Thursday, March 29, 2012

Insta-Friday

life rearranged

I purposed to take more pictures of my week, so I could have more to post today! I was somewhat successful and I'm actually posting them too.  I got a little fancy too and made collages.



After last weekend's rain, I really wanted to take the girls to the snow to play.  Miss Rose remembers being in the snow a few years ago but Gracie didn't and Lily never had been.  We didn't get the chance until Friday, and the snow was almost gone.  But my brother and sister-in-law have a cabin at a campground and we went together and the snow hill there had enough to do some sledding! The temperature was pretty warm, so even though the kids were getting wet, they weren't too cold for a while.

They were SO excited as we prepared to leave (Lily & Gracie wearing snow hats on the ride)

Lily was fearless.  She wanted to sled just like the other kids and trekked up part of the hill on her own every time.

Miss Rose slid right off the sled into the dirt at the end of the hill on one of her first runs!


After an hour of a lot of fun, Gracie instantly decided she was cold and done. I had to strip off her wet pants and socks and put on some snow pants she hadn't wanted to wear before. The extra socks weren't in the truck, so we made do with some gloves. She loved her monkey toes.



Sunday was a bridal shower for my sister's best friend. I'm really excited that I get to go to Colorado for her wedding in June! I made cupcakes, all from scratch of course. They were so yummy.  We played the most complicated shower game EVER.  Even the girl leading the game was confused.

Monday at 8am I was sitting in the pediatrician's office.  A perfect start to a Monday, don't you think?  Miss Rose was complaining of various pains all over her face.  She STILL had a sinus infection.  So round three of antibiotics is now in effect.  

Doesn't every mom carry a urine specimen cup in their purse?  It's the latest rage.  I'm supposed to get a urine sample the next time Lily has a fever and I messed up the other cup I had, so I grabbed one from the bathroom!


Can you tell the right side of my shoe is soaked? I thought it was done raining, but it decided to rain more in the hour we left the Ped office, took Miss Rose to school and took the girls to school.  My feet were cold and wet all day.

We have some brand new rosebushes in front of our house and I'm so excited there are buds on them!

Princess mafia, represent.


Lily goes for the high heels and microphone almost as soon as she wakes up most mornings.  This particular photos is in Miss Rose's room around 6:30am and Miss Rose isn't even out of bed yet.

"Are You My Mudder?"  Lily's favorite book to read right now. I would like to freeze her at this age.

This pencil is at least 11 years old.  Alma mater.

My favorite sandwich in the entire world.  Grilled peanut butter and banana on sourdough.


Gracie will be 5 in a week.  She's so long and lanky.  I'm not ready for her to grow up.  She tells me she isn't going to and is going to stay with me forever.  I'm okay with that.

This morning's devotions and favorite Sbux drink courtesy my rad husband.  Grande Caramel Macchiato, non-fat and extra hot in case you ever want to bring me one.  I rarely drink anything else from there.

Lily & Fina, the backwards jacket cousins.  We were only at my nephew's baseball game for 20 minutes or so, but saw him hit an awesome home run! 

That's the week! 

what to do today

It's been a really tiring week.   Long work days, juggling kid stuff and too much in my head. I haven't even run since Monday, which is a true sign of how tired I am and how full the days have been.  Usually running energizes me.  But not this week.

Now it's Thursday, finally a day off from all but my home and my family, which are the things I like most, but it's still really hard when you're so tired. Thanks to my amazing husband, the house is in pretty good shape, which isn't always the case by Thursday. He had a day off on Tuesday and last night he cleaned & vacuumed before I got home from church with the little girls.  We barely see each other lately, due to baseball schedules and his class two nights a week.

This morning he brought me a Starbucks before he went to work, a wonderful way to start a day of recovery. He is such an incredible blessing and shows me so much love. I confess, I'm not nearly as good at it as he is.  Monday night he read a tweet about how I wished it was payday so I could buy Karen Kingsbury's new book.  He went out to do an errand and also looked two places for the book. When he got home he told me how bummed he was that he didn't find it--and I hated having to tell him it released on Tuesday which is why he only found a spot on the shelf for it. When I came home from a 12-hour workday on Tuesday, he had bought the book, wrapped it and included a card. I tell ya, he's amazing.

Now, it's 9am and the little girls and I are still hanging out in our jammies. I need to shower and get dressed.  And they need to be bathed too.

I'm still deciding what to do today, but I can promise you it won't be much of anything. I may not even run. Running itself sounds good. But it would require loading kids in a jogging stroller and taking another shower later, and I just may not have it in me.

After reading these book recommendations I checked the library's website to see what books they had, and my library card needs to be renewed, so I think we'll go to the library today.

What I do know, is I'm going to take it slow. My body and my soul need to be revived. I'm going to stay away from the computer and my phone as much as possible. I'm going to spend time with my journal, and I've already done some devotional reading and my Bible.  I actually have several books I'm either in the midst of reading or that I want to start reading.

I'm going to drink in my children and hug them and hold them and touch them as much as possible. They are balm.

Lily wants help reading a book right now, so that's my cue.  Time to embrace the day.

Monday, March 26, 2012

just write




My soul has felt so restless.  For months, maybe even a year of months. I attribute it to many things.  To books I've read, that have changed and challenged me. To the new journey's of life I've been traveling. To turning 35 in a few months.

I don't like this restless feeling.  I like plans and routines.  Feeling settled and solid. But I do like this restless feeling, because it's causing me to go deeper.  Deeper inside myself, deeper in the Lord and his word.

The problem is, I'm no longer satisfied with surface.  I'm learning and seeing so much more that God is always at work, in the light and happy and in the darkness and death. There are two sides, maybe even more, to every story and you won't ever know it all.  Only He does.  When the darkness descends, I know he's there, he's in it and I just want to see him and find out what he's doing in me, around me, through me.

I'm restless because I'm searching and seeking.  Peering around corners and underneath things.  Looking for God. Looking for what he's doing in the world and in me. His story is my story and my story is his story.  I have a story, so many stories to tell. And there is more to be written. So I lay awake in the middle of the night, asking for revelation.

There were sun-showers this morning.  The sun was bright and shining to the east, but it was raining. Looking through the rain, to the sun. Neither the rain nor the sun make sense. They really don't fit together. Yet on the other side of rain is the sun and on the other side of the sun is more rain.

And so it goes with life.  I'm looking for the sun beyond the rain and sometimes in the warm sun, I sense the rain.

I soak in the sun. I soak in the rain. Letting them both penetrate me to the core, to stir up restlessness, to change me.

Linking up here with many others.

Friday, March 23, 2012

I thought I was losing my mind

If there is one thing that drives me crazy, it's losing things. Especially important things. It doesn't happen much.  I'm a fairly organized person. I keep a good mental catalog of where things go and I can often mentally retrace my steps to find something missing.

Over Christmas my sister gave me a couple of books to read by Shauna Niequist, including Bittersweet.
I read about half of it.  It's one of those books you want to devour but at the same time you want to savor every morsel because it's so good.  Kind of like how that chocolate on the front looks.  I'm a fast reader.  I always regret how fast I eat really good desserts.  I want to learn to read and eat slowly, to not miss anything.

Then I lost it. For a few days I thought I misplaced it. I bring books I'm reading and my journal back and forth between work and home. I don't always use the same bags so things do get misplaced at times. But when the book didn't show up after a few days, I made many concerted searches at home, in my office and in the church lost and found.

The book never turned up.  

Because I truly lose things so rarely, it drives me absolutely crazy.  I feel like I am losing my mind. In fact, I do lose my mind over and over as I try to figure out where it could be or what happened.  Kind of like when Lily's Wubbie got left in a church pew before a service and when I went to find it after, it was gone and never turned up in lost and found.  Maddening.

Then a month ago or so, I lost my journal. 

Seriously? Again? Now I was really going crazy.

Not only was it frustrating to lose it, but I lost a part of me because it's my thoughts, my prayers, notes from books I'm reading, scriptures that speak to me. I've kept a journal since I was a kid and from junior high on they have been mostly prayer journals.   I was pretty certain home was the last place I had it, so I assumed it got thrown away accidentally.  A little more comforting than it falling into someone's hands, but still.

The other night Bean made the random suggestion that maybe it was in the bottom of the couch.  I didn't think that stuff could get to the very bottom but we turned over the couch and I pried a section of the bottom off--and what do you know---my journal was there!!!  

I was really hoping I'd find the book in the couch too, but no such luck. At least I can purchase the book again, but the journal couldn't have been replaced.

I've regained a little of my mind, finding the journal, but I still feel like I'm losing my mind a bit.  Maybe once I have a replacement copy of the book I'll feet right again.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Insta-Friday

life rearranged

I think this is my first time ever linking up with InstaFriday over at Life Rearranged.  Once again, it's been a week since my last post.  I do post a little more frequently over here, since I mostly write about how my last run was.


Last Thursday night was open house at the little girl's preschool.  One of the aide's takes a lot of pictures of the kids and they were posted all over the classrooms.  I especially loved this pose of Gracie-girl! (pretend you don't spy her first name, you'll get confused!)


Gracie playing in Lily's classroom while we looked around.




Lily in her classroom




Friday, my nieces and nephew spent a few hours at my house, added to the three kids from next door who were also outside playing--that's a lot of kids and bikes!


What the living room looks like after Gracie and the neighbor have been playing all afternoon and then cousins come over.  I just have to embrace the mess.


This is Lily, every day. She often gets of bed in the morning and puts on her princess shoes before doing anything else. She wants to stand on the stool and sing into a wooden spoon. Tonight I came into the living room and she was wearing her jammies, princess shoes and sunglasses, singing into a large spatula while standing on the scale. Because if you can't find the stool, certainly go into the bathroom and pull the scale out. I wish I had snapped a picture but I was too tired and told her to put it all away.


Lily, channeling Stevie Wonder. Wearing her sunglasses at night.  She's a special one.


Saturday morning I spent a few hours at my nieces and nephews house and one of them had my phone and took several pictures of their brother.


Mr. Man, taking care of life while catching some March Madness. What would he do without an iPhone now?!  (and yes, it's awesome that I have a husband who chooses to do dishes & watch his tiny iPhone screen instead of parking on the couch in front of the TV)


We have stick-on earrings on the floor ALL over our house. 



Sunday night worship service. Lily is very into coming to worship with us. She wanted to hold my hand. I never want her hand to get any bigger than this.



I find it very impressive that they can both fit in here. They spent all morning closing the doors and using flashlights in the cupboard.




My Saturday afternoon was spent in a warm blanket, reading this book while it poured rain outside.  Glorious.


Little girls+mirrors = endless fun
If I could, I'd mirror an entire wall in our house.


I love these snapshots of our life.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

running through my head

If I had a few hours, I could sit down and write thousands of words. Some to share here.  Some to save for later. To pour out the innermost things of my soul. I could probably talk for hours too, but no one could listen for that long.

I'm in a season where I'm experiencing so much and trying to learn through it all.  But these are lessons that aren't for mass consumption, at least right now. I need to let the work be completed in me, before I can begin to make sense of it.  I feel this need to record it though, for posterity, for sharing and using in the future.

Finding time to write, rather making time to write, is challenging.  The majority of my "free" time is in the evenings, but by then I'm so tired mentally.  There's a lot I want to find more time for. But the days, weeks and months zoom by and I remember to embrace what each day holds and not long for what isn't.

There is a time for everything.

The weeks zip by even faster right now. Miss Rose has either baseball practice or games on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  These are also the days Bean has class at 6:30. He pretty much goes straight from work to baseball and leaves for class from baseball. Such an incredible dad. The little girls and I go to games too.  Which also happen on Saturdays.

Wednesdays we try to make church a priority. It's the one time in the week I get to sit and participate in a class, instead of having responsibilities.  Oh and Sundays Miss Rose has baseball practice from 10am-1pm.  So Bean is trying to get the kids to church by 8:30am for first service so that Miss Rose doesn't miss church.

Is your head spinning trying to follow all that? My head spins too.

Miss Rose has half-days this week for parent-teacher conferences. I thought it was next week.  On Tuesday, the first half-day of the week, I got a text from my mother-in-law that Miss Rose had asked the office to call her and notify her of the schedule.

I'm so proud of my Type A smart little cookie.  She knows we always inform her of any changes in routine in the morning, so when she got to school and realized that it was a minimum day and we hadn't said anything--and she had a lunch in her bag--she made sure Grammie was there at the right time to pick her up.

Gracie would probably dance around the school until she was the last one there before she thought to have them call us. I'm a little nervous about her transition to kindergarten.  More on that later.

I hoped to earn some writing time this morning by putting the little girls in a play bath, but Lily is calling to get out already--so off I go.

Hoping I might get a nap, or at least a little downtime in the afternoon since Miss Rose will be home by lunchtime!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

weekend snapshot

I love when people post their cell phone photos and share about their week or whatever the theme is. I never seem to be on the ball enough to do it on a regular basis.

But here's a little snapshot of my weekend.


Lily wakes up early. Every day. I woke up early on Saturday, even before her, and when I realized I wasn't falling back asleep I just got up. She was up not long after me though and that's my knee she's laying on while watching a show. I can't believe she's long enough to stretch to the other end of the couch. And can you see her crazy bedhead? The poor girl has so many tangles at the back of her head almost every morning. It's torture, for both of us,  to brush it out. 



I took Gracie to a birthday party for a preschool friend. It was this fun kids play place that had different themed rooms off the main room. This was the dance room, complete with disco lights and a mirrored wall.  It was the kids favorite room to go in and dance to the music playing.




This "apple water" was at the birthday party for parents to drink.  It was actually tasty.  Just a slight hint of apple to the ice water.  If you don't like drinking water, give it a try! 




Gracie found a bug at 4pm on Saturday at my niece's softball game. I was certain it would fly away or she'd squash it.  But she held on to it for 90 minutes. Through playing, running around, rolling in the grass.  Since she kept it alive for that long, I didn't have the heart to not let her bring it home.  So Mr. Ladybug is currently residing in a jar with some sticks, grass and leaves.  Still alive.  Do you think male ladybugs are ticked to be called "lady" bugs?



A friend gave Lily these sunglasses at church today.  She acted like she wasn't very interested in them, but as soon as we got in the car she put them on and has carried them around much of the day.  They are so cute on her!



Gracie is our animal-lover for sure. Here is her friend Charlie. When we are going to Charlie's house, she isn't so interested in the people who are there--she mostly wants to follow Charlie and his little buddy Archie around.  I also love that Miss Rose & Lily have one foot each in this photo.

There's a little snapshot of part of my weekend.  How was yours? 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

baseball IS for girls

If you've been reading my blog for long, you have probably picked up on the fact that Miss Rose marches to the beat of her own drum.  She is very independent and self-confident.  These are great qualities for an individual to have.  They can be challenging to us as parents as she learns to exert them properly.

Because Miss Rose is independent and confident, she decided this year that she wanted to play baseball with the boys instead of softball again.  She is very active and competitive.  She played tee-ball in kindergarten in Little League and then last year she and her cousin played softball.  We kept asking, over the course of a few months, if she really wanted to play baseball instead of softball.

She stuck to her guns about baseball, so we registered her. There are a handful girls who play in our little league, so it's not unheard of.  It turns out that her coach saw something in her that he really liked and she was drafted high.  Miss Rose is still big for her age (I bought her a size 7 woman's running shoe--she's 8 years old) but I thought that on a baseball team she wouldn't stand out so much.  But she's still the second tallest on her team.

I'm starting to plot out plans for getting her a sports scholarship for college.  There was a female pitcher on our baseball team when I was in college. You never know!

Last Thursday was our first game.  Miss Rose was chosen to lead warm-ups before the game. She was barking out orders to the boys, just like a girl!!

That's her up front with a coach leading warm-up

At her first at-bat, Miss Rose had a pretty powerful hit that sent the ball almost to the outfield! Coach gave her the game ball for her hit.  I must say, my mama pride was riding high--my baseball playing daughter getting the game ball at the first game of the season.

Play ball!

Game ball!!!  She came home and wrote her name and the date on it.

Yesterday was our second game.  Bean was on the mound running the pitching machine and there was a kid from the opposite team giving Miss Rose a bit of a hard time as she was trying to maintain the proper positioning as catcher.  Bean got her focused again and then he heard the same kid say "I can't believe we're getting beat by a team with a WOMAN." Our team creamed them--15 to 5.

I am proud to be the mom of the girl playing baseball.  As we were walking to the car after the game we saw a girl who plays in the majors who hit a homerun on Saturday!

I am proud that my daughter doesn't need to be identified by social norms.  Don't get me wrong, she has plenty of "girl" characteristics, although she might deny it, but don't try to tell her she her has to conform to certain expectations.

It is my desire to raise strong daughters, who realize their dreams and reach their goals--no matter what they are.

See, baseball IS for girls too.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

just write {patterns}

I have a few minute to just write, but so many thoughts.

My three year old has started getting fevers again.  We were hopefully that November's tonsillectomy would cure these monthly, benign fevers.  It did, but only for two months.  We just saw the immunologist this past Friday and he said to look for the pattern to her fevers since they are typically periodic and we'll see him again in three months.

Early Monday morning, after I had just blogged about a straightforward week, she woke with a fever.  Which was six weeks exactly since the January fever.  If that's the period, then I'll choose to be thankful that they are coming every 6 weeks instead of every 4 weeks.  And I'm choosing to be thankful that her highest temperatures are around 101 or 102, not the 104-105 of last year. 

So I journal and log the days, the medication,the temperatures and duration.  Finding patterns.

Yesterday morning I read in Jesus Calling, "I can fit everything into a pattern for good, but only to the extent that you trust me...You will have to choose many times each day whether to trust Me or defy Me." (I have the full devotion in an app, but it's available in print also.)

That word pattern stuck out to me.  My husband or I having to stay home from work with a sick child does not seem like a pattern for good.  Lily missing preschool, which we pay for whether she is there or not, does not seem like a pattern for good.  But I have to remember that I look at my life through a zoom lens typically, while God has a wide angle lens.  He is fitting it all together into a pattern for good.

I think of myself as Amos lately.  Amos' name was significant, it meant "burden-bearer."  I bear the burdens of these fevers, the unknown length of time we'll be dealing with them.  I carry burdens I can't talk about.  Burdens for others, burdens of my own.  And they feel so heavy at times.  Even though I know I am supposed to share my burdens with Him, I still carry more than I should.  I struggle most with the things I can't change for others.  I feel deeply, I love deeply.

But I have trust.  In His patterns.  I see patterns of fevers.  Patterns of pain and destruction.  Patterns of heartache and unknown futures.  And you can't deny they are there.  But they are a part of a loving Father's pattern.  He takes our sin, our mistakes, our circumstances and weaves them into something good.

I'm looking Lord.  Waiting.  Show me that something good.  Show me the beautiful tapestry that you are weaving.

Linking up with Heather and others for Just Write

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Monday eve

Sunday night.  Monday eve.

The dread of many working moms.  The weekend is over.  Morning will come too soon.  Children will not want to wake up and protest everything possible.

I am driving carpool this week, which means Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we need to be ready to leave for the day at 7:30am.  It's chaotic to say the least.  Work bags, lunch bags, backpacks, special blankets and naptime supplies.

I read a tweet tonight that broke my heart.  A mom, preparing to go to work tomorrow, crying because it's Sunday night.

It's hard.  It's hard to leave your little ones.  It's hard to put so much time and effort into a place that isn't your home and people who aren't your family.  Even the most rewarding jobs just aren't your family.

For me, I have to trust that I'm where I'm supposed to be. That what I give my husband, my children, my home, and my job are all enough.  I have no more to give, so it has to be enough.

I am simply hoping for a straightforward week where the kids go to school/preschool and I go to work.  Last week was not straightfoward.  Gracie was puking, Miss Rose's sinuses were leading a revolt and Lily was for once trying to figure out why everyone else was laying around and she had tons of energy.

Monday afternoon and Tuesday found me sick and not moving off the couch.  I don't know if I've ever slept an entire morning, but after my gracious mother in law picked the little girls up on Tuesday, that's just what I did.

I pulled it together for Wednesday and thought I was getting better.  But by Friday afternoon, I was worse again.  A terrible sore throat and headache to match.  It wasn't strep, but the doctor thought there was some underlying infection and I have to agree because after a few doses of antibiotics I feel so much better.

This week I just want to work in my office for three full days.

Monday eve comes for all mothers, working out of the home or not.  Few children are excited to wake up for school.  Dads are going to work and it's the daily grind for the household.

Monday comes for us all.

I hope that your week is straightforward and that you find little ways to embrace each day.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Moms & Muffins = Mommy Points

Each school year our school has "Dads & Donuts" morning and "Moms & Muffins".  Kids bring books from home to read together before school and everyone squeezes into the auditorium for the event.  There is a high level of involvement and you have to get there pretty early to make sure they don't run out of food and you can find a place to sit.

Dads & Donuts was last month.  I am pretty sure Dad's get a pretty sweet deal out of this.  Most dads are headed to work after their time at school and my guess is it's a lot calmer than what I experience every year.  Since these activities are on Fridays, I'm off work which is great, and I also have two little girls in tow.  As do many other moms there!

Today Moms & Muffins coincided with Read-Across-America-Day (also on March 2, Dr. Seuss' birthday, who was a proud San Diego citizen like we are).  Thankfully I recently did some organization of our books and several Dr. Seuss books were grouped together on a shelf.  Getting out of the house by 7am, with all three kids dressed is a feat!

It's quite tempting to throw on yoga pants and a sweatshirt, and gather my hair in a ponytail in a rush to get out of the house.  But when I went to bed last night, I committed to have myself pulled together in the morning.  The kids do comment sometimes on when I'm in comfy clothes, aka "why are you wearing your jammies Mom?'  I don't know that Miss Rose would have commented or been bothered, but this is important to her, and I wanted to treat it as such.

Lily is sleeping terrible in the early morning, so I'm pretty sure I was technically awake around 5:30am.  It was definitely before Bean's alarm went off at 5:45am.  Miss Rose must have been excited because she woke up around 6am and came into bed with me and Lily wasn't far behind.  I got up at 6:15am (as Miss Rose was trying to teach Lily to thumb wrestle) to make sure we had enough time.

I award myself major mommy points for being fully dressed, fixing my hair and even wearing some make-up!  And not forgetting the Dr. Seuss books!  I also awarded myself an espresso drink from the coffee shack that's blessedly on our way home.  It's almost sick how the aroma of coffee in the morning instantly makes me happy.

Last night I promised Miss Rose that next year we'd go without Lily, since Gracie will be in kindergarten and it will be her morning too.  Let's not talk about how I'm feeling about my second child starting school officially.

Thinking back, today was certainly a lot easier and less chaotic than when Miss Rose was in kindergarten and Gracie was 3 and Lily was 1.


Lily's new favorite is "two ponytails" and I think it's adorable with her bangs!

Gracie was a little grumpy to be so rushed this morning, but it all changed when she got a chocolate muffin.

Sometimes it's still hard to believe I am the mom of an 8-year-old