Thursday, November 15, 2012

Refusing the Rat Race

Bet you thought I had fallen off the face of the earth, huh?

Or maybe I was eaten by the renovation monsters...

Or overwhelmed by life, as I tend to be sometimes?

Well, to be completely honest...none of the above are true. I just have been shady. That's it. And loving every minute. Over the last couple of months I have sort of taken a step back from the everyday craziness and rat race that is known as life these days and just sort of REFUSED. I was getting a little tired and worn out of the pace that I was working at and one night as I lie in bed worrying the snot out of myself over all the things I had to do the next day, week, month, etc. I had a little come to Jesus meeting with myself. This is how it went.

Running the Rat Race Amy: Oh my gosh I am so stressed and busy and feeling overwhelmed that I could honestly just throw up my toenails. Which are seriously and tragically ingrown. Ugh, that reminds me, I need to do surgery on my ingrown toenails. Ugh, now I have to add that to the list of things to do and when am I going to do that? (Insert panic attack slowing rising to the occasion over ingrown toenails - that, my dears, is how out of control I was getting)

Reasonable, normal Amy that is slowly accepting that she is just that, NORMAL, Amy: Really? Did you just hear yourself? Because I did and I think you are stooooooopid and a tad out of control. Are you really about to have heart skippies over your ingrown toenails?

Running the Rat Race Amy: OH MY GOSH, yes. Don't make it seem trivial. I have too much to do. I have to clean house, I have to go to the grocery, Louisa has this, that and this, Nash is sick for the 3,484th time since we moved here and I have to run to Target with him screaming and carrying on, I have to go scrub the baseboards (haha, just kidding...was seeing if you were still paying attention), I have to pick up the dry cleaning, I have to find a sitter for this night, I have to go to the ATM to get money for the sitter, I have an email inbox full of people waiting for me to email them back, I have new patterns I want to draft, I have sewing for Louisa I want to do, etc., etc., etc.

Reasonable, normal Amy that is slowly accepting that she is just that, NORMAL, Amy: Okay, that is it. You are going over the deep end over such silly, everyday things that it is quite clear you are overwhelmed by all this that you seem to feel the need to do. Let me let you in on a secret. This is what you have to do tomorrow - wake up, thank God for opening your eyes another day, thank God for the amazing husband that has already showered before the crack of dawn and is ready to start his day working hard so he can provide for you, thank God that this man loves you no matter. Then, after you are done thanking Him for all of that, thank Him for those 2 beautiful children of yours that are growing up faster than you would like. Thank Him for blessing you as their mother. Then, thank Him for your sweet brown dog, Lucy Goose and striped kitty. And while on the subject of friends, tell Him how much you adore all of the wonderful friends He has brought into your life. After you are finished with those thank yous and blessings, then you can get out of bed and make sure your children have a great day knowing that they are loved. THAT my dear Running the Rat Race Amy is all you HAVE to do tomorrow. Everything else is a just a bonus. If at the end of the day you cannot cross anything off of your so-called to-do list, take comfort in those kids, that husband and those sweet animals of yours and know that if they are still in your life, you have had a GREAT day. And that is all. And then, get over yourself.

Running the Rat Race Amy: (after a long pause in which anxious Amy was trying to come up with a rebuttal) You know what, you are so right. (Amy never enjoys admitting she is wrong) I don't NEED to do anything. I don't NEED to be Amazing Amy. I need to be me, and I need to be there for my animals, my kiddos, my husband, my friends and myself. I need to get over myself.

And that my dears, although not exactly how it went down but close enough that you get the point, is how I had a turning point. I promised myself right then and there that from here on out, I would refuse the rat race. I would not go there again. I would wake up and be thankful, and I would go to bed being thankful that I have been blessed with another day, whether I got anything accomplished or not. I realized I had almost gotten into the habit of telling people, when they asked how I had been, that "I've been busy." (Phoebe, try not to laugh too hard at me on that one) And you know what, that just sucks. I want to tell people I have been great. Not busy. I do not wish to be defined by the race. I hereby announce myself disqualified. Confession: I've never really been a great sport anyway. :)

Now, Normal Amy still has her moments. She is human, and sometimes gets caught up and tries to pace with Rat Race Amy. But thankfully, it never lasts long. Normal Amy is getting used to being shady, and doing things on her on time. It's been nice.

So, obviously blogging was one of the things on my to-do list that I just haven't gotten around to. So, tonight I am going to try my best to get as caught up on life on West Clover as much as I can.

So, here goes...

If I could pick a theme for the last 2 months, this picture would summarize it.

Sickness and grumpiness has plagued the Norris family. Never in my life as a mother have my children been SO sick SO often. Out of control is what it is. Since the renovation is finished (that is a whole other blog post) I am having the ducts cleaned in the house as a last resort. I have always thought of the whole duct-cleaning hoopla as hog-wash, but I tell you...I am grasping at straws here. We have gone through an unmentionable amount of children's motrin and thermometers. Momma is done, and I know the kids are done too. Lawsy goodness. Goodbye germs, good riddance. Don't let the door (which by the way, that doorknob always falls off - no you didn't break it, promise) hit you on the way out.

But, on a make you smile note...we celebrated Mallard's (my beloved brown dog) 11th birthday in September. It is no secret how much this dog means to me. Byron will even tell you he falls lower on the totem pole than Brownie. This birthday was a bit bittersweet to me for a reason I cannot talk about long because I will be in tears and huddled in the fetal position in the corner of the room. I know my days are limited with my sweet brown boy. I cannot deny that he is aging and getting up there and I know that I won't always have him on my side of the bed moaning and groaning like he does when I tell him I love him before I go to bed. I cannot think of life without him. So, instead of dwelling on it and thinking about it (which makes me have a humongo lump in my throat and in a foul mood) I just embrace my brown boy and continue to spoil him rotten like I do anyways. :) 

I swanny I love these dogs more than I love most humans. True story.

This picture is JUST for you Katie and Dave...notice the wide-mouthed grin. It is like he is posing for his license!

Halloween this year was a lot of fun, crazy runny nose aside. Nash was much more into participating this year. He wasn't to keen on the whole ewwy-gooey insides of the pumpkin though...but honestly, can you blame him? Gag. And on a funny note - since Rat Race Amy is taking  a hiatus, we bought our pumpkin the day before Halloween on clearance for $2.50 and carved him last minute. Somehow a pumpkin just wasn't high up on that list of things to do. :)

To say I had a wild indian on my hands is a huuuuuge understatement. Oh dear me. That boy...



 Speaking of that boy, my oh my. I used to have a sweet baby Nash that was so sweet all the time and just happy go lucky and go with the flow, and now, this is what I see most of the time.

Grumpy, grumpy, grumpalumpagus. Now, mind you...were are in that awful, want to pull all your hair out because you are both so frustrated with each other and there is a huge communication gap phase of the beloved 18-24 months, you know - those crucial years before the terrible twos hit. Louisa has always been a handful, but I don't remember her causing me this much wine-drinking at that age.

But then, he turns into this kiddo who just melts my heart.

Those kids are sneaky. Just when you think you cannot take anymore they act all sweet and innocent and you feel the need to smell the spot on the back of their neck where their hair hits and they always smell so good. And you are mush again. At least until the next meltdown, in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

Speaking of meltdowns, my sweet Louisa. Sadly enough (never thought I would miss it) she no longer creates tons of drama in our lives (knock on wood, knock on wood, knock on wood). Don't get me wrong, you still must walk on very thin ice around this fireball, but she's growing up so much that I cannot even believe it. However, I thought I would indulge yall in this lovely Louisa-ism from today. She still has it. :)

Lou: Mommy, do you know about the Indians and Pilgremlins? (no, that is not a typo...she really has them combined with gremlins, and you know I am not about to correct her!)

Me: (muffling a giggle) I do Lou, but it has been a looooong time since I learned about them in school.

Lou: Yeah, because you are so old. Did they have Pilgremlins when you were in school?

Me: Ummm, yes Louisa. I am not that old! Goodness.

Lou: Well, I just kind of felt bad for the Indians and Pilgremlins when we learned about them today. We were looking at pictures and they didn't really look happy to be there on Thanksgiving.

Me: Oh really? That is sad. Maybe the person who was hosting was a bad cook. Hehe.

Lou: (silence while she is considering it) Nah, I think it is because none of them were wearing pink or purple. OR sparkles. I mean, Mommy...people need to know you cannot have any real fun without sparkles.

Love her. My own little Fancy Nancy.


Okay, now that I have typed forever and a day and my glass of wine is now gone, it is time for me to wrap this thing up and head up to bed. I promise to have renovation pictures at some point, but I really want to do before and afters so you don't get all bored. And let's face it, at the rate Normal Amy works, it may be a year before rooms are finished. :)

On a lighter note to wrap things is a reel of bloopers. This is what I like to call "Trying to Take Photos Of and With My Children These Days." Enjoy and laugh, because you know it too well, right?

Seriously. That just happened.


It is all fun and games until someone needs a real picture. :) Mom, you asked about a family picture...does this answer why it may be some time before you get one?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

spray foam, toilets and mountains, oh MY!

This picture right here pretty much sums it up as of late... 


Exhaustion. Flat out exhaustion. School has been kicking Lou’s booty. That poor child is so tired by the time she gets home it is all she can do not to grow horns. Cannot say that I blame her though because to be honest, after I get out of carpool line I am beat and ready to grow horns too. Seriously. Some people may tell you that I actually DO have horns by then, but I wouldn’t trust them. Just FYI.

The renovation has been going great. And knock on wood (or studs if the framing is done) we are all still alive and breathing living and residing through it. Now, I would totally be pulling your leg if I told you that the dirt, dust, disorganization, mayhem, etc. wasn’t driving me just slightly batty. But, all in all, I still cannot complain. I think I might really miss all the company when it is done. I mean, I see these guys day in, day out from 8-5. They are like extended family now. :) 

Today, however…the first animal mishap happened. The guys have gotten pretty used to Lucy barking her absolute head off at them until she realizes that I know they are here and they are actually supposed to be here. Bless my 120 lb ADT system. I think they are slowly getting used to the brown dog barking at the wind too. But today, my striped kitty got out. Now, I cannot blame anyone really because I know that if the guys had known that Murray was on the screened porch they would have been cautious – but they didn’t, and a striped kitty without claws that is strictly an indoor kitty got a taste of freedom today. I came home from Nash’s check-up to find she was gone. To say I panicked is a slight understatement. I believe one of the carpenters (later when we were laughing about it all) referred to the moment as one of those “frothing at the mouth” moments. I was so scared. I couldn’t find her anywhere. And it was my birthday.

I was basically walking up and down the street about to varmit all over from feeling sick. But, this story has a fabulous ending for as I was walking and panicking/frothing, I heard this sickly/scared meeeeeewwwwwwwlllllllllooowwwww coming from some bushes. Thankfully for me and everyone else involved, it was the so-called striped kitty, scared to death that she was actually outside. Bless her. She was shaking all the way back home and then she slept in the same spot for a few hours straight. Poor kitty was beat. Phew, anyways – disaster averted. Kitty is home safe and the sweet electrician that I love to joke around with is safe as well. Lou refers to him as the guy with the ponytail on his chin. It is quite amusing, especially since we have him and Santa Claus is our plumber. No kidding. Just ask Louisa.

Anyways – spray foam is up (here’s hoping to the last of the $350 electrical bills), framing is done, sheetrock is about to begin (dear Lord, please help me to not have an all-out meltdown, hissy, freak-out over all the dust) and hardwoods will be going in soon. (dear Lord, again…protect me from the snakes in my head when the sanding of the wood floors begins. Amen)

It is looking amazeballs and I seriously cannot wait for it to be done. I also seriously will have a hard time not going to rob a bank so we can go ahead and renovate the main floor too.

 I don't know about you, but I read in the latest This Old House that it is now trendy to sport a bathtub on your front porch and a ceiling fan on your living room floor. I usually am not trendy, but go me!

On another note, have I told you how much I love living in Athens? Well, if not – I am about to get crazily annoying. I love it here. I love the climate, I love the people, I love the funkiness of the town and people, I love the college kids (I may be one of the few people here that say that), I love the size, etc. I could go on forever. However, before I become an absolute brat I will complain about one thing. The hills. They slay my shins when running. That’s all.

Anyways – if it isn’t awesome enough to live here – we are only 1.5 hours from the Georgia mountains. Now, ladies and gentlemen, my heart belongs to Tybee. Don’t get me wrong there. But, I love the mountains. And so this past weekend we took advantage of the proximity and took a day trip up to Helen. The place is gorgeous. I cannot wait to go back, sit my happy self in a big pink tube and relax along the ‘hootch. We had the most fun. The cold temperature of the water not only soothed those poor shins I talked about earlier, but almost brought clarity. I made Byron take this pic of me, and I really am glad that I did. I love it.

A moment of clarity when throwing my hands up I surrender. I give up world. Right here in this moment is everything I want to be. Still, and surrendered to the beauty of everything around me. Okay, enough corn for me.

The kiddos had a blast too. After a brief worry of hypothermia with the hooligans, we decided to let go and let them have a blast and just keep eyes out for blue lips.

Back on the homestead, Nash and his chair are still up to no good. That child loves the toilet. I hope this means that he will be a breeze to potty train. However, Lou was a breeze. I don’t think you get lucky twice, right?


As you can tell from the pics, I love to peep tom on that boy. He is always into something. This time it turns out that he was just simply watching Ariel be rescued from the scary blue monster by the brave tugboat. Duh.

On that note, since it is my birthday, I have some wine, a book, and the screened porch calling my name. Let me get on before it starts to cuss and raise its voice at me. :)