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    love, soccer & cake

    Hafiz: “The subject tonight is Love and for tomorrow night as well. As a matter of fact, I know of no better topic for us to discuss until we all die!”  Except soccer & cake, of course.  But first the love.  The news of the week – Jenna (Jim’s just-turned-20-I-won’t-get-married-until-I’ve-
    PhD sister) is engaged.  I love Jenna.  I love Love.  I love the Tyler she’s marrying.  I love seeing them in love.  But I laugh at the things love does to us.  It is truly the exception maker.

    I sometimes rub Jim’s feet, a body part I long ago renounced.  I watch the Superbowl (even if half the watching is done with eyes closed) just to be on the couch by him.  I occasionally iron shirts.  I now eat fast food.  And this is just the small stuff.  When I met Jim Scott I was plane-ticket-bought- boxes-half-packed ready to move to New York in a month. My next adventure…and nothing got in the way of my adventure schemes (good judgment included).  The weeks passed…boxes slowly unpacked, plans gradually disappeared, and an unused airplane ticket hardly seemed important.  I was in Love.  And he was The One. 

    Love can be cruel, untimely, even ironic, but its hidden gifts are limitless.  Yes, I am now more dependent than I EVER imagined being.  Yes, I find myself daydreaming of graduate school and world travel.  But - and the “but” is bigger than Big - though the exception-making of love blasts away yourself as you know you, the self that emerges in its stead is somehow More.  I can no longer imagine myself not melded flesh to flesh, thought to thought, heart to heart with this once upon a time foreigner Jim Scott.  What’s more, I don’t want to.

    Of course, I’m still selfish; yes, we fight; no, I don’t always make the exceptions I should; and yes, "occasionally" means twice a year in regards to ironing.  But it has been 8 years of knowing and it seems like 8 billion.  I honestly don’t remember the time before.  I don’t remember hearing something (funny, sad, scary) and not instantly wondering what Jim will think when I tell him.  I don’t remember feeling something (fear, sorrow, joy) and not instantly wanting to share it with Jim.  Inextricably intertwined.

    And I am awed at all the Exceptions he has made for me. 

    But, back to Jenna…married at 20 or 26, this is a girl who will get things done.  She will finish school and see the world and do dozens of things infinitely more important in the process.  The timetable may change...with exceptions scattered along the way…the ultimate desires may even change…but with Jenna I don’t doubt that the end result will be Big.  And Tyler will compliment her well on the journey to becoming More. 

    Aidan & I were discussing the upcoming nuptials, and this is what he said, “I’m not going to get married.  I want to be on a soccer team.”  That was yesterday.  I chuckled inside.  A lot.  This morning I wanted to revisit the topic so I asked him if he wants to get married when he grows up.  His response:  “No.  I want to play basketball and football and soccer.”  Me:  Can’t you do that if you’re married?  Him:  “Can we talk about this later Mom.  I’m busy in my space galaxy.”  Another chuckle is stifled…he wants to be taken seriously so I try.  It is serious, though.  I’m honestly not sure that soccer and marriage can co-exist in one galaxy.  No doubt, should his dreams stay the same, Aidan is tenacious enough to find the exception. 

    As for the cake, well, Jenna is a brave soul who is letting me make her wedding cake.  I’m beyond excited.  I don’t get enough chances to do things like this.  Thank you for the exception! 


    one down, seven to go...

    I now have one perfect room in my home.  I wish I could say it was the living room so people could instantly be wowed upon entering.  I wish I could say it was my room so I could relax in a perfected haven.  No, the lucky room was the boys' bathroom.  But the results were so cute that I wanted to share with all of you who will never make it that far into my house.  Aidan & Davyn are cowboy wanna-be's.  They worship their cowboy papa and the annual Luna Rodeo is definitely the highlight of Aidan's young life.


    Thank you JoDee, Gina & Cyn for helping me shop.  Thank you Nancy for the words.  Thank you Jim for making the lovely towel hanger & not rolling your eyes overly. 




    feeling Christmas

    December is wrapped in nostalgia. Dozens of Christmases could come and go, but the ones most potently present will be those from once upon a time with the family who grew you. I could be wrong, but I feel homesick looking at my tree tonight…longing not for a place, but a when. When we all piled in bed together and Tyler kidnapped presents from the piles under the tree. When Mom was Mom and not Cyndee. When Dad was Dad and not Mike. I feel a little homeless with my roots so spread out across the map. But if we all came together it still wouldn’t be then. The now is too big. The now is good…but in December I often miss the when.

    I want a nostalgic “when” for my own children. I want the holidays to wear the same magic for them that I danced in as a child. I remember air so thick & glittered with excitement that it sparkled. I remember breathless anticipation on Christmas Eve. I remember Mom telling the story of Christ’s birth. I remember peeking out to assure myself that Santa had indeed come. I remember poking & prodding until my parents finally agreed it was “time” to get up – all ordinary memories in that they are identical to those of millions, but extraordinary in the magic that they individually impart. I want my boys to feel all of this & more.

    No doubt, in 30 years, I’ll sit in front of my Christmas tree solemnly longing for the magic of Christmas as I experience it now.  I'll be so blind that the tree will look like one big blur.  But I'll sit & remember...longing not for a place, but a when.   When the boys were small and not big.  When I was Santa and not Mom.  When Jim & I were young and  not quite so old.  Wrapped in nostalgia eternally.  It makes me laugh...I truly must try to hold the present still enough for a lengthy embrace.  Sometimes longing is easier than living.


    something I never imagined hearing Aidan say...

    So I'm working a little here & there around the house while the boys are playing.  It's usually Star Wars, but this time I'm not hearing the light sabers clang or the Obi-Wan KeDB (another A nickname for D) being shouted.  Instead I'm hearing the word "Hasselhoff".  Yes, as in David Hasselhoff.  It's unfortunate & more than slightly disturbing, but I think the Spongebob movie has introduced this man to my children.  If you haven't seen the flick, I'll fill you in - Spongebob & Patrick find themselves ashore, needing to get back to Bikini Bottom ASAP.  That's where David Hasselhoff comes in.  He heroically swims them to their drop spot, then turns into a frightening rocket that blasts them below through pectoral propulsion.  So, unless Jim has been sneaking Baywatch episodes with the boys, Spongebob brought David Hasselhoff to my home.  Maybe it'll disappear if I ignore it.  I'd welcome back General Grievous or the Emperor anytime...lesser evils in my mind. 


    Christmas thoughts

    I love my Christmas tree. Aleta gave us the ornaments as a late wedding present. We got married in August 2002. She did so much to help that blissful day along that any gift was downright superfluous. But when she showed up in November with a full black garbage bag that turned into a tree full of glittering ornaments, I was excited by the late-wedding-turned-to- early-Christmas. The ornaments are huge & I love them. Our tree has never gone without.

    Nativity.jpgI love to sit alone downstairs and lose myself in the lights & glitter of the Christmas tree. And think. I think about many things, but so often (perhaps because my Nativities are within sight) my thoughts turn to Mary. I imagine her as a woman of great understanding & serenity. No doubt she was young & unsure when presented with her mission to mother the Son of God. But I think she must have come to understand a great deal about His role…even when others close to Him did not. She must have cherished the time when He was hers…we do know that didn’t last long, as He was quickly about “His Father’s business”. Did she know how short their time alone would be? Did she foresee His grief and pain? Did her heart ache to give Him to Us? When He turned His life over to mankind, I’m sure she longed for the times when He was hers alone…sharing food, warmth & love…the simple beauty of family.

    When I think about Christmas, I think about Christ, yes - His Love, His Atonement, the Eternal Significance of His Sacrifice. But, during this season I seem to spend equal time thinking about Mary. She held this child in her arms, sang to Him, warmed Him with kisses. I’ve held & loved two babies. I weep at their pains. I exult in their triumphs. I tangibly ache at the thought of letting them go someday. Maybe this is the root of the bond. My mother experience is short-lived, but the feelings that accompany it are powerful beyond all. I can begin to imagine her feelings.Maryached as He left to embrace His divinely-appointed destiny. She wept at His pain. His pain surpassed All. She exulted in His triumphs. His triumphs End ALL Pain. I'm grateful for the Pains of me&mine allieved through His life's Gift.  I am also grateful to one who (though unsure & untried) gave life to Him who gives Life to All.