Year: One.

One year ago.

I was all puffy.

Sweaty.

And there was goo was coming out of my parts.

There was clamor.

Things were chaotic.

Buttons beeping.

Numbers climbing.

Charts charting.

Nurses whirled around me.

Legs go there.

Squeeze right here.

Breathe, breathe. Push.

Breathe, breathe. Push.

And then there was silence.

And bliss.

Because you entered the world.

The noise stopped.

And I held my breath tight in my throat until you were placed in my arms.

Exhale.

And you’ve stayed there. This whole time.

Tight in my arms.

But now you’re a year old. And I have to loosen my grip on you, ever so slightly.

Because now you’re ready to walk and talk and take on the world.

You’re an explorer.

You are curious.

You are an acrobatic climber.

Your eyes are astounding.

And your voice is so sweet.

Happy Birthday Hudson.

It’s been pretty awesome getting to know you.

Here’s a video we put together of your life so far.

Middle of the road

I’ve always been mediocre.

Perfectly poised at half-assed.

I’ve always thought about going above and beyond. Does thinking about it account for something?

Like at the beginning of the school year.

I was always, “Hellz ya, I’m going to read Chapter 1, and then watch out Teach, because I’m gonna read Chapter 2,3, and 4 too. You can never be too prepared. Hey! Look at all my fresh paper, and my assortment of colored pens.”

But then something far more interesting would always happen, like social gatherings in the Del Taco parking lot, or a cat food eating contest on the quad, or a Charles in Charge marathon, and who has time to read chapters of books because that pop tart ain’t gonna eat itself.

And thusly, I would watch my academic status sink down into the B-/C+ range.

Same goes for my life now. If I were to get a report card, I’d probably average a 2.4 GPA

Home Cleanliness    C-      Needs improvement

Marriage     B                        Should communicate more

Children    B-                        Discipline issues, but hey, they’re all alive!

Personal Image   C+           Inconsistant

Friendship     B-                   Can invest more

But to me, there’s something appealing about being mediocre. The bar is set nice and low, so when you do something above and beyond, everyone is so flabbergasted by you that they mistake you for some type of super hero, and they say nice things about you for at least 12 days, and then buy you a box of donuts, even thought you’ve said it a million times, you don’t like donuts, you like cupcakes. CUP-CAKES. You even do a gesture to really drive the point home by cupping your hands and bringing them to your mouth, as if to take a bite of the delicious imaginary cupcake.

People that go above and beyond make me uneasy.

If you are one of those people that wake up before 7:30, keep it to yourself. Because as soon as I know that piece of information, I want to kill you.

Why are you up that early? What are you doing? Are you being productive? Quit being productive at 6:45 in the morning, it’s making me look bad!

Or those people that go shopping and say, “Oh, I can just make that.”

Sure I say it too.

But I’m talking about those people that actually mean it. They go home and make a feathered Christmas wreath out of pheasant feathers that they collected on their last field trip to a local farm.

And you think, pheasant feathers! Field trip?! Local farm?!

Crap.

And then you go back to watching that Charles in Charge marathon, because it’s the one where Charles and Buddy go on a blind date and wreck Mr. Powell’s car.

And that one is your favorite.

Tall Smock

Here’s something I don’t get:

Small Talk.

I went to the grocery store last night and there was this lively young clerk that was working at the Starbucks counter (It has to be noted: I’m totally above drinking Starbucks coffee. I had a hot chocolate).

He was all jaunty, my guess is from too many pumps of the peppermint syrup when no one was looking, and maybe a little stir crazy from being behind the glass enclosure too long staring at the produce department. I’d be lively and jaunty too if all I did was stare at parsnips and romaine lettuce, I suppose.

But instead of calling it lively and jaunty, I’d call something way more severe, like enraged and volatile.

Maybe that’s what separates me from Jonah, the jaunty Starbucks-inside-an-Albertson’s-barista. He can take a situation like being stuck inside a 2 foot by 6 foot enclosure with nothing but coffee grounds and coffee farts to keep himself company, and make it a positive one. Kum-ba-FRICKIN’-ya, Jonah. I’m happy for you, seriously, I am. But let’s not do the small talk, mmm-k?

At first it started out innocent enough. He said hi, and told me I looked like I was juggling a lot. I had Hudson in the Ergo and Berlyn was ramming my ankles with her very own mini shopping cart. I gave Jonah a sassy look, that I thought seamlessly communicated that not only am I not up for small talk, but also, I’d like my hot chocolate quick-like-a-bunny, because my children only have about 28 minutes of good-happy-time before they totally loose their shit. And I’m not about to be the mom with her child spralled across the floor of the gummy snacks isle, because they’re sold out of Toy Story gummies. Nope, that’s not going to be me. Not tonight, young man.

But he took my sassy look as, yes, please proceed with the talking to me. I enjoy the sound of your voice. Please may I hear a childhood story or perhaps the saga of your first love…?

So then Jonah launches in about his 5-year-old nephew and something about Spider Man, I don’t know, I stopped listening. But then he paused and looked up at me with a smile. What the hell, Jonah? Is this where I’m supposed to laugh at your anecdotal story about kids? Ahhh-haaa-haa. I’m not really good at the courtesy laugh. Can I have my drink now?

No? No drink then? More talking? Super.

Then he starts feeling comfortable with me and telling me that his dad owns a computer game store and that he really wants to create computer games for a living, but he’s still at community college, and he has to save up to transfer, thus why he’s making coffee drinks at the grocery store, and does it really look like I care? Apparently I’m giving off a tell-me-your-life-story vibe. I keep shifting my weight, looking at Berlyn, and hoping to get out of this uncomfortable situation soon and very soon.

All I want is a hot chocolate, Jonah. I really don’t feel like being your life coach right now.

I’m pretty sure 3 hours passed, and he finally reveals my drink.

About frickin’ time J-Dog.

But he doesn’t charge me.

He says it’s on the house, and Merry Christmas.

Well, crap.

Merry Christmas Jonah.

All I had to do is listen to your jabbering, and I got a free drink.

I feel like if I sat down and thought about it long enough I’d expose a very relevant life, and Biblical lesson.

But I have  about 12 minutes of shopping-time left.

CHEERS!