Thursday, December 20, 2007

Core once bleeding now receives- First Draft...

Core once bleeding now receives
Gives freely love
Days passed grief behind
Now breathes freely
Streams of eternity washed clean

Once hated now embraced
Vulnerability of innocence
One day a time survived
Now past leave behind

Bring with new day grace
Understanding replaces hate
Expressing humanity stays
Roaming free in embrace

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I've Seen You

I know you
I’ve seen you ‘round here before
You’re face familiar
Your heart rote anger
Incarnation trapped
Beneath the rubble depravity
God’s words used arrogance
Human puppetry

Want to be God’s hands?
Submit
Want to speak God’s heart?
Connect
Want to share God's news?
Love

Don’t come round here til then

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Just Because



IMG_1403.JPG, originally uploaded by poetic mama.

Boo


IMG_1347.JPG, originally uploaded by poetic mama.

A Tear Shared

A tear of a dear sister can just rip your heart out. It is real and it is agony and you cannot change reality for them or yourself for that matter. When I am the best version of me I can allow a space free from my thoughts, my estimations, my perspectives. When I am living in the best sort of light I am able to say little and breathe deeply. I am able to listen to nuance and let opinion flee my soul.

Sure I might see a way through…but it is not mine to follow. Yes I might see from a step away from the chaos, but it is not mine to change…or even understand. What is mine, is to love and to be present. The soul I am sitting with is worthy of my presence. And I am worthy of such presence when time comes that my soul is the one shedding tear. This reality is proof that grace exists in this life.

Cookie Day 2007


IMG_1942.JPG, originally uploaded by poetic mama.

My new favorite holiday tradition is a Cookie Day. This event is the creation of my aunt's and it is wonderful. We get the wee ones together for cookie decorating and present opening. All of the kids are getting to the age where they can do so much of the work themselves and so we all had a blast! I love Christmas at kids pace! It's pure magic.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Wow

Check this out!

What conviction. In every frame I see my reflection... ouch. I have a long way to go...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ah Oh Cheerio...

So... yesterday morning while frantically trying to wrap too many little present for my kiddos classmates, my three year old daughter came running up to and muttered a sentence that just made me stop dead in my tracks...

"Mommy... I have a cheerio stuck up my nose!!!"

Lucky for us, it was a small cheerio and it was not too far up that mommy's tweezers couldn't save the day.

Once that disaster was averted, it was back to the gift wrapping and getting out the door on time frenzy.

I have one little secret that aids me in being able to stay calm in situations like these... I remember that whatever is happening will eventually make a great blog entry. My kids are so lucky I have this blog as an outlet!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Creating Again

For a little while now my family has been on a bit of a creating hiatus...and that is entirely my fault. In my quest to become the most organized, put together, under control mother, I decided that crayons, markers, scissors and the like were really just contraband. And I like to consider myself as an artist... I now am hanging my head in embarrassment. It was pure sadness. My kids need to create. I need to create. We were born to express.

But now there is laughter and creation swirling around our home once again. As I sit at my kitchen table writing...Boo is coloring a christmas tree with all green ornaments except the top one which is yellow... to match the star on top. Baby J is creating a portrait of mommy, Boo, and Baby J going to lunch bunch (an extended stay program at the kiddos preschool.). Now she is making musical instruments with markers and crayons and she is playing a sweet tune.

With the creation comes the mess and finally... I am able to welcome the mess. I believe my children will be grateful for this subtle shift in the mommy's personality. My soul is already grateful for the change.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Finding a new groove

So... I've had three babies in five years. I've gone from a youth worker to a stay at home mom. I've had change and transition in every single area of my life. In the midst of all of the change, I have found me, but it's tricky because it's also so easy to lose me in all of this if you know what I mean. My soul has been screaming for growth. I need to learn. I need to evolve. I need to cultivate my desire to create.

So I am taking my love of photography to a new level. I'm going to take some classes and I'm joining a correspondence program. I have a new camera... which I love, love, love and I am just trying to get a feel for my new equipment. My kids are abuzz with their own cameras... they are immitating mommy and it is so cute. The creative juices are rising up in my and they are flowing again.

It excites me to do something that is just mine. Sure, I can incorporate my new skills with my mothering, but I am not learning for the mothering. It is something to do, just for growth and it is good. It is awesome to find a new groove.

Friday, November 23, 2007

And from Chaos came Order... Poetic Simplicity

The last five or six years have really changed the trajectory of my life journey and it has been both subtle and at the very same time, quite overt. I am not the person I was going to become. I was headed towards isolation and negativity. I peered at the world through lenses that saw strife and brokenness. I let cynicism take root in my soul and I drank from it's darkness without much awareness. I was letting the past determine my future. I was letting my wounds define the whole and I was allowing the abuse endured to live unquestioned deep within the core of me. I was systematically closing off parts of myself that were in pain and overwhelmed. I was closed to growth, to light and during infertility I was closed to life. This was all happening underneath the waters of my chosen awareness... always feeling elusive.

And then life broke through. Change called my name and for that I am eternally grateful. It started with me white knuckling myself into change. I would not accept that this was as good as it would ever be for me. I would not settle for segregation of self. I would not desire the status quo. It started deep within my core. Where my soul and spirit converged with my physicality. My vision was adjusted to include awareness. Light found space inside my chambers. With the light came relationship, wisdom, and a hope that if I released pain and anger, joy would have more room for residence.

I met myself for the very first time. I searched for what I wanted. How I felt. Why I responded to the world around me as I did. I began listening carefully to the messages I was absorbing and the being conscious of the people that I was sharing my journey with. That changed everything. I went from barrenness to fruitfulness in all areas of my existence.

Now I am here. I have three wonderful children running through my home and one angel soaring above us. I have a organic and growing intimacy with my husband. I have left desolation and have entered life. I have become less busy and by default my place in this world probably has become more impacting. I used to equate busyness with importance. I am a product of our culture indeed. Now I understand that my calendar does not define my worth. My worth is a birth right. I do not need to prove myself to earn a place in history. I just need to reside within the space set aside for me.

My path is renew indeed. I am growing into seeing my life through the lens of a grace that is simply poetic. And thus, the season is turning...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Silence

I have been silent here for a few really good reasons that I am not going to go into right now, but I have to say the silence has helped bring my soul back into balance. I have been traveling through my life like Pigpen from Charlie Brown. Wherever I went I brought a cyclone of dust and chaos with me. I'm sure people were seeing me with my dust cloud and three small children in tow and wanted to just run and hide. I was running and trying so hard to look like I was okay... all the while everyone...and I mean EVERYONE was clear about the reality that I am not okay.

It is so comforting to have the silence to speak that truth into now. I am not okay with things I should not be okay about. The silence has gifted me with the perspective that not being okay is a good sign that transformation is well under way.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Burning the Midnight Oil...

Sitting up with a teething baby tonight. The perfect poetic ending to a really hard mommy day. Poor Sweet Pea.

I got the hug I needed...

Even at 32 I still need a good momma hug now and again. Thanks Mom.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm in a bad place today

I don't know what else to say to round this out other than, I'm really struggling. I'm angry about I few situations in my life. I feel helpless in a few other situations and I feel overwhelmed by having to be... well me.

I'm tired of feeling overwhelmed. I'm tired of worrying about things that are not mine. I am tired of feeling like I need to apologize for being me. I'm tired of feeling like I can't have a hard day because I am lucky to be in the place that I am. And most of all I am just tired of always being exhausted.

I give everything I have to those around me and sometimes I want to just need to be cared for too. I'm grateful my husband gave to me this weekend. I am truly running on empty and he helped me gain enough reserve to make it through today at naptime.

I need a hug.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A long August...

So, August took forever to pass for me with no kids in school and all of our normal activities on hiatus. It was a great vacation from life, but I am a routine person and we had nothing but wackiness in our routine for last month. We loved the pajama mornings and the late bed times, but I was definitely ready to usher in the new school year.

Boo started school yesterday and my Baby J started school today. She woke up at 4 AM so excited to go to school. Now 4 AM sounds extreme, but this early riser is usually up before 5:30 and the sun, so in reality she only woke up an hour early.

Next week I start back with MOPS...thank God. I so miss my mommy friends!!! And with MOPS comes Mother's day out as well!!! YIPPEE!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

The P... Household

Is highly pressurized... do not add heat or more pressure. That is all.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

From darkness to light

Darkness is what I find familiar but it is not what I was created to reflect. It is so comfortable to stay in shadow…in a most uncomfortable way. I was made for light. I want to become a soul that feels home in the light and feels foreignness when found in the cloaked night. The night is not the trusted blanket it claims to be. It is not going to simply wrap me in warmth. It will wrap me in darkness that will suffocate me…this I know.

When I hold on to the day into the dead of night I go from life to death. My soul needs nourishment and that is what the setting of sun invites. When I reject my need and try and find some secret elixir, I find myself empty and alone. The darkness can only offer me what it is…shadow of light. I want to choose to run into the light without shame. I choose to let night be a time of rejuvenation rather than a war of the soul.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Postpartum Depression

So, just like clockwork, my body shifted four months after Sweet Pea's birth. The first warning came a bit early...rapid hair loss. I had two huge bald spots at my hairline. My awesome cousin gave me a new color and do...which disguised my ailment brilliantly!!!! Thank You Brittany!!!

Then the insomnia hit and the huge desire to eat everything within sight that had refined sugars in it. Which is a huge no no for a woman living with PCOS. Which of course exasperated my mood swings. All that hit just in time for Boo to be out of school for the summer...bad timing. The perfect dynamics for full blown depression.

I've been trudging along for a couple of weeks trying to push through the gray and mental confusion...and then I started having milk supply issues, which led me to evaluate my water intake, my diet, and my vitamin regime... all of which were grossly out of balance. It is really hard to take care of me when I have three kids under 5. It is even harder to take care of me when I am still growing into the understanding that I deserve to be gentle to myself.

So my bff and several of my online mommy friends suggested I look at re-hydrating and cutting out sugars. I immediately tripled my water intake to take care of my low milk supply. Then I realized I needed to be diligent in taking my prenatals daily. And while I was checking my vitamin supply, I saw my bottle of B complex sitting there and everything started clicking in my head. I went to my message board and did some research and found that yes, B deficiency can totally be behind my symptoms of depression. So I started taking them last week and I immediately felt better. Like that first day I took them. And that was a *bad* day in our household. Screaming kids, poop explosions times two...you know the drill. But I still felt better.

Last night I was thinking about when I started taking the B complex. I started them at the suggestion of my chiropractor because I was having some circulation problems after Baby J was born. I thought it was because I co-slept and wore the sling all of the time...but even after adjustments I was still having difficulty. That clued my chiro into the deficiency and so I started taking the supplement. The timing of me taking them was the same timing of me starting to come out of the depression. Now I see that there was no coincidence in that at all. They are linked.

I am so thankful for the collective wisdom of the women of my favorite message board GCM and I am grateful for friends that have traveled through these really confusion years of motherhood with me. It's good to have someone to stand in the gap with me when I am completely overwhelmed!

I love how are bodies are so wonderfully made. When things are in balance, my body has an amazing capacity to heal itself. Depression can be a symptom of emotional neglect or it can be a symptom of spiritual deficit, or it can be a symptom of a diet out of balance. I have had all three issues aggravate depression for me at various points in my life. But this time around my spiritual and emotional houses are well maintained. This time it is all about the physical.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tap Tap Tap

Baby J is tapping through the house with one tap shoe on saying, "tap tap tap". How's that for stating the obvious. I love this little girl!

This, That, and The Other

This:

Looking at life through the systems we move in and through...
After a year-ish of looking for a church community, I am pretty sure that we have found our new community to call home. The process of searching was really very powerful for me as I have only really been completely integrated with one faith community in my life. It was hard to leave what I had known, but it was important for me to follow the calling to step out of my comfort zone. It was also difficult because I was given the message that leaving wasn't in my best interest and that I was just withdrawing from community...which I sensed was untrue then, but now in retrospect I know with certainty that was not a message from God.

Getting the chance to experience many different systems of community over the past year has proven very fascinating and helpful for me. The church system I was raised in and employed by, felt very similar to the family system of my childhood. That is not a bad thing necessarily except for when it was. It was a very limiting thing for me unconsciously. I stayed immature in my personhood and my individuality. I allowed myself to be held back by my past and therefore viewed every relationship and every experience through those eyes.

After visiting many other communities, (some only once as I ran out of the building wanting to scream, some several times because they were real possibilities) I have come to understand what I suspected all along. Every system is open to humanity, meaning it is wonderfully imperfect. That is the point. I have also come to understand that yes I can relate in good and healthy ways...when I feel safe and comfort to be who I was made to be. I withdrew in my last community because I felt I needed to protect myself, and now that I am in this place I see just how true that was. That community as I experienced it, was more interested in doing than being and that can be very dangerous for any person involved in it.

I was intentional about finding a group of people who are more about being than doing and I feel like I can really get involved with that, because in the being who I am meant to be I can more fully do what I am meant to be doing.

That:

The hand of a living God...
Another thing that has really struck me as we have prayed through the decision to move deeper into a new faith community is that a place has been prepared for us for quite some time now. We found a connection to start attending this large and prominent church in our community through Freecycle.org of all things...and we visited the day I started having contractions with Sweet Pea.

Then I ran into a woman I knew from high school shortly after we began attending more regularly. Then we were not there for a while and I ran into one of the pastor's wife at a local coffee house. I've now run into her a couple of times because we both frequent that place and so she has helped me feel so much more welcomed. Our children are all about the same age. Then this last week I ran into a friend I know from my MOPS group at another church and I had no idea she attends this church because we used to attend a night service until it was moved to Sunday morning. Also, I totally forgot I knew the senior pastor's daughter from college. So now I feel like I already have a sense of community, because of some behind the scenes work for quite some time. It helps me feel cared for.

The Other:

And I breathe...
Can I just tell you how good it feels to worship in community again. I love to pick my kids up from Sunday school and they both...the 2 year old and the 4 year old...can tell me what their bible story was. That is really important to a former Children's Ministry director. I love that the service we had already become a part of is now linked with the junior high and senior high ministry. (A shift that just happened in July) David and I feel totally at home in an environment filled with teens. And they are being discipled in how to live a life of worship and I feel that our gifts and talents can totally be used in this new community. We have willing hearts for volunteering and we are well trained! It is all good!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A lit bit of heaven

So Sunday my father had very sweet box seat tickets to our favorite MLB team so he invited me and my bro to join them for his birthday. Being at the game was bliss for me as I love baseball...and I especially love my home team!!! Did I mention the seats were sweet? I mean SWEET! Anyway, about three innings in I noticed that Marshall and Sark from one of my former favorite shows Alias were sitting about 6 rows in front of us. Then about an inning later I noticed that Hiro Nakamura and Sylar from my current favorite show Heroes were sitting about 10 rows in front of us. Now that is an awesome day!!!

The game went into extra innings and though we lost in the end, it was an awesome game! I love me a good MLB game, sprinkled with some favorite celebrities!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Incapacity

We give what we have
we withhold what we believe we have lost

Friday, July 20, 2007

The journey

It's been a really hard week. I have three small children. Of course it has been difficult. It has been the best kind of difficult I have ever experienced. I have three blooming children in my midst and I count myself blessed. Each challenge has pure gold on the other side of it. I am blessed to be able to journey with each of them as they discover the goodness of life.

I wish our culture celebrated childhood more. We would be a better people if we did. If we humbled ourselves to their level more often, we would love life in a whole new way. If we could love like they do, we would taste a bit of heaven. If we could trust like they can, there would be more creation. If we could laugh with a joy like theirs, our world would be more whole.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Of course you can forget

This is not really news to clinicians that have been working with sufferers of PTSD. I know the article is slanted towards how these findings give hope to those who want aid is forgetting trauma, but my response is that I am glad they are finding concrete evidence of the theory of how the brain stores traumatic information in the first place. There is such a huge debate about "forgotten memories" and as a survivor I feel like I can breathe and really feel normalized in my own struggles of fragmented memories from my past. I've known for some time that I can rely on the accuracy of my stored emotion, even if I am not validated in my experience of certain events. I have huge affects from my past without concrete answers. But now science is beginning to back that up. I am very interested in reading more about this study and I am even more interested in learning if the results of this study can be replicated.

premature

Too quick it went round
The moon stopped short
Not prepared for new day
Of a vacuous sort

Emptied chamber
Cut out cleansed within
Sterile report
scar thrice through
Time marched out without warn

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

One of the great things about *Not* having a job

I get to read. I can read anything. I must read in small increments but the reading gets done just the same. I can soak up a good article, blog, or book and that is okay. A whole new world is opening up to me as a result. I have been a ferocious reader for years, but in school what I read, was dictated to me. After college, I dictated to myself that I read that which would fit into my work roles, or the genre of self help. In my early days of parenting, it was all about the art of raising a little human being.

Now I have the freedom to explore new subjects. I can dive into some deeply moving poetry. I can read on highly charged political issues. I can sink my teeth into some historical content or even social commentary. It is allowing me true freedom

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

What I think I deserve

Deep in my core I have been battling with the concept of what kind of treatment I should accept and it has been a slow growth process for me that is finally speeding up. In recent months I have felt myself respond to things in very different ways and I can now see that the change is in my own perception of how things should work. I am really seeing the shift in two areas...

First, it does not even occur to me not to stand up for myself when someone comes too close to my own personal boundaries. My body, my spirit, my soul, and my emotions are mine. I choose whom I share myself with, and I decide how am willing to be treated. There have been a couple of situations recently where I was able to communicate on behalf of my personal safety and I did not even have to stutter or rehearse it. It came out of me quickly, gracefully, and as if I really believed I deserve better. That is huge.

Secondly, I am re-evaluating some of the experiences in my past that I just received without question and now I can see that I accepted things I never needed to. Today I was getting ready to drop my kids off at MDO and was thinking about how hot it is going to get and rejoicing that I am not pregnant this summer. I then remembered a situation that happened when I was pregnant with my second child and I just had to say to myself, "Wow I so would have handled that differently now."

I was pregnant during the summer with all of my children, but with my second child I was still working and the committee that dealt with HR issues for church employees approached me and asked me to change offices with someone. (Now, the person that approached me was my aunt,...the chair of that committee, which alone was a huge boundary issue) The concept in and of itself was fine for me, even still today I don't regret being open to the switch. I didn't care what space I had to work in. I was grateful for any office, because at my first church I had a desk in the copy room. Anyway, as it worked itself out in practicality, my husband and I ended up moving the office ourselves (I probably would have done it by myself had I not been several months pregnant) and we even moved much of the other staff members things as well. And at the end of all of the transition, the other member of the staff complained about something, I can''t even remember what now, and I actually felt bad and apologized.

Now that I think about it again, I think...what was I thinking??? I had been on staff for 6 years by then, the other member was brand spankin new and ended up only being on staff for a short time. She never said thank you. I agreed to move during the summer and never asserted myself enough to ensure that the promised air conditioner was installed. So here I was a long time staff member, physically moving offices in the summer, without air conditioning...all while being pregnant and I thought I deserved it, so I said nothing except the occasional questioning on when the air conditioner would be installed. I said NOTHING.

It did not even occur to me that I had the ability to question that, but my emotion knew, because I had a twinge of resentment even then. I thought my resentment meant I was being selfish, so I did not honor that and I just let it go the way it went. If that same sort of thing were to happen now, I think that I would pay attention to my feeling of resentment and identify it as self preservation, not selfishness. I still would have changed offices, though I would have asked to have someone else manage that, and I would not have accepted the circumstances I did. Only I can be my own best advocate. It is my job to inform the world about where my personal boundaries are. I do not have to accept someone invading my space, or as in this case, I don't have to stay silent when someone ventures into my space without conscious awareness.

I am grateful for the ability to participate in retrospection and introspection. I see things in a new light as a result.

Energy

Talking about how unconscious energy affects our lives is all the rage right now thanks to the book/ DVD The Secret and the sort, but it the ideas laid out in the book/ movement are not new ideas at all. The law of attraction has been tossed around for ages now and I firmly believe in the tenant that what you put out into the world comes back to you.

I think that we all have an enormous ability to impact the way our lives work, based solely on how we choose to perceive things and how we choose to handle them. Bad things do happen. Bad things do happen to us without our consent. Tragedy is all around us, all of the time and we cannot wish away the visits into our own lives, but how we respond to tragedy can make all of the difference.

I know that for me, when I am in the middle of a crisis my initial response is shutdown. Then I blame, and then finally I come to realize that I have an opportunity for growth. I know that I have choice in all areas of my response to a situation, but for a time I suspend that knowledge and feel powerless. Then as I start to open myself up to truth again, and only good has come of it. There are very few things that weigh my heart down these days. I am not crippled by fear or depression or bitterness on a daily basis, though it does sneak up on me now and again when I am not paying attention to my heart and intuition. For most things that have already happened, I am facing them and letting the residual affects pass through me. For the things I fear way off in the distance...illness, loss of life, change in stability... I try and remember that I cannot control their visitations on my life, but I can soak up what I have each moment until it is my time to deal with them. I will love fully, I will forgive deeply and I will look for the ability to choose life and truth in every area in my life.

Monday, July 2, 2007

LMAO

So I've never heard of this site before, but it is supposed to be "The Onion" for the evangelical christian world. If you ask me, I rather like the Onion and don't quite get the need for a christian onion, but that is another conversation all together. Anyway I found this linked from a blog of an online friend and I just had to share. I was/ am that freakish sling wearing mommy!

Just Amazing

I am a woman living with PCOS, a disorder that affects insulin production, ovulation and hormone balance. When I was in my teens it caused me to have several burst cysts, which is a very painful process. It made me have irregular periods and added inches to my waist. During my 20's it caused infertility, huge blood sugar issues and when I eventually got pregnant, made it impossible to avoid Gestational Diabetes with all 3 of my full term pregnancies, and was probably partly to blame for my miscarriage. Now that I am well into my 30's, we will see what it does to me in this fun decade, seeing that I am through my childbearing years.

Anyway, this news is just awesome. Hopefully this will bring much hope and aid to others who are living with PCOS (as well as other issues including cancer as was mentioned in the article) and trying to conceive.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I can hardly believe it

WOW

What a huge thing this is for the gay community. I especially appreciate this quote by Michael Bussee:

"God's love and forgiveness does indeed change people," said Bussee, who remains an evangelical Christian. "It changed me. It just didn't make me straight."

"You are so lucky to be able to stay at home..."

I went to a party last week and was catching up with some friends. One of the women has two kids... Boo's age and just a bit older than Sweet Pea. She chose to stay home after her second child, just like have. The other woman, whom I adore, is middle aged with no children. Now what I am going to launch into is not a reflection of my feelings towards my friend who made the comment. I totally understand where her heart was and what the intention was behind the comment. But I keep fielding this comment and I am quite tired of the misconception. Okay so now that the disclaimer is present here I go:

We were all talking about plans for the fall and when the issue of how difficult shuttling kids around during the school year came up, my friend said, "But you are so lucky to be able to stay at home." My response was one of grace...and also very true. I am grateful every day for the opportunity to be the primary caregiver for my three wonderful children. I get to see the little celebrations of their every day. It is hard work, because I also have to clean up the messes, both physical and emotional, every day as well. But I wanted to be a part of a family structure where one parent is able to be home full time... so I am filled with contentment and gratitude for the living out of that dream.

But I did not just get *lucky* enough to have a husband that makes enough for me to not work. It isn't a dream that a fairy godmother granted me. We have made true sacrifice, tough decisions and humbled ourselves and our financial stability at times as a result.

When we chose to have me come home from work, there was nothing easy about it. We were in serious debt from a failed business, student loans, compounded interest from times we had to rely on credit to survive during the end of Cnation. We could not really afford to be a single income family. But our value system informed our decisions and we honored that. We cut so many corners, and sacrificed much for quite a time. We chose that. It was not handed to us. And our situation was not the most difficult. I have friends whose husbands work 2 jobs, or who are on air tight budgets.

Now, about 7 months into single income living, we had a huge gift that allowed us to get out of the debt we were in and also allowed us to do some saving. For that I am forever grateful. That was the true gift. Now, we don't worry about having savings and contingency plans. But we still have to be frugal. I still have to shop at 4 stores to get the best prices. We still buy used or discount. We live in a home that is smaller that I'd like with 3 wee ones. Trade offs that I am happy to make.

All this to say, I just would like the credit for making a decision to Stay at Home. My husband did not just concede to my desire to be SAHM. He chose it too. It was a scary decision that took a huge dose of faith and quite frankly, a tremendous amount of character and discipline. It is hard work, and when I complain about it, I don't want the message to be I don't get to mention that it is hard because of my lucky circumstances. Just offer a moment of empathy...that's all. I can take care of having a grateful heart and spirit.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A message

Forgive me if this seems to come from left field, but it is a piece of the puzzle in the chaos of my spirituality that I have been struggling with for quite some time now...and just recently everything came together for me. So in attempts to process that I feel a desire to blog about it.

When I was a senior in high school (many moons ago) I attended a yearly youth conference that my church group was a part of. I was a mess during that time of my life...what teenager isn't at seventeen. But my mess was more severe than some because of some experiences and relationships that were very toxic and abusive, so I didn't know my right from my left. I didn't know abuse from love, safe from dangerous.

During this weekend there was a prayer service where you could go up in front of hundreds and be prayed for. I hate that tradition. If I need prayer and support, why do I need to go up to a stage in front of people...can't their be more safety and privacy? But I digress. I felt an urge to ascend the stairs and waited for my turn to be prayed for. The pastor who kneeled with me was one whom I knew and who is now passed on and it was very pivotal moment in my spiritual journey. I shared that I was going to a private christian university for college in a few months and did not know what God had in store for me. The pastor did not know that I had tried to kill myself 4 days before receiving my college acceptance letter. The pastor did not know me or my family well enough to know the circumstances I was dealing with at home. But the pastor knew what I needed that day.

He prayed that my eyes and heart would be open to the possibilities that were coming my way. That my move to BIOLA would show me which direction to go in my journey. The pastor gave me assurance that God was intimately concerned with my well being and that I would know God's will for my life if I stayed open to hope.

For many years I believed that God sent me to BIOLA to prepare me for ordained ministry. I wanted it. But my picture of God's message that day was grossly incomplete. I thought, to be close to God... go work for the church... and that was a part of the design for a season... but it was not the complete design.

I now understand that it was my woundedness and brokenness that God was interested in addressing through BIOLA...but not really until years after I finished my degree. All of my closest friends came through my time there. I met my husband there and I was connected with two amazing therapists through that community. In the past several years I have been doing the work of reconstructing my past experiences with relationship. I have struggled with attachment for my whole life. I have a very hard time trusting and being connected because of basic injury in the process of attachment years and years ago. But I have found healing for that. And that was God's big plan for me. Be in youth ministry for years...yes that was awesome. Be a wife to an incredible husband...very- very good. Mother three beautiful children... most excellent. Learn how to bond, attach, trust and be open myself to deep flowing relationship...priceless.

That was the message to me that day. Through BIOLA you will find the ability to live life and love deeply. The design was for me to be brought back into the light, so that I could be in relationship with a living God. My dream was noble, but small. God's dream was much bigger and transformational. It is a good thing.

No place to hide- part 2

There is a tremendous freedom in being completely in the light. I am finding that I rather like have no place to hide. It is a relief to know I am just me and there is no need to hide the parts of me that make me incredibly and uniquely human.

I love the un-costumed humanity of my children because of it's innocence and joy. I have learned to celebrate the good and the not so good of being vulnerable and meek. I have the freedom to celebrate childhood with my children and that in turn frees me up to finally celebrate my childhood from days past.

It is a good thing. A very good thing.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

No place to hide

Being at home with my children full time has been tremendously important. Of course it has been important for my children, but that is not the topic of this post. Being home is allowing me to grow up parts of myself that have really needed maturing for quite a while now. There is lots of activity in my world, but it is kid activity and so there is lots of time for me to have to deal with what is inside of me.

I am busy trying to teach my children what kind of person they can be. I have to do that through example. If I want my children to share, I need to have a heart of generosity. If I want my children to be polite, I need to have a spirit of gratitude. If I want my children to love God, I need to live a life of worship. That is really quite difficult...especially when the inconveniences and annoyances of life come up. When life doesn't go according to my plans I need to model an attitude of acceptance, so I need to be living that already.

When I was working in ministry, I was very busy and I was working with great people and doing good things. It was for me, however, a really noble way of trying to avoid my immaturity. Maybe because I began my life in vocational ministry at 20, or maybe because I had not put to rest my childhood disappointments. But no matter the reasons, the reality was I did not have to come face to face with myself a lot of the time because there was always someone to help and something really exciting to do.

Now, the days are long and I see myself and my humanity reflected in my children. When I am handling my emotions and my behaviors well, they are able to also. When I am not...they unwind quite easily...and so do I. There is no place to hide. Everything is in the light, and that is exactly where I believe I am supposed to be.

In the middle of it

So I am surviving...maybe even thriving, in the midst of my hormonal shift. A task I did not think possible. After I wrote my last post I felt like I had my game plan. I have been better about sugar...though not perfect, but cutting back has already made a huge difference. I am saying no beginning this week. We have had lots of family obligations, but now we need the rest.

And the biggest thing that is helping is that I am letting it comes as it comes. I am not trying to be super mom. When I need to whine I call my friend. When I need to cry, I cry. When I am angry, I feel angry. I am feeling okay being vulnerable. And I'm not dealing with depression this time around...which is probably partly because I am feeling what I need to when I need to and not trying to run from it.

The days are hard...I have three kids under the age of 5. It is chaos. It is a wonderful chaos that I am grateful for every day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hormonal Dump

Well I feel it coming in waves now, so I am all over the place emotionally. I want to handle this period of time better than I have in the past and so there are a couple of things I am going to do. I am hoping that if I make a game plan than I will at least have something to counteract the chaos.

1. I am going to slow down and say no. My bff told me she was going to tattoo the word NO to my forehead so that when I am weak and have trouble saying no I can just smile and point. She so has my number. I have such a big heart and I want to be there all of the time for everyone in my life. There is no problem with that in theory, but in practicality it is crazy. I have a lot of people in my life, with a huge family all within a 30 mile radius of my home, and my friends to boot. I cannot be all things to all people and no one expects that either. I need to protect my family and myself from overbooking. So I need to be honest with my limitations.

2. I am going to start working out. I have not been able to coordinate that since I had Sweet Pea, because he was so little. Now it is time. Exercise helped me out the last time and I want to get into the groove at the beginning of the blitz, not months into it.

3. I'm gonna watch my sugar intake and portion control. My PCOS is delicate and refined sugars are my weakness. If I have some I crave more...so I need to take it out of my diet again. Case in point. I allowed myself some ice cream and white bread last week for the first time in months and I just had to have more. I ate ice cream three times in four days and was miserable. And Sweet Pea is still affected by dairy so he was miserable too. It is just not worth it.

4. I am going to have grace with myself. I have to go through this hormonal shift, but I don't have to hate me during it. I am going to be irritable. I am going to cry. I am going to be a woman. I can't help that, and really I shouldn't be shameful about my humanity. I am who I am and that means that I am not perfect.

I hope that this will pass soon.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Switching back to cloth

With the help of some friends on my favorite mommy message board GCM and a purchase from my favorite diaper store, I am gonna take the plunge into cloth diapers and potty training this summer. Wish me luck!

Follow up on the coffee front

Okay, so I have done two things that I am actually quite happy with in my addiction of instant gratification with coffee.

1. I have learned how to make a mean latte from home with an organic family owned farm espresso.
2. I have cut my starbucks/coffee bean consumption in half and so far I am not missing it at all.

Now I will try and reduce my out of home consumption even more and I will start asking for their fair trade varieties...even if I have to ask for drip instead.

As an added perk, I am saving us major money!!!

A day in the life of Baby J with asthma

Baby J was sleeping fitfully this evening and woke up inconsolable about an hour ago. I took her out of our bedroom and she started pulling at her pj's and grunting and carrying on. I took several minutes and could not calm her down, so I woke up David and we called the advice nurse at our hospital. Several minutes later with a very uncomfortable child we all decided to try a breathing treatment first, before bringing her to er. Several minutes into the breathing treatment she finally started calming down and her breathing changed. Thank God for modern technology. My mother had to take her child to the hospital blue, as did my aunt. I am grateful for the tools I need to deal with her quickly, in our home.

Here's the thing. 14 hours ago she was in the Dr. office for a re-check of her ears and she was fine. Completely okay. Her grunting was not the normal wheezing. She did not strike me as congested or anything. This came on sudden and didn't look like it ever had before. It took several minutes of assessing and a huge dose of mommy intuition to clue us in. Her mouth even started to turn blue. My poor baby girl. It is so frightening to watch your child suffer so. And I missed the early cues. I have lived with her asthma for almost two years and I have seen others in my family with asthma for most of my life... and I missed it.

It scares me to think that Sweet Pea might end up with this same ailment. We were so lucky to dodge a bullet with Boo. Can my mama's heart handle another sick baby? Mommies of asthma kids don't get a lot of sleep. It is inherent in the job description... informed worry is the worse sort of fear in the middle of the night.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Postpartum Joys

My hair is falling out in handfuls. Next comes the hormonal dump. This is the time that is the hardest for me. I do really well right after the baby is born...thanks to adrenal and the mommy hormone...oxitocin I think. Then I get three months of sleep deprivation and back to my regular routine, which sets me up perfectly for month four to six month period of hell. Yes...it is happening a month early this time. Everything with Sweet Pea happens early...I should have known.

Where is my ice cream????

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

They're always watching

So I was watching Oprah the other day and they had a life coach on talking about how to raise happy children. It was just one segment in a larger conversation about how to live your best life, but one comment the life coach made really resonated with me. She stated that our children will not learn to treat themselves how we treat them. They will learn to treat themselves the way we treat ourselves. It's just spot on in truth and I really connect with this truth right now, because of what I am processing in my own life and parenthood.

We all have scripts that develop deep within our psyche very early on in our lives and if we are not actively aware of our behavior; we are going to constantly respond to our world, our relationships, and ourselves in the same, familiar ways. So if I cannot find peace in myself and treat myself with the same gentle compassionate way I have grown accustomed to treat my children with...when they grow and leave me to live their lives on their own, they will treat themselves with the same harshness they saw me treat myself with. That scares me to my core. I can work so hard to pour myself into them and they might reject my messages of who I see them as, because I have not put to rest my own demons and self destructive ways.

I have to change the script that I carry around about myself. I just recently came face to face with what that script is and I knew I needed to change that for myself. I am keeping myself stuck in the past because I have not yet grieved that. But now I understand it in full context. I also need to change the script for my sweet babies. They deserve to believe they are the wonderful gifts they actually are. I deserve to believe I am a wonderful gift that I actually am.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Oh yeah...

Here is the link to the company that makes the yummy vegan cookies I was talking about yesterday

Fair Trade Coffee and Faith

Fair Trade Coffee

As I am becoming more intentional in my living and more knowledgeable on how even my basic daily practices affect the world in a ripple like effect. (did I get the effect and affect in the right order? I always get tripped up by this grammatical issue) One thing that I am very grm-ish about is how our coffee addictions are trapping the hard working, yet severely underpaid farmers in generations of poverty. As humans, I think we need to be informed about this phenomen. As a christian, I believe I need to actively be fighting against such oppression.

But here is the problem. I like my latte and I want it when I want it. So much so, that I will segregate my mind for the few luxurious minutes it takes for me to order my decaf, no sugar added, soy latte and then gulp it down. This organization that I linked has an information flyer that helps layout why we all need to aware of these issues. The coffeehouse I was at yesterday had a pile of these flyers...so I am off to educate myself. Check it out!

Power Rangers for Jesus

So I get this text message from my sister in law yesterday:

Nephew wants to make a movie called: Power Rangers for Jesus.

I just laughed my arse off! I think I will personally fund his movie if the plot line includes the Power Rangers kicking the arses of all of the fake superhero knockoffs like Bibleman.

I so love my nephew!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Grace

A little thought I had today...
The more we open ourselves up to grace from our source, the more we are able to give grace to ourselves. When we can have much grace for ourselves, we can have much grace for the other wonderfully human people we share our lives, our homes, our workplace with.

I used to think I could live a life of grace, sharing it with others, without having to open myself up to the reality that I too need that same sort of grace. I was hoping to bypass the whole vulnerability step. Now I know that I cannot skip a step. When I think about the people I have known that I feel live a life of grace, I think of strong individuals who have wisdom and kindness for themselves and others. I have found that there are many trying to be graceful, but only a handful actually achieving a life of grace. I want to cross over from the trying to be, to the achieving in my own life, and I now know what that requires. I must open myself up to the fullness of grace and become honest about my weakness. I need to forgive myself of humanness and embrace a peace that I am exactly what I was created to be. Being able to celebrate humanness helps me enjoy everything I hold dearest to me. My husband, my children, my friends and my family.

By golly, I think I'm getting it!

coffee, play, free wireless

A momma's dream! I love this local coffeehouse for the kids playroom and free wireless. I have been haunting the place for almost two years. It has a kids playroom where I can drink my coffee and my kids can roam and play in a safe environment...how great is that? But now I have a new reason to love it. I realized that they serve free trade coffee and the new yummy vegan cookies that everyone has been raving about!!! I am so filled with happy!

Monday, May 21, 2007

HEY STELLA

Attention Stella Brown...
Please, please, please return your blockbuster movies in a timely fashion. And for the love of Barnabas please update your account information...we've had this pickin' number for almost four year. FOUR YEARS!

And while I'm at it, tell your buddy pal Maria Hightower to please attend to her financial affairs.

Thank you and good night.

"U.S. bids to stop G8 push for climate deal"

It figures

GRM

I need to parent inside my personality...

Baby J has been night waking for quite some time now. First it was because Sweet Pea was here and she was seeking mommy's attention at night. Then she got sick and she has been battling double ear infections for over two weeks now. We thought we had it licked, but then two nights ago she started night waking again. I wasn't completely making the connection that she was in pain and so I was trying to be firm in boundaries...you know, the you need to stay asleep and stay in your bed sort of thing. That devastated her and we had a total meltdown at 3 AM on Sunday morning.

The next day I was all set to just lay the smack down...I was a tired momma and we all need sleep. Luckily, it occurred to me that when I lay the smack down like this it often backfires. I don't do mean mommy well. So after a nap I was able to sit down with Baby J and tell her what was expected and David and I came up with a middle of the night game plan of keeping Sweet Pea out of harms way, while allowing me to deal with Baby J. She woke up twice in the middle of the night last night and I comforted her and she cooperated with my wishes, so she was easily comforted back to sleep. Thank God!

I called the doctor today and her double ear infections are worse. I am so thankful that my instinct was able to override my exhaustion. I always regret it when I parent outside of my instinct, but when I listen to that mommy intuition within it always helps. So now we are on round two of antibiotics and lots of yogurt... hopefully this will help her little body fight off this infection. I hate it when my babies are sick.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The end of a season

I had to have a sad conversation with my ob gyn a couple of weeks ago and I have been hesitant to share here because...well let's just say I fear judgment. But none the less it is something I have to grieve so I have decided it is okay to process that.

My doctor advised me not to seek another pregnancy at my postpartum appointment four weeks ago. I knew it was coming, for my body already gave me that message during labor with sweet pea, so I was prepared and in agreement. But I have sorrow. My sorrow does not mean I don't understand how fortunate I have been. My sorrow means that I was given the tremendous gift of four wonderful creations of grace to harbor for a time in my womb and now that season of my life is done. Three of those little ones I hold in my arms each day and one of the little ones I hold in my heart forever.

I know that many will never get to experience this gift and my sorrow is not about greed or lack of gratitude, because for years I believed I might be one whom would not be able to carry a child in my body. I see our journey into parenthood straight on and I am grateful every day, because we did nothing to deserve it, it was a gift. And now the time has passed. And because of this wonderful season I am changed forever. I do not regret the journey...not even that it is over now...but I am sad because it was good. Very good.

My prayer now is that our family will still grow. I know we are missing someone or maybe even two someones...and there is such need out there. So now we wait for the prompting to grow our family through adoption.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tell me this sling is not totally gorgeous!!!!!!!!!


IMG_3813.JPG, originally uploaded by poetic mama.

Slings are like a fashion statement for me. Some women collect handbags... I collect slings. I traded my shoe addiction for sling addiction. So when I had to wear a formal strapless gown, I saw that as an opportunity to buy this little beauty! I love it!!! I will only wear it a few times, but I love it just the same!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Boo's Mother's Day Art


IMG_3849.JPG, originally uploaded by poetic mama.


IMG_3856.JPG, originally uploaded by poetic mama.

I especially like the part about putting him in his comfort corner!

Baby J's Mother's Day Gift


IMG_3848.JPG, originally uploaded by poetic mama.

I just saw this.

I definitely did not agree with his theology, politics, or social policy, but I feel for his family and friends at his sudden passing.

"God made me that way"

So on the way to Mother's Day Out today, (a wonderful program through the MOPS church where I can drop the kids off for the morning) Boo had this to say about life...

ds: "Mommy, I don't like cleaning up."
me: "Oh, why not?"
ds: "Because God made me that way...that's just the way God made me mommy."
me: "Alrighty then."

What else was there to say to that one. He is a clever one, me thinks.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Always looking towards the future I am...

...rarely living fully in the present.

I'm in a season of life where what I do is not nearly as important as who I am and who I am doing it with, if that makes any sense. I do not have gainful employment, where I leave my home and report to someone quite important, who in turns gives me a meager salary. I do not have a "job" where my performance gains me money, prestige, or advancement in life.

But I do work. All day, every day. And it is more about how I live, how I relate, how I communicate, how I provide; than it is about what I do with my day. That is very difficult for me. I think that I should have my next plan. Actually I really already know what I'd like to do with the next season, but the time is not now and I need to relax and focus on the task at hand.

Building a better future for me and my family.

While I am here, I'd like to explore a few new things... read some good books, write some good poetry or prose, learn some good craft, listen to some good music, etc. I want to fall in love with living simply. I want to disconnect from the fast track mentality that demands more of my soul than I'd like to give. I want to savor the naptime nursings with my dear sweet toddler, because soon they will be replaced with dance classes and girl scouts. I want to enjoy the unashamed cuddles with my older son, because soon he will beg me to walk ten paces behind him and not to embarrass him with mommy I love you's. I want to enjoy the snuggly baby in my sling, because soon he will be running away from me to explore the world.

I will live in this time. Truly live in every moment. Every day I will seek to do just that...experience life abundantly.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Sweet Pea's Birthday

Sweet Pea was born on Dr. Seuss's birthday, which we think is pretty cool around here. We are huge fans of the Dr.Seuss catalog of books, so we were all really excited to receive this gift from a friend this week. It's a great collection with essays and the like also. You have to check it out!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Let's talk about Postpartum Depression

It's a difficult thing to be in the first few weeks of caring for a new beautiful creation, yet all the while feeling consumed by negative emotion coming from deep within. I have suffered from postpartum depression and when I was in the midst of it, I did not have the words to articulate my experience... but now I have them... and so I will share.

When I was in my last few weeks of pregnancy with Baby J, (my baby girl) I knew in my heart I was having a girl and the dread was already setting in. For me the depression was largely situational, meaning there were several dynamics that acted as kindling for the hormonal swings to ignite into a full blown mess. I had just left a job I loved and it was a messy separation. Remind me to talk about that some time again in the future. I left the job only a couple of weeks before delivering my sweet baby girl, so the process of grieving that season of my life was shoved to the side and yet was stealing energy from me on a daily basis.

Add to that, I had a baby girl who became a mirror for me to really see how small and innocent I was so long ago. I had a ton of shit in my past to wade through and lots of family of origin issues just came seeping up to the surface. My husband and I were struggling financially, when I did work I got paid a ridiculous amount of money for what I contributed, but it was more than I was making being at home. We were in huge debt from our business of the dot com crash and we were not managing things as well as we could have. I felt isolated and overwhelmed every waking minute of my life. I did not have any stay at home mommy friends. I did not know how to ask for help from the family and friends around me and I was just a mess trying to convince people and myself that I was perfectly okay.

Only now, after having my next child, can I see how bad the darkness was for me then. I am not suffering from postpartum depression this time around...thanks to many years of psychotherapy that has finally taken hold in my life and my relationships to bring about true transformation inside of me. When I find myself laughing and giggling with my kids these days, I remember what I missed the last time around. I did not giggle for a good year after Baby J was born. Now saying that though, I do not mean I did not take joy in watching her and Boo grow...my depression was not dark enough to cut me off from their joy, but the joy was through their eyes. I did not feel joy in me, if that makes any sense. I was walking around burdened by my own past... the abuse I survived and the mistakes I could not forgive myself for. I was difficult to be in relationship with. I was like a wounded animal who had a tremendously difficult time even trusting someone who was safe to come close enough to help me heal. There was a lot of darkness.

But then the light came in, and God work a mighty act in my heart and life. First, my girlfriend and former co-worker helped get me involved in a group called Mothers of Preschoolers or MOPS. I had left behind the church of my childhood and career so I was not in fellowship at the time, and I needed it. The women of my MOPS group welcomed me with open arms. I usually have a very difficult time cultivating new friendships, but I felt comfortable from day one and I felt connected by the end of the first semester...which is huge for me. It was great to be in the midst of many other women who were in the same season of life as I was, and it was good to have great caregivers for my children.

One of my biggest issues is trusting my children to someone else's care. I had the terrible fortune during my childhood to be in a not so good childcare situation and it is my deepest seeded fear as a parent. I can trust someone and they can betray that trust and my kids might not have the ability to tell me what happened. Being able to trust my kids to the care of the church's children's director and the caregivers has helped heal that very old wound in me. They were sensitive to my kids and their needs from day one.

Second, I made the choice to put distance between me and the areas in my life that were not working. I needed to be grown up in lots of ways. I needed to gently be taught how to put my big girl pants on. It was really messy, but in the end it was all good. I needed to exercise my responsibility to make my life my own. I was no longer a child, now I was the mother of two wonderful children and I needed to behave that way. I needed to put boundaries on my thoughts, who I spent time with, and where I found community. And as I did that relief came. I needed to make my own decisions and I needed to learn to take responsibility for the outflows and changes of the decisions I was making. I took my power back and I learned a spirit of humbleness... a spirit that is still evolving in me today.

I know this is a hecka long post, but I just needed to get it out. Postpartum depression is horrible, but living through it, I can see it now as the opportunity in my life to make the changes that would open me up to deeper connection in all of my relationships. I now like who I am and so I like people around me a lot more. Now that I embrace my humanness in new ways, I have the grace and wisdom to accept those around me who are also human. I am freed up to love my children and my husband in whole new ways and I am able to trust God with more of my heart than ever. I am grateful for two things from that dark time. 1. I don't ever have to re-live it and 2. I am forever changed because I dealt with when I hit me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

This is the life...

I have a newborn curled up with me on the sofa right now, slumbering away. He's more of an infant these days...his newborn features are being replaced with cute chubby baby features. I just love this!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Yeah, what he said

A great article about our culture's sexual woundedness.

Earth Day

I was so bummed that I could not be with my dh and older dc for Earth day celebrations yesterday, but I am glad that dh was able to take them to a fun festival. My husband and I have been conservation minded for our entire marriage...we were both that way before our union so it has been a natural progression for us. Saying that we are *conservation minded* though, does not actually mean we have arrived at a lifestyle that is completely reflective of our ideals...but we are trying to take one step at a time to move in the direction where our beliefs and our practices actually sync up.

What we have already instituted in our home:
* Recycling (even when it isn't convenient)
* Reducing water consumption
* Switching to Compact Flourescent light bulbs
* Switching to non toxic cleaners that are also vegetable based not petroleum based
* Using re-useable canvas bags for shopping etc., or asking to go without bags when possible
* Using our own coffee mugs when we go out to coffee
* We've used cloth diapers and various times, when I'm not pregnant or going insane
* Using cloth napkins, rags, towels, and wipes rather than paper products
* Re-purposing items to save them from landfills
* Replacing our doors and windows with more efficient ones
* Changing our showerhead to a slow flow
* Shopping organically and supporting small independent farms and companies whose practices are gentler to our earth.
* Purchasing energy efficient appliances

Where I'd like to see us go in the near future:
* Buy a hybrid car
* Switch to cloth diapers full time
* Switch to cloth feminine products (if I can cope)
* Finding and installing the best insulation for our home
* Composting
* Begin our own garden
* Stop the junk mail that comes our way
* Stop buying new items... seek used ones first
* Install a water filtration for our home so we can discontinue our Arrowhead delivery
* Install new toilets
* purchasing and using smart strips that reduce the rate of electricity suckage from un-used appliances in our home.
* Supporting the movement in a greater way financially
* I'd like us to be more vocal about what we are doing so others might consider some of what we do to Reduce Reuse Recycle.


All in all I think we are moving forward. It has been an exciting year for us. Environmentalism in general and Global Warming in specific is gaining footing in the mainstream media and thought. Celebrities like Leo DiCaprio, Oprah, Sheryl Crow, Alicia Silverstone, Noah Wyle, Matt Damon... and of course a certain politician are speaking out and helping to raise awareness of what is really at stake and just how close we are to losing everything we need to sustain life on this planet. I am encouraged that real change is actually beginning. May our children and childrens' children look back on this time as the turning point where we as a world united to save our mother earth.

Okay, Okay, enough. But may I get one more tidbit in before I descend my soap box. Think. Act. Change. That is my daily mantra these days.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A week in review

So I was on my own again this week and all things considered, we are settling into a new normal. It was a busy week of errands for the bridal shower I am helping host this weekend, catching up on laundry and household chores, and trying to stay above water with all of our regular activities. Everything has gotten done, though I did miss MOPS this week =(. Being a nursing mom means I have to plan well to get three kids out the door and Wednesday I did not get the timing right...because I got moving late. Oh well.

Right now I'm nursing two kids, and a nasty migraine that has been going strong since Wednesday afternoon. Wah!!!! Dh is helping as much as he can, though he does have to go to work. I love being at home with my little ones. It is hard though, because my job doesn't come with any sick days.

The highs for the week:
* Sweet Pea is smiling a bunch now...it's great!
* Baby J and mommy had a couple of tea parties.
* I got to play play doh with Boo all by himself for almost an hour.
* Baby J is currently dancing in circles naked right now... so cute!


The lows:
* Baby J decided to climb to the top of the McDonald's tube structure when it was time to leave...knowing I could not go up and bring her down. It took a half an hour for her to come down. Note to self...do not take Baby J to McDonald's for a few months. Grm.
* Caffeine does still bother Sweet Pea...lay off the sauce momma.

Have you heard about this?

Dh led me to this little invention...and it has changed the way I follow blogs.

Fascinating...

I love the blogging world. I have followed Real Live Preacher for years... since I was up in the middle of the night nursing my first child, who is now 4. His latest Post speaks about a new blog that I am already in love with. I just love how the web can, in it's best uses, bring people together whom would otherwise never associate. Bible Versus is a breath of fresh air. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

if I have to...

...hear another "newscaster" repeat Imus's disparaging remarks about the Rutger's Woman's Basketball team...
I'm gonna scream!!!!!!!!

It was horrendous when it was broadcast over the airwaves and radio waves, THE FIRST TIME! Why are we repeating it ad nauseam? Enough. We are becoming desensitized to the terminology.

I'm not currently an employed Youth Director...

...but I will always have a youth worker's heart.
Letter by Jim Hancock

Monday, April 16, 2007

Just so sad...

Shooting

I'll save my social, spiritual, and political commentary for another day. Today I come along side the family, friends, fellow students, and community of the fallen and weep with them.

I just love weddings...

One of my favorite people got married this weekend and I felt so fortunate to be able to celebrate with him and his now wife. I grew up with this man and have been scratching my head as to why the perfect girl had not come along and swept him off his feet. His wife is a perfect fit for him! It was a very sweet ceremony and I am so happy for them both.

My younger cousin is getting married in may and I am helping host a wedding shower for her this coming weekend and I am so excited! I hope she has a great time...I'm trying to add some little touches that will make it special for her. I love to watch people find joy in relationship!

And every time I go to a wedding I am reminded just how much I love being married to my best friend. The decision to marry dh was the greatest decision I have ever made!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

My bad night at Starbucks

Last week I went for coffee with bff and of course brought little Sweet Pea with me...he was after all only five weeks old. We were at a Starbucks that is a stone's throw from the christian university that I graduated from 10 years ago. While at coffee he needed to nurse and be changed. I nursed him on one side as discreetly as you can nurse a newborn and then he needed to be changed before I finished and then headed on my way home...which was a half hour away. The coffee place had no changing table and so, being the tired momma I was, I just laid out my diaper mat and changed him on a cushioned chair. I did not have my van with me and it was almost ten o'clock at night. I had the VW beetle and there is no good way to change a dipe without having the door open. Anyway...it was not my first choice but like I said I was tired. My mistake.

Anyway, there was a male and female at a table not far from us and they were clearly students at my alma mater. The male had no direct line of sight to me, but the female was giving a play by play and I had already sensed she was disapproving of the NIP (nursing in public). When I pulled out the pad the man went up to management to complain very loudly that there should be a changing table in the bathroom (something I whole heartedly agree with) and he went on and on. I was finished with the change and out the door before he sat back down. I know that my actions can totally be offensive to some, so I left out of embarrassment. (Not the NIP... the changing a dipe)

As we were walking to my car, he followed us out of the coffee house and approached us rather aggressively. I made eye contact with him and asked him not to engage us, we were leaving, but I started going off about the health code violations and so forth. My friend and I were shocked at his aggression and disrespect and she tried to refute him saying we never touched the seat etc. and he just got more hostile.

I then asked him what he is doing with his life and responded that he was a student and I pushed the matter and asked if he went to the college. He confirmed it and I let him know I was an alumni. I went on to ask if that was the christ image he wanted to share with others. By now I'm close to tears and I said that what my son and I needed in that moment was a bit of grace. I was sorry my actions were offensive. He continued to yell about fecal matter and the bit, so realizing that we were not going to be able to reason with him...I after all had committed two cardinal sins...changing a diaper and NIP. So we walked away. As we were walking away he called me white trash. I asked for him to repeat himself and he called me white trash again who lacked all modesty.

I was feeling shocked, hormonal, shamed, exhausted and totally wounded. I collapsed in a puddle of tears and cried for like two day straight afterwards. It did not even occur to us until we were in my car how scared we were and that we should have threatened to call the police.

I left feeling totally beat up and it has taken over a week to get my head around my emotional response...and here is where I am with it today:
1. It sucks when I run into evil disguised as religious piety. His behavior was of judgement and righteous indignation. And he was hostile and aggressive in a way that was really scary. If I come across that kind of behavior again I will immediately call 911. Following us out of the store was unacceptable. And...

2. There really should be adequate changing tables in all eating establishments...babies are everywhere and deserve a clean and safe place for their mommas to attend to their needs.

I'm really hoping that I will mature to the point that when a hostile and angry man approaches me, I will simply not allow it. I am really done with aggressive men.

Sorry it's been a while...

Well week one at home alone with the kiddies went really well, but week two... that's another story. I had a couple of really lousy things happen last week and so I was pretty much out of emotional energy to blog. I want to share what happened to me last week, but that will be a post of it's own. Thank God I had help from my mother this week...boy did I need it! Hopefully I am on the other side of some of the hormonal blitz and hopefully Baby J is on the other side of some sibling jealousy. Next week will be a new week and we are back to our regular schedule...I'll let you know how things go.

I love the chaos and I hate the chaos...such is my life

Monday, April 2, 2007

Same story new perspective

So the family went to church this weekend (an occurrence that has been more regular these days) and though we were a bit late it was really good. I thoroughly enjoy the teaching of the lead pastor...he teaches straight down the middle of an issue and I admire that tremendously. You see I'm a Jesus person who doesn't much enjoy being around "church folk" when they all get together en mass... mostly because I don't like what darkness comes out in me while I'm in that sort of environment. I prefer reality with an incarnate touch...real people, living real life, looking towards a real Savior for a real connection.

Anyway... the point of this post...

Last night's sermon focus was on the traditional Palm Sunday text and it is a story that I have heard every single year since I was three-ish years old. Some years the story feels repetitive, other years it is meaningful but in an egocentric sort of way. Rarely is there a time when something totally catches me and this year I learned a ton about the historical context of the palm procession to Jerusalem. And that is saying a lot. I am a life long church goer, who attended a christian university, received a biblical studies minor, then worked in vocational ministry teaching others for ten years. So when I sat down for the same ole' same ole' sermon, I was not expecting much. Boy was I pleasantly surprised... and last night taught me something really key about my spiritual journey. I am growing into a deeply contented joy and gratitude that God's story of grace is new every day and I get to be a part of it. There is always something new that can reach out and wrap around me...thus keeping me totally engaged.

For a cynic like me that is a very good thing. It keeps me grounded and hopeful all at the same time.

Friday, March 30, 2007

So back to our regular program...

Today is Friday...I have officially made it through my first week at home alone with the wee ones, and it has been a very good week all things considered. I am glad to be back in my role as mommy in charge, and I am glad to be in my non pregnant body. Here is the good, the bad, the ugly recapped:

The Good:
* I napped every day except for today...but today I was not tired enough to sleep so I was able to catch up on some online projects... mainly, moving my blog over here :0).

* I was able to take the kids on our first outing all three in tow. We went to the library and the park... it was a blast!

* On Tuesday I dropped the older kids at Mother's Day Out and took Sweet Pea on errands with me. He actually slept an entire hour while I was at coffee bean and I got to read and enjoy my coffee!!!

The Bad:
* Boo had three potty accidents in one day. =(

* Baby J has been waking up multiple times at night, so we are tired parents

The Ugly:
* All three kids had meltdowns at the same time on Wednesday. Boo pooped in his pants, Baby J did not want to take her nap, though she was exhausted. And of course Sweet Pea was just hungry and I didn't get to him soon enough. =(

I survived the week and really I think we all thrived.

Blogging Groove

I've been blogging for a little over 3 years and have had two previous homes. First I used moveable type with my own family url, but I had huge problems with spam. I just got frustrated and because I am not so tech savvy, I could not solve the problem by myself. Then I moved to livejournal and I loved that interface, the value of templates and other user friendly features. I was happy there for a pretty long time, but I never really used it like it was intended. I never really networked and the few friends I had that also posted there slowly but surely started leaving...so what was the point? Also, I did a lot of ranting over there and that was starting to feel stale.

Then I developed a blog for my family to keep up to date with my kids here on blogger a couple of months ago and I just want to be able to go to one place and take care of all my blogging at once. I want a fresh start and I want to be able to link my blog to my email and user siglines on message boards I frequent... I want to be able to do that without worrying that something I said about someone three years ago when I was pissed will get back to them now.

So here is to fresh starts! I've got my groove on now! ;o)

Hopping on over here

So after a couple of months of blogging for the kiddies, I have decided to move my entire blog experience over here. I am trying to streamline my life and this is one area that will be easy to take care of. So join my for a cup of tea while I settle in here.