Friday, February 28, 2014

Matthew's Five-Year-Old Interview

1. What is your favorite T.V. show? Power Rangers and Ben 10.
2. What did you have for breakfast? Orange and chicken and cheese. Is that what you had for breakfast? Oh. Hmmm. Pancakes and Applesauce.
3. What is your middle name? David
4. Favorite Food? Chips and chicken.
5. What food do you dislike? Oh I do not like peas. Oh and wemen. WOMEN? No. WEMEN. Oh lemon? Yeah. 'Cause it is sour and makes my face do this. Pucker face accompanied the comment.
6. What is your favorite color? Blue.
7. Favorite lunch? Noodles. Or a burger.
8. What is your favorite thing to do? Play with my friends.
9. If you could anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? To Disneyland and Sea World. Well that's good. If I could go anywhere in the world it would be Italy. Or Fiji. Or Australia. Or England. Apparently I have richer travel blood than my five-year-old who just wants to go theme parks.
10. Favorite sport? Soccer. Basketball.
11. When is your birthday? We're going to Chuck E. Cheese's. But when is your birthday? What day? it March? Oh dear. At least last year he knew that his birthday was in February.
12. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night person. I like to sleep. Indeed.
13. Pets? A dog and a fish and a cat.
14. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? Yeah. My birthday.
15. What do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor and a fireman and a cop and an army man.
16. What is your favorite candy? Lollipop.
17. What is the farthest you've ever been from home? Grandma's. You think? Yeah. Where did you go last year? Disneyland. Did we fly somewhere on an airplane? Yep. Where? To Israel. Do you think that's the farthest? No. I mean, yeah.
18. What is your favorite book? In the Castle
19. What are you most proud of? I know how to read.
20. What is your favorite movie? Frozen.
21. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I don't know what you're saying. I tried explaining. The chicken, I guess.

And, for fun, I asked him the same questions that James Lipton asks at the end of Inside the Actor's Studio.

1. What is your favorite word? Hmmm. The. That cracked me up. He has been on a "the" kick lately, finding it everywhere and pointing it out and getting super exciting that he possesses the word "the" in his name.
2. What is your least favorite word? It starts with a b. Okay, what is it? Butt.
3. What turns you on? (I rephrased with, "What do you like?") I don't quite know yet. Well, can you think of something that you like? You. And Garrett and Daddy.
4. What turns you off? (I rephrased with, "What don't you like?") The evil brain. (Krang from Ninja Turtles)
5. What sound or noise do you love? Singing.
6. What sound or noise do you hate? Screaming.
7. What is your favorite curse word? I don't like bad words. Can you just tell me one? It's okay. Stupid.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Singing.
9. What profession would you not like to do? Babysitting. ??? Okay.
10 If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? (I omitted the "If Heaven exists" part) Hello. How are you doing? Come in.

Happy Birthday MattMan

Dear Son,

I say it every year, but I simply cannot comprehend where all the time has gone. At 12:42 today, you turned five. Four means you're still my baby. Five means you're a big boy. Practically grown up in every, single way. Like every other red-blooded American child under the age of twelve and *ahem* a certain 32-year-old that I happen to know well, you're obsessed with the movie Frozen. I asked for, and received, the soundtrack for Christmas and it's a wonder the thing still plays what with all the use it has endured in these past two months. You constantly ask to listen to it. On occasion you'll want to start with the "cut the ice" song but usually you want to go straight to "Let It Go" and, because you're my son, you want the Idina Menzel version and not the one sung by Demi Lovato. I'm proud of you, Son. If you can choose Broadway stars over Disney turned pop stars, my advice is to do it. Every time. In the song, there is a line that says, "It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small." I'm sure this isn't solid advice for every situation. I can't imagine that the passing of time would make mass murder seem like a tiny thing. Nor should it. But that line has recently struck me as truth in my own life. Crisis+distance=Small. I look back, in the rear view mirror, and the stress just disappears on the backward horizon until all I can see are the stones of remembrance I've brought along with me. This manifests itself in the way I catch myself saying things like, "When I had Matthew." It's as though I sometimes forget that I didn't actually give birth to you. It's the way that I remember all those months of wondering if you'd forever be mine but I can only vaguely recall how much it hurt. The place where the pain used to be is filled with your smile, your squealy laugh, and the sound of your little boy voice.

That space is also filled with the sound of your sobs each and every time you see an image of Krang (or, as you call it, "The Evil Brain") from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Just the other day, it was actually warm enough for you to wear a short sleeve shirt (IN FEBRUARY! IN UTAH!) to school. I took a new Ninja Turtles shirt out of your drawer, pulled the tag off and the next thing I knew, Garrett had spotted the image of Krang off to the side. I promise you, Raphael, Donatello, Leonardo and Michelangelo were at the forefront. Krang was a total afterthought. But, once you saw that image taking up residence on your shirt, you flipped your everloving lid. Flipped it. Straight off. I was eventually able to convince you to wear it to school, but only after covering it up with a Batman hoodie.

You amaze me with how quickly you learn new things. By the end of June, you knew all of your letters and could read easy two letter words. By the middle of autumn you could read level one kindergarten books. Now, you're cruising through Bob books and once a week you go and read to the kindergarten teacher that Garrett had last year. You ask to do flash cards. You know tons of colors, shapes, numbers and sight words. 

Not only is your mind thirsty for knowledge, you're a sieve for learning new physical things. You're obsessed with gymnastics and we're giving you lessons for your birthday. Several weeks ago we watched "The Gabby Douglas Story" together and now you're trying to learn how to do a flip. You attempt to cartwheel everywhere. You can still stand on your head and almost do the splits. Last Saturday we took you to watch the University of Utah gymnastics team take on Oregon State. You sat on my lap and watched the entire meet stating, when it was over, that the vault was your favorite thing to watch. I'm sure that you'll wonder why you don't get to do it on your first day. You're also wrestling for the first time this year and you love it! Of course, like everything else, you seemed to pick it up quickly, mastering the "duck walk" on your very first day. 

I love you more with every passing day. I love hearing you sing from your seat behind me in the car. I love when you move sideways toward me, your cheek leading the way, and ask, "Are you gonna kiss me on my chubby cheek?" I'm slightly less thrilled when you tell me that you're going to kiss my chubby cheek but that has a lot more to do with the fact that I don't really want to have chubby cheeks. I do love when your lips pucker up and plant one on the side of my face though. I love your giggle, your muscular little body, the fact that you hold your friends hands when you go places with them. 

I do not really love Picksaw. Picksaw (if that's how you spell it) is your imaginary brother. I never had an imaginary friend. I once tried to pretend I had an imaginary friend because I thought it would be cool but keeping up the charade was exhausting. It lasted no longer than two days. Your dad never had an imaginary friend. Your brother never had one either. So, this is new territory for us. It's annoying. First, let's start with his name. Just. What? Picksaw? Also, sometimes you do naughty things and then blame them on Picksaw. This led to me opening the door and telling Picksaw to get out. I explained (to the air) that I would not have naughty children living in this house and that he was welcome to stay if, and only if, he could behave himself. Picksaw's been the picture of perfection ever since. But he still bugs me. Because his name is Picksaw.

For the very first time, you requested a location for your birthday party. In years past we have just picked for you because you haven't had an opinion. This year you were dying to have a party at Chuck E. Cheese. Initially, we said no. Chuck E. Cheese parties are expensive and their pizza tastes like cardboard. You continued to ask. With your big chocolate eyes and your pearly white smile and your fat toddler cheeks that I secretly hope stick around for awhile, you pleaded. 

I gave in.

Because you've never asked for a party before. And because you've got me wrapped around your little finger. So tonight you and a handful of friends are going to go celebrate with an oversized mouse. You are bouncing off the walls excited. And we are excited to celebrate you. 

On this day we celebrate our rough and tumble, intelligent, coordinated, snuggleable, incredible kid. We celebrate who you are and the amazing gift we got when your mother sacrificially chose to let us have you. We celebrate five years of knowing you and loving you. Happy Birthday to my MattyMattyMattMan. You're one in a billion and sometimes I still can't believe that you're mine.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Hoarders: Teachers Addition

When I can snag a kindergarten job at a school within ten minutes of my house, I DO IT. Kindergarten is a super sub job because I get over an hour break in the middle of the day, if something goes wrong in the morning, I can adjust for the afternoon, and kindergartners are typically hilarious and sweet little angels.

Today, I got into the classroom and managed to find the bin with the sub plans...

But not before surveying the colossal disaster and potential next episode of Hoarders that was to be my classroom for the next seven hours. There was a kidney table, a rectangle table, and a teacher's desk. Out of those three locations, I couldn't find anywhere to set my stuff. Usually I shove it under the teacher's desk. This was the top of her desk...

Under her desk were boxes and files in piles. Her iPad had made its' home on her rolling chair. The kidney table was filled with multiple layers of all manner of educational paraphernalia. At one point, I cleared some of it away to make space to eat my lunch. I discovered completed Fountas & Pinnell (an important reading assessment) paperwork under unused Valentine activities and used Kleenex.

And the counter space looked like this. All of it.

Everything was in such a state of disarray that I--with my borderline obsessive compulsive disorder regarding clutter--could barely function. At one point I started to organize part of the room but decided there was just too much to do and too little time. (And, you know, the fact that I was way overstepping my bounds.)

It wasn't just the way the room looked, either. The morning class was, by far, the worst kindergarten class I've ever encountered. And I've encountered a lot. At one point I said, rather loudly, "One, two, three. Eyes on me." While this is the way the teacher told me to get their attention, only one student answered with, "One two, eyes on you." None of the other 21 students had any desire to listen to me. As I read to them about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, not a one of them paid attention to me. When I stopped and told them that I would start again when they could be quiet, they looked at me, blinked a few times, and then returned to their side conversations. They pushed. They shoved. They couldn't keep their own body parts to themselves. They spit. They cried. They tattled. Over and over and over again they squealed on each other. "She bumped into me!" "He touched her HAIR!" "He's not supposed to do his journal THAT WAY!"

The afternoon class was better but still takes the silver medal for WORST KINDERGARTEN CLASS I'VE EVER SUBBED FOR.

The lesson plans said things like, "Give the Star Student a bracelet located in the baggie in the desk under the document camera." Easy enough. Except the room was such a mess it took me a solid two minutes to find the document camera. (And they aren't small!)

It was exhausting.

And so the opposite of a healthy learning environment.

On the other hand, I'm singing the praises of my own child's kindergarten and first grade teachers who have both been incredibly organized and, therefore, total rock stars as far as I'm concerned.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


The littlest member of our family is having himself a birthday on Friday. I needed to pick up one more present for him so, after church today, the oldest child and I went to Costco. I collected the gift, bananas, tomatoes, oranges, and bagels. Just as I was heading to the rotisserie chicken department, we spotted some samples. I've always been all about Costco samples--although I did find it odd today when we came across a maple syrup sample that was just maple syrup in a cup with a spoon--so we started checking them out. One, in particular, was a chunk of cheese with truffles. I, for the life of me, could not remember what a truffle was apart from a delicious piece of chocolate. I knew it was chocolate and simultaneously something else altogether. I also knew that this particular piece of cheese did not have chocolate in it. As I tried to remember what a truffle was, Garrett suggested that we try it. We shoveled those chunks into our mouths. I chomped it down between my teeth.

And then I immediately regretted it. As I held the strangest flavor, suspended between my jaws, I began searching for the nearest trashcan. My life might have even flashed before my eyes. What was I eating? Was it some kind of animal intestine? Something dead? A bug, perhaps. What was a truffle? Why could I suddenly not remember? Garrett looked at me. He was holding a half eaten piece of cheese in his hands. "The black things taste weird," he said. Then, noticing the look of death that I was failing to mask, he continued, "What's wrong?"

We have always tried to be inclusive with the foods we feed our children. We also don't tell them if we don't like something because it has been important to us not to nurture picky eaters. Our kids eat what is put in front of them. Without question. They don't have to like it, but they have to eat it. (As a side note, I do not often make them eat things that they have repeatedly shown a distaste for.) In any case, I didn't want to tell him that I hated this piece of cheese. I did not want him to know that, in fact, there was no possible way I would be able to swallow that morsel unless there was a mighty reason why I was doing it. Like $10,000 dollars. Or a new car. I opened my mouth to say something.

Instead of words coming out, I noticed that saliva was pooling under my tongue. I noticed the pungent, sharp taste spreading to all of my taste buds. And then I did what any rational 32-year-old woman would do in the same situation. I spit that sucker right into my hand like a toddler. In a stroke of luck (or a miracle, maybe) I still had a different sample in my other hand. I shoved it into my mouth and chewed fiercely to get the terrible taste of truffle cheese out.

"Can I spit mine out, too?" Garrett asked politely.

"YES!" I practically shrieked. YES! Get that thing out of your precious little mouth before you DIE OF IT.

I came home and searched for "truffle" on the Internet. Aside from seeing some fantastic pictures of chocolate, I was reminded that a truffle is a subterranean fungi.

I'm not a picky eater. So how did bits of an underground mushroom cooked into cheese almost send me over the palatable edge? Apparently, truffles are among the world's most expensive natural foods. Well, if you're a fan, there is absolutely no need to worry. I will not be fighting you over them. Unless you have another sample and a trash can readily available to me.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Just Jesus

"Jesus+Nothing=Everything." -Tullian Tchividjian


Jesus+Works of Righteousness=Everything.

Jesus+My Favorite Worship Songs on Sunday Morning=Everything.

Jesus+A Great Sermon=Everything.

Jesus+Fill in the Blank=Everything.

Just Jesus. Because Jesus is so very much more than enough. He's enough to wake up with. He's enough to fall asleep with. He's enough to get through every day that you draw breath with. He's enough when life turns out to be so much worse than you ever could have imagined. He's enough for your crises. He's enough when there is no one left.

Jesus always was.

In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not over come it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God--children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-14  (italics mine) 

Jesus always is.

The Godhead, three in one. Father. Spirit. Son.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Would You Rather

We come up with "Would You Rathers" around here a lot. Tonight, Garrett said, "Daddy, would you rather have six hands on each arm or a scorpion tail?"

Troy replied, "A scorpion tail."

"Why?" Garrett asked.

Troy answered, "Because if I have to be a freak, I may as well be deadly."

Just a minute or two later, Matthew said, "Would you rather have a lion named Peter Pan or Matthew?" (Because he doesn't really have the hang of these questions yet.)

Troy said, "You, Buddy. I choose you."

"No. I think you get the lion either way. His question is whether you want to name your lion Peter Pan or Matthew," I explained.

"OH! Then Peter Pan. Otherwise things would be confusing."

Saturday, February 15, 2014


On the one hand, I found the safe deposit box key. And then there was much rejoicing.

On the other hand, I got in a fight with Garrett's bike. I fought the bike and the bike won.

Typically the boys' bikes are up for the winter, suspended from the ceiling of the garage. But we've been having a really weird February in which it rains but doesn't snow. The boys wanted their bikes down today. Earlier, Troy took Matthew's down and removed the training wheels because he's all grown up and practically heading to college. Then, the husband left to run an errand. At that point, Garrett wanted his bike down so I tried to lift it off the hooks. Somehow, the back wheel came off first, which I wasn't expecting. Then, in some inexplicable stroke of disaster, I found myself only really holding on to the handlebars, which rotated just as the bike lifted from the hook. The bicycle swung wildly over my left shoulder. In a split second attempt to keep the bike from falling to its broken death and to keep the vehicle that was parked in the garage from becoming hopelessly scratched and dented by a flying piece of recreational equipment, I absorbed the crash into my body. The bicycle slammed into my back.

I thought I had maybe ruptured every single internal organ. I gasped for breath. Garrett screamed, "My bike! Is my bike broken?" Then, he looked at me and finished, "Are you broken? Are you okay?" For a good five seconds I thought 911 was in my future. I had visions of all sorts of internal bleeding. Pain was radiating from the point of impact and hurting everywhere. I couldn't initially assess where, exactly, the pain was coming from.

I managed to limp waddle creep back into the house. I laid on the couch and asked Garrett to look at my back and tell me what he saw. I'm kind of dramatic so I was fully expecting that he would find dark black bruising. "OH! OH MOM! IT'S BAD!"

Break it to me quickly, kid. I can handle it.

"Mom. It's terrible. There are scratches and welts everywhere." (He's also kind of dramatic.)

Okaaay. Scratches and welts we can handle. And the pain is beginning to subside.

"And it's all red."

Red, just moments after being assaulted by a bicycle, is preferable to black and blue. I think.

I managed to hobble up the stairs to the bathroom mirror. I'm going to have a nasty bruise. And the bike definitely won that round. But I think I'll live.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lost Key

So far, this month has been hard.

Really, really, hard.

You know it's tough when a warm cup of salted caramel chai doesn't even fix what's wrong.

I'm sitting on my bed bawling like a baby because I can't find the key to my safe deposit box. It doesn't matter because there is nothing in my safe deposit box. But it costs $150 dollars to replace the key. I've looked in every conceivable, logical place. It's nowhere. And so I'm crying because I can't find a three inch, gold key.

Except I'm not.

I'm crying for the loss of my parent's pastor, who died last night from complications from H1N1 and pneumonia. He was fine not three weeks ago. I know because I was there and I heard him give one of the best sermons I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. You can, and should, listen to it here (Called "Eternity"). Incidentally, it was the last sermon he ever preached.

And I'm crying for my extended family--because something broke and I can't fix it.

I've tried to busy myself with things that need doing, to stay ahead of the tears, but sometimes, they just run faster than I can.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Little Gymnast

My Matthew taught himself to do a headstand when he was barely three years old. He can also almost do the splits. I say almost because, try as he might, he's always suspended about four inches off the ground. Then he falls forward, with his legs back behind him, and declares that he's doing them. I tried explaining to him, just the other day, that he was almost doing them. Before I knew it, he'd stripped all of his clothes off, blaming them for his four-inch-failure. The difference between a fully clothed four-year-old trying to do the splits and a naked four-year-old trying to do the splits is simply that one looks funnier than the other. I'll leave it at that and let your imagines run wild.

Two weeks ago, "The Gabby Douglas Story" aired on Lifetime. I decided to record it and let the boys watch. After all, Matthew is actively attempting to do front handsprings across my family room with no training whatsoever. As a result, my furniture and my walls are taking a real beating. One day, I turned on the movie without giving any explanation as to what it was. Realizing that it was some kind of biography, my oldest repeatedly asked, "What is this? What is this about? Huh? Huh? Tell me, tell me, tell me what we're watching. What is this? What is it?"

"Just watch it," I told him.

She had them with her first flip.

Especially Matthew.

He sat, riveted to the story for the full two hours, devastated when it broke for a commercial.

Later, I was telling my mom how much Matthew had loved it.

"We recorded 'The Gabby Douglas' story," I told her. "And Matthew was just riveted." I finally mentioned something about her doing flips and whatnot.

"OH! GABBY DOUGLAS!" My mom finally said. "The GYMNAST! I was thinking that it was the story of the congresswoman who got shot in Arizona and I couldn't understand why Matthew would be interested in that."

Or why I would let my four-year-old watch a biography about a woman who got shot in the head while doing her job, for that matter.

But, you know, Gabby Giffords/Gabby Douglas, it was an honest mistake.

Now, with all the jumping and flipping involved in so many of the winter Olympic sports, it's a real wonder that my son hasn't broken any bones. Apparently, while unattended two days ago, he was teaching himself to flip--by leaping off the couch.

Maybe gymnastics are in that boy's future.

Or perhaps he'll run for Congress.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ripple Effect

There is a mountain in my hometown. The hike is difficult but the view from the top is stunning. Last night, in keeping with recent blog themes, I dreamed that I was climbing to the top. Except, instead of doing it the traditional way and using my fully functional legs, I was in a sitting position, balancing with my arms, using my core to hold my legs in a fashion perpendicular to my torso. My legs were suspended several inches above the ground and my arms labored under my full weight. I crept up the mountain inch by inch as I moved each hand back. I didn't climb face forward, in such a way that I could see the twists and turns of the trail. Instead I moved ahead with my back to what was coming, seeing only what had been before.

When the hike was completed, no one applauded my strange victory. In fact, it would seem that everyone pitied me. After all, why would someone with working legs and feet make hiking so much more difficult?

My dreams make no sense.


But this one is about how to move forward. Effectively.

I don't have an answer to that question yet.

Troy and Garrett and Matthew and I, we are okay. Our daily life hasn't changed. We love each other more now, perhaps, than ever before. But we find ourselves caught in the ripple effect.

The repercussions of an event or situation experienced far beyond its immediate location. And so we pray for the point of impact, the place where the rock first dropped into the glassy water. We pray for the next ripple, and the next, and the next. We find ourselves swimming toward the center, wishing, with everything we have, that we could pull the rock from the bottom, hurl it back to shore and restore the water to it's original state. But we cannot.

We find ourselves metaphorically climbing a mountain, backward, using arms instead of legs, looking only at the past. Trying to turn our heads so they are at least pointing in the right direction, but struggling against our fatigued muscles to even take the next blind step.

We find ourselves dreaming.

For in the dreaming, we can write the story differently.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The World

These kids. Aside from the joy of my salvation, they are my everything. 

Tonight I just snuggled with my oldest for almost an hour while my husband read to our baby. The Rock Star replayed our Israel trip to me in full detail. All the way down to what we were eating on certain days. My arms were wrapped around his long, lanky torso. He drew pictures for me in the air of what everything looked like.

These boys, these children I wondered if I would ever have, they mean the world to me.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Sometimes life is too much.

Too painful to process.

Too difficult to decipher.

Sometimes there is simply nothing to write about.

So you look at pictures of golden retriever puppies.

Golden retriever puppies make things better.

For a second.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

There are moments and sometimes days and weeks that we know we will never forget. Split seconds where everything we thought we knew is redefined. In those minutes and hours, we know only that we are His and He is ours.

And that might be the only thing worth knowing.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Nighttime Is Getting Weird Around Here

Maybe I'll just write an entire series on my dreams. Because that, right there, would fill up this blog and then some. Also, why does my mother keep playing such an integral role in my subconscious? A few nights ago she wouldn't leave my bedside but last night I was getting ready for my wedding and she was off doing who-knows-what but certainly not ATTENDING TO MY EVERY NEED.

I do not know where these dreams are coming from. First, I'm doing absolutely nothing but dying of meningitis. Then, I'm running around like an insane chicken with mange trying to walk down the aisle.

My wedding was supposed to happen like RIGHT THAT MINUTE and y'all, I was NOT ready. I had done my own hair which, let's just face it, should have tipped me off that I was dreaming because, JUST NO. I mean, I am all for other people doing their own hair for their wedding but I am not one of those girls. I am definitely a sit down and get 'er done by someone who knows what she is doing kind of girl. So my hair was longer than it is and blonde and gorgeous. Like, seriously. I'd a hair transplant, apparently. I'd curled it into beautiful waves--well beyond my own hair expertise--and it was going to be the talk of the reception, I kid you not.

"Wow, did you see her hair?" one would stammer.

"Stunning," another would reply.

Except that, then, there was a tiara involved. Apparently, there was no veil. Unlike your average, every day, run of the mill tiaras, however, this one clasped together in the back to make it look like a crown.

Do I subconsciously think I'm the queen of the world?

And I could NOT figure out what to do. Was I supposed to pull my hair out and have it clasp underneath my hair, at the nape of my neck? Was I actually supposed to sport it like a crown? Why had I not done a trial run before that very moment?

THEN, the wedding coordinator started sending people down the aisle. Kids, I was NOT EVEN IN MY DRESS.

Thankfully, my bridesmaids, none of which was helping me with my hair or my dress or at managing my life, must have crept down the aisle at snail speed because A LOT transpired between the hair crisis and the moment when I blessedly woke up really having to use the bathroom.

So, off went my bridesmaids and I was alone.

Here's the part where I remind you that my mother was SITTING VIGIL AT MY DEATHBED IN MY LAST MEMORABLE DREAM. Because I do not know what was going on with her in this particular nighttime reverie. "There you are," she exclaimed as she waltzed into the room. It wasn't weird in the dream but now that I am awake and coherent, where the heck else would I have been?

"Oh, you made it," I said. All chill and nonchalant like. Oh, you came. Meh. It's cool either way. I mean you're my mom and I'm your only daughter but if you hadn't come it would have been fine. Now that you're here, how's my hair?

I had finally managed to get my hair somewhat acceptable with the tiara-crown but she started playing with it and it fell down and we had to start over which, of course we had time for because there were still four bridesmaids in the hallway, yet to walk down the aisle. I tried not to cry as she worked on my hair but my eyes were misty and my mascara started to run anyway. "Stop," she told me. "Or you'll have to fix your makeup."

"Hurry!" I kept telling her. As though MY wedding was going to happen without ME.

She got my hair back to being gorgeous even with the giant, sparkly crown. Then we got me into the dress. The dress stopped at my mid calf for reasons unknown to me because I would not wear a wedding dress that stopped above my feet. Not because there is anything wrong with that but because, personal preference. All of this to say, I had to wear shoes. There was no not wearing shoes because everyone could see my feet.


And the last bridesmaid was down the aisle.

For some reason, there were countless boxes of shoes but none of them were the right shoes. I pulled out bright blue sandals. I threw the lids off of Nike running shoes. I found black Reef flip flops. But the silvery heels that I was supposed to be wearing were no where in sight. (Who was I marrying anyway? Because I would not have worn heels to marry my Hobbit.)

I was PANICKING, people. I mean it. I could hear the crowd getting restless. I was all emotions and craziness and WHERE ARE MY SHOES? My mom was on the other side of the room throwing lids off of more boxes. "Are these them?" she'd ask, showing me slippers and loafers and snow boots. I think that maybe, in this dream, she was three sheets to the wind or something because SNOW BOOTS? With a wedding dress?

And as my level of panic continued to rise, I suddenly woke up.

I padded my way into the bathroom, flipped on the light and looked at myself in the mirror. Then, I audibly said, "What kind of tiara fastens in the back?" The important questions in life always confront me in my sleep.