The Invisible Mother

I didn't write this but someone amazing did and my mom sent it to me...

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.

Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

Some days I'm a crystal ball; 'Where's my other sock?, Where's my phone?, What's for dinner?'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature -- but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe .

I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her
'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book.

And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it, and the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.

'No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, 'You're gonna love it there...'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

I told my mom she does get to see the cathedral she built. You see it when your child becomes a parent. :-)


Look Who's Here!

Happy Valentine's Day from our new love ...


2 Week Update!

Updates –

1. My doctor said on Tuesday if she had to guess she’d guess 2 weeks! That puts us on the 16th. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon!

2. I’ve still only gained like 5lbs. Hollah!

3. I’m wearing smaller pants today than when I started this whole thing and they’re not plus size. Hellllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooooooo amazing!

4. Ellie has dropped a little and is in a perfect position for making her debut.

5. Now we sit and wait for contractions…

Well, you can go about your business but I’m doing a lot of sitting and a lot of waiting. Oh and a LOT of laundry and TV watching. And Cadbury egg eating. What?!? A girl needs to eat!


Knocked Up!

So it turns out that I am super knocked up! I am full on 37 weeks pregnant. Which it turns out is technically FULL TERM! Also, I wish someone had mentioned that before like *now* because this whole time everyone has been saying 40 weeks is full term. And while I am more than ready to not be pregnant anymore I still have a few more things to do before Ellie gets here. Oh yes – that would be Eleanor Katy Berman. “Ellie in the belly” for now. ;-) And she’ll be here any minute!

So I thought – it’s about time that I get back on my blog so I could at least update everyone that Ellie is coming and also have a place to share our hilarious stories and awesome pictures. Thank you Heather (a co-worker that Dave simply calls “Cookie Girl” because she makes yummy cookies) for bringing to my attention that there needs to be a blog so that everyone can hear Courtney/Dave parenting stories. Plus it warms my heart when Dave says something embarrassing and follows it up with “Don’t blog that!”

So here are a few highlights I learned from pregnancy:

1. No one tells you just how swollen things can get. And I’m not just talking about fingers and ankles. Not. Cool. Not cool at all.

2. Everyone feels the need to tell you their birth story. It’s usually graphic and horrifying and can last anywhere from 15 minutes to AN HOUR. You are expected to nod and smile and oooooh and aaaaah and then at the end they always sum it up with “but don’t listen to what anyone tells you – just do what you want.” And what you want to do is punch them in the face. ;-)

3. Babies R Us makes me sweat and Dave knows how more of the stuff in there works than I do. How did that happen?

4. TUMS are my best friends.

5. I don’t particularly love pregnancy but I will do anything to love Ellie. And I’m just praying that that is the one thing everyone is right about – that when I hold her it will all be worth it.

So here we go…


I'll be right back!

So I'm preparing a really good blog. Like - a really good one. I'll be back in a couple of weeks. Until then please enjoy these lovely Koi. They live at the Hana Hotel in Maui. :-)


It’s that time again …

I’M BACK! And I feel a little guilty that I haven’t blogged since it was summer and 4 million degrees in the valley. Granted, that could have been last week – but realistically it’s been since July. And I really want to tell you that I just haven’t had much to say … but that’s not really true. I’ve been to an awesome wedding (Congratulations Dan & Danielle!), had a lot to say about the election (which I never said out loud/on paper), and took an awesome trip to DC for Thanksgiving (we almost missed our flight and I cried at LAX). But all in all it’s been kind of gloomy in the big wide world. And while I don’t want to give in to that I just haven’t been inspired.

BUT! Now I’m getting over all that and thought I would share one of my fave stories from the last few months. Sooooooooo - I l-o-v-e Paul Rudd. Like ever since Clueless he has been my fave of all faves. So you can imagine my excitement when Dave told me that we were going to the Role Models premiere and that Paul was going to be there! I planned my outfit, blew out my hair. … the whole shebang! And then I promised Dave (knowing full well I was totally lying) that I would be cool and not bother Paul and behave myself from afar. In my defense though, Dave did agree to marry me and knows that I should be medicated and I am not so that’s kinda his fault too right?

Anyhoo – we went to the premiere and the movie was great and I checked out the red carpet and it was all very exciting and free popcorny! And then we went to the premiere party… which ended up being like a mile walk away. In heels. And jeans. And a really cute short sleeve bubble sweater top. In 95 degree heat. At like 10pm. In LA. In freaking October when the day before it was like 60 and had already started snowing in some states. Ugh. I started to get sweaty. Like really sweaty. And once it started it would not stop. But Paul was at the party so I had no choice. I had to just suck it up, get some chardonnay, and move on. I stalked him for a good hour or so so that I could get close to his table - where there was basically a long line of skinny hot chicks waiting to take a picture with him. So I waited … sweating … trying not to look crazy. Which was REALLY hard when Paul kept making eye contact with me like maybe he wanted to call security.

And then … I had my chance. The crowds parted and I went for it. In my head I knew how the conversation would go - Oh hey Paul – loved you in Object of my Affection. Could I get a picture? Oh sure Courtney! And I love your blowout – did you do that for me? Oh no silly my hair always looks like this. Oh well – you look amazing. “Click”

This is how it went down – Ummmmmmmhipaulummmmmimlikeareallybigfanijustwantedtotellyouthatyeahimabigfanummmmcanyoutakeapicturewithme? Poor Paul was just like “ummmm ok” and he was sooooooooooo backing away from my sweaty crazy face when Dave stepped in and said “oh hey Paul – how’s it going? I worked in post production.” At which point Paul completely calms down and starts telling Dave what a great job he did and then Dave’s all no you’re great and Paul’s all no you are. And then Dave takes my picture.

And then we walk away and I’m dying of embarrassment and telling Dave that I looked like a crazy lady and Dave says “no way! Once I said I was in post it was fine and he was totally fine!” To which I explain that Dave never mentioned that I was his wife. So now as far a Paul is concerned he probably feels bad for Dave too because a crazy sweaty fan made some nice post production guy take the picture. You know … or he’s Paul Rudd for crissakes and doesn’t think anything because he meets a million people a day and why would he? So here is the picture. I’m sweaty, dehydrated, and the most embarrassing wife ever. Oh and my head looks GIGANTIC next to Paul’s sweet tiny head behind me. And Dave, god bless him, was like I have no idea what you’re talking about, you looked beautiful to me.Oh and FYI – Dave also mentioned how soft Paul's hands were when he shook hands with him. Swoon.


Awesome! Just Awesome!

I love the 80's! Recently I was trying to describe one of my fave commercials from the 80's to Dave. In between episodes of Silver Spoons and Eight is Enough the Mormons put out these sweet commercials! And every kid I know knew every word and we loved them. And now thanks to youtube I can finally share ...

Below is my super favorite and stars Alfonso Ribeiro! You might know him from Fresh Prince of Bel Air but he was also Ricky Schroeder's best friend on Silver Spoons. Ooooooooooooohhhhhhh and how I loved Ricky Schroeder. I planned our unicorn theme wedding like every day in 4th grade.
And next is a bonus commercial! Basically when my parents weren't trying to scare the crap out of me about lying the nice folks at the Church of Latter Day Saints were doing a fantastic job of making telling the truth look awesome. So watch this while I go hug my My Little Pony. :)PS - Shout out to EvilKate and my sister who both know every word to these commercials too!