Friday, August 28, 2009

To Be A Woman

I realize it's Friday and, historically speaking, I should be doing a Fabulous Five post, but I've had a thought rolling around in my quiet brain for a few weeks and I didn't even realize it until today. It's remained an unconscious thought until this morning when it suddenly forced it's way through to the forefront of my mind and conjured itself into a blog essay before my eyes. (well, my mind's eye)

(To preface my thoughts I'll say that I've never really considered myself much of a feminist, but I do believe that women are absolutely capable of doing anything they decide to. This post is not intended as an argument for the role of a woman, it is simply my thoughts on my own role as a woman. I'll just leave it at that.)

One morning, a few months ago, I stood next to Dustin in front of the mirror in the bathroom. I think we were both brushing our teeth. My thoughts for the previous several days had dwelt on men and women, their roles, their differences. You see, I had just read a book that was set in a different time when men had to be warriors. A time when they had to protect and defend their wives, families and country. Dustin and I were both bare shouldered because it was morning and we weren't dressed yet. As we were standing next to each other in front of the mirror, I couldn't help but observe the differences between he and I, a man and a woman. His shoulders are broad, well-muscled and strong. While I am a fairly strong woman, I relished the study of his shoulder versus mine. I looked so small next to him. So delicate. So... feminine.

As I marveled at these differences, I made him turn sideways next to me and I said to him, "Look at that! Look how small my shoulder is compared to yours. I bet you could fit three of my little shoulders into one of yours!" He laughed, his mouth full of toothpaste, but didn't say anything.

Did this difference bother me? No! Did I wish for his shoulders, his musculature, in myself? Of course not! To wish such a thing would, in my opinion, be a physical obscurity. I like my small frame and the role that it plays in my life. His broad shoulders could be a warrior's shoulders, if the need arose. They could defend his wife and his children. These thoughts stirred up feelings of security and safety in my heart.

I have mentioned on this blog that a friend of ours recently passed away, leaving behind a wife and two small children. As we went to the viewing and hugged each of his family members who attended his body, his newly-widowed wife hugged me fiercely and, through her sobs, conveyed to me that this just isn't fair! She didn't want this. This wasn't supposed to happen. They were supposed to grow old together! She isn't supposed to be a widow at 28 years old! Her feelings of confusion, anger, heartache and sorrow washed over me. All I could do was sob and tell her I'm sorry.

I'm sure anyone in my situation would've done just as I did, hug her back and cry with her, but as I did, I couldn't stop the images of myself, just three years older than she, mourning the loss of my own husband. What would that be like? I pray I will never know.

The weeks have passed since that day but the memory of it has not left me, nor have the feelings and questions evoked by the event. As time moves on and these thoughts hover just outside my awareness, I have been filled with gratitude for the roles we play, gratitude for my husband and his willingness to provide for his family, his willingness to love and cherish me, his willingness to be a man. Not only willingness, but fervor. Ferocity. Total dedication and devotion. I know that as long as he is here on earth, by my side, I will never have to worry about our bills being paid. He is our provider and my husband and he feels validated by these roles.

If tragedy were to strike my family, I know I could take care of myself and that I could provide for my family if the need arose. I've always known that and I have confidence in myself and my capabilities. That being said, the events of the last few weeks made me realize that I cherish being taken care of. It is a privilege and a blessing. I treasure that my husband's main desire is to provide for his wife and his children. I honor the fact that he is a man who wants to be the breadwinner. I relish my role of being a feminine woman who knows she can take care of herself, but allows her husband the honor of doing it for her.

And, for me in my life, knowing my capabilities and allowing myself to be dependent on my husband despite what I can do is my definition of being a woman.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Important Medical Info...

I just got an email that had some very important medical information on it.

Since I try to be a conscientious friend, I thought I should pass it along to all of you....

The correct way to weigh yourself:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Really Don't Know

It's been so weird for me lately. I look at the "New Post" button on my blog and I just stare at it. I don't understand why I have so little to say.

Now I just typed that sentence and I sat there and stared at it wondering, what do I say next? I used to have blog-post ideas pop into my head forty-three-thousand times per day. I had to keep a notebook with me and jot them down so I wouldn't forget. Now, I got nothin'. I don't know what I think of all day everyday, but whatever it is goes in and out of my head like water on sand.

Why am I so quiet? I don't understand it, but it is what it is. Cycles. Time and season and all that stuff...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday, for another hour and18 minutes. I am now 31 years old.

This morning, my sweet husband cuddled with my while I was very sleepy and wished me a Happy Birthday. Then he went and got in the shower and I continued to sleep. Off to work he went. Don't I have a great husband? He goes to work every day for our family. He doesn't love what he does, but he loves us and because of him, I stay home everyday with my children. I'm so blessed.

I woke up to Ella chattering next to me. I was still so sleepy. I would fall asleep while answering her chatters and she loved me anyway. What a sweet girl.

Later I woke up for real due to more Ella-chatter. It was a good way to wake up. Then the phone rang. It was my friend and her cute kids singing me a halting Happy Birthday. They even stopped mid-song to say that they were "so off!" It was adorable. I felt so loved.

My phone rang and rang. I think I got 5 or 6 birthday wishes before 9am! It was a good morning. Except when my kids found out I was going to play laser-tag without them for my birthday date. They were mad about that and I told them they had to be nice to me because it is my birthday. Eventually they concurred.

My mom called and she and my dad sang me a lovely birthday song, complete with harmony. Then she offered to take me to lunch. I chose a charming local restaurant with awesome fish tacos and incredible house salads. My taste buds were so lucky this day!

Then I wandered some local shops with my mom, smelling lots of lotions and soaps. My olfactory sense was overloaded and assaulted and a little angry at me. But I'm still so blessed, olfactory glands and all!

I went and picked up my children from my friend, Devon. She is an earth-angel and I love her. Dearly.

My chore today was the living room and dining room and I failed to do them this morning. Shame on me. But I redeemed myself and did them when I got home. Then I made frosting for the cupcakes that were previously prepared on my behalf. I frosted the cupcakes and headed out to play for my birthday party.

I planned my party all by myself. I rented a local laser-tag place for a whole hour! Did you know that that's a really long time to play laser-tag? It makes one's quads really tired. REALLY tired. And it makes one sweat. A LOT. Many family members and a few friends joined in our fun and I came home completely pleased with myself for planning my own party. I said over and over to Dustin, "That was really fun, huh?" After the third or fourth time he laughed out loud and said, "Yes honey. It was very fun." His tone was a little bit patronizing, but I didn't mind. I planned exactly what I wanted and I was completely thrilled with the result.

I like me. I'm so blessed. Happy Birthday, Me!

This picture was taken in 2007 in a Cadillac Escalade. That was a fun car, indeed, to drive! Aren't we all so blessed to get to drive cars and get everywhere so quickly? Life is grand, is it not?

Love, C

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Week Plus

So, it's been a week and two days since my last posting. It was a weird week (and two days). Good, but weird. Here follows a long and semi-boring update of what I've been up to:

Monday night, as I mentioned, we drove to Bear Lake area for the funeral of our friend, Phillip. Monday night was the viewing. So tragic. So much loss. After the viewing, Dustin took me out to the lake were he grew up and we watched the sunset on the beach. It helped both of us feel better.

Tuesday was the funeral. It was an amazing service. Our friend Phillip was a police officer and was honored with a full color guard from many departments from all over Idaho. Very impressive. Any of you prayer-saying folks, please continue to think of his family, his wife, Michelle, in particular. She needs prayers very much right now. Please and thank you.

Wednesday morning I woke up with no children at home. My mom and dad had kept our kids Monday night while we traveled and we got home so late on Tuesday that she just let them sleep over again. I was doing some stuff on the computer and heard a very weird noise, like a pressure washer or something. Then suddenly I smelled sewer gas. VERY strong sewer gas. Turns out they were doing some spray-out-the-sewer-lines thing and we don't have a trap in our floor drain or something (which will be remedied when we finish the family room in our basement because we moved the floor drain and will plug the trapless one). So, we get all the lovely smells from the sewer pressure wash. Let me tell you, it's awesome. But not really. Dustin happened to call me during this lovely experience. I told him of the pleasant aroma permeating our house and he told me to "get out of the house and get out now!" Apparently sewer gas is bad to breathe and it burns your lungs without you even knowing it's doing it. (He has the pleasure of working around sewer gas here and there for his engineering firm, so he's knowledgeable about such things. Lucky guy.) So, I threw on some clothes and went to my mom's house to get my kids. I stayed there for a while.

Then my friend called with an emergency shopping request. She had her 20 year high school reunion to go to that weekend and wanted me to help her find something to wear. I was supposed to be painting at my duplex, but I opted for shopping instead. I haven't been shopping in... I don't know how long, but a long time. It was super fun and I was told I was "the ultimate shopping friend". What a compliment! But we didn't find any swanky shoes for her to wear so, we planned to go shopping the next day too.

On our Thursday shopping trip we found the swanky shoes within the first hour and decided it was too early to just go home. We ate lunch and then, I had been wanting some new shirts so we looked for those for a while. I don't know why but it was really hard for me to shop for myself with other people. I didn't like being the center of attention. And what's with all the puffy sleeves out there? I have VERY square shoulders and the puff doesn't work very well for me. Go away puffy sleeves. Come back another decade. (or don't)

Thursday night we had a cute couple over for dinner, Jenn and Richard. Jenn is pregnant and due very soon and she wanted me to teach her the breathing techniques I used during unmedicated labor. It was interesting. I felt a little dumb, but I can only hope that it helps them during the birth of their daughter.

Friday I went to my mom's and picked zillions of green beans. My mom has a HUGE garden. Huge. We picked the beans and then we canned the beans. Dustin came home from work and took the kids camping overnight. I canned more beans and left my mom's house just after midnight.

Saturday I slept in until 10:00!!! I was shocked. I did some chores and then the fam came home from camping. They all reeked of campfire (one of my least favorite smells on the earth) and I threw them all in the shower. Later that evening we attended a lovely barbecue at a friend's house.

Sunday I went to church and came home and read a book all afternoon. Then went to my parents to celebrate my mom's birthday. We had the best dinner.... my mouth is watering just remembering. YUM.

Oh, I forgot to mention, on Wednesday Rohan asked me if I would buy him a four-wheeler. I told him maybe when he's grown up and maybe if we don't live in the city because they're illegal to drive in the city. He got mad and said, "Well MacdenElla drive them on our street!" (Rohan always says "MacdenElla" like one word, meaning Mac and Ella.) I finally figured out that he meant a two-wheeler... a bicycle. I then informed him that he has a bicycle, it just has training wheels on it. If we took them off then it would be a two-wheeler. He then asked if we could take off his training wheels. I told him that his dad would do that and to ask him when he came home from work.

To make a long story short, Dustin took off the training wheels before he went to work on Friday morning. Rohan asked me several times to help him ride his bike and I wasn't dressed yet and, honestly, didn't feel like chasing behind a bike, bent over to prevent falling, so I put him off a few times. I was doing something on the computer later and Mac came up and informed me that he had helped Rohan get his bike out and Rohan just took off and rode it with no training wheels at all! Turns out I didn't even need to help him. What a kid!

This little clip is his 2nd try at riding sans training wheels. (his first time, I missed because I was being a lazy mom...)

And here is the third try. Look at him get it going all by himself. He's so cute! And yes, he just turned four in May... way to young to be so big! (Don't mind my neighbor's yucky lawn... I mind it enough for all of us!)

So there's my week in a nutshell. The most exciting thing was, by far, Rohan's bicycle feats. It made my day on Friday.

The end.

Except I forgot one thing... after a whole two days of being a training-wheel-free rider, Rohan rode all the way to my parents' house on Sunday afternoon with Dustin, Mac and Ella. My parents house is almost 4 miles away from my house! Dustin brought the stroller just in case Roh got tired but he never did. Dustin did force him ride in it for the last quarter mile because the road is very busy with no sidewalk. Rohan was angry at Dustin for making him ride in the "baby stroller!"

I say again, what a kid!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Today... and tomorrow, I should say, will be rough.

Today we will go to a viewing. A good friend of ours was killed in a car accident last week. My thoughts have been with his family since Thursday when I heard the news. My tears have not stayed put whenever I think about his sweet sister (one of my dear friends), his dear mother and his young and precious wife and children.

Tomorrow we will attend his funeral.

Life is not fair sometimes. He was too young, too much life left to live. Healthy. Happy.

Questions are asked that have no answers. At least none that we can see right now. Sometimes these things make sense far into the future when we can look back with that 20/20 hindsight.

I pray for peace in the hearts of those he left behind. I pray for strength for them. For courage. For time to pass quickly and heal their wounds the way only time can.

I love you Jennie and Jared. Michelle, Andy, Hailey. Barb. Peace be with you.

We'll miss you, Phillip.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five

1- Ella asked today, "Where is that rug we have that has roads on it?" I told her. This is one of those rugs that has a whole little town on it complete with a church, hospital, school, police station, etc. It's been put up for about a year since we started remodeling their rooms last August. Frankly I had quite forgotten about it. Ella got it out and, after doing chores, all three kids got all the cars we have, divvied them up and have been playing for a good long while now. I love hearing and observing them using their little imaginations and playing. It is my very very favorite part of being a mother and I wish I still thought playing like that myself was fun.

2- Dustin and I officially scrubbed the last wall yesterday in our duplex. There's still some things to do, but they don't involve cleaning anymore. Well, not really. We had a bit of water damage last winter in a closet from some ice dams on the roof so my dad (bless him a thousand times for his skills) is going to come patch the ceiling and then I have to paint some Kilz on the mold that grew here and there. Then, I will have to repaint the whole closet, which of course is a walk-in closet that is a putrid gray color. But... I don't have to clean anything else. No more gum, no more stuck-on food, no more grease, no more pee in bathrooms! It took seven days of cleaning, but we are done. YAY!

3- I had a really weird dream last night. I had to climb on this mountain to get into this cave and I had to hang on to these staple-ish things that were put into the mountain. The problem was I had to hang upside down and backwards and all sorts of awful contourtions and the staples kept sliding out. I was terrified. I was so glad to wake up in my bed. Beds are so nice to be in when you thought you were on a giant mountain with a 100+ foot drop below you and the staples you were holding keep falling out.

4- Frosted Mini Wheats. Yum.

5- I am looking forward to wearing clothes that are NOT my paint/work clothes. I've worn the same pair of pants since last Wednesday... my cleaning pants. They are not cute and I don't like them. But I don't care if they get dirty so that's why I keep wearing them. But, I'll be glad to wear something else.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Zippity Doo Dah

Good morning! I'm feeling much more cheerful today than I did yesterday. Perhaps that's because after we ate fast food (again) last night I went BACK over to the duplex and cleaned one of the very nastified bathrooms 'til it sparkled! I had been putting off the bathrooms and I dug in and did it last night! I cleaned one bathroom for three hours and it's DONE!!! I'm feeling a light at the end of the other-people's-dirt tunnel and it's made a more chipper girl out of me!

Many thanks to you all for your encouragement yesterday! And many, many, many thanks to Rachel for helping me clean in the kitchen last week and then bringing me cookies and visiting me yesterday! Rachel, my dear, you are such a bright spot in that dirty-but-getting-cleaner-by-the-hour apartment! THANK YOU for bringing sunshine, cookies and conversation! Love ya!!!

Soon I will get to have the arduous task of finding new renters! New, CLEAN renters!

I just noticed that there's only one sentence in this whole post that does not end in an exclamation point. Do you think I'm excited?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lacking Cleverness

No clever post today. No well-thought-out stories. Just checking in to say hi. I've been very busy cleaning at my duplex since Wednesday. Not my favorite thing to do, but something that has to be done.

I've been farming my kids out to various friends and family. I've been completely exhausted each night when I come home. I should be over there right now, but instead I find myself sitting here, still in my pajamas, typing this lackluster post.

I am slightly discouraged, if you cannot tell. I used to be so angry at my ex-tenants, but now I'm more resigned and dutiful. Just do it, Clancy. Get off the computer, drag your kids over there and start scrubbing walls. Again.

See ya later, alligator.