Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Little Things

Of course I'm thankful for the normal things. A God who loves me. A family who supports me. Children who are happy. Health. Food in the cupboards. Heat (aka blankets, hoodies, wool socks, a standing body temp of 98.6). Friends and community that give us a sense of belonging.

These things are easy to list. They are the thanks that I wake up with, and that are on my lips as I go to sleep.

But...what about the little things that get me through the day? The bothersome and ever-present impatient side of me needs something else to remember. A little bit of thankful when the children are writing hieroglyphics on the walls with Sharpie, spilling my favorite red nail polish on the carpet, and conspiring together to run away to Gramma and Papas house while taking the TV with them. A little bit of thankful when I can never remember to change the laundry before it turns to putrid mush, touch the handle of the cast iron pot with my bare hands, and leave the toast popped up from the toaster so long that the butter won't promptly melt when applied.

So this is my little list of thankful.

1. Hot baths. 105 degrees or hotter. They are relaxing, the perfect place to read a book, and essentially free. The best way to attack a bath is by cleaning oneself first, as to avoid the stewing in one's own filth. Because, in a bath that hot, you are a stew.

2. Lukewarm coffee. Barely warmer than room temperature. I love the taste of coffee, so why, pray tell, would I want to burn my tongue and lose the flavor for the rest of the cup? This strikes me as logical, however I am the only on in this blessed world who drinks lukewarm coffee, so I have resigned myself to the fact that I am the unique one.

3. Crappy furniture. There will be a time in my life where we can have nice things, but until then I am enjoying my tiny Supermen, Fighter Pilots, Gymnasts, Wilderness Explorers, Puppeteers, and Lightning McQueens.

4. The ability to sew. Can't tell you how much money I have saved our family with a needle and thread.

5. A Big Love who cooks. And not just little "c" cook, but Cook. Baking is something I have no problem taking care of, but Cooking is something I only partake in for survival purposes. Someone once told me that one needs to feed their children. So feed them, I do. Big Love, however, turns every meal into a journey of color, palate, and whimsy. Books will be written about this. Probably by me.

4. Apple products. Sure, Steve Jobs was probably a major prick. But have you ever held an iPhone? Have you ever carried an iMac to your car? Have you ever had your 2 yr old play on an iPad? Seriously.

5. An HD tv. Sure, it's tiny. Sure, we only have 6 HD channels. Sure, it's covered in fingerprints and I'm constantly dusting it. Sure, it took me almost three years to pay off. But it is something that implies that my family lives in the current decade.

6. Children who are not afraid of people. There are some major cons to having boundary-less children, but, as one who grew as a wee hermit, the ability to relate to people is a huge hurdle that my kids will not have to worry about jumping.

7. Children who eat fruits and vegetables. Enough said.

8. 2 cars. There were a couple years where we had only one car, and that was awful. There have been many years where I have been entirely dependent on public transportation, and that was terribly inconvenient. 2 cars are expensive, especially when your cars are old and prone to breaking down, but worth it.

9. A family that gets along. On both Mom and Dads side of the family, people are very friendly. This makes holidays and family get togethers not only tolerable, but downright lovely.

10. Cribbage.

11. Wall decor that consists of paper snowflakes, computer paper covered in the same stamp 400 times, and crayon drawings of our family, both real and imaginary. This means that my children are both excited about art and proud of their accomplishments.

12. The love of window shopping. I have lived my whole life on a budget, often a very tight budget, and I get equal enjoyment, if not more, when I window shop as opposed to buy. My home only contains the things I need, and I love always being in a point in life where I can enjoy a good daydream of what the future could hold.

13. Pinterest. Resourceful Me loves knowing about all the other resourceful people in the world and their ideas. It is a constant reminder that I am not alone.

14. Rain. Rain = Green. And takes a bunch of dust and gross out of my air.

15. Decent skin. I have never had a major problem with acne, dry skin, dandruff, excema, etc. Awesome.

There are many more little things. This is my abbreviated list. New things I am thankful for reveal themselves every day, and I really should keep a running tab.

What little things are you thankful for?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Where am I? - an introduction

Something odd happens when you start losing interest in watching television.

About 4 months ago, my dear family made the financial decision to drop down to limited basic cable. This began as a travesty. The amount of despair incurred from such a change to our everyday was substantial. And pathetic. Now that No Cable has rounded the dreaded "3-month hump"(this is a reference to my days of dating. I don't know if the "3-month hump" exists for all, but that was when I broke up with most of my boyfriends, realizing that it would never work. I am trying to make that idea work in this context. Go with me.) a few key things have happened:

Number one: The cable bill is REALLY low. Awesome.
Number two: Anything the kids have available to watch is commercial free and educational. Awesome.
Number three: Darling Husband has to watch all sports on the computer. That means I don't get the computer at will. Not awesome, but not devastating.
Number four: All the grown-up shows are ridiculous. Not awesome.
Number five: All four of us are reading more. WAY awesome.
Number six: With all of this reading I am doing, I feel the need to write. Awesome...?

I have never toted myself as a writer. So you, dear reader, are in for quite a treat. No one enjoys a badly written journal more than myself, so I figured, why not treat someone else to the same pleasure? You're welcome.

I have written a blog before. You can look at it if you want at . It's not that interesting. I wrote it when I was a stay-at-home mom, with few friends, no adult interaction, and a short fuse. Now I am a new woman! I have a job that I love, a few more friends, a healthy amount of adult interaction, equally short fuse. Can't win 'em all.

Even with this new life filled with friends and buddies and people-who-know-what-I'm-saying-if-I-use-the-word-"intrepid"-in-a-sentence, I find myself missing the glorious outlet of what I call "literary processing". Processing via the written word. As I get into all the glorious books I am now reading, I see myself getting jealous of the characters. I get to join them in their journey because it is written down. They get to work through their thoughts by expressing them on the page. Why can't I do that? I want to be able to figure it out, too!

I have a family. Three adorable boys, ages 3, 6, and 32. The youngest is a solid mass of adorable, stubborn, and muscle. I will refer to him as Brick House. I understand the song "Brick House" is about a woman, so please refrain from pointing that out to me, but the term describes his personality and physique with uncanny accuracy.

My 6-year-old is slight, emotional, and devilishly handsome. I will refer to him as Dash, as he is a very quick runner and Dash is a Disney character that he very much associates with.

My oldest boy is the one that I married. He is gentle, loving, and gorgeous. The term I used for him in my last blog was "Big Love", and I'm sticking with that. It is impossible not to love this man. He is one of those men that you meet and think, "That, there, is one cool guy." I am a lucky, and extremely grateful, gal.

I have a job. I work at my home church here in town. When we moved from The South back to the Left Coast, we were fortunate enough to land in an amazing body of believers. "The Chapel" has been a truly inspirational place to grow in Christ, both personally and as a family. I am a different person now, largely in part to the support I have received from this community. And after working for a year and a half at a job that was not for me, God threw me into the staff of The Chapel doing exactly what I want to be doing. I relish the moments of connecting with fellow Jesus followers, planning fun events, and witnessing Jesus work in the lives of many.

I have a home. I wouldn't call it a house, per se, but definitely a home. We live in a 3 bedroom 850 sq. ft. apartment, along with our hand-me-down furniture, fridge/freezer full of meat, and Big Love's stunning supply of clothes which currently reside in every closet of the house. I am constantly donating things to Goodwill so we don't become hoarders, and our walls have nothing on them except finger-painted construction paper pumpkins that have been hanging on the door since 2010. We trip over each other, but everyone has their own room. It's home.

I have a pretty great life, considering. It is, however, a constant reminder of how put together I am not. It is a constant reminder of how much growing I have to do. It is a constant reminder that I am in the palm of the Creator, and He has taken a shining to little ol' me.