Sunday, May 22, 2011

she'd take colorado if...

Photo credit: pikespeaktv dot com

Looking at pictures like the one above, my chest starts to constrict a little. Couldn't you just sit on that little land peninsula forever? Couldn't you just stare at Pikes Peak and walk along the edge of the water and hike through the hills? I know I could, but I try to tell myself that even if we could move to Colorado Springs, it wouldn't be like that everyday. We'd still have to have jobs and cars. We'd still have to go to the grocery store and pay bills.

Many are asking for details as to why the Colorado trip fell through, and the truth is that it's just not working out. The short version is this: We love the mountains. We love all the outdoor activities: the hiking, biking, and skiing (well, I love skiing). And everyday the wind here blows 40 mph and dirt fills the sky, it blows a little of my soul closer to Colorado. But our family is here. And when I say family, I do mean our blood relatives, but I also mean the people in our lives who have become like family. I know if we moved, we all would miss them desperately.

So that's sort of the emotional side of the story. Here's the practical side: We were planning this trip to Colorado Springs to check it out and see if we wanted to move there. The only weekend we could go was this weekend, and we were going to take a couple of days off work so we could drive it and Cate could go with us. As the week wore on, our house went under contract after being on the market for only 9 days. There were lots of things we had to get done because of that. Then we had some car trouble, and Cory's car is still in the shop. And both of us were in complete stress-mode because we were missing work on the last week of school when we both needed to be packing up our classrooms...since both of us are leaving our schools.

So like I said, it just didn't work out.

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts about it. Right now, it mostly feels like a relief that it didn't happen. One less thing on our plate. But I know it'll come back around when the wind is blowing, and I want to go trekking up a mountain and get miles away from the noise and the concrete.

So which is more important, the people or the place?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

stay at home mom: a progression

Six more school days until summer! Amazing, right? And in case you haven't heard, when fall comes around again, I'm not going back. That means in just six days I will officially be a stay at home mom.
I've had such mixed feelings going through this decision-making process. I have agonized, prayed, talked to people who cared, talked to people who didn't care, wept, worried, and exulted. It's been exhausting, but I have some God-given peace now.
I truly feel that God has been whispering in my ear, guiding me to this decision. Otherwise, it would never have happened. This was never in the plan. Here's a short history of my work-related decision-making.

Me: Dad, Cory and I are thinking about getting married.
Dad: You better stay in school and get your degree. Don't be dependent on any man!
Me: (Eye roll)

Cory: You're planning on working, right? Cause, I'm a teacher, and well...
Me: Of course I'm going to work. Don't be ridiculous. Not only am I going to work, but I'm going to be awesome at it. I'm going to be the best damn something that ever there was. (Ok, so I didn't say that. But I was probably thinking it.)

Me: Do, do, do, da-dooo. Of course I'm going to have a baby and work. I'll have summers off. And holidays. No worries. I got this.

First August after Cate is born
Me: (weeping) Please don't make me go back! She needs me. She's part of me, and she's walking around without me. Things will never be okay again ever!
Cory to everyone else: Who is this crazy hormonal woman and what did she do with my wife?
Everyone else to Cory: (nods of agreement, eyebrows furled in we've-been-there sympathy, passing him a secret bottle of whiskey)
Everyone else to me: We know, honey. Don't worry. It'll be fiiiiiine.

Half-way through this school year:
(Lying in bed, reading books)
Me: (Nervous, wondering if I'm crazy) So, uh, Cory. I have a question for you. And you can say no and that you think I'm crazy. Really, I won't be offended. I've just been thinking, and well... I'm still not sure! So don't think I've made any decisions, so....(on and on and on)
Cory: Are you thinking of staying home with Cate?
Me: (Tears. Happy, scared, thankful tears.)

Look, I want to make it perfectly clear that I don't think that this is what every woman should do. I know there are some women who should work. And they are awesome, and their kids are awesome. I knew for certain that I was going to be one of those women. Until I didn't anymore. I have no other explanation for it other than God changed our hearts. I say "our" because it happened for Cory, too. He is not letting me stay home, and for that matter, he's not making me stay home either. He wants me to stay home. I don't know if Cate will be any different because of it, but I know for certain that I will be. I just know that it feels like yesterday we brought her home and I've turned around and she's two. I don't want to miss any more of it than I have to. Plus, I've yet to meet a mom who stayed at home with her kids and regretted it.

There's lots more to say, but I'll have to stop here. But take heart (or beware)! Much more on this topic to come, I'm sure.

Monday, May 02, 2011


"Oushide, oushide!" Cate yells anxiously, stuck on repeat until someone opens the door. I am so thankful that that 'someone' gets to be me today.

We start by blowing bubbles, which is satisfactory for all of about 30 seconds. She wants to be the one to blow them, but she always exhales upward, swooping her bangs into the air instead of streaming her breath through the bubble wand. Then she sticks the wand in her mouth.

Therefore, the soapy liquid not being useful for its intended purpose, it is instead used as sidewalk paint. Dad is away for the afternoon and it's just us girls, so I say to heck with all decorum. Let's get our hands dirty...and our legs...and our toes...and well, you get the idea.

When she finishes with the bubbles, I grab the water hose to spray off the sidewalk and water the rose bushes. When the flowerbed is encompassed in inviting, luscious mud, her toes can't stand the separation a minute longer. She digs them in like blissful little sausage-shaped worms. She keeps squealing, "Mess!" and giggling in delight.

Finally, the clothes are drenched, she's covered in mud, and she's starting to get a little cold. "Bath," she says decisively and we head inside.

I take one more sniff of wet earth before she pulls me through the door, and little footprints are left to disappear on the sidewalk.