Thursday, December 31, 2009

An Ode to my Bed

Christmas was delightful. We started on Christmas Eve, after breakfast and showers and such. We dug the pile of presents out from behind the Christmas Rocking Chair and took turns giving each other presents. Cara loved the paper... and occasionally looked at her presents, too. She got tired and had to go down for a nap halfway through, but that gave Ryan and I a chance to play with our new toys. Between the two of us, we got books, and crafty things, and access to a gym, and a new keyboard with a wireless mouse, and a glorious food dehydrator. Yay!

After lunch, we drove to Idaho Falls. We got there just in time for dinner and chimes and kisses for Cara. It was a delightful evening. That night was wonderful, too. I slept deeply, in spite of Cara fussing two feet away from me. Apparently I slept better than half the other people in the house. Fortunately, they were under strict orders that Cara was to be allowed to sleep until at least 7. Otherwise we'd have all been up at 3 am. Blech!

Cara ruined it, though. She started crying at 6:45, loud enough that she woke me up. At that point there was no use in trying to get back to sleep, so I very graciously conceded the point and we all went out to open presents in our pajamas by the light of the Christmas tree. Cara was thoroughly spoiled, of course. She got so many fun toys... including a bookshelf complete with many books. The rest of us learned a lot about each other. Our gifts were homemade this year: Meghan and Merrill are proud of their initials and make some dang good cookies. Becky wants to keep everybody warm in the most beautiful way possible, and Susan decided that Christmas morning was the best time to tell everybody she had an affair with nature. (Sorry Rod... at least you still have Jill!) :) Actually, it was a beautiful wall hanging made of leather and sticks and feathers. I love it!

The rest of the day was spent killing bunnies, eating Santa's face, and going to see a movie in the theater for the first time in 6 months. (In case you haven't seen it, Blindside is amazing.)

All in all, it was a delightful holiday, punctuated by Cara's smiles, laughs, ability to sit up on her own, and her first tooth finally poking through on Sunday, as well as 6 dogs going crazy in the back yard, Grammy Cracker being beyond thrilled to have all her kids there, and a fun episode with knives and acid in which the girls totally put every boy in the house to shame.

Returning home was laced with feelings of satisfaction and anticipation for what the future might hold. Christmas is still exploded all over my living room, but I am slowly getting our lives put back together. Two days ago I washed our brand new flannel sheets and put them on our bed. They're big, and blue, and don't match, but somehow our relatively simple bed suddenly feels luxurious, and even though our apartment is a hole in a very nice wall, when I climb into bed I feel, a little bit more, like I am coming home.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Powerful Women

Before I got married, my friends were, in general, powerful women. We all wanted to get married. I was one of a few who did. And I'm so happy.

I'm happy when my husband comes home.

I'm happy when my daughter smiles at me.

I'm happy that I can make my family laugh.

I'm happy when I don't have to fill out job applications.

I'm happy when I know- as I do every day- that I am loved and cherished.

At the same time, my job description, at the moment, is as follows: Feed the baby. Change her diaper. Get her dressed. Put her down for a nap. Eat breakfast. Do dishes- Don't wake the baby! Take a shower. Feed the baby. Change the baby. Do laundry. Put the baby down for a nap. Check my email/facebook/blog. Cook dinner. Don't wake the baby! Feed the baby. Change the baby. Play with the baby. Put the baby down for a nap. Kiss my husband. Serve dinner. Read a book. Go to bed.

The chores that sustain life have become my life. I suppose that's what it means to be Mom.

I have the joy of keeping in touch with several of my Kindred Spirit Powerful Woman friends. I watch them as they move forward in their lives... they hold down Jobs, buy things like pianos, and horses, and cars, and lasik surgery. They run marathons, or half marathons, and take vacations to exotic places like Australia and Texas. They start gardens and learn how to dance. They leap and bound toward their better selves.

My mouth waters with the thought of these experiences. Envy is probably my chosen sin. And gluttony. I admit, I want to soak in every experience these Powerful Women are having and roll in them until I am sick.

But no, I don't. I wouldn't trade my husband or my daughter for all the jobs, cars and pianos life has to offer.

It seemed to me, last night as I struggled to fall asleep, that at one point I was on the cusp of being a Powerful Woman. I had a job. I bought a car. School held me back, but I was going to do Great Things, too. I was going to jump over the cliff and skydive my way into life's experiences. Instead, I chose another way. I found a gentler path that led down into the green valley below and began my slow descent into happiness. I miss so many of the dangers.

But then, I realized: I can still be a Powerful Woman! Anchored at home as I am, I still have a love and talent for writing that is difficult to fulfill elsewhere. I have a world of information at my fingertips and I still have hopes and dreams. I can learn what I do not know; I can still do Great Things.

Maybe, just maybe, my time is now. I will leap over that edge and fly toward my Powerful Self, knowing that I am tethered to the people who love me most. Maybe...

Wow. Reading Terresa's blog has definitely influenced my writing style. At least, it has for today. What do you think?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Santa Baby

Also on my birthday, we had a breakfast with Santa. We put Cara in her cute little Santa dress, and she was the Belle of the Ball, so to speak. There was another little girl there who was entranced. "Look," I heard her say to her Mom, "A Santa baby!" Later, she told her family that she didn't want a picture with Santa. She wanted a picture of Santa with the Santa baby. Of course we were happy to do that... and this was the result.

Monday, December 7, 2009


You know that kid at school... the one who gets bad grades, and then aces the STAR tests? The one who screws off, doesn't do his homework, and everyone thinks he's stupid until that score comes out? As soon as it does, all sorts of interest gets piqued, and the kid starts getting asked questions like, "Are you bored at school?"

Of course I'm bored at school. I'm a genius, and you want me to regurgitate the fact that 2+2=4 a million times a week. B-O-R-I-N-G!!! Can I read more of my book that's 15 grade levels ahead of me? Please leave me alone!

That's totally me. My house isn't messy because I'm lazy. My house is messy because I'm a genius.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday dear Chelsea!
Happy Birthday to me!

It was yesterday. I'm officially 27. And as I say that I take a deep breath of new air, as though the world has been renewed with the blowing out of candles. It's beautiful.

On Thursday I was treated to a lovely carriage ride at Thanksgiving Point by my wonderful in-laws. We rode around for 20 minutes in the bitter cold air, pulled by a Percheron named Jody, enjoying the Christmas lights and Christmas songs and Christmas feel. My favorite set of lights featured a reindeer that ran up a ramp and jumped off as if to fly, but that promptly fell back to the ground, parachute opening to break his fall. That was closely followed by the deer set up in the middle of a field with very Christmassy soldiers on the outskirts shooting at them. Of course there were the more traditional depictions as well: Santa, and a gingerbread house, and polar bears. At the end were set up pictures with a poem depicting the nativity. It was really neat.

We went to dinner that night, too, at the Harvest restaurant. The food was so yummy! And when we told them we had been on the carriage ride, they offered us hot chocolate to warm up. One of the best parts about the restaurant, actually, was the friendliness of the staff. Funny how much of a difference that makes to an evening.

Presents! Ryan got me a wrap in hopes that I would wear something to keep me warm during the winter. I have a tendency to leave my jackets behind. Very silly, I know, but maybe the wrap will help. It's beautiful! He also got me an itunes gift card. I have a few ideas of songs I want, but I need more ideas. Any suggestions?

Saturday was my actual birthday, and we got to go have breakfast with Santa at church. Cara was dressed up in an adorable red dress with white trim, and we got some fun pictures of her with Santa. The day was relatively uneventful, but that evening we went country dancing. Loved it! Oh! That morning, Ryan woke me up for the breakfast and brought me my last present- a cutco knife from my mom. Love those things!

Anyway, all in all it was a delightful birthday. I love my birthday!