I Hate Sundays

Is it even ok to say that? Does that make me a terrible Mormon? I know I am not the first one to think of this or feel this way, but I dread Sunday. Can I still be a faithful saint and love Christ and think Sunday’s suck? Can I even put those words in the same sentence and not be relegated to some lower level of exaltation??

I freely admit that my faith has been stronger than it is right now. This does not make me happy, but I also know that it will pass, as it always has, and I will again feel more sure of things. The thing about Sundays is when I am in a spiritual lull, it is that much harder to be reverent at the 9 a.m. Sacrament. The mornings are not a good time for a pregnant, sick mama like me. Nothing starts a morning off better than barfing in the kitchen sink while trying to cook breakfast. To get to the meeting on time, we have to be out the door by 8:30, and getting all of us presentable and ready is a super-human challenge I am not meeting well these days. Even giving up control of what the kids wear and being ok with mismatched outfits hasn’t really made it easier. Yesterday, Eric had on green pants and a blue plaid shirt, courtesy of his father, Jeffrey had on blue pants, a red shirt and a bulldozer sweatshirt, and I wasn’t about to complain. (Why can’t men match things?)

When we get to church, we usually sit in the folding chairs in the back, since I know we will be exiting at some point. Jeffrey is finally old enough to sit through the entire meeting, usually pretty happy with something to color or a book to read. But Eric, ah, that is another story. I don’t think there has ever been a worse child in church. He screams. I mean really, really screams, and I am usually out in the hallway before the sacrament song is over. We have the bag full of tricks, we have treats and things that are supposed to keep him occupied. Nothing works. I have tried the whole “holding him in my lap” in the foyer so he doesn’t think leaving is fun. He screams more, and everyone inside can hear him. I have gone in a classroom. They can still hear him. He has given me a bloody nose and knocked one of my teeth loose head-butting me while I try and hold him, seriously. His teachers comment on how strong he is… really? I hadn’t noticed. So now I let him walk around and we talk about the pictures on the wall. But I resent it. I wonder why I got dressed and got here, just to miss the entire service. It seems so futile.

By the time Sacrament service is over, I am a sweaty mess, fighting my nausea, and just desperate to get Eric to nursery, where his teachers also say he is a wonderful child who plays very nicely with others. At least he is only sociopathic to me. Usually I manage to make it to Sunday school, which I enjoy with my husband. Then comes Relief Society. Ugh. I used to like it, but lately, I avoid it at all costs. The room is too small for so many ladies, and they will never open the window, and it gets so hot in there I cannot stand it. Then there is usually someone nearby who in wearing too much perfume, and I have to run out to throw up anyway. The foyer couch has been my third-hour spot lately, and I am happy with the quiet and the coolness. This is what I look forward to on Sunday- sitting alone in the foyer for an hour, letting the cold air wash over me any time someone opens the door.

I cannot imagine there is anything out there I have not tried to make Sundays better, but if anyone has any suggestions, I would welcome them. I may end up being an attending angel if I don’t figure this one out!

Trunk or Treat or Not

Last night was the trunk-or-treat at our ward. We got dressed, packed and loaded up in the car and then it just pooped out at the bottom of our driveway. Kaput. Nothing. Would not start to save the day, and the only other vehicle we have is DFM’s pickup-truck; there is no room for two carseats, Daddy and a pregnant Mama in the cab of the truck.

Time to make a decision: who gets to go? Well, it really wasn’t hard, since DFM is on the activities committee (he-he!) and Jeffrey is the only one who really understands what the whole Halloween-candy-sugar-thing is, so Eric and I went back in the house and Dad and Jeff loaded in the truck and took off.

Eric absolutely would not put on his tiger costume- we tried, but he screamed as if we were amputating his legs, so he was in regular clothes with a super-man cape on…an ok costume for a two-year old if you ask me anyway. He walked around the house and down the hall and I dropped two pieces of candy in his little bag, and he was happy as a clam. Initially I was a little ticked about not going; I’m not sure if I was looking forward to seeing some friends and not cooking dinner, or if I am just grumpy because I am pregnant. Both are possible. Eric and I played a game of “Cootie” and then I got him ready for bed. He was super happy and went to bed with no fuss, and I found myself surprisingly content to be at home alone for a few hours.

The Dad and Jeff got home around 9, after cleaning up and cleaning the building on top of that. The Saturday morning crew couldn’t make it, so the activities committee did it after the dinner. Really sorry I missed that! Jeff was in his deshelveled cow suit, still with chocolate milk on it and now with taco soup added in the mix, and with a crazy sugar-buzz. He gets wildly red-faced when over-excited, and he looked like a tomato when they came it. We have to remind him to cool down when he is playing- I think it might just be a red-head thing with the fair skin and all, but he is like a turkey with a pop-up button. We always know when he is done.

They had a good time, and as far as I am concerned, Halloween is over; a few more days and I can almost get out the Bing Crosby Christmas album!

Wigger Mama

Is it ever ok for a mom to completely flip her wig? I pretty much lost it yesterday with my kids. Not that the backstory matters, but I am so tired of being sick, and not getting any sleep and of barfing. That is definitely not my kids problem, but I kind of made it theirs, and I am feeling pretty guilty.

I had a meeting to register Jeffrey for kindergarten; who knew you had to do it almost a year ahead of time? I was trying to get ready and look somewhat presentable, and I went in the bathroom for about 5 minutes- just long enough to put my crazy hair in a pony-tail clip and put on some mascara and lipstick. Literally, five minutes. When I came out, the boys had gotten the Costco muffins from the kitchen, and had crumbled them up on the living room floor, and were on their hands and knees pretending to be puppy dogs. This is the second time this week they have gotten into the muffins and made a huge mess; the first time, I rolled with it, this time, not so much. I blew a gasket.

Everyone yells at their kids sometimes, but I feel really bad now for how much yelling there was. I put them both in their rooms, and cleaned up the mess, steaming the whole time. The part where I think I might have really blown it is next. I calmed down, then went to check on Jeffrey. He was on his bed, but he was playing with toys, a big no-no when on a time-out, and he knows it. It ticked me off so much that I grabbed the toys he was playing with and threw them in the garbage.

admittedly, I overreacted. I was so steamed, and now I have to eat crow with my kids and explain that Mama was wrong to yell, grab toys and throw them away. I acted like the two year old, and am suitably embarrassed and chagrined. How does one recover her dignity and authority with her kids after acting like a ticked toddler myself?

Bovine Emergencies

(Heather O. over at Mormon Mommy Wars wrote a nice post about my site this morning… It’s so cool when I find out people are actually reading this! I sit and spill my crazy mind between changing diapers, wiping noses and uncontrollable bouts of morning sickness, and someone actually thinks what I say is interesting! Hoo-Ha!)

Today was the Halloween party at Jeffrey’s school, and I think all preschool teachers deserve medals during the holidays. I can’t even handle two sugar-whacked kids, let alone a class of twenty. Today the teachers eyes had that glassy crazed-over look when she brought Jeff out to the car, and I really felt for her. Jeffrey went to school as a cow, courtesy of Costco and their marked-down costumes on Monday, and was disappointed that none of the girls were cowgirls. He had spilled chocolate milk all down the front of the suit, and was unzipped halfway, a-la Elvis, as he buckled himself into his booster. (It really is a happy day when they can get in and out of their seats by themselves.)

We were on the way home from school when I see he is doing the “potty-dance” in his seat, and he starts to squeal that “it’s coming!”, we are no where near a bathroom, and when I think of pee mixed with the chocolate milk, I start to feel ill. So I pull over on a sidestreet, grab an empty McDonald’s cup from the floor, unbuckle him and unzip the Elvis cow suit the rest of the way. He was soooo impressed with my ingenuity, and I am afraid he thinks this is the new cool thing to do, but I was desperate. Does this make me a bad mom? I tried not to think of what was sloshing around in the cup for the rest of the way home. Sometimes being a mom is so gross.

Love Story, The Conclusion of the Beginning

The Hand of the Lord in the Fog:

When we last left our hero, he had listened to my late night revelation about how I belonged with him, and threatened my life with silence if I was not serious. Oh, I was more serious than I had ever been about anything. It was late fall, and we talked some about what we should do. He was living over 1200 miles away from where I was in Northern California, and we agreed that he should come down at Christmas and spend it with my family.

To say that I was a nervous wreak is ridiculous. I could not even function as the day of his arrival came closer. My nerves were shot, I couldn’t sleep, and I was panicked about this giant step I was about to take with my best friend. I know he felt the same way. There was 9 years of history bearing down on us, and we were crumpling under the pressure. When I picked him up at the airport, there was nothing natural about anything. How could two people who had seen each other through so much and love each other so much be so awkward?? We had always been affectionate with one another, but now we were afraid to even touch hands, let alone hug. There was uncomfortable silence, something we had never know. How bad could this suck?

Looking back, we just put way too much pressure on ourselves, not only with deciding to try something that had been simmering on the back burner for almost a decade, but by doing it at the holidays with all the family pressure that ensured too. Christmas night we sat in my living room after being at my mom’s all day, and we both cried our hearts out as we discussed how awful this had been. It was as if our friendship had disappeared and neither of us knew where to. My worst fears were coming true. Early the next morning, I took him to the airport and dropped him off. I didn’t know if I would ever see him again, and I drove to a friends house and sat on her couch and sobbed for two hours. My heart was breaking, I just put the man I thought I belonged with on a flight far away, and I was heartsick with how bad things had gone.

All cried out, I went home and there was a message on my machine. When I had taken him to the airport, it was a little overcast and grey, but nothing unusual. But by the time I got home, the fog was so thick that they had to close the airport. (Let me state: that particular airport had not been closed due to fog in over 20 years, and has not been since.) He had taken a cab to his brother’s house in San Jose, and was going to be staying there that night until he could re-book a flight. If I wanted to call him, I could. This was mythical second chance and I knew it. All I wanted to do was see him. Immediately I called, and went to pick him up. He didn’t belong with his brother, he belonged with me! And all the pressure was gone; we were just friends again, how it should have been all along.

That night we went out to dinner with my cousin Michael, and we had a ball. We were relaxed and easy and comfortable. After dinner we all went back to my house and just hung out and talked in the kitchen until the wee hours. During my dating years, Michael had often been my “date” when going to clubs or to see bands, and he was making some joke about how I liked bald guys (true). DFM looked at me and said if that that was all it took, give him a razor! At the time he had long, beautiful hair- and he promptly cut it all off right there at my kitchen table. We were laughing and having fun, and Michael and I were leaning on the counter while DFM sat in a chair at the table, clean shaven. I leaned over to Michael, and wryly commented about what I should do now. He put his hand on the small of my back, pushed lightly, and said “You are going to marry that man, Tracy”. And with that, DFM and I kissed each other for the very fist time.

That was my third proposal. Thank the good Lord for the fog, and for giving me a second chance. DFM left the next day to go back to Washington; it was December 28th. On February 1st, he was down in California with an apartment two blocks away, a job, and a fat diamond ring in his pocket. You think he was motivated? We were married in September of that year, exactly ten years after we met. I was 27.

It was the first time in my life I was absolutely sure that the hand of the Lord intervened on my behalf. Who waits ten years for some crazy chick to pull her head out? I count my lucky stars that he did. I think it’s a pretty good Love Story, but then it’s mine!

Love Story, Part 3

The Cliff’s Notes on the Torture Years

After contemplating rehashing a rather lost part of our lives, I have decided to use laser-like precision and just cover the important parts…

DFM had to propose to me three times before I got it. It was obvious to everyone that we belonged together, but I was the last to realize it; I take full responsibility for my stupidity. The first time he asked was shortly after the original b.f. and I split up, just before my 21st birthday. We were walking across a big grassy field near my house at night, and I asked with characteristic tact if he loved me. Per normal, he answered honestly, and told me how he felt about me. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I know I didn’t handle it gracefully or with the tenderness he deserved. Strike one.

Shortly after this, I began to date another friend of DFM’s, who I shall just say was a youthful and folly-struck waste of time. My brothers refer to this particular boyfriend as “Genius-Boy” and for Dumb and Dumber to give someone this moniker speaks volumes. Genius-Boy had problems with honesty, substance abuse and basic humanity, but I thought I could Fix him! Three years later, with DFM pulling me through, I dragged myself from that wreckage, and got into a 12-step program and finally began to figure out who I was. Once again, who was there for me? Could I be any denser? So came proposal #2, in my front yard one night. I freaked out at this one. I was fresh out of a bad place, and just getting it together, living clean and right and taking good care of myself, and I could not fathom getting involved romantically with anyone, let alone someone I loved so much. Call me crazy. Strike two.

DFM moved away. Far away. I don’ blame him. I won’t speak for him or where he was at, but it shocked me that he wasn’t there anymore. I missed him with all of my heart, and he would only sporadically take my calls, so I wrote him letters. It killed me. This was the first time in my life that I was single and alone for a long stretch of time, and it was probably one of the best things that could have happened; I grew up, finally. I learned to have boundaries, to look out for myself, and to take care of me, not always look for fixer-uppers. I highly recommend a period like this for many women. I began to date, but only to date, to keep my morals and to be choosy and selective about who I spent time with. The focus was on my career, my friends, my spirituality and my search for answers. This was new territory.

About this time, I was coming home from a particularly obnoxious date, and an old Bob Dylan song came on the radio. “To Make You Feel My Love”. I started to cry on the off-ramp near my house, and didn’t stop until I was home. It was like the clouds parted, and for the first time in my life, I could see what was right in front of my face. I called him right then. I do vividly remember this conversation. I was shaking, so nervous, because what if I was wrong, or what if he changed his mind, what if I was too late, what if, what if, what if… I told him about the song, and said that maybe the reason I could not find anyone who was right was because no one measured up to him. Everyone I dated I compared to him, and they all fell short, and I have no idea why I never saw that. I felt scathed, and suddenly all of the pain I must have caused him over the years came rushing in on me, and I felt so selfish and scared. He could reject me, it had been 9 years since he fell in love with me, how could I expect him to still be waiting? I had put him through hell. There was a very long silence on the end of the phone line. I waited (probably my first true adult moment in this life) for him to say whatever he wanted, prepared to accept anything. I owed him that.

Know what he said? He said “You better mean what you are saying”. Never in my life have any words carried such weight as those did. I was 26.

Up next, the conclusion, The Hand of the Lord in the Fog.

Love Story, Part 2

The Torture Years, Part 1

So DFM and I basically became best friends. We spent a lot of time together, but we were never romantically involved with each other. He lived over at the coast in a little beachside village, and about this time, I had to move out of my mother’s place. He rented a room in an old Victorian house, and I remember loving it the first time I saw it. He painted the entire place white, and then burned incense while the paint was drying, so the room had a warm, spicy scent embedded in the walls.

I found an apartment to rent right across the street from him in a renovated building, and one crazy roommate. I was still dating the guy from the pizza place, but spent a great deal of my time with DFM. We would walk the cold, foggy streets of our little village, talking about everything under the sun and moon. In the summer, the village was a tourist Mecca, but during the winter it was basically deserted, and we had empty streets and quiet beaches to hang out on. There was a railroad tressle that went through town, and we would grab some ice cream or hot falafel in the village, then hike up and sit on the tressle looking out at the ocean and talking. I never did things like that with the b.f., and DFM became more and more dear to me. He moved back to the city, and the b.f moved into the special room in the Victorian, but it was never as special to me.

Looking back, (especially now that we are married, and he never lets me forget it!) I can see how perfect we were for each other, and how much we already loved each other, but for some reason, I could not see it at the time. I am 5 1/2 years younger than DFM, and maybe it was my youth and naivete, but I just did not want to chance messing up the best relationship I had ever had by making it romantic. All of my previous relationships had ended badly, and I was still only 18.

In the spring of that year, I applied for college in Seattle. When I was accepted for the fall term, it was bye-bye beach town, and hello cold, rainy city. The b.f. decided to go with me. We rented a small apartment on Capitol Hill because it was cheap and we didn’t know any better. It was also pretty close to school. I missed DFM with a heartache I had never known- he had stayed in California. We talked on the phone, and wrote some, but in the age of pre-email, I felt very cut-off from him.

On Christmas Eve-eve, the b.f. and I got a call that Dan and DFM were coming up to visit. At least that is what I thought they said. That evening they showed up with DFM’s pickup truck loaded with all their stuff, I learned they were moving in. They were here to stay. So there were four of us living in a little one-bedroom apartment, and I was in heaven, because HE was there, finally. Things were not perfect, but all in all, looking back we both have some pretty good memories of those times.

Dan and DFM managed to rent a studio in the same building after they got jobs. The first time I ever remember looking on him as something other than my best friend happened in that building, and I was so startled by it, I didn’t know what to do. I was coming in from school, per normal, went up to their apartment to see if they were home, and no one was. I headed back downstairs, when Dan and DFM came around the corner, both in winter coats and boots, and DFM had on this old, black bowler hat. My heart stopped in my chest when I saw him, and I ran all the way down the hall and jumped on him. What happened after that, I have no idea, but that memory is burnt in my mind. I was 19.

We all left Seattle the following year and headed back to the same area of California. The group of friends we had all kind of played muscial couches, and someone was usually on your couch if you had one. DFM lived with the b.f and I for a while, and at various other place, but we were never far from each other. If friends were looking for him, they often called me, because I almost always knew where he was. The b.f and I split up shortly before my 21st birthday. Which brings me to the true torture years.

Stay tuned to see what happens to our hero… will the dumb damsel ever realize what she has? Only time will tell!