Monday, March 16, 2009

Oh, the Madness!

I love this time of year. Not only is the ground completely 100% free of snow - which means the girls and I have spent oodles of time outside today, playing, walking, riding bikes, basking in the 50-degree weather, and this evening we actually tilled our garden - but even better than all's time for my secret passion - tall men, sweaty men, in shorts. MARCH MADNESS! I am a huge fan, which is total madness, because I do not watch a single college basketball game during the regular season. But come tournament time I am obsessed. It's those darn brackets. The whole thing is madness - agonizing for days over which team will win each and every game, trying to predict the upsets, and knowing when to play it safe - as if I'm some sort of basketball expert.

I watch every game I possibly can - with intensity, loving every minute of it. Perhaps it's the competitive side of me coming out - needing my bracket to trample every other member of my family's. It has never happened, but every year I have high hopes (it's seriously a fantasy of mine) that somehow, clueless as I am, I will pick the winning bracket. The bracket of all brackets. A bracket that will win me money and prizes and maybe a guest appearance on the Today show, so I could meet Matt Lauer. Or maybe it's just that this is a family tradition - something my family has always enjoyed doing together - whether we're actually at the games or not. Maybe it was actually attending those 1st and 2nd round games that got me hooked. Some of those games were unbelievable. What memories - being there in person where the excitement and energy was palpable! Whatever the reason, that feeling is in the air again.

When I heard the news that my alma mater would be playing their first games in Boise, I immediately started searching for tickets. How much fun it would be to see them play! I was sorely tempted, are more pricey than I hoped they would be, and there are so many other things on my "wish list" that I can't really justify the splurge. But, I will be watching and cheering and wishing I was there in person, because nothing is better than watching an incredible upset. So, family of mine, it's on. Who will the winner be this year? My bracket is finally complete - I vowed I wouldn't change it again. We'll see if I can really resist the urge.

I'm feeling GOOD. This just may be my lucky year. If I say that every year - one of these years it may actually be true! The victory will be that much more sweet when I come out of nowhere to defeat all you trash talkers. And you'll be jealous when Matt asks me how I came to be so knowledgeable about filling out brackets. Okay, so technically I just talked a teensy-weensy ounce of smack, but really....compared to what the rest of you all are saying to each other, that was nothing. I'm so ready for my yearly basketball fix. Go Aggies!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Grow Spring!

Yesterday I pulled out the Easter decorations. Eggs in pastels and flowers of yellow and white. Once our home was filled with the colors of spring I decided to pull out the girls' warm weather clothes. I needed to take inventory - see what we had and what "needed" to be purchased. I must say, the sorting of capris and shorts and tees and tanks and swimsuits and sun hats and flip flops and sandals did nothing GOOD to my severe case of spring fever. EM spent the day in a in a blue sundress with big red flowers and orange capris underneath - as if she could will springtime to stay.

How I anticipate springtime after a long, cold, snowy winter. She is such a tease, promising to come, only to grace us with her presence in brief bits of sunshine and warmth. Springtime, this household is ready to welcome you with open arms (and shorts and tee-shirts and flip flops). Come and stay a while. Give us days in the park, and picnics, and bike rides, and walks without jackets. Let us come out of our hiding. No more arranged play dates. I want to look out my window and see the neighborhood kids playing while their mothers read books or weed gardens. I want to join them. For me, and mine, please come soon, and don't go away.

As I sit here, watching the snow fall, covering the ground that was bare just hours earlier, I fear that I'll have to wait longer than I'd like.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Happy.... Upset.... Laughing.... Yelling.... Princess.... Ogre.... Obedient.... Stubborn.... Helpful.... Demanding.... Hugging.... Hitting.... Sweet... Nasty.... Snuggling.... Fighting.... Pleasant.... Whining.... Fun.... Miserable.... Playing.... Crying.... "I Love You".... "You're Not Being My Girl".... Sharing.... Teasing.... Grateful.... Taking.... Please and Thank You.... DO IT NOW....!

Life with EM is a roller coaster of emotions.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I Am

Remember report cards and grades and finals and semesters and all that stuff related to quantifying your performance in school? I miss that. It was my regular dose of affirmation and approval. My way of knowing that I was doing something right. That I was above average. I need that now. Badly.

I have never failed anything....ever. Not a test, not an assignment, and certainly not a class. I was the type of student that was disappointed with a "B." So it's a little troubling that my current performance in my current endeavors is less than satisfactory. I may even be failing. Miserably. Actually, it's not so much failing. My report card would be dotted with "I's." "I" for incomplete....or it could just as easily stand for incompetent, insufficient, imperfect, inadequate....This is not sitting well with me. I much prefer straight "A's."

My abilities as a wife, mother, housekeeper, homemaker, peacemaker, chef, teacher, leader, example, nurturer....and so on and so forth....are incomplete. I am not doing enough, of this I am sure. Tell me, how does one know what is GOOD enough without a handy little report card at the end of the term?

I thrive in quantitative situations. Like math - give me a math problem, with a specific solution, and I will solve it. It may take me a whole sheet of paper and two hours, but when I find the correct answer, I know absolutely and positively that I am right. Nothing feels better. Writing an essay for an English class, on the other hand, was a bit more complicated....because it was subjective and open to interpretation. There wasn't a specific right or wrong answer.

Unfortunately for me, life is more like the essay than the math problem. Except even in English there was a teacher handing out grades - someone to let me know where I ranked. I am flailing and failing pitifully....desperate for feedback. Looking at the state of my house and the general happiness of my children in recent weeks, there is definite room for improvement. And so, tomorrow I will try yet again to be more patient and kind and cleanly and all the things that I should be. Wish me luck, for clearly I need all the help I can get.
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