Friday, October 22, 2010

An Examined Life

It started out innocently enough. I needed to find some documents in order to fill out some paperwork. First, I looked for them in the neatly organized top drawer of my filing cabinet. No luck there. I cringed as I thought about opening the dreaded Bottom Drawer of Death. I think I heard faint screams of ancient children as I tugged the screeching metal drawer open. Three hours and a glass of sparkling wine later, I had sifted through the heap of decaying paper products and found the documents that I had set out to find.

But along the way I noticed a few things:

Grandma, sorry I didn't cash that birthday check from 2006. I've really been meaning to get around to it. It is just that driving all the way to the bank, filling out a deposit slip, and talking to the overly perky bank teller, just aren't worth the $25. But, I really do appreciate the sentiment.

Dear 2007, you can suck it. All of your medical bill receipts and bad mojo still have the ability to make me want to drop kick a machete into your eye. How do you keep finding new ways to haunt me? I swear I already threw away all traces of your  negative existence. But you are a sneaky little rat, 2007. And you always get the best of me. But in the end I will prevail. Mark my words.

And to the Hardest Student I've Ever Worked With- I still think of you all the time. I hope you have found a team of people who can help you. I hope you are thriving. You were SO smart. I loved being part of your secret world when you would let me in. I really do wonder about you on a daily basis. I think about your parents and wonder how they are surviving. But how, oh HOW, did I somehow forget that you caused me two trips to the workers comp doctor? You made me laugh tonight, just like you always did, when I reread the discharge paper for my "human bite to chest." That was a fun day. I'm glad the doctor needed two witnesses in the room as he examined my chest. I still think of you every time I rub Mederma on my other bite scar. But, Hardest Student I've Ever Worked With, I love you for the challenge you gave me, for the unashamed pure joy you have for life, and for your ability to jump from death-defying heights. You taught me so much. Is Spiderman still your favorite?

Mother Nature, I'm so sorry for all of your goodness that is wasted. Companies who deal with things like student loans and health insurance find it completely necessary to document every action with six pieces of paper. Though, they are perfectly able to email me when it comes to attempting to sell me more products. Don't they know that I see their name on the envelope and immediately throw it into the "pointless to open" file? And I've discovered that the more years I manage to go without opening those envelopes- more more unnecessary it becomes to ever open them. Thank you student loans and health insurance for teaching me the valuable life lesson that: If you can ignore something for four years or longer, it will disappear.

Mother Nature thanks you, insurance company, for this trash pile. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This son of mine: (14 months)

Has just discovered the adrenaline rush that only a slide at the playground can give you.
Devotes his life to chasing dogs and kissing them.
Can say "woof-woof" only when performed with a total-body motion.
Thinks a kiss is what happens when you say "mmmmm" and tap your forehead on something.
Wrestles our dog like a little brother while shrieking like a girl.
Laughs at the silence every. single. time. I turn the faucet off.
Has replaced his hours of "stick-holding" with "rock-holding."
Is teething his molars like a wild banshee.
Has recently eaten his first serving of mac-n-cheese, ever.
Tries reallllly realllllllllllllyyyyyyy hard to jump. But his feet never leave the floor.
Dances to household rhythms including: the off-balance washing machine, dogs lapping water, and electric toothbrushes.
Never gets bored of turning the TV off and on.
Is not ashamed to wear rainbow pants in public.
Thinks that fish say "rawr." Because I made up a song about it.
Says "no-no" to himself as he does something naughty.
Finally has visible hair.
Can be motivated to do anything with the mention of "...and I'll let you brush your teeth!"
Is somehow manifesting into a true boy who gets excited by things like trucks and airplanes.
Still drools through two bibs and two shirts per day.
Bites when provoked.



I make my best attempt to get to yoga each week. But sometimes my life just gets in the way. Homework mainly, since it is all due by Monday nights. But when all the stars align just so, and procrastination doesn't get in the way too badly, I do make it to class. And when I get there it always leaves me speechless.

 I've only ever had this same experience when I've missed church for a while in a row. When I return I'm often hit with the feeling that the homily was tailor made for my ears only. Cora's theme during yesterday's yoga class was, "Everything is exactly how it should be in this very moment." Which left me reeling.

So, even though Lex's dad lost one of his jobs this week (which means our health insurance will end right at the prime sinus infection time of year). And our dog has a broken tooth. And I backed into my sister's car today. And the hospital suddenly decided we owe them another $600...

Everything is exactly how it should be.

Current favorite yoga documentary: Netflix this bad boy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I went the easy route this Halloween and will be using a clearance costume we found at the end of last year instead of sewing my own. But today I came across a great gallery of handmade gnomes if anyone out there is wanting to make their own.

Here is my little garden gnome. I need to sell this photo to an ad agency I think.

Maybe he can sell travel insurance or something.

The upside of having a kid who drools like Niagara Falls is that he is so used to wearing a bib, he doesn't even think anything of wearing a beard. : )

Que Joni Mitchell

This week marks our one year anniversary of moving to the Great Plains. Of all the things I was worried about when we moved here I did not expect the shattering of my marriage to be the top memory of this last year. I remember watching a documentary about a man who walks around the US dressed as Jesus (he has been doing it for over 10 years now). He does not bring anything with him other then a bible. He relies on the goodwill of those around him to feed and clothe him. He spreads the gospel to anyone he comes across. During the documentary a young man asks him the question, "Why does God allow bad things to happen?" His response is that, in his opinion, God only allows bad things to happen when the sum total result of the situation will somehow bring about more good in the world. The idea of this was really inspiring to me. I've never really thought of bad situations from that perspective before. But I can say that along those lines the major quote from my last year would be that old overused song lyric "You don't know what you've got 'til its gone."

A year ago when we moved here I was looking forward to having more time with my husband. I knew that as we both were plucked from all of our friendships in California we would have to rely on each other more then ever. I knew that I loved him, and I was excited to start moving out of the cloud of craziness that comes along with having a newborn. I was excited to have his full attention and the opportunity to reconnect with him.  But because of everything that has happened in the last year I now know what it is like to face the reality of what my life would be like without him. I took a test drive in that lifestyle and experienced the accompanying pain in the bottom of my soul. But I survived...So I guess you can say that I already can see how this horrible situation has brought about more good in my world. I'm even going to venture out there and say that I'm glad it happened.

Another wedding gift I painted this week for a friend in Minnesota. 
Inspired by my own experiences
"Life without love is like a tree without blossom or fruit."

The other half of my immense learning experience in this last year revolves around the women in my life. Never before have I been in such a situation to really bare my deepest fears and the reality of my situation with those around me. It was extremely hard at first to let everyone in on the fact that my life isn't as perfect as they might have thought it was. To remove the facade of a happy marriage and reveal the emotions of feeling like the most unlovable person on the planet was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. But I found that the women in my life really truly went the distance to pick up the pieces of my heart. And 90% of their support was done over the phone or online. I thought it would be too hard to let my friends in on my new "singles" lifestyle when they were so far away geography. But no matter the time zone they let me talk, vent, or cry until I was able to sleep. I've never had friends prove their love for me in such a way before. Times like these really create the bonds that will make these girls my lifelong sisters. I only hope that someday I can return the favor. Even though I'm thousands of miles away from the fine ladies I call my friends, I've never felt closer to them. 

A friend told me about this UCLA study where recent research has found that women don't actually have the natural "fight or flight" response to stress. Instead, we are hardwired to essentially "nest or talk" our way out of stress. We clean something, or call up a friend to talk about our bad day. The research found that women with strong close friendships were healthier and lived longer then those without close friendships. With the friends that I have I'm gonna live FOREVER! 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Projects as of late...

I don't know the proper trendy word for the philosophy of my sewing. Up-cycling? Repurposing? Don't-want-to-spend-moneying? One of my friends has been in and out of the hospital with her premie baby for over a month now. His nickname is Moose and he is ADORABLE. To spread a little joy I made him a moose hat using my son's old onesie and a pair of leggings. When my neice was born a few years ago, I discovered that chopping off sweater sleves is a great shortcut to making a baby hat. I pretty much followed the same idea here.



In Use on Moose: 

How CUTE is he?! I'm happy to report that Mr.Moose is now gaining weight at too fast of a rate and has been on a baby diet. Best news ever. 

My other projects lately have been some wedding gifts for friends. This one is made from some plywood from my Dad's shed, with some paint from my Dad's studio. Nothing better then a free-to-me wedding gift. These paintings are for a musical couple so the quote says "Music is love in search of a word." It has some fabric and paper elements on it too.

 This couple is very good friends of mine so there is still more to come for them. Once I finish all of their gifts I'll post the links to my inspiration for their projects.