Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bye Bye Honda.

I should have known. There were so many signs and omens. The other day on the freeway I saw a truck just like the one we bought, on the back of a flatbed, crushed like a boulder had fallen from the side of a mountain and landed on top of it. I thought, that would suck. Then there was the way the Honda slid on the way to the gym, going around a corner, and I thought, oh I am so glad a car wasn't right there. And then the way I said goodbye to the girls after yoga, "Bye! Drive safe!"
"Yeah, you too!"
Big smile, and out the door I went.
I saw all the snow. I started to back out of the parking space and realized my back windshield was covered, so I stopped and got the scraper out and brushed the snow off. The car next to me was also pulling out with a snow covered back windshield, and I shook my scraper at them, indicating I'd brush off theirs too but they shook their head no. They are not being safe like me, I thought as I threw the scraper into my backseat.
I was so sick of this darn snow. I was so sick of going five miles an hour. And the snow was fresh, so I figured it wasn't too slippery. I should have known, given the fact God gave me one more last warning, coming around that same corner, I slid over to the other side of the road. Once again, I thought how great it was that there wasn't a car there, and I kept on going, turning my premium sound system up.
I think I was almost drunk on happy endorphins from my class. I wasn't even really thinking about the snow, other than it was the only thing making this night a little irritating.
The night was dark and cold and I could see the bits of snow hitting my windshield, flying into my headlights. I was alone on a long road, enjoying my music, thinking about dinner.
Before I knew it there was a turn. I knew a hill came after it, but it was too late, my car started to slip, and then I saw three sets of headlights coming up at me in the opposite direction. I started spinning, my car picking up speed as it slid like a little ice cube down the icy street. I'm sure I hit my breaks too hard.
I knew it was bad, that I was going to hit one of those cars. I screamed--Oh shit oh shit oh shit-BANG!
Then I spun some more before I stopped. Something was beeping, some lights were flashing, my stereo hiccuped but then kept playing, Kenny Chesney's voice filling the cold dark air.
Oh my god.
I tried to open my door but it wouldn't budge. I reached inside my purse for my phone, my hands shaking like my legs did after labor. I dialed Joey's number, hoping I was hitting the right buttons. He didn't answer, I left a message. "I got in an accident..." When he called back he was pissed. I could hear Noah crying in the background.
I crawled over and got out through the passenger side. I walked quickly on the wide street up to the Toyota Tacoma I hit. There were three little faced in the back seat looking out the window at me in absolute fear. I am so sorry...One of them was holding his nose.
After calling Joey back a couple of times, me finally getting it through to him that it was pretty bad, that I was shaken up enough to not be able to think clearly about what the heck we were even supposed to do, he packed up the boys and came out.
In the meantime, some really nice angel people stopped and got me and the pieces of my car out the middle of the road. They picked up my bumper and my tail lights, and the big pieces of my my back windshield that I had so carefully cleaned five minutes before. I didn't realize all this junk they were picking up was mine until I happened to glance at the driver side of my car, which pretty much looked like a big transformer had just punched it in.
My chest hurt, and so did my knee. We sat in the smashed Tacoma as we waited for the tow trucks to come (I have to say my Honda did a pretty good job of totalling the Toyota truck), and realized my pant leg was wet, right at my knee. I didn't want to look--this has happened to me before--I cut my leg bad when I was ten years old with a 1/2 inch piece of glass, all the way to my bone. I didn't even realize I had done it until my pant leg was soaked in blood and I pulled it up to see. That was the flash back I was having as I lifted my pant leg up. It wasn't that bad though.
Joey got there and was much more sympathetic to me once he saw the Honda. The boys were so good, even though we sat out there for two hours. Noah barely cried, a miracle since he hates being in his car seat in a stagnant vehicle. We're talking screaming at a stop light that lasts longer than seven seconds.
In the middle of calling Triple A, another tow truck out looking for idiots who drive too fast in the snow came. He said he worked for Triple A, but the dispatcher couldn't find his company in their system. As we went back and forth, I got the feeling I was in the middle of a bidding war as the two companies capitalized on my carelessness. That pissed me off.
We got home at eleven PM, put the boys to bed, and I took a hot bath. Two Tylenol later, Joey and I fell into bed.
And now we are in the process of dealing with insurance and used car salesmen, people I absolutely love to spend my weekends with.
Oh, one more thing. Ethan always comes with me to the gym on Monday nights. He likes to play in the child care while I teach. But last night he was putting together his new Lego set with daddy, and he said he didn't want to go. Well, OK.
It was his door that got slammed, his car seat that was filled with glass from the back windshield. God is so good to me, even when I am careless and stupid, He spares us so much pain.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Joy.

This Christmas has been extra special for me given the fact that I have been way down in the dumps of depression, post-partum, pre-partem, everyday-since-last-February-partem, and I am finally coming out of it. Two weeks ago the only reason I wasn't calling my doctor for meds is I don't want to pay for them--so if not meds than a choice, and being aware of things I can do to keep from wallowing in the fear and meaninglessness that grabbed a hold of me this last year.
I exercise, I socialize, I talk to myself just like every other wacko out there (which a lot of the times means telling myself to shut up with the negativity and bring on the thankfulness), and I am enjoying things once more. I am living my life instead of watching it pass by me, like I don't care.
I am enjoying myself and my family. I am choosing joy over despair. So this Christmas has been particularly peaceful and hopeful.
That aside, we are still in the middle of all the Christmas madness over here and I don't mind one bit. We started on the 23rd, doing our Christmas as a family because Joey worked all day on the 24th and 25th. Bless our police officers who work every holiday because criminals suck.
So really we started on the 22nd as our Christmas Eve. Joey and I have a little tradition of opening a gift together, alone, after the kids are asleep, so we can enjoy each other. Then we shack it up in the bedroom. There is nothing better than sex on Christmas.
We woke up the next morning to Ethan running in our bedroom, "Santa brought me a guitar!" and so it began. The tearing of paper, the glee, the look of surprise and happiness on his little face as he realizes what each new gift is. Four year olds are easy to please. He is especially attached to Buzz Lightyear.
From there we spent time with Joey's family which is always a treat. I married into a gem of a family, giving me three new sisters and three new brothers and so far, two great nephews. And my parents-in laws? You won't find a wiser, more joyful couple.
The next day, actual Christmas Eve, we spent with my dad's side of the family, a tradition we have been doing since I was a baby. Again, wonderful food, lots of fun gifts, and a ton of love floating around.
Christmas Day we went to my sister's for breakfast. I am so thankful we had boys at the same time--Andrew and Ethan entertain and enjoy one another. They still fight too, and argue at any given opportunity--at the table we all went around and shared our favorite part of Christmas. Andrew said his favorite part was airplanes.
"Christmas airplanes?" said Ethan.
"No, regular airplanes." said Andrew.
"Christmas airplanes."
"No! Regular airplanes!"
"Christmas airplanes!"
"Regular airplanes!"
And on and on. And on.
My favorite part of Christmas is the time shared with all the boys in my life and extended family. I also love to decorate my house, unwrapping all the special things, some of which are over twenty five years old. My favorite are sweet mouse ornaments my mom painted for for me, hung with yarn. One is in a mailbox, the other is sleeping on the moon.
I love mediating on what Jesus means in my life, the freedom, joy, and forgiveness He came to give.
But I have to say my favorite part is shacking it up with Joey in the bedroom. Heck, that's Christmas any day of the year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hey there.

I've got writer's block and am super busy but life is good. Things going on in my head:
I am fighting for joy everyday. Christ came so that we may have life abundantly.
Noah is the sweetest. He is a heavy load of love.
I am learning to appreciate the little people I work with. Finding joy in their mischievous looks; that little sparkle that comes out every so often. I am working on becoming a better teacher to them everyday: more caring, more patient, more creative. I bring my guitar and sing to them. Since December I have been singing Christmas songs with them. They always request "the pretty one" (Silent Night)and as I sing it their eyes all glaze over and they hold still, looking up at me in a trance of some sort. Later one of them ask if they can listen to me sing it on their ipod. I about melt.
I am so thankful I can teach exercise, a dream of mine. While most dreams have dissipated due to the demands of my offspring, this one has held on, somehow working itself out in the midst of real life. Thank you God.
We had a great evening with friends a couple of nights ago. There were almost as many kids as adults and it hit me that we have moved into a new phase of life officially: everyone we know practically are parents. The easy life is over, but we still managed to have a great time.
Ethan is having a hard time hearing. He had a cold a couple of weeks ago and ever since has really struggled to hear. I need to take him to the doctor; it breaks my heart to see him so oblivious to everything that is making noise around him. The TV has to be at like 40 for him to hear it.
Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


We are snowed in again. It's not quite as magical as it was on Monday, when I got to stay home for work. I wanted to go to kickboxing today, and visit my Grammie, and go to Walmart for a couple of extra things for Christmas, and here we are stuck in stead. In Stead.
I guess I will have to rest and relax. It is beautiful, and I don't mind shoveling and sweeping because for whatever reason snow makes outside peaceful, quiet, less busy and I feel rested after I work hard in the cold.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Costco, Always a Memory.

Got up early this morning. I love it when it works out that way. The house is quiet and dark and I can drink my coffee and write in peace. Rare times with two little men ruling the roost.
Noah also slept in until four which was a treat. I feel almost rested for the first time in...crap, a year maybe? (if you weren't around, pregnancy was a B!)
Last night when I got home from work at six thirty, after a forty five minute drive because of some accident, we loaded the boys in the car and drove in the dark cold night to Costco, my favorite family outing--not being sarcastic here.
Going at night is nice because it is not an insane zoo, even though Sarah Palin was there signing her book. I noticed the people milling around, holding her book, talking together--they all looked intellectual, like they had some great purpose; and rich, with long coats and gloves. I guess those are the kind of people that go to book signings. I took notice that I looked like all the other normal zoned out people walking around the the warehouse in a Costco coma without her book, which was O.K.
We wandered over to the soaps and toothpaste, found what we needed, and as we made our way deeper into the store a man with a red and white beard--which reminded me of Fiebe's beard-- asked Joey if he was a jar head. Joey laughed a handsome laugh and said no, and I took a moment to smile on the inside because I still think he is hot, and then I asked him, "What'd he say?"
I guess a jar head is a marine--Joey had just shaved his head.
After filling two baskets up we were waiting in the checkout. A pretty blond lady with bangs who looked about forty came behind us. She had a gray skirt on with dark tights and black boots. Her down coat was also black. And yes I was staring. She had to be here for that book signing. What made her look so stinking sophisticated was this huge turquoise leather bag hanging off her shoulder all the way down to her mid thigh. It looked old and extremely expensive and I wanted it so bad. I started throwing things up on to the black belt and Joey started talking to Noah in a cute little voice. The lady was also staring at us, (Hello? two baskets? two noisy boys, one who can't stop making a train whistle sound while pulling his fist down, as if he is actually pulling it?) but mostly I think it was just because we were in front of her and what else is she going to look at?
Anyway I think Joey knew that lady was watching us because he took Noah out of his car seat and lifted him high in the air, still talking to him in that cute little voice, and I thought to myself, dang, is he trying to impress this turquoise bag lady? I threw the frozen ravioli's on the belt, and reaffirmed myself that I definitely wanted a bag like that.
She kept watching us, and her eyes were kind, almost longing. I wondered if she had a family, or if that bag proved she didn't have kids. Or maybe she had kids and they were grown up and she was missing the chaos.
After checkout we pulled our two baskets over to the side as we tried to settle ourselves before going out to the parking lot and she passed us . She almost smiled at me. I watched her back for a little while as she made her way to the door, that beautiful bag swaying behind her.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Snowed In.


No work today. There is at least a foot of snow, if not more. Yesterday morning we had planned to go Christmas tree hunting, but just about five minutes outside of Reno we drove into a blizzard and decided buying one in town looked like a pretty good idea. This was more than a little bit of a disappointment since I have been talking about going to cut a tree this year for at least three months. I also have been building it up for Ethan, using the soon-to-be outing as a bedtime story. "When we go cut our tree, were going to take our new truck, and go way way way up into the mountains..." The outing wasn't easy to get ready for either. All the snow gear. The sled. The ax. The snacks and hot chocolate. Plus getting little Noah ready and dropped off with Grandma. As is the custom for these "family times" Joey was quite irritated at me--I guess messing around on Facebook thirty minutes before we have to go, with none of the above done, does look a little irresponsible.
When we were discussing this in the truck on the way into the blizzard, I told him next year I know what is important to him for outings like these is to be prepared and ready, like the night before. I told him what is important to me is that we are getting along and not in a bad mood. He nodded, and I took his hand, and we were O.K. We have come a long way when it comes to crap like this.
At first we thought we might as well save the gas and money and just pick up a tree at the grocery store. But when Ethan caught on to our idea in the Raley's parking lot, in a desperate little voice he said, "We're gonna get our Christmas tree here?" like all his Christmas hopes and dreams just came crashing down all around him. So we drove to a lot for a little atmosphere and paid the extra ten bucks, and Ethan was thrilled (he's read about Christmas tree lots in his Curious George Christmas book).
It's a cute little tree, with a little bit of smell. Nothing like the divine smell I remember from our Pinion Pines growing up, but it's there at least.
I don't ever want an artificial one again. Yes, they look perfect, and you don't have to spend money on a new one every year, but a real tree has a certain character in the house. It becomes a live presence in the home, and it just seems more genuine, which makes a lot of sense because it is!
I am trying to make Christmas more than about the gifts this year. What is important to me is making it special for Ethan, making ornaments together, gingerbread houses, decorating, baking, having him have his own presents to give away. Christmas so easily can become only a shopping affair (which I love to do!) but there are so many other fun things to do too, especially with a kid about four years old.
And this is a perfect day to take advantage of, since we are seriously snowed in. I think we will make a snowman, maybe some more ornaments, and I will get started on my Christmas cards. In my slippers. With a cup of joe.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Somewhere in the Middle.

I've learned this last year, after almost busting my family in two (yes, yes, it was that bad), that I have limits. I've done the whole overworked thing, working forty plus hours a week; I've done the whole stay at home thing, which left me desperately needy for affirmation and fulfillment from my husband which almost drove him mad; and now I am trying to stay in the middle, somewhere my life has work, a healthy amount of stress, rest, and joy. The balance when you have little children (and probably big children too) is tricky.
Now that I am back at work it is so easy to keep saying yes! yes! to every opportunity that is thrown my way. I'm learning to say no, to take the chunk of clay God has given me that is my life and carve away those things that aren't contributing to it becoming something good, something recognizable. My sculpture so far looks a little something like this:
Joey: time for us to do fun things together, not just the everyday crap. Keeping things special.
Ethan and Noah: right now these two are a huge chunk of the clay. They require meals and nap times and it seems twenty four hour attention, unless I put Thomas the Train on the TV. I want to have enough energy for stories and tickling, enough patience to not blow up when they aren't behaving the way I want them to, enough vision to see the big picture and help nurture them into the little men of the their potential.
Myself: working out, decorating and organizing my house, writing, making homemade things, cooking, reading, silence and time with God, music, pictures. Working enough to feel like I am growing, but not too much so that I feel overwhelmed and scared.
Somehow I want to serve and hang out with friends in the midst of all that. My time with God right now consists of long showers, but only if Ethan isn't in the bathroom opening the shower door every three minutes to tell me something or ask when I am going to get out. For right now, that's my solitude. I can totally relate to Sarah Edward putting a table cloth over her head in the middle of the kitchen--a sign to her children to KEEP AWAY so she could pray.
I've had a couple of people tell me lately that this phase of life ends, and I wanted to throw my hands in the air and say THANK YOU! Most of the time all I hear is "treasure this time!" and it makes me feel so guilty because I feel like we are barely making it, and by no means treasuring it. I love my little kids, but between not getting sleep, discipline, screaming in the car, babysitters, drive time, and the constant feeling of being NEEDED, I can honestly say I am looking forward to the day when the boys are somewhat self sufficient.
Most of the time I think I'd rather look back on this time and miss it than be in the middle of it.