Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Him and Me


I have loved only two children at home the last week.
After putting Drew down for his afternoon nap, I begin the bribing with Joshua to "watch shows in my room" which is code for 'take a nap.'  (fruit roll-ups, a sucker, or a thing of smarties and a timer on the television in my room work mini miracles at our house.)

I've loved the few days that I have had a couple of hours all to myself.  It is certainly something new around here and I love every second of it.

Even if Joshua's naps cause him to stay up a little later at night.... Mike is home by then....

But, sometimes the fruit roll-ups, suckers, smarties and television timer only work mini-miracles.  Which means, once the timer turns off, Joshua sneaks up to where I am and with a big grin on his face, and arms open wide, declares, "I waked up!"

And after a slight sigh that my personal time only lasted thirty minutes, I can't help but smile at his deception,  his squinted eyes and big smile, and I pull him into my arms.

And even though I still have bills to pay, or a PTA email to send, or a lesson to prepare, or a toilet to clean, or weeds to pull, or a phone call to return, or laundry to switch, or I simply want to read a book of my choosing, I don't.

And whether we are reading 'The Gingerbread Cowboy' for the 3,451st time that day, or Joshua is eating his 737th popsicle for the day, while I sit on a chair and watch, I am reminded of this:


"Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I have grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."
Ruth Hulbert Hamilton, 1958




Monday, August 30, 2010

A Memory For Monday (With a hammock)

Continued...
Early the next morning, before anyone else woke up, Mike and I took a drive through American Fork canyon.  Not much was resolved or said.  It wasn't that it was awkward, I think we just weren't fully aware yet that the stars were slowly aligning in our favor.

My 'I really like Chad' sentiment was very quickly forgotten by Mike, myself and even Chad.  (Call it what you want, but I didn't talk to Chad for almost six weeks later... But that is a whole 'nother story.)

A couple of days after the camping trip, the four of us, went to the Mount Timpangos temple open house.  Melanie had plans for strategically making sure Mike and I were alone, and she had big dreams that I would just plant a big ole' kiss on Mike's lips. (No, not while in the temple!)

It didn't happen.
I spent the next couple of days conflicted.  

Yet one thing was sure, my faith was strongly renewed.  I knew at this point, what I had told Mike three months previously was the right thing to do.  I am ashamed to admit, that it wasn't until after the camping trip that I fully understood the Lord was on my side!

At this point, I might add, this was the day before everyone had cell phones, and I was busy working two jobs, going to school and enjoying summer, and Mike was busy working (what's new?).  I think we played phone tag a fair amount, but didn't talk for a few days.

And then I bit the bullet and one evening, I drove down to American Fork.  I watched him water his big vegetable garden and then eat a Subway sandwich all the while him acting like our changing friendship was really nothing out of the ordinary.

We talked about us.  I wondered why Mike didn't attempt to kiss me again, but I am smart enough now to realize his male ego was on the line...
By the end of a conversation in a parking lot of the Utah State Developmental Center, I left irritated and frustrated.  (Mike has made huge strides in his communication skills since.)

I didn't see Mike for almost two weeks, until Brett  invited all of us to a BBQ at his house in Provo. 

(Brett, Melanie, Mike and Tiffany, August 1996)

And so it was there, in the front yard of an old charming house on 200 North in Provo, that Mike and I laid  on the hammock alone together, on a warm August night.  Without warning, Mike turned to me and asked, "Do you think you could like me for a really, really long time?"

And then, we kissed.

Two days later, I flew to England for a two weeks...
(And this was back when the US Postal service and a house phone were the main forms of communication...)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hurry

School has been in session now for one week. We have had five days of getting back into the morning routine.  And for the most part, it has gone exceptionally well.
Except for one part.

On a slight side-note, the other night my husband was on the phone, (and sometimes I have things that I want him to say during particular phone calls),  so I kept whispering it to remind him to say it.
He hung up the phone and very politely in a voice, I'm not sure if he wanted me to hear or not, said,

"You're like a broken record."

For the record, I was not offended.  I was actually quite amused but we quickly moved onto other more worthy spousal conversations and it was given no further discussion.

So back to our morning routine...
I notice I am pretty much saying the same thing all morning long.
And it is driving me nuts.

Hurry and get dressed so you can practice.
Hurry and finish up your practicing so you can eat.
Hurry and finish eating so you can get your teeth brushed.
Hurry and get your teeth brushed so you can get your shoes on.
Hurry and get your shoes on.
Hurry so we can read scriptures.
Hurry and kneel down so we can pray.
Hurry and get your backpacks on and line up. (Aagh, do I really say, 'line up' to my children?)
Hurry so you don't miss the bus.

(And we are ALWAYS standing at the bus stop with time to spare. Last year included.)

I am slightly concerned that I am sounding like a broken record.  Or an extremely uptight parent.
Something's gotta change.

And I have a feeling, it's me!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Getting What We Want

Dear Megan, Luke, Ellie, Joshua and Drew,

I have a very big pet peeve.  Well, I have lots, but this one in particular really gets to me; the words
"I don't want to."
Does that really matter most of the time?  I don't care if you don't want to make your bed, brush your teeth, do your chores or your homework or practice the piano, etc.
Because guess what?
You don't always get what you want.
(Drew, August 2010)

Do you think I always get what I want?
Let's think for just a minute all the things I may get asked/told to do in the course of a day?

"Mom, will you untie this knot for me?"
"Drew's poopy, can you come change him now?"
"Will you get me a snack?"
"The toilet is clogged, come fix it."
"Help, I spilled my food."
"Read this book to me." (for the 1,067th time) 
"I sneezed and look what came out of my nose?" 
"My shoes are covered in mud and I need to wear them tomorrow."
"Will you sign this paper I have to take back?"
"Can we go to the store tomorrow and buy a horse rope?"
"Will you come wipe me?"

You really think I want to respond to all of those things?!

Each time those dreaded words escape your mouths, you will continue to hear me say the same thing.

"You can't always get what you want."

Myself included! 

Love, 
Mommy

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Memory For Monday (With Time)

The mantra that repeats itself through my mind almost daily, ''The days are long but the years are short," is beginning to ring louder and louder in my ears.
Will time ever slow down, just a little?
As I delivered each child to their classroom this morning, I cried. 
As I drove home I cried some more, and when I walked in the door, and reported to Mike, I cried some more. 

Where does the time go?

Somehow, in what seems like days, we went from this:


to this.
(a 3rd grader) (a 6th grader) and a (1st grader)

Thank heavens I still have this:
to fill my days.

I think I will spend this year of school loving, holding and treasuring my two little ones even more.  This is my first and last year of 'nothing' for a while.  Since 2004, I've always had a preschool or Kindergarten schedule to work around, this is my first year of 8:20-3:45pm of no scheduling...  After this school year, the next four years will be preschool for Joshua, kindergarten for Joshua, preschool for Drew, kindergarten for Drew. 
So this year, yay for Joshua, Drew and me time!

And, instead of wanting to step back in time or dreaming of time holding still, I will make the most of today.  Because it will be gone, before I know it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fair Fun

After our visit to the County Fair last night, Luke declared, "It's a good thing Megan danced there last year."  He was referring to the fact that had Megan's dance company not danced there last year, we would likely never have thought to go.

And what a travesty that would have been...

And though we would never have thought it five or six years ago, we have found the County Fair to be quite up our alley...
Megan, Luke and Joshua showing their skills on the 'Kinkanikan Bull'...

Joshua's declaration before bed was, "I wiked widing the horses and seeing the sheeps the best."
I could write a whole essay about the face painting episode, but suffice it to say, it was a dreaded wait in line for almost thirty minutes to get a much desired face painting only to come home an hour later and sleep it all off...
Company booths offering all sorts of chances to win anything from cotton candy to bracelets to suckers to frisbees...
(And we didn't even have to listen to a free insurance quote-they just let the kids throw bean bags in the hole for this prize.)
And even though I said the fair is 'right up our alley', I still made Drew fight and scream until a older sibling was available to take him into the petting zoo.  (It's not up my alley quite so much...)
I heard Mike sum the evening up in a phone call as we were leaving,
"It' was the best $2 I've spent in a long time."
Until next year, County Fair...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Man at Costco


The other week I took a trip to Costco with two children.
You know how chaotic Costco can get, especially at the check stand with carts coming and going, etc.? Frequently the question is asked,  'Is this (large item remaining in the cart) yours?'

This particular trip, it wasn't just the case of water they were referring to, it was the child buckled in the front and the other child swinging from the side?

"This yours, the worker asked?"

And in all fairness, the cart was closer to the elderly man behind me in line, and because it had been 'one of those Costco trips' I flippantly responded, "Unless he wants to claim them."

The aged man's face lit up and he responded,
"I'll take them."
And because I tell you, it really had not only been 'one of those Costco trips' but 'one of those days', I replied, "I have three more at home."
Then his face got somber and he more quietly than before replied,
 "I wish I had five kids"

Suddenly I felt a pang of remorse for bringing on this man's somberness, when I'm sure he didn't come to Costco to purchase bananas and milk and a little dose of regret.  But me, with my inherited nosiness keen interest in others (thank you Granny), did what I do too well... I asked questions.

Which turned into a little more somberness as this elderly man told me he had two children, a single son and a married daughter, his daughter though, not able to have children.   With a sigh, he concluded, "I have just two kids and no grandkids."

And though there are days, I find myself day-dreaming of loneliness as a luxury that will forever elude me, the elderly man's face from Costco and his somber words, "I wish I had five kids" come to my mind.

And though, today could well turn into 'one of those days', I will think of the kind, somber, lonely man from Costco.
And remember.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's Too Hard

The other day, I sat in the music room and listened to Mike 'coach' a child during their piano practice.  It was not easy (the listening, the coaching, or the practicing...).

First of all, I am always amazed at Mike's ability and patience to help with the piano.   Mike has an amazing ear for music.  He will look at the song once, maybe even play it through himself, and then he will lay on the couch or floor (remember he has a broken back and doesn't sit).  He will then kindly make comments like, "You just played an 'F' it needs to be a 'C'."

It always amazes me, the non-ear-for-music-parent, and it always frustrates the practicing child.

This particular afternoon, I decided to go intervene, listen in.  The what could have been twenty minute practice session was now approaching the hour mark.  Mike's patience was still in check (Have I ever told you how fabulous of a dad he really, really is?)  The practicing child's patience was long gone and I, the sometimes-too-easy-parent was ready to burst in and end the session.

And then I heard those dreaded words, "It's too hard."
Those words didn't come from Mike, and they didn't come from me.


Life is hard.
We are constantly trying to teach our children hard is good.
And believe me, I have experience with this.
Motherhood is H.A.R.D.
Some days, I can't help but think it is 'too hard.'
But as of yet, I haven't quit...

Trying to discipline and motivate five different personalitied-children is hard.  One will bounce into action with a slight raise of voice (sometimes with a threat thrown in).  One will listen to all sorts of rewards, kind words, smiles and praise, but if they don't want to do it, they won't!  One will push the limits on all sorts of rules, one will never come close to breaking them.  One will do an assignment the first time asked, one has a selective hearing problem.  And so on, and so forth.

And I know. I know. I know,
Deep in my heart I know, it is hard for everyone.

But sometimes doesn't it seem it is only hard for ourselves?

So when I heard the dreaded words, "It's too hard" come from the practicing child.  I knew I would not be putting an immediate end to the practice session.

There are a million excuses why sometimes we need to stop doing something, or our children think they should stop doing something.  And sometimes those reasons are valid and as parents, Mike and I let our children stop.

But something being 'too hard' is rarely a sufficient enough reason.
Hard is good.
Hard keeps us going.

Recently, the gist of some advice from my mother-in-law, told me that the hard things will be the most worthwhile.
I've thought of it everyday since.
I hope she's right...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not What I Expected

There are certain moments I can't help but look at Luke and think, "I would NEVER in a million years have imagined my baby boy to do the things he does or wear the things he wears.

Cowboy boots, Wranglers, riding a bike with a horse rope in his hand, building this kind of trailer/sled...
Or not being able to buy back to school clothes/shirts for him anywhere but a western type store...

If you had told me any of these things would one day come to pass,


I would have called you a liar.
I would have told you, you were wrong.

(please excuse the cell-phone taken photo!)

But alas here we are.

And guess what?
I love it.
I love Luke's unique, I don't do something-because-other-people-do-attitude.

I love Luke.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Memory For Monday (with a candy bar)

I love chocolate. I've been making a greater effort to not have chocolate around the house lately, but after church today I had a serious craving for some.

And then I remembered Megan's half eaten Twix hiding behind the i-pod speaker....

So, I snuck the half Twix with me upstairs to my closet to change my clothes.  Of course, I am a nice wife and offered some to my changing-clothes-husband too.
Without thinking, I broke the Twix 'stick' in half.  Except I hadn't put a conscious effort into it and the Twix stick broke very unevenly.

It brought back clear as day the memory I have as a child, that I remind my children of probably far more than they like.

I was standing in the kitchen with my brother, Matt who had been told to cut the Mars bar in half so that we could share it.  Matt cut it very unevenly, and in true big brother fashion, gave me the smallest piece.  I of course exclaimed as any child would, "It's not fair."  My mother in the other room, overheard and simply exclaimed, "Life isn't fair."

My reply each time my children say, "It's not fair" is the same thing, "Life isn't fair.  I learned that as a child when I was standing in the kitchen while my brother, Matt cut....."
And my children begin to roll their eyes...

(For the record, I always make my children do the 'someone breaks/the other chooses' practice when sharing something.)

All that brings me back to the Twix bar I ate today.
I broke and I chose.
And I enjoyed every bite of it.

And Mike didn't even complain. After all, life isn't fair, is it?

(And that will probably be my answer when Megan starts looking for the rest of her Twix... )

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Just People

The other night, while waiting for the 10 o'clock news to come on, I was reading a book while Mike watched the last few minutes of 'America's Got Talent.'  Before too long though, I began to ignore my book and my attention was solely focused on the magician pulling a lifesaver out of his throat with dental floss.  It really was quite spectacular, but it was the final performance of the evening that really left me pondering.  It was a ten year old girl who sang with an AMAZING opera-style voice.

Watching this performance came on the heels of a recent meeting I sat in with a mother/baby the same age as Drew.  Drew was eating dry cereal and had two Hot Wheel cars to entertain him.  This other little boy had, ABC flashcards, magnetic letters on a magnet board, and I watched his mother print his name for him on a Magna-doodle.  My first instinct was of course...slight guilt.

Should Drew already know letter recognition?
Should Drew already recognize his name spelled out?
Should Drew be able to fully sing the ABC's?

And then I laughed inside? Who am I kidding? Though Joshua can recognize his name spelled and sing his ABC's he still has a ways to go to recognize all the alphabet letters.
One child at a time please.

But, with that experience followed shortly by the 'America's Got Talent' performance. I recalled a quote that President Gordon B. Hinckley gave quoting somebody else years ago.  And it is so true:
"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around and shouting that he has been robbed. The fact of the matter is that most putts don't drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey...delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."
Jenkins Lloyd Jones
My kids for example are just kids.  Albeit,
Great ones.
Talented ones.
Unique ones.
And though they certainly have their share of dreams, goals, aspirations and potential,


They may never be academic geniuses or 'America's Got Talent' performers.
And shock, gasp, they may one day grow up to be 'just people'.

But I am and forever will be,
A proud mother.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Underwear Pride

(I know it is a very poor quality cell-phone photo, but you can see what matters...)

The other day I took Ellie shopping to get some new items for first grade.  At this particular store, we purchased two new shirts (one of which, I don't particularly like, but the 'Oh Mom, I just love it so much' comment and facial expression won me over), a dress, a carefully chosen pair of shoes and some necessary (days-of-the-week) underwear.

As the clerk rang up the purchases, unbeknownst to me, Ellie immediately grabbed back the underwear.  As the purchases were being bagged, I naturally said, "Ellie, hand me the underwear."

Her reply.
"No. I want to carry them."

I couldn't help but think of Megan the other day at the store, slightly embarrassed of the underwear on display in our cart and later as we placed them on the check stand.

But not Ellie.
Out to the parking lot Ellie went, proudly swinging the new underwear to her side.

It's a good thing Megan wasn't with us.
She would have been mortified.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Joshua's View

I had no idea Joshua could draw.
I was very proud the other day, when Joshua showed me his first 'real drawing.'

I couldn't stop smiling and gushing praise to him.  Except my smile stopped short when Joshua said,
"It's you Mama!"

Really?
Why can't it be Daddy with a big round tummy, not me?!?

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Memory For Monday (Continued...)

(Camping in American Fork canyon, August 9,1996 Tiffany, Mike, Brett and Melanie)

Remember this evening, when I finally built up the courage to tell Mike I liked him more than a friend and he told me "You're like a sister. I could never kiss a sister."?

Well, though it took me a few weeks of tears and heartache (and slight disappointment in the Lord because I knew I had been prompted to tell him...)  I moved on.

 Spring ended and summer began. And after a few initially awkward phone calls and in-person interactions with Mike, I realized he would always be a great friend.  Mike graduated from college and moved home to really get his landscape company going, and I continued doing what I was doing.

I was actually beginning to really enjoy my summer, which I was enjoying even more because of a boy named Chad.  Upon meeting Chad, we become very close friends.  I remember distinctly a drive through a canyon road with Chad discussing my experience with Mike and chalking it all up to 'good experience.'  I was finally over Mike, I was so relieved.

I really liked Chad. 

Summer was passing quickly, and one Thursday night, I got a phone call from Mike lamenting that summer would be over too quickly and we (meaning him, me, Melanie and Brett) needed to go camping again soon.  And so with four amendable schedules, we pulled together a last minute camping trip for the next night.

It was so fun.  The four of us had a great time relaxing and being together.  Laughing and getting along just like old times.

Except for one thing.
Mike had obviously been THINKING. A.LOT. since that fateful May 22nd day that had occured almost three months previously.

And so,
While laying under the stars talking to Mike, I was completely taken by surprise when Mike turned to kiss me.

But I don't think I was as surprised as he was, when I quickly turned away from him as our lips barely brushed and whispered,

"I really like Chad."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Winding Down

Though I am experiencing severe guilt over it...

I am beginning to count the days until summer vacation is over.
No more "Oh I can't get enough of my kids, I love spending time with them."
(Ok, well I'm not entirely convinced I have ever said that at any point this summer, but it sounds nice in theory...)

And though I am not looking forward to backpacks in the mudroom,  paper-throw-up on my counter everyday at 3:45pm, strictly enforced bedtimes, homework, taking two little boys to stores, and PTA assignments, I am looking forward to this:
  
Return to routine.  Scripture reading, family prayers, cleaning schedules, meaningful Family Home Evenings and Sunday School lesson preparation, for some reason are much easier during the school year.

Less food consumed.  Even taking into consideration either school lunch or a packed home lunch, there is much less money spent in the grocery category of my budget during the school year.

The end of Otter Pops and popsicles.  The key to my outside freezer is lost, therefore Joshua has free reign of the Otter Pops.  Actually, who am I kidding?  I'm sure they'll be all gone before tonight, there's no way they'll last two and a half more weeks.  But Joshua or not, I am tired of the constant 'sharing with the whole neighborhood' and thus all the Otter Pop wrappers and popsicle sticks that are found all over my yard.

A clear driveway.  At any given point there are bikes, wagons, strollers, scooters, etc. covering the driveway. 

Less chatter.  My older two kids DO.NOT.SHUT.UP. The chatter is constant.  Everything from 'Guess what I dreamed about?' to 'Do you know what I think would look good?' and so on and so forth. 

Longer lasting cleanliness.  Today as I was cleaning one room upstairs, I heard Ellie in a different room emptying out the baby doll clothes drawer, Drew in a separate room emptying out the Lincoln Logs, Joshua in his room throwing out every pair of shorts in his drawer in search of his Wrangler's, Luke practicing the piano (which inevitably means Megan and Ellie's music strewn all over the place) and Megan in her room dinking around instead of cleaning it.

Cooler temperatures.  I don't like the heat.  That combined with all of the above makes me less than pleasant.

Of course I love my kids. You know I do. I know I do. And most importantly, they know I do.
But, let the back to school countdown begin...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Our Children Are Watching

Sometimes I am not afraid to express my disappointment in a service I receive, or voice my dissatisfaction with a situation.

(Okay, more than sometimes.)

For example, yesterday when I picked Megan up from a two-day sewing class at the local fabric store and the project wasn't even close to completion!!!!!  (They will be calling me to reschedule a time she can go finish it.)

Or when the waitress messed up all our orders once at a restaurant, and didn't ever once re-fill our water drinks you can bet I asked to speak to the manager. (My bill was reduced significantly.)

Or a couple of weeks ago when I got home late one Saturday evening from a popular local restaurant with take-out salads, and there was NO DRESSING in the bag.  (Kindly my neighbor whose motorcycle is still a new novelty was happy to go pick the dressing up and the complimentary chips and salsa they were giving me.)

I always try to be very kind.  Firm, but kind.

So...
I was quite proud the other day when I was at a PTA meeting and Megan called to say,
"I am writing a letter to the city." 

Here is the letter, written entirely by herself that was hand-delivered to a city councilman:

Dear __________________ City Council, 

There is a trail and a park behind my house. The park is fun to play at and the trail is fun to ride or walk on. But this summer the trail and park has not been enjoyable.

Almost every time I go to the park the grass is soaking wet from over watering making your shoes and feet wet. When you walk through it, it splashes on the back of shirts making them muddy. There are also a lot of weeds growing in the grass. Along with some of the grass being soaking, some of the grass is dry. 

There are still stakes on the trees from when they were planted. I’ve lived here for 5 ½ years and the trees were planted about a year after I moved in. They are old and strong enough to stand. Some of the stakes are metal and some are wood. They are dangerous with little kids running around. It is a safety hazard. When they first built the trail and park, they planted trees around the swamp area. About a dozen of them are dead including the ones at the park. It doesn’t make the trail look very nice. 

The bushes growing along the fence are over growing. My dad has to trim the ones growing into our yard quite often. That is about a half hour he could be doing something fun with my family instead of trimming bushes that he pays taxes for. 

The trail is another problem. It is cracking, crumbling; weeds are growing through it in some areas. On one section of the trail, it is a little lower than other parts of the trail. Water will cover about four feet of the trail with about one inch as the shallowest and about six inches at the deepest. Because of it there are two dents like things in the trail, causing it to crack and crumble. If we pay a little now to fix it, we could save a lot of money later. Weeds are growing over the trail in some parts, there are sometimes poky weeds growing through the trail causing flat tires on bikes. 

On the North side of the trail there is a whole bunch of trees with thorn type things on the branches. That is not the only problem with the trees; they are taking up half the space of the trail. If you’re walking or riding a bike with someone, along that whole section of the trail you have to ride or walk in a single file. 

I understand that the swamp and weeds are wild, but if we don’t take care of it, pretty soon the trail will be taken over with them. _______________ is a nice city. Why should a park/trail hidden by trees not be?

Sincerely,

Megan _________
Age 11

I like to think I've been setting a positive example all these years with my 'not afraid to speak up' mindset...

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Memory for Monday (with Cigarettes)

Growing up on Carlton Crescent the local shops were just a short, less-than-five minute walk away.  It seemed that almost daily, my best friend Karen, and I would go buy our daily sweets or crisps fix. I don't think it was because we always needed or wanted candy, but because it was very frequent that we would be called upon to do an errand for our parents.  Errands such as:

A visit to the post office to post a letter to grandparents in America.
A visit to the food shop for a can of dog food.
A stop at the bakery for a loaf of french bread to go with dinner.
A visit to 'the old lady's shop' for some elastic and thread.
A stop at the florist for a bouquet of Freesias to adorn the coffee table.
A visit to the chemist to buy some medicine.

And, it was in the sweet shop purchasing our sweets and crisps that we'd ask for '20 Silk Cut, please.'  And the friendly, Pakistani shopkeeper would hand us the small white and purple box with cigarettes inside for Karen's mum.
Me blowing out the candles after my baptism on my 8th birthday with Karen next to me
(And note to Sarah and Susie- do you see yourselves off to the side?)

It was very normal to us.  And very normal to the shopkeeper.

It doesn't seem so normal to my children, who just can't quite grasp the concept that their mother, as a child, used to buy cigarettes a couple of times a month.

Times have certainly changed for me.
A one stop trip to Walmart can almost always do the job.
And I haven't bought a pack of cigarettes in years and years...

Times have certainly changed.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mike's Day

 (Mike's 38th birthday, July 20th, 2010)

Birthdays are a big deal to ME.
I love birthdays.
I love mine, my kids, and (I used to love my husbands).
I love birthdays.
Mike doesn't as you may remember from this birthday post for him last year.

And as you can deduce from...
a. no blog post on his birthday
b. no blog post the day after or even very close to his birthday
c. no photos of anything but a few in a birthday hat to open some presents
d. no birthday cake
e. no candles
f. him asking me why I was taking down his balloons at 9pm when it was still technically his birthday

It wasn't exactly the best birthday around here.

Mike doesn't really care about his birthday.
I will make sure and remember that next year!!!!
Enough said about that.
The end.
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