Choosing Your Battles

The boys are officially done with school!!!  Do you know what this means? 3 months free of mornings for me.  Thank You, God!!

Sliding into summer like...

You guys...I promise I do not exaggerate when I say I am soooooo bad at mornings.  And I promise I'm not just being lazy...or a big baby.  In fact, there are mornings when I can get up early just fine.  But not consistently.  And when I can't.  I CAN NOT.  There was one day last week (the final week, which should have been motivating) I dragged myself - and them - out of bed at 7:10.  It's a 15 minute drive, and we have to be there by 7:45!!  That same morning, I seriously considered keeping them home, so I could get sleep.  I am completely irrational when I am tired.

I have inherited a sleep disorder and very likely some other missed diagnoses (being a counselor is teaching me so much about myself!), suffice to say this is why Matt guards the door when I am taking a nap.  He protects my sleep like a knight protecting his castle, because this circadian rhythm is JACKED and this mama does not function well without the subjective quota of sleep.

Thank God for summer, a temporary break in my miseries.

Also...we found a place that would take in Jesse.  Enough said.  This dog is one of a kind and NOT for the weak of heart.  Ask our local "expert" groomer.  πŸ™„πŸ˜  (A story for another day...message me.)  We decided it was best to not attempt to leave him for a full week the first time.  So, we took advantage of Puppy Daycare.  (This is who we've become. 😳). This is his face after πŸ‘†.  I'll call that a success...especially since he was invited back.  πŸ™Œ

And speaking of misery - it was a tough weekend with baseball.  But...I am proud.  I am diligently working to remind myself how unimportant is one game in the scheme of life.  It is so easy to fall into the nasty rivalry and the bitter anger at the slightest perceived injustice.

I had an eye opening experience with one specific team.  The coach got ejected, and one mom got CRAZY mouthy.  I happened to be on the scoreboard, so she was HELLO up in my face.  I bit my tongue and turned away.  I looked to Matt for reassurance.  I could have easily joined the battle she attempted to create.  Her taunts tempted me almost to my capacity to refrain.  Yet, I forced myself to step outside of the moment for a minute:

That time he wore out his arm, and I made him play "batboy" all week...

1) Yes.  The umpires made mistakes.  I could see she was not aware that the person she was berating was a teenage boy, who was trying his best to call a good game.  He was stoic, and I commented on how hard it must have been.

2) Yes.  Our team made an error in the count.  We were distracted by a chaotic fiasco on the bases, and they took WAY too long to question it.  By that point EVERYONE was confused.

3) Yes.  The opposing coach had to tell his side of the story about 10 times, while I sat behind him nodding and feeling compassion for his frustration.  He was right.  I knew it.  The persons in authority did not.  (There was nothing I could do to help at this point.) BUT...they were calmly trying to sort things out so...

4) NO!!  It did not deem his vicious retorts and angry belittling.  THAT is why he was ejected.

Worn out like our only-child bestie when he comes to a full family party.  πŸ’•

And that is what led to this woman standing beside me with a shrill voice full of arrogance and sarcasm, loudly reporting her perceived injustice and the incompetence of everyone not on her side (especially the teenage boy umpires).

Forgive her Lord.  She knows not what she does.

It took everything within me, but I refused to succumb and reduce myself to her misguided perspective.  She was not thinking clearly...not seeing the whole of the situation.  Her view was limited and skewed.  Her actions irrational.  

Even after the ruling went in her team's favor.  Even after the tie game was over, she continued to fight her misperceived assailant.  As we stood there, trying to process the drama that had ensued, she walked past us on her way to her unfortunate parking location, spewing angry curses and mean words to the point her son finally begged her to stop.  

Love and prayers to that Mom AND her kid.  It was a tough night for a lot of us.

I do not tell this story to berate her.  I don't even know her name.  I have complete empathy and utter regard for her place as a baseball mom.  However, witnessing these events furthered my resolve to NOT be that person.  That is not who I am called to be and what I am responsible to represent. are creating the wrong enemy.  We are merely another baseball team, full of Moms and Dads who want their kids to feel good about themselves.  It is PAINFUL to see them lose, but the best thing we can do is counsel them through failure and loss, because failure and loss is the MAJORITY of this life.  And the ones who can repeatedly overcome failure and mistakes are the ones who thrive and succeed.

We are a built-in party wherever we go!

I am working on it.  And I am seeing the benefits in my own son's attitude during intense gaming moments.  He is keeping his cool along with me.  It is not easy, and I know I will not be without slips and mistakes.  I have already made some.  But...I am determined...because honor and integrity is what I desire, and "doing the right thing" has ALWAYS been my guide. the midst of all the baseballing, I managed to have a decent weekend.  We were fortunate to have ALL of Saturday off, and Matt was home to handle the early morning Sunday game.  (Oh yeah...there's that.  Baseball may, eventually, ruin my summer of mornings off...ho...hum!)

I self proclaimed this weekend "baking weekend."  On Saturday, I made homemade bread from my Grandma's recipe.  (I still miss her so much!). I am working diligently on a freezer full of last year’s  blackberries before the new harvest arrives.  (Matt saw ripe strawberries today...oh goodness...I'm not ready!). I have made blackberry bread and blackberry cobbler, but this time I made (spoiler alert to my m-i-l!) blackberry jam.  (The loaf of bread was nearly gone in 5 of the three jars of jam, depleted.  This family is like a pack of vultures! I can not tell you how much fulfillment that brings.)

Last year's abundance still feeding us from the freezer.  πŸ’• These are the small things that bring me daily joy and fulfillment.

Today, I made a meatless lasagna (and the fact that it was meatless, no one realized until I told) and apple pie.  I still have one large bag of frozen apples from the harvest, but I am determined.  I am in an all-around use-it-up, clean-it-out, simplify and get-rid-of-it phase.

And speaking of...look what I FINALLY finished!!

And THIS labor of love goes!  Because there is no one else on this earth that could understand and appreciate the time, effort and love placed into every part of it.  Except Matt...maybe Matt.  I've told him it is too feminine for him to wear. 🀞

I will have to work on a knitting blog.  (It's been awhile!). But for those of you who don't know...a few years ago, Matt took me to Iceland for our anniversary.  Prior to, I discovered the rich history of knitting in  Iceland and the importance of the Icelandic sweater.  They do not spin their yarn, and this enables the end product to have superior qualities of heat and water protection.  I bought enough yarn to make an Icelandic sweater for Matt (which he can't wear indoorsπŸ”₯), but I wanted something different for myself.  Something more organic in origin.  So, I bought straight wool and determined to hand-pull it into a roving similar to the unspun Icelandic yarn.

Call it grandiose.  (I refer you to my comments about missed diagnoses and circadian rhythms.). I knew what I was getting into, but I had NO idea.  

Thank God, all in all, I managed to buy enough wool...just barely!  I had to be a little creative with the pattern and colors.  

It took me all this time.  Most of it was the making of the yarn.  I stuck, tenaciously, to the project (with ebb and flow), grabbing chunks of the wool.  Slowly pulling it into a roving, and roughing it up a bit to secure the fibers.

We each determine what is worth our effort.  Others rarely appreciate the results of our obsessions.  For example...Evan has been spending a good amount of time diligently seeking out house centipedes.  What's your current focus?  Whatever it is, I appreciate you!

Painstaking does not come close.

This project has instigated the phase I mentioned above.  I have promised myself no more insane, ground up projects.  I have proven I can, and that is enough.  Barring one more I cannot deny myself, I am going the easy route from here on out.

And so...I have begun to focus on finishing The Starry Night cross-stitch, so I can move on with my life.  (Matt recently met family members at the hospital who were cross-stitching and could confirm the magnitude of my efforts in this one!)

I am moving into a new state of being Kristen.  It is a calmer, more peaceful place, and I am hopeful.  The last 7 years have been the most intense I've ever experienced, and (while not in retirement) I am ready for a reduction in duties (if not responsibilities).

We never refuse an invitation for an easy meal and family time.

So...I wish you well, whatever stage you are in.  And I thank you for "listening."

Good night and peace be with you, my friends!


To the woman who taught me the important things in life!! πŸ’•