Friday, March 20, 2015

Easy crier

Did you see the clip of Jennifer Garner crying during a Today show interview? She was talking about her family, and she got overwhelmed with emotion. Here it is, if you want to check it out. I like her a lot, and I think it's very sweet that she obviously has so much love for her mom and siblings. But it gave me a sinking feeling of dread at the same time. Imagine you are giving an interview on national TV, and you can't stop crying. Imagine losing control of a fluid leaking out of your body, and since it's on your face, everyone can see it.

I'm an easy crier, so I know the feeling all too well.
Just yesterday, we went for a hike, and another family let me pet their beautiful dog, who had reddish brown fur just like my sweet Izzie. I petted that dog a couple times and had to practically bound away, calling out a choked "Thanks!" over my shoulder as I did. That's a sad cry, related to a specific sad thing that I'm dealing with. My Izzie just died two months ago, so maybe that's a pretty normal reaction.* But I cry in a variety of other situations, and sometimes it's highly inconvenient.

Once I was having a performance review at a job, and my boss reprimanded me for something I had been doing wrong. He was kind, but matter-of-fact, and I should have said, "You're right. I apologize. I'll change it." But I was embarrassed, so I started crying. I honestly wasn't trying to minimize my responsibility, and if I could have chosen not to cry at that moment, believe me, I would have. The whole situation made me feel like a child getting in trouble, rather than a young adult with an actual adult job.

I also cry sometimes when I'm angry. Do you know how frustrating it is to unintentionally cry when you are angry? It's the worst. You want to convey, "You did something wrong, and I'm mad about it" NOT "You hurt my feelings, and I'm sad about it."

Beautiful performances can move me to tears. And not even serious, emotional scenes meant to show the beauty of the universe. In fact, it's often fun stuff. Once Matt and I went to see 42nd Street at UT's Bass Concert Hall. When the curtain slowly rose on a stage full of tap dancers, clicking away in unison, I smiled wide and started crying. I cried at a bunch of legs!

This clip makes me cry happy tears almost every time I watch it. I think it's a combination of my love of dance, the joy and fun you can feel from the participants and spectators, and nostalgia for a movie that my mom taught me to love.

And finally, it's quite common for me to laugh so hard that I cry. The worst was on the day I had tried out liquid eyeliner for the first time. My sister and I started to laugh about something, and at one point, she looked over at me and cackled, "You look like Gene Simmons!" I looked like an absolute crazy person, and I had to excuse myself from a big group of friends to go clean up my face.

I don't know if Jennifer Garner is an easy crier like I am. She mentioned that her mom is sick, so maybe it was just bad timing. But man, I felt for her in that moment. I imagine she was like, "Dang it, eyeballs, I'm trying to work here. Knock it off!"

*To make matters worse, on the drive to and from yesterday's hike, Mason was listening to a story about a boy who enters a dog sled race in order to earn enough money to save his sick grandfather's farm. His faithful dog does his best and is about to win the race, when his heart explodes and he dies. The book actually used the word "exploded". The heartbroken boy then carries his dead dog over the finish line to win the prize money and save the farm. I cried, well...a the end of that story.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My lucky day

It's spring break, and the forecast for the rest of the week is literally 90-100% chance of rain. Hooray for rain! We spent all day outside yesterday, first wandering at the Natural Gardener (one of my favorite places in the world), then putting our new plants into the garden.

 I think this beautifully blooming tree was labeled a "peachcot".
The photo above looks so sweet, like the boys are enjoying a swing together. But it was really an increasingly violent shove fest for butt room. "I was on it first!" etc.
Sorry to be gross, but this goat pooped, and none of us had seen that happen before. It was like black beans just fell right out of him; we were all pretty fascinated. The boys were jealous that he doesn't even need to wipe.

The bluebonnets are just about to pop. I can't wait.

 Labyrinth, giant teepee, mulch guitar...this place is so great.

We got our tomatoes, swiss chard, and strawberries into the ground just in time for an overnight rain. How likely is it that my boys will eat swiss chard? Not very, but I'll give it a try.

Here's a wider shot so that you understand what a job it was to get that corner planted. I'm feeling accomplished! Lots more work, though, to reclaim the other 3/4 of the garden plot.
Our lovely, green St. Patrick's Day ended with a rainbow right out the front door. The boys were pretty convinced that we could find the end of it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Gallery wall

What a lovely feeling it is to finish a project! I've just put up a collection of pictures in our previously boring front entry hall. I chose one photo per year since our wedding in 1997, with the idea that this tells the story of our family's growth. I collected frames that I already had, added some more from thrift shops, and spray painted a bunch of them. It's the crazy quilt approach, and I think it works. 
I've positioned the whole thing a bit high, for two reasons. One is to leave room for another row of pictures, and two is to keep it out of toddler reach.
That brown drawer thingie has already been moved. Seems too temptingly climb-able.