Friday, July 13, 2012

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder (Day 5)

It is Day 5 without my superheros. We all felt it this morning, especially Dodger. Just look at that face. Here he is on Shane's bed. I think because he got a little taste of kid action last night with our friend Chip..he really misses his boys. Tomorrow we pick them up! It has really been a wonderful week. I've done some of the things I wanted to do, not all of them. Today I really focused on relaxing.

My friend Becky and I got together this morning (this was the only reason I got out of my pjs!) and she cut my hair. I was so desperate. I love this woman. So she cut my hair and we had a sweet time of prayer too. How great is that? On my way home from her soul sister Lorrie said she would color my hair. (Mr. Incredible tells me I've got it made...he is girl friends are amazing!!) Since I spent some time getting pampered I decided to go home and finish the job. This is something I rarely do. (Possibly because I'm do busy doing laundry..not sure.)
I painted my nails...and is PINK! I am really changing. Never been a pink kind of girl...but now I carry a pink bag and have pink appendages.
 I knew we were gonna need some of this for dinner I took a picture. (you thought I was going to say cut some right? lol! no...Mr. Incredible is in charge of the herbs...and the food.) ;)
He came home from school and wanted to go for a walk on the beach. YES! We missed saying..."Come on's getting late Kyle...can you walk a little faster buddy?!" Kyle is our "attention to detail" kind of when we go for takes a LONG time. We stopped in a few shops on Flagler Ave. (You know...a coffee shop, Go Fish...ummm...well, maybe that is it...oh no Manzanos pick up Mr. Incredible's pay check.)

We stopped and stood, feet in the water, silent. It was glorious. Holding hands, thanking God for such an amazing backyard..just look at that! Ahhh!!!
Came home and Mr. Incredible made this. Caprese Salad. OH my goodness. A little olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar...some fresh mozzarella, fresh tomato and of course..basil.
Can't let him outdo me. Not that I'm competing but dessert is my thing. I made lots of waffles (considering my superheros are coming home tomorrow..and how cool would it be to have some homemade waffles and ice cream tomorrow...they'll be glad they're home). So I tested it out and shared a sandwich with my man (in case you're watching your weight..these are lo-cal...that there is fat free frozen yogurt..1/2 cup..and we split it. Anyway, I think I was supposed to sprinkle it with powdered sugar..that's how they do it "down the shore" in New Jersey!

Alright. Here is my confession. I didn't do any school work, women's ministry work (except a few phone calls), I didn't work on Bagels & Blessings, I didn't clean my house (I didn't have to really), I didn't mow my lawn (very necessary by the way). Nope! None of it!

I did however, spend extended quiet time, read a book (still reading it), paint my nails, hung with some friends, talked with my man, held his hand, kissed a little (well maybe a lot) walked on the beach, walked on the river, baked some cookies, relaxed, did some shopping, watched Netflix, missed my superheros like crazy, and totally enjoyed every single bit of all of it! I can't wait to see them, and hug them...I can however wait to smell them. I'll be back to tons of laundry tomorrow.

Truth: I probably needed this time for many reasons...they probably did too! I've learned a lot..and yes..absence makes the heart grow fonder. Tomorrow we'll see how they feel about that!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Affirmative Relationships (Day 4)

Not too many words were spoken this morning. I woke up, read for awhile, walked into my superheros rooms. I wondered are they missing me, like I'm missing them? I closed my eyes and pictured our reunion. (I know that is dangerous...I did the same thing for our farewell and it was nothing like I imagined.) However, I still cannot help the fact that when I close my eyes I see their faces, their smiles...and I long for them to be back. I know they are having the time of their lives. I thought about our routine...the "goodnights", the rituals, the talks in bed at night, the unwinding...hmmmm...I miss them.

So how do I remedy that. By watching a TV show on Netflix. You know the kind of show that gets your heart beating fast. My kind of show...crime fighting, political, counter terrorism....24! I never watched 24 when it was televised (probably too busy with very young children to watch television) but is highly entertaining. I made the boys' beds with fresh smelling sheets. While doing this I let my mind wander to when they are in college...or married...quickly I ran to watch another episode of 24. The president was making poor decisions...that got my mind off of being a mother of boys who will get married one day and go off to be close to their wives' parents.

I made coconut is part one of a two part dessert for our friends that we having over for dinner  tonight. We served a refreshing sorbet too. You can find this cookie recipe on my other website: Krypton's Kitchen. I loved that we invited friends over for dinner. It was something to look forward to besides my superheros return. It made my Day 4 without much more bearable.

Before Chip and Linda got to the thought was...I love candles, I should light a few. However with the smell of this...
there really was no need to light the candles. The smell permeated the house. I'm so proud of my husband..he is an amazing cook. He works that kitchen!!

Chip and Linda are dog lovers...animal lovers! I knew they were gonna be okay with Dodger. You see Dodger loves, I mean LOVES people. He really believes that everyone wants to be with him and play with him. He is convinced (and I've tried to convince him otherwise) that when we people come over they are here for one play with him, to love on him, to see only him. He is a very obedient puppy, except for the jumping up on you when you walk through the door. I'm working on that. Case in point...Linda walks through the door and he is fine. He sniffed and wagged his tail and was very excited, but she just stood there and let him do his thing. He didn't jump on her. Then he met Chip. There was instant love! He has been missing his brothers...until now...he has found his Chip!  OH they frolicked and played and laughed and kissed. Chip got him so excited, Dodger was so happy, so elated, so intoxicated..full of joy...he vomited on Chip.

Did I just say that? OH yes. Dodger (for the record) has NEVER done that before. Right before we're to sit and have that delicious dinner...Dodger puked all over Chip's very nice clothes. Chip was awesome. Totally didn't want Dodger to get in trouble. Linda and I were both thankful Mike knows how to handle vomit. It's always nice to have a nurse in the house. Chip got all cleaned up..and Dodger finally calmed down. (Honestly if you ask me...Chip was kind of sad that Dodger rested. I think Chip wanted to play some more!)
We had a wonderful night! I love these people. So real, so genuine, so affirming & encouraging. We had and still have many things in common. We swapped stories, laughed and even got teary at times. It was a great night. Mike and I are so thankful for our friendship with Chip and Linda. (And Dodger is too...of course he thinks they only came to see him anyway!) It was a great night. When they were about to leave we woke Dodger up and he got all excited again...handing out the kisses and love. Did a few tricks for them...and I'm pretty sure he wanted to go home with them too. I talked a lot about my boys tonight...but Chip and Linda can really relate...and in fact bring a great perspective to us! Parents of boys...there's a bond. I remember when my friend Rhonda came over one time...oh my kids were so small. They were running around like crazy boys and hiding in our entertainment center, running into our couch...and I said.."I bet you don't see crazy kids like this every day?" And she said..."Well, yes, yes I boys are much bigger, but they still jump on the couch, and run around like crazy kids!" Spoken like a mom of boys. Counting my blessings tonight...for our relationships, for friends, for children, for times of growth, times of learning, for His Grace...His amazing Grace...for His story in us!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Divine Day (Day 3)

Well, today was one of my favorite days of the entire week thus far! We woke up very early and got on the road. Mr. Incredible had to do an observation and take a tour of The School for The Deaf & Blind in St. Augustine...which is right down the road from Historic Downtown St. George St. so we decided it would be awesome if we could hang out and leisurely walk through St. Augustine with out the children. (The only other time we've done that was when I had my first 5K on the Bridge of Lions.) I was so preoccupied back this was so peaceful. One of my goals this week was to read a book from cover to cover. I don't get to read just for pleasure too often. Between studying for Bagels & Blessings and my Life Transformation Group and my personal devotions...then add schooling and reading the read alouds...I don't get much time to read just for fun. So...I borrowed this book Forsaken and was planning on reading for hours. However, my cousin in Jacksonville wanted to join me for a bit too, so we got to St. Augustine around 8:15am. The only things open were coffee shops and the visitor center.
I love coffee...if you haven't figured that out. City Perks is a great coffee shop on St. George St. They brew espresso for their coffee. That makes me smile.
So Mr. Incredible and I had a little chance to take a walk until he had to begin his observation...loved looking at the cemetery and taking our time to read anything we wanted to read. When we are with our children...reading the descriptions of things gets old...they want to MOVE! Made me smile when we were there.
I felt like today was a day of divine appointments. On the way to St. Augustine Mike and I talked about some of the changes we might be having to make in the next month. Financially speaking..we are running very low on money. We've budgeted so well, and God has been so good, but the next month or two are going to be a real test. Mike will be done school in August and we are praying he gets a job quickly. We also talked about the changes in our children (had to talk about the children right?) and how we have to begin to adapt our parenting to their growing needs and changes as well.
As we walked back through the city gates of St. Augustine...we talked about how grateful we are to be where we are right now. Gratitude is a vital part of joyful matter what the circumstances. Our time this morning filled me with such peace and joy. Once Mr. Incredible left for school, I found my spot....
...and read. I watched as the store owners arrived to open their shops. I thought about how wonderful it would be to come here and stay a few nights...just Mr. Incredible and I. We would totally do this very thing...he and his book, me and mine. Makes me smile again. Shortly after reading a few chapters my cousin called to tell me she had arrived. This will be another divine appointment.
She and I walked around a bit. I love her. I'm thankful to have her in my life. We talked about the boys and how I missed them, but knew this was so good for all of us! We went to lunch and we continued talking. She said she woke up with Nana on her mind. Nana would be our grandmother who passed away the year after I was born. She felt strongly that she had to talk to me about my family. I never met my grandmother on my father's side. Come to think of it..I've never met any of my grandparents. As she began to speak, talking about family history, I felt my eyes beginning to well up. I've been mourning the fact that I feel so disconnected to family. I know I have family (not very many), I have memories as a child albeit limited. Because I'm the youngest of all my cousins, she has memories that don't include me..because when I was born she was already 26 years old. She filled me in on details of my history. Are you ready for this...I am related to..wait for it...JOHN ADAMS! I can't wait to tell my kids. Yes, I actually qualify to be a Daughter of The American Revolution. WOW! Our cousin Kathy traced our blood lineage on my father's side directly to John Adams. She also told me things about my grandmother back in the early 1930s and what she  did to survive. Such fascinating stories - such a divine appointment.
Mr. Incredible joined us for lunch and Ilene had to go shortly after that. We walked around and explored things we had never seen before. Like the history of New Smyrna which is the town directly above where I live presently. I love Florida History. Then of course we absolutely love international foods. The part we miss about New Jersey...however you can find just about every international flare right here in St. Augustine (the oldest city in the United States by the way!)
Cafe con Leche and a guava & cheese pastalitos. OH yummy! We continued walking up and down the town, all over the side streets and then decided to walk over the Bridge of Lions. It was such a beautiful day!
As we were walking over I ask Mike what would happen if the bridge would go he sure they would see us? "That's not going to happen." Well....we step onto the section of the bridge that would go up and no sooner than our feet hit the ground...all these alarms go off! The bridge was going up. We had to run off that part, by the time we got to the flashing gates..they were closing us in on the wrong side. I think they finally saw us and lifted the gates for a second so we could run through.
 That was invigorating to say the least. I love watching boats. So peaceful and relaxing.
We ended up having dinner at Harry's a New Orleans style restaurant...where I enjoyed jambalaya and he had shrimp and grits. Again...yum! We held hands, talked, laughed, missed our kids together but realized an important fact, we need more of this. Someday our superheros are going to be on their own, we need to take care of us, enjoy us...we don't do this enough. What a divine day! I'm so in love with Mr. Incredible...22 years of marriage and he still gives me butterflies when we hold hands.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

No Interruptions (Day 2)

It started with a very difficult night of sleep for me and....the dog. Me, I tossed and turned, partly because the smell in my home is making me hungry. Mike is making the absolute most amazing sauce for some lasagna and it has permeated my entire home...smells of garlic, pork, beef, tomatoes, basil....this makes it difficult to sleep. To be honest however, I was probably thinking mostly about things like, are my superheros going to wear deodorant, take showers, brush teeth...will Brendan give Kyle his "stuff". I packed all of their things in one suitcase...Kyle probably won't remember anything I told its up to Brendan..who I think actually enjoys smelling like an Italian sub with lots of onions. Needless to say I did wake up often..said a little prayer and tried to go back to sleep. Dodger, well he was like "Goldilocks", he tried sleeping in every bed of the house. I caught him in Brendan's bed at one point. Finally, he came back to my room and moaned. Oh I think he misses the noise too.

My morning started out much like any other morning. Quietly ensconced in my spot, with a blanket and my Bible and coffee. The only difference was...there were no dishes to empty from the dishwasher. We didn't run the dishwasher. Probably has something to do with 3 people missing. (Little lump in my throat!) Oh this is  going to be good for me.

Off for my workout. I'm supposed to be training for a triathlon. It's not going very well. Fear of the ocean and the rip current is mostly what's been holding me back. I'm working on the courage. Don't know if I'll actually compete in September, but I will continue to train. So I ran 3 miles and biked 8 all within 60 minutes. Not bad for getting back into the swing of things.

So my friend Lorrie, who by the way was my first friend in Florida. I moved here in October of 2003 and she and I became instant friends in November. She is like family to me...loves me just the way I expectations...just genuine love..and the feeling is mutual! I totally went on a little bunny trail there...she has been to IKEA and loved it..and wanted me to experience it with her. I really can not afford to buy anything, but we can all afford to dream right?

So we rarely go anyplace together without lots of laughter and fun!  Here are just a few of the silly things I noticed and did while we were together, exploring IKEA...

I noticed the carts were WAY the bags fit in just so! I loved that. We didn't need the cart...we had enough space in our heads to fill with need for a cart.
This was the sign in the ladies room stall. Interesting...flush up for liquid waste...flush down for solid waste. Wow! That is really all I can say about that!
 I found the little pencils and measuring tape so adorable. Yes we had lunch too. What a great place.
 There she is my Blandy girl!  B - For Blandy!
Yes...we were looking good..and having fun. I thought to myself, as we get older I can understand why our children wouldn't want to hang out with us much. I'm gonna work on that. I think I'm a cool middle aged woman (and so far my superheros do too)...shhhh don't tell them otherwise!
I just wanted a moment in the shower stall. Every trip (if we can possibly manage it...must end (or begin or both) at a Starbucks. So that is what we did!
 There are my two favorite girls!
Well, I did walk away buying just a little something. We have inherited this new table and I homeschool so I didn't want it to get ruined. Already I can see etchings of fine writing samples dug into the I was planning on covering the wood before school starts again. Well, we found these fun place mats (which are over-sized and hard enough to be a writing back for my boys to use for school...all the while doubling as  place mats. Then of course Lorrie had to hook me up with some flowers and a cute little rectangle vase.

What a wonderful day. Yes, I talked about my kids. I'm pretty sure I didn't shed a tear today however. I did think about them a lot. I'm really really enjoying my time with my husband. Uninterrupted has been wonderful. I think today was a success. I'm learning a lot about myself. (By Saturday....I'm going to be desperately needing a superhero fix!) Tomorrow Mr. Incredible and I have some quality time planned in St. Augustine...first I have a book that needs to be read from cover to cover. Catch you tomorrow.

Monday, July 9, 2012

We Love It Like This! (Day 1)

I decided since I will have all kinds of time not playing board games, geocaching, taking lego pieces apart with my fingernails, washing tons of laundry, fixing breakfast (2x), lunch and dinner  (insert blushing smile face) for 3 adorable and  very missed superheros, I thought I could journal my experiences...without them.

Today, I sent all 3 of my boys off to camp. (The one in the green is our friend). I've never been in my home without my children for this long. Tonight it feels like they are at a sleepover (which rarely happens but occasionally).  In preparation for their trip I did the following. Labeled every item in 3 suitcases with a sharpie or fabric marker (tedious by the way), wrote 3 cards (one to each boy) and hid that in each suitcase, wrote 3 more letters and mailed them out today (so they will get it during camp). I also spent time snuggling with each one, speaking life into them (as well as reminding them oh...100+ times about proper hygiene care) and prayed with each one for their individual experiences. UGH...starting to well up now...hold on...composing myself...ok!
My best friend Lorrie drove her van packed full of boys and suitcases. We took the 2 hour journey, and we finally arrived...along with all of our friends. The boys went crazy. I had visions of teary goodbyes and hugs. Nope. They ran off in 10 different directions while I quietly made their bunk beds. I realized as they popped in and out of the rooms and I rattled off some detailed command...that I totally micromanage them...just a bit.

They are going to be fine. The picture below is the swim test for the lake. You see you can go tubing, swim out to the doc, is a glorious place. I really wanted all of my boys to experience this. This was Brendan's 3rd time going to camp, but my other was their first.
This would be my Kyle. He just completed his swim test (I knew then I should have not stayed). I watched, he is my...special...boy. I saw him swim out and then swim back. The lifeguard told him to get a certain color wrist He went to the next life guard and she says.."What color?" and he sweetly tells her with a beautifully big grin (and I overheard)..."Oh, I don't know, surprise me!" I piped in and said..."Kyle, she told you red." The life guard proceeds to put a red wrist band on his wrist and off he goes to join his brothers and friends out by the dock. It wasn't too long when I saw him on the shore, covering his wrist looking forlorn (see I knew I shouldn't have stayed). His twin brother was standing next to him, explaining something, so I go and micromanage investigate. Apparently you are not allowed out by the dock without a green wrist band. My heart was broken. I told him to get back in line and try again..."Do your very best can do are a good swimmer." Then with tears in my eyes, I told Lorrie..I better leave. I couldn't handle seeing him look all rejected. It was breaking my heart.

As we walked back, I grabbed my other superhero and told him to encourage his brother. Tell him its gonna be ok. I went up to the benches by their cabin and our Children's Director, Jamie saw me sitting there....with tears in my eyes...well...lots of tears. I told her what happened and she said..they will reevaluate worries. Before we left, Lorrie and I went over to the Anniversary Lodge where we always stay on women's beautiful, so peaceful. I felt better and matter what...everything was going to be fine.

While I was in the car on my way home...Jamie texted me the above picture. HE DID IT! He got the green wrist band. There is nothing that is going to stop him now. You see, there is a part of my heart that carries Kyle just a little differently. There were times and talks about if Kyle would ever talk, would ever function in society, would ever get married, have a career...we just didn't know. We knew he had to get to know Jesus..that was the important thing. He has overcome so much in his young life...and I'm enormously proud of him. This picture was a defining moment for my week. I've entrusted him to others...others that don't know him like I do. He's going to try new things, eat new foods, swim in a lake, off a dock and probably go tubing. I can hardly contain my joy. what did I do besides cry today. Well, I got home to find my husband slaving over the stove for our company on Thursday. (It's complicated)...and we talked about the kids...looked at all my pictures...prayed for the Lord to move in their lives..then I wanted to go running. So I went running on Riverside Drive as my husband and dog went for a walk. We came home and...
 I had popcorn for dinner at 8:00pm. (I know, don't be jealous). We didn't have to cook tonight. Yesterday I bought some twizzlers for the boys to take to camp and I bought a little bag of black. My youngest superhero says to me..."Mom, why are you buying black twizzlers..nobody likes those?" I responded with.."Your Dad and I do! You know when you leave..we're gonna watch movies, stay up late, eat popcorn for dinner and candy for dessert!" He just stared at me in wonderment! So I didn't have twizzlers for dessert, but I did have popcorn for dinner! This was my view towards the end of my run this evening. Perfect huh?

I miss them. They light up my life. I guess I like a house full of noise. Funny, Mr. Incredible and I were married for 10 years before children came into the picture. We were quiet people...we liked it..we thought our children would be like that. They are not & we're glad, because we love it like this!