Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3 in a row...

Two weeks ago I had 3 days where I cried every day. Three in a row, like some sort of emotional tic tac toe. Nobody died. Nothing bad was happening. I still don't really know why. It just happened that every day at a random time I would cry. The first one was around lunch. I had just eaten a bowl of cinnamon life (for the record, cinnamon life is an appropriate thing to eat any time of day) and was sitting in the brown chair while Liv was sleeping and I just started feeling like I might as well enroll in NASA because I felt so far away. So I sat there on the brown chair while I finished my cinnamon life and had a good cry. The next day we were watching "Water for Elephants" and we just turned it off in the middle because I was crying. I don't even care about elephants, or their water. I just didn't like the movie. Strike Two. The third day was right before I went to sleep. I was just laying there thinking and then I started leaking out my eyeballs for no reason. Random. No pattern. No reason. Extremely embarrassing.  I'm not pregnant. I'm not usually a big crier. It just happened. In honor of my crying tic tac toe, I am putting pics of two females I love below:

 Sometimes I think I cry when my mind hasn't caught up to what my body is feeling.  Like sometimes it's hard to be a mom when the only social contact you have is the cashier at Walmart and you sometimes feel like saying this, even though nobody knows or cares:

As always, it's a good indication I just need to try harder, change things, pray with more sincerity, take a couple minutes to be still, and do something else.  In the gospel principles class last Sunday the teacher said, "You can get lost in yourself, or lose yourself in loving others."  I liked it. I needed to hear it.

I think that statement is true because this week has been the best.  Heavenly Father was smart when he made the days 24 hours so we could have a fresh beginning.  Whenever I am losing to G in Wii, I sometimes just hit the reset button and I always feel much better (even though it makes G ticked as a hornet and is not good wii etiquette).  I think it's the same with some days.  It always feels good to start again.  I love that I can change, even when I had three days in a row of cry time. Sometimes you just need a good cry. Just ask Liv.  My life is so dang good.

Birthday G part 2....

The classic blow out the candle shot...it never gets old. It's a birthday must whether you are turning 3 or 1 (or in G's case, those numbers combined).  Charlottesville was so fun and filled up the family gauge that had been running a bit low the last few 8 months....  It was so fun to be with the cutest 4 boys on Earth.  I mauled and kissed them all so much that G gave them all a dollar to pay them for sharing some of the cuddle burden that he has to endure.
We enjoyed our private concerts and playing games in Harris boy heaven.
We enjoyed delicious meals and soaking up every minute of cousin cuisine.
Not to mention G getting to have some birthday bow and arrow time on top of the play fortress.  It doesn't matter how old you are. A boy is a boy and boys like bow and arrows.

We will definitely be going back.
 We love them so much.  You don't really have a choice of who is eternally connected to you on your family tree, but it's so nice when they are people you really want to be with forever.

G's 31st birthday getaway...

 Big weekend. G turned 31. He's growing up so fast. That sounds old. How can I be married to a 31 year old man when I still have a 17 year old brain?  Well, my 17 year old brain concluded that we needed to get the heck out of Bluefield if we were going to have a legitimate celebration so I typed up our itinerary with 31 things we were going to do on his birthday getaway.  Wednesday night we drove to Blacksburg and went to dinner and the Virginia Tech/ BYU basketball game:

Liv was up way past her bedtime which means she enters the grump zone with full force. Luckily we averted the grump zone with a magical blue raspberry snow cone which is my personal favorite treat and now I think one of Liv's as well....
The bed an breakfast I had originally reserved did not allow for children under 12 so I told them we would see them in 11 years and canceled and we stayed at a cute little place on Main street where Liv had her own room and woke up every 20 minutes....all night long. 
It was not her finest hour. Or hours I should say.
After breakfast in bed we all fell back asleep until 11.  We went to Ben and Jerry's for Garrett's favorite ice cream, shopped for new birthday shoes and then he went to his scheduled massage.  That night we went to Longhorn steakhouse, picked out birthday books, went to Christiansburg and drove to Charlottesville (this deserves its very own post so we will come back to that portion of the getaway later).
After a good sleep in we went to down town Charlottesville where we went to Christians famous pizza (One of G's favorite foods which we rarely go to eat since I am not a huge pizza fan) and enjoyed the down town sights...
We were loving our time but someone was not loving at much as everyone else. So I gave her a lemon which by far was a much better investment for fun than the overpriced gelato which averages out to be around .50 cents a swallow...
We thought it would be rude to not stop by our friend Thomas Jefferson's house and enjoyed the scenic drive o glory up to Monticello.
We went to a fun Mexican restaurant, played games, took naps, and enjoyed just being. Not working. Not studying. Just enjoying.  We opened presents while listening to "Keep on Lovin You" by Aero Speed wagon which was the top hit in 1981 the year G was born.  I thought it was oh so appropriate. I love Garrett's birthday. I'm so glad that he was born. Every single day of my life.
There is no one on Earth I am more glad was born than this man.  It's really worth celebrating.  I can't and don't want to ever imagine life without him.  It really was a happy day because he was born.

Friday night date. Kind of. With kids.

Last weekend we went to the Watsons for dinner and date night.  Date night with children that is.  6 children under six won an automatic golden ticket to this exclusive night due to a lack of babysitters in this forsaken town.  We were in charge of drink and since I take beverage assignments very seriously, I bought everyone a goblet and we had a delicious strawberry slush.  Hans' goblet held approximately 4 ounces which isn't enough for a newborn babe, let alone a growing man so he solved his problem by keeping a small pitcher near by for frequent refills.
We had chicken tacos, guacamole that authentic Mexico city could have been proud of, "better than a lot of things" cake (G renamed it), lime cilantro rice and bean dip.
We played loaded questions and laughed hard.  There are few things better in life than laughing hard.  Not just a polite giggle but the kind of laughing where you make really unlady like gutteral sounds from your belly and your head hurts because you're laughing so hard.  Bishop Boon was crying when a question came up about gas. I don't think men ever really grow up from scout camp humor.  The laughing was due to this game:
Always a classic for couples. Guaranteed funny if you are playing with people who even have 1/8 cup of sense of humor in their brains.  Liv was soaked from sucking on melon and chips and basically anything that would keep her quiet so we had to give her some tub time upstairs which she enjoyed.

We finished the night by turning off the lights and everyone got a glow stick and we turned up the music and had a wild night glow dance.  I mentally stored this idea in my future mothering lobe of my brain as an effective way to burn energy before bed.  Loved it.  It always feels good to be with friends, drink strawberry slush from a goblet and laugh hard. Always.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


In elementary school you need friends so you have someone to play four square with (or monkey bars in the unfortunate event that you can't come up with 3 other friends). In jr. high you need friends so you don't feel self conscious about your zits and braces.  In high school you need friends so you don't stay home on Friday nights and have someone to eat lunch with and give you an identity since each group of friends in high school is like an entirely new species that differentiates you from the other insecure teenagers around you.  In college you need friends so that you get dates and don't have to cook dinner and plan trips with.  When you're a mom you need friends so that you don't go insane talking to yourself all day and reading fascinating 4 page children's books like "Fuzzy Bee".  I don't think I have ever had a deeper appreciation for friends in my entire friend history than I do right now.  You are bound by blood to have some sort of relationship with everyone on your family tree which may or may not include calling them on their birthday or at the least, Christmas gift buying.  Friends are different. No one is obligated to be your friend but the fact that there is another human being with different DNA that cares about you, laughs with you and means something in your life is one of life's greatest gifts. I suppose our friend Clive Staples says it best:

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, it has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival (C.S.Lewis).” 


Thursday night we went to the Dogget's where G and Casey went back to their elementary school days and battled it out on old fashioned street fighter...
Me soaking up Tara time.  This woman is my example and the biggest Bluefield blessing and key to my sanity and survival.  I don't know how she does what she does. It blows my mind.

Everyone needs true friends. Everyone. Everywhere. In every stage of life. Yes, families are forever, but so are true friends. It's hard to imagine anything better than G winning street fighter with Blanka but it's always a good time at the Dog house. I'm grateful that heaven knew I would be clinically insane without these neighbors in my life. 


Molecule moments.

I feel bad for all the watch companies since cell phones were invented.  I actually feel worse for the pocket watch people. Nothing says class like having a pocket watch.  I want to bring back the pocket watch.  It's funny being home and not being able to go out because the roads are icy because our day is not governed by time since we are not late to anything since we have nowhere to go.  So when Garrett makes his triumphal entry through the door and asks what we did, I never say the words, "o'clock or at this time" because I usually don't know what time it is.  I do however, have a collection of moments that I don't want to forget that make up what really matters.

For example, the moment two days ago when April and I were screaming in the WalMart parking lot because it was so cold it felt like our faces were being ripped off and we were trying to stuff a 45 gallon tub into the back of the white taurus with three kids inside the the warm car like a luxury rocky ridge experience. Like the moment that I feel like I can't breathe because my sister Em makes me laugh so hard on the phone and it feels like she's here in the living room with Liv and I even though she's hundreds of miles away. Or the moment a few mornings ago when Liv got the apricot/apple/blueberry/chicken jar of baby food somehow on her eyelashes and just kept shrieking like she was the funniest thing every born.  Or the moment last night where I accidentally laid Sister Waltons' coat over the burning candle without realizing it almost had our whole house on fire. Or the moment when I randomly get a text from my mom and I know she's missing me. Or the moment when I'm trying to scrape off our icy car with a plastic cutting board because I don't have a scraper and our neighbor comes over and does the whole thing for Liv and I so we can leave. Or the moment yesterday morning during scripture study where I felt the holy ghost teaching me something that I really needed.  Or the moment when Garrett's mom called to give me a squash recipe and I love her consistent example. Or the moment last night just watching Garrett sleep in a non creepy way while I just laid in my bed and felt peace and so thankful for every single cell of my life.  Like Elder Maxwell said, 'Moments are the molecules that make up eternity."  I am so thankful for my molecules.

Moments don't last which is the tie in for this comic (mostly I just like the cartoon but think of it as motivation to seize the moments or shall I say carpe di molecules?)

The legend of Elder Sargent's stomach....

Last night we had the missionaries over for dinner.  I had heard that one of the Elders could put away food at an alarming rate so I doubled the Mexican mush I was making in his behalf.  I am glad I did.  This is one of those things that anyone could care less about unless you were there, but I was there and I can't stop thinking or talking about.  As we fell asleep last night, it was the last thing I mentioned.  I'm surprised I didn't dream about it.  G brought home IBC cream sodas for the occasion which was fun because I love beverages. Water is to keep plants alive, not something to be served with meals.  G is a strict water consumer and I love everything but water to drink.  My dream would be to have a Sonic in my kitchen so I could make every possible beverage combo and have an extra supply of dry ice on hand just for special effects. 
Anyway, the Elder you see above looks normal.  He is normal. Except for his stomach.  I was gratified as the cook when he heaped his plate so full I asked him if he wanted another plate. He said no.  I thought to myself,
"There is no way that Blackfoot Idaho native is going to put away all that food. That's enough for a small family. Plus cousins. He's going to be sick if he eats all that."  I was in the kitchen getting the apple crisp ready when he came with his clean plate and I joked, "Are you here for seconds?"  He didn't think it was a joke because he nodded and then filled his plate again.  I was boggled. I had to take a picture because I had never seen anything like it.  You think I would not be shocked since I have a brother named Taylor but this guy, there are no words.
This was his second, smaller portion.  Keep in mind these are large plates; extremely large. I've heard the saying, "You have eyes bigger than your stomach", but this Elder had a stomach that made my eyes get bigger...


Sometimes being a mom is hard. But then again, sometimes being Liv and having a mom is hard. She can't talk. She has to eat puke in a jar every day. She sleeps behind bars. She gets her face kissed off all day. Hard. Lots of things are hard. Having to be G and work 15 hours a day and get up in the dark is hard. Having to stay home all day and without human interaction is hard. Not being able to have children is hard. Having children is hard.  Being in school and having your brain stretched and eating ramen noodles is hard. Not getting to be in school and having your brain mold is also hard. Being single is hard. Being married can be hard. Being chubby and feeling your pants are like a suction cup torture device is hard. Exercising and going to the gym with a water bottle and sweating like a green otter pop on a hot sidewalk is hard. Living away from family is so hard. Living by family and trying to schedule it all is hard. Going on a mission is hard. Not being on a mission is hard. It's all hard. Hard and good. I used to think that hard and good are opposites. Now I think that they are the same.  Anything that is hard is usually good, not fun, good for us and who we want to be.
 “We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are.”   -Marjorie Hinckley

I love both those quotes. Even though I murmur so much I could probably be married to Laman and Lemuel, I really am so thankful for my personal set of hard things that are so good for me. Hard and Good. I like it.

Stop it.

With the new year already not as new I am already feeling allergic to myself. Poor G asked how I was feeling 2 nights ago and I think he would have been much better off after prayers to fake sleep.  It was like he brought a little sand pail and shovel asking for a little sand and instead got an entire emotional sand dune dumped on his head.  I had a slight emotional eruption and crying ash and debris was flying every where as I blubbered from one topic to the other without any logical sequence.  I first went into a fascinating dissection of how I will never be as organized or clean as G.  If G organized a parking lot it would look like this:
I then started into how my post pregnancy pooch is like bread dough glued to my gut and how my thighs are not toned and how I do not feel attractive and in my mind I feel like if Liv and I went on a bike ride we look like this (keep in mind that when I am running on emotion with techron, all my images and opinions of myself and the world are grossly distorted but realistic in the moment nonetheless):

Then I finished up with all the things that I feel like I can't change because the same weaknesses have been my barnacle buddies my entire existence and I want to be so much better than I am.  I was like a burbling guyser at yellowstone reeking of drama instead of sulfur as I then launched into a description about how I miss having friends and feel like I am in solitary confinement even though I keep the laws of the land and how being a mom is dang hard. I'm pretty sure I also gave a few shout outs of anti "living in the middle of nowhere" sentiments and how walmart is my source of social joy and interaction with some other irrational comments about how I am not the mother and wife I want to be.
Then we kissed and took this picture. Yea right. Ha. The picture above is what I thought love looked like. So wrong. More accurate would be a pic of me laying in our bed at 1 am crumpled up like a pile of garage sale clothes needing to be sorted with my too big electric orange panama t-shirt and garment bottoms that my brother Mike calls pirate panties, with untoned arms and puffy eyeballs smelling a lot like banana flavored puffs thanks to Liv and mascara staining our white pillowcase that I should have put in the laundry 2 weeks ago and blubbering like a whale.  I didn't marry G because he looks good in pictures (even though he does).  I married him for who he is in moments just like the one described above.  He didn't fix anything at all (he knows way better than that) or even try to be logical (heaven forbid).  He just held me until we fell asleep and when I woke up, I magically felt great. I think the real solution is the clip above.  We all have moments when we realize that we are allergic to ourselves and want to be something different or somewhere different (or maybe just I do and I'm feeling embarrassed for this entire post). I just need to stop it.  Two simple words that I don't apply often enough!  I need to just stop it. It really is that simple. I just forget that in the middle of an Mount St. Chel emotional eruption.  I can change. I just need to stop it.  But in the meantime, I'm really grateful for a man who loves me anyway. Bread dough belly, banana puffs and all.