Saturday, December 19, 2009

three coins in a fountain...

As I dug in my wallet for pennies tonight for at least the fifth time this week, my two little beauties peered up at me anxiously (alright... impatiently) awaiting and certainly planning the wish that could only be granted with the sacrifice of a coin to a totally oblivious fountain of water. Under the enormous night sky which only the desert seems to be able to flaunt, four little eyes couldn't have been closed more tightly and two little hands couldn't have been more careful to aim and toss the unsuspecting coins into the water in exchange for the mere possibility of their simple wishes.

I was impatient. I was irritated. Why did wishing have to take so long anyway? Then I stopped. The real question was when did I lose that magic and mystery from childhood? In that instant, while waiting on wishes, I realized that I didn't remember feeling the magic and mystery from childhood. When I contemplate my youth, I remember stress, difficulty, fighting and a general feeling of helplessness. I remember feeling overwhelmed and scared and the last thing that my young mind would have thought to help was throwing a stupid coin in some water. Whoa...

And then before me, wishing away, were my two reminders. Of innocence. Of hope. Of possibilities. Of magic. Of mystery. There is something about looking into two pairs of eyes that reflect portions of your own soul that is just...mystery. These little girls are secure and confident. They are loved. They are cared for. They are innocent to the hard, cold realities of life. They are safe. And I get to be part of that. I have the opportunity to explain and explore, imagine and create endless possibilities and unbelievable opportunities. And that is just...magical. For them and for me.

So next time there is a bucket, a pond, a fountain...or a wishbone...or that first, brightest star, I will dig in my wallet for a third coin...grab what I hope is the largest side and pull...close my eyes and wish with all my might that my two little Lady Bugs will cling to the magic, mystery and innocence of their youth and will somehow manage to hold on to at least a teeny bit of that before it vanishes as quickly as their youth itself.

Next time, two coins each. Take your time, girls. And when you wish...wish BIG...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Some things I know for Sure (and a few things I'm currently hashing out)

Life is a journey... blah, blah, blah. Each day, most days unknowingly, we live out cliches, quips, quotes and proverbs that those who have gone before us have so generously taken the time to pen for us (sometimes even in iambic pentameter). I truly believe that if one were to adhere to some of these well, life just might be a bit more simple... saving our hearts a little pain and our heads a little confusion. However, I also believe that sometimes you just have to cowboy up and learn the lesson for yourself. Here are a few things that the rodeo of life has taught me.

~If it's not worth sweating for (physically, mentally, spiritually or emotionally) then it's probably not something to waste your time on.

~When you say, "Good-bye." to a bad habit, a bad influence or a bad relationship... mean it, move on and don't look back... Not doing so wastes lots and lots (and lots) of valuable time.

~Forgiveness and restoration.... not the same thing.

~If you're going to a function and you don't know how to dress... don't call all of your friends to find out what they are wearing. Wear whatever you want and whatever makes you feel great. Who the heck really cares if you're over or under dressed anyway?

~Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth and The Life.... when you accept Him, life will not be easier... but you will have an abundant life that you never knew before and you will see a "big picture" you never knew existed.

~Chicken McNuggets may arguably be "nuggets," but they certainly are not chicken and are most likely not fit for human consumption.

~If the person who you think is your soul mate doesn't feel the same, then he is not your soul mate and you should be careful not to try to convince him (or yourself) that he is.

~Time may heal all wounds, but if you keep picking at the wounds and slamming your heart in the car door to see if it still hurts...well let me just say, that's a tall order for Time to heal...

~If the grass seems to always be greener on the other side, then you CLEARLY are not taking care of your own grass. That doesn't make the other side better, it just makes you lazy. Tend to your grass and watch it flourish... and perhaps you won't have the need to peep over the fence.

~I have absolutely no idea what, "Starve a cold, feed a fever." means and no one who has ever mentioned it to me knows either.... That being said, I think we should do away with it once and for all.

~If you had a terrible childhood.....good news! It's over.

~Show grace every single chance you get. It's the one truly amazing gift you can give to people living in a world in which there is so little.

~You never ever know who will save your life...and you never ever know when your life will need saving. Treat people accordingly.

Monday, November 30, 2009

...seeking friendship

Now what seems like a lifetime ago, life was simple. I loved life and loved people and something I enjoyed most was the diversity in both. I had friends of all types and all walks of life. Granted, some were closer than others, deeper and truer, while others were passing and more superficial. But the point is, I enjoyed each and every friendship and the impact that it had on my experience no matter how temporary or enduring. And in retrospect, the one thing I took for granted was how easy it was to find and enjoy these friends...

Today. As the last decade literally BLEW by, I take mental inventory of my life and friendships and am astonished at the changes that have happened while I apparently wasn't paying attention. So what have I learned? Two life changes (marriage and children) totally change the friendship experience. When it was just me, I could be friends with anyone... and the only ones that could say how far that friendship would take us were said friend and myself.


SWF seeking friendship. Male or female accepted. All religious and social affiliations appreciated, but like-minded a bonus. Location not a factor as I am willing to travel.

add a ring and some vows and suddenly I became....

MWF seeking friendship. Couples preferred. Will accept singles, but males makes it a bit awkward on road trips. Both parties in the couple must be of sound mind and equally enjoyable. (We all have the couple friends that have an obvious "better half" who is more pleasant to be around and the other you would admittedly prefer to take their time parking the car.)

add a couple of tiny people into the mix and BAM! I'm...

MWFWK seeking friendship. Singles welcome but must be able to tolerate little kids oozing all sorts of bodily fluids and asking an incredibly enormous amount of questions, sudden changes in plans, not finishing a conversation and overall chaos without warning. Couples preferred. Similar interests a bonus. Both parties must be compatible with the two of us. Kids appreciated, preferably the same ages and genders as ours, although babysitting age would be greatly valued. Similar or extremely compatible religious and social affiliations would be greatly appreciated as I'm just too tired to argue these issues right now. Living close by not a requirement, but a huge plus as we are working around 4 schedules not including yours. Like-minded parenting a must. Smokers, vegans (I'm not trying to pick out tiny bacon pieces from a salad for you), crazies, non-disciplinarians and swingers need not apply.

So to my friends (and you know who you are), whether you're single, married or married with children and whether you're new or have hung on through the chapters with me... thank you... truly... thank you. Oh and please don't leave me because the vetting process is way too difficult and I'm way too tired to try to make new friends.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Need A Hero

I do. Need one. But at very least, I suppose that I want to believe that there is one.

As I've grown up and out of my childhood fantasies of marrying Prince Charming, being a professional Ice Capades ice skater and living in a house made of cheese, I've come to realize that my perception of what a hero is has changed dramatically. No longer do I envision a spandex clad superhero swooping in at the last second, rescuing the damsel/kitten/elevator full of innocents only to wave, smile for some photo ops and disappear off into the sunset on his horse, web or Batmobile. I don't even imagine the suave James Bond, shaken (not stirred) martini in hand, helping the young (and always attractive) lady just long enough for a quick roll in the hay, all the while imparting his witty little one-liners to whomever will listen.

Nope. Those aren't heroes, those are distractions. All of the showiness and the huge, daring feats have their place, but once the crowd dies down and the mess is cleaned up, what are you left with? A man in spandex, ready to vanish without warning to the next crisis. In his attempt to save the world, you are left alone watching and waiting for his next grand entrance, not knowing when or if there will be one.

So then what is a hero? And this is what I answer... A hero says what he means and means what he says. A hero tells you the truth even when you want him to shut up, holds your hair when you throw up, and gives you the one good reason not to give up. A hero makes you want to be better and helps you figure out how to make that happen. A hero steps out of his comfort zone and learns how to feel comfortable in yours. A hero is the first to say I'm sorry and the last to say something that he knows he'll regret. A hero realizes the impact he has on those around him everyday and doesn't take that responsibility lightly. A hero under promises and over delivers. A hero doesn't wander in and out of your life, he is there days, weeks, months and years whether he's appreciated or not, because there's no where else he'd rather be.

Thank you. For knowing I was the one for you the moment we met. For your insight. For your friendship. For your omelets. For teaching me quadratic equations. For sharing your last name with me. For wearing pink princess band aides because two little girls put them on so lovingly. For being the anchor to my sail. For your graphs, spreadsheets and percentages. For your great big smile. For knowing that I'm a wild fire and choosing to continually fan the flames.

Thank you for being a hero... my hero.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I smell money.

The smell of money is fascinating to me. I'm not talking about the grimy $10 bill, crumpled in a pocket or the wad of ones caressingly slipped into "Velvet's" g-string. I'm talking money with a capital M. For me, distinguishing the unique and individual scents that comprise its smell is done in a similar fashion to distinguishing the fragrances of a full-bodied red wine. Just as I slowly inhale the rich scent of a deep merlot and am able to pick out its distinct hints of oak, grapes and nuts, I am able to close my eyes and identify some of the individual and complicated aromas that together become the smell of money.

Arriving at a girls' night out last night a little early, I found myself sitting and waiting at a rather upscale restaurant and thinking to myself, "I smell money." I knew the smell in an instant and immediately closed my eyes and began to recall other times I had the same olfactory experience. Inhale....leather. Leather bags, leather shoes, leather belts, leather wallets and leather interiors. Inhale....Chanel. No. 5, Mademoiselle, Coco and Allure. Inhale...meat. Prime rib, fillet mignon, Kobe, shrimp and lobster. Inhale....insecurity. Not having the newest one, the best one, the most coveted one. Inhale...exhaustion. Working, blood, sweat and tears, for what? Inhale.....emptiness. Buying, collecting, hoarding things that will not withstand the test of time. Inhale....jealousy. Of colleagues, ex's, trophy wives, friends and enemies.

It was last night it occurred to me the smell of money and the smell of wine share a commonness... a wonderfully, delicious aroma with bitter and fermented undertones.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Strange Relationship

"You're such a part of who I am,
please don't disappear," you say
But you're the one who always vanishes
and goes so far away.

And again I stand in disbelief,
holding broken heart in hand.
Bleeding, wrestling, racking my mind
trying to understand.

Your love and our connection draw me in,
not just part, but all.
But as quickly as you come, you go
before you have chance to fall.

Time after time and page after page
we do this very dance,
Who we are stays in place, the change?
our circumstance.

And now that we've nowhere to go,
your safety net's in place.
You know you will never give in to the need,
you will always have your space.

I'll never be "the one" for here,
now something I know for sure,
But this masochistic addiction I have,
remains without a cure.

So I'll soak and bask in every second we have,
until you suddenly grow cold.
And then again I'll patiently wait
for "forever" to unfold.

But this time when you leave,
and I know you will,
Please run fast and far and then
run further still.

And with you take my memory
of every loving tragedy
and all the promises you kept or broke
and all the passion you felt or spoke.

And when my heart heals again,
and I begin anew,
Congratulations...I'll continue being Mrs. Him
while she'll go on being Mrs. You.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Funny facts about me... by Cody

Sometimes when you forget who you are, it's good to have someone who really knows... remind you.

At least nine interesting facts about Tava (also some precautions) by Cody

1) 4 out of 5 doctors would put her in a psych ward--the other guy is not really a doctor.

2) If personality is a sapling, Tava is an oak.

3) Tava likes gold and silver because they're a pinch try tinfoil.

4) She learned to talk from a sailor in a panama city hump-hump bar.

5) Tava can cook anything without a recipe, yet never the same thing twice.

6) If Tava complains, she is likely moments from the emergency room.

7) The song 'wind beneath my wings' is terrible and has nothing to do with her.

8) Tava puts everyone at ease, unless she is out.

9) Tava could be a professional anything, as long as it only required a 40-45 second attention span.

10) She once stood in for the wife of the prime minister of Paraguay and even the PM didn't realize it.

11) More people casually tell Tava she is gorgeous than other other girl west of Kentucky, but it's all just part of an elaborate real-estate scheme.

12) No matter how cold it is in Antarctica, Tava's hair is an effective oven.

13) Tava has trouble remembering the 134th digit of Pi.

14) She is devoutly moral and intelligent, but has a tendency to falter and watch FoxNews.

15) Tava is confused why the wadded up $5 bill in her bra wasn't accepted at the Korean market.

16) Tava once threw rotten pears at Tom Daschle and only felt a little bad.

17) Every once in a while, Tava could use a good cigarette, even though she has never smoked.

18) Because of several years of home-schooling, Tava cannot differentiate between "mac and cheese" and "tortellini".

19) Tava loves a good book, especially one that will occupy M and O for an entire morning.

20) The phrase "fight fire with fire" can be attributed to merchants in Beijing struggling to keep up with her nearly Jewish bartering skills.

21) Tava is safe for kids- 7 active ingredients with all natural preservatives.

22) She will halt the launch of her missile in exchange for oil, rice and a good merlot.

23) In celebration of Dominican Independence day, a special edition of Tava
should be on the shelves this Christmas.

24) Tava is not responsible for daylight savings, and she always sets her watch to Swaziland local time--just in case of an emergency.

25) If you rearrange the letters of Tava’s full name you get- “Jumbalaya stained my left nipple”…trust me on that one.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I'm a Taurus, but I eat ribs, play pool and flip-flop like a gemini...

As much as I adore having the opportunity to be a stay at home mom without the consequences of abject poverty, I must admit that the days of complete thoughts let alone sentences have vanished into a distant time... along with some of my sanity and all of my ripped jeans from the 80's. That being said, one of the few selfish pleasures that I have (writing in this blog) doesn't get the attention that I believe it deserves. It isn't that blogworthy and interesting things don't happen or that I don't embark on mental excursions on which I would like to include you all... it's just that the end of my day usually involves some version of staring blankly at a wall often times with drool oozing from the side of my mouth trying to disengage Elmo, primary-colored legos, and the reasons that eating Play Dough is bad from the ever-shrinking gray matter in my head. So, on the days/weeks/months that I can't piece together a completely coherent blog, I will share with you the inner workings of my mind... displayed by tangents, fragments, rants and ravings... just the way they frolic around in my mind...

1. Crayola colored bath tablets are AWESOME.... although when the girls add yellow, it just looks like a bathtub full of pee.

2. The left lane is for PASSING...not camping out in 10 miles under the speed limit.

3. Hot wings are messy, difficult to eat and you can't get that smell off of your fingers for an entire day.

4. I don't know how the world was populated after Adam and Eve were banned from the Garden of Eden.

5. The "Gusher" fruit snacks really "gush" and therefore shouldn't be given to children or served when it's hot.

6. Listening to Jellyfish, Sade or Jesse Cook while I cook is just not the same when I have two matter how hard I pretend.

7. When you are in the Sand Dunes, do NOT use diaper cream. Orion's behind appeared to have a sugar/cinnamon coating on it and sand as she learned that fateful abrasive.

8. Orion's new phrase is, "I did it!" which she yells at the top of her lungs whenever she does anything... pooping, playing, eating, biting her sister... And after she bites her sister, I say, "Orion, don't bite. What do you say to M.?" to which she responds, "Thank you."

9. M., who is no stranger to the spoken word, comes up with all sorts of good one liners. Here are a few samples:

Greeting her daddy at the door after work, "Hey Big Guy! Do I have some hickups for you!"
"Mommy, does your back hurt, because my booty sure does."
After spinning around a number of times and tumbling to the floor, "Mommy, I got really, really busy!"
"Mommy, you don't like Barack Obama and I don't like Bill O'Reilly....why don't you like Barack Obama?"
Almost every morning she comes into my bedroom, "Mommy, it's a BEAUTIFUL day." And when she says that, it always is.

10. This is just one of many reasons that it's fun to have two girls...

dumb luck

Dumb luck is in my opinion, the best kind. The kind that you don't wish for, plan for or hope for...the kind that just shows up in your life unannounced and often times unappreciated. So, in honor of St. Patrick and all that his day has come to mean and the fact that I've clearly walked booty backwards into a pot of gold, I am humbled and am hugely aware of all my dumb luck...

I'm lucky to have been born in a country which I adore and to have had the opportunity to explore its depth and breadth from sea to shining sea. I'm lucky to have friends who always make me laugh, and friends that have always been with me when life's punches make me cry. I'm lucky to have been afforded an education, and I'm lucky to be able to stay at home and "mommy". I'm lucky to have a love who not only tolerates my "idiosyncrasies" but finds them attractive or amusing...(very lucky). I'm lucky to be able to view the vast expanse of the heavens right outside my front door. I'm lucky that my two little beauties are healthy and rambunctious. I'm lucky to have been given choices that have ended in success and ones that have enriched my character. I'm lucky to have seen the "big picture" at a very young age. But above all, I'm lucky to know that the great fortunes of my life have not been dependent upon a charm, a clover or a horseshoe, but instead a Creator whose warm showers of love and grace cover even undeserving me. I'm lucky to know that my dumb luck isn't luck at all...

Lucky me.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Rose by Any Other Name.

Now that winter is drawing to an end here in the Sonoran Desert, (and by winter, I mean it took at least 40 additional minutes to brew my sun tea) I guess I have come to terms with a few things that have been vexing me for awhile now. Not just little things either, like the fact that I will never be able to properly fold a fitted sheet, (unless you consider the appearance of a gigantic piece of wadded up gum properly folded) I'll never be able to spell bougainvillea (the pretty bush with the bright flowers) by memory, but I will without a doubt always go for the cheap haircuts even though the range of results varies a great deal. I just can't spend that much money on hair that recovers from any wrongdoing in a matter of weeks. As it turns out, I can accept these things. I can live with a closet filled with clean, crisply folded sheets on one side and huge pieces of wadded up cotton (600 count I might add). I can function nicely without spelling the "b" word-afterall how many times have I ever actually needed to spell that word? I can even rock the bi-level/90-10 haircut every few months if it means saving that much money. What I'm having trouble letting go is something much worse....something I've brought upon myself and my daughters.

When I became pregnant with my first daughter, there was no question what her handle would be. I've thought Rhapsody was a beautiful word for years and the meaning would be even more fitting for a daughter that I would love to mother. Rhapsody: an effusively or ecstatic expression of feeling... The "M." came later in my pregnancy when I realized that I would be giving a person whom I had never met a lifelong name that they would need to grow into. A name is an important thing to give...and I wanted it be a thoughtful name of which she could be honored and answer to proudly. I decided that once she knew who she really was, she could come up with the name that encapsulated those characteristics...the only stipulation was that it had to start with the letter 'M,' which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful letters and flowed nicely into Rhapsody and frankly, lots of words start with 'M' so it would give her enough choices. There it was M. Rhapsody Musial... fun to say, fun to write, fun to ponder what the M. would ultimately come to stand for in her own time. I took some heat, some strange looks and comments, one of my favorites being, "That's ridiculous" but in the end I felt that it was a small price to pay for something so important. Considering what teasing kids might come up with and how it would look in Broadway lights, I thought I had covered all bases. Nope. Totally overlooked the initials. You know, on every form in your whole life- you have to put first name, middle initial.... so what once was a beautiful, melodic and feminine name was now butchered and destroyed to MR Musial. Perfect. Sorry Lady Bug. When her social security card showed up in the mail, Jay thought it was addressed to him.

When I found out that I was expecting another daughter, I was at a loss. I didn't think I would have more than one child in the first place, always thought I'd have boys, and used up the best and only girl name I had ever thought of. What did that mean? Jay's turn? But then what would she end up being called up to on her graduation day from Harvard Law? Louise Galactica? Tequila Petrone? Tava Jr.? I love my name, but it's mine. She needed her own and it had to be good. My final cut was J. Lyric... went well with M. and was also melodic and to tell you the truth, I'm hoping for a singer. This time, the 'J' would be after her Daddy. Maybe if I gave her his name, she'd grow to have some of the many traits I've learned to admire. Jay liked the idea of having her named after him, but Lyric? Not so much. Since we both love the nighttime firmament and all of its splendor, it wasn't difficult to assume that we would agree on a name from the heavens. But when you start looking into star names, Alpha Centauri, Procyon and Fomalhaut just aren't that fitting for bouncing baby girls, unless they happen to be from the planet Romulus. Likewise the name xy4986l.203 wasn't what either of us had in mind. At a little boy's birthday party, Jay decided on Orion, one of the most beautiful and most recognizable constellations in the heavens combined with Jai, a feminine version of the name of one of my most favorite people...hmmm. I liked it. Fast forward to now when people constantly pronounce Orion Jai- OR-EEE-UN HIGH (as in Jai Alai, I suppose) and proceed to look for a little boy instead of a little girl. Well, not exactly what I had expected, but would work itself out in time...however, don't get me STARTED on how many people have never heard of the constellation Orion... Anyway, it didn't take long for me to realize in naming this little one, I had DONE IT AGAIN!! Her initials... O.J. Not so heavenly...

Well, it is what it is I suppose. I acquiesce. On the upside, my friend told me last night that they've both really grown into their names. That being said, I think I'll take MR. Musial and "The Juice" to the park before naptime.