April 24, 2007

A Shoddy View of Beauty.

Ezra makes me tired.

He has been acting like his food has been laced with 'uppers' the last couple of weeks. He is spastic and crazy and bouncing off the walls. He has suddenly abandoned his cleanliness and tears each room apart the second I clean it up. He runs from me at every available opportunity. He is FAST. No more up and down bouncy toddler jogging... This kid can sprint! Do you know how long it takes for a two-year-old to disappear between the trillion bookshelves in Barnes & Noble? I swear, I blinked and didn't find him again until two life-shortening minutes later- he was over by the Music. The music!! That's a long ways away from the kids books!

One sweet relief I have had to all this wacky behavior is our wonderful backyard. This past weekend, we spent two full days working on the front and back lawns. We have some really super amazingly great new neighbors (she's a stay at home mom too!! Hurrah!) and her father tilled both of our lawns for us. Then we seeded them both and watched as mother nature did all the watering for us. Soon, we will have nice, lush grass. I can't wait. In the meantime, Chris worked his tooshie off and sectioned off the part of the yard where Ezra's swing set is and filled it with mulch. This is FANTASTIC because it makes our yard look awesome, and Ezra doesn't get covered in mud every time he plays outside now. Here's some pics:

Pretty cool, eh?

Also, the roses! I love them! They make me look like I know how to keep pretty plants alive! Even though I don't! Have! A! Clue!

And yet, even though Ezra is a handful and wears me to the bone, I am feeling more content and happy than I ever have in my life. I am absolutely falling in love with Oklahoma and the people here and my church. I love my neighborhood. I think we have a family crush on our new neighbors. heh. I feel grounded and proud of the momma and the wife I am becoming. I screw up all the time, but am actually living in GRACE for the first time ever, I think. I am writing. This is good. I am thinking of taking classes, maybe aiming towards an English Degree sometime in the future. (I have an Associates Degree, but never got the full Bachelor's Degree.) This is good too. I am quietly happy, ridiculously blessed.

I am learning to keep away from DRAMA and the people who seem to be able to pull it from thin air. Life should be simple. If it's never simple, never has been simple, then the drama may be feeding something inside of you. You may need it and not even know it. Even when times are really hard and painful, they don't have to be drama. Hard times can (should?) be simple times too.

I am looking myself in the mirror and squaring my shoulders and trying not to waste time feeling ugly. I've been sold a shoddy view of BEAUTY by this world, and I don't plan to chase the smoke of it to my grave. I plan to live. Live well. Be comfortable in my own skin. Why do none of us feel this way? Because we've been taught that beauty equals thin. Bone thin. We've been taught that beauty equals YOUTH of all things! (The ONE most unattainable goal in this life!) I want to be the kind of beautiful with deep laugh lines and quiet wisdom. I want to be beautiful because of a generous heart and open arms, not because of smooth skin and perfect hair...

I am rambling. Ramble Ramble. I'll close with this: A recipe my sister-in-law and her hubby gave me for the YUMMIEST and EASIEST Chicken WonTon Salad in the world. Try it. You will LOVE it. (Save some for me.)

Chicken WonTon Salad

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 head of green lettuce
1/2 of a package of wontons. (I find them in the cold health food section- by the tofu and whatnot)
3-4 green onions
1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons White Vinegar
4 tablespoons Sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon accent (pure msg.. mmm)
fresh ground pepper

Bake chicken at 350 for 40 minutes (or I just throw it on the george foreman grill for 12 mins or so if frozen. 7 mins if thawed.) Cool and cube.
Fry wontons in oil until golden brown, cool and CRUMBLE. (this part is fun! Stress relief while cooking dinner!)
Tear lettuce into bite sized pieces. (MORE stress relief! wee!)
Chop green onions.
Place everything in a big fat bowl, add dressing, toss and serve!

OK, I am now drooling.
The End.


sufferingsummer said...

This is a beautiful post and a good reminder to embrace what beauty really is or should be anyway. oh and your playground in your back yard....now that makes me drool.

Cameron Ingalls said...

i am so so so so so sooooooo proud of you my friend! i love that you are having grace for yourself and i ADORE the fact that you are writing! SO PROUD! did i mention that?

can't wait to have i-chat dinner in the future.

Misguided Mommy said...

really love your yard! i miss my roses!

momar said...

Spring is responsible for this ... The yard is delightful, the roses are beautiful and you are very special. I might try the salad tonight !!

cam said...

Hey, congrats on the great new neighbors! I wish we had neighbors like that. :)

I love what y'all did with the area around the swingset. I've never even thought of that...but I think I'm going to steal the idea.

I enjoyed reading your other thoughts, too. Good points.

L.A. Daddy said...

Cool yard! LA Toddler needs something like that.

You beautiful people and your beauty issues! You drive me crazy! :) Especially when I was taken out back and beaten with the "ugly stick" as a child...

Andrea June said...

Once again, you've managed to communicate so deeply through the simplest things. I'm so glad that you're feeling content and happy. I've been experiencing a bit of contentedness after my slumpy period, and it is SO amazing. Yay for your yard, your church, and your new neighbors. Most of all, yay for YOU!!! Good job, Emery :)

Uncle Dave said...

Giving out our recipe huh? have you guys had to buy another canister of accent yet? Oh and ichat dinners sound like fun.

Misguided Mommy said...

dear em-
really really longing for a super woohoo wowie clark family fun post with fun ezzie pictures....its been a while since we've had a post involving a milk jug, a spoon, a lampshade, a piece of lint and ummmm an artichoke...oh yeah and eyelashes, lots and lots of yummy eye lashes...please....post fun crazy and wild pictures soon!

a bored mom

sugarlips said...

Man I feel like I just read my horiscope for today or something. You nailed it. I'm dealing with something that's adding more drama in my life than neccessary. I'm a simple person. I hate drama. Such good stuff. I'm waiting for the book to come out! You should just make one of all your blogs. I'd buy it.

hope and jojos mom said...

love reading your stuff Emery! You are a very inspiring person and you do have this quiet wisdom within you already! I love being your friend and I love love love your new play area in your back yard mmmmmmm we are gonna steel your idea and make our yard like a park for the kids too! Thanks! And thank you for writing - its one of my favorite things to do - sit down quietly and read what your thinking! love you!

Kaylen said...

That's a super-cute playground! It makes me want to have a baby just so he can get a little older and then I can make him one just like it!!