Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving came quickly this year! In some ways it was a nice surprise...sneaking up on me like that! In other ways of course, it was very stressful. I made a promise to myself last year that I would not let holidays be so stressful. Family here and back and forth...messy. So I am sort of shocked that it was so crazy again this year. I guess I shouldn't really be surprised. Nick wanted to have lunch or dinner with his Mom. I of course wanted to have lunch or dinner with my family the kids were supposed to have one meal with me and one meal with their Dad. I told you...messy.

In the end...we all went to my sisters for a bit. Then Nick and Stella went to his Mom's to actually eat while the older 3 and I ate with my family. Then, Chuck (ex) came to pick the older 3 up at my sister's house at 3:00 so they could go eat with his family for dinner.

I actually ended up at my sister's, without any children, for a bit. Strange. Ok. But strange.

After all of that....I sat back and thought..."What in the hell is going on here?" I guess I create all of my own messes to an extent but GOOD GRIEF!!!

Let me back up for a minute here. Nick is my boyfriend/life partner (as he calls himself). We got together just before my divorce was final. He loves my kids, he loves me. All is well. Then I got pregnant with Stell and she of course changed life all over again. She is an angel from God...just so you know...but just when I thought divorce was about to be final and things were going to settle down...along comes another baby out of wedlock. Another beautiful mess.

So now, Nick desperately wants for his family to embrace and love me and all of my kids. His brothers are fine. His Dad too. Even his Mom has been great. BUT she doesn't always try to change her plans for us or try to include us in her family traditions. I am totally ok with that. I understand. Nick doesn't understand. He wants us to all be one big happily-ever-after family and he wants us all to do holidays with his family too. Of course I understand that. He needs for his daughter, Stella, to be involved. BUT all of us?? It gets too complicated sometimes.

I have tried to tell him kindly that I don't really think his Mom cares if we come to her house or not. I mean, she doesn't mind... and she is very sweet to my kids...but basically she just wants to see him and the baby. I don't think she is upset if we don't all see her on holidays. But Nick fought hard for all of us to go to his Mom's for a big Thanksgiving lunch and I kept saying, "Honey, I don't really think that she is planning for all of us to come." And he kept insisting that she was planning to feed all of us and that she had a big meal planned. Did she tell him this? No. He just assumed that she would have a grand meal and tons of food so he thought we would all be welcome. Anyway...we agreed after many tears that he would go eat at her house with Stell, the other 3 and I would eat at my sisters, and we would meet back home after a couple of hours. INSANELY MESSY.

As it turns out, Nick's Mom didn't actually cook Thanksgiving Dinner this year at all. She served cold cuts. She casually said that she is waiting until Christmas to cook a big dinner. Yep. That's right. Cold cuts for Thanksgiving.

Anyway....Next year...I am having Thanksgiving at my house. Anyone who wants to come is welcome. But I am not leaving my house. Come. Join in. Bring food or not. I will not go anywhere else on Thanksgiving Day next year. And for that....I am very thankful.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Food Frolics

Cheese sticks, ice cream, mac and cheese...all favorites at our house.

The important thing to note is that these kids eat all the time. ALL THE TIME. They are never full, we never have enough of what they like, we really need to buy more next time...and "somebody" always eats all of the good food.

The happiest times in our house occur shortly after I return from the grocery store.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Home is where ya eat!!

The weekends are a mixed blessing for me. Yes, the work week is finally over. Yes, I may be able to sleep a little later on Saturday. But... the house is also very empty. My three older children go to their dad's house most weekends. I still have baby little but the other littles make a whole lot of noise when they are around so when the weekend comes I feel bittersweet about it all. I told you before, my life is messy.

I usually take the opportunity to clean like a wild woman while the littles are away. It's usually messy within moments of their return, but I love having the house appear clean and inviting when they arrive.

Just before they got here today I cleaned off the dining room table. I swear I don't think the table had been that clean in weeks. I put out the place mats and a couple of candles and I stood back to look for smears, crumbs, yucky stuff I missed with the wipe down. Everything looked good to me. And then I had this vision of the family sitting at the table eating together.

All of the sudden I felt like I was home. I felt comfortable and calm for a minute.

No matter what goes on in this house, no matter who is mad at whom, no matter how much homework or housework there is to be done, we all have to eat. And when we eat, we talk. And when we talk, we usually smile...sometimes even laugh. And when that all happens, I feel like all is right with the world. I feel content. I feel home.

So when I looked at the table and felt all warm and fuzzy for a minute, I decided to save the moment. Now when I forget, I can look back at the picture and remember that home will return eventually...cause we all have to eat!

Friday, November 14, 2008

If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane...j.b.

There is nothing better than a good laugh. I mean nothing.

Even when I was a little girl I knew that....that laughter could cure just about anything. I laughed all the time. I would get so cracked up sometimes that tears would fall and I would just about wet my pants. And I have discovered through the years that laughter is also a gift. Not all people have the ability to really crack up. I feel sorry for the people that have never experienced sore sides from the joy of it all.

Now that I am officially old...I still love it. The laughs don't come as often and they don't last as long...but I sure appreciate them when they come!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Today is one of those days. One of those days where I have to keep reminding myself that it's all going to be ok. One of those days where I have to take deep breaths and remember to be the moment and not far away worrying about the future.

When it comes right down to it, here and now is all we've got.

Two little feet pulled me back to reality today. Two little smoochable feet. Sometimes that's all it takes...and I am suddenly full of gratitude.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Angels that Live in my House

There are 4 little angels living in my house. Sometimes they appear to be descending directly from the light. Other times their halos disappear and they dive daredevilishly toward darkness!
Most of the time, however, they are halo wearing, wing flapping little creatures that spread the light into every little corner of this house.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Inaugural Blogural

This is not exactly my idea. Well in a way it is. I have been encouraged to do this by several wonderfully inspiring women who have this down to an art. My art, however, is the messy kind. My life is messy. My kids are messy. My classroom gets messy. My house is usually messy. My room is especially messy right now. And above all, my mind is messy. My knowing how to deal with the messiness and knowing the differences between motivational mess and downright filth! The filth I simply cannot stand but the mess...the good kind, I rather enjoy sometimes.

I love photography and I love children. (My children, your children, any old children really.) Those are the two great loves of my life these days. ( I am not including my own personal family in that statement because 1. they are all crazy too and 2. they know how much they mean to me already.)

So here goes. My attempt to blog away about my artfully messy life.