Monday, April 30, 2012

a purple jelly bean

Here I sit, in the messy living room. My feet tired from a long unscheduled day at school. The foot rest is just out of reach and I am too exhausted to get up and move it. Supper plates are askew on the table. Food is still warm on the stove. Baby dolls and toys are tossed about in random positions. The kids are outside and I can hear their voices through the open window. The television is on with the news blaring sad stories of death and destruction. I can't reach the remote or I would turn it off, it's depressing. My husband is in the shower getting ready for the night shift. He just got off the phone with a baseball coach and has added yet another game to a overbooked summer schedule of ball games. My brain is toast. I came home from school and started supper right away so that we could eat together before dad leaves for work. Sometimes dinner is the only time we are together in the same room for more than a minute or two.

I am thinking about my full inbox of emails. The google reader is full of hundreds of recipes and deals that I may or may not read. I am itching to see how many of my friends have played "Words with Friends" today and whether or not I am winning.

This is it. This is my life. Not so pretty, not so "good". Just plain and real and painfully messy. I twist my bent and scratched wedding ring to a proper position so I can type with out the tiny, blemished diamond rubbing my finger.

This morning after I got the call to sub, after I showered and woke the school age kids, after I got dressed and put on real people clothes and not sweat pants, as I was blow drying my hair... I stepped on it.

I felt the squish under my foot. I turned off the hair dryer and looked down to see a smashed purple jelly bean on the rug. This is what it has come to, I thought. This is my life. I step on jelly beans in the bathroom. At first I was disgusted. How embarrassing to have a smooshed candy on the carpet in the bathroom! This was a tiny purple piece to the puzzle of my life.

I try to remember a time, a long time ago. The gears in my head creak and moan and I try to think of a quiet peaceful time when my house was always neat and tidy, when my calendar did not look like a doodle pad. I can hardly remember it.

Is that really awful? I can't remember when we was just we and not us, when supper meant take out or a restaurant. I do not even recall when laundry was barely done once a week and garbage could be forgotten to be put out because it didn't even fill the can. It almost seems unreal that my life was ever like that.

All day I have thought about the purple jelly bean. I thought about it when the teacher called the room I was subbing in to tell me my son got sick right next to the trash can in his classroom. I thought about when I called my husband to come and pick my son up from school. I thought about the bean on my lunch break and on the short two block drive home from work. I thought long and hard about that little colorful stain on my bathroom rug. I finally came to the conclusion that if I had a choice I would choose the purple jelly bean life over the empty calendar life. I mean that purple jelly bean is so much prettier, so much sweeter.

I can hear them now, the kids are singing. They are all hanging out together and I am here with my tired feet and fried brain and I am smiling. I am pretty sure God placed that purple jelly bean in my bathroom this morning intentionally. (well, with a little help from an adorable three year old) Thank you, Lord, for reminding me how blessed I am. Thank you for the sweet, colorful, reminder that life, sticky as it may seem, is certainly a gift.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A recap of the week...

On Monday we hung out with Great Aunt Kathy. We planted flowers for newlywed Grandma.
Then we went to the park and played. Then we went to the pub and ate lunch.

  We were all in dire need of a nap so we crashed in Grandma's living room and slept.Then we brought Kathy to our Pajama Party reading rally. We forgot to remind her to wear her jammies. She said that was okay.

On Tuesday we took Great Aunt Kathy to the airport. We waved at all the planes we saw for the next few hours, just in case it was hers. Then we brought hard tacos to dad at the hospital for lunch, only by the time we got there it was kind of like taco salad. He said it tasted good anyway. On Wednesday we went to Grandma's and picked all her asparagus and looked for photos of Grandpa Cliff. Then we came home and made steak, hashbrowns and asparagus to celebrate our 14th anniversary. On Thursday the bigs had their spring concert. Maleah played her recorder and sang a few songs.
 Gavin sang a tribute to American soldiers while photos of our community members scrolled on a huge screen. We saw pictures of Great Grandpa Toffel and Grandpa Cliff.
 Nora directed the concert from her seat. Every single song.
On Friday dad, Gavin and Addison left to go to the cities to help Aunt Lisa and Uncle Russ move. Nora and mom and Maleah stayed home because Maleah had a piano recital today. Can you name that tune?  
**Thank you Mr. VanRuler for the video, next time block me out, I won't wear that outfit again, geesh...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wedding - by the numbers

94ish new family members, he comes from a big family
54 bobby pins in Maleah's hair
29 people from Mom's side of the family at the wedding
24 tables covered with rolls of plastic and very difficult masking tape
20+ flower arrangements made by a few talented women on Friday
18 grandchildren all together, hope Grandma and Ted take their vitamins :)
12 day time cough medicine doses taken
10 the number of the spray tan I decided to go with, shoulda done the 8
8 jordan almonds an Italian wedding tradition, 8 to represent new beginnings
5 kinds of cupcakes at the reception, my favorite was the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
3 times the kids got to swim in the hotel pool
2 very happy newlyweds on their honeymoon
1 exhausting wedding weekend

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mom's married!

What a weekend. We'll talk later, until then here are some photos...
Jo's van on the way to decorate Friday morning...
the decorating crew
grandma's doilies
the woods and tea cups
the dutch tradition, a tree full of wishes, the italian tradition was the jordan almonds as favors
the flower arrangers...
candles and fresh flowers
lilacs from mom's garden, she also brought apple blossoms

who knew we were all so talented?
mom and ted
the rehearsal
the rehearsal dinner
lady in waiting
kids in waiting
jo's arrangement for the ceremony
Here she comes!
waving the streamers afterwards

18 grandkids

chocolate cupcakes
first dance
proceed to party


Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt

We have the MOST fun at the annual Easter egg hunt in Scotland. Grandma has gotten wise and scheduled the meal around the hunt. Here are this years photos. We made out well this year earning not only the participation prize but the grand prize in each category as well! Go go Gordon egg hunters!!!!!

 The money ball egg.
 She was the last to hunt.
 So eXcItEd!
 Got one!
 We came. We hunted.
 We dyed eggs.
 We napped.
 We posed with handsome Andy.
 Waiting in the wind.
 It's almost time!
 It was quite cold with that wind.
 Too old to hunt this year!
Grand prize egg hunter!

 more strategy...
 Watching the big kids hunt.
Winner, winner!
Hope your Easter was just as fun!