Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Possibility…

Lying awake at 3 am this morning, I was contemplating…

I am filled with excitement…

With the thrill of possibility…

Possibility…

How many times have we read this?

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

How many moments have taken your breath away?

I read another quote somewhere…It said something about how the most important moments of our lives are filled with details that didn’t seem to matter at the time.

Holding my god-daughter for the first time…there is a breathless moment….

It was a hot July and I was borrowing Scott’s car because I had been in an accident just days before and mom was visiting from Colorado…she had been born at a time when I had no car to get to the hospital, but here we were in a darkened room and they put this 10 lb baby girl in my arms wrapped in a blanket and I thought, “she looks just like her daddy!” My friend, my sister of choice, had given birth to this marvelous pink creature and I was holding a new live in my very arms…

Breathless…What will she be like?...What will my relationship with this little girl grow into?...What will my relationship with her mother grow into?

The day my husband proposed…there is a breath taking moment. (Why not the WEDDING day, you ask? Well…because I was never quite sure he was going to get around to asking me to marry him. After he asked, I didn’t wonder anymore!)

It was his birthday…I was wearing black pants and a blue shirt and flip-flops and we were sprinting through the Inland Center mall in San Bernardino on a rushed mission with a reason unknown to me, late already for a dinner date at the beach with his parents…he took a hard right turn into Helzberg Diamonds and there was a red-headed sales lady standing there with holding the ring…suddenly it was paid for and he was on one knee and there was a camera flash and a Polaroid picture and we were sprinting back out to the car to speed off to dinner.

Breathless…oh, my goodness…did he really do that? Are we really getting married?

Leaving California…there is a breath-taking moment…

It was a warm day – November 18, 2005. I was wearing cropped pants and pink flip-flops. It had been an exhausting day of packers and movers and ex-in-laws crammed into the 1100 square feet of space surrounded by boxes and packing paper and upside-down furniture wrapped in cloth…and suddenly, our tiny house was completely empty, all our worldly possessions off somewhere in the warm California night and our little family was rolling out of the driveway.

Breathless…Is this the right thing? Are we sure? Will I be able to start over?

Breathless and heartbroken…this time…I wasn’t so sure that starting over, that something new was exciting…it felt far more like terrifying.

And now…I’m standing on the threshold of yet another new life…I’ve had so many lives thus far…sometimes its hard for even me to believe I’m only 36! Another new life…Another invention, another incarnation, another expanse of possibility…

A new home…a new baby…a new church…a new job…

These are important moments surrounded by seemingly unimportant details…bank statements and inspections and doctor’s appointments and books and life groups and user manuals…

If you had told me six months ago this was possible and that all I had to do was close the door on my tiny California house and back out of the drive way, I would have said you were crazy. I would have said, “It doesn’t happen that way!” If you would have said, all your dreams will come true, I would have told you “those aren’t my dreams.”

But somewhere inside of me, all this time, through all the fun-filled days that have come before now, I have carried these dreams. They have always been a part of me…they were a part of me when I wanted to be an astronaut, wanted to be a rock star, when I wanted to be a party girl, when I wanted to just be left alone to live my life in peace…always I have carried these things as possibilities around in my heart, planted there ages ago, just waiting for me to grow into them, waiting for me to discover they were even there.

There is a saying, “Leap and the net will appear.”

What a leap I have taken…

What a leap…

A new home…a new baby…a new church…a new job…a new life…

Breathless…

Lying awake at 3 am this morning I was breathless…

I am filled with excitement…

With the thrill of possibility…

Possibility…

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

High Water

I’ve come to the conclusion that during pregnancy, EVERYTHING makes you cry…

Here are some of my notable tearful moments…feel free to laugh your butt off…

The commercial where the dad has built a tree house for his son, but his smart-alec son has decided that the mini-van with the DVD player and the air conditioner and the leather seats is better…I felt so bad for the dad!!!

Country music – virtually any of it – makes me tearful. Letters From Home brought big alligator tears. I Believe brought misty eyes and sniffles. She Don’t Ask Me To actually made me sob.

News articles in the paper make me cry. I read an article this morning about high school students learning Spanish volunteering to teach Spanish speaking children in grade school how to read in English…got all emotional over how nice that is!

Looking at the new house we are closing on next week got my water works going while I was standing in the driveway with the realtor. And she is going to be my neighbor. She probably thinks I’m nuts.

The happiness of the dog when she sees me come through the door and she is all wiggly and happy gets me misty. How can this little creature be SO happy to see me all the time? And first thing in the morning, when she wants to sit in my lap and get some love (actually get love endlessly!) gets me too. Oh, and yesterday, she got a bone…she was so darn happy with that bone that I almost cried buckets FOR her happiness!

Little challenges – simple things like not getting to everything on my list…or looking at my list in the first place – make me tearful. Sometimes, it’s just overwhelming how much has to be done. Did I really accomplish all this junk every day once upon a time in my life?

American Idol performances can get me going….now lets be honest, as a former professional musician, American Idol performances can bring tears to my eyes in a NUMBER of ways – like when they really sound bad or when they just stand there like a bump on a log and do nothing – but when they are great – like Catherine McPhee was last night, I totally weep.

Sweet little babies and children that I see out and about are reasons to tear up. I guess my “Oh I can’t wait” mechanism is turned on for that one.

This is only the tip of the iceberg!

I can assure you that my tear ducts are fully functional and that my water level is apparently higher than usual.

I should have been listening more carefully when my friends who already have children tried to warn me…

But do I ever listen? HA!

I cannot be the only one!!!

What made YOU crazy tearful?

Peace, ya’ll!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Its Official…

Well…its official…I’m pregnant and due on October 10, 2006…

I now know its real because I have heard the heartbeat…

And this is kind of a WHOAH moment…

I find myself in constant shopping mode…even when I’m sleeping, I’m
dreaming of the things I have to buy…for most people, this is nirvana….for me, it’s an exercise in lists and organization – two skills I’ve been told I’ve perfected to my own detriment.

For starters, the items to purchase seem endless and are certainly things
I’ve never considered having to buy before – wipes, diapers, a boppy
(whatever that is) and snuggly (again, whatever that is). And lets not even get into the plethora of clothing items that I never even knew existed for me…what an industry!

To make matters more complicated, there are endless choices of the variety
and band of each item you have to purchase…which, if you consider the fact
that I barely know what a boppy is, makes the choice of portable, “bare
naked” or some other kind of boppy even more challenging.

And here is a good question…what if we decide not to find out the sex, so…how
do you design a nursery exactly? I’m thinking of a really cool,
retro-style alphabet set that I found…but there are couple of others,
including a jungle theme, a circus theme and Noah’s ark…are bright colors
not feminine enough? Are pastels not masculine enough? Does anyone really sell neutral things anymore, since finding out is the norm?

And cribs…we are enamored of these life-long crib things…the convertibles
that go from crib to toddler bed to big kid bed to teenager bed. They are
just the coolest things!!! What exactly is the proper wood tone to carry a child from birth to college? And is it ridiculous of me to spend the money now on the furniture that my child will be using when they are 17? These are the questions I wish the baby books would answer.

Oh, the books…What to expect when you are expecting and in the first
year and in the toddler years…the choices are really endless. I bought a
book called “The Mother of All Pregnancy Organizers” It’s the coolest! It has everything a girl could need to keep track of…or so I think…one look at the shelve leaves me feeling that there is way more information about pregnancy and child-rearing than I will ever want to know. I want to do the right things, but there IS such a thing as too much information!

Speaking of information, there are, of course, websites galore. My favorites are the ones that give me the blow-by-blow of what is happening in my body right now…how long the baby is, what is developing, the sorts of things I could see if I was in there with the little angel, whether or not voices can be heard, whether the baby responds to music, how much my sleep and stress and food affects what is happening…its all rather miraculous.

In fact, I would venture to say that there is no further proof needed by me than this pregnancy (and the entire move-to-a-new-state-get-a-great-job-buy-a-house-and-find-out-your-pregnant-all-in-5-months situation) to confirm my faith in an Almighty and Loving God...

I mean, I don’t know ANYONE else who could make me choose watermelon of chocolate…but that is EXACTLY what is happening right now…yes, folks, chocolate doesn’t taste all that great to me. I don’t crave it. I don’t want it. Its kinda nice, I guess…but I cannot pass up a chance to eat fruit, especially watermelon. Who else could make THAT happen to my body but God? Ha!

I will say, there is an entire world out there of which I have little or no knowledge. Despite the frustration that I’m eating fruit and veggies all the time, don’t eat sweets much any more and am exercising every day but STILL nothing fits…ha ha ha….its really fun to discover just how much information is available and how many places there are to get it…Its just amazing…

Yea, amazing is definitely the word for it all…

Amazing…

Peace, y’all.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Grandma’s and luncheon sets…

When I was a little girl, my Grandma’s each represented different things to me…wonderful explorations and totally foreign things for my young imagination.

They both lived in Southern Minnesota, and, since I lived in Nevada and Colorado all of my childhood, the landscape and climate alone were adventures. And lets not forget that breakfast was breakfast, but lunch was dinner and dinner was supper…and that there is some kind of special magic associated with the Hubbell House.

Grandma K’s house was filled with antique furniture, old brochures and order forms from the Johnston Ring Company, and pictures of my dad and uncles as children and teenagers. Grandma K lived “in town” and appeared to care little where I wandered so long as I could hear when she called.

There was a creek near by with frogs I liked to capture and cousins my age romping about all the time. We were allowed to walk or ride our bikes around the streets, to visit the corner convenience store for a Coke and a Hershey bar, or cross the creek to the Ben Franklin Five and Ten (a magical place to a small girl with quarters in her pocket!). Grandpa K grew potatoes and beans in his garden and, because Grandma K had to receive dialysis, there was at least one trip a week to Perkins for pancakes.

And Grandma K collected dolls – not baby dolls, but unusual dolls. Dolls from the Amish and dolls with porcelain faces and feet but soft bodies. Her dolls were usually boxed up in a closet somewhere to be “preserved” but every once in a while, she’d break one out and have it on display. While I was a bit tom-boyish, those dolls were the coolest things to me. Each was very different – probably one of my first exposures to the folk art I love so much.

Grandma Q’s house was equally enchanting, though entirely different – she lived on a FARM. There were cows and cats everywhere. There was an old house on the verge of falling down, an old hen house, and a barn with a hay loft. I got my first driving lesson on an old green tractor and captured toads in glass jars to tease my Grandma with. We picked blackberries and raspberries from the bushes behind the cow pasture and Grandma Q had an enormous garden. She grew corn and beans and squash and the most beautiful roses. AND strawberries…she was famous for her strawberry jam!

And probably most importantly for me, Grandma Q cooked. Not just jam…but meals to make your head spin! One meal might be pork chops, fresh sweet corn, fresh green beans, fried potatoes, jello salad, bread and butter, and, if you could cram another spoonful of food in your mouth, ice cream with strawberries and sugar. I learned many of my cooking lessons standing on a foot stool in Grandma Q’s kitchen.

One other thing I remember about Grandma Q’s was that she had dishes and cooking utensils for things that I had never dreamed of in my young imagination. One of the most memorable for me was a green glass luncheon set – a smallish rectangular plate of glowing green glass with a little rim built right onto the plate to hold a little glowing green glass tea cup. Oh, those were magical dishes! How clever, I thought, to put that ring on the dish so you could carry your drink and your sandwich in one hand! She broke that luncheon set out for a ladies church luncheon once. I got to help make the sandwiches and fruit and a very complicated three-tiered dessert called a Neapolitan Bar. When the ladies oohed and aahed over that dessert, I was so proud.

Both of my Grandma’s have been dead for more than 15 years. The death of a grandparent is a weird thing. People ask you, “Is there anything you want?” and your mind kind of goes blank. I was in college at the time of their deaths – one in one year and on the following year. My mind was on my sadness and finals, not on the things I might want left over from a life…

Luckily, the K side of my family arranged for each of the children to have a doll from Grandma K’s collection. I was the oldest in the house at the time and got to pick first. I chose an Emmet Kelley doll with a soft body and porcelain head, hands and feet. I also ended up with an antique chest that once sat in her living room.

But it wasn’t until years after my Grandma Q’s death that I realized I wanted that green glass luncheon set. There had been a theft at the farm and many things were missing. It was then and only then that I realized there was something in the house that stirred me– green glass dishes. Why I long for it, I do not know. I don’t “luncheon” and I have no girlfriends in my current location yet to invite over to tea. And the set was quaint and completely out of style – perhaps something that would rarely be used in my current life. Still, I imagine breaking it out for myself, making some tea and some cucumber sandwiches and enjoying a moment with Grandma Q.

My grandfather has long since remarried and moved out of the farm house. I have no idea where that green glass luncheon set is. I’ve heard rumors that it is in the basement of the house owned by my grandfather’s second wife. Considering the distance, I may never know.

Recently, I opened up my latest edition of Better Homes and Gardens and in the first pages, there are, lo and behold, something called “tea sets.” They are new renditions of my beloved luncheon set.

Imagine that…my sweet memories of Grandmas and my childhood adventures has come full circle…my quaint little, much longed after luncheon set is a fashionable item.

If you happen to see one made of glowing green glass, drop me a line. I’ve been waiting for it!

I’m sort of hoping they bring back the Ben Franklin Five and Ten….

Peace, everyone!