Tuesday, November 28, 2006

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

Last night I drove home expecting a quiet evening with my husband. When I arrived, he had prepared a gourmet meal of hamburger helper for dinner. We grabbed our food and went to sit in the living room to eat as we always do, since our kitchen table is in a constant state of disarray. After watching the 5 o'clock news, I turned and asked Jared what he wanted to do that evening. He casually relpied that he didn't know. We cleared all the dishes and just as I was about to start folding the 3 baskets of laundry that had piled up, Jared bounded up the stairs announcing that he had to go change into long pants and said we were going to have a little shopping adventure! I clapped my hands in sheer pleasure and ran to get my coat on.

We drove to Forest Lake, and headed for Menards. I had no clue what he needed to get, but I followed him in. He led me to the Christmas village section and let me pick out some little pine trees to add to my village! I was really excited! Then, we walked through the Christmas lights section and we picked out some lights to hang in our bay window... even more excited! With treasures in hand, and in the midst of a conversation, Jared spotted a row of tree skirts which he knew I had been pining after. He casually stopped and let me look at them. After gently caressing the one I loved the most, I turned to keep walking. But Jared stood there and smiled and told me to pick one out! I could hardly believe it! Before, he told me that we would have to wait until after Christmas and buy one on sale. Together we chose a beautiful crimson velvet tree skirt with tiny gold sequins. Hugging my new treasure tight to my chest, I headed to the front of the store and turned to the checkouts. But Jared guided me the other way, through the sliding doors, to the outside section. He stopped in front of the Christmas trees! Beaming, he told me to pick one! This is when I lost it and just buried my face in his chest, crying. We both grew up with real trees and missed having them, but the past few years we simply couldn't afford a real tree and bought a cheap 5 foot fake one. I simply couldn't believe we were getting a real tree this year! I love the smell of pine! After about 20 minutes of carefully inspecting several trees, which was diffilcult since all of them were already tied up and bound so tight we couldnt tell what they would look like anyways, we picked one and proudly brought it back through the store and into a checkout lane. (Funny sight, really!)
We got home, untied the tree and shook it out, and it looks beautiful! It is really full and perfectly shaped! We picked a good one!
Tonight we get to put it up...

Monday, November 20, 2006

My Fast Morning Commute

This morning I am feeling refreshed and happy. I am no longer feeling like a single mom. The 11-year-old, and the puppy(equivalent to a baby) are safe at home with their real parents... (Now I know why my mom is tired so often)

The other reason that I feel so refreshed this morning is because I got an extra hour of sleep-- just not on purpose. I am supposed to be to work at 7:30. I woke up this morning, warm and comfortable, and the first thought that popped into my head was "Wow! I feel rested! I am surprised my alarm hasn't gone off yet! This is wonderful!" Then, just as I rolled over to snuggle back to sleep, I decided I wanted to know how much longer I had. So I leaned over the edge of my bed to look at the clock (on the floor). My brain did not comprehend what it saw at first... then it clicked-- it was 7:20!!! My heart started beating wildly as I literally FLEW out of bed. I hastily grabbed a bra, and the first pair of jeans I found. I ran downstairs with items in hand, while dialing Cara frantically to tell her of my peril. She was, of course, cool and collected and told me to just slow down and not worry about it. I hung up, threw the phone on the table, and ripped off my shirt in the middle of the kitchen. (Let me remind you that I was not thinking clearly at this point, since there are windows surrounding me on every side. The huge sliding glass door in front of me, the kitchen sink window to my left, and the large bay window directly to my rear. Let's just hope all the neighbors were not late for work this morning and had already left!)
After throwing on the remainder of my clothes, I ran back up to my closet, realizing I had not grabbed socks or a sweatshirt. Standing in my closet, I had a short brain lapse at to what time is was, and stood there trying to decided which sweatshirt would look best with my outfit... going back and forth, perusing each choice... Then it hit me: "You idiot! Just grab a sweatshirt and GET GOING!!!!" So I did.

So let me tell you how I look: No make-up. Hair unbrushed hanging limply behind my ears. Bright pink T-shirt. Navy "Mesaba Airlines" zip-up sweatshirt. Blue jeans. Gray socks with sky-blue fowers on them. White tennis shoes.

Not a pretty sight.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Single Mom Syndrome

I think I am going to come back to the "glimpse" thing later. I am not feeling all that thoughtful today.

I would like to make a big shout out to Erin...

Erin, I am very sorry that you have to go to prison on your special day, but at least it is a Friday, and we are going to party hearty tonight!!!!
So, my little sister, Anna, and her hyper Beagle puppy have been staying with Jared and I this week while my parents take a much needed vacation to Florida. The only reason I am still sane is because I know how much my parents deserve this time away. I have sort of felt like a single mom this week (because Jared has been working and we haven't seen eachother for more than a few minutes all week). I have been taking care of an eleven-year-old (including helping her with her schoolwork) , 2 cats, a dog, a puppy (equivalent to a baby), nannying an actual baby, and making it to nightly commitments every evening this week. Let me tell you... I know that single moms have it MUCH harder than I do, but I know why they are always exhausted!
So in conclusion:
(oh wait... Anna will be there too...)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The "More" Glimpse

I have been feeling lately that there is so much more to life than what I have been experiencing; more than what I have allowed myself to notice and live out. Every once in awhile I get a glimpse of the "more" that eludes me. One instance of this was the night before I left for the quilting retreat. I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep, at about 11:00pm. Suddenly I remembered that my sewing machine was still in Jared's car. So I got out of my warm haven and trudged downstairs slightly agitated. I walked out the front door in my sweats and tank top and was immediatly greeted by the vast, overwhelming, astounding night sky. It stretched before me like a deep, black sea with a million brilliantly shining twinkly lights. It was beautiful and stopped me in my tracks. I stood there for a moment and just let it engulf me. My thoughts wandered to the realization that I never stop just to look at the sky. I never stop to notice much of God's creation. I keep myself busy and distracted, because when you actually stop to notice, it's humbling. And that is hard. I have a lot of pride. And I like to avoid "heart work" whenever I can, because vulnerability is scary. But it also opened my eyes and I caught that "glimpse" of a world that I live in, but know so little about. How sad it would be to die and never learn of all the wonders God has created for my pleasure. Seeing amazing sights like that always strikes my heart with a holy fear too. Just the sky alone is so enormous. Think how much bigger God is! That terrifies me and makes me feel incredibly safe at the same time. I treat my relationship with the Lord so casually, like He is my buddy. Well, true, He calls me "friend," but He is so much bigger than a "buddy." He loves me and takes better care of me than anyone, no matter how many times I push Him away, ignore Him, or just plain forget about Him. That is an amazing gift to have a Friend that consistantly loves you no matter what. And takes care of you better than you ever could.
And that is only the beginning of these glimpses.
To be continued...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I am sure that everyone is posting about the quilting retreat, but I suppose I need to as well, since I am so proud of my beautiful creation. I had a fabulous time at my very first quilting retreat, but I also found out that it is HARD WORK to make a quilt. You know how when our husbands are out in the garage working on the car, and you go down to get an estimate of how much longer it will take, and they say "About 1/2 hour." And then 5 hours later they start cleaning up... Well, that is kinda how I feel about quilting. I thought it would go so fast and that I would run out of projects to do, since I was going to be there for 3 days and I was doing and "easy" pattern! Well, short version: it took a lot longer than I thought it would. But in my defense, I did do everything the "correct" way as measured by the quilting world, which means more time. So anyways, I had a great time and am extremely proud of the outcome of my quilt! Here it is for all of you to admire...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Brother Andrew

My brother, Andy, got engaged!! Here is his beautiful new fiance, Shannon. This engagement has put me through the entire gambet of emotions. I am overwhelmingly happy and excited for them, because I love them both SO MUCH. But I am also heartbroken, because they will more than likely settle on the east coast, in New York or somewhere fancy like that. You see, Andy is an artist, (Masters in Sculpture) and Shannon has a dream to incorporate dance as a form of therapy, dubbed "Dance Therapy." Both of their passions in life will not lead them to the boring, unartistic mid-west. The sort of jobs they seek are found on the juicy, exciting, artistic, east coast. In addition to their jobs leading them in that direction, Shannon also grew up in New Jersey and her whole family is firmly planted there.

The wedding is scheduled for mid-May somewhere in New York, or New Jersey. I have been given the honor of being a bridesmaid in the wedding, which I am very excited about! And, cool tidbit, since Andy and Shannon are such an artsy couple, she presented me with this idea last night: each of the bridesmaids get to choose their own dress, as long as it is black. That is the only parameter. She explained the common frustration that she has been in so many weddings where the bridesmaid dress didn't look good on her, and she would never be able to use it again. So she wants us each to buy our own black dresses, as long as we feel beautiful in them, and they are re-usable! She is excited about the idea of each person representing their own unique style, and each dress varying according to that style. She thinks it will be visually aesthetic as well. We will see how it turns out. It will either look really cool, unique and beautiful, or it will totally look chaotic and sloppy. Let's all hope for the former!

Well, here is to my brother and his beautiful bride!!