Archives for January 2009

We Found Them

For the last couple of weeks Alex and I have been playing a silly game. He’ll walk up to me and say, “What’s your name?”

And I’ll say something silly like, “Snickerbottoms” or “Picklelemons” or “McTuttlenuts.”

And then he’ll feign surprise and say, “MY NAME IS SNICKERBOTTOMS, TOO! I FOUND YOU! WE MUST BE FAMILY!” and then he throws his arms around my neck and laughs hysterically and wants to play the game all over again.

He loves it. I do, too.

Last year – The Two-Oh-Oh-Eight – was wonderful and exciting and challenging and hard. It was overwhelming at times. There were some difficult patches for sure, and I’m being as vague as possible, you see, because LET’S KEEP IT LIGHT, PEOPLE. LET’S KEEP IT LIGHT AND THEN LET’S LAUGH ABOUT SOMETHING, THIS IS HOW I OPERATE.

So, in short: while there were definitely some bright spots, more often than not in 2008 it seemed like I was forever standing before God and just flat-out wrestling with all my stinkin’ sin and mistakes and selfishness and failures and stubbornness. And fear. OH my word at the fear. And worry. And etc. and so on and so forth.

But.

In the midst of all that.

God did the coolest thing.

I have long contended that I have the sweetest friends and family in the whole wide world, and if you don’t believe me then you should meet them and then you’d see and then you’d probably want to be friends with them, too, and that is understandable, really, because they are all quite fabulous. Most of those sweet friends have been in my life since high school or college, and I kid you not that one of the great delights of my life is laughing with them about everything and nothing. Those girls know my faults like nobody’s business (I’m prideful. I don’t like to talk about my problems or my weaknesses. I’m moody. The list goes on and on.) and love me anyway. I love them to pieces.

So in terms of long-time friends, I’ve been beyond blessed. But truth be told, I struggle sometimes when new people come along because I feel like I’m not serious enough or smart enough or holy enough or laid-back enough or disciplined enough or whatever, not to mention that I’m irreverent and sarcastic (I’m going to start calling it “sarTASTIC,” by the way) and loud and waist-deep in the process of working out my junk and figuring out what it means to live a fully surrendered life (OH SWEET MERCY I feel that I’ve hit my introspective limit for 2009 already and PLEASE, CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT BACON?).

Anyway, the bottom line is this: I can get pretty comfortable with (relative) isolation if I’m not careful. I can start to like isolation if I’m not careful. The fact that I don’t blog about all the ISH-AHS in my life and my family’s life doesn’t make them go away, and if for some reason you think I don’t have ISH-AHS, then please permit me to give you this piece of advice: OH PLEASE DON’T KID YOURSELF.

But in 2008, despite all the Life Junk, God just blessed our socks off through people. Old friends. New friends who were “hit it off” people to such a degree that it almost gave me whiplash. Their names aren’t “Snickerbottoms” or “Picklelemons” or “McTuttlenuts,” but almost every single time I talk to them I want to throw my arms around their neck and hug them to pieces and scream “WE FOUND YOU! WE MUST BE FAMILY!”

So while it’s tempting for me to look back on last year and think mostly about the hard things, what I want to remember about last year are the best things. Because I’ll tell you this right now and you can cross stitch it and frame it and hang it in your living room in the dead-dog center of your wall if you’d like: it’s a whole lot easier to walk through your ish-ahs when there are people in your life who you love and trust – and when they love and trust you right back. Whether they’re family, old friends or new friends, I don’t want to do life without them.

I don’t have some pretty bow to wrap around this post, no clever way to tie up all the loose ends. I just want to be more mindful than ever that even though life is stinkin’ hard sometimes, God extends so much of His mercy and His goodness through the people He puts in our path. I want to love people well. Whether I’ve known them for my whole life or for twenty years or for twenty days, I want to love them well, to be mindful that they’re a blessing.

And this post is a reminder to my own dadgum self.

The end.

You May Have To Remind Me How To Use This Thing

I don’t really know how to explain why I’ve been so scarce around here lately without doing a significant amount of oversharing, but yes. I’ve been a little out of my bloggy routine this week. After we got home from Travis‘ (phenomenal) concert, I tried to tackle my to-do list, and I think I didn’t give myself enough recovery time. Because Tuesday afternoon I had what my mama would call a sinking spell. Just bottomed out. Got all weepy and worried and whathaveyou. Felt way overwhelmed and burdened for a sweet friend. Fell apart after David and I realized that Hoopty Laptop is for real, straight-up dead this time (she quit working last week, and we suspected it was a power cord issue, but it’s not, and Hoopty, She Is Dead.)

(Poor Hoopty. Her passing makes me think of a WH Auden poem, which I will paraphrase at this juncture:

[Hoopty] was my North, my South, my East, my West;
My working week and my Sunday rest;
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought [our] love would last forever. I was wrong.

And I didn’t really love my computer. But I liked her a whole, whole bunch.)

It hasn’t helped that I’ve been listening to way too much Shawn Colvin, and Shawn Colvin always makes me cry because it reminds me of when I was in grad school and my friend Bubba was going through a difficult time and I used to think about him when I’d hear her songs and REALLY, I’M NOT AS CODEPENDENT AS I MAY SEEM, I PROMISE.

Fortunately we had an old Mac desktop in our garage, and the husband got it all set up for me in the dining room. It works great. I’m very, very grateful to have it as a back-up. I just miss Hoopty. As Melanie said earlier this week, Hoopty has been really good to me except for all the times she crashed when we tried to record all the podcasts you’ve never heard.

So there was that.

And then Tuesday night I read this week’s Newsweek that featured article after article about how horrible everything is and how it’s not going to get any better and how the entire global economy is collapsing on itself and how we’ve zigged when we should have zagged and, no kidding, I really thought I was going to have to take some sort of nerve pill when I finally closed that magazine. So I’ve made the very mature decision to stop reading and watching the news. It freaks me out. And I really do think that if the news media would report positive stuff for a solid month instead of focusing so much on the gloom and doom that things really would get better. Because we’d all feel better. And when you feel better, you act better. I know that’s simplistic. But it couldn’t hurt.

However, I won’t know if they decide to report positive stuff or not because I’M DONE WITH THE READING AND THE WATCHING.

In the happy column, the five year-old has never in his whole life been more delightful company. We have had the most fun week together. Monday night when I was cooking supper he grabbed my camera and took pictures, and when I transferred pictures to my computer the next day I laughed my head off.

Apparently his craft is heavily influenced by Pixar and Nintendo.

Okay. Two more things. Maybe three.

My sweet friend Merritt is flying into town tomorrow and I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE HER FACE. We haven’t seen each other in over a year, and I’ve already warned her that I will probably cry when I see her. The crying isn’t necessarily unusual in a week where I cried over a power cord, but my Merritt-related tears will be infinitely more heartfelt. OHMYWORDI’VEMISSEDHER. Cheese dip and guacamole for everyone!

Also: “The Office” and “30 Rock” are re-runs tonight, and all I have to say about that is NO FAIR.

Finally: your hair looks really good today. Really. It does. FABULOUS.

And I believe that’s all.

Update On Baby Harper

Such great news! So, so happy for Kelly, Scott and their sweet baby girl.

American Idol Watch Party

Hi.

How are y’all?

I’m fine-ish. Thanks for asking. The only really interesting thing going on right this second is that I still haven’t had supper and it’s after 9:00 so I think I’m about to have a date with some Kashi Go Lean Crunch.

Isn’t my life fascinating?

Anyway.

My post on tonight’s episode of American Idol is up over at Culture11.

And the good people over there moved us to a blog so that you no longer have to register to comment. You can just enter your name and email address like you do here. And maybe fill in a little verification box. Easy breezy.

There. I believe that’s all. I’m going to go whip up a fancy bowl of cereal now.

Love,
Me

Linky Interwebby Awesomeness 01.27.09

– A few minutes ago I was catching up on Jennifer’s blog, and after a few clicks I found myself reading this post, which I somehow missed when it was originally published. And oh my word. It took my breath away.

– Kathryn has some thoughts on The Bachelor. We can all join her in saying “Amen.”

– And last but not least, Dave Barnes has some news. And if you love his music like I love his music, you’ll be oh-so-delighted to hear what he has to say.

Because It Relaxes Me

I mean, PEOPLE. How am I supposed to hear the words “the rose ceremony goes terribly wrong” in the preview and NOT blog about tonight’s episode of “The Bachelor”?

I cannot resist.

Tonight Chris Harrison told us right away that there would be a group date, an individual date, and a 2-on-1 date. But the individual date had to be earned by writing and performing an original love song for Jason (IN ONLY THIRTY MINUTES!), and I knew I was in for a treat when I saw that 1) one person’s lyrics included the word “nuggets” and 2) Stephanie was practicing what could only be described as an aria.

Also. Did anyone else think that poor Nikki sounded like Judy Grimes on SNL? “I can’t do it I’m sorry I’m not creative I’m sorry I’d rather wear only a trench coat I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry.” I just wanted to hug her.

One more thing: I think Shannon probably regretted her decision to rap.

And seriously. If someone told me that I had to sing in front of people in order to win a contest? I’d just leave. I’d pack my bags and leave. And then the remaining contestants could set their lyrics to the tune of my screeching tires. But in the end Molly won the one-on-one date by singing about fast food, and I have nothing but respect for that. Especially since I know how many times I’ve been creatively inspired by Popeye’s fried chicken.

Molly and Jason had a camp-out date at his house that stretched into the wee hours of the morning, and Molly scored a 1-2 punch in terms of making the other girls jealous when she did the early morning walk of shame and strolled through the front door wearing Jason’s clothes. In fairness the clothes-changing took place early in the evening and appeared to be totally innocent, but you have to hand it to the producers for finding new and inventive ways to stir the bachelorette pot. Because, you know, there hadn’t been nearly enough drama so far. What with all the crying and vomiting and fighting.

The group date was a trip to the General Hospital set for some of the cheesiest Bachelor shenanigans that I’ve ever had the sweet privilege to witness. All the cheesiness eventually took a toll, though, and the end-of-night wrap party found most of the girls in tears and fighting some serious jealousy. Megan thought for a brief moment that it was the greatest night of her life, but that feeling seemed to dissipate when Jason literally ducked and maneuvered her into a Friend Hug when she tried to move in for a kiss.

Lauren seemed to feel like bossing Jason around was the best strategy, but Viewers At Home couldn’t help but notice that the bossy seemed to make Jason bristle. Shannon went so far as to interrupt Jason and Melissa’s time together (prediction: Jason will pick Melissa when it’s all said and done); then she cried her eyes out and overshared. In the end Naomi got the rose, and everyone wiped away their tears and went home.

The 2-on-1 date went to Nikki and Stephanie, who got to live out my worst nightmare (aside from that songwriting-under-pressure business) by having to put on formal attire and ride in a fancy car and do some ballroom dancing. Personally I think they would’ve had a much better time if they’d hung out at the house in some sweats and watched DVDs of “30 Rock” while they ate queso dip. Then they could have reenacted the “Single Ladies” video if they wanted to cut a rug. But instead we had to witness the awkwardness of Nikki and Stephanie cutting in on each other during some sort of Ballroom Dancing Duel, and sadly there was not a bowl of queso dip in sight. Stephanie got the rose, and Nikki, unfortunately, won the most painful moment of the night award by way of her limo confessional. I feel like a “bless her heart” is most definitely in order.

Next up was the rose ceremony party, where Jason and Melissa’s conversation proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have CHEMISTRY FOR DAYS. Lauren continued with the bossiness, and I feel like it’s gonna be a really good day for her when she realizes that THE BOSSINESS, MAYBE NOT SO CHARMING.

Finally it was time for “the rose ceremony [to go] terribly wrong,” and Jason gave the first rose of the night to Melissa, like we didn’t know that was going to happen. The second rose went to Jillian, like we didn’t know that was going to happen, and the third rose went to no one at all, LIKE WE DIDN’T KNOW THAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN, EITHER. Jason’s spectacular avoidance techniques were pretty much a dead giveaway that he didn’t see himself with any of the remaining girls, and hopefully we’ll be spared All The Awkward for the remaining episodes.

And by the way, does anybody have a copy of the lyrics for Lauren’s “I Want To Be Famous” song?

Because while I love bears – ALL BEARS – that song may very well take this season’s Bachelor cake.

And if that wasn’t enough TV goodness for you, Chris Harrison promised us in the previews for next week that it’s going to be THE MOST DRAMATIC ROSE CEREMONY EVER. I’ve been waiting all season to hear those words.

I would not miss it for the world.