July 31, 2006

A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a special little boy who lived in a far away magical land known only as "Oklahoma City". It was a land of excessive heat and loud bugs, but it was home sweet home to this special little boy and he loved it dearly.

This little boy was named Ezra, and he had wonderful powers that could melt mommy's hearts and make daddy's chests swell with pride. He could also put most of his finger up his little nostril without even flinching.

One day, Ezra and his mommy decided to go to an enchanting establishment called the "Full Circle Bookstore." This store was one of mommy's favorite places in the whole magical land of Oklahoma City because it had walls and walls of magnificent books. The shelves that held them all stretched all the way up into the sky and past the clouds. These books held the secrets of the world within their covers. Reading each book was like traveling to another land and meeting wonderful new people. Also, there was a train set there.

Ezra and mommy got into their trusty blue chariot and whisked away towards this glorious store of books. Ezra spoke of graham crackers and doggies as mommy maneuvered the chariot through the peaceful streets. They were on a mission, and nothing was going to get in their way. They watched the scenery whisk by them as the store came closer and closer. Music from the chariot's stereo filled the air, and sunlight flooded through the windows. They were almost there!

Mommy pulled the chariot into the clearing in front of the "Full Circle Bookstore" and nimbly leapt out. She went around to the other side where Ezra was strapped into his "chariot throne" and flung open the chariot door to retrieve him. But, Oh No! What's this? Little Ezra had fallen fast asleep on the journey and showed no signs of waking! Mommy didn't know what to do! She decided that sleep was more important than train sets and magical books of wonder, so she quietly crept back into the chariot to maneuver her way back home where Ezra could nap peacefully for hours upon hours. She turned off the music and made a comfortable pillow for Ezra to rest his head upon in his chariot throne.

When they got back to their home, mommy made every effort to turn off the chariot quietly and not disturb the sleeping little boy in the backseat. She tip-toed over to him and gently, (oh so gently!) unstrapped him from his throne. She tenderly lifted little Ezra from the chariot and quietly prayed that he would not wake up. He didn't stir. He was hanging limply over her shoulder as she began walking slowly towards the house.

But then, out of nowhere, an Icky Neighbor Goblin spotted Ezra and his mommy.

She yelled loudly, "Hey!", from the distance two lawns away.

Mommy pretended not to hear her. Icky Neighbor Goblins like to wake up sleeping babies, and mommy didn't want her to wake Ezra. Not today. He needed his sleep.

"Hey! Lady! Lady!!" The Icky neighbor Goblin hollered, louder still.

Mommy turned in her direction, hoping she would see that her little boy was asleep on her shoulder and that she could not holler back without disturbing him.

"You missin' a dog??" The Goblin shouted.

Mommy shook her head 'no'.

"Huh?!", yelled Icky Neighbor Goblin. "What?"

Mommy said "No." As quietly as she could.

"Huh?!" "What?!"

"No!" yelped mommy angrily.

The sound of mommy's voice woke Ezra up from his deep slumber and he started to cry. He was grumpier than the grumpiest Grump, and he cried and cried and cried and wailed. He would not go back to sleep.

Icky Neighbor Goblin shrugged and walked back into her cave.

And they all lived happily ever after...

(Except for mommy and the extremely cantankerous little Ezra.)

The End.

July 29, 2006

My DVD Player has become a Toaster Oven.

Suspect #1

I've been feeling restless- like I'm wanting to find exitement and meaning... a tangible goal to aim my life towards. Something on the other side of my front door. Something to wake up to and fight for and work hard for. Something to strive towards and earn. Something that is mine completely. I've heard it said that this feeling is quite common for stay-at-home moms such as myself.

Yet, at the same time, I've also been feeling really l a z y. Like the effort to go anywhere is too much and I can think of a million-and-one excuses why it would be much more logical to just STAY HOME. I haven't wanted to call anyone or hang out at all. When I do have the opportunity to go out somewhere on my own, I suddenly realize that I have no idea where I'd go and even less motivation to physically get there. (One can only wander the isles of Target so often... You know it has become too often when you start to notice the misplaced items on the shelves, and before you know what you're doing, you are taking the item back to its proper place... shaking your head like you just stumbled upon your husband's dirty laundry on the floor again after repeated attempts to get him to just PUT IT IN THE LAUNDRY BASKET ALREADY.)

I find myself wishing that I had more time for myself... more of a 'life'. Then comes the full-blown pity party where I tell myself life 'isn't fair'... all the while knowing FULL WELL that if someone were to walk up to me right now and say, "Okay, Emery! Free unlimited babysitting for as long as you want it, starting now! You're free to do whatever you want!", I would STILL find excuses to stay home and take way too many baths and read way too many books and eat way too many Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets. (But they're LEAN pockets, people! That means they're 'healthy and really good for you', right?) (This is the part where I pretend I'm on a diet.)

So, how do I kick my lazy butt into gear already? How do I become motivated as a mother and as a human being again?

And, while we're at it, how do I get plastic forks out of my VCR and slices of quesedilla out of my DVD Player?

(And don't say tweezers, because I've already tried that.)

July 26, 2006

Moving a Mountain

I've just submitted an article to The Burnside Writer's Collective- a semi monthly online publication directed by Donald Miller (dude-man who wrote Blue Like Jazz). I've never done anything like that before. I know it's nothing majorly huge, but I feel like it's, at the very least, some kind of movement in the direction I so desperatley want to go. Like the first tiny pebble being moved from a gigantic wall of disbelief in my head and in my heart. And even if they choose not to use it, it has already been a huge success for me, simply because I DID IT. I can dream and dream all I want, but it's not often that dreams just fall right in to our laps, is it? They require action and faith. I am open to wherever God wants to lead me and wherever He plans to take us in this life. But I am becoming more and more convinced that these desires and passions He's placed in our hearts are there for a reason. The question is: What will we do with them? And when?

July 20, 2006

Superman the Christmas Elf

Well, he's done it again. Chris has made another amazing toy made from scratch. This time, a fort of wonders! I'm begining to believe that Chris is really just a Christmas Elf in disguise. A really, really tall Christmas Elf that doesn't like eggnog.

Today was a hard day because I felt really bored all day and didn't know what to do with Ezra so we watched a lot of TV and then I felt bad. But, can we talk about this heat for a moment?? It was 110 DEGREES outside today. At 7:30 PM. And at 7:30 AM? It was a brisk 92 DEGREES. It's not even cooling down at night so that when the sun comes up again the next day, it just picks up where it left off and all the car tires start melting to the pavement and the flowers in front of my house shrivel up and make me look bad.

IT'S TOO HOT. Did you hear that, God? A little help here, please. Ezra misses his garden hose. He can't play with it lately because when I turn it on, the water comes out boiling... as if it's ready to be poured straight into a mug with a nice loose-leaf tea bag to steep in it... Is all this heat really necessary? What good is it doing??

All that to say, Chris saved the day again by making an ultra-fun toy from the big new TV box. (I added the mailbox touch and made some letters from some cardboard scraps to put through the slot.) Then, he made dinner. Then, he played with Ezra. And he had just come home from working all day long OUTSIDE. In the heat.

If he's not a Christmas elf, then he's most definetly Superman.

That's why I wanted him to buy those boxers so bad..

*nudge nudge wink wink*

It's Sortof Almost Kinda For Sure Official!

OK, so I haven't said anything about it until now because I didn't want it to fall through again after I posted pics and everything, but it looks pretty "official" at this point... We're meant to close on a house on August 15th! It's a great 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath house with a huge 2 car garage, and Chris and I are really excited about it. The inspections went great, (no tree roots holding this one together) and now we just have to get the apraisal and the insurance taken care of. Plus, our mortgage/tax/insurance payment is going to be LESS monthly than we're paying now in rent! woo woo! I'm sooooo glad the others fell through.... phew!
Here's some pics:

front of house (we're going to paint it different colors)


living room

dining area

guest bedroom/office

master bedroom

Ezra's room


Great porch!


July 19, 2006

Intense Dream

I have had three really intense dreams in my life... the kind where you wake up and you KNOW that what you were just dreaming was more than just the run-of-the-mill subconsious ramblings.
Last night, I had my fourth really intense dream ever. And it was... well, intense.

I had a dream that I was going to church, only it was in this big outdoor stadium and there were THOUSANDS of people filling it up. Everyone was excited because that day there was going to be a big race, and everyone was going to participate. But then something happened (I think it was weather related) and most of the people started to leave. There were huge traffic jams because everyone was leaving at once, and it was so crazy looking that I went around taking pictures of the chaos with Chris' camera phone. Our family knew we had to stay.

After that, there were still a good number of people who weren't leaving the stadium because they still wanted to participate in the race. Everyone was sortof milling about waiting, when it was suddenly announced that there wouldn't be a race afterall. Everyone became really, really angry and started shouting and yelling and leaving the arena. Chris, Ezra, and I, along with a handful of others, banded together because we knew we couldn't leave just because there was no race. We knew that we were going to stick it out and remain with the church. The angry mob turned against us and started attacking and killing those of us who were remaining with and fighting for the church.

We were backed into a corner and there was a little shack that we all ran into. We started trying to board up the doors and the windows, but the shack walls seemed to be made out of cardboard. We put nails through the locks and tried to make latches for the doors with the materials we had. The angry army of people were just outside, surrounding the shack, but they seemed to be waiting for some sort of signal to attack. Chris and I knew that our situation was pretty hopeless, but we were doing everything we could to get ready. Ezra was still with us. The handful of us in the shack were ready to risk it all and fight to the end.

I saw my mom and dad running towards the shack and I knew they had come to say their last goodbyes to us. I ran out to meet them, and my mom and I embraced and through tears she told me I had to be brave and that she was entrusting the family to Chris, Ezra, and I. I specifically remember her saying "I give you all the Aunts of the family". We said our goodbyes I was trying to figure out a way to hide Ezra somewhere in the shack in order to keep him safe. And that's when I woke up.

July 18, 2006

That Abundant Kind of Life...

I'm feeling a definite shifting going on in my heart again, and I'm so grateful for it that I'm almost afraid to talk about it out of fear that it might dash away again if I shine too much light in its direction...

For a while now I have felt numb to life, like I was just 'going through the motions' and not feeling much or experiencing much along the way. I was on 'autopilot' and the days were flying by with no distinction or color in them. But the last week or so, I have felt that familiar yearning for more again, and my heart is actively becoming a part of all the little moments in my day.

And it all started with a sunset. I was about to leave Target and I stopped in the little Starbucks in there to bring home a yummy drink for Chris before I left. I ordered his drink and went over to the large window to look out while I waited. I was feeling numb. And empty. But there was the most amazing bright blue and orange swirly cloud-filled sunset going on just above my head. And there, through the dirty picture window at a random Target in the middle of Oklahoma, I got a glimpse of God again. I sat there for a long time and breathed in and out deeply while trying to capture the image of the sky in my mind for good. I drove home feeling filled up.

And since then, I've been feeling this life bubble up slowly, and I have started desiring to get up early just to read and pray and drink my coffee in my living room before Ezra wakes up. (Because as I am slowly learning, the only time in the day that is really all mine is that sleepy time in the morning before my son stirs in his crib.) I feel new-ness again, like a page is slowly being turned in my life and it's just about to drop down to reveal what's on the other side.

I want to get a part-time job. Something I can do two or three evenings a week.
I want to start writing more music. And actually do something with it.
I want to write a children's book.
I want to write a big-people book.
I want to have friendships that challenge me and enrich my life.

This, right now, is LIFE. And what am I doing with it? I want to LIVE it well. LIVE it fully. I don't want it to pass by me, swollen with uneventful days that all blur together and get lost forever. There's more to life than this. And I feel like it's right under my nose.

I just finished reading a book called "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith. It's an amazing book. In it, the 15 year-old girl named Francie writes this prayer in her journal near the end of the novel. I decided to make it my prayer, too:

"Dear God, let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be happy; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry... have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed.
Let me be sincere- be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost."

So I'm ready to start living that abundant kind of life that doesn't care what the norm is, or what others have to say about it. The kind of life that is contagious and has no intention of 'staying within the lines'... the kind that always has more goals than regrets and that gets brighter and stronger with every single year that goes by.

July 15, 2006

Family Crisis 2006: The Television Meltdown

I took Ezra to the mall the other day because there is this little play area where he can climb on things and slide down things and run around like a bonafide mad-man without getting hurt because everything is made out of squishy foam. He was having a blast and more and more kids were showing up until it was quite crowded. It quickly turned into third-degree chaos, but Ezra didn't seem to mind and he was playing happily.

Suddenly, he spotted a little boy with blonde hair who was a little older than he is. Ezra gasped loudly and began pointing to this little boy as if he was urgently trying to convey something to him. Ezra began to follow this boy around and would not stop POINTING at him as hard as he could. He was jabbering and talking to the little boy while lifting his arms above his head. And all the while there was much gasping. GASP! GASP! GASP!

I thought it was so cute that he'd kindof latched onto one little boy and was so adamantly trying to communicate with him. The little boy didn't mind, he was "talking" back to Ezra and letting Ezra follow him around.

It got to the point where Ezra would not let this kid go anywhere and the little boy was starting to feel smothered. I could sense his frustartion from across the play area. This little boy would dodge and weave through obstacles trying to shake Ezra off of his trail, but everytime he turned around, there was Ezra... Pointing and gasping and waving his arms over his head.

So, when the little boy climbed up the little slide and Ezra started to follow, I decided to grab Ezra and let the boy have some space. As I went over to the slide, the little boy turned around so I could see him from the front. And there... on his T-shirt... was none other than


No wonder Ezra wouldn't leave this poor kid alone! (Ezra is slightly obsessed with Toy Story, and when we put it on, he runs around lifting his hands above his head while trying to say, "To infinity, and BEYOND!, which ends up sounding more like, "Doo wa lee, a go-go!")

I thought it was SO funny, I just started busting up laughing in the middle of the swarm of hyper children. The other mothers must have thought I was crazy, because they started herding their children towards them by pulling snacks from their bags and saying, "Come here, little Johnny....Come closer to mommy... It's SNACK TIME..."

Yesterday our TV stopped working, and Chris and I and Ezra went to buy a new one last night because OH LORD NO I CANNOT SURVIVE ONE DAY AS A TV-LESS PERSON, so we headed to Wal-Mart to check out what they had. They had a lovely selction of crappy-crap TVs made by trustworthy brand names such as "Ilo" and "Insignia" and "ThisWillBreakIn3Monthsia" , so we decided to head to Best Buy. On our way out of the store I got this really funny idea into my head and I waited until there were some people around us and then LOUDLY called out to Chris (who was walking a little ways ahead of us) :

"Hey honey! You should REALLY get some of those SUPERMAN boxers!!"

He snapped around and looked at me with big eyes like I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU JUST SAID THAT SO LOUD and I was DYING of laughing. I'm laughing right now just thinking about it. It's probably the funniest thing I've ever done.

(Oh man, you guys should've been there.BWA HAHAHA!)

Anywho... we got our TV and all is right with the world again.

July 12, 2006

Greater Perspective.

I've had such a great morning. I just got back from a Mom Group up at my church, and it was so refreshing and reassuring and it made me realize how important this day-to-day, seemingly mundane, "I-don't-have-enough-hands-to-carry-all-this-junk-and-the-baby" stuff really is... It's so good to sit around and listen to older women (who have actually SURVIVED being young mommies) talk about their experiences and what they've learned, and to let you know that you aren't crazy for feeling crazy ALMOST ALL OF THE TIME.

This is a season. It will fly by like the others. And this job I'm doing? It's SO VERY important. Ezra could literally change the world some day. Or he could change the life of ONE PERSON who was hurting or in despair and needed his friendship and guidance. And how amazing is that?? And then his children will do the same. And suddenly, I'm in this huge wave of PERSPECTIVE and I look behind me to see all the women who came before me so that I could live the blessed life I live today. And the sacrifices of constantly cleaning-up after a hyper toddler or not being able to go out as much and do things I feel like doing don't seem so huge or troublesome anymore... It's suddenly this great HONOR to be a part of something so big and natural and intricate and IMPORTANT.

I think that our generation has really lost sight of this whole 'bigger picture' way of living, and it's terribly sad. The generations before us lived with this perspective... They remembered the men and women before them and honored them, and they lived their lives knowing that the younger generation they were pouring their hearts and souls into would carry on and on and on, and they respected that cycle of life more than my generation does today.

I'm finding myself so HUNGRY to know more about my family history and where I come from and the sacrifices that were made generations ago so that I could sit here in my comfortably air-conditioned home and type this to you all on my nice computer... I want to acknowledge what they did for me and then tell Ezra about their amazing lives so he can pass it on to his little ones someday... Like, did Great Grandma Artie like to sing? Did she like to read like I do? Was Grandpa Orville stubborn like me? Were Grandpa Bob's fingers crooked like that because his daddy's fingers were crooked too? Or was it true that if you pulled on 'em hard enough, they'd go straight again? On and on and on...

I think all of this is just me feeling this natural, God-given thing built into my gut to want to know what I'm a part of and where I fit into it all. You know... like 'The Lion King'... Circle of life stuff. Elton John and whatnot.

Either that, or I've just been watching WAY too much Oprah.

July 10, 2006

Family Videos

Here's a fancy trick Chris can do that baffles me. It may be choppy video, but YES Chris is playing a song with his mouth by hitting the top of his head. (I know, whaaaaa?)

And, I haven't told you about the GASPING have I? Well, ALL DAY LONG EVERYDAY Ezra makes this gasping noise and I tried to get some of it on film. (ALL DAY EVERYDAY, people...)

haircuts are for everyone!

It's storming outside...
big rolling thunder and flashes of lightning in a really dark sky.
So... who wants a haircut?

Cicada Tennis

I hope too many of you haven't alerted the police. I wasn't lost, I was just busy... HOUSEHUNTING and whatnot.

Since my last post, my mother has come and gone and Ezra has turned into a young adult. He now says words like "Graham Cracker" and disciplines himself all on his own. When he knows he's doing something I don't approve of, he says "Nooooo" really loud and runs over to his timeout chair and sits there quietly for a minute or so before sheepishly returning to what he was doing before his naughty-ness. I'm thinking about teaching him how to balance the checkbook next week.

The time with MoMar was great and she helped me so much while Chris was away. She is one organized house-hunting machine.

We put another offer on yet ANOTHER house, but the real estate office was paging the wrong number for us to get ahold of the lady selling the house, and they accepted another offer an hour before she finally got our messages. This house-buying sure is an emotional rollercoaster. And not one of those cool fun rollercoasters, either. It's like an old rickety wooden rollercoaster with chunks missing out of the track ahead and a saftey harness that won't stay latched. Thrilling? yes. Fun? no.

We finally got Ezra a little pool he can splash around in to keep cool, and he likes it alot. The June Bugs do too. They buzz around and land in the water and swim around until they die in there. Then we fish them out with the shovel. When I was little, my brothers and I played a game called "Cicada Tennis". Cicadas are those bugs that make the HORRIBLE noise in the trees in the Summertime. We would take the garden hose and spray the trees and when the cicadas would fly out, we'd be waiting for them... With our tennis rackets. MWah ha ha ha!! (evil laughter).

I got a REALLY cool rug for under our dining room table from Chris for my birthday, and MoMar got me books and birthday money. Woo hoo! It was a good birthday.

I'm off to Barnes & Noble... Ezra is going stir-crazy.

July 3, 2006

OKC to MoMar... Do you copy?

I know, I know, the resemblance is uncanny... To clear things up: MoMar is on the left and I am on the right.

My mommy is coming! My mommy is coming!!

I'm so excited to spend a few days with MoMar because she will get to see how BIG Ezra is getting and she will keep me company whilst my husband is away. Chris is going to Cornerstone with the band he's in called East & Waiting. He will be gone for 3 days and MoMar will be here to help me function without him. Also, it's my birthday on Thursday and she will be here to celebrate that with me. I'm going to be 24!*&%@&^!!!! (No big whoop.)

So, all that stands between me and MoMar right now is 2.5 hours and about a GA-JILLION freeways. Chris explained how to get to the airport to me again last night, and it sounded more complicated than a 25 page Quantam Physics test that must be compeleted in 5 minutes time. Blindfolded. Without pencils. Standing on your head..... You get the point. It's complex.

He said something about the 235 to the 40 to the 44 to the 6283 to the 1.56 to the thirtytooth? And did I catch a Niner in there?

If you don't hear from me in a few days, alert the police. It's quite probable that I will end up in Florida or possibly Canada on accident. And, considering how good I am at geography, I won't be able to find my way back.

July 2, 2006

Emery's Recipe for Cheese

You will need:

one (1) sippy cup
2 cups whole milk
The backseat of one (1) Toyota Matrix
4 days of 100+ degree weather
one (1) Government Issued Gas-Mask

Step 1: Give sippy cup full of milk to 17 month old son in his carseat on your way to Barnes & Noble.
Step 2: Wait for your son to throw his sippy cup under the driver's seat of the car.
Step 3: Forget all about the sippy cup for 4 days.
Step 4: Ask your husband, "Have you seen the blue sippy cup anywhere? IT HAS COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED."
Step 5: Send husband out to the car to look for missing sippy cup. (Found!)
Step 6: Unscrew lid of sippy cup. (IMPORTANT: Make sure you secure your gas-mask PRIOR to opening sippy cup lid.)
Step 7: Remove chunky cheese chunk from sippy cup.

Ta Da! It's as easy as that!
Fresh Cheeeeese!