Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Let Go of the List

What directs a person's day?  What directs my day?  I worship Jesus Christ as God's son, whose sacrifice on the cross paid the price for my sins and allows me to have a personal relationship with my Creator.  It's a big deal to me, this spiritual journey.  But you know what else is a big deal…TOO big a deal?  "My List."  See?  It even gets capitalized, because it's so extremely important to me.  My List, I confess, is what most often really directs my day.  That's a problem.

What's in My List?  Well…it varies….NOT…it's always the same.  It perpetually involves a never ending rotation of housekeeping tasks (literally--I'm a housewife so I take on the whole kit and caboodle of household chores)--and then there are the mothering responsibilities such as carpooling, doctoring…you've heard it all before.  And then, written in invisible ink all over the margins of My List are all the things I could (should?) be doing for self fulfillment and personal growth cause I'm hitting the mid forties now and…these years of health and energy are slipping by quickly.  (It's a joke…I never have any energy!  I collapse at 9:30.  I last saw energy at age 27!)  Yes, just add a little "heat,"  a little emotional stress, and those invisible words of could do's, should do's and ought to have done's pop out like the freckles on my nose in July!  It's all on My List, you see.  My List rules.

And when I can't check things off at a rapid enough pace, I get frustrated.  I get anxious.  I get…well…unpleasant.  It's true.  And it's wrong.

So today is Day 1 of letting go of My List.  I'm not going to worship it anymore.  Because that's what I'm doing when I let that impossible list direct my life, when I let it control my mood and my satisfaction.  I'm going to try, prayerfully, to "be content with such things as I have, for He Himself has said I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Heb 13:5)  I will not covet the things I cannot get accomplished.  I will not covet what others have done!  I will not worship my checked off results.  I will rest.  I will grow.  I will put my eyes on the eternal. I will let GOD lead.  I will let go of the list.


Here's the old me…living for the list!  Haha.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Little Lasagna

I just made a lasagna.  Not two lasagnas, not a double size lasagna.  Just one little bitty regular old lasagna.  (But it made just as big a MESS as when I make a "normal" batch for my normal size family of seven big eaters who now live all over the WORLD.)  What is normal anymore? There are only four of us home now--it's the first day with only four.  One regular lasagna will be enough.  Stupid little lasagna.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Day

I feel like I should introduce myself.  It's been so long since I've blogged that I think that is appropriate. My name is Suzanne, and I'm the mom looking sort of gal in the white sweater.  My husband Tim (in the aqua sweater which he has now thrown away because it isn't "his style") and I have five beloved children.  I am pretty sure this is the last family picture we have taken together.  It was at my third child Katie's high school graduation last spring, and I think it's a decent picture despite a solid case of nobody knowing which camera to look at.  How do the Star Couples on the Red Carpet do it?  Do they plan out which direction they are going to look?  Do they talk it out beforehand?  Is it just a symbiotic thing that happens with practice?  We could use some tips.

The point of putting this picture up here is to point out that THE DAY has come.  The day has come that I have long long dreaded.  We had the three oldest children in under three years, and it seemed that people began remarking almost as soon as the third one arrived:  "Just wait until they are all three adolescents!" or "What are you going to do when they all need braces?" or "How are you going to pay for all three in college at once?"

  But what nestled in my heart even back then, like an uncomfortable burr that imbeds itself on your sleeve long after the hike is over was, "How am I going to let the three of them go?  They'll leave as quickly as they came.  I will have to say goodbye to all three in only three short years!"

And that has happened.  Today.  From Five to Two.  It's not funny and there's no humor to be found, and that in and of itself says a lot.  I can't even find joy in my reduced laundry pile.   I have nothing to say, except I'm grateful to God for the chance to be their mom.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Tomorrow my daughter leaves.  It's hard to get my mind around it, to comprehend the hole she will create by taking herself across oceans and continents to a place I've never seen, to live with people I've never met, to become somebody I can't imagine.  I'm so proud of her and so nervous for her that my brain can't cope with the contradiction, and I just walk around feeling muddled and numb.  But she's going.  The ticket is there on the counter, and the passport is in it's place on top of her brand new suitcases.  The suitcases are a lovely teal color, and as she stood holding one of them yesterday I realized they match her eyes.  They are new and unscuffed now, and she's anxious to keep them that way, but I just smile and tell her that they'll get beat up and dirty long before the months wear out, and that's ok.  It's what luggage is made for…adventures.  Let the journey begin.
We love you sweet girl.

Friday, February 21, 2014

"Do Ya Wanna Have A Snowday?" Parents have a Snowday…WITHOUT THE KIDS!

Last night, the Twin Cities had a lovely snowstorm.
It came complete with high winds, ice, sleet, and big puffy snowflakes that fell
like miniature pom poms and were then chased by horizontal swirling blasts of blinding frozenness.

It was lovely.

But lovely wasn't the word on my mind
when I was churning my way home from
my littlest daughter's play in snow furrowed, slippery streets.
(The suburban did the work.
I just gripped the wheel and kept saying "Oh no!  Oh no!")

Nor was "lovely" the word I thought of 
when I drove into my eerily quiet and darkened neighborhood.
The garage door didn't respond when I pushed the button.

I entered the house to find my oldest daughter
studying her math….
by candelabra!

I love that word….candelabra.
Funny that you spell it with the e before the l….but that's what spellcheck says.

Here she is.  It was very dramatic.  I called her Abe Lincoln.  I don't know exactly why.
I'm pretty sure Abe didn't study math by battery "candles" from Costco.

Lily was not going to be left behind. 
Even though it was 10pm and she was dog tired from performing,
she still had to get in on the action.

Timmy, meanwhile, was in the back yard throwing himself 
off the swingset headfirst into snowbanks
in a swirling blizzard..

I don't have any pictures of that.

I am trying to forget that.

Despite many a hope and dream,
our school did NOT get canceled this morning.

We watched our emails and phones with dismay as…

So here is Lily, resolutely climbing the snowbank…
off to the textile factory
with only a warm potato in her pocket for her lunch….
(I read that somewhere as a child….)

the big yellow bus was even a minute or two early.

As I waved goodbye to the last of the three children,
I turned to my husband,
who was plunking away on his laptop,
and sang in my best Kristen Bell "Frozen" imitation:
"Do you wanna build a snowman?
It doesn't have to be a snowman..."

He said no.

But the idea took hold!

We could have a PARENT'S SNOWDAY!

It was a beautiful idea whose time had come!

First off?

We've owned a snowmobile for at least five years, and
the truth be told, I've never sat my backside on it.
Not once!

But today was the day!
I can only show you the tame pictures!

Because I sure wasn't able to take
 any as we raced across the lake behind our house,
or rammed ourselves through snow laden branches,
or carried the dog between us
because she couldn't run in the deep snow,
and I was sure she would die.

No, no pictures...I preferred to hang on…
and duck.

I'm all about living, you see…
as in living to see another day kind of living.
That kind.

My husband.
Isn't he handsome?

I was feeling very brave and sassy too…after we got back into the driveway and I peeled my hands off the handles and all….

There I am!
World class…something.

But…on with our day...

NEXT…we drank pomegranate juice
(it's our new health kick)
in the HOT TUB.

And we amused ourselves…
(this was the BEST PART…)


Then we went out to eat at a Chinese Buffet….
cause nothing fills in the cracks like a good 
Chinese buffet when you've been a wild snow adventurer
 for the last…hour and a half.


I love SNOW DAYS now.

Love them!