Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Isn't that somethin'

I'm watching a show on National Geographic about the Hell's Angels, and it reminds me....

When I was in elementary school, probably 3 or 4th grade, my biological dad would take my sister and I to bars in Wichita while he sang in his "one man band". Some times we would go together and other times he would only take one of us.

When I first visited Justin at this house, we drove down the road and I immediately saw the bar that he used to take us to. Now I drive by it several times a week.

In that bar, my sister and I were introduced to members of Hell's Angels and we danced with them. I remember my sister telling people how "nice" they were. Ha! Not according to this show!

Enjoy it!

Some days are thinky kind of days. Good music tends to do that to me. I have things on my mind this morning.

I'm thankful, grateful for my life and, I'd say, even overwhelmed by the awesomeness of it.

My oldest son knows how to pull at my heartstrings like no one else. He always has. When he was little, he was a reflection of me. If I was going through something, you could tell by watching Migc. Now, my life is easy and I don't "go through" much, so I don't have opportunity to see that. However, consequently maybe, he is good too. Life for Migc is mostly good. He's a good kid. He's fun, thoughtful and you can talk to him. Plus, the boy gives the best hugs and secretly loves to cuddle. He did lose his mohawk this week though. He was not forthright with his teacher when she was trying to find something out and for that, he lost his mohawk. Good riddance. :)

Kristen is smart! I know everyone says that about their kid and I won't belabor that point because I can see it in people's face that they don't really believe it. It's not important to me that others believe it. I see her report card and talk to her teachers and communicate with her daily. It's crazy how smart that girl is! She's also sensitive and pays attention to things. If I've been crying, she picks up on it immediately - mostly because she looks me straight in eyes. She bought a pair of converse shoes this weekend. Pink converse. She loves them! I cannot believe that she is wearing converse shoes!

And Jaden! I've never had a child get sick as much as he does. It's crazy! He doesn't go to daycare either. Today it's croup. He is so sweet though! He cuddles and kisses and dances and says bye bye. He loves his brother and sister and his daddy. He lights up my days...and by my nights, I'm ready for him to go away for a little while. :)

I've lost my original thoughts now. I didn't start this to give you a run down of every great thing in my life.

Yesterday, I found out that my ex-husband's sister-in-law died in a car accident in Nigeria. It gave me such a strange feeling and makes me think a lot. Out of everyone in his family, 5 brothers and 3 sisters, I knew her the best. She was about my age, had 2 children just younger than Migc and Kristen. She was married to man similar to my ex. Her life was difficult, but she faked it a lot. A lot. I'm not sure how good she was at faking it though. Surely, if all the way across the ocean, I knew that her husband liked women and enjoyed shady business behind her back, those near her knew too, but I remind myself that cultures are different and those practices are common place within many men there. It's not ok to the people there, but they mostly just pretend as if it isn't happening. I don't understand it all, so I can't venture too far here, but I will say that her life was difficult at times, for sure. She was pretty, thoughtful and loved God. She was a good woman and from what I knew, a good mom. Then one day, while traveling down the road, she died. Now, she lay in a casket and her family comes to see her dead body. Life is gone that quickly. She went from a colorful, lively woman on this earth to be with Jesus. That seems profoundly wrong. Her children need her. Her sister needs her. She left too soon. It makes me think of my own life and those around me. It makes me very thinky. Yet, it makes me feel strange being so thinky about a woman that I only know because of my ex-husband. It's strange.

My life is amazing, yet, I realize that it could all shatter around me in a moment. Life is so fragile, yet we barrel through, thinking it is all about me. It's not. I'm not the certain of the universe, my extended family, nor my own home. I want to miss those around me when they go home. I want to grieve for them because I knew them and cherished them, not because I missed out. I want the same when I go home. Today, I'm going to squeeze a little harder, talk a little nicer and put the computer away and laugh a little more. Life is fleeting. I want to enjoy mine today!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Are You a Competitor?

Do you compete? I mean, compete at board games, bowling, in discussions or for relationships? Have you ever competed for a man? A position? A friend? The attention of a family member? Do you determine to fight til the end for it? Do you find yourself fighting for the most definitive conclusion in discussions?

If you do, will you please share with me why? I really want to know. What makes you this way and why do you do it? I was told a while back that it was because of insecurity. I can see that, but I'm not convinced that that is the only reason why. Maybe, if you are a competitor, you have a good reason why you do it and it has nothing to do with insecurity. If you could help me here, I think I might be able to navigate life a little easier sometimes.

I am not a competitor. In fact, if there are any signs of competition, I will leave. I will bow out. I will do my best to become invisible. It's just not in me. I have felt like, if things were worth having, they were worth fighting for. I would say there is some truth to that, but not when it comes to the kind of adult competition that I see regularly.

I've never been one to fight for a guy. Never. In fact, I usually dated the guys that other girls weren't really into. I don't compete well. I never fought for friends either. I didn't keep a big circle of very close friends because of it too. Angel was my best friend for a long time and though I had lots of other friends, I would have to compete with other friends to go out with them. With Angel, she was with me. I didn't have to compete for her. We were alright.

Now, as an adult, I still find competition all around me and I still refuse to join in, but now, unlike then, it is conscious. I purposefully walk away. When I see it coming, the feelings of rising up and fighting against it turn in my stomach and I want so badly to put my foot down and say, "NO this is what *I* want and I'm going to do what I have to do to get it." That doesn't feel right though. It doesn't sit well with me and I'd like to think that I'm just not that selfish. I don't feel like I'm following Christ's example with that feeling in my stomach and I always shun away from it.

Shunning away doesn't make me feel good either. In fact, I feel terrible because I lose out on things that are important to me.

If there is anything I've learned throughout the years, it is my worth. I know who I am - I know my insecurities. I know what moves me. I know my strengths. I know me. I'm comfortable with me too. I'm not afraid of who I am. There may be a relationship that I sincerely want to cultivate more, but I don't because I have to compete for it. For me, I know that I'm worth getting to know and worth being in that relationship, but if the other person doesn't see that worth then I don't push. I've found that that can come across as arrogant. I've been known to say that it's ok if you don't like me. I don't mean that I'm not likable and that I don't want you to like me. It's that I know who I am and I'm not going to change for you to like me. If you don't, it's ok. Some people just don't like other people. I can accept that you don't like me for who I am. I'd never be able to accept it if I constantly tried to be who you wanted me to be and you didn't like me.

Does that make sense?

Justin isn't a competitor either, at least not when it comes to relationships. I'm fairly certain that his is for different reasons though, and I know that he suffers because of it. He doesn't compete for attention or time, and if he even conjures up in his mind that there is a glimpse of competition, he seems to assume he's already failed and won't even attempt it. For some, it's the rejection thing, I think. I can understand that!

It's the why some compete so fearlessly that I don't understand. Why others have to suffer because you just want to win - you just want to be the best and to have it your way and to control the situation. It's manipulation. You may not see it that way, but it is and it hurts people. Being the prettiest or the smartest or the least sinful or the happiest or most involved - none of that wins you a prize at the end. It's the grace, the mercy, the giving, the sharing, the putting others before yourself that presses you more toward that mark.

Trust me, even when the game is over and you return to being a good sport, those of us that didn't compete with you still remember what you did.

The Things He Does

So I don't forget these milestones.

Jaden has been following me around saying "mamamama". He only does it to me and only when he's whining. Does that count as a first word?

He also waves bye bye and saying "ba ba". That definitely counts!

He is cutting tooth number 6 at this moment. I can see it!

He climbs all of the way to the top of the stairs by himself.

He *loves* balls and squeezes teddy bears. We bought him a big teddy bear yesterday just for him to squeeze because whenever we go to a store, he carries one around until I have to trick it out of his arms. He's so lovey!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tugging at those heart strings

Tomorrow the kids are having their class pictures taken at school. It's almost strange how excited they are about them. When Migc got home from school, he could barely make it through dinner before he went to pick out what he was wearing. He was so excited to pick out his clothes.

Upon finishing dinner, he promptly left the table to get it all squared away. I was in Kristen's room helping her figure out what to wear, when he came up to ask me where his "tuxedo" was.

Back story - the kids came home from Chicago at Christmas with some new clothes. Their dad had taken them to pick something out with a gift card that someone had given him. Migc picked out a white dress shirt and a tie. I have no idea where this came from because no one around him wears ties. Justin sometimes wears them to church and but no one, including his dad, wears them regularly. Well, that's great - dress shirt and tie, except that the dress shirt was too small. The shoulders were small, the length was small and the arm were small. And the tie...*sigh*...was a toddler tie. It would have fit a 4 year old nicely, not an 8 year old.

I didn't have the heart to tell him they were too small. He was excited about them. In fact, I took him to meet people with those clothes on because he wore them home on the airplane. They were embarrassingly small.

When I started packing stuff up to put our house on the market, I packed those up and I'm pretty sure that I gave them away. I honestly didn't think it would ever come up again. But tonight...he wanted to know where they were. I told him that they probably got packed and he left the room looking very sullen.

I finished helping Kristen and went downstairs to talk with him. He was sad looking when I walked in. I asked him to sit on the bed with me - that I wanted to talk to him. I explained to him that the clothes were too small and that I was very sorry that he'd come home with clothes too small. He cried so hard. His heart was completely broken. I asked him if we could find something else and, as Migc is, he'd shut down by then and didn't even want to talk. He just sat there with tears streaming down his face.

I couldn't take it. I told him that I would take him up to Wal-Mart and buy him a new dress shirt and tie that would fit him if that is what he wanted to wear. I asked him if he'd rather wear something "cooler" for the pictures. If he did, I could help him pick something from his closet. He agreed to go to Wal-Mart...and still sat there. I asked him for a hug and he said no. I asked why and he said because he didn't want a hug. I told him I wanted one, but he wasn't giving it up. He agreed to look through his clothes to see if there was something in there.

We looked through them and he found something that he could wear if he didn't find anything at Wal-Mart that he wanted.

Then, he walked a few steps toward me and hugged me. *melt*

He found something at Wal-Mart that he fell in love with! Dress shirt and tie with a mohawk it is!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Picture Post

I'm terrible about posting pictures. I usually manage to get them from the camera to the computer and occasionally get them from the computer to shutterfly and even more rarely do they go anywhere from there. I have tons of pictures and even some videos, but I honestly can't even remember what the videos are. But as I'm sitting here listening to the penalty phase of Jodi's trial, I'll bring some pictures for your viewing pleasure. :)
I'm sorry for the formatting issues. I'm not messing with it anymore. I have things to go do. :) Enjoy!

That is one fun monkey! :)

This picture made my heart skip a beat. That man is the love of my life!

Playing at the Exploration Place
Enjoying the outdoors and eating grass
My amazingly beautiful daughter!
And the beautiful girl and mohawk boy. They really do love each other some days. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What is wrong with me?

I have been in such a bad mood the last two days. I cannot seem to shake it. I'm just upset about every little thing. This isn't like me either. I was so short with Justin when he got home from work yesterday, he almost went to get me a pregnancy test because he says the only time I've ever acted like this was when I was pregnant. I can't be though. I'm almost certain that we completed missed ovulation this month. Plus, there is no way I could have symptoms this early. It's nearly impossible. It's not even late enough to test.

I really just want to go off by myself and knit for an entire day - away from everyone and everything! What is wrong with me?

...on to other things...

Jaden got 2 new teeth about a week and a half ago and he got another one today. We're up to 5 teeth now. Now that we have his sleep under control, he is a happy, fun baby. He is so darn smart! Oh how they learn! He pulls up and cruises around on everything and is beginning to attempt standing on his own. He loves people! That is, as long as Mama is around. If I leave the room, it doesn't matter how fun you may be, he doesn't like you. If I'm there, he'll chatter and smile and climb all over you!

Migc got a mohawk. He loves it! I'm not really a fan of mohawks, but I couldn't come up with a good reason not to give him one. His behavior has been good in school and he's all kinds of helpful at home. As long as he keeps on track, I suppose I'll have to support the hawk!

Kristen, on the other hand, has been getting in trouble quite regularly. I think, in the last week, she has been able to watch tv for one day. She is just testing her boundaries and is coming up short. Hopefully soon, she will fully learn and I'll have my Kristen back.

Our house is officially on the market! YAY! Now, if we could just get more people in here to look at it. :( I went on the market Friday night. We had one showing on Sunday. People, come buy our house! It's a nice house!!

Maybe in a week or so, I'll be able to tell you, hey, guess what, we're having a baby...but, I seriously doubt it, so don't hold your breath. :)

Now, I'm going to go see if I can fix my bad mood with more food. Pray for me! ha!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Flood of Emotions

I've decided not to talk about Jodi's murder or trial or anything pertaining to her here purely because some of those that read this didn't experience those first days and weeks with me, and would probably be left with a lot of questions. I just had a flood of emotions and want to write right now though.

It helps me process.

I've been following online, though I was only able to get the live video up for a few hours on Tuesday. I just watched yesterday's "wrap up" video though. I do ok with every single image and all of it, until I see her car on the back of that flatbed truck. When I see them pulling away with her car, it brings back that flood of emotions.

I remember sitting at my desk in Chicago, watching that originally video and just bawling and not wanting to believe it. Not wanting to believe that it had really happened and that was really her car. That was the most significant moment for me throughout all of it. And that image still makes me cry. I have yet to see it without crying.