dogs, family, motherhood

In the Name of Love

I once read in a novel the amount of nicknames you give someone is equal to the amount of your affection for them. If this is true, Max is one of the most loved beings I know.

Here’s a list of some of his many names:

  • Maximus
  • Maximillian
  • M.Diddy
  • McGoogs
  • McGoogle
  • Maxaroni
  • Rage Monster
  • Buddy
  • Bud
  • Maxy
  • Maxseamus
  • Moodle Doodle
  • Best Friend
  • Maxwell Snugalugs
  • Mr.Snugs
  • Sad Kitty
  • Max Damon
  • Moo Goo Gai Pan
  • Baby Boy
  • Old Man
  • Mr. Max
  • Little Old Baby
  • Mr. McGoo

Like many of you, I am not quite sure how to make the world better right now. My heart has been a bit frozen from fear and general overwhelm. I often think, “What can I do?” Is there anything I can reasonably contribute that might help?

I have this blog so I intend to start writing more. Maybe I can channel some love into the world through this keyboard and maybe that’s something. It doesn’t feel like enough, but it’s all I have to offer you.

All each of us can do is start where we are and love as much as we are able.

Moodle Doodle wholeheartedly agrees.

inspiration, motherhood

Maple Syrup Mountain

Somehow, after years of trudging my way through the trenches of motherhood, I have reached the ultimate pinnacle of triumph.  T.Puzzle and Full Speed make me breakfast once a week!  And not a sad, soggy, partially frozen waffle sort of deal, but a glorious, made-from-scratch, giant golden, fills-your-whole-plate kind of waffle situation.

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To be fair, they learned from the best.

Mad Dog used to frequently make us homemade waffles on the weekend.  Then, life got way too busy until everything came to a quarantined halt.  He took this pause in time to resurrect this beloved tradition and managed to teach the boys how to do it from start to finish. T.Puzzle runs point and Full Speed is the technical support (readies supplies, melts butter, perfectly times the bacon preparation).  Whatever they are doing is working.  The waffles turn out amazing and then the whole house smells delicious for hours afterwards.  

And then,…they clean it all up afterwards!  Sure, there are times that the waffle iron gets left on and the batter mix floats over my kitchen in an apocalyptic-sized cloud, but I’ll take it.

Now that I am at the summit of motherhood freedom, I’m sure T.Puzzle will tell you it’s a swift dive downhill for me into creaking old age.  And this may be so, but while I’m here taking in this fabulous view, I plan to party like a rock star and eat as many waffles as humanly possible.

motherhood

The Legacy of Beauty

In my dermatologist’s waiting area, there are a few areas of distinction.  The muted color scheme is lovely and soothing.  Then, there is this cascading water feature in constant flow adding to the serenity.  It all makes for a pleasant experience as you wait to be called in for your appointment.  That is, until you start watching their video feed.

In this feed, it shows you the additional services they offer besides skin care.  While I appreciate the ads for sunscreen, everything else I could do without.  According to this video feed, I could use help with my furrowed brow, crow’s feet, sagging cheeks, skinny lips, back fat, and let’s not forget, my droopy caboose. It was hard to sit there and watch as each successive product or service offered was like taking a bullet to my self-esteem.  I texted a friend during this ordeal for validation and support.  No sooner than I hit send, I looked up to see I also could use a “chin assessment”.  Apparently, the angle of mine is ‘wrong’.

As women, we are expected to uphold a ridiculous standard of beauty.  No one really talks about how insane it all is, but I imagine, most of us could rattle off ten to twenty things about our appearance that we don’t like.  If we had unlimited resources, I suppose each of us could spend our time fixing these ‘flaws’, but when would it stop?  Most of the options available are temporary at best.  Who has that kind of time for all that upkeep?

When I think about real beauty, the kind that is sustainable through years and transcends aging, I always think of my Mom.

To me, she was the most beautiful woman in the world.

She kept her hair short, rarely wore make-up except for the occasional swipe of red lipstick, and preferred jeans and t-shirts as her wardrobe staples.  What made her beautiful wasn’t her adherence to unrealistic cultural beauty standards.  Instead, it was the sparkle in her clear-blue eyes, the playful laughter that would rise from within, and a smile that lit joy into whatever room she entered.

That’s the kind of beauty I want in my life. The best part of this kind of beauty is that it isn’t earned.  It’s uncovered.  It shows its way through the cracks of our facade by living life.  It emanates from a soul that has weathered loss, but still finds the ray of sunshine peeking through the rubble.

It is intangible and perfect.

It does require upkeep, but not by spending hours and dollars at a doctor’s office. It shows up when we follow our hearts, love without limits, and let the stars of heaven shine through us.

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humor, motherhood

Fast Asleep

IMG_8767At a certain point in the day, I am over watching tv.  Especially on days I’ve clocked in a four-hour-plus baseball game. Sometimes I’m over reading, too.  When these moments happen, I just want to call it a day.  Even if I’m not truly tired I’d prefer to have dark and quiet.  Mad Dog isn’t always in agreement, but part of marriage is compromise.

“Are you planning on reading?” said Mad Dog as he finished up brushing his teeth.

“Nope. But I did think we could talk about our feelings,” I said.

“Great!  That will help me fall right to sleep!”

I do what I can, Mad Dog.  I do what I can.

 

motherhood

Coping

This is how I am coping with the pandemic.

I’m not.

Well, that’s not totally true, some days I fake that I am okay better than other days.  So, there’s that, but mostly, I have no idea what I am doing.

Here’s what helps:

1.Taking a million photos of my dogs:

 

2. Cracking jokes with my boys:

 

3. Reading updates on Roho (he’s doing awesome).

4: Watching baseball.  So. Much. Baseball.

5. A gratitude practice.  I particularly love this journal:

Start with Gratitude

It includes unique prompts that make you stop and reflect about your day. This way it’s not a rote listing of the same things over and over.  The only one I struggle with is “Favorite people I saw today.”  The answer is always the same: Full Speed, T.Puzzle, and Mad Dog…it’s the pandemic y’all (I always add that in so if future generations look back at it they won’t be sad that I had no friends).

6. Get outdoors until I remember I live in Texas and it is currently a thousand degrees and I retreat indoors before my face melts off.

7. Question why I live in Texas.

8. Eat chocolate.

9. Eat more chocolate.

10. Allow for bad days, offer myself some kindness, and hug my boys (T.Puzzle LOVES this!).

11. Cardio kickbox my way through some aggression.

12. And last but not least, remind myself that there are awesome people like you in the world.

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