Thursday, March 27, 2014

Soup and celery and friends.

I'm feeling a little under the weather this morning. A nice hot pot of Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup sounds heavenly to me on this dreary, cold and rainy day. But I'm out of celery.


I think I went about 10-15 years not really having any friends. I mean, I had "friends," people I knew, people from church, people from bible studies, the occasional roommate, coworkers, etc, but no real, close, emotionally or in vicinity, friends. That was tough. Really tough. I'm a person who needs people, feeds off people, draws my energy from those around me. Largely extroverted, and definitely a verbal processor, it was challenging to me emotionally and spiritually. I met my husband during that time, which helped, but he, being highly introverted, and a guy, and my spouse, did not fill all the needs I had for true, deep, honest, real and raw friendship. Then I had five children. And I live in a small town away from all my other "community." Talk about isolating.

Even before I met my husband, I prayed and prayed for friends. I dated "the wrong guy" for two years too many just because I was lonely. I had lost the intimate, and in some cases any, connection with friends from high school and college, and while my year in Spain helped form new connections and span the bridge, I was still alone. I thought even God had abandoned me. I cried out so. many. times. but felt like my cries were not being heard. Why was I suffering? Why was I alone? Why had everyone, including God, abandoned me? What was wrong with me? I longed for a partner, but yet had to watch all these younger kids pairing up and getting married, some even starting families. My heart cried out in desperation.

So husband and five children in a small town where everyone knows everyone except me, I don't know anyone except my neighbor who was busy with her own large herd of children, another mom "phone friend," and thru my awesome church, I had found enough community and connection that it staved off the extreme loneliness and desperation. I made a few connections, however superficial, with other preschool moms, so that helped too. I still dreamed for that friend who lived "next door", who had kids of similar ages, who I could hang out with in our pajamas for coffee, or do laundry together, watch my kid in a pinch, take walks with, just live life together, share our faith together. While I dreamed of it, I didn't crave it the same way I had. The problem is that we're all so busy. No one, adults with families and jobs and lives, has the time to invest in building that kind of relationship and intimacy. It's hard enough to work on our marriage relationship and family relationships that we often don't have the energy, and so many people build up walls creating this image of a perfect life that they have a hard time being real. But I'm not a beat-around-the-bush person. I will tell you honestly what I think, and honestly what is going on in my life. I just don't have time for all the bull-crap. 

Then, two years ago, something happened.

I met TWO people. Both completely separately, both completely different relationships. And it is definitely a God-send.

One friend has boys. And she trained for a 5K with me. We occasionally have drinks at one house or another, laughing til the wee hours of the morning. We talk about faith. We kid-swap. We get real. I can be honest and blunt and I love love love that she's honest and blunt too.

The other friend has girls. She's also the Girl Scout leader and does and AWESOME job at it. We fill our bored and lonely SAHM hours talking on the phone while doing dishes. We scheme. We do "dance mom" together. We carpool. And kid-swap like crazy. She is creative and spurs me to create. We laugh and joke. We talk about tough stuff.

Not to devalue the other friendships I have, because those are important too. What they contribute to my life, and I to theirs, is very important and has it's own special place. But the proximity factor here allows for us, my two home-town friends, to share life. To help each other out. Because as I stopped to get cough drops for a child at the gas station, I ran into one friend who lost her phone. So she used my phone to call the other friend (who does daycare for her) about an early drop off. And since that other friend was in town, I called her later and asked her to pick up celery for me, and she then asked if I could watch the other's kid since she was going to be late. So I ran down to her house to alert said friend and get the child, and we all three ended up meeting at my front door. I love this. I love my life. I love my friends. I fell so utterly blessed and I thank God daily for these two awesome women.

And now I am going to go make some wild rice soup with that celery. With a smile on my face.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A completely uneventfully great day

We had a good day today.

That's noteworthy enough. :)

We have had a rather long string of pretty bad day, busy days, challenging day, nothing accomplished days, which don't make for good days. At least 2 weeks of them. I'm so glad for the change. Not sure if the stars aligned or all our meds are finally working or if God just knew I needed a break. Whatever. Hallelujah!

After the hubs and I had some things that we "discussed fervently" for 5 1/2 hours yesterday, I woke up to a love/encouragement/apology text. That's a pretty good way to start the day, which I might add I have been doing at about 6:30 lately. What the heck? Is it just the sun getting up earlier or an effect of my happy pills? Today I decided to get up (different from merely waking up at that hour and still laying in bed as long as possible) and make some chocolate banana bread muffins for the kids lunches. Mmm... Also a good way to start the day.

Then I did some random stuff like order contacts and put away dishes, make lunch and start supper. I had taco salad (whoop whoop for good choices), and start our supper of country style pork ribs, seasoned last night. I have not had any desire to cook or clean lately. Bad days really zap the life out of you, but today I had a little zest for that, and it felt good. Such a better feeling than throwing on hot dogs or chicken nuggets last minute. Again. For the 5th day in a row. And since I knew we were going to be gone after school, I got the ribs in the oven early so when we came home all we had to do was pop them back in for a quick warm up, boil some potatoes, heat some corn, and viola! Delicious, home-cooked meal. For once. 

The little Mr. so graciously helped me wash dishes today (did an ok job washing the dirty ones and a fantastic job washing the clean ones). Having had so much fun, he didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to help me clean the bathroom. Well, jump right in, little fella. Right in to the bathtub, that is. The place he's been avoiding like the plague for the last month. He thought he was washing the tub. Little did he know he was getting clean too. Ha!

After school, despite a slight delay from the child who typically causes delays, we did a Girl Scout cookie booth at the mall where we sold reasonably well. It was kind of miraculous, even, considering I had both little boys with me with not much to do but sit for 2 1/2 hours and they behaved quite well. That deserves it's own hallelujah. Once home, everyone was calm. Tired out? I don't know. But there was no fighting, no noteworthy tantrums to speak of, and the only drama was a little incident with the cat, but since I wasn't completely drained of the will to live, I actually had the energy to give a little love and pamper owies. Hugs and band-aids make it all better. Sometimes moms need to give that just as much as kids need to receive it.

You know? It was nothing exciting. And I kind of liked that. I thought that was a story worth telling.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Everything is Awesome!

As parents, we are faced with many choices. Some easy, some difficult, some obvious, some that should be obvious, some that are a gamble.

My girls headed off to Disney On Ice with Girl Scouts today. This overbooked mama would have LOVED to accompany them, but sometimes we have to say no, even to good things. Choices. However, I didn't want to leave the boys jipped out of all the fun (sometimes they get the short end of the stick), so I decided to take them to see The Lego Movie.

In case you are unaware, the theme song for the movie is called "Everything is Awesome!"

On the way home, Dillon felt that some injustice or great disappointment had occurred him and began to make up his own lyrics to the song.

Oh, the choices. Laugh or cry moments. I chose laugh. Because crying is lame.

As Dillon began to sing "Everything is Stupid. Even Mom is Stupid," Lucas retorted with "Everything is fine. Everything is Okay."

Ha. Gotta love how the universe balances itself out. And yay for my little man sticking up for me.