Monday, October 25, 2010

Now I've REALLY Lost My Dang Mind!

OK, stepping out of my comfort zone completely here.

For those of you who know me, you are familiar with the part of my personality that prevents me from choosing paint colors, wall tiles, or plumbing fixtures. I cannot explain this indecisive part of me, as I usually have no problem choosing anything else (new cars, babies' names, pizza toppings, etc); it's just there. Even after I have chosen a wall color and painted an entire room in that color, I still can waver between love and hate for the new color. Maybe I'm fickle. If I am, only my husband should be worried. As it is, he has no idea that I'm about to post this particularly crazy idea on this blog. (D.R.A.M.A.)

Anyhoo, we need to re-paint three "major" rooms in our house and three-ish major rooms at our lake house. Needless to say, the part of my brain that is supposed to choose the wall colors for these rooms is scared fecal-less. Here's where you, the enlightened and fashion-forward readers of this blog, come in: help me choose!

I can narrow the choices down to 2 or 3 colors per room, but you have to vote for the one you think I should use!

Let's start with our "regular" house and worry about the vacation house later (like Spring... of 2012?) .Later this week, I will post pictures of our living room, dining room, and kitchen. In the same post I will try to figure out how to put in a voting widget (tech-y suggestions?) that shows my paint color choices for each room. Then... YOU VOTE! Whichever paint color receives the most votes will get slapped up on the walls of that room. Promise. I will even post "after" pictures to prove my honesty and commitment.

Truly, you are doing me a great service. Now, if you could do the actual painting for me...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Today, I just needed to re-read and pray this:

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
 I needed to read it s.l.o.w.l.y. I needed to read it thoughtfully. I needed to read it prayerfully. It seems that there is a crapload lot of upheaval in the world all around us right now. It also seems that there is a lot of upheaval in my tiny "world within the world" lately.

Nothing horrific. Mostly just your garden-variety angst. Typical parenting stuff that you would expect in any family, maybe just ratcheted up a notch because our family is more than twice the size of the average family in the U.S.. So, while it's typical for a child to go through incredibly selfish stages of brattiness developmental phases that drive their parents into states of froth-mouthed insanity test their parents patience, it's a little more tricky when you have 3 or 4 kids going through different phases simultaneously. AND, one child's phase can, directly and indirectly, affect another child's phase. 
 What does this mean for parents like my husband and myself? Three things:
  1. Prioritizing:  While each child's phase is important (especially to that child!), some phases require a more "hands-on" approach than others. This does not mean we ignore or downplay certain phases --hence, our exhaustion!--, it simply means that we deal with certain phases more directly and firmly than we do with others. And, it all works out in the end, because eventually you'll be that kid who is in that phase which merits "top priority" --- and you'll probably hate all the attention!
  2. Teamwork:  Recently, my husband was on the other side of the freaking planet out of the country sightseeing and getting hours of uninterrupted sleep on business and I witnessed the absolute and total need for a two-parent home. Sorry,I am not single-parent-bashing here, just giving those single parents major kudos if they can make it through the child-raising years without selling their kids to the gypsies losing all sanity. Instead of saying, "Listen Mister, just wait until Daddy gets home tonight!", I found myself saying, "Listen Mister, just wait until we Skype with Daddy tonight!"; not an equally scary threat. It really does take two present parents to raise children, and sometimes a third parent would be ideal.
  3. Prayer: Lots and lots of prayer. This does not include phrases uttered in exasperation, such as "Sweet Lord! Please remove the vocal chords from these children for just 5 minutes!". Wait. Maybe it does include phrases like that. As much as I know and talk about "giving all burdens over to God", it is really, really difficult to do that. Trust, hope, and pray. Trust, hope, and pray. C'mon, say it with me now!

Number three brings me right back to where I started: St. Francis.
THANK YOU, St. Francis. THANK YOU, Lord.
I need to be reminded to ask for peace, to let myself be used as a "instrument of peace", and that there is peace. Always.