Monday, October 19, 2009

Steppin' Out With My Lady

Steppin’ Out With My Lady

I’ve got a bad case of the Mondays, friends. You know the days when the world feels hopeless and you can’t imagine anyone in the world could have a longer “to do” list then yourself? Yup, that is the scary place I am in today.

No need to worry, I have a fairly healthy emotional intelligence and although I am a moody melancholic – at least I know it and know how to deal with myself! Today, the world is swallowing me up. But tomorrow, well tomorrow will be grand. I’m convinced.

On days like these, I need to throw up the white flag and surrender the day to the thoughts of stress, “what ifs” and “you’re not good enoughs”. Good thing I have a lovely distraction!

Miss Anna Clare had a huge weekend of milestones. She learned to clap and say “YEAH” over, and over, and over again. She saw her sister climb a staircase and decided to follow, figuring out how to climb as she went. And, the most impressive event of the weekend: first steps were taken on an early Saturday morning. My poor husband. He usually gets up with the children in the early morning. On this day he had been sent back to bed by yours truly. I thought I would give him a day off. In doing so, I got to witness her goofy grin as she took her first steps toward me. I’m sad Joseph missed it. He missed Tessa’s first steps as well. So, while he slept, I sat with my grandma and watched Anna Clare take her first steps.

So, the world can have its problems and my “to do” list can grow by a mile for all I care. I’m putting it aside, and getting down on the floor to help Anna practice her new found talent!

And now I must thank you and take my leave. Anna just pulled the garbage can on top of herself and it sounds like a mess is screaming my name. Is it bed time yet?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday

Work in Progress Wednesday

Whew! What a week it has been over here! As some of my readers know, my husband, Joseph, is finishing up his MA in English. He is also working for the University as a graduate assistant. The past few weeks he has been working on assisting a professor who is the editor of Film and History – An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies. This means on top of his studies and his time creating and editing videos for The Apostleship of Prayer, he has been swimming in a sea of papers. I call him the master editor. He spends his days editing visual images AND written words.
Factor in my job working with words and my commitment to personal writing and we are up to our eyeballs in proofing, editing and writing over here! It’s been really difficult to get any of this done during the waking hours of our children, so we have taken to living a double life. By day we are responsible parents and adults. Once bedtime rolls around for our girls – Joseph and I are holed up in our bedroom, working, working, working! He sits at a 5-foot table we have set up in our bedroom as his working space. It holds 2 computers, a camera, stacks of books and several wires I haven’t the slightest idea what they are for. He sits in front of the computer with his headphones on and I lie on the bed with my laptop. In the background we have Nick at Night playing on the TV (Roseanne is my favorite show of all time)! Because we have been working so hard into the wee hours of night/morning, the room is a mess with laundry and unpacked bins from our move over a month ago.
At about 2am one of us usually interrupts the other to express our hunger. We break for a snack, then sit on the bed, and eat something bad for us as we watch middle of the night TV.
Last night I realized I felt like I was back in college. Our bedroom has turned into a dorm room! I kind of love it! My husband and I didn’t meet until we were in graduate school. I was already living in my own apartment and he with a priest friend of ours. Therefore, I feel like I’ve been blessed with the ability to share a piece of my husband’s life I missed – the college years. The whole thing is wonderfully romantic and creatively fulfilling. Had we each chosen different paths, the bohemian lifestyle of up all night creating and sleeping until the middle of the afternoon would have suited us well. Thankfully, we are called to family life over here. We are currently enjoying both lifestyles - out of necessity. We are oh so tired though, so I don’t know how much longer we will be able to sustain our “door room nights.”

I share this all because it’s Work in Progress Wednesday. My works in progress are coming along well. I’ve got to have something to show for being up until 4am the last 5 nights! Not only have I moved forward on two half written essays, I’ve started 2 more! I am also reading the book Writing Life Stories – How to Make memories into Memoirs, ideas into Essays, and life into Literature by Bill Roorbach. I’m so excited I’m having a difficult time remembering to pay the bills or add broccoli to that meal I just made for Tessa!

I know this double life can’t last forever. I’m always a wife and mother first and will have to stop giving so much of myself to my creative endeavors the moment the other aspects in my life start to suffer. The girls always wake up by 8am and this mommy can’t function on 4 hours of sleep a night for too long. But, until then, I am going to enjoy my late night time with my projects and my husband. I know it’s not the conventional way of life, but we aren’t conventional people over here. And as for our children, I pray they too have artistic outlets.

Joseph's workspace

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Time to Celebrate!

I’m not one to toot my own horn, but I do have a knack for turning the everyday into a holiday! In fact, I’m going to guess I make more cut out cookies over the course of one year than anyone I know. I make them for every season – and I don’t even like them all that much. I just love to celebrate! I love to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary! - Side note: that might be the title of my next personal essay –

Come the real holiday season and I field phone calls and visits from family and friends who suggest I pull it back, not work too hard or put too much pressure on myself to do all of these things. The fact of the matter is, as a stay and home / work at home mom, planning special days, meals and gatherings gets me through the day and gives me something to look forward to. Crazy as it sounds – this introvert needs to party!

As a lifetime Wisconsinite, I couldn’t let this week’s Packer/Viking game pass without cut outs, homemade meatballs and donning my whole family in Packer gear. I even did three loads of laundry before I found my husband’s Packer shirt. I hate laundry, but we must be matchy – matchy as a family. The whole thing wouldn’t have been nearly as obnoxious or fun if we weren’t!

We love Wisconsin sports in the Rutchik home. Truth be known, we are more baseball and swimming fans than football. But, if there is one thing I hate, it’s a traitor. You may have heard of a man who goes by the name of Brent, or Bert, or something along those lines. He wears the number 4, has a difficult time making decisions, and then expects multimillion-dollar organizations to wait around on him. The hype of his first game against the Packers as a Viking was all over the Wisconsin, and national, news this week. To me, it was a big glittering invitation to get out the cookies cutters and homemade meatball recipe!

We had a great time! I was forced to clean the house for guests and my husband was off to fill the role as graduate school student/assistant for the day. He had a wonderful meeting on campus and although the Packers lost, we got the opportunity to celebrate a big accomplishment for my husband. We added a much needed dose of good friends and food to the mix and had a wonderful evening celebrating life!