What Matters Most

What Matters Most
Andie's Baptism

Monday, August 10, 2009

Those people don't live here anymore

I don't know if you noticed, but I changed the picture up top.  Some things are the same.  My hair- basically the same.  My weight, oh, I'm probably 10 lbs heavier.  Allie's dress- same one, only shorter.  This time Andie's the one with the wet hair, instead of Allie.  Colton- slightly bigger, more mischievous version of the same thing.  Casey- never changes much- how lucky am I?  I think he's even wearing the same tie.  So what's changed?  Check out the two teenagers.  They weren't in the last picture.  There were two gawky, slightly awkward kids where they now stand. As I looked at these two pictures side by side, that is what struck me the most.  I was at least a head taller than Kenny in the old picture.  Now he's only a quarter inch shorter than me.  And Susie- what can I say?  She's so pretty now!  But what's really amazing is how much I like them.  I really, really like them!  I know that raising teenagers won't be without it's challenges- but can I say how cool it is to have them around?  Lately, I've been having a really hard time getting a decent dinner on the table.  I just don't seem to have the required oomph left in me by dinnertime.  So today, I did manage to throw a little chicken in the oven in the afternoon, in the hopes that I might be ambitious enough to throw it into a salad for dinner.  5 o'clock rolls around, and Susie says "what's for dinner?"  My rather unenthusiastic reply "um, I was thinking about chicken yum-yum salad" (thinking about, but not really wanting to make).  Susie responds "Great!  Can I make it?"  What can I say- YOU BETCHA!  And Kenny- well, he actually answered me agreeably a few times today, and helped out without whining when asked.  Will wonders never cease.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I wanna new drug

Sometimes it seems like everything is going wrong.  That's been the story of my life this week.  It seems that I'm perpetually a dollar short and a day late, as the old adage goes; add this to the constant emotional upheaval which seems to accompany raising kids, and my general mental instability, and you've got a storm a-brewing in Meganland.  It has not been pretty.  Needless to say, I want out.  

How does one escape ones troubles, exactly?  Well, I suppose everybody does it differently. Everyone has their "drug of choice" so to speak- the thing they turn to in difficult times to help them cope.  Some people exercise, some people eat, some people meditate, some people use actual drugs.  Well, I already take drugs to help me cope.  Prescription ones, of course (an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety pill, to be precise).  And guess what.  I'm still not coping.  So I'm on to new things.  

Tuesday I had a rough patch- tried to smooth it over with chocolate.   Yesterday was even worse.  So I tried ice-cream.  Still no better.  Today, I gave the bacon double cheeseburger and fries a chance (do I sense I pattern here?).  Alas, still no relief.  And so this evening, grasping at straws, it occurred to me that I haven't had a book to read all week.  And so, despite the fact that I needed to get home and make dinner pronto, I whipped into the used bookstore on the way home from an errand. Grabbed two books from the "chick-lit" section (feeling better already). Got 'em for free because I had credit from a previous visit (another endorphin rush). As I drove away, I swear I felt tears of joy well up in my eyes (yeah, I know I'm overly emotional right now)-  but I'm telling you, I've found my drug.  Just hook me up with a book and I'll be fine.  And you all thought it was Diet Dr. Pepper.

Incidentally, the girl at the register said something interesting to me as I checked out.  I mentioned that I'd been having a tough week, and she said "yeah, I'm hearing that a lot right now- must be because mercury's in retrograde."  Hallelujah!  Now not only do I know how to cope, I understand what the problem was in the first place.  Danged mercury.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The women who amaze me

I try to be a good mom. I try to be a good Mormon. And recently, I'm trying harder to be fiscally responsible. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing a pretty good job (ala my last post). Other times I realize that compared to many of you, I fall woefully short.
In my quest to be fiscally responsible, I have recently begun couponing. An interesting art, to say the least. I'm not a pro, and I don't think I even aspire to be. But I've discovered that occasionally I can poach ideas from the pros and come out smelling pretty sweet. So today I was on my friend Jessica's blog, because she mentioned that she posted some good deals. From there, I went to a mutual friend Katie's blog. Wow. Katie, like me, has five kids. She also, apparently, is the coupon queen. And she posts beautifully about it so that the rest of us can benefit. Thank you, Katie. But here's what really clinches my admiration for this woman- she has a countdown 'til summer vacation arrives. I believe she is truly excited for the days when all of her kiddos will be home all day for a few months. I, on the other hand, am quaking in fear. So here's to you, Katie, for being all that I aspire to be, and looking cute while doing it. (Did I mention she has great hair?) Check out Katie's blog here: http://katiejprice.blogspot.com/ Sorry, among other things, I'm not cool enough to know how to put this in as a link.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

That Mother

Today I was That Mother. You know the one. The one who shows up at her children's school on time. Looking lovely. With whatever item she was supposed to bring. The one who is prepared. Yes, today, that was me, and I'm proud. Let me share.
My son attends preschool. Now, I always thought the purpose of preschool was to pay someone else to be a good parent to your child for a few hours a week. You know- read with them. Play with them. Do art projects with them. Apparently the primary purpose of preschool is, In Fact, to pay someone else to add to your to-do list. And to make you feel guilty for all the things you forget.
Well, my friend Debbie saved my bacon today. She called me just after dropping her son off at preschool. "Did you remember that the kids need 12 easter eggs filled with candy for school today?" (Thankfully we hadn't left yet, as my son was still in his jammies). Of course I hadn't remembered. Why would I? To quote the teacher of one of my older daughters, I am "one of the flakiest responsible mothers" she knows. (I think this means that she knows I love my kids, even though I don't usually brush their hair). Anyhow, back to my moment of triumph- had I remembered the eggs? No. But guess what? High in my garage, in a bin neatly labeled "Easter", there were plastic eggs. And hidden in a grocery bag on a nearby shelf was a stash of Easter candy. That I bought in advance. On sale. With a coupon. I rock.
Quickly, I filled a dozen eggs with jelly beans, put them in a bag, and off we went to preschool. Other mothers were frantically rushing to the store to buy their eggs and candy at (gasp!) full price, but not me. My son and I marched proudly into preschool, PREPARED.
Granted, we were 15 minutes late, and I was wearing ripped pajama pants and yesterday's hair, but hey, two out of three ain't bad.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


You might have noticed that I changed the title of my blog. Heck, if you're here, you might just be amazed that I'M here. It's been a while. It's not the only change I want to make, but change takes time, so wait for it...

First of all- I'm turning 40 this year. And I think there are some things that I need to do in my life. Not big things. Well, maybe big things. But I'm not talking career changes (good, since I don't have one), or uprooting my family, or say, gender-reassignment, so you can all breathe a little easier. I guess I'm just saying that I want to work on some stuff. But let's not call them New Year's Resolutions, because then they're just begging to be ignored. So, onward and upward...

Why gathering the marbles? Well, the other day I was playing this marble thingamajig with my kids. It is one of those contraptions that you can configure all sorts of different ways so that marbles roll down ramps, and through tubes, and around spirals- you know? And we were all putting marbles in, and watching them roll down, and then grabbing them as quickly as we could and starting the whole process all over again- and we were laughing, and fascinated. Anyhow, it was one of those joyful moments with my kids (which seem to be few and far between sometimes), and it got me thinking about marbles.

So as I pondered marbles, I began to realize that there is something very allegorical going on here. You know the old expression "I'm losing my marbles"? Well, for the first time, I think I really get it. I thought of my fascination as I watched those marbles roll rapidly down an ordered path. So many marbles. It was almost chaotic. The sounds were chaotic, and those little balls were moving so fast. But they were getting to the bottom, and then we were picking them up, and putting them back in, and watching the whole cycle repeat itself. Controlled Chaos.

And I realized, this is my life. I am constantly trying to juggle (and forgive the mixed metaphors here) a whole bucket of marbles: 5 kids (and all their marbles), the laundry, my calling, my husband, my friends, my work on the soccer board, what's for dinner, who needs new shoes, is there money for the new shoes, where's the cat, did I feed Mom and Dad's cat, where are Mom and Dad, for that matter, and do I need to pick them up at the airport- and a million other minutae of everyday life.

But here's the thing: I think I've lost my marbles.

Have you ever watched your little child carrying a bowl of something across the floor, and then drop the bowl? Witnessed the devastation on that child's face as they watch every little cereal ball scatter wildly in different directions? Watched the lip tremble, the eyes well up, and the tears begin to come? Well, right now that's me.

I have been carrying my bowl of marbles so carefully across the floor, but they've spilled, and they are rolling wildly in every direction, and I sure as heck can't catch them, and I'm not even confident that I can pick them all up, or quite frankly, where to even begin. My first impulse is to sit down in the middle of the mess and burst into tears. But instead, I will try to take a page from my own book. If it was Colton who spilled, I'd say "Come on buddy, I know it looks like a mess, but if I help you, we can have it cleaned up in no time."

And so, I will try to remember that there are people out there who love me every bit as much as I love Colton. And there is Someone, Somewhere, who loves me even more, and is infinitely more capable than I. And I will try to put my faith where it belongs, and start crawling into corners to gather the marbles, and see if I can't get them rolling again- in that chaotic, noisy, repetitive, yet fascinating (and dare I say joyful?) way.