Perspective

Obvious

This morning I met a couple of my friends at the local coffee shop. No big event, but we’ve discovered that we are all happier when we make a couple hours each month to get together.

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Photo by rawpixel.com

As we chatted about our kids and spring break plans, I realized how down-to-earth my crew is. They are wonderful, low maintenance, comfortable friends. If we don’t see each other for a couple weeks, we are able to walk right back into a conversation. No hard feelings that we weren’t able to grab dinner or if a birthday wish was missed.

Here’s a bit of wisdom I gleaned from our conversation.

  • No spring break envy amongst our group. Spring break for most of us working parents means that we are now trying to balance a work schedule with no school and minimal childcare. No one in my circle is going to lay on a beach anywhere. We did spend time talking about day trips we’d like to take our kids on this summer.
  •  The objective for kids’ sports has gotten out of control for our young children. My 8yr old son played his first year of traveling basketball this winter. He gets to exercise and spend time with his friends. We emphasized that he should do his best, but doing his best should be fun at this age. A parent commented after a bad loss (that none of the boys were upset about) that “how they played, none of them will be playing in college.” Ummmm…. yeah… I looked at the other parent and said “well, they’re in 3rd grade so that’s not much to worry about now.”
  • Don’t fool around with or sleep with someone who isn’t your spouse. Just say no. In addition, after one has wrecked his/her own marriage stop the carnage and don’t go around deliberately making passes at other married people. Just Say No.
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  • R Kelly – Sir, you aren’t allowed to buy women. Ever. His comment (paraphrased from his televised interview) “that those parents sold their kids to me” hit a nerve. You can’t declare your innocence out of one side of your mouth and then confess that you purchased young girls.

This is not my normal theme for writing. I’m often deluded into thinking that what appears to be obvious to me is obvious to everyone. However, as I age I’m finding that not to be true.

Family · Perspective

Perfect Morning

I named this post after the candle I have burning on my desk at work. It’s a delicious creamy coffee smell.

If I’m honest, I prefer the smell of coffee over the taste. Tea is more my thing.

As I write, our current real temperature is -6 Fahrenheit. Wind chill sits near -20F. This past weekend, we added another 4 inches of snow to the 7 inches we accumulated from the previous storm.

I’m thankful for the shop guys plowing and piling thru the 4ft frozen drift that blocked my east driveway this morning. The kids were also excited about the prospect of playing on this later in the week when we get a tad bit warmer. Still frozen… but in double positive digits.

My father-in-law refilled the bird feeder and threw out milo for the yard rabbits this morning. They’ve taken to chewing the bark off our lilacs. We’ve had snow cover for weeks and the wild creatures are getting hungry.

Basically, winter is still in full-swing. I speak for all us winter-loving people: “we are ready for spring!”

Faith · Family · Parenting · Perspective

Non-Traditional Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving. All day yesterday, my friends posted pictures of glowing, happy families and people taking naps after overeating. 

This year, none of that happened for us. After an incredibly contentious morning with my children where they fought me on everything from underwear to turning off light switches, we did go to my parents’ house. I had a good cry and told them they were not allowed to talk to me in the car.

Twenty-five minutes into the drive, my son accidentally (maybe?) punched my daughter in the ear. This set off the fireworks in the backseat. Domino-style, it started a sad and angry lecture from me about how when you treat others badly, you end up feeling bad too. 

We arrived at my mom and dad’s to find that my dad has come down with a terrible cold. He is hacking, coughing in fits, sneezing and basically needs quarantined. No hugs for dad. No hugs from papa for the kids.

We didn’t eat a traditional meal. We reheated taco meat. I made quesadillas on the George Foreman grill for my family. Mine was just chili beans, a tortilla and salsa. I sincerely wish manufacturers would hold off on the dairy in everything. It was in my mom’s taco seasoning! They finished it off with a couple of frozen chocolate cupcakes my mom had in her freezer. I had a handful of grapes.

My mother was an angel and took the kids out to explore and play for two hours. I took a much needed hour-long nap. My son had slept walked into my room the night before. It was sleep staccato-style.

Basically, as a summary and stopping the story there, you can see that this was anything but a normal family celebration. My children have been hard this week, to say the least… To top it off, after looking at the weather forecast, it seems highly unlikely that my husband will return this weekend. It just won’t be possible to travel on Sunday if the snow and blizzard conditions move in like the meteorologists are forecasting.

I’m finding this week that I’m leaning in on my faith more than ever. The prayers are constantly streaming from my thoughts- both praising in good and tough and petitioning for safe travel and patience.

Although I’m struggling to enjoy my children, I am thankful for them. Thanksgiving was missing both my sisters and their families due to other commitments, but I am grateful for their companionship this week via text messages. My husband, mom, and dad are always on my list of reasons to be grateful. The window may be foggy right now, but my view of my world can still be bright and positive.

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Happy Thanksgiving to you, however you celebrated. Truly, it is about gratefulness. The food is just a perk.

Family · Perspective

Work.

For anyone new to this blog, a little background information. My husband and I own a small business with a couple of employees in rural America. We work together full-time in the office. Our job descriptions are complementary but separate. Technically, it’s his signature on the “President” line.

Today he walked over to my desk and picked up an invoice from one of our distributors that I had a question about. He starts in on “from now on…” about this invoice.

What he’s forgetting is that approximately a month ago, I asked him this exact question about the timing of this invoice. I was annoyed….

Because I like to keep things light and as positive as I can, here is how the rest of that conversation went in .gif fashion.

Me:
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Me:
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Him:
giphy3Me:giphy4Him: giphy6

People often wonder how we can work together full-time, live together, love each other, and still LIKE each other the majority of the time. It’s work. Marriage is work. Work is work. Respect and trust is work.

Both of us have had to eat our humble pie and accept that we are wrong sometimes. It happens.

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Eat the pie. Move on. Live life.

Happy Monday!

Faith · Family · Parenting · Perspective

Ordinary is Good

Today I get to wake up sleepy children. I get to go to work. I am allowed another day to do the ordinary. But that, in itself, is extraordinary!

Our adult Sunday School lesson yesterday was about perspective. It was a colorful conversation dotted with laughs and frustrations.

Perspective helped me get thru a rough, cranky day where my children fought and whined continuously- achieving a rare level above and beyond in the disagreeable department. I wasn’t able to find much to be thankful for, but I settled on the fact that they were all living, breathing creatures. Sometimes that’s all you’ve got. Just tuck it in your heart and run with it.

Perspective encouraged me as I was unclogging the pipe under the dishwasher. I am thankful for the water that flows freely. I am fortunate to have this dishwasher and the mental and physical ability to do DIY minor plumbing projects. The plumbing issues can stop at any time now…

Today I get to take on a new week. I’m going to take the ordinary and appreciate it as extraordinary.

#gratitude #perspective

Parenting · Perspective

Seat 21A Key West to Atlanta

Delta Seat 21A Key West to Atlanta- you. Yes you. This morning we all boarded a flight from Key West to Atlanta at approximately 11:30am.

I know leaving somewhere that the air is warm and soft, drinks and merriment flow freely, and the potpourri of languages is like music- it’s difficult.

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But not so difficult you had to be passive aggressively rude to the young mom traveling with her 3 & 2 yr old girls. I heard you two rows back when the obviously tired 2yr old fussed.

“I can’t believe we have to listen to this shit on our way home.” That’s exactly what you said to the woman on your right, never looking back at your intended target. That woman must be used to your selfish choices. She calmly put a pink and white earbud in your ear.

I saw the young mom glance up at you as she tried to calm her little. She stayed calm and remained full of grace.

That young mom worked her tail off all the way to Atlanta keeping those girls quiet and happy. My husband and I peeked and smiled at them. I handed her phone back up when it hit the floor. Another passenger talked calmly and reassuringly to the 3yr old when the mom had to take the toddler to the bathroom.

It seems that everyone in the two rows around the young mom was happy to help. Everyone but you.

As we landed in Atlanta, we talked with her and the 3yr old. My daughter likes Barbies just like she does. She’s always losing the shoes too.

My husband offered to carry her carry-on bag. The tired 2 year old had finally cashed it in as we taxied to our gate. She now had to maneuver a sleeping toddler, her three year old, bag and a double stroller to make her connection to Michigan- which was currently boarding in another terminal.

Seat 21A. Would it have been so difficult to be supportive? Or at the very least ignore the noise?

I believe most people are good and kind. I hope that the patience and smiles of the rest of us outweighed you, Seat 21A. I pity you for your sour outlook. I pray for you that you are so smothered in other people’s graciousness that your selfish heart is cracked. Hopefully, the next time you have a chance to show grace and patience, you will.

This one is for you Delta Seat 21A.