Friday, May 27, 2011

Mr. Brown Eyes' Dream

I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of our family.

Mr. Brown Eyes has a dream. A dream of taking his boys (and possibly girls--but let's not go there) out on fishing trips. A dream of spending all day on a glassy lake, camo hats pulled down over their eyes, talking about whatever it is boys talk about while they wait for the biggest, plumpest fish to bite so they can bring them home and cook them for me.

Or maybe he intends to bring them home and make me cook them.

Either way is fine. I'm a proud veteran of fish-gutting. Ok, I've only done it once, but I was pretty awesome at it and only got a little squeamish. And a little sad when we discovered that one of the fish was full of eggs. I felt bad that we had deprived her of becoming a mother. But she sure tasted delicious.

Anyway, when Mr. Brown Eyes told me his dream I melted a little and pretty much became putty in his hands. Which was probably his plan all along. When he found the perfect fishing boat--at a perfect deal, I might add--there was no way I could say no and deny all our future sons those special outings on the lake with their dad.

I'm a sucker.

Baby Brown Eyes is all ready for his fishing trips with daddy.

Boats go way back in our family. Way back to four years ago when Mr. Brown Eyes and I were dating. We would take his ski boat, which I christened Buella, out on the lake and spend all day basking in the sun, swimming, tubing, and wake-boarding (attempting to wake-board, in my case). Oh, and kissing. Lots of kissing. I couldn't help myself. Mr. Brown Eyes won a piece of my heart out there on the lake, steering his boat with one hand and smiling at me, handsome and windblown.

What a stud, huh?
After one long, hot day out on the lake, we brought Buella in and decided to stop for icecream on our way to the friends' house where Mr. Brown Eyes kept his boat. I hadn't eaten much all day, and slurped my icecream down in no time flat. Which I regretted the minute I climbed back into Mr. Brown Eyes' truck.

I had a bellyache. You know. The kind where you need a bathroom. FAST.

Mr. Brown Eyes and I hadn't been dating very long. We were no where near the comfort level we're on now, where burps and farts are rewarded with a laugh and a "good job." I certainly did not feel comfortable discussing my bodily functions with him. But we had a fairly long drive ahead of us, and this was not something I could just ignore and hope it would go away. It was either tell Mr. Brown Eyes about it or have an accident all over the seat of his truck.

I tried to tell him without telling him too much. "Are your friends home?" I asked. "I, uh, really have to use the bathroom."

"They should be," he replied.

But when we got there, we found the driveway empty and the door locked. My heart fell. But I didn't want to tell Mr. Brown Eyes the seriousness of my situation. Convinced I could wait until we got to my house, I paced back and forth as Mr. Brown Eyes put Buella away. He was taking his sweet time. And I knew I was not going to make it another fifteen minutes.

I caved. "I really have to go to the bathroom," I told him, grimacing against the pain in my belly. "Like right now."

He didn't laugh or screw up his face in disgust. He just thought hard, said, "There's a Wal-Mart up the street," and helped me into his truck. I jumped out as soon as he pulled up in front of the store and ran inside.

I was gone for a long time. When I finally emerged from the bathroom, much relieved, I saw him patiently waiting for me by the doors. I worried that he would make fun of me, or refuse to touch me, or tell me that I was gross and he didn't want to date me anymore, after all.

Instead he just took my hand and asked, "Feel better?"

I smiled sheepishly. "Much."

Then we climbed back into his truck and went on with our lives. He didn't even make fun of me about it until months later. And for that, he won another little piece of my heart.

Any suggestions on a name for our new boat?

The fish-gutting queen,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writing Prompt #1

I've officially deemed Wednesday "Writing Prompt Wednesday." Every Wednesday (or as many as humanly possible) I will post a writing prompt and my response to it. Some will be fun and silly and some will be serious and thought-provoking. Feel free to tackle the prompt yourself in the comments section. It will be fun!

Here's today's.

Write a story from the point of view of an apple, sitting in a fruit basket on your kitchen counter, observing life around it. (Courtesy of

Not much to do in this little kitchen but wait for her to come back in and eat. Again. I think the safest thing to be in this kitchen is a piece of fruit. Pastries and baked goods don't stand a chance. Sometimes I try to wager with the oranges on how many cookies she'll eat in one day. But they're boring and never take me up on it. Once in a while I hear her stub her toe and curse under her breath. That's fun, too.

The baby is terrifying. He makes me grateful I'm not a plastic cup or a cheerio. If I was, my fate would be smashed in pieces all over the floor or half-chewed and smeared in the baby's hair. I bet if he could get ahold of me, he'd sink his baby teeth into my skin, too, but luckily she pushes the basket away from him every time he tries to grab it. Thank goodness. I have nightmares about being grabbed by those drool-covered fingers.

My place in the basket gives me a perfect view out the kitchen window. I can see green pasture, grey mountains, and a few fluffy white clouds. I try to imagine what it would feel like to hang from a tree on top of that mountain, to feel the wind rush against me, to see everything, not just this little room and its cheesy white cabinets. That is my dream. To see the world.

I told one of the oranges this once. She sneered at me and asked what would happen to my shiny red skin if I was dropped on the ground. I stopped talking to her then. Those oranges. They think they're so much better than everyone else just because they have an inedible peel.

The bananas were nicer, but they didn't stick around very long. They started getting brown and pungent, and he came in, grabbed them, and...I shudder to tell of it. He peeled them, sliced them, and threw them in that big black cold place. It was terrible. I can't let that be my fate. I must make it to the mountain!

I accidentally said that out loud, and the orange next to me said if I was lucky I'd end up in a pie. Just as I was trying to come up with a sassy reply, the man picked her up, peeled her, and ate her, slice by slice.

That's what you get for dashing my dreams.

The Brown-Eyed Apple, er, Girl

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dear Mr. Hawking:

I just read that you don't believe in heaven. That you think it is a "fairy story" for people who are afraid of the dark.

To you, the human brain is merely a computer, and when it stops working, it gets thrown into the dump with all of the other broken-down junk.

That's it. That's where it all ends.

I feel sorry for you. For all your brilliance, there is so much you're missing.

Maybe you're content with your life. I find it hard to believe, however, that anyone can ever be truly happy without God. Can you really be happy believing that everything ends when you die? That your intelligence and relationships and loves and joys are snuffed out like a candle, as if they never existed at all? What, then, would be the purpose of ever living at all?

I take a different view of heaven than you do. I know it exists. I know God exists, that He is our Father and He loves us. And because He loves us, He has made it possible for our intelligence and relationships and loves and joys to stretch on into eternity. That is a belief I hold to, not because I'm afraid of the dark, but because I have faith in the Light.

There is no reason why science and religion should be such mortal enemies. They only are because we humans have made them so. I believe God has an understanding of what we call science that is far superior to our own, and that is how He created this earth and how He performed miracles in ancient days as well as today. A miracle is no less a miracle just because it has a scientific explanation behind it. Try telling a new mother holding her baby for the first time that her child is not a miracle because we know exactly how the sex cells combined and divided and did their thing to make the baby. She will laugh at you. Or worse.

You can't tell me that science just is. God is in everything. He performs daily miracles, some which we understand, and many we don't.

Don't you think, Mr. Hawking, that the fact that your life has been extended so long for someone with your illness is a miracle, too? Maybe to you it's just science, but look at all the contributions you've made to your profession. I see that as a Higher Power having a hand in your life. You haven't seen it because you refuse to believe, but He is certainly there, sustaining your every breath.

There is so much you're missing.

I feel sorry for you.

The Brown-Eyed Girl

Friday, May 13, 2011


I have been to exactly six proms in my lifetime.

1. The first was high school prom. My date was twenty-six years old, the older brother of one of my good friends. He was that huge crush that lasts through high school, the one whose picture I took to college with me and swore no guy I ever met would ever compare. I used to dream that we would span the distance between our ages and live happily ever after. For him the date was probably just a way of humoring me, doing a favor for the friend of his kid brother. But for me the date was magical, a dream come true, one of those nights that make you think, as a teenager, that life doesn't get any better.

Until I saw our pictures.

He told me not to chew my gum.

I didn't listen.

For the record, that crush lasted on and off through my sophomore year of college when, suddenly, I grew up.

2. Prom #2 was the first of the adult stake proms my church puts on every year. I wore my dress from high school. My blind date was a returned missionary--so fresh off his mission that he was still weird around girls. We danced a couple times, then spent the rest of the night avoiding each other.

3. Prom #3 was another blind date. This time he was fun and engaging and very comfortable around girls. As soon as we walked into the dance he grabbed my hand as if we were a couple. Hand-holding might not mean much for some people but for me it was a sign of serious commitment. I wasn't commited, though. I wasn't even interested in him beyond friends. But I went along with it. He obviously got the wrong idea, and tried to kiss me when the night was over. Of course, in his defense, I didn't give him any reason to think I didn't want him to kiss me.

That's the kind of a girl I was back then. Just a tease.

I turned my head away at just the right moment.

It wasn't such an obvious kiss attempt that he couldn't play it off as if it didn't happen.

We parted as friends.

Until the second date, when he tried to kiss me again in the dim glow of the porchlight outside my front door, and being a tease just wasn't working for me anymore.

"I keep trying to kiss you," he said, "but you keep turning your head away."

"I know," I replied. "I don't want you to kiss me."

Brutal honesty. It's what most relationships are lacking.

We didn't part as friends that night.

4. My fourth prom I finally got the perfect date. He was my husband of a whole month and a half. We were ooshy-gooshy newlyweds, dancing so close to each other we might as well have been superglued together. The only thing he remembers about the night was that the Mexican restaurant we ate at beforehand made him sick and he spent most of the dance in the bathroom.

5. I attended my fifth prom stag because Mr. Brown Eyes had to work. I wore elbow-length gloves and some girl thought she'd tell me I wasn't wearing them properly.

Pish posh.

6. Prom #6 was the very best. We made a group date out of it, but somehow, even in that big room crowded with people, Mr. Brown Eyes and I had eyes only for each other. It's the greatest thing in the world to be married to your best friend. One minute you're looking into each other's eyes, melting with romance, the next you're busting up with laughter over some dorky dance one of you invented.

Which is as it should be.

I insisted on kissing pictures so my braces didn't show.

As you can see, my teasing days are over.

Which is also as it should be,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

How My Mother's Day Went Down

*For the record, I posted this the other day, but Blogger let me down. Shame on you, Blogger.*

Happy Mother's Day!

To celebrate, here's a dose of the good ol' stomach flu.

You'll be up half the night, trying to decide whether you should sit on the toilet or kneel in front of it.

You'll be up the other half of the night, trying to get your baby back to sleep.

Your husband will offer to make you breakfast-in-bed the next morning, but you'll have to decline because the thought of food makes you want to hurl.

You'll sit through church feeling queasy, fighting back tears when one of the speakers reads a touching Mother's Day poem. You'll lay your head in your husband's lap as if you're a little girl, because it's the only thing that makes you feel better.

You'll chug Pepto and 7-Up and spend the afternoon languishing on your couch, watching your baby and husband play on the living room floor. You'll finally fall asleep while a cool breeze sweeps through the open windows. And when you wake up, refreshed, you'll see your baby's sweetly-sleeping face beside you and your husband snoring on the floor and you will smile.

Your husband will wake up and ask if there's anything you need and you'll say no, you actually feel much better. Then you'll see them off to the family BBQ while you stay home and relax. As you read the love letter your husband wrote you for the fifteenth time, you'll decide that, after all, it was a pretty wonderful Mother's Day.

Especially since Baby saved his explosive poop for his daddy.

That was his Mother's Day gift to me.

Look here and here and here to see my other Mother's Day gifts.

They make me happy everytime I walk outside.

But I am sorry I missed that breakfast in bed,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Friday, May 6, 2011


Is it Friday? Somehow I lost track of my days this week. Well, I hope it's Friday because that's what I decided to title this post.

Sorry I've neglected you this week, dear little blog. Here is a list to see you through the weekend.

1. I have changed exactly 520 poopy diapers today. Some of them leaked. Not on me, thank goodness. Baby Brown Eyes has a tummy ache. He also threw up. And started playing in it. Awesome.

2. I woke up before the sun today to do a work out on my new elliptical. Then I went back to bed. As my eyes closed in sleep I felt like the calories I had just burned were sneaking back into my body. Is that possible?

3. Family shouldn't be allowed to move away.

4. I have come to terms with the fact that I have a serious sweet tooth. I think it's always been there, but it really revealed itself when I was pregnant. That was when I started eating peanut M&Ms by the handful, when I would buy a box of chocolates and before I knew it half of them were gone. I can't blame it on pregnancy, though, because it never went away. If left to my own devices I could probably eat an entire cake or a whole tub of ice cream. It's an affliction I have. One I must learn to deal with.

On that note, I made a batch of cookies today and baked them before I ate all the dough. I was proud of myself.

Baby steps.

5. This is what my living room looks like right now.

My home has been infiltrated by baby toys.

But it's a good thing.

Happy weekend,
The Brown-Eyed Girl