Thursday, May 31, 2007
Carol and I are taking the Sequoia on the open road and making our way to see Liz in Arizona. We are leaving kids, hubbys, houses, laundry and dishes behind. But we will NOT be foregtting the Cheez-its, Diet Coke, iPod or lip gloss.
I should punctuate all of that with: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Somewhere in Utah Dooce is crying.) But that would just be a little too obnoxious, don't you think???????
The three of us haven't been together in over a year, probably two! And when Carol suggested the road trip, I was ALL IN!
You see, when the three of us get together, usually one (or all) of these things happen:
-We compile a $4.25 bill at Denny's over a 6 hour period.
-We are on stage, forgetting lines, making people and ourselves laugh.
-We have laughed so hard that I have had to take multiple hits off my inhaler (a sure sign I am having a good time)
-We end up looking like this.
Who knows, I might have even more pictures after this weekend!
And this is my last Anniversary Blog for this year. I welcome another year of blogging with a new banner and the hopes that you all will stick with me for another year of stories and adventures! (Even if it means moving to a new blog location...here I come Susie!)
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
(in no particular order)
Can you guess which ones they are?
The One Where My Son is in U2
The One That Made My Friends Laugh (And Think I Might Be a Little Crazy)
The One About the Future
The One With All the Reflection
The One With My Odd-But Terribly Sexy-Husband
The One That Was the Most Embarassing
The One With All the Cups
The One Where I Believe
The One With All The 007
The One With a Naked Friend
I called my grandma on the phone today.
Its something I don't usually do, but I needed to tell her something and I really wanted to hear her voice.
I am not super close with my grandmother. I kind of have some issues with her...nothing that needs a heart to heart sit down but I certainly let it get in the way of my relationship of her and therefore my contact with her is at a minimum.
Today, my heart was tugged, pulled in one way and another and then changed just a little bit. I sat down and tried to offer the best comfort I could for my friend who lost her beloved grandmother today. She felt so very sad, so lonely for a woman she called once a week. She told me her grandmother would laugh because my friend would say she needed her "grandma fix."
And then I read my friends blog. A beautiful writing in honor of a woman she knew so well and missed long before her grandmother's passing because of the miles and miles between them.
When I called my grandmother today, it was very nice. We chatted, exchanged stories, the kids told her some stories that needed a bit of translation from Toddler Speak. Right before we hung up, I told my grandmother that I would be calling her again soon and that i didn't know why I hadn't made it a habit sooner.
I would love for your heart to be warmed by the beautiful words my friend Lyrra wrote. She was gracious enough to allow me to share it with all of you. Simply click here and if it touched you, leave her a comment telling her so.
Over the last 7 months, 3 close friends have lost their grandmothers. One of which I was close to and I loved very very much. Our time on this earth is fleeting and leaves us only a short time to do our most important work, to make our most important decisions.
I want to make my moments count.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
They built their nest and I tried to help by placing pieces of yarn and string around on the lattice so their nest would have some beautiful bright colors in it and then I could feel like I helped with the beginning of this family. (And making it obvious to all of my readers that I really can't leave well enough alone.)
We kept an eye on things and only a few days later, eggs! Our Mourning Doves were a Mommy and Daddy Bird now!
We watched that hanging planter every moment we were in our kitchen. We tiptoed in the backyard, we took pictures from a distance began the 2 week countdown till we had babies in our backyard.
It was very early on a Sunday morning when I was leaving for church when it looked like the Mama Bird was sitting differently on the nest. I couldn't tell what was going on but left a note for David to try to peek in if Mama moved.
When we finally got to peek in, our breath was taken away...beautiful, tiny, no longer than 2 inches. Eyes sealed shut and moving very little but they had each other. And they had us to watch. And they had a VERY nervous mother watching us from a nearby tree branch.
One day old.
Six days old.
One week old.
Ten days old.
There was less and less room in the nest. The Mama bird had long been kicked out not unlike when a Toddler has made himself at home in Mommy and Daddy's bed. We could tell the birds were getting ready to fly. They would spend all day stretching their wings and looking around. And it seemed the mom and dad were taking short flights from the planter to the fence and back or from the barbecue to the ground. We came home from running errands one day and didn't see babies in their nest but instead on David's barbecue. You can also mark this as the day that David decided to buy new BBQ tongs.
The next week was like a game of hide and seek. The baby birds were hardly ever in their nest and could be seen on the kids' playhouse, in the "grass" or on the barbecue. We didn't go out in the backyard for fear of scaring the birds and also because you REALLY had to be careful where you stepped or you'd bring a little piece of the birds back inside the house with you.
One day we couldn't find them. I looked all over and in all the small spots they could have squeezed but no baby birds anywhere. We had a long (well kind of long) talk with the kids about how baby birds fly away and ours had gone off to be big boy and big girl birds somewhere else. As the Mama and Daddy birds hung out in the backyard, even they seemed like they couldn't find their babies.
The next morning, the babies were back in the yard. And we think they got busted for breaking curfew because they stayed in the backyard the whole day. Daddy Bird did too.
After about 2 weeks of nurturing, observing and poop-dodging, we went on vacation. The baby birds seemed to only sleep in the yard and Mama and Daddy were not around a whole lot either. We knew that when we got home, everyone would be gone.
The green hanging planter is outside my kitchen window and I find that every time I wash my hands, do the dishes, walk outside to the garage, I look to check on the babies but they aren't there. I can see the sticks from their nest and on occasion I find their feathers in the kids' playhouse. And I miss them. A lot. The little burst of life that caught the attention of my whole family has left to possibly bring the same sort of joy to another family.
I just hope that family doesn't leave their barbecue tongs out.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
WHAT are you trying to DO to me?
Monday, I thought to myself, "Hey, it's May, I can dress the kids in shorts, summer dresses and sandals." Four hours later I found myself in front of Price Club in 60-something degree winds with a sobbing 4 year old who was VERY upset that I did NOT have a jacket for him. He didn't want to walk to the car because it would make him cold. He didn't want to stand still because it would make him cold. And the only thing in my cart for the upset child to huddle up with was two gallons of milk and 5 pounds of cheese.
Tuesday, with the warehouse store calamity fresh on my mind and the stares of strangers still penetrating the back of my skull, I dressed my temperature sensitive child for school. Short sleeved shirt, yes. But also: long pants. And shoes. And socks. Well, thanks a FREAKING LOT weather, you decided to warm up! So when I picked up my son who is just trying to survive Lunch Bunch at preschool, his cheeks were BLAZING red from the heat and he was NOT happy that I didn't let him wear his shorts.
Now on Wednesday, I looked outside: The ground was wet. It was even still raining a little bit. Ah-ha! I will NOT be foiled by you again, Weather! Short sleeves. Long pants. Flip Flops. Oh yeah, just TRY to pull one over on me THIS time. Yeah. I gotcha good.......Real good........Yup........Uh huh. Wait a minute, Nathan's coming inside from riding his bike. He is on FIRE! His head is a damp mess of sweat and sunscreen. He is begging me for some water.
DARN YOU WEATHER!!
Ok then, I am waving the while flag. I will not only dress my children in short sleeved shirts and sundresses but I will also keep parkas and jeans on hand for when you decide to change you mind again.
PS: Are you doing this because I have not been faithful in posting every day like I promised?
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
But every morning, without fail, my alarm clock wakes me up early. Sometimes it will gently ease me awake, leaving me with the feeling of soft kisses on my arm.
And then other days, Nathan just hits me.
I have warned my Alarm Clock that if he doesn't cut it out soon, I am going to take him back and exchange him for a different model. The only reply I get to that is, "Mommy, you are so silly."
Sunday, May 20, 2007
one of the newest members of the Family of God...
Our church had Baptism by the Bay today and Nathan was shocked seeing the people go in the water with their clothes on. "That's not okay, Mommy." I explained to him that this was a very special case and told him a little bit about baptism.
Later, while I was getting my shoulders rubbed by my friend, Nathan came over to me and said he wanted to be baptized int he water with his clothes on. I told him that if he wanted to do that, he would have to pray a prayer to ask Jesus into his heart. We talked about why we do that and talked through what Jesus did for us so we can live forever with him. I asked Nathan, "Do you want to pray that prayer?" And he said yes. We prayed together and by the time I was done praying with him, a small group of our friends were standing around listening. It was special to share such a cool moment with all of them.
After we were done, I asked Nathan how his heart felt. He said it felt good and I told him it was because JESUS was living inside his heart now! And he said, "I want to get baptized right now!" I stopped him and said we'd talk more about it later. That probably next summer we would get baptized.
We walked around and told many of our friends who were so excited for Nathan (and for David and me too.) Nathan shied away from some of the attention-he wasn't sure what to do with it. But undoubtably, the excitement and joy he received from the friends and grown ups he knows and loves, helps him realize how important it was and I know that today is one that will last in my memory forever.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Achy-but not sick.
Externally Tea-logged (more on that later)
Shocked by Grey's Anatomy
I hear my clean cozy sheets calling my name.
Good night Dear Blog Readers.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
They worked so hard, for almost all of my life to keep me away from television. It was closely monitored and only on for long stretches if we were sick or for the occasional Saturday morning.
What we DID watch was either fun and clean kids' shows: Smurfs, Pee Wee's Playhouse, Gummi Bears m(bouncing here and there and everywhere) or we were schooled in the classics like CHiPS, Emergency Room and Green Acres during the day. And then we had a lot of videos-meticulously categorized by my father. Because if your VHS Tapes are not in order, than your whole LIFE must be in chaos! :)
As we grew up, we were allowed to watch a little more TV in the evenings. We were big fans of Wheel of Fortune, and every Thursday night we watched the Cosby Show and if we were extra good, we could stay up for A Different World. And I love me some Dwayne Wayne.
I remember a little black and white portable TV that Kristy and I would drag from the den into our room. You had to get the rabbit ears just right to get one of the local Los Angeles UHF channels (those are the channels in the high numbers for those of you who haven't ever lived without cable) or, if the ears weren't working you had to actually hold the antenna stub where the original antenna had broken off long ago.
Fast forward 12 years or so and I have my own house, if you can call 600 square feet of space a house, and I am living with my new husband, raised in a similar fashion as I was except he had whole YEARS that went by where there was no TV in the house at all. But as our own persons, grown up married people, we flock to our television. It is on, all the time, and we love it.
When Nathan is born and we bring him home from the hospital, the TV was on for 2 straight weeks as I fed round the clock. I find myself building friendships through mutually viewed television programs alone. And 1 TV show in particular becomes such a hands down favorite that my children will now have to endure my comments for the rest of their lives: "That's a funny show but it isn’t as good as my ‘Friends.’ Remember that one where Monica and Rachel had to switch apartments with Joey and Chandler?” Television has changed my life in a way my parents probably never would have expected.
Growing up, we were family friends with an older couple who had a cool garden in their backyard (watermelons and tomatoes and everything!) Once when we were at their house, the husband was muting the television. I was probably watching it with him, since it was on and the glowing box will almost always make me stop in my tracks, and I could NOT figure out what he was doing! I asked him and he told me he didn’t like listening to the commercials. WHAT?! My 10 or 11 year old brain could NOT figure that out. It was one of those times I remember thinking so very specifically: I will NEVER do that when I am old.
Well, it’s official folks.
I am old.
I am a liar.
See you all at Denny’s tomorrow around 4 for dinner, OK?
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Bethany's Most Embarrassing Moment
(I know, you are thinking that the last few posts of horrible poetry should be the story but I can actually even beat THAT!)
I had European History with Mr. Stahnke, a man who looked kind of like Sean Connery and had an odd obsession with Star Trek: The Next Generation. Or at least I know he had a stand up cardboard cutout of one of the characters in the classroom sometimes.
I'd had Mr. Stahnke for US History and I actually did like him. He was good teacher, made things interesting and made us watch Rick Steves videos which can be classified as the best piece of Campy Public Television EVER.
However, regardless of how much I really did LIKE his class, it was almost always trumped by the fact that I HATE studying. I really stink at it and I can't ever remember anything AND I had a cutie cutie blonde guy that was hanging around my house that I would rather spend time with.
During a Rick Steves video on how to talk European locals into inviting you and an entire camera crew in your house and eating all of your weird European food, I was zoning in and out. The girl who sat behind me in class liked to play with my long hair during the videos and it almost always sent me to sleep. I did my best to stay awake.
Once the video was over, Mr. Stahnke finished up his lecture I sat up to pay attention (read: wonder what color shirt David was wearing that day.) While listening (daydreaming) and taking notes (drawing hearts all over my History book cover) I was also indulging in my most recent learned and totally weird behavior: flipping my retainer over and over while inside my mouth. I don't know how or WHY I started such a disgusting thing. Especially since I am “weird” about mouths. But no matter, the habit continued this day.
The retainer had slipped in my mouth.
And swiveled to one side.
And slipped partially down my throat.
And the back hook of the retainer, in an attempt to retrieve it while sitting in the middle of a classroom full of my friends, had pierced my tonsil and was not budging.
I did not panic.
Actually, I really didn’t.
I sat and waited patiently for class to end with my head tipped slightly up and my mouth quickly filling with saliva.
Man he is talking a long time today.
Will this be over soon?
I can’t believe this is happening.
Class was over, the bell rang and I s-l-o-w-l-y packed my backpack. I waited for everyone to leave and I walked up to my teacher and plainly stated:
“Ister Anke, I alloed eye eainer.”
(Translation: “Mister Stahnke, I swallowed my retainer.”)
“I alloed eye ee-a-iner.”
“Oh my GOSH!”
Mister Stahnke grabbed my arm and hustled me quickly toward the office. Through the teacher’s entrance (!!) and he kept asking me, “Can you breathe? Are you OK?” But I wasn’t really in the best position to answer.
The nurse didn’t know what to do with me but she sent me into the bathroom to see if I could retrieve the offensive retainer from my VERY offended mouth. I won’t go into the gross details but they involved blood, saliva and a lot of talking through the door with the nurse when she finally decided to call my mom. My mom then called my orthodontist (giving a shout out to Dr. Okmin!!) and when I sat in the chair with my orthodontist and almost all his staff peering down my throat he said, “In my 30 years of orthodontia, I have never seen ANYTHING like this."
It is always nice to be noticed.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
I remember wondering WHY the people in the hospital thought it was OK for ME to leave the hospital WITH A BABY! Hello! I am walking out the doors with him! Now I am loading him up in the car. I'm leaving, I won't ever come back...this is OK?? And then we got home, and stared at him. For hours. And I loved it.
The day I became a Mommy again...
When I looked at her, she brought about such mixed emotions. My special time with just Nathan had slipped away in an instant and yet I held such possibilities in my arms. I never would have known how this new life would grab hold of my heart and never let go. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
And this represents the day that God would take me as a Mommy and strech me in directions I never imagined, even if only for a short time...
I am so blessed.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
I knew Amy would wear me down eventually.
Why am I doing it?
Because I want to feel this again....
And I want to see this again....
And I want another picture like this...
But this time, do you want to be in it with us?
Our team is recruiting members now! Join us, it's not too late!!
Friday, May 11, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Today is an amazing and special day in the lives of two of my friends. For today, is Gotcha Day for them. After years of waiting, months and months of planning, miles of flying and even more days of waiting, my friends Russell and Lisa Holcomb have added Jenna to their family.
They flew to China, with Grandma Bonnie in tow and now, all of us here in the states wait in eager anticipation to see the picture of this family of two becoming a family of three.
I have never known hearts like those of Lisa and Russell. They are dedicated friends, seek the Lord and His guidance in all situations and are very happy people. I have the privilege to sing with Russell on the Worship Team and every Monday we laugh and laugh and laugh and suddenly the day's cares and woes disappear by the end of rehearsal. Lisa and her heart are so dear to me: I was in a Bible study with her once that required us to all be quite candid with each other and I remember sitting there amazed as she shared things close to her heart as well as demonstrated an amazing knowledge of the Bible and the Heart of God.
Now these hearts that the Lord has been preparing for the 10+ years of their marriage are now stretching to accommodate sweet Jenna. When they began telling their friends about their plans to adopt, we all loved Jenna already-even though she hadn't even been born! We all knew that God was going to be making this adored child extra special for our friends.
So when you read this, pray for Gotcha Day. Thank God that the day is here and pray that Lisa and Russell will remember every moment, every second, every wrinkle of a smile and every bend of a dimpled knee. She is coming home to a giant family of people who love her more than most babies ever get to experience.
The world outside our own problems, frustrations of the day and tiresome situations is filled with hope today. Can you hear the growth of a family miles and miles away from here? I do. And it makes me smile.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
Half of this book
All of this book
All but, like 20 pages of this book (of which I will be completing once I get upstairs)
Equals : One GREAT Road Trip.
Here are a couple of pictures.....
"Look Daddy, I'm doing it!"
Rock Climbing at Lake Tahoe..."Muscles!"
"These flowers smell like 'straaaaaw-buries!'"
A picture of a bush, taken only because it totally looks like it is flipping you off. (Photo by Scott)
Sunday, May 06, 2007
It was a lot of fun and I love being on a trip with small children.
You know the funny thing about reading the written word is that you can't always detect the strong and heavy sarcastic tones the writer may be inferring in the sentence she just typed.
No, I am kidding. Well, half kidding. I am kidding when I am talking about the fun we had at Lake Tahoe this evening climbing on rocks and seeing Nate jump from rock to rock just like his daddy without any fear. And I am kidding when I am watching David ride a bike with Lucy in his lap and she is calling out, "I'm doing it Mommy! I'm doing it!"
However, I am NOT kidding when at 5:45am your 4 year old wanders into the room you are sleeping in and wakes you up. And then, as you talk to him (while he is NOT whispering) you find out that before he stumbled into your room, he went straight for the OTHER guest room. The one you stayed in last time you were in town. The one your friends, who arrived at 3am were sleeping in. "Don't worry Mommy, Carol told me what room you were in."
Nothing beats starting your day with a 4 year old that is not your own staring at you until you open your eyes.
Overall, it has been so much fun and relaxing (I was actually in a home and alone for, like 30 minutes) and I rode a bike for the first time since Jr. High and didn't fall off and I had a restaurant take-out smorgasbord for dinner and I sent a few questionable e-mails after too much of Scott's Lemonade and I taught my son to hang upside down on the monkey bars and I drank in the joy of Lucy reflected in the eyes of the friends I love and I snuggled on the couch with my hubby instead of sitting at my laptop and I didn't stress out that we were annoying our friends and I didn't yell as much as I usually do AND I got to see my son WRITE HIS NAME. AND mine. AND Lucy's. AND Lexi's.
Tomorrow we drive home but not after we visit the UPS Distribution Center that has our Credit Card...in an effort to be helpful, before the trip I gassed up the car and tucked the card I used for payment in the back pocket of my jeans while standing at the pump.
3 hours into the road trip, we discovered the card was still there.
And my jeans were in a puddle on the floor next to my bed…in Poway.
We called the company and they UPS’d a card to us right away. To the address I gave them where I inadvertently transposed the numbers of our friends’ address and the package was undeliverable. And we can’t really get home without the card.
I am the most helpful wife ever!
(Did you detect the sarcasm there? It was probably a little more obvious this time.)
I am tired.
So tired that I laid down in bed tonight with my sunglasses still on my head.
So tired that I discovered that I wore my underwear inside out all day.
So tired that I went to bed and forgot to blog today.
But tired like this, the tired that comes from being so happy and busy is the best kind of tired. And it brings the best kind of sleep….
…even if you are awoken at 5:45am the next morning by a 4 year old staring at you.
Here is your poem of the day…circa 1992. I am a fan of poems in couplet form. They are always successful in poetry but also leave you the room to convey a thought in a more simple structure. (Listen to me! Don’t I sound impressive?!) And, when all else fails, it provides for some very creative rhymes.
by Bethany Shumate
Sometimes, when you talk to me,
I wonder what you really see.
Do you see me as a friend?
Just some girl-there till the end?
Or do you see beauty and grace?
Do you ever notice my pretty face?
See, you know we’ve been friends for awhile.
We do more than just say hi and smile.
All I have to do is give you a call,
You’ll pick me up when I start to fall.
I support you with all my heart.
Knowing, as friends, we’ll never part.
What more could I ask, I’m your good pal!
It would mean more to me if I was your gal.
Maybe someday I can tell you all this,
But for the moment, I’ll just dream of your kiss.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
by Bethany Shumate, age unknown
Golden braids and wooden shoes churning butter on the porch.
Smiles come, lighting up the face.
A lover comes to view...
With another woman at his side.
from her chair to the door.
Friday, May 04, 2007
We started out at friends.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
by Bethany Shumate, Grade 11
I like writing it.
I am pretty good.
I like doing things
I am good at.
When I was little,
I would sing
in my backyard.
Hoping that someone would hear me
and I would become
a famous singer.
(People call me Beth.)
I like to dance.
I am not very good.
When I took ballet,
it didn't last very long.
I wasn't in a recital.
I still like to dance.
I don't like to be made fun of,
or talked about.
But I am pretty good at it.
"Your momma's so fat..."
I know I shouldn't do it,
(especially if I don't like it,)
but I do.
I am a janitor.
I like to say "custodian"-
it sounds less dirty.
I like my job.
I don't like being ashamed
of my job...
but I am sometimes.
I am a Christian.
I have been for eight years.
I am not ashamed,
But I used to be.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
It was two years ago that I started blogging and realized how much I missed writing. Its one of those things that you get to do in Jr. and Sr. High School all the time. And then when you are done with school, you go to college and take MORE classes that involve writing and drive your husband crazy over how fast you can bust out a 10 page paper using critical analysis to assess the highs and lows of a 10 line poem. And that is when you wonder if you revealed this side of you too early in your marriage and you hope he doesn't leave you so you start talking about BMW's to distract him.
When I was in elementary school, I decided I wanted to become a writer. I wrote short stories all the time. I had love stories, I had adventures and I moistly had tales of friendship. Once I moved into Jr High School, I wrote a lot of news stories for the school newspaper. And then once high school struck, my full order of teenage angst and unrequited love was delivered and I wrote poems about the boys I "loved" and how they didn't "love" me back. I even had an ongoing story my best friend at the time and I wrote about the two guys we liked and how we got married and lived on the beach and the guys played volleyball and my best friend and I worked at Bobby McGee's as Snow White and Alice in Wonderland. (I never said the stories I write were grounded in reality.)
After getting married, my writing turned more to term papers for school and articles for the Tierra Times. Nothing too creative but still writing, nonetheless. And then, once Nate the Great came along, my writing was confined to e-mails all about my new son. And although people who met me post Nathan but pre blog didn't know my love for writing, a handful of friends and family members and specifically my husband always encouraged me to write. David is most definitely my biggest fan. If I say anything funny or tell a story that is interesting he will respond to the story and then follow up any comment with, "You should write a book about that so you can make all kinds of money and I don't have to work." Now that we have been married 10 years, it has shortened to, "Write a book!"
Needless to say, when I started blogging, he was elated. And I must say that writing and making myself write even when I don't think I have anything to say does something for me that singing, acting and photographing doesn't do. And as I met other bloggers and made some of my friends start blogging I remembered how much I looooove to write.
So, in honor of this month representing 2 years of blogging, I will be blogging every day this month. This week will be highlighting my past writings and specifically the hilarious (but terribly serious) poems from high school. Interestingly enough, I never felt the need to write the sad and melancholy poems once I met My David.
Are you ready now? For the angst? The pain? The unrequited teen-age love?
Well, here you go then! One of my first in a series of poems that I felt were so important that I put them all together in a “book” and printed multiple copies for both my mom, dad, sister and anyone else who was amazed by my depth as a writer and thinker.
by: Bethany Shumate
I look in your eyes
And I melt to the floor
My heart does a flop
When you walk through the door.
I get in your way,
So that you will see
All of the magic
That you bring to me.
You would be blind
Not to recognize,
All of the love
I have in my eyes.
Just say the word,
I’ll be by your side.
We’ll walk hand in hand,
Never breaking stride.
I would love you
And you would love me
Then I’d wake up and realize,
It’s just a fantasy.