Just own it, sweetie

We saw this woman in the mall on Black Friday. My favorite part is, it’s not like she just rolled out of bed and took off to hit the stores. She put on makeup, pulled on a nice pair of boots and grabbed her designer handbag! She made a calculated decision to go shopping in her pajamas! She did this on purpose!

I wondered if she had some kind of clothing malfunction and had to change into the PJ’s, but nixed that notion when I saw her browsing a store about an hour after we snapped this pic while laughing hysterically… bless her sweet little heart.

It was stinkin’ hilarious.

I really can’t imagine having the guts to do this… I have a hard time going to the grocery store without makeup. Tulsa is a small town; I never know who I might see. But this woman really impressed me with her chutzpah.

I looked down at my jeans, sweatshirt, and tennis shoes, all carefully chosen for comfort and functionality, all chosen to merge seamlessly with frenzied early morning shoppers, and I realized, why not just own it? So, I checked my lipgloss, fluffed my ponytail, lifted up my chin, and made a decision… whatever I do, I’m just going to own it, sweetie.


Wash off that turkey

Have you ever painstakingly set a lovely table only to see the dog jump up on it and start licking the turkey? Is the day ruined? Do you scream bloody murder, beat the dog, and sink into a puddle of disastrously dashed dreams?

Or it is possible you could wash off the turkey and stick it under the broiler for a few minutes? I mean really, we don’t have to let things get destroyed. We can fix what we can fix and we can enjoy the rest of the meal. Why let those lovely mashed potatoes go to waste? Why let the perfectly seasoned stuffing for which you chopped onions and celery for an hour be spoiled? And what about the lovely cranberry sauce that only makes one sensational appearance a year? Does it have to be trashed too?

I say, wash off the turkey and keep going. Crap happens. Such is life. We don’t have to let it conquer us.

God has mercy on us, shouldn’t we have mercy on ourselves? God gives us second chances, why don’t we extend that grace to ourselves? I think we beat ourselves up far more than our loving Heavenly Father ever does or would. Jesus already died for our sins, He doesn’t need to punish us to make His point.

But what we do have to do is repent and accept His forgiveness… even if we know we don’t deserve it. And let’s face it, we really don’t deserve it. But the good news is, the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, and great is His faithfulness.

He is faithful, even when we’re not. He is there when the dog licks the turkey. He is there when we drop the gravy boat and it shatters and we drop a verbal bomb. He is there when we burn the biscuits.

He is always there, lovingly picking us up and pushing us along, making our crooked way straight and wrapping us in His tender mercy. He doesn’t throw us out when we mess up, let’s try doing it His way.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

I love this time of year. I love getting the Christmas stuff out of the attic and poking through the boxes with a smile and a giggle. How many years will the glue on a kindergarten popsicle stick ornament last? I hope forever.

I love browsing the aisles at Garden Ridge, scouring their selection for a fantastically funky ornament to add to my collection.

I love sniffing candles at my favorite little shop until I find that perfect Christmas tree fragrance that will fill my home and warm my soul.

I love watching my husband watch me decorate the tree.

I love a simmering pot of spicy apple cider.

I love spiking the egg nog.

I love the Holidays.

Would Jesus have an iPhone?

In my opinion, there are those that embrace change, and those who shun it. When it comes to cell phones, I have unabashedly shunned change. I am legendary for it. When I had an old school Nokia phone, I was the one that didn’t want that newfangled Blackberry that Oprah was talking about. I distinctly remember her showing one and thinking, oh no, I will never need one of those. I have a cell phone and a Palm Pilot and that’s all I need. Then I added an MP3 player to my collection. So I walked around with three gadgets on me all the time, never knowing that there was a better way.

Then Lynn got his first Blackberry, and he shamed me consistently as I carried around all my gadgets. I fiddled with his phone and I just knew I’d never be able to figure it out. I was content to only have a cell phone that made phone calls and texts. I didn’t need a calendar, I didn’t need email. I didn’t even know about Facebook back then, I felt guilty about starting my first Myspace page. I imagine I would have been the one fussing about the arrival of the television and yelling about it being a devil-box.

And then the advent of the iPhone… Katy bar the door. All-out war was declared in my home. I had finally graduated to Blackberry, Lynn was getting his MBA in iPhone.

What is it that makes some of us really uncomfortable with change; especially technological progress? And why is it that the Church seems to be the first group to start the riot? I really don’t get it. The Church should be the ones with the most forward thinking. They should be leading the charge of living better, living smarter, living cleaner, living healthier… the Church should always be doing it better, not doing it the old school way. I think maybe we get forward movement confused with spiritual backwardness.

Jesus totally would have had an iPhone.

Today I am going to find a very cute case for my very cute new iPhone. And I’m going to make a concerted effort to open my circa 1972 eyeballs and see opportunities to do things better. I don’t want to be the reluctant one, I don’t want to be the one that has to say that I finally saw the light and bought myself one gadget that took the place of three. I want to be ahead of that curve. I want to see opportunities instead of roadblocks.

The Bible tells us in Matthew 10:16, Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. It doesn’t say watch out for change and avoid it at all costs. It just says, “Be wise!” Lord, help me to see the difference!

The handsome guy with glasses

My ten-year-old son got glasses today. It was a monumental day. He approached it in true Jaxon fashion… picked out very cool (and expensive) frames and said, “Yeah, I can rock this look.” Meanwhile, I’m having a small meltdown with the realization that my precious and perfect child who inherited his father’s big, sparkling blue eyes did not inherit his father’s 20/20 vision. Bummer.

When we got home this afternoon, Jaxon’s comment to us, his loving parents, who just shelled out $200 on his little eyeballs; “I’ve been robbed!” Turns out, the glasses really work! They’ve opened up a whole new world to him. Who knew that things were not supposed to look fuzzy? He didn’t know what he had been missing… and blissfully unaware of his mother being a total bonehead.

During my meltdown, I am counting the years this child has been diligently working in school and making very good grades, while not being able to see the chalkboard clearly. Bad Mommy!

After I beat myself up for a while, I made a cup of tea and decided to share my shame with you. Don’t ask me why telling on myself makes me feel better, it just does.

So after my tea, and a handful of Cheetos, I picked myself up and forged ahead. I cooked dinner and reinforced my family’s misguided notion that I am the best cook in the world.

Just like my sweet boy’s eyes are not perfect, I am not a perfect Mom. We are not a perfect family. We don’t live in a perfect house, and we don’t have a dadgum picket fence. I do my best, and sometimes it’s not so great. But when my son wraps his arms around my waist and looks up at me through those trendy Nike frames, I feel like the best Mom in the world.

Can you say overkill?

Like pillows much? Where is anyone supposed to sit? I’m so confused. Is this your life? Do you have more accoutrements than you have basics? Do you have 400 pairs of shoes but only 2 feet? I do. It’s a problem. Another problem… I love scarves and have at least 30 of them, but I’m pretty sure I only have one neck. Do you think I might be majoring on the minors? Surely, you never do that. You have your priorities straight, right? All your ducks are in a neat row?

Mine are not. I have ducks in my doghouse and dogs in my pond. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get it together.

I am so envious of those Moms who actually know what their laundry room floor looks like. I haven’t seen mine since July of 2006: the summer we moved into this house. But you know what? I’ve got other stuff in good order. My husband took us for an early bird dinner tonight. It was quite pleasant. The servers were all early-shift friendly and the food was fresh and hot. So it’s only 5:45 and I have dinner and dishes checked off the list. Wahoo!

Now if I can get homework wrapped up and clean clothes ready for tomorrow, I might be able to find myself in bed early tonight. Watch out!

The sneaky chef

The very best way to fool people into thinking you are an amazing cook… cedar plank salmon. Seriously. It is sublime.

All you have to do is buy fresh salmon portions from your grocery store, rub them with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place on the cedar plank (available at places like Bed, Bath, and Beyond) that has been submerged in water for at least a half hour, and grill. I serve it with rice pilaf (out of a box) or a salad (out of a bag) or mashed potatoes (out of a packet).

It truly doesn’t matter what you serve it with; people will be so impressed with the fish, they won’t notice the sides. Your family or guests will leave the table thinking you are a genius.

It is a fabulous feeling… one that I rarely have the pleasure of feeling.

I am not a food blogger, but I do love to eat. And while I’m not the most inventive chef in the world, I do know good food and I truly appreciate it.

So with this little admission, I wish you a happy Sunday afternoon and many opportunities to pull the culinary wool over your friends’ eyes.

Moms and candy

Does your child do this? Jaxon organized his Halloween loot by brand… he totally cracked me up, although it didn’t surprise me in the least. He’s always been a little engineer. He used to line up his matchbox cars the same way. It sure makes it easier for me to figure out what I want to pilfer.

Can you believe those full-size candy bars? Yeah, that was because we were invited to trick-or-treat in the “Who’s Your Daddy” neighborhood. It was lovely.

I had a lovely time too sitting by the fire pit with some other Moms from Jaxon’s class. A new friend told me something that evening that has stuck with me all week. Although these women were from different backgrounds and economic stations, they all had the same basic goals and were reaching for the same things: supporting each other, maintaining stable marriages, and striving to raise good boys. It struck me profoundly. (Thank you, Hollie!) I immediately thought, “Sign me up! I want to be part of that!”

It was nice to get to know this group of women, they were all about my age, all Moms of boys, some had girls too, some didn’t, all had been married a decade or more. It was interesting comparing notes on life, husbands, children, and God. I left that evening feeling rejuvenated simply by soaking up that camaraderie.

I appreciated these women, I appreciated that they had hung in there with their families through difficult times, I appreciated that they were devoted to their children. I appreciated that they loved God and were able to share His love with me. I’ve blogged before about how important we are to each other and how we can’t be an island. This experience just made me believe that more. We need each other. And we need Halloween candy too. At least I do.