year old, precocious and sober little boy, Ash, was welcoming to me and baby Conor. He immediately accepted me as family, and then after showing me the ropes around the house, asked if I wanted to "work with him" in his room. "What will we do?" I asked. "Set up lasers," he replied. We took all the toys that light up, and strategically arranged them for premium booby-trap effectiveness. And then we contorted our way out of there through the imaginary lasers Catherine Zeta-Jones style.

Bella, at 2 1/2 is just like her mama, with brown hair and eyes. What a sweetheart! She doted on Conor and shared her Care Bears with him. She had about a million excuses to keep getting out of bed after being tucked in. It may have been because she's 2 1/2, but I like to think that she just wanted another peek at her swell Aunt Jenna.

Hannah has started a respectable cake decorating business and has built it up quite nicely over the last few years. The girl is unbelievably talented, and though I already knew that, I was still bowled over by her cake portfolio. If anyone needs any kind of cake for anything, and you live in the Phoenix vicinity, call Hannah. You won't be disappointed.

The next morning, before I had to head up north, Amanda and her family came over for a brief visit. I hardly ever get to see this sister, my closest sister in age, as we always seem to miss each other when I'm in town. She's gorgeous and animated, and skinnier than me. She would do anything for anyone, if possible. When Hannah admired the Cinderella charm bracelet she was wearing, Amanda immediately took it off and insisted that it be given to Bella, who loves princesses. I'd bet a million dollars that Bella is still wearing it. Amanda hasn't always had it easy in life, especially since my parents divorced when she was a teenager, but I see her trying hard over in her corner, and she actually inspires me to be more honest with my own life. She had the courage to put herself through school to become a massage therapist recently, and I am so proud of her for that accomplishment.

I was there with her in the hospital when her daughter Mikayla was born. Now that little girl is a big-eyed beauty of eight, and bears striking resemblance to her mother. I wish we all lived in closer proximity to each other so our kids could really know each other. Here we grew up in this huge family, and we each seem to head for the hills as we come of age, hardly looking back. The cousins played together, and we ate pizza.
I feel lucky to have three sisters. I have varying degrees of compatibility with each of them, but when it comes down to it, I'd walk through fire for any of them. We came from the same two people, we lived the same crazy life, and the blood that runs through our veins has been thick enough to withstand many a storm. Women are complicated creatures, and sometimes it takes a bond like sisterhood to keep us on the same team. I pity the sisterless woman.