7 Quick Takes 2014 vol 29: Field Trips, Friends, and a Strange Source of Peace

1. Halloween – So, last Friday was Halloween and I promised pics. The kids were adorable, as always.

Gus as Jake (Neverland Pirates) and Max as a Doctor

Gus as Jake (Neverland Pirates) and Max as a Doctor

Lily as Aurora (who was maybe in a bar brawl?) And Molly as a ballerina.

Lily as Aurora (who was maybe in a bar brawl? Look at all those teeth missing!) And Molly as a ballerina.

I’d just like to note that we have about a hundred different costumes that we have accumulated over the years. Molly chose to wear last year’s swimsuit and a tutu she has had since she was two. But she was happy and loved it.

We went to our old neighborhood to trick or treat, because we promised the old neighbors that we would. There were less houses handing out candy this year, but we still got WAY too much.

Then there is this guy who puts his fancy telescope out on his driveway every Halloween and they hand out candy and let the kids and parents look at the moon through it. It was breathtaking.

I even dressed up a little bit. Some cat ears and a tail. A few whiskers drawn on.And then my husband decided to dress up as a rooster. That was HIS innuendo, not mine.


Then my daughter Paisley, the make-up artist, did Spider-man make-up on herself. Just look at this picture! That is NOT a mask!


2. My daughter has a best friend. I miss those days… We moved into a house with kids on both sides of us. There are two boys the same as one of my sons and one girl – just like my 12 year old. They have become attached at the hip. It’ is really adorable. They text each other over every little thing, make little posters about being BFFs and have lots and lots of inside jokes.

This is the part of being grown up I hate. Not having someone to call to obsess over completely insignificant problems with. Not being able to spend hours watching movies and painting fingernails and doing hair. Not going shopping and making fun of ridiculous styles in the stores.

It is that ability to talk about absolutely nothing – that paves the way for talking about those deep and real somethings.

I read recently that there are three conditions that are needed for friendship to truly bloom: proximity, repeated unplanned interaction, and a setting which encourages people to confide in each other.

This is why friendships are so easy as children and so dang hard as adults.

3. How long can I put off grocery shopping? I am between Costco memberships. (Long story…) It strikes fear into my heart. I have been doing about 75% of my shopping at Costco for the past few months, supplementing little things from Safeway or Target when I couldn’t get them at Costco. Time is of the essence these days. But now we are out of bread, bagels, milk, cheese and a bunch of other things. I’m going to have to go shopping somewhere else. Like real, big, two carts shopping. I will have to go sometime before Monday, or I won’t be able to make 5 lunches at 6am. It’s hard enough when there is food in the house. UPDATE: I have a Costco card again! Thank you, Jay!

4. Field trips! I accompanied two field trips this week as each of my two youngest children when to a farm with their classes. Two field trips, two days in a row, one tired momma. It was very nice to get out of the house and do something with each of them, even if it meant being in a large crowd of very loud children. Don’t you live in one of those? you wonder. Not really. My kids have learned my low tolerance for chaos. They also can follow simple directions like, for example, don’t step on the carrots. Some of the adults in the group couldn’t even follow directions that complicated. Sorry, end of vent. I got some super cute pictures! (Duh!)



Which brings me to my next take…

5. Why can’t I be a stay at HOME mom? I can’t get anything done because I’m a stay in the car mom. I had a whole morning this week, it was a day when I had miraculously gotten adequate sleep and also didn’t have to run anywhere for three straight hours. Do you know what I did?

I kicked butt on this house!

If I had this time on a regular basis (and the regular sleep to match) I would be unstoppable! I could get the things done. It was enough to show me that I am not behind completely  of my own fault. While I have a certain amount of work to do, I don’t have the uninterrupted time to attack it.

I know. My mothering and being a wife is WAY more important. I totally get that. The problem is that doesn’t make the rest of it go away. The “rest of it” that slowly chips away at my consciousness because that is white carpet in there, people. It isn’t going to clean itself! And I am going to have to cook for these top priority people in my life in that kitchen that just made me go put shoes on because the floor was so gross. I have to bathe these precious ones of mine in a tub that really shouldn’t have nearly that much mildew growing in it. And the car shouldn’t smell like that. It just shouldn’t.

So the work is part of my love and care for these people who are more important. Making this work a priority is not necessarily stealing that part of myself from my family.

Part of this Take is about being overwhelmed by all that needs to be done, from caring for my family,  carting them around, and feeding them to cleaning up our home and being a good steward of our possessions. The other part of this is in reaction to a slew of pithy little guilt-milking articles about how if you really love your children then you will set aside the dirty dishes and go read them a book, in a park, with a fully packed whole food picnic. Or something like that. (Which, I would like to point out, couldn’t be done without clean dishes.)

It can’t be one or the other. It has to be Both-And. And I still don’t know how to do that consistently.

6. So obviously you will be noticing that we are in survival mode. Yes, when a kid comes home from school and points out that they need a uniform sweater and it is that one more thing that pushes you over the edge and makes you cry, you are in survival mode. And then the holidays are creeping up? Here is how I feel about that:


And I know I need to pull myself together and fix my attitude. Maybe I will go for a run…

7. Which reminds me, I had the craziest thing happen to me the other day. I was having some dental work done, and it hurt. I was all numbed up, but I was really tense and feeling a lot of anxiety. It was just profoundly uncomfortable. I was closing my eyes and breathing deeply. I tried to imagine a place that was calming and brought me peace. Do you know what came to my mind?


I spent several minutes just concentrating on running before I realized that this was me, the nonathletic, last picked in P.E. one, finding solace in my morning run. On top of that, I was specifically concentrating on a particularly hard part of the run I do in the mornings.

I just thought it was amazingly cool that running has become not just an exercise but also a source of peace and mental health. That was a really good feeling.

I hope you have a great weekend! Go see Jen @ Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.


  1. Haha – Theoden sums it up so perfectly! I’m glad you got your Costco card back, anyway; I’m pretty sure mine need to be renewed too.

Speak Your Mind