Jul 272009
  1. I believe in grace because I share my home with proof of its existence.
  2. We got rid of our TV service a few months ago. The quiet is strange, but nice.
  3. I have no idea how I survived the first three years of my life without my sister. It seems as impossible as living without lungs.
  4. I published a book a while back, and I want to write a second, more personal one. But I’m having trouble getting started, because I’m afraid everything I write will be wrong, or self serving, or immature.
  5. I am a recovering alcoholic and bulimic. 7 years sober…so in many ways I’m actually 7 years old. Sometimes I miss excess booze and food, in the same indescribable way you can miss someone who abused you and repeatedly left you for dead.
  6. I am afraid of my temper like it’s some other person over whom I have no control.
  7. I believe strongly in downsizing, in simplicity. The people I respect most in the world are those who quietly choose to live with less so that others might have more. Unfortunately, I conveniently forget this daily as I drive to the mall to buy more crap. One of my most frequent and fervent prayers is that one day what I do and want will match what I respect and believe.
  8. I have never, ever, said the word f-a-r-t out loud.
  9. I am an insomniac, and a caffeine/sugar addict, and refuse to admit that they could be related.
  10. I am a crappy Christian, which I’m pretty sure is the only honest kind. Nonetheless, I’m deeply in love with Jesus, and I think he’s wild about my crazy self too.
  11. I would finally rather be kind than cool. But both is the dream.
  12. Craig is the only human being who could have healed me. We are opposites in many ways, but we want and love the exact same things. I have chosen never to stop falling in love with him, and I’m more grateful that he has made the same choice than for anything else. I am also comforted by the fact that he is contractually obligated to love me, and that without me, he could never, ever find his shoes.
  13. I want to like animals, but I really don’t. At all.
  14. I don’t know how to do anything in moderation. Or how to keep an even keel. I am either very high or very low.
  15. I want to do big things for God, like adopting an orphan, but have trouble even doing little things for God, like not being a jerk.
  16. I love classrooms and children. I run a preschool where my students and I practice being patient and kind.
  17. I can’t listen to the first few notes of Amazing Grace without feeling like the wind’s been knocked out of me.
  18. I want more children, but most days I don’t have enough energy for the three I already have. I think I might want more babies just because I love naming them.
  19. I am way too confrontational. I’m working hard on offering grace to people, and ridding myself of the belief that everyone should get what he deserves, except for me.
  20. Some mornings Craig and I meet for coffee at the kitchen table before the kids are up, and read the Bible and talk about Jesus. This is my favorite way to start a day.
  21. Years ago Craig and I vowed never to brag about ourselves or our kids to anyone other than grandparents. Keeping this promise is harder than it should be. I often find myself thinking about how amazing I am for being so humble, so there you have it.
  22. Craig thinks I torment myself and others with my tendency to analyze (judge) everyone and everything. To that I say, whatever.
  23. I don’t handle criticism well.
  24. I am unable and unwilling to sustain relationships with people who talk but don’t really listen, or with people who boast. I always break up with them, regardless of gender. Again, working on #19.
  25. I was never truly happy a full day in my life before I met Craig, and since I met him I don’t think I’ve ever spent a full day unhappy. I find that both pathetic and perfect.

Jul 302009

September 2, 2008

Dear Hubby,

I’m sitting at the table where the five of us eat dinner together each night, and all is quiet except for the sounds of the men building our new back porch. Your daughters are sound asleep. When I laid them down, their cheeks were still flushed from the excitement of watching their brother head off to his first day of school.

I’m writing because the walk to the bus stop this morning brought me to tears, and I need to hold on to it, and I want you to experience it too. After spending the whole morning waiting for the clock to tell us it was time for school, 11:00 finally arrived. Chase burst out the front door and led the way down the sidewalk, with his jam-packed book bag falling off his back and his Winnie-the-Pooh nametag pinned to his front. Tish stumbled after him proudly wearing her new striped dress, a bun in her hair and a pacifier in her mouth. She dragged Chase’s lunch bag in one hand and her pink bear in the other. I pushed Amanda in her stroller with one hand and took pictures of Chase and Tish’s backs with the other. At one point Tish stopped abruptly, looked down and starting yelling, “No, No THANK YOU!” at her feet. I ran to catch up and there was a parade of ants crossing over her itty bitty white sandals. In tears, she plopped in my lap as we sat on the sidewalk and shooed them away, and like a flash she was off again, chasing after Chase, as always. In her stroller, Amanda smiled and shined her bright eyes up at me and the trees, blissfully clueless about what an important day it was, but the happiest one of all regardless. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the breeze touched our backs gently, like even the wind was impatient for us to arrive at the bus stop. When we finally made it, Chase shyly approached the three friends already waiting and we moms took pictures of our babies who clearly weren’t babies anymore, but were. And then, all of a sudden, we heard the unmistakable squeal of the Big Yellow Bus’ tires. The new kindergarteners started jumping and squealing too, and then there it was, The Bus, in all its bright yellow glory, like it had been painted fresh this morning just for Chase. When it stopped and the doors opened, we saw Miss Jackie, the bus driver, who gave the moms a warm, understanding smile that showed she’d once stood where we were standing, and then she greeted each child by name. After a quick kiss for me and another for Tish…Chase was gone, climbing the big stairs like he’d done it a hundred times, and squeezing into a seat between his two ladies, Madison and Abby. Then as quick as it had come, the big bus doors closed and they all drove away, while Tish and I waved madly, blew kisses, and watched the back of the bus get smaller and smaller while Chase’s world got bigger and bigger.

Tish held my hand as we slowly walked home together. I thought about what a baby she still is and how grateful I was to have some time just for her, and that she had some time just for me. And when we got back home, I picked her up in the driveway, squeezed her tight, and asked if she wanted to have some girl time. At this, she did some squealing of her own. And we hurried upstairs, put Amanda to bed, and walked into the playroom together, just the two of us, to begin our new adventure.

I wasn’t a girl who spent time dreaming about what my wedding day would look like. Believe it or not though, I did dream about what my babies’ first days of school would be like…but I could never have imagined the magic of this day, or the miracle that is our family.

Thank you, honey, for creating this day for us. Thank you for the example you set and the love you give day after day that makes our children who they are. Thank you for working hard and sacrificing so that we can live in this home, on this street, and send our kids to this school, and so that I can be home with them and experience every minute of it. Thank you for handling all of the details of our lives, and thank you for your optimism, toughness, forgiveness, selflessness, tirelessness, patience and passion for life. Most of all, thank you for loving me as well as you do. Happy sixth anniversary, husband, I love you.

Love, GMelt


Aug 052009

One afternoon I left Amanda and Tish in the playroom while I ran downstairs to start dinner (email). I heard Amanda fuss, but since she was only 6 months and immobile, I decided she was fine and kept cooking (emailing). The fussing got louder and louder until finally Tish had enough and screamed, “HEY! IS SOMEBODY GONNA GET HER SOME BREASTS?”

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