Tag Archives: teenagers

Silly Kid Quotes #10

“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of childhood into maturity.”
– Thomas Huxley

I’ve almost let these silly kid quotes fall by the wayside. Can’t let that happen! It has been a while since I’ve posted one, so we’re way overdue here. Time to remedy that.

Up this week is my oldest son, Jeff, with proof that those kiddos never outgrow the silly kid quotes.

jeffprom

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Motherpluckers

“Yes, Mother. I can see you are flawed. You have not hidden it. That is your greatest gift to me.”
– Alice Walker

This post is a short ode to the motherpluckers of the world.

I salute you.

photo You know who I’m talking about, right?  Motherpluckers.

The women (particularly moms) who still find the time to pluck their eyebrows and stuff like that during their uber-busy lives. (Wait…what did you think I was saying?  That’s the name for them, right? Motherpluckers?  Well, sheesh, what do you call them?  Anyway….)

Let me just say that you chicks amaze me. I don’t even have small children anymore, but Richard and I have three teenagers and one pre-teen between us and let me tell you – getting myself ready to go anywhere falls LAST on the priority list. By the time everyone is up, fed, bathed, and clothed, I’m usually standing in a towel with dripping hair while the rest of the family is wondering why I’m not ready to leave.

If I manage to get out of the house with pants on, I’m doing good.

How do you ladies do it?  How do you have the manicures and the highlighted hair and the perfect makeup?  TEACH ME, OH WISE ONES!

Eh, I guess I’ve made it this far with my bushy eyebrows and frizzy hair, so I suppose I’ll be alright. But still – it’s hard not to look at you guys with the adoration that my teenage daughter reserves for boy bands. I’m in awe. Mesmerized. Obsessed.

Jealous.

But, I’m guessing those same women may look at me and wonder how I find the time to run, don’t they? I’m sure they wonder how I squeeze that into the day – and sometimes I wonder that myself.

busy_moms_prayer_postcard-r4f6031192de84898be9b22dcb21a3867_vgbaq_8byvr_500I guess all of we moms wish we had more time for the things we can’t seem to fit into our busy lives, don’t we?  I suppose I should just look at it like this: If we’re all finding time to do at least something just for us – whether it be running, plucking, reading, or whatever else makes us feel better about ourselves – then I’d say we’re probably doing alright.

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” as my buddy Stephen King says. As long as we’re living, we’re not dead. If I manage to leave my house with two daughters with French-braided hair and two sons with their bellies full, then I guess my bushy eyebrows are a small price to pay.

Hey, at least I’m wearing pants.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have things to do… 😉

***

“The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.” – Jessica Lange

Bus Driver

Ok, I lied.

Remember Friday when I said I was going to do the daily “what I’m thankful for” thing during the month of November?  Well.  I guess that’s not happening.

Here we are – November 4th – and I have written a grand total of….ONE blog.  Crap.

It’s not that I’m not thankful for things.  I am.  It’s just that I don’t like forcing myself to write.  Telling myself to write every day makes it feel like a chore.  And for me, writing cannot turn into a chore.  It’s one of my only escapes from life’s many other chores as it is.  And besides, I’ve been grumpy as crap over the past few days, so forcing myself to write about what I’m thankful for during my current mindset would have been about as productive as the time I tried to give my cat a bath.

catbath

Get my drift?

So, I skipped a few days.  And I’m probably going to be skipping a few more if I’m going to just be quite honest with you.  I’m just a tad too much of a cynic to come up with a cutesy thankful blog every single day, anyway.  Again, it’s not that I’m not thankful for things.  I just don’t feel like being forced to vomit sunshine and roses every day for a month.  Because some days just aren’t conducive to that kind of…um…’product.’

But, even with that being said, I do, however, want to give a shout out to someone I noticed over the weekend.

My daughter’s school drama club had their annual drama competition on Saturday.  It was in another town – about a two-hour drive – and the team was being transported by bus.  Since they had performed their skit the night before at the school for parents, none of the parents were going along on the Saturday trip.  Except me – the one parent who works in a separate state which kept her from getting to the Friday night performance on time.  So, with the coach’s advance permission, I rode along on the bus with the kids.

Now, believe me when I tell you that there was not a dull moment on that bus ride.  I like to think I’m a pretty young and hip momma, but shew!  I was exhausted before we even got to the competition.  They were great kids, don’t get me wrong.  I don’t mean there was any trouble or anything like that – it was just loud.  LOUD.  And there was so much energy.  Where do they get that from??  I sure do wish I could’ve siphoned some of it into a bottle to take with me to my half marathon in a few days.  Good grief!bus

Well, we got to the competition, and they all performed their little hearts out.  But, sadly, when the results were tallied, not only did they not win, but they actually came in last place. 😦  Talk about a bunch of sad kiddos.  That energy that I mentioned before?  Yeah, it had turned down quite a few notches by the time they all piled back on the bus for the trip home.  While they truly did have a great attitude about the whole thing, the disappointment was evident in all of their faces and body language.  They just couldn’t hide it.

So, we start the much quieter trip home, and someone (in hopes of lifting everyone’s spirits) gets the idea to ask the bus driver if they could play one of their CDs on his stereo system on the bus.  From my safe little seat near the front of the bus (my, how things have changed from when I was a teen myself…), I could see what I expected to be a stern “No, now sit back down and let me drive” from the bus driver.  But, to my surprise, he not only allowed it, but asked them if they wanted him to crank it.  Ha!  What a pointless question – this was a bus full of teenagers.  So, crank it, he did.  Now, we all know the healing power of music, and this was no exception.  As the decibel rose, so did those kids’ spirits.  Before long, there was laughter, singing, and even some “dancing” (at least I think that’s what you call that these days…).  Just like that, the teens’ disappointment was all but forgotten and the bus trip returned to its original state from earlier in the day.  A bus full of happy kids with nothing to worry about except hoping their parents were there at the school to pick them up upon their return.

So, we got back safe and sound (well, maybe our ears were a little worse for wear, but other than that…).  As we were all piling off the bus, myself lagging near the end, I stopped and put my hand on the bus driver’s shoulder and said, “you have the most patience of anyone I’ve ever known.”  His response?  “Nah.  I didn’t mind at all.  They only get to be young once.”

Wow.  Did you hear that?

“They only get to be young once.”

What a guy.  What a philosophy.  What a reminder.

Because of this one man’s positive attitude and flexibility, a potentially depressing bus ride home for a bunch of devastated teenagers turned into the happy, fun-filled trip that it should have been all along.  I wonder if he realizes that?  I wonder if this man knows how contagious his one little attitude ended up being for a busload of kids…and one somewhat grumpy momma?

I hope so.

So, even though I have failed miserably at doing my daily duty of documenting the things I’m thankful for each day, I would still like to add Mr. Bus Driver to the list anyway.  I am thankful for people like him.  People who think of the wellbeing of others before himself.  People who sacrifice a full day of their time to transport a bunch of kids to some event hours away, and then sacrifices his own comfort to be sure they had the best time they possibly could’ve had.  I’d like to think I’d have been the same way if I were him, but I honestly don’t know. I probably would have been tired.  And grumpy.  And ready to go home.  And not willing to listen to the laughter and loud music while I drove all that way after spending an entire day with teenagers.  But see, that’s why I’m not a bus driver.  And that’s why he is.

So, welcome to my small thankful list, bus driver dude.  You made an impact on more people than you probably realized, including myself.  Thank you for being in the right place at the right time.

This blog’s for you.

***

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
– Winston Churchill

A Thousand Words

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”  
– Eudora Welty

I have a friend who is a photographer.  And a great one, too.

(Hey, wanna check out her stuff?   Her name is Iman Woods.  Click here for her new family photography Facebook page, and here for her pin-up photograph website.  You can also click here to check out her blog.  Her stuff kicks butt.)

So, yeah.  Photography is her thing.  And that’s awesome.  She uses photos to capture a story.  And each one does just that.  And quite beautifully, I might add.  After all, she’s an artist.

Me, on the other hand?  While I love photos, and never hesitate to snap them whenever I can, my ‘art’ is a little different.  We’re all artists, you know.  All of us.  We just have to find our medium.  My medium?  Words.  Without the talent to capture photographs or to paint or to draw, etc. etc., I fall back on the art that I think I have discovered that I’m somewhat good at.  And that is creating an image in people’s minds using the written word.

This weekend, however?  This weekend was a different story.

This weekend I have discovered a new appreciation for Iman’s work.  Because sometimes, it’s the picture that tells the story all by itself…and no words are able to do it justice.  Sometimes you just have to show people what your words cannot seem to adequately express.

A few of you regular readers may remember a blog I posted a while back about my premature twin nieces entitled Week-Old Miracles.  Well, this weekend, I got to spend a few days with those now six-month-old miracles.  And while I’m no photographer by any means, please take a look with me at the mixture of humorous and touching moments that have touched my heart over the past few days with these little angels.  And check out some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way as well.

Photo Lesson #1:

Watching this:

Twins

…turn to this:

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is a very beautiful thing.  Wow.

Photo Lesson #2

Not many things in this ol’ world will fill your heart with as much love as filling your arms with twin babies.

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Photo Lesson #3

Watching a teenager bond with a baby makes your heart smile.

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Photo Lesson #4

Ditto.

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Photo Lesson #5

Sleeping with a baby in your arms is a very peaceful feeling.  (And having your teenage daughter think to take a picture of it is a pretty sweet deal in and of itself.)

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Photo Lesson #6

Not many things in this world are as sweet or as enduring as a mommy’s love.

Six months ago:

jenfeeding

Now:

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Photo Lesson #7

Watching grandma dress a baby after a bath is so darn cute.

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Photo Lesson #8

Babies haven’t quite yet learned to mask their facial expressions. When it’s the first time they’ve ever met someone, you’re gonna know it.

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Photo Lesson #9

It sure doesn’t take a baby long to decide you’re pretty cool…

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(And p.s.: Hearing your boyfriend refer to himself as “Uncle Richard” to your niece, gives you a feeling of “rightness” that words can’t begin to express.)

Photo Lesson #10

Duck face pictures are stupid.  Unless they’re done with a 6-month-old.  Then, they rock.

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Photo Lesson #11

If you’re an adult, you should live your life in such a way that you’re caught in the background of a picture playing at a playground all by yourself.

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(*giggle*  That’s Richard back there.  Bless him.)

Photo Lesson #12

It’s impossible to look at this and not smile.

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See?  Smiled, didn’t ya?

Photo Lesson #13

The smile on your face while holding a baby can’t possibly be faked. 

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Photo Lesson #14

Witnessing your Alzheimer’s-ridden grandmother meeting her twin great-granddaughters for the first time is a moment that makes your heart climb into your throat.

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Photo Lesson #15

Seeing that grandmother with a smile on her face again, after what seems like forever since you’ve seen it, is a moment that makes you know that some things never change.  My grandmother is beautiful.

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My aunt Joyce commented on one of my photos on Facebook with, “Thanks for letting us live your day in pictures!”  I hope this blog allowed you to do that – and hopefully helped you to see what I saw.  To feel what I felt.  Maybe it might even make you turn around and look at your own family, your own little miraculous works of art in your life.  And maybe it will make you get down on your knees and thank your lucky stars that you’re alive.  You’re alive.  You know?  Get out there and capture these moments. before they slip by.

After all, you only get one shot.

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***

““The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness ”  
– Yann Arthus-Bertrand