Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Return of the Crazy Dreams

I've been known to have a lot of crazy dreams in my time. They may not be any wackier than the average person's dreams, but I tend to remember mine and can replay them back as if watching a movie. I absolutely love movies, and I'm totally fascinated by dreams, so together I create a perfect storm while I sleep. Last night was no different. Surprising, since I realized I hadn't had any dreams of any kind for weeks now. At least none worth remembering, rewinding and reliving.

So I'm laying on a bench on Hollywood Blvd. Chilling, relaxing in the sunshine with my shades. All of a sudden, Jimmy Fallon and Lily Tomlin walk up to me and ask if I'd like to sit in the dentist chair. I'm like cool- improvisational, on-the-street sketch comedy! What fun! So they wheel out this bright yellow dentist chair and I start acting like I'm auditioning for Saturday Night Live, making over-the-top faces, goofy voices and slapstick comedy like falling out of the chair. I guess they didn't like me all that much, because they quickly moved on to something else, leaving me confused and sad that I didn't get the part.

On a nearby screen flashes a clip from the MTV awards, or some other equally lame and unimportant one. Dumb as it may be, I am impressed that the 3 guys who are introducing Linkin Park on TV at this show are my three ex-boyfriends, Ryan, JD and Jake. But in my dream I call Brandon and tell him that it's JD and JD and JD... because that was the only name I could remember. Luckily he knew who all I was talking about so I didn't have to ever bother remembering.

I walk across the street to this giant house that had staircases for storage closets. Seriously, and I thought it was the neatest thing, like something right out off Pinterest. They had a main staircase and then you turned to the right and there was a door. Open the door and you see that their stairs had been blocked off halfway up and at the bottom and there was all sorts of toys and junk being stored there. Ingenious in my dream, totally impractical now that I'm awake. But, you could stand at this railing and throw bean bags onto a game in the living room that connected to said staircase storage. That was fun. Or I dreamed the illusion of fun-ness...

Amos Gutierrez is there and he starts showing me around the rest of the house. Landon Speights and Sarina Grasham are hanging out there too. Makes total sense for us all to be in a fun house in California together, right? Brandon and Aja Speights showed up a few minutes after we started playing a board game of some sort and we all got Taco Cabana and said we were thankful we were married to our own spouses and not each others.

The End.

Jimmy Fallon
Lily Tomlin
 (Just in case you were wondering)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Effective Parenting

The Bible class we're taking on Sunday mornings is called "Effective Parenting in a Defective World". It's been really interesting so far- very Biblical and practical, reminding us that success of our children doesn't rely on how much stuff they acquire, what kind of job they have, the amount of money we have to give them or X, Y, and Z important items that society says are required, but more on providing ways to be independent, loving, Christians.

I'm also taking a parenting class on Tuesdays with the Ladies' Bible Study called "5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Son/Daughter". Lots of real-world application dealing with how we as mothers shouldn't speak badly against our bodies, lest our daughters overhear and think that they are fat, ugly, or in some other way not good enough.

So I've been focused a lot lately on how to be a good parent.

Yesterday, I asked Brandon if Brooklyn was such a good kid because she was born with that demeanor, or if it's our parenting. And as most good nature vs. nurture studies will agree, he said both. We get half credit, he says. I am willing to take half credit.

Yes, she got in trouble today for being ugly and loud during church. Yes, she got in trouble for not sharing and we had a struggle at dinner trying to eat before she got her milk. No, she isn't potty-trained and it looks like it isn't really happening any time soon. She's not perfect, not by far.

But last month she started giving me kisses and telling me, "I love you" without me asking her to. Just a day or two ago she began covering her mouth and saying, "Excuse me" when she burps. Except it sounds like, "Scusee", which is beyond adorable. Tonight when giving goodnight kisses, she kissed Peyton (my tummy) without us prompting her to. Melted my heart. Earlier this week she reminded ME to pray before our meal by suddenly putting her hands together and saying, "Pray?" And speaking of praying, in the past week we have been starting to ask her what or who she wants to pray for. Here are some of her favorites, from most frequently requested on:

Big Bird
Peyton (unborn brother, for those out of the loop)
Coco (Uncle Cody)
Aunt Lindsay
Sasha (cat)

I love that we have to pray for Big Bird every night. It's almost enough to make me write a thank you note to Sesame Street that would go something like this... You are teaching her to be thankful AND how to count to 20 AND how to recognize letters of the alphabet. You are amazing.

Basically, we don't have that difficult of a time raising Brooklyn and I'm so thankful for that. I know it will get harder and I have to remember the days when I just want to tear my hair out. There will be more of those days. She'll probably have terrible 2's or 3's, rebel as a teen, and go through some traumatic experiences that I will want to wish away with all my heart. I know I'll make a lot of mistakes as a mom, but for now I'm just glad that I must be doing some things right.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

He Bought Me Flowers

When trying to describe how I feel right now, the first few emotions that come to mind are positive: happy, blessed, excited, joyful, content, honored... I'm really glad that I can put these to the forefront instead of some of the other emotions that have been pulsing through me... jealousy, anger, bitterness, frustration, depression, anxiety...

In recent years I would have switched the order of all these feelings; I would let my negative emotions overpower anything beneficial or positive and cry pessimism. When Brandon and I first started dating in 2005 I was a cynical, rude, angry person and he helped me make some big changes.

First of all, he bought me flowers. A dozen red roses that he gave me along with a rewrite of Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" entitled "Stay Always". We had only been together one month but we both knew this was it. I had told every other boyfriend not to buy me flowers, and save for one time as an apology, every other boyfriend had easily agreed. Less money for them, right? I said I didn't care about chivalry or girly things and high school boys said shoot- sounds good. Brandon said whatever, I know you better than you know yourself.

I love flowers. LOVE them. And I didn't know it, but Brandon did. He wanted to do something sweet to break my shell and he did.

Am I still a stubborn, cynical jerk sometimes? Of course. But I'm not continually angry with the world and everyone in it anymore. Because of Brandon's help I was able to become a little more vulnerable and allow myself happiness without strings attached. It's because of him that I can see the good in this past week rather than the bad.

Our house still hasn't closed, and we may have to pay up to $4200 more in closing costs than originally stated. Rules with short sales and how contracts basically don't matter and long story short, it's a very expensive and frustrating situation. We can't use our car/renter's insurance agency for our house because of restrictions within Fort Bend County, and Brandon's school district is not going to hire the extra history teachers they said they would, which makes his job much harder.

And yet tonight I'm just happy. Why? It's football season. I got to go to the Alabama game last night. They played someone... I can't remember, some big school who was supposedly good, but I didn't see it... seriously, HOW FUN. Cowboys Stadium is not as impressive as everyone says (service, food, parking all SUCK) but I can't get enough of Bama football. I had a great time with my brother in law, my grandaddy and my dad, despite traffic, bad food and "drunk high-five guy" (video to follow at some point, I promise). Grandmother and Grandaddy are visiting from Alabama so we've gotten to spend time with them. Brooklyn has been SO sweet with all the family she has seen. I can feel baby Peyton moving around. Brooklyn told me tonight she would help with the baby and then said "I love you" to my belly without me asking. Papa has recovered so well from his stroke and I love seeing Mama and Papa living here with Brandon's parents. I got to go to church today and worship and had a really great time remembering to always be in AWE of what it means that Jesus is divine and the Bible is real. I got a 3-hour nap today. My life is good.

Even the fact that my paragraph about my blessings is three times as big as my problems shows how much my attitude has changed over time.

And my silly husband is on the other side of the living room, checking baseball stats on the computer while he chats about fantasy football on the phone and watches the US Open on TV. He's a mess. But he's so darn cute. And he bought me flowers, and it has apparently made all the difference.

May 2006