Monthly Archives: March 2012

Good Morning Spring!

Today is the first day of spring.  This sweet little rainbow over our quiet, sleepy house is what we woke up to this morning.

That’s not really true.  What we really woke up to shortly before 5 am was this.

So instead of cursing at the storm that woke me up EARLY this morning, I ran out to take its picture.  And I was rewarded with this image!

(photo from wral.com)

And by “we” I mean “we.”  The entire household.  All of them in our bed.  Watching and waiting for the lightning to cease and the thunder to fade away.  And the tears to stop running down little faces buried under pillows.  And the house stop shaking off its foundation with every quaking rumble.  As with most scary things in the dark of night, the storms moved on and the scene became funny; all of us crowded in the bed waiting for daylight.

After all that, the rainbow was a perfect way start the morning.  Or end the morning.  Or start the day.  Or whatever.  Today it was a little blessing to be thankful for.

Along with king sized beds and strong coffee.

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Cupcake

An Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

and the rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Pot Of Gold Cupcakes

You will need:

Cupcakes

Green frosting

Striped sour candy strips

gold chocolate coins

Directions:

1. Whip up a batch of your favorite cupcakes.

2. Cover with green frosting.  If you are feeling extra crafty you can use the decorative piping tip that gives you the look of grass.  I was out of time so we just piped on a large amount of frosting.  You can never really have enough frosting.

3. Make the rainbow by forming striped sour candy strips into an arch and sticking the ends into the cupcake.  You may need to trim down the candy strip a bit to a piece that is about 6″ long or whatever length works for you.  The shorter they are, the better they will stand up.

4. Insert the gold chocolate coin into the cupcake on one end of the rainbow.

Make a bunch and share.  A wise leprechaun once told me that sharing will bring you the luck of the Irish.  Or a pot of gold.  Or maybe these little babies will just taste better if you share ’em.  Like so many things in life, they are better when shared with those you love. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Train Wreck Math

The other night Jake needed help with his math homework and unfortunately for both of us, Jason was not home yet.  So, poor Jake had to enlist my help.  It was late and I was tired which just set the whole thing up to be a comical train wreck.

He needed help with word problems.  I like words.  I don’t like math.  And the combination of the two sets my poor, tired brain on overload.  All the problems went something like this – “if two trains traveling in opposite directions leave the station two hours apart and the second one is traveling 45 miles faster than the first one…”  This was math homework but there were more words than numbers.

It was late and I was tired.  Did I say that already?  Everyone in this house knows that I don’t do well late at night.  But I was ready to give it a go and try to help the kid.  I realized quickly that I was having difficulty even trying to explain the process to him – which made me feel stupid.  In an effort to buy some time so I could jumpstart my brain I suggested we get out some scratch paper and both work on the problems – he on his paper and me on mine.

I tried.  I really did.  Did I mention that it was late?  I seriously could not get the darn things even set up.  Here is what my paper looked like.  Can you find the little choo-choo drawings?  So pathetic.

 I was ready to throw in the towel when a text came in from my dear friend Kara.  Our text thread went something like this…

Kara:  What are you doing up so late? Lots of lights on over there!

Me:  Math with Jake :(

Kara:  I’m sorry for him.

Me:  Me too.  Want to help?  Set up and solve : two trains traveling in opposite directions leaving the station two hours apart…

Kara:  Ummm no!!!. I’m good.  Have fun 😉

Me:  Do you think if I’m lucky one of these trains has a snack car?

Kara:  For your sake I hope so.

Me:  Maybe a bar car too.  I’m on the train for dummies.  I was never on the smart train.  I think my train may actually derail very soon. Good night!

Jake sat staring, a look on his face somewhere between bewildered and amused. He looked at my paper and then at his and I am sure he wondered how I possibly made it through college.  He smiled sheepishly and told me he liked the little train drawings.  I apologized for not being more helpful.  He told me not to worry about it and that he “got it.”

And then quickly said that going in early the next morning for a little more help – from the teacher – might be a good idea.

Smart boy.  He must be on the right train.

You See The Light In Me

I came across this song the other day and it is quite possibly the sweetest song I have heard in – well, maybe ever.

It brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to it.  Ok, maybe not EVERY time.  But lots of times for sure.  It simply makes me smile and makes my heart swell.  Here’s why.  First, Ingrid Michaelson and her husband Greg Laswell are adorable.  Second, I am sappy and this sweet duet captures something beautiful, unspoken and miraculous about love.  It reminds me that true love is the gift of someone loving you (and your broken parts) AND seeing the light in you, even when you don’t.

Perhaps it’s nearly 18 years of marriage that make my eyes well and my heart swell when I hear this song.  I think back to the days when Jason and I were just kids dating – there was certainly a lot of “light” to see.  We were so young and full of promise!  And now, 22 years later we’ve aged and “broken parts” are certainly more prevalent – both inside and out.

There are days when I look in a mirror and see a tired and worn reflection, hear myself distastefully raise my voice at the kids, lose patience with everyone around me, and just feel overwhelmingly insignificant.  It’s on these days, when Jason comes home to a cool, tired welcome that he most certainly does not deserve, that I wonder why he smiles as he looks at me.  What, I wonder could he possibly still see in me?

And I know exactly what it is he sees…it’s that light.  And I know that’s what it is because I see still see the same in him.  In fact, it just might shine a little brighter now than ever before.

This song will make you smile.  Or tear up.  Or sing along.  Or replay a thousand times. The lyrics are below.  Watch, listen and then go out and see the light in those you love.

The end.

Lyrics:
I’ve tried my hand in silence,
it seems I should come clean.
When it comes to you and me girl,
I’ve avoided saying one thing
Its been there for a while now,
this line I will now sing
Till your mine, till your mine, I’ll sing

Oh baby, my baby,
You’ve held me
through many broken hearts
And maybe, just maybe
You can fix all my broken parts

And you took me by surprise
When you took my hand
And you with your dark brown eyes
You see the light, that I can’t see
You see the light in me.

 

 

 

The Winter That Wasn’t

This picture was taken in the middle of January. Yes, January.  It is tangible evidence that something has been missing the last few months.  We have been waiting and waiting for something that simply has not come.

Winter…an entire SEASON…has passed us by.

We waited patiently to wear cute sweaters.  We hoped for opportunities to wrap up in colorful scarves and warm hats. Heavy coats were rarely removed from closets. Hot cocoa and marshmallows were bypassed, leaving large mugs devoid of the winter treat. The fireplace stood cold, dark and neglected. There were no chances for the kids to sleep with spoons under pillows and pajamas inside out in joyful, excited anticipation of a snow day. Sleds and snowboots remained dust-covered in basements. Winter just never came.

All of this left me feeling…well…duped and somehow vaguely confused.  How is it possible that spring is dawning when winter never came?  It’s a blit like starting a new book when the last chapter of another has not been read.  It’s oddly disorienting.

Just as I was about to give up on winter EVER making an appearance, we had a little cold snap last week.  And by little, I mean little. Very little.

BUT…it was cold enough to be…hmmm…shall we say…unpleasant?

We had to find coats that, in all honesty, are much too heavy for March. The girls went frantically digging through laundry baskets to find long knee socks so their legs wouldn’t freeze under uniform skirts. Parents on the sidelines of newly begun spring sport practices grumbled and shivered. Even the dog refused to go outside. The daffodils wilted and drooped, conceding to the chill. It made everyone want to stay inside where it was warm.  It was unpleasant.  It was cold.

It was…winter.

All of this served to remind me that winter might be a wee bit over-rated.  In my romanticized notions I had forgotten that winter could be cold, inconvenient, and down right unpleasant some days.  It was not all cocoa, snow days and warm hearth fires.

One of my favorite writers, Anne Bradstreet, wrote:

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”

And I think she is spot on.  However, maybe every once in a while, by the Grace of God, we are given a pass.  A winter without bitter cold and unpleasant inconveniences is a gift.  A season in our lives without hardship is a blessing not to go unnoticed.

All it took for me was a quick chill when I had grown accustomed to easy mild days to remind me of how lucky we have been!  Delicate January cherry blossoms sure beat barren trees.  Bright, cheery daffodils lining our walkway have way more curb-appeal than dirty, melted snow.  Carolina blue skies are much more promising than heavy gray clouds.

There is unspoken promise in all that comes with the pleasantness of spring.  And is a true gift when it is granted to us without having to endure the difficulties of a harsh winter.  Perhaps it is then that we are called to appreciate it even more.