Monthly Archives: March 2014

A Drive Back In Time

March 16, 2014

Today was a long day. A dark day, literally, the sun did not shine through the clouds. Jachin and I were having a particularly rough day, so figuratively it was a dark day for us too. That is a major understatement, but the details of our rough day is not what I am writing about.  Maybe one day that story will be told, but not today. So anyways, I called over someone to watch the girls so we could take our problems elsewhere.  So we drove.  Of course we drove through the Starbucks drive thru first, duh.  And then I just drove and drove, not knowing where I was going.  Similar to our lives, we just don’t know where we are going.  I curved around the familiar streets of North Dallas and turned into my old neighborhood—the one where I spent most of my childhood.  It’s funny that I live less than five minutes from this neighborhood, but have driven through it only a few times in the last decade. I weaved though the streets: the ones where I learned to drive, the ones where I walked down to my grandma’s apartment when I was “running away from home”, the ones where I walked to school back and forth, the ones that lead to the creek we would play in, the ones where we played with friends day in and day out.  I drove by my old house. All the houses around it looked different than what I remembered.  In fact, most of them are ugly, as a result of being built in the late seventies, early eighties. But my mom has great taste when it comes to building houses, and our old house looks classic. It looked the same as in my memory. But the other houses did not.  For some reason they all looked smaller, or uglier, or just not how I remembered.  I remembered who lived in each house, well sort of.  I could remember the faces of all my neighbors, but their names slowly but surely keep fading in my memory.

I drove down the street and turned the corner and drove the two blocks to my elementary school.  I remember thinking the walk was unbelievably long, and how could my mom be so mean to make me walk?  People, it couldn’t be any closer.  I mean two blocks! I drove through the front drop off circle and stopped.  I looked at the concrete benches and I remembered the days and days and days that I came out those front double doors. I was never a fan of school, but that was a good school, and it was kind to me. I continued down the other side of the creek, drove by the houses of my childhood friends, and again, could not think of their names. I remembered their birthday parties, their swingsets, and their kitchen tables, but not their names.  Memories are a funny thing.

And then I stopped and parked.

I parked next to the creek at a park Jachin and I used to go to when we were dating.  We would walk along the path, sit and talk on the swings, and walk down by the creek.  All these memories flooded my already flooded brain, but brought peace.  We didn’t have real problems those days.  I didn’t have real problems when I was mad that I had to walk to school, or when I couldn’t decide which neighbor to play with.  My memories of my childhood are that I was endlessly happy, and I rested in that memory for a moment.  Jachin was not picking up on this nostalgia, because to be honest, he is just not that way.  But it helped me regroup a little, which in turn, helps him regroup a little.

There were definitely hard things in my childhood, but I often forget while raising my kids that hard things in their childhood are good.  I worry that things are too hard for my kids, but that is far from the truth. Children are growing sponges, looking for truth, and they have to have hard things in order to build character, just like the rest of us.  If we try and protect our children from every hard thing, we are ruining them. Children look for God in the dark days, just like us. So while we sat there, I rested in that moment of remembering my childhood, knowing that my children will rest in the comfort of simple things.  I rested in the good that was there in my childhood and the good that followed me into adulthood.  I rested in the fact that although my problems were presently very real, the sun does come out again.

It always does.

The sun has never failed to reappear.

We don’t always know when it will come back, but it does come back, it comes through the clouds and even when the clouds are there, the sun is there too, we just can’t see it, or feel it.  But it is there.

Often, people don’t believe the sun is there, or that it will come back out. But it is a truth, it is there.

Jachin and I talked a little while we sat in the car by the creek, but he is a man of few words, and words don’t really help him.  In fact, words don’t help a lot of people.  Love does. Grace does. Presence does. But words are not often remembered.  Just like the names are not necessarily remembered, but the people are.

I have a sweet friend at church, her name is Sue.  She sends cards.  I don’t remember what was written on any single note from my friend Sue, but I will never forget that she sends me cards all the time.  And they encourage me and help me remember that people care.  So even though I don’t remember certain specifics of my childhood, I remember that people cared, and that my parents cared. And they sacrificed for me, and they survived hard days for me, and they did not give up.

And I will not give up either.

To be honest, today, I gave up for a little while.  Thankfully, I have loving people in my life and I texted a few of them and said I was giving up.  And they texted back and said oh no you will not.  Not specifically in those words, but they texted prayers, and kind words, and, “when can we come over” and “we will drop everything to be there for you”.  And they called and listened to me crying and said comforting things. And that in turn helped me to choose kindness and helped me to put my anger aside and not give up.

The day is over, we will see the sun tomorrow, and tonight we will sleep (after we watch a movie wrapped in each others arms).  We have memories of goodness and we have knowledge of truth, so we will carry on.  With what is left of our memories and with what memories we want to make.

Memories are a funny thing, and I believe in funny, you know.

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It’s cool, I workout

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I workout you know. Well, as of today. Never mind that I can still taste the chocolate chip cookie that I ate on my way out the door while I step on the treadmill. I am on a treadmill and my feet are moving. And get this, I am in a gym, a real gym, with really fit people.

I like fit people. They work hard to be fit. They don’t intimidate me, they motivate me. I like watching them run and sweat, maybe one day I will run like the fit people at the gym.

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I haven’t been a member of a gym in about 7 or 8 years. A lot has happened since then. I did work out in that time period, just not in a gym. So this idea came about when Jake and I were discussing how bad my lupus was last week and what was I doing differently this summer when I was feeling better. I was working out, mainly walking and doing yoga. So I immediately made a plan to push through the pain and begin to put one foot in front of the other.

First step, join the gym. Second step, put on my super duper bright gym shoes.

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Sometimes people stop and say to me “cool shoes”. And I say “thanks” and smile. But I’m really thinking, “did they mean to say cool shoes, or were they so overwhelmed by how bright they are, they were startled and that’s all they could come up with?” Sometimes I reply, “thanks, they make me run faster” and then watch them look me up and down seemingly a little confused because I clearly don’t run.

Enough about my ridiculously bright shoes, their brightness does not help me at all. But I will tell you what does. My t-shirt. As I was reluctantly getting ready for the gym I was losing motivation. So I thought I will at least get dressed. Luckily, my Mr. Rodgers shirt was on top of the pile.

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And for some reason I think it’s really funny, which brightens my mood, and tonight helped get me out the door to the gym. Also, the fact that I told Jachin I didn’t want to go and he said I had too. He’s a real meanie.

So I’m finished on the treadmill. I have enough OCD in me that I have to stop on an even number. Here’s to you mom:

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I know it’s not much, but it’s a start. I’m trying to retrain my body to find the will to live, not kill myself on my first workout. It’s baby steps. (Please tell me you picture Bill Murray’s face every time you hear the words “baby steps”). I did a few weight machines and I think I felt one single bead of sweat trying to break through, so I called it good.

Mission accomplished. Well, not the entire mission, just one barely workout.

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That is all.

I’m in love with my iPhone, because it’s a GENIUS

I get a little weak in the knees when I see a sign that says “please turn off cellular device”. How could they casually put that there? Implying it to be such a simple request. For some it might not phase them, they must not be in love with their iPhone, like I am.

I joke that my iPhone has an app that keeps my heart beating, so I can never turn it off or be apart from it. To imply that I should just turn it off, well they just don’t understand that could end my life.

It’s not called a smartphone for nothing. Half my brain is stored on that perfect device. My calendar, my to do list, my grocery list, my people’s phone numbers, my precious social media, everything! I don’t just turn it off. That is disrespectful to what it does for me.

I run my family’s activities from my iPhone, I run my business from my iPhone, I write my blog from my iPhone, I text my husband from the other room from my iPhone. The abilities to help my life are almost endless. It wakes me up in the morning to whatever sound or song I want. It tells me what I am doing next, it has my Starbucks app for crying out loud!

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I heart your Starbucks, for ever and ever.

It’s camera is the only way I would have any photographic evidence of my children’s childhood. I would never remember to carry a separate camera with me, but I can pull out my iPhone and snap a precious picture in two seconds. It’s not just smart, it is pure genius. I’m going to call it my genius phone. That seems more appropriate.

I check my bank balance and the weather all at the touch of my fingers. All without leaving my bed.

I can kik with the teenagers and scroll Pinterest like a freaking pro. And an Etsy app! I die of happiness. Did I mention I can do all this IN BED! (Do you see a theme here, unfortunately sometimes I spend a lot of time in bed). My husband is proud of my iPhone abilities, I texted him from bed to tell him what a great job he was doing with all the homework, and this was his reply:

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Thanks babe, I’m glad you recognize my talents!

There’s more. My amazon app. For real. This is serious. No matter where I am or what time of day or night it is, if I think of something I need/want (blurred line) and I just open my amazon app and search for it and add it to my cart. If someone is talking about a book that is good, I just search and add, and then I can go back and buy it if I want. If it’s not on amazon you don’t need it, right?

Prefect genius iPhone, sometimes you are accused of not being perfect. This could be true. Maybe perfection is too much pressure. Us iPhone users have been spoiled by your genius and have high expectations. I’m so sorry if the pressure is too much for you sometimes. We need to remember that any problems we have with our iPhones are first world problems, not really problems at all. Which is why everyone should watch this hilarious SNL skit on, which, you can do from your phone. If you need a good laugh, that is what the Vimeo app (or of course YouTube) is for:

If you need a good cry, watch the Titanic on Netflix. (I would never do this, I don’t watch sad movies, because I’m HSP).

Oh, you think we need to use our phones less, have more personal interaction? Of course. Must. Use. Discretion. I’ve read the blogs and articles urging us obsessive smartphone users to be more hands free and more hands on with our kids. That is the summary of the long article berating moms who are on their phone, which is ironic because whatever mother who wrote the article saying kids shouldn’t see you work on your phone or computer, does she have full-time child care? Yes, of course I play games with my kids, but I pull my phone out to take a picture:

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Who wouldn’t want to play UNO with that lovey dovey preciousness in the morning in our PJ’s?

So how does it help my parenting? I use my flashlight app to check the kids throats for strep and to check on them in the night and to look for their lost blankets under the bed. I use the clock/stopwatch app to time their math. My calendar tells me what time their ballet is because I actually forget the time every single week. We check the weather app to see what to wear each day (this is very important in Dallas). Have I mentioned the camera! And yes, occasionally they watch a PBS show on the PBS app. See, you can use your iPhone to help you be a good parent too.

I use my handy level app to hang pictures on the wall (after they have been sitting on the floor for over a year, small detail). You can use it as a remote, as a compass, as a tracking device (that is a whole other story).

My respects to Apple and the inventors of apps everywhere. I know they just wanted to make millions. But they deserve it, because they made my life a million times easier. And I needed something, one thing, to be easy.

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