Friday, February 29, 2008

Amassing Riches

Last night I threw one of those parties where the lady comes and sells stuff. This time it was jewelry. I threw the party because otherwise the product was too pricey for me, and I was under the impression that by throwing a party I would automatically get all these discounts.
Automatically is the key the word here.
I did not automatically get the discounts; I had to have a "qualifying party sale"--which I didn't get.
Which would have been no big deal except that I had spent a whole morning looking through the catalogue, marking it with hot pink sticky notes on all the pages that had things I wanted. Also, I did a lot of fore planning: buying creamy fattening appetizers, making chocolate cupcakes with strawberries on top (inspired by Emery), mixing three juices to get a punch with pzazz, scrubbing the toilet, and ironing my table cloth.
So then when I went to bed I read Psalm 39, and somewhere in the middle there it says to me,
"Surely everyman walks about as a phantom;
Surely they make an uproar for nothing;
He amasses riches and does not know who will gather them."
I love amassing riches, especially shiny riches like jewelry. But I went to bed feeling a little bit like a selfish idiot for getting my heart wrapped so tightly around such silly--although beautiful-- little things.
I mean, I would love them, but nobody else would really even notice if I got a new pair of earrings. And would they make me nicer? more compassionate? more concerned about others?
They would make me look at myself in the mirror longer than usual admiring myself.
That being said, I'm still taking the catalogue over to my mom's house to see if she can bring my "qualifying party sale" up to par. Because if she can, I'm gonna get myself some shiny new dangley things!
But if she doesn't want to buy anything, that's OK too, because in the end, they will tarnish and not be so shiny, and eternal life will go on and on.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Artichokes. Mmmm Mmm Good!

I wasn't going to write but it's quiet here so I better do it while I can.
The "interview" went fine, after I overannalyzed and majorly prepared for questions like, "Tell me about yourself," or "Tell me three weaknesses," or "Where do you see yourself in five years?" All he did ask was, "Can you be here on Thursday at nine?"
I guess I am just quite at that LEVEL of a job where they actaully have to ask you questions.
Anyhoo, it's all good.
I also saw a very scary guy in the parking garage on the was out who I was ready to stab with my keys if need be.
And now I am steaming euro-style atrichokes in garlic oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Do you know artichokes have A TON of antioxidents, like more than in any other vegetable? Or so I have heard.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I have a job interview on Monday that I am stoked about because I have always liked new things, change. It's a two day a week clerical position with the city. I'm picturing my own desk with a plant and pictures of Ethan gracing it's top-I'll probably get stuck in some cloth booth in the back with a stack of papers to file.
I also picked up another day of kickboxing(!!!!!), the best job I have ever dreamed of.
It snowed at least a foot last night, and I was out in it. You all know how much I LOVE driving in the snow. However, I was surprisingly at ease, despite the accidents and spin outs I kept driving by. I got home safe and sound, put Ethan in his crib, bundled up and went back outside to shovel the driveway. It was quiet and still and cold, and I really liked it. This morning my right shoulder is sore.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Easiest List I Have Ever Written.

The difference between you and me is that you want to make the bed before you have breakfast, or at least very soon after, while if it were up to me I'd make it once every three months, on a very good day.
Also, you clip and clean your toenails almost on a regular basis; do you schedule that in your planner? I pull my excess toenails off with my bare hands while I watch TV.
You fold your dirty clothes before getting in the shower. To your continued annoyance, I don't.
You have a bazillion lists that you cross off, or check off, after each item is completed. I make lists sometimes, because I want to be like you, or pretend I am very efficient, and then I never look at them again.
You like movies with bad guys and fire. I love "When Harry Met Sally".
I like to share and you like to have your own plate, or drink, or sweatshirt. But honey, you are getting better with this.
You want chocolate ice cream and I want something more like strawberry cheese cake. I think you hate ice cream with fruit and pie pieces in it.
On children, you think of car space and house storage and, admit it--living in a perpetual BABY STAGE. You gag when you change Ethan's poopy dipes and you can't stand crying. If you could, I think you'd have those spongy sea green ear plugs of yours surgically implanted for the first year or so of our children's lives.
When I think of children, I remember the warmth of pregnancy and the smell of my baby's hair, like apples and powder.
On money, you look like at the big picture, I look at the the penny. I like the way you look at money. It keeps me from going insane. I don't pick up pennies or nickles or dimes even when I see them on the ground anymore; I leave them for some other poor soul who is freaken out about nickles and dimes.
When you watch Ethan you feed him a whole meal at meal times and have a routine for nap time (snack, stories, milk and blankie, lights out) and when it's time, give him a bath. I'm sure you wash him well, in all the creases. I think this is all amazing, and I am learning from you even though it feels very unnatural for me to mother this way. I see it works, Ethan is happier, so I try.
When we are out, I always want a Starbucks; you want a meal.
Your birthday, Christmas, and anniversary cards to me are always the cartoon ones, with a short "Love you!" note at the the end. Mine to you are mostly pictures of sleepy puppies or a peaceful, still scene with a long, drawn-out, hand written love revelation inscribed on the inside. I have learned they mean the same thing despite the apparent difference in mood and fore thought: I love you.
You like the bathrooms squeaky clean. So do I. I just don't like making them squeaky clean.
You take time to notice things, like the busted floor board or the disgusting lint and soap buildup behind the washer and dryer. I notice these things months, sometimes years, before hand and wait for the day that you notice so that we actually do something about them.
At Home Depot, you love shelves and shovels and lawn fertilizer. I like to look at the square paint samples. Remember when we took Truman there and everyone kept saying, "Look at the puppy!" And last time when we shared a hot dog?
I am a touchy person. You are not. Enough said.
I am teaching you to hold my hand and you are teaching me ways to make life cleaner, simpler, healthier. It's all good.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I have been reading a great group of essays called The Honeymoon's Over written by different women on the topic of love, marriage and divorce, and for the most part it has been uplifting but some of the essays leave me a little raw, vulnerable in weak spots.
The writing however is fantastic and reading it makes me want to go back to to school (!) and get more practice.
Riley is settling in well. She lies in the sun which makes her eyes droopy and relaxed looking, like a sleepy puppy. In those moments I like her alot. She also plays fetch with a red ball, but I am telling you everything still reminds me of Truman. I know it's gone past the point of 'real' missing him and into making him into something he never was, just like I do with an old boyfriend. We miss the idea of something that never existed and we live there because it is decievingly safe and comfortable.
But I am praying to live in the reality that is my life, and to see the beauty of it: my husband, good to me in so many ways; Ethan, cuter than anything I have ever imagined, and of course, Riley, lying in the sun, not eating my pillows, pooping consistantly outside.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Mystery Continued.

Ever since I wrote that last post I have been so irrated at Joey, so grinding my teeth at his Type-A personality. It's as if God said, "Oh, you want to see more of this mystery? I'll show you more of this mystery, oh yes I will." And everything Joey has done for last three days has been making me want to hit my head against the wall for a while. Like today after I came home and he had been watching Ethan for TWO HOURS---to men this is an eternity to "baby sit" their children---and Joey is quiet and moody, like a dog you don't trust.
He said," We have had six time-outs this morning." And I'm thinking, welcome to my life. And then he says, "All of them have had to do with watching a movie. I thought we agreed he wasn't going to watch a movie everyday. But you've been using them, everyday, haven't you? I know you have."
And I wanted to scream. Because I have been using them everyday. It's an hour of quiet while I sip coffee and browse the internet, while I wake up so I can deal with my son.
So I admit it and we move on.
Then he gets one of his bazillion lists out and starts telling me everything that has to get done before our company comes over tonight. Vaccume. Dust. Bathrooms. Clutter. And my stomach feels like it's about to explode because I feel like he's reading a list that says, "You are a crappy wife. You are a crappy wife. You are a crappy wife. " And then on top of it he says he cleaned out the refriderator and we need to get to the microwave because it is gross, too.
So I ask him, "Am I being a crappy wife?"
I mean, why does he have to be so on top of everything? He's squishing my toes, my pride, my intense desire to TAKE CARE of him, of Ethan. So much of the time I feel like he makes a better father-cause there is no way in all eternity I could do his job-AND mother- than me.
I am so jealous.
Plus he put Ethan down for his nap but not before he made him clean his room. Jeese. Oh and also we had a little conversation about how to cook the ribs and that they were a little dry last time, but I will spare you the details. The result was me even more convinced I am a crappy wife, not needed because Joey is Martha Stewart in a cop's uniform, and I am just along for the ride.
Anyways--he's at the store now, buying last minute supplies for our dinner. He calls not three minutes ago. "Do we need salad dressing?"
Um, yes. Unless our guests like dry salad, because that's what they would have had if Joey wouldn't have thought of the ever-important details, like salad dressing.
I call him honey bunny when I say good bye and feel so stupid for having such a pity party.
Maybe I can't see how Joey needs me. Because it definitely isn't for gourmet meals and a super clean house--he'd have those on his own. Maybe it's something better, something deeper I can't see, something underneath the surface of all this day to day nonsense.
He told me during our wedding vows that I make him laugh, and that for those who knew him before he met me, they knew what a big deal that was.
I was surprised because I never knew Joey didn't laugh that much, but then that would make sense because I didn't know him before he didn't know me.
But anyway, I hold on to that, knowing it is the often the silent, unaware movings our ourselves that the Lord is working with. He is the master craftsman, and I am but clay, cold and lifeless until He picks me up, warm and soft in his hands, useful, and mostly unaware.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Most Beautiful Thing.

I think of love, and you, and my heart grows full and warm, and my breath stands still...I can feel sunshine stealing into my soul and making it all summer, and every thorn a rose.
-Emily Dickinson
I was about to turn left on the green arrow when it hit me: my marriage is a good thing. For as much as I think and write and think about everything that is wrong with it, about how darn hard it is, Joey is the most beautiful thing that is in my life and our marriage the miracle where 'we' play out.
My marriage is grace and forgiveness in the midst of-no because of-disgusting diapers or defensive responses to presumed motivations.
The more I allow Joey to be the seperate, autonomous human being that he is, the more I repsect and admire him, the more I enjoy him, the more we miraculosly become one. It's one of the paradoxes that makes life the mysterious miracle that it is.
Good Lord. Show me more of this, this big picture, this mystery.
It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Being Warm.

"You have options, Danae," Joey tells me yesterday when I told him that I am not so sure I want to get pregnant "soon". On the way home from kickboxing this morning I weighed my "options"-waiting another year, maybe getting a part-time job to make some extra money, enjoying my skinny arms. Sleeping.
And then I thought about how I really loved being pregnant. It was so warm feeling. Like I was glowing from the inside out. And I remember sitting in my sea green chinelle rocker with Ethan barely two days old on my tummy, and thinking I never wanted him to grow. That too was all very warm, very nice.
And I have loved almost every stage. He has been so dang cute, so undeserved.
In the big picture it has been amazing. In the details it has been painful and messy: achy body parts, beans all over my dinning room chairs. Waking up to wails from the next room that nothing will quiet save me getting out of bed.
I hate to talk about it so much but the sun is out today, the sky is blue and I am so happy. I pressed my body against the warm sliding glass door and took all of the sun's rays in. It felt heavenly, like when I was pregnant.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Never-Ending Weekend.

So Joey works and I stay home, mostly, except for my one day at the airport where I pass out maps and stay clear of creepos, and Wednesday mornings when I go punch and kick and yell in front of thirty other ladies, all of us trying to keep our butts from sagging any more than they have to. Other than those times, and ok, Sundays, I feel like I am living in a never ending Saturday morning. I can't believe my good fortune.
Ironically, Sundays are my most stressful days. I almost hate Sundays. I love the Lord and I love my family at Mt. Rose, but IT IS STINKEN HARD TO GO TO CHURCH ALONE. And to lead worship when I feel alone and unqualified. The only thought that keeps me sane is that it is for the Lord, and for others. This road has been long.
My New Year's Resolution was to be hopeful and thankful. So I am going to stop complaining now.
Things really have been good here. We have this amazing dog who is no work whatsoever-("Joey, honey, can we know...a friend for Riley? I mean...I think we could handle two dogs. She is so easy...") yeah you should have seen the look on his face when I said that. And Ethan is the best ever, growing into such a man. And I have so much time with Joey, and when I am not with him, Jen is always there. The only thing that has been a bummer is this constant snow, this constant greyness. But then today the sun's out! and it didn't snow last night.
I can't wait for summer, for brown arms and halter tops and the scent of sunscreen.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Warm Boots.

Ethan's got some "new" shoes, too. And he looks as excited about them as I am about my boots.

I bought these boots yesterday (for a super deal!) and for the first time since I can remember I am not chilled in the winter. Not only are they extremely trendy around here, pretty darn ugly if you ask me, but they are soooo warm and cozy, like there's an electric warmer down in there somewhere. I am thrilled. I am wearing them to work in an hour or so and am so happy that I won't be freezing all night. I swear it's like wearing the best pair of slippers you ever bought, outside. What could be better?
Kickboxing this morning was great. There were so many people and it was so cold outside the mirrors all fogged over. Pretty gross but pretty awesome at the same time.
And I am forcing myself to like Riley. It's not that she is a bad dog; in fact, she is a perfect dog. I just think I got her too soon after Truman. I know I need to give her time, but she isn't dying for you to pick her up and snuggle with her. She also isn't destroying my pillows and couches, something I have to constantly remind myself when I think she is a little stand-offish. She also pees and poops outside. HUGE.
But today as I was going through an intersection I saw a man walking a pitbull puppy that looked really similar to Truman and I felt like I was going to cry. And I sorta hated Riley for a minute.
I saw Truman's new ad in the paper. They are re-selling him for five hundred dollars. I wanted to puke.