If Life Were Hard, It Wouldn’t Be This Easy

Anyone read this Sheri Dew book? Can’t say that I have, but I’d love a copy if you want to send it to me. It crossed my mind this afternoon, because I was thinking about how not-hard–I’d even venture to say blessed–my life really is:

  • Last Sunday was a really great day at church and home. Don’t you just love these (somewhat rare) Sundays? I taught Relief Society and am still kind of on that high you get when a lesson is out of your hair. Had a good dinner, had the missionaries in our home with a wonderful investigator, had our first official “Family Council.” (hint: do not start by telling your three children, who have been harassing you for a puppy for the last two years, that this is a time they can “bring up anything that’s on their mind.” Trust me.)

  • I spent this Tuesday morning getting my hair done and perusing the sale racks of Fred Meyer while my good friend Stacey watched Ethan. (It’s the Kennewick version of a day at the spa followed by Nordstrom, but I Take What I Can Get.)

  • Ethan asked me to give him a mohawk this morning. Dad usually puts the kibosh on this, deeming it “goofy.” I, on the other hand, agree with Adam Sandler: “Goofy is the new Handsome.” And Derrick was at work this morning, so while the cat’s away…

When I was finished, Ethan looked at himself in the mirror and said “Mom, is this a flowhawk?” I had no answer. I’m finding that I really don’t know what a flowhawk is. But I think it may go something like this…

Uncanny. And don’t think Ethan wouldn’t be all over the cigs if they were available.

  • Last night, we had some good friends over for pizza and Pseudo-FHE. When you just can’t face cooking dinner or planning home evening for your family on a Monday night, Pseudo-FHE is a very manageable, guilt-free way to go. Simply find some of your favorite people in the ward and invite them over for pizza. You’ve now taught your children an invaluable lesson on fellowshipping. Gorge on pizza (take out; don’t you dare do homemade!), then stick Enchanted in for your kids while you and your friends talk and play games, uninterrupted for a solid ninety minutes. If your friends bring cookie dough for dessert, like ours did, even better. You see how it all works out? Everyone eats (family dinner, per church counsel), everyone is in the same room together (family [at] home, per church counsel), it’s at night (evening…per church counsel?) and alot more fun than listening to one of Mom’s crafty, charty, laminated lessons. Follow my rationale on this and like I said…easy, peezy, lemon-(guilt free)-squeezy.

  • Yesterday I was on the phone with my sister. She was putting dishes away while talking to me. She digressed from her story just long enough to mention that there were small curds on her cake pan that she thought might be mice poop. Hopefully not, though. Mice poop. She was calm, almost disinterested, and got back to telling me her story. How does this little anecdote pertain to posting on my blessed life? A few years ago, mice poop would have caused my sister to call an exterminator, a realtor, and a lawyer. I think many of my irresponsible escapades horrified her orderly sensibilities, although she always reacted discreetly. My neatfreak, on-the-ball, Type A sister (and I mean that in a loving way, Jaim) is, after three kids, finally crossing over to the dark side, where mice poop–and any poop, for that matter–is of minimal concern. Welcome to my world, little sis. You may forget your keys, your kids, and where you are, but I guarantee you’ll like it here.

  • I am worried that my stylist colored my hair too dark this time. I asked for lowlights, but they look like lowdarks to me. My scrupulously attentive seven-year old noticed my new ‘do right away and said “Your hair looks different.” I expressed my concern about the dark color, and she immediately reassured me.

“Actually Mom, it looks better this way. Before, I mean it was kind of blonde and there were dark stripes in it and, well, you know…it just looked kind of really blond and brown and, you know…” She smiled nervously.
“Bleached-out and scraggly?”
“Yeah,” she gushed, relieved that I’d said the words for her. Of course, knowing how horrible my hair looked before makes me all the more confident in the way it looks now. Derrick then came home and, surprisingly, noticed my darker tone, too. He said, “Your hair looks really nice. It’s very thinning.”
“What do you mean, like my hair’s getting thinner?”
“No, it makes you look thinner.”
“I don’t know, it just makes your face look thinner or something, somehow…I don’t know…” His voice wisely trailed off at this point as he edged away from the kitchen counter where I stood in front of a large block of knives.

Such are my family’s versions of compliments. Apparently, I went from a bleached-out, fat-faced blonde to a silky, svelte brunette in the space of two hours. As I stated earlier, however, I’ll Take What I Can Get. Hence, their devoted praise makes the post. Last fun thing in my not-so-hard life?

  • My parents brought us back chocolate covered Macadamia nuts from Hawaii. They are my favorite. Guess I’d better schedule another cut and color soon.

Perfect 10

Rachael turned ten yesterday. Ten. We had her party on Monday since there was no school. The girls had a great time gliding around the local ice rink, stopping only for the briefest nod to cake and presents. I stood and watched, freezing and dwelling on the surreal nature of it all. (Sorry about the dark photo–it was taken in terrible lighting through a pane of glass.)

How could this be the tenth birthday party I’ve thrown for my little daughter? I remember her first birthday party in our tiny apartment in Lake Oswego. It really doesn’t seem like that long ago. And in another ten years, it’s possible (though not probable, I hope) that she could be married! If you know me, you know I was flirting with depression by now, thinking such thoughts, until something wonderful happened. Ethan threw a major fit.

A full-blown, MacDaddy humdinger. I scolded, I threatened, I gripped, I swatted, I yelled. And right then, the epiphany hit me harder than my son hits his sisters: Older Kids Are Easier. They’re more interesting to talk to, require less physically, and show you some results for your many years of parenting. In sum, with older children, you get more bang for your buck.

Don’t get me wrong. I am in no hurry for Ethan to age; in fact, I’ve spent many moons wishing I could slow down time and enjoy my wee ones a bit longer. But then, on days like today, I wonder: what if my wish came true, and they stayed three forever? Oh, I’m so thankful I don’t have magic powers. (Yet. I’m not giving up.) I suppose that children growing up too fast beats the alternative: permanent toddlers.

This may sound like a sour attitude toward toddlers, but what I mean to convey is an optimistic outlook about the inevitability of change, especially within our families. I’m still sad that my kids are growing up, and probably always will be. When they’re thirty, I’ll mourn that they are no longer twenty. But there’s not a single thing I can do about it, so I’d better learn to just enjoy.

And having said all this, I will also say that I am thrilled with the way my not-so-little Rachael has turned out so far. A perfect ten, if you ask me. I am not kidding or just blogbragging (blagging? brogging?). She’s pretty fantastic.

As was the cake Aunt Julie whipped up for her. Hooray for talented sisters!

Your ticket to a fantabulous 2009

Forget inspirational gobbledy-gook about improving yourself this year.  We really don’t need motivational books or speakers because it’s been my observation that, without exception, bumper stickers act as a calming voice of reason for life’s toughest questions.

Seriously, have you ever read a bumper sticker that didn’t convey wisdom, beseech repentance, or simply ooze with sophistication?  I can see why automobile owners are eager to show off their quick wit and political savvy in this upscale manner.  Any car, no matter how expensive, looks classier with a big, bright bumper sticker tacked on the rear.  The larger the letters, the better.  Swear words are especially engaging.  After my (second) trip to Costco today, I nearly rear-ended a sticker that said it all:

Get out of Hell Free
(John 3:16)

Who needs religion when you’ve got Oprah, Mitch Albom, and bumper stickers?  And to think I’ve invested so much of my time…