Monday, March 26, 2007

Yippy Skippy!

I officially have my class four drivers liscence! However, what I didn't realize until too late is that I do not have any picture ID until my liscence comes in. Which means I can't sit in chatanoogas and get half priced appies to celebrate. Bummer.

I also finished my WHIMS course and I am finding myself really enjoying testing. It's as if I need to be reminded that my brain still functions and is not actually stuck on toddler dials for the rest of my life. How exciting! It's odd how satisfying that little percentage can be. What a fantastic feeling.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A lesson in not judging by the cover

Today I attending training at a Pro-driving school for my class four liscence. I was expecting to be nervous and frusterated the whole time. I certainly didn't expect to make a new friend.

I showed up a little too early so when he entered, he inturrupted the fourth chapter of a book I have been reading. I suppose he looked very much like he had been a trucker and was now instructing them. He is older than me. Graying at the edges of his face. Friendly, but I was not drawn to him right away. After all, we lead completely different lives didn't we? I work in the human service field and homeschool four kids. He drives long hours. I was here to learn to drive a big vehical well enough to pass my test tomorrow. That was my goal. My mission. Something unexpected happened.

He is a pleasant man very easy to chat with, so I found myself being quite a bit more comfortable than I was expecting. We laughed at how I had to almost climb on the van to check the fluids under the hood. As we started driving, I pointed out some ironwork Alex had done. He was totally excited and started asking if Alex was in the SCA. I laughed and said he probably would be if we hadnt been busy with so many kids.

Soon after we drove past a little place on baker street that, until today, I had no idea was a painting studio. And even better was that the woman inside gave lessons in oil painting. My instructor happens to be signed up for official Bob Ross classes! We ended up chatting about our lives and families and quite honestly surprised eachother.

By the time my lesson was over I learned so many interesting things about this man, and when Alex came to pick me up, he came out to meet the husband I had spent so much time talking about. Of course they hit it off right away and now we have a new friend.

Not only do I have a new friend, but I am reminded once again that people can be far deeper then they at first appear. And friends can be found in the places you least expect. What a fabulous thing to be reminded of!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dang technology!

I have the most adorable picture of my daughter on the digi camera and well I can't show you. Yes I admit it. I am computer illiterate. As I sit here and blog with the convenience and ease my grandmothers never knew, I save writing many a letter to update my large extended family about my large immediate family. HOWEVER, it is also an almost daily reminder that I really should have been born a century ago. All these wires and do-dads and gizmos, confuse the heck outta me. I dont speak binary; I dont even speak english that well. And every time someone mentions that I should "look it up online", I am like a kid who doesn't want to go visit their old aunt whose house smells like stale breath mints and cats (but your cats smell lovely Erin). Don't make me travel the highway of cyberspace. I can't read the roadsigns and there is a funny sound coming out of my motor. I am bound to get stuck in some abyss of knowledge I can't comprehend with some teenager who knows he knows more than me. I am both too young and too old for this kind of confusion. I promise very soon I will figure out the picture deal. Either because someone tells me how or because I ask the teenager in the cyber wasteland. In the meantime, I think I am going to go get some gravol and lie down.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ah young love..

Well our night away was FABULOUS! I must admit, as we headed out of town I had a few momentary pangs of anxiety. First, leaving the kids that long is a first since Selah arrived. Then I thought, what if we have nothing but the kids to talk about? I didnt want our romantic weekend away used up on kid and house conversation. But we know eachothers stories. It's not like dating where you are getting to know eachother. What sillyness! We had a wonderful time and the kids were absolutely fine.

On Sunday night we arrived at our hotel 4pm Nelson time. We immediately checked in and "made ourselves at home". Then we were off to Mazatland for fine mexican dining. YUM! We then went to see what was playing at the theatre and upon deciding it was too gory for our purposes, we headed out for a walk along the docks. Then we settled in for a few minutes on a secluded bench. As the chill began to set in, we decided to head back to our room and order a movie in. We watched "little miss sunshine". It was very weird but funny. We laughed a lot, enjoyed a short Jacuzzi, then .......well never mind.

In the morning we took our time getting out of bed. Took our time in the shower. Took our time cleaning up. Took our time deciding where to eat breakfast. Then took our time eating it. Having that time to just slow down and relax made us all too aware of what a hurry we are usually in. It was very refreshing.

We spent the rest of our morning shopping. We almost spent $200 on clothes at the Still Eagle until our better judgment took over. We had a lovely lunch where Stanley's used to be and then we took the long way home. We enjoyed the view from the ferry and stopping periodically along the winding road to Creston, taking pictures and chatting.

We never lacked for conversation topics. There is no need to rekindle anything at all. I was surprised and yet unsurprised to find that we still truly enjoy eachother. We talked about the future. Our goals. We talked about our marriage and how grateful we both are for it. We talked about why we go so well together. And even though we wish we could do things like this more often, we agreed that we have it pretty good.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tee Hee

Less than 24 hours until we arrive in the "land of hippies" as a dear friend calls it. We wont be participating in any naked, organic, co-ops for world peace. Although that sounds kinda interesting. We will, in fact, be indulging in the very un-hippie-like prestige hotel. Basking in the glow of child-free pampering and uninterrupted meals. Oh goodie!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I finished off the last of four night shifts at work and I discovered something about myself that surprised me immensly. I like chores. (It's O.K. Mom, remember to breathe.) At the end of a rotation of night shifts staff are expected to change the bedding and wash it. I finished quite quickly and realizing that there was more staff laundry in the dryer, I pulled that out and folded it too. Very satisfying. So, why is my house such a disaster? Why do I cringe at the idea of dishes, laundry, sweeping, and mopping in my own home? I think it's interupted housework that I despise. It makes me crazy when I have just filled the sink or gotten a load of laundry out of the dryer and someone calls "Mom!" Or spills something. Or poops. Or wants to nurse. Or lets the wrong cat out. Or hits their sister. It never fails. Just when I get in the groove, distraction rears it's adorable little head. It's a good thing it's adorable, or I may have gone crazy by now. (no, I have not already gone crazy; I was born like this. It's genetic.) This is one of those moments a grandmotherly type person would remind me that childhood doesnt last, and I will miss the distraction when it's gone. Fine. True enough. But there are still dishes sitting in the sink now. :P

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Crayon. In a pocket. In the dryer.

BIG crayon. A whole load of laundry worth of dye and wax.

I didn't scream. The kids are fine. We went out. I ignored the dryer.
There are worse things.

Still, I wouldnt mind a nice quiet bath and a glass of wine just now.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Like two ships

I am finding myself a bit drowsy and out of sorts this morning. I arrived home this morning at 9:20 am after coming of the second of my four "sleep" shifts. I was just in time to load the kids and dear hubby into the van so we could get Alex to work by 9:30. At 5:15 I will pick him up again just in time for us to drop the kids off with the babysitter and head off to a worship music workshop. After which we will pick up the kids and I will drop everyone off at home and head back to work. Although we won't see much of eachother this week because of our work schedules, our weekend will be fabulous!

On Sunday afternoon (after I get off yet another "casual" shift) we will be dropping our four little darlings off with our friends. Once alone we will set off for a short, but desperately needed, adventure to Nelson where we will stay in the luxurious jacuzzi suite at the prestige hotel. This will be the fifth time in seven and a half years that Alex and I have had a bed to ourselves. Usually I am the one who gets giddy and excited at such prospects but even Alex has been counting the days. Every so often while busy doing our chores or hangin with the kids, he will lean over and whisper the countdown in my ear. What fun!

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Last night a friend and I were enjoying our monthly get together and before I dropped her off we got to talking about self-image. We were surprised to learn how we saw eachother. This led into a conversation about aging and pregnancy and the tolls they have taken on our young and once unblemished bodies. Uncomfortable with our fine lines and strech-marks, we have become a bit shy about our looks. Though we agreed that neither of our husbands seem to have noticed the wear and tear.

We then talked about our own mothers and how beautiful we think they are. What I try to hide on myself are the same things I love about how my Mother looks. Especially her hair. My Mom has amazing grey hair. It's that beautiful silver-white. Not dingy and yellow, but shiny and bright with the wisdom of years that it shows.

So I went home and took a long look at myself. The few strands of grey hair I have been pulling out for the last year have returned. There are fine lines around my eyes that, in my opinion, shouldn't be there yet, and I am covered in thick red lines where my skin made room for the mini-marriotts. Ugh. Ok look again.

"Grey hair is a crown of wisdom" I am learning to teach. I am learning to learn. Maybe I wont pull those three little strands out anymore. They do have that silver quality like my mothers. With some time I hope I can wear them as well as she does.

Those little lines around my eyes get deeper when I smile. If aging gracefully isn't really about staying young then maybe it is about letting those lines tell the story. If that is the case, then I welcome the ones that get deeper with laughter.

And those red rivers streching across my belly are not a disfigurement. They are the roadmap of my childrens journey into this life. They are the mark left by someone who has loved me well.

I hope the new found confidence I have aquired sticks for a little while. I am just wise enough not to fool myself into thinking that swimsuit shopping wont bother me now that I have made peace with my imperfections. But maybe, when my husband tells me how beautiful he thinks I am, I can start to believe him.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Spring is leaving her soft green tracks all over. She still seems to be sneaking around but you can see the signs of her unveiling everywhere. The twittering of those warm weather birds can be heard, the geese are making their debute, and there are patches of green in the neighbors yard. It is a bittersweet time of year for the Marriott family.

We love to watch winter retreat up the mountains and feel the wind turn warmer. We talk about seeds and fresh new things growing. There is so much to learn and see. But we get out less. The mud and muck and dampness keeping us from our favorite playgrounds. We go for walks but it really isnt the same as good roll in the snow.

It is a transitional time. Not only do we learn facts about how things grow, but we learn the less tangible lessons like how to wait. We learn about nurturing small things to help them get bigger. We learn patience. And honestly, I am not sure I am the teacher during these times. I have learned that spring's slow approach is better seen through the eyes of my children.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Motivating velcro

Who knew velcro could get the job done faster than any offer of chocolate or treats? We have made velcro lists for the kid's morning routines and they are so excited to pull that little picture off their list that I dont have to remind them of anything! I love it! I am tempted to start hanging velcro all over the house with little pictures of everything to be done. Good thing I have been mothering long enough to know the novelty will wear off right after I have spent $100 and 30 hours on the velcro idea. So we stick with the morning velcro routine and hope it lasts for a little while.

However some velcro suits and a velcro wall could be fun............

Monday, March 05, 2007


A few days ago a friend of ours was praying for us and his words have stuck in my mind and made me think. He said his first instinct was to say Enough! but that was neither his call nor ours. Lately God has been like a Yiddish Mama, we say we're full but he just keeps putting more on our plate. Just when we think we can balance he adds another spoonful. God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Enough.

Enough. I was so frusterated that Mike was right. Its really isn't our call. There is very little that we have control of right now. Very little that we can change or fix. It's just not fair! And then frustration gave way to other thoughts.

Enough. We have more than enough to eat. We have more than enough generous and thoughtful people in our lives who love us. We have more than enough faith. We have just enough beautiful children. We have more than enough blessings in our life. We have shelter. We have four living grandparents and several living greatgrandparents for our children. We have a healthy marriage.

So far our lives have been untouched by war, famine, and natural disasters. Our children have never been cold or hungry beyond our ability to fix. I have never been forced to beg or steal (though occasionally to borrow). We have the blessing of not needing to put our children into school and daycare so we can make ends meet. We both have jobs we like, working with people we like. We laugh alot. I have more than enough.

Enough. This is enough for me. Whatever the outcome of all we face, I have been blessed with what many people in the world would call a charmed life. I have faith enough to bring me through. And so once again I come full circle to reminding myself to send my worries to the one who has the power to do something about them. As for me, I will enjoy my enough.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The working Mom

I do not know how people do this. I love my job. I love the time out of the house. I love my adult co-workers. But I agonize about leaving my children in the hands of anyone who is, well, not me. I actually tried calling daycares this morning. Luckily my friend Lizz and her wonderful husband Scott ended up taking them when I realized no daycares take drop-ins. Which is good, because my job needs me to focus. If I had left my treasures in the hands of strangers I am not sure I could have focused all day. As it was, I was terribly worried that having four children dropped on them for a whole day would have discouraged my friends from having any of their own. To the contrary, I was informed that they had a wonderful time. Well of course they did, these four children are particularly fabulous. Did I mention well behaved....AND adorable. Anyway, thanks to my amazing friends my day turned out very well and my children came home very happy. I suppose if it takes a whole village I better learn to share.......