Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Will NOT Fail Bible Study

Because of my new bible study - the one where I'm going to learn how to change my attitude and become a positive, grateful person - I'm not going to complain that my car's a piece of crap needing $3,000 worth of repair. Instead, I'm going to be thankful that I've been blessed with finally paying off my car. Two months ago.

Instead of panicking that we don't have extra money laying around for such necessary repairs (how important can one head gasket actually be?) I'm going to be thankful that we paid off the last of the credit card debt. Last month.

Instead of worrying about how on God's green earth I'm going to get each of the three children and myself where we need to be while my car is sitting in some mechanic's garage I'm going to be happy that Big V doesn't have any employment lined up these next few days so he'll be home and able to assist.

And obviously, I'm not going to worry about the fact that without jobs lined up Big V will not actually get paid any money to put forth towards said mechanical repairs. Instead, I'm going to be thankful that I have an uncorked Riesling and a bag of Cheetos hidden in the pantry.

I will not fail bible study.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My apologies to all my Cleveland readers. I'm sure it's a beautiful vacation destination.

You know how you're getting ready to go on vacation and everyone is telling you how much you're just going to absolutely love it? And that oh my god it's so beautiful in the mountains and I'm so jealous because I have always wanted to go skiing and then you go and you realize it's just freaking cold out and your nose was dripping snot for four days straight and you can't feel your fingers and suddenly you realize that no matter how much everyone else thinks a ski vacation in the mountains is perfect for you it's really not? And next year you vow to go someplace warm?

And so then you tell everyone you're going someplace warm. And you meet someone and they're all I love warm! I want to go someplace warm! And you're all yeah! Let's go someplace warm together! And you get all excited about the warm but when you get there all you see is endless beach with 18 bazillion grains of sand that will surely be touching your feet and you hate sand. And then you spend four days sitting on a beach towel and your back hurts and your eyelids are sun crisped and pussy because you forgot to put sunscreen on them and you're dropping sand every time you pee and your friend is all what is your deal? You said you wanted to go someplace warm. This is warm! You're never happy.

And so you start thinking that maybe it is you and you're just a miserable person who is incapable of appreciating the warm. Because warm is better than the frozen snot of a mountain side so why are you complaining? But then you think that this is America and by God you don't have to like sand if you don't want to, so you finally find your nads and declare: I do like warm. But I don't like sand!

And you think you made tons of progress... except next year you find yourself in Cleveland for vacation and you're all disappointed once again but your friend is all seriously? It's 80-degrees out! Nothing makes you happy!

And then you feel all suckishly failurish.

Well, here's the thing: You are not a suckish failure. You just don't know what you actually want.

And since we've been brought up in a world where there are manners and courtesies we've learned you're not supposed to be all demanding and picky.

But hear me out for a second...... what if you took the time to stop and really think about what you wanted out of a vacation? Maybe you'd come up with a list:

1) Must be warm... but not too warm. Blue jeans and t-shirt weather.
2) Landscape... mountains, or fields or ocean shores... a nice combination of all these.
3) I picture myself eating outside. Or sharing drinks outdoors with friends.
4) Small stores and local shops to nose around in and discover.
5) Not too busy. Quiet. Not a lot of noise.

Maybe if you were honest about what you were really looking for, you would have realized Vermont in the early fall could have given you all that. But instead, you just said you wanted warm. Well, you got warm, but you didn't enjoy warm, did you?

My point is -- if you only want warm, don't get mad when you only get warm.

Relationships not working out for you? Let me guess... you want a nice girl/guy. Someone fun. Someone who loves you as much as you love them.

Then don't get mad when that fun girl/guy who loves you more than the world itself also doesn't care to work. Or doesn't think a retirement fund is that big of deal.Or doesn't remember your birthday (because the truth is it's really not that important to them).

Know what you want out of a relationship before you go looking for someone to fill the position. That way, when you do meet someone you'll be able to tell pretty darn quick whether or not they're worth a second interview and you won't waste your time on someone who isn't qualified for the job.

Trust me, it'll make vacations a lot more enjoyable together.

PS: It works with more than just romantic relationships. Try defining your ideal working situation. Or picture the perfect living arrangements and setting for your home - now define it. Are you where you're supposed to be? Or is it time to make some changes? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Orange for Owen

the color of a warrior

Once you become a mother, there's no going back. Your heart has been opened and the hearts of your children have been poured in. No matter what you do, no matter where life takes you, you are always their mother.

Why "Owenge?"

I didn't know Owen. I don't know his family. But I know the love a mother has for their child and I simply cannot imagine the prayers of strength and peace The Bissing Family needs now and forever.

Monday, September 19, 2011

TAPOUT: Tackling the day with a toddler

I believe in forcing encouraging Big V to spend one-on-one alone time with his son as a form of punishment an opportunity for bonding. I mean, why should I experience all the bonding? I like to share.

Saturday was a day that fried the ends of each and every one of my nerves. The fact that the toddler did not take a nap was of no help whatsoever. And let me tell you, I tried. For the love of all that is holy, I tried to get that kid to take a nap.

Big V worked all day. Which we needed and I'm totally not complaining about. But, I mean, it is kind of his fault that he's not Chief of Surgery at a well known hospital. Perhaps if he hadn't spent all that time in high school playing football... but I digress.

Anyway, the point is I spent a whole lot of hours with a kid that never stopped moving. I don't know about you, but in my old age, I need to stop. A lot. The whole day kind of sucked. I mean, the kid is cute and all - but it kind of went like this:

We do not take food out of the garbage - that's yucky. No, put that down - yuck! C'mon, give it to Mama. You can't eat that, it's yucky. Plus little boys aren't supposed to eat coffee grounds. Seriously - no! Get back here! Give that to Mama! Get back here! Stop! Not on the carpet! NOOOO!!!! That's white carpet! Look what you did? Great, now I have to clean the carpet. 

The entire day was like that. You can imagine how giddy I was when it became bed time. But that giddiness was short lived because Big V came home six minutes after I turn the toddler's light out and he looked around the (messy) house and dared to question, "What did you do all day?"

Every mother of a toddler knows those six words are fighting words.

Except I had no energy to even begin explaining the course of my day. Instead, I faked like I was going to go cuddle up in bed reading a book... when in truth I was plotting my revenge.

Sunday is church day. Except no one likes going. Even I have to admit getting up in the morning is a challenge. I knew for a fact that given the choice Big V would rather stay home. Especially since the Packers played at noon. He wouldn't dare risk missing the kick off for the word of God. And so I came up with this simple proposition: Come to church with us, or stay home with the toddler and pick up a few much needed groceries.

He jumped at the Toddler Accompanied Public Outing Unaided Task. Also known as TAPOUT for a reason, sucker.

I smiled sweetly as I handed him the list of needed items. And the in-store flyer with certain items circled. And the coupons. And then I fell into a deep sleep.

In the morning I sang in the shower. This is going to be so good! I told myself. Let's see how well he does trying to get things done with a toddler.

And then I skipped to church.

I took my time socializing at coffee hour after the sermon. After that, I attended a little presentation about what our church missionaries are doing. In Canada. Really? Canada? Was I the only one a tad bit disappointed? I was expecting something like the Amazon Rainforest. And then I slowly meandered to my car. Which was one of six left in the parking lot. 

I could not wait to see Big V's frazzled nerves and haggard appearance. I could not wait to ask, "What did you do all day?" Oh, sweet, sweet revenge....

I was absolutely 100% unprepared for what I saw when I walked through the door:

Groceries already put away.
Toddler eating lunch nicely at the toddler table.
Big V stirring up some chili, smiling sweetly, "You're just in time for kick off... I got some lunch ready."

There was no mess.
There was no fire.
There was no flooding.

The toddler was dressed.
And his hair combed.

Big V was dressed.
And his hair was combed.

"Oh," Big V turns towards me. "Good call on the coupons. The cart was huge and it came to only $85. I think that's less than when you get groceries, isn't it?"

What was happening?! How is that possible?! 

"Well, did you get everything on the list?"

"Yep. I even double checked. Well, actually..."

Here it was. Here comes the failure. I stifled my smile; held off my not so easy, is it buddy?

"You had a coupon for these Jimmy Dean Breakfast sandwiches and I remember you said to check the price and see for myself if they were worth it, but I thought they were kind of high, even with the coupon, so I decided not to get them."

What?! Am I in some kind of opposite universe?

"Well, how was Cletus? All over the place, right? I bet he didn't even sit down in the cart."

"No. Actually he was really good. He stayed seated the whole time. He didn't act up for me."

Aggghhhhhh!!! This is not how I pictured this. How on earth did this happen? He was supposed to see firsthand how difficult things were. He was supposed to collapse into my arms telling me he never understood how hard it is to get things accomplished until he had to do it himself. He was suppossed to sob, maybe. Just a little bit, because I'm actually a bit weirded out by sobbing men. This has backfired. This is not good. I needed to save this somehow. 

"Well, congratulations," I smiled up at him. "You just bought yourself grocery duty until the end of time."