When I opened up blogger to write this post I had FOUR draft posts that never got published, or probably even completed.
I guess you could say I've been in a "funk" since my last post. Katie's death really put things in perspective I guess, and nothing else really feels like it matters. too often I use my blog to complain about kids, or about money, or whatever. too much negativity. and I've just realized that when it comes down to it, lots of things don't matter.
but also, lots of things do.
This weekend I left by MYSELF to the Orange City area. It's weird for me to be by myself. I'm not very good at it even though I love it. so it left me with mixed emotions to be heading out all alone.
at 5:45am on Saturday morning I left, and sat with myself for over two hours to get to my craft show in sioux center on time. I haven't slept much for the last two weeks. staying up til midnight or so most nights, and then up at 5:30 or so to sew before the day begins. and just for some perspective, I'm usually an 8 hour sleeper who also naps on a regular basis. so I was very tired after two weeks of burning the candle at both ends, or whatever the saying is. and the first hour of my drive was brutal. but sometime between 7 and 7:30 the sky started changing. I was on I-29 and it was all happening to my right. the sun rising and filling the sky with beautiful colors, mostly pinks, lingering over the cornfields until the blazing glow of the actual sun peeked up. It felt like a little painting from God, for me. a little treasure and a whisper of his presence. and my heart actually felt different.
and that was the start of it. I had no idea what my heart was in for over the next day. so many many different times where I could feel the actual organ of my heart swelling with emotion over this little life I'm living.
my peaceful ride over to Sioux Center ended abruptly when I arrived with 45 minutes to get my whole booth ready for the craft show. and then it was a whirlwind of a morning taking orders, etc. for the show. but at one point I just stepped outside my body for a minute to take a look at the situation. and there I was, with this business I created, working the booth with my sister (if ONLY that could be real life every day!!!), and people actually wanting to buy my stuff! and yeah, my heart swelled. and I felt so blessed by the way this little thing called the pinkadink has evolved into that moment there with my sister.
after that I went to spend a few minutes with my nieces and nephew. when I don't have my kids with me I enjoy them so much more bc they actually remember that I exist as a real person instead of just filling the role as their cousins' mom. :) so anyway, I was DOG tired but they just wanted to play with me, so up they climbed on the couch with me, waiting patiently while I rested so I could play barbies for about 2 mintues. (I tried to warn Hazel that I was bad at playing barbies, but she didn't seem to care. we played "speed barbies" and got them all ready to go to the ball, which was perfect, because I had to go before the part I'm bad at, which is, like, making up conversations between them and actually playing WITH them.) But once again, I found myself with a sort of out of body experience watching this 32 year old playing barbies in fast forward with a 4 year old who just thought it was awesome. and my heart smiled.
from there I was on my way to meet a new friend for supper. I say "new friend" but she's actually been in my life for....well, forever it seems. since I was 16 I guess. the big sister of my boyfriend's (now husband's) best friend. I've always known her, just didn't realize that we are like SOUL SISTERS or something with very crazy similarities. and recently we've become really great email friends, since we rarely see each other in person. but by golly, we both deserved a girls night out, so we took one. ended up at the hatchery for fried mushrooms (yep, still love them.) and a really mediocre supper. (it's hard to eat vegetarian in a small farming town like OC.) and we sat and talked grew our friendship in real life instead of email, and it filled up my little conversation tank. see, I've recently realized I'm introverted. ok, so I guess I've always known that but the recent part is that I've figured out what that means in my life. I'm very very very strongly ISFP for anyone who cares about that. :) being an introvert for me doesn't mean I don't like being with people though. it just exhausts me. and my ideal situation is actually to be with people, just maybe like, one or two people at a time. it allows you to get away from the superficial conversations, ya know? so sitting and talking with a friend and moving beyond all the stuff you scrape the surface on with everyone else was just so delightful. and then, because I felt totally jipped about the fact that I NEVER get to go out to eat, and then the one time I do I'm sorely disappointed, I decided we had better go get some frozen yogurt to numb the pain of money wasted. :) so off we went. two friends sitting and talking and eating ice cream. just what my heart needed.
after that I parked the van at NWC and walked over to the band competition. if you were never involved in field band in high school then I'm really sad for you. I've always felt like I was a musical person, and I'm very easily moved by music. the problem for me was that they put a clarinet in my hands and I was stuck. I thought about switching when i was in middle school, but that would have been way too much work, so I just stuck with band because I loved band, even though I hated my instrument. So finally in high school I begged my band teacher to let me do other things in the band besides play my clarinet, and I was the proud carrier of the POD banner at one point. :) and eventually I auditioned for the field conductor position my senior year. and that year, for the first time I felt like I was able to express myself musically, IN BAND, because I was able to be a part of it without playing an instrument. so there's a lot of emotion tied up for me in field band. It was like all the years I stuck with the stupid clarinet that I hated, paid off when I got to be up there on that box doing something musically.
so anyway, I arrived by myself, and I found the first spot on the aisle that I could bc I refused to walk down in front of everyone looking for a spot by people I knew. I kept my head down, walked to the aisle, found the first spot I could (by a random stranger) and totally annoyed her by sitting on the edge of her bleacher. but there I sat by myself, watching these bands do their thing and getting more and more impatient for the POD to perform. that was when I realized how much I belong with Steve. I literally felt my heart aching for his presence. not because I was feeling sorry for myself being all alone, but just because I know how much more I enjoy experiences with him by my side. and I was FREEZING and just really wanted him with me! thankfully my friend called me and I joined her and her family way up at the top for the last three performances. She's no Steve, but it was so much better to be enjoying it with other people! :)
when my high school band took the field, my heart was pounding. (I am fully aware this is all sounds so ridiculous to so many of you, but whatever.) If you could peek in my brain and my memories and see all the emotion attached to my own band competitions in high school, then in college traveling with my parents to watch my sisters, and all the relationships and memories that grew when you're out in the freezing cold with your friends or your family and the emotional experiences the music gives you, you might 'get it' a little more. but anyway, there's "my band" on the field, and they begin the warm up facing the back stands...to the doxology. the warm up. I was already crying at the warm up.
and then they start the show. and if you didn't have ears, you'd still be totally amazed at the art created before your eyes. and if you didn't have eyes, you'd be crying at the sound of the music, even without the drill. but when you're blessed with both, and you can see and hear at the same time, and the whole show is about Iowa, and homesickness, and you're having a seriously nostalgic weekend to begin with, well, then you're toast. your emotions, and memories, and love for your people and your town and your childhood come spilling out. for real. in tears.
after that I met up with another friend. for maybe only like 4 minutes or something. and we didn't really get a chance to get past the whole "hey! how are you? how are your kids?" "we're good! how are you? how are YOUR kids?" thing. but when you see someone who has played a really big part in making you into the person that you are, it doesn't really matter how many words are spoken, or if you only see them once every one or two years. you can feel it in your heart.
and that's what the whole weekend was. experiencing all these little pieces of my life, present and past, without the distraction of my kids to pull my mind back to reality. and really feeling them in my heart.
I've been missing my mom so much lately. and I think that's a huge part of it. She loved the fall so much. and being in orange city by myself (so reminiscent of my life before marriage and kids), feeling my mom all over the place, and talking with her old friends, and my old friends, and being with family, and just ALL of it. it made me feel like I should go home and find her sitting with her cup of coffee on the front porch swing or something. and I could just sit and talk with her for hours and try to explain all these things that were making my heart FEEL in ways it just really hasn't in a long time.
so yeah, it was a lovely day in my hometown. had a majorly dead battery in my van, so I didn't make it back to omaha in time for what I was hoping to be home for, but it allowed me the chance to go to church with my sister, and get some serious snuggle time with my baby niece, and a quick dinner with my sister's family, and just so many more little blessings before I headed back home.
and THEN...when I got home, there were signs to greet me on the door. my sweet kiddos make "i love you mommy" signs and my heart was a little pool of goo in my chest. i can't believe they love me as much as they do, when I'm such a nag to them so often!
and THEN I walked in the door and was blinded by the sparkling clean-ness of my house. now, you people don't understand. I have not done a single thing for 2 weeks except for make food and sew. my day time hours are spend playing with Maddie and Brielle, and the second Maddie leaves, I "go to work" in the basement. so when I left on Sat morning, my counters were covered in dishes, the floors were covered in smashed cheerios and spilled who-knows-what, and the table was nasty, caked with about 2 weeks worth of spills and crumbs, and the bathrooms were nasty and smelly, and the hallway was just gross, and, well, you get the point. I kept saying that I'd just get through this weekend and clean next week, and to not let it get to me. We had NO toilet paper. none. and no food. sorta. and when I came back it was sparkling clean, all of it. with toilet paper on the rolls. and almond milk in the fridge. and even though you aren't supposed to love people based on their actions, my love for my man grew. by a lot.
they weren't home yet, so I had a few minutes to just sit here and think back on the weekend. my heart still fluttering with all the emotion of it all.
They got home, many hugs were exchanged, and I took a long lovely nap with my hubby, and then the 5 of us went for a walk at Standing Bear Lake.
and GOOD GRIEF!!! if there was ever a way to end a lovely weekend, it would be with my four favorite people, swinging high as the sun sets behind them. my heart was overflowing. I am living my dream. my whole life is my own dream come true, and it's so easy to forget that sometimes!
so yeah, it's been a long break from blogging, but there are things worth remembering, and things worth forgetting. and when you have a death to remind you of how you want to be living your life, then you should live it that way. my heart needs to feel more, to be more involved in my every day life.
If I saw you this weekend, you were a part of something special. even if I didn't say a word to you. you're a part of my life. my heart. my dream come true. and I'm so blessed to have been with you this weekend. and even more blessed to be home now. :)