Late to the Party


Sabra started fooling with the walker this week. Granted, she is 16 months old, which is technically late to the party, but she’s here. And the best part of this little lady is her determination.

I can remember coaching Brooks into walking and Sabra seems to be content teaching herself. She lets go when she’s ready to experiment with standing alone and then maneuvers between furniture on her own terms.

I think that’s my favorite part about being entrusted with these two – learning what they are like. And my children’s personalities are as different as their looks. It’s amazing how people who came from the same source can be so different.

Precious Moments

This pictures how I want my life to be and look. I want adventure, fun, outings and memories with my husband and kids. In other words, I don’t ever want to get sick (nor do I want them to get sick). But it seems like that’s all we’ve done so far in 2015. Every last one of us!

See, last weekend I was supposed to go out to camp with some women from my church for a retreat. It was a lovely Thursday-Sunday weekend at my favorite place on Earth, Laity Lodge. But then I got the stomach flu. Like the really bad one that lasts all week. It was terrible. And then it rained. So I parented, ill, from the couch all week.

And somehow, my children were compassionate. I could barely take care of them the first half of the week and by the second half, they just let me heal prone (as long as I would read Winnie the Pooh over and over and over again).

Being in this (insert offensive word) boot to boot (insert chuckle), I pulled out of the retreat the day before it started. Thursday came and went and by Friday morning, I was back on the couch reading to my son when I looked out the window and saw snow flakes mixed with the rain. I almost cried when I got on Facebook and saw Laity Lodge as a winter wonderland – a snow globe I could have been in. But instead of relaxing at a women’s retreat, I was taking care of my children, smack dab in the middle of the life I wanted a break from.

I wish I could have gone. I wish I’d never gotten sick, but I don’t wish away last week. I was at home with both of my children for an entire week, sick as a dog, and they were as sweet as they could be – one day they even let me nap for three hours! I know what you’re thinking: there goes her 1st resolution; don’t worry, I’m back on the train today. And while I lost ground with the 1st one, I went ahead and accidentally detoxed off caffeine while I was sick, so I guess it all evens out.

But somewhere in the midst of it all, I looked around and realized that this is life. The living room couch and the kitchen table are life. I long for life to be the finish line of a long race or the top of a mountain after an arduous hike, but most of it is reading the same Winnie the Pooh story over and again. It’s dressing the same kid who will need undressing and feeding the same people who will be hungry again in four hours. But we have choices, so I want to do these things with love, wholeheartedly.  So I will pop tents in the backyard just because and consciously decide not to be a slave to the clock. Because these are precious moments that I only get one of.

The First Setback of 2015

Okay, I had high hopes for 2015. Then I had to put that stupid walking boot on the other foot. Yes, this is a slight snag to my dreamy 2015. I’ll have to wear it for 4-6 weeks (just as I’d started running again) and get out of swimming shape for the second time this winter, but maybe my feet will be restored for good. That is my prayer.

I’m getting older and my body doesn’t bounce back like it once did. I have to accept this. There is an orthotic in my walking boot and I’m desperately missing walks on gorgeous 50 degree days like today, but there is nothing I can do about it.

I almost slipped down the feeling-sorry-for-myself-spiral. I was at the edge and then I checked the mail. Mail is a beautiful thing. Not only did someone think about you, they paid to send you a message or an item. I freakin’ love mail! And today, I got some mail, nay, two packages. And they may have saved my 2015, a mere 15 days in, when I wanted to slip into tears.

My sister-in-law has often loved us through music. She’s sent Spencer and me mixed CD’s for various holidays and we wear those compact discs out! In the same breath, I’ve been in a desperate music slump with no savior in sight. Today, Emily didn’t even know that she saved me with the bundle of CD’s she sent. I’ve never heard of half the bands, but the cherry on top was Taylor Swift’s 1989. I rolled down the windows and the kids and I “shook it off” all the way home. Just because life is hard doesn’t mean we have to lose our joy.

I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake (my huge black walking boot).

Jesse, Caffeine Pills?

It’s Wednesday. Three weeks ago on this very day I took a chance on a life with minimal naps.

They say it takes 21 days to create a new habit. That makes 21 days of >30orX! Wahoo. I’ve been obeying my alarm and getting slightly more accomplished around the house. That said, I still have a long way to go and many more habits I would like to form. In light of what Spence said about it being a letdown not to know all of my goals, I’ll catch you up to speed on a few I’m sure about so far.

  1. The nap thing
  2. Quit caffeine (my teeth are changing color and lattes are a rip off and I need breakfast)
  3. Do a 5/10 minute quick write everyday right after I put the kids down for their nap
  4. Wipe down my kitchen counters every single day (fine, judge that I don’t already do this)
  5. Find an organizational system for our master bathroom and stick to it
  6. Do one load of laundry per day for a month to prove to myself how awesome it is
  7. For everything in our house to have its proper place

That’s enough to get to July.

So my next big kahuna is caffeine. Yep, I use it and abuse it and it’s not really my friend. As Starbucks and Coffee Bean stores around town slowly run out of pumpkin flavoring (along with my gift card balances disappearing), I think it’s the perfect time to quit the game altogether. I blow far too much money that should be saved for…..uh, I don’t know….my children’s college education……on espresso and milk and pounds of sugar.

Above is Elaine. We are sipping lattes in NYC at Moby’s tea shop, Teeny. Lattes are an emotional thing for me and I’ve got to let them go. I want to let them go. And, in truth, coffee is a sloppy second to espresso.

Honestly, it’s just one of those things that I think I can live without. So I’m going to.

Alright, here we go.

Starting Monday!


But, seriously.

Can’t Prove It

I am sad. One of my dear friends has left the faith. The faith that brought us together will no longer keep us together. See, Julie and I met 15 years ago in a missionary organization. We hit it off, bonded on a plane as it flew over the Pacific Ocean and our friendship was sealed at the YMCA Bangkok where we were roommates on our way back to the states.

She had a tender heart, a beautiful adoration for God and a similarly silly sense of humor. We stayed in touch as she continued in missions and I broke away, tending more towards secularism at a liberal university. No matter where I was, we stayed close and our eternal ponderings kept us connected.

As a missionary, she’d visited and lived all over the world, but it was when she was in Italy that she let go of her faith. There was no one big incident; she just decided that it couldn’t be true. None of it. She didn’t even lean towards agnosticism. She just went flat atheist.

She’s visited me twice since then and it breaks my heart. Academically, she’s studied and knows the Bible and apologetics better than I may ever master either. And yet, I’m not trying to talk her out of what she now believes as truth.

And Google just screws everything. Anything you want supported or debunked is waiting for you behind that search engine. I’ve read of pastors leaving the faith after much research and I have no defense. No one can prove God. And no one can disprove God. I just happen to feel pretty sure this isn’t all just chance. And I can’t ignore everything I read in Tim Keller’s Reason for God.

It’s messed with my head a bit, yet I can’t get past the idea of right and wrong. Why do we want to be good? Why does an atheist try to lead a good life? I’m so busy changing dirty diapers and cleaning up waffle crumbs to give it all that much thought, but I did ask a friend for a book recommendation. She gave me one. I checked it out at the library.

All of this is to say that I’m now reading the book Church History in Plain Language, a book I would never otherwise read. So, in short, expect a book review, gangstas!

Wide-Eyed on New Year’s Day

There is a band called The Weepies (thank you Emily for introducing us). They have a song that says, “It’s just not your year….”

Spencer and I have decided that this is our song for 2014. This was a rough year. In fact, I can probably count the upsides on one hand (we can’t overlook the GP’s moving 15 minutes away, Spencer winning the raffle at his work’s Christmas party and Sabra finally crawling like a normal baby).

So I’ve decided 2015 is going to rule. I have a friend who set 12 reachable, but awfully lofty resolutions for this year. I don’t have anything like that, but I would like to create 12 new habits over the next 12 months. More will be revealed to me I suppose, so I only know of a few at this point, enough to start with January.

January Habit: Nap no longer than 30 minutes or not at all. See, I can nap for hours. All afternoon, really, and still be able to sleep a full night. I had to do enough reading about oversleeping to convince myself that anything longer than a 30 minute nap during the day is harmful. When my kids go down for their afternoon naps, I’m right with them – and I’m not hating on naps or nap-ers, there’s nothing wrong with them. The problems arise when I blow my precious personal and productive moments on sleep. Now that I am sleeping through the night (because my children are sleeping through the night), this is a habit I want to drop. But I hate the idea of “I quit” which is why I’m creating new habits instead of quitting old ones.  

I started my new (>30 or X) habit a week ago and I’m still alive, possibly even more productive and present than I was before. I’ve set my trusty old alarm for 30 minutes a few times and then willed myself back to life when it dinged.

I guess we can say I’m greeting 2015 with eyes wide open.