Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
One of my kids asked me the other day what the purpose of Halloween was. Every other holiday has a purpose right? At least that is what I try to teach my kids. Honestly, I didn't know how to answer her. Candy? Getting dressed up and parading down the street begging for treats? Getting scared? Umm, let me get back to you on that Sweetie.
It's no secret that Halloween is one of my least favorite holidays. And I'm not talking about the sugar detox that we go through with our kids for about a month after said holiday. Or the ever-growing number of pumpkins we have to carve with our children each year. I wasn't always Mrs. Halloween Grinch. In fact, when I was a kid the day seemed magical. "So what you're telling me is that I get to dress up as anything I want, go house to house and they will give me candy? Seriously?"
Something has happened in the last few years that has killed the innocence of the holiday. I walked into one of those seasonal Halloween stores the other day looking for a Jedi robe for my husband. Simple enough, right? Instead, as soon as I walked in, a heavy dark cloud circled around me and landed squarely on my shoulders and head, pushing me down, making me feel tense and downright gross. It was a store wall-to-wall in not just blood-covered knives and gore, but things that are disgustingly wrong. There were costumes touting the highest degree of sleaze I have ever seen. I'm not just talking about cleavage and garter belts. I can't even mention the sorts of pornographic costumes they have conjured for both men and women that throw anything sacred out the window and flaunt ALL for the world to see. The underlying message attached to each of these costumes (and there are several) was the worst part. I looked around at all the other un-shocked customers. Really? Is everyone else okay with this?
And then there was the huge center display of gory zombie babies. Green, covered in blood, red shining eyes, gargling, wickedly cackling, chewing their own legs down to the bone babies. I looked at my own baby on my hip (about the same size as these creatures) and wondered why people have decided to make the purest form of a person into demons meant to kill. One of the employees pointed to one of the red demons and said to another employee, "I want this one so bad!" Huh.
Who buys this filth? And yet, sadly, it sells. I left hell as fast as my legs could carry me, shielding my baby's eyes the entire way, feeling more lifted the farther I got from the place. And they didn't even carry a Jedi robe. Heavens no! That would be too good. Too right. Not evil enough.
Is this what Halloween has become? It seems like no matter where I go (Target, Walmart, etc.) the costumes for sale seems to push the envelope a little bit more each year. Just try finding a costume for a teenager that doesn't make her look like the downtown corner street hooker. In fact, I tried finding an Alice in Wonderland costume for my 9 year old this year--you wouldn't believe what raunchy Alice costumes retailers have conjured up! Isn't Alice supposed to be sweetly innocent?
I think it is because of these sorts of retail trends, that Halloween has lost it's enjoyment for me. It's the "it's okay to be the sleaze you aren't able to be the other 354 days of the year" mentality that is being forced into our kids' minds. I say forced because these costumes hang in every store you walk into. I feel like the "purpose" of Halloween is being warped and I'm helpless to fight it.
Yep. It's settled. If I had to choose to rid the world of only one holiday, it would be Halloween. Clearly. So c'mon people, let's bring back the fun, light-heartedness of Halloween! I know it's out there! It may be 6 ft under in some R-rated zombie-infested cemetery, but it's out there.
Posted by Mel at 8:20 AM
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Correction: I'm already down.
So how do I pull myself back up?
It was definitely one of those days where I didn't live up to the blog name,
as is too-often the case.
It started without a shower.
Ended with tears and broken glass.
Add to that the prayer, "Please bless that Mom can get over her temper."
Yah, one of those days.
And lest you think I was screaming and throwing plates at my kids,
let me ease your mind, my friend--that's not what happened.
Broken glass came from one too-curious and regularly disobedient 1-year old
who likes to get into my casserole dish cabinet.
Yelling. . . well, that may have come from me.
Not at said baby.
No, mostly to the other four rambunctious disobeyers.
Tears? Those were mine too.
Some days I just don't feel like a great mom.
Todd has been out of the country all week.
I've been sick all week.
Not usually a great combination.
So I vent to cyberspace,
hoping for tension to deflate from the rocks that have formed on my back,
flow down my arms
and ooze out my fingertips as I write,
leaving me, hopefully, relaxed enough to be able to sleep tonight.
Because there has been very little of that going on this week.
And I need it oh so badly.
How about rather than list the muck,
I'll mention the rays of sunlight that made my day bearable.
One ray shone through the little girl named Jessica.
I helped her learn her 8s times tables.
She is new to Alli's class and is a bit behind the others.
I gave her a few pointers, hints
and in five minutes she had a more confident smile,
excitement to try them again
By the end, she gifted me with high fives.
Won't her teacher be surprised when she aces her 8s tomorrow?
Another came through a friend
who brought me a bowl of hot roasted butternut squash soup
for no reason at all
not even knowing about my day.
Or did she see it all over my face?
Or unkempt hair?
Or smell my unbathed body?
Regardless, it was delicious
and I was grateful.
Or in the Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies
I made today.
Or in the glowing emails from the moms of the playgroup kids I had at my house today.
Telling me how much their kids loved the Halloween party I had here.
Nice to know the frantic, thrown-together-last-minute activities
were a hit with those little munchkins.
Or in the moment when, reading a goodnight book to my Ty,
his body melts down next to mine,
snuggling in close
more interested in the colors on the pages than the words I was speaking,
or in the sound of mom's voice than the storyline.
Or in the simple lingering,
from a budding teenager (okay 11-year old who acts very much like one)
to be near me
after everyone has gone to bed,
for no reason whatsoever.
Though most times I anger
that she is past bedtime,
not keeping to our lights out rule,
tonight I felt perplexingly okay with her dawdling.
Or discovering "Facetime" on iPods,
how it connects instantly faces of lovers, companions
who are worlds apart.
Competing in the Worlds Silliest Face contest
every single time we chat in this way.
Yah, that made me laugh today.
And I'm amazed at how just seeing him
calms my soul.
So, whaddya say self?
Should we put away the ranting?
The thoughts of self-pity,
the "woe-is-me" attitude?
Because sunlight trumps clouds in my book anyday!
See, I feel better already.
Posted by Mel at 8:02 PM
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
It epitomizes everything Alli is.
She has a giant heart
full of love for every person,
especially her family.
Today is her day.
She is 9.
Each year with her has been precious.
(In fact, I got weepy going through all these old photos of her!)
Why can't time slow?
Just a little?
2008 (rock climbing party this year)
Happy Birthday Little Bug. We love you.
Posted by Mel at 9:35 AM
Monday, October 17, 2011
CNN recently reported that the cost of peanut butter is about to sky rocket. Supply is down, but demand is still up, and we all know from elementary school what is bound to happen. Planters is reporting a suspected increase of 40% by the end of the month!!! I know, just what we all need--another increase amidst a financial recession. If you like peanut butter, or have lots of school lunches to make like me, then it's time to stock up on your supply. Like this week if possible. I didn't know about this report, but feel lucky to have stocked up on the recent .88 cent/bottle of peanut butter at Buy Low. I have also seen them that low at Maceys recently, so check your local super market.
Posted by Mel at 8:43 AM
Friday, October 7, 2011
Posted by Mel at 11:15 AM
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Amy Whitcomb went to BYU and is a good friend of my neighbor. Dang, that girl can sing! This performance was amazing.
And, of course, BYU's very own Vocal Point. Extremely talented. Extremely entertaining. I'll be sad to have either one of these groups leave the competition.
I just love watching them so much!
Posted by Mel at 11:28 AM