Archives for May 2010
On May 13, 2009, my children successfully completed a rite of passage for childhood. They did it with reckless abandon and fully confident that what they were doing was brilliant. They were proud of this accomplishment.
But alas, their pride was short lived and shattered the minute I gasped, shrieked and cried, “NOOOOOOOO,” before bursting into tears.
The home done haircut. We all did it as kids. I cut my bangs to the scalp when I was five and my mom reacted with similar shock, horror and anger to mine this day last year. But you see – my kids, they never do anything small. Oh no – they go full in, balls to the walls, after life. It’s a quality that will serve them well in life.
Provided that neither one of them ever decides to become a hairdresser, of course…
I give you – the haircut: Before and After.
One year later:
One year later:
One year later:
One year later:
In the midst of my grief last year, so many people were sweet enough to remind me that I would one day look back on that moment and laugh. They were right – I do. But I also still remember that horror and the heavy pit in my stomach. So while I may laugh, I also cringe.
For Sloan’s sake, however, I have lifted the ban on his usage of scissors. This time last year he was forbidden to use them until he was 104. So as you can see, I have come a long way…
Originally posted on October 20th of last year, this post still makes me laugh. Mostly because I still remember how NOT cool I felt watching my minivan get a scrubbing in between all them fancy cars.
Due to several car trips in the last few months, our minivan has taken a bit of a beating. Covered in dead bugs, splattered with mud and sporting the drop marks accrued during our deluge of rain last week, her sleek black exterior has lost a little bit of it’s luster.
It’s not often that one reads the words “sleek” and “luster” in the context of a minivan, I know.
So yesterday afternoon, I took my rockin’ hot minivan through a specialty car wash. You know, one of those car washes where actual humans scrub your car?
After pulling her loveliness into line, I got out and shopped around the convenience store for a few minutes before heading out to watch them remove the layers of dirt that had been holding her back all these weeks. And what did I find when I came out?
I found my minivan sandwiched between two Lexus’s (is the plural Lexi?) who were also being scrubbed to shiney perfection. Then a third Lexus pulled up, followed by a BMW and a fourth Lexus.
And finally, the Créme de la Créme – a gorgeous (and I’m not a car person) sports car pulled up and parked nose to nose with my van. I have no idea what brand it was, but it was somthin’ fancy, let me tell ya!
And guys, I kid you not, my van blushed and giggled when that thing parked in front of her.
And so, there I stood, the girl who brought her hoopty van to a class act party. I was the like the stray dog at a country club. The sore thumb. The minivan surrounded by Lexi!
I tried to play it all cool like this was only my day car, but you should see what I drive at night. But my mom garb didn’t help the situation – that being my unwashed hair, jeans, tennis shoes and puffer vest.
Oh, then there was the fact that I forgot to bring cash to tip the boys washing my car and had to scrounge for enough change to make it worth their while. I, my friends, am nothing if not classy.
The best part of the whole process, though, was watching the boys attempt to work my tricked out van. What she lacks in style she makes up in sheer awesomeness! I mean, hello! She has an automatic back hatch and one automatic side door, which I have child proofed, so the poor guys kept getting stuck inside the car when vacuuming because they couldn’t figure out how to open the door and got confused as to which was automatic and which was manual.
And then, of course, there are the multiple – and I mean mul.ti.ple – scratches on the car from the kids running their bikes down the sides. Yep – that’s how I roll.
So when the guys finally finished her up and handed me the keys, I climbed inside my now sleek and lusterous minivan and started her up. Next to the purring sports car, she sounded like some sort mammoth as she roared to life.
And with that I held my head high, looked down upon the lowly sports car and I pulled out of Lexusland, driving her hotness off into the horizen. I hope everyone watching wasn’t too jealous…
This was originally posted in July, 2008 after Tia had lost her beloved Lovey Bear on our trip to SeaWorld. She was devastated, as was I. In fact, I think I cried more than she did. But alas, this story has a happy ending. I ended up tracking down not one, but TWO more Lovey Bears (for a pretty penny, I might add) and that ratty purple bear is still a staple in our home.
And when I say staple, I mean he goes where Tia goes, unless, of course, she drops him while she’s on the run, in which case I end up searching frantically for him. I think it’s safe to say I spend half my time looking for that blasted bear. Sometimes I wonder why I went to so much troublw to replace him…
I’ve pretty much given up hope on finding Tia’s lovey. I know I’ve been talking about this a lot, but it really has been an upsetting thing for her and for me. I spent a little time thinking about it last night because I have honestly fluctuated between crying over that silly bear and laughing at myself for getting so upset. It’s more than just the fact that we lost a little piece of Tia. That, of course, does make me so sad, but it goes beyond those emotions.
As parents, we work hard to fix our children’s problems – especially when they’re little and the problems are so easy to fix. You got a scrape? Let mommy kiss it – all better! You’re scared? Here, come snuggle with mommy. And so it goes…
The problems, in general, are just easier to fix during these young years. But now, suddenly, my daughter has a problem that I cannot fix for her. It’s relatively minor, of course, compared to the real tragedies that could happen. But in her little two year old mind, she is missing her best friend and I am unable to fix that for her. I can’t turn back the clock and look for lovey before we left the hotel. I can’t will him to appear. I can’t find another one on the internet. It’s the first time I’ve watched one of my kids face disappointment and it stinks!
My mom wisely told me the other day that this will not be the last time I have to sit back and watch my child hurt and know there’s nothing I can do to fix it. We are approaching the school days when the sharp, pointed barbs of another child’s words could potentially devastate one of my kids. That is a wound I cannot prevent and it will equally cut through my heart to see them suffer such disappointment. There will likely be some snot nosed little boy that will one day come along and break my daughter’s heart and I will have to sit back and let her be refined through that experience.
Although truth be told, if a boy comes along and makes her cry, he’ll have to be far more worried about her daddy than he will me…
There are so many disappointments to come, so many heartaches that mommy will not be able to kiss away. For now I will relish the thought that for the most part, I am their hero. I can fix their problems, but I am praying the Lord will give me the strength to handle the bigger disappointments to come because if I get this upset over a little bear, what will I do when something worse happens?
With time, Tia will slowly forget that little purple bear. Before long, his memory will exist to her only through pictures and the stories we tell. I, however, will probably always long to find her lovey bear. I imagine that for years to come, every time I pass a children’s section of a store, my eyes will automatically glance through the stuffed animals hanging up disply, looking and hoping to see lovey bear. Long after her affections have moved on to something else, my heart will still long to ease the pain of the few weeks when she longed for her friend, her comfort.
Am I obssesive, or is this just natural? I haven’t figured that one out yet.
I’m spending the week in Arkansas and I have limited access to the internet, so posting will be sparse. This is a good thing. I’m enjoying some time away from the computer and plan on reading a lot, sleeping a lot and not having a schedule.
Did you hear what I just said?! Not having a schedule…I thrive on schedules, actually. I hate not having a plan to my day. But the last few weeks have been so crazy and so over-scheduled that I’ve experienced a bit of a burn-out.
And when I say a bit of a burn-out, I mean I’ve been almost in full blown panic mode and have felt the need to carry a brown paper bag with me at all times.
Lee and his dad and brothers left while it was still dark this morning for a week of golfing and boy time, in which I’m sure they will eat, drink and be merry in abundance. And I will spend the time relaxing with my mother-in-law and my kids. Not having a schedule. Not having anywhere I have to be. Not having anything I have to do.
Today was my first unscheduled day and I found myself a little nervous. I didn’t really know what to do with myself. So I took a nap. Then I read a book while watching my kids play outside. Then I went to see a movie with my mother and sister-in-law. Now I’m squeezing in a bit of computer time before I go read some more.
And tomorrow will be more of the same. I’m nervous and excited. More excited than nervous, though…
So I will be reposting some of my favorite posts from the past couple of years this week, while sprinkling in new posts when I have the chance – just so I can have something up here. Enjoy your week, all! 🙂
It was November, 1999 and Lee and I had plans to go visit my parents for the weekend. We had been talking a lot about marriage, weddings, rings and so on, so I knew an engagement was soon in the making. I had a sneaking suspicion that the weekend we went home, Lee was planning on talking to my dad and asking his permission. And then I figured he would officially pop the question on Thanksgiving.
We were flying out of Austin, Texas that weekend and they had recently opened a new airport, which Lee and I had never been to. The original Austin airport was small and easy to find. The new one…wasn’t.
We left ourselves just enough time to get to the airport, park Lee’s sexy Grand Am and get to our gate with about thirty minutes to spare. This was pre-9/11 days so we figured we could zip through security in no time. What we did not plan on, however, was how long it would take us to get to the new airport. It was significantly farther away than the original airport and as we drove and drove and drove and…droooove, we got increasingly nervous about missing our flight. With an hour to go from departure, we were still roughly thirty minutes from the airport. And I started to panic.
No worries though. Lee floored the Grand Am and we broke the law to screech into the airport with no time to spare. Lee dropped me and the bags off at the front and he raced to park the car. I dashed inside to the ticket agent and asked him to call the flight and tell then we were coming.
“We?” he said, looking around me.
“My bo-erm…My friend is on his way.” I stammered, still not comfortable with the term boyfriend. The guy raised his eyebrows and looked me up and down then nodded and said, “Mmm-hmmm. And where exactly is your ‘friend?‘” he asked, actually using air quotes at me.
And just then, like a knight in shining armor, Lee tore through the door all red faced and sweaty. I motioned, the guy rolled his eyes and told us to hurry. We made it moments before they shut the doors.
When we arrived in St. Louis, I found myself very nervous and jittery. On Saturday morning, Lee and my dad were going flying. My dad had his pilot’s license and he was taking Lee on a flight to Sikeston. And the story I got from that morning goes something like this:
The guys were prepping the plane for take off and talking business. Lee was busy trying to figure out where he was going to work after his two years with K-Life ended. He had recently met with Drayton Mclane, owner of the Houston Astros, and he was exploring some options. My dad, who was on one side of the plane, asked, “So, Lee, how did this meeting come about?” He was asking Lee how he got connected with Drayton Mclane.
Lee, however, was so nervous about asking if he could marry me that he wasn’t really thinking of anything else. So, thinking that my dad wanted to know how the meeting that morning came about, Lee blurted out, “Well Richard, IwantedtoknowifIcouldmarryyourdaughter.”
It took my dad a second to figure out what Lee was talking about and why he had so swiftly changed the subject. Then he made Lee get in the plane and told him they’d talk more when they got to Sikeston. So for an hour, Lee had to sit next to my dad, in a small plane, nervously awaiting his answer.
Cruel. But funny too…
That night, Lee and I went to dinner with my parents. I hadn’t had a chance to talk with Lee to see how the conversation went with my dad. I knew my parents loved Lee so I wasn’t worried, but I was curious. We went to a country club for dinner and as we waited on the salads to come, I ran to the bathroom, throwing my napkin down on my plate.
When I came back, I regaled my parents and friend with my fascination over the country club’s fancy bathroom, which had a light that came on automatically when I walked in.
I’m easily please, folks…
“I mean, how did it know I came in?” I asked. “And how did it know how long I was in there? How did the light know to stay on for me? It’s crazy, huh?”
I looked around to see robotic stares in return. My mom picked her napkin up off her lap and kind of flipped in around a couple of times before laying it back down. But nobody said anything…they just stared at me. It was weird. Finally, the waitress came with our salads and I grabbed my napkin off my plate so she could lay my salad down.
And staring up at me from inside a red lined box was a beautiful diamond ring. I gasped, laughed and looked at Lee who slid down onto one knee. At this point, the whole restaurant was watching as Lee said a few nice things then popped the question. I don’t remember at all what he said, but I know I said yes and I think I said it kind of loud.
Everyone clapped and moved one. I, however, couldn’t stop staring at my hand, with the sparkler glaring at me from my finger. It was so surreal and exciting and I don’t remember anything else about that night.
It was November 6, 1999. We would be married 8 months later.
To read the more of the love story, go here.
As Lee and I lead up to our 10th Anniversary, I am chronicling some of the favorite memories of our years together. You can read our love story here.
By the fall of 1999, Lee and I were an official “item.” Although neither one of us could ever really call each other “boyfriend and girlfriend.” It sounded silly and trivial and we’d giggle every time we said it. We also felt very strange and junior high when we would walk and hold hands. Because we knew that marriage was imminent, it almost felt like hand holding and labeling trivialized our relationship.
When we returned for what would be my senior year at Baylor, Lee decided to go to the K-Life Board of Directors and tell them about our relationship and his intentions for it. Because he was on staff and I was a volunteer leader, technically we weren’t supposed to date. I was willing to step down as a volunteer if I needed to in order to officially date Lee, but I did not have to do that. The Board was not only supportive of Lee and I, they were excited for us. And for that entire school year, they really poured into us as a couple. What a blessing that was.
So we were free to move forward as an official couple, and move forward we did. Every available moment we had, we spent together. Because I was in my final year and it was kicking my tail academically, Lee and I spent a lot of time at Barnes and Noble – me studying, him staring dreamily at me…
Okay, not really – I think he usually prepared his K-Life talks or Bible studies, but I like to think that he was so distracted by my beauty that he got nothing done at all during that time.
For those of you who have been in Waco in the autumn, you will know that what I am about to write is no exaggeration. Every fall, Waco experienced what can only be described as the Plague of Crickets. Thousands upon thousands (maybe millions) of crickets would swarm the town, covering buildings, falling from the sky and altogether making my life a living hell.
I’ve told you about my unnatural fear of crickets here. This fear stems from my years as a Baylor student. And the fall of 1999 was the worst cricket infestation of all my years there. You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing one or 10,000 crickets. They were in restaurants, churches, libraries, classrooms – every-freakin’-where.
One evening, as Lee and I sat in a quiet corner of B & N studying and talking, I kept a wary eye on the crickets that were crawling on the wall next to us. It was at a particularly intense moment of conversation that I felt a tickle on my calf. I gasped and slapped at my leg, shaking my pants around a little. Lee laughed and called me paranoid and we moved on.
A moment later, I felt another tickle on the back of my knee. I yelped and shook my leg under the table. When no cricket came tumbling out, I decided that maybe I was being a little crazy. Until…
I felt something crawling on my thigh!
At this point I leapt to my feet in the silent but crowded book store where several people were studying and began hopping and dancing about as I stuck my hands down my pants and dug for the voyeristic little cricket. I finally felt my hands close around it and I snatched it out of my pants and threw it across the room with a scream.
I looked around to see all eyes on me and Lee doubled over in laughter. I gave a little smile and wave, then slowly sat back down all shaky and hot. Lee was still laughing. I glared at him and leaned forward.
“Lee,” I hissed. “Did you see that?”
“Lee!” I was desperate for him to understand the seriousness of the situation. I had just been viciously attacked, for crying out loud.
“That cricket was in my pants,” I stage whispered in horror.
Lee sat up and wiped his eyes, then looked straight at me. “Well,” he said with a grin. “Lucky cricket.”
My mouth dropped open and my face got hotter still. Then we both started cracking up.
And then we left…And I have had a severe Crickiphobia ever since.
This weekend we:
Were feeling motivated and inspired so we took advantage of the rarity and tackled a few major yard projects. First, we took down the swing set, much to the kids dismay. They really loved playing on it, but after nearly five years we felt like it was getting a little old and unstable. Why did we feel that way? I think it was the fact that it shook perilously every time one or more children climbed on it…
We let the kids cross the monkey bars one last time before dismantling their beloved swing set.
After taking don the swing set, we decided that it would be nice to completely open up our backyard. And in order to do that, the chain link fence would need to go. So we took it down. And we are both wickedly sore after doing so. But the yard? Looks awesome.
We also took advantage of the great weather and planted flowers. Have I mentioned that I love spring?
A few other weekend activities included:
– Lee and I attending the wedding of a friend. I was her counselor at a children’s camp when I was in high school. And she’s married now. I feel old…
– My sweet friend Lindsey (who is also sister to the above mentioned bride), and I went to visit with the man who forever altered the course of my life when I was fifteen and he took me on my first mission trip to the former Soviet Union. He is now battling a cancer that is extremely aggressive and is ravaging his body. For almost three hours we sat and talked with him, laughing, reminiscing and soaking up his wisdom. I would like to write more about Gary, but I need some time to process all that we discussed yesterday. But I would like to ask that you join me in praying for him and his family.
– Tia asked me to braid her hair so that she could look “woody pitty” for daddy. So I did. Then I took pictures.
– I cleaned the wall after Landon played Picasso.
What we did NOT do:
– Go to Sloan’s first baseball game due to muddy fields.
– Go to Tia’s soccer game due to lack of motivation.
What did you do and NOT do this weekend?