Saturday, May 21, 2011


Saturdays are officially Park Day.  I don't know how she does it, but Haven took FOREVER to fall asleep last night and then was up super early this morning and yet she has more energy than a volcano (and somewhat as explosive).  I'm just tired and don't have the energy to keep up this morning.  I have no desire to engage with anyone this morning, much less a chatty, constantly moving 2.5 year old.

Thankfully, my friend Colleen is visiting and Colleen and Haven just headed out to go play at the park/playground.  Last Saturday, Julia took Haven to the park in the morning and Tyler and Traci took Haven in the afternoon.

So, I'm declaring Saturdays as Park Day.  She needs to run out the energy.  I need the break.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Something in the Wind, Part II

A year ago was one of the worst weeks of the year. Truly, it sucked.  Aaron was out of town for a month.  My parents, who can drive me batty after a time, had been in town for almost a month.  Our truck-fixing-saga still continued to suck money right out of our savings account.  I found out I was having a boy and my initial not-so-happy reaction surprised and shamed me (to note: I LOVE my boy and can't believe I was ever sad about the prospect of a boy. At the time, I knew that I would eventually come around, but in the moment was sad and felt so ashamed of that reaction.).  I burned my hand taking something out of the oven.  I learned that a good friend was moving to Japan.  I was TIRED, so very pregnant tired, and got in a disagreement with my mother-in-law over whether or not Aaron was more tired than I. I'm pretty sure I pissed off my sister-in-law, who then got into a car accident that same day - not related events but I sure felt like they were.  Aaron accepted a gig to shoot a music video with two close friends of ours and as soon as the dates were set, I had a break down and realized that all of my energy had been completely spent.  This would cut into what little free time/break/vacation that Aaron had had in the last year and I just couldn't keep up on my own.  I was a mess and Aaron had to say No after already saying Yes.  A disaster. And then, to top it all off, that was the week that Haven decided she didn't want to nap and I so desperately needed her to nap and proceeded to tell her such with a bit of frustrated yelling.  Not my finest moment.  Such an ugly week.

By comparison, this one year anniversary week of that sucky week has actually been pretty good. All things considered.  Aaron is out of town, again, and this has been our first week without him but I've done pretty well (pat on the back for me).  The kids have been in good spirits, the house is in one piece, I've managed to feed all of us with pretty good food, and I've been getting a decent amount of sleep.  I realize this won't last forever, but I'm proud of our week.  It makes me feel like we can make it the entire five weeks that Aaron will be gone.  We may be a little worse for wear in the end, but hopefully not too bad.

There are winds forecast for this weekend, appropriate for this anniversary.  While I (still) dislike wind, it serves as a reminder to me of god's presence in all things - good weeks and bad.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring breeze

(a little late in publishing's from last month)

I wish I had something profound to offer today but I don't. This has been a good day. Aaron is home and has afforded me lots of time to myself and it's been good.  I just had lunch with a good friend, as well as visiting my sweet friend Julia at her office.  I also ate a burrito from Rick's and it was good.  I'm starting to feel a little more freedom in my days - I can be away from Sebastian for a little bit longer stretches.  It's kind of nice to feel like I might get a little bit more time for myself someday.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


This afternoon, I was reading Garrison Keillor's intro to a collection of poems he had put together - Good Poems for Hard Times.  The introduction was fantastic and reminded me why we need poets and good literature - good stories - in our lives.  And how our lives, in general, are good stories if we bear witness to them.  And how, in an age of zippy computers and information overload at our fingertips, the written word can be so refreshing, if we were to just slow down and pay attention.

Here's a little of what Garrison had to say about the meaning of poetry:

"The meaning of poetry is to give courage.  A poem is not a puzzle that you the dutiful reader are obliged to solve.  It is meant to poke you, get you to buck up, pay attention, rise and shine, look alive, get a grip, get the picture, pull up your socks, wake up and die right.  Poets have many motives for writing...but what really matters about poetry and what distinguishes poets from say, fashion models or ad salesmen is the miracle of incantation in rendering the gravity and grace and beauty of the ordinary world and thereby lending courage to strangers. This is a necessary thing."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Eating my cake

I started this blog three years ago around the time of my birthday.  And my first story was about how someone stole my leftover birthday cake out of the refrigerator at work...stole birthday cake from a pregnant lady.

I'm happy to report that this year, I am eating my cake (well, technically cupcakes) and am happily eating the leftovers, which no one has stolen from me.  Mostly because Haven doesn't know they exist and Aaron is busy working and can't keep up with my rate of consumption.

Three years has gone by quickly.  I'm kind of amazed by how much has changed and yet how much stays the same (for example, I'd still be upset if someone stole my cake...and my pants still don't fit, at least not all of them and not in the same ways).

I'm grateful for you, my audience, for allowing me this space to write and reflect.  I appreciate your kindness and attentiveness to my musings.  And for sticking with me even through blogging droughts...that is, if you are still here?  Anyone reading this anymore?

Anyway, happy birthday to me.  Happy birthday to the blog.  And happy birthday to some truly delicious cupcakes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


We sang this song at church a few weeks ago.  We are attending a Mennonite church these days, albeit rather sporadically.  I've not been terribly excited about church for, oh, the last ten or twelve years for a lot of reasons that I don't really have the time to try to articulate right now.  But this church, when we attend, we find to be warm and welcoming - and I find their message to be a little bit more in alignment with what I've been pondering and looking for over the past number of years.

And this song resonated with some of what I've found or been thinking about the last few years, too. 

With Kindness (by Brian McLaren)

Christ has no body here but ours
No hands no fet here on earth but ours
Ours are the eyes through which He looks
On this world
With kindness

Our are the hands through which He works
Ours are the feet on which He moves
Ours are the voices through which He speaks
To this world
With kindness

Through our touch our smile our listening ear
Embodied in us Jesus is living here
Let us go now
Filled with the Spirit into this world
With kindness

Monday, March 21, 2011


If there were a theme to my life these days, it would be simply this: tired. I'm so exhausted and I'm waiting for it to not be this way any longer. I so desperately want more sleep.

And if there were a secondary theme, it would be: change. If you know me even a little bit, you know I'm slow to warm up to change. So to live a life where some variable is always up for grabs - teething, sleeping, napping, potty training, eating, feeding, growing, cribs, beds - is to feel like there is little stability. It feels like the horizon continually has something new for which I have to prepare. And I'm tired of always getting ready, always making adjustments.

Honestly, though, I think I could handle change better if I weren't so damn tired.

This too shall pass, right?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A tooth

(First, an apology.  It's my goal to get at least one blog post up a week and I've been off the past couple weeks!  I'll keep on trying.)

Last week, at the end of Sebastian's first real cold (more than just the sniffles), amidst congestion, a rather unhappy sounding cough, and cries that just sounded so very very sad, Sebastian sported his first tooth.  Yup, one little razor sharp baby tooth on his lower gums.  There seems to be a second one not far behind, its neighbor, and all of this makes him somewhat unhappy.  He's not generally a very fussy baby and even with teeth it's not that bad, but you can tell it's not a fun time for least, not when the Tylenol wears off.

This is also causing some discomfort for me, which I was surprised to realize. The arrival of his teeth, even just one or two, means he is growing up and I'll admit I'm a little sad for this to happen.  I know I know it is cliche to say that time is passing so quickly, it's just flying by, blah blah blah.  But blah blah blah, it is - and for some reason with Sebastian, his milestones just seem to be coming at me so much faster than Haven's.  He's not hitting his milestones early, either - he's right on schedule - but it just feels fast, faster.  So when his tooth showed up, I felt sad - sad that we are moving so quickly past the little snuggly lump of babyness with their benign gummy kisses and slobbering.  I feel like I'm going to blink and he will suddenly be a little boy, with a big toothy grin as he runs all over the yard, terrorizing Zoe (this assumes Zoe lives forever, because in my mind she does and let's not break that illusion just yet, okay?).  Kind of like how Haven runs and jumps and bounces, smiles and cries and speaks complete stories, sleeps in a big girl bed and will one day (soon) pee on a big girl potty - and once, not so long ago, she was this little bitty peanut of a baby that we barely knew what to do with except to keep kissing her soft soft head.

And so, while I simultaneously wish Sebastian would sleep through the night and Haven would be a little more independent, I also long to hold on to these moments that run through my fingers - moments of baby snuggles and toddler songs.

Sometimes, sometimes, I wish I could stop time.

Monday, January 31, 2011

A mini vacation

Last week, Aaron worked nights all week.  It's kind of a rough schedule for him, especially when we are home and doing our best not to bug him (Haven does surprisingly well at leaving him alone...I do more interrupting, usually when my day as a parent is falling apart).  Anyway, by the time I get to Saturday morning, I'm a wreck - just kind of done with the week and really needing a partner, but after a week of working the night shift, Aaron is busy trying to sleep.

So towards the end of last week, in an attempt to avoid a Saturday Meltdown, I was trying to come up with a plan that would take Haven off my hands for a little while.  And in the midst of my planning, my mother-in-law called and offered, out of the blue, to take Haven for the night on Friday!  Well, hallelujah! Perfect timing, perfect break, perfect perfect.

This still meant I had Sebastian on my hands, but let me tell you - going from two to one is a piece of cake.  Even luckier for me, Sebastian took some really great naps on Saturday (I have a suspicion this may have had something to do with the absence of his big sister).  So while I couldn't necessarily sleep in, I could relax and take a pretty easy pace.  It turned out to be a really great and productive day - here are some of the highlights:
  • I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.  This may sound like an odd thing, but when Haven is around, Haven wants to eat whatever you are eating whenever you happen to be eating.  This is generally okay, but sometimes I just don't want to share!
  • I could leave whatever laying about the house.  Again, this may sound odd, but each night we pick up the house because when our day starts in the morning, it's off to a running start and if you leave anything out, anything, Haven will find it and play with it.  Magazines, mugs, cup of water, the remote, your purse, whatever.  She will get into it.  So to reduce the number of messes we clean up during the day, we try to pick up at night and put quite a bit of stuff out of reach.  So I was thrilled to go to bed on Friday and not worry about the house and to spend my Saturday morning leaving whatever wherever.
  • I spent a lot of time reading, mostly during Sebastian's naps.  But even when he was awake, he requires a much simpler form of entertainment than his sister (for now).  And Aaron helped me out a lot by watching Sebastian (once he was done sleeping) so that I could read.  And I finished my book - and it was so good.  So good.  Aaron was also able to sit and read and drink his coffee - I'm pretty sure that was a highlight for him.
  • We got all of the laundry done! Yes!
  • We cleaned the entire house - it felt so good to get everything cleaned up and in order and vacuumed and dusted.  Dusted!  I never dust!  And it was so much easier to do without The Great Un-doer following right behind us!
Anyway, it was a nice little break from toddlerdom.  Haven had a great time with her grandparents and we are happy to have her back home.  Although, I think I could have used just one more day...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I like to move it move it

So. I did a workout video this week. 10 minute workout solutions - the perfect amount of time for me. I decided on the Dance Moves Fat Burning something-or-other series and began to follow the instructor.  But silly me, I thought it would feel more like dancing.  I thought it would feel more fun.  Instead, it felt like aerobics, the kind where my uncoordinated self is five steps behind and looks like a certified dork.

In college, I took an aerobics class with Dottie Haugen, one of the physical education professors.  Dottie was in her 60's and had been teaching at my college for quite a few years and she was AWESOME!  She had such a passion for physical activity as a way of loving our bodies, as a way of staying healthy in all ways (physically, mentally, spiritually).  And Dottie's enthusiasm was contagious - you couldn't help but feel positive and excited in her midst.  Her aerobics class was a hit and she just exercised circles around all of us 20-year-olds.  But I loved this class because the aerobics routines weren't so complex or challenging AND she used a lot of Christian songs from the 80's and 90's.  Now, I don't LOVE Christian music, much less from the 80's and 90's, but these songs were so fun and the aerobics moves were so easy to get, that I could just move.  I could just exercise and it felt like dancing.  I didn't have to think, just move.  I could even sing along.  I think I even remember some of the moves to one of the songs (Lift Up the Lord).  I'm positive that in this class, I looked, yet again, like a dork.  But it was such fun, felt so uplifting, to use a kind of corny word.

So, after this week's aerobics workout that just felt like aerobics, I went ahead and ordered some Sweatin' to the Oldies.  One of my childhood friends had these and we would "workout" to them in 5th grade.  And while Richard Simmons is a fruit loop of the first order, I thought this might be as close as I could get to good ol' uplifting, dancing, singing along exercise fun.

It also, most certainly, solidifies my status as dork in the realm of exercise.  So be it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spoilers, I love 'em

I just skimmed ahead and read the last chapter of this month's book club book (The Brothers K by David James Duncan).  And I cried at the beautiful ending.

Don't worry - I've been known to do this, reading the end of the book first. It doesn't really ruin it for me, especially not this one since I've read it before.

But it's been awhile and the ending was so wonderful and it reminded me why I love this book so much (which is good, because it was my pick for book club!).  Oh, I just want to sit and read and do nothing else for a few days!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A few small triumphs

  1. The rooster did not crow this morning.  Amen.  Nor did it crow yesterday and, thanks to our landlord's initiative and conversation with the neighbors, the damn bird probably won't crow tomorrow.  (The neighbors are keeping him in the basement at night.)
  2. Haven slept past 7 am.  And there was much rejoicing!  Indeed, the fact that she slept past 6 am is a miracle.  I think this is directly related to #1, as the rooster lived right outside her window.  Hoping this trend continues - back to a normal wake-up hour!
  3. I didn't wake up swearing.  Nor did I wake up at 3:30 or 5:50 or 6:30 am, times when the f-ing rooster has decided that it's morning.
  4. Nope, I only woke up at 2:39 am to feed Sebastian.  One feeding, which he had a hard time falling back asleep after...but then he slept until 6:30 am.  Amen.
  5. I was able to take a shower and get dressed before Haven woke up.  Hallelujah.
  6. All morning routines and timing worked out such that we made it to a music class this morning. almost on time.  Much singing and dancing was had by all.
  7. And we then had a play date with some new friends, one of which Haven kept trying to hug and kiss throughout lunch.
  8. Haven missed her nap, which is not a triumph, BUT I didn't LOSE it, which is a triumph and not even of the small variety.  Nap didn't happen and the day went forth just fine.  I had to take a few deep breaths, but well, that never hurt anybody.
  9. I read a little and napped a little while feeding a sleepy Sebastian this afternoon.  Yes!
  10. I made dinner in the crockpot...but it wasn't ready in time.
  11. No worries, I made dinner on the stove.
  12. Haven ate most of her dinner, or at least parts I didn't think she would eat.
  13. Haven was in bed by 7 pm.  Sebastian was in bed by 7:30 pm.
  14. Most rooms of the house are picked up (not the kitchen, sorry Aaron).
  15. I had a nice chat with my friend, Colleen.
  16. I blogged.  One of my resolutions for the new year.  Amen and amen.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New year

Today, I took a two and a half hour nap.  Cozy beneath the covers, I drifted off in the quiet of the house with the sound of a gentle rain outside.  I could have used about 12 more of those.

Christmas break is coming to an end and I'm gearing up to go "back to work" (you know, my non-office job with two small tyrants).  The past two weeks have been great - we've been able to get a ton of projects done around the house (I think we unpacked a good dozen moving boxes!) and we've been able to enjoy our time together as a family.  I feel like I've been able to have a little time to myself and also that I've been spoiled a bit - Aaron has taken both kids quite a bit, to let me sleep in, take a nap, do a little shopping. I'm really amazed at how easy he makes it look to juggle two little ones at once!

With the start of a new year, there's of course some looking back and looking forward.  I'll admit, I'm not so sad to see 2010 go.  While it had some definite joys and highlights (Sebastian!), it also held great difficulty and challenges, challenges I'm hoping to not repeat.  The start of this year does feel different than the start of 2010, which makes me hopeful.  I feel less isolated and more connected than I did a year ago, which I think is a good way to start.  I feel like I learned a few things last year that I'm hoping will set me up to for a new approach in the coming year.  We'll see.

I made a few resolutions for the year to come - they are small and, thereby, (hopefully) manageable.  And one of them is to go to bed earlier.  So while this isn't the most exciting blog entry in the world, it will have to do for now, while I make my way to bed. 

Happy new year, friends.