I prefer to take my pictures out of doors where the light is usually brilliant and the background way more interesting than, say my crayon-marked walls, for example. Besides, it's autumn meaning, most of the time, our yard and street look like Thomas Kinkade himself came by with his paintbrush and turned our neighborhood into a tranquil scene worthy of slapping on to limited edition decorative plates to be sold in Good Housekeeping for three easy installments of only $19.99. For the past 48 hours, however, it has been raining and raining and raining on top of the mounds of dying leaves spread over our lawns making it look and feel and smell like wet dog around here. I've been forced, therefore, to search inside for some photo opportunities.
I showed the shot above to my husband, who I know must, occasionally, scratch his head in bewilderment of his wife's ever-growing obsession with finding/composing memorable images and yet, bless his heart, never ever questions or teases me about it. He responded with, "Oh, it's a picture of your feet."
"Yes," I said, "they are my feet." And then I giggled inwardly at the thought of me on the edge of sanity, after spending a week locked away in our germ-infested house, wearing 24/7 the same old stretched-out stained sweater, pausing to seriously and enthusiastically position just right my red shoes on the bathroom linoleum.
And there it is: I create to punctuate the days and keep from, totally, losing my mind when life, as it tends to do, threatens to haphazardly bowl me over all at once rather than gently and methodically unfolding. What you're looking at is not only a picture of my humble, thrift store-bought version of Ruby Red Slippers, but also a means of preserving some honest-to-goodness contentment in the midst of chaos.
And now for a shower and some hard-core dish washing!
Ah, there's no place like home.
Those of you who used to visit my old Snapshot of the Day blog from time to time might remember me mentioning Troy's cousin, Erik, a musician who performs under the name of Cedarwell. He stops through Chesterton on occasion on his way to and from shows across the Midwest. Wednesday night he and a band mate crashed in our attic and then yesterday morning ate breakfast with Troy and me before heading to New York and then ultimately Europe for a month long tour.
I enjoy watching my husband interact with his extended family. They are unusually tight and supportive of one another's various interests and endeavors. I could tell Troy and Erik genuinely cherished what little time they were able to spend together. "How lovely," I thought, while sipping coffee and listening to them share with each other condensed updates on their lives. Of course, before Erik left, I shoved a camera in both of their faces. I love this photo!
We Sabourins are all big fans of Cedarwell! Erik's song are so melodic and lyrically rich. Seriously, I dare you to try and get "Burn up the Sky," performed beautifully in the video below, out of your head or to not be moved and totally captivated by THIS one. It's good, good stuff!
On the health front, Mary and Elijah seem much better but now Priscilla has come down with a slight fever and oh my, the drama! That Prissy's a real character – my own miniature Scarlett O'Hara (How will I ever go on if I miss tomorrow's spelling test?!).
Take care of yourselves, friends, and your own under the weather babies!
Against my better judgement, I said, "sure," when she asked me to swing her. Yes, she was feverish and queasy but this house – it was starting to smell/feel/taste like an infirmary. A breath of fresh air seemed liked a spectacular idea to both of us.
So far I'm footloose and symptom-free! I tried to take advantage of this against all odds state of affairs by madly washing clothes and scrubbing toilets – whenever I wasn't fetching glasses of orange juice, taking temperatures and adjusting blankets for those on the "sick sofa," that is.
There's a real feeling of camaraderie around here I find heartening and optimistic, like maybe we are, as a whole, linked together by more than just status updates and clever tweets after all. My neighbors have been calling to check in, compare notes. "Do you need anything?" I've been asked a total of three times this afternoon by fellow moms with their own sick children running out to pick up milk, prescriptions, popsicles at the grocery store. How satisfying, like way more fulfilling than new boots or iPhone apps, is sharing your day-to-day life with others, being a part of something bigger than your own self, your own worries. I forgot that for a minute and am very grateful for the reminder.
It's time that me and my grungy self (oh yeah, I am a real treat to look at right now) snuggled up on the couch with my husband. Thank you so much for your prayers! I think we are starting to turn a corner around here. Blessings to you!!
I feel like this drying out, solitary leaf, watching everybody else fall around me, knowing my own current position, as one of the last women standing, is precarious at best. Mary and Elijah are hot with fevers. It won't be long, I am assuming, before this nasty, aggressive flu holding our little town hostage worms its way into the rest of our stomachs, chests, heads.
I'm off to douse to myself in Lysol and dig out my nurses hat!Read More
Staying at home with my children hasn't always been easy…or enjoyable. I won't pretend there weren't weeks at a time (especially in the beginning when my kids were still babies) when I woke up in tears, overwhelmed by the long hours ahead of me – me alone with their needs and demands. I was so hard on myself, so quick to judge. There were altogether too many reminders in and around my house (temper tantrums, unmade beds, high-fructose corn syrup-laced snacks, Elmo DVDs, vegetable intolerances, etc.) of my seeming incompetence.
I didn't/couldn't realize then that me just adoring them, hugging and kissing them, laughing with them, reading to them, filling their tiny tummies, and praying for them was having more of an impact on their development than my lack of organic, sugar-free baking skills or money for fancy Old Town School of Folk Music "mom and tot" classes. It never occurred to me that those crash on the couch while my toddlers watched television and the dishes remained unwashed, "just getting through it," kind of days would be inevitable, me being human and imperfect and subject to exhaustion and all.
It's not that I don't still worry or berate myself (ahh, the plights of motherhood), but within the last three years or so, I have, in the healthiest way possible, lowered my own expectations thus reducing significantly my susceptibility to despair. Perhaps I've become more aware of the fragility of life and the lightning speed with which it passes; maybe it finally dawned on me that my sons and daughters seem to be healthy and happy so far despite my numerous foibles – whatever the reason, I am relieved that what once felt claustrophobic now brings me genuine, enduring peace and satisfaction.
Yesterday morning, Ben had a low-grade fever so I had three of my four kids around instead of just the two. Usually, we're pretty busy between public, pre, and homeschool; so often, now, I gaze exasperatedly at the clock (5:00 pm?!) wondering where in the world the afternoon went. It was a nice change of pace, having nowhere to be, nothing urgent to do. Presently, we're all on the verge of illness, just waiting and watching to see which will way the tide will turn. It feels like someone has pressed "pause'; I dare not make too many plans lest we end up succumbing to the subtle aches in our heads, the fluttering nausea in our bellies (like everyone else in our neighborhood seems to have done) and have to cancel them. It's pleasant, every once in awhile, to not think ahead, to just stay in my jammies and be. I am here, with my family, caring for them the best, flawed, way I know how.
We parents are neck deep in such a beautiful and complicated mess, one caked with uncertainties, inconveniences and love so intense, so Divine, it transcends death, disillusionment and even, most amazing of all, our own screw-ups. What other choice is there besides falling, forgiving, standing back up and redoubling our efforts? Those kids can sure get on my nerves, push my buttons and tear at my heart. I want nothing more in this world than to have them near me.