Tuesday, December 14, 2010

something my psych degree finally proved good for

At dinner tonight, Maddy was trying to get the red sauce off the penne pasta, rubbing it off with her fingers. "I don't like it" she says to me.
"Why don't you lick it off?" I respond. 
And she does, proceeding to eat it all.
Stifling laughter I ask, "Did it work?" 
She nods.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

tell me something good

i am imperfect. i make mistakes all the time. i get angry. i want my way. i usually think i'm right. my weaknesses and sinfulness cannot be hidden for long if you know me i probably offend without knowing, hurt without wanting, stomp all over without meaning...but i long to know that sometimes, someplace, to someone or someones i did something right, meaningful, lasting, worth this life. encouragement is a good thing!

Here's an article that goes along with these thoughts...we all need encouragement!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

amazing lyrics...could be me

Not a big fan of the song, but when the lyrics are in front of me, they're powerful.

Something More by Ginny Owens

Something MoreI've spent half my lifetime watching time go by
And wondering where it went
When I try to fall asleep at night
I lay there feeling spent

Contemplating what the next day's gonna hold for me
Tossin' turnin', my mind is churnin'
Thought won't let me be

Every morning meets me with a list of all I have to do
Every evening greets me with the knowledge that I'm never through
Every taste of success makes me vow to never fail
Feels like I just chase my tail

There's gotta be something more than running circles for a living
Gotta be something better than just trying to survive
Gotta be some important puzzle piece that I am missing
Gotta be something more to life.

If every picture tells a story, Mine must be a mystery
'Cause I lose sight of who I am and who I am
And who I'm supposed to be
Looking back on what I've built
And all that I've achieved
Only leads me to believe

Tired of these hopeless places
Bored with my earthly things
So I must fill my empty spaces
With the love that heaven brings


I'm running more now than I have ever run in my life.  Usually 3 days/week right now about 3 miles a pop.  In my past life, pre-motherhood, the furthest I ever ran was a 5K.  Once.  So 3 miles/run is a lot for me and yet I'm stuck.  I seemed to have hit some sort of rut.  Can't seem to lose any pounds, don't seem to be losing any inches, the jeans are still tight.  Grrrrr.

I was doing so well until I got pregnant, now I can't seem to get back on track since the m/c.  I'm SO frustrated!!!  I'm well aware that I may never get the body back that I want, but I thought I could make some sort of progress again.  Hmmm. 

I am not big on diets, calorie counting, points, or the like, but I am thinking I need to do something about my food choices.  But, I need to be wise about that so I don't end up on the wrong side of the precarious lifetime effort, attempting to not sink back into eating disorder. *sigh*

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

vanity and unwanted hair

How in the world do I explain why I'm tweezing my eyebrows to my 3 year old while she is going to the bathroom?!

"Why momma?  Why you do that?" she asks.

So many answers pop in and out of my mind, but nothing sounds good, right, honest or what I want her to hear. 

Answers like:

Well, I have these extra hairs that keep growing out that I don't want...If I don't get them, I'll have a bushy uni-brow...It drives me crazy when I see those little buggers sprouting out in the wrong place...For whatever reason, God gave me some extra ones...Oh I'm just multi-tasking, just passing the time...Because my best friend in middle school showed me how and said I needed to...Maybe because I'm just vain and self-conscious and always imagining people staring at them wondering why I don't take care of that mess...It's something to do while I'm waiting for you on the potty...You know, the beautifully made up models with professionally shaped & groomed brows create expectations in my head that I can't ever meet, but somehow I still want to strive for them.

Oh boy, I just want this conversation to go away!!  So I say, "Don't forget to flush" and off we go.

But I am reminded of what really matters, because of her question.  Get over it I tell myself.  And at least for the moment, I will.

BTW - I did a google image search to get a photo of a pair of tweezers.  So scary to see all those different types of pluckers out there.  It's made me even more aware of this crazy insane culture we live in that detests unwanted and supposedly unnecessary hair - we're so vain!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

can she just stay 3 forever

She has this silly DVD all about the circus. Today, she brings it out and says, "Mommy, this is my FAVORITIST!"  Oh the simplicity and innocence of a child.  The joy and honesty and sheer delight on her face made my day.

Today, when daddy comes through the door from work, she runs from one end of the house to the other yelling, "Daddy's here! Daddy's here!" over and over, too loud and probably waking up her sister who just fell asleep.  But, how can you stop that exuberant love from pouring out?  No way!!

Her sister is sad, so she brings her favorite blanket and animal.  Tenderhearted to the core.

She shares her treasured ice cream with her sister (even though I asked her not to).  Wow, generous to a fault.

I love these days.  I wish I could somehow memorize all these sweet sweet moments.  Especially to replay when she's a teenager!  :-)

Friday, August 20, 2010

hmmm what's next. another surreal moment in time.

Losing? Lost? I lost my baby.  What kind of way to say it is that?  Did I really lose it?  Doesn't that make it sound like it's my fault somehow?  Anyway, the baby didn't make it. No more heartbeat. I have miscarried. Baby has died, but still remains physically in me at this point.

2 weeks ago or so the doctor tells me.  I just found out I've been carrying a child who died at about 13 weeks gestation.  I was almost 16 weeks along.

letting go. unmet expectations. sadness. grief.  heaviness. guilt.  responsibility.  why?  why now?

so many racing thoughts, feelings, and emotions tumble unexpectedly and haphazardly across my mind and on my face and out through my words.  physically:  headaches, no appetite, crying, a sick to my stomach feeling like i just want to throw up all the time.

telling my 3 year old daughter was the hardest thing i had to do yesterday.  "why mommy? why?"  she is sobbing.  "but mommy why baby go to heaven?"  my heart is broken along with hers.

all we will have now is a couple of sweet ultrasound photos from our first visit a month ago and the memories.  someday we will get to ask God ourselves.  Why?

wow.  i've got another unexpected journey.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


My daughter is cracking me up these days with her epiphanies about bones.  We got some nice colorful medical diagrams of various systems of the human body, including the skeletal system and we've tried to explain her about the bones inside her body (and all of us!).  Now, her knees have been hurting her when she falls..."my bones", she says!  Then, tonight at dinner, daddy is eating a drumstick and shows her the chicken bone.  Wow!!  Who knew?  Chickens have bones too, just like us!!  Watching her connect these dots in her mind made me smile.

Gotta love the sweet innocence of a 3 year old.

BTW, confession:  I think I'm addicted to Bones.  I'm in the middle of season 2 on Netflix.  Good stuff!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

losing my mind?

Brought a salad to work a couple days ago.  Completely forgot about it.  I was starving at lunch time...thinking I need to go get something before I perish!  Hello, went to grab my keys, and guess what I found?  Oh yeah...the lunch I brought.  Where is my brain?

How is it that I can forget what day of the week it is...nearly everyday?!

Dear husband is telling me about conversations we had...what?  don't recall it at all.  Where was I exactly (in my head) if I was there talking about things I don't remember!

Can't find my keys and sunglasses - all the time.

Leaving my phone on the charger, don't notice till I'm at work, don't have it for 12 hours on Monday (it's my long day at work).  Wooops.

Lost my usb flash drive thingy...why are there so many names for those little storage devices that are now smaller than my car key and so easy to lose?  major bummer.

I blame my kids.  It's gotta be a mom-brain thing.  I'm not old enough for dementia or Alzheimers right?  Please tell me so.  Just plain old tired I hope.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I think this may be my new favorite word.

I long for simpler life.  I long for simpler food.  I crave, yearn, hugely desire a simpler schedule.  I would love there to be less to do, more to enjoy.  We have been given ONE amazing opportunity in life to find our purpose, meet and live for our Maker, seek His will, enjoy His creation, demonstrate His love.

Why does life get so complicated so quickly?  One day I think I am managing the chaos beast, then the next, he is out of control, spinning us in circles!

I am focusing on simple.

Just doing what I can.  trying to be a good wife, a good mom, a loving person.

For all that opposes me in those objectives (and there seems to be a lot), BOO to you.  I'm down on the garbage that is shoved down our throats on TV, billboards, radio, newspaper, any news.  I'm down on the "I NEED" the latest version of this or update of that - what is wrong with the current model anyway?!  It still works and yet we feel the need to replace everything (car, computer, phone, camera, house, spouse...the list can go on and on!). I am down on the need to entertain everyone, keep everyone busy, or worry that we might miss out on something.

I will survive even if I don't know who is on American Idol this year.  My daughter will thrive even if I don't sign her up for dance class or horse back riding lessons.  I will survive despite not getting to wear the latest styles.  My husband will survive without the newest and greatest camera (hopefully!)!

Why are so uncommitted to what is now and what is right in front of us?  I know for me, I have been blessed with an amazing family.  I need to simply focus on that.  My kids are young right now.  That is a HUGE commitment...what I need to focus on.  It is what simple life is for me right now, focusing on the little people I am raising and supporting the man I committed my life too for as long as I live.

Now, how to get simpler food on our plates?!  I just watched "The Wilderness Family" movie from the 70s.  Hilarious and yet eerily familiar to me and my own young childhood!  At one point, they're eating a meal together of only food they grew or made, or killed themselves.  I was jealous!

Monday, May 10, 2010

in honor of all mom's out there

My 3rd Mother's Day.  Not so different than any other day.  up early, cooking, dishes, laundry, chores, tears, laughter, hugs, and kisses.  a sweet treat to end the day - my choice.  loved hearing "happy mudders day" from my 2 year old.  her words melted my heart.  plus, her impromptu "I love my mommy" song in the car was pretty amazing too.  she was singing to herself, but I heard it!!

I don't know where this came from or who wrote it, but it is good.  I am often reminded of how much being a mom has helped me learn what "dying to self" really means.  This story gave me another encouraging perspective on motherhood:

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

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice 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 and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice 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 inscription:
'To Charlotte, 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:  No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story 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, Charlotte. 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, 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.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction.   But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. 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 three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or 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, to add, '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 women.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

trying again...to blog

it's been awhile.  life is taking me on a roller coaster ride.  i can't wait to see what is around the next bend!

so sad so angry how can this happen

Ever since I heard about this, it's been so heavy on my heart.  Can't stop the rushing of emotions.  I will take this up with the Almighty for sure.

A 7 month old and a 2 year year old, just like us.  Two busy parents, just like us.  It is so scary that this could possibly happen.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Purpose of the Struggle

Does anyone know the origin or author of this famous story?

The story of the butterfly

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.  One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole. Then it stopped, as if it couldn't go further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily but it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch it, expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge and expand enough to support the body. Neither happened!

In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand: The restricting cocoon and the struggle required by the butterfly to get through the opening was a way of forcing the fluid from the body
into the wings so that it would be ready for flight once that was achieved. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives.

Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us.
We will not be as strong as we could have been.
We would never fly.

Right now, I feel like my cocoon was just snipped.  But, I am trying to look at this way:  maybe it wasn't cut at all and it's just part of my sanctification process. I just need to grow stronger and struggle a little longer and allow myself to mature and be molded in the process.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

god sighting

the day welcomed me with this.  it's timeliness speaks to the loving touch of god's faithfulness in my life:

This is a time in your life when you must learn to let go: of loved ones, of possessions, of control.  In order to let go of something that is precious to you, you need to rest in My Presence, where you are complete.  Take time to bask in the Light of My Love.  As you relax more and more, your grasping hand gradually opens up, releasing your prized possession into My care.

You can feel secure, even in the midst of cataclysmic changes, through awareness of My continual Presence.  The One who never leaves you is the same One who never changes: I am the same yesterday, today, and forever. As you release more and more things into My care, remember that I never let go of your hand.  Herein lies your security, which no one and no circumstance can take from you.

p. 87 (March 24 devotion)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


it's dangerous.

at least I know it is for me.

i know anger is sometimes justified and healthy, but i don't think i know how to handle anger well.  it is not a comfortable emotion for me.

My quote for the day:  "There are times when anger is incorrectly associated with trivial matters.  And there are times when it may be associated with legitimate concerns, but is managed irresponsibly.  Balance is found when anger is linked to a reasonable issue and is communicated in a proper manner." The Anger Workbook p. 19

oooh.  communicated in a proper manner is what i need to try and do.

how do you handle it?

Friday, March 19, 2010


remember how refreshed and inspired i was?


everything i was ready to tackle these next couple years - gone.


what is god doing?  i am not sure i understand right now.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


what an awesome button.

whoever thought that up is a genius really.

i just got to hit the f5 button on my life.  for 4 days of renewal and rejuvenation and inspiration and encouragement.

what an amazing gift.

it included:

* facial & a massage (thank you someone anonymous out there for that treat!)
* sleep
* sun - seriously amazing summer weather!
* time to read
* time to swim, run, walk
* a little shopping (finally used last year b-day gift card for some cute new shoes, jeans, shirts!)
* time to just be a child of god with no responsibilities for anyone else
* food prepared and served to me almost every meal (no dishes to do - wow!!!)
* someone else making my bed and delivering clean towels to my room every day!!

i felt so pampered!  truly, it was an amazing gift of time.  oh yeah, it was a conference too...FULL of stuff to take in.  i was shoved up to the fire hydrant on everything children and family ministry related:

* workshops on family trends
* inspirational speakers at general sessions
* resources galore to peruse and consider
* time connecting with peers
* encouraging conversations
* brainstorming time
* reflection time
* lots to read, observe, learn, consider, take in

i am so thankful. for f5. for refresh. for renewal.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Distracted? Or Multi-tasking?

Multi-tasking is overrated.  You may think you're doing more, but really, you're just doing more things - less well.  I mean the more you stack on the pile, the more likely something is going to fall, right?!

I googled images of both words.  Funny thing.  Here is what I found.  Can you guess which one is distracted and which one is multi-tasking?

I know there is a ton of research out there right now confirming my suspicions:

“Multitasking is going to slow you down, increasing the chances of mistakes,” said David E. Meyer, a cognitive scientist and director of the Brain, Cognition and Action Laboratory at the University of Michigan. “Disruptions and interruptions are a bad deal from the standpoint of our ability to process information.”

Here is a hilarious (don't know if true, but hilarious none-the-less) image of one such "mistake" from this article on why multi-tasking is bad:

That explains my life to a tee right now.

I get so many distractions all day long that I am constantly trying to remember what I was just doing a moment ago before __________ happened or before ____________ called or before _________ email came in or before _________ stopped by.  That is at work.

Then, I come home and it's chaos all over!  What to tackle?  I have 5 minutes (I think).  So, I start something, but then someone needs something, the task is put aside and the forgotten about and I'm on to other things, then it's time for dinner, then dishes, the bath time, then bedtime, then whew!  I'm tired....wait....what's that over there?  Oh yeah, I was going to call the doctor about Maddy's glasses.  Once again, fail.  Not done.  Another week goes by and it's not done.  Now it's almost 10 and it must wait until tomorrow to try again.  When will I fit it into the day?

All I know is that I seem to be able to knock 2-3 things off my official "to do" list each day at work.  Now, maybe that's reasonable to some, but to me, it's absurd.  That should only take a couple hours - not all day!  Where is all that time going?

I am thinking of:
  • meetings starting late
  • forgetting a piece of paper and having to backtrack to get it
  • the phone interrupting meetings
  • the knock on the door interrupting another meeting
  • the side bar conversation in the middle of the meeting
  • the 5 people who showed up unexpectedly who needed 1/2 hour of time each
  • the real needs of real people around me that need prayer or encouragement
  • all the unnecessary emails and spam, even at work!  can't get rid of it.  Grrrrrrr
  • so much paperwork and clutter, it's just piling up and there's no time to tackle it
  • a frustrating database that freezes up my computer when try to send out an email
  • waiting for the internet another grrrrrrr when I just want it NOW!!
crazy life!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bad food moments

I've been doing really good.  I'm choosing healthier foods at the store and therefore eating better at home too.

Then, it happened.


Bad.  Seriously.  Samoas.  Really bad.  The ingredient list should be illegal.  Especially from the Girl Scouts.  But, they're not, so they continue to sell them...and I continue to faithfully buy them because who can say no to those sweet faces?

I have no control.  None.  I can smell them just by seeing that purple box.  I taste them just by thinking about them and writing these words!  They call my name even at 7:30 in the morning.  They're gooey and crunchy and sweet and chocolatey all at the same time.  Their yummy goodness beckons me to eat "one more", just "one more", come on, "just one more won't hurt".  It's just awful!  I might as well just eat them all and get it over with!  :)

Want sympathy?

Where do you get it?

Sometimes, it seems you must keep your mouth shut!  You may have had a really bad day, but when your sweet spouse comes home and bends your ear with just how horrible his day was, you (of course, I mean me) just listen and realize your own day needs to suck it up and take care of itself.

I've realized that one "upmanship" doesn't work.  There are times I just need to be supportive and give my own problems, worries, frustrations, and life in general to God alone.  He promises to take care of me, that He has good plans for me, and that I just need to seek Him always.

I claim those promises daily.

So really, dear readers out there in cyberspace, where do you go for a sympathetic ear?  Who is your listening ear when you need it?  mom, friend, spouse, significant other?  Write me!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Nothing like

going in to check on your baby in her crib and being shocked!  At 6 months old, she normally sleeps on her tummy, but instead I find her on her side hugging her elephant, still in the perfect posture as if she had been giving him big kisses too!

I was so surprised that she was a) on her side, b) able to get the elephant, and c) sound asleep like that!

sweet times

Maddy running circles around the empty exersaucer in the middle of the living room.  Nalani is on my lap on the love seat and we're watching the runner do her laps.  Each time Maddy passes us, she stops for a kiss from Mom and Nalani squeals with delight.

Loved every moment!

She did it over and over and over and over and over and over....

Monday, March 1, 2010

do you remember the times?

so scary the photos that folks are finding of me and posting on facebook these days!  i think i'm going to have to scan a bunch of old pics myself and get back at them.  it'll be fun.  high school, junior high, even grade school.  fun times!  just to add to the mix, i'll put up some of my own bad hair memories.  haha.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Plastic Wo-man?

Seriously, how many different things could possibly be asked of me today?  Some of it was my own fault, poor planning, lack or foresight or whatever, but seriously, it was just a ridiculous kind of day where nothing went the way I wanted it to go and it seemed that every step I tried to take was hijacked.  One way or another, my plans for today went out the window.  Not always a bad thing.

As I ping-ponged around from one demand to another, I felt so stretched beyond what I know possible.  I guess that could be a good thing, but now I am drained and empty.  So tired. I am not Plastic Woman.  I don't want to be!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The story is not over yet

So thankful that this is not all there is to life

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

it's not a good sign when...

you take your baby to MD for 6 month old "well baby check" and he says, "wow, you're the first people I've seen all day that haven't been sick."

gee, thanks doc.  now i just want to sanitize my kids and put gloves on their hands so they can't touch anything in his little cubicle exam room.

and my 2 year old of course is touching EVERYTHING!!


got back on saturday night.

still have luggage and clothes and piles all over the house.  dishes in the sink   toys everywhere.

this week i seem to have barely enough energy to get work done, family fed, bills paid.

throw in a couple of doctor appts and i feel like i'm on tilt.

my goal tonight:  clear off the dining room table.


now i must clear off my bed so i can sleep in it.  i guess that's goal #2.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What happened to volunteers?

And why is that such a bad word?  to volunteer.  To give of your time and energy with no expectation for compensation or reward.  To willingly give your time and talent.  That should be applauded.  Instead, it's become demeaning for some reason.

Why can't we commit to giving of ourselves to what is meaningful? to what is eternal? to what makes a difference?  to what has a lasting impact on our communities? our neighborhoods? our schools? our churches?

Why are we so unwilling to commit to serve or give our time in some meaningful way that WE DON'T BENEFIT?  to serve sacrificially?  Why do we just want to "dabble" in helping others when it's convenient and doesn't restrict our self-centered lifestyles?!

How about:
* visit a VA hospital
* help build houses
* elderly visits
* soccer coach asst
* deliver meals
* tutor or teach kids
* serve food
* Sunday School! :-)

There are so many non-profit opportunities out there just waiting for folks to commit to making a difference.  And they rely on volunteers.  Otherwise, it just can't happen.

Instead, we all say: it's inconvenient. or I'm too busy.  or I don't have enough time. or I'm tired.  or I give money that's my part.  or I'm out of town a lot.

I detest these "excuses". Really.

I think there is no excuse for us self-centered, lazy, consumeristic Americans.  We CAN commit.  It's just a matter of what we choose to commit our allotted 24 hours a day of time to.  We CAN commit - I see proof:

* on Facebook.  How many hours to we give to Facebook games?
* our TV addictions.  Lost anyone?  American Idol anyone?  CSI anyone?
* movies.  How many 2 hour movies do you watch a month?

I could go on and on.  I'm guilty too.  I don't seem to have any time for myself, let alone others.  I am lucky to get one work out a week these days.  I don't get enough sleep.  I am tired.

I just get so frustrated when I hear "I don't have time for that" and "I can't commit to that...it's too much" when really it isn't all that much and I truly believe IT MATTERS.  I just wish more folks agreed with me.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Don 't you hate it when...

 ...everyone else has a worse day than your own bad day?

So cheer each other up with the hope you have. Build each other up. In fact, that's what you are doing.  1 Thes. 5:11

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I love the moments of sheer delight that are often written on my daughters face and in her whole body like she's wearing it.

Running across a huge grass soccer field...

Jumping: from a step, from her chair, from the car, from the couch, from her bed, anything!

At the park, endlessly swinging, saying "higher higher mommy" with the biggest grin...

Being tossed up in the air by mommy, then says "again again!"...

Somersaults, again and again and again...

Being "found" after hiding under the covers in her bed for the zillionth time...

Seeing Lindy walk through the door and full octane sprints to greet her...

Becoming "burrito maddy" in a towel after bathtime so we can "eat" her...

Making huge long animal "parades" with all her stuffed animal friends and then joins the line with pride!...

Prayer time:  "Who do you want to prayer for?"  And always, first thing, like it's all one word and talking really fast like her daddy does, she says, "lindseyryanchicomotley."  She loves her auntie Lindsey!  She gets first prayer priority every night without fail!!

Walking through the house with her special blanket over head and hugging us while we say something like "ooh where did maddy go? and why is this pink blanket hugging my leg?!"...meanwhile, giggles erupt from the blanket...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

wisdom for the day

Fire goes out for lack of fuel, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sweet Words

Maddy and new little friend D are playing, running around, hanging out this afternoon.  D's dad says D has to come with him for a minute to go get something or so something (I wasn't paying attention).

D is a little upset that he has to leave Maddy.

"Is she going to miss me?" he asks.  So seriously.  So worried.  His tone just melted my heart!

That is the sweetest thing I've heard in awhile and exactly why I love kids.  Their hearts are just amazing!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What are we doing to ourselves?

The more I read about food in America, the more terrified and disappointed I become all at once.

How can the system that is supposed to look out for us be so controlled by the wrong hands?

Meat.  Chicken.  Milk.  Eggs.  Wheat.  Fruit.  Vegetables.  So many of the basic staples are of frightening quality now unless you really seek out good stuff.

I see I have a long road ahead of me.  Lots to change.  It will take time, effort, energy, and dutifulness.  Such a bummer when life is so busy and you just need another gallon of milk (again) on your way home from work.

Fight back America!  Edcuate yourself and don't fall prey.  Each time you shop you send a message.  Tell them we choose to be ignorant no longer.  Tell them to stop the craziness by refusing to buy processed, altered, hormoned, weakened, obesity diabetes and heart disease inducing food?  If you can, tell them!

Food Renegade website

Non GMO Project website

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.) book

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats book

the movie "King Corn" and "Food Inc" on DVD

"The Omnivores Dilemma" by Michael Pollan book

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Making Mistakes

I hate it when I mess up.

I seem to have all these voices telling me lies like "you failed",  "you're terrible", "you are good for nothing", "how stupid can you be".

So, we're about ready to go on vacation - to Mexico.  I thought I was getting all my ducks in a row this morning when I called the airline to let them know I was bringing a lap child.  Come to find out, all my ducks were way out of line!

Did you know you need a passport for infants?  I sure did not!!  I don't think I've left the country since our honeymoon.  This will be our first international family trip!  And the last time I went to Mexico, I didn't even need a passport for myself!!

So, I also find out that this particular airline is going to charge me $100 for her to sit in my lap, not eat any of their food, not drink any of their sodas, and not get her own seat!  What?!  Oh, but I can pack a 22lb bag for her, no charge.  Oh yay, thanks.  22lb bag + 15lb baby fully clothed = $100 fee?  Wow.  Alas, we have no choice.  She's coming!!

So, I had to drag my husband and kids to the city so the two girls could get expedited passports.  Yes, both parents must be present with the child at the time of the request.  A $150 mistake for me.  That's the fee I have been penalized because we needed them right away.  Major bummer.  That's when those nasty voices (lies) kick in and I have to fight discouragement.

You should see her passport photo...it's hilarious.  A baby mugshot. The photo guy was frustrated b/c she kept smiling at the camera.  He just wanted her to look, not smile.  Haha.  Why?  So you can't see her teeth?  She only has two and they're barely visible!

I still can't believe passports are issued for infants.  So when she's five, can she still use it?!  Will TSA flag her b/c the photo doesn't match?!

truth = His grace is sufficient for me, where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom, He gives me a spirit of power, love and self control.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Michelle, I like the way you think

Michelle Duggar has had 19 children at this point. All with her own body.  Wow.  And, they are not Mormon.  Again, wow.  They live debt free.  More wow.  They have genuine faith and seek God in their decisions.  On TV.  Wow.  Wow.  Are they for real?  They take a lot of abuse for their large family, but they stand firm in their beliefs and decisions.  I admire that.

I have yet to see any of this huge family in action on TLC, but a friend told me about them awhile back so I checked out their website and have just read their book: The Duggars, 20 and Counting!

One of the highlights for me was reading the section on "training and correcting little ones".  I love how they intentionally use positive reinforcement and are always on the lookout for opportunities to train.  This intentionality as parents is honorable and unfortunately, so rare, from what I can tell of mainstream American parenting these days.

She teaches her kids that obedience has 4 parts:  instant, cheerful, thorough, unconditional.  I am having a hard time with 2 kids, how does she do this with 18?!

I long to figure out how we too, in our home, can be intentional with all our decisions having a goal in mind, pointing us towards a known target.  Here are some thoughts I compiled back in March last year after attending a workshop on family ministry:

In Proverbs 22:6, the Bible says we’re supposed to train up our children in the Lord right? I get that, but what does that look like in real life?” Here’s my answer: To me it means discipleship…go and make disciples is our great command – our kids included. What is a disciple? It’s our end goal. The target we’re after. It’s my end goal to see my daughters, out on their own, without my guidance anymore, as fully devoted adult disciples of Jesus Christ. Try this:

I want my daughters to know God intimately
I want my daughters to love God passionately
I want my daughters to serve God selflessly

These goals are lofty. I cannot take them where I have not been myself.  So, I've got to go now.  He wants me to spend time with Him.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Overrated and Unnecessary

Most meetings, television, microwaves, pancake mix, jello, wipe warmers, all the stuff at Costco that I'm tempted to buy when I'm there, but promptly forget about once I ge home!  I can't stand how I feel when all those carrots are dangled before me.  Hmm.  That's why I avoid the mall too as much as I can.

I wish I could add conflict, but I guess it must be necessary for some reason?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Oh Yeah!

Such a long day it's been.

But at the end, I did all the dishes, got all the trash out to the curb (thanks for your help dear!), tackled one pile of stuff, took a hot shower, and now...

I crash.

The shower felt soooo good.  Do they make beds in showers?!  And, I will love waking up to fairly clean kitchen!


Saturday, January 30, 2010

funny talk

Heather:  (singing randomly) It's your birthday, it's your birthday...

Maddy:  NOT!

Just like that.  The 2 year old puts the teenager in her place. How does that happen?!

Friday, January 29, 2010

24 hours

I think that how much I need...with no kids to "help".

Just me and this home, the inside.

I look around and see so much to do that I just can't keep up with these days.  These past 5 months have really done me in!

Here is a sampling of the random chaos that sits around and drives me bonkers in the recesses of my crazy mind:

* baby welcome, congrats cards - August
* hospital paperwork and stuff
* pumkins - halloween
* turkey pan - thanksgiving
* Christmas tree
* Gingerbread house
* lots of leftover Christmas candy goodies no one seems to want
* Tax paperwork scattered all over, hoping for a good return!
* piles of mail, bills, receipts
* cords, chargers, boxes, phones, just stuff!

So overwhelmed when I think about it.  So, I'm going to go to bed and put the blinders back on!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


my feet love them

there is something about coming home, getting out of work shoes, and plunging my tired achy feet into their fuzzy warm coziness that i just love

it's like admission to finally-relax-and-just-be time

our floors are cold in the winter even when the heater is on

but my feet stay happily unaware in slipper bliss

i am so tired i think i'm a little loopy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What do you say when...

your naked two year old examines herself and says "what's this mommy?" while pointing to her own bare chest.

That's random.  Where did that question come from?!

"That's your nipple, Maddy."

"Oh." (pause to investigate again)  Then, "One....two.  Two mommy!"

"You're right.  You have two."

At least she didn't ask me what they're for.  I'm not ready for that.  Although since she's watched me nurse her baby sister for 5 months now, I'm sure she knows, so she didn't have to ask.  She probably just needed help remembering the right word!  Regardless, these random conversations always catch me off guard!

I love watching her grow and develop, but so often I just want to freeze time!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I am not sure how I feel about this.  Twice today.  My 5 month old sweet girl not only rejected me, but screamed loudly and angrily at me, as if "How dare you mama?"  She didn't want me.  She made this very clear.

So, I made a formula bottle and she sucked it down happily.

Actually, I think I do know how I feel. Sad.  Disappointed.  Surprised.  Alarmed. Not needed.  Rejected.  It's these time where I find myself grieving how fast they grow up. How can they have such strong wills at such a young age?!

Funny, I thought I was the one calling the shots and going to decide when we quit.  Maybe not.

I'll try again tomorrow. But, wow, this was a weird day.  Never happened before.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The “Superior Wife Syndrome” - I'm so guilty.

Direct link:  Marriage Memo - FamilyLife.com

Article Content:

The “Superior Wife Syndrome”

Barbara Rainey
October 12, 2009

On a recent Monday morning, I had turned on the Today Show to catch our local news and weather on the half hour. As I listened from the kitchen I heard one of the hosts introduce an author with new research on wives. The title of her book is The Superior Wife Syndrome. When I heard the intro I grabbed my notepad and sat down to hear about the latest syndrome to afflict our population. I was ready to critique.

But as I listened I found myself agreeing with some of what she said, though I wouldn't go so far as to label it a syndrome. The author, Karen Rubenstein, has discovered that millions of wives think they do everything better than their husbands. They feel they are more responsible, more capable, and in a word, more superior. Hmmm, I thought. Sounds a little more like pride to me.

There is truth to this discovery. Beginning in the 1960s, women have been instructed to do it all. We've been told we can work full time and raise kids at the same time, all with great success. Many have gone so far as to say we don't need men. Women's drive to achieve equality in the work place has resulted in this attitude of superiority, I believe.

This temptation to exalt ourselves over our men is as old as the earth. I find myself dealing with this attitude more than I'd care to admit. I load the dishwasher more efficiently than he, I fold the clothes better than he, and I pack the car much more neatly than his haphazard preference of just throwing it all in and slamming the door to keep it from falling out.

And when I focus on how much better I am in certain tasks and responsibilities I can quickly move to feeling superior. In addition I'm learning this is much more of a temptation in the empty nest. When we had kids my corrective measures were directed at them and less at my husband. Now he is the sole focus of my rehabilitation and retraining efforts. Poor man.

Rubenstein gave three tips for this syndrome which are not new, but they are good to remember because they are timeless. First, ask for help. He can't read your mind. Second, educate him with logic, not emotional outbursts. And third, be willing to settle for less.

I would add a fourth tip: Let him be who he is, as my husband would say. And he is so right, because there is more than one way to do a task. My way isn't always right and his isn't always wrong. Most of our conflicts aren't about right and wrong anyway, but about personal preferences for how something is accomplished. In the end it's not a big deal anyway. Certainly not worth the damage to your marriage and to your man that an attitude of superiority will cause.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

oh joy (sarcsm)

 just love walking into an empty bathroom to find the hot water runnng endlessly for no one's benefit. grrrrrr.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why do parents say the things they do?!

...or give looks the way they do?

I'm sure I've been guilty of this a hundred times, so forgive my rant.  Maybe it's a pet peeve  Maybe it's just an ongoing observation?

Why are we so judgmental of other parenting styles/decisions/choices/you know what I mean?  Co-sleep or crib.  Breast feed or formula.  Pacifier or finger.  Schedule or no.  Home school or private school or public school.  Spank or time out or give breaks.  Cloth or disposable.  Stay at home or working mom.  SUV or minivan.  Epidural or "natural".   I know I have my opinions and I know what's worked best for us so far.  But, we are still new to parenting.  It's often overwhelming!

There are SO many decisions we have to make in our heavily blessed choice saturated nation.  Contrast this to so much of the rest of the world where children are lucky to make it to adulthood, have a place to call home, eat enough food to thrive, and the time to go to school.

I am just amazed.  It is my desire to encourage parents to figure out what's best for their child and their family at any particular time.  Each child is a unique gift from God born to a unique set of parents and a unique family dynamic.  As we all know, they don't come with instruction manuals!  So, I implore mankind (or Bay Area parentkind I suppose), please stop trying to force your "right" way of parenting on everyone else!  Please stop the subtle disapproving looks when someone is doing something a little different than you.  Come on, at the park, you've seen it right? Maybe even done it?  Why can't we (me too) consider that this mom or that dad might actually have a good reason for whatever they're doing!

In fact, I've found the more time I spend listening and considering each perspective, each story, each view point, the more I realize that often right and wrong is so elusive when it comes to parenting.  Most parents sincerely want whats best and they're trying to survive some very difficult years.  If we need help or we feel out of control, hopefully we get wise Biblical counsel.  May we seek God's wisdom and may His Spirit lead us.  And let's stop judging what others are doing!

God willing, our children will all grow up one day.  Whether or not they had boob or bottle, eventually they start eating food.  Whether or not they slept in our bed or their own, eventually they grow up and leave the house.  And hopefully, no matter what kind of school they go to, they seek to pursue God always and glorify Him with all they do.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Emotion Filled Moments

We're driving down the freeway and I see a full double rainbow ahead.  It's bright and amazing, the colors seeming to pop out against the still gray cloudy late afternoon sky.

Me:  Look, there's a rainbow, can you see it?

Maddy:  Yeah, two mommy!

Me:  Yes, there are two.  You're right.  I didn't think you'd see the second one...it's really light.

Maddy:  (in her most declarative voice) Promise mommy.

Me:  (eyes immediately welling with tears).   I know...it's God's promise, you're right.

Maddy:  Where animals mommy?

Me:  (now stifling laughter)  Uh, well, all the animals were there just for the first rainbow God made.

You gotta love the concrete thinking of a two year old!  In all our Noah books and kid Bibles, I think the animals and the rainbow are in the picture together.  So, why wouldn't she expect to see them today?!

She made me cry AND laugh in the same minute!  Yes, I am sensitive, so what?!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dying to self

Being a mom has brought a whole new meaning of this passage to me.  I think I'm a little bit closer to truly trying to understand and live it.

I've got to get myself out of the way - to let God work in me

I've got to let go of my selfish desires - for the sake and needs of my family

I've got to let go of resentment, anger, disappointment - they will only eat me up

I've got to let go of my guilty feelings, do my best, ask for forgiveness when I screw up, be satisfied with what I have done.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Maximizing Time

Life is sure different for me now with two kids.  I used to live a more orderly, efficient, time managed life.  These days, I feel like it's usually just living in moments of reactive chaos!  Most plans are thwarted, delayed, or altered in some way!

Anyway I keep thinking that there are some tangible things I have learned as I adapt that may be useful to share or simply remind myself of!

Here are a few time wasters in my life that a) I would love to get rid of, b) I actively try to get rid of, c) I don't do anymore, or d) I try not to do anymore!

* junk mail
* commercials
* email spam
* that 45 seconds you have to wait to leave a voice message if no one answers
* folding underwear and socks
* organize my clothes closet
* folding towels "the right way"
* dusting (it just keeps coming back!)
* making my daughter's bed (she just climbs in all day and plays in it anyway)

And here are some things that I have started doing in order to stay sane:
* always put away 3-4 things before I go to bed (toys, mail, dishes, stuff)
* get more silverware so we don't have to wash dishes as often
* ignore the dirty dishes sometimes
* can't stay awake for a movie, go to sleep!  sorry dear!
* junk mail first thing goes to recycle box
* take responsibilities off my plate, lower my expectations
* thank god for the toys i trip over, we are blessed
* praise god for the messes, life granted us another day to live
* being satisfied the clothes are clean even if they're not put away or hung up
* not freaking out when my house is a disaster
* not freaking out when I can't find something
* being okay with not knowing everything, everywhere, all the time

It's late.  Time to go to bed instead of brainstorming such random thoughts!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What do you miss?

I miss my family.  More specifically, I miss my parents and my brothers.  Sometimes, many days go by and I don't talk to any of them and I get sad.  And sometimes I find myself jealous of those families who all live in the same area and hang out together a lot...and actually enjoy it!  I know some folks don't really enjoy their families or they're really unhealthy and that's such a bummer.

Today's one of those days.  So much rain.  Lots of mess in our basement.  It flooded while the power was out.  Tragedy in Haiti - so many people losing loved ones, even entire families.  Life is so fleeting, so precious, so easily wasted.  Lord, help us make the best use of the time we have here.

Husband's at class.  Spent a lot of time with just my girls today.  What a crazy day.  We miss him when he's not here!

I'm just missing my family.  I'd love my mom to be nearer and get more time with my girls.  I'd love them to know their uncles better.  I wish the time we got to spend together wasn't always to rushed and forced because of birthdays or holidays, more time to just be together and hang out!

I guess I'm weird that way.  C'est la vie, n'est-ce pas?!  We don't always get what we want.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Let Freedom Ring!

Remembering why we have a holiday today (but I had to work). Dr. Martin Luther King's famous speech is worth listening to. What an amazing man of faith he was. We, the USA, and the world, have come so far, yet we still have hurdles to get over.

It's hard  for me to imagine what the world wil be like in the future for my kids.  I pray it truly does get better, with less hate, less violence, more compassion, a more reaching out and taking care of each other kind of world.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I wish I needed an alarm!

I haven't used an alarm in a long long time.  Not sure how long, but I can't remember so at least that long.  Last night I stayed up too late and needed to get up early(ier) than usual to get to work.  Well, these days, I just seem to know when it's time to get up I guess.

I was up at 4:55, no alarm. I wanted to get up at 5:00.

How is this possible?!

Too early, too little sleep, still manage it somehow.  Thank God!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Enjoying a Moment

My daughter got up too early this morning.  When she does that I tell her to go back to bed and I will come get her when it's time to get up.  So far, this works still!

When I went in, I had the sweetest 5 minutes with her.  She just wanted to snuggle in her bed and be together.  She gave me hugs and kisses and let me hold her.  I loved it!  She's not much of a cuddle bug, so whenever these opportunities arise, I hope to be there to take advantage.

I love my girls!  I am so thankful to have all that I have been blessed with.  Each moment I cherish these days so much more than ever.

I continually pray for the people of Haiti.  My heart aches and I have no words for what I feel.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Challenge: Be A Fully Alive Woman

This is just what I needed to read today. It was in a post in the FamilyLife MomBlog by author Barbara Rainey at the end of December.  Here's what caught my attention most keenly - "A believer from another century, Iraneus, said, 'The glory of God is a human being fully alive.' Seek to be a fully alive woman this year."

What might fully alive look like for me?  Here goes another list!  I must choose a life that is/has/includes all these things, but it would be overwhelming to try and do them all.  For now, I am just going to brainstorm here for a bit:

* experience more firsts with my girls
* deliberately choose yes
* more no
* intentional time with my family
* less screen time
* more sleep
* see food as nourishment, not therapy
* choose more foods that are God made, less man made (processed)
* take time to admire the clouds during the day
* and the stars and moon at night
* expect less
* maybe a chance to dive
* maybe a trip to the Aquarium
* a night spent under the stars
* walking in the rain
* sing with my kids more and not care what it sounds like
* be more thankful
* give more
* ask for less
* cherish time spent with friends
* practice obedience, honor, respect, thankfulness, patience
* celebrate obedience, honor, respect, thankfulness, patience
* give more hugs
* share more I love yous
* enjoy more strawberries!
At the end of the post, she ends with this fantastic challenge, "They will demand some sacrifice in time, expense, and energy, but nothing worth accomplishing is ever free. Don't let others dictate all of your hours for you. Don't be passive or unteachable or unbelieving."

This is just what the people pleaser in me needed to read in order to be released of some imaginary burdens.  LOVE IT! My God is so good in the way He provides at just the right time and in just the right way.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Satisfaction - Where Do You Get It?

My lack of it is just about all the proof I need that there is a heaven.

One day, when I am there with God, I will finally be satisfied. Fully. Totally. Completely. Thoroughly. Forever. It will be an amazing unending celebration.

To my understanding, there is not a truly satisfied person on all the earth. If I am wrong, please send a shout out to me right away and let me know how you got there.

In the meantime, I often find myself deeply unsatisfied. Two things enlightened me today with a moment of self discovery: Reading a friend’s post about To Do lists and then later a brief conversation with a friend about our house.

I know that I AM a list maker. I love lists because I feel more organized. I love to check things off those lists. I love knowing the lists are there so that I don’t have to constantly try and remember everything. I write it down and forget about it until the list reminds me! When something is accomplished and I get to check something off a list, right in that moment, I get a fleeting taste of satisfaction.

Job - Done! Thing - Attained! Work - Finished! Dream - Actualized! Chore - Completed! Mission - Accomplished!

And what do we do? We celebrate! We party! We praise!

“Yay, good job” “Nice work” “Looks great” “Thanks for doing that” “You worked hard to make that happen”, “Way to persevere through that” and so much more ways we all pat each other on the back. Those moments of verbal praise feel good to when they happen. Remember Graduation parties and gifts – always fun and welcomed right?! Wedding receptions are another great celebration of a major accomplishment. Retirement parties. Anniversary milestones. All those things are attempts to grasp the ephemeral moment of satisfied life.

I love my husband, but not in a newlywed gooey way! I’m glad I have a HS degree, but I don’t drive around with “Class of ‘92” on my windows still! I love being a mom, but it sure feels different now from when I floated on cloud nine when I first knew I was pregnant! At some point after the party and celebration and high, we’re off to the next thing right? Sure we may live in the glory of the moment for a while, even a few years, but the feelings do fade.

All I’m trying to say with all this nonsense is that I struggle with satisfaction in a weird sort of way. I’d love to know how my friends out there hurdle this obstacle. I need a plan to tackle it, experiencing it just a little more while I wait for heaven.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I LOVE coming home

My daughter gets so excited and runs into my arms and gives me BIG hugs and kisses.  Those moments seems to melt away the day.  It's awesome!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ever have a day when...

  • you oversleep and your kids undersleep
  • your tea spills in the car on the way to work
  • you forget your lunch
  • there are so many interruptions that you don't complete any one task fully
  • you cry because you feel like failure
  • you just need a friend who answers whenever you call
  • your heart aches for a friend's loss
  • you eat too much candy and still want more
  • you sit paralyzed with too much to do
  • you want your mom nearby and she's not
  • your kid wouldn't eat the dinner you made and you forced yourself to eat it too
  • one kid or the other is crying from the moment you get home till they're finally asleep
  • you can't bear to look in the kitchen
  • you just want to crawl in bed and start over tomorrow?
Maybe that's why God gave us nights and days.  To experience a taste of grace, of daily do-overs, His mercies new for every morning that He gives us to wake up and try again.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The call of the pillow

It started today at 9am.  That's bad.  How can I be this tired?  Sometimes I think I must be sick even though I have no symptoms.  Or, am I just not listening to or taking care of my body these days?

I am getting 6ish hours of mostly uninterrupted sleep.  That's not too shabby.  But, other than the first couple hours of deep, comatose, can't-wake-me-to-save-me sleep, I toss and turn restlessly the rest of the night.

Then, all day, I just feel exhausted. I think it's just normal mom stuff.  But then, if I think too much about...

* bad back ache last night, again tonight (holding kids does that)
* feet sore and achy (working Sundays does that)
* woke up with headache, 2 advil helped (headaches have plagued me since puberty)
* nearly fell asleep in the shower this morning (yay,I got shower)
* nodding off after dinner tonight (it was yummy, could have been food coma)

I start to wonder and go crazy.  Is something more wrong?  Just writing this help me stay sane!

I'm hearing it right now and am going to answer it with a yes.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Amazing Misty Moment

The fog rolled in heavy last night.

This morning is was absolutely stunning (except when I was driving, I didn't think so then). About 7 this morning, I walked across the bridge connecting PCC to the Community Center on my way to work. As I looked around, it could have easily been a shot from Ireland or maybe a scene from Lord of the Rings movie or something.

Gray mistiness hung low over the canyon. The air was so thick and wet, I could taste it. It swirled in and out of the trees. The earth seemed caught in a surreptitious hug by God and I was in awe of the silence. I was alone; yet a pervasive peace invaded me. The steeple emerged above it all with a proud and victorious gesture, seeming so out of place.

How can fog be beautiful? Maybe it was the stark bleakness of it all. Maybe it was the myriad of shades of gray. Maybe this is why I enjoy black and white photography so much. There is so much depth to behold without color.

Maybe I just needed that moment...and God provided.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I am such a sap.

Twice in the last couple days, I have been keenly reminded of this.

Heard of or read the book Love You Forever?  Every time I've read this book, I cry, sometimes just weep.  I can't handle it!  The mom who rocks her boy to sleep every night and sings him a special song (I even made up a tune for it).  Then, she gets old and he rocks HER, sings her the same song.

Then, I hear others who tell me they think it's a creepy book.  WHAT?  How did I miss the creepy part and always hone in on the sadness?  Yes, I guess it IS a little weird for someone to drive with a ladder in the middle of the night over to their grown son's house, climb up, crawl in a window and rock and sing to a man who was already asleep!

I still think I'll cry though if I read it again.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Then, today, I saw the movie UP for the first time.  Yes, I may be the last person in America to see it finally.

Okay, they had me crying within 5 minutes.  What's up with that?  Great.  Wife dies, dreams and promises go unfulfilled.  Thanks Pixar.

Yes, but they had a great life together you say, right?  Sure.  That doesn't make it any less sad to me.

And thanks for all the sympathy & comfort I get from my understanding husband. (insert sarcasm)

Friday, January 8, 2010

An Internal Freak Out Mom Moment

So, tonight, we are at a friends house,  having a great dinner, celebrating a birthday and just hanging out.  Our daughter is upstairs playing with dress up clothes.  Nothing new really, it happens often at our house.  She loves the heeled sandals, dresses, skirts to "twirl" in.  It's adorable!

I was sitting in the chair closest to the stairs so I could see about halfway up.  I catch a glimpse of her coming down the stairs with a sparkly blue dress on (upside down and backwards, mind you).  My mind and heart leapt; all of the sudden I was picturing her 20 or so years from now in a wedding dress coming down the stairs on her wedding day.  It was like I was already there.  My mind gave me the clear mental image of her grown up, wearing white, a beautiful bride.  It's now etched in my brain!

A startling, but fleeting moment that evaporated as she quickly approached me wanting help to get the dress on right and my normal mom mode kicked in.

We don't have stairs here at our house.  I don't know why the stairs and the dress did that to me, but wow, what a rush!  I want to treasure every moment we have with her until that day.  Lord, help us.  For the boy out there who will one day grow up to be her husband, I pray for him to be all she needs, all she wants, and that he seeks to draw closer to His Heavenly Father each and every day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What a LONG day...

MUST FIND MORE HOURS!  Where do they go?

I have way too much to do and not enough time to accomplish it all.  I thrive with to do lists, but at this point, they are often paralyzing.  In the end, I hope I can say I've done what matters most:  love God and people.  My family comes first and so it's good that I enjoy the precious moments I do get with them.

What was ignored:
* email inbox
* facebook "live feed" with 1000s of new updates
* piles of bills and paperwork to put away
* plants need to be watered
* trash needs to be emptied
* laundry to fold
* Christmas boxes to put away

none of which got done because I did the following instead:

* get ready for work
* send 2 year old back to bed, she's up too early!
* listen to her play in her bed while I continue to get ready
* go rescue crying baby and feed her
* help 2 year old go potty, get dressed, and fed
* somehow (Lindy) get myself read for work and out the door at 7:48
* work from 8-6 (earthquake included) thanks to my angel MIL
* feed baby again
* feed 2 year old
* have a few minutes of play time
* do bedime routine with 2 year old and finally say goodnight
* feed baby again and put her down for the night too
* breath...enjoy the quiet for a moment

I am so thankful for the sweet hugs and kisses and smiles I get from my girls - makes it all worth it somehow.  Now, I must rest.  My eyes, my back, my mind are all spent.

I can't even begin to go into all the to dos waiting for me at work.  TOO MUCH!  It will just have to wait for another day.  Weariness has fully set in.  I think I'm delirious!

(Maybe I'll just go water the plants now...and hope they survive being ignored for so long!)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 - Beginning or End?


Okay, I'm so confused. Logic and math tell me that 2010 would be the last year of this current decade. When you start counting you begin with 1, not 0 right?

So why do I keep hearing that it's the beginning of a new decade?


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

a particular personal vexation

I'd love to know what your biggest pet peeves are! Will you share with me?!

Having many roommates over the years and marriage has taught me that I don't always know what my pet peeves are until someone starts doing something that particularly vexes me personally!

Tonight at Target, I have a list of 5 things to get. I have 25 minutes or so before I need to be somewhere so I just planned on getting in and out quickly. Of course, that's when everyone else seems to operate in slow motion and right in my way!

Here are a few of mine:

* slow people walking in front of me, not paying attention, and I can't get around them
* movie theater talkers
* drivers who don't use their turn signals
* sponge left in water or in sink, not wrung out
* walking into spider webs
* talking to me, but walking away
* ignoring a full garbage can or making it overflow if it's full
* not putting things back where it was found
* returning phone call with an email
* DVDs that skip in the middle of a movie
* constantly being interrupted
* too much perfume or cologne
* when I'm asked for advice and then the advice is ignored
* chairs not pushed in at table after a meal
* TV left on and no one is watching!
* buying fruit only to discover it is not ripe, sweet, or good at all.

Check out this huge list. There are a lot of annoyed folks out there!

I'll add more of my own as I think of them!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fear of what? why?

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25

A personal struggle: I'm a conflict avoider.

A nasty habit when it comes to the health of our marriage.

Today in a meeting at work, I had so many things I wanted to say, but I bit my tongue. I didn't manage to speak up.

I am always worried about what others think of me, what I say, what I do. Why? I am not sure. I constantly second guess myself, thinking "Did I do that right?" I often am hesitant to truly speak what I think or feel because I fear that someone will belittle me, or worse yet, disagree with me. What is that? Lack of self-confidence? Poor self-esteem? Some of both?

This blog is one of my efforts to practice getting what's on my mind out to the world, being vulnerable to disagreeing perspectives, and learning to be okay with that.

I read this today. It really challenged me. I love the fresh perspective - a breath of fresh air that hit the spot!

I want you to learn a new habit. Try saying, "I trust You, Jesus" in response to whatever happens to you. If there is time, think about who I AM in all My Power and Glory; ponder also the depth and breadth of My Love for you....When you view events from this perspective - fear loses its grip on you... (from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)

I needed this. Hope it encourages someone else too!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...

* clean smooth sheets
* empty laundry hampers
* clean floors (I like to walk bare foot!)
* snuggling under a warm, soft, cozy blanket
* empty sink & clean counters
* freshly shaved legs
* a hot meal that I didn't make
* clean car
* made bed
* seeing the surface of our dining table

But, I need a reality check. None of those things above do I have at the moment. So, here are a few of my favorite things that really matter...that I do have:

* the scrumptious hugs of my two year old
* tender touch of my husband's hand on my back when he walks by
* the delicate laughter of my baby
* rest
* the encouraging word of a coworker
* the friend who makes me laugh
* someone who cares enough to help
* my daughter can see my face
* the hope and truth God's Word brings me
* knowledge that: i am loved

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Toy Soapbox

I extremely dislike cheap plastic toys.

How about this one? A fake Barbie. You've got to be kidding me, right? I guess if I thought about it, I would have realized that someone is out there mass producing Barbie knock offs in China. But, I haven't been looking so I haven't ever given it much thought. Until now.

Picture this:

Her plastic tiara is glued to her hair. Maddy pulled it off within about 2 seconds and ruined the princess updo forever. Dried glue glop now seen front and center above her forehead.

Her arms don't stay in their sockets when turned up/down. Maddy pulled both off in about 2 minutes. (I think the rest of her body stayed intact only because we told her to stop testing the poor thing!)

Her tiny high heel shoes don't stay on her feet. Shoes now lost.

Her skimpy halter top doesn't stay put - pretty thing keeps flashing us...and of course she is well endowed as any Barbie knock off might be.

I am just in shock that such toys exist.

More than ever, this doll just solidifies one of my soapboxes. I really dislike (I try not to use the word hate much) cheap plastic toys and the stores like Toys R Us who market and sell them.

I am a huge proponent of toys that foster open-ended play, meaning the child does the playing rather than the toy doing the entertaining:
* imagination sparking
* can be used for multiple uses
* natural products (wood, metal, real stuff!)
* nothing from TV or movies
* avoid electronic or battery operated toys

Examples: blocks, legos, stuffed animals, dolls, dramatic play toys, dress up clothes, art supplies to name a few.

I totally realize this stems from a) the country girl and b) the preschool teacher in me. But, I believe with all my heart that it makes a difference in development, learning, attention span, and so much more.

Not that having a Leap Frog this or that is bad, I just know it's not what I want for my kids at this time! And I love dolls, just not plastic ones that fall apart in 5 minutes!

What are your thoughts?

Compulsion or Good Habit?

I LOVE waking up to a clean house.

BTW - The definition of "clean" gets looser and more vague as each year of motherhood goes by.

I do not like to do the dishes, clean the kitchen, sweep the floor, put toys away, fold and put away clean laundry, sort the mail, pick up all the dirty laundry, throw another load in, clean up Maddy's art messes, etc. However, if I don't do it, it won't just magically get done!

Last night, exhausted, I just ignored it all and went to bed which felt great at the moment. Now, I'm up and so frusrated!

Can't seem to win! I am often told by my well meaning husband, "just let it go". I may be able to physically let it go at times, but internally, I still go crazy!

Thanks Mom...I got this from you!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Family Goals

Me: What should our family goals be for this year?

N: Survive

Me: Oh.

Me (thinking): I don't want to just survive. I want to thrive!! Yes, I know we are busy and you are in school, but I still want it to be more than surviving. I want us to sit and plan (type A, Myers Briggs J type). I want to come up with these goals together! Bummer.

Once again, my people pleaser self does not communicate my desires.

We can't always get what we want. And, it's not always about me. I'm reminded of this over and over. Was Jesus a J or a P? He seemed to live his life as a P, but I think His whole salvation and plan for the world thing reeks of J. Hmmm. Your thoughts?!

Here it is...

...a new way for me to voice my thoughts, opinions, soapboxes, emotions and just plain old hilarious moments of chaotic life of a working mom. Just me. Raw and uncensored. I chance for me to share crazy life moments, sweet memories, and the intricate workings of a complex mind! Stay tuned.

To illustrate my life:

I've come to realize that when I lose it, fall apart, have a meltdown, or feel like a failure, all of which happens quite often, it's always because I've lost sight of the most important ball I am juggling - my focus on my reason for being, the One who gives me purpose and direction. I need my Jesus and nothing else.