Wednesday, November 26, 2014

a day in the life of me.....

Because I need to chronicle the puppy tale somewhere....in case I write a book someday....its gotta start here.  Sorry.

Precious is difficult in ways that are hard to explain.  It's emotional and intelligent and subtle.....so getting this dog is one of my efforts to gain her some healing.  Call it a hunch....whatever.  I think its worth a try.  Weeks ago, the occupational therapist who we see suggested finding a place where P can wind down and compose herself.  We tried a few things that didn't work.  Lexi's kennel seems to work.  Precious will take the pup to her kennel several times a day and just sit in there with her and stroke her and sing to her in the dark.  Precious loves Lexi's German Shephard fur.....and Lexi loves the snuggles.  Therapy?  Maybe.

Having a puppy again is so much work.  Today I was taking Lexi out to the back yard to "potty outside" and I slipped my feet into Roger's slippers, which were by the back door for such a purpose. My toes met something stinky and squishy.  Dog poo.  in the slipper.  Seriously.  One of the dogs, likely the pup, pooped in his slipper.  What intrigues me is that the poo was shoved all the way to the toe.  Did my husband actually don the slippers on a 5am walk to the back yard with Lexi to pee and poo?  Did he notice?    ok.  lets not go there.

He and I together decided that his $8 slippers from walmart can go in the garbage....poo and all....and he will get a new pair.  I need to focus more diligently on the pee and poo regimen with Lexi for the next several days of the holiday weekend.....we are also working hard on sitting....so we can graduate to down and stay....and maybe lots more.  for this 2 month old rambuncious German sheppard baby....its all a bit much.  For this mama....ditto.

an answer to my prayers would be that Lexi lives up to my expectations of her...and Precious feels more regulated and calm.  That' the goal.  and maybe mama can find a food and exercise plan that works to shed the excess that has been creeping up in the 40s.....if the blog is called answer to my prayers...then why not?!

If you are still reading.....please consider praying for the US kids in foster care.  There is a website called adoptuskids.org and you can click on photo listings of waiting kids in the US.  Heads up.  There are alot in lots of states.....and these kids need families.  Spread the word please.....lets deal with our national crisis of the orphan as well as the global one.....we can and need to find homes for these children.

puppies, orphans, Thanksgiving.  random....and maybe not. 

Monday, November 24, 2014


day 2 with puppy

Lexi the puppy did marginally well her first 24 hours as a Kredit.  Roger took the job of waking up at 2am to let her out....and I stayed in the big bed with the littles....and did battle with nighttime issues.  Josiah was particularly fretful last night and he and I had a battle at about 2:30am.  Sadly, the truth of morning revealed that he has a nasty bilateral ear infection which explains his behavior.  (but not mine). Brave boy didn't really let on how much his ears were hurting.....or maybe having a puppy in the house was a distraction.  Lexi is figuring out how to be with humans in a house instead of canines in a barn.....and she is a really good communicator.  Really good.  She also loves to snuggle and lavish physical contact......she is definitely a Kredit!!!!!!!!!!!!  Now, if only she (and Josiah) could figure out how to put #1 and #2 where they belong when they need to "go".  

Having a new puppy again is interesting.  Our true selves are revealed....the sweet and the selfish, the generous, the fearful......its really all about relationship again and again.  Relationships intrigue me.   

More on that another time.....Josiah just crawled over Precious and Jedi so that he could snuggle on my lap in the big comfy bed for snuggles, and a silly program on netflix called "Signing Time" that he loves to watch......so I guess this post is finished.  For now.  Baby boy is on my lap all sweet and soft and warm.  Nite y'all.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


my early Christmas gift

I got a dog today.  Yes.....a second dog.  It's an early Christmas gift from me to me.  I'm not kidding.  Grandpa and Grandma Kredit......don't freak out.  It's gonna be ok.

Months ago, as we were working through what was going on with Precious Maryn, and why she has her issues and meltdowns and anxiety attacks etc I started to look at info on therapy dogs.  Therapy dogs are not just for seeing-eye companions anymore.  A dog can be trained in behavior management as well.  To get a fully trained dog it costs about $20,000.  I began to consider and pray about a dog for Precious, and the rest of us, that is more of a service dog than a pet.  This would be MY dog and work for me.  A friend in town breeds German Shephards and had a litter in September and one thing led to another, through research and prayer and waiting and I came to today.

Mid-afternoon today, Ms. Lexi, the German Sheppard puppy joined the KRedit chaos (mean family). Lets face it people, there may never be complete order in this home, but there will always be healing and relationship and love and affirmation.  Lexi gets to help me with all of that.  Several members of this family struggle with anxiety and Lexi can definitely help with that, as a very intelligent breed, who is family oriented.  It will be a rough year or two as we get through the puppy stage again, but I believe that it is possible to have a well-trained service dog who can provide the right amount of sensory input as well as calming and soothing love.  I know I am idealistic but I can't afford not to be.  If I did not believe in the art of becoming, and if I did not have my head in the stars as far as people/animals/all living things reaching their full potential....if I thought that only medication or punishment or rigid fundamentalist thinking was the way to go......I would fold up inside of myself and disappear.  I live here, in this world, where sometimes laundry sits unfolded a bit too long.  I live in this world where we are trying lavender oil to help with sleep and hoping to one day not need melatonin any more.  I live here, where we can acknowledge the brokennes and weakness and keep striving to find solutions that are life-giving and love-sustaining.  I live here.  Lucky for me, the only ones who have to live here with me are my husband and children who trust me.

Tonight, Precious wrapped Lexi up in a soft blanket and crawled into her crate with her.  Jeremiah and I were at the dining room table doing homework and dad was dozing in the chair.  Josiah was riding his push-bike around the table and Claire and Isaac were downstairs relaxing/studying.    Now. Does that really sound chaotic?  I should say not.  Precious sat with Lexi in her crate, singing to her until she fell asleep.  She came out so proud of herself.  We praised her for her patience with the puppy and her generous love for her.  Then I said, "can you go get your pajamas and get ready for bed?"....and she did!  and I said, "can you brush your teeth?"  and she did!  she chose a healthy snack that was not chips.....and she came to bed and snuggled in.  Maybe Lexi isn't fixing what's hard with Precious.....but she definitely makes my little girl happy.

Jeremiah has always struggled because Jedi was Isaac's dog.  Lexi is not.  Jeremiah is all over loving this puppy and training her.  We even made sure the German Shephard training books we ordered on kindle were on his tablet too, so that he could learn with us.  Great, great potential here.  Even if we don't achieve it, we have a really cute new puppy to add to the family.

Don't judge me.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Goodness.

This week, the fruit fast was hard.  When I don't feel well and my family is also under the weather with sneezes and coughs and aches......growing in spiritual discipline wavers under the pressure of physical discomfort.  Lesson number......yeah.

I did manage it though, and God helped me get through that 24-ish (ok.....maybe more like 20) hours of only fruit......and this week, I think this is what he showed me regarding fruit.  Goodness.  I feel like I see a clear picture of slowing down and just being in the goodness of the moments that are good.  Opting to stay home with Josiah Thursday on his birthday even when there is a mountain of work to be done.....and letting Precious hang out rather than do her structured day of daycare, TK and Dance.  She did go to TK, thank goodness, and Josiah took a nice long nap......which allowed me to prepare the meal I would serve to my fam and the college boys I had invited over.

Goodness.  Crawling on hands and knees to pick up the ever-present dirty socks and bits of garbage.....and stopping to creep up on my kiddo to tickle and tickle and roll about and laugh.  Goodness.  Planning a nice dinner party for my mom tomorrow night because its her birthday.  Goodness.....listening to phenomenal symphony in a town 4 hours away because my beautiful daughter is buried in the middle of the orchestra, a national honors participant.....even if I cannot see her.  The music was ethereal.  Goodness.....making a new friend in a fellow violin mom who invited me to ride along with her on this long day of travel for this one-hour concert and getting home late.  Goodness.....a husband who took the afternoon off to care for our littles so that I could go to the concert half way across Iowa......and took them swimming......goodness......coming home.  This home, my home is goodness.  It's messy.  It's chaotic.  It's only gonna get more so......but in the middle of it is just so much goodness. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Look up

We have alot of kids.  Precious and Isaac have always butted heads and fought.  It's hard because often Isaac is home and "the boss' after school and Precious doesn't accept his authority.  Today, I noticed something.  This year,  I have tried hard to be home when the school kids get off the bus.  That isn't easy.   I have 32 hours of work to squeeze in and being home by 3:15 is tough but I need to do it for awhile.  My kids are having a hard time after school.

Today I noticed that Isaac was being playful and fun and Precious mis-read him.  Why? because her eye level is in his stomach.  She couldn't see his smile and warm expression as he hip-bumped her playfully.  All she saw was an offense. She started her tantrum...and  I stopped the exchange and told them both:  Isaac, she doesn't see your smile and warm eyes, she only feels your  bump and sees your belly.  Precious....look up.  See his face.  Notice his eyes and his smile and his silly moment.  They both understood and connected.  We all smiled.  for longer than necessary.  healing happened.

Lets all look up.  Maybe what's at eye level is yucky and offensive but maybe, just maybe it doesn't need to be.  Maybe a higher authority has an opinion that is wiser and better.  maybe we don't need to be so crabby and defensive.  lets all look up.

Isaac needs to understand that people who are vulnerable are affected by him.  Precious needs to learn to look up....because maybe big brothers are trust-worthy.  I need to look up.   Jesus is there.  

Friday, November 14, 2014

the verts......intro and extro

Recently, I've had several conversations about introverts vs. extroverts.  I find that it is important to know which you are.  So......which are you?  I'm a classic introvert.  That doesn't mean I'm shy......I'm not.  What it means is that lots of people, lots of noise and big crowds drain me.  I leave feeling empty. Extroverts leave the same event feeling jazzed and full of energy and purpose and ideas.  In our family, we have a few of each.  I used to get so frustrated when Claire went to the school soup supper but couldn't eat in there and only wanted to run and play outside with her friends.  I get it now.  She's an introvert.  So am I, by the way.  I do way better with small doses of large crowds.  

Tonight we attended a local fund-raiser that we hold dear.  It's Katelyn's Fund and they offer support and grants to help with the cost of adoption.  Annually they hold a dinner and auction and it is so much fun, seeing all the adoptive families and supporters.....I blogged about it over at katelynsfund.org tonight.  I knew that Roger would be in his element, talking with people and soaking it all in.  He has a bad cold but that wouldn't keep him home.....even though he is no longer running the IT for these auctions, he still enjoys all the buzz.  Isaac, a classic introvert, chose to see a movie with a few friends instead.  Claire, introvert as well, took a friend along and they wandered around the perimeter and sat in the fellowship hall with other teens chatting and scrolling instagram.  Jeremiah is extrovert like his daddy.  He's been sick this week but wanted to be there anyway so we let him come and he sat front and center and although he coughed and sneezed, he was having a ball watching the auctioneers and transactions of stuff.  He's a total stuff boy.  Me, introverted as I am, did my best to find a few people I wanted to chat with and kissed a few babies....and went home when I could.  

Here's my big suprise.  Or not.  Either way.....Precious is a classic extrovert.  She can make a friend anywhere....and she loves crowds of people.  We actually left her at the auction with another family because she was having fun and we were tired.....they just dropped her off at 11pm and she's in a great mood!  Josiah.....not so much.  Introvert.  He was anxious and crabby and fretful in the auction and happy and silly and normal out in the halls and at home.  4 introverts and 3 extroverts.....almost even.  Almost.  

I personally cannot wait for tomorrow evening when we are home and it seems no one in our family needs to go anywhere at this point.  I hope to cook a really tasty supper and maybe play a board game and light the fire and maybe even snuggle in for a family movie.....that is heaven for an introvert.  :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A lesson or two for me.

I have an epiphony or two from yesterday's fruit fast.  And I'm serious this time.

After 24-ish hours of mostly all fruit and very little else.....I enjoyed me evening meal yesterday.  I felt grateful and wrote about that.  At about 8pm, I became a very ugly person who was frustrated and intolerant and snappy and crabby and not at ALL joyful.  I wanted to sit and watch my tv show, The Voice, and Joe was demanding and whiney and screaming and Precious was needy and demanding and aweful and Jeremiah was sick and Isaac needed help studying and the supper dishes were still out and the tubs I meant to sort on Saturday still cluttered my family room and Claire, who should have been up here helping, or at the very least sucking up because she gets to go to State Volleyball with Friends this week......was laying on her bed in her room doing......whatever teens do.  Whoa.  That is one very long run-on sentence.....but I'm tellin ya.....it was a run-on hour from 8-9pm.  I am not nice from 8-9pm.  Ah ha moment #1.  Moment #2.......I am an equally unpleasant mom from 8am to 9am.  This morning, I started out fine, with my bible and my coffee and snuggling kiddos and gently rousing others to get going.....Claire's ride was in the driveway at 5:30am and Isaac had basketball at 6;15.....and I did ok from 5am until (you guessed it)8am.  Then the yucky mom showed up and I was a yelling, stomping, uncontrolled mess again because I needed to get the little ones out the door so I could go start my very long work day in the very cold wind and snow and they were not cooperating.  They were being naughty and petulant.....oh wait, that was me.  They were being 2.....and 5(with issues).  I am appalled to think of who they saw and heard this morning at 8am when they were looking up at mama.  Blech.

I have 2 hours in the day, 8am-9am, and 8pm-9pm that I need to wage war against spiritually and physically.  I need to lean on Jesus, and beg the fruit of his Spirit, especially in these 120 minutes.  I will feel like I have achieved a measurable goal if these 2 times of the day begin to improve in my.  I am starting to pray about this now.

That was epiphony #1.

Epiphony # 2 is that when I consider discipline, I think of how the devil would use shame and guilt and condemnation and punishment to get his point across.  The Lord......the Lord uses the quiet moments, after a sacrificial day of prayer and fasting.....and he gently shows the tapes of the voices and actions I demonstrated.  The Lord is gentle, and kind.  He is slow to anger and abounding in love.....and I have much to learn from him.  I am so glad he is my Teacher.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

a grateful list

I saw a facebook post this morning that said that joy is the result of gratitude.  I am grateful....


1.  I am grateful for God and salvation and grace to start fresh every day.
2.  I am grateful for my mom who baked really yummy bread bowls and we served my homemade chili in them for supper.....with melted cheese.....and it was really, really tasty.
3.  I am grateful for a warm house on a cold, windy, snowy day.
4.  I am grateful that my foot is just sprained and not broken.....and local x-ray and medical care to access when needed.
5.  I am grateful to veterans who have kept us safe for generations of threat from bad guys.
6.  I am grateful for my friend who met me for lunch yesterday to discuss therapy dogs, and ended up joining me in our journey and pursuit of more Fruit.....and anyone else who takes up this challenge!
7.  I am grateful for bedtime.....whenever it comes.  I love my children so much but I am so, so grateful when they go to sleep.
8.  I am grateful for my job, and the satisfaction it brings me that what I do all day makes a difference.
9.  I am grateful for the music teacher.  I called him today to say that Jeremiah was sick and wouldn't be at cello lesson and that Isaac was stopping guitar until after basketball season because he has early morning practices on his lesson day.  Teacher said, "Oh!  How long will that be?" (in a kinda whiney voice) and I said, "about 3 months".  Teacher said, "That's too bad.  I had some Christmas music I was excited to give him!".
10.  I am grateful to be a woman, who by nature gets to change her mind.  I'm so gonna get Isaac back to the teacher for some Christmas music.  My 12 year old, on a guitar, playing Christmas songs?!  Are you kidding me?!

Monday, November 10, 2014

fruit. fruit. fruit.

Galatians 5:22-23.....But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  God's fruit.  The fruit that only comes from the Holy Spirit....cuz it sure isn't possible in my power.  I've tried and tried and studied and prayed and asked for more of the fruit of His Spirit.  I want to be more joyful and patient and have more self-control......I want to be remembered as a kind and good and gentle woman of God. 

That cannot be said of me today.  I do lots of things well.....and I serve the Lord.  Every day.  I give Him my best every day but it's just not enough.....not for me.  I want to demonstrate more of what the Holy Spirit has to give.  I want to boast in Him, because in Him all things are possible.  Transformation and refinement and redemption......living the fruit of the Spirit every day.  That's what I am contending for.  That is how I plan to break out of the mundane work of daily living. 

I've been in survival mode for awhile....and I have been nursing a wounded heart.  Healing is happening, and with that the motivation to go out and pick some fruit.  I was pretty messed up about not getting to adopt our little one from India.  That shadow has been near me for almost 2 years now.  We were blessed to get to adopt Josiah.....and I CLEARLY see God's plan in that every day of  my life.....but I was blind-sided by that plan from Him and it caused me to have some trust God issues.....please understand that Josiah has my heart and I feel so grateful and humbled to be his mama......but what I thought would happen for me and for him did not happen.  I grieved his birth mom losing him.....I wanted her to succeed in parenting him.  I still grieve that for him.....and someday when he figures out he is adopted, I need to share that grief with him again.  That heavy stuff......... on top of ear infections and poopy diapers and expensive formula and his anxiety and abandonment issues......on top of all of Precious' issues.....and 3 older kids moving into teenager life. 

I have not been able to grow any fruit of the Spirit in the garden of my soul......until now.  Yesterday we attended the Katelyn's Fund adoption support celebration service at the host church.  I was re-inspired and my cup was filled up again.....I have energy and passion to move forward in loving the widow and the orphan and the fatherless.....but what does that mean for me?  I am taking a year to grow and listen and garden a bit, regarding the fruit of the spirit.  If you want to join me, feel free.  Please let me know if you do.

I am taking a year, from mid-November 2014 to mid-November 2015 to concentrate my energy and prayer and focus on the fruit of the Spirit.  I am contending for more fruit, better fruit, and a transformation of my mind, body, soul and strength in that fruit.  I have one quiet partner already who also longs for God to bring more of His fruit to her life.  I would love more of you to join in.  Here is my plan.  For one year, starting now, I will fast one day a week and only eat fruit.  One evening meal to the next evening meal, 24 hours.....only fruit.  Why?  Because I kinda feel like God asked me to.  I never fast out of ritual or discipline, only if the Lord calls me.  I think He is calling me.  I think He wants to see my sacrifice and my obedience before He allows transformation to come in me.  Maybe I'm crazy but if so, oh well.  I'm crazy for my Lord and I just want to give Him my best. Once a week, for a year, until Orphan Sunday of 2015. 

I hope to pray for the fruit daily, and seek His counsel on how to grow that fruit in the garden of my life.  I can't wait to find lots of commentary and info that has already been written and lived regarding the Fruit of the Spirit.  It's fruit.  Fruit is fresh and fruit spoils.  Fruit is diverse and interesting and colorful.....and needs to be replaced often. 

Maybe.....if you can.....you could pray for me.  I love food and I hate, hate, hate to fast.  Tomorrow will be hard for me, until the evening meal when I can eat again.  I have lots of fruit but I will definitely be hungry and crabby and somehow I need to get past that so that God can work on tilling the garden of me.  Weeds, roots, garbage.  Fertilizer.  It isn't gonna be pretty.  But hopefully, it will be......fruitful.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

the hush-its seriously a thing

It' 11:15pm.  I just laid Josiah in his bed.  He and Precious took late naps today so they were both awake after 10pm.  That is so, so hard for this very old mama.  As I have mentioned many times, I'm pretty much done parenting at 8pm.  Everything after 8pm is crabby and stressed and desperate.....until we get to that yielding place where their busy little bodies stop moving and we turn off the lights and there is the hush, the trickle down of energy and noise and movement.  Josiah got to this place and just nuzzled into my chest with his little legs tucked beneath him and his head nestled into my neck.  I could stroke his curly head or kiss it and rub his warm back and just give a gentle squeeze....so I did that for about half an hour before I laid him down.  Don't judge me.  I earned it.

It occurred to me that this could be one of the last nights I experience the hush and snuggle of a baby who falls asleep on my lap.  One of these days it will be the last time.  He turns two soon and eventually will not want to rock-a-bye to sleep.  Will I miss it?

When Claire was done with the bedtime hush, it was because Isaac needed my lap at that time.  Same for Jeremiah.....Isaac got bumped for baby Jeremiah.....and then with Precious she was just so fragile that she spent all of her time on my chest and it wasn't just bedtime hush....it was just what we did.  Precious finally got older and only needed this soothing occasionally......well, daily.....and then came Joe.  Joe really likes to go to sleep with the rocking, stroking, chest to chest hush.  I really like it too.  We are hard-wired together for this....and one day he will outgrow it.  What then?

I hope I don't miss it and long for it.  I would rather just celebrate and embrace the new stage and have hush-amnesia.....and know that as good as it feels, it has its time and place.  I'm getting old.  I cannot keep parenting babies.  I need permission to let go of the hush and not love it so much.  Since I'm not quite out of the hush phase yet, I think I'll end this post and crawl in next to Precious Maryn who is at my feet on a stack of blankets.  We decided today to have a sleep-out in the living room together.....sadly it is more comfortable to do this with her than sleep on her bumpy cheap twin size mattress in her room.  So.....yey for a sleep-out!  Anyway, she's finally asleep in the darkness of our living room floor and I think its now time to snuggle in beside her, pull her close and enjoy a bit more of the hush.

a prayer, a chant, a recipe, a meditation......

from 1 Kings 17.....verse 12......."As surely as the Lord your God lives," she replied, "I don't have any bread-only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug.  I'm gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it-and die."  Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid.  Go home and do as you have said.  But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.  For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says; "The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land.'"  She went away and did as Elijah had told her.  So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.  For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.

my NIV study bible says this in the commentary below.....A simple act of faith produced a miracle....and later in the paragraph, this:  But every miracle, large or small, begins with an act of obedience.

Am I the only one who feels this strike a chord in my soul?  I'm feelin it.  A simple act of faith.....and obedience....can lead to a miracle.  The jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry.  She was able to provide food and income for her family because God did a miracle in a jar and a jug for her.  First, she had to do something selfless and sacrificial and not very sensible.  She had to make food for the prophet from what meager stash she had left.  Poor woman even barely had enough wood for the fire.  She was definitely at the end of herself......and yet, there was Elijah.  Speaking for God.  Acting for God in miracles and wonders, asking for a meal at her table.  Wowsers......how cool is God?  

I have moments and hours and days.....and weeks.....and even years where I can put myself in the kitchen of the widow of Zarephath.  I feel her desperation and her worry about how to provide and what to do.  I ache with her, for what I cannot provide to my family because of not having enough flour in my jar and oil in my jug.  I'm speaking literally and symbolic as well.  Emotionally, I live in the widow's kitchen ALOT.  Not enough flour in my jar or oil in my jug.....and literally, because the economy in our community is expensive.  We work hard and there is just never, ever room to breathe from paycheck to paycheck.

One might pray for an Elijah to come to the door, and provide flour and oil so that there is enough until the Lord gives rain on our land.....but one must remember, that if Elijah comes, so does a question of faith.....and obedience.  First.

I find that I cannot just flat out ask God to meet our needs anymore.  I can't just complain about fatigue and emotional raw places and feeling broke and in debt all the time.  I cannot.  I am haunted by the widow in her kitchen, even now, knowing that if she had been praying for relief to come.....she likely did not expect to see Elijah at her door......she likely was unprepared to be that generous and faithful in her moment of weakness.  I bet it was really, really hard for her to make him the first......the FIRST small cake of bread with what she had left.  But.  She.  Did.  It.  God gave her the guts to do it.  Obedience.  Faith.

Lord, you know what I really, really want.  First I will ask you.  What do you want from me?  What do you want me to do in a leap of faith that doesn't make sense (ok.  I already have that answer.  I know.).....and where can I obey you.....help me to have faith and to be obedient.  Holy spirit......I cannot in my power but only in yours, do these things.  Flour, oil, faith, obedience....faith, obedience, flour oil.....flour, faith, oil, obedience......obedience, faith, oil, flower........



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

my fall list

Fall....leaves and rakes and football and sweatshirts and boots.  High winds.  Cool sunsets.  Frosty mornings.  Leftover Halloween candy and sales on whole turkeys at the grocery store.  The shadow of Christmas retail lurking and hinting and haunting.  Spaghetti squash and chili soup and corn bread and pumpkin pie......play-do, puzzles, movies, books.  Hot cider, warm slippers and that "magic blanket" that heats up when you plug it in.  Warm fires in our fireplace at 10 am.   Swim meets and dance competitions and basketball practice.  Hats and gloves and coats.  Candles.  Snuggles.  Earlier bedtime thanks to the wonder of the phenomenon of " daylight savings time" where I live.  Shopping-for all things warm.  Coffee and cider and tea.  ( all sipped in the heaviest of mugs)......less and more ....as the seasons change.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween

I have never.....ever.....enjoyed Halloween.  Ever.

As a child, I remember being afraid of the scary spooks that rang our doorbell and begged for treats.  Often, they didn't graciously accept one but instead took handfuls of candy we otherwise never got to have.  I remember college kids trick-or-treating us and my mom being annoyed because they were too old.  At least once, she went to her purse and took a roll of breath mints and with a stern look of disapproval....dropped one mint into each bag.

Later, there was a party next door and there was alot of chaos and noise and we were home alone and I was afraid......and later still there were the haunted houses with too much satanic stuff and a scary disconnect for people who thought it was just fun and scary. ( They have no idea what they are taking so lightly.  I've always known more and been more afraid. )

I remember pressure to come up with an awesome costume for school and not being creative enough to make something up......and feeling jealous of other kids who had really great costumes.....and then hating the feeling of jealousy.

I find it absurd that we tell our kids day after day that there is no such thing as ghosts and witches.....but on Halloween we can dress them up that way.  It is silly that we restrict sweets for our children.....until Halloween.  Then we let them gorge themselves on it.  We caution our kids to not talk to strangers.....until Halloween when we send them door to door.....past scary glowing pumpkins on the stoop and freaky door decorations.  Ridiculous holiday.  Ridiculous.

Today, while all of that is still true....I have enjoyed Halloween a bit.  My 2 littlest kiddos dressed up like a cowboy and a fairy princess and did about 30 minutes of trick-or-treating and then had had enough.  They are with Rick and Nana for the weekend.....love that (for a few reasons....).  My next oldest 2 boys are with friends in some homemade costumes and are turned loose on the small town streets......living the American dream of freedom and security and friendship.  My oldest is with me.  We left town early afternoon, with a bag full of treats from my sister/friend Jen......we are in Omaha for dance.  We shopped and found Claire really good deals and fashion finds and we laughed behind our hands at the adults in the mall who were dressed up.  She's 15 and I'm much older....and we agreed we both hate Halloween.  We found her some great stuff.....and then went to eat together at the Cheesecake Factory in Omaha....just the two of us.  I started to hate this holiday a bit less....as I enjoyed her more.  We talked about dating and character and Jesus.....then we got to our hotel that my step-dad helped us pay for and settled into a clean, quiet space for the next 2 days.

I'm on a big bed all by myself and have had a few hours already to just watch tv and drink wine and eat cheesecake from the restaurant.  I get to sleep alone tonight.  Halleluiah......it happens so rarely....and tomorrow I can sit at dance all day and watch my beautiful girl do what she loves and works for and sacrifices for....and maybe this year, I don't hate Halloween so much.

I'm scrolling through facebook enjoying all the sweet pictures of kids I know and adore looking festive and happy....in costumes that are fun and sweet and silly and not scary.  I'm willing to consider that not everything about this holiday is aweful, but still.....I'm looking forward to tomorrow when its over again for the year.