Monday, June 28, 2010

*waves hello*

That's me, waving hello to you.  I miss this little blog.  I have some things I want to write on this little blog. 

Like about our visit to the Fair.

The competition that is developing between women in all areas of life.

A late Fit Friday entry.

My discovery of diastis recti. 

But I have very little time for this little blog.

I wish I had a blog to write about how the baby is finally walking.  But alas, she's not.  17 months folks.  My aching back can't take it much longer.

Don't forget about me!  I'll be around soon.

You can always check out my 140-characters or less blogs here.

See ya soon!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kindergarten = complete

We have reached the end of our first full year of school.  It's been a wonderful experience.  Having a January birthday, my 5.5yr old was more than ready for the daily interaction and mental stimulation that began in September.  She grew and flourished under a fabulous teacher, who also happened to be my nephew's kindergarten teacher 6 years ago.

We petitioned for Miss Rose to attend a school one neighborhood over from us.  There were mixed reviews about our local school and nothing but good about this other school.  It was the right choice for us.  This school has a very high level of parental involvement and I think they raise a lot of money to help subsidize things at the school.  The school has a full-time music teacher, which is unique these days and Miss Rose went to music class weekly.

Our school didn't have a "kindergarten graduation" (which I was ok with) but the Kindergartners did put on a special musical presentation called "How Does Your Garden Grow."  They performed it for the whole school one week, and then did a night performance for families the next week.

The few photos I took during the performance were dark and hard to make out.  Someday I'll figure out how to make my camera take decent photos under those circumstances.  It shouldn't be so difficult!  Miss Rose was a farmer.  Other kids were flowers, weeds, and various vegetables and a few garden critters.  It was adorable!  Miss Rose was very expressive and engaged, which pleasantly surprised me.  When she's done stuff like this in chuch, she's usually very shy and reserved.

She did spend much of the performance telling the boy next to her the various things he was doing wrong.  My little Type A daughter!  See him on the right?  Making silly faces!  The cute blonde at the bottom of the photo is Miss Rose's best friend from her class.  They've had a few playdates and will hopefully be getting together over the summer as well.


Last Friday, was the end of the year celebration for the Kindergarten classes.  There were 4 stations run by each teacher and I volunteered with Miss Rose's teacher, facilitating the parachute.


We did a fun game I've never seen before with the parachute.  Four children sat back to back in the center and we wrapped the parachute around them until it reached their shoulders.  Then on the count of three, everyone pulled and stepped back, making the kids in the center spin around and out of the center.  Lots of laughter!

Miss Rose recieved the "Peacemaker Award" for always being kind and fair with her classmates.  When I picked her up on the last day of school, her teacher told me of the award and said it was "the best award in the class."

We are SO proud of our girl.  I'm thankful for her school and look forward to first grade.  If I've figured it correctly, for ONE year, we'll have all three girls in one school.

Speaking of which, I realized the other day that Gracie is the same age Miss Rose was, when Gracie was born.  But now, with Gracie at that age, we already have a one-and-a-half year old.  Did you follow that?  It just means we had 3 kids in 5 years and it's kinda crazy to think about sometime.  But it's our life.  And I love it!

And now...time for summer fun!  I really enjoyed not having to rush out of the house this morning for school.  While I still have to leave for work, having a bit more flexibility with our morning schedule is really nice!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

these days

November through June hold a lot of "days" for our family.  HoliDAYS, birthDAYS, Mother's/Father's DAYS.  Once we make it through June, it's like a sigh of relief for a few months. 

Perhaps you think I jest. 

Our "immediate" family, both sides, consists of 20 people.  All but ONE of those birthdays fall within 7 months.  Those 7 months also contain the majority of holidays as well.  We eat a lot of cake and buy a lot of gifts.

This week is our sigh of relief.  My birthday, my nephew's birthday and Father's Day have just passed.  The weekend was a bit of a whirlwind, but a fun one it was.  Friday night was a "Girls Night" with my playgroup mommies, most of whom I've known for many years.  Three of us have June birthdays and so we celebrated sans children.  Put 10 mommies at one table, without their children, and you have a lot of laughter and fun!  I love these ladies.  I've been mentally composing a blog about them and the place they hold in my life.  It's coming soon.

Saturday morning was a 1st birthday party for my nephew, aka "Baby Bird"--it was his birthday too!  We walked to the park where the party was held.  Have I mentioned I love our neighborhood?
Baby Bird loved his cake!  He is quite the spitting image of my brother as a baby.  (and yes, he's quite a tank too!)


While at the park, we took my obligatory birthday picture.  I always want a picture with my family on my birthday.  I'm weird like that.  I guess I just like to mark the day and what we all looked like.  I turned 33 by the way.
Miss Rose has become very adept at smiling nicely, and then making a silly face just as the camera goes off.  She thinks the camera is catching her smile!  I had to take a photo three times the other day just to get her smiling.

We had a few hours of reprieve Saturday afternoon and Bean sent me off for a manicure and pedicure.  It was divine.  I think all women should have the option of a mani/pedi for their birthday.  I've been blessed with strong nails that grow long when I take care of them, and right now all but one are nice and long!

Then it was off to take Miss Rose to a birthday party.  Perhaps the favorite birthday party she's been to because part of the party was stuffing her own animal, something she's never done before.  Twinkles the dog is the newest member of our family.  While Miss Rose was partying and stuffing, I did a little shopping for Father's Day.  I scored with See's, but the shorts I bought were returned.  Shopping for man is even harder than a woman, in my opinion!

When Miss Rose and I got home, Bean had my favorite BBQ take-out ready at home.  Oh it was YUM!  I'm not a huge fan of BBQ, but this homegrown place, I love.  The sauce has some spice and tang to it that balances the sweet very well.  I was in the mood for lemon meringue pie for dessert, quite a deviation from my usual favorite chocolate cake.

Sunday was church as usual, then a fun family outing for Father's Day that included a park visit, ice cream before dinner and a fountain.

 Although so many {days} all together can be tiring, I do love the togetherness it creates.  I love making the memories and new traditions.  Life moves so quickly.  I'm glad when we have the opportunity to swing, eat ice cream and put our feet in fountains.

Because these are the days.

Food for the soul

This is from a devotional Bible I use. I go back to this poem again and again.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Breathe in me,
O Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.

Act in me,
O Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.

Draw my heart,
O Holy Spirit,
that I love only what is holy.

Strengthen me,
O Holy Spirit,
to defend all that is holy.

Guard me, then,
O Holy Spirit,
that I may always be holy.

-Augustine of Hippo


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fit Friday: So you want to run, Step 3

Fit Friday is a regular feature on my blog.  I'm just a regular girl, who's had her fair share of weight and eating struggles, trying to figure it out for good, in order to give the right legacy to my three daughters.  If you have related recent posts, share them in the comments!


So, last week we talked about running gear and finding your route.  Hopefully you walked your route.  Now, it's time.  Time for your first run.

Step 3: Your First Run

This step is pretty straightfoward, but there are some other decisions you can make that will make or break the experience for you.

1.  Choose your time of day.  If you aren't a morning person, I don't recommend deciding to take your first run in the morning. You will be miserable and grumpy, and you won't complete it.  Don't run when it's really hot.  Again, you'll feel like you're dying and you'll never run again!  When I started running, I usually went in the late afternoon/early evening.

2.  What to eat when.  You need your muscles to be nourished when you run, but you probably will fill ill running on a full stomach. For my afternoon runs, I try to eat 150-200 calories about an hour prior to my run, preferablely something relatively healthy.  If I'm running first thing in the morning, I might eat a banana or small bowl of oatmeal.  If I'm heading to the treadmill in the garage, I usually don't eat anything.  If I happen to be running post-dinner, I make sure it's a very light dinner and I plan to eat more after my run.

3.  HYDRATE.  Drink water all day.  If you're running during a warm time, drink some extra water in the hour or two leading up to your run.  I usually stop drinking 30-45min before I run so that I have a chance to pee a few times and I don't have to pee while running.  When I run at the lake there are porta-potties if necessary.  I'm not big on Sports Drinks.  I was running over an hour more regularly I might, but just plain ole water suits me fine right now.

PLAN OF ATTACK

This is the other crucial part.  If you truly are new to running, you probably won't be able to run the entire two miles.  Don't expect to.  But draw up your plan of attack.  Here are my suggestions...

Warm up for 3-5min with brisk walking.  (I usually don't stretch before a run, only after)

Now, you run.  But don't go all out.  Go at an easy pace where you could still hold a conversation.  Remember, you don't want to kill yourself.  You just want to finish.  You aren't racing.

Run for as long as you can.  If you have a digital watch or timing device, aim for 3min or so.  If you can run longer, do so by all means.  Take a short 1-2min walking break, then run again.

Lather, rise, repeat, at least until you complete a mile.  "Running" one mile is your goal your first time out.  If you are completely out of steam, walk back.  But, my guess is, if you push yourself a bit, you could run a little more :)  Run a block.  Run to a certain landmark.  Usually I give myself a goal, and then I run a bit beyond it, just to show myself I can.  If you are using an iPod, walk the verses and run the choruses or vice versa.

My first run, was a very slow jog of 1 mile, no walking.  Then I walked back. 

That's it.  Your first run.  Your first few runs may be like this.  In the weeks to come, I'll continue to give tips and tricks that have helped me along my journey of being a runner.

Inspirational blog of the week: Racing With Babes

My Fit Week...
It's been a pretty fit week for me thus far, but it will start to derail tomorrow!  I ran early on Monday and Wednesday and I plan to run early tomorrow and again Saturday.  I made good eating choices this week and am still working towards my goal of losing those last 5lbs, making progress this week!

My birthday is Saturday, and celebrations begin tomorrow night!  My goal though is to maintain over the weekend with still making good choices with eating and running to accomodae for those extra dessert calories.  But celebrate I will, with no guilt whatsoever.  What's life for, if not for living!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I love Thursdays. But I don't.

Just getting to Thursday is often the goal of this busy, working mom of three young children.  After working Sunday to Wednesday; after returning to church Wednesday night after a full day of work there, I need Thursday.  The start to a few days off from work. 

I love Thursdays.

Thursday means I don't have to get out of bed until 6:45am.  I can drive Miss Rose to school in my pajamas and I don't have to get the little girls dressed either. Breakfast can wait until we get back home.  I can sit on the couch and cuddle with Gracie after Lily goes down for a nap (like I'm doing right now).

I love Thursdays.  They are for my family.  They are for my kids.  We call them "Mommy days" as in the day that no other adult is responsible for you, besides Mommy.  Thursday is playgroup day, where I can connect with friends, play with the kids at a park and let my Mommy role take over my life.  I can have the house picked up when Bean gets home from work and be ready to start dinner. 

I love Thursdays.

But I don't.

Because I'm tired.  So tired.  My kids are tired.  So we are all grumpy.  They've been on the go the past three days too.  They have so much fun with Grandmas and Aunts while I'm working, but they need downtime at home too. 

I don't like Thusdays because the clutter has piled up in the house.  There is a good chance we haven't vacuumed in three days.  There is usually clean laundry that's been waiting to be put away for two days, and dirty laundry that needs to be washed and put away.  We're almost out of cereal, and we need bananas.

There are errands I need to catch up on.  Like getting Miss Rose the right size of swimsuit.  Buying a bathmat because after being grossed out by ours for months, Bean finally just threw it away to force us to get a new one.  I need a new pillow.  I go through one every few months.  I know, it's odd.  I need to buy two birthday gifts for parties on Saturday.  I need a rectangular toy basket for the living room.  I sold a couple things on eBay that need to be shipped.  I have more things to sell and purge.

That's why I don't like Thursdays.

The burden is not my own.  Bean carries the load too, and does everything he can and even more.

But there is this thing in me, this desire to care for my family and keep my home.  I love being in ministry and helping provide for our family.  But, you just can't have the best of both worlds.  The grass is always greener on one side, because there is always something being neglected. 

I read this post of Stephanie's last night, and I love the last part.  I really identify with the sentiments that she expressed.

So far, I don't really like this Thursday.  But hopefully once I give some attention to the neglected parts, the grass will get a little greener on the side I'm standing on today.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

more tidbits

Not much blogging energy lately.  But so much blog-worthy stuff!

Miss Rose was in a Kindergarten musical tonight.  So cute!  They don't do a promotion ceremony at her school (which I'm ok with) but the music teacher did a great job of putting "How Does Your Garden Grow" together with 100 Kindergarteners.  I will share photos soon.  Miss Rose was a farmer and was much more expressive then I expected her to be. 

Gracie pretty much lives in her own world.  It's funny.  Although not as intense, her glove obsession lives on.  We were at our neighbor's house and she came out of their kids' room with 2 different gloves, asking to wear them.  Her naps are being shortened, as she's been awake late at night, and we find random items--like a soccer cleat and a princess shoe in her bed.  She is great at randomly giving me a huge hug and saying "mommy, I love you so much."  Melts my heart.  Every time.

Lily is standing more and more independently.  She can get to a standing position straight from the floor and will stand there for up to a minute.  She's pretty proud of herself.  She doesn't really bend her knees at all, even in assisted walking.  So actual steps are at least a few weeks ago.  I'm holding out hope for the end of July perhaps.

As I stumbled out the front door this morning, baby on my hip, diaper bad and purse on my shoulder, Nalgene bottle and laptop case in hand, my neighbor commented on the hecticness that is my morning.  Sometimes, it's nice to get that random validation that yes, it's crazy and sometimes hard. 

I've decided to accept two things in my life. 

1.  Being tired pretty much every day is just the way it is for all moms of young children, whether you work or not.  Life is demanding.  Kids are demanding.  Not a day goes by that I don't see multiple posts on Facebook from mom-friends in all different stages of life, who are tired. 

2.  My house will never be organized and clean for very long while my children are this young.

Accepting these truths, doesn't always make them easier to swallow, but it helps me beat up on myself a little bit less.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

sunday worship

Do you play music in your house for your kids?

With the evolution of personal music players, like the iPod of course, having a home stereo system is less and less common.  Unless you have lots of money and cool surround sound.  Which I don't.  I babysat for a family in college that basically tore down their existing home and rebuilt a new one.  Part of their new home was a full-house sound system.  Each room had multiple built-in speakers with adjustable volume control.  It was pretty sweet!  But I doubt I will ever have a set up like that in my house.

I think when Bean and I first got married we had a CD player and radio as part of our entertainment system.  But at some point we sold it or gave it away.  I remember being bummed, since I love listening to music around the house and now my only option was through the TV speakers or computer--neither of which were good quality.  Very little music was played in our home.

I try to play music in the car a lot.  Miss Rose requested this CD for months, maybe even years!  She called it "Lollipop" since that's the first song.  Actually, when she was first learning to talk it sounded like "pall-op-a-lop.  So cute!  Currently, my children are addicted to this CD.  We started playing it around Easter, and it's still going strong.  While it's gotten very repetitive, I like that it's music and story without the visuals of a DVD.  My kids are learning some old Christian hymns as well as some fun songs--and using their imaginations! 

At Christmas we received a monetary gift that enabled us to purchase a Bose SoundDock for our iPod.  I had been requested some sort of docking station and of course Bean, being a man, has to go for the best.  And I am really glad that he did.

The sound from this machine is incredible!  It's so small, yet the music fills the room and it's fantastic quality.  But this isn't a review of the Bose SoundeDeck.

Music has once again filled our home.  Worship music mostly.  I made a playlist of some of my most favorite worship songs right now and we play it all the time.  It helps calm my spirit, it gives me something to do housework too--and worship and pray while I do it.

Most of all, my children are singing the songs.  It's absolutely incredible to hear your 3-yr old and 6-yr old singing "He loves us, oh how he loves us" almost under their breaths as they play or do stuff around the house.  Worship is becoming a part of their soul; the lyrics etching themselves into their minds.

Tonight as Miss Rose was cleaning her room fighting with me over cleaning her room, suddenly her demeanor changed, and even though the music wasn't playing, I heard her singing, "glory to God, glory to God, glory to God, forever."

My soul rejoiced.

How do you fill your home with worship?

Fit Friday: So you want to run, steps 1 & 2

**I don't know why this didn't post as scheduled on Friday.  Bummer!

This is hopefully going to be a new theme for me on Fridays.  I'm just a regular girl, who's had her fair share of weight and eating struggles, trying to figure it out for good, in order to give the right legacy to my three daughters.

I've had several comments over the course of the past months about how to start running.  I never thought I would consider myself a runner.  In fact, for many years I said "running is the one exercise I just can't stand."  But then one day, my sister talked to me into a run with her.  I ran 1 mile without stopping (although I'm sure it was a slow mile).  And I was hooked.  I only run for myself, I only compete with myself.  But I gain so much more than exercise from running, and that is why I keep doing it.

So for the next few Fridays I want to share my own ideas and tips for starting to run, and finding out if this is the exercise for you.  I am NOT a professional.  I am NOT trained.  This is just me.

So, STEP 1: GEAR

Before you even take a step out of the door, make sure you have the right gear.

1.  Shoes
Don't necessarily go out and spend $100 on running shoes, if you aren't sure you're going to keep running.  But do run in decent shoes.  Go to Ross, Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack, Kohl's and look for a good deal on a pair of shoes that feel good.  Try several in multiple sizes.  I was wearing a 1/2 size too big for a few years.  If you do stick with running, get your stride analyzed (lots of running stores do this) and they will recommend the right kind of shoe for your stride.  Yes, they can be expensive.  But worth it.  (Running stores often have small clearance sections of shoes that have been returned and can't be sold as new.)

2.  Socks 
I think socks are almost more important than shoes in the early stages of running.  Buy running socks.  Again, you can check stores like Ross for discounted socks.  Or you can find them at your local sporting good store.  There are thin running socks and ones that are thicker.  I like both.  If there is one thing you splurge on, make it socks.  I ran my first race (4 miles) in non-running socks and I had the worst blisters by the end.

3. Clothes
I don't recommend running in your sweats and a tshirt.  There are much better options out there!  I don't like loose clothes that "swish" on me.  Target is a great place for exercise duds.  Bermuda spandex shorts.  Good sports bras.  Lots of tank tops.  Personally, I don't like tank tops with built in bras, some do though.

I've found that even with regular washing and drying, my exercise clothes last for years.  I've had the same Adidas running capri's for 4 years that I got at Costco for $20.  They are just now starting to get a hole, but I still run in them.  So, exercise clothes are worth the investment.    I don't own too many sets of clothes though.  In fact, for a couple years I ran in the same outfit a few times a week at the lake.  I decided that people must have thought I was the crazy lady pushing the double jogger who always wore the same clothes!

If you are self-conscious about your weight, you are probably thinking "there is no way I'm going to be in spandex."  Let me tell you though, it's really not that bad.  It will save you a lot of discomfort from chafing.  And they always say that clothes that fit your body make you look better anyways, right?

4.  Other gear

If I'm running outside, I have to wear a hat.  I sweat a lot, so I need something to catch the sweat!  It also protects my face and eyes from the sun, making the run more comfortable and hopefully avoiding excess wrinkles.  I usually wear one hat until I wear it out.  (again, crazy lady who always looks the same)  My current hat is a Nike Running hat I got at Ross for under $10.

If I'm running on a treadmill I'll wear an exercise headband (again, less than $10 from Ross) because I also have a towel readily available for wiping away the sweat.

You don't need an iPod or mp3 player for running, but it can be nice.  Some people never run with one.

Don't worry yet about any running tech toys like Nike+ or Garmin.

STEP 2: Find your route and walk it.

I would recommend starting with a 2 mile-route.  Meaning you start, go one mile and turn around.

Check out and see if there is a running path in your area, or a beach boardwalk or lake.  Or if you have a good neighborhood to run in, plot out a path.

Map My Run is a great tool!  You can pick a starting point and plot a route and it will give you the distance.  You can choose a street view or satellite view.  You can also access runs other people have made and saved in your area.

Once you find your route, walk it; at least once, if not more.  This will familiarize it to you.  You will be able to visualize different points along the route.

That's it for today!  Long enough I think.  Tune in next Friday for the next step.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I run

I had made the opportunity to run for an hour yesterday.  A whole.glorious hour.    It was amazing.  On so many fronts.  I had a lot of thoughts along my run.  That's one of the things about running.  It gives me time to think.  Even when I run with music (which is most of the time), I can actually think.

I run
     to clear my mind
   to release the toxins from my body
and from my soul

I run
    to feel.  Too often I push my feelings down.
When I run, the burning in my lungs, the strain in my muscles
     reminds me that it's okay to feel

I run
  away from my problems
  away from my worries, my stresses, my anxieties

I run out my agression
     my frustration, my disappointments

I run
   because it makes me feel strong, and confident
      because I do it for myself. 

I run away from my job, my family, my life.
     Then I turn around, and run right back to them. 
Because I have cleared my mind and my soul.  I've taken care of me.  And I want them again.

I run.  Because I run.  Because I'm a runner.

**do you want to become a runner?  check back tomorrow...**

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

a letter

Dear Sweet Baby Lily,

We need to have a chat. 

Yes, you are my last baby.  I still don't like saying that.  I'll probably be 50 saying that.  But I digress...  I appreciate that you want me to cherish each moment and enjoy your babyness as long as possible.

But this no-walking thing has gotten a bit out of control.  You are nearing 16 and a half months.  You are weighing in at 23lbs, which they tell me is average, but it's getting a bit heavy. 

The thing is, in a part of your mind, you think you can walk.  You want to get down and play and interact in settings that crawling isn't possible or a good choice.  In fact, I've let you crawl around on the sidewalk, which you always want to do, and it ends in sores on your knees and feet.  Not good.

I truly think you'd be much happier if you decided to walk.  I realize you are making strides.  You are starting to stand independantly, and you are so proud of yourself.  But you don't even like to walk assisted unless both of your hands are being held.  And you don't even think about taking a step when standing on your own.

Summer is coming my dear.  We will be doing lots of fun activities.  Which will be much more enjoyable for me, and you, if you decide to walk.

I've now taken you to two doctor's appointments where they expected you to be walking.  Let's not make it a third, alright?

So thanks for staying my baby for as long as possible, but even when you are walking I will still hold and cuddle you as much as you want.  You'll always be my baby.  Just a walking one.

Sincerely,
Your loving Mama

Monday, June 7, 2010

minivan mom

There was a group of girls I grew up with, who I also went to college with.  We all arrived at different times, but spent a few years together living on campus and being involved at our university.

I don't remember who first coined the name or why it stuck, but we called ourselves "The Suburbanites."  We were a driven bunch with high aspirations.  Yet while we were studying for degrees in our chosen fields to lead us to careers, we also wanted families.  At the time (late 90's) the only common SUV was the Suburban.  So we decided we'd all drive Suburbans instead of minivans.  There is even a "Suburbanite" photo, if I could dig it out and scan it.  We were all serving at a dinner, dressed in black and white and there was a photographer there, so we sat and posed for a photo--calling it The Suburbanite photo.

I think more than the stigma of a minivan (which weren't nearly as cool as they are today, hello Swagger Wagon), we wanted to have significance in our lives that went beyond raising a family, even though that was also important to us.  We knew we had gifts, talents and passions to offer the world.  We wanted an education for a reason.  We weren't there for an Mrs. degree (pardon the cheesy Christian college joke!).

Yesterday I wrote, "I'm not satisfied with the picket fence."  Which caused me to start thinking about the Suburbanites again.  We wanted to be more than minivan moms.  But we did want to be moms.

There are days, that being a mom is all I want to be.  Then there are days that I see the gifts God gave me, I see the potential of my life, my ministry.  And I want that too.  I feel guilty sometimes, because I'm still figuring out how to balance it.  Giving myself permission to just focus on being a mom at times.  Giving myself permission to use the ministry gifts God has given me, even when it means less time with my kids.

For me the "more" is my ministry, my job.  For some moms it's having an etsy shop or doing photography or sewing and quilting.  Sometimes, due to the nature of life and family, entire years are dedicated to the mom stuff; as it should be.  What is the "more" that God has given you or called you to?

I do drive a minivan.  Although it wasn't a move I was thrilled about, now I love my van.

But, I'm more than a minivan mom.  I will rock the minivan.  But I will also rock the potential in my life.  I will figure out the balance.  I will not lose myself in my kids or in my job.

The truth is, I'm very satisfied with the picket fence and my minivan.  But I don't want to let them define me, and I don't want to forget there is life beyond them and things God intended for me to do.  I'm thankful God has given me the picket fence and the minivan.  But I always want to be listening for when he calls me to step beyond the fence and to stop the minivan.  

I'm still figuring it out. 

Oh, and the five Suburbanites?  Well, all of us have Master's degrees.  One is a CPA, another is a licensed MFT working towards her PhD.  There are 7 kids between three of us and two minivans.  Two are still waiting for their Prince Charmings.  We may not drive Suburbans, but we still are the Suburbanites.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

significance

Our church had the great honor of hosting and being the launch location of the Ride:Well Tour.  In a nutshell, this is a group of mostly college students raising money and awareness for Blood:Water Mission, who desires to empower communities to work together against the AIDS/HIV and water crisis in Africa.  There were two tour groups; one heading to the Northwest and the other heading across the entire USA to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  They will bike an average of 80 miles each day.

Hearing them share and observing them preparing to leave was incredible.  Many of them haven't trained all that much.  They aren't seasoned cyclists.  They simply heard the story, heard the mission and heard from God that they were to go.  They were obedient to Him and raised the funds needed.  One of the leaders shared with me that they had already raised $50,000 for Blood:Water Mission.  As they travel, they will stay in churches and speak whenever they can to share their story and encourage others to give, to participate.  Did you know that just $1 will provide clean water for one person for an entire year?  Clean water should NOT be an issue in any country.

They were excited and nervous.  Many of them had never done anything like this before.  It was evident on their faces. 

The motto of Venture Expeditions which organizes the tour is "benefit the world, discover your soul."  This is just what the team members hoped to do.  I could sense it in their spirits.  They wanted to make a difference, but their soul needed this too.

God has been whispering a word into my own soul.  The murmerings have been ther for a while.  I think I first heard the word echo in my soul at Catalyst.  I heard it loud and clear this morning.

significance

I want my life to have significance.  I want to do things of signifiance.  I don't want it to be just about me, my comfort, my little house in a family-oriented neighborhood, driving my minivan.  That's not enough.  Nor is it a legacy I want for my children.

I know that when I do things that benefit the world, even if it's my small world, I do discover my soul.

These cyclists, they embarked upon something significant.  Significant for the part of Africa who will recieve the wells and health aid.  Significant for their souls, as they discover what it means to lay down their cross and follow Christ; what it means to deny themselves; what it truly means to acheive the impossible; to do all things through Christ who gives them strength.  The list could go on and on.  How I longed for the transformations they will experience along their journey.

In college, when God spoke to my heart and the hearts of several others to take students to Mexico, we obeyed.  Hundreds of junior high and high school students came to Mexico over the course of several years.  And many have gone on to other missions and to be involved in ministry.  That was significant. 

Just because I'm married, with children and a job doesn't mean I can't do things of significance.  But I have to listen.  To hear the call of God and be ready to obey, no matter how big a step of faith it may take. 

Thank you Ride:Well Tour, for being a megaphone to my soul, that it's not about me, it's about Him.  As one of my ministry mentors has said, I want it to matter in the heavens that I was there.  Wherever "there" may be. 

As the service concluded and the cyclists wheeled their bikes from the front of the church, preparing to leave, I sprinted to get my children.  I wanted to beat the long lines at the check-out computers.  I needed Miss Rose and Gracie to experience this.  They may not understand it all now, but one day they will.  I was thrilled to explain to them who these cyclists were and what they were doing and why.  It sparked a conversation with Miss Rose about why wells were needed in Africa and the beginnings of her understanding the privileged life she leads.

If God allows, when my children are older, I fully intend to take them overseas for a month or more during a summer.  To live and minister with a missionary family.  That is part of the legacy I want to leave.  Because through that they will see my heart for missions, and maybe God will speak to their heart as well.

I'm not satisfied with the ordinary.  I'm not satisfied with the picket fence.  I'm so grateful for what God has given and the answered prayers our home and minivan do represent. 

But I know there is more.

There is greater significance that God has planned for me and my family.

I'm listening.

Are you?

Bikes lined the lobby.












And they're off!





















Heading down our long church driveway.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

all that matters

Today, this was all that mattered.

Holding my sick baby, while we waited for the doctor.  She had a fever and it was naptime, which meant a rare moment where she slept on me.

It didn't matter that I was supposed to be running in a race I've had planned for 6 months.

My baby was sick.  My baby needed me.  That was enough.
{verdict thus far is a virus, still waiting for that fever to disappear though}

Watching my three-year old play with my Grandma's old miniatures.  She had such a great attitude today, when most things centered around her sick sister.

It didn't matter that there were dishes I could do, laundry to wash or stuff to clean up.  There always is.  But there are not always these moments, when I can sit and watch her set up a tea party.


Finally, at the end of the day, it was her turn.  A spontaneous trip to the park, inviting a neighbor.  It was their first playdate, that didn't involve their siblings who also match in age.  After a year of bickering and being threatened by each other, they are finally starting to get along and play together.

It didn't matter that I was tired.  Or that it was close to dinner time and I had no idea what we were going to eat.  It didn't matter that there were still household chores to complete.

She mattered.

It's good to be reminded about what matters.  It was tiring and draining, but I got to do my favorite thing today.  Be a mom.  And it mattered.

**please note, I did not forget that I have an oldest daughter as well.  She happened to spend the night and day with her cousin.  I think she would live with them if I let her.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

again?

So Lilybug had Roseola just about three weeks ago.  I'm sure glad I blog because that was the only way I figured out just how recent it was.  Looking back at my blog.  [still haven't started her babybook] 

I never took her to the dr, but a few days of fevers followed by the light red rash fit the bill.  And it's common in babies and young toddlers.

Tuesday evening getting Lily out of the car after work I could tell she was a bit off.  She was wimpering that "I'm in pain" tone.  My mother-in-law told me she had taken an over three-hour nap that afternoon, which was twice as long as she usually sleeps over there.  Pretty quickly it was apparent she had a fever and was a sick puppy.

I know babies get sick a lot.  It's how they build their immune systems.  I don't run to the doctor at the first sign of fever or a cough.  Although Bean often says, "do you think we should take her in?"  And I so NO!  It's a virus.

Bean stayed home with her on Wednesday (whattadad!) and I was home today.  Her fever seemed to drop down to low-grade by last night.  She's been very miserable and cranky though. 

And today, the light red rash again.  Roseola?  It looks exactly the same as three weeks ago.  Is there another virus or disease that appears to be Roseola.  My limited internet searching indicates that it's possible, although not common, to get roseola more than once.

All I know is my baby is still miserable today.  She's been up twice already tonight.  Low-grade fever the last time, so I gave her more ibprofren. 

I guess I'll be calling the doctor's office tomorrow to make sure there's nothing to be worried about.