Santa is a stalker

It’s that’s time of year again —

Middle School Carpool

#middleschoolcarpool
 

Kid 1: Sometimes when I fart my mom says it sounds wet — but it really ISN’T — it just SOUNDS that way.

Kid 2: That song, “Let It Go” is really about someone who has to go to the bathroom really bad!

(three kids break out in song and laughter)

Kid 1: I think Santa is a stalker.  I mean think about it “he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good….” I mean really … that’s CREEPY!

ROARING laughter over Santa being a stalker. R-O-A-R-I-N-G, I tell you.

But the good news for me is that it was only a 1-window afternoon.  Just a tiny bit of stink.  That’s miracle territory considering it was 97 degrees when I picked them up. Thank you Jesus that we didn’t have to experience a “wet fart.”  God help me.

Disclaimer: Contrary to popular belief, the wet fart kid was not mine.

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5 things I remembered this week

Multiple new folks have landed on my blog over the past couple of months and I figured it was time for an update to bring everyone up to speed on who this Ann person is.  This post is mostly about my transparent qualities that some find … how shall I say… disturbing.  But honestly my transparency is one of the things that helps me connect so deeply to others.

So here are 5 things that I remembered about myself this week:

  1. My husband can make me laugh harder than anyone else on the planet.  To the point that I snort when I laugh.  Which makes him laugh harder, and that makes me laugh harder — and we pretty much take on the characteristics of two middle school boys who laugh at completely inappropriate things, in totally inappropriate locations.
  2. I would rather put together a gas grill than cook dinner.  I can rock a drill — actually “our” drill is only “ours” because he married me.  That whole common property thing keeps me from really being able to claim it as “mine” anymore.
  3. I can’t handle the sensation of having something stuck between my teeth.  And I WILL stop to buy dental floss should such an issue arise.  And I will use it in my car until the issue is resolved.
  4. There is something very therapeutic about emptying a filled vacuum canister.  I have a great sense of accomplishment from removing a ginormous about of disgusting things from our carpet/floors/blinds … and anything else I happen to vacuum while I’m at it….. lights, fans, my shirt, chairs, the dust on the entertainment center, and … for the sake of full transparency… lampshades.
  5. I thrive in a clean environment – I don’t have OCD but I absolutely have OCD tendencies.  However, I seem to be one of the main reasons why we have stacks of random things in the kitchen.  I’m sure there’s a need for therapy in there somewhere, but whatever.  (Putting my shoes away right after I post this to appease my husband)

So there you have it.  There’s a little bit of the disturbance in the force of my mind.  So tell me something about you!  Tell me one thing you remembered about YOURSELF this week!

laughter overshadows pain

image

This was a rough week.

If you have chronic pain you know what I mean.  I’m not talking about a stiff leg or a headache that is cured by a dose of ibuprofen.

I’m talking about not being able to turn my head to one side.
I’m talking about a headache that lasts over 11 hours and makes you nauseous all day.
I’m talking about not being able to hold your coffee cup due to cramped fingers.
I’m talking about feeling alone and terrified inside a body that fails you on a regular basis.
I’m talking about not wanting to smile or talk because it takes effort.
I’m talking about wishing your family would stop talking because the pain is loud.
I’m talking about pain.

A long-time friend asked if we could have coffee together one morning this week and I was elated to schedule that appointment!  But then it started.  Twitching in my shoulder.  Fingers acting a little cray-cray.  A twinge of pain up the back of my head and down the front of my face.  And boom.  Enter debilitating headache stage right.  The morning we were supposed to have coffee, I couldn’t turn or tip my head to one side – and I was late.  Typical.  My pain even robs my ability to be accountable and reliable.

I showed up, and was uncomfortable, but glad to see her face.  And after about 10 minutes the coolest thing happened.  I was so engaged in our conversation that I didn’t even realize I was talking and laughing and … I forgot about my pain.  It was still there — I still couldn’t turn my head! — but I didn’t CARE that it was there.

Our laughter overshadowed my pain.

My toes locked up while we were laughing — so I stretched them.  I had nerve pain down my arm and back while we were laughing — so I changed positions in my chair.  We sat so that I could turn my head and talk, no big deal.

I know what you’re thinking, “but my pain is SO BAD that I just don’t even want to go see friends!”  and let me tell you that I have sang that verse so often that I had started to believe that I am incapable of keeping my friendships alive.  But that’s all pain talking.

You are not your body, you are the living soul inside of your body.
You are not what your body is or is not capable of doing.
You ARE a good friend because you care, not because you can or can’t take someone a meal.

Get up.  Take a shower.  Make your bed.
Then call a friend and strike up some laughter… it just might overshadow your pain.

 

it’s a two-way street

What kinds of friends do you have?

  • I have friends who meet me at Starbucks and don’t care if I show up with wet hair and no makeup.
  • I have friends who tell me when it’s time to do my hair and put on makeup.
  • One of my friends lives in another country and we’ve only met face-to-face once.
  • A friend of mine has seen me, and aided me, during my absolute lowest points on my health journey, and she still loves me despite witnessing incredibly gross things.
  • Multiple friends just came and sat with me after a yucky surgery last year… just sat with me.
  • My husband and I have amazing friends who have moved to follow one of their dreams, yet we pick right back up where we left off every time we see them.
  • I am celebrating 25 years of friendship with one of my friends this Saturday, and she could probably still beat me in the original Super Mario Brothers.
  • One of my friends constantly reminds me to pray for myself. And there’s no sneaking by this friend, she is a Major Pain in the A…. Accountability department.  Which I happen to need.
  • I have a group of friends who would join me in singing the National Anthem in just about any elevator with no questions asked, then when the doors open they would proceed as though nothing happened.
  • I have a group of friends with whom I vacation twice a year for a weekend of sewing and crafting… and LAUGHING.
  • Ihaveafriendwhotextswithmelikethisandweboththinkit’shilarious. Andwearebothgrownups. Sorta.
  • I have friends who understand chronic illness because they too are suffering.
  • A friend of mine prayed for my salvation for YEARS, and I didn’t even know she was doing it!

What do all of these people have in common?  They are my friends because we encourage each other.

It’s a two-way street.
It’s give and take.
It’s grace.
It’s hugs.
It’s cards in the mail with stupid humor on them that make us laugh.
It’s patience and growth.
It’s forgiveness.
It’s tears and laughter.
It’s making mistakes.
It’s trips to the ER.
It’s a WHOLE lot of inside jokes.
It’s caring for each other’s children.
It’s illness and death, and new life and new loves.
It’s the excitement of new things and the comfort of the old things.
It’s praying together and urging each other to make wise decisions instead of running away when life gets tough.
It’s meals and coffee, cake and ice cream… and drinks from Sonic (rolling my eyes — you know who you are!)

Friendship is all of these things and more.

Are you struggling with your friendships?  I urge you to seek out what you can do to strengthen those relationships.  Is it time for forgiveness or confessions?  Is it time to pick up the slack because your friends are going through incredibly difficult times?  Is it time to ask for help because you feel like you’re drowning?

All relationships are built on honesty.  I have screwed that up many many times in the past because I was too proud to admit I was hurt or frustrated.  Don’t be that person.  It won’t work out well for you in the end.  I have lost friendships over my pride and a loss of words is no crutch to lean on.  It will crumble.

Pray about it.
Be honest and share your feelings.
Or stand up and pick up the slack because you adore your friends who are hurting.

What stumbling block do you see resurfacing again and again in your friendships?
What are you going to do about it?