Monday, November 07, 2011

Identity Crisis

I recently aquired an iPhone, which among other things has allowed me the opportunity to play with some fun new apps. My newest one is Words with Friends (basically online Scrabble), and requires a username. You can use the jumble of numbers and letters they assign you, or you can come up with your own. I thought it would be fun to play with people I know, so therefore a somewhat "searchable" name would be helpful so I could easily tell people what name to look up.

As it turns out, I can't think of a single thing to call myself. I don't really want to use my name, but I figured some other favorite item or characteristic identifier shouldn't be too hard to come up with. But everything I think of seems fake, like I'm pretending to really love something that I only enjoy on occasion. Bookwrm? Please, I haven't finished more than 3 books cover to cover in the last 12 months. Lvs2bake? Maybe - do box mixes count? Crzymom? Getting closer...but I've always tried to shy away from defining myself as a role. (girlfriend, wife, mom...)

ndcisive1? Could be the winner.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Friday Reflections

This is turning into a pattern - I think of different things I'd like to write about throughout the week, but I put it off until I'm forced to do it on Fridays. Maybe I need to committ to writing a very small post daily so I don't forget all those little thoughts floating in and out of my consciousness.

But for today:

1. Andy and I have our 6 year anniversary tomorrow. In some ways that seems impossible, and in other ways I feel we've been married for much longer than that. And I mean that in a good way. These days we operate as a team, trying to coordinate schedules and appointments and meals and's impossible for me to imagine doing this alone, and impossible for me to imagine doing this with anyone else. I am blessed.

2. Last night after his baseball game, James reminded me we only have 4 more left. A couple months ago, the baseball schedule stretched out before me like a never-ending road, and all I could see were lots of fast-food meals, late nights for Hazel, and evenings spent slapping away mosquitoes while we tried to cheer on our team. But now it's almost over, and though all of those things I imagined did happen, we've also seen James improve through practice and discipline, and the look on his face when he hits a homerun or helps bring in a run has made it well worth it. Next up: football!

3. It seems like a long time ago already, but we really enjoyed our trip to Omaha. James loved swimming in the pool at the hotel and hanging out with some of Andy's younger cousins. Even if one of them did hit him in the face (right between his eyebrows) with a baseball, prompting Andy to call him Jake from Avatar for the rest of the weekend. And Hazel made good use of all the extra people by soaking up every bit of attention she could. She smiled, flirted, crawled, laughed, and ate whatever she could put in her mouth. And did her best to wake up every hour on the hour. Apparently sleeping in the same room is a bad idea.

4. I'm realizing amidst the chaotic schedule and the tyranny of the urgent, I need to decide to use some of my time to refresh myself so I can keep up with everything. There are days I feel like I'm not cut out to be a working mother of two (ok pretty much every day) and every once in a while I remember to take a step back, remember what God's heart for our family is, and just take a few minutes to do something I enjoy. Those 10 minutes weren't going to accomplish that much anyway. :)

5. One of the questions James repeatedly asks Andy and I is "Did you put it on facebook?" This usually comes after he does something that makes us laugh, or after we take a picture of him, or after he wins a game, or accomplishes something at school. And while Andy and I have to hide our smiles sometimes at the obvious desire for attention, it's got me thinking a lot about how facebook and blogs have affected my perception and how I experience and process things. It's easy for me to feel the need to craft an experience or a moment into a perfectly captured picture or memory...and then make sure it's available for everyone to see. And sometimes I find myself falling into the trap of thinking those moments aren't worth as much if no one else knows about them. But that's a pretty dangerous thought, and most importantly it can take my focus out of the moment and place it on how to document it later. Funny how much easier this is to recognize in someone else.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Friday Reflections....started last Friday

1. Hazel seems to have grown by leaps and bounds this week. She now has a full arsenal of sounds in her pocket, including "ny-ny-ny-ny" and "ta-ta-ta-ta" (usually whispered), "ga-ga-ga" is in there as well as the ever popular "da-da" and "ma-ma." She eats all kinds of delicious foods these days, and when she falls asleep in her crib at night I can't believe that she stretches from one side to the other. So I'm posting one of my favorite pictures of her when she first started to smile, about 4-5 months ago. I miss tiny Hazel...but I love seeing her grow and learn.

2. I'm completley and totally back to being a coffee addict. I had high hopes of staying on my little-to-no caffeine levels I established when we did $1 a day and then throughout my pregnancy. But sleep deprivation (and apparently I'm supposed to be productive at work?) won out and I'm back on the juice.

3. We're really trying to cut back on our spending and figure out a way to live on one salary. That being said, I think I'm going to have to just buy a huge container of Folgers instant to keep at my desk in the meantime. The coffee at work is cheap...but not in the large quantities I've been consuming! :)

4. James has been cracking me up by parroting the little phrases I use without really thinking about it. He now refers to Hazel as a little stinker whenever she isn't going to sleep like she should, and whenever food drops on the floor, he says it's been donated to the Ozzie Fund. It's pretty funny to hear your words repeated back to you.

5. We're headed out to Omaha for the first time since 2009, and I'm really looking forward to seeing some of our family that we haven't visited in a while. I might be naive, but I think this will be a chance to relax a little and hopefully even catch up on sleep a bit. We're staying in a hotel with a pool, and for the first time since I was about 13 that sounds exciting. Watching your kids have fun is like doing something all over again for the first time, and that's been a blessing for someone like me who tends to think there's nothing new under the sun.

Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So bad, but so loved

I just read a blog post on religion vs. the gospel that breathed new life into my day, especially these words:

My self-view is not based on a view of my self as a moral achiever. In Christ I am “simul iustus et peccator”—simultaneously sinful and yet accepted in Christ. I am so bad he had to die for me and I am so loved he was glad to die for me. This leads me to deeper and deeper humility and confidence at the same time. Neither swaggering nor sniveling.

The way Christ's sacrifice unites the dichotomy of a sinful heart and a beloved child of God brings so much peace and clarity to my mind. If you have a minute (though you could ponder it for much longer) read the rest of the post. It is well worth your time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

7 months - OR - Bunny Cruelty

Obviously this photo shoot didn't go quite the way I wanted it to.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Reflections

It seems earlier than 11:30 pm. I should be tired, but a quiet house and the promise of the remainder of the weekend are luring me into staying up. So I might as well post my Friday Reflections so I can at least have something to feel accomplished about when I'm bemoaning my lack of sleep tomorrow.

1. Last weekend was full of time in the car, family, and potato salad. And I mean 40 lbs. of potato salad. I guess if we're talking poundage, my family wins out over potato salad...but that's beside the point. Daniel had his graduation open house last weekend, so we trekked up to Muskegon and helped my mom and dad get ready for the party. It was nice just to be home and work on stuff together. James got right to work and didn't stop moving from early in the morning (this kid gets up early!) till late at night. And when he finally got in bed at night, that kid was asleep in less than a minute.

2. *Guest reflection by Andy* - I've found it's very tiring to be a stay at home dad. Also, if you feed a baby lots of broccoli, her dirty diaper will smell exactly like broccoli. Exactly.

3. It's really nice when your husband volunteers to go grocery shopping. It's very important to bite your tongue when you see there are very few vegetables.

4. I'm realizing that I really miss baking. I'm not exactly sure where I could fit it in, but I'm going to try. Even though it's probably not recognized as a creative art form, I think it's creative. And you get to eat your final product. :)

5. Welcome back Casi!! Even though you're still far away from me, I'm glad you're back in your own home and hopefully resting up from a long week.


On my mind

I really like blogging. It gives me a space to allow my thoughts to be known and heard, first to myself, and then to anyone who happens to stop by. It's good for me to edit my thoughts and organize the blur of activities into recognizable memories for myself.

But there are so many great blogs out there, and even though it's just about the worst thing you can do for yourself, I sometimes end up comparing my blog (life) with their blogs (lives), and theirs just seem so much more inspired, full of moments captured in light drenched photos, impossibly delicious food, funny little happenings, poignant moments of realization. Meanwhile my life seems really full of hasty meals on the run, scrambling to get to baseball games on time, laundry, trying not to look too closely at the floors in my house, and ever-growing to-do lists. Now I know that everyone has dishes and errands and busy schedules and that we just post about the things that bring us joy to make the other stuff more bearable. But it seems like everyone else has more time/creativity/energy/fun in their lives to blog about. And yes I am totally whining right now.

This is a perspective problem. A heart problem really. My life is full of beauty, love, relationships, undeserved grace, and more than I could possibly need. But on most days, I choose to focus on the things I find stressful, and I choke the joy out. I tell myself others have more opportunities to relax and enjoy the moments of laughter and joy in their days, and I wonder when I will be able to slow down and do the same. And I'm beginning to realize the answer is not more free time or better pictures or writing more creative posts. It's just experiencing the moments of my day when they happen instead of waiting for everything to be perfect before I can enjoy them.

Now that I have that on the table, I can get back to posting. I hope. :)

Friday, June 03, 2011

Friday Reflections - in pictures, words, and video

1. James voluntarily getting sprayed by the hose on Memorial Day because it was so hot. We did a little shopping and then just hung out all day. Andy and I realized the night before Memorial Day that we are really bad at making plans. That used to be great with just the two of us - we'd end up relaxing and actually getting to see each other. But now it seems sort of lame not to make plans. We'll have to work on that. :)

2. Andy is officially Mr. Mom as of yesterday. Normally he paints during the summer, but this year he's staying at home with Hazel and James. I'm really looking forward to just coming home and putting my feet up. After I eat the dinner he made of course.

3. We don't have an action shot, but James got a homerun last night in his baseball game! Our excitement was exceeded only by his. He was still excited this morning too. :)

4. I'm getting ready to head home to Michigan for my sister's bridal showers this weekend. I'm not sure how it's possible that my little Bweeza is getting married, but it's happening!

5. Hazel is getting so old already! She celebrated Memorial Day by getting her first tooth AND saying mama. :)