Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Best Friends and Bridal Gowns

I love the show "Say Yes to the Dress". That is a little odd because, my own wedding dress selection experience was far less theatrical than the stories portrayed on the show. I tried on a total of three dresses, knew right away that the second dress was "the one" (just like they say-I "just knew" the second I stepped out of the fitting room) and spent a grand total of $300. The dress didn't need any changes so I didn't even visit the alterations section, although the store I bought my dress at had nothing similiar to Kleinfeld's.

However, I guess I am just still so entertained by the drama that seems to accompany most wedding dress purchases. First, I cannot believe what some of the women on the show seems to think is the "perfect" dress. There is a designer that is often featured on the show that makes these lace and corset monstrosities that everyone thinks are so unique. Not only are they totally inappropriate for a wedding (basically the whole torso area is see-through) but the store sells them all the time! That means there are a whole lot of "totally unique" brides that are all the same!

That doesn't even cover the tip of the lace and chiffon iceberg! The family members and friends these brides bring along are crazy! I would bring someone who would truly want to help me, not tell me that a dress looks like a shower curtain or a tablecloth on me. Also, one of Murphy's Laws must state that if you try on a dress that is beyond your budget that it will be the one you fall in love with. Then your mother will say, "I didn't pay that much for my whole wedding!". They just don't know how to be supportive, while at the same time being constructive.I took my sister dress shopping with me and I could not have had a better "consultant"; she knew the dress was about me but she also wasn't going to let me make a fool of myself.

I will say, in total honesty, that I did not begin this post for anything other than the fact that I was home alone (well, the kids were here but it is hard to wax philosophical with them) and couldn't discuss this with anyone else. But as I keep writing I cannot help but draw parallels with our spiritual walk. We all have those kinds of "friends" in our lives. The ones who are jealous that we are the ones whose "big day" is coming up, that we are skinnier (clearly I am speaking in generalities, not on a personal level!),prettier, smarter, or that we are the ones who are the focus of attention. You know, the ones that always have to top you in conversation. They can never let you have moment that is truly your own. Or when you are struggling, instead of being constructive and helpful they just reconfirm your own negative feelings. They don't suggest a different dress, or point out what is right about the one they don't like, they just heap on the insults. Or, they tell you what they are doing right, I guess maybe so you can follow their lead. But do we all want the same wedding dress?

I guess what I am saying is this: real friends know how to guide someone towards the truth, both in the realm of white ceremonial attire and also in the Christian walk. They don't stomp on you when you are down but neither do they let you parade around in the Emperor's new clothes. They speak the truth IN LOVE, putting your interests ahead of their own. Do you do that? Do I do that? Or are we always trying to make ourselves look/feel/sound/appear better than we really are? This isn't a popularity contest, nor is it about perfection. My wedding dress probably looked better on me than it would on you and vice versa. We should each be thankful for our gifts while using them to better others. I just hope that should my chance ever come to consult on a wedding dress that I will not mention anything about table linens...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Calm, Cool, Collected and Crocs

We went for a walk after dinner the day before yesterday. The weather was absolutely gorgeous during the day. It was sunny and in the low 70's. We had eaten an early dinner and Joel suggested that we go for a walk. The main purpose was to try out the bunny's (I think after the Poptart incident we have settled on the name S'mores) new harness. Well, let's say that S'mores took to the harness like a cat takes to water. If a bunny could scream the sounds coming from S'mores mouth would have been bloodcurdling.

So, S'mores stayed in the yard but we decided to go ahead as planned. By this time, thanks to the fickle Colorado weather, it was no longer sunny and rather windy. But we forged ahead. We have a really nice walking trail directly behind our house so we set out on that. Most outdoor expeditions in our family end with a trip to the park and so the kids have kind of gotten trained to expect that as the result.

Jocelyn ran up ahead and, of course, that left Carson trying to catch up. He was wearing his Crocs (are there any other kind of shoes?) and doing his best to reach Josie. He trucked along and then his right shoe fell off. He stopped, put it back on and kept going. Then it happened again. And again. And again. ELEVEN times in a 10 minute walk his right shoe came off. Each time he calmly paused to put it back on and then kept going. He was so excited about getting to the park he didn't even seem to notice. He didn't cry, or throw a fit, or ask to be carried. He just kept putting his shoe back on. When we finally reached the park he finally agreed to let us have his shoes because they kept getting those tiny playground rocks in them, but he never complained. He was just so excited to get to play!

Oh, how I wish I had Carson's patience! He didn't let a little thing like his shoe falling off get him down. He just kept doing what he was doing. I can't remember the last time that by the 11th time I had to fix something I wasn't kicking and screaming. In my mind, my shoe should have stayed on the first time I put it on my foot! Or by the 11th time I had to remind my kids of something, or the 11th time I had to pray about the same thing, or the 11th time I had to let someone get in front of me...You get the picture.

Oh, sure, I think I have patience. The first four or five times something happens I am calm, cool and collected. By get to me by the ninth or tenth time something goes wrong and bad things are going to happen man, bad things. Like spitting and screaming and hair-pulling. We often think we are patient but in reality we aren't graceful. True patience is not complaining, but just trucking along. I want to be like Carson, so focused on my goal that I don't have time to complain about the small hindrances life throws in my way. Like missing ingredients to a recipe, or bad weather, or stained laundry. I want to be so focused on my goal that no one would even know that a supposed "bad" thing even registers on my radar. I also want to look that cute in my Crocs...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

To Carson, On Your 2nd Birthday

Dear Carson,
I have realized since having you that every mother in the world is amazed at the swift passage of time as their child reaches each birthday milestone. I am no different. It is inconcievable to me that you have only been a part of our family for such a short time as two years. We just wouldn't be the same without you! My mom (Grammy) always said," A mom needs a boy." Until you came along, I did not know how true that was! You are such a tender, loving little guy, but all boy, too. You growl, and chase and grin wickedly. You love a dog, and a plane, and harassing your sister.

But I know that you have a sweet side, too. Today when you and Josie were roughhousing with your dad you pummeled him with your fists in an earnest attempt to rescue your sister. "Let go!" you demanded. It is your job to aggravate her, should anyone else attempt that (even me) they face your wrath.

And then tonight, you were so overjoyed with your very simple party. You didn't even notice your presents, you were so happy with the balloons scattered on the floor. And then, you discovered your big cookie. I served you and Josie and then you opened all your gifts. In the middle of trying your new things you stopped and got up and went over to the pan with the cookie in it. You carefully used the spatula to chop a hole in the center and lift a piece onto a plate. Then you marched over to me and said, "Cookie for mama." You were worried that I wouldn't get to enjoy your treat. I so pray that you will keep that sweet spirit and kindness towards others as you get older.

One of the most fun things this past year (or at least since July when he came home from deployment) is watching your adoration for your dad. He is truly your hero. Your eyes light up when he comes home. You mimic his every move in the cutest way, from putting gel in your hair to standing with your legs crossed while leaning against the doorframe. I pray that you will be a strong, gentle man like he is. You already seem to have his common sense- thank goodness for that!

He loves you so much, too. When you stay home with him on Thursday nights while Josie and I are at Awana, he really treasures your "guy time". Often I come home to find you either snuggling on the sofa or playing video games. I am glad that you two make such a great pair. He loves to "pound it" with your fists and then "blow it up" just like Josh taught you. You crack your dad up! I guess every dad needs a boy, too.

Anyway, I am so thankful to have you. I pray that you will grow in the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord. You already make sure that we never forget to "Pray!" at mealtimes. You have such a zest for life, from the "sneaky horses and dumb cows" you discuss with your Aunt Robyn, to running to the mailbox every day, to pointing out every ball, dog (arf! arf!), and balloon you see. I love that you exhaust yourself and ask for "Wooly and Buddy" (blanket and pacifier) eagerly every night. I just love you. Happy Birthday, little guy.
Love, Mommy

Saturday, April 3, 2010

More to Come...

I really, really need to sit down and make a long drawn-out post of all the super fun things we've done in the past couple of weeks but I just don't have time for that today! We had a fabulous visit with my parents and I took a ton of pictures (over 300 actually) but since today is "Basket Day" -in our family the day we hunt eggs and exchange Easter goodies- I wouldn't have time to do it any justice.

I cannot however let this day pass without noting the true meaning of all this candy, plastic grass and gaudy baskets. I cannot think of the Cross without crying. My Jesus gave His own precious, perfect life so that I can live. The true meaning of Easter is, of course, the awesome Resurrection, but to think of the suffering of my Savior breaks my heart. Don't let it bypass you: HE GAVE HIS LIFE FOR YOU. If that does not bring you to your knees with tears in your eyes then you are not giving it enough thought. Thank You, sweet Jesus for giving Your life for mine. Let me live in a way worthy of Your sacrifice.

"Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Oh, oh, oooh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they crucified my Lord?"

Galatians 6:14
"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."


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