Friday, May 30, 2014

Five-Minute Friday: Nothing

I'm not very good at doing nothing.
From the moment I open my eyes in the morning until I close them at night, my brain is busy.  I used to think this was a virtue.  I've measured a days success by how early I got up and how much I got done.  A ruler of my worth.  Exhausting.  On the "unsuccessful" days I went to bed feeling worthless.  Like a failure.

Often when I wander into the living room in the morning, Scotty will be sitting on the couch sipping a cup of coffee.  Doing nothing.  Thinking nothing.  Like really.  Nothing.  When we were first married I would plop down next to him and ask, "whatcha thinkin' about?".  "Ain't nothing going on up here", he would say.  It baffled me.  I don't know what that is like.  How can you not be thinking anything?  

Nowadays I am longing to learn to do nothing and be okay with it. 

Just sitting with someone, saying nothing.  In contentment.  In grief. 
Giving my brain a rest from all the things.
What if I gave all my moments to God? 
Not having to fix everything.  Not having to be in control. 
Not having to prove my worth by what I've done - isn't that the beauty of grace?
Rest.  Quiet.  Stillness.  Silence.

Sometimes nothing is everything. 

- Liv  
Head over to to find other Five-Minute Friday link ups!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hanging out with M

I picked up my nephew on the way home from work yesterday so his parents could go out for their anniversary.  Happy Anniversary Sister and Java!  M pulled his cowboy boots on the wrong feet and walked awkwardly with me to the car.  I love that he's excited to be going to my house.  He handed me his cowboy gun and Spider Man bubbles so we could buckle him in.

Being the awesome aunt that I am, I have a Veggie Tales CD in my car for days such as this.  As I sang along with Madam Blueberry I thought for sure I was scoring cool points with the two year old in my backseat.  I looked in the rear view mirror expecting to see my nephew smiling at me, as excited about singing broccoli as I was.  He was asleep and unimpressed that I was droppin' the beat.  Oh well.  I pulled into the driveway, record scratchin', bass pumpin', "...scuba, scuba, scuby duby duba, here we go scuba. Come on..."  That's just how I roll. 

M fussed as I laid him on the couch.  He crawled back into my arms and back to sleep.  He filled my lap and my heart, all sweaty, glasses askew.  I kissed his forehead.  It won't be long and he will be off having big boy adventures and he won't have time or tolerance for "Tia Wivia's" lap or kisses.  I decided to enjoy having him there, because, BEING PRESENT.  I just sat.  ...Until my legs fell asleep. Then I carefully laid him on the floor AND managed to slide his boots off and remove his glasses.  If you only knew what an accomplishment this is.  The boy loves his boots.

When he awoke later, he sleepily climbed back into my lap, drifting lazily in and out.  Feeling slightly and by that I mean barely *minuscule space between thumb and finger* guilty that such a late nap will mean a late night for my sister (call it payback for many long nights when she was M's age), I finally lured him fully awake with the promise of watching Spider Man after dinner.

We negotiated about important things like which bowl he was going to eat out of.  We're talking national security here, people.  We read about red and blue fish and silly things like 7 hump zumps, or wumps ... or whatever.  We watched Spider Man and then hung out in the hammock on the back patio.

By now it was dark and "Uncle Thcott" had turned on the sprinkler to water the weeds, I mean, grass. This fascinated M.  He watched as the sprinkler spit-fired water out into the black.  The gears in his head were turning.  Suddenly he was on his knees behind the sprinkler with his chubby fingers wrapped around the nozzle. He pointed it out into the yard, aiming at imaginary bad guys.  At one point he looked back at me and said, "I'm shooting the dark".  It was all great until he had accidentally released the lock that kept the sprinkler from spinning full circle. It made a full rotation, soaking the patio, spraying M's face and my pants.  We screamed and ran inside. Uncle Thcott rescued the patio while M and I dried off.

After we threw his wet clothes into the dryer, M settled in to watch Toy Story.  We sat there, just the two of us - M in his boxers; me with my throw blanket and laptop.  We had a great time.  Oh, and sorry about the long night, Sister.  Bwahaha!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Because any day is a good day to honor my mom ...

Mothers and daughters become closest when daughters become mothers. - author unkown
Our hair was always combed up.  I remember feeling the skin around my eyes stretch into a slant as my mom pulled my hair back tight into a pony tail.  The worst was when those little colored balls that were attached to the pony tail holder would slip out of her fingers and pop me on the head.  My mom made sure our clothes and faces were clean whenever we went out.  We had the same routine every night.  We would watch Little House on the Prairie and then it was off to bed.  She would come in to the room my sister and I shared and give us each three kisses, "Good night." Kiss.  "I love you." Kiss.  "See you in the morning" Kiss.  Angela and I would give in to giggles when the lights went out, as we discovered secret tunnels under the blankets.

My dad was off to Korea with the military and my memories are filled with Sunday School and waiting for my sister to get home from the bus stop.  We were the best of friends and our imaginations took us out into the wilderness where we collected berries to survive.  We had pretend names, Didi and Hahaiya. Where those names came from, I have no idea!  While mom and her friends played Yahtzee, we played "elephants", marching around the oval of the braided rug in our room.  Laughter poured from my mom as she and her girlfriends talked about whatever grown ups talk about.  She laughed a lot.

Kool-Aid was a staple in our home.  Mom collected the points from the back of the packets.  We loved drinking out of the white plastic Kool-Aid Man cups we had earned.  She loved Tupperware and Avon parties.  We had the lovely mustard, olive green, brown and orange plates and mugs.  I still have the little Avon necklace she gave me.  It has three colored "candy" conversation hearts on it that say "I love you".

Dad came back from Korea and we moved to a new apartment.  Another sister came and then a baby brother.  Mom got us off to school every day and was always there to pick us up after.  I remember one day I came to the car in tears.  My teacher had embarrassed me in front of the class over a poor math grade.  Mom took me in to the school office and confronted my third grade teacher, not caring who was listening.  She was my hero that day.

Another baby sister came when I was in junior high.  I was growing up and my parents didn't know anything.  Mom reminded me that I was loved when I was convinced everyone in the family hated me.  How she endured those emotional, eye rolling, attitude filled days, I'll never know. 

She is still my hero.  I may never know all of the sacrifices she has made or remember all the hurtful things I may have and said or done as a teenager.  What I do know is that there is nobody who loves me or prays for me the way my mom does.  She was there through a miscarriage and the birth of my babies.  Through heartache and sickness she still smiles. She loves.  She prays.  She mothers.
Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What’s that suppose to mean? In my heart it don’t mean a thing. ~Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987
 If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been. ~Robert Brault

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Mess

Ever heard the saying, "I'm so far behind I thought I was first"?  That's me today!  Wishing it was Friday and that tomorrow wasn't Monday!  So here's a little bit of Friday for you!  I've linked up at Lisa-Jo Baker's

We sit in the busy cafe, just the three of us.  The smell of bacon and the clinking of spoons stirring in coffee cups surrounds us.  We drove 28 scenic miles to get here.  Scotty, Cel and I.  I've always enjoyed the drive to Bisbee.  And this morning, it's a nice respite from the mess of thoughts and emotions that have been swirling around in my mind.

Some mornings you wake up and wonder how you got here.  How life turned out so differently than you had planned.  While most days you are grateful for how blessed you are, sometimes you become wistful for the way things were or how they are supposed to be.  The sadness creeps in over relationships that have been lost, the heart break of a teen's choices, the missing of loved ones. It's days like these when I wish Scotty and I shared the same faith; that we could pray together.

But for now, amidst the chatter of fellow diners, the stack of dishes on the counter is forgotten. I drown my guilt of not cooking for my family for days, with coffee.  I momentarily forget the frustration of an injury that has kept me from exercise and the extra pounds that have crept onto my hips.  The trials of raising teens shift to the back of my mind as we plan our summer vacation.

And on the drive home I lean my head back as I listen to my girl singing along to a country tune in the back seat. Yes, life has thrown some punches and the mess of the ordinary every day sometimes feels overwhelming. But in the middle of all that I have my family, I have my God, and it is well with my soul.

Photo Credit

- Liv