Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What To Line My Nest With...

Last night I was caught up in Pinterest, joyfully repinning an array of the most exquisite photos and ideas at the speed of light.  Gardening photos of pefectly pea-gravelled paths of lavender repinned on this board.  Deliciously decorated dracula cupcakes on that Holiday Nibbles & Sips board of mine.   Lit lanterns lining bookshelves? right over here on my Decorating 101 board.  I was immersed in thought, photo, and dreamlife.

I {heard} daughter's question, her repeated question, then her dramatic {{SIGH}} right next to me at my kitchen table. I know I hummed Hmmm? at least once, maybe twice as I scrolled along.  And then, instead of snapping laptop immediately shut, I {{sighed}} right back and I wondered hard: When is MY time? When is MY cup filled? When does MY work end?   I did shut laptop down to look at confusing "Area Model Example" on graph paper full of highlighted squares and stapled double-digit-decimal multiplication.  But I waited until after three more repins.  It made me feel like I was in control.  This morning I realized I was out of control last night. 

In a strange twist, this morning Ann Voscamp's blog answered a portion of my three questions kept in quiet thought last night.  Like an answer to a questioned prayer she typed what my ears and my heart needed to hear.

MY time is all the time. Enjoy. It. All. There's no Record/Replay button.  The moments that make me want to pull my hair out are the ones that weave understanding into my life.  The moments I want to wrap up in delicately stamped rice paper and tie off with bakery string for a moving memory also weave understanding into my life.  The understanding is, this is all there is. The good, the bad, the ugly.  All woven and wrapped up into my life.  Every day.  Every moment.  Till there are no more.

MY cup is filled when I understand I make a difference even in the tiniest moments of whomever's life I'm part of.  When I am inside every moment with them instead of drifting through time awaiting the next big moment.  When I feel strong-willed to do just what I want, but I give in to their need, it is more precious.  It's when my cup is full to over-flowing. It's full of meaningful memories not the ever draining selfish long forgotten moments.


MY work never ends. Those heartstrings are attached forever. Mothering is a full-time job.  I cannot hang the "Closed" sign up at 9 p.m. in a clean swept and neatly organized kitchen.  I don't get weekends or sick days off.  I am needed in a way that has to fill my cup even when it feels like it's being drained to driest bone.  In my home, the phrase, "I am mother, hear me roar," is more often, "I am mother, hear me snore."  Now they listen,  now they learn.  Then they'll leave one day.  And will my life's legacy leave with them?

When I finally learn that payment in the form of feeling like my cup is full comes in the schooling, carpooling, and even the occasional dueling with my children I'll be unfooling my heart to this chapter of my life.  The here.  The right now.  The "right-in-the-minute" moments when I'm at my best and I allow the ones around me to fill my cup.  Even when I'm at my worst and I breathe a silent prayer of sorrow and ask aloud for forgiveness. 
Learning daily to line this nest with my {{own}} plucked feathers.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Everything But The Kitchen Sink Soup"

Last night the foundation held firm but the roof swayed in the storm that struck my peaceful home. One child arrived home & began the tornado of an excruciating migraine, another a homework hail of helplessness, and the last one rained hard for a ride home from football at just the wrong moment.  Dinner approached, and my ailing teen would not be running up to the store for canned crushed tomatoes & a loaf of Italian bread. With my own newsletter edits lapping gently at my feet, I moved into "Automatic Mothermode." 

Dinner was not the favorite spaghetti I planned. Instead it was a quickly concocted soup. It turned out sippingly hot and filled my kitchen deliciously with the aroma of fall even though during its creation I was up and down the stairs heavy with worry. And dinner was created in spite of the fact that I was bent over the table answering questions or asking her to reread it to me "one more time..." while I rummaged in the pantry shelves or stared into the refrigerator.  And it happened regardless of a seven minute football pick-up which actually gave me a respite to breathe deeply and lift a quiet prayer for a lightning bolt of pain to be eased.

Through it all, I had the forethought, (or was it concern?), to scribble down ingredients in 'Mothermode Shorthand' as I chopped and tossed vegetables into the bubbling soup pot, {{almost}} without thought. A pinch of this and a little bit of that ended in second helpings for everyone, (though my quick concoctions might not always end so well), and I'm everso thankful for that preoccupied creativity in the midst of that sudden strong gale inside my home.

Early this morning I surveyed my wrecked kitchen and very appropriately named the savory soup, "Everything But The Kitchen Sink Soup," while elbow deep in soap suds clearing away the ravages of last night, encouraging some of the blue sky, calm waters, and gentle breeze to come rest again in my home.

 In a skillet, brown together:
1-1.5 lbs lean ground beef
1 large vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp Tony Chachere's seasoning salt
dash of pepper

In a soup pot stir and gently simmer:
6-8 cups water
15 oz can Campbell's Tomato soup
15 oz can pumpkin

Add the browned ground beef mixture, (if meat is lean, no need to drain), to the soup pot along with the following:
16 oz frozen Trader Joe's Mixed Corn/Peas/Carrots/Green beans
1-2 cups of elbow macaroni or rotini pasta
1/4 cup of chopped celery leaves
1/2 pkg sliced mushrooms
1 cup grape tomatoes

Simmer with lid on about 15-20 minutes.

Serves 6.  Top each bowl of soup off with a dollop of sour cream and grated cheddar. Serve with biscuits & honey butter.

PS:  The migraine pain peaked and eventually subsided.  The homework was explained, and done with a sigh of relief from both mother and daughter. My JV receiver was retrieved from high school and no home blew flat due to the pick up process.  And the weekly booster club email was later finished and sent on time.  All the while the gentle sound of David Nevue's piano played in my living room and kept me calm throughout. 

In the midst of the storm it's all about remembering. To breathe in. To breathe out. And occasionally knowing when it's time to knot the rope, hang on tight, make soup, and find a gift in each gale of our journey.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Let It Go Let It Go Let It Go

At a cold, windy, wet soccer tournament all day today. After the final game, the girls were off laughing & enjoying the last of their tournament time together, while the parents gathered away from them for a team meeting that turned somewhat critical. Although the girls lost, they were ok. But the parents were the exception. I held my tongue {{then}} over a stinging comment. {{Now}} all the witty "could've, would've, should'ves" are currently bombarding me, wasting my time. Letitgoletitgoletitgo.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Twenty One

*.. lovelovelovelovelove…*….*…lovelovelo.*
... ……..*….lovelovelovelovelovelo…*
Twenty-one years ago this evening I was the blushing bride...and he was my tall dark & handsome groom. I ♥ him even {{more}} twenty one years later... ♥ ♥ ♥