Curve balls

As it has with anyone, life has thrown me some curse balls along the way.  What I’ve learned about myself and others and the curve balls themselves has been really interesting.

You probably know by now that I’m a plan making and a list creating fool.  Sometimes I make lists for my plans and vis versa.  It’s a sickness really.  What I also know is the best way to make God laugh is to make a plan.  God is a master curve ball pitcher.  Plan to do X and he throws a perfect curve right into your strike zone.  Are you going to stand there and go down looking?  Or are you going to swing a way, take control of the curve, and make it your own?

I gave up a long time ago being mad about God’s curve balls.  I know there is something bigger than me in this universe and I believe I my purpose in life is to figure out, well, what that purpose is.  I don’t know everything.  I don’t have all the answers, but each day I set out on my mission to learn and grown and be a positive force in this world.  Set aside money for one thing, then another thing breaks that takes the funds. Plan an outing for the day and the car won’t start when it’s time to leave.  If I was thrown this type of curve ball, God was just letting me know that my plan wasn’t really his plan and I need to change my line up.  I can deal.

Sometimes I’ve, knowingly or unknowingly, thrown myself my own curve balls.  I forgot to have all my cylinders turned on.  I didn’t pay attention to details.  I knew something was wrong, but I did it anyway, ignoring my gut feelings and morals, forging ahead, believing I knew better.  I swung at a pitch above my head.  I put myself behind in the pitch count.  The only way out is hunker down and protect the plate.  I have to acknowledge my mistakes, accept that I was wrong, eat my crow, then apologize, ask for forgiveness, fix my mistakes and move forward.  Personally challenging at bats build character and humility.

It’s the last type of curve balls that I’m struggling with the most.  Those are the ones that others throw at you.  You have a course of action all in place and someone comes in and makes meaningless changes just to show they have some power or control.  Someone spouts off rude, mean, hurtful comments about another individual, then when caught makes up more lies to cover their tracks or tells you, you should turn the other cheek and let it go.  (Sorry I just made you sing that song.)  How come those who frequently stomp all over the morals and values of humanity, self-centeredly focused on getting their way, are the first ones to throw scripture at others about being loving, kind, and forgiving, but never once consider being remorseful, apologetic, or even owning up to their actions?  Yes, yes, I know. This curve ball is just another one like the others, and I have to flow with it just the same.  But this one’s a stinger.  This one’s a dead ball to the backside.  It stings.  The memory of it is vivid.  It leaves a nasty mark.

It changes you.  It changes your outlook.  It changes your feelings.  It changes your future decisions.

But afterwards, you get up, take your base and play ball.

Play that funky music

I’ve been sitting here, staring at a blank screen, trying to find the best way to phrase that I’ve been in a funk lately.  Here’s what I’ve come up with.

I’ve been in a funk lately.

Over the past few weeks, I think I have started four different blogs that are sitting hopelessly unfinished in draft hell.  This post itself sat with simply a title for three days.

I love writing.  I love bringing you my random thoughts, pointless rants, and hilarious stories.  Luckily, the chaos of my life provides many opportunities for me to find interesting tidbits and head-shaking occurrences to report to you in my oh-so witty ways.

In these last few funky weeks, I’ve still had enough material drop into my lap to write a handful of blog.  I just haven’t had the umph to follow through.

I blame the horribly late arrival.  (Sidebar ~ That MFing Groundhog better never scurry out of his damn Gobbler’s Knob again and have the nerve to say we will have an early spring.  Early spring my a$$.  We had snow in May….SNOW.  I sat at baseball games in my winter coat, seeing my breath!)

I blame the end of the school year.  Traditionally my students do not do well with a change in their schedule.  Despite how much they complain about school, most of them are happy to have a stable place to come everyday and a predicable routine.  They get particularly owly as the calendar comes to a close.  They have been off the wall nuts during these last few weeks of school, draining me of any reserve energy I might have otherwise had.

I blame my crazy home life.  Before you worry, IP, lil’ IP (Paige) and T-Dog (Trystan) are all perfectly fine.  It just seems the family candle has been burning at both ends.  Between school, work, voice lessons, baseball practice, baseball games, pool board, school board, IP’s work schedule, IP’s travel schedule, household errands, household chores, and homework, I’ve lost track of more than a few days.

Just last night, after getting through the four subjects of homework T-Dog brought home and getting him ready to drop off at baseball practice, I realized that school ended in two days and I had yet to buy the end-of-the-year teacher’s gifts and make cupcakes for T-Dog’s classroom to celebrate his summer birthday.  As we jumped in the car to run to the store for the gifts and the vanilla I was out of, it dawned on me that I forgot to make dinner.  Why does my family insist on eating everyday?  And three times a day at that?  Geez!

By the time I get through the list of to-do tasks for the day, it’s all I can do to make it to my bed before I crash.  (Trust me.  You DO NOT want me to crash out on the couch.  Ask IP.  Waking me up after I’ve fallen asleep on the couch is taking your life into your own hands.  I’m cranky to say the least.)

The good news is I clock out of work for the summer on Friday and joyfully take my place in my poolside lounger until August.  The even better news is I will be back at your full disposal, spewing my opinions and observations, while hopefully not boring you with my amusing antics and brilliant adventures.

You’re welcome!

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Slip Sliding Away

Aaahhh summertime.  The endless days of fun and play.  Bike rides, swing sets, camping, baseball, swimming, you name it.  All those fun outside activities you daydream about during the school year.

But as the heat wave continues, the day dreams fade and I’m racking my brain to think of things to do indoors, away from the 100+ weather.  Naps anyone?  My kids, on the other hand, were thinking….water, plastic and momentum.

Yesterday they broke out the old superman slip and slide.  I was never a fan.  I’m a neat freak and scared of getting hurt.  These two knuckleheads aren’t phased at all about running full speed towards a deathly slippery device and throwing themselves on it while collecting bruises, grass, and mud in various places.  While I’m not going to participate in the drippy mess, I’m more than happy to document it.

This is what pure joy looks like….

He’s Tebowing

Superstar!

When I watch them experience this and see these faces, it makes me both happy and sad.  I’m so happy that I have been able to give my children this innocence, this happy childhood, these lifetime memories.  It makes me a little sad, because I know there are children out there not being provided this same start in life.  It makes we want to hug them a little more, a little harder….and then spray them with a hose!

Play Ball!

So, I know, Dad’s traditionally play catch with their son’s and my husband is usually out in the yard catching/throwing/shooting something with the kids, but not today.  Today, mommy is on catch duty.  My seriously over worked husband is at this fourth video shoot of the week and will be out all day.  So, when the boy asked, “Mom, can we play catch?”  My response was absolutely!

A little background.  I LOVE sports, all sports.  I watch as much sports many men.  My favorite is football.  Don’t bother me on a Saturday or Sunday during football season.  And, don’t EVER call during a Packers game….ever.

Anyhoo, I’m pretty decent at catching and throwing a football.  I can make my share of basket in a pick up game.  I’m fairly aggressive in soccer.  Then there’s baseball.  I’m good at watching baseball.  I’ll go to a game any day.  Playing baseball is another story.  I can throw ok.  It will get there.  I’m deathly afraid of the ball hurdling at me…deathly afraid.

So on the beautiful 80 degree Saturday in Nebraska in March, my son asks me to be catcher so he can practice pitching.  He did great.  I did a lot of squat, miss the ball, stand, run, get the ball, run back, throw, squat and repeat.  I think I only actually catch on.  Then on to catch.  I excelled here.  Caught maybe half, got all mine to his glove!   Lastly, batting.  My pitching, well lets just say, leaves a lot to be desired.  I got there.  He had a number of foul tips.  We learned he can move REALLY fast to get out of the way of mom’s wild pitches.  Then we got in a  good rhythm and I nearly had to pay for a new window at my neighbors!  Way to go Buddy!

It was a great morning!  We learned a number of things.  1. Mom is a better football catcher and thrower than baseball catcher and thrower.  2. Repeated squats are a great exercise.  3. Fastballs to the shins hurt….hurt a lot.  But the best thing I learned is…. 4. Spending time with the ones you love is the best way you can spend any minute on this earth.  I hope that my son will always remember that his mom was always there and supportive of him and that even when you’re not that great you can still give something your all and enjoy it.