Friday, April 29, 2011

My word, how uncouth!: A Royal Follow Up

So for those of you who are unaware, because you must be living in a small cave beyond the reaches of general technology and have thus escaped the incessant media coverage, let me clue you in on an apparent historic event which took place this morning.

Today was the overly anticipated "Royal Wedding" of Prince William and some girl whose name has escaped me for the moment, and for which I don't care enough to click on the following tab in order to Google said name to offer you properly informative facts regarding this new princess. Sorry, but if you don't know it, and simply MUST know who the bride of the day was, then Google away my friend, Google away.

Now, for most of you out there, the term "royal" used as an adjective on a day to day basis so seldom reflects anything of actual ancestry befitting a crown wearing monarch.

For instance, in my household, royal could be referring to any number of things from a shade of blue to perhaps a type of icing. In fact, it might even refer to a particular form of behavior in which our sweet little puppy, whom we love so much, decides after a walk to come in the house and defecate on the kitchen floor, thus becoming a royal pain in my bottom.

You see! So many wonderful uses for this little five letter word! So versatile!

But not today folks, on this day it was used in the rare and proper form of referring to those of royal bloodline. Our congratulations to Prince William and Princess Whats-her-face! While I can agree the media coverage was a tad bit overboard, I can understand how this union is definitely international news.

However, was it truly necessary for CNN to cover the nuptials? I mean, seriously. While I had every intention of later in the day catching a recap of the wedding out of curiosity, I by all means didn't expect the majority of networks to really be covering the event to this extremity.

Since it seemed the royal family had monopolized my morning viewing options, I decided to stay tuned in and watch.

And now I come to my point. Everyone (and by everyone, I don't mean in fact the entirety of the world, but just that of my Facebook friends list) has been talking about a few key points regarding this mornings ceremony.

Number 1: How unhappy Princess Whats-Her-Face looked during the ceremony.
Number 2: How incredibly romantic and heart wrenching the ceremony was and how it brought everyone to an onslaught of uncontrollable tears.
Number 3: How the little boy prince has now gone and married someone thus making him unavailable for the women across the lands to swoon over in the hopes of wedging their way into some fairytale which ends in their marriage and a happily ever after that apparently has more to do with horseback riding than actual politics.

Part of me feels compelled to address these points, even if its just to the empty cyberspace at hand. So here we go.

Answer to #1: Have you ever been married in, or attended a wedding that consisted of the nuptials which follow a large processional, full mass, multiple readings, etc? Well, dear friends, I have. I've done the whole, married in a great big Catholic Cathedral with a full mass, a million hours of scripture in Latin and consistent shifting from the energy it takes to stand, and appear inspired by the ceremony of it all through what feels like a decade of speaking that requires someone to nudge you when the interactive portion of your wedding ceremony begins.

Yes folks, as beautiful as the ceremony can be, standing at full attention for hours in front of a congregation of guests, holy leaders, the royal family, in a dress that no doubt outweighs her, in shoes that I seriously doubt were Dr. Scholl-able, can be exhausting. Give her a break! She definitely began to glow once she realized the vows were coming up and had a reaction to the "this is IT" moment. Up until that part, give her some credit for being able to hold a small Mona Lisa type smile during the time leading up to their "I Do's".

In addition, keep in mind this wedding is strictly based on ceremonial traditions that have been in place for centuries in their country. Do you think if she had this wonderful plan to one day grow up and elope to some fancy-schmancy pants island alone with the man of her dreams, for a simple and romantic ceremony on the beach, that her requests would have been indulged? No way!

Stay away wedding genius David Tutera, because the royal family has their own idea of what is spectacular and appropriate and I sincerely doubt any of the bride to be's wishes were taken into consideration! She was definitely happy to be joining her husband to be in matrimony, but was it the wedding of her dreams? Chances are, probably not. My two meaningless sheckles on that subject - well done Princess Whats-Her-Face! Now run off and enjoy your honeymoon with a hope for peace and quiet!

Answer to #2: This very, very, VERY common statement has flooded my feed all morning. Now, being a woman, I've had my fair share of good cries at a lovely wedding ceremony. However, this particular ceremony didn't quite pull at my heart strings. It didn't pull at any strings. It was rather boorish in fact. I know, shame on me, but it was! For myself anyway. Apparently, there is an entire parade of women who would die to line up and stand and kneel in front of their church in a 500lb dress with no ventilation in Manolo Blahniks ripping into their toes and heels for 4 hours without being allowed to shed unstructured affection and intimacy. No jumping into the arms of your new husband, no laughing, you must be appropriate at all times. I mean, good gracious, it was more militant than romantic from what I saw. Unless....perhaps....was there ANOTHER royal wedding I am unaware of that took place today, and perhaps I was watching THAT one and missed the oh so romantic tear jerking ceremony everyone is swooning over?

Then again, Im also the person who doesn't understand why a book about a loud mouthed trouble making obscene woman who steps outside the boundaries of her upcoming union to fornicate with an old lover and then is applauded for their love come to fruition is so loved by women world over. I'm talking about "The Notebook". I know, sacrilege to some of you out there. This poor man loves a woman unconditionally and all she does is indulge herself with selfishness and an annoyingly spoiled disposition. I guess that type of fight or flight romance doesn't appeal to me, because I am more moved by unconditional love stories that share a familiarity with my own. A story of man meets woman, where they fall in love and spend their lives together, fighting against the trials and tribulations of life with an impenetrable bond. A tale WITHOUT the adultery, bickering, fighting, mind games,lies, deceit and childish behavior that goes on in other tales.

Like "Up". "But that's not a love story...." some of you might say. However, I disagree. This loving bond between man and wife not only exceeded the first 15 minutes of this light and airy Disney film. It showcased a love beyond the passing of your spouse, a love I can understand, where even in absence, the warmth of love from your soul mate still keeps you company. This is the kind of love I feel God wants for us all. Some of the movies today...simply baffle me. "Oh look, she's cheating on her husband with her hot new co-worker, and I think they are in love, awww how sweet. Ewweee her evil husband is trying to get in the way of their love!" WHAT?!?!?! When on earth did this behavior become socially acceptable!?!

Anyway, back to my point. The wedding was a wedding. It wasnt brilliant, or spectacular, it was the exact same ceremony we watched decades ago with his mother was married, sub new bride and groom. Seriously. No reason for tears. There are commercials with deliciously chubby babies that bring tears of joy to my eyes, so how is it this fabled fairytale dreamy romantic wedding somehow escaped me in between my sips of morning glory? I dunno. Oh well, c'est la vie.

Answer to issue #3: The number of women outraged and saddened by this royal foreigner taking a bride is beyond silliness. I like to hope that most people have the good sense not to believe there was a time in a parallel universe where the prince and pauper girl meet and she becomes a queen, and this was the tale of their lives. Not that everyone shouldn't indulge their personal aspirations, but I think to focus on the lack of availability in a male member of the royal family and how it might have affected their destiny to become a princess, seems a little silly.

What's this fascination with wanting to be a princess? Last I checked, I'm completely and euphorically happy in my marriage and with my hubby despite lack of blue blood in the mix. It doesn't take a man of royal blood to make a woman feel like she is truly lifted above the rest.

Instead of comparing the men of our country who do their best to honor and love their wives to some distant prince who has the charm of an acorn, how about you take a step back and treat your dear sweet loved ones, husbands, whatever they might be, like royalty instead?

Maybe that is my own personal romantic indulgences, but if you asked my husband, you would find he is very happy indeed. Perhaps I do dote on him a little more than other people would like to, and perhaps this is because I thoroughly enjoy my role as wife and mother, and "yes, dear-isms". Some could (and do) say I wait on him hand and foot unnecessarily, but that's returned in full with exactly the same level of appreciate and affection, so its not sacrificial, its probably the most self serving selfless act someone can commit!

I challenge you wives everywhere, instead of groaning when your husband forgets to take out the trash, or leaves a dish in the sink rather than placing it 6" away in the dishwasher, when he changes the channel in the middle of your recent television obsession to watch an unappealing sporting event, hunting or golfing show, or otherwise un-engaging program, that rather than offering a snide remark, or quip, you simple take out the trash yourself. Take the dish out of the sink, and put the dish in the dishwasher. Sit and enjoy the completely uninteresting program your loved one finds himself enthralled in.

Is it so hard? Maybe you will learn something new, enjoy a new form of pastime or acquire a new topic of discussion to throw in the mix. And maybe, when you sit there next to him, enjoying the un-enjoyable, he will cuddle up next to you and rub your shoulders, because in the end all that matters to him, is you.

To each their own, and for those of you who aspire to one day place a crown upon your brow, then good luck and God speed to you! However, I'm happy to say that in my years of marriage, I enjoy treating my husband like a king, and in turn, I feel like a queen every day of my life.

Now off to see what our little prince's are getting into! More than 2 solid minutes of quiet can only mean two things, a nap, and sneakiness, and it sure isnt nap time!

God bless - may all your fairytale wishes come true! <3<3

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Commitment Issues, Neurosis and Craftiness

I love to blog. I really do. Now, you might be sitting there thinking, surely, if you enjoyed permanently sharing your every whim with the world, wouldn't your blog consist of daily posts rather than quarterly ones?

And you would be right my friend. So right. I continue to promise myself that no matter how my day unfolds, I will steal a few moments to write something fun and silly so I can look back on my wonderful days and chuckle at long lost seemingly insignificant memories that are everyday events to me, but will be so treasured when my boys no longer engage with me the way I have the pleasure of experiencing today, and yesterday, and tomorrow, and probably next week.

However, it seems like I have a problem with committing myself to the task. A witty and humorous retort on Facebook is one thing - but to sit down and actually dedicate a continued amount of time, regardless of how long or short it might be, to ramble on incoherently about things no one else will probably look at anyway? I mean, it just sounds like so much work.

Sit still? You dont understand, I'm the person who hates telephone calls, but can hold conversations for hours via text. I can socially "LOL" my way around networking sites, but its because I only need to find myself funny for 3 seconds at a time before I return to my wild Ardlings and other motherly duties.

However, thanks to a dear old friend who I stumbled upon on Facebook, with her wit and charm and do-it-all-ness that makes any wannabe wonder woman take a step back and feel like she needs to step up her game, if you dont believe me, check our her fabulous life at her blog, House Unseen. Life Unscripted. . She's an inspiration, and brilliantly comedic, and I think I might try to do it.

Make the commitment. Write in pen, not pencil. Buy my blog a nice solitaire 1.5 ct ring and get on one knee and pledge my dedication to it, not haphazardly, but wholeheartedly. So that one day, I can look back and read through a collection of events our little family had the pleasure of experiencing, and maybe bring a smile to my face when my boys are off to college and too cool for mom.

Maybe. LOL

So, before I go on a tyrant little rant about the wondrous and joyful Easter weekend we had at the Ard household, I have to say that I completely and utterly applaud all of you mommies out there who enjoy the creative extremities of their little people!

Those oh so joyful moments of "Look mommy, a mud pie!" or "Mommy, look, cereal can be like paint!" or "Mommy, mommy, mommy!!! We made a bath on the floor!!!"

Of course I could go on and on and on, but we can just let your imaginations fill in the blanks on the day to day silliness having children under school age can bring to any home!

Back to my point though, I need to learn to be a little more devil-may-care, because even when engaging in purposeful tasks which inevitably result in messiness (ie finger-painting, baking, icing cupcakes, etc) I have this strategic assembly line established to move through at least five phases of cleansing before a mess even happens!

LOL - good thing most people aren't around to witness my neurosis, just my poor hubby who by now thinks this type of behavior is normal.

So much in fact that when we go out to dinner and he sees a family with children smacking their hands into their mashed potatoes and throwing peas and spilling drinks, hes in complete disarray and confusion, wondering where on earth their mother is, with her wet naps, vacuum, trash bags and sanitizer on hand to scoop it all up as its happening and manipulate the still buckled into their highchair toddlers into a fresh new pair of clothes so that the appearance of a perfectly executed meal was accomplished. The outrage! LOL

However, I must say that despite the enabling of it all, I am blessed to know my husband would rather think the whole wide world is crazy, nuts, insane, bonkers, and any other adjectives you can find to describe my actual behavior, than to think his dear sweet little wife is anything but perfect. I love him to pieces!

Anyway, my hat goes off to all your mommies out there! Perhaps one day I will have a reaction to spaghetti art that leans more towards "Ooooo, thats amazing, I especially like the way you used carrot sticks to make hair on this sgetti-monster" instead of "'s one way to enjoy your dinner, but you know what would be MORE fun! I'm talking super duper fun!!! A vacuum and some wipes, lets go!!!"

Our poor boys are now living with this insane idea that cleaning products are just a special form of toy they get to play with when mommy says its time, haha. Poor little boys, but one day, yes one day in the very very VERY far away future, their wives might appreciate it!

So anyway, my mom and grandparents came into town for Easter weekend, and we all had a glorious time enjoying each others company! Seeing as my mom is in Connecticut, and my grandparents are in San Antonio, I definitely don't see any of them as often as I would like, and I always worry that the boys might be a little distant and shy because it takes a few moments to get used to people they aren't around all the time.

However, much to my delight, they were all over my grandparents like stink bugs on the stink! That's right, Aiden immediately grabbed my grandpa's hand and showed him all around his playroom, his other playroom, his room, his toys, the different types of fire trucks he had, why a fire truck was different than a fire engine and how people confuse them, the different types of guns he had, how to use his tennis racquet to hit a balloon, the best way to blow a bubble, and so on and so forth for approximately 14 hours of madness.

It was the sweetest thing though! I couldn't be happier that my dear mum decided on having them fly in for the day!

Well Easter weekend in whole, consisted of lots, and lots of treat making. I'm talking about cupcakes, mini sweet breads, cookies shaped like baskets which turned out after several trial and error attempts to be delightfully structurally sound and delicious! Sneak a peek!

Spectacular cupcakes!

The boys made MOST of them, honest! Under my strict and frantic guidance.

See! PROOF! They did it, this is before they thought that the coffee table might look better if it was a nice shade of pastel green, hahaha.

We also crafted some handy egg-gathering baskets since their Easter baskets were just not functional for any kind of hunt!

The back!

I thought these were SO cute, but despite how much I wanted to hide them away and showcase them for years and years to come, and chuckle at my craftiness, I decided to ACTUALLY allow them to use them not only for the hunt, but for snacks, and eventually, a water bucket. So sad to see them go, but the boys enjoyed them for almost as long as it took us to make them, and THATS what matters! LOL

All in all, I was so excited about this Easter! Talking to the boys about God, about His sacrifices, about His son, making the ultimate sacrifice for all of us, so that we could have a chance to understand God's will and become better people, and how wonderful and awe inspiring his life was.

How here we are, 2000+ years later, and we are still mourning, crying, feeling, loving, reflecting, praying, thanking and living. Thank you Jesus, for setting the ultimate example for us poor unsettled and unsure little spirits.

Thank you God, for our world, our lives, our love, our family, our friends, our chance to make choices in this life, to experience all the wonder you have given us!

Who could even ask for more? Not I. I have the best family in the world and I couldnt be happier! I love them all so much it hurts!

My attempt at trying to get Daddy and the boys together. Silly me. Kids....on Easter.....filled up on sugar...sitting still. Ya right! LOL

My littlest monkey!

My big boy!

The Ardlings, myself and Patton

Well, thats all for now. Hunger is upon my boys even though they just devoured their body weight in turkey for lunch, and its still early for dinner, but alas, I'm up to the plate! Literally speaking in fact, LOL.

In this life, I would have to say, that in the Ard Household, we're all happier than stink bugs on the stink.

God bless! <3

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