Sunday, October 11, 2015

Do Not Respond-Just Take It. (DNR-JTI)

Jimmy Fallon apparently has a Thank You note section to his show...from which Jen Hatmaker draws much delight in the sarcasm department and shares in her book For The Love...and I have been inspired by the Thank You Note project here...but realized my sound-bite bits of gratitude are more in the vein of Do Not Respond - Just Take It (DNR-JTI).

Here are my top five for the moment:

Dear Friend I Am Thinking About At The Moment,
I'm sorry your husband is such a jerk face. I agree with you that this is most likely a phase and when his work load shifts, he will return to reality. In the meantime, I hope you can call on the memories of when you fell in love with him and you thought you would never eat, sleep or breathe again. And then there was that time y'all were at a social outing and you looked across the room at him and your first thought was I want to be with him forever in that safe and wonderful and magical way.  DNR-JTI.

Dear Friend In Transition,
I have no idea what to say, text, or email you. I am here, irrelevant and present. I will cry and pump my fists at the sky with you. But I got nothing. Let's talk or type tomorrow. DNR-JTI.

Dear New Mom Friend,
I am bringing you food. It may or may not be good. Hopefully you will be too tired and traumatized by parenthood to notice. But the effort is so full of love. When you are done leaking out of every orifice, let me know and we can go for a walk and you can complain about everything under the universe without judgment. That may be a really long walk, and I will take each step with you. DNR-JTI.

Dear Person At The Grocery Store Market Place,
Everything you are looking at on your phone and paper list is so important. This aisle is only so wide. And even though my child eating her free cookie looks like a known quantity, I can assure you that she is about to explode with that ferocity only exhaustion can ignite. So excuse me when I move your cart so I can collect 34 things in under 29 seconds and get back in the car where I can buckle her in. Srsly, excuse me. You are awesome. DNR-JTI.

Dear Family Which I Started With Some Serious Vows At A Wedding And Then Three Serious Child Births,
You people need to contribute more. On every front. But I love y'all so much I have a hard time articulating in which way I need you to contribute. I am working on NOT using profanity, so if you would recognize that while I request that you pick up all of your belongings which I am about to donate (as in you have 8 minutes) then I would really appreciate it from the bottom of my confused heart. I love you. DNR-JTI.

Amen and Love and Namaste and All That,

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Sister Face with Glennon Doyle Melton

Tonight I arrived 71 minutes early to hear the author, Truth-teller, Hope-spreader Glennon Doyle Melton speak (thank you, Raegan, for the early arrival and great seats).

Here's the view for those 71:

My dear, wise friend Angela often tells me things and recommends authors before I am ready for them. She recommended Glennon to me several times (at least 8) before I read one of her blog posts which began something like this:
"You guys, I don't have much time to write, but I just saw my therapist and it was awesome I have to share with you because YOU KNOW how much therapy costs and if I share with you and it helps then paying that much was worth it."

Do you know how many hot spot buttons she hits with that one run-on sentence?  I was in love.

I started following her blog and then got her book and then read it a few times then drove it over to some friend's houses to make sure they could touch it and see it then read it...
I was, indeed, encouraged and relieved and inspired.

Tonight was my first time to see her not on a screen and to hear her not through speakers.

She brought her sister, who manages her schedule or something, and I always think to myself, "I wish I had brought my sister." Good job, Glennon.

First thing when it was over, I got a picture with Glennon's younger sister and we are making the Sistering Face.

Glennon writes here about the process of Sistering in carpentry, and she talked about it tonight. And when she was done with the explanation of this amazing process she made this face:

So sister and I did the Sistering Face. I am on the right. Obviously.

I kept thinking about this one time when my real life family was taking a group picture and my real life sister and I were standing next to each other, supporting each other (as in Sistering Like Carpenters) and she said, "Okay, silly face one!"
To which I thought, "Oh we are all going to make a silly face in this one family picture since we just took a posed, smiley-faced one."
Stupid thought on my sister part. I was the only one to make a silly face in that protrait. I got Sister Punk'd...which is so worth it now that there is an official Sister Face.

Then I got to Sister Face with Glennon!

And Rachel photobombed us in the back! Because she's a sister too! 

At the end of her talk, I think ALL of us felt like sisters. And I hope we keep using our faces to show it.

In the meantime, here are some of the notes I took, because sharing therapy is always the right thing to do:

1. Laughter is the proof of hope.

2. Be aware of when you reject an invitation from God.

3. Progress is not a line for anyone. It is a spiral staircase; we keep coming around and around.

4. You have to choose between being Real & Loved and being Perfect & Admired. Nothing hurts as much as not being known.

5. Be a witness to other people's "Easy Buttons" (places of denial) and a tight judge of your own.

6. See other women as masterpieces, not mirrors.


8. Our entire economy is based on you feeling like crap...that you will never have enough of all that stuff you don't need.

9. (To her therapist) That sounds really you have any more pills?

10. Forgiveness is not always a once and's a spiral staircase too.

Thank you Glennon Doyle Melton and Sister.  We will carry your torch through Birmingham and keep encouraging Truth-tellers and Hope-spreaders.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Lesson My Impact #6: Coffee and Knitting

It turns out, people, that if you order a BOX of coffee from Einstein Brothers (for your office or your long trip home from Florida) and you drink all the coffee and break down the box to recycle it, of course, INSIDE the box is an AMAZING bag.
It's silver.

It's thick enough to keep the coffee warm and away from things that don't need to be wet, but not too thick to push a needle and thread through.

What I am saying is that you can add a strap, people!  This strap can hang on a hook, or even your shoulder.
You can wind a ball of yarn and throw it in the bag, then pull the working string through the hole that the coffee used to come out of.
I know, be amazed.
Now your yarn won't get all knotty!

Then you can start knitting yourself a hat.
Pick one of those mindless patterns where you just go 'round and 'round because, after all, you drank all that coffee so there is none left to help get you through a hard pattern with dropping and yarn-overing and or using a cable to do that cable thing.

Then you can call your friend who works for the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation and find out when they are putting packets together with Chemo Caps and Port Pillows.

Get all of your other friends to make one cap each, a few pillow ports for fun, and Voila! We are caffeined-up happy knitting sewing encouragers for all of our sisters fighting Ovarian Cancer!

Go team!

*If you will knit one chemo cap for an adult-sized head, let me know.

**A port pillow is a small pillow with velcro attached that clasps around the chest strap seat belt in a car so that the seatbelt doesn't press uncomfortably on the port usually embedded to attach the chemo tubing during treatment. Here is a pattern:

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Labor Day 2015

I don't love camping.
I love what my family becomes while camping.
See what I did there?  I took something SIMPLE and made it COMPLICATED. It's a spiritual gift.

We went on a 24 hour camp-over at Camp Sumatanga for Labor Day. Usually, when we camp, we have a shaky entry into the "wild" but then everyone calms down a notch and becomes less frantic people. It's beautiful and hard to describe.

We played basketball, tennis, soccer, Ga-ga (for real), walked and climbed the playground.
I thought, Hey! This is fun! We are all playing together!
For like 27 whole minutes no one was arguing!

Then the wind would change direction and all the sudden this "whole trip is horrible and I am not having fun and she is bothering me again and my ice cubes are not cold enough."
Whaaaa? What just happened?

We have "enormous feelings" in our house (thank you Jen Hatmaker, For The Love) and we are definitely a Spicy Family, as opposed to Sweet ((thank you Jen Hatmaker, For The Love).

Our spicy, enormous feelings are too big even for a campground apparently as it became clear that whatever Husband and I are teaching as "parents", it's not sticking.

Like Jen said, we too are raising feral children who will not contribute to society or be loving and kind to others. (thank you Jen Hatmaker, For The Love). In addition, we are raising entitled whining ninnies who think expressing gratitude is a punishment.

Can you tell I am feeling like a parental failure after forcing my kids into nature, preparing healthy foods, and limiting wifi access for 24 WHOLE HOURS?

We even went by the Nina Reeves Prayer chapel since she is kinda a Huge Big Deal.

I am exhausted.
Husband and I decided to camp without the children next Labor Day.
Just sayin'.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Henry's Noisy Painting

This may be my favorite painting so far by Henry.

He said, "This is what the sound of my drumming looks like."