Friday, August 26, 2016

slippery finn

when i got home from a wedding-shoot today matt told me that finn lost a tooth while i was gone.
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it almost made me cry.
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i have this feeling like he's slipping.
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he's stubborn lately and unhappy often. his brothers send him to me in tears several times a day. things don't seem to be going his way. he wants to watch one movie but everyone else votes together for another. the costume he wants is taken. his chores i give him are too hard so his legs stop working.
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the other day he got upset and threw one church shoe into the arbor vida and ivy mess so that now he has no nice pair.

but i'm thinking about those shoes and they were already trashed. plus his church pants are high-waters.
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with finn, a little TLC goes a long way, and sometimes i forget that. i forget that if i walk him through his "rise and shine" routine in the morning he's in a happy mood for the rest of the day. i forget that if i stay in the same room and give him focused supervision during "happy couch" he gets his chores done with few issues.
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i can see as i reflect that i've been more reactive in my parenting with him lately.

physically, he's growing out of his pants faster than i'm buying. emotionally, we're experiencing a similar phenomenon.
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so maybe it's time for a new Sunday outfit and a new everyday approach to meeting his emotional needs.
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i'll catch this boy.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

take 5.

You know when you forget to take your garbage out to the curb? You tell yourself you'll get it the next morning then you wake up to the sound of the truck coming down your street?

That following week your life is full of trash. Standing on the mound, you work to crush it in, giving you room to relieve your kitchen can.

Kids are kids, you know. They scrape their plates onto the tip-top of the mound and mashed potatoes or lasagna or crust rolls down the side like an avalanche.

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That's how my spirit feels right now.

In my negligence I've let my inner garbage pile up.

And my babies are tossing their own needs into the mix, adding to an emotional avalanche.

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Taking out the spiritual trash, a step by step guide for Megan Riley

1. Watch this.

2. Take a shower and actually try to feel put together.

3. Hire your little sister to deep clean your kitchen and bathroom.

4. Walk to a market and buy at least 5 fresh fruits and veggies and eat them all on the walk home.

5. Really watch your children. Watch what they do now that they won't do forever. Look for ways that they take after their dad and ways that they are just like you. Think of sweet words to describe their little souls from the top of their heads down to their pinky toes and to the very core of who they are becoming. Watch how they walk. Watch how they eat. Watch how they smile or cry or scowl or laugh. Memorize them again and again. Don't correct a single behavior, just for today. Don't try to solve them like a math problem. Study them like a great work of art. Let yourself be amazed and proud and humbled that you helped them to be.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016

talk for a minute without using the letter "a."

matt told me he could do it but i didn't believe him.

he put on the timer and began reciting, "one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve..."
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matt has three boys who think he's the coolest ever. he knows all the good stuff. and i water the flowers and take the pictures.

on the way to a wedding i was photographing i saw a couple on the side of the road with a flat tire. the man was fixing the tire and the woman was picking blackberries. it made me miss matt and want to turn around and drive right home.

i love marriage. i love that my gifts and his gifts combine to help us meet our needs and enjoy the journey. sometimes i fix the tire and he picks the blackberries and sometimes it's the other way around, but there's always a bit of both going on in our world.

Friday, August 19, 2016

once upon a time in cheeseworld.

in 2013 i had this brilliant idea.

closet doors off the hinge, turned sideways to make a cozy pit... filled with hundreds of foam blocks...

yes, it was a thing. the kids called it cheeseworld and it was good.
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i'm going to say something i've said occasionally through our marriage (and more frequently in the past few years). i should have listened to matt.
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from the start matt was adamantly against hundreds of foam blocks in the closet. his objection was based on his extreme prejudice against foam (he can't stand the stuff). i personally like it because it smells like a combination of camping and goodwill, two of my favorite things.

i'll admit i fight back a small urge to chew on the pieces.
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i wonder how much foam my kids consumed during that time. hmmmm.

cheeseworld became a catch-all for toys and once they went in, they could never be found again. not only toys. plenty of useful things were lost in that pit, too.

also, the kids adopted the saying "what happens in cheeseworld stays in cheeseworld." they never said the actual words but i know that's what they were thinking when they started peeing in the pit for fun (unsanitary?).
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then cheeseworld started to spread. both literally and metaphorically.

matt would turn down the covers and find foam in our bed, almost like a mob message from the kids to let us know they were taking over.
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most of their crime scenes could be traced back to cheeseworld. like the time ossi cut all of our pillow cases into tunics and hid the scissors in the pit (unsafe?).
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these days when i feel like our house is a mess or our kids are a handful i just think about what it was like once upon a time in cheeseworld and i have no choice but to feel better.