Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Invisible Woman

I have had two different friends send this to me and I really think it's a true picture of a mom.

Perspective: The Invisible Woman
By Nicole Johnson
It started to happen gradually. One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, "Who is that with you, young fella?" "Nobody," he shrugged. "Nobody?" The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, "Oh my goodness, nobody?" I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family - like "Turn the TV down, please" - and nothing would happen. Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, "Would someone turn the TV down?" Nothing.
Just the other night my husband and I were out at a party. We'd been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, "I'm ready to go when you are." He just kept right on talking. That's when I started to put all the pieces together. I don't think he can see me. I don't think anyone can see me. I'm invisible.It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not! No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see; me at all. I'm invisible.Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please." I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going she's going she's gone!One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with; admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees." In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:* No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. * These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.* They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.* The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees." I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become." At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there." As mothers we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Monday, September 24, 2007

4:45 AM!!

..... is an unacceptable time for all three of the little ones to wake up. :(

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sad moment

Vivian is now 9 months old going on 25. She no longer requires the services of her excersaucer, jumperoo, bumbo seat or anything else that even comes close to holding her in one spot for more than half a second. So this weekend we started putting all that stuff up. As we walking, Tim looked really sad. I asked him what was wrong and he said nothing. And then I said, "Are you sad?" And he said, "Yes, are you?" My answer ASTONISHED me!!! My answer was yes. It was a little bit sad to put these things away thinking we will probably not use them again. Someone just slap me!! :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I am guilty

Well, today I pled guilty to something I didn't do.

The Story:

I got a speeding ticket back in July. For going 85 in a 70. Ok, so I am known to speed a little, but that's excessive and I simply wasn't going that fast. The State Trooper wasn't the nicest guy in the world, and told me that I didn't have the right to see the radar and wrote my ticket. My first court date was last month. I took all the girls with me to court. I figured I would be in and out within an hour, I had no idea how this stuff works. Wrong. First of all I was discriminated against for bringing my children. My children who by the way were ANGELIC and not making a peep. We ende up being at the court house for 2 1/2 hours and all they did was give me another day to come back. The baliff wouldn't even let me enter my plea b/c he wouldn't allow me to take the kids into court. It was so ridiculous.

So today was my second court date. I really, really, really didn't want to take the kids with me. We just got back from vacation, they are not on a normal schedule yet. But Tim missed work yesterday due to the holiday and I just felt really bad asking him to stay home, so I packed snacks, school, coloring stuff, toys and my sling and we were off.

We had a different baliff today and she was kinder to me. She let me in the courtroom and then said that if the kids started talking I would need to take them out. Needless to say, we went ahead and went out. The kids colored and had snacks and Mackenzie studied for some tests and we were good. The prosecutor comes out after about an hour and a half and asks me if I would like to plead guily to a lesser charge. She said that it wouldn't go on my record and the fine would be reduced. I agreed. After a little while they came to get me and Madison, Vivian and I went in to see the judge while Mackenzie kept Leah out in the hall. The baliff says"Raise your right hand" and all of that. The judge then proceeds to explain to me that this guilty plea will be with me for the rest of my life and do I agree to it? Well, no since that's not what the prosecutor said. The then judge goes through this long process of telling me how it's not suposed to go on your record but there's a chance it can and the insurance people can find it anyway. And then he asks me if I was speeding. I said, "I was probably going a couple miles over the limit but not as fast as I am being accused of going." So he goes into this long explanation of how they want the justice system to work for everyone and doesn't want me to agree to something that I am not comfortable with. So I said, I don't plea. All the official people in the courtroom sighed and looked very put off that I wasn't pleaing. So they took me and the kids to a room to wait for my trial.

By this time it is nearing lunch time and the kids are getting wacky. Vivian is starting to eat formula as well as nurse and I didn't have another bottle for her, so I new my time was running out. The judge sent a public defender in to talk to me. He said basically, that I would not win if I went to trial. He tried a couple other please that the judge wouldn't agree to. And in the end for my sanity, I plead guilty with the original plea. The judge calls me in again and I go back up with wo of the kids and talk to him. He goes into this long talk again about the justice system and how he didn't want me to leave thinking that the justice system didn't work for me. I said I was fine but I really don't think it worked for me at all. They basically wore me down.

As we were walking out Mackenzie wanted to know why I lied and said that I did something that I didn't do. Ouch! I explained to her that I told the judge that I wasn't not speeding but I had to plea b/c it was the best thing for us. We had to get out of there. She seemed to understand. What an experience!

Hysterical Ebay auction

I borrowed this from Tiff b/c you guys have got to read it. It's awesome!!http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130144061675&ru=http%3A%252

Monday, September 3, 2007

Just got back from Destin!!

We just got back from vacation in Destin. We had a great time thanks to Tim's aunt and uncle who generously offered us their condo on the beach. It is so beautiful there. There was a rainbow on the first day.

Madison snoozing on the way down.

Leah pretending to be asleep!

Madison hanging out waiting to go down to the beach.

Madi on the beach!

Vivian's first experience on the beach!

Leah loved the sand!

Mackenzie loved making sand castles.

We spent most of our time in the baby pool. :)

Leah in her cool car float

The girls on the beach

Visit with Erica

Erica chillin with Viv.

Leah loved Ehcka!!

Erica relaxing after a long day of baby chasing.

Erica straightened Leah and Madison's hair for them.

Ready for our day out!

A visit to the new Coke museum. We tasted all kinds of coke from around the world.

The ladies hanging out at an old coke counter.

Erica and Mackenzie with the coke bear.