Archive for August 2008

Five more hours of bliss....

Sunday, August 31, 2008

...until my family returns from their 4th annual Labor Day weekend camping trip/Mom's sanity time after 3 months of "I'm bored". It has been heavenly. Just to give you an idea of how quiet it's been: I can hear my computer humming as I pass by it. I know the house hasn't been this clean and organized since last Labor Day.

Typically on these weekends I compose a monstrous to-do list and attempt to cross off every item. My crew headed south on Thursday afternoon and I immediately began painting the hallways and stairways. After four years of living here, looking at the walls you might think "10 years" Yuk! Five hours later I collapsed. Friday morning I woke up with a very sore lower back and took a hiatus from all things physically taxing. Saturday I tackled the walls again and finished about 85% and called it a day. A friend who didn't know I was alone called and we walked and had a long, uninterrupted visit. Again, blissful.

Despite how relaxing and self-serving this time has been it makes me realize that even though I've made the threat many times this summer, I really don't want to live alone. It's just plain, I don't know how else to put it: LONELY. Life is meant to be shared. We need to experience sacrifice to appreciate the solitude. Focusing on myself for 72 hours has been soul filling but I can't imagine living this way and not feeling a bit empty at the end of the day.

In four hours and forty minutes the noise level will return to its normal decibel, dishes will fill the sink, the bickering will resume, cute boys will fill every bed and my heart will be content. Until tomorrow. :)


Soccer Mom, Part Two

Monday, August 25, 2008

I've never been prone to bragging and the parents who incessantly boast about their offsprings' many achievements can be annoying--to say the least. We all enjoy celebrating our childrens' shining moments but I try hard to not be overt or arrogant in my excitement. However, after reading this morning's paper I just had to post.

My oldest son's soccer team played in their last summer tournament this past weekend. They lost in the semi-finals and as they were leaving the field, he and a teammate were interviewed by a Bellingham Herald sports writer. This morning as I opened the paper there were my firstborn's words all over the front page of the Sports section. You need to understand that in a town of 65,000 making the paper is a big deal. I know, kind of lame but nonetheless a reality. I hope this isn't his "15 minutes of fame" but it did make this momma proud to read her baby in quotes. Read the article here.

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Take the "Momfidence" quiz

Monday, August 18, 2008

I know that not everyone who peruses my blog is a "mom" but after my last post I read an article that turned me on to Paula Spencer. Ms. Spencer is an author who writes a monthly column for Woman's Day called "Momfidence".

I felt compelled to give her some positive feedback about her most recent article, Why I Don't Cheer. I tried to find a way to post the article here but came up short. However, I did find my way onto her blog and took her quiz. Click here to take it. Try and guess if I was an "A", "B" or "C".


20 days until school starts

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

But who's counting?? I AM! Why do I forget every year that once we hit about the 10th of August the fighting escalates, patience wanes and the phrase "I'm bored" is heard about 200 times a day?? This time every year I say that I'm going to put the kids in a camp, plan a vacation, do all those local day trips, etc. and it rarely comes to fruition. Our "summer fun funds" don't go as far as they used to and my creativity is zapped.

As I write this I'm thinking "others must be wondering why I had children". Well, to do all my household chores and yardwork, of course. Ha!

On the positive side it has been a low key summer without an abundance of activities or long road trips. Knowing this heading into June, I was dreading the 11 weeks ahead of me. To be honest, even though it's been a little more boring than usual it's also been a nice change of pace. I've seen the boys be creative and use their imaginations. My oldest started a lawn mowing/watering business which has kept him busier than he (or I) had expected. My middle one has enjoyed initiating playdates and riding his bike to and from friends' houses. My youngest has found a best friend in our dog Millie.

So before you want to poke my eyes out with your newly sharpened pencils from your school supply outing, take comfort in the fact that I took 5 boys to the local fair yesterday. My first thought this morning was "Surely there's a camp with three openings somewhere out there!"


16 years of wedded bliss....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

So maybe "bliss" is a bit of a stretch especially to those who know us well and have walked through the trials and tribulations of matrimony. This past weekend we did celebrate 16 years since we said "I Do". Has it been easy? No way. Would we say it again? You bet.

In a world of an alarming divorce rate and a general disdain for marriage itself I'd like to post some encouraging facts about getting hitched. Recently I stumbled upon an article by a woman named Carol Fox titled, "18 Cheers for Marriage". Carol has been married for over fifty years so I have no problem believing or taking advice from someone who has stuck it out and still has a positive outlook after half a century. In honor of my anniversary I'm sharing the top 16 "cheers" below.
1. Marriage promotes good mental health: there is less stress and more confidence that comes with companionship - someone to talk things over with. With the extra help comes a new contentment. At the very least it frees you from the pressure of finding someone to spend your life with!

2. Marriage improves physical health: a good diet, regular meal times and improved sleeping habits prolong life. With another person concerned, you're more likely to keep doctors' appointments, take prescribed medication and discuss findings. With a good and faithful partner chances of disease from promiscuity are greatly reduced.

3. Marriage looks after your emotional health: with a new stability in life, positive virtues such as loyalty and courage develop. Marriage gives an opportunity for love's full expression and for that emotional strength to grow. Of course, negative emotions like jealousy and anger still arise but they have a better chance of being resolved.

4. Marriage brings out the best in an individual: you grow together in patience, understanding, unselfishness and perseverance. You just can't do that with a cat.

5. Marriage develops character through obligations and responsibilities.

6. Marriage equals true friendship: one of the big advantages of a lasting, committed relationship is having someone you can really let go with and be yourself around - because you know they'll still be there tomorrow.
7. Marriage promotes economic stability: making budgets, saving, discussing spending and setting priorities - all this is easier when you are accountable to another person. When you make decisions together, there is less impulsive spending. That's why married families are the most prosperous.

8. Marriage promotes personal fulfillment and productivity: it enhances the creative abilities of each, because necessity is the mother of invention and with the division of labor more is accomplished.

9. Marriage is a living organism: the unified entity of marriage, "the two becoming one," affords an opportunity to participate in something much larger than "my own life." This makes the simple tasks of everyday life exponentially more exciting.

10. To each marriage there are moral, social and political implications: it takes you out of your own small world and into a larger one. Each marriage affects life profoundly and eventually helps create a more cohesive society. Marriages make history, but it all begins by making another person's happiness important to you.

11. Marriage encourages and expands the scope of your interests, many of which may be shared, whether hobbies, sports or pastimes, or, more importantly, involvement in community affairs, charitable or educational organizations, and religious life.
12. Marriage is the best environment for the raising of children. It makes its mark on the next generation.

13. Marriage creates a family lineage, putting you in touch with those who went before and those yet to come. Through marriage you are connected to ancestors and become the carriers of a tradition.

14. Marriage creates a social unit, encompassing friends, extended family, neighbors, friends of the children, etc. One builds a home where that unit can flourish.

15. Marriage develops compassion for others. It gives plentiful opportunity to protect and nurture, to surrender our desires at times, and to be present and just caring.

16. Marriage gives direction and spirit to our lives.