The Wedding Planner

"The F.O.B. Is M.I.A."

It's funny what you remember from movies. I often think about the opening scene from The Wedding Planner, when we watch Jennifer Lopez run a wedding like a boss and then go home to her apartment. This is the part that runs through my mind. How she comes in to her beautifully designed apartment, hangs her keys up, puts away her things, fixes herself some dinner and a glass of wine, and sits down in front of the tv to watch Antiques Roadshow while she eats. 

Then, after dinner, she spends her evening deep cleaning her living room and folding her shirts with one of those plastic shirt forms they only use at The Gap. It's off to bed then, with her hair in a perfect ponytail and soft puffy blankets tucking her in perfectly. 

Now, all this was to show, of course, at the beginning of the movie, how controlled her life was and also how alone she was. After this point her life is turned upside down by Mathew McConaughey. Alright, alright, alright. 

The reason I think that this scene goes through my mind so often is that it is absolutely, in every possible way, totally and completely opposite of my life. And I have to admit, while I love my life, my husband, my kids, everything about my chaos, I am drooling a little on the inside whenever I picture this scene. A scene where you eat what you want when you want and you're not interrupted. A reality where you have enough time to dust your living room. A life that involves folding your clothes on a plastic shirt form, organized closets, and perfectly made beds. 

Because there is none of that in my life. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. My reality is disorganized closets, clean laundry that sits in baskets for days (let's be honest, sometimes weeks), dust EVERYWHERE, and meals prepared on a stove that should be scrubbed with food that came from a refrigerator that should be scrubbed. 

But guess what I have in my home that the wedding planner didn't? People. A family. And families make a mess. But let's be clear. It's a good mess. A chaos forged in love and mistakes. This building of a family is exactly what it should be, exactly what a person needs in order to learn about love, grace, and forgiveness. No shirt folding forms necessary. 

So while I do usually long for solitude at least once a day, if I really did have it, I know I'd be hoping that it was temporary- that it was only the opening scene in a movie eventually to be filled with the bedlam that is marriage and babies. I'm so glad to be in the middle of the plot line. I'm surprised every day by the twists and turns that make up the arc of our story. I'm aboard the J train and I'm not getting off. Not quite a wedding planner, but planning everything that happens after the wedding. I think I need to add super glue to my shopping list...


Just a Saturday

I had semi-big plans to get some home renovation (painting) and laundry done this weekend.  My plans did not happen.  But I am glad I just let today happen.

Earlier this week Jimmy was offered two tickets to see "2 Cellos" at Ruby Diamond Auditorium on campus at FSU.  Since I play the cello, he was smart enough to accept them.  (After our friend Spencer texted him and said, "you should take Julie, since she plays the cello."  Ha!) 

So in anticipation of us needing to leave the kids with Jackson for the evening, I offered Jackson a chance to have some friends over so he could do something fun today.  After a lazy morning of TV,
making pancakes for breakfast, cleaning up, and getting everyone dressed for the day we went and picked up two of his friends.

By the time I got back it was nearly lunch so I made a bunch of quesadillas, did take a moment to throw in some laundry, held Violet most of the time while working on all of this with the other arm (she's been really clingy lately) and then took the boys to Circle K because that's where all the middle school boys go to waste time, and I bought my other kids Icees because I owed them one from an earlier promise.  Then I quickly ate some lunch myself.

After that Jimmy came in and he tagged out and I left to photograph a property in Midtown, and experienced just a little bit of house envy because I really liked the smart layout of the great room.  Sometimes I feel like a kid playing with a dollhouse when I photograph a property.  It's like I'm six years old and I'm dreaming of what my house might look like one day.  And then I wake up and realize that I will never have a house like that because it either doesn't have enough bedrooms for an 8 person family or it's way too much money, or it has no yard for kids, etc.  To be clear, I came home and walked down the hall and thought, "we have a great house."  And we do.  It's a fixer upper waiting on the next fix.  But patience is a virtue, house.  It will come.

I came home to see Juliet curled up in a ball on the couch with her fuzzy blanket and a blue mouth.  Since I was not at home to regulate the Icee consumption, I'm pretty sure she drank the whole thing, giving her self a whole body freeze, not just a brain freeze.  I coaxed her off the couch by convincing her to make cookies with me.  So me and the girls made peanut butter cookies while Violet was napping and the boys were making paper airplanes.  Jimmy tagged in again and left to write an offer at the office. 

Then I took about a 30 minute "nap" while listening to the sounds of the kids playing, Jimmy coming home, and eventually Violet babbling.  I got dressed for the concert, put on some make up, and opened the door to get Violet up from nap to the smell of a dirty diaper.  Yay!  Took care of that, played ponies with Juliet, put some chicken nuggets in the oven and got out some oranges, the boys got picked up, and we were off to our concert.

After running two real estate errands (always!) we went to get a burger (a nice one--not fast food) and headed to the concert.  I hadn't been in the auditorium since it has been renovated which has been a while ago.  It was cool to think that almost exactly 20 years ago I played cello on stage there in the USO.  And now I'm here like an old person.  Definitely different than when I was there then, and also I had memories of taking freshman Biology in that huge auditorium with 1,000 other freshman.  Crazy.

The concert was really fun and cool (sorry for the lame adjectives) and I wished Cash could have seen the drummer.  Jimmy enjoyed it too, and cracked me up at the end when he said, "I feel so old.  I'm here with all these old people who are singing AC/DC lyrics to 2 Cellos.  It almost makes me want to throw up."  I just started laughing out loud.  Because I know Jimmy, and I totally get it.  He would much rather be at a bar in college town watching a punk band playing original songs.  And there were a lot of gray hairs at this concert.  But oh, wait...Jimmy and I have gray hair, so...  You see?  It's hard to realize you're on this train and that your next stop is the A.A.R.P.

So that was our Saturday.  No painting projects got done but it turned out to be an enjoyable day with the kids and it was nice to do something different tonight.  Sometimes you are given a gift.  The gift of perspective.  The ability to every once in a while be able to hover over your life and see it with different eyes.  And today I saw my life from afar somehow.  I saw my house, in progress.  I saw my family, in progress.  And I saw myself, in progress.  And I liked what I saw.  Instead of feeling bogged down by the weight of that day-in and day-out method of progress, I felt happy that a large majority of my progress is full of pleasant and happy moments and days like today. Just a Saturday.