Family time

My brother and his family came to visit at the beginning of the month, which is always large amounts of fun. Because we have large amounts of fun, I go into large amounts of sadness after they leave. The kids sang songs, made up games, crafted a zip line and swing in the backyard, and rode around the neighborhood in a little bicycle gang. We celebrated my mom’s birthday by cooking our annual Italian feast. We enjoyed the usual insanity of kids running around and beating on drums.

The weather was unusually warm and sunny for October up until the day I drove them to the airport. That day we woke up to clouds, which later dumped rain. It was sad. I came home to a quiet house and the leftovers of 11 people all living under the same roof. I had massive amounts of laundry (since our washing machine decided it was finished with us the day after they arrived). There was lots of cleaning to do and things to catch up on, but I did what I felt best in that moment. I plopped down on the couch, hid under a big blanket, and took a long nap.

A game of assassin

The first and probably the last time these two hung out just the two of them.

The entertainment for my mom’s party


History is boring. That’s how I felt until right around the
age of 26. It’s embarrassing really. I didn’t pay attention in school because I
didn’t care. I grew up in Wyoming and Colorado and was confident that I would
never travel any further east than Kansas. I wasn’t interested in any world
outside of what was right in front of me. I knew I would use Math later in my
life, English would come in handy at some point, but History? No need to pay
any attention to a past that I not only couldn’t change, but didn’t think had
any impact in my current life. How naïve.

When does History come in handy in life? When your kids
start asking for help with their homework. When they ask questions about the
Civil War or the Declaration of Independence and you thank God for Google
because you can’t remember a single thing about either of those. Paying attention
in History class would have really been nice when my kids said, “did they not
teach History back when you were in school Mama, because you don’t know the
answers to any of my questions?” Ouch.

In my adult life I have had the privilege of traveling much
farther than Kansas and I long to go back to those boring old History classes
in school and soak in every bit of information. I wish I wasn’t such an idiot
back then and could have seen further than my graduation day. But the upside to
feeling like a dummy when you can’t answer your kids’ questions is a second
chance. I have the chance to read and Google and ask my children questions and
learn. And if that doesn’t work I go to my back up response; “That sounds like
a great question for your dad to answer!”


I am determined to write more consistently on this blog. I’ve been telling myself this for awhile now, but as you may have noticed…it’s been slim pickins’. A couple of friends and I have been challenging ourselves to write more often about all sorts of different things. We take turns choosing a topic and then write our thoughts about it. We’ve been doing this for a couple of months and it’s been tough at times, but I’ve been trying to keep up. However, I’ve kept that writing separate from my writing here, for completely unknown reasons. So for the sake of trying to be consistent, I’m going to post some of the topics I’ve been writing about, hence the random thoughts. Consider yourself warned…

There’s nothing that jogs your memory of the awkwardness of
junior high and school more than watching your kids go through it themselves. Everything’s
difficult. Everything’s weird. Asking for directions to the library? Awkward.
Boys having to sit next to girls? Awkward. Ice breaker at freshman orientation?
Completely awkward.
I felt the exact same way. My mom used to make me try on a
shirt hidden in the corner of the store so we wouldn’t have to make the long
trek to the dressing room. I was wearing a tank top, so it’s not like she asked
me to get naked. But still, awkward. I had a crush on our babysitter’s little
brother and once had to talk to him on the phone. So awkward.
I like to think I’ve come a long way since then. I have no
problem asking where the restroom is, or ordering at a restaurant; two things
that once terrified me in junior high. But I still hate awkward. It’s just
different scenarios now. My dear husband embraces awkward like a long lost
friend. Just today he had an unfortunate conversation with a customer service
representative who probably wished they’d never picked up that call. I was
feeling awkward and I wasn’t even hearing the other end of the conversation.
But this was not a problem for Andy. He just hung on to the awkwardness; just
let it linger.

Now that I think about it, it’s too bad my kids aren’t a
little more like their dad. They have a rough few years ahead of them.
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