Monday, May 11, 2015

my circus, my monkeys

There is a quote that floats around social media stating "not my circus, not my monkeys." Every time I see it, I giggle

Because the circus around me-IS MINE. And the monkeys? Yup, MINE TOO. Many moons ago, I originally called this blog "Three Bean Circus" as a play on our nicknames (Bean & Beana) and our kiddos. 

Bean works for a university library and was able to check out a nice camera for the weekend. We didn't take a load of pics, but it was nice to capture our family with more than an iPhone. We dream of a super nice camera.

Definitely monkeys. I was blessed with THREE bouquets of flowers this Mother's Day. I love flowers but I don't buy them much for myself, nor do I receive them often…ahem, Bean. 

I stopped caring much about perfected posed photos and smiling children YEARS AGO. I want to capture my family in the moment and sometimes they are beautiful happy ones, and other times they don't want to pose and the sun is shining in their eyes. Yes, we still threaten and beg for smiles but there are times---like this one right here--when I say, it's fine, just roll with it. 

This guy. Still makes my heart go pitter patter. I feel so incredibly blessed to be his wife and share this life with him. Yes he drives me absolutely crazy sometimes, but it keeps life interesting. Aren't we a cute ad for Spy Sunglasses?

I love my circus, and my monkeys (the big guy included).

Monday's coming

I have a love-hate relationship with Mondays.

As a routine-oriented person, I look forward to the start of a new week. As much as I don't like getting up before 7am, I like knowing we NEED to get up and the kids need to get off to school. It's nice to have several hours where I get to set the schedule and decide what to do when. On a weekday I'm not working, I can almost guarantee I will spend some time with my Bible, exercise, pick up the house, do dishes, maybe do laundry and probably go to at least one store.

But when the alarm goes off at 6:30am, chances are Lilybug has already woken and is either checking the weather app on my phone or asking me when we are getting up. I didn't make lunches tonight, so I HAVE to get up at 6:30. No snoozing until 6:45am. Plus Miss Rose has started taking morning showers (I feel like this is a sign of her impending middle schooler adolescent status) so I need to get her up too. I will stumble into the kitchen while Lily chatters at me a mile a minute (she is SO her father and an absolute morning person). By 7 or slightly after, I will be more awake and feeling better about facing the day. 

I have this very dichotomous personality, which I am becoming more aware of.  I have taken many personality tests over the years but I remember nothing of them. I need to do a little more study of myself to make more sense of this. I love people, speaking and singing in public and teaching. Yet I also desperately need quiet time at home. By definition, I think I am an introvert. I've realized the utter exhaustion I would feel after a Sunday full of ministry had more to do with being "on" for many hours than actual physical exertion. Yet I wouldn't have changed it at all.

I want to be spontaneous and not have plans and go with the flow. But yet I love lists and calendars, plans and goals. Sometimes I want to have a plan, and other times I don't. 

And so this is why I have a love-hate relationships with Mondays. I love the return to routine, yet I wish I could sleep in and have just one more lazy morning with the kids.

But I will wake up and decide to punch Monday in the face. I will get the kids off to school, get my home in order and maybe run on some trails.

Cause whether we like it or not, Mondays coming.

Let's embrace the day.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sunday songs

Sometimes you hear a song dozens of times and it's good, but it doesn't hit you.

And then you hear it, really hear it. The lyrics resonate and the composition swells within you.

While on a short run today, the song "Anchor" from Bethel Music's "You Make Me Brave" album started playing.

And how how these words resonated with me.

In every season, in every change
You are near
In every sorrow,
You are my strength
You are near

A peace in the storm
Your voice I will follow
In weakness I rise
Remembering You hold the world

I’m holding on to hope
I’m holding on to grace
I’m fully letting go
I’m surrendered to Your ways

The anchor for my soul
Father You will never change

I love You, I love You

My great Redeemer,
My constant Friend
You are near
My faithful Father,
You took me in
You are near

I will remember Your promise forever
My Strength, my Defender
I can count on You
You are my Savior, My Hope and my Shelter
Your love is forever
I can count on You

Saturday, May 9, 2015

some mother's day thoughts

 Mother's Day is tomorrow. My past two mother's days have been spent studying for nursing school finals. I had some time with my family, but we couldn't do much to celebrate the day.

I'm a bit conflicted when it comes to Mother's Day.

I absolutely love being a mom. It's the greatest privilege and blessing in my life. It's truly my dream come true. I couldn't wait to be a mom and it wasn't long after Bean and I were married that I started to think and plan for when we would start our family.

I do think that Mother's Day (and Father's Day) are special and worth celebrating. But at the same time I truly feel that just being a mom is gift enough.

I am conflicted because I have so many friends who long for motherhood and are still waiting for that dream to come true. Mother's Day holds grief and heartbreak and I just hate that.

That being said, I did shamelessly email my husband some helpful hints. This is also the first Mother's Day in two years we've had room in the budget for gifts. I know that Bean loves to get me gifts and since it's been so long since we've been able to do that sort of thing, I gotta help a guy out as to what I'm into these days, right?

But even without gifts the past few years, Mother's Day has been great. Because I am a mother.

I am conflicted for my friends who will avoid social media and church services which inadvertently shine a light on their non-mom status.

I am conflicted for friends who's motherhood looks much different than they ever thought it would.

I am conflicted for those who's moms have already passed from this life and their absence will be strongly felt tomorrow.

I am conflicted for my single mother friends who don't have a husband to help the kids pick out gifts or put the extra touches on the day.

Yet I cannot discount my blessings, the children I have been given and the privilege of being mom.

For those who struggle on Mother's Day, I do not take any of this for granted. I hurt for you, I pray for you. I do not take for granted that I have a children, that my mom is steps away from my front door and that I have a husband who has been running secret errands all day.

I do not take it for granted.

A few Mother's Day reads for you to click to…

Ann Voskamp's poetic writing always enraptures me, Why Mother's Day Really Is For The Birds and The Most Life-giving Thing Any Mother Can do for Themselves This Mother's Day

For the Mothers who never got to hold their babies in their arms, On Celebrating the Other Mothers on Mother's Day.

I've long had a tumultuous relationship with Proverbs 31 and it's use on Mother's Day and Rachel Held Evans sums it up perfectly in this post, 3 Things You Might Not Know About Proverbs 31.

Shauna Niequist's post from a few years ago "What My Mother Taught Me."

How to Not Be Disappointed This Mother's Day

Saturday, May 2, 2015

the latest and the greatest

When you haven't blogged in two months, it's hard coming up with a title. And I will confess that my title sounds more exciting than this post may be.

Our computer has been dying a slow death these last few months. A few of the letter keys stopped working and when we took it in they said the cost to fix it wasn't really worth the value of the computer because it could no longer be updated or supported. We bought it a few years old from a friend, for a great price, and it served us well for 8 years.

The temporary fix was to get a USB keyboard. Which was functional, but ever so annoying. I love sitting on the couch with the computer at night and using the keyboard was cumbersome. Plus the battery had lost all it's juice and didn't even last an hour.

Therefore: no blogging. I just couldn't seem to get motivated to blog on my phone and the iPad was usually otherwise engaged.

But we have a new to us computer!!! God blessed us with an amazing hook-up once again. Friends were selling their hardly used Macbook Pro and now it's ours. It's so nice and shiny and has a backlit keyboard.

So once again I'm sitting on the couch, putting words to the screen.

The latest and greatest...

I am about 2/3 done with my nursing new grad residency. This means that I am in training--although a full RN--working clinical shifts with a preceptor and receiving additional education as well. It's kinda like being paid to go to school--which I am okay with! I feel confident with a lot of the basics and now it's just gaining more experience on various procedures and cases we don't see all that often. The program has been great preparation and I know once I complete it I will feel ready to be on my own as an RN. I love it more every day and am so thankful to have a job in pediatrics--being around kids all the time is just great.

There are a few great things about nursing--at least in my opinion--you never stop learning. One because things are always changing and two because unique cases always come through and you gain new skills and knowledge. And because you don't care for every type of patient every day, there are nurses who have been practicing for 10+ years who have questions or need support. It's great to be in a supportive environment where you can ask questions and confirm your decisions with those around you.

I'm working both Saturday and Sunday this weekend--which is a bit of a bummer. But it means we don't have to worry about childcare. BUT I'm off next weekend! Which happens to be Mother's Day as well. I'm excited because the last two Mother's Days I was studying for finals in nursing school--but this year no studying and no work.

I can't believe another school year is about to end for my kiddos. My oldest is graduating 5th grade and will be moving on to middle school next year. YIKES. And my baby will finish kindergarten. This summer is going to be amazing. Because I won't have to make lunches for 2.5 months! And I won't be in school and working just my three 12-hour shifts--so I envision a lot of beach days. We didn't get to go a ton, but they really enjoyed the beach last year and so I know this year will be the same.

Only Miss Rose is playing a sport right now-baseball, and Daddy is a coach. She hit her first home run last month which was AMAZING! She joins the small elite group of girls who have hit home runs on the Majors field in our little league. I am so proud of her. She's a solid player and a great example on the team.

We listen to A LOT of Taylor Swift these days. Gracie and Lily are very into T. Swizzle and love to make up choreography to her songs. "Dance Off " is a popular game between the two of them. Gracie spent several weeks in "jump rope club" at school which was really fun. She learned some fun jump patterns and has a fancy professional jump rope now. Lily just started Heartlight, a dance program. She's been waiting ALL year for an after-school activity she could do as most are for 1st grade and up. Finally this came along and it's right up her ally. She also bravely got her ears pierced last weekend. Anything for fashion, even a poke.

My running has picked up again now that my schedule isn't so crazy. We have trails just a few miles from us but I've always been hesitant to try to navigate them myself. I don't want to get lost and I want to be safe. In the past month I went hiking there with one friend and ran some trails with another friend and am starting to feel comfortable there. I am LOVING trail running. I love the challenge of the terrain (which is actually better for my body) and being in nature. I am pretty driven on the streets to run a particular pace but there is no way to run certain hills and you have to slow at times on trails to navigate rocks so your pace ends up being slower and you really can't control it as much. It causes me to just enjoy the run and not focus so much on pace.

I have some tentative goals for running trails the next few years. I'd love to complete an Ultra trail race around my 40th birthday in two years. Training for trails is much more attractive right now, although I'm sure I will do some road races as well. Another benefit of running trails is you end up faster on the streets. So, I'll take it!

While I am getting more settled in this new season of life, post-nursing school, I am still finding my way at times. I feel like I have no social life (which could be a mom of 3 thing too) and my schedule hasn't allowed me to get more involved in my church. Come July, I will have more control of my schedule and be able to plan around the things I want to do.

Sometimes I am too fixated on the past and reconciling things there. Other days I worry too much about the future. The name of this blog still holds true-- my goal is just to embrace THIS day. Whatever it holds. However it goes. The phrase comes to me often.

Thanks to this new computer, I may be in this little space more often once again.