Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I Know You Di-int!

I was having one of those random conversations that happen on a daily basis with my teenager tonight.  You know what I'm talking about--the ones where you talk about church, then jeans, then homosexuality, then milk and graham crackers--all within the space of 5 minutes. And it makes sense somehow.

Until...

Your daughter asks you, "Mom, why didn't you dress me cute when I was little?  My clothes all looked rachet!"

Really???

Are you talking to me???

Ummm...let's see. 

Maybe it was because you spent a year refusing to wear anything but camo.

Or because for picture day in preschool when everyone else was wearing pink dresses and bows, the dressiest thing I could get you to wear was a pair of sparkly jeans and a green t-shirt. 
Or maybe because you loved the 3 animal shirts you had and wore them every week--even when their faces were faded and peeling off.
  Or my favorite--the year you refused to wear jeans to school and I was scouring sale racks in the winter for leftover shorts I could buy for you. 
And don't even get me started on the side ponytail you wore EVERY DAY that had humps in it but you refused help.

Hmmm...I'm not sure why I didn't dress you cute...












Friday, April 8, 2016

Missing Grandma Mary

It's so strange how you can just be going about life and suddenly, you wake up one day missing someone who's been gone for several years.

That happened to me today.  My Grandma Mary has been gone a while now.  She lived in Missouri, so it wasn't even like I saw her more than a couple of times a year, and her last few years, Alzheimer's had set in so she didn't really even remember talking to me on the phone.

I don't have any deep thoughts or "cherish the time you have with the ones you love" advice.  Just wanted to share my Grandma Mary with you. 

I miss her. 

One thing I don't miss, though, are those crazy Little House on the Prairie dresses I used to wear.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Those Moments

Some days things happen at the Royal house that I want to preserve, but I just don't know how to say it.  It's those moments when my heart is full and I feel like I might explode. 

I woke up from my Sunday afternoon to a cloudy sky and a quiet house.  My chicken coop flip flops were missing (yes, I have a pair of flip flops that I keep by the back door that are specifically designated for the chicken coop).  As I walked outside, I saw Caroline watering down the wagon that held the hay we cleaned out of the chicken coop.  Hope was putting metal posts against the fence and the chickens were all locked up in the run (and not happy about it either).  They were getting ready for the storm that was soon to come and they were cracking me up every time they yelled, "The storm's a-coming!"  I was glad to see that they took something from watching all those episodes of Little House on The Prairie with me!

It was the kind of night that just made me glad to be here--in my house--with my people.  It's easy for me to talk about how much I love them when I'm not with them or they are sleeping.  It's in the moments when they are around, and so very live-out-loud present that I often forget that.  At times like today, when they are cracking me up, I just want to hold tight to them and ask for everything to stay just like it is right now.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Be Still Project

 IT'S DONE!!!  I started working on a project 2 months ago and finally put it on the wall this weekend.  Actually, Brian put it on the wall, because he doesn't like my random, non-measuring way of doing it.  Or maybe it's the fact that I usually put a few too many nail holes in the wall trying to figure out where I want to hang it. 

I don't remember where I first saw this pic--probably Pinterest. I rearranged my room a couple of months ago and decided after almost 3 years, I needed to finally put something on my bedroom wall.  The words on this sign just spoke to me--and the bonus was that Brian really liked it, too.  Plus, my life tends to get out of control with busy, so being still is something I need to be reminded of on a daily basis. What better way to do that than to put it over my bed--on the wall that is opposite of my door so I see it every time I enter my bedroom.

So here's how I did it.

I started with a big board with lots of knotholes and imperfections and coerced my hubby into cutting it and nailing it together.

Then I stained it.
I really liked the stain color, so it was hard to paint
over it, but to get the finished look I wanted, I had to do it.  I used a cream paint and rolled it over the stain.
After painting it, I printed out my words and used carbon paper under them to trace them on the wood. 
The next step was to sand down the wood so that the stain would show through in spots and would age the picture.  If I had it to do over again, I would have sanded it before I traced my words--it would have been easier and probably looked a little better.
Then I just painted the letters inside my tracing and free-handed the leaf scroll. 
But I chose the wrong colorfor the scroll and made the leaves way too small.
So I sanded it off and started over on that part.  That's one of the things I love about being creative--even when you mess up, it just adds to the character. The next one turned out more like I wanted it to--and the extra sanding just made me love it more.
The only thing left to do was to hang it on my wall.  If I put it side by side to the original, you can definitely tell mine is not professional.  I might have chosen a different font.  I probably would have made the words bigger. BUT, it works perfectly on my wall and I love it. 

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”        Psalm 46:10





Friday, March 4, 2016

Chicken Doctor

In case you've been under a rock for the last 2 years, you've  probably heard that I love chickens.  You know how some people post pics of their kids every day?  I would soooo totally do that with my chickens if I didn't already feel like people think I'm crazy. They are just so fun!

We were not going to get any more chickens this year.  We had 22--way more than we should.  I was seriously sad.  And then Brian went to the local feed store.  And they had Polish chickens.  Which Caroline had been begging to have but we had only seen them online in the past. (Polish chickens are the ones that look like they have afros.) 

So she got an early birthday present--2 little Polish chickens we named Polly and Brownie.  Polly was really loud and peeped a lot, but Brownie slept all the time.  As we started looking at her, we were worried that she couldn't see out of one of her eyes.  In fact, we really didn't think she would survive. 

So Brian went back to the feed store to get medicine and came home with another chick--just in case she didn't make it so Polly would have a friend.  Brownie has continued to live, but is requiring medical attention a few times a day.  It means we have to clean her eye out and put coconut oil on it.  Tonight, we had to clean the hay and snot out of her beak. Poor baby hated it, but it had to be done.  This afternoon, she pooped twice when I was cleaning her eye.  Yes, it was gross, but poor thing couldn't help herself. 

After we doctored her up, she got a treat.  We mixed her food with water (that has some medication in it) so that it's an oatmeal consistency.  She gobbled it up and made a mess--all over herself and our countertop--just like a baby.

If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be melting coconut oil and swabbing chicken beaks, I would have laughed at you.  I didn't realize how much I loved animals.  Or how much I loved living outside the big city. 

But I do. 

Last year, I found myself holding a baby chick for a couple of hours to keep her warm until Brian could get home with another heat lamp.  I know I've passed the point of crazy.  And like most crazy people, I really don't care. 

It makes me wonder how many other things I will discover about myself as I grow older. I never liked guacamole or potato salad until a few years ago.  When I was younger, I thought I would know everything about myself by the time I was 40.  I don't know that I realized how much I would continue changing and growing. 

I hope I continue to find new things I like or want to do.  I hope I find myself doing something as weird now to me as doctoring chickens would have been a few years ago. 

And just in case you didn't get enough chicken pictures yet, here's another one from when we moved the babies out to the big coop a few days ago. 

An Extra Phone Call

I had a major dizzy spell last Sunday.  Not vertigo, but close.  I woke up a little better on Monday, but still dizzy and luckily I was able to get into my ear doctor that afternoon.  I lost the hearing in my left ear 10 years ago and surgery for a hearing device 5 years ago, so I'm extra cautious when it comes to my ears and dizziness.

After waiting almost 2 hours and missing my daughter's track meet, I walked out with the reassurance that my ears were okay, but I had a doozy of a sinus infection and my balance was really off.  I also had a prescription in hand (after I refused to do the neti-pot thing--ugh!!!!)

When I went to drop off my prescription at the pharmacy, I planned to grab a few things for dinner and the meds and head home.  I guess I was a bit na├»ve.  The medicine required precertification from the dr for the insurance to pay (and me not be out $200 out of pocket).  It was too late to get the doctor that night, but I was promised it would happen first thing in the morning. 

It's now Friday and I still don't have my meds and while most of the dizziness is gone, I still have waves of it.  It's partly my fault for not following up as quickly as I should have.  It's been a super-crazy busy week at work and it's Lovepacs season and I just haven't had a lot of extra time. When I have called, I've gotten either voicemails or passed to another insurance person who "specializes in my account."  I hate dealing with things I don't understand so I have not been as tenacious as I should have been,

I called the pharmacy again this morning and the tech promised to call the doctor.  I made a note in my head to call and check back later this morning.  Imagine my surprise when I received a call just a few minutes later from the pharmacy tech letting me know she had called the doctor, but had to leave a message.  In a world of busyness, I was struck by her comment to me when I thanked her.  She said, "I would want someone to do the same for me."

So simple.  And I say I believe and live the golden rule.  But do I REALLY?  So many times, I have a list of stuff to do and people become just one more thing to check off instead of individuals.  Who just want to be heard.  And seen.  And cared for.

It's easy for me to scroll past the Facebook statuses and walk away quickly when I sense the conversation is getting ready to get heavy.  And those aren't even blatantly rude things to do. 

Yes, it was her job to call the doctor.  She didn't have to take the extra step to call me back.  and say kind things to me.  She would have done enough just to leave the message for the doctor and moved on to her next prescription.  It's something I want to hope I would do in her situation, but reality is I probably wouldn't.

Kinda crazy to see such a great example of how I should be from a pharmacy tech.  Sometimes the ordinary is a better teacher than all of my head knowledge. 

Dear Lord, slow me down today so  I make the extra phone call...





Thursday, February 25, 2016

Celebrate the Good Days (because all days aren't worth celebrating)

Ever have those moments when you think, "Oh my goodness!  Can life get any better than this?!?!" And you want to post about them on Facebook or tweet them on Twitter or throw up a pic on Instagram, but you stop yourself because you don't want to be "THAT" bragging person. 

I am authentic to a fault, but I can't always post the stuff that happens in my house.  I like my family too much (most days) and really don't want to intentionally cause any more reasons for my kids to sit in a counselors office than I already do unintentionally.

Celebrating is good. 

And it's needed. 

But I'm not very good at it...

I'm not the half full or half empty glass person.  I'm the person that is trying to figure out if there's enough water in the glass for whoever is drinking it.  So I often get caught up in how to make things better and forget to just bask in a moment.

Life is crazy right now.  Even though we no longer have the insane soccer schedule, we still find enough to fill our days full. And I'm guilty of coming home and enjoying sitting behind a closed bedroom door with little to no margin for my family.

Yesterday, I locked my keys in my car.  Again.  Except this time it was in Frisco and unlike Aubrey, I don't think their fire dept would take mercy on me (yes, I DO know from personal experience that the Aubrey fire dept will come unlock your car for you if you leave the keys inside--just one more reason I love small town life--but that's a story for another day). 

ANYWAY...I had to call my hubby to come unlock my car and umm... bring me lunch.  Which he did.  Without complaining or making me feel like a fool or even acting like it was a pain for him to drive 35 minutes each way in the middle of his work day.  And if that wasn't enough, he sat in the nail salon to get a gift card for Caroline's bday--without me even asking him to do it!  (Now, I did get several texts while he was there about how stinky the place was, etc...)

And this morning, I walked in to see Hope curling Caroline's hair for her.  On a school morning.  When she is NOT a morning person and rolls out of bed just in time to drink her coffee and get out the door.  She even re-did several strips that didn't pass her standards.

Most days, I get irritated with Brian because we aren't as romantic as I think we should be.  Our dates consist of hole-in-the-wall burger joints, him fishing and me reading--with little to no words spoken between us, trips to the lumber store, breakfast in downtown Aubrey, and violent movies that have way too much blood.  I don't get random flowers for just being a good wife and I can't remember the last time we dressed up and went to dinner (unless you count funerals and the food brought for the family afterward).

And most days, I wonder where we went wrong in parenting.  Our girls fight.  A lot.  And most mornings, there is at least one door slammed. And if you listened in, you would think yelling is our superpower.  And, as much as I WANT kindness to be our go-to, usually it's replaced with mean, sarcastic words and tones.

So, when I say that today, I feel blessed, please know I realize it won't last.  Tomorrow won't be Caroline's bday and there will be screams over who unplugged whose straightener.  And Brian will leave early for a work trip and might forget to kiss me goodbye until I make a snarky comment.  And I will get angry because someone's pineapple juice from the day before leaked all over their lunchbox and I have to clean it up. 

But today, I'm holding on tightly with all my strength to the overwhelming love I feel right now toward my 3 people.  And after I've yelled and apologized tomorrow morning, I will bask in it again.