Friday, June 30, 2006

Flashback Fridays! Volume 1, Episode 1

The way the story goes, we had just gotten home from church and Mom let Dad take us and our new (and cute) matching dresses so he could take pictures of us in our plastic pool. We lived in Redlands, CA. a the time and I can confirm that it is pretty rotten weather there in the summer so I am surprised we didn't have more people in there with us!

I stumbled across these looking for some funny looking old pictures to blackmail one of my cousins with and I had to stop and smile. I love any pictures that include my sister (on the left) and me doing something together. Especially since we would give almost anything to be doing something together at any given moment of the day.

What absolutely made me stop in my tracks was the last picture. It was as if I had seen the faces before. you see, on the left I see Lucy and on the right I see Nathan!

*Concept stolen from blog friends Susie and Angela-thank you girls!*

Thursday, June 29, 2006

But Are You Sweating Like the Smart Alec You Are?

Him: Hi Sweetie, Good Morning. How are you doing today?
Me: I am pretty good. Sweating like a pig though and I can't figure out why, it is only 76 degrees in here.
Him: You know, according to the little plaque at the zoo, pigs don't actually sweat.

Me: Pardon me, I am sweating unlike a pig. I am sweating QUITE UNLIKE a pig.
Him: That's better.

Give and Take

8:15pm, Wednesday Night
Mommy: Nathan, today you are getting...a NEW BED!
Nathan: Will it go inside my race car bed, Mommy?
Mommy: (gulp) No, your race car bed is going bye bye.
Nathan: Mommy, I think I like my new bed.
Mommy: *Serious sigh of relief*

10 minutes pass

Nathan: Mommy, I don't think I like my new bed. I like my race car bed.
Mommy: *uh oh!* But Nathan, there is a little boy who is too small for his crib that needs your race car bed. (You know, all those poor starving children in Africa who need race car beds??)
Nathan: There is?
Mommy: Yes, do you remember when you got your race car bed? What kind of face did you make?
Nathan: This kind!

Mommy: Do you think that little boy who gets your race car bed will have that kind of face?
Nathan: No, Mommy he will have this kind. *giggles*

5:55am, Thursday Morning
Nathan: Daddy, I think that boy will like my race car bed.
Daddy: That's so great Nate, now will you please go away?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Summertime Boredom

This morning I tried to burn down my kitchen.

I wonder if Pampered Chef will replace that cutting board?

Friday, June 23, 2006

My Life is an Epilogue-Revisited

I will be submitting my writing in a contest that my friend Kristen encouraged me to enter. Many of you have read this in the past but it has been reworked into a first person story rather than a sermon-y e-mail. I don't think I will win but it was nice to work on a project (with the best editor in the world, Liz Norling). Keep your fingers crossed!!

My Life is an Epilogue

I drew myself a bath…my first in a long while. As the mother of 2 active children (1 and 3), on staff at our church and wife to a busy but wonderful husband, I needed my “old standard” of sloughing off my day into the bubbles of my tub. I grabbed the book I’d been reading. I had read another book by this author and was giving a new one a try. It was a touching story, deep, painful, vulgar at times and funny at others. I was committed to finishing it.

The water hadn’t even started cooling when I read it. A passage of the book had, for some reason, tapped deep into my heart and sprouted a flood of emotions and thoughts. The main character, T.S. Garp had lost a son in a freak accident for which Garp was partially to blame. A melancholy writer, Garp was reflecting on the loss that had torn his family-and marriage-to the breaking point. As the storyteller, he reflects:

"Ever since Walt died, my life has felt like an epilogue."
T.S. Garp "The World According to Garp"

I immediately got out of the bathtub-no longer relaxed-but my mind was buzzing with a million thoughts that I had to get out. I changed into pajamas and quietly snuck into my daughter’s room that also happened to be our office. I started writing an e-mail, reflecting on the quote, unsure of why it had sparked such an interest in me (especially when the story was getting really good!)

The epilogue of a book is an afterthought; sometimes a wrap-up of the story but most often the end. As if everything in the epilogue only relates to the story and nothing else that happens following the main story is worthy of additional chapters, sequels or revisits. T. S. Garp looked at the life he had in front of him and saw nothing that could provide any hope, only afterthoughts that would always remind him of his son, Walt.

My thoughts returned to my losses in life, more specifically, a journey in which God tested me, allowed me to break and brought me to my knees. It began in 1998. My father and mother asked my husband and me to come over to their house. We brought pie. Instead of dessert, we received news that tore my family apart. That night was the beginning of the end of my parents’ marriage and a complete destruction of a family unit I had used as a model for my own young marriage. When leaving my old house of memories, I collapsed on the front lawn-unable to stand under the weight of the terrible news. The death of my beloved uncle followed only a few years later. The loss to our family rocked an already fragile frame to the core. Following that, my husband’s parents announced an odd separation that we still don’t understand to this day. And then, our decision to stay and help rebuild the church we loved so much, while in the wake of destruction my own father helped cause, became a process more painful than expected.

We all have moments in life that change us. It could be a bad hair style on the wrong day to something like a family member dying. I took Garp’s phrase and inserted my own events:

"Ever since my parent's split, my life has felt like an epilogue."
B. J. Zabrosky, October 1998


"Ever since Uncle Jim died, my life has felt like an epilogue."
Bethany J. Zabrosky, Every March 3 of Every Year to Follow From Now Until Forever.

I continued writing, wondering if I had done this very thing, reflecting to see if I had, indeed, allowed these events to “epilogue” my life. Upon my parent’s very public crisis and eventual split, I found myself not dealing with the hurt and pain and instead putting on a “survivor face” for the people at church. I loved hearing how brave I was and how inspiring it was for all the other people hurt in this to see me still attending the church. At home, I wasn’t taking care of myself. Regular every day actions like combing my hair, getting dressed or showering weren’t taking place. I turned to comfort foods as a band- aid to my wound. In 1999, I hit bottom and my friends around me encouraged me to get help. My husband helped me find a counselor and was there every step while the grace of God helped me find my way out of the darkness I had been living in. My uncle’s death was painful but I was able to rejoice with my family that he was in a Happier Place where the cancer had left his body, where he was free to move and delight in the presence of our Savior. And the rebuilding of our church was becoming easier and easier every day.

I started crying as I realized this. Picture this 29 year old, in her bathrobe, sobbing silently while her family slept and little baby made sweet moaning sounds in the crib next to me. And then see me on my knees. Thanking God for His presence through the last 8 years.

Suddenly, faces popped into my head. Names, people I know and love. Family members, friends who have had terrible things take their lives and wrench them into ugliness and pain. I was writing for them. God needed me to share this with them. I scanned over my e-mail-everything that had come into my head- and edited it for spelling only. I hit send before I thought twice. I knew that for some of the family I was sending it to, I might hurt them. I knew that there were people hanging onto pain because it was easier to “epilogue” their life than it was to continue writing it. However, the response I got from others was encouraging. My writing was shared in Bible Studies, changed the lives of my friends who read my blog and I was even presented with the opportunity to talk to a group of mothers at a church mom’s group.

You, who are currently reading this and following this train of thought, may I encourage you to participate in this exercise as I did my friends and family that night? Take your life-changing event; the one that pops up in your mind each day and is stopping you from moving on with your life. Bring to mind that life-changing moment that grips you with such fear that even your strongest of wills finds itself immovable and fill-in the blank:

"Ever since ______________________, my life has felt like an epilogue."
You, Today and Right Now.

Face it! Accept it! Look at it and stare at it. If you think you have a moment in your life that you can put in that blank, then you need to realize it right now. Your life HAS become an epilogue as mine did once. A moment of time has taken away all your future moments and captured your permanent attention. That's it. You are done. You will forever view life through that experience, that time of anguish. Say it out loud if you need to. It hurts. Let it hurt and allow it to leave your body with each exhale you take.

Can I invite you to take another deep breath? Because I feel I might have some hope for you.

I have a Friend. A God who Reigns my Life. Who is Knower of All Things Good and Bad. And, what's more important, who is Knower of All Things Good and Bad IN MY LIFE. He has been called the Great Author, for it is He who writes our beginnings and our ends and...our epilogues.

Who can complete the Book of Anguish that you have allowed your life to become? My God.

Who has a fresh page, a brand new chapter for you to begin a whole new beginning? My God.

Who loves you so much that He is begging you to ask Him to help you? My God.

God wants us to take our Moments, our Disasters, our Life-Changing-Epilogue-Creating Times and hand them to Him. In Him we can find the strength, the courage to remove ourselves from the book of our lives that we are currently writing and start a new book. A book of Hope for the Future, one with greater strength than before.

Despite all of my circumstances, 8 years later, I feel I have avoided the epilogue lifestyle. Instead I have picked up, moved on, and started a new chapter with my church. Started a new BOOK by having my sweet children, Nate the Great and Lucy Joy and even had to learn a new language as relationships rebuild from divorce. Looking back, I see God holding the pen and writing His presence into my book of life.

I started the e-mail that night as a way of commenting that I didn’t WANT to be like T.S. Garp and look at my life as an epilogue. I didn’t have to look far beyond myself to find those who accomplished that. While my parents are no longer married, they have both applied their knowledge of God’s grace to their lives. They have allowed His healing to restore them to people who do not live in the shadows of their past or past actions. And while I lost an uncle in 2001, my aunt was the one who lost a husband. One who was the rock of his family and while she mourns his loss and acknowledges his absence from her everyday life, she met and married an amazing guy. One who was NOT my uncle but who LOVES her and together they are conquering the world airport by airport on all their adventures. THAT is a fine example of ending an epilogue.

The great thing is that no one needs to do it alone. The book of my life is filled with characters who have come alongside me, given me hope and shown me how to write again. You can do it too.

"Ever since ____________, my life has felt like an epilogue."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

It's Scoot-tastic!

Quote of the day as declared by dear friend Maria-Elena.
Courtesy of Nate the Great.

As Nate rode Lexi's scooter today in the alley he exclaimed....

"Mom, I'm scootering!!"

Monday, June 19, 2006

For Those of You Keeping Score at Home

4 Zabs:

5 Imaginary Friends (in order of appearance into our lives):
Karia (care-e-uh)
Iam (eye-um)
Karia's Mommy
Karia's Daddy
Eye-Toot, Karia's sister (No pronunciation guide needed)
(For the record, please note that Karia and crew are all very tiny and often ride around on Nathan's head)

Zabs are outnumbered.

And, I was just informed that Karia is standing on the keyboard and typing too.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A Good Mommy Comes Armed With a Spreader from Pampered Chef and a Jar of Skippy

"I love you Nathan."

"I love you too Mommy."

"Why do you love me Nathan?"

"Why Mommy?"

"Do you love me because we do fun things?"

"No, I do fun things with Daddy."

"Do you love me because I give good kisses?"

"Daddy gives me kisses, Mommy."

"Hmmmmmm. Do you love me because I am a good Mommy?"



"Do you love me because I make good sandwiches."

"Yes Mommy. You make good sandwiches."

Haaaaaaaaalelujah!!!! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

We are rejoicing today, followers of the ZabHard Drive Religion. (Not to be confused with the "Filling the Price Club Comment Box With Complaints About The New Stupid Rubio’s Tortillas Until They Wise Up and Bring Back Porkyland" Religion.)

We rejoice today because of the return of ALL of the Zab Photos! From Nathan's Birth to Lucy's First Birthday Party to Our Memorable Santa Barbara Trip.

Praise to God...Our God who cares about even the littlest of things that concern His children.

Post Script
I know what you all are thinking right now: "Three posts in one day? Are you kidding me? This IS a day for rejoicing!"

From the Mighty Goods Archive...Hooray For Stuff!

I want this.

If I had it, I would cook using spices every day.
For every meal.

"Here you go kids, your peanut butter, honey and nutmeg sandwich is ready!"

I say that with the same conviction as when I promised my husband that upon purchasing my Kitchen-aid Stand mixer he would receive "freshly baked goods every day."

*cough, cough, cough*
I'm OK, its just the dust from the mixer.

But I still want the spice rack.

What Whould Happen if We Ate the Funnel Cakes?

We went to the San Diego County Fair last night. The kids almost exploded from all of the lights, food, noise, TRAM RIDES. It was the most amazing experience of their young lives.

David and I both had weird dreams.
(Don't worry, this is the Reader's Digest version...nothing is more boring than people telling their dreams in great detail)

I dreamt that I was in a play with Dean Cain and I kept forgetting my lines. Well, look at him. Wouldn't you??!?

David had a dream that he was in a car with our brother-in-law Jeremy and whoever was driving turned on the defroster to clear the windshield of fog. David then proceeded to explain to someone in the car the properties of the air and how simply running the defrost wouldn't clear the window. It is imperative that you couple the defrost function with the air conditioner.

Today's lesson, boys and girls?
Australian Battered Potatoes will bring sexy men to your dreams.
But the Italian Polish Sausage Sandwich just makes you dream about work.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I Feel the Need...the Need For Speed

Our DVR system recently went through some sort of an upgrade. I found a couple of extra button options during playback of recorded programs-nothing to really get excited about.

However, the biggest upgrade was to the fast-forward feature. Now, instead of 3 speeds to choose from...WE. HAVE. FOUR.

I don't know if I can handle that kind of speed.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Pillow Talk

Overheard tonight at Nathan's first ever Sleepover:

"Good Night Nate."

"Good Night Lexi."

"Good Night Nate."

"Good NIGHT Lexi."

"Good Night Nate."


"No, my name is Humahah and your name is Yoboan"

"No, no, no Lexi. My Name is Nathan. My Mommy and Daddy call me Nate the Great...

...and your Mommy and Daddy call you 'Stinky.'"

Thursday, June 08, 2006

That's Just How She Rolls

Oh sure. She eats one or two courtesy bites of sandwich when Mommy buys the "Good For You Bread." But when Daddy does the shopping and brings home soft, delicious, squishy, light potato bread she gobbles the whole thing up!

I see what's going on here.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Welcome Home Honey! Look at this Hunk of an Australian Man I Got For You!

David and I have taken to watching a show on TLC in the evenings called Take Home Chef. The premise is that a professional chef approaches someone in the grocery store, goes home with them and helps them make a gourmet meal for their loved one(s). He pays for the groceries and often stops along the way to buy a specialty pot or pan.

The premise is an interesting one and a nice thing to think about. (If the chef was paying for my groceries, would he mind if I threw in some necessities like fruit snacks, juice boxes, Cheerios and Diet Coke? We are running a little low at the ZabManor.) But what keeps us coming back night after night is the final reveal.

Imagine you are a hard working husband, your wife has been calling you every 10 minutes to find out when you are coming home. You walk in the door and find a handsome Aussie standing next to your wife like he is her best friend. You put your computer down, keys and wallet in their place and-on camera-find out this good looking, towering man spent the ENTIRE DAY with your wife, in your home cooking and drinking wine with her. "Mr. So-and-so, why don't you sit down and eat the delicious meal your wife worked so hard to prepare?"

We have seen many episodes of the show and the husband's look is the same each time: "Who the #$&*@ is this guy and what that the $&%@* is he doing in my house?"

David told me that if the Take Home Chef ever offers to buy my groceries and cook me dinner, I am to say no. I think instead, I will just work on a code: "Hi Sweetie! I was wondering when you were coming home for dinner? 6:00pm? OK, sounds good. I am making something special for you." That statement alone will let him know something is up.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The One Where the Line Between Dream and Reality Gets a Little Blurred.

Last night I was married to Harry Connick, Jr. Well, actually we weren’t married but he did propose while we were sitting in my living room watching TV. It was very special and he even asked my dad if it was OK.

But I must say I am a little miffed with my fiancée. Not once did he sing to me.

I think the wedding is off.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Raising Him to Be Just Like Me...Only Better!

I was awoken in the sweetest of ways this morning.

I should state that I am usually NOT awoken in a nice way. I usually wake up because I have become a road for cars or trains and that road is going through some sort of a forest that is my head and my hair is suddenly gripping tiny little Hot Wheels and not letting go. The other day, I swore I was going to be bald by the time I am 35.

But today was different. I heard footsteps but they didn't come and jump on my bed. Instead, they started digging through my night stand. (I pretended to be asleep-I wanted to see what was going to happen next. "3 Year Old Performs Acupuncture on Mother While She Sleeps," perhaps?) I heard the voice my sweet Nathan uses when hes talking to his imaginary friend Karia (pronounced care-ee-uh) and he was talking about the GIANT pencil he pulled out of my nightstand drawer (don't ask why it was in there) and then about the regular pencil he also found.

Then he looks for paper on the nightstand. He talks and says he is writing a note to Mommy. He scribbles on the paper he finds and slides it under my pillow. But wait! He found an envelope! The small hand that I love so much slipped under my pillow and took back his note. He climbed up onto the bed and colored and drew on the new envelope and then proceeded to put the note into the envelope. Luckily for this nice tender Hallmark moment, I "woke up" at the very moment my son's frustration reached a pinnacle and this whole beautiful picture explodes with the Frustration of a Toddler. (Come on Moms-Holla Back Now)

He had two envelopes, one much larger than the other and was trying to fit the big one inside the little one. I showed him how to FOLD. And he thought that FOLDING was the coolest thing since Kraft Easy Mac. We then spent the next few minutes FOLDING. I showed him techniques and lining up corners and was pleased that he would not settle for a messy fold.

Ahhh, my quest for raising the "Anal-Retentive Toddler" is shaping just as I planned! Look out Pre School teachers!! MWAH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA! (that was my evil laugh)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Even This Section is Scary...

Why does this screen terrify and thrill me so very much?