Friday, June 18, 2010


I haven't written in ages, but if you haven't updated your links to my blog, it can now be found at I wrote on Friendship and Community last night. Something I am trying to encourage in my life. Come join me! You're my community too!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

Um… I think I think I can

You all remember the little train that could, right? I’m not sure where the story began, but I remember that clip from dumbo…

I’m not sure if I should say I feel like that train or what, but I feel like I’m about to attempt something I’m not sure I can do.

Last week I got a Facebook invitation to run the Bolder Boulder (a 10K) with my friend Erin. I don’t know why, maybe Erin made it sound like a lot of fun or I put on my rose colored glasses, but I started to think That is a really good idea. I should do that! On Saturday I ran a mile for the first time in probably ten years and felt awesome. Like I could conquer the world.

Today I ran 1.5 miles. Let’s just say it was a very different experience. When the treadmill said 0.75 miles I found myself praying to God. “Oh God, I can’t do this. Please help me do this. I can’t do this.” A much different running dialogue from that cute little train.

Here’s my question to you. Has anyone ever gone from “Couch to 10K?” Cause that’s what I’m essentially trying to do. Did it ever feel better? Did the training make you feel good? Because ever since .75 miles, I have felt like I need to have a really good cry. I didn’t expect such an emotional response to pushing myself so hard physically! I now understand why The Biggest Loser contestants always break down.

I just need some encouragement.

I remember that the end of this clip was inspiring to me as a kid. It brought me so much joy to see that little engine so happy! I hope that when May 31st comes around I will be running into that stadium feeling exalted and saying to myself “I thought I could! I thought I could! I thought I could!”

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oh yeah, this is what it is to be a mom...

I just found this post that I wrote on my birthday (February 16th) and apparently never published. Well, I want to share it now. It looks like I never quite finished it which is probably why I never published it. Oh well!

It's my birthday today. This year's birthday feels so much different from previous birthdays. Last year was my first birthday with Jack. My sister-friend Krysta sent me a card telling me to let Jack and Tim care for me that day. While I appreciated the sentiment, the reality was that Jack was still completely dependent on me for nourishment so I couldn't exactly "get away" or not take care of him. And I'm pretty sure Tim had to work.

That was a hard time.

I was hopeful that this year would be more special, more selfishly devoted to me. But last night when I went to care for Jack who had a fever of 101.8 and was screaming out of pain or.... something (it's still a guessing game, you know?), I thought, yup. Just another day. With only 5 hours of sleep. Yawn.

But really, when is it just another day? I feel when I start getting this attitude I begin to feel entitled to so much more than I am. I want to be thankful for each day and everything it brings. This is so much easier said than done, but I don't think it's at all off-base.

So here's what I'm thankful for and what I love on my 28th birthday.

  • My wonderful husband who arranged for a babysitter and is taking me out to play games at an arcade tonight because I want to. (I know, I'm a dork - but I'm so sick of the usual dinner and a movie...)
  • My adorable son Jack whose smiles, cuddles and laughter warm my heart. He's wonderful.
  • My parents who I can call at any time (like my dad at 12:30am his time last night) and who support everything I do.
  • My sisters who have all wished me a happy birthday birthday (I love you guys!).
  • I now have a job I love with coworkers I respect who sang "Happy Birthday" to me this morning. (I am special today!)
  • The fact that I don't have to worry about food and can go to sleep tonight under a down comforter.
  • The free cold-stone "like-it" creation I ate last night and the Caribou coffee mocha I drank this morning that were FREE because it's my birthday! (sign up on their websites to receive emails... for all the junk mail throughout the year, this is definitely worth it) - oh, the other stuff I got for free was awesome too (DQ, Noodles, Qdoba...)

Having it all Together - what does that even MEAN anyways?

I was mall-walking with a friend of mine who is navigating the choppy waters of working mom/partially working at home mom and she said to me “I feel like I’m failing at everything. I’m failing as a mother, as a wife and as a kung-fu instructor." [Job title changed to help my friend remain anonymous. ;)]

I look around my apartment right now and holy cow, if you’re judging me as anything based on the state of our home, yes I am failing. There are dishes piled in the sink, shoes scattered around the front door, toys in the strangest places, crochet projects half finished draped over my chair… and on and on. Oh! And on top of all of that mess, there are Subway wrappers and a Little Caesars box in the trash – actually, the box is still on top of the stove, but you get the idea. I have not been cooking homemade meals much this last week because I can’t figure out when to get to the grocery store or what to make for dinner in the first place. It’s as though that part of my brain has been replaced by other things that need to get done.

And the thing is, I don’t care. I’ve given up on keeping everything tidy and I know that when I get into the swing of things I will be back to making meals again. I recently read somewhere (can’t remember where at the moment) that we need to stop apologizing for our messy homes because 1) it gives off the perception that we have everything in perfect order other times and 2) it makes others feel that their homes shouldn’t be messy either.

I also think that if I try to compare what I was able to do before Jack was born with what I am able to do now, I will feel miserable. Life has changed. I have experienced a huge transition and with that I have been able to see what is really important. My relationship with Jack is more important than the fact that the dishes need to be done. So I get on the floor and roll around with him. The dishes can wait. My relationship with Tim is more important than the laundry. So I get on the floor… never mind. ;)

What I’m trying to say is that our standards need to change. What we might see as mediocre is actually huge success. And we need to encourage one another to feel that way too.

So, for all of you moms who feel like you should’ve done more, know this: I am proud of you. You have done exactly what it is you are able to do and that is exactly enough.

Oh, and you shouldn’t should on yourself. ;)

Love you all!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jesus was NOT a mom.

You know, it has once again been “one of those days.” It started out well. I was in a groove, getting work done, feeling good, when Tim and Jack came home. Immediately life was disrupted and it hasn’t really calmed down. Oh sure, we weren’t busy all day, but I never got back to work. And I felt like Jack and I were bored. I would have left if I could, but you can’t exactly leave a 15 month old child at home alone (he’s fifteen months today! Isn’t that crazy?). We did go to the park, but that’s only stimulating for Jack, if you know what I mean.

I tried to feed Jack dinner, but he kept throwing everything on the floor. Already feeling worn out and testy, I pulled him from his seat, put him in the hallway for a “time out” and firmly said “NO throwing things on the floor. NO.”

I came back to him a minute later and, though he wasn’t upset, he said “No. No. No!” Copying me of course. I gave him a bath after he peed on himself and I have finally been able to put him to bed.

Now it’s my alone time, but I still have work to do.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible says, For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16) In other words, Jesus has gone through all of the crap we go through and understands what we go through every day. Therefore, he will help us as we struggle through each day.

As I was rocking Jack to sleep I thought, but Jesus, you were never a Mom. You were never a working mom. How the heck do you know what I’m dealing with?

And then I started remembering this story when Jesus had been healing people all day. The next morning, he went away, up a mountain to spend some time alone with God. And the disciples followed him. They said, “Jesus, there are more people for you to heal.” And I’m sure, inside he was screaming (without sin of course), “Leave me alone, leave me alone, leave me alone!!!”

He had so many people coming after him all of the time, demanding everything from him. Yes, he was God, but he was also human and that kind of ministry must have been exhausting.

And in a way, he did say to the people, “leave me alone.” He told the disciples, “Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” (Mark 1:38) He did not just do whatever everyone told him to do. He knew his purpose and did it.

So often moms and wives and women in general are “yes-women.” We’re taught to be that way. But if we follow Jesus’ example, we take time with the Father and do what He wants us to do.

I wonder what that would have looked like for me today. Maybe it wouldn’t have been trying to accommodate Jack’s every whim, but instead would have been preparing my lesson for Sunday while keeping him on my radar. If I had done that, I wouldn’t be dreading an evening of study right now and I’d have some alone time.

So, what should I do now? Probably take that alone time. With God. And rest in the fact that Jesus knows what it’s like to have other people/things demanding my attention. Yes, I’ll do that. And try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

reluctant update with a fun ending (at least I think so)


Once again it has been a long time since I have written. Whenever more than a week goes by, I feel like I need to write this huge update and I don’t like writing updates. They’re so boring to me. Not creative enough. But I want to catch you up on me and explain why I haven’t written, so here you go. ;)

Things have been so crazy for me. I am settling in to my new job at Scum of the Earth Church. I received my license on Sunday (woohoo!) and am now officially a pastor. And guess what. I love my job. Love it.

I get to teach. And study. And talk to people about God and stuff. It’s so cool! It’s exactly what I hoped for. Plus, it’s really flexible with Jack because I can do a lot of work from home.

But that’s also the problem. I do a lot of work at home.

I can’t seem to figure out how to balance everything! It didn’t help that Jack was sick for nearly two weeks. Oh, and then Tim got sick. And I wasn’t feeling right. But beyond that interruption, it is still tough to say, “I’ll work during his nap.” Because naptime comes and I am hungry or need to shower so I do those things and have thirty minutes before Jack gets up. When he was sick I did all of my work in the evening that week. THAT was exhausting.

But, here I am. I was able to work for four hours today at Solid Grounds and I hope to continue having Wednesdays for that. Once Tim starts working full time again I hope to find childcare at least one day a week. That would be a nice rhythm.

Here’s an update on Jack. Ready?

He’s crawling!!

I feel like we have a pet, because he comes up behind us so that we nearly step on him. And he gets into things he couldn’t before, tearing up papers and making a HUGE mess. It’s pretty cute. The other day he was in our bedroom with me and Tim. I went to the kitchen and a moment later I could hear grunt pant pant grunt It was Jack coming after me. So so so cute! He looks even smaller when he crawls all balled up. I love it.

We are finding so many things that need to be childproofed. I’ve given up on the DVD/VCR/HD box. He could push those buttons all day long. It keeps him occupied, so I let him. :)

Well, that’s all for tonight. I hope to soon be settled and back to my normal self. Sweet dreams!

Monday, February 8, 2010

back off people!

Can I vent? Ok, I will...

I am so tired of people asking me if Jack is walking. I am also tired of people asking me if Jack is crawling. I am even more tired of people telling me, "it's ok, he will."

Yeah, I know.

The fact that Jack isn't very mobile doesn't usually bother me. He's not getting into things. He's content. We're all happy.

My sister didn't walk until she was 18 months. I didn't walk until I was 15 months. My dad didn't talk until he was 3 years! We are all a little slow in my family and we are all geniuses.


I know everyone is trying to rejoice in Jack when they ask these questions. They want to be happy for him growing up. And when he doesn't meet their expectations, they try to encourage me that he's ok. I know he's ok. He's so smart! He signs "please, more, bye-bye, light, all done" and sometimes "puppy." He answers yes and no questions - well, at least when the answer is "yes." His favorite word is "Woah!" and he's the cutest kid in the world!

I am just beginning to see how some moms (and dads) get their sense of self-worth from their children. I have never felt that way until Jack didn't crawl when expected and everyone started looking at me with pity. And now I feel responsible for making him crawl as though it's my fault that he's not. I can see how that might lead to me feeling like I'm responsible for him getting good grades or excelling in sports or music or whatever.

I do not want to be that mom.

I am not going to be that mom.

So, in case you're wondering, no, Jack is not walking. And, no, he is not crawling.

And I am proud of him.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Self-Knowledge & Self-Care

Do you ever feel like you’re still figuring yourself out? I am always surprised when I have to relearn fast facts about me. For example, I’m an introvert. I love people. I love being with people and talking to people, but people also wear me out.

Today I hosted the mom’s group from my church. It was great to have everyone over – even though Jack was obsessively clingy, but that’s a different issue altogether. I enjoyed spending time with the other moms. When they left I thought I would put Jack down for his nap, eat a quick lunch, and get right to work.

But I was drained.

I needed time to decompress. I needed to do something that would help me relax before I could get to work, so I looked at my comics. Here are some of my recent favs: (note: if you click on them they will show up bigger on another screen)

(I really relate to Baby Blues. Have I said that? Cause I do…)

Anyway, by the time I had laughed a little and relaxed, I had fifteen minutes to prepare for Sunday before Jack woke up.

I just wonder when I will catch on to me. I need to make my plans not just around Jack’s schedule, but around my own. I need to acknowledge my needs and prepare for them like I prepare for Jack’s naps. It’s complicated caring for a baby. I hope I can learn to care for myself too otherwise I don’t know how I would survive with another one.

Which reminds me of another comic…

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Own Pace

I have begun to wonder when will be the next time Tim and I try to get pregnant again. Well, last time we didn't exactly try... but we didn't try to not try. Make sense? ;)

Anyways, there are many factors to consider.
1) Tim will be in school for at least another year.
2) Jack isn't crawling or walking yet and I want to have a mobile child when I'm pregnant.
3) I really don't want more than one child under the age of 2... or even 2 1/2 for that matter.
4) The thought of the first three months of both pregnancy and after birth make me squeemish.

On the other hand
1) More than once I have seen a newborn and thought, "Aw... I want one... I think?"
2) ...

Ok, I guess that's it. I have no urgency for trying again at this time. But the thoughts have begun to cross my mind and they do surprise me. Not too long ago any such thoughts made me want to run far far away. I've heard that by 15 months you forget all of the bad and long for the good. At nearly 14 months I'm beginning to see what they mean.


Whatever the case, I think it is safe to say I will take Wanda's advice:

When do YOU shower?

Today Jack and I got up at 8:30 am (I know, right? Wonderful!) and sat around watching Sesame Street until we went to the mall for some exercise. Ok, I admit mall walking is hardly an intense workout, but I need to do something and it is the only thing I have been able to do with Jack and even then he interrupts it.

We did stop to watch the puppies at the pet store. Too cute!
Anyways, Jack fell asleep on the way home. I put him to bed, grabbed some food for myself, took a few minutes to relax and was about to go shower when Jack woke up - an hour before I expected him to!
So, no shower for me yet. Not that I'm disgustingly sweaty or anything, but I do feel a bit gross. I am not sure if Jack will take another nap today or if I will have to wait until he goes to bed for the night - which might be 8pm after sleeping in - before I can feel clean again.
And I'm wondering, when do all of you moms shower?
Do you wake up extra early before your kid(s) wake up? Do you take one at night? Do you do it while your kiddos are awake? I just don't know what to do today except sit around feeling a tad disgusting.
Alright, not the most inspiring post today, I know. Just wondering if anyone smells like me... ;)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Children and Chocolate

In the last year, as my love for Jack has deepened, I have also grown in compassion for other children. While poverty made me sad before, it now breaks my heart. The suffering millions are experiencing in Haiti right now is overwhelming, but the pain I feel for the parents who lost their children and for children who lost their parent(s) breaks me.

This past year I have also become more and more aware of the reality of slavery in this world. Children are kidnapped and forced into labor, military, and, most disgusting of all, sex slavery all around the world. It is estimated that there are more than twenty seven million people enslaved today - more than any other point in history. When I start reading the facts on websites like and I am ready to vomit.

And so often I have wondered, what can I do?!

Recently it has come to my attention that both coffee and chocolate are largely produced by slaves from the Ivory Coast. The details of the child slavery as written in this article are shocking. Legislation has been passed and many chocolate companies, such as Hershey and Mars, are working to end that, but I suspect this will take a very very long time. The article I linked to above stated that there are many chocolate companies whose cocoa is not produced by slave labor including Green and Black's which I know Target sells (their website has a coupon for their Peanut Bar - sounds delicious!).

Beyond the problem of slave labor is the also serious injustice of sweatshops and "unfair trade" (is that a thing? the opposite of fair trade, that's what I'm trying to say). Cheap labor in other countries results in dire poverty for the masses. Poverty like that in Port au Prince. Every day I am becoming more and more aware that a low price for me comes at a cost to someone. I don't know enough about fair trade right now, but it is something I want to learn about and invest in. Does that mean no more shopping at Target for a good deal? I don't know right now, but I am seeking answers.

The truth is that so much of the stuff I feel I have to have, I don't. This consumeristic mentallity I am wrapped up in (more, newer, bigger, better - I want it!) not only distracts me from the One I am truly yearning for, but it hurts so many people who cary His Image.

One thing I do know, I can stop supporting slavery by buying different chocolate. It feels very small to change my chocolate eating habits, but for the sake of the children on the Ivory Coast - and as a stance against slavery everywhere - I will.

God help us.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Not So Toothless Grin

That's right, Jack has four teeth! Two on top, two on bottom. Up until recently you still couldn't see the teeth when he smiled, but those pearly whites are becoming more visible every day. I knew the day would come when my blog name would no longer be relevant, but I'm not changing it!

I have been amazed at the amount of time it takes for one tooth to come in. Some of my friends' babies get teeth one after another. Jack's teeth stay under the gums for weeks at a time causing swelling and one fussy baby! Every time a new tooth pops out I feel like I just got my baby back.

My favorite thing about the teeth is not just his adorable smile, but the fact that now he can eat table foods! Most of the time he eats whatever we eat and it is so cute to see him nibble on a Cheerio or shove an entire pancake in his mouth. Tonight we had spaghetti. (Can you see the teeth?)

Needless to say, Jack went straight from the table to the tub where he proceeded to splash and soak me. Then, when I wash washing his hair, he grabbed my arm and bit me.
Yes, I have a biter.
I never thought that would happen! My sweet little boy bites? Jack has also bit Tim while Tim was cutting his nails and me on other occassions. And he bites hard! I'm not sure what to do about this except say "no." But that seems to be really ineffective. Has anyone else had to deal with this? I'm just glad he's not known at a day care as "the kid who bites other babies." Nope, he's just the kid who bites me. :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Playing House

Going home for Christmas was great. We relaxed, spent time with family, and everyone else took care of Jack! This was probably the best vacation we have had since Jack was born simply because he is so much more independent and I am no longer nursing him. I mean we were able to give him a bottle in the car on the drive to Wisconsin! No 45 minute stops for feedings. And he can feed himself with finger food and plays with toys... it's great. Oh and he loves people so he enjoyed every single person who picked him up.

And I got a break.

You know, it's funny, though I've been a mom for a year, I still feel like I'm "playing house." Whenever I get a break from caring for Jack, especially when my mom is here and basically takes over (which is always such a relief), I feel like this is how it should be. She's the real mom, I have just been playing make believe.

Last night Jack woke up screaming and I picked him up to comfort him. As I rocked him, I looked at that sleeping baby and thought "I feel like such a kid and here I am... a mom!" I have been referring to myself as "Mommy" since December 4th, 2008 and that seemed natural, but now Jack is calling for me saying "Ma ma ma" and it is so bizarre! I don't feel like a mom. Most of the time I still feel like a teenager trying to figure out life!

It astounds me that Jack loves me the way I love my mom. I am the one turns to for comfort. I am the one he gives sloppy kisses to. I am the one he cuddles with every night.

On another note, it is so much fun to see Jack adore Tim, his "Da da." Whenever Tim walks into the room Jack's little face lights up and he practically lunges out of my arms squealing with delight. They have a special bond and Tim is such a natural dad.

Though at times this all feels unnatural, I love my family. Jack is such a wonderful blessing and Tim such a loving dad and husband, I thank God they are part of my life.

So I will keep on playing house. Maybe some day I will feel like a natural mom.