Okay, so I haven’t blogged as much lately. I’ve been trying to make my own writing opportunities which hopefully I’ll see the fruits of in the coming months.  That being said this spring has been SO busy: Soccer, Break Dancing, Piano, First Communion Prep, Baseball,  Doctor Appointments, physical therapy appointments for my knee(which has been on strike), Fiesta’s and Programs, and dealing with the tornado that is 18 month old Grace. But here I am …Surprise.

Last year on Facebook, most of the people I knew did this random 25 facts…I didn’t do it.  I think life is always better with a few surprises and I couldn’t think of 25 random things. So here is my own kinda sorta  version of it.  But first here is a brief re-cap of the great mascara search so far…

The top 3 mascara’s I’ve tried are: Maybelline Lash Stilleto, Maybelline Collossal Lash, and Blinc.  I think I’m allergic to Rimmel. And Covergirl really hasn’t been much of a lash blast. 

What has surprised me most about this trial is how much I’ve enjoyed testing and writing about them. Also my love of Mascara has only grown, if that’s possible.   It’s not even over yet, but it’s close.  What should I test next?  I was thinking of everything from shampoo’s, razors, and even bra’s and panties.(all of which I can rationalize buying)

I bet it won’t surprise anyone that I am a natural blonde.(I get a little help these days) Every 12 weeks to be exact.

What might surprise you is that I always kind of wished I was a brunette like my Mom.

It won’t surprise you that I am insanely overprotective of my kids. I can count on one hand the people I trust to be alone with them.  I’ve fired a babysitter for lying to me, and now do background checks on anyone who watches them. 

What might surprise you that I found our babysitter on Craig’s List. She’s been watching the kids since Grace was 3 months old, and when she graduates, moves on, and gets a career job, we are going to miss her horribly. She spent Easter and Mother’s Day with us this year.  I know right? Craig’s List.

What won’t surprise you is that when I lost all the weight, my family went on a huge re-haul of eating too. And now if I don’t eat well, I get a stomach ache for days. In fact my kids have never had Soda Pop until this year, and now Jonah will only drink HI-C…they all think soda is disgusting.

What might surprise you is that I love McDonald’s.  I love their $1 Yogurt parfait’s, Apple Dippers, and the $1 Diet Cokes, and their Large Iced Coffee with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup.

What won’t surprise you is that I have a really really hard time asking for help.

What might surprise you is that when I was pregnant with Grace I hired someone to come and clean my bathrooms and kitchen twice a month. And I really think of her as an antidepressant now…She’ll be working for us for 2 years in July.

What won’t surprise you(if you’ve read previous blogs or know me) is that I struggle with tardiness.

What might surprise you is that I turned over a leaf last May and have only been late a handful of times since then.  What is excluded from this list is preschool…Micah is always late.  And much of that is my choice, I don’t like dealing with the parking. But for some reason people always make jokes about me being late…still. I may be in denial.

What won’t surprise you is that I think my husband is the most handsome man in the entire world.  I am so proud to be married to him.

What might surprise you is that once in a while I wake up and worry that he’s going to change his mind about us.  Which I KNOW is ridiculous, but none the less something I’ve thought about.

What won’t surprise you is that I love to read. Can’t fall asleep without reading and will read my favorite books over and over again. It’s why I long to write for a living, what a gift.

What may surprise you is that recently I read all of the “Ramona” books by Beverly Cleary again, and loved them as much as when I was a little girl. Brilliant writing is timeless!

What won’t surprise you is that I love the seat warmers in my suburban “Fancy” and sometimes have the air conditioning on too…because I can.

What may surprise you is that I miss our Mini-Van “Vanna White” everyday and I cried when we sold her.

What won’t surprise you is that I’m not afraid to yell at people in the car pool/ pick up line at school.

What may surprise you is how irritated I can get in the car pool/ pick up line at the school.

Which leads me to my next thing: You are probably not surprised that I am not the most patient person, except my kids keep teaching me patience. 

But what may surprise you is that I don’t like all small children or big children. In fact I think some are down right rotten.  And I feel guilty for admitting it, and for saying I think if parents are consistent–they usually don’t have that problem.

What won’t surprise you is that I am not Mother of the Year, but am very consistent.

What may surprise you that I “H” word the saying, “Boys will be Boys…” or “She’s just sassy” as an excuse for not parenting.

What won’t surprise you that I hate being left out, struggle with jealousy, may be the queen of stretch marks and am completely flawed.

What may surprise you is that sometimes I pretend I am none of the above.

What won’t surprise you is that I hate when people text when they drive.  I know I’ve mentioned it before on here.

What may surprise you is that I think people look ridiculous when they are outside of their cars and are wearing their bluetooth…I have said on a few occasions, “Live long and prosper!” to someone wearing one. And I think it’s hilarious.

What won’t surprise you is that I am surprised by many of the things that have happened in my life. Like the fact that I’ve lived in Eugene Oregon the past 7 years, or that when Jonah talks to me in spanish I have no idea what he’s saying.

What may surprise you is that I hate movies, tv shows, or books with big surprises. I get anxiety from them.  I also don’t watch scary or sad movies.

What won’t surprise you is that I think I have the best friends and family in the world…and I think the dysfunctional bits are what make us functional.

What may surprise you is this year I realized that it took me 31 years to be okay with not liking someone. And so I don’t.

What won’t surprise you is that I know I am blessed and think God is good, and when I say I’m praying for you…I am.

What may surprise you is that I wonder when things are going to get rocky again, and am (secretly) afraid that the people I love the most don’t believe in me.

There you go…It may have surprised you that I didn’t test a mascara this time around, but isn’t life nicer with surprises?  It’s like the perfect parking spot on a rainy day, or the forbidden hug goodbye before school that you weren’t expecting.

The best surprise I’ve had recently was last Friday when Amy had her baby Nathaniel. It was the same day as my sister Erin’s oldest daughter, my niece and god-daughter Maya was born 10 years ago, now a doubly blessed day for me.  I was there as the labor got intense but had to leave(no childcare) when she was dilated to 7. I felt my heart beating out of my chest as I came home to take care of my little ones as she progressed and started to push.  I was so envious to be missing out, supporting her, as I fed the kids, gave baths, cleaned the kitchen, put them to bed. As Chris drove in the driveway at 10pm  I received the text that he had been born…And I headed to the hospital.

There is much more to this story but it is not my own, so I’m going to skip that part…but three hours later I was able to be with my beautiful, strong, amazing friend and help her nurse her son for the first time.  I had felt so sad that I had missed out on his arrival, but I got to see them bond for the first time. I was able to see a child I’d been praying for his entire life latch on to the person who carried him and protected him. I was surprised at how emotional I became, watching my friends Amy and Steve stare at their son together, bask in a love that would surprise them…and take them places they never knew they were capable of. Nate is their miracle.

I came home and kissed some of my own miracles sleeping in their beds. All three boys were curled around each other in Daniels’ double bunk, covered in books.  Grace sleeping with her tush up in the air in her crib, pink baby in her arms. I crawled in next to Chris, suddenly exhausted, still wearing my jeans, and he immediately put his arms around me. I melted into him. I thought about Amy, Steve, and Nate.  I thought about Erin and Maya.  I thought about the pink roses blooming outside my windows who have bloomed the last 5 years since I gave birth to Mary.  When I closed my eyes tight enough I could hear every child breath, and could hear Maggie the dog snoring in the next room. Chris wrapped his arms around me tighter, and I swallowed the bittersweet sob in my throat. I felt a rush of so many things. Relief. Happiness. Grief.  Love. Hope.

 And suddenly I was overwhelmed by how blessed I was. Am. Surprised even.