My dear blogging friends, family and people across the internet and time (and space),
I have so much I want to say. Firstly, that wasn't REALLY our bedroom in our last vlog (guest bedroom downstairs). And I don't REALLY wear those Lanz pajamas (though I did buy them second hand because I wore them as a child and they're sentimental). And YES! The Lower Lights sold out all seven of their shows and I went to their opener the other night with my brothers and sisters and parents (plus a few nieces and nephews) and we danced and sang and made ourselves silly with merriment and so, NO I am not still mad at them for showing up in my house. Though, were you worried they were going to show up in my bathroom next?
Also, I took your kind advice and rethought the Christmas tree and so now it stands all 7 feet covered head to toe in ornaments, garland, ribbons and bows. It's a lovely specimen. Brings loads of cheer. I can't wait for Christmas to be over so we can haul it out.
I am sorry if that was a rude way to end that paragraph.
I had this goal of getting all of December planned and perfected so by December 15th I could start thinking about January. And so, I am sitting in the Christmas season, dreaming about a new fresh year and shocked by how domestic I want to be in 2015. I have this fantasy of moving everything around in my house, painting, decorating, making every room comfortable and lovely. And it's captured a lot of my attention right now. Somehow I feel like I should apologize for this, but then again we all have our ways of coping through the winter.
This is mine.
And in the summer I want to grow big grassy bushes outside my front door and paint the door and trim to the house a vibrant color. I want to swim in pops of color and texture and vibrancy in 2015.
Oh but seriously I am getting ahead of myself.
I've been thinking about writing and blogging. I have this general anxiety about never, ever giving up writing and blogging even though I feel like my life is full of little children who need my presence near-constantly. And would you believe that this cherubic, blue-eyed curly blond-headed baby of mine is also growing in neediness? I seriously thought one more child wouldn't add much to the levels of concentration. But then I had this angel baby who, as it turns out, has a mad crush on me and hates to see me so much as leave the room.
I mean to say, I never, ever want to give up writing in this state that I am in right now because I really worry that if all the women in the space I am in gave up on recording and narrating their lives we will continue to have less and less of a voice on what this--this intense mothering--feels like. And sometimes I stay awake at nights trying to think of essayists or novelists or even screen writers who have captured this experience I am having daily but I can't think of many. The reason is, I believe, we give up on writing and let this lifestyle swallow us whole. AND I WILL NOT LET IT SWALLOW ME.
And this is my daily fight--to not be consumed.
Because there is art in what I am doing--raising kids, building community, navigating faith, being in a romantic relationship, failing at finances, succeeding in chaos, perpetually planning--but there has to be time to write it all down. There has to be time to make sense of it. To make art of it.
In 2015 I want to become a domestic-inspired writer and let writing be to my life as important as how I make my home or I craft my relationships.
And as always, I want to be simple.
This year I really mean it.
P.S. Speaking of writing, I have taken a new post as a permablogger at By Common Consent (a Mormon blog for thinkers, so to speak) and my first post about losing faith and finding it again was published last week, you can find it here called Happy Birthday.
Monday, December 8, 2014
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Because the last seven years of my life has been spent either pregnant (puking) or chasing around a drooling baby I haven't had much success at trimming our Christmas tree. Usually, I go to the tree lot and find the most outrageous, strange tree I can find, buy it and hoist it home. My thought is that the shape of the tree covered in lights is a work of art in itself, and therefore, no ornamentation or tinsel is really required.
A couple weeks ago I started having nightmares about this year's Christmas. In my dreams the tree was pathetic, abandoned and blinded in purple and blue flood lights. Santa left nothing but crumbs. Christopher and I were fighting. Our children were underwhlemed. This vision occurred multiple times and left me feeling hopeless and dreading Christmas. And so I decided this year, to block my dreams from coming true we would go with a perfect Christmas tree, and this year, EVEN IF IT KILLED ME we would decorate the tannebaum.
Already I am thinking, this post makes it seem like I care way more about Christmas trees than I really actually do. Though somewhere along the way, I picked up this theory that Christmas trees herald in the season and foreshadow the season to come.
So yes, perhaps I DO think about Christmas trees far more than I should.
Anyway, so we bought a traditional shaped tree at a lot where they thanked us for supporting American agriculture and we brought it home. It took me all day and help from my inlaws, many swear words and a sore back, but by the end of the night it was glowing and glistening and the balls were perched in perfect order.
And it was boring.
After some problem solving discussion I decided it lacked...something...something. At midnight it occured to me that it needed some texture. TINSEL! IT NEEDED TINSEL! So Christopher and I took off on a run to WalMart leaving grandma and grandpa at home with the sleeping children. And we bought tinsel. Gold tinsel. And laughed all the way home about how ridiculous it all is--Christmas decorating and stressing over such things.
Really, so ridiculous.
We bought the tree one week ago today. Since that night it has tipped over three times, has been ripped of it's tinsel on many occasion, and more balls are scattered about my living room than actually on the boughs. Iris scoots herself under it and screams when she can't get out. I found Lego guys and a Lego airplane inside the branches this morning. Even with all our watering, the boughs are already starting to brown. And I keep adding more lights to it because I wanted to SHINE LIKE THE TOP OF THE CHRYSLER BUILDING. Because even though it's plump and fresh, traditional and tall, it's still...boring...to me.
Which means--according to my theory--this will be a boring Christmas. Which means MY DREAMS REALLY ARE COMING TRUE. SEE HOW THIS WORKS?
So next year, it's back to awkward Christmas trees. I've learned my lesson.
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Monday, November 24, 2014
I'm up late reading my twitter feed about the results in Ferguson. It's too late in fact, but I can't stop reading. I can't stop feeling sad. These past few months have been an intense education about a world of racism I never really knew about before. I am grateful I've learned about these issues from Kristen my neighbor who grew up in Ferguson and those who have written, tweeted and blogged about what is going on. I thank them for teaching me so I can teach my children.
Saint Louis is special to our family, and are hearts are broken.
But before I go to bed I want to write about Erin, it's her birthday today and I am thinking about her and this world she's growing up in.
This is what I want to say:
Last Saturday I promised I would take the kids to the pool if they cleaned the house with me. Faithfully (and not without tears, I assure you) they worked on each floor of the house until it was satisfactory. Then we went swimming.
When we got to the pool we noticed there was a shaggy-haired big kid running around in the area for small children. He was splashing kids, making them cry. He was kicking water in kid's faces. He'd laugh when his antics produced a shrieking reaction. But he also did it with a sort of skill that eluded his own parents. I kept watching and waiting for them to get involved, but they seemed pretty unaware.
So I started to speak up to him, but he was totally ignoring me. At one point he kicked water in my face while his little blond side-kick of a brother laughed. With my well-learned passive-aggressive attitude I stared the kid down while he stared at me back. That pleasantry lasted a few seconds before I had to ask myself what I was doing.
But then Ever needed me to adjust her goggles, which distracted me for a bit.
When I looked back up the boy was standing still for the first time since we arrived at the pool. He was staring at something with a puzzled look on his face. Then I saw Squish charging toward him, her short legs powering forward in the shallow water. Her little index finger was pointed right at the boy, her shoulders huffed with every stride, her brow was deep on her face, her brown eyes locked on her target. And though I couldn't hear what she was saying, there were some obvious stern words coming out of her mouth.
That boy started backing up as she got closer. She backed that boy right into a corner where he bumped up against his oblivious parents.
I ran over to Squishy and picked her up out of the water. Her face was flush with determination and grit.
"You ok?" I asked her.
But before she could answer, the other kids were thanking her for her bravery--like the munchkins to Dorothy after she landed on the Wicked Witch of the East. And then all together they roamed about the children's pool, free of the bully for evermore.
And tonight as I write this tribute to my three year old daughter on a historic, tragic day in America, it's my hope that she won't lose her sense of justice, that she'll always fight for what/who is right, that she will recognize her own prejudice and privilege and work to eradicate both.
And I hope she'll never, ever fear the bullies.
Happy Birthday Squish.