Nothing Scheduled

***This post will be frequented with pictures my children posed for that have nothing to do with anything. Thank you.***
Do you know how nice it is to have absolutely nothing on your schedule? Okay, I do have a FEW things -but nothing pressing… no to-do lists, nothing that absolutely HAS to be done. It’s a blessed time, and I’m soaking it up. The past two days I have felt great. My energy level is non-existent, but I’ve felt all right. Today?
Not so much.
I’m supposed to be grocery shopping right now, but leaving the house seems like a fate worse than death.

We don’t NEED to eat, right?

My kids are my greatest source of stress and joy right now -they can make me so cranky one second and make me laugh until I cry the next. Right now, they’re bursting with honesty.

Sunday night, I got TWO whole hours of sleep (not consecutively, but that doesn’t really matter). I was up all night with contractions. From 2-4 am they were consistent… every four minutes when I was resting and every two when I was up walking around. I started throwing last-minute items in my hospital bag and getting ready to go and the contractions just…
I had my weekly Dr. appointment early the next morning, and I was sick sick sick. With this pregnancy, if I don’t get enough sleep, I get really nauseated. My husband and I usually take the kids with us to my appointment, but I just couldn’t do it on Monday. I couldn’t.
I called my parents early that morning and asked them if they could take them for a few hours.
They could and did -thank goodness!

I took a bath and sort of got dressed. I put on sweats. I blow dried my hair. I put on sunglasses. I slipped on my dirty tennis shoes, and then I hunkered down in the passenger’s seat of our car.
I sort of wanted to die.

“Mom?” My daughter spoke from that back seat.
“Did you forget to curl your hair?”
“Why? Does it look terrible?”
“Yeah, it does.”

And through the all the tiredness and the tummy aches and the yuckies, I laughed.
The next day, I felt better. I sat at my computer for four hours and hammered out Primary stuff that had been needing to get done. My son was bored. He wanted to watch TV, but he had watched too much the day before (on account of how bad I felt). He hung on me, looked over my shoulder, played with my hair…
“Mom?” He asked.
“Do all moms have all of dat hair on their nibbles like dat?”
I looked down.
I’m growing out of all of my clothes, the shirt I had on was revealing some of my, ahem, chest. Not all of it, not even CLOSE to all of it, but enough that he could see hair!
“No,” I laughed, “No most moms don’t have hair.”
It’s just that I’m a beast, darling. Haven’t you seen my beard when I’ve let it go a few days without plucking?

Also: I didn’t think my chest hair was all THAT noticeable -apparently it is. All growing up, my Dad had a saying about chest hair. It went something like, “Eat it. It’ll make hair grow on your chest.”
He applied it most everything: bacon, grits, lunch…

I always giggled thinking how silly my Dad was.
I should have never touched those grits.

My Dad is really great. He’s really, really great. My mom is too. I’m such a lucky kid to have two parents that are together, that love each other, and that are SUCH GOOD PEOPLE.
My sister is in the Philippines right now -serving a mission. A huge, deadly storm just ripped through the islands and her mission president’s wife called my mom, just to let her know that my sister is safe and sound. She then went on to thank my mom for turning out the kind of girl she did -my sister is amazing. My mom refused to take credit, saying simply “She came to us that way.”
To which I call: ballderdash.
I mean, my sister is MOSTLY good, but my parents are ALL good at being parents.
My mom has always been there for us -not in the sense that she’s been ever-present at every event, or ever-ready to catch our every tear, or ever-standing over a hot stove… but she’s been HOME. Mom was always at home. We left her in the morning, came back to her in the afternoon. She was there! If she wasn’t, she always let us know where she was. She always made sure we had the things we needed, even if we didn’t want them (a bra) to save us from embarrassing ourselves. She let us know when -without realizing it -we were being rude. She bought us new pants when we grew out of the ones we had. She could always be found on her knees at the end of the night, and she never shrugged away from gathering us around her bed at nighttime to READ to us.
She’s a GREAT mom. She’s GREAT at her job. We learned consistency from her -the value of being there for others -the value of security and motherhood and home. Oh, HOME. What a home she made for us! I find every possible way to bring her home into mine: through making my own gingerbread house simply so I can stand next to it and INHALE it because the second I do, I’m HOME with Mom (and I’m also 6 years old which is kind of fun).
Mothers like that turn out wonderful red-headed daughters.

My Dad is also amazing in so SO many ways.
He’s always been THERE for us -much in the same way Mom is. It’s very safe to say that when I was growing up, My Dad wasn’t my friend in the sense that I didn’t run to him wondering what shirt I should wear or tell him what boys I thought were cute. My Dad was a DAD, and he was the best at it. If I needed him, I could find him. He’s been his own boss the entire time I’ve known him, and I can get a hold of him any time (day or night) (and I do, sorry, Dad) (and Mom). When I was little, I was always at his side. He was like a human playground. I could comb his hair, draw on his arms, ride on his ankles, sit on his lap and travel to every land Dr. Seuss ever dreamed up… if my Dad ever believed in anything, it was childhood. Our Christmases were always magic -just ask anyone. Dad has a way of conjuring up Christmas miracles. When Christmas comes, my Dad is 10 again.

The older we got, the less we read Dr. Seuss and the more we learned about life: work, integrity, satisfaction in a job well done, following through, consistency… we had all of these things in my Dad. Once you’ve lived with them, living without them just isn’t really an option. You might say that Dad spoiled us. I would.
And Dads like that raise amazing red-headed daughters that can travel halfway around the world and endear a small nation to her -much like she’s endeared herself to everyone’s lives she’s ever touched here at home.

And yesterday, that great Dad sent me a piano tuner. I’ve never had one before. I’m DREAMED of them, but I’ve never actually sent for one.
They cost money, or something.
Yesterday, one showed up on my doorstep -on errand from my Dad (who, incidentally, is the one who provided me with my piano in the first place).
What a great dad. I just love him so much!
While the tuner was a-tuning, my daughter came home from school. She needed someone to play soccer with her.
“I can’t,” I said. “I’m just too fat…”
“Okay,” she looked down.
“Will you be excited when I’m back to being regular mom and can do all my regular stuff again?”
“Yeah,” she said, brightening up a little, “You can spin us around and run and jump… and…” she suddenly burst into tears.
“What’s wrong?” I took her in my arms, “Why are you crying?”

I must really be bad, folks.
I assured her that soon enough I’d be able to chase her around, swing her around, and jump and play again. I told her the first snow we got, I would make snow angels with her and snow balls and snow men… at which point she burst into tears again because.
Are OUT.
Of Carrots.

(A boney-o is a not-so-insulting insult my son made up. We can’t seem to drop it from our vocabulary. It’s catching.)

Last night, as the family was each finding their ways to dreamland, my daughter climbed up next to me on the couch. She lightly touched my face, her fingers tickling the side of my nose.
“What are all these big holes on your nose?”
Giant, gaping PORES, dearest. Jealous?

Oh my honest kids. Oh my HONEST kids.

It’s a wonder I have any self-esteem left at all.
But I do.
And why is that?
I have wonderful parents.


  1. Oh how I love your family. Every last one of them! You all make me smile!

    • storylady says:

      I feel the same way about yours! I went to an assembly at the school a few weeks ago, and your entire family was sitting in front of me, and it was so awesome. It’s great to see your Mom with all her grandkids and see how happy they make her… and I always love seeing the twins :)

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