Monthly Archives: May 2009

Adult Swim

glamour MaliaA couple weeks ago I asked, on Facebook, for some writing topic suggestions. That’s how I ended up with the Neglected Conversations post. There was another suggestion that I have been intending to write about, it came from my friend “C” and was phrased like so:

We have celebrated our 15th anniversary and Mother’s Day and {my husband}’s 41st birthday over the last week. How do YOU, Ms. Malia juggle family time and hubby time? As our kids get older I find myself craving more time alone with {my husband}. Finding the time to do so is frustrating.

Dude, I hear ya! So, here I’ve come to save the day! Or…not. But I’ll give it a shot.

When the kids are younger, fatigue is our biggest nemesis. Most nights, once the kids are in bed, all I want to do is veg out. Sometimes vegging out together (i.e. hanging out in the same room on our respective computers) is sufficient, sometimes it’s not.  When it’s not, I have to be proactive and suggest something other than vegging out. And I don’t just mean, you know, relations, though that certainly can be part of it! Cuddling on the couch together to watch a movie or television program or actually having a face to face conversation are good things, too.

Now, that’s all fine and good and not exactly a creative solution to alone time but I just had to throw it out there. There are, of course, date nights. Again, a bit of a no brainer but you can get creative with them.

First you need is a sitter. We are fortunate to have family nearby and we use (and abuse) their free babysitting as often as we can! Yet, there are times when family members are either not available or we’ve abused used them too often in a short period of time to venture begging asking them again. This is when we call in the reinforcements – friends with children similar in age to ours! We have some friends with whom we have taken to swapping sitting responsibilities. This has worked out fabulously for all involved. Our kids like each other and like being together. We parents get the opportunity to get out without having to pay a sitter. With these particular friends, we usually have the kids spend the night. Double bonus! Now, if you have younger children, you’ll want to limit  your sitting swapping to a few hours at a time. But once they get older, can entertain themselves, and don’t require copious amount of personal care (i.e. bathroom duty) spending the night is a wonderful option.

Next you need a plan. Sometimes you truly have a reason to get out of the house but if you can finagle taking your kids to family or friends houses to be watched over, then consider heading back home yourselves. We do this quite often on the nights when our singles ministry at church hosts Parent’s Night Out.  Our favorite thing to do is drop the kiddos off, grab some take-out and head back home for uninterrupted movie watching (and….) If your budget prohibits take-out, consider cooking something that the two of you like to eat but your kids turn their noses up at.

If you’re really itching to get out of the house, find something that you both enjoy. For DB and I, it’s live music. Specifically we both very much enjoy going to the symphony. For the past couple of years, we’ve been season ticket holders for the Pops Symphony series here in Nashville. For a few reasons we did not renew our membership for next season but living in “Music City, U.S.A.” has it’s perks! On any given night you can find live music being played somewhere! And personally, I’m itching to get down to Arrington Vineyards in Triune. They have free wine tastings and live music on the weekends!

There’s one other thing I can suggest, this will not work for everyone but if it can work for you, I really think that you should try it! Of course with it being summertime and kids out of school it may not even be possible but come fall…  I’m talking about “nooners”, “afternoon delight” if you will. If you can finagle taking lunch breaks together, it can be as simple has meeting at Subway to share a sandwich or it can mean meeting at home to….  Ever since DB has been working from home, we’ve taken advantage of that arrangement. Daytime “dates” are great because you’re not as tired as you are in the evenings, the kids are under the care of guidance of their teachers and the limited time period ensures that you don’t waste precious time with other tasks, instead you focus on each other.

Does anyone else have creative ways of finding time to spend with your spouse, especially if you have children in your home?

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Filed under by Malia, love & marriage

Intentional Language

glamour MaliaLately I have noticed how lazy I have become with the words that I use. Truthfully, I have noticed it in most of the people around me as well but it’s not my place to tell them how to speak so I’m only going to address myself. There are many words in our language that have very deep, heavy, significant meanings and I’m guilty of using them in such flippant and non-chalant ways that it really seems to have cheapened their meaning. Our language is so rich with creative and powerful words, it’s a shame that some get used with such regularity that we I seem to have forgotten their intented usage. Specifically I’m referring to: love, hate and awesome.

If you I really ponder it, telling my husband, “I love you!” in one breath and then exclaiming, “I love chocolate!” in the next either deflates my love for my husband to the level of chocolate or elevates my love of chocolate to the level of my husband. I’m not sure which is worse. I don’t really love chocolate*. I enjoy chocolate. I fawn over chocolate. I’m very snobby discerning about chocolate though in a pinch will eat lower forms of it. But I do not truly love it. I love God, I love my husband, I love my children, I love my family and my friends. And from now on, that is the only way I will use the word “love”.

Hate, the polar opposite of love, is another very strong and very overused word. Hate makes my skin crawl. I’m not really sure that there is anything, other than sin, that I can say that I hate. I will never say that I hate another person. I can extremely dislike, even loathe and detest them but never hate. I also do not hate things. Not spiders or brussel sprouts or mosquito bites or Family Guy. These are things I only passionately dislike. I feel so strongly about this one that I don’t even allow my children to say it. Hate is the “h” word of our home.

Awhile back, DB pointed out to me that there is only one who is truly worthy of the word awesome and that is God. After that I started noticing how easily and often I used it. And yes, I notice how easily and often it is used by others. At first, it bothered me a bit but I know I can’t change how others speak so again, I’ll just focus on my own usage of the word. For awhile I refrained from using it at all, though catching myself a few times. After a period of not using it, I’ve slowly added it back into my vocabularly trying to be careful to only use it in reference to the works of God in our lives. For the most part though, I’m trying to be more truthful and creative with superlatives. Some things really are only “Great!” or “Excellent!”, not every good thing qualifies as “Awesome!”

I can be rather lazy in many aspects of my life. Maybe choosing to refine my word choices is one step to overcoming laziness in other areas? I very much appreciate a clean home so I should be more proactive about those dishes and laundry that I am not at all fond of and stop letting them pile up into impressive piles. It’s a start, no?

*OK, I readily admit to the overuse of the phrase “I heart” or “I <3″ and even “I puffy heart”. I will most likely still continue to use that practice of using a heart or the word heart in place of love to show extreme affection for an item. In my opinion, it often fits what I’m trying to express in regards to non humans.

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Filed under by Malia, musings

Nine

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Last night, before we put JBelle to bed, DB was asking her what she’ll remember about being eight. She was tired and little punchy so she kept rattling off holidays and such but as I laid there listening to her, I knew exactly what I would remember about her being eight years old:

  • her first week at a sleep away camp
  • shopping with her for her first articles of a significant piece of underclothing & the physical changes in her that I’ve witnessed all year long
  • she still believed in Santa Claus
  • her first choral concerts
  • the way her passion for books & reading really took off
  • her love for her school teacher & how much she missed the teacher when she had to go on maternity leave
  • the year she became a vegetarian & how she’s remained committed to that choice
  • she still played with dolls (absolutely adores her American Girl Doll, Kit)
  • how her independence & responsibilities grew but she still needed hugs and reassurance and “the soft place to land” of her home environment to steady her

I don’t know what nine will bring. I know she’ll continue to grow and change and it will be just as exciting and fun to witness and participate in as eight was. Each year is a big year in it’s own way and nine will be no different. It’s her last year of elementary school. Last of year in the single digit age numbers. But there will be many first as well like her first time she’ll get to go to church camp.

IMG_3295aSo, my dearest JBelle, while I’ll miss many of the aspects of eight, I look forward to seeing what nine will bring. I look forward to seeing you grow and mature and learn many exciting new things. May your wonder and curiosity never be satisfied. I’ve watched as you’ve learned to keep those friends who treat you well closest to you and I hope you always show such discernment for the company you keep. I know many of the things about this world don’t make a whole lot of sense. Why people say the things they say and act the way they do. Your innocence is so precious right now and while I’d like to shield you from much of the ugliness, I know you’ll encounter it eventually. So when you do, I hope you always remember that I’m here to answer your questions and hold you whenever you need it.

And finally, I hope you’ll remember that if I’m not here to listen to you, answer your questions and hold you, God will be.

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Filed under by Malia, JBelle

Neglected Conversations

glamour MaliaI often find myself rather intimidated by the thought of posting here after I’ve gone so long without writing. Even though I know I owe nobody nothing in this space, I still feel a bit guilty when I spend time harboring my thoughts in my head instead of expounding upon them for all the world to see. Twisted, I know.

I’m currently in a place where I have a lot to say but no desire to say it. Of course, saying that, I’ll probably end of overloading this blog with posts. Sort of like opening flood gates. But I am feeling the need to converse. I thrive on interaction. Which is probably why I hang out more on Facebook and Twitter. Conversations, brief as they may be, happen on a more regular basis. But that has been part of the problem, too. Brevity. There’s too much to explore within the limits of 140 characters or less.

The last few years have been quite exciting for me. Blogging brought some really wonderful people into my life and I have relished in and enjoyed those relationships. But lately, I’ve been missing some old friends. People I’ve not seen in years. Friends whose presence in my life I took entirely for granted and didn’t really know how much they meant to me until we were separated by time or distance or both. I long to sit with them and talk and reminisce though I wonder if time and distance will have marred the relationship. I certainly hope not.

There’s also an uncertainty floating around here, so intense and heavy that it’s become part of the decor. Wondering what each day will bring, hoping for the best, fearing the worst. And it’s everywhere. Not just in our home but all around this city, in our churches, schools and communities.

School is ending and summer is beginning. As usual, the summer looms in front of me, vast and unfilled and hot. I wonder how we’ll get through it. A couple of months from now, I’ll wonder where it went. Endings and beginnings.

Beginnings and endings.

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Filed under by Malia, musings

Gimme gimme gimme – the MOTHER of All Giveaways

glamour MaliaWhen I was kid and Mother’s Day would come around, I remember wanting to get my Mom something. And I remember asking my Mom what she wanted for Mother’s Day and her birthday (which is like a week later) and she would say the quintessential Mom thing, “I don’t want you to get me anything. Just being with you is gift enough.” I always thought she was just letting me off the hook since she knew that I only had $0.18, a rock and some lint in my wallet.

But now I’m the mom and I’ve fielded this question from my own kids and my answer is the same. Not because I know they only have $0.18, a rock and some lint in their wallets but because there’s nothing they could give me that’s better that the gift of themselves.

Mothers Day 2009However…if someone else wanted to give me some fabulous gift, say a well-known website for moms like, oh, I don’t know…5 Minutes for Mom (you know how much I <3 them right?) then I would be more than willing to accept a token of their appreciation, or rather their sponsor’s appreciation!

So to all you moms out there who don’t want their kids to fork over cash for a gift but who would like a new laptop or a new Coach purse or a Blu-Ray player or an Elliot Lucca Satchel or another laptop, then head on over to the 5 Minutes for Mom Mother’s Day Giveaway and start entering to win these and other fabulous prizes while there’s still time!!

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Filed under by Malia, kids & family, life as a domestic goddess, parenting

Mouthwatering Monday Redux

PhotobucketWell hello, May? (Checks calendar.) Ah, yes it’s May. You’re feeling an awful lot like November. I don’t usually think chili for a May evening’s dinner but today’s dreariness and cooler temps have me in the mood for some warm comfort food which, in my book, equals chili. So, I’ve got this recipe simmering on the stove and all the trimmin’s for it at the ready.

And tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo! I totally forgot until I checked out Rachel’s Moutherwatering Monday post – homemade guacamole…droolz. I’m going to have to make another trip to the grocery store so that we can have yummy Mexican goodness for dinner tomorrow.

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Filed under by Malia, life as a domestic goddess