Dec 182009
 


I’ve been thinking about Heather M. since she shared her fears about the huge changes on their way into her life. I like Heather. I’ve never met her, but I like her. I think she’s brave and humble and honest. I bet you guys do, too. Maybe God does too, and that’s why he keeps “blessing” the bejezus out of her.

I was rereading some letters from Bubba last night, and I came across this one. It’s a letter about hope that Bubba wrote to me after our family’s hardest year. He wrote it the Christmas after Sister’s divorce.

Heather, today this letter is for you.


Christmas 2007

Dear Glennon,

The leaves are gone. Mother Nature acted up a little. I don’t know where they went. It blew so hard for two days that they were just driven into the wooded areas or scattered so high into the sky that they haven’t had time to float back down again. It blew so hard that birds and little animals clung to the ground or braced themselves behind anything they could find. It toppled heavy swings and chairs and tore hanging things like birdhouses and feeders from their lines. It drove our boats almost, but not quite, onto the docks. And then it slowed and things stopped tumbling and when it finally ended it turned out that there was no lasting damage from it. It looked for awhile like the very water was out of control and would blow away. But that’s not how it really was, that’s just how it felt. Nothing was ruined or wrecked. The wind just carried a message that there is really nothing at all in our control except our reactions and decisions in the face of adversity. In the end it was just a hard blow. Just a lot of stuff scattered around that needed picking up, some adjusting and simple repair and then putting back in place. But then stuff isn’t people.

Last year at this time we were in a very hard blow. The family’s sky was dark and what had appeared to be solidly rooted in the ground and lashed down was torn and flying around us in a personal hurricane wind. The things of our lives flew around like twigs and dust. That storm promised to destroy many things that we hold dear. People were injured and strained to points of breaking. When it appeared to be reaching a crescendo it just intensified and intensified more. It shook the foundations of our very courage and threatened to break our faith. It went on for what seemed like a lifetime. Then, when it looked like it would go on forever and some may not survive, the wind began to slacken, feelings came to the ground. Some hit hard and some floated down but most remained intact. There was damage and it left everyone with a sense that life can not be trusted but in the end everyone was there. In the end there was one more there.

As the chaos began, Tish was born. She came as if to say, “this storm will blow and it will blow over, I’m here to stay. And I’m here to remind you of what is most important and what is possible. I’m proof that when life is most frightening and when life is most unsure that is what life is and life is still well worth it. I’m proof.” And now there is another one coming. Amanda. I can’t imagine how she will change my life, what she will bring me and what she will teach me. I can’t imagine wondering how I ever got by with just Chase and Tish but I know I will. I can’t remember when I wasn’t looking forward to and waiting for another grandchild. I can’t remember what I did before Chase (BC). Not too much I guess. Children always put things into perspective. When you can’t remember what you did before them it’s because what you did before takes a distant second as quick as a baby’s smile.

That’s why I made Tish’s Christmas gift this year. I want her to know, long after I’m gone, what she’s done for me and how much she’s come to mean to me, not to mention to her grandmother. She will soon become the “middle child” with all that comes with that role. So I want her to always have a reminder of her impact and her power to create love and happiness. I want her to have something to look at that tells her that her grandfather found her so special and so inspiring that he felt the need to make for her a symbol of their bond. So that’s what I did this year. I’m still working on it and have been since early November. I’ll have it finished in a day or two. You and Craig will be the custodians of it until she leaves home for her own place or until she marries. If I’m around, I’ll hang it for her. If not, Tisha will hand it to her. If neither of us makes it to that day, there is a letter to her that comes with it.

Storms and adversity come and take stuff and shake our courage and make us afraid of life; kids come and make us wonder why it was we felt so shaken and why we lost courage and they cause us to fear nothing. Thanks for bringing all this courage and joy into our lives.

Merry Christmas,

I love you,

Bubba


Fear nothing, Heather. We can do hard things. Bubba promises.





Dec 172009
 


In preparation for Melton Christmas Picture 2009, Craig asked a friend to take pictures of us in our backyard. When we told Chase it was family picture day, he immediately started crying hysterically. I kid you not. Craig looked at me accusingly and I hung my head and promised both boys that I’d be on my best behavior. We actually had a nice afternoon in the backyard and the end result was some good shots, like this one.



I loved this picture, until I looked closely at myself. LOOK AT MY EYES. Sister and I have this affliction that we used to believe meant that one eye looked smaller than the other in pictures. We only recently admitted that our affliction is actually that one eye IS smaller than the other. In addition to this freaky affliction, my eyes are also two different colors. One greenish, one brownish. People have been nice to me about this situation my whole life until a few weeks ago when Sister and I went to lunch after a day of shopping. The teenage waitress walked over to our table and when I smiled up at her she threw open her annoyingly normal eyes and yelled: OH MY GOD. LOOK AT YOUR EYES! CAN YOU, LIKE SEE OUT OF THOSE THINGS?” I tried to be nice about it because I love Jesus but sister threatened to “kick her in the shin” quite loudly which made me feel better. When I got home and told Craig the story about the mean waitress, he looked surprised. Like WAY TOO surprised. Then he looked at me closely and said “WHOA. Cool.” Seven years, people. He’d never noticed.

Anyway, this was the only picture that could possibly work for our Christmas picture, so I did what I do five times daily…I emailed husband and sister to get their reactions.

I forwarded the above picture without mentioning the eye problem so I wouldn’t bias them.

This was sister’s response:

Sister, it’s wonderful. The kids look fantastic and you look beautiful. A little deformed, but still beautiful.

I thought maybe I’d have better luck with husband. But this was his response:

Honey, eye love the picture. It’s eyedeal.

Jerks.

So I emailed Adrianne, whose is a wiz with photoshop and is always airbrushing herself. I told her that I had an EMERGENCY and could she PLEASE fix my eye so I could send out our Christmas picture without friends thinking they needed to start some sort of foundation for me.

She said Sure Thing.

A few hours later I got this “solution” from Adrianne, along with an explanation that she decided to fix the whole family.



Craig has this picture on his office desk.

He tells people that it was taken to capture the family’s shock after I served an edible lasagna one night.

Adrianne ended up fixing my eye, so now we look like this:


Not too bad. I was happy.

But I felt weird sending out a doctored picture of myself for Christmas, it felt like fibbing. It’s like Popeye (to whom I must be somehow related) said… I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam. Uneven multi colored eyeballs and all.

So we ditched the whole family picture idea and went with this:

Merry Christmas, Monkees. Eye love you.

Dec 162009
 



Before I get started with today’s post – I’d like to review what happened here yesterday.

Yesterday, our Monkee sister, Heather, was feeling a bit overserved with blessings. Heather had just found out that she was pregnant with twins and that her husband needed the family to move real quick to Australia. This is a big day, folks. Heather was feeling overwhelmed and afraid, and she was brave enough to share those feelings with you all on Momastery. Your outpouring of support and love and Bon Jovi lyrics meant so much to Heather that she wrote your comments on 3×5 cards and scattered them around her house. And she went to bed last night feeling much more hopeful than she did yesterday morning. Because of you.

THAT IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT, MONKEES.

I’m thrilled and delighted. Yaaaay for us. How you doin’ today, Heather?

Now on to the business of the day.


Today I’d like to offer you a tour of the Melton Christmas Picture Gallery.

Most of the pictures I present here seem to show a well adjusted, peaceful and joyful family.

Pictures can be deceiving, thank God.

I am NOT a fan of picture day. Family picture day brings out the absolute worst in me. My kids know how desperate I am for just one good picture, to show the world what a happy dang family we are…so they sabotage the shoot. When I accuse them of being saboteurs, Craig calls me melodramatic but I KNOW they ruin the pictures on purpose. So whenever you see me smiling in a family picture, please know that behind the smile I am either bribing or threatening. That is all picture day is, one long day of alternating bribes and threats. And lots of sweating, also. My sweet husband, who is the calmest person I know, shakes noticeably before family photo shoots and begs, begs, BEGS me to stay calm. After photo shoots he drinks a lot of beer.

So now that you have the background, I present:

2005

Chase

2006

Tish, Chase and family

2007

Tish and Chase



2008

I decided to keep it real for the 2008 family photo shoot. I told Craig that I had a great idea for a card, and this idea meant that our kids could be as cranky as they wanted to be during our shoot. The crankier, the better. We could all just be ourselves. No bribing, threatening, or sweating. And so of course, for the first time ever, they all smiled like cherubs.

Like I said, they are MASTER SABATUERS. Clearly, this picture wasn’t going to work for me. I had a VISION and I needed cranky kids to bring that vision to fruition. So after this photo was taken… I went to the kitchen, found three lollipops, and gave them to the children. After they had taken a couple good licks, I snatched the lollipops away and yelled “SHOOT” to the photographer, who glared at me with shock and horror. Yes, I did. And it was worth it, because we got this:


Perfect. I sent this out to our friends and family with the caption: “ALL IS CALM…ALL IS BRIGHT.Peace and Joy, The Meltons

Tomorrow:

2009.