Tag Archives: disaster

Goodbye, 2012

What an interesting year it has been.

2012 seemed like it would be fairly “normal.”  You know…work, school, work, diapers, work, laundry, work…I saw all of those on the horizon for this past year.  What I didn’t see coming was the switch from being a working mom to a homeschool mom…or the possibility of loving said switch.  I didn’t see the collapse of a soggy dining room ceiling, a tornado stealing our shed and then dropping it on the neighbor’s car, or the dog eating the living room carpet to soothe an upset tummy coming, either.  Apparently, Professor Trelawney I am not.  (Wait…)

Continuing to highlight some of the more memorable moments of this past year:

  1. I started this blog…and then put it on hold around Oldest and I started summer break so I could attempt to write The Great American Novel of 2012.  Instead, I conducted The Great Purge of His Bedroom while he was off visiting relatives in various places. Maybe in 2013…
  2. We got our annual mandatory academic progress test results back…Dude passed with flying colors.  All paperwork was filed and curriculum purchased so we could continue to homeschool during the 2012-2013 school year as well.  In case you were wondering, fourth grade rocks!  I’ve gotten to teach basic electronic theory during science this term.  *flexes techie muscles*    We have had a few awesome field trips and done some pretty fantastic projects that will (hopefully) be covered in more detail during later posts.
  3. Baby has twelve teeth, a fifteen-ish word vocabulary, and can walk like a champ.  We discovered on Halloween that he was apparently born knowing how to use a light saber.  (He made the cutest Yoda I’ve ever seen…I’m telling you.)  He absolutely loves books, cars (said with a Bostonian accent), trucks, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,  and our dog-dogs.
  4. He is also going to be a big brother in about three-ish months!  We found out that New Baby was on the way on my birthday, which was about the best present ever.  (I’d been wondering what all the nosebleeds were about…apparently, that’s how my body reacts to being pregnant.  Fabulous.)  Yet to be discovered is whether or not gestational diabetes and bed rest are on my horizon this time around.
  5. Thankfully, the whole second trimester energy spike thing happened right around the holiday season, so I was able to make and bake a whole lot of stuff that will also (hopefully) be covered in more detail during later posts.
  6. Item 5 was brought to you and all actual beneficiaries in part by the discovery of Pinterest.
  7. The disasters mentioned in Paragraph 2, plus a few others.  It’s okay.  We survived.
  8. Hubby presented me with a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas, and it has changed my culinary life this past week.  I still can’t decide whether to call it The Beast or Bonnie.  It’s a toss-up.  I’ll keep you posted.  So far, we’ve made four batches of cookies (gingerbread men, spritz, vanilla-mint candy canes, and cinnamon roll sugar cookies), icing, my grandma’s legendary Anadama bread, and mashed potatoes.  As a side note, this year was my second making Christmas dinner all by myself, and I didn’t set anything on fire!  All of that Food Network viewing is so paying off!  My in-laws further expanded my culinary horizon with their gift of the ice cream maker attachment.  Holy frostbite.  That thing is awesome!  I made honey-vanilla ice cream the day after Christmas and grape sherbet (chalk it up to weird pregnancy cravings) this weekend.  There is but one thing to say about how they turned out.  Dude.  Okay, moving on.
  9. I can now say that I’ve given hermit crabs a bath.  Considering how much they resemble spiders and my arachnophobia, this is quite a feat.
  10. Much amazing time with family and friends, including a two-week visit with my baby brother this summer, surprise visit from my Bestie while we were Up North for Thanksgiving with my grandmothers, parents, brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins (oh, my!) and another surprise visit from my sister and her husband the weekend before Christmas.  Hopefully, this new year will contain much more of this line item.  Also, please note that the board game called Frazzle! is pretty awesome and adds a lot to family gatherings.  It comes with a gavel.  ‘Nuff said.

I could go on and on, but I shall restrain myself.  Suffice it to say that I have learned so much this past year, and while moments of it were more painful than others, God has been incredibly good to me and my family and I am so grateful to Him for everyone and everything He brought our way.  Looking back on this year, this verse keeps coming to mind.

When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
anything about their future.

Ecclesiastes 7:14, New International version

No amount of crystal ball gazing or reading the tea leaves would have prepared me for the roller coaster of this past year.  (What say you, Professor?  Besides that I’m in grave danger.  I live with gravity every day.  You don’t have to tell me that.)  This year, more profoundly than other years, has shown me exactly how much I have learned (and have yet to learn) about trusting that God can handle things much better than I ever could.  One just has to sit back and enjoy the ride…even if it comes standard with wet drywall and doggie indigestion.

Happy New Year!

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Being a Grown-Up

One of my favorite books of all time is Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women.”  I read it for the first time when I was probably six years old at the most.  Much of the subtle humor was lost on me at that tender age, but in the nine-hundred or so times that I’ve read it since then, I’ve come to appreciate it more and more.  For example, there’s a point at which Jo expresses the chaotic longings of my childhood heart in a way that still hits close to home.

“I’d have a stable full of Arabian steeds, rooms piled with books, and I’d write out of a magic inkstand, so that my works should be as famous as Laurie’s music. I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle-something heroic, or wonderful-that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all, some day. I think I shall write books, and get rich and famous; that would suit me, so that is my favorite dream.”

Of course, I wanted to be a pirate author (don’t ask), and now that I’m an adult, I really don’t want the castle unless it comes with a house elf…too many rooms to keep clean.  But, other than that, it’s exactly the same.

Now that I’m an adult, I don’t understand why in the world I tried so hard to be grown up when I was a kid.  They don’t tell you about taxes or (gulp) going to the dentist by yourself or that having a baby is not as easy as pulling a doll out from under your shirt.  And all of those of those games we played…like “House.”  What were we thinking?  Now I have one of my own.  Nobody bothered telling me how many things can break in a house.  Like water heaters.

Our attic  water heater just decided it didn’t want to hold water anymore, so it decided to share it with the floor underneath it, who in turn shared it with our dining room ceiling….who shared it with our brand-new dining room set and hardwood floor.  Whose bright idea was it to put the water heater in the ding-dang attic in the first place?  The sucker barely fit through the “Alice in Wonderland”-sized door (we had no “Eat Me!” cakes on hand) and down the stairs…and I won’t even go into the awesomeness of lugging its replacement in the opposite direction.  The ceiling is nearly fixed, but the floor is getting ripped out in a week or so and I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that they’ll be able to fix my poor table.

Thankfully, my husband and I are pretty handy people because we’ve been able to fix most of the issues that have popped up over the last few years…even the electrical and plumbing issues.  However, repairing the ceiling and insulation was not something we wanted to do on the weekends, so we outsourced.  The ceiling doesn’t look like it got caught in a hurricane anymore, but it’s still going to be a couple of weeks before we’re able to use the dining room again.  Believe me…in a house as small as ours, the loss of a room is definitely felt.  At least my dog isn’t going to bark at the ceiling anymore.  She wasn’t a fan of its water-induced makeover.

It is during times like these that I echo Jo.

“I wish wearing flatirons on our heads would keep us from growing up.  But buds will be roses, and kittens cats–more’s the pity!”

It is too late to not grow up in my case, and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have my amazing husband and sweet little boys or my goofball dogs.  When I was a kid, I didn’t get Jo’s lament about kittens turning into cats, but now that I’ve had them, I’d pick the kittens every time.  But that’s a topic for another post on another day.

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Fire!

When I was a kid, I liked the idea of cooking and baking. After all, Nancy Drew was a fabulous cook…whipping up soufflés and chicken consommé and sponge cake all while deftly solving thrilling crimes, driving a yellow convertible and wearing a dress made of spider silk. However, most of my culinary excursions ended in flames. And I don’t mean flames of glory. Real ones. It got so that my daddy told me that usually stuff was done way before that particular timer went off. There were two things that I could make well consistently…apple pies and sandwiches. Everything else…well, let’s just say that you were much better off if my sister was driving the Foodie Express. I only remember her having one off day, and even then she had an excuse…our mom was in labor with one of our brothers, so it was totally natural for her to mix up tsp and tbsp when it was time to put the baking soda into the pancake batter.

Fast-forward about ten years to when I was on my own for the first time…and it was either eat charcoal and sandwiches or learn to cook something. Luckily, I had a patient roommate who willingly provided adult supervision and candid feedback as she tried to teach me how to cook authentic Puerto Rican dishes like pinchos and arroz con habichuelas.

Fast-forward another ten years. I’m pregnant and on strict bed rest because my baby boy keeps trying to arrive way too early. I discovered for the first time ever that daytime television is pretty much stupid. Then, I found Food Network. Holy potatoes. I was a goner. I learned how to make marshmallows and fortune cookies…the best ways to handle meats…and I won’t even go into the awesomeness of Pumpkin Wars. My patient husband has put up with hours of Food Network shows since then. In my defense, it’s all to his extreme benefit because I haven’t burned anything since Christmas. (Knock on coconut…) I’m getting way awesome with sauces and I’m not afraid of my food processor anymore.

I can honestly say that a new interest was ignited (see what I did there?) in me during my involuntary time of leisure, and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to fizzle out any time soon. It’s yet another form of creative expression. I can happily say that even my most charred experiments taste better than any of my oil paintings, and my need for instant results is satisfied in a way that cross-stitching just isn’t able to do.

Maybe someday I’ll open a restaurant. It’ll be called “Order Out of Chaos.” We’ll have fire extinguishers on every table…just in case.

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