Monday, July 29, 2013

This is hard, you're worth it and I'm trying.

Fair warning: I might emotionally vomit on you if keep reading. Accompanying this emotional vomit are photos from the day Chad and I thought the Mead children were ready for a four mile hike. These photos show a very trying experience for all involved.
I know motherhood is the most important thing I will ever do, but I often feel certain -- sometimes daily -- that I am irrevocably screwing it up. Logically I know that large cups of chocolate milk will be split and that we will clean it up and all survive. Yet, when it happens I'm pissed off. Irritation surges through me like blood through arteries. If you don't already know let me tell you that irritation and motherhood go hand-in-hand.

My mom often exclaimed, "I'm going to have a nervous breakdown!!!!" I remember thinking, "Phefp, what's she freaking out over?" Mom, I feel you now! I get it. Maybe I'll have one or maybe I already did (my memory is shot too). It's probably for the best.

All four of you are flawed. You're impatient, selfish, insensitive, oversensitive, negative, lazy -- I could go on and on. The thing is, I suffer from a lot of the weaknesses too. Yet, here we all are, together trying to work it out. Seems like kind of a sick joke; putting insensitive people next to overly-sensitive people. Sometimes I'm sure God is up there having a really good laugh; the kind where you're re-watching a favorite movie and you start giggling before the funny thing happens. Probably exactly like that, but by now the joke must have gotten old. Certainly he's now thinking "Really? This situation still irritates you!? Get it together."

Tone. I have a problem with tone. Not really the screaming or yelling but speaking in a tone that clearly communicates I don't like you, I'm mad at you. Staph. Then it happens, your shoulders sink in and suddenly you seem so small; I see how deeply I have cut you and I hate myself. I know that despite reacting appropriately over the three prior irritating things I have now blown it over this trivial thing and you don't remember how we happily cleaned up 1,000 cheerios together just an hour ago.

I often think, "I never speak to my friends or husband this way, why can't I get it together for the people who need me the most?" But then I also think, "I wouldn't be friends with someone who never appreciated me or ruined my dress and then later told me how disgusting my dinner was." Seriously, raising kids ain't for whimps.  Especially after you factor in that their ingratitude and rudeness is also your fault! Why haven't you taught them better? Aghhhhh!

Our lesson at church today was The Words we Speak. I felt guilty -- naturally -- and reflected on how just last night Luke told me that I talk to him angry a lot. When I tucked him in I told him he was right and that I am trying and that I'll try to do better, then I apologized and we both cried. As part of the lesson today we were given time to consider, if we had only 25 words we could give to our families what would they be.

Here's mine: I love you. I'm sorry. I'm trying. It's harder then it looks. I'm imperfect, You're worth it.

I only got 18 words down before I was blubbering and could no longer concentrate on what my imaginary last words to you would be. Where my head was at is pretty clear; I'm feeling bad and know I need to do better.

One adjective I didn't list before that belongs squarely behind my name is determined. I am determined to be better at this; for you and for me. Because we were put together to smooth out each others rough edges and both become better for the journey.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Jack's fake cry

 Is possibly my current favorite thing (taking into account that baked goods don't count). Obviously.

This face goes along with the corresponding fake cry which is sort of a "a heahgh heaghe heagh" noise. The fake cry is used for a basically one situation: boredom. It's a "HEY! pay attention to me" noise that works 99.9% of the time. Primarily due to this accompanying face.

Who could resist?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Laughter is the best medicine.

Meet Shelly. She makes me laugh.
Notice that the paddle is also through her bikini top -- the girl's got skills.

The thing is . . . life is hard, annoying, disappointing, scary, messy and, don't forget, irritating (there's a lot of that). There's also a lot of joy. Here's a tale of joy; the kind that makes me glad I've had four C-sections and can still bust my gut laughing until I'm literally in tears.

Shelly and I often paddle board and somehow find ourselves in bizarre and painful situations. Possibly due to a potent cocktail of self-confidence and I fancy myself as having a good sense of direction. Once, Shelly, Amanda and I decided to go down the river. Upon seeing the river, Amanda immediately put her board back in her car and announced that she was out -- the water level was too low. Shelly and I looked at each other with the same thought in mind: "eff this river! I came here to have a good time and I'll be damned if I'm leaving before it's been had."

Off we went. We had good times. Insanity and hilarity ensued because, of course, the water level was too low. This may or may not have caused Shelly to fly off her board at about 10 mph, face first, into two inches water (the river bed is mostly gravel and rock -- ouch!). I may or may not have laughed so hard that I fell off my board at this point. Who can remember? But if I did, keep in mind that compassion isn't my strong suit. I was raised with five brothers after all.

We continued down the river laughing and having a darned good time, which brings us to the above photo. Notice the large and tiny rocks and general lack of foot wear? This point in the river is called pullout four.

Jamie: "Whelp, fun's over. We're here. Time to get out." ("Let's pull over to the side furthest from the exit and walk across an extra mile of rocks just for fun.") The part in parenthesis may not have been actually spoken out loud, but the truthfulness of it is certain.

Shelly, "K"

We walked across about 100 yards of rock shards, which, literally, to this day, IS THE MOST PAINFUL thing I've ever experienced! And I ain't no princess. Don't forget we were both carrying our paddles and heavy 12-foot boards. Take a moment and get the mental picture. We are hobbling, carrying a heavy weight, and mentally cursing every painful step of the way -- at least I was, and I'm pretty sure Shell was too. But we were also dying of laughter, like the kind where snot involuntarily blows out your nose (sorry for the mental image).

After about 25 minutes of this we reached the parking lot. Victory! But we were at the wrong pullout. Oh! My car was parked miles away at the Phon pullout, which meant we had to retread the ground we'd just covered to get back into the water to paddle the extra five miles to get the right location. Shelly may or may not have cursed at me. Who can remember? Maybe it was just the noise of me loudly cursing myself in my head.

Jamie: "Well, $#*! we're at the wrong place! We've got to go back and go further down the river. Let's go."  This is a summary, the actual statement included a lot of dumbfounded frustration and gut busting laughter.

Shelly: "Wait!" She kept hobbling back to the parking lot expecting my car to appear. Or maybe she was referencing the map again -- not trusting herself to my navigation skills ever again -- I can't be certain.

Eventually, we summoned the courage to go back down the hill over those forsaken rocks to get back on our way. Three fourths of the way to river I called to strangers to help carry our boards the rest of the way. They ran over to grab them from us and Shelly hobbled on, struggling to finish what she had started. Though exhausted she still managed to tell them, "ignore her, don't help her." Thankfully, they ignored her and I made it to the cool water's edge, unburdened.

Shelly followed closely behind me eager for the coolness of the river and in the process deftly dropped her board squarely on her left foot.  I somehow found this to be hilarious and dropped to the earth in hysterics. She did the same. Her foot was jacked up for weeks, which still makes me giggle every time I think about it. Every. Single. Time.