Killing Birds

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Some people like to say they’re killing two birds with one stone… but I’m so busy I think I have to aim for at least a dozen at a time. Last week our long awaited baby shower finally happened, but not without a ton of preparation. First, there was THE LIST. I always have a list, thanks to the curse of my mother. I remember when I was a kid, I used to laugh at her and her ridiculous lists. She had a grocery list, a list of chores to do, a list of things to pack, a list of places to go, oh and there was that one time we found the list of Christmas gifts that had been bought…. yep, there was always a list and I was sure my superior memory would never require more than a basic ‘what to grab at the store’ list. Unfortunately, my memory has become as cluttered as my little house, so I have resorted to writing it all down.

Because we moved the date of our shower, it sort of became a multi-celebration. My son Trenton turned 9 Saturday, Blondie’s birthday was Sunday, her beau’s birthday was Monday and of course we still wanted to celebrate the birth of Presley, so we were killing lots of birds with one stone!

I had a list of things to buy, a list of things to make, and the longest of them all was the list of projects to complete. We invited so many people to this gathering, and I wanted things to be in top-notch condition. The list went something like:

Clean out kids’ rooms
Tile Kitchen backsplash
Repaint fireplace
Complete backlog of laundry
Declutter countertops and bookshelves
Dust everything we never dust
Replace bedroom doors
Fix hole in the hallway sheetrock
Paint front door and trim on house

You get the idea, there was a lot I wanted to tackle…As the day approached, I was surprised at how much I had crossed off. The fireplace and front yard were all fixed up. The front door had a new look. The bathroom had new mats and a new shower curtain. I finished tiling the kitchen backsplash.

Yes, ME!

kitchenOk, I know, I started remodeling that kitchen 2 years ago, but that’s the pace when you’re a broke do-it-yourself-er! My husband started the backsplash. We had an assortment of tiles to use. He put them in a sort of checkerboard pattern. I hated it. It seemed like a page from 1982. One day he was at work, I took a hammer, busted up the tile, and came up with a mosaic pattern I really loved. Then of course it took months to get him to tear out the part he had done. It took even longer to get him to put up more backer-board. Finally, I got him to stop at Lowe’s and buy $80 worth of rope tiles to finish it off. I must say, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and I’m thrilled to take that OFF the LIST! Most of all, my husband actually gave me the most amazing compliment ever. He’s a perfectionist, and he always has trouble visualizing the ideas I have, but when he took a moment and looked at the tile and the fireplace and said “honey you really are an artist”, he melted my heart. It almost makes up for the last 14 times he stuck his foot in his mouth! Of course the more projects I finish, the more I look around and say “Oh my goodness, I still haven’t …………..”

Finally I decided I had done what I could do, and it would have to be left at that! When the day got here, I started cooking things. I made dips and hors-d’oeuvres and trays of snacks and it was all coming along until I baked the cakes! I felt frustration boil over. The past two or three years my neuropathy has gotten increasingly worse. I try my best not to complain, but when my shaking hands couldn’t decorate the cake, well the sting of that realization flooded my cheeks with streaming hot tears! Nothing is worse that imagining something and not being able to create it!

I used to make beautiful cakes. Maybe not CAKE BOSS perfect, but they were special. Now, I could barely frost them.

January 2015 192

He thought his camouflage cake was perfect. He wasn’t worried about perfection, he was thinking of birthday wishes and frosting!

Somehow these stupid hands betrayed me, but Daddy had a solution. He had the kids decorate cookies and cake. Tthat way, they had fun and the less-than-perfect decorating became endearing. Sometimes, he’s a genius!! I did manage to come up with the perfect sign for my house! Everyone buys these signs now days that quote bible verses or spell out family rules or give inspirational messages. We certainly have a few of them hanging around, but I came up with the perfect phrase for mine- now I just need to paint it and post it on the front porch! It would say:

I35Maybe if I put up a warning, I won’t feel the need to explain our mess quite so often.

January 2015 163Despite the long list of unfinished to-do’s, the shower went pretty well. I can’t believe how blessed we’ve been with such an out-pouring of love and support. When I stop and think there was a moment when we thought Presley would have down syndrome, and there was a moment when we thought Blondie might not survive a pregnancy (because of a tumor on her liver), and there was a moment when we doubted that everything would be ok, but during each of those moments the blessings have over-shadowed the hardships. The darkness was filled with light. And now we’re done bringing this blessing into the world and on to the task of bringing her up in it!

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to keep this zoo going. The day after the shower, we had our football banquet and celebrated an awesome season.

January 2015 116

This little guy shocked a few coaches this year! Can’t wait to see what he does next year when he moves from youth football to playing for the TIGERS!

Now we’re busy signing up for softball and baseball, and Dyl Pickles is headed for another surgery and I’m thinking it might be time for me to learn the art of taping and floating so I can repair this sheet rock while Daddy is busy building the shop! Looks like I’ll be multi-tasking for a long time. If idle hands are the devil’s handiwork, I should be good for quite some time!!

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