Shampoo and my inner whiny six-year-old

All I needed was conditioner, so I stopped at Cub after work. I put a few things to take to work with me in my cart: some yogurt, and oh, yes, we do need peanut butter, avocados are on sale, those look good and they’re organic, it’s getting close to dinner time and I don’t have a plan so I’ll buy that, and we’re out of bananas.

I stopped in the hair aisle to grab the last thing I needed only thing I actually needed and made my way to the checkout.


I guess I was more tired than I thought. I just looked at the bottle I picked up and realized that I bought shampoo.


Today my body and mind are acting like 6-year-olds on a long walk.

This morning, when my alarm went off.

Me: Okay, time to get up.

Body: NAwwwwwww, it’s too earrrly. We’re still tiiiired. It’s daaark outside. We don’t waaaant to get up.

Me: But we have to get up to get to work on time. Remember, we like work.

Body: Too sleepy. Don’t maaaake me. My throat hurrrrrrts. A loooooot.

Me: We’re getting out of bed now.

Body breaks down in hissy fit on the floor, sobbing about how I don’t love it anymore and never let it do anything it wants.

Me: Yes I do, remember how you didn’t want to work out the other day and I let you? And when I gave you that extra cup of coffee you were asking for?

Body: (between hiccups and sobs) Yeah. But that was just that one tii-iiime. You don’t love me anymore.

My body is obviously delusional.

But also maybe onto something. I’ve gotten sick enough to know the signs and to know I can’t reason my body out of this one.

It’s a funny thing, how you can often talk yourself out of being sad or out of sorts (whether you actually feel better or not), but when it comes to getting sick, you don’t get to call the shots. You can take all the precautions and preventative measures, but the illness is going to come whenever it jolly well likes.

I took the evening off tonight. I canceled commitments and plans. I sat on the couch with a book and got ready for bed at 8:30.

Sometimes it’s good to cater to the whiny 6-year-old inside. It’s not always exaggerating.

When spring stays

It snowed today. We’ve had such a mild winter that we thought we might be in the clear after those last few inches in February. Then it warmed up and the sun came out and melted the huge piles of gray slush in the parking lots, so we really thought it was gone.

Winter’s still hanging on for dear life. It’s singing its sad, desperate ballads about unrequited love, and we are thrusting it away with angry shovels that we thought we could put away for good a month ago.

Let me just say, the shovels are never put far away in Minnesota.

How do you know when it’s spring? When it comes and stays? Or could it really be spring now, only winter is just paying a short visit but will be leaving soon (if only we could boot it out the door).

That’s something I’m wondering. The arbitrary season change dates never seem to mark the real event of any new season, so I don’t know when to call it spring.

For longer than we’ve had winter weather in Minnesota (much longer, if anything could be longer than Minnesota winters) I’ve been on a journey of forgiveness, and I say journey because some days it still snows anger or frustration and I have to get out the shovel and figure out what’s underneath that.

How do you now when you’ve forgiven someone? Is it when you speak of them and realize you feel whole and holy when you do? Is it when you can look forward to a future where they are present? I’m not sure. There are some markers on the path, like the first time I realized I needed to forgive and each subsequent time after that when I’ve felt prodded to continue forgiving.

How do you know when you’re in the free and clear? I imagine it looks different in every situation. Each season and type of hurt requires different healing and reconciliation, so perhaps there are no indicators across all scenarios.

But I do think of those days when I really know winter has gone, when the ground is dry and feels warmer and the sun shines and there’s a breeze instead of a wind. And I imagine there are similar days when you’ve forgiven someone.

I’m looking for warmth in a couple ways. Come soon, spring, and stay.

Shreds in the glove box

If I hadn’t had low tire pressure, I would never have known.

My car had been veering left ever so slightly for a little while (read: a month), but it’d been too cold to get out of the car at the gas station to check my air pressure (because you can’t keep your mittens on for that) and add air. So when a nice day came along, I seized the opportunity and pulled into the BP next to the free air.

Side note: I love that the pressurized air is free. Just one of the many things to be grateful for in life. Free pressurized air.

When I opened my glove box, I found the shreds of a granola bar wrapper, a plastic bag with a giant hole, melted candles, flakes of a auto repair report.

The melted candles gave me a way out to think that possibly they’d melted in the summer to cause the damage, but in the back of my mind I could see tiny little claws ripping the contents of my glove box to shreds.

I made a Snapchat video showing the evidence, citing the melted candles as the likely culprits.

Some friends just won’t let you get away with being naive.

My friend Jenna sent me a Snap back with a skeptical face and the caption, “I think you have a mouse.”


Full stop.

Uh-uh. No mice here. My car is a rodent-free zone. Why would a mouse even want to be in my glove box? There’s not way it could’ve gotten in there (except like through the engine area, which is totally possible). Mice are dirty, and my car is well-kept and clean. Why would it come into my car?

After that, I couldn’t live in denial.

We were walking together, and I brought it up. “I think you were right about the mouse.”

“That really wasn’t the first thing to cross your mind?”

“Well…” It might have been. I have been known to believe the best in a situation only to find out that I’ve been blind. “I mean, I thought of it, but then I saw the melted candles…”

It sounded lame even to me as I said it.

A month after this realization, I finally got around to cleaning my car out. I couldn’t deny it any longer. There was a mouse in there at some point. I think it may have been quite some time ago, since there wasn’t much recent evidence, and I hadn’t heard it. Likely when my car was living under a pile of snow and I was at school some little mouse decided to take refuge in there.

Such is my story. Such is my shame.

But yesterday afforded the perfect opportunity to do a deep clean. Now that the issue was exposed (and I’d had a month to prepare myself), I re-opened the glove box and SCOURED that thing. All the shreds (and other things that I’d rather not talk about) went straight into a garbage bag, and I disinfected my registration and my tire gauge and anything else you could disinfect in there. I clean that glove box like it’d never been cleaned before.

And I didn’t stop there. The exposure of that nasty secret inspired me to get the vacuum and the steamer. I got my seats and car mats cleaner than they’ve been in probably ten years.

Today my car smells good, and my dad even noticed how nice the carpet looks. There is nothing nasty in the glove box, and I’ve got dryer sheets in there, per Jenna’s advice that mice don’t like those.

Sometimes it takes a friend who takes no nonsense to get us to really do a deep clean. Sometimes it takes a mouse to create a mess to remind us that the rest of the car wasn’t actually as clean as it could’ve been. Then we pull our resources and cleaning tools and clean house (or vehicle).

While I hope that no mouse ever ventures near my car again, it was a nice reality check.

I’m never leaving granola bars in my glove box again.

This is just to say

I worked eleven hours at two different jobs today. And while I probably won’t win any contests with that number, it was enough that I desperately wanted a tiny little ball of the chocolate chip cookie dough that was in the fridge, the leftovers from pizookie on my birthday.

So I grabbed a spoon and did it. I’ll write an apology poem later. It was so sweet. And so cold.

But I probably only have to apologize to my body for eating sugar this late at night. I didn’t eat all the cookie dough. Just a little bit.

Last time we talked, I was getting my car repaired and paying lots of money for it and finding out that I really should pay more money to have more repairs done on it, and I knew something that you didn’t know.

But now you can know.

I got a job. A real, big-girl, bill-paying (eventually), eight to five, start-your-401(k), don’t-clock-hours, cubicle job.

More than that, a job that’s right smack dab in line with what I care about and what I’m good at.

All week, the people in my life at church and in my retail job and my family have been asking me, “So?”

It’s nice that I’ve been able to respond positively, and even nicer that the positivity is true.

Nicer still that they know and ask. My goodness, the tribe of people who have been (genuinely) thrilled that I got gainful employment is beyond understanding. I’m learning a lot about rejoicing with those who rejoice by the experience.

So, this is just to let you know that God provided a great job in better timing than I know with a whole host of added blessings that I never expected and am still a little in awe of. And to say thank you if you were one of those who has rejoiced with me.