Amy Lanham

finding beauty in the middle of the mess

Category: Mess (page 1 of 20)

Duped

clothes

The offending clothes.

“Mom! Tomorrow is dress like a grown up day at school. I need you to help me put an outfit together.”

This from the mouth of my youngest son as he was getting ready for bed. He was already going to be late turning in as it was.

I had that momentary mom debate. Do I draw the line and tell him we’ll take care of it in the morning, or just say sorry, he should have told me earlier? Or, do I take a few minutes to help him gather some things? I opted for the latter, mainly because he rarely wants to participate in events such as these, so I actually felt a little encouraged.

He proceeds to pull out a white dress shirt from the closet and put it on. Next, he hunts down a tie he is happy with. Third on the list is pants. Keep in mind, the seasons are beginning to turn. I haven’t pulled out all of his brother’s hand-me-downs yet for the new season. I trudge into his brother’s room and dig through a storage tub in the closet for a pair of dress pants that will hopefully fit. Now, he digs through the drawer for a belt. There are two and we have to make sure which one fits him now. At this point, he begins insisting on a jacket. His brother has a black suit coat and he wants to wear one like that (which we don’t have in his size). I remember we have a nice dress coat hanging in the entryway closet. I drag it out and he tries it on.

People, this has now been a nearly half hour process. I woke up at 4:30 that morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. I am beyond ready to crawl into my own bed.

Finally, he’s satisfied and I tuck him in. I sing him the two songs I have sung every night for as long as I can remember and say the prayer I always say. As soon as I head to his CD player to turn on the audiobook he is currently listening to, he begins to cackle. Not a gentle chuckle. Not a snicker. A full-blown, laughing his head off guffaw.

“Why are you laughing?” I ask.

He laughs harder.

“What is going on?” I press.

He looks at me with sheer glee. “It’s not dress like a grown up day tomorrow!! I tricked you!”

Me: Silence. Dead, furious, livid, stunned silence.

He sees my rage…a bit of a look of panic on his face.

Quietly, “Um, I’ll still wear it tomorrow if you want me to, Mom. Anyway, all isn’t lost. Now we know what I can wear for my school program.”

I maturely leave the room with no words and a slam of my own bedroom door, much to my husband’s dismay. As I relay the story, he sees more of the humor than my distress, which doesn’t help. The ridiculousness of it all strikes me and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I choose to laugh, although I’m still pretty darn mad at this point. How in the world did I give birth to this kind of menace?

A word of warning if you have children. Do not under any circumstances allow them to watch YouTube videos about pranks. I can’t help but think that’s what made the idea enter that little head of his.

I still remember as a kid pretending to be a spider, crawling out from under my bed at bedtime and biting my dad on the shoulder. Unfortunately, I bit way too hard and took a chunk out. No joke. Let’s just say that didn’t go over too well.

Parenting is dangerous, no question about it. At least I get good blogging material from my kids.

Oh, and if your kid tells you it’s a certain dress up day at school and you haven’t heard anything about it, be very, very suspicious.

Blessings,

 

Abandoned

IMG_1461

If you suddenly had to pack up most of your belongings, but you couldn’t take everything, what would the things left behind say about you? The recent hurricanes have me thinking about things like this.

The other day my husband and I had the chance to explore an old, abandoned home. And not just old, but built in 1870. There were so many amazing features, and some not so amazing due to the lack of care for who knows how long.

IMG_1460

The once beautiful stained glass around the front door gave the entry character, as well as this piece inside the home that the camera on my phone doesn’t do justice to. I also loved the double-sided fireplace.

IMG_1467

I loved the entrance to the backyard. I’m even more impressed with how I caught the rays of light filtering down. As you can tell from my photos, I’m clearly not a photographer, but sometimes I fancy myself to be one.

IMG_1457IMG_1458

The ruined garden showed the previous owners possessed a touch of whimsy. They clearly loved nature. There was a composter on the property and even a small greenhouse built on to what I imagine might have been an art studio, but that’s purely conjecture.

IMG_1463IMG_1464

I’ve always wanted a house with little access doors like you see below. They just make my imagination run wild. My cousin had a small door that led into her unusually shaped closet at the top of the house when I was little and I thought that was so amazing. The poet, James Whitcomb Riley, had one like this in his house and he made up poems about it. My gramma used to read this one to me:

Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,–An’ when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs, His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl, An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wuzn’t there at all! An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press, An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’-wheres, I guess; But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an’ roundabout:–An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you Ef youDon’tWatchOut! –from “Little Orphant Annie”

IMG_1471

As I walked through the house, I tried to piece together my own story of what the owners were like and what they valued and enjoyed. While doing so, it made me wonder what someone would think about me if I suddenly pulled up roots and left pieces of my life behind.

IMG_1472IMG_1465IMG_1469IMG_1466

Hmm…what do you think?

So, I did a little online research, and it turns out that many of my suspicions were accurate. It’s fascinating what just a few items can convey and what a home can say about a person, even when nearly stripped empty.

We love to watch home improvement shows at our house. Recently, we’ve been watching Good Bones which is actually based in Indianapolis. Many of the homes they renovate are historic homes just like this one and often have layers of items left behind. How does that even happen? Do the people die? How can they manage to leave all of their possessions behind? Abandoned homes scream tragedy to me, so I love to watch the people who can bring them back to life.

I’ve always had a big imagination. When I was in third grade I got in trouble because I scared my friend Hope with a story I made up about a house in the woods you could see from our neighborhood. Her mom called my mom because my tales of potential ghouls in the house gave her nightmares. I’m not sure whether to laugh now or be mortified! I think the people in this house were a bit interested in ghouls themselves.

So, here are my final questions. Would your home reflect a person you would be proud of if someone were to piece together the leftover puzzle of your life? Is the person you portray to others the person you actually are? Sometimes who we are and who we desire to be can be vastly different. Let that soak in for a bit. For me, these are sobering questions.

Here’s to more imagination,

IMG_0702

 

 

Time for a Cleaning

The other day my husband looked at my wedding ring and said, “Yuck. I think you need to clean that up.” Looking down, I realized he wasn’t kidding. It’s funny how over time both soap and grime combines to make something look dull and drab.

When we first got married, I pretty regularly put my ring in a cleaning solution. Having a ring like that on my finger was a new and exciting event. Now, admittedly, I do it once in a great while (like maybe once a year). The good news is, no matter how much time has gone by, it still seems to sparkle like new after a good scrubbing.

Our actual marriages can bear a lot of similarities to our wedding rings. In the beginning after our “I do’s” we put a lot of time and effort into our relationship. We are happy, even blissful, under normal circumstances. Life together is new and exciting.

Over time, it becomes much more difficult to put the time and effort into the relationship. Work gets in the way. Kids get in the way. Our health gets in the way. LIFE gets in the way. You get the picture. That once vibrant relationship begins to look a little dreary and soap-caked.

I’m taking my husband away for one night this week for his birthday. The time has come for a little bedazzling. Marriage needs maintenance just like appliances and cars.

If your relationship with your spouse is feeling a little humdrum these days, the good news is that it might not take much to shake off the dust. Here are a few ideas for a bit of renewal:

  1. Work on some kind of project together. I’ve been helping J around the house lately with some things and it has allowed us time to talk and catch up.
  2. Take a class together. He’s still trying to convince me to do yoga with him.
  3. Put the electronics away at night and play a game together, just the two of you. One of my friends on Facebook asked for suggestions for two player card games recently. She received a ton of responses.
  4. Hire a babysitter and go on a date night. We recently did this with another couple (that way you can split the cost of the sitter) and went to a comedy club. It’s good to laugh together.
  5. Drop some notes of encouragement through text or email.

Even the best marriages need a little tuning up sometimes. What works for you and your spouse?

Blessings,

Older posts

© 2017 Amy Lanham

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑