Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

1. As I pray for our sweet, and as of yet unborn, daughter Ella, I am praying for a completely will-less child. That she will have the sweetest of dispositions, sunny smiles and bright eyes but never want to make any decisions for herself. She will always be happy to succumb to the will of Mama. Sure, because she can't make her own decisions, she will probably live with us until she is 45 but I am willing to make that sacrifice.

2. In other news, anyone want a 3 year old little girl?

3. My pantry is currently holding 2 different holiday treats. While buying candy conversation hearts (Necco brand ONLY, thankyouverymuch) I discovered a small display of Cadbury Creme Eggs and couldn't pass them up. Every time I delight in their yummy goodness, I feel like I am cheating on Valentine's Day with Easter.

4. 2 Saturdays ago, I discovered a musical from my childhood on TV. It was about 20 minutes into it but I taped it anyway since our family only has 1 really bad VHS copy of the musical. I hadn't seen it in years and it brought me amazing joy to find it again. I made the kids watch it with me and now Lucy asks for "Pirates of Penzance" at least twice a day. (Who am I to say no?!) Nathan has taken to jumping around like a pirate and attempting a British accent. I haven't had to watch children's television in almost 2 weeks now! Plus, I am abundantly happy singing along with the musical that first planted within me such a strong love and desire for musical theatre.

5. Plus, who can resist Kevin Kline in THESE BOOTS?!

6. My husband is the worst spider catcher ever. Seriously, he is. He will be right next to the spider, tissue in hand, go in for the kill and miss the darn thing by, like a foot. Next thing you hear is him muttering and either chasing the darn intruder or trying to quickly reel the spider back up.

7. My husband also doesn't appreciate me making him a part of this Ten on Tuesday in such a fashion. I told him not to do hilarious things while I am actually sitting AT the computer blogging. Be less memorable.

8. We are attempting Disneyland tomorrow. The kids and me. Much to the concern of my friend Kristen who is afraid I will go into labor while riding Dumbo. I did my research and only discovered 2 other births at Disneyland in the past because usually once labor starts, people decide to leave the Magic Kingdom. (Why?! Why would you EVER leave?) SO, if I want to be memorable, I am going to have to visit Disneyland, go into labor, ignore the labor pains and then deliver right there underneath Sleeping Beauty's castle. According to Internet Lore, Ella would get a lifetime pass to Disneyland and also a special Disneyland Birth Certificate! Might be worth it.
Indiana Jones ride, here I come!

9. We started up a web blog for our Photography. You can visit to see some of our latest work, what we are bragging about, etc. Simply follow this link: http://zabphoto.blogspot.com/

10. Got my Christmas Letter printed up today. Yes, you read that right. I have almost all the cards ready, all the photos printed up and yet I never sent everything out! So, some of you will see an interesting sight in your mailbox in the next week or so, along with an explanation. And as you read it, remember, you are my friends because you enjoy the silliness.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Place Butt With Caution

We are on Day Three of Potty Training, (I know, I know, she's 3 and should be able to do this all herself by now but I am lazy so shut up,) and so far it is mostly good. In fact, we ventured beyond the walls of our home today and only had 1 accident!

On Day One, we just vegged out and set the timer for every 15 minutes to visit our new porcelin best friend. But, sometimes the timer would go off and Mommy would be doing something else and would forget to reset it or, or, or...you know the drill.

I was residing in that state of distraction when I was suddenly brought back to reality by Nathan who jumped up from his seat at the table (where a fierce battle for the Empire was being waged between Anakin Skywalker, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Luke's best buddy Biggs) and ran up the stairs hollering "Gross! Disgusting! Mooooom!"

I was trying to figure out what was going on when I heard more Toddler Expletives come from the upstairs bathroom, "It got all the way onto my underwear! Gross! Blech! This is dis-GUS-ting!"

"Nathan, what happened?"

"Lucy went potty on the chair and I SAT IN IT!"

"Lucy, did you go potty in the chair?"

My Sweet Innocent looked up from her Strawberry Shortcake Sticker book and delightfully replied, "Yes Mommy. Right there, in Nathan's chair." She lowered her head and went back to her stickers.

Well, what do you say to that?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

You've Lost That Loving Feeling

I borrowed the video of "Top Gun" from my friend Jerry. I created a "jump" on the VHS Tape (remember those, kids?) from watching the volleyball scene over and over and over.
And over.

Because I wasn't allowed to see the movie, my friend bought me the soundtrack to "Cocktail" and I still know every song by heart.

When I found out that stars had addresses where you could send fan mail, I sent a copy of the 4 Spiritual Laws and a request for a "non rated R movie" so that I could actually see a film in the theatre.

My best friend Nicole and I waited with bated breath for "Far and Away" to be released--and once it was, we memorized every line.

I had a literal shrine up in my room so I could stare at my "Days of Thunder" poster as I fell asleep.

Like all overly dreaming romantic young girls, I adored "The Outsiders" but loved it even more because of Steve Randle and his, like, 3 actual lines.

And when we were on vacation and my parents let me stay up late enough to watch the Arsenio Hall Show (woo! woo! woo!) I cried when he came out.
I cried.
My family didn't know what to do with me.

And now, in turn, I don't know what to do with him:

I miss Tom Cruise.

The Fug Girls really put it best in their article for New York Magazine.

Hear us out. Obviously, the world will never embrace Tom Cruise as the same dreamboat from the Top Gun poster tacked above our beds in junior high. That guy didn’t jump on Oprah’s couch, or engage Matt Lauer in a war of words about whose knowledge of psychiatry was more encyclopedic. He was not, at least publicly, the guffawing nutjob we see on this latest Scientology leak. His sweaty, intense proclamations of infatuation with meek little Katie Holmes officially turned our girlhood crush into someone we feared encountering in a dark furniture store (or a shrink’s office). Next time we play MASH, Tom Cruise is so totally off the “husband” list.

I miss Tom Cruise.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The One Where I Can't Return to Nathan's School

I had a photo shoot today with the family of my best friend from high school. 2 Mommies, 2 Daddies, 1 Grandad, 1 Me-Mah (Grandma), 1 puppy and 6 kids from age 6 to only a few months old. We were at a park and it was so much fun. I haven't had a chance to review the photos yet but I am hoping we have something with everyone looking at the camera. Alyssa had Lucy at home with her so I was all on my own once I wrapped the session up and headed north to Nathan's school to pick him up.

It was about 12:05 when I pulled into Nathan's school. He would be done with "Lunch Bunch" at 12:30 so I decided to make the most of my time and take a quick nap. I set the alarm on my phone, leaned the seat back and closed my eyes.

"That was a nice photo shoot today. Hope the pictures look good. It was good to see my friends I hope Lucy has been good for Alyssa. I need to do some laundry. Hmmm, I am really surprised how not tired I am. Normally I would have fallen asleep by......"
I was out.

I woke up to the sound of a horn honking. Someone nearby in the parking lot was having an electrical problem with their car and the alarm was going off and they couldn't get it to stop. In addition to the honking, her battery was dying so it just kind of sounded like a really sick seal had hitched a ride to Poway and was sitting on top of my car.

I looked around more to get my bearings and saw that the parking lot was almost empty. The playground was empty. My son was sitting next to his teacher on the playground. They were all alone. And the clock? Well it told me that despite arriving at the school 25 minutes early, I was now 15 minutes late picking him up!!

I popped up from my reclined position and ran across the parking lot, stumbling as I did since the rest of my body had not caught up with my brain. I can only imagine what an 8 months pregnant, drunk walking mother tripping on the curb toward the playground looked like to the sweet Assistant Teacher from my son's school.

"See teacher? I told you that was my mommy's car!"
To which I replied,
"Oh no baby, I am not your Mommy. I am some lady that you and your teacher will never see again. Your REAL Mommy would NEVER pick you up late because she passed out from pregnancy enduced exhaustion."

Anyone know any good preschools in the Southern California area?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

35 Weeks and Counting

I am to the point in my pregnancy where I am visiting the bathroom multiple times a night.

And at least once a night I forget that I have already left the lid of the toilet up for my peeing convenience, I go ahead and lift the "lid" and I fall into the toilet.

That's comedy.

Friday, January 04, 2008

How to Become Harold Crick

Forgive me readers for I have not written...it has been 25 days since my last blog.

The last 3 months of 2007 held much for me.
I photographed 30 families,
lost my grandmother,
directed 2 different productions,
saw my mother get married,
suffered a severe panic attack,
was the featured singer for our women's dessert,
trained extensively on the "Fat Frog" lighting board,
attended 3 Thanksgivings,
hosted one on my own,
filled out (but didn't mail--yet) 50+ Christmas Cards,
grew a baby
drove over 1000 miles to ring in 2008 with dear friends.

There is so much to talk about, so much to say. So many pictures that beg to be shared and even more concepts to destroy with my snarky comments. But as I round the end of one year and begin a new one, the moment begs for a little reflection.

2007 was, in all honesty, one of the hardest years of my entire life. It rivals only one other in my 30 years. God has allowed me to be pushed, pulled, stretched and grown-all while kicking and screaming to many of you with the discovery of each "stretch mark," if you will. The year has driven me to my knees in exhaustion and tears and to the brink of panic and wondering if I was even worth existing on the face of this earth.

We got halfway through the year and I saw light. I saw hope. And then More came my way in waves. These incidences weren't as life changing right away but they carried a permanence that terrified me and left me with more questions that I could even begin to ask God...or anyone else with an inkling of wisdom.

2007 changed me as a person. I saw myself as a capable, strong woman who knew what she wanted and knew how to get it done. While I was certainly no cutthroat or even the most efficient of people I knew, when it came to what I was good at, you can bet it would get done they way I wanted it. No excuses, no dropped balls and no apologies. As I was continually broken down as the year continued, I saw who I was crumble at my feet. I became weak. I was inefficient. My house grew out of control, the things I loved, thirsted for, longed to accomplish were nothing to me. I lost joy in almost everything I once found getting me out of bed each day. I feel I owe an apology to the people I have met this year because I feel they have not received an accurate picture of who I am and who I can be when I am not pummeled to death by circumstances.

All of that being said...

I wouldn't ask for one thing to be different.
Were I to change the circumstances that have shattered me and caused me to change and stressed me to the breaking point, that would mean:

-I would not have a relationship with one of the most wonderful boys God ever put on this planet
-In turn I would not have met and embraced new friends who, while we do not share blood, find that sharing a love for a boy is enough to call each other family.
-Whole moments with God would have been left unmet. Therefore conversations I have had with others would be left unsaid and growth in my own life would not exist.
-I would not have a wonderful, special, God planned little girl coming my way in February

This is naming only a few.

My dear friend Sooz suggested a movie to me last year that, when I watched it, honestly changed my life. I got to watch it again this past weekend not only with Sooz, but with David and 3 other friends who have had their own breaking version of 2007 like I have. I found, once again, that "Stranger Than Fiction" holds the most amazing reminder of truth in it's last lines. I sobbed at the ending this last time, understanding it even more deeply than when I first saw it.

"Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And, fortunately, when there aren't any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets, and Fender Stratocasters, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true. And, so it was, a wristwatch saved Harold Crick."

It is the Bavarian sugar cookies that saved my life this year.
This blog was one of them. My dear friends are another. The trip to Reno I just returned from. My strong rock of a husband, the people in my church who love me beyond what I thought imaginable and a God who is so much bigger than I if I would just let Him BE that way in my own life.

I am not better. I am different. I am not the kind of mother I hope to be...I need to find the patience I once had. I need to not allow disappointment in my own life get in the way of my obligations to others. I must be sure to realize it is not all about me.

2008 has already disappointed. When we got home, my house wasn't cleaner. I have already yelled at the kids more than I'd like and I don't think I have snuggled David as much as I should. But there is tomorrow, and the knowledge that each day has Bavarian sugar cookies just waiting for me to enjoy.

May 2008 hold more cookies than you ever thought existed. And if you don't think they are there, just look for them. Sometimes it is the little ones that were completely unexpected that taste the yummiest.