Brain Dump Friday – My Life Is Boring, But Busy Edition

It’s SHOW NIGHT!!! I went to the preview night last night to record it, and IT’S SO AMAZING! I loved it! The kids have done a great job and worked so hard! Jessup went from bit parts and big parts with no lines to the lead role, and I think he’s doing really well. I hope this is a hint of what’s to come. So many of the kids who are usually in the plays aren’t in this one. I don’t know why. It’s nice to see new kids getting the roles though, and to see new talent up there. I know this…Jessup can’t wait to get his hair cut! He’s had to let it grow out because he’s a “Greaser” and they have longer hair. Jessup gets his hair cut every five weeks, like clockwork. I wish my video-taping skills were as good as the play deserved. It takes up the whole stage, and in order to get the volume, I had to be close. It’s not terrible, but having someone there to take pics for me would have been really helpful. Trying to record AND take pics was difficult. Today is going to be such a busy day. It’s good though, because it won’t drag on. I hope. FPU (Financial Peace University) started this week as well. The class is bigger than we thought it would be. That’s a good thing. It means more people are changing their family tree. We are a busy, busy family. I feel sometimes like I brag about Jessup more than Ainsley. I hate that. Ainsley made the honor roll. It seems like she does everything he does (drama, orchestra, honor roll, etc.), so it’s hard to brag about her without him being included. I want to encourage her to do something new. Something he doesn’t do… We’ve tried, but it hasn’t worked so far. Except for sports. He did track, she did basketball. They each did only one season, and both got it out of the way in 7th grade. So, even when she’s different, she’s still similar. They even both have blue as their favorite color. sigh. I need to find someone who can make my dining room chairs not wobbly. I don’t know how to fix them, and they’re really old, so we need to do it before they break. I am making supper for Barry’s parents tonight before the play, and I’m excited about it. I’m pretty sure Ma thinks that I don’t or can’t cook, and while she’s partly right, I can cook. There’s a difference. My Brother-In-Law, Richard, is coming over as well. It isn’t the same without Becky, but she’s hopefully having such a good time in Spain that she won’t be too sad. (BECKY: It’s recorded…you can see it when you get back!) I don’t want to make her feel homesick, so I try not to tell her how much she’s missed, but there is a definite hole here without her. I had my follow up appointment with my doctor yesterday and got a clean bill of health. YAY! This isn’t very random today. Nor is it interesting. I saw an SUV with the license plate GRMSVAN the other day. It wasn’t a van. It was an SUV. I really wanted to point that out. Also, I assume the GRMS stood for Grandmas or Grams, and not for Germs, but I thought it was funnier saying Germs Van, so that’s what I choose to see. I have a personal plate all picked out for my car, and for my other car (Jessup’s car is technically mine), so when I need new stickers this year, I might get new plates as well. I’m not going to say what they are. This was an actual conversation between Jessup and me. It shows how annoying I am.

Jessup: Say there was a tough math problem…

Me: All math problems are tough.

Jessup: No, I mean a really hard one.

Me: Oh, so it has letters in it.

Jessup: Ok, yeah, whatever. Can I please finish? …

Me: o_o

I’m pretty annoying. I think math is hard. I don’t understand the point of the Harlem Shake. I think it would be fun, though, for our youth group to do it. Since it’s almost all boys, I don’t think it would get too out of hand. Then again, our youth group is almost all boys. Jessup seems to think that marriage is a one-way street. That when he gets stressed out, he will able to talk and talk and talk and then go away, and his wife will just sit there and digest all that he has said. He doesn’t realize that she’s going to have things to say back to him, and that she’s going to talk (probably) more than he does. I think it would be really fun to not tell him, and see what happens, but I should probably figure out a way to prepare him for the fact that she will not be his mother, and she will get mad when he dumps and runs. That sounds funny. I meant in a conversation, but the other will make her mad as well. That is all.

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Brain Dump Friday

I do not like the Doctor’s new girl. Ok. Let me clarify. Jessup and I are going through all the season of Doctor Who that Netflix has. We are currently in the second year of David Tennant as The Doctor, and Billie Piper has just “died”, but she not dead, just in another reality. Anyway, the new girl is Catherine Tate. I really, really disliked her on The Office, so she’s already got a black mark against her…but she’s yelling a lot and whiney, and I’m not a fan so far. Right now she’s a bride, and has just been zapped into the Tardis, and there’s a giant spider in a spaceship in the sky. I don’t ever think I’ll ever be able to look at another Santa statue. If you don’t get it, you won’t get it…too bad for you. Jessup is sick again…three days now. We (Barry and I) are about to start (for the second time) leading a Financial Peace University class. I’m so excited! I love Dave Ramsey. His program is really hard for me, but I love it! JESSUP GOT THE LEAD ROLE IN THE HIGH SCHOOL PLAY!!! There. I bragged a little bit. Just a little. I’m so proud of him. SO. PROUD. Of course, right now he’s too sick to go to rehearsals, but he’ll be right as rain soon enough. Tonight is writer’s group, and I am in charge of the activity. Nervous. Whew! Catherine Tate was not the new girl…she’s just in the one episode. YAY! I learned to love another Doctor, I guess I’ll learn to like a new companion. I’ve got lots to do today…and I’m exhausted already. Only got an hour and a half of sleep last night. Stupid brain. That is all.

Brain Dump Friday

One of my favorite movies is Must Love Dogs. I don’t even like dogs, but I love this movie. I watched it about two weeks ago. One of these days I’m going to have to watch Doctor Zhivago. I can’t believe I spelled that right the first time I tried. I heard on the radio this morning that a list of students’ GPA’s was released at a college or university to the entire student body recently, and now the school is sending out an apology, and offering counseling to all those affected by this incredible tragedy. *sarcasm* Seriously? Counseling? I could see some tutoring for the student ashamed of their horrid grades or struggling in some way, but counseling? For what? For the trauma of a few people in this great big, people-filled world knowing what your grades are? Is that really necessary? If you are so damaged and broken that you can’t handle someone else knowing your GPA, then you shouldn’t be away at school. You should be in your crib, at home, with a pacifier to shut your whiney little mouth. If you’re embarrassed, do better. If you’re ashamed, try harder. Here’s the deal: I need counseling…you do not. *end rant* Today is another quarterly appointment for Jessup to go to the doctor. This time is all the appointments (except G.I.)…asthma, allergies (since Spring is around the corner-I hope), and Alpha-1, plus Pulmonary Function Testing. Sometime, later this year, we will do the chest x-rays to see the progress of this awful disease…I am so afraid. I missed Bible Study last night. I was on the couch for many hours yesterday, in such pain I was nearly unable to move. I took three times the allotted dosage of one medicine for a 12-hour period of time, and then took a different medicine after that. My liver survived the night, but my stomach has been burning all morning. It was better after some breakfast, and a little milk. I’m pretty sure there’s probably a hole in my stomach and the acid will be burning a hole through my skin any minute. You’ll be able to find me today…I’ll be the human sprinkler system. I know I did a bad thing. You don’t have to tell me. I knew it, and I did it anyway, because I wanted to feel better. (That must be what it’s like for addicts) I cannot wait for our insurance to kick in so I can get this taken care of, once and for all. We have it, just needing a letter from the old one to say we had it until January 31. New insurance is valid from February 1st. I am just being overly cautious. However…another day like yesterday, and the appointment will be made. With or without the letter. Sorry for being gross. That is all.

Goodnight, Little Squirt…

An ACTUAL conversation…

Jessup hugs me every night…

Barry said something (I can’t remember what), and Jessup said he wasn’t going to hug him tonight.

I said, “Hey, he gave you life. Hug him, too.”

Then…I don’t know what I was thinking…I said, “You know, you’re half sperm.”

His face morphed into a look of disgust, and he said, “Yeah. I try not to think about that. Ever.”

Then he left the room.

Barry hollered out after him, “Goodnight little squirt!”

Jessup’s retort: “Goodnight, Donor”.

We are trying so hard to screw these kids up.

Brain Dump Friday – Misfit Edition

I admit freely that I thought, back in the day, that The Crash Test Dummies were a cool group. In fact, I bought tickets to a concert when Barry and I were dating, and we went. It was, in all honesty, a really fun time. They were playing at a very old theater in San Diego, and it was an enjoyable, intimate evening with soft lighting and good music.
I was talking to Jessup about Winter Jam this morning, and we were thinking back to a few years ago when we went to see Skillet and TobyMac in concert. I said, “You’re dad and I haven’t been to a concert since…gosh, I think The Crash Test Dummies was the last one.” He said, “Hmm, never heard of them.” I gasped in horror! I have failed him! I immediately gave him my phone and told him to look up “Mmm, Mmm, Mmm” (on iTunes) and give it a listen. I went on and on about how, when it was on the radio, I would turn it up so loud, and sing along with it. Then, as he found it, and he was listening, this look came across his face. It wasn’t a look of joy, or rapture, or even tolerance. It was a look of pity. Pity. From my 17-year old son. Suddenly the girl inside me waving her arms to be “cool” in the eyes of her offspring, shriveled up and hid in the corner. All the bonus points I’d gotten for Skillet…gone. How could he not love them? How could he give me that look? I expected a look of “Wow, Mom! I know you so much better now. I can see a little bit more of who you are, and that’s the person everyone should know. That person is amazing, and deep, and…”. I expected a sense of knowing, and I got a sense of ‘What’s wrong with you?’. My shame set in. What did I see in them? What could have been so great that I bought all their albums, and even got one autographed for Barry as a memento of that night so long ago?
And then I began to think some more about it.
We all go through seasons. This band, this crazy, strange group of people, helped me through something. They made me realize that all the weirdness I felt in high school and beyond, wasn’t so different from what anyone else felt. I may have seemed cool on the outside, I may have been friendly with a lot of people, but I had only a few good/close friends, and even fewer friends after high school.
So, this is what I decided to write about this morning – this weird little band of misfits that I once loved so dearly. They, along with several other bands I’m now too ashamed to mention, have seen me through hard times, and helped me to realize that I’m not so weird. I’m not so different. I’m not the misfit I think I am so much of the time. …Maybe.
That is all.

Nerds And Rockstars

This is my philosophy on high school: you don’t want to peak while you’re in high school.

You don’t.

People who peaked in high school struggle all their lives with that. They are constantly reminiscing about it, remembering the “good ole days”. Once you peak, typically, you have nowhere else to go but down.

However, if you don’t peak in high school, if you wait until your are out of high school, then you have the rest of your life to discover who you are, and who it is that you were meant to be. The geeks and nerds in high school are the geniuses and rockstars of tomorrow. The ones who peaked in high school, are the ones who are lost now…the ones who never really find themselves…the ones who are working at a Texaco somewhere, and hanging out with all their friends from high school. My findings are not conclusive. Sometimes a person can peak and continue to rise, but it’s rare. One could argue that they didn’t really peak at all.

I have imparted this wisdom to both of my children: “It doesn’t matter now, nor will it ever matter, how popular you were in high school. No job will ever be contingent on whether or not you were popular. The goal in high school is to study, learn, grow, do all you can, and then, when you get out into the world, that’s when you shine. Graduation is just a launching pad for life. High school is a time to begin breaking the chains of youth, and begin to realize what you’re here on Earth to do.”

Well, something like that. The funny thing is that both my kids are known in school. People walk up to them all the time and talk to them. They aren’t known for being “popular”, but everyone knows who they are, and people seem to genuinely like them. They know what kind of people they are. Teachers are always saying how great they are. They know (and have told us) that they were happy to see a Schuler on the schedule…that they knew they’d have a great kid in their class. Friends of ours tell us that they admire our kids.

If the only great thing I ever do is send two amazing humans into the world, then I will be happy.

Not even writing can top that.

Not even brownies top that!

This Is NOT An “End Of Year” Letter. It’s A Brain Dump. About The Year. Since We Are At The End Of It.

Sometimes I think about writing a Holiday/End Of Year letter. You know, like lots of families do…kind-of recapping the year, and talking about how everyone is awesome and things are great! Then I think about this…This year has been one of the hardest years I’ve ever had. Full of pain, sacrifice, and loss. Full of joys, good memories, and a few realized dreams. You should go back and swap those…do the happy one first. The next year is starting out hard, but with some faith, a little perseverance, and some more sacrificing, it should be better at the end than at the beginning. I’m looking forward to that. I am really mad at the Mayans. How dare they be wrong! To get me everyone all riled up and worried for no reason. Thank God I didn’t get that bomb shelter I wanted to put in the back yard…or all those treadmills to ward off the zombies in the zombie apocalypse. I was We were so close to over-reacting! This year saw Jessup getting his permit and license, and his first two jobs (at the same time-literally within a day of each other). Ainsley has a job that she loves, and she has proved so responsible that she’s getting other side jobs as well. Over the weekend I went to a retreat of sorts with some of the kids from our church youth group. It was a weekend on purity. Not only before marriage, but also after. Giving your whole self to your spouse…all the best parts, not the left-overs. It made me realize that I don’t always give all the good stuff to Barry. Sometimes he gets the left-overs. He needs to get my best. The United States doesn’t have a national fruit. Well, not according to Wikipedia, and we all know that that’s the gospel of all things. We need a national fruit. Ainsley and I vote for strawberry. I don’t make New Years’ Resolutions because when I wake up on January 2nd, and realize that I’ve already broken one all of them, I feel bad. I don’t like to feel bad. So, I have a list of things I’m going to try to do. I say “try”, so that, if one day out of 20 I fail, then I don’t feel so bad. Kind of like why I will never be on a diet. If I fail for a day or two, or four, I don’t want to feel like I’ve failed everything. So, I try to eat less, and I try to eat healthy, but if I don’t, it’s ok. I’ll try again the next day. This has worked beautifully for weight loss. I’m very proud of myself this year…while I’ve been stuck at the same weight throughout the Holiday season, I’ve also been Stuck. At. The. Same. Weight. Throughout. The. Holiday. Season. Do you realize that that’s not a bad thing? I’ve plateaued, but that’s amazing! I’ve not gained. I’m going to put the number of pounds lost at the bottom of this blog post, and for now, that’s the only time I will mention it. Someone I adore suggested I blog about my journey through that fickle countryside of “losing weight”. I hadn’t even really considered it before, and while I think it’s an amazing idea, I just don’t know if I’m ready to go there. If I did it, I’d have to share my actual weight. I’d have to let the cat out of the bag so to speak, and while I will be uninhibited about it when I eventually reach my goal weight (which you may be surprised to learn is not that thin…just much healthier), I am still so ashamed that it got as bad as it did…that my weight got as high as it did…that I was as unhealthy as I was. In fact, I didn’t even tell Barry where I started out until around September or October…that was four months into this process. Right now, you have no reason to believe that I didn’t start out at 150 lbs., and just get better from there. In fact, if you do think that, and you tell me, I may never admit my beginning weight. Ever! It’s quite obvious from any photo taken of me in the last 15 years, that I might weigh a pound or two over that…but you don’t know for sure, so shut up about it already. I am keeping track on an app on my phone. Each day I weigh myself (which is going to be a big, fat fail-pardon the pun-if I don’t remember sooner rather than later to buy a new 9V battery for the scale), and I record the weight. It’s a nice app. Simple. Easy to use. It has a passcode so that no one can look at it. It has a graph so I can see the progress. The only thing that would make it better is if there were a little tiny skier on that slope, and I could watch him/her ski down the hill of weight lost. Not a big deal. Of course, this last month or so would be more cross-country skiing than downhill, but it’s all good. There would only be bumps…no hills to climb. Since my conversation with my friend, it’s been on my heart to blog about the highs and lows of this. To blog about the times I’ve wanted to eat a pan of brownies, or the package of bacon in the fridge. Or mix the two. There are still days where I slip up. And I’m not even regularly exercising yet. Just being careful with what I eat, and watching my caloric intake. Keeping it under my magic number of calories allotted for the day. Maybe I’ll write more about it…my mind seems to be slowly heading in that direction…you can tell from just this post. I don’t know if it would be helpful to anyone else, but it would be cool (even if no one ever read it) to look back at what I went through, and what I failed at, and succeeded at, and to remember. One of the things I like best is that, when I was at a conference this weekend, and the elevator was full, I stepped back to wait for another one, and a teenaged person said, “There’s plenty of room, hop on!” I said, “No, I won’t fit on there”, and they said, “Are you kidding? Two of you would fit on here, get on!” No one even moved to let me on…and I fit. It’s those little things. Those little moments when you’re so used to something being one way, and it slaps you in the face that it’s not necessarily that way anymore. It’s different. It’s better. It’s like when you look at a picture of yourself that you just took, and you wonder how your got just the right angle to make your face look so thin, and then you realize that it’s not the angle. Your face is not as fat as it once was. Speaking of that, I need a new profile pic on Facebook…that girl with the really fat face is bothering me, even though it might be the best picture I’ve ever taken of myself. BTW, while I don’t eat as much bacon as I want, and I haven’t had a brownie in months, I still eat lots of cheese, so there’s hope for you, too. ;)

I got off on a tangent…here’s my list of things to try for 2013:

1. Give Barry the best of me.

2. Give my kids the best of me.

3. Give God all of me. He deserves the best, and He can handle the rest. (I just made that up. You can totally steal it, but if you make it into a shirt or something, I want some credit…or money. Money would be my preference. I’m not Forrest Gump. I can’t afford to just give out my golden thoughts for free while I run across the country three times and my stock in Apple climbs higher and higher.)

4. I’d like to take a picture of all four of us (my little family) every day for a year. I have always wanted to do this, and I’m determined to try it. I’m not sure how the logistics of it will work yet, but I have about 9 hours to figure it out.

5. Be more faithful about my blogging and writing. Maybe even submit something somewhere.

6. Money stuffs. Keep a journal of money spent, keep a list of goals. It worked for losing weight, maybe it can work for losing debt. When I looked at the calories I was taking in, I changed the way I ate. If I look at the way I’m spending money, maybe I can change the way I spend. It can’t be worse than doing nothing. FYI, doing nothing doesn’t appear to be working. Save yourself the grief, and make a plan.

7. Not be so freaked out over things like the number 6. That way I don’t waste your time (and mine) typing up a 7th thing, just so I don’t have 6.

(You may notice that weight-loss is not here…it’s a change in lifestyle. That change is already made. It doesn’t need to be on the list anymore.)

While most people spent their Spring Break on vacation lying in the sand on some fabulous beach, or skiing in the Rockies (Who am I kidding? I don’t think anyone got that much snow last year), or hanging out/drinking/studying, I spent mine in the ICU at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. I lived there the entire week. I only left two times, because it was also the week of Parent-Teacher Conferences for my kids, and I don’t miss those for anything. Also, popular opinion says that it’s important to bathe now and then, and since I couldn’t use the bathroom that my comatose mom was never going to use, because it wasn’t my bathroom, I needed to take care of things at home. Side-note: Every time I had to go, I had to leave the ICU, go far down the hall and use the public one. This silly rule teaches you two things: 1-they are not worried about the comfort or accessibility of anything for anyone other than patients. 2-your bladder can hold a lot more than you give it credit for. When I came back to Boone for these two nights, I also showered and got clean clothes. It’s probably a good thing that not one person came to visit me the whole week. Then again, they might have just smelled me from the hallway outside the ICU, and turned and ran the other way. I didn’t do any schoolwork. I didn’t really do anything. I just sat there. I did get a lot of games of DrawSomething in. It’s grasping at straws, I know, and I don’t think that really counts as an accomplishment. I appreciate all those DrawSomething opponents who helped me keep my mind off of where I was and what decisions I knew I’d have to make. I spent quite a bit of that time talking to my mom, who after a day and a half (out of the five) never again responded to me. It was kind of like a lot of our times together…all a one-way conversation. There were no deep sighs, though, so there was no way to tell if she disapproved of what I said. She probably did, but I’ll never know. I figured if it was really bad, she’d let me know. About three days in, I started saying stuff that I’d always wanted to say…sometime just to see if I could get a response out of her. She was only able to wriggle her toes, or squeeze my hand, and that all stopped more than three days before she passed away. I begged her to wake up. I needed to know some things. Things I thought I’d always have time to ask her. Things I will never know. Some of these things are things I’ve always wanted to know. Some are new things. I’ve spent a good chunk of this year writing them out, and then trying to let those things go. It’s not working as well as I’d hoped, but it’s something I’ve got to learn do. I’ve got to move on, and not dwell on it. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog. I’m not as faithful at it as I’d like to be. As far as writing goes, I finished a couple things in 2012. Not big things, but things I’m proud of finishing. Things I’ve had to really work through, and force myself to write out. I can’t wait to get all this Christmas crap out of my house and back to the storage room in the basement where it belongs. It’s driving me crazy. I think it’s all getting taken down Wednesday. That should also bring the guest room back to order, since that’s where most of the mess of Christmas has been dumped. I hope that next year we can get some new decorations, and get rid of some of the old. Not the old cool stuff, but the old “this will do until we can afford to get something that doesn’t make me want to puke” kind of stuff. *fingers crossed* The largest watermelon ever grown was 262 pounds. I need to finish writing out all the things that went on surrounding my mom’s death. I need to remember all the stuff, and while I have quite a bit written down, I don’t have it all. I’m wondering if I can say things I want to write down into my voice memo app on my phone and then write it from there. Sometimes I get ideas while I’m driving or can’t have a notebook, and I need to get it out before it’s forgotten. It’s funny how when I was a teen, I’d go to a conference, or retreat, and I’d make some kind of glorious commitment and swear that I’d change my ways, and then I’d go home and get busy with the stuff of life, and I’d eventually forget all about it. It’s not funny “ha ha”, it’s funny “peculiar”. I thought it would change when I became an adult, but it seems that there’s more to get wrapped up in, and there’s more of the stuff than there was. I am praying and hoping with all my might that I don’t forget how moved I was Saturday night. How convicted I felt. I hope I don’t forget what I said, and thought, and felt, and promised. I keep coming back to these two things: my mom, and this past weekend. I miss my mom far more than I ever thought I would. I’ve spent so many Christmases without her, that it wasn’t totally different. There wasn’t an empty space at the table this year, because there has been an empty space at the table for lots of years. There was however no phone call. And no one really even mentioned her. The kids did say that it would be weird to not get anything from her this year. They didn’t mean it selfishly…just more as an observation. They’ve gotten (since birth) an ornament from her every year at Christmas, and one of them commented on how it would be weird to have last years’ ornament be the last one. Then we dug around, looking for that last one. I was so grateful that (a few years ago) I marked on each one “Grandma Jo” and the year. I started the tradition of getting each of them an ornament each year as well, so they did get something. And they will continue to get something…until I’m dead and gone, and Barry’s new trophy wife doesn’t know all the traditions, and ruins everything, all the time, forever. She’s going to be so out of the loop. I should leave her a note or something.

I apologize to you, my faithful reader, that I have missed two Friday’s in a row. This is not intended to make up for it, just let you know that you and this past year are on my mind today. There are lots of words, so it’s like there are two of them, and if that’s not enough…then just get over it. There will be another one on Friday. Probably (but no promises) less depressing than this one.

That is all.

No it’s not…

48 (since June 1, 2012)

Now that is all.