Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Twilight Years

I turned 40 last month.

It was a wonderful day! Michael and the kids made me breakfast (apple/pear turnovers from scratch and raspberry milkshakes). I had lunch with some of my sweet friends, shopped at the thrift store and then later, at the Beehive, Michael and the kids threw me a surprise party. It was all the more sweet because my sweet husband and children were really "into" it. They made most of the food and came up with the plan. The gave me a new Blackberry, and I got lots of great presents. I felt so special, and I will remember that day until my mind goes...probably in a couple years.

Something happened though, a few days later, which put a bit of a damper on the bliss in my heart:

I received an application from the AARP.

Did some jokester out there fill out an interest card in my name? Is 40 the age the AARP starts taking new members? I would think at least 50 would be more appropriate!! Is it really time for me to be thinking of Medicare? Nursing home insurance? I thought 40 was the new 30?!

I became slightly forlorn and decided to look up AARP on the web. Guess what? It IS 50!! So, I have one more decade before I have to start thinking about that. Whew!

I'm guessing it was my brother. He's always doing stuff like that!

Bless ya!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Funny Valentine

Ahh, Valentine’s Day. The holiday of love…an ode to romance. A day of hearts and chocolate.

Our Valentine’s day started out much like yours did, I’m sure. When all in the children were awake we exchanged our Valentine sentiments in the form of candy, cards, and many hugs. Following this, we all did our morning chores, got dressed and hopped in the van for a trip to Mobile and lunch at Chik-fil-A. Who could ask for more?

Michael and I had reservations for dinner at the Beehive (our local coffee shop/bookstore) at 7pm. Had a babysitter, the whole 9 yards. We had plenty of time to enjoy ourselves in Mobile…and it’s always good to get out of town for a bit.

We got to Chik-Fil-A around 12:15, after taking a short detour to Game Stop. Molly had $20 burning a hole in her pocket and decided a new Wii game was just the ticket (it’s some kind of Barbie game…she rides a horse and has to take care of it and stuff. I played it – it’s quite fun).

We enjoyed our lunch and the kids played on the playground while Michael and I read our books. It was nice.

Before leaving Mobile we stopped by Lowe’s. Michael got some seeds for the garden, and in the parking lot on our way out, Mason picked something up off the ground. It had 2 yellow feathers on it. It was a roach clip. And on the end of it was a piece of a joint.

Now, let me go ahead and say on cyberspace, that I have never tried marijuana…but I DO know what a roach clip is, because some kooky time back in the 80’s it became cool to own a roach clip and clip it to stuff. Some girls wore them in their hair. I saw guys with them clipped to their cowboy hats. Don’t ask me why – people just did it. I personally had one that I bought at a flea market clipped to the curtain in my bedroom. I didn’t know what they were used for , but if everyone else was going to have one – I was, too. It was kind of like the Rubic’s cube keychain (which I bought at the same flea market)…it was one of those things you just had if you were a child of the 80’s…and lived in Sylacauga.

When Mason showed me his “treasure”, I just didn’t know what to say or do. Literally, I was speechless for a moment. Finally I said, “Throw that thing down!” then got into the car, and to change the subject passed around a box of tic-tacs and told everyone they could have one joint a piece.

Yes, I actually said that.

On the way home Mason and Ethan were uncharacteristically quiet. Ethan finally fell asleep, but Mason began to moan.

It’s 10 hours later now (11:45 pm). Michael and I missed our date at the Beehive. Ethan has a fever of 101.9. Mason is laying on the couch with stomach malaise and needs me. I’ll be home from church in the morning, and I had to cancel our visit from Caroline G tomorrow.

After his dinner of cold pizza and some corkscrew pasta with a little parmesan on top (and before he headed off to bed) Michael gave me a Valentine card. I jumped up and gave him the card I had bought for him, too. A quick hug, kiss and “I love you…goodnight” was the apex of our romantic holiday.

But it’s ok. It’s kind of silly, really. I mean, we should be cherishing the people we love every day…not just once a year, right?

One side note: I feel I need to come clean on something. It's true that one year Michael gave me a dustbuster for Valentine’s Day. He likes to use that as a self-deprecating illustration, but you know what? I ASKED for the dustbuster. It was early on in our marriage, we were broke, and the thing was like fifty bucks! I told him that with a baby coming we’d need a dustbuster and he could give it to me as my Valentine’s present. So when you think about it, giving me a dustbuster for Valentine’s Day was actually a self-sacrificing thing, with all the ribbing he’s gotten for it over the years.

That’s my Valentine! Hope you had a good one…

Bless ya!

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Last Friday morning Molly went out to get the paper (it’s one of her daily chores). On her way back in, something caught her eye. Evidently during the night an unknown benefactor and dear person left something on our porch.

It was a bit heavy for Molly to carry inside (?), so she called her brother Mason to her aid. They brought the bag to me. I told them it must be a belated Christmas present, but the tag said only “MacCaughelty Family”; the giver’s name was absent.

As I was trying to get the tape off, Mason said, “What if it’s a Wii?”

“It’s not a Wii,” I said in reply.

I loosed the tape and removed the paper. We all looked down into the bag together and saw it there…sideways…Wii.

For a moment, everyone was quiet, but pandemonium soon broke out.

“Who’s it from?” Caroline asked.

This is the thing…I have no idea who it is from. Well, I have an idea who it might be from, but they didn’t give me their name, so they must not want me to know. And how cool is that? Too often we want recognition for some good deed we do, but this person wanted us to wonder and to simply enjoy the gift without strings. And wonder/enjoy we have. Ultimately, though, we believe this great gift is from the Lord, who put it on the heart of the giver to bless us in wonderful ways. I don’t know who it’s from, and I’m not going to try and find out because maybe being an “unknown giver” is a blessing for that person, too. Mason was just so beside himself that a person we know would love us enough to make such a sacrifice and remain anonymous. “You mean they don’t want us to thank them, Mom?”

If you, Giver of the Wii, are reading this…thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You have given us much delight!

Mason had actually been saving for a Wii and Michael had promised to give the last bit of it. Mason took the money he had saved and bought games, while Michael took the money he had promised to chip in and bought a controller. Aunt Lynne came to visit this week and she brought us Mario cart and some of those cool “steering wheels”. So now, we are pretty much hooked up.

Tennis is my favorite and the first day I played I sustained injuries both to my finger and shoulder. Mason has a black eye from where he hit himself with a steering wheel during a very "intense" Mario Cart race. No pain, no gain…that’s what I always say.

Isn’t that neat? How God could take the “desires of the heart” of a little boy and make them reality through someone else? I love that about God.

Bless ya!

Even More Tales From the Potty


Ethan! Has! Finally! Done it!

Last night at our Bible study group I bravely asked for prayer. Most of the other requests were for friends and family members who are sick or going through trials. When I sensed the lull that would carry us over into the actual task of prayer, I made the “ahem” noise and all eyes shifted to me.

“I know this may not seem important,” I began, “but would you all mind praying for Ethan and I in the task of potty training? It’s very frustrating to us both.”

I then launched into the condensed version of a tale so brutally true, I almost hated my transparence. It goes a little something like this…

A few days ago Ethan and I started into our ritual of every 30 minute bathroom visits. I’ll be honest: my mood wasn’t great. It seemed like I would put Ethan in the appropriate situation to be successful, only to have him be UNsuccessful minutes after removing him. Everything I have read about potty training says that this stage is a very sensitive one – one wrong move from me and the kid may never go correctly. So, I have had the inner war of really wanting to blow my top, yet asking the Lord to help me refrain for the sake of my child and my time management. I think I fell somewhere in the middle, probably a little closer to where I shouldn’t have been.

I explained to Ethan very “firmly” that only babies go poo-poo in their pants…you are a big boy…if you ever want to play with another toy again you’d better get this right…I’ll give you m&ms if you go…etc.

I know – I sound like a complete witch.

After several mishaps that day, I sighed in resignation and reached for a Pull Up. After jerking it up over his fanny he looked up at me with those big blue eyes, put his hands on my cheeks, gave me a kiss and said, “Thank you for not yelling at me, mommy…”

I grabbed him and cried and kissed him all over and told him how sorry I was for being so impatient. (Oh, my goodness! I’m tearing up now!) I told him that I loved him and that I make many of my own messes (not the same kind, of course) almost every day. I asked him to forgive me for loving my to-do list and my schedule and my clean bathroom too, too much.

He said he forgave me, then in typical Ethan fashion asked me, “Mommy, can we be tigers now?”

Ethan has had 2 successful attempts since last night. A big thanks to my Bible study group for praying, and for knowing that no thing is too small or too insignificant to ask of the Father.

Bless ya!