About Me

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I live on the North Shore in BC, after a (too) brief time in the prairies. Working as an artist, mother and wife (not necessarily in that order), i am striving to live well, to find the truth of God in all things, and to pass on this truth to others.

Friday, April 11, 2014

why i cry and other sundry items.

Picture this:
i'm sitting on one of the Adirondack chairs in my front yard.  beside me is a Camellia tree - huge, over 10 feet i'd say, and breaking into bud.  i hear the creek laughing.  i see tiny purple pinpricks of flower on its bank.  it smells like spring.  the warm breeze feels like spring.  the blue sky and mountains surround me.  i breath deeply.
my son, who is home from school because he's sick, is kicking his soccer ball around the backyard (yes, obviously sick-as-a-dog).  he looks down the side of the house and sees me sitting.  he yells "he mom, do you remember this?"
and then he sings "i've been dreaming of a true loooooves kiiiiiiss".
from the movie "enchanted".  have you seen it?  you should.
his pitch is perfect.  he even works the vibrato and extends his arm out as he holds the last note.
my son, at the age of almost seven, is a hopeless romantic.  and i am the object of his affections.  i love it.  i know it won't last (it better not last!), so i will soak in every ounce while i can.
and that was my perfect moment of the day.

i love spring.  i love love love spring.  and here, being in a home with a beautiful established garden, every day is a treasure hunt.  today i found new purple hosta shoots, 2 inches out of the ground, that i swear were not there a few days ago.  there is a tree blooming with some tiny fuschia clusters of flower.  something is green and leafy everywhere - i'm hoping it's hyacinth (otherwise i have a truly invasive weed that i'm smiling at daily).  i found tulips today that i hope will be out for Easter.  i truly feel like there is magic taking place out the front window.  it fills me with wonder.  what an incredible gift to be reminded, year after year, that death and rest bring lift and flourishing.  that even the lifeless rotted sticks of a plant can be made new.  i love seeing the dahlias returning - the new red shoots pushing up right beside the dead brown ones from last year.  pure miracle.

i am realizing more and more in my older age that i love tradition, rhythm, ceremony.  i was reminded of this last week when i cried at my sons little league parade.  what was there to cry about?  a row of boys in too-big t-shirts plodding behind their coaches.  and bagpipes.  but i looked at the crowds of people cheering on their sons and brothers, and these awkward boys, and thought of how this organization has been doing this for so many years... and i was done-in.

maybe it's the public encouragement that makes me cry, i don't know.  i cry when we watch "the voice" and one of the coaches gives a heartfelt congratulations to their team member.  i cry in Christmas productions when everyone starts clapping. do i just tear up with applause?  man i'm strange.

i keep reminding myself that tears are the storehouses of disease and stress and they just need OUT.  i think i've kind-of made up that philosophy/biology, but it works for me.

i've been painting non-stop the last 3 days, trying to finish two pieces for our church's Easter service.  i'll post them when they're completed.  as i've been painting i figured out how to listen to audio files through the library.   what fun!  painting while listening to a story.  i've been listening to "big stone gap", a story set in the blueridge mountains of Virginia.  the author (Adriana Trigiani) is reading it (i love that) and she has this magnificent southern twang that i simply can not get out of my head.  i keep asking Scott "am i talking with an accent?" and he just smiles.  what's weird is that i'm thinking with an accent.  as i type these words i'm hearing them with an accent.  and i want to say "corn grits" and "higgeldy-piggeldy".  now, that felt good.  i've been listening to Adriana's voice for three days straight and i'm still not finished the story.  i haven't seen the physical book, so it could be 600 pages long, but i think it's taking so long because she just takes her time.  this manner of speaking does not rush.  i'm listening to the story in blueridge mountain time, and i wish my whole life lilted and paused and swaggered like her voice does.

tomorrow is a busy one with my daughter's 10th birthday party. the theme is "cupcake spa", and, being the sole spa employee, i hope it doesn't kill me.  death by cupcake and face mask.  hopefully i will find a moment to peruse my front yard miracle, and speak to myself tenderly in a southern drawl.

maybe i'll even be serenaded by a little prince in t-ball uniform.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

the grass is greener (much greener)...

i hesitate to say this, thinking of my dear prairie and ontario friends, but i weeded in my garden for over an hour today.  do you hate me?  i noticed this plant sprouting all over the place, so i ripped one out of the ground and made the trip across the street to my neighbour Shirley, who just happens to be a horticulturalist (praise the Lord above).  she told me it was something that had "californian" in the name (my mind has a bucket for plant names that is riddled with holes).  i asked "is it a weed?", and she said "well.....".  it seems that this particular californian sprite is quite pretty when it flowers, but will take over the entire lot.  she said "if it was my land, i'd rip them all out".
so, i squared my shoulders, marched back across the street, and did just that.
as i was uprooting these leafy wonders, i started feeling the guilt descend.  i knew it would.  Shirley said they would become beautiful.  and i was de-beautifying something.  killing something beautiful.  i remembered that i had recently stated "God is beauty".  as i dug down in the soil, caught hold of the deep root and yanked it out i thought "i'm pulling God out of my garden".

and then i thought "janet, does anyone else think like this?  are you totally weird?"
and THEN i thought "i'm sure psychopaths and philosophers have self-conversations like this one all the time".  somehow that was reassuring.  (!!!!) [no offense to philosophers].

Scott came out to join me and we raked and cleaned and the kids came out and collected bugs and snails with the neighbour-girl.  perfect.

but back to killing beauty:  a bird flew into our kitchen window today.  i know what you're thinking "it's because it's so clean Janet" - and i know you're thinking it in that snotty voice of yours because you're one of my friends who rolls their eyes at my habitual cleanliness.  but i swear, it's NOT clean.  it has nose prints and hand prints and food and winter grime all over it, so HA!  i was in the kitchen with my kids (probably wiping something), and they were eating breakfast (probably singing to each other and hugging, as per usual**) and BAM!  this bird smacks into the window and then flies/falls into the tree/bush next to our house.  we were stunned (probably not as much as the bird), and then we heard this horrible crying sound.  seriously.  the bird was crying - this hauntingly mournful caw.  i think it was a seagull.  what's amazing is that it left this incredible print on our window - you can see the shape of it's body and then the feathers on its wing splayed out - as though the bird was dipped in chalk before it hit the glass.  it's horrible and beautiful at the same time.  i keep starring at it but the whole time i'm telling myself to look away - like when scott is wearing socks and underwear but no pants.  it's so horrible, but i just can't stop myself.

i spent five hours starring at a screen, clicking a mouse, typing names, preparing client statements today.  five. hours.  straight.  i can't believe i have the gumption to be typing right now, especially since i'm going back for more tomorrow.  sometimes i wonder what the worst job in the world is.  here's some ideas on my list:

  • anyone at the end of a 1-800 number that has the words "customer service" attached to it.
  • a disney princess.  at disney world/land.  you might disagree (sorry ruth, and sarah), but i think that attempting to please four year old girls 8 hours a day, wearing satin and gloves and a wig, and never being allowed to just ONCE tell a whining parent to grow up = hell.  i remember seeing those little girls, waiting in line to see the princesses, their hair curled and eyes covered in blue eye-shadow and dresses puffy with glass slippers and fairy wands.  terrifying.  i'd rather work with prisoners.
  • a doctor who specializes in hemorrhoid removal.  
  • a mother of quintuplets who believes that breast milk is the only option.
  • truckstop bathroom cleaner.


tomorrow, when i'm in hour four of computer face, i will remind myself of these other jobs and smile.
but now i really need to stop feeling the glare of laptop light on my face, so off you go.  try not to kill anything beautiful.



** when i say "singing" and "hugging" what i mean is arguing over who's foot is on who's chair and attempting to be first at everything and trying to get the other in trouble and laughing about the word 'bottom'.  it's code.




Thursday, March 20, 2014

spring clean

isn't it amazing what sunshine can do?  yesterday i awoke to grey skies and muddled my way through laziness.  today:  blue skies, puffy clouds, sunlight streaming in through the windows and sha-bam!  i was a cleaning tornado.  i dusted my baseboards.  i vacuumed my bathroom fans (which, by the way, were disgusting).  i bought a groupon for my furnace and vents to be cleaned.  i even fertilized my succulents!  a good spring clean, and man!  does it ever feel good.
we just spent four nights at a cabin on Galiano Island.  and when i say "cabin", i mean ginormous house on the edge of a bluff looking over the ocean.  we went with scott's brother and family, and scott's parents also came up for a night, with two of their friends.  it was a lively, full house.  incredible amounts of noise.  lots of food, games, rainbow loom bracelets adorning every wrist (my son had them lined all the way up to his elbow), sea shells and naps (sporadic, due to the incredible amounts of noise).  on monday afternoon, my favourite day, i experienced the sheer bliss of spending hours lying in my bed, with the window opened and a warm breeze blowing and the sound of the ocean humming, drifting between sleep and reading the latest flavia de luce novel.  i mean, YES!  that's what i'm talking about when i imagine the word "holiday". it was a holy day.  not because i was doing any 'spiritual' work, but because something magically holy happened inside of me.
here's what took place right before i had this amazing afternoon:  i cried.  i cried while i was out on a walk with my husband, having just come from gathering shells at the sea shore.  i cried because i had just made it through 6 very intense weeks - starting my new administrative job, as well as teaching two art classes - and the vision that helped me make it through, the vision of 4 nights at a cabin relaxing with my family, was not coming true.  i was not relaxing.  i was cooking and parenting and cleaning and sharing.
we came back from the walk and had lunch and i felt overwhelmingly tired.  emotional.  spent.  i told my brother and sister-in-law that i was going to have a nap, and apologized for not helping with the lunch dishes, assuring them i'd take care of dinner.  and my brother-in-law said "nobody's keeping track.  there's no checks and balances here.  go take a nap".
i walked upstairs with his words ringing in my ears: "there's no checks and balances here".  i slept, i woke, i slept, i read, and all the while these words were digging into me.  sanctifying.  cleaning.
                 nobody's keeping track.
                            there's no checks and balances here.
my dear brother extended grace to me.  a grace i was not extending.  i was keeping track.  i was checking and balancing my own sacrifices with those of the people around me.     yuck.
how many times am i checking the score in my marriage?  in my friendships?  in my roles as daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, pastor's-wife?  why do i keep track of how many nights i've put the kids to bed by myself this week?  why do i carry those actions like trumps in my hand?  i know - because i am not living in grace.  i'm living in a system of debt and payment.
how immensely freeing it was to rest that afternoon, knowing that no one cared,  that i would not have to make up for it!!  and let me tell you, how freely and joyously i wanted to make dinner that night!  i wanted to cook and clean and parent and share - out of a place of gift instead of duty.
and now i have an even greater appreciation for my in-law-siblings, and see how they live with this gracious extension of hospitality.  it's beautiful.  jon and alyssa, you're beautiful people.  i am honoured to be related and in relationship with you.
what a timely gift this grace received has been, as i travel through Lent considering the grace i require in my every breath.  an inner spring cleaning - and in such a gentle way.   i see my motivations are in desperate need of a good vacuum - if only i could get my dyson down in there.  i long to operate my life by inhaling and exhaling gracious deeds, gracious thoughts, gracious attitudes.  to give for the simple reason that i can.  to love and be loved freely, without tally or debt.
and i pray the same for you.  as the sun creeps back into our lives, may we find the motivation and energy we need to scrub away the accumulating mess.  a truly thorough spring clean.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

crustacean and creation

I am sitting at my kitchen table with sun on my back.  the window beside me is open a crack, just enough for a sniff of freshness and the enchanting sound of our creek babbling away.  it feels like spring.  it looks like spring - crocus are popping up to my delight all over the yard - but I will not be fooled.  yesterday we nearly drowned in torrential cold rain and last week there was actually snow (!!!), so i will embrace this day as a miracle and expect nothing more.  this is how my mother encourages me to live - keep the expectations low so as to minimize disappointment.  i usually find this life-orientation depressing,  i would much rather live in anticipatory excitement (naive though it may be), but sometimes it's necessary.  March in BC is not a time for getting your hopes up.

and on that sad note, we have as of yet not located Curious, the lost hermit crab.  i think my children have moved on though.  my daughter has been researching turtles and my son informed us that his pet of choice is a lobster.  sorry?  yes, a lobster.  here's a dinner conversation you wish you had been at:

"i wish i had two lobsters, like my friend at school"
       "your friend has two lobsters?!"
"yes, they're his pets.  and i wish i had two lobsters as pets because then if there was someone being a bully at school i would just run home and get them out of their tank and run back to school and then they would snap the bully and then he would stop".
       "your friend has two lobsters?!"

this is what i imagine occurred at this "friends" house.  dad comes home with two lobsters "look what someone gave me for that job i did for them" (this would have had to be the dad, no way the mom would fall for such a scheme), mom says "wow....?".  they research how to cook them and fish out the stock pot from the crawl space and get the water boiling and are just about to put them in when the mom says "i hear they scream" and then the "friend", who has just come into the kitchen with a lego problem, says "what?!  they scream!  you can't kill them mom!!  i want them as pets!" and the mom and the dad are that type of mom and dad that don't ever want to disappoint.  so they put the lobsters in the bathtub and go to the pet store and spend hundred of dollars on a salt water tank and every time mom walks in the friends room she wants to swear.

we will not be purchasing lobsters as pets.  even if they are anti-bullying ones.


this week i had the honour of being the chapel speaker at Langley Christian High School.  i was asked to share about my identity as an artist, and what it has taught me about God and myself. i will sign off by including a snippit of what i shared.  it was a great experience for me. it seems whenever i speak to a group of people i am struck with two things:  i love public speaking, and i learn so much when i prepare a talk. maybe i'm not learning new information, but i'm solidifying some understanding, either about God or myself.

I spent a lot of time in my presentation talking about my struggle with accepting that i actually am an artist. later in the day i was told that a teacher, after hearing me speak, decided that he was going to start painting again, and i instantly teared up with excitement and gratitude.  how silly that i so quickly recognize and celebrate artistry in others, but downplay it in myself.  silly silly girl.  here's what i said (although in person i ad-lib with bits of silliness).

when I create something I am echoing the work of my Creator.  sometimes it’s difficult to label sitting down at my easel, with a movie playing on my laptop and a cup of tea beside me,  pushing paint around a stretched piece of cloth, as work.   recently I read this quote, which really encouraged me,
“many of us equate difficulty with virtue – and art with fooling around.  hard work is good.  a terrible job must be building our moral fiber.  something – a talent for painting, say – that comes to us easily and seems compatible with us must be some sort of cheap trick, not to be taken seriously.  on the one hand, we give lip service to the notion that God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free.  On the other, we secretly think that God wants us to be broke if we are going to be so decadent as to want to be artists. do we have any proof at all for those ideas about God?
Looking at God’s creation, it is pretty clear that the creator [himself] did not know when to stop.  there is not one pink flower, or even fifty pink flowers, but hundreds.  snowflakes, of course, are the ultimate exercise in sheer creative glee.  no two alike.  this creator looks suspiciously like someone who just might send us support for our creative ventures.” (Cameron "the Artists Way")

the God we worship as Christians is a God of extravagant beauty.  He’s a God who is unceasingly creating,  boundlessly creative, and lavish to his creations.

my tagline on my website is “create beautiful”.  I heard a quote years ago from Dosteovsky:  “beauty will save the world”, and on some levels I believe that it is true.  because God is in all that is beautiful, and it is His desire to make all things beautiful, redeemed and holy. 
 I read this sentence recently: “the world is more delicious than it needs to be”, it’s also more fragrant, more melodious, more colourful.  God creates because of the sheer delight he takes in creating, and He wants us to delight in it too.  Food could have been tasteless fuel, colour just shades of grey, no singing, or dancing.  the arts are not necessary to the survival of a species, but they are essential to the enjoyment of life.   art in all its forms is a gift of love.  it’s also the Creator wanting His Creations to know Him, to look at a flower and think “wow.  God must deeply love me to create this just for me to enjoy”.

my hope is that one of my paintings, hanging in someone’s home or in a board room or school hallway, will incrementally change the space it’s in, from something utilitarian, or sterile, or boring, to something refreshing and encouraging and lovely.  a little echo of God on the wall.
sometimes I annoy myself with how I paint flowers.  what’s the point of a flower?  I look at other artists who create works for social impact, to fight injustice, to expose darkness, and I think, why am I painting flowers?  who cares?!

I was in one of these self-condemning moods recently, and I happened to read the sermon on the mount - the greatest sermon preached by the greatest preacher, the smartest and most creative human being of all time -  and I realized that he talks about flowers.  “consider flowers” he says.  “how they don’t work, they don’t sew, they don’t purchase, but they’re dressed better than any human being, because God dresses them.  so don’t worry about what you’re going to wear, God will clothe you”.  He was speaking to people from every social class, but I bet the bulk of them were poor, and lived with an undercurrent of worry.  Jesus looks at them in their distress, knowing the weight of worry on their lives, and his words for spiritual, social and economic impact were “look at flowers”.

so I do.  I consider flowers.  I look at them deeply.  I revel in their intricacies.  their colour and shape.  from bud to flower to seed head – they’re so incredibly beautiful.  I consider how their needs are met.  how utterly dependant they are.    how they live in the rhythm of the seasons, and they reproduce themselves through dying, and gain more lustre through painful pruning.  there’s a lot to learn from a flower. 
  
don't you just want to hear more?  sorry folks, you'll have to track down a high school student, who probably has forgotten me already. (insert debbie downer weh-wah sound here).

i must be off to make some gluten-free dairy-free cornbread, a.k.a. to create something beautiful.  i hope you find your Creator in your creating this week, and are not attacked by crustaceans.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

a curious tragedy.

well, as if dead rainbows last week wasn't enough, tragedy has struck the anderson household yet again.

on wednesday it was discovered that our hermit crab, curious, is no longer in his cage.  his cage which is on my daughter's bookshelf, around 3 feet from the floor.  curious has escaped.  has flown the coop.  has kamikazed to his death.  or, disintegrated.  i even had the thought that maybe curious was a very spiritual hermit crab (he has heard many bedtime prayers) and was just taken up into the air like Elijah.   because the truly shocking part is:  his shell is still there.  in the cage.  curiouser and curiouser.

now, anyone out there who is remotely like me, is instantly picturing a naked hermit crab (as much as one is able to - what does a hermit crab look like with no shell?) lying in wait in some dusty corner, desperate for a stray toe, a wandering finger to come to close, and then, NAB!  i know, it's terrifying, even if the crustacean is less then 2 inches long.  it's been 4 days and it's quite probable that curious is dead, but if i start picturing him lurking...

okay, i have to stop picturing that.

when we first discovered the break-out i very bravely picked up all four shells in the cage and brought them frightfully near my eye to see if there was somehow a little crabby hiding in it's depths.  but i have to confess to you, that every time i turned a shell over there was a voice inside me saying "please be empty, please be empty, please be empty".  incredibly selfish when my daughter was looking at me with her huge despairing eyes.

she cried in bed the following night.  "i loved curious!" she moan,.
"well, honey, he wasn't exactly a cuddly pet"
"no"
"he wasn't a pet that played or that was even friendly, really"
"he was more friendly than george!" [the other hermit crab that died on the drive here from saskatoon]
"yes, i'll give him that.  but... he was a.... hermit."

who thought of making a hermit crab a pet in the first place!? didn't the word hermit clue them off to the fact that these crabs are not looking for loving companionship?  [just to remind you, we were given these crabs, so you can just stop that train of thought about how stupid we were to buy them to begin with].

if i don't sound incredibly sensitive or sympathetic to my daughter, trust me, you wouldn't be either.  one look at those wandering antennae eyes and snapping claws...what if he's under my bed right now?!  no, okay, i did try and console her with the fact that curious died in a fitting way - on an adventure.  he lived up to his name.  "curiosity killed the hermit crab".  he threw off the confining structures of his world, broke free from stereotype and conventional thought, and walked out of that shell.  he died a free crab. (as i was waxing eloquent on these points she looked up at me and said "in this light, it looks like you're joking" - as though, the dim light of her bedroom must be tricking her eyes because there's no way her mother would be trying to comfort her in such a manner.  whoops!)

and to her credit, my daughter has handled the searing loss quite well.  just last night she was online researching turtles.  which, from what we can tell, are highly poisonous and should never be considered as a pet.  fantastic!  my life as an adult pet-owner has been quite the ride:  gerbil poop in the kitchen, escapee hermit crab, why not add poisonous environmental hazard to the mix?  how about a komodo dragon?  electric eel?  baboon?  oh the places we can go.

and to you curious: despite your general lack of affection, gross ugliness and obvious unhappiness, you will be missed.  my daughter's heart was big enough to welcome you in - as she makes pets of wood bugs and names earth worms and once carried a wounded dragon fly around on her shoulder for an entire afternoon.

please don't take it personally when i say that, wherever you are, i hope you are no longer among the living.

okay, i have to stop picturing that.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

dead rainbows.

'i saw a dead rainbow today mom.  it was lying in a puddle.'
                                      -my son, this week, 6 years old.

i started to explain that there was probably oil or gas or some sort of chemical in the puddle, and that it wasn't the same as a rainbow, and that nothing had died.....
scott started explaining that that's what happens to rainbows when someone finds their pot of gold.  scott is by far the best at 'creative explanation' in our family  (he hates it when i call it what it is: lying).   i wonder which of our children will inherit his giftedness.  since i found an entire game hidden behind a lunch box today, a game my son had assured me he had cleaned up, i think i know who to bet on.  along with the fact that he saw a dead rainbow.

i have made it through my first of five weeks of crazy, where i'm working at my new job and teaching two art lessons on top of what has here-to-fore been my full time job of being a housewife and artist.  in the last two weeks i have moved from having no schedule, other than housework and painting, to having to colour coordinate my day planner.  well, i probably don't have to colour coordinate, but it does give me a sense of satisfaction :).  green for meals, blue for household, black for appointments, purple for work, pink for art classes.  it's a freakin' dead rainbow!

there is definitely a degree of satisfaction when i hit the pillow at night - like, "i'm doing it".  i'm the modern woman who works and keeps the house humming and makes valentines and attends PTA meetings and does her hair.  i have joined the ranks of bagged lunches and professional dress and speaking sentences like "sorry, i work that day".  it's been almost exactly 10 years since i've done this, and MAN am i ever filled with gratitude that i didn't have to when the kids weren't in school.  and MAN am i ever filled with awe at my friends who do!  it is a constant rotation of responsibilities.  but also a satisfying sense of competence - like i'm living at my highest potential.  add any more speed and i might literally explode, but i'm humming along the highway, marveling at how quickly the trees are flying by me, and periodically enjoying the wind in my hair.

and tomorrow i stop the car.  sabbath.  hallelujah.  hopefully the rain will slow and scott and i can find the ocean tomorrow.  it's harder to find than you'd think - like all of your responsibilities and worries and laziness keeps you from its shore.  but the last time we were there it felt like we were at heaven's edge.  we were shrouded in mist, rocks jutted out eerily from the cloud and water, seagulls walked right up to where we sat and looked at us questioningly.  we saw a seal pop it's head silently above the surface, and scuba divers waddling to shore.  it was silent, save for a few bird cries and the lap of the small waves.  it ignited something in me - dissatisfaction? desire? and also quieted me.  the seemingly endless vista.  i wonder what it must have felt like before people knew vancouver island was there, before the world was mapped, and the ocean spoke of chaos and the unknown.  to some the brink of adventure.  to some the brink of terror.

and now i stand at the brink of a new week, my toes wet, the tide pulling me deeper in.  will i let the rainbow of my weeks work terrify me, or will i adventurously plunge?    will i kill or be killed?

right now it's 50/50.



Saturday, February 8, 2014

movie lesson

on wednesday night scott and i, exhausted and in need of escape, watched the movie "about time".  i won't give anything away, except that it's a great movie, and that one of its themes is the pleasure of living life to it's fullest:  eyes open to wonder, a heart of gratitude, simplistic enjoyment.

friday was a pro-d day, and a day for me to gear down from my recently accelerated life of work and art classes and painting and mothering and housework and wife-ing.  a day with long stretches unclaimed.  i thought i would do my best to enjoy it 'to the fullest'.

i kept my ears open, and heard the hygienist in the cubical down the hall exclaim over my son "best seven year old ever!!!"  i then marinaded in the moment of telling her "he's actually six".   i listened as my daughter explained to her little brother that the tooth fairy couldn't bring him the giant pokemon tin because "she can't carry it in her little hands!!".  i cherished the little smile the sales lady gave me when i quickly bought some pokemons behind his back.

i washed the floor to taylor swift.  seriously - if you start feeling sorry for yourself halfway through your vacuuming, i highly suggest her "red" album for a quick cleaning pick-me-up.  there's something about the tune "i knew you were trouble when you walked in...." that just makes my cleaning regime as close to fun as i think it can be.  i belted it out and set my floor to sparkle.  my kids sang along as they built lego.

i told my little ones the story of how their father showed me my first blue angel when we were first married, and how i laughed the hardest i have ever laughed.  and how lighting your farts on fire is actually akin to waving around an uncontrolled flame thrower so under no circumstances should they attempt it.  and their eyes were round as saucers and they covered their smiling mouths with their hands and looked at their father like he was a walking miracle.

i kept my eyes on the row while my family watched the lego movie, watched my son look like he was on the verge of tears when the main character was told he wasn't special, later watched both my kids laughing their heads off, teetering at the edges of their seats, and my husband smiling with his mouth wide.  i was sitting beside leah and at one point i said "i am seriously crying in the lego movie" to which she responded "i'm bawling" and then we laughed and laughed.  i love watching movies with leah, i can always count on her to have my emotionally sensitive back.

later we crossed the street walking like lego characters - "no knees!" i cried.

so, i would say it worked, this "in time" theory.  i thoroughly enjoyed my highly normal day of dentist and cleaning and mothering and friendship.  i suppose walking through your day with the expressed desire of looking for the best in whatever comes is a lot more fun then my usual - just making it through whatever comes.

so here's to tomorrow with open eyes and ears and heart, tastebuds ablaze, deep breath, fingertips alive, and spirit soaring.  i hope you live it to its fullest.

(whoops!  i posted this three days ago with the wrong movie title at the beginning.  yikes!  that could have got me in some serious trouble...thankfully the movie "in time" which i had mistakenly referenced is a Justin Timberlake movie, which i have also seen, but did not learn any life lessons from)