Monday, November 22, 2010

My Amazing Husband

We've been wanting a mini van for our family, especially since we became annual pass-holders at Disneyland. This means more often than once a year, we're going there and I don't want to take another trip in my husband's Suzuki Swift.

So, Chris researched and the winner was the Kia Sedona. The safety rating even trumped Honda, which was surprising, and the price was better, so we began hunting. Day after day, Chris would check online, visit dealerships, etc...and he kept seeing the same thing: fabric interior, silver...he wanted something other than what we've had. he wanted to be comfortable and not settle.

So I prayed all the time. "Please, God. I know it's not a necessity, but we would love a van to just be comfortable. Is it wrong to want to be comfortable? Please bless my husband, who works to keep us fed, with a mini van!" I had friends and family (thanks mom!) praying too...and Chris told me we had a lead in Warrenton that we'd look at tomorrow.

Chris arrived home today about 4 pm. He had called a few times. The snow was heavy through the pass and some cars were in the ditch. The kids hadn't seen him in a couple days - he had stayed in town after working graveyard for a week...exhausted and getting over the flu we all had. So, the kids attacked him and they played while I headed to the basement to finally get my crafty on!

THREE hours pass. I have a lot accomplished when Flannery yells down the stairs that it's snowing - so we grab out coats and all head out. Cannon loves it. It's freezing cold, windy and snow pebbles are hitting our faces. Out of the wind, it's soft and floaty. Chris tells us to come near the driveway where it's more gentle. I'm looking up at the trees when he slowly opens the garage. I turn to look and see a Honda logo.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!" I scream and jump on him and hug him. Flannery starts jumping and screaming. Cannon is confused.

It's a 2007 Honda Odyssey - 32,000 miles and BLACK, Cannon's favorite color. We all got inside and looked around. Leather interior, heated seats, 6 disc CD changer and Chris went today and had an Alpine DVD player installed in the ceiling with wireless headphones for the kids.

He went above and beyond and totally lied to me for the past 2 days hiding his surprise. I couldn't have prayed for or imagined anything better. It's perfect!!

Memories of Childhood Things

At night, sometimes I just lie there and think and think and think. I was even thinking about going to the doctor to see if this is normal. This isn't only at night, but sometimes all day long. Here and there. Does anyone else think about these things?

I think about people I went to elementary school, junior high and high school with and things we did. Walking to Kris Barnes' house and watching Cujo. - The junior high social when Matt Braithwaite and I danced until there was a group of people watching and he flipped me over his back and then regretted it. - Learning to smoke with Tres Harding and learning that stretch marks on boobs are "not a good thing to have." - My first French kiss with Corey Greenwood in the middle of choir class and Shane Chandlee cheering him on from across the room. - Lying in the field behind Felida Elementary with Chad Spence just talking about everything. - Robin and I planning our wedding to The Secret of my Success soundtrack to Chris McKinney and Shane Chandlee. - Getting off the bus and walking to Chris Hipsher's house so he could teach me how to kiss. Like daily. No joke. - The summer between 6th and 7th grade when I would go with Chad Spence, Justin Lein and Mike Uribe and swim in Salmon Creek behind Mike's house. - Freshman tennis with Nikki Chapman (whom I idolized). - When Doug Hayworth made me kiss him and I was so glad he did. - Bloody knuckles with Woody Pratt during Home Ec - When Kyle Schmahl kissed me and I let him even though Robin loved him (bad friend points.) - When Kyle introduced me to U2. - My first "real" boyfriend, Scott Esteb, kissing me on the bleachers during a track meet - When Asia and I saw Eric Palodichuck a week before he was killed and he told her she had nice boobs. - Kip Beelman and our nightly phone convos in jr. high. - Jennifer Butler and our obsession with Def Leppard, Richard Marx and The Last American Virgin...

I seriously, could write a freaking book of a million little anecdotes and memories that are small but powerful. They shaped me. I almost feel more free from them after writing them down. Hmmmm...On a different note -

My favorite thing I've been thinking about is when I watch Cannon sleep. I look at his fat lips and big soft eyelids with eyelashes women would kill for and I can't look away. I just murmur "thank you Father" over and over and wonder if this what Mary said as she looked onto the face of her sleeping son, Jesus. Looking at Cannon makes me so happy to be a mother. I love watching Flannery interact with him, teach him his alphabet, read to him, comfort him and even discipline him to some extent and I am so glad I have taught her well. She's amazing with him.

Being a wife and mother trump the childhood memories, but sometimes it nice to just remember. The problem is...I have a feeling they don't remember...but maybe it doesn't matter.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Craftasmic Longings of a Sick Girl

Well, I had the flu for about 4 days and while I'm fabulous at being sedentary, my creative crafty mind is in overdrive and I feel like a runner waiting for the gunshot! I might get out some crocheting - something I can do in the midst of a toddler - and I have a few lists to make (my favorite pastime)for our Disneyland trip...just 5 days away!

I love having football on (Cowboys won!) and sipping coffee while the smells of fresh baked bread and vanilla cake saturate the air. Flannery had been great the last couple days, helping me with Cannon...and Cannon took a nice long nap today, giving me time for a shower. YAY! But I am craving a day in my basement hideout, surrounded by paper scraps and die cuts, chipboard and binding strips. UGH!!! I wanna play!

Tomorrow, my husband will be home from work and I will have an afternoon of uninterrupted crafty bliss...for now, I will rest and be grateful for, well, everything.

By the's some stuff I wanna make...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cancer and Laurie the Busy Bee

When Laurie was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2005, I was a mess. She was a wreck. She began chemotherapy - I took her to all but one of her sessions - and she was restless between them.

See, Laurie doesn't lie around on a regular basis. She rarely naps. She's up, showered, made up and dressed complete with jewelry every morning. She accomplishes as much as possible every day. The chemo made her lethargic and she tried to fight it. She didn't want to sleep all day even though her body begged her for it. She wanted to check things off her to-do list, play with her kids and run errands. It wasn't the cancer that depressed her - it was knowing she had to stop and rest for the next 6 months.

Here I am, at home with the flu, caring for my son, who has the flu and just tucked in my husband, who also has...the flu. I am content just reclining. Watching TV. Snuggling in a blanket with little Cannon. Sipping hot tea and revamping my cyber-farm on FarmVille. I can just be. Sometimes I wonder why I wasn't the one to have gotten cancer. I'm a way better patient.

By the way...Happy FIVE year remission Laurie Belle!!! xoxo

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Love and Mercy

I prefer NOT having staunch opinions on some things to avoid conflict. For instance, the President of the United States. I don't campaign for a particular candidate. I vote (or don't) the way I want to and keep it to myself. During the elections I blocked the feeds of about 15 people who continued to preach about their candidate as if God had just formed him from the dust of the earth. Dumb.

The only opinion I am glad to share, but not choke you with, is that love of Christ is real. I heard a song today and the line that sticks with me every time I hear it is, "Mercy doesn't care what you've done." Mercy is Jesus. Jesus is love.

I just don't get it. Accepting the love of Jesus is so simple...why do so many friends of mine decide it's not for them? I think it's the religion. I think it's the "followers" of Christ that blow up abortion clinics and those "christians" who preach what they refuse to practice, that turn people away.

Well, my preaching is about mercy & love - the essence of Christ. Mercy and love are gentle...a basic human need. I hope I can be that to others. To you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving?

I hate Thanksgiving. Well, hate is a strong word. I just don't like it.

First of all, minus the mashed potatoes, it's my least favorite food of the year. The turkey is usually dry, the stuffing is over-salted and the yams are syrupy and donned with burnt marshmallow fragments.

You gather with family, but it's the only time of year that you also gather with "that" family member that you attempt to avoid all year long. It's a hodgepodge of white sheep, black sheep and the enablers.

Also, when you get finished eating, this guilt sets in...Should I gather the dishes? Load the dishwasher? Wipe the counter tops? Can I just sit and visit with my sisters? Ugh.

I made Thanksgiving dinner twice in the last 3 years. It's 3 days and 6 hours of preparation and baking for 20 minutes of eating around a dinner table, using the fall-themed table cloth and the turkey-shaped salt and pepper shakers. Then it's another 6 hours of clean up, 3 loads of dishes and sweeping the floor beneath the trough.

And am I thankful? No. I'm irritated as I scrub the pots and pans while others watch football and peruse the Black Friday ads. Or I succumb to my guilt and clean up after others - still irritable - while my grandma is still finishing her plate...(she eats slower than Lucille Ball did in the I Love Lucy episode where she is dieting and needs to chew each bite 25 times).

Not to mention, every year I get the Facebook posts and news items about cruelty to Turkeys. It's food. You kill it and eat it. But I don't, cause it's too damn dry.

Roller-Coaster Blues

I can't take the blame for someone's unhappiness, loneliness and choice to remain lifeless and sad. I often take these things upon myself. I can't save anyone's life or bring anyone joy. Sometimes I just need to remind myself.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Did I mention this? Well, several projects I've done musically are now able to download at bandcamp. Also, my site has other projects from local artists/friends of mine from the 90s. The 90s was where it all began, so it's a tribute, of sorts - ALL thanks to my dear friend Bradley Swanson. Bradley and I were in The Company together in 2000 - 2002. Another fun project I was able to be apart of. So listen, download if you like and enjoy!

Click Here

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Morning Talks

I have been thinking about Tim today and how much I miss our morning talks. He was taking a medication that made him very chatty in the morning, and Beth would encourage him to call me daily and talk it all out! He'd call me every morning in the Spring and Summer of 2008 around 10 am and I'd pour a cup of coffee and take it to my back porch. Sometimes we'd chat for 10 minutes, sometimes up toward 2 hours. It was so great.

I felt like I had a purpose and direction then. I want to feel that way again.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010 52 days!

I am truly excited for Christmas. This year is very different for my HUGE family, as my side has had some financial setbacks.

My mom has always been the genius frugal Christmas gift "getter." She goes to garage sales, thrift stores and rummages through Alice's (my 16 year old half-sister) bedroom for goodies for the kids and grandkids. My grandma, her mother, sends her boxes throughout the year of books she gets at library book sales and when Christmas comes, my mom has a gift bag with items just perfect for each one of us.

My dad has always been the online shipping at Amazon! Books, Movies, toys and whatever else you can think of. But this year, dad's job position was riffed and his income is nil. Literally. Janet and I have been brainstorming a fun Christmas filled with family, food and laughter with zero emphasis on gifts...and it's 180 degrees from our usual time together.

I celebrate Christmas because of God sending His Son into the world to save us from our sins. But do I really do that? Well, I make sure I attend a candlelight service somewhere and sit in reverence and ponder God's most perfect gift...but I think I get most excited about Christmas because I love PRESENTS!!!! Just being honest.

When I was a kid, both of my grandparents had a MASSIVE mound of gifts. And we got everything we circled in the Sears catalog. It was ridiculous...and it trained me to expect everything I want every year. It has been a real struggle as an adult to let go of that expectation. I've begun the process of lowering Flannery's expectations too. We're modest in our gifts. Usually, there is one thing that is a big gift and then it's clothes and some useful stuff like books.

I pray every year that my focus won't be on the gifts...both the giving and the getting. "I spent $18 on Andy, and $24 on Jeffy, so I need to get something extra for Andy under $6." DUMB.

I remember one year when Leon and Jennifer (Chris' sister & husband) gave me a bag of Peet's coffee beans. I love Peet's coffee. I was the only one in the room to receive anything from them that year. They had the beans, thought of me, and I was blessed with a token of their love. They didn't get the beans and then check me off their "to buy for" list and move on down the line - "Those beans were worth about $10, so let's get Kevin something around $10..." Nope. They felt they wanted to bless me and they did.

My focus is on the kids this year, as far as gifts go. I am making some blank books for car rides, fleece blankets and I have a coupon for Carter's for the little ones. I found something useful for Andy, and bought wisely for Christopher, Kenneth and Josiah...catered to Jeffrey's "sports" side and gathered a bunch of clothes from my family for the Goodenough kids!

I want to read the birth story of Jesus at Dad's house this year - Janet is making a bunch of goodies for snacking, and we're going to call it a potluck with games and lots of coffee. The kids can play and we can relax and not worry about what we bought for one another. Our love should be enough.