Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
We are happy, different, changing, and the same. We are the same 6 people who moved from Michigan two months ago undergoing a major shift in life.
One of us is a little thinner.
One of us is a little bigger.
One of us is a little more tired.
One of us is a little more structured.
One of us wakes up REALLY grumpy from our naps.
One of us just keeps getting cuter.
But we're all the same people, dealing with change in our own way, and yet we deal with it together.
Olivia told me she was crying at school today. She thinks that because she's there all day, she's seeing Josh less then the other kids. I don't know if she thinks he's coming home at lunch, but I told her that she sees him as much as the other kids. I'm sure she misses walking home from the bus with him, eating lunch with him, and having him home at dinner 7 nights a week. I know I miss those things.
Garrett asks to wrestle at least 2 times a night. This was their activity. Josh wants to do it, and usually does, it just really hard because he's so physically drained.
All the kids would get excited when he would come home from work, but not like now! Man, they run out the door and meet him on the street. Esther yelling, "Daddy home!" and Gideon screaming joyfully all the way across the yard. The older two usually pull up on their bikes a minutes or two later to say welcome home.
I just thought of this while I was typing. Last night, while my dad and I were making dinner, all the kids were playing outside. Olivia asked me, "what does daddy's shirt say?" "His work shirt says, Lawn Connection. That's who he works for." "Thanks!" And she ran down the driveway. A couple of minutes later I walked down to find her drawing a chalk picture of Josh, in his work clothes, standing next to her. It was cute and she couldn't wait to show it to him.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
I've always appreciated my parent's willingness to have an "open door" policy. When we were little, this was the house everyone came to. It wasn't well decorated, adorned, or fancy. BUT, it was a HOME, lived in, and loved. When we were teens, the freedom to bring our friends home didn't stop and you could often find our living room full of teens watching TV or just hanging out. One by one we went off to college, and you could almost guarantee at breaks, we brought people with us. Mom and dad never complained, never said no. They've had friends of ours live with them for long lengths of time. Co-workers, who needed temporary housing. And even fiances, who needed to save a couple of bucks, who moved in. When we were all finally out of the house two years ago, they were ready to be empty nesters...and for two years they were. However, the "open door" policy came back to haunt them. Josh and Corrie needed to save some money for a big move they had coming up and moved back into 428 Bem st. Mom and dad once again, embraced the extra bodies, including a dog. In January, Josh and I had a big move coming too, and the first place we knew to go to for help was mom and dad. Even with our four kids and dog in toe, they didn't hesitate to make it work. We moved in, took over two rooms and created enough upheaval in their lives for 10 years. Never a complaint, dirty look, or sigh of annoyance. Unconditional, 100% sacrificial love.
My dad and I sat outside watching the kids play, in the same yard I played in as a child. There were kids everywhere. Eight in our yard, three across one street, and five across the other. One day, not so many years ago, it was us filling the air with laughs and conversation with our friends. Playing football in the side yard, suicide on the big abandoned building, and whiffle ball on the corners. Now, a generation later, it continues. The life of this blue collar, low income town still rings loud and true. We've lived in three towns since being married, and only now do I realize what was missing from them. The freedom to play, uninhibited, as children should play. To get dirty, really dirty. To make friends, with every kid, no matter what color they are, what language they speak, or what their house looks like.
That same afternoon, while we sat outside, a guy on a motorcycle pulled up in front of the house. My dad wasn't alarmed, but said, "Oh, it's Bruce." Bruce was one of the kids who grew up in the house across the street from my parents. He and my brother were friends and we often took him to church. He was a great, friendly kid. All these years later, he stops at the house to catch up with my dad. He's a man, living on his own, with his own life. But, and this is just my opinion, I believe that my parents had such an impact on Bruce's life, that he enjoys coming back. He knows he was loved here once and feels that love when he comes back. The "open door" policy, unconditional love...are you seeing the pattern?
I love that all of our paintings from our Sr. years of high school still line the walls of the staircase.
Here's the missing walls. And yes, the room has two different colored carpets and two different color rugs, but WHO CARES?!?!? Those multi-colored carpets continue the story that the walls started.
You know what these kitchen counters are telling me? "Yeah, there's not a lot of working space on me. And yeah, I feel crowed when there's two people in my space. But I love the conversation that happens around this table. I love being a part of the game nights. I love all the years of Easter egg dying, pumpkin carving, and cookie baking, no matter how many people are here. And you know what, I really like being crowded!"
This is the room I grew up in. The purple carpet is what my mom picked out for our room when we put the addition on. And it's never changed. I think the red is the third coat of paint on these walls, and I think they like not matching each other. Yep, they do, they really do!
This is the imperfect hallway upstairs. And if it could talk it would tell you this: That it really likes being uneven. It likes being the thruway between my parents room and the most lived in bedroom in the house. It likes the little feet that cross it every morning to wake up Grammy and P-pop (even if they don't always like it)!
Oooooo, this is one of my FAVORITE things about the house. The way it's heated. Do you know what this is? It's a radiator, (pronounced, 'rad'- (as in "That's totally rad!") -iator. Please do not read it RAIDIATOR or you will ruin the picture. I remember as a kids, we liked to warm our feet on them while we watched TV. They were great for drying our snowy clothes and warming our coats before going out in the cold. They really screw up the wall space available for furniture, but add such character, especially when you pronounce it RADiator. :)
I love that when we added on to the house, my grandfather and father slaved away to build us a better home. I love that my husband has added to this house. That there are nails hammered in by generations of loved ones, past and present. That it's a work in progress. Because, isn't that what we all are? Imperfect, flawed, uneven, and crowded out. But put together with unconditional love.
Monday, April 06, 2009
O: "Mom, I don't feel my tooth!"
M: "You lost it!?! Where is it? Is it in your mouth? On your plate? On the floor?"
We looked everywhere, except the one place that it probably is, her stomach. She said she didn't feel it go down, but it's the only explanation. So, in place of her tooth, she wrote this letter: