Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Paying It Forward

The other day, at the exact moment I was in need of a little pick me up, I opened my email and found this lovely award waiting for me from Madison of, I'd like to thank her for the award.  Thank you, I really appreciate it!  I'd also like to encourage everyone to check out her blog.  April is National Autism Awareness Month.

So, the rules are I must tell everyone 7 things about me and then pay the award forward to other bloggers.  Here goes:

Deadliest Catch is my favorite T.V. show.

I'm left-handed.

Walking and riding a bike are my two favorite ways to exercise.

Fall is my favorite season.

I cried after dropping my son off at school for his 1st day of kidnegarten.

My husband and I met at Frisch's when I was a waitress and he was a cook.

I wish I knew how to play the piano.

And the blogs I'm awarding The Versatile Blogger Award to:     Really like the style of her writing and her recipes  Such a nice lady with a great blog Tasty BBQ Pulled Pork recipe just posted. Really nice lady A husband and wife that always have great parenting advice Funny essays about life and family  Beautiful photographs and I love her tagline  Blogging for the better good.  Join in with your voice.  Funny, sweet, touching. Creative and interesting

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fairy Tale, Schmairy Tale

Love may very well be a many splendored thing, but it's also a fickle, ever changing, growing, disappearing and reappearing thing. 

It's easy to believe in a happily ever after when you're standing in that bridal shop, trying on white organza confections, and friends are sighing "you'll make such a beautiful bride."  Believing in the happy forever after is a little more difficult when the seal between the toilet and the floor decides to break 30 minutes after Home Depot has closed for the night and you and your spouse are standing ankle deep in toilet water.  Life has handed my husband Dave and I our fair share of these moments.  

Recently, we celebrated our anniversary.  We talked my sister into keeping our boy Milo overnight, got all gussied up and headed out to try a new restaurant.  As we fed ourselves steak, salad and chocolate cake we did more than celebrate the passing of the years.  We celebrated the moments and memories that make up those years.  This anniversary found us huddled close together at the table, oblivious to our surroundings, content to make each other laugh.  There have been other dinners where we've sat and ate, with more than just the width of a table separating us. 

Just 14 years old, our marriage has already lasted three times longer than the average union.  We've been happy, miserable, blessed, resentful, grateful and every other emotion known to exist. I think any long-term marriage is about luck, laughter and forgiveness as much as it is about love.  So, we celebrate. 

We celebrate: a first apartment, new homes, broken toilets, building a swing set out back, puppies no one but us wanted, sleepless nights with a teething baby, standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, planting trees and watching them grow, Disney Land, loved ones we had to say good-bye to, Christmas stockings hanging off the mantle, the cat biting our toes, stacks of medical bills, watching our son start his first day of school, cheering on his basketball team, eating pizza on an empty beach, calls when the car broke down, sled riding on snowy days, playing board games, flooded backyards, super-duper hugs, just plain old surviving it all and hoping we get some more just like it.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

If Only

Wouldn't it be nice if....

     children came with an instruction manual

     money really did grow on trees

     life came with a do-over button

     chocolate chip cookies caused weight loss

     the house cleaned itself

     that alarm didn't go off so early in the morning

     wishes could always come true


Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Smurf Made Me Do It

There was a time during my misspent youth that The Smurfs and a friend I'll call Crissy combined to form a perfect storm of sin and fear within my Catholic school-girl heart. 

The afternoon in question was unfolding like every other one that came before it. Crissy and I were up in her room playing with her Barbie and Ken dolls, making them take endless trips up and down in the elevator of their Dream House or cruise around the area rug in the pink convertible that Ken must not have had a hand in picking out.  Sometimes, the two went on vacation to the other side of the bedroom where the horse was stabled. 

For whatever reason we soon grew bored of Barbie and Ken and decided to walk over to the local McAlpin's store where the new Smurf toys were on display. And, right next to them stood the dragon lady.  Actually, just a cashier who knew what a couple of kids up to no good looked like.  I'm not sure we knew ahead of time that we were up to no good.  At least, I know I didn't.  But, at some point we decided that we needed a Smurf action figure to serve as a pool boy for Barbie's upcoming pool party.  Only neither one of us had any money.  What to do, what to do? 

Crissy distracted dragon lady and I crammed a little Smurf into the pocket of my shorts.  Then we ran all the way back to Barbie and Ken.  After fishing the contraband out of my pocket we placed it on Crissy's dresser and sat there staring at it, as if the thing were some kind of Genie bottle and something was about to pop out of it.  Only the more I looked at it, the worse I began to feel.  It was stolen.  I had broken one of the Top Ten.  Now, I had spent enough hours kneeling next to my Mom on Sundays and coloring pictures of Jesus during CCD classes that I knew exactly what was coming next.  Soon the devil would arrive to drag me down to the really hot place with no swimming pools for cooling off.  And, the more I feared the fiery pit the angrier I grew that it was a stupid Smurf stolen and not Gargamel or his cat Azrael.  Those were my favorites after all.  I couldn't stand those Smurfs. And what did that say about me, that every Saturday I rooted for the evil wizard and his cat?  Satan was going to make me his apprentice for sure.  Slowly I turned my head to see the exact same expression of fear and dread on my friend's face.

"I feel really bad, Angii.  We shouldn't steal.  It's sooo wrong." Crissy said, echoing my thoughts.

"I know.  What are we going to do?"

"We're going to burn in H-E-double matchsticks.", she replied matter-of-factly.

If the crime was undone then it would be like it never happened we decided.  And, then we could assure ourselves a spot up in the clouds with all those lambs that were forever sitting around in Jesus's lap.  Of course, the dragon lady was a concern.  We hadn't been caught sneaking out the toy, but what if we were caught sneaking it back in?  She would never believe we were returning stolen property.   Enter a brilliant plan. 

I grabbed the offensive Smurf and skipped home to find my little brother, Joe.  He was tiny and cute; all big, blue eyes, freckles. Surely, the dragon lady wouldn't call security if he was found with stolen goods.  Easily tricked into thinking we were spending some quality time together I walked him up to the shopping center.  Once outside the store doubt crept in.  Joe didn't know why we were here and what if the dragon lady did call security?  What if my parents found out it was all my fault?  I slapped the toy into his small hand and dragged him into the store, coming to stop just a few feet inside the door.

"Joey, go throw that Smurf toy over there on that stand."

"Why?  There's no toys over here.  Why do I have to get rid of it?"

"Just do it."  I urged. 

Obediently, he walked over to an outdoor furniture setting and placed the Smurf on a cushion.  Then, I grabbed his hand and fled the store for the second time that day.  During the walk home he was silent for a bit before turning those trusting eyes on me.

"Angii, did we just steal?"

"No.  Of course not.  We returned a toy, that's all."

"But, that's not how Mommy does it.  Did you steal it?  I don't wanna steal.  I don't wanna get in trouble."

Yet another moral dilemma.  Faced with breaking another one of the Top Tens, I questioned what to do.  Should I lie or tell the truth?  Did I just correct one sin to commit another?  

"No, I didn't steal it, Joe.  I called the store and they told me to return it like that.  It's ok.  Don't worry about it.  And, don't tell Mom."

Mom never did find out about my short lived criminal career.  That Smurf is the only thing that I've ever taken.  Too much guilt to repeat another theft of any kind.  Now, if only my lesson in lying didn't involve an Innocent's death.  But, that's a story for another day.