Tag Archives: Five Minute Friday

This is Our Song

songThe frantic buzz of the strings – busy, busy, busy boy.

The lilting chime of the bells – sweet, charming girl.

The rock ‘n roll squeal of the electric guitar – dramatic, fun girl.

The delicate dance of the woodwinds – gentle, beautiful girl.

The deep thrum of the bass – steady, brilliant man.

The every-changing melody of the lyrics – clumsy, passionate woman.

This is our song.

The syncopated beat of everyday routine

The discordant strains of conflict

The lighthearted whistle of totally adorable

The crash of tantrums

The faint hum of grief

The trill of humor

The every-changing tempo of life

And always, the counterpoint of

purpose

prayer

joy

This is our song.

It’s the only one of it’s kind!

So here’s us, in this Five Minute-ISH Friday. Not exactly by the rules, written one line at a time throughout a morning of errands and border waits and toddler chasing. But I loved the prompt – SONG.

5minutefridayLinking up to Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday post

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. Be generous and leave an encouraging comment for the person who linked up before you. That’s the best part about this community.

And if you don’t have a blog, feel free to leave your five minutes of writing as a comment. And we’ll love on you there.


Mostly Happily Ever After

Five Minutes Friday

Today’s topic is: AFTER

GO

ever afterOnce upon a time…

Authors, screenwriters, journalists, historians, storytellers of all kinds… we’re all about the “once upon a time” – the big event, the climax of the plot, the exciting/terrifying/shocking turning point. It’s where the glamour and romance live. Boy meets girl. A child is born. With this ring, I thee wed. Rest in peace.

They’re the turning points in our story. They loom large over our Everyday Days. They’re outside normal.

But that’s where most of life is lived. In the happily (or pretty-happily, or kind-of-miserably) Ever After.

I think somewhere along the line I started living for the bigger moments. I thought these were the ones that would change my life. Moving to a new place. Having a baby. Finishing a renovation. Going on a trip. Adopting a child.

Waiting for the next big thing. Counting down days. Dreading it or Dreaming about it. Always looking for what comes next.

And I missed out on Today. The little moments of now. The slow erosions and subtle build ups that make a life. Habits. Rituals. Small triumphs. Minor disappointments. These are the meat and potatoes of life.

Because AFTER they rode off into the sunset… they loaded the dishwasher and brushed their teeth and clipped their toenails. The fair maiden hogged the covers and Prince Charming snored. Building a life happens in a thousand small moments that Disney never immortalized on-screen, but that doesn’t mean it’s not magical.

It’s time to focus my lens on Today.

STOP

So here’s me, living my pretty-happily, so-tired, mostly-content, doing-the-best-I-can, thanking-God-for-everyday Ever After. There’s a lot less sparkle than the fairy tales, but the leading man is pretty great and the little people make me laugh.

after

Joining Lisa-Jo for her Five Minute Friday Challenge again.

Here’s how we do it:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt “After” with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog’s footer}.

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.


Everything! Everything! Everything!

Five Minute Friday:

Remember

One of the interesting side effects of being a known blogger amongst your circle of friends, is the influx of blogging suggestions. Remember when… becomes a prelude to “you should blog about that.” All the time.

When I hear the word “Remember”, I know what’s coming next. And I often do. Blog about the things we’ve waxed nostalgic about. But some of my best stories will never be immortalized online. Some, I choose to keep my own. Some, don’t feel like mine to share. And some, I just can’t remember right, no matter how hard I try.

I had one today. And I’ve been wracking my brain since I got this e-mail. The timing was perfect.

Once when I was over you told this story (the details are sketchy in my mind) but the essence of the story was a crying fit with Glen that had you repeating over and over ‘Everything! Everything! Everything!’.

I just wanted you to know that among my friends and my friends friends this has become a phrase that communicates crystal clearly when we feel like we’re waaaaaay in over our heads and we’re feeling emotional, about it.

It came up this morning again, and I felt like I should tell you that you are a legend. You should blog about it. 😉

I’m not at all surprised that I have acquired some small amount fame based on my complete emotional breakdown. Not even a little bit. I’m sure the story was both funny (at my own expense) and personally embarrassing. They usually are.

I do remember this story. I remember the day. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed, beyond words and reason. But I can’t, for the life of me, remember the comedy of errors that preceded it. The details have completely faded.

I’m pretty sure it was that magical time of the month. I had just given Glen an exhaustive list of everything that was wrong with my day, my life, my wardrobe and the universe in general. And I remember him asking what SPECIFICALLY I was upset about. No doubt so he could whip out his handy-dandy, husbandly tool-kit of advice to FIX it for me.

Rookie mistake.

Everything! Everything! Everything!

I can’t remember what EVERYTHING was that day. But it’s still the cry of my heart on a regular basis. And it really does feel better to say it. Next time you’re overwhelmed you should try it. I promise it helps. Then, maybe you should blog about it.

Remember that most of life’s overwhelming moments will be nothing more than a funny story someday.

overwhelmed

So here’s me… I spent the morning in a mall in Bellingham with my aunt and the 4 kids. B threw up all over herself and me, then used up every pull-up I had brought and one of her brother’s diapers (stomach bug is officially back). S had a meltdown and proceeded to get his head stuck under the canopy of his stroller while thrashing and screaming. My aunt walks with a significant limp, so this whole sticky, smelly, grumpy, shrieking gong show moved at snail’s pace down the length of the mall.

Everything! Everything! Everything!… indeed.

Today I’m joining up with Lisa Jo and a whole group of writers for a fun writing challenge. Though I must confess, I slightly exceeded my allotted Five Minutes today. Just one more thing to add to Everything. 😉

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..


The Craving

I’m jonesing for a fix. I can feel it in the leaden weight of every single cell of my body. In the itch behind my eyes. In the sharpness of my voice. In overreaction after overreaction.

The daily hits just aren’t enough anymore. I need something more, something better.

I used to be able to hide it better. This growing need. I could gloss over it with big smiles and peppy speeches. But it’s harder to form the “I’m fine” answers that used to roll of my tongue so easily.

I crave it.

When my friends discuss their holiday plans my twinge of jealousy has nothing to do with exotic locales, or warm ocean breezes, or exciting adventure. It’s this. The good stuff. Pure and uncut.

I see hints of it everywhere I look. The comfy couch. A bean bag chair in the playroom. My son’s fuzzy blue blanket. Mattress ads on the radio. They’re taunting me…

I need it.

REST.beach bed

So here’s me, where life stage, a stomach bug and week full of appointments have taken their toll. I’ll be the one heading to bed early tonight.

Today’s post is part of Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Friday challenge:

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..


We Never Leave Home

Another Friday. Another Five Minutes to write. Another topic.

HOME

We all need it. We all crave it. We all spend a lifetime looking for it.

Maybe it’s a house. Or an apartment. Or a webpage. Or a shopping cart. Or a fort cobbled together with plywood and packing tape. Or a fuzzy blanket, worn out in all the right spots.

We call it home, because it is ours. It feels safe and comfortable. It is relief when everything spins out of control. Whether it was a gift or a hard-fought victory, we have carved a place out of the world where we belong.

And somewhere along the way it becomes less about where we are, or who we’re with, or what we have. It becomes a part of us. One day when it is long gone and strangers have moved in and time has eaten away the threads of it, it remains as real to us as ever.

I am the big, blue house on the corner. I am bowls of ice cream with Dad. I am stirring the gravy while Mom zips around the kitchen. I am a red swing set and crabapple trees and little sisters tagging along after me.

I am the third unit in Student Family Housing. I am a fifth generation ratty old couch with a green sheet overtop. I am goofing around in the tiny kitchen, making orange sauce and noodles because we can’t afford meat.

I am ducking to get into the bathroom in a tiny basement suite in Guelph. I am the mural of a park in my daughter’s first room. I am picking blackberries over the fence. I am counting the 14 stairs up to the living room with my son.

I am so many places and people and things which make me feel safe and comfortable and loved.

Because we never really leave home. We carry it with us. Always.

STOP

So here’s me, craving ice cream with my Dad and orange sauce with noodles. I don’t think I appreciated them as much as I should, at the time.

Recipe for Orange Sauce:

2/3 Cup of Ketchup

2/3 Cup of Water

3 Tbsp of Brown Sugar

Dash of Lemon juice

Boil until sauce thickens and serve with noodles or rice

(and pork chops, if you can afford it).

~

Join Lisa-Jo for a 5 Minute Writing Challenge: set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..


Not an Ordinary Girl

Another Five Minute Friday – today’s word is: Ordinary

GO

fragileI thought we’d have more time. You’re not even 11 yet, but already we’re feeling the angst. It shouldn’t be a surprise. You’ve had that teenage sass and swagger since your very first steps.

When I’m not pulling out my hair, I’m choking back a laugh. This level of drama and emotion is usually reserved for foriegn soap operas. You are definitely my kid.

But there’s one part that is neither frustrating nor amusing, it just breaks my heart. When you tell me that you hate the way you look. When you act like a C is a failing grade. When you tell me you “just can’t do it” before you’ve even tried.

You used to wear a plastic tiara every day and you just KNEW you were a princess. You used to build fantastic inventions out of duct tape and cardboard boxes and were legitimately surprised when they didn’t turn back time or make chocolate ice cream. You used to believe in fairy tales and happy endings and most of all, in yourself.

Who told you you were ordinary?

I worry that it was me. That you see me worrying that I’m too chubby. and too weird. and too awkward. If it was, forgive me. We are so much alike and sometimes I forget that I am more than ordinary too.

The tag on our souls says “Handle With Care.” Because we are sensitive. and emotional. and weird.

But most importantly, it also says:

Betzlehem Elohim

Imago Dei

Made in the Image of God

There’s nothing ordinary about you.

STOP

So here’s all of us, with a divine spark all our own. Because there’s no such thing as ordinary.

Part of lisajobaker.com‘s 5 Minute Friday; a writing challenge that goes like this:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog’s footer}.

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.


Five Minute Friday: What Mom Did

Another Five Minute Friday post with Lisa-Jo Baker.

Today’s topic: In just five minutes. Tell me all about what your mama did that made her yours….

GO:

My Mom is one of those rare grown-ups who actually enjoys children. All children. All ages. With a special focus on babies. When we told her we were getting married, the first thing out of her mouth was that she was expecting grandchildren someday: at least a dozen.

We’re doing our part, but my sisters are woefully behind.

If children hadn’t been in the cards for us, she would have been fine. Because my Mom finds children to love everywhere she goes. If there is an infant at the party, chances are it will spend a good deal of time in my Mom’s arms. I can see her hands twitching when we pass a particularly cute specimen in the mall or a restaurant. You just know, she’s dying to scoop them up and snuggle that drooly little person close.

She loved all my friends. And they loved her. Which was great when it meant after school Bible Club for all the neighbour kids in the elementary years (which she formed to appease my evangelistic fervour, since telling all the boys and girls in Grade 1 that they are going to hell didn’t go over so well). It wasn’t so great as a teenager when they used to say “your Mom is so cool. I just love her!” And I’d be like, “what are you talking about! My life is so hard! And my parents are so unfair!” But deep down I knew that they were right.

The best part of having a Mom like that, is that she genuinely wants to hear about your day, and play along with your pretends, and come and see the fort you built-in the living room, and eat lunch with you there. I never felt like a burden or an inconvenience. Not even when she struggled through the chronic pain and fatigue of Chrone’s disease. I didn’t realize that other Mom’s didn’t need so much rest, or time at the hospital, or nights spent in pain. Because no matter how bad she was feeling, she had time to enjoy us.

My Mom enjoys being a Mom. She sees it as a privilege and every child as a gift. I have no doubt that this is at the heart of my happy childhood.

STOP

So here’s me, wondering what my kids will remember about me someday.

5minutefriday

What about you? How was your Mom uniquely YOURS? What do you remember most?


Five Minute Friday: Beloved

They were on sale the day after Christmas. Nothing fancy. Nothing exciting. Just two plain gold bands. A thicker one for him and a delicate one for me. That’s what you get when you marry at 19.

With the wedding just around the corner (at least that’s how it felt with stacks of wedding magazines and enthusiastic, wedding-crazed mothers in the mix), we knew we had to check one more item off the to do list. It didn’t seem that romantic to find the cheapest alternative at the Boxing Day sale. But, that’s what you get when you marry at 19.

We agonized about what to engrave inside our rings. We may have had a few less frills, but we didn’t want to skimp on the meaningful stuff. We wanted something that would still make sense in 10 – 20 – 50 years. Something timeless. We wanted something that would be ours. Something “us”.

And it has been. When you marry at 19, you grow up together. You live on a laughably small budget. You sacrifice. You change. You meet someone new. Someone lying next to you in bed each night and you fall in love with them all over again, every 10 -20 – 50 years. That’s what you get when you marry at 19.

Those plain gold wedding bands may not fancy, but they are timeless; they are “us.” Inside they say:

This is my beloved. This is my friend.

February 029

So here’s us, 18 years later… still skimping on the extra frills, but heavy on the meaningful.

Once again, linking up with lisajobaker.com for 5 Minute Friday writing flash mob:

On Fridays around these parts we like to write. Not for comments or traffic or anyone else’s agenda. But for pure love of the written word. For joy at the sound of syllables, sentences and paragraphs all strung together by the voice of the speaker.

We love to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. For five minutes flat.

Here’s how we do it:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog’s footer}.

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.


Here We Go Again

Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables. 

~Spanish Proverb

failrdIt’s wearisome.

Dealing with the same old problems over and over and over. This thorn-in-the-flesh disease… treatable, but not curable. The real dig: it is just so annoying to find myself back here.

Part of me longs for new problems, if struggles there must be. Perhaps I’ll give my brother in law’s nicotine addiction a test drive? I have a friend who shoplifts, that sounds like a more exotic pathology. In my head, I know that this is ridiculous. But like they say, “the marijuana’s always greener on the other side.”

Yes there are times when I manage to claw and scramble and heft myself out of the rut. I find firm footing. I make more good choices than bad. And I start to feel pretty good about myself.

But then that day comes when the girls are squabbling, and the dishwasher is leaking, and the littles have some alarming gastrointestinal issue making diaper changes both frequent and deadly, and Glen and I have become ships who pass in the night (literally, since I take the 12-3am shift with crying babies and he takes 3-6am). And I find myself slipping back. Sigh.

Here we go.

Again.

STOP

So here’s me, a recovering complainer/pen-chewer/overeater/nail-biter/gossip/perfectionist/isomniac.

I don’t really want to smoke anything or steal anything (I promise Mom), just tired of fighting the same battles again and again. But in a way, these familiar ruts are as much a part of me as my strengths and talents.

This was for Lisa-Jo Baker’s  Five Minute Friday writing challenge.

5minutefridayHere’s the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. That is like the one rule we all really care about. For reals.


To Love and To Cherish in Real Life

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,

while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

~ Lao Tzu

Cherishing…

romanceIt’s not like in the movies. Where they roll the credits and the absurdly good-looking, skinny folks prance off into the wild, blue yonder with nothing but adventure and excitement and passion and equallly good-looking children in their future. Of course, the good-looking children arrive to well coifed, only slightly flustered Moms after 20 minutes of pushing (and the dramatic breaking-of-the-water-in-the-restaurant scene, which always seemed strangely thrilling to me).

In real life, there’s a lot more sweat. And tears. And long stretches of less exciting stuff.

In real life, cherishing is less about passion and more about dirty socks. And casserole. And scraping your wife’s windshield for her.

In real life, marriage is work. But it’s worth it. Not because of the Hollywood-esque perfection of it, but the gritty closeness. The intimacy of the mundane. The humour that doesn’t come with a laugh track, because no one else would get it, but just the two of you.

You can’t cherish someone in a 90 minute highlight reel. It takes a lifetime.

STOP

5minutefridayOnce again, I’m joining Lisa-Jo Baker for her Five Minute Friday writing challenge.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. That is like the one rule we all really care about. For reals.

So here’s me, where cherishing looks a lot like taking out the recycling bin. And for the record, there’s passion too. Especially if you volunteer to wrestle the kids into their pjs and put them to bed, so that your wife can write her blog.


%d bloggers like this: