how hawaii inspired me to get it in gear

Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like to blast it all over social media when I’m leaving the continent for a week. This is where I was:

sunsetYou can see why I wasn’t blogging, too.

My aunt and I were talking about that phrase, “It’s good to go, and it’s good to come home.”  She said my grandmother used to say that it’s pretty sad if you didn’t feel that way.  I heartily concur, and it gave me extra incentive to work at that thing on the front of my brain: getting this house in shape.  Just because I’m not staying in a multi-million dollar beachfront rental house in Kailua doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the luxuries of clean, well-planned, and comfortable.  (Ahem. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for the the lodging.)

Today I ordered this from Amazon to assist me in my epic battle with the clutter.  Yes, epic.  I know that word is overused, but my imagination tells me my battle’s worse than yours.speakerThe masseuse had one of these things going last week, and I was really impressed with the sound quality when I saw how tiny it is.  (Ahem. Thanks, Rachel, for the massage.) I thought, “You mean I can plug my phone into that instead of carrying around a drinking glass as a natural amplifier?  This will be the final push I need to show overflowing closets who’s boss.”

I really did think that. However, I am now in more of a right mind about my reasons for purchasing it.  Massages make me over-the-top silly, but now I’m remembering that I’ve purchased magazines, shelving, books, containers, binders, web applications, and likely things I can’t even recall all in the hope of organization.  Now I remember that you can’t buy your way into organized.  You have to work your way through it every day.

Here are a few songs of the songs I’ve lined up to power me through my work today:

  • Call Me the Breeze – Lynyrd Skynyrd (blues rock, YES!)
  • Sir Duke  – Stevie Wonder (no dancing = no pulse)
  • Bust A Move  – Young MC (that bass line, y’all)
  • Your Love Is Strong – Jon Foreman (just everything)
  • Give It Up or Let Me Go – Dixie Chicks (even my 4yo appreciates this mastery of jam)
  • When the Saints – Sara Groves (the bridge, the bridge, the bridge. amen.)
  • You & Me – Dave Matthews Band (i heart triple meter and my husband, who deserves a clean home)

sunset 2

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A few days ago, I upped my nerd points by tweeting Reeve to ask what to do when your toddler sings in a lower key than the one you set.. Yeah, I’m really getting picky here, but please, Popular Kid, don’t abandon me next to the lockers just yet.

We briefly went over vocal development of infants and toddlers in a music ed class I had back in the day.  I remember, because we held that class at Carribou Coffee.  (Dr. Huff, you’re my fave.)  We probably had more than one session on it, but I don’t know, because no coffee.  Children’s voices are a little higher than adult voices.  I start twitching a little when I hear adults leading kids too low, but I’ve already said too much about that.

We frequently hear our son busting out an “ee-yi-ee-yi-yo” from his crib, and all the pitches are in right relationship to each other. In other words, he’s in tune.  When I sing the first line and he responds, sometimes he matches me.  Sometimes, he completely ignores whatever key I’m singing in.  Is this the new rebellion?  Sing in F-sharp when Mom is in G?  For real?

So I set out to make a video to capture this phenomenon to show Reeve, whom I’ve never met in person.  My nerd points just lifted the roof off the gym.  (I fully intend to get to one of her shows and you should, too.  March 15th, maybe?)

Please note that I am not auditioning for Y’all Got Talent via this video.  This is my “singing with kids” voice.  My “singing for other people” voice may or may not be different.

Clearly, this is not what I was going for, but I knew someone would appreciate the uber-cuteness of my son.  AND – did you catch that?! It’s like he knew I told people he sang lower than me and decided to overshoot on purpose.  Pray for me.  My child is extra-rebellious.

Bottom line: Should you worry about how in tune your toddler is?  No.  Just sing.

Gymnasium roof, you may now return to your rightful place.

the quinoa martyr

I’ve come a long way in my cooking, but I still get nervous when people come over for dinner.  Last night, I made the kind of meal that I think, “I wish Rachel or Megan was here right now.”  You know, so good that I would even be proud to share it with people who care deeply about what they eat.

I tried not to cry when my family hated it.

white wine sauce“Mom, did you put wine in this sauce?  I don’t like it.” [whiny voice:] Martha Stewart would have been proud of my roasted salmon and sauce.  (She wrote the recipe.)

The baby screams, shoves food around his tray, screams some more.

The improvised, perfectly seasoned Cheesy Broccoli & Mushroom Quinoa is tasted. Chins pivot this way and that. Eyebrows lift and then scrunch.

“I don’t like broccoli.  I’m. not. eating.”

I leave the table.

While in my room, I pout and sort my thoughts.  I pray for wisdom. I resolve to act maturely. I open the door, and there is my husband, apparently coming to smooth things over. Never mind the maturity. I have one last burst of 7 year-old and push past him without making eye contact.

Finally chilled out, I share at the table why my feelings were hurt.  It’s a big deal to me when I cook what I think’s going to be a delicious, healthy meal. (This does happen more than once a decade, contrary to how it sounds.) My emotions are high because a) I’m proud we’re not eating out and b) I’m really wanting them to enjoy the meal.

After I explain why I’m upset, my husband says, “I’m sorry.  I just don’t like quinoa.”  Oh.  He’s kind of shocked that I thought it was so yummy, too.  “Can’t we just have salmon the way you used to make it?” he asks.

This brings me to back to the wisdom granted in the hallway between the bedroom and the table:  I ask for help.  We brainstorm menus and get enough down for about 3 weeks.  Hallelujah!  That’s the hardest part of cooking!

idontlikeitI’m so, so glad I didn’t pretend their response didn’t bother me.  What would my kids have learned from that?  Not that I was thinking, “How can I model emotional honesty and healthy conflict resolution?” when I was walking away from the table, but hey – I’ll take them learning an alternative to unnecessary martyrdom any way I can get it.

Is there something that you chose to deal with head-on instead of pouting about it? Please share!



Hope is a sandwich, prepared by your 7 year old.  There will be a day when any of us could make dinner or pour juice.

Hope is 5 trash bags of children’s clothing in the back of your van, ready to be shared with the Pregnancy Crisis Center.  There could be a day when we don’t feel sad about the clutter in our house.

Hope is the 10 pm meltdown of one of your children, because you realize it’s the first one of the unusually long, napless day.  There will very likely be a day when he doesn’t squirm on the floor and make alien cat sounds because you asked him to go to the bathroom.

I am so thankful for the little ways God reminds me to anticipate good with confidence. Jesus loves me, this I know.  Yes, it’s because the Bible tells me so — but also because of a sandwich, some trash bags, and a sweet, cranky boy.