Monday, February 23, 2015

Watch out Nascar!

Men just think differently. Yeah, I'm a genius to have figured that out, I know! But let me give you an example.

My husband thinks that race car driving is a sport.

I disagree, no matter what Danica Patrick says.

I have my reasons.

You see, each day I get up and get ready and load up my van and off I go, racing around to get everyone where they need to be when they need to be there.

This process often involves getting gas, and no one jumps out and tries to fill up my tank as quickly as they can while conveniently airing up or changing my tires.
NOOO, I get to do that all by myself while I try to refigure my route to get us there on time after having to make an unexpected pit stop.

Race car drivers drive an easy loop, not me.  It does seem like I drive in circles all day, but I have stop lights, and speed LIMITS. Yep, there are these sweet guys in white and black cars with red and blue flashing lights to make sure I'm not going too fast!

Plus, the competition is all around me.

There are actually, get this, other parents who want to pick their kids up from school and get them to the dentist on time!!! The nerve!

Race car fans seems to think that doing this for 3 hours is a big deal!! I just don't get it, I do this all day long and not once has anyone asked for my autograph, filled my tank for free, or taken my picture across the hood of my van.

Maybe I need to start wearing a jump suit and driving gloves. Hmmm.....

Friday, February 20, 2015

Savoring the Blizzard

Today I had some time with Brennan and as a special treat I took him for ice cream. We shared a small Blizzard which, incidentally, seem to have gotten smaller.  As we were eating our treat and talking I realized that I was taking more time to eat my ice cream because it was such a small amount, so I was savoring it.
I have heard (not that I have actually employed it) that slowing down and savoring food is a good diet technique.
I have also noticed on vacations where we aren't trying to "see/do everything" we spend more time enjoying the time together. Well, ok, in all honesty there is also more time for disagreements. But somehow knowing that the vacation time is limited helps.

Just this week, a boy that we are acquainted with passed away unexpectedly. I think it has caused every parent who knows him to hug their children a little longer. For me, I know I am looking in eyes a lot more, not letting go first, and spending a little more one on one.

Why is that? Do we really think childhood is going to last forever? It can seem like it, especially when we are struggling in our parenting.

When we realize that the time we have with our kids is limited, we can savor it.

My teenager has lately been asking for a bedtime story after I have told one to the littles. There have been so many nights I was so tired, but some nights I was smart enough to sit on his bed and tell him one. This is also the same kid who no longer "needs" me to read to him, because he can do it himself. But the time when he needed me to read to him I loved and savored. He actually still loves to have me read to him.

I fully recognize that I can't always drop everything to do what my kids want me to, but I have found that when I spend the time doing those things they are content for a while. The time when they are little and want to cuddle, read books (yes, for the thousandth time), hear stories, tell jokes, play games, sing songs, etc. is so limited!

But they are the special treats of parenting! They are the fully loaded Blizzard, in a very small cup.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Desert Rain

Right now I am listening to the rain fall. Now that we are living in the desert, it is a really big deal. I used to love listening to the rain all the time in Ohio. I loved hearing it hit on the slate roof and dripping on the black earth, watering all of the amazing plants that just seemed to naturally do their thing.
Here in the desert, it is like knowing that gold is falling from the sky and you want to hear each precious drop. You hope to hear more magical drops fall because you have no idea how long it will be till you hear that peaceful patter again. It could be months.

I can't say that I love living in the desert, because truth be told, I don't. But I am trying to find the precious drops of beauty in it.

Like the smell of wet creosote bushes after a rain.

The way the sky is so big here you can see the earth as a big bubble.

Striking pink and purple sunsets on a vast canvas of grey-blue.

Such a variety of birds as they migrate from all those places that do actually get really cold.

Skies as blue as a child's eyes.

Yes, they do still exist. They aren't nearly as big or numerous as they were when I was a kid.

Mountain views. I do love seeing Red Mountain on a clear blue day. It is amazing. And the Superstition Mountains are really pretty on a brisk winter morning.

Desert wildflowers.

Oh, and the Ocotillo bush. Some people think it is a cactus, but it's not. It is a bush that grows tall and straggly with lots of spines. When it rains it starts to grow these little green leaves. And they last for a while. That is one way to know how recently there has been rain in the desert.

Washes. This is kind of like the "hollers" in the Midwest. Everyone here knows what they are and you can use them as descriptions. On a hike you might say, "follow the trail and when you cross the wash you will see the cactus ribs on the left. Keep going till you cross the wash again and the campsite is on the left."

Although the desert is still not my "cup of tea", I have been able to find the beauty in it.
And for now, that will do.
But give me about 4 months when it has been over 100' for several months with several to go and I will deny everything I just wrote!