Sunday, March 3, 2013

Marching On

There have been so many times over the past three months (three MONTHS? How is that even possible?!)  that I’ve sat down at my kitchen table, or on my couch, or on my bed, opened my laptop, and stared at the cursor blinking accusingly back at me, challenging me to write. Blaming me for backing out. Stupid cursor.

I could list a million things that have kept me from writing these past few months. The hectic pace of the holidays, wretched sicknesses just being passed back and forth between my kids for 6 solid weeks, extra hours at work. While all of those played a part, the truth is, I’ve been suffering from a massive case of mental laziness, which lead to a massive case of writer’s block. I’d stare at the screen, all these thoughts swirling around in my head, and nothing would translate into words. I can’t even tell if it’s going to work this time.

So, that said, here are some of the things I’ve been up to this winter.

Like I said, all the kids have been sick. Chloe started it all, with a stomach bug two days after Christmas. After about 5 days with no one else catching it, I figured we were in the clear. I even told my mom, “It’s been almost a week, I guess we’re safe now.” Wrong. That night, while the two older kids were at Awanas, Atleigh comes meandering down the hallway saying, “My belly hurts...” I barely had time to turn around before she puked all over the carpet (she couldn’t make it the extra step onto the kitchen tile, I suppose), all over her dress, jeans, skirt, and socks - Yes. She was wearing all of those items at the same time. Don’t ask me. Then Ashton came home later, saying he had thrown up all over his shoes at church. Two days later, Chloe had the bug again, forcing me to cancel her birthday party and sit at home with a very depressed little brand new 7 year old. Then she got impetigo. Then Ashton got strep. Then Chloe got a sinus infection. Then I got a cold. This went on for the entire month of January. The entire month.

Towards the end of the month I tried to take Chloe out for her birthday pictures. We had a warm day that I wanted to take advantage of. I picked her up from school, rushed her home to change and grab my camera, and rushed back out the door, only to have the temperatures drop 20 degrees in the 15 minutes it took us to get to the location. We tried to take the photos anyway, me being the cruel mother/photographer that I am, telling her “Just one more! Try not to look so cold!” (I feel like I should add that she was no longer sick at this point. And that she didn’t get sick again after.) We were out there all of 20 minutes before I finally took pity on her and gave up. In that 20 minutes, I took 57 pictures. Of the 57 pictures, only 8 were worth keeping, I only like 3 of those 8, 2 of those 3 she wasn’t wearing her Rapunzel wig (which was the costume she wanted to wear) and one of those 3 she wasn’t even looking at the camera. All in all, a mostly dismal failure. It isn’t her fault she was born in January. Maybe next year we’ll embrace the cold and go a snow bunny route.
Here are "The Three" pictures.

February went by in a blur, with a short visit from my aunt and cousin who live out of state, dental appointments for the kids, which led to scheduling an ortho consultation for Ashton (let’s not even open that can of worms this time), an absolutely hellacious eye appointment for Atleigh in which she refused to read the picture charts and kicked and thrashed and screamed during the eye dilation portion, then spent the next 40 minutes breaking my heart with her confused whimperings about not being able to see even when she had her glasses on. Good news on that front though: Her eyes are no worse, and if she continues as she is, she’ll be able to go to yearly appointments by the time she’s 6.

March is a new month. And in many ways, a new season. Winter is petering out (I hope), spring will come creeping in sooner than later. The cold, dull drudgery of January and February, my two absolute least favorite months of the whole year, has been gotten over. March is the month of hope for me. The month of letting out that breath I’ve been holding, of peeking around the corner and catching new life and fresh air unawares. I’m so ready. So ready.

In the meantime, I’ve been keeping myself sane in various ways.

I read a lot. A lot a lot. I probably can’t even count how many books I’ve read just since the last time I blogged, but two of my favorites from the past three months are Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, and Austenland by Shannon Hale.

I’d wanted to read Les Mis for years, and never gotten around to it. With the movie being released at Christmas, I knew I had to read the book first (pet peeve of mine). It took me 5 weeks. 2 of those 5 weeks I didn’t read at all because of general Christmas busyness. I finished it on New Year’s Day at 5am. I sat on my bathroom floor sobbing into a towel for 10 minutes after I read the last page. I’m not kidding. As I said, I read a lot. And not just fluff books. Les Miserables is hands down one of the best books I’ve ever read. Ever. The depth of the characters, the thread of redemption woven through the whole book is a miracle. I’ve never read anything like it. It has gotten so much under my skin and into my heart that even now, two months later, I still find myself thinking about it. Crying about it. Applying its principles to myself.

On the other hand, Austenland is the complete opposite, in that it’s a light, quick, easy read, but it’s so fun. And again, I can say I read the book before the movie came out.

Another thing getting me through has been music. Last summer I subscribed to Spotify Premium, and I’m not kidding when I say it was the absolute best decision I made in 2012. So, so worth my $10 a month. For a confessed music junkie, there is nothing better. I’ve been getting reacquainted with old favorites, and making some new friends. Here’s a [long] list, in no particular order, of some of the music that I love and loves me back.

Glen Hansard: Rhythm and Repose
Benjamin Gibbard: Former Lives
The Avett Brothers: The Once and Future Carpenter, Emotionalism
Twenty-One Pilots: (Self Titled)
James Vincent McMorrow: Early in the Morning
Lamb: II
Sleeping at Last: Atlas
The Lone Bellow: (Self Titled)
Mumford and Sons: Babel
Iron and Wine: Our Endless Numbered Days
Les Miserables Live: The 2010 Cast Album
Gungor: Ghosts Upon the Earth
The Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls
Emile Pandolfi: (Just pick an album- they’re all breathtaking)
Keith Green: So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt
Death Cab for Cutie: Plans, Transatlanticism
The Lumineers: (Self Titled)
The Sound of Music: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Birdy: (Self Titled)
Fun: Some Nights
mewithoutYou: It’s All Crazy, It’s All False, It’s All A Dream, It’s Alright
Lana Del Rey: Born to Die

The list could go on, I’m sure. If you love music, and are willing to give up Starbucks twice a month, there’s nothing I can more highly recommend to you than Spotify. Check it out.

I’d like to end this blog saying that I’ll do better. That it won’t be another three months before I’m back. But even as I typed that my eyebrow quirked of its own accord in a “yeah right” motion. I didn’t make any goals this new year. I won’t lay groundwork for guilt if I don’t meet standards. So, I’ll just say this: that I’ll keep marching on.

Happy [Almost] Spring, friends.


If you miss me so very much, you can always check out my life in pictures on Instagram and Twitter @mbsmoot.

1 comment:

  1. happy (almost) spring to you too. welcome back. I missed your writing.