Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Minivan Mom and Her Past Jeep Life

I am a minivan mom. Now, I have owned my minivan for several years and have been a mom for over 10, so this is no surprise admission. But this morning, as I was driving, I saw this funny juxtaposition that put it all in perspective.

Up early this Saturday morning, I was off to run errands before I launched my typical Saturday that consists of running kids all over town, washing the mountains of laundry (said kids produce), and cleaning the house (as best as I can). I found myself unusually alone in the minivan this morning, a rare and cherished moment to myself. Driving along, I was sipping my coffee (that I made at home) from my Tervis (that I had haphazardly rinsed yesterday's coffee out of), when I look over to my right. Traveling in the lane next to me is a picture of me from a different era - a young thin blonde woman, sipping her coffee (from Starbucks), with the top off of her sweet little Jeep.

I chuckled at myself. I was once her, or like her anyways, cute and seemingly carefree - all my worries whipped away by the wind blowing through my hair in my open Jeep. I looked around me, a minivan full of treasures left behind by the many children that usually accompany me, car seats (empty right now), and the Lord only knows how many half eaten food items stuffed into the various nooks and crannies that minivans are known for. This is a far cry from my old ride.

As fun as Jeep life was, I wouldn't trade it for my minivan life. I will drink my homemade coffee from my slightly dirty Tervis and treasure the mess that is my life. This minivan thing, it just represents a Jeep woman who has grown up. I raised my Tervis to my friend on my right and toasted to old times. Here's to minivan driving women everywhere, who used to drive Jeeps.

Friday, October 28, 2011

If God were a search engine...

Do you ever wish you could just Google God? I do. This week I found myself searching my favorite search engine for answers to big questions – life impacting and life changing questions. I would type in my whole question like the Google genie at the other end might pop up several answers with the most pertinent at the top. The absurdity didn’t even strike me. I am desperate for answers and guidance. I found myself really desiring wisdom for answers to my questions.

Not surprisingly Google did not give me any answers. In fact, I found emptiness in the information that I did get. Or worse, in the end, I had more questions.

What was I thinking? Of course, Google was not where I would find my answers or wisdom. But my microwave mentality (I want instant results) got the best of me. Back to the original search engine I go. What better place to seek wisdom than in Proverbs? Oh that Solomon, he was one wise guy.

My middle child spoke my heart the other day, “I wish I could just write Jesus a letter and He would write me back. I would ask him about Heaven and like what I am supposed to do. Then I could get a letter from Him, it would just appear, and He would tell me about these things.” Jesus as a pen pal. Hmm… God as a search engine… Then again, maybe He is there for me to search, in prayer, and perhaps the answers won’t pop up immediately on my computer screen. But surely I will get better results.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Tooth Fairy Fail

It's been a long time since I have been thinking bloggy and composing posts in my head. But yesterday's events flipped the switch and reminded me that sometimes life gives me very blog-worthy moments.

There are a few things in the world of parenting that I super stink at. Keeping tabs on the Tooth Fairy is definitely a serious short coming for me. First of all, am I the only one who doesn't see the loss of a tooth as a major momentous event? I guess being an elementary school nurse and having multiple lost teeth a day numbs my sentimental-tooth-losing side. Whatever it is, my kids lose a tooth and by bed time, when they are pouring their hearts out in letters to the Tooth Fairy, I am merrily going on about my business.

To make matters infinitely worse, neither my husband nor I ever carry cash should the Tooth Fairy forget to stop by. The thing about cash is that if you have it, invariably your kids ask for it. The Tooth Fairy has left quarters, gold dollars, "borrowed" money (from the last time they visited - could have even been from the last time they visited the child's sibling - I know). She has left IOU's, gift cards, and sometimes she even leaves them down in the crack between the bed and the wall - I don't know why, but in that case it is usually me that has to "help find" the money. In any case, two nights ago the Tooth Fairy plumb forgot to come and without any cash to my name I couldn't help the old gal out.

Reba, ever Reba, decides she is going to get to the bottom of this. She Googles, "Where was the Tooth Fairy last night?" Yes, she was seriously going to track this fairy down and let her know what was what. Anyhow, somehow she found this Tooth Fairy site and right away got herself assigned a new Tooth Fairy. "Twinkle" will now be servicing all her Tooth Fairy needs. Great.

I am pretty sure "Twinkle" came around 5:30am. I may have been up feeding a baby around that time and heard some fairy commotion.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Unsolicited Prayer

Unsolicited prayer. Today my family was the recipient of one such prayer. Unsolicited but oh so welcomed.

A woman that we didn't know, sat in front of us at church today. This lady, a middle aged, heavy set, dark complected woman, sat by herself. She didn't come with family. She didn't meet up with friends. She was by herself. I wondered what her story was. In a mega church like ours, I find that it happens that I might sit near or next to someone I don't really know. I was interested to know her. But I didn't.

When the service was over we left to go collect our toddler - the baby and our two older kids were with us for service. On our way back from getting the boy we were headed to a meeting after church and this woman walked up to us - the same woman from the row in front of us. Now the sheer odds in a church our size that we would be in the same hallway at the same time as this woman are pretty slim. But there she was.

The woman stopped us. She told us that she felt God telling her to pray for us, the baby, our children. The baby had caught her attention in worship and the Lord had pressed it upon her heart. She was trying to be faithful. We stopped, she prayed, we made some introductions, and we parted ways.

How did she know? Her prayer, so simple, yet so deep. She prayed for the baby. She prayed for us as parents. She prayed for our family. She asked for protection and for God's plan to be fulfilled for these children. And then she walked away.

Unsolicited. Overwhelming. Covered in prayer from a woman we didn't know - but she knew us. Somehow her prayer cut right to the heart of everything we were swimming in. An angel? I don't know. In the whirl, I can't remember if she ever told us her name. 

Facebook Fast

I am pretty sure my posts here indirectly correlate with my updates on Facebook. I am looking at my past posts and I see a dramatic drop when I joined Facebook. Unfortunately for me - and perhaps for the two of you who still read my blog, my one liner posts on FB are far less entertaining than the elaborate stories about life that I loved to post here. Currently I am in a self imposed Facebook fast. I found myself spending unnecessary hours logged on seeing what everyone else was up to instead of actually being up to anything myself. YIPES!

So, naturally, what I would do in the absence of FB is get back to blogger :) Purely for creative purposes, of course.

My Facebook post today would be: "It's a washing machine miracle!"  See? It's a one liner with no back story. So, what you couldn't know with just my Facebook update, is that we have been sans working washing machine for officially one whole month. I know. We are a family of 6 with babies and pets that make messes. This was a very serious matter.

What you couldn't know by my FB status is the seriousness of the stench coming from the Mount Everest of laundry forming in what was once Brian's photography studio. You couldn't know that after weeks of laundry building up, we have had to move said mountain to our room for a birthday party and then back to the studio because of the stench.

What you couldn't know with just an "update" is that both my older children have been wearing some seriously mismatched clothing as they get further and further to the bottom of their drawers. We have had more than one morning of tears due to the lack of clothes to wear. I am not above making my kid wear his shorts twice. Yes, that was my kid that was stinky. We tried to minimize the laundry done at Aunt Jenny's house to only the necessities.

Certainly, by just a few words in a FB status, you could not know that we have had a comedy of errors in trying to get our washer repaired. Once I had finally convinced Brian this was a big job, we needed to call a repairman, it took him several days to get one out to the house. The repairman came, saw, charged us, and told us to get a new machine. We got a refund. Then Brian decided he was a washing machine repairman and took it apart himself. After taking it apart and finding that the repairman was not exactly right in his quote, Brian decided to repair it himself. One tub broken by Brian, one tub broken by Fed Ex and one tub on back order later, it was a sit and wait kind of situation.

The part finally came, Brian finally had time to fix it. And right now, right at this very moment, there is a washing machine miracle taking place. The miracle is, that after one month of nasty, piling up laundry, we finally have a working washing machine!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Because our family is funnier...

There is a certain branch of my family that you can trace way back to a handful of '89ers. These '89ers must have been some seriously funny folk because the Heller/Stoner side of my family has that bent for hilarity. I am pretty sure we were born with a specific gene for a dominant funny bone. Individually we are fairly clever people, but get us together and your sides will split before the evening is over.

This weekend was no exception to the family rule. Several generations including second gen '89ers, my mom's generation, and my generation gathered for a cousin's wedding. Her wedding was intimate and exquisite all at once. She was stunning in her ivory gown with her red hair down her back. The ceremony was emotional and personal. The reception was 5 star with good wine flowing. All of these things would have made for a great time. But we Hellers have to twist things up and make them funny. It's what we do.

While discussing how to get to the reception with some of our family, a cousin offers the address portion of her Google Maps print out. Just as we are discussing putting the address into our GPS, my great-aunt (who was a riot before age fogged things up a little) chimes in with her observations. "Well, in our car the radio talks to us and tells us where to go. I keep telling them they better hurry up or she's going to leave us behind." And how do you not laugh out loud at that? The real kicker is when we are walking away, after getting her secured in the talking car, her son mentions, "You ought to see her talk back to the thing." I am laughing out loud right now with that image in my head.

After that they just kept on coming. This same aunt suggested to her granddaughter that she might date that nice looking man right over there - yup, a cousin. My sister and I had been making fun of each other all night suggesting that the other had done something just like our mother (no offense mom, but it was really funny). At the end of the evening my grandfather's cousin remarks on how much my sister looks like my mom. ZING! This particular cousin of my grandfathers is an absolute hoot. I think she spent more time on the dance floor than anyone else and don't ask me why she knew all the words to the hip hop songs. At another point an older wedding guest (not a member of our family, but a notable funny moment) was dancing with a single cousin significantly her junior. The dance was meant for married couples only and I am proud to say that Brian and I were among the last few couples up there based on years married. Someone told her that she was cheating by still dancing. To this she replies, "I'm not a cheater, I'm a cougar!" I die. I wet my pants and I die because this is funny stuff.

So, there were many other moments that had me rolling on the floor (besides the moment that we were actually on the floor looking for the great-aunt's hearing aid - those things are expensive after all), but it would take all night to recount. Literally every second was punctuated with laughter. At the end of the evening the Bride was saying her goodbyes to us and she mentioned that her new husband was so happy that her cousins came. Apparently he thinks we are a lot of fun. He's so in with the family now.

Chimpanzee Mating

We thought some further investigation was necessary with the recent talk of mating - specifically regarding Reba's Chimpanzee report. Reba informed us that mating is when two chimps get along really well. She says it's like dating. Jacob then chimes in with, "Then they go on a romantic honeymoon." What?!?

Yup, that's the conversation around our dinner table these days.