Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Resourceful? Maybe not so much...

I know I said I was resourceful, but I lied.  Last night I was not resourceful.  After working late and not getting to the day care to pick up the boys until almost five (hey - no judging!  I'm a teacher and used to being off at 3:30!), I had zero energy for cooking, cleaning, or entertaining.  Not to mention both boys were filthy (nice weather + playing outside = filthy) and I shuddered at the thought of them running around a house I had just cleaned and was hoping not to have to clean for at least another day.

So...we went to McDonalds.  Hey - it was Tuesday which means cheap happy meals and a semi-decent playground.  And of course things didn't go smoothly...

I tried to carry our tray of food and Gavin (which I've successfully done way too many times before)...and dropped it!  Thank goodness happy meals come in cardboard boxes and sandwiches are wrapped so all I lost was a few french fries...and my soda.  'Course the nice employee that got stuck cleaning up my mess gave me a new cup so I still got my Dr. Pepper fix.

Oh, and this whole incident was witnessed by a former student of mine who was nice enough to carry re-assembled tray of food into the playroom for me while I replaced my drink.  Ugh...embarrassing...

Then Logan wouldn't behave.  He kept chasing another little boy all around the "eating area" after I repeatedly told him no running, and then I caught him trying to put that same child in a head lock.  (Where does he learn this stuff?)  I hauled him over to the table, put him in "time out," and made him finishing eating his chicken nuggets and drink his milk.  It was probably the best time out he's every had...sheesh!

Oh, and Gavin...he didn't much want to eat which is unheard of.  I think his cold is starting to wear him down.  And because it was an impromptu trip I didn't have a sippy cup and he can't drink from a straw yet.  So he was thirsty!  I got inventive with a straw finally and was able to "straw feed" him sips of milk (chocolate milk because that was what I was given on accident and I was too far past caring enough to go switch it).

Does this mean I can keep my self appointed title of "semi-resourceful" after all?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Remember my fall goals?  Not really?  That's okay...I barely remember my fall goals.  Yes, this means I haven't really been working on them, but Sunday night I was feeling motivated so I took a peak at them. (yes, I had to remind myself of what my goals were!)  Then I picked out one I knew I could quickly tackle:  Finish my Nooma videos.  And I did it!

If you don't know what Nooma videos are click here.  I think the web site can explain it better than I can and I'm too lazy to plagiarize from the site, so just go there.  It'll be easier for all of us this way!

Anyway, I haven't been watching the videos in any particular order and I had two left.  The amazing thing was that the message in each video seemed to directly pertain to everything I've been struggling with!  As I was answering the questions that went along with each video in my journal it was eye opening.

Here's a few examples:

Nooma 005 Noise
  1. What kind of noise do you have in your life?
  2. Do you ever surround yourself with noise intentionally?
  3. Does all of this noise in our lives make it hard to hear God?
  4. Do you sometimes avoid silence because you're afraid of what God might actually have to say to you?
  5. Are you ever alone or do you always need somebody around you?
  6. What are some things in your daily life you could change to eliminate some of the noise?
I realized that I surround myself with "noise" - both audio and visual all day long.  I'm never alone; I'm never silent; I never take time to listen.  It's crazy to me that I needed a video and a few questions to open my eyes to the fact that I have my priorities all out of whack right now, that that may be contributing to my problems right now.

Then I watched my second - and last - Nooma video:

Nooma 018 Name
  1. Why do you think we so often worry about what everyone else is doing, saying, or thinking?  Should it matter to us what's "normal" for everyone else?
  2. Do you have the sense of a unique path in your life?  Are there ways in which you tend to get distracted from "your path" because of what others do, say, or think?
  3. What do you think it means for people to claim their history?  Have you claimed yours?
  4. What are some of your limits?  Are you okay with your limitations or do you still sometimes wish you had the abilities and circumstances of others?
  5. Are there things in your life that you do because it's "expected" of you?  do these things get in the way of you doing what you really should be doing?
  6. Do you think you could live in a way where you're not comparing yourself to people who have more than you, who look different than you, or who can do things you can't?  Do you think you can ever fully be you if you don't?
  7. What would it look like for you to compeltely trust Jesus when he says, "You, follow me"?
This one was actually pretty painful for me to watch and think about.  I hate having to face up to how much of my identity is made up of other's thoughts and expectations; how very little of it is based on who I am by myself as opposed to who I am in comparison to others.  It is something I need to work on - finding out what is "normal" for me, what God has planned for me.

Right now I'm pretty happy.  I've not only crossed of a goal from the list, but I've given myself some things to think about, and I'm in the process of making some big decisions that will hopefully help put me on a happier path.

In the evening...

Since Justin is at work/class four nights a week, the boys and I are left to fill our evenings with out him.  (Boo!)  Luckily I am semi-resourceful and can usually find some way of entertaining the boys.  For instance, a favorite activity is the library.  And that happens to be where we ended up last night after dinner.  I learned (or re-learned) a few things about my children last night.

#1  Gavin is not just trying to climb anything and everything, but that he is successfully climbing anything and everything!  For example:  The Chair.

His first attempts to climb up on to the chair were unsuccessful...the darn thing kept sliding across the floor!  Solution:  Push the chair until it is up against the wall...that'll stop it from moving!

Such a proud boy!
 Once the chair was thoroughly immobilized, he recommenced trying to climb up the chair...

....and he was very successful!

But then he wanted down...

...and getting down proved to be more difficult than climbing up.  Darn that foot!  It kept getting in the way!

With a little help from his Mama (you know once I stopped laughing at him and taking pictures) he was finally able to get down.

#2  Logan prefers making funny faces at my camera as opposed to posing nicely.  In fact, he likes make funny faces for the camera any time it is pointed in his direction...

But, he is capable of making a nice face every now and again...

#3  My boys can play nicely together...and that is so nice to watch...

#4  Turns out I should always, always bring a camera with me wherever I go.  Good thing my iPhone doesn't take half bad picutres because last night was too cute not to have captured!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Let's Be Friends

This is Lucius:

Seven years ago we got him from one of my co-workers at Wal-Mart.  He was only four months old at the time, but quickly let us know of his two loves in life:  eating and sleeping.  He's particularly fond of sleeping in strange places

Of course in the past four years I have ruined his life not once, but twice.  Seems Lucius does not like babies...or children.  He keeps his distance from the boys at all times...almost.  Remember his fondness for sleeping in strange places?  Well, he's particularly fond of sleeping in car seats and will put up with a lot - even the boys - if it means he gets to continue sleeping in the car seat.


Lucius - curled up sleeping in the car seat complete unaware of the sneak attack being launched by Logan from behind...

Then there is contact.  Lucius glares, but holds his ground.  He's not giving up the coveted car seat!

Finally there is aquiesence as Lucius bares his belly to Logan.  Anything to continue sleeping in the car seat!  Logan is triumphant.  He believes he has made a friend!  He would be wrong, but oh well, he is happy for now. 

Yesterday I watched this exact same scene play out...this time with Gavin launching the sneak attack.


Once again we find Lucius curled up in an empty car seat.  Gavin approaches from the front (I'm not sure this is a sign of boldness or a lack of sneaky-ness (is that a word?)).  Lucius quickly realizes an attack is coming, but refuses to give up his spot.

There is much glaring as Gavin dares to pet him...maybe it is because Gavin is using my lens cap to pet him???

Then there is direct hand-to-fur contact.  Lucius glares, hisses, and gives up.  Gavin is victorious! 

See him delight in his victory?

Lucius gives him a sniff...and rolls himself back into a ball. 

Gavin, like Logan before him, believes he has made a friend. Gavin, like Logan before him, would be wrong.  See, even after four years, Lucius isn't a fan of babies or children...but who knows?  Maybe after a few more years my boys will wear him down and we'll all be friends.  Until then least I'll be able to take some funny pictures!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Perfectionsit - an adjective that describes me. 

I want everything to be perfect all of the time.  ALL. OF. THE. TIME.  The problem is that most things that I want to be perfect involve other people and other people seem to rarely be able to perform up to my unreasonably high expectations. 

And then there is me.  I'm involved in everything I do (clearly) and I am never perfect.  Never.  And this leads to failure.

FAILURE.  Every. Single. Day.

Eventually I can't take it anymore.  I give up.  I draw myself inward and away.  I make myself numb so I don't have to feel the shame of all of that failure.

That's how I live:  one extreme to the other.  Perfection or nothing.  Why am I so incapable of finding a balance between the two?  Why can't I just cherish the good (not perfect) moments and let the not so great just roll off?  Why can't I keep moving forward?  Why am I always stuck wishing I could hold on to a moment or go back in time and change another?

That's where I am right now.  Slipping towards numb.

Monday, September 19, 2011

101 posts

This is officially marks 101 posts.  Funny...when I started this blog this past spring I figured I would blog a little for a month and then forget it existed.  Turns out I like blogging.  It forces me to write down all of these memories right now instead of telling myself I'll get to it later (which almost never happens).

Of course, I only tend to blog when I have pictures to go with it (I lack faith in my ability to write interesting things) and since school has started back up again and therefore I'm taking fewer pictures...well, that means I'm blogging a lot less.  Boo!

But here I am...patting myself on the back for my measly 101 posts (I say measly and I mean measly - I've got nothing on most bloggers out there).

And I'm here making a promise to myself that I will take more pictures even though I'll be so much busier until June and that I will blog more regularly than I have been.

So...stay tuned...I promise there will be more coming soon!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Every year our church comes here to the river.  This is where we have our dedication and baptism service.  There is music and worship...
(That's my hubby playing the guitar!)
Logan isn't much into sitting - or even standing - still.  He's not much into singing either.  He prefers to worship more like this...

Then our pastor gives a sermon.  This year it was on forgiveness...I think...  See, I was way more interested in the conversation going on between Logan and his two older girlfriends up there.  They were doing a pretty nice job of explaining to Logan how God can be everywhere all at the same time and be "invisible."  I love listening to kids talk about God...  Oh, I was also distracted by this:
That would be my handsome, guitar playing husband comforting our increasingly fussy Gavin.  I can't seem to get enough of watching him interact with our children!

Then, after the sermon, we all headed down to the river side.  This year was extra special for our family (and a couple of others) because we were having Gavin dedicated.  This is pretty important to Justin and I.  It's a declaration of how were choosing to raise our children - Gavin specifically in this case.

And then the baptisms begin.  Whoever chooses to can be baptized at this ceremony.  This year one of the ones baptized was our pastor's neat it must have been for them to experience that together...

After each baptism our praise team plays and everyone sings and's pretty moving.  I think I probably would spend the entire time crying (happy tears of course) if I didn't keep myself busy taking pictures!

Logan was mesmerized by the entire process.  He stopped asking me when we could eat lunch and actually sat still the entire time!  I pray that someday Logan will choose to baptized himself.

Someone always sets up an altar right there by the river so that after the baptisms are over we can take communion.

Of course I missed communion this time, because Gavin would not wait a moment longer for lunch (in his defense it was way past his usual lunch time).  I watched from the picnic area while Gavin chowed on watermelon...and anything else he could get his hands on. 

Eventually everyone else joined us for lunch too.  We seem to attract other kids to our picnic least the girls.  Seems they like hanging out with Logan...and feeding Gavin!

Poor Reilly learned an important lesson at this meal...don't set your plate next to Gavin unless your prepared to have him nab something off it.  In this case it was her chocolate doughnut.  No worries...the doughnut was returned and Donna made sure to get Gavin his very own shortly after that...

Gavin likes doughnuts...

Logan likes making silly faces at my camera...but I managed to trick him into a pretty sweet picture!

It was a perfect day.  The weather was beautiful, the service was deeply moving, and my baby was dedicated.  It was a day full of blessings.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I have a friend who is seventeen weeks pregnant.  Yesterday she found out that her baby had died, and today she had to go in to be induced so that she can deliver her baby.  My heart aches for her as I wait to hear...something, I guess.

If you pray, please pray for her.  I know that is what she wants and needs more than anything else right now. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

riddle me this...

Can you figure out what Gavin is sitting in?

Need a hint?  Okay...normally it would look more like this:

That's right!  It's our jumper once one starts to take it apart and makes the mistake of doing it while the baby is around to "help."  Then you get this:

Gavin very much enjoyed climbing in and out of this seat and dragging toys up on to his lap to play with.  Seriously, I think he had more fun playing with his jumper while it was in multiple pieces than he ever did sitting in it when it was put together!

See what I mean?