I can explain.
I just want to make memories. Is that so wrong? This month, in keeping with a pattern, I decided that it would be cute to make some salt dough ornaments as presents for Knox and Hayes’ grandparents and aunts. I promise that I don’t come up with designs of torture for blogging benefit. If you could see me in these pre-disaster moments, you’d see the idealistic gleam in my eye. The recipe seemed oh-so-easy, and so, courtesy of Pinterest, I was going to start a brand new Christmastime tradition. As I gathered my ingredients, I became excited for the years to come – the cute ornaments the boys would make; the way, as adults, they’d fondly talk about the special craft time they shared with their mom during the holidays… Yes, my imagination was in overdrive. Children’s crafts and mother-son bonding, these are the things I fantasize about.
I didn’t even let the suspiciously sticky mixture bother me.
Then I brought Knox over to press his hand into the dough.
The first print wasn’t a disaster. Unfortunately, he has more than one family member. The second print wasn’t a bonding moment. By the third attempt, you’d think I was forcibly pressing his hand into burning lava and then killing a puppy. His defense mechanism? Curl his fingers into a fist, grab the dough, and dump the dough and flour on the floor. Oh, and cry and scream.
In retrospective, maybe I was already a little emotional because his handprint was bigger than I expected – I couldn’t find any cans or jars big enough to make a ‘cookie’ around his ginormous print. When did he stop being a baby? Maybe Knox was already a little emotional because he watched me prepare what misleadingly promised to be some sort of baked good, only to find that he had to touch some a weird substance that he was definitely not allowed to eat.
Well, you see how it all ended up. I’d show you the salt dough crime scene, but it’s pretty graphic. Suffice to say, there are three very sad ornaments that are now half-baked sitting in my kitchen. I don’t understand where I went wrong. I used to be an art teacher.
I redeemed myself only very slightly with an Oreo offering.
Speaking of butchering memories… how have I not shared this?
I shot a deer over Thanksgiving. Koby’s family has a tradition that began with his grandmother, Caryl. His grandfather, Ed, has a 30-30 shotgun that every family member (including the ones that have married in) has shot a buck with, once they are ‘of age’. (Not sure what the official ‘you can kill a deer now’ age is…)
This was supposed to happen two years ago, the first hunting season after Koby and I were married. Conveniently for me, I was pregnant then and my morning sickness prohibited me from being in any location where I couldn’t easily get sick for more than an hour or so. Oh, did I say convenient? I mean awful. Though I narrowly escaped taking a life that year, Koby assured me that next year, it would happen.
And so we went out last year on the last day of hunting season… and got skunked. Not a single deer. Not even a doe. And so Koby, with a little desperation in his voice, assured me that next year, it would definitely happen.
Before I tell the thrilling tale, let me tell you a little bit about my emotions leading up to the thing. I’m not against hunting, as that would be very hypocritical as I have been known to eat burgers for every meal of the day. Hunting purely for sport does rub me the wrong way… I mean, who needs to kill an elephant? Or a tiger? Right? The thing I appreciate about Koby is that he loves hunting, but he also loves to experiment in the kitchen and he genuinely loves cooking wild game. And so I knew whatever poor beast I met that day would be thoroughly enjoyed by our family. I was a little nervous for a few reasons… firstly, guns make me nervous. Can’t help it. I was nervous about killing something on purpose, never having killed anything bigger than a cat with my car (accidentally). I was nervous about missing and disappointing Koby.
And so the moment came. I am neither a huntress nor a storyteller, so I’ll just say that my hands were shaking as I took the shot. Koby was probably more anxious than I was. No, he was for sure.
Confession: I may have cried a little bit afterwards. I’m still the girl who can’t watch movies if the animal dies. Surprising myself, I was much more excited to get down from the blind and see the deer than I ever thought I’d be. I was excited, not so much for what I’d done, but seeing how excited Koby was. It felt good to aim and hit my mark, make a clean shot. Probably the best part is that the blind we were sitting in is the one Koby built with his grandfather, the same one from which he shot his first buck when he was just a kid. It means a lot to Koby, and I’m glad that I could give that to him.
And really glad I didn’t miss.
Still, if you would have shown this picture to me in high school and told me that this would be me in eight years… Ahhhh, the places love and life will take you, eh?