I think our neighbors are wondering where "Mr. and Mrs. Scrooge" (a.k.a. Craig and Marie Beckerleg) moved to. For ten years of living in the same home, Craig has never put Christmas lights on the house. This year, he discovered a great bunch of brand new lights and those clippy-things that help keep the lights stay put. My mom must have purchased them after Christmas one year and never used them. So while I was napping on Saturday, I woke to discover Craig on the roof hanging beautiful white lights. I am thrilled! I had to take a picture from across the street - he did such a great job. There are 4 bulbs that aren't working, but we'll replace those soon. Murray lit up like the Fourth of July (no pun intended) when he first saw them; "WHOA!" was his response.
I'm reading a book by Wally Lamb, "The Hour I First Believed" (I can't find the underline button). This book is beautifully written and captivated me from the very first sentence. There is one thing about Mr. Lamb's writing style that is driving me bonkers, however. At least once per page, he begins the monologue with a question. For example, he'll write: "This one time? I got off the train at Grand Central? I raced to her apartment. . .". I have no idea why this is bothering me. I pose this question to my talented writer-friends: Is this a common writing technique that I'm unaware of? I realize that my writing needs a lot of work, so I hate to criticize a well-known and published author. I've just never come across anything like this.
I hope that everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. We certainly did. We spent the day at Maggie's and I'm positive that I haven't laughed so hard or so often in a long time. I even helped her put up her Christmas villages, decorations, and lights. Decorating for any holiday is never high on my priority list, but Mag loves it so I acquiesced and ended up having a ball. Helping her upped my Christmas spirit a notch too. Thanks, sister!
The countdown is on: 24 days until Santa visits!
"One cannot have wisdom without living life."
This was a fun exercise. I could go on and on - I am truly a blessed person! May you have a healthy, safe and very happy Thanksgiving!
May the new week come to us
For health, life and all good;
May it bring us sustenance, good tidings,
Deliverance and consolations.
--Women's Sabbath Prayer
Murray recently learned how to "honk" noses, thanks to one of his aunts. It's hysterical; until he tries to "honk" complete strangers in the grocery store, or the nice old lady sharing our pew at Mass.
Murray also has a great love of music and dancing. Wherever and whenever we are listening to music, he always wants, "one more?". Much to our chagrin on Sunday (after several attempts to keep him quiet), when the choir finished singing the first hymn, Murray clapped and asked quite loudly, "one more?" several times (we were sitting in the third pew from the front). When it was time to sing the "Alleluia", he joined in with a rousing rendition of "la LOOO la" that lasted throughout the reading of the Gospel. Did I mention we were sitting in the front?
Taking a toddler to church is important. They have to learn sooner or later and it's wonderful to pray together as a family. However, taking a toddler to church is also sweaty work: distracting, funny, exasperating, and at times, even painful. Half of the congregation heard the loud thump that accompanied Murray's screams when he fell off the kneeler and banged his head on the seat of the pew.
The aforementioned events are only a few that happened in an hour's time last Sunday. By the time the final strains of "He is Exulted" were sung, I was sweating, shaking and wondering if we would ever be allowed at Mass again. He had a tantrum during the final minutes of Mass, which seemed like hours. Poor Marcia, who was steadfastly attempting to read the announcements, ended up nearly shouting into the mic.
I learned something wonderful that day. During coffee and community after church, Father Raul stopped by to say good morning. When I asked Murray to say sorry for being loud in church, Father let out a hearty laugh. He said to me, "Marie, he is a child of God. He can be as loud as he needs to be when I am preaching, so do not worry. When Jesus was preaching, there were thousands of people, and no microphones! I would be more upset if you were anxious about the noise he makes during Sunday Mass".
The next time Murray causes a ruckus in church, or anywhere for that matter, I will smile and remember that he is a child of God, instead of being embarrassed by his behavior.
We went out for dinner on Friday evening, and then had brunch with our friends Amy and Jeff on Saturday. (Amy used to live and work in Fargo, but moved to the cities several years ago). I've missed them so much! Jeff cooked a fantastic meal, and I'm pretty sure he makes the best bloody marys in the tri-state area.
As relaxing as it was to get away for a while, we missed Murray so much that by the time he hit Moorhead, Craig and I were both so excited to see him that I'm surprised we didn't get a speeding ticket. I cannot believe what a little parrot he is. He just loves to show off all the new words he's learning.
Yesterday we went to Mass, watched the Vikes, and then attended our nephew's second birthday party. It was a great party; we're so lucky to have such a great family.
Have a fantastic Monday. I'm counting my blessings today, and there are many!
It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week. I feel like one day it was August and the next day the holidays are popping up out of no where. Where did the time go? Much as I love the chaos, every now and then I wish time would just stop for a few minutes.
Speaking of time, remember how I used to be a bit obsessive-compulsive about keeping the house clean? Well, I am the perfect example that people really can change. I am to the point that I really have let go (sometimes, I'll admit, too much) of the housework. Don't get me wrong, I still prefer a neat and tidy home but in a not-so-perfect world, a-not-so perfect house is not an achievable goal. We're too cramped, too busy, and when we do have free time, who wants to spend it cleaning? I have a plan though! My Grandma Kate taught me the following, and it's worked for her, so I'm going to try to implement it in our household. She made a list of chores, and then assigned a day to each chore. For example, Mondays are laundry and dusting, Tuesdays are ironing and vacuuming, Wednesdays are cleaning the bathrooms and scrubbing floors; you get the picture. I just think it's genius. She said that a takes a few weeks to get used to (as does any new habit does) but once you do, it's wonderful. She said most days she's finished her housework by 10am. Isn't that neat? So that's the challenge I've assigned us when we get back from our mini-getaway. Murray is pretty good at picking up his toys when we remind him; now if I can just work on the adults in the house. . .
Recently, a good friend of mine (who is a faithful Catholic, fellow mom, author, and a very wise woman), enlightened me about the March of Dimes organization. Unfortunately, the MOD supports ideals of which I cannot accept. I have struggled with this decision, but after much research, have decided to opt out of the March of Dimes fundraiser. To those of you who donated: Your online donations will still be received by the March of Dimes. For anyone who mailed a donation, I will shred your check (or mail it back to you if you wish). Again, I do thank you for your generosity, and I apologize for this turn of events and any confusion I may have caused.
Click on Resource Center and search for March of Dimes.
I realize that this is a controversial subject. By no means do I intend to offend any of you. We are all entitled to our beliefs, and I respect yours. I just cannot go through with this after what I've learned. Please contact me if you have questions, concerns, or comments. Again, I thank you for your support, generosity, and understanding.
"When the most important things in our life happen we quite often do not know, at the moment, what is going on." - C.S. Lewis
It was kind of like watching miniature sumo wrestling. The camera is shaking because I was laughing so hard.
After a while, the boys decided that dancing would be a great idea. We adults weren't so sure:
Life has been crazier than usual with Craig traveling so much. I'm going to tag along on his next trip, hopefully to get some Christmas shopping done. Murray will be staying with my sister so Craig and I have a mini-getaway.
We had a lovely Sunday at the lake, celebrating my Grandpa's birthday. Craig's Grandpa's birthday party was the same day, so we had to split up. I hope they both had a wonderful celebration!
Murray is turning 2 on Saturday and he is very excited. If you ask him how old he will be, he shouts, "TWOOOOO" (while holding up his index finger). We're having a small family gathering to celebrate.
I leave you with this:
"When we are no longer children, we are already dead."
. --Konstantin Brancusi
Fredster and Murray
Mari and Murray