Monday, January 19, 2015

.........The Middle Of No-Where.

`I was raised in a small rural town and never got the memo that your life will not be complete without the necessary experience of living with neighbors sufficient to fill a sports arena and traffic sufficient to make you stop at "Yield" signs. So I never tried it. But we can't have life be TOO predictable so I occasionally traded one small "town" for another. And people say ".......You live where? Oh! That's the middle of no-where!"
   Have you ever noticed how there are the same sets of fabulous and crazy people everywhere you go?
   I actually like the middle of no-where. I've had at least 13 years practice at it. I still choose it.
We've lived in a number of lovely places all outside the city limits with only one exception. (Only 1 next door neighbor on the last street in town with a gorgeous view of the mountains!)
There are a few things that people don't seem to understand about "The Middle Of No-Where-ness".
 - Conscientious Earth-dwellers give me dirty looks for driving the old and cheap version of an SUV. I really do need  8 seats and 4-wheel drive. Promise.
- The UPS man is my best friend- next to Amazon Prime. :) I don't know his name but he sure knows a lot about me..
  -The road from our house to your house is much shorter than your house to mine. Weird but true. "We really don't come to visit you because it's so far. Why don't you come see us more often??"
  -Everyone thinks that all you do is sit around and enjoy the peace and quiet and clucking of chickens. I do love me some good peace, quiet and clucking...............okay, now I'll have to ask you to excuse me - I'm going to go feed the chickens, and pigs, and horses, , and dog and get the four-wheeler out of the mud. I understand that all some folks do is go to the theatre and shopping and see what I mean.
- The nice ladies at the dentist's office wonder why you look like you've been run over by a truck when you show up for your appointment at nine in the morning with all the kids in tow. "Why does she do all of them in one day and she didn't seem too happy about her appointment time......" I should have picked a dentist closer than 2 hours away.
- Everything that starts right after dinner or lunch for anyone planning the event can expect my kids to be crabby- they weren't hungry when I fed them early to make it to your thing and now they're starving. And when we leave early, it's to go to the grocery store (to buy them some bananas so they won't eat all your cookies) before it closes because I'm too cheap to drive that much without getting groceries and gas.......and anything you can't order on Amazon Prime. :)
- Girls don't baby sit for you. At all. If they're old enough to drive they're too busy. And everyone loves that one lady that takes her kids everywhere with her. Believe me, I can tell from their looks.
- When you call two hours before youth activities start to let us know that they have been canceled that day- we've gone in time to go get groceries first and we'll show up anyway. Again.
- We love it when every kid's church group meets on a different day so we can spend an hour in the car for every hour long activity. Sometimes I give them a dollar to stay home. Maybe I'll just send them out to ride their bikes to Scouts....
.....and there's the things I love about it.
- My kids are each other's best friends.
- The stars are gorgeous and the sky is immense as I sit in the house trying to get kids to sleep just like all you other moms, but sometimes when I realize that someone left the car door open or I forgot my purse in the car or someone forgot to let the horses out of the corral I get to walk out and look at them!
-I have lots of space and lots of dirt and lots of horizon to enjoy.
-Costco is only two hours away....right by my dentist. I just wish that 8 seat /4 wheel Drive Earth Crusher had more cargo room - once a month shopping gets intense.
- CNG is cheap.
-When I make my kids do chores there are no nosy neighbors who think I'm worse than anything they've ever heard of.
-When I'm potty training the little boy and he pees in the front yard I know I'm not going to hear about it from the neighborhood.
- When I talk to my good friends who also have the same wide open spaces around them we can cherish our friendships even more knowing that it takes time and sacrifice to get together but it's oh, so worth it.  And knowing how needed friends are helps us be less critical.
And to all of you who have a sea of wide open city surrounding you and almost the same life challenges as me- or a small town full of neighbors that think they know all your business and almost the same life challenges as me- What do you love about it?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Since it's almost my birthday- Let's Talk Presents!

God is good. He reminds me all the time.
Like when I asked for a man to marry who could be straight forward and handle directness. I think He may have laughed a little at that one. :)
One time I read an article about fitness - don't gasp, I just read it! It didn't say 'running' in the title so I felt safe. ;) It touted the benefits of having two pair of shoes for exercise. I thought about my current walking shoes and thought aloud "That would be nice to have two pair of good white leather walking shoes!" My last pair of cross-trainers that I loved had been $50 on sale and I was feeling my self raising it's head. My husband would laugh if I told him I was stressing over spending on new exercise shoes, he would just buy them for me after he talked the sales lady down 25% more. But I went about life as usual and a few weeks later I was going to St George (aka "town " at our house- think John Wayne - "Hitch up the buggy, she wants to go to town!") and had a box of stuff for DI. I asked my husband to drop it off at the Cedar location which he thought strange but when I went into the store to look around ( you have to look around! There might be a match to the brushed stainless lamp you got there two weeks ago!!) and walked straight to the shoe section and they were there waiting for me. Two brand new pair of white leather walking shoes in my size. Thank you!!
   He always gives good gifts, He answers my questions, He sends great friends my way and he gives me experiences that change my life. When I was struggling with pregnancy and children He sent me a dream to remind me that I needed to ask more and be specific - especially about what it is I needed and then allow Him to provide in His way and time. Sometimes I wanted something in life to change and He whispered 'patience' to me and I later learned He was putting it all together for me- better than I imagined. A listening ear, a friend, a ride out of Vegas on a crazy weekend, a rainbow or just rain. The right words don't always come out when I open my mouth and I've said some cringe-worthy things in my life, but when I pray for the right words to help a mourning friend and wise things come out, you can know that was surely not me ! In so many ways I'm grateful, for a God who doesn't have  unfairness in Him but still makes me feel like I'm His favorite. And so are you! Be specific when you ask and you'll see His hand in all things. Remember that when you give thanks it allows him to bless you more.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

To The Tender Hearted Who Want Joy, Love and No Pain and Suffering.

Dear Baby-Loving Mamas,
   So I read an article on Deseret News, reposted to FB, about homebirth trends. Interesting article about the 2% of births in UT that are out of hospitals. But when I got to the comments I was surprised....and not in a good way. There were many comments that were civil and stated that they birthed, and that they were happy with the location they chose. Yay for MOMS!! .....And then there were the others. The ones that stated that a mom must be stupid.....neglectful.......dangerous........ridiculous........lacking in basic thought process and obviously only chose the home birth option because she couldn't use Google. That birth is a medical procedure(?) and that other countries with better health care across the board were obviously stupid...neglectful...well, you get the point. How does this kind of social dart throwing make us better moms? Decisions based in guilt, fear, shame and under social pressure will not be good for anyone, be the guilt and shame ever so connected to a home, birth center or hospital. Is it okay to operate under the assumption that all moms want what's best for their tiny precious bundles? That maybe they cared enough to make the best decision for that dependent soul? Because a difference in opinion doesn't give us the right to throw hurtful things into the atmosphere to rain down over others, just because we have the anonymity of our computer or smart phone to make us feel safe from the emotions of our fellowmamas.
Maybe we need to hold the thought of the opening doors of an abortion center, ready to admit a sweet woman who is confused and hurting- maybe not hurting now but sometime down the road. And maybe we need to hold out the same guilt and shame free love for her and every mama who carries a precious soul in the center of her heart and body and remember- we're doing the best we can. Don't doubt it, don't forget it, don't allow your tongue or your keypad to get away from you. If you disagree with my choices I give you my full permission to you to pray for greater understanding of why I make my choices the way I do and if you feel it necessary you can even pray for my soul if you feel the need. :) Pain and suffering happens in this world but my words don't need to be a part of it.
                                                                 Sincerely, Mom of 6- all born in ..........Utah

Friday, January 9, 2015

Laundry and Wisdom

   So I thought I was being kinda savvy. I was tired of the ever so dependable Saturday night or Sunday morning emergency. "Mom! I need a white shirt !"
I was about to be brilliant. 
  I bought two brand new nice white dress shirts just a tad bit big and two black pair of nice pants. 
I trained the kid how to use the washing machine and set laundry day for him as Friday. I was doing so great. AND I was so like Mother Teresa that I offered to wash just the white shirt if he would simply put it downstairs in the proper bin every Sunday afternoon. Simple. Easy-peasy.
   Things went well for awhile. I was the organized, responsible parent- envision faint glow emanating from my head and parenting magazines wishing they had my private number. So Saturday afternoon I had a faint memory of putting a load of whites into the washing machine out in the freezing cold laundry room but strangely missing was the memory of putting them into the dryer. No worries- I'm supermom and this is under control. So I say to my child " You might want to stop pestering me for fun and go make certain you've got a white shirt ready for tomorrow. " (Insert memory of the Ace in my sleeve- the second beautiful white shirt. ) He leaves but appears a little later and life goes on. Fast Forward to Sunday morning - you youngsters that don't know what that is can ask your parents- It's almost time to go and the kid appears as a WWF star -topless and proud - and asks " Where's my white shirt?"
"Where did you leave it?"
"In my laundry basket in my room for you to wash- you did tell me to do something about it!!"
"Where's your other one?"
"I have no idea!"
I thought- still feeling the glow- "Well I guess you'll do things differently next time" Then said "Hurry and put on your nicest shirt and don't be late!"
Well, they didn't have enough deacons so the handsome kid in short ( but self laundered) church pants and a plaid shirt passed the sacrament and earned me several comments on how I need to get with it and get the laundry done sooner and even an offer to do my whites for me since I'm behind.
The kid learned that even if you don't do your jobs there won't be unpleasant consequences - as long as you're on time ! And I learned that if you care what other people think you best beware the urge to teach your kid self-reliance. Just lay down and eat some chocolate and wait for it to pass.

Mornings - So Called Because You Mourn The Sleep That Didn't Happen

       When my almost one year old woke at five I fought it. When he was still up at six I embraced it and took a bath. He didn't even get his sleeves wet despite playing in the water. I have a child who listens and obeys as well as the dog we used to have!! 
       Don't worry, I don't have a swelled head- I didn't train the dog and I suspect the little boy just has a sweet obedient disposition (I'm sure he'll be normal by the time he's two ). 
And naturally when he acted sleepy around 7:30 I embraced once again and put my wet hair in a towel and rocked us to sleep in the recliner ( the blue one I bought for $40 at DI eight years ago and am still reveling about).
 And that is why Paddy's not at work today. 
......Oh wait, I mean "So I'm sorry if it was you I thought I heard at the door at 8:30. I'm sure I wouldn't have ignored you if I hadn't been doubling as a pillow top for the still sleeping boy. I would not have treated the Pope any differently , if that makes you feel any better. "