Monday, May 30, 2011

I Capture the Castle

I, Charity Brooks, twenty-eight years old, wife and mother, still dream of castles....

Of high walls and vaulted ceilings, with gold leaf and trim on the columns and panels.
Of immaculate carpets and giant, ornate rugs.
Of enormous, rich, warm paintings in every niche and down every hallway.
Of stories-high windows, etched and colored, that fill the rooms with light.
Of massive chandeliers, made of thousands of crystals, shining and pristine.

And I, Charity Brooks, have been there.

This is my castle:

And I, Charity Brooks, anti-girly-princess-ness, felt like a princess!
And it was wonderful!
And, quite frankly, it had nothing to do with my gown
(which, let's be honest, was really perfect!).

It had to do with being inside its walls,
castle walls,
learning about how I am a queen in embryo,
how I am worth all the world.

It had to do with sitting with my husband--
a Prince, if there ever was one--
And knowing that together,
with hard work and many years,
We would make a happily ever after.

And I thought about that last night,
lying in bed next to Chad,
reading nothing special,
and being grateful for my life--
which, honestly, sometimes, is nothing like a fairy tale,
but more often than not, it is.

And it's because I've been to the Castle.
And I go back.
Again and again.
And I am happy.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Busy Week...

and 5. Rapture

Well, it just didn't come.
Too bad, because I have a busy summer.
And some of my self-imposed deadlines are coming up.
And it would have been nice to let it all go, right?

Oh well, maybe in another seventeen years...
(Oh, am I awful?)

Busy Week...

4. She Did It!....??

Risa finally started crawling!

And then she stopped.

She took her first crawling steps (steps?) this week,
and it was obvious she finally knew what she was doing.
But I guess it's too much of a hassle for her.
She's decided she'll keep doing her "get there creatively" thing.
Because crawling apparently isn't her thing.

That's our Risa.
She has an opinion about everything.
(Does that remind you of anyone, Tera? How about the photo? Ha!)

Busy Week...

3. May 19th

I thought of lilacs.
I thought of the Carpenters.
Of songs and lullabies.
Of quiet listening and quiet advising.
Of an image of "The Swim" being performed in the kitchen
with a whole chicken,
deboned and cubed,
sitting on the counter.
Of a voice saying, "Rick!"
in an exasperated, joyful way.

I thought of my mother.
Happy Birthday, Momma!

Busy Week...

2. Rain
We came home to rain. Which I love.

For some reason, all I want when it rains is this: 
Hot chocolate and Sense & Sensibility.
Except that I want the movie--
The really beautiful one with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet.
But since I have yet to replace my old VHS tape with a DVD, 
I was left drinking my cocoa and pining for my movie, 
rather than actually watching it.
Ah, well.

And I couldn't help snapping this photo in the rain... 
only because I was thinking as an English nerd, 
and (Rachel, this is for you), 
my brain saw this image and kept repeating that really annoying poem
by William Carlos Williams:
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain water
beside the white chickens.

Okay, it's a tan wagon rather than a red wheelbarrow.
And there are no chickens.
But I thought of the poem anyhow.
Supposedly it's a brilliant poem.
I've missed that part of it somewhere.

Busy Week

Well, another adventurous week has come and gone... and true to form, instead of blogging as things happened, I'm just doing it all today. But I'll go ahead and do separate blog entries this time. "It's the principle of the thing." So here goes...

1. Richfield

We had a lovely time in Richfield the first half of the week. Chad was sent down to cover for the manager for a few days, and, naturally, we went too. Chad always thinks I'm kind-of funny, because I insist on going with him.... But then we get there, no one sleeps the first night, and then I'm a total grump the next day. But it's only really the first day. The following days are fun. And frankly, I prefer sleepless nights next to Chad over restful ones alone (as does Chad).

It rained a bit, but not enough to deter us from getting out and trekking to the park every day. The kids loved that--three days of non-stop outside and park time! We should stay in tiny hotel rooms more often, I guess.

And it was a rather good set-up for me as well: Chad took the car to work every day, so I ended up walking miles around the town in those three days. Much needed exercise!

And we ate delicious food, of course. Nothing like a few days off from planning and cooking dinners to make me feel a little spoiled. 

Might I recommend the... lobster?? 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Dream of Spring...

It's May, and the dream is almost upon us. 

This is where it gets hard for a California girl--this, the sixth month of winter. 

But here are the tell-tale signs that Spring is not far off, 
that there will be warmth in my bones again, 
and that the world is turning green and lovely once more. 

I'm holding my breath.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Well, another month gone by, and no new posts. So here´s a quick update on the fam until I find something exciting to post on....

We have been having all kinds of adventure over here in the Chad Brooks home.... Let's see.... For starters, we got to have a little mini-vacation, with most expenses paid, in Price and Moab! Hooray! Chad was sent down there for a week to cover for the manager there, and he got to take us along. So really, it was probably more a vacation for me and the kiddos. But we loved it! And we actually had some sun--hooray for warm Moab sun!! We went to dinosaur museums, played at parks, had picnics, visited Hole-in-the-Rock, hiked out to Delicate Arch. And then we met the family over in Blanding at the end of the week for Lanette's funeral. It was just a wonderful week!

We also had my uncle's kids for a week here at our house. They took a trip to Boston, and so we watched the kids. And we were a six-child family for about a week! Surprisingly, it was easier than I expected it to be. And instead of swearing off any more children at the end of it--as I thought would happen--I came out of it thinking, "Hey, we could do six kids....eventually....someday." Not saying that's the plan; just thought it was encouraging that the week didn't overwhelm me. :) We had a lot of fun together. And it was awesome for Coren--he had playmates all week, which was his favorite thing!

(This is my cute morning boy it! Melts my mommy heart!)

(I´m not sure how to feel about the serious face and the menacing way he is holding his power drill here... I lean a little hippie when it comes to play guns and such....but he´s pretty stinkin´ cute here, so we´ll go with it.)

Coren is growing, and he is SO smart! Smarter than we think! He gets this knowledge from I don't know where, and it surprises me and Chad every time. He knows a bunch of his letters. He can count to ten in English and Spanish (hooray!). And he loves everything.... my favorite part of the day is right after he wakes up from his naps, and he makes his "declarations of love," as I like to call them: "Mommy, I love naptime! I love azul! I love treat! I love outside! I love Woody! I love car! I love jugo! I love Risa!" (This can go on and on--oh, it cracks me up!) He has started adopting the role of big brother, enjoying the power to discipline Risa when I'm not around--the other day I caught him telling her, "Risa, don't do it! Don't do it, Risa! Uno, dos, tres...okay, Time out, Risa!" And he tried to pull her gently to the corner. He is a cute dude! 

(Here´s the warning face....wait for it....)

(And there it is! The storm has arrived in full force!!)

And Risa is a bundle power! Yes. She is definitely all the things I was afraid of about having a girl. She is feisty! She is grumpy! She is impatient! She is a SERIOUS drama queen! She's really good about some things--bedtime/naptime, eating, etc. But she definitely knows what she wants, when she wants it, and if it doesn't happen, look out! She's also teething, which adds to the drama, of course. But she already knows how to throw a tantrum and milk it for all it's worth! Yikes! On the upside, there are super cute sides to her emerging personality--she can give some really precious cheesy grins! And those make the tantrums worth it (I suppose). :) She loves her brother--she could watch him all day. I am getting so excited for her to start crawling, so they can play together. And she seems to be just on the cusp of crawling. But, as anyone who has seen her knows, there's a lot of chub to hold up, so it might be a while before the crawling happens. We love our chunky, crazy girl!

(Okay, and here´s the happy, more flattering side of Risa.... and, in her defense, the side more often seen.)