Saturday, June 27, 2009

Christmas Presents

I have had untold number of Christmas Present flops through the years. I can't even begin to count the number of presents I would gladly take back now if I could. But you can't and I'm blessed with loved ones that overlooked the photo of myself, or the tool that will never be used, or the hideous piece of clothing. Because they knew and know that I love them and the gift was given with love. I hope that I can in the future give not only my love, but much better gifts.

Years and years ago (don't ask me how many, because I don't remember) during a holiday season I was stuck as to what to get for my grandma. She already has so many wonderful things and being young, I couldn't fathom her needing anything or accurately assess her wants. So I got her a gift that reminded me of what she had taught me. The book was entitled Say Please, Say Thank You. Thinking back, a book about manners doesn't seem like a very wise present, but I was doing my best. I thought nothing of it after it was given. My grandma did not forget it though. Through the years it has floated around her house as she has read and re-read it. She has told me how much she enjoyed the book several times and I thank my lucky stars that it ended up being a good book, because, you know, the whole thing could have gone south pretty easily.

A few weeks ago I got an email stating that she was buying the book for my sister and me because she thought we would enjoy it. Again, I didn't think too much about it. When it came I laid it on the side table next to my rocking chair in the living room. I figured it's got a pretty cover on it so that could be its home for a while. Then, while nursing, I got bored and picked it up. At that moment everything made a whole lot more sense. This book is awesome. It isn't about "manners" at all really. It's about giving people and God the respect they deserve. I have loved reading it. I highly recommend it to everyone, not because they have a thing or two to learn about respect, but because I have found it so enjoyable to read. It reminds me of all the things my parents and grandparents have taught me in the past, and why they taught it to me.

Who knew my young self had happened upon such a find.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


When we go to my in-laws house for holidays I rarely see my husband. This is because he has a need to not stop working and also wants to be of as much use to his parents as possible. Although part of me thinks he should take a stinking break already, most of me feels proud to have a husband with a work ethic like that.

Last Friday Daniel took step one of the boards and our entire household gave out a huge sigh of relief when he got home. Finally! He, and the rest of us too, could have a little vacation together! I am happy to say that we have gone to the Magic House, and Grant's Farm, and tomorrow Daniel will be taking his mother and Charlotte to the Zoo to give me a little time to get our house in order to leave for a family reunion.

Each afternoon of this vacation I have taken a nap. I figure take advantage of the help of Dan's mom while I can. When she leaves I'm on my own again. Daniel however thinks, "I've got to take advantage of the time I've got to get as much done as possible." When we were coming home from the Magic House Dan said, "I'm really tired, but I probably better not sleep." To which I replied, "You're on vacation. The definition of vacation is that you don't have to work." It's funny how we take advantage of this time in such a different way.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Almost out of the Tunnel

Well, I can see the light at the end of the step 1 boards tunnel. Dan takes his test Friday and then I'm sure is going to crash a bit over the weekend. I can't wait. It's been a long two months.

This last week hasn't been too bad though because Daniel's mom is in town to help me with the kids so he can focus on the boards. That planning was a stroke of genius on my part. Today I actually contemplated how much I loved my mother in law and maybe, just for today, it might actually be more than I love Daniel. She is amazing! She has let me sleep in, she lets me take naps, she has cooked us dinner, taken us out to lunch, and done the dishes. It has been such a great vacation. I especially appreciate it since I had a bout a week and a half of torture between when my sister and her husband left and when my mother-in-law came. And I must say that I love my family!

Maybe in a couple of days I'll actually be able to see my husband during the day. Wont that be nice? I think I'm going to make him take a little vacation here in St. Louis. On my list of things to do is: Zoo, Magic House, Suson Park, Grant's Farm. Even after living in St. Louis for two years he's not been to any of those except the zoo. Any other suggestions?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

To Do with the Hair

Note: I am so woefully behind on what's happening with us right now, I'm not even going to try to update everyone.

Having red hair has always been a big part of how I define myself. How I see it defining me has changed so very much over the years, but it has always been a big part of who I am. I remember always hearing, "Where did you get your red hair?" and I continue to get comments on it quite a bit. Even through the years where I wasn't so much in love with my hair color, I never once thought about changing it. I often wished it wasn't so curly/big/unmanageable, but never did I wish it weren't red. I sort of liked that it made me different and I attribute that wholly to my mother. I got enough positive reinforcement that I could lean on it when I wasn't so sure myself. I clearly remember my mother saying, "You can do whatever you want with your hair, but I'm not going to pay to fix it." Meaning if you died it and it went horribly wrong you'd just have to live with it. Now that I mostly know how to manage my hair I realize that any perceived problem I had with my hair was just a matter of figuring out how to work with what it wanted to do naturally. And it is naturally thick curly red hair.

My daughter doesn't have red hair. Not even in the slightest does she have red hair. Despite that fact she does have noteworthy hair. She has the most beautiful curls I have ever seen. She gets comments on her hair, similar to what I used to get, all the time. I love that she is always getting comments and complements on it (smart and stupid). What I don't so much love is this type of comment, "What beautiful curls your daughter has! I wish I had curls like that! You know she's going to hate them when she gets older though. (Said with a sigh)" In my mind I think Gee thanks stranger. Why would you plant the seeds of her not liking the way she looks right now? Charlotte has absolutely no reason to hate her curls. They're beautiful. That is unless she hears often enough about how she's going to hate them. She's only 2 and I'm already feeling like a guard against negative self imaging for my daughter. Isn't it a bit early to do that?