Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weary of Wary

Being hurt sucks. Being mistrustful because of that hurt is so much worse. Innocent people that I view with suspicion, wondering what their “angle” is... what’s your motive? When is the other shoe going to drop?

I hate this part of me. I hate that these wounds can’t heal, a cesspool that gets stirred up every time it seems to have been cleansed. I hate feeling despised, patronized, a charity case. Where is human dignity? Where is human decency? What makes you better than me? Please, by all means, let me know, so I can somehow obtain your perfection. What is the magic formula that gives you the right to judge me?

A beaten dog will always flinch. I’m so tired of flinching.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Late Night Indulgence

I'm not much of a TV watcher. If I do turn it on, it's usually as background noise while I read after the kids are in bed. What can I say? My whole life has been noisy. Silence makes me nervous.

But I'm not going to lie. When I was flipping through channels a week or so ago, looking for suitable white noise, and I inadvertently landed on The Nanny, a squeal bubbled in my throat from the region of my estrogen laced brain. Don't judge me. I. LOVE. The Nanny. I watched it every Monday night from the ages of 10-16 (ish). And when I found it on Lifetime when Ashton was about a year old, I watched it twice a day, every weekday (along with Dawson's Creek, but we won't get into that...).

So now, instead of going to bed at a decent hour, I rush Jeremy to bed by 11 so I can stay up until midnight to watch my show. The other night, he asked me to scratch his back so he could fall asleep. At 10:52. I gave him 8 minutes exactly. So wrong. So depraved. But I couldn't help myself.

On top of that I've gotten sucked into Three's Company because it comes on right after The Nanny, with no commercial break. And once it starts I can't turn it off. Stupid charming John Ritter. Stupid Three's Company song getting stuck in my head for 4 days.

And even though I know I'll regret it every morning when I have to wake up, I convince myself every night that it's worth it.

Well? It is. Even though I might not think so when my alarm goes off in six hours.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bedtime at the Box

Ours is a family of lovie... lovers. Or wubbies. Or... whatever you want to call them. All of us (including Jeremy, but I won’t call him out) require specific accessories in order to sleep peacefully in our little box of a house.

Ashton has 3:

Puppy, Mario, and Dinosaur (He’s not exactly creative in the name department).

Chloe, God love her, can’t sleep unless her bed is stacked with stuffies. She always requires no less than:

1 Care Bear
1 baby doll (height, color, fabric may vary)
1 Hello Kitty
1 “Gidget” (a pug- my mom’s pug’s name)
Pillow Pet and Froggy
Penguicki, her TY Beanie Baby penguin. I made the mistake the other day of telling her he had an actual name, as listed on the tag. Now she’s torn between calling him by his given name, Snowbank, or by his much more charming, creative name that she gave him herself.

Atleigh is a little different. She’s a lovie snob. She only wants her blankie, which she’s had since the day she came home from the hospital, at least 1 paci (preferably 3), and Baby.

Baby is the purple one. Other Baby is the Christmas. They’re borderline interchangeable, but if she had to choose, it would be Baby, as you can see by Baby’s love-stained visage. She likes Baby’s powder scented face, and falls asleep rubbing her eye with Baby’s cheek (I think she started this before we realized she needed glasses. I assume the coolness soothed her eye.) She will not allow any other toy in her bed. She doesn’t want books. All she needs is Baby, blankie, and paci.

As for me, I’ve only had two serious lovies. My first, Freckles, a Pound Puppy that I got when I was four, has definitely seen better days.

All of his fur has been rubbed off, to the point where you can see his cotton batting innards. All the fluff that used to hold his neck up has migrated down into his fat little body, so he flops in half when you pick him up.

My second, who is currently called Puppy, but has been known by whatever name strikes my fancy (Carl, Howard, Andy, Alfonso), was given to me by Jeremy our first Christmas together, to replace (REPLACE!) Freckles.

Jeremy told me that when we got married, he was not going to have Freckles in bed with him. He says Freckles is cancerous! Psh. Anyway, that was 8 years ago now, and while Freckles has been retired to a safe spot in the closet- NOT because I think he’s cancerous, but because I fear for him in his old age. I don’t think poor Freckles could withstand my kids- I still take him out once in a while for a secret cuddle. Puppy hasn’t replaced Freckles, but he’s earned his own spot in my heart. He’s big enough that he props my arm up when I sleep, and squishy enough that I can use him as a neck pillow when I’m reading, and he has the distinct advantage of being a milestone present.

My other cuddler (also a gift from Jeremy) is Paisley.

She doesn’t stay still, and when her cuddling evolves into nose biting, I have to relegate her to the foot of the bed. But she makes up for her non-inanimate status with purry head-butts and sandpapery kisses. And she only likes me. That’s obviously endearing.

What do you need to help you get to sleep? I hope I’m not the only adult in the world who still sleeps with a stuffed animal. I didn’t take that into account when I posted this...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Laid Up

I’m hoping to stay in bed today, friends. The pressure systems currently swirling around my little neck of the woods are causing an old friend of mine to make itself known. A friend I have affectionately (or maybe not so affectionately) tagged my “Granny hip”. No offense to grannies.

When I was 15 I was in a car accident. I was in the rear passenger seat, and the other car walloped into us from that side. My body was thrown into the arm of the captain’s chair I was sitting in (good ol’ peach Ford Windstar... you did not deserve your fate), and the rest, as they say, is history. The doctor at the ER told me I had damaged my sciatic nerve, and, nerves not being of a regenerative nature, I was stuck with it. Lucky me. Most of the time, my particular brand of sciatica is a minor annoyance- except during pregnancy. Then it caused a collapse and extensive physical therapy, but that's a different story. The nerve isn't pinched, just bruised beyond healing. But that comes with its own set of issues. Such as, weather. It’s almost like rheumatism (do people even use that word anymore? I read too many old books). So when Jeremy came home yesterday and informed me, as I hobbled around the kitchen with my granny hip, that there was a slight warm front coming through, I said, “Well that explains a lot.”

So today, instead of hobbling, I want to stay in bed. The ache is bad enough today that even rolling over is painful, heating pad or no. I’ve got my bedroom door wide open where I can see the girls having a Hello Kitty tea party complete with Star Wars figurines and Mega Bloks. I don’t think I’ll inform Ashton that they’re playing with his “guys” while he’s at school (Side note: Girls are so much more versatile than boys. Ashton, home alone, would never think to incorporate some of the girls’ toys into his playing. No way. Just an observation). Jeremy is going to bring me home some lunch after sufficient whining on my part. He takes granny hip seriously. Well... mostly.

So that’s how my day is. I’m not complaining- staying in bed is a luxury, as you’ve heard me say before. Even accompanied by a granny hip.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I’m listening to the Once soundtrack, and writing in between the stages of dinner preparations. I bought a loaf of french bread at Target this afternoon, and I just sliced a big hunk off, slathered it with butter, and sprinkled pepper on it. Don’t turn up your nose until you try it- I’m convinced this is a Fox Hill thing. I never saw anyone put pepper on bread (or spaghetti, or pizza, or Chinese food, for that matter- but don’t worry, I draw the line at bread) until I started dating Jeremy and went to Sunday dinner with his grandparents every week. His grandfather is a pepper fanatic, a trait Jeremy has inherited, and Ashton too, it seems.

My kids had a dentist appointment today. Just routine cleaning. I’m always afraid I’m going to project my terror onto them. They do very well, but one of these days, the fact that I’m constantly asking them if they’re okay is going to register, and they’re going to wonder why they shouldn’t be okay.

Their dentist is gorgeous. Oh yes. He is. He’s tall, with dark eyes, and a cap of dark curls, like a bowlful of noodles. I’m a sucker for curls. He makes eye contact with patients, and he calls Chloe Peanut. It’s not really that I have a little crush on him, but it’s not like I dress as if I’m going to Walgreen's to buy toilet paper either.

It’s after dinner now, and I’m counting down the minutes until I can put the kids to bed. I need a break. I really do. I’m tired of refereeing, and saying “Because I said no!” I can tell when I’m being stretched thin- I forget the whole “count to ten” thing, and just snap before I even think about being calm. i.e.: Chloe is flitting around the house, turning lights on and off. She’s a light switch junkie. She just caused the hall light to blink out; I could hear the filaments pop.

“What was that noise?”, she asked.

My reply?

“You just made the light go out! Go away Chloe, you’re not the boss of the lights around here!”

Implying what? That I’m the “boss of the lights“?

Definitely need a break, if I take to speaking like I’m no older than she is. I’m glad tomorrow’s Friday. I’m thankful it’s a long weekend. I’ll be even more thankful if I manage to sneak away for an hour or two and breathe air that hasn’t been recirculated by a two year old.

I hope your week has been better than mine. I hope your weekend’s air is fresh and free of strife and Goldfish particles.

I hope I can find a light bulb to replace the one Chloe just blew out. I guess that does make me the Boss of the Lights.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bad Days

It’s 7:30 on a Wednesday night. I just finished up the dinner dishes, all but a cobalt blue Anchor mixing bowl full of crusty, week old mashed potatoes, left over from an unfortunate potato incident. I finally threw them out after a week of telling myself I could make something out of them. The kids are at Awanas, and Atleigh is in bed- early- after four tantrums, one of which included turning down cookie dough ice cream, of all things. You know it’s bedtime when your two year old turns down ice cream. It’s Jeremy’s weekly Black Ops dude date with his buddies. I can hear him on the phone, coaching my dad on how to hook up his Bluetooth so he can join in the massacre.

I’ve let myself be discouraged today, friends. Worse, I haven’t let myself be encouraged. I’ve gotten down on myself, gotten angry at my husband and my kids, gotten my feelings hurt, and gotten offended by someone I don’t even really know, and who certainly doesn’t know me. I wonder how I’ve let myself get to this point; sitting here moping, my gut twisting on the sour taste of my supposed failure. To put it baldly, I’m having the mother of all pity parties.

The truth hurts, even when I’m the one to say it. I suppose I should be grateful no one else has.

I’ve been asking myself why I write this blog. What do I hope to accomplish? Do I want to write for the sake of writing? If I did, a journal would surely suffice. Jeremy tells me, “Just write because you love it. Who cares if people read it?” But I do. I care. Maybe I want to reach people. I feel like I haven’t. Who wants to read how many different types of boring my week has been? I wouldn’t, not if I wasn’t me.

See what I mean? Pity party. Not a cry for help. Not asking for approbation or soothing shoulder pats. But if I’m using this blog to purge, maybe I should do just that. If no one is reading, why should I be ashamed of what I have to say?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Less Isn't More

As a rule, I try not to use my blog as a platform. I want to write about the world as I see it, not lecture or preach. But tonight I learned a lesson, one that stung me a little bit, convicted me, and encouraged me.

I go to a women’s Bible group on Monday nights. Jeremy and I are currently church “orphans”; that is, we don’t attend any specific church regularly. In lieu of a church home, I go here (In the title banner, I'm the second set of feet from the left). I’m not usually a fan of large groups of women- they make me nervous. Not this group. We are a group full of mothers, sisters, daughters, all meshed together into friends. It’s like going to a weekly mini-sleepover. Tonight one of my good friends spoke on love. I don’t recall the actual title of her message, and I’m not sure I 100% remember all of it, because the first part of it hit me so hard. She opened up with the verse in 1 John 4: God is Love. It’s not what He does. It’s who He is- scratch that- it’s not who He is, it’s what He is. He can’t not love us. It’s against His nature. Just like I can’t not be human. It’s what I am. It’s impossible for God to love me more than He loves anyone else. Vice versa. Because that would imply that He loves less. And for God, to love less is to hate. There is no less. There’s only love.

It gets better. Or worse. In that same chapter of 1 John (verse 20), is the part about loving your brother. You can’t love God and hate your brother. Well, everyone knows that. I don’t hate anyone. Duh. But then she reminded me: With God, there is no loving less. Loving less equals hate. So... who have I loved less?


I pride myself (in a good way) on being a non judgmental person. I don’t care about your political views, your sexual orientation, your theological persuasions, your lifestyle. None of that matters to me. I don’t judge. If the judging feeling ever creeps up in the back of my head, I nip it in the bud before it can take root. Who in the world am I to judge? I’ve earned more than my share of blame. I’ve been judged more harshly than I deserve by those who have no right, and forgiven more times than I can count by the One who has the right to strike me down. Who am I to judge?

But... who have I loved less?

Those ignorant kids that walk across the busy intersection by the Greyhound station, and glare at me the whole time, daring me to hit them with my car. I’ve loved them less.

The “church” people who have wounded and scarred me with their words, their actions, and their assumptions. I’ve loved them less.

My former neighbor, the alcoholic who would wander over to my house to talk to Jeremy, who Jeremy ministered to even, and who I always locked the door on out of fear. I’ve loved him less.

So I guess I should change my self righteous “Who am I to judge?” mantra into a new, humbler one: “Who am I to love less?”

I hope I haven’t preached. I hope I’ve preached at myself, mostly. And I hope I don’t forget that less doesn’t always equal more.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Anyone who knows me knows that I actually have surpassed the moniker “Bookworm” and gone straight on through to “Bookaholic”. Where some people watch TV or movies, or scrapbook, or paint, I read. I read like it’s my job. I wish it was my job, because I’d be richer than Bill Gates if it was. If it was my job, Jeremy probably wouldn’t hate my reading obsession quite so much. He’s gotten to the point where he forbids me to buy books at full price- when you read a 300 page book in a day and a half, it just isn’t worth the 12.99. So I patronize libraries, friends, Ollie’s, and websites such as and

I’ve already written a blog about music that has helped me grow up. So here’s a list of books (in no particular order) that have influenced who I am, why I think the way I do, and my perception of life (whether it’s realistic or not) :

1. Rose in Bloom, by Louisa May Alcott: This is one of the first books I really remember reading and processing. I was too young to understand all of the feminist and transcendentalist undertones, but even now, as an adult, it’s still one of my favorites. It’s a sequel (which I didn’t realize at the age of 8, or I probably wouldn’t have read it first) to the book Eight Cousins, also fantastic. And I’ll never forget how heartbroken I was when I realized that the copy I had read and feasted on was abridged! ABRIDGED! Reading the “real” version, which I got when I was 14, was like reading a whole new book.

2. Pickwick Papers, by Charles Dickens: No one ever forgets their first Dickens. I would say that Pickwick Papers (which I got the inspiration to read from reading Little Women) is Dickens’ lightest book, with a lot more comedy and a lot less twists and turns than his later books.

3. Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers: Please don’t tell me you’ve never read this book. Please. If you haven’t, go buy a copy. It will change you, your perception of God, and of yourself.

4. Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery: There’s a scene in “You’ve Got Mail” where a woman is speaking to Meg Ryan’s character, Kathleen, about the time Kathleen’s mother gave her Anne of Green Gables. “’Read it with a tissue’, she said.” So true. Anne Shirley is an integral part of every little girl’s rite of passage. I first read the book (well, series) when I was 9, and I’ve read it an average of once a year since then. It still- still- makes me cry, and laugh, and sigh, as much as I did as a 9 year old girl.

5. The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis: I know that’s actually 7 books, but I can’t just pick one, and I can’t separate them in my mind. This is another series I’ve read so much that the books were literally falling apart in my hands. Narnia really is a whole different world, that you can enter into so completely that’s it’s a shock when you wake up and realize you’re not surrounded by fauns and dwarves and talking animals.

6. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott: Love, love, love this book. And I’m sorry, Lou, but I still say Teddy and Jo should have gotten married. Not that I have anything against the Professor.... just sayin’.

7. Jane Austen: I can’t pick just one of her books. I think Emma was the first one I read, but I can’t even say that for sure. Every year, usually around early summer, I go on a Jane Austen kick where I read all 7 of her books back to back, plus the unfinished ones like Lady Susan and Sandition. I couldn’t get through my whole year without my Austen fix. I love the language, and the chivalry, and even the clever cattiness. I speak Austen in my head, but never out loud... I’m afraid most people wouldn’t understand what I was saying.

8. The Shack, by William P. Young: I know there’s a lot of controversy surrounding this book, but for me, it changed the way I view my relationship with God... “Papa”. It was really vivid for me. I read it in less than 12 hours, and I cried probably half of that time. At least. Then when I was done, I closed the book and cried for another half hour. It reached me in places that I had let bitterness and unforgiveness close off, and spoke to me more than 10 years of church could have.

9. Savannah From Savannah, by Denise Hildreth: This is actually the first book in a trilogy, and let me just say, I laughed till I almost peed myself reading these books. I’ve reread them about 3 times since then, and I still laugh out loud every time. They are SO SO funny. And not only that, they’re heartwarming.

10. The Lord of the Rings (and The Hobbit), by J.R.R. Tolkein: I haven’t read these in probably close to 10 years, but I love them, and they are a staple of the Rothwell family. I’ve forgotten pivotal points in the story, so if anyone wants to buy me a gift...

11. The Wheel of Time series, by Robert Jordan: Keeping in the fantasy genre, this is the series I’m currently reading with half of my family (and the one I mentioned in my previous blog). So. so good. Robert Jordan’s writing style is the reading equivalent of listening to music. I get into the stories so deeply that I don’t even realize that I AM reading... my mind is seeing and hearing what the words say.

12. The Stephanie Plum series, by Janet Evanovich: I hate murder mysteries, suspense, or anything of the kind... but this series hooked me in so fast I read the first 15 of them plus the 4 novellas (laughing the whole time) in about 4 weeks... and I’ve been on the waiting list at the library for book 16 for about 2 months. Stupid slow readers.

13. Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens: There’s a scene in this book, where Bill is being followed by Nancy’s ghost, that creeped. me. out.for weeks. But aside from that, here’s something I love about Dickens: all of his characters’ lives intersect in this serendipitous way that should seem utterly ridiculous. But somehow, when you read them, it makes sense. Even in the midst of your surprised, “A-HA!” moment, you think, “Oh, yeah, I could totally see that happening”, even though you know it would never happen in real life.

14. Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, by Margaret Sidney: Aaahhh love this little book. It’s so innocent and sweet. A Cinderella story for a whole family. This is another one I read every year or so. I don't own a hard copy, I can't find it anywhere. So I've sat in a hard computer chair for hours at a time, squinting at the screen, reading it online. Still worth it.

Ok, ok, there are so many more, but I have to stop sometime. I’m curious, how many of these books have you read? Which books have stuck with you, influenced you, made you smile, laugh, cry, or get angry?

Now I have one more hour until my bedtime... I’m going to spend it reading.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I normally don’t bother with New Year’s Resolutions. I view it as setting myself up to fail. Why in the world would I resolve to go to the gym when I can’t afford it? Or to stop eating unhealthy foods when I have no desire to? Or to go to bed early when I’m by nature a night owl? All of those resolutions would fall to the wayside by February. The going to bed early one probably wouldn’t make it through the first week of January, actually.

But 2010 has taught me a few things that I’d like to carry into this year. Not exactly resolutions, more like lessons. For instance:

I’m not going to wait for my contact Rx to expire anymore. I’m going to make sure I order them before it’s too late, because those puppies are expensive, and the eye exams are even more so, especially since my prescription hasn't changed.

I’m going to fold my laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryer. You would not believe how much irritation this has saved me. Sure, I’m irritated for the 5-10 minutes it takes me to stand in front of the dryer to fold the clothes, but since I’ve started it, the necessity of me setting aside 3 hours to fold 8 loads of laundry has dropped drastically.

I’m going to stop apologizing for things that aren’t my fault.

I’m going to brush my girls’ hair everyday. You’d think this was elementary, but they hate it. Consequently, I hate it. Thankfully their hair is very smooth and fine, but lately Atleigh has been waking up with dreads. So I guess I should add to this that I’m going to buy de-tangler.

I’m going to print some of the pictures that I take, and not only that, I’m going to hang them on the walls (Ok, so this is really more of a resolution... we’ll see if I actually follow through).

I’m not going to take responsibility for other peoples’ actions and feelings. This kind of goes hand in hand with the no more apologies thing. I don’t mean this in an “I don’t care how you feel” kind of way, but more of an “I can’t control how you feel” kind of way.

I’m never, ever going to let my husband have the dictionary when we play Scrabble. Never again. Because he beat me. Cheater.

I’m going to appreciate my family more.

And I’m not going to feel like a failure if I forget these “lessons” sometimes (Except for the Scrabble one. That would just be downright ignorant of me). I’m going to give myself room to make mistakes, and to learn new lessons.

What do you resolve to learn from last year?