Friday, January 29, 2010

A Cheesy Metaphor

I've been feeling really down lately. I think it's a combination of the reality of Kelly going back to Iraq after leave, the January blahs, my kids struggling in school and a doctor's appointment that I have on Monday that I'm anxious about.

I was thinking about our family and came up with this kind of cheesy metaphor.

Our family is like a ship. Kelly is the captain, I'm the first mate and the kids are the crew. When everyone is on board, I as the first mate pretty much do everything behind the scenes, making sure that the ship is running smoothly and that the crew are doing their jobs. When the captain is not on board the first mate has to take over the steering of the ship and it's hard to focus on the little thing that keep the ship running. The first mate can step into the captain's job but it's never quite the same. Every day the ship gets just a little more off course and things behind the scenes start to fall apart. Without the first mate to oversee them, the crew starts to goof off, not keeping up with their jobs or doing them with a little less care.

So, right now our family is without the captain and I feel like things are off course and the crew is goofing off. I'm not sure what can be done to fix it except to get the captain back on board. Hopefully we won't be too off course by the time that happens.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Light Bulb (or plug in) Moment

On Monday I was having a really bad day. Kelly hadn't called since Friday morning which didn't really have me worried so much (well, maybe a little, hello, Iraq!) as just frustrated not knowing why he hadn't called. When I was blow drying my hair my blow dryer quit working. I thought it had died but after some investigation discovered that the plugs in the bathroom weren't working. This is the third time the plugs have quit working which is super frustrating! After thinking about it all day I thought maybe I knew what the problem was. When we wired the upstairs (my dad, Kelly and me) we used the "easy" method of installing the wires into the plugs. You can either push them straight into the back (which is easy and quick) or wrap them around the screws on the sides of the plugs (harder and more time consuming). A couple of years after we finished the remodel I saw either an episode of "This Old House", "Ask This Old House" or an article in the magazine talking about the dangers of using the "easy" method. The wires can come loose or arc and short out and that happened in the other bathroom upstairs. So, I turned off the breaker to the plugs, took the plug out of the wall and I was right. One of the wires had arced and shorted out. I knew what to do to fix it but couldn't remember which way to wrap the wires. So I called my dad (who has worked as a construction contractor) and asked him.

Now for my "light bulb moment". As he is trying to explain it to me and I am trying to understand what he is telling me and trying to get him to understand what I'm asking I realize something. My dad is not a teacher and neither am I. My dad is a "doer". He has a hard time trying to teach and explain things and has little patience if you don't "get" it. I think this has made me hesitant to try things, worrying that I can't do them. Not that I blame my dad, I love my dad and just realize that with my own personality this has shaped this in me. My husband, on the other hand, is a great teacher. He is patient and explains things and doesn't get frustrated if you don't "get" it. In the earlier days of marriage it was like I was competing with him, trying to prove that I could do things for myself and that I didn't need him to teach me anything. It was hard as I came from a family with only girls and we were expected to do thing for ourselves and Kelly came from a family of all boys and if I would ask for help, instead of explaining something he tried to do it for me. This led to some battles. As years have gone by he has realized that I don't need him to come in and take over and I have learned to appreciate that I can learn things from him. It's so awesome how God puts two people who are so opposite from one another together and makes a beautiful, complimentary relationship!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How Can It Be?

How can it be that my grandson is turning one today? How can it be that I am old enough to even have a grandson, let alone a child old enough to be a parent? Time goes by so fast?

One year ago I was there in the hospital with my daughter and son-in-law when we welcomed Holden to our family. It started out ok, got really scary and then ended up wonderful. After many hours of intense, painful labor the doctor was forced to perform an emergency c-section when Holden's heart rate dropped dramatically. Brittany was put completely under and Nick wasn't even able to be in the operating room. But, the outcome was a perfect, beautiful baby boy!

Because he lived in Missouri and now Texas, and we live in Oregon, it's been a challenge to see him as much as I'd like (every day would work for me!). But between me going there and them coming here I've been able to see him about every three months or so. After having five girls it is so fun to have a little boy! He is so sweet and so much fun and I don't think I could love him any more! Happy Birthday little monkey man, Grandma loves you!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Get Away

After the craziness of Christmas and Holden's birthday party, Kelly and I went to the beach for a couple of days to be alone. I had found this place in Lincoln City that looked nice and booked it online. Not too much later someone from the hotel called and said that the room I had booked had been double booked but they would like to give us an upgrade! We stayed in a room on the second floor with a balcony over the beach with a fireplace, kitchenette and a double jetted tub with an ocean view!

We checked in Monday afternoon. Tuesday morning we hit Starbucks and then went to the mall. It was really nice to just wander and look (and buy) things without kids asking for things! After the mall we went to Galuccis for our traditional beach pizza and then spent the rest of the evening in our room. I got on Facebook and noticed everyone commenting about snow so I called home and found out that Mac had gotten about five inches of snow on Tuesday!

Wednesday morning we checked the road conditions and saw that the roads were clear so we checked out and got our Starbucks again. We sat in the parking lot at Road's End, watching the ocean, drove around and dreamed of buying a beach house, had lunch and came home. It was so nice to have some time to ourselves before he headed back to Iraq!

Holden's 1st Birthday Party

Holden doesn't actually turn 1 until January 16th, but because Kelly was home from Iraq and all of Nick and Brittany's family is here, we decided to celebrate his birthday a couple of weeks early. We rented Scotty's Playhouse and ordered 10 pizzas, made 100 cupcakes and partied. The kids all had a great time playing on the play structure and I enjoyed the fact that it wasn't at my house!


Christmas was pretty crazy but wonderful this year. Kelly arrived home from Iraq on the 20th and Nick, Brittany, Holden and the two dogs arrived from Texas on the 21st! Not wanting to be left out (and who could blame her!), Lindsay came and stayed while everyone was home. So, we had eight adults, one BUSY little boy and three dogs in our house for two weeks.

The guard dogs

Emptying the cupboards

Kelly got home in time for he and I to take a trip to the mall to finish up the shopping. Christmas morning we got up, Kelsey made cinnamon rolls and everyone opened presents. The we went to my aunt and uncle's house in Albany for dinner with my family.

Holden opening presents

Rilee and Holden Christmas Day

The family

Olivia and Kelsey playing a game