First, an update on the Storms family. Several of you have asked when we’re moving, exactly, because we’ve made it as confusing as possible. As of last week, we’re not at Real Life anymore (technically Andy is on his last month of sabbatical, so he’s not working), but we’re staying in town until the kids finish school in the middle of June. Andy starts at Ozark in July.
BUT, thanks to our fantastic realtor and friend, Chris Davis, our house sold super fast, and we already moved out yesterday.
(Moving day was a whole blog post all by itself. I’ll write it when I quit crying about it. I may have even hugged a wall.)
If you’re doing the math, you see that leaves us with a whole month in town without a house. Until mid-June, then, we’ve borrowed a great R.V., and we’re “glamping” in a little camping village on the edge of town. It’s great—in many ways, it’s nicer than our house, really, because here we have cable TV and even separate beds for Anne and Molly. It will meet our needs just perfectly this month.
In the meantime, Andy and my dad are driving the moving truck to Joplin, and storing our stuff there (because storage units, like everything else, are cheaper there than in California). Andy will also enroll the kids in school while he’s in town, and then he’ll fly back to Santa Clarita to join the rest of us in the R.V. which we have affectionately named Richard.
(Richard Vernon, actually. Get it? R.V.)
So that’s the latest from us, and now…some of you may recall that I like to celebrate Mother’s Day with a little confessing. Let’s face it, moms: in spite of what we present on Facebook, motherhood isn’t all perfect Pinterest projects. Every mom I know does her best, but we all still fail our kids in more ways than we’d like to admit. Every year here, then, we confess our shortcomings—all the ways we’ve messed up as moms—and we celebrate God’s sufficient grace, because His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Please enjoy my confessions, and feel free to comment back with a few of your own. And then, spend some time today resting in God’s good grace!
- When Andy was out of town for a week, I texted him with pictures of Anne’s Math homework every day.
- Three pieces of cheesecake left for three kids. Until Mom ate one. Or two.
- After parking in our garage, I opened my car door to get out just as Molly walked by. I hit her in the head and squished her between our two cars.
- One day, I told the girls their room “stunk to high heaven.” (Have you ever smelled pointe shoes?) They cried.
- “Mom, when our friends are in the car, could you not talk to them so much? You kind of talk to them too much.”
- I completely forgot to take Anne to ballet class one day…on the final class before her annual ballet exam.
- I completely forgot school picture day. It’s a good thing my girls are naturally beautiful, because Mama didn’t help with hair or clothes that day.
- In keeping with what was apparently the theme of my year, I completely forgot all three kids at school one day. Well, to be honest, I nearly forget school pick-up every day. But one day, I completely forgot all three of them. They called me from the street corner.
- One day, when I did remember to pick up Nathan from school, I drove over the curb in the parking lot. In front of all his friends. This is a middle schooler’s most dreadful nightmare.
- More than once (or five times), I’ve made my kids walk to nearby stores to get snacks for me. Even as I type right now, I’m enjoying the M&M’s they brought me from the little market in our R.V. village.
Keep resting in grace, dear moms! Keep letting His power be perfected in you as you serve Him in this most important way. And much love to you all, from Richard Vernon and me.
Previous Mother’s Day Confessions:
Every time I pass those words, I wonder about the person who left them. Was he a member of the city construction crew, pouring and smoothing concrete along the road, when he was overcome with love for his sweet wife? Or perhaps a young couple was out for an evening stroll, and they happened upon a section of wet cement, and the suitor picked up a stick to show Linda how much he cared. Maybe the words were etched by a boy walking home from school, daydreaming about the cutest girl in the whole sixth grade. He kept his crush a secret, though.–At school, he teased her mercilessly and pulled her pigtail braids, but here, after class, he confessed his true feelings.
(Apparently, this all happened in the 1860′s near Little House on the Prairie, where girls wore pigtail braids.)
I think the schoolboy is the most likely culprit, because of the letter H. Last initials are a grade schooler’s calling card.–I was known as “Amy D.” until ninth grade. The cement-scrawler was careful to clarify which Linda he loved. Linda H! Not Linda T., who was too tall for him, and definitely not Linda W., the class tattletale.
“I love Linda,” he wrote, and then added with devotion, “H.”
I wonder if Linda H. ever knew she was loved. I hope so. I hope she loved him back, and I hope they got married, and have three kids and a dog, and take walks down “their sidewalk” to remember the early days.
Of course, if they are married, I suppose she isn’t Linda H. anymore. She probably took his last initial. But even so, love stories like theirs make the world more wonderful, and my
morning jogs occasional walks more tolerable.
My Molly Jane may be the funniest person I’ve ever met. She has kept us in stitches for all of her ten years, and last night, she cracked us up again.
She has gotten a few calls from an unknown number lately, but hasn’t answered since she didn’t know the caller. She finally got to the bottom of it, though, and explained the whole story in her matter-of-fact way:
“You know how that person has been calling me? Well, Lily told me that she’s been trying to call me, so I figured it was her. So I added the number to my contacts with the name, ‘I think this is Lily.’”
(Literally, her contact was, first name: “I think.” Last name: “This is Lily.”)
She continued, “So then, I texted that number. I said, ‘Is this Lily?’ And the person texted back, ‘No, this is Enrique.’ So I changed it from, ‘I think this is Lily,’ to, ‘Apparently Enrique.’
(First name: Apparently. Last name: Enrique.)
I love her so much.
Boy on Polar Express: “Christmas just doesn’t work out for me.”
Molly Jane: “Maybe he’s Jewish.”
Me: “So, it seems like no one really likes these spicy chips I bought, huh?”
Nathan: “I like them. In small amounts. With a glass of milk. And water.”
Me: “I think I’d like my Snuggie a liiittle better if it had a belt.”
Andy: “Babe. That’s a robe.”
Me, yesterday morning, right after Andy’s alarm went off: “What day is it today?”
Andy: “January 7. The day that NOTRE DAME WINS THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.” (Keep believing, my love.)
Or is it green? I’m never really sure what their colors are, actually.
My dad is an OU fan who bleeds crimson—and not just because blood is red. This weekend, for the first time since Nathan was a baby, the Irish play the Sooners. Andy and my dad will text each other good-natured jabs, and I—I who honestly don’t care a bit about sports in general—will dress in blue and gold (and green) and crimson and cream, just to keep everyone happy.
Inwardly, I’m Sooner born and Sooner bred…but outwardly, I’ll wake up the echoes and cheer, cheer for Old Notre Dame.
In the end, only one man—either my husband, or my father—will be happy, and I’ll have the lukewarm ease of a Laodicean.
And that’s what happens around our house, when Rudy meets the Boz.
We haven’t had a Random Funny in a while, but I assure you that my people are as random as ever, and certainly no less funny.
Here’s a movie that Nathan made for your random funny pleasure. When we bought Belle four years ago, I had no idea what a family mascot she would become. Between Nathan’s movies and my lessons, she may be the most documented pet ever.
Except for Lassie, but she was an actress, and not a pet.
Well, she was someone’s pet, I suppose. I mean, collie-girl didn’t drive herself to the TV studio every day.
Am I still talking about this?
So here’s Nathan’s movie. You know I wanted to make it a lesson, but I honestly don’t know what we can learn from it. Except, perhaps, that everyone needs a little random funny every now and then. Enjoy!
This poor little blog! It’s like my houseplants: thriving every so often, but mostly shriveled from neglect. “Oh! I forgot to water you!” I say in horror every few weeks. Or in this case, “Oh! I forgot to write!”
Only, I didn’t forget to write. We’ve been busy and recharging and hiding. Last week, Nathan, Anne, and Molly went to church camp at Hume Lake. Here are the nearly 200 kids that Real Life took. My three are in there somewhere. Feel free to hunt for them. They’re the good-looking ones.
While they were gone, Andy and I had a FAN-TAB-U-LOUS week away and ALONE. We stayed in a friend’s condo near a very large body of water, and we ate some extraordinary Mexican food. It was lovely, but not long enough, I think, because my introvert battery isn’t completely recharged yet.
Notice what similar skin tones we have. Clearly I was made for the beach!
Andy left his phone and email off all week (!), and I even avoided facebook. Which reminds me, I find facebook much more enjoyable now that I’ve hidden a few friends. The news feed, it turns out, is a pleasure to read when it’s minus a status or seven.
Did I mention my introvert battery may need a longer vacation than it got?
Anyway, even Belle the basset hound took a vacation, at my friend’s house. Here she is, helping with a barbecue.
Good girl, Belle.
What else to say? Tomorrow, Nathan turns into a (sob!) teenager. He will finally get his own facebook page, to hide his own friends. And in less than a week, Molly turns ten.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll water the blog again before she turns eleven.
Me: “I think I’m agoraphobic.”
Andy: “You’re not agoraphobic. You’re just agor-annoyed.”
Andy: “So do you really think you’re allergic to your shampoo?”
Me: “I don’t think I’m allergic to my shampoo.”
Andy: “Oh. I think I just had a dream that you were allergic to your shampoo.”
Me: “So my new multi-pack has WHITE post-it notes.”
Me: “I’ve never used white post-it notes. They’re stressing me out.”
Andy: “Sometimes I think Belle looks like General Grievous.”
36. That’s the number I turned earlier this month, and my word, does it sound a lot older than 35. And 35 sounded pretty stinking old in its day, too, because it meant I rounded up to 40.
15. The number of years of marriage that Andy and I will celebrate next month. And 18 is the number of years I’ve known him. Meaning—see #36—that I’ve loved him half my life!
10.5. The number of years we’ve lived in Santa Clarita, and 6 is the number of years that we’ve lived in this little townhouse. But 0 is the number of times I’ve gotten around to painting the living room, which means I’ve said, “This house needs paint!” for 6 solid years now.
Bajillion. The number of times I’ve gotten weepy lately, thanks to an unfortunate blend of bad allergies, unstable hormones, and old age (see #36). Incidentally, bajillion is also the number of times I’ve sent Andy out on what I call a “chocolate run.”
And finally, 180. The number of instructional school days required in the state of California. Today is Day 180! But it feels more like 680, so I’m ready for 3 lazy summer months with my 4 favorite people in the house that has needed paint for 6 years.
Not to mention dozens more chocolate runs with the man I’ve loved half my life.
What numbers are you counting lately?
“…she may well perish with the shame of having such a mother.”
–Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
Oh, moms. We try, don’t we? I’ve never met a mother who didn’t try—who didn’t want the best for her kids.
Try as we may, we aren’t perfect. Every year on this blog, in honor of Mother’s Day, we share our shortcomings. Mother’s Day Confessions are a lighthearted look at our motherhood mess-ups. No pretense or pretending here! Confess with me, and then, let’s celebrate our day by resting in God’s grace. He is always enough, even when we aren’t! (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Mother’s Day Confessions — 2012
- One evening, I stood in the hall between my kids’ bedrooms and complimented Nathan on his clean room. “It’s so clean, I could do cartwheels in there!” Then, with a look at the girls’ room, I added, “…But this room is much less conducive to cartwheels.” The girls burst into tears, I apologized profusely, and everyone went to bed feeling terrible.
- I didn’t pay attention to a change in Molly’s ballet schedule, and I dropped her off at the studio an hour late. She called in tears. “I don’t know what happened but this isn’t my class and these aren’t my friends so can you please come GET ME?!”
- I don’t tuck my kids in bed anymore. In fact, most often, they come tell me good night…because I’m already in bed.
- My most frequent answer to Nathan’s homeschooling questions this year was, “No idea. Google it.”
- One night, I missed a three-inch step off my friend’s front porch. I flung my arms out, trying to regain my balance in the slow-motion fall. In the process, I punched Molly in the nose and glasses. Then I grabbed her by the shirt collar, and nearly pulled her down with me. I more than doubly outweigh her, and yet, I apparently expected her to catch me.
- Driving home, I saw an old wooden rocking chair on the side of the road. After trying for ten minutes to get it into our little car, I made Nathan carry it all the way to our house. Through our entire neighborhood. While his friends rode circles around him on their bikes, and he blushed with embarrassment.
- Speaking of that rocking chair, you may remember this story about a confrontation with our HOA. Now, here’s the rest of the story. After a tender moment in prayer for our enemies, as Nathan headed back outside to play, I offered this Christlike advice: “…and if she ever talks to you like that again, just say, ‘Lady, who peed in your Cheerios?’”
- “You’re probably the only mom who makes every devotion be about sex, Mom.” (Hey, YOU read James 1:15 and tell me that isn’t a sex ed class waiting to happen.)
- “Mom, can we PLEASE wash my sheets? These STILL have blood on them from when I got that bloody nose, like, a LONG time ago.”
- Anne: “How do fish have babies?” Me: “The mom fish lays eggs, and the dad fish squirts man juice on ‘em.”
Okay, your turn! Leave your confessions in the comments, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Mom Connection: Creating Vibrant Relationship in the Midst of Motherhood, by Tracey Bianchi, new from MOPS! I’ll do a random drawing at noon on Tuesday, May 15, when I’ll post more about the book. Good luck, and Happy Mother’s Day!