Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Happy birthday to ... me!

Yes, yes ... today is my birthday. I'm officially 32 (even though I have until this evening to have been out of the womb a full 32 years.

People ask me if I have any big plans ... and, no, not really.

The kids did tell me "happy birthday" today ... but only barely before they left for school.
(What can I say? My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic IS a bit more exciting!)

But I did get some presents --
  • My Grampy sent me a card (and a check). I made sure to get a thank-you note for him into the mail so he won't worry.
  • Mom got me some nail polish (that I picked out) and some monetary help towards our upcoming family vacation (Shh!! The kids don't know!)
  • Dad gave me some money when we were down visiting last. And he and L sent up a card with a little more money. Made me smile.
  • Mom and Dad C gave me a little gift bag (that I opened this morning) containing three nail polishes, some nail stickers, and a gift card to a local beauty supply shop. How sweet!
  • And, not to be outdone ... this is what Michael gave me:

If you can't tell what it is, it's a pair of tickets to attend a lecture by NEIL "SCARY PANTS" GAIMAN.
Included in the ticket price is a copy of his new book, which he will be discussing.


I can only hope that, if I have a chance to have my book signed, that I don't act like a total lackwit.
At least Michael will be there, too, to stop me from doing anything too dumb, right?

Bucket, at first didn't get why these tickets were cool.
But I explained it in terms she understood --

Me: He's an author. You remember The Graveyard Book? With Bod?
Bucket: Yeah ... a bit.
Me: And Coraline?
                    She and Bruise LOVE the movie. We need to buy the book.  Bucket: OH!!! YES!!!!
Me: So he's the one who wrote those. And other books. And these tickets are to go hear him talk. AND they come with his new book, too! We'll get his new book.
Bucket: Will that be our new story-story (our term for bedtime story)?
Me: ... Um ... I think that this is a grown-up book. Not all his books are for kids.
Bucket: Oh. Okay.

But, yeah ...

It WAS a surprise. Michael was looking on his phone just the other day ... and remarked that it was all sold out. (Due to our upcoming vacation, I knew that tickets would probably sell out before we would get a chance to buy them.)
And I was resigned to the fact that we wouldn't make it. (We've missed other things, too. And We've survived. Somehow.)

So, this morning, Michael texts me from work --

Michael: Did you open your gift?
Me: The one from your mom? No, not yet. I need to open the card from Grampy ... and mail him and [J - his wife] a thank-you.
Michael: The one at your computer!
(I look around ... and notice something taped to the top of my monitor, dangling behind it.)
Me: Oh! It was mostly behind my monitor, so I hadn't noticed it!
Squeeeeeeee!!! Oh my gosh! I thought they were sold out?
(I was very surprised. And, until I started tearing up, I didn't realize how much I really DID want to go!)
Michael: [Bucket] must have moved it back. It was behind your monitor last night. ... They were [sold out]. But not on the 3rd.

And he had already arranged babysitting ... so we'll go up and play the whole day in Portland. Yay!

(Also - It's at the Crystal Ballroom! I've only wanted to go there for, what, the last sixteen or so years! Ever since my Drama teacher told us about it, I thought it'd be cool to go there ... and NOW I WILL!)

I made sure to thank him for spoiling me (and not JUST with authors and books).
Seriously, I wish that every girl had a spouse as thoughtful and awesome as I have!
(Wouldn't the world be a much better place?? And the boys all need awesome spouses, too. But I think they'd need to be better spouses than I am. I leave a lot of room for improvement.)


Today's Book of Mormon reading was Mosiah 4:4-15.

The last three verses stuck out to me most ... about how to treat others and raise our children.
The most important things in raising children (in these verses) are:

But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another. (Mosiah 4:15)
And I see how that would really help ... It goes along the lines of love God, love everyone, and show your love through your actions.
If we're teaching our children (and loving them, too, through our actions), we will take care of them and provide for them as Heavenly Father provides for us. They will learn to recognize His love ... and will be able to pass that love to everyone around them.

And, well, wouldn't that make the world a MUCH better place?

I try to teach Bruise and Bucket (and, to a lesser extent, for now at least, Bubbles) to love everyone.
You don't have to LIKE what they're doing.
But you DO need to love and respect them as children of God.
People can be mean. They can say and do awful things ... BUT ... more often than not, when people aren't nice, it's because they are hurting inside.

And when people lash out at you, with harsh words or unkindness, you have two choices.
  1. You can be mean right back
  2. You can kill them.
    (Not like with manslaughter. That's illegal and mean and a sin. Don't do that.)
Yes, I did give my kids, as we drove around yesterday, those two options as what to do when people are being mean to you.
"Yes. WITH KINDNESS. You just be kind to them and be nice to them WHETHER THEY LIKE IT OR NOT."
Yup, that's top parenting right there.

It did make me sad that we had to have this particular conversation ... Bucket's been having to deal with girl-drama at school and at the bus stop.

A girl in the neighborhood called Bucket a liar (Bucket said she knew one person in the neighborhood, but didn't know his name to prove it ... and the other girl was like, "You can't know him! He's OUR next-door neighbor!" .... Whereas, in our household, we use the term a little more loosely ... anyone on our (short) road is, to us, a neighbor. Not that we know all of them ... which we should work on, yes?) ... And another neighbor girl told the younger girls that they were annoying.
(I had to tell Bucket that So-and-so wasn't "a brat" ... She was ACTING like a brat. ... Because, well, I don't always like labels. It's too easy to internalize bad labels. But I'm TOTES DOWN with labelling actions.)

Then, at school, two girls told Bucket that she's ugly and her clothes are ugly.
I just have to roll my eyes at this one ... but, yeah. Sometimes girls are just weird. And not in the cute, kooky, Zooey Deschanel-type way ... but in the "THE HELL are you THINKING?!?"-type way.

And, seriously, these are First Graders ... can't we still be nice and share our graham crackers at this age?

... But ... yeah. So, like I told her, either you can NOT be their friend and avoid them, you can be mean and snotty back, or you kill them with kindness by treating them how Jesus wants us to treat each other. He was kind to people, even when they weren't kind to Him. There are choices. And, if you want to be His disciple, it helps to narrow down your choices.

Still, it makes me SAD that these girls (and other people) seem to figure that the only way to make themselves feel better is to hurt/degrade other people.
So, I made sure to tell Bruise and Bucket that, when I'm having an off day and I have to be around people, one of my tricks to feeling better is to smile at a stranger.
And here's my secrets behind that:

  1. Smiling, just the ACT of smiling, releases endorphins. Just like Elle Woods says.
  2. Almost all people, when smiled at, will return that smile. And when you see that smile, you know that they are happy.
  3. So you feel even happier because you've made someone else happy!
(I also will give an honest compliment. Sometimes, the surliest/saddest-looking individual will be completely chuffed when you compliment her awesome haircolor. ... And, face it, doesn't it feel GOOD when someone tells you that your new haircut looks amazing? Or that you look great in a certain color? ... Why not BE the stranger (or friend) that GIVES those compliments? ... I figure that if I can make ONE person feel better about him/herself, that's one less person being sad. And there is MORE THAN ENOUGH pain, suffering, and sadness in this world. Let's get happy. ... Because, face it: happy, appreciated people who feel noticed, valued, and cared about don't do things to tear down other people (or commit crimes, I'd bet).
Caring isn't a bad thing. So, why don't we care a little more?)

But, yeah ... that's most of what I have to say.
I've done a load of dishes, refreshed the laundry, ... I should practice my German and Spanish (Yay, Duolingo!) ... and be ready for the kids to come home in a couple hours.

And be so proud of me because I am dressed. I know. Sometimes I amaze myself. >.<

No comments:

Counting ...

HTML hit counter - Quick-counter.net
EU Users: This might use cookies. If it does, let me know and I can work on getting one that doesn't.