To Quote Jen Hatmaker…

Hi all. I’m still here. Honestly, I’ve been in a bit of a writing funk lately, hence the lack of posting (I have several unfinished posts floating around). Trying to finish my book, trying to write a proposal for it*, which is making me all sorts of crazy, and then, you know, just life and holidays and such.

But today? Today I committed to writing for a while. In a spot I often do, so there are other “regulars” here that I see, well, regularly (see? I’m fantastic with all the words right now).

There’s a middle-aged woman who counsels a couple of homeschooled teen girls, and it’s obvious she’s leading them in a Bible study. I’ve overheard her for months while I work, and I often disagree with what she’s saying, but whatever.

This morning, while I was sitting across the aisle from them, I had my earbuds out of my ears for some reason. (I generally write with music on – but only music I know all the lyrics to, and with the same song on repeat for a long time.) I heard the woman preaching to these girls about how trashy tattoos were on women. Double ear piercing is also, apparently, undesirable, just so you know.

Look: I get it. I knew when I got my tattoos that there are people who feel this way, and I really don’t care. Really. It’s my body, I love my ink, and I intend to get more. If I wasn’t comfortable with the fact that I may be judged for this, I wouldn’t have gotten them. And I double-pierced my ears when I was (gasp!) 16, and have lived with the obvious societal consequences ever since. Eyeroll.

But that brings me to the title of this post, and the title of one of my favorite chapters in Jen’s book For the Love (which I told you about here). In the final copy it’s called “Dear Christians, Please Stop Being Lame,” but in the advance it was called “Dear Christians, Please Stop Being Crappy,” which I much prefer:).

I overheard this comment today, and I was able to put this in the context of this woman’s other “teaching” and dismiss it.

However. What about the other people sitting around her who don’t know the context? What if they are new Christians with tattoos? Or what if they aren’t Christians and are curious? What are they thinking when they hear this lady talk?

All I could think of was that title of Jen’s chapter.

I was feeling a little sassy and nearly said something, then changed my mind, because HELLO…I don’t want to be crappy. And let’s be honest, I probably would not have said something very nice. Bonus points for self-control.

So that’s it. I’ve just officially written more words (more than 500!) and paragraphs than I have in weeks, so maybe I should thank her for the inspiration.

*Here’s the book update: the process of writing the proposal has exposed some holes in the story. Which I think is great…I want to find those myself and fill them in before I try to submit this thing, but it’s meant so much revision, taking a breather from it when I get frustrated, then getting back to it when I feel ready. And today I found another big spot that needs revision, but I’m choosing to look at that as a positive.

So Unpredictable. 

Scene: my living room, Luke and Matt sitting on the couch watching TV. 8:45pm. Jack Henry is asleep, Bennett is upstairs knocking out his pre-bedtime chin-ups/push-ups (yes, I’m serious, that child…), and I have just thrown in a load of laundry. Which contains the shirt that Jack Henry needs to wear on his field trip tomorrow. Naturally. 

I announce that I am taking over the living room to watch Gilmore girls while I iron. Luke kind of groans about turning the channel, and I gleefully reply that anyone who would like to do the ironing can choose what’s on TV. I jokingly ask if he’d like to learn a life skill. 

AND HE SAYS YES. 

What is my life? 

(So I gave him a lesson in shirt ironing. Which is hilarious because I’m awful at ironing; like no grown woman should be this bad. Whatever. Now I’m the second-worst ironer in this house because Luke would definitely leave more wrinkles than me at this point. But hooray for life skills teaching!)

Cheers! Because there’s no way I’m ironing and not having a glass of wine. Plus now it’s time for Lorelei and Rory and Stars Hollow. 

Ladders. 

Y’all. The imaginary Boymom Guide* did not tell me about how many times I’d have to climb a ladder** and rescue frisbees and balls from the gutter. It’s like my part time job now. 

So attention, moms of darling baby boys, don’t say I didn’t warn you: this is your future. 

 

I do not recommend making it look like it’s fun, lest they try to throw more stuff up there.

 
*hm. Maybe this is a book I should write?

**easiest ladder to use is not quite tall enough, so I have to climb up to the top a lot. I know. I always make a kid hold the ladder steady for me, but last time, when I went to fold it up, I accidentally pinched Bennett’s finger in the hinge. And because I didn’t know that’s what I was doing, I kept closing the ladder. Cue all the awful feelings. 

Older Kids Are Awesome: Saturday Morning Edition 

I’ve made no secret about how I know we are in a parenting sweet spot. Way past baby/toddlerhood (which I loved, but holy exhausting, that is for young people), but not yet at driving/girlfriends/college decisions. And while it’s not nearly all sparkly rainbows and unicorns, it’s nice.

Take this morning for instance.

Matt got up early to get an oil change, so he was out of the house. I stayed in bed (not sleeping, of course, because it’s the only morning I don’t actually have to be out of bed early, so naturally, I was awake. Nearing-40, you are a delight.) until close to 8, and came downstairs to the boys quietly playing a computer game together.

Because we have a slow day, I offered to make pancakes* for breakfast. This is a rarity…I have a minimal-effort-before-coffee approach to life, but what can I say. It’s a sunny, lovely fall morning, and I was feeling generous.

The 2 older boys immediately said they’d love pancakes, but Jack Henry was less enthusiastic.

Why?

Because my 8 year old already made himself breakfast, people. He had a bowl of cereal and cleaned up after himself.

Glorious.

(He did still have some pancakes. There’s always room for pancakes.)

*full disclosure. We are talking about add-water-to-a-box-mix pancakes. Not even the add-egg-and-oil kind. Or homemade, which are best, but please. It’s early on Saturday morning.

Beach Bums

I headed into this summer’s vacation with a tiny bit of apprehension. The boys have been to the beach before, but it’s never been the whole vacation. They talked like they would love it (and they know I love it), so I was hopeful that they wouldn’t get bored.

There was absolutely no need to have been concerned.  These boys were made for the beach. They immediately understood and appreciated how important sunset was to me, and they woke up ready to hit the beach early every single day.

They were pros at helping me set up the canopy every morning, and they dragged our beach gear down from the condo without complaint. They spent their days on boogie boards and skim boards, jumping waves and playing with the sand fleas at the edge of the water, collecting shells and making drip sandcastles and a couple of real sandcastles, and digging countless deep holes in the sand.

Their favorite was digging a hole, gently filling it in so it was a trap, watching me step in said hole, and laughing like maniacs. Happened multiple times. They’re such sweet kids.

About halfway through the trip, they met some friends. A boy and a girl, J&J, who were Bennett and Jack Henry’s ages, and also Midwesterners. Their parents were sweet and fun to hang out with, and the kids just played and played together. Mine were sad one morning when we were at the beach earlier than their friends, and kept begging me to text their mom to see when they’d be there. This was such a fun and unexpected part of our trip!

So ready to go back. 

   
    
 
    
 

A Peek into my Day.

(I know. Two posts today. Surely these are the end times.)

This just happened, and because I’m laughing at myself as I reflect on this, I decided to write it down.

We are having company overnight Friday night that I’m pretty pumped about, so I’m doing a bit of cleaning (honestly, my housekeeping standards are pretty low, so I make sure bathrooms and floors are clean) and food prep.

While making a grocery list, I cleaned out the fridge a bit.

Which meant throwing a couple of things away.

Into a full trash can. I decided I should just empty the trash all over the house.

At the foot of the stairs I saw the bag I had from shopping this morning, which had 2 pairs of booties and a casual little dress in it. I couldn’t decide in the store on the booties because, of course, I was wearing my only pair of non-skinny jeans today.

So I went up to my room, changed into the dress, and decided: it’s a keeper. Changed into skinnies…still couldn’t decide on which pair of booties I wanted to keep.

Realized that I have a bonus hour today until kid pickup, because younger two have running club and oldest has a meeting. Score.

So I changed into my workout clothes and threw hair in a ponytail, so I can get a workout in.

And then I saw the bathroom trash, which was full. Oh yeah. I was going to empty that. But before I did, I thought I should clean the bathroom up a bit…and I used the last of the antibacterial wipes while I did.

Actually remembered the trash before I went back to the kitchen, and grabbed the main floor bathroom trash can on my way. When I got that, I saw the toilet cleaner, and remembered that I needed to take that to the basement bathroom.

Dumped trash, went downstairs and squirted toilet cleaner in that toilet (I guarantee I won’t remember to actually clean this until like 9pm tonight) on my way to getting a canister of anti-bac wipes from basement storage.

Back to kitchen, where my grocery list sits, half completed.

YOU GUYS. Can you even believe I somehow wrote enough words to make a whole book? And is it any wonder than when I need to get some writing done, I leave my house? For the love. I’m a mess. (Also, potentially pertinent information: I am fully caffeinated today, too.)

Now. Off to walk a few miles on this perfectly lovely day.

Eight.

Last weekend, Jack Henry turned eight, and we threw a huge party for him.

Ok. We didn’t exactly throw the party. We went to a party, and just worked a celebration for him into that party. However, it’s going to be hard to top next year, because this year, the party was a wedding reception.:)

My dad’s wife, Annmarie, has two children, and her daughter was married in a beautiful ceremony and reception in KC last Saturday. When we had a little bit of time, we had a party at our table for Jack Henry, complete with presents and a cookie cake we brought along.

he was waiting until 6pm (near his official birth time – i need to look that up) to really celebrate!

 

new catcher’s mitt. i’m getting pretty good at buying sports equipment:)

 

with papa!

 

we kinda like him.

 

bros. how am i the mom of kids this old?

 

jh and the beautiful bride gianna!

 

nieces and g on the dance floor.

 

my brothers and sister!

 

we make the brown-eyed in-laws sit together😉

He loved his celebration!

So, to my boy: I could not possibly love you more. Your smile and laugh are infectious. The depth of your thoughts sometimes overwhelms me in the best possible way – you’re an old soul, and you’re not afraid to tell me what you’re feeling. You’re unlike your brothers in that way, and so sometimes, as your mom, I’m caught off-guard when you bring things up. Know that I always, always want to have those conversations with you.

Your dad and I are proud of the person you are becoming: so aware of other people and their feelings, still so sweet and kind and sensitive. And this age is one of our favorites: you’re still little, but also big enough to do fun stuff with your older brothers and dad, like ride roller coasters (I will never, ever join you on that adventure).

Can’t imagine life without you, buddy.

Love,
Mom

(Here’s seven, and one through six can be found here.)