Monday, August 31, 2009
When I was in school, I made friends easily. Moving around a lot also provided me with the opportunity to see who my friends really were. I have quite a few friends from my past that I still keep in touch with, even after more than 20 years since I've even seen them. I can name about 8-10 friends that I've kept in touch with, first by regular mail and then later by email and now through Facebook and blogging, I'm able to really keep up with them.
However, since I got married, my ability to make such friends has really gone downhill and now I'm more of a loner. I just recently read about some gals in my ward that entered a triathlon together. They trained together and did it together. Some of these sisters are the same sisters who took a road trip to Utah for Women's Conference together. They shop together, have lunch on occasion, have girls' night out's, and the like. I really have made very few, if any, friends since marriage that I feel I could do any of that with. I don't think I've had a shopping partner since I was in college, actually. I did have the opportunity about a month ago to go ice skating with a friend of mine, but she and I were roommates before husbands were even on the horizon for us.
Now that I'm moving again, I have to try once more to make friends. I never seem to be able to make the kind of friends I was able to make before marriage. I think that too many women see me only as the mom and wife that I am and the other me, the one who has interests outside of marriage and motherhood. Then again, I don't feel like I know anyone on that level either. People are so shielded, they really don't share anything. Since I started noticing how little people share of themselves, I started to do it too. I generally keep my mouth shut when in a large group and share nothing personal. Somewhere along the way I decided that people don't really care about that and don't really want to know, so why bother opening up?
So it's my goal that with this move, I try and find the person I used to be and bring her back from the dead. Don't know how to do it, but I will just have to try!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
My day today began with my husband coming in from his late-night shift at 3:30 a.m. and telling me he had to work the day shift today instead of the night shift that he was originally scheduled. To those of you who really know me, you can probably figure out how upset that made me that he would be missing yet again another day of church, so I never went back to sleep. After trying unsuccessfully to sleep and then crying for a while, I finally got up and showered at about 5:00 a.m. I was fully showered and dressed and ready for the day by 5:45, and at 6:00 a.m. was when the first child showed up in my room (husband slept on the couch). At that point, I went in and got the cinnamon rolls in baking (canned rolls, I'm no super-woman) and changed two diapers. We ate breakfast and got dressed for church and had scripture reading/prayer before Daddy left for work at the same time that we left for church, at 7:40 a.m.
I got to church, and to my dismay, even though I was there a full 15 minutes early, someone was already sitting in our usual bench as well as the benches surrounding it. So I found somewhere else to sit and sat through the revelatory period trying to keep my kids quiet. They like us to be early for church for the revelatory period, but it always spells bad news and makes for a LONG sacrament meeting when the kids won't even be quiet for the first 15 minutes and I'm taking them out in the hall BEFORE church even starts.
We ended up leaving sacrament meeting about 10 minutes early because I'd had it with kids climbing all over me, crying, throwing themselves on the floor, etc. We went down to the primary room and waited outside the door for the line-up (they line them up outside the door and march them in quietly), and just when I was hearing the closing hymn being sung in the chapel, almost the full ten minutes later, my second oldest reminds me that he has to give a talk in Primary, which I completely forgot about! So there I am, pulling a pen and paper out of the church bag and quickly writing down a talk for me to whisper in his ear, something to do with families and temples, I think.
After church, I gather up the kids, which is no small feat, and we get in the car and drive home. The kids run in the house while I'm getting the church bag and my scriptures out of the car, and then I hear them start yelling and running back out to the garage,
"Mom! Snoopy [the dog] pooped in the kitchen!"
I walk in and am immediately overtaken by the smell of fresh poop. I'm thinking, maybe it's only one piece on the floor, or what not, but nope, it is an enormous amount spread over the ENTIRE kitchen, mixed with some pee as well. I hadn't sent the dog out before I left for church, I assumed that DH would send him out when he left for work a few minutes later, but he didn't.
I spend the next 20-30 minutes trying to pick up dog poop that is soft and almost-diarrhea like. It was the worst when I was trying to scrape it off with a paper towel. I finally got the mop and bucket and mopped the floor TWICE, after which I lit a scented candle, sprayed the floor with Febreeze (I know, a hard floor probably didn't absorb much Febreeze, but it was SO stinky inside the house, and with it being 105+ outside, I couldn't just open the house to air it out), and then got on my hands and knees and scrubbed it all again with Lysol wipes.
At least I didn't have to clean up my own throw up too, I managed to suppress that, but it was a hard fight at one point where I was gagging and dry heaving. Thank goodness I only had two cinnamon rolls for breakfast and that had been almost 6 hours previously!
Right now the kids are all up from their naps and running around playing some sort of wild animal attack game.
It sure seems I will never have the enjoyable relaxing Spirit-filled Sundays I used to have when I was a Young Single Adult.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Who is your favorite fictional character? Fictional protagonist, that is, not the bad guy. If you can't narrow it down to one, could you narrow it down to a few? What traits to admire in these characters? What weaknesses do they have that possibly reflect your own (hence, why you might be able to identify with them)? What fictional protagonist do you like the least?
I have to say that one of my least favorite protagonists is Bella Swan from the Twilight series. I find her so annoying that I could hardly get through the books, yet I still HAD to read them all just to find out how they ended. I found Edward quite annoying also, to be precise, but she was just sickening. I couldn't identify with her in the slightest. She was so whiny and swoony, it was pathetic. And I couldn't figure out why she was such a catch in Oregon when she wasn't in Phoenix. Was Stephenie Meyer trying to suggest that boys in Phoenix are blind or that boys in Oregon know true beauty or what? How can you go from being pretty much an invisible loner to a very visible loner just because of moving? The novelty didn't seem to wear off through the whole series, yet, I've moved enough to know that the novelty of being new eventually wears off and you are no longer "fresh meat" after the first few months.
I think one of my favorite characters is Anne Shirley because I can really identify with her. She spends her whole life dreaming and imagining, which has always been a vice of mine. She has a temper to match her hair, but I don't think redheads are the only ones who supposedly have such tempers--mine could easily be more thunderous than any of the redheads I know, and I know quite a few. I also like Hermione Granger because I see myself in her as well--the studious, by-the-book rule-keeper. And when I was a child, my favorite was Ramona Quimby. I even thought I would be what she would have looked like--short, chin-length brown hair and brown eyes, plain-faced, and I spent my time creating with crayons just like she did.
What do you think?
Friday, August 21, 2009
Okay, I know a lot of people might laugh at this. Many people will think I'm totally strange. There don't seem to be very many people in the world who want to re-live high school. But I do. Those days were the most carefree, fun days of my life. It might seem pathetic to you, but let me explain why I feel that way.
I had a part-time job and was therefore earning my own money. My parents didn't pay for anything fun that I did (eating out, buying new clothes, etc.), but I was able to pay for that myself by working. Given some responsibility and trust by my parents, I was allowed to drive one of their cars as my own as long as I stayed out of trouble and paid for the fuel. I was involved in cheerleading and choir in high school. During my senior year, I was dating a really nice guy and had a really solid and close-knit group of friends. We hung out every Friday night after sporting events (which were well-attended by the high school crowd) and most Saturday nights went out on big group dates, when I wasn't working. My group of friends were solid in the Church, so on Sundays, we spent the days with our families and attending church.
And the future. There was SO much in the future to look forward to. So many paths to take and options to choose from. So much to wonder about...where my friends would get called on missions, whom we would marry, how many children we would have, where we would end up living. And the dreams and hopes that hung on those questions...owning a home, having a good education and good job, planting roots somewhere nice, etc.
For me, living it is not as much fun as hoping for it was. I guess because my ideals and expectations of the future have not turned out at all how I wanted them to. I've been disappointed in more ways than one. Today, we closed on our home. We bought our home 4 years ago when the market was sky high. Then it crashed. We had to do a short sale due to relocation and we just closed on it today. We are no longer homeowners. That dream of owning a home and putting down roots has been lost to me for now. Most of my friends are living that dream and not losing it like me. They have their nice homes, their jobs, their wonderful families with children who are perfectly smart and talented, and they have put down roots. My roots have been torn away from me. I have to start all over AGAIN. For the 25th time in my life.
High school was great. When I picked up Westley at school, I saw a group of cheerleaders at the school handing out flyers for something. These were girls from the new high school handing out flyers to girls at the middle school (actually, K-8 school). In that moment, my stomach leaped when I remembered how fun it was to run out on that track, tumbling and jumping and cheering, on a Friday night at a football game. I was jealous, jealous for a split second that they had their whole futures ahead, they had upcoming fun events to attend, and I was sitting in my minivan with three small children, sweating to death in the 105 degree humid heat waiting for the final bell to ring, with nothing to do on my Friday night but watch dumb TV shows and surf the Internet.
I know there's still a lot of future ahead and a lot can happen, but a lot of the things I was looking forward to doing and discovering have already been done. I've done college. I've taught school. I've gotten married. I've had four children. And some roads have been closed. I will probably never again have the opportunity to develop certain talents that seem to be offered only to the young, and at the same time, know full well that in our financial situation I might not be able to offer these same opportunities to my children.
Nope, life has not led me where I had hoped. I know for some that is the big adventure in it all, but right now, in this situation I am currently in, I feel only disappointment, not excitement.
So that is why tonight I am missing my carefree, hopeful high school days.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Do you ever have that moment, a fleeting second even, when you can sit back and say, "I feel like I'm doing a great job!" That moment when all your efforts at motherhood are paying off in a big way. Like when your 2-year-old tells you your his best bud in the whole world and gives you a big wet kiss followed by a jack o'lantern grin and your 6-year-old sets the table without being asked while his 4-year-old brother helps by climbing up on the counter to hand him the plates? Or when you look around and see that the house, while it wouldn't pass the white-gloved mafia test for cleanliness, is clean enough and your children are happy and learning and you just feel content?
I had one of those moments recently. I made dinner with my 2-year-old at my side, spooning the pizza sauce onto the hamburger buns and sprinkling the cheese on top. My 1-year-old splashed away happily in the sink a few feet away, pouring water into cups and squeezing out the dishrag with delight while standing on a towel-covered chair and floor to keep the water mess to a minimum. My 6- and 4-year-old's sat at the table drawing superheroes and making up stories. Then, when the pizzas came out of the oven 15 minutes later, and I told them dinner was ready, they hopped up, cleared off the table themselves and went to work setting it while I cut up fruit and the younger two "helped" put my laundry away.
I thought to myself, "Man, I'm awesome at this!"
I'd better hold on to that thought. Because I'm sure that tomorrow while a child is having a major meltdown, I'll be thinking, "What was I thinking?!"
Saturday, August 8, 2009
If you want an ego boost, get dressed up nice and go to the Home Depot. I had to stop there a few days ago to exchange something that we had bought in the wrong color. I had a dentist appointment that morning, and I was dressed casually, but nice. I was wearing a red blouse, a straight, knee-length Levi skirt, brown wedge sandals and a pair of red earrings. I wore the skirt because all my shorts were in the wash and at 110 degrees, it's a little too hot for jeans for me. I knew exactly what I needed, but when I walked in, I was followed by about two Home Depot workers (men) and another guy who was there buying stuff asking if I needed help finding anything. I told them no, thank you, but the whole experience made me feel like I looked like a million bucks. Anyway, so if you want to feel like a supermodel, dress nice and go to Home Depot!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
This is not a complaining post. This is just the story of what we're facing right now. So much has been happening that I'm not sure I can explain it in just a few words.
We sold our house and are supposed to be out by the 21st of this month. Last week, we found a great place to rent where we are moving. My brother kindly drove down from where he lives, a 1-1/2 to 2 hour drive, and checked it out for us. He met the landlord. He said she seemed nice. The house was beautiful. However, there were some details about the whole thing that I was uncomfortable with. After weighing those details against the pros of renting this particular house, we decided to move forward with it. I went to the bank and had them cut me a cashier's check in the amount of $500, which was less than 1/3 of the total deposit that she wanted. I went straight to the post office and sent the check plus the application papers via Express Mail to arrive at her place on Monday (this was Friday). At first, I was happy to have found a great place. But the more I thought on it, the more uncomfortable I was with it all. On Sunday, we fasted and prayed about our decision. We sat down and crunched numbers. The finances would be tight, but if we really wanted this house, we could make it work. I still didn't feel calm. On Monday morning, we both felt the same way. We decided to call it off. We called the landlord and told her that it just wasn't going to work. She hadn't received the package we sent, so we asked her kindly to please return it to us so we could use the $500 for our other expenses.
EDIT: I forgot to mention the trial that came with this possible rental house. The landlord didn't refund us the money. Instead, she cashed the check. We are still trying to get hold of her to find out why and if we can get any of that back.
That was Monday morning. Then on Monday night, when my husband went to work, he found out that his company would not be able to move us as soon as August 21st. Something about not wanting us up there without him too long, and they wanted us to wait until they were closer to opening up there. So it turns out that we couldn't have moved then anyway. That presented a problem though. We are supposed to be out when we close on August 21st. So we talked to our real estate agent about talking with our buyers about the possibility of renting the house back from them for the rest of August and the month of September. They had mentioned when they put an offer on the house how they would only be living in it for half the year, in the winter, and asked if we be interested in renting from them, as the home was so clean and well-kept. So we were kind of taking them up on the offer. So now, our agent is working with the buyers, who are working with a property management company, to let us rent the house for about 6 weeks.
We are not moving out-of-state for at least 6 more weeks. If we have to, we will rent a house here in the neighborhood for 6 weeks and move twice. I hope it doesn't come to that. That sounds like a lot of work.
My last piece of adversity came in a very different form. My brother has a friend where we are moving to, someone he was roommates with in college. He owns a house that we were looking at renting. Because of this, I had been in touch with my brother's friend's real estate agent for information on the house. That agent happens to be friends with my parents from a previous ward we lived in growing up. Long story short--we decided not to rent his house. However, I got an email from the agent this morning letting me know that this man, my brother's friend, had passed away suddenly from a diabetic coma. He had tried to get in touch with my brother and my parents and couldn't find a way to contact them other than through me. I passed the information along to my brother, but I was suddenly struck with the reality of the situation. This man, one of my brother's close friends, someone he had lived with in college and afterward, was dead. Gone. No goodbyes or anything. I believe that recently my brother and he had not been speaking over some disagreement or misunderstanding. When I told my brother over the phone, I could hear the cracking in his voice. His friend was gone. I imagined how that must feel to hear that a friend had passed away suddenly, especially one that you hadn't talked to for a while because of a spat. It must be very hard indeed.
Then I thought of this friend. He was a single guy, lived alone, didn't have very many friends. His parents had passed away many years ago, leaving only him and a few siblings (I believe he had a couple sisters, not sure if he had any more than that). Now those sisters are without their brother. This was a young man--in his late twenties. He probably passed away at home, alone. I don't know the details. I imagine it was a little while before he was discovered. All of this, despite my knowledge of gospel principles and the life hereafter, make me feel very sad indeed. Sad for him, sad for his family, sad for my brother.
It's also a very strong reminder of how unpredictable life really is. Maybe it was just his time to go. Maybe his death was untimely. We don't really know. But if you think about it, any one of us could suddenly be gone, just like that. I will definitely give all my children and husband hugs and kisses tonight and let them know I love them. Because you never know.