Tuesday, July 31, 2007

100 Things About Me

Kyla tagged me yesterday. Wow. Not sure I can do this one. I'll try! :)

1. I am the oldest of 5 kids
2. I was homeschooled until high school
3. I had a cat named Marie from the time I was 5, until she died while I was at ORU
4. I started keeping a garden when I was 8
5. I have a thing with smells - they either really bother me or I really like them
6. During my pregnancies I could not handle the smell of chocolate or coffee
7. When someone else's perfume gets on my kids when they hold them, I want to change their clothes and give them baths. This DOES NOT mean I don't want people to hold my kids! :)
8. I do not like to exercise. At all.
9. I grew up having chickens in the backyard. Among the ones I remember, we named them Buggy and Nellie
10. Soy, dairy, and caffeine make me feel TERRIBLE
11. I much prefer dresses/skirts to shorts
12. I don't use any chemical-containing stuff in my house...except shampoo and styling products. Haven't been able to give those up.
13. I have been to Germany, Switzerland and Mexico
14. I have lived in California, Oklahoma and Colorado
15. I went to Bible school in Estes Park, CO for a year. It was incredible.
16. I wore shoes as little as possible while I was there. I wear shoes as little as possible ever since.
17. I have had 6 grand mal seizures in the past 12 years.
18. I took medicine for a while and it made me sick
19. I started becoming interested in nutrition and alternative medicine because they help control my seizures.
20. Sometimes I doubt whether it really helps
21. I have gone in the girls' room and laid both of them down for naps about 10 times today. They don't want to sleep.
22. I really want a cat and a dog and some chickens
23. I am about to move to an old house, and I think (once certain things are fixed) I will like it more than I would a new house.
24. I once sang the offertory solo at my church for 5,000 people.
25. I have played with worship bands and led worship for lots more than that over the years.
26. At 18 years old, I was the secretary for my church's worship ministry
27. I worked temp jobs for a while, all over the city
28. I taught piano to the son of a famous worship leader for a while
29. I love to sing and play the piano, but most people only know I do one or the other
30. I have an irrational fear of stairs
31. I read everything I can get my hands on
32. I remember all of it, somehow
33. I would love to be in a band again
34. I would consider putting dreads in my hair and dressing like a hippie if my husband and family wouldn't freak
35. I would pierce my nose if...well, maybe I still will.
36. I love organizing stuff
37. I hate small talk
38. Because I hate small talk, I also generally dislike things I have to small talk AT: showers, girl parties, etc.
39. I love being in charge
40. I sleep with at least three pillows
41. I am addicted to Passion Tea from Starbucks, ginger cookies, and raspberries. Unfortunately, this probably means I am allergic to them on some level.
42. I usually enjoy my own cooking
43. I enjoy doing laundry
44. I hate doing dishes
45. I have a ton of books and no intention of limiting my collection anytime soon
46. I wear rosewater for perfume
47. When I am stressed or scared, my head and stomach hurt. Badly.
48. I tend to believe the best about people and am shocked when other people are mean
49. I often wish I could teach people things about nutrition or alternative medicine that would help them. If they don't ask, I have to assume they don't want to know.
50. Movies bore me usually. Halfway through, I don't care how they end enough to sit through them.
51. I dislike being uncomfortable in any way
52. Most makeup makes my face burn (it's the soy in it)
53. I once panhandled on Pearl St. in Boulder, CO. I played accordion in a group with my friends. We made like $40 in 2 hours.
54. We were WAY late for curfew that night
55. That is the one time I ever remember intentionally breaking the rules
56. I know how to teach people to play worship-style piano.
57. I'm working on writing a curriculum for it. I'll make lots of money if I ever get it done.
58. Once at a temp job, a random guy called up and cussed me out for no reason.
59. I got a letter of recommendation from the temp agency because of how well I handled it.
60. I am germ-aphobic
61. I keep funny things. I still have a piece of moss I once found at a summer camp. It reminds me of stuff.
62. Witty humor with great timing makes me laugh more than any other kind.
63. I read my Bible and prayed this morning before the girls woke up. (This does not happen every day, but I sure like it when it does!)
64. My church is one of my favorite places to be
65. I love sunshine
66. I have had a c-section
67. I have had a homebirth
68. The homebirth with no medication was easier than the c-section
69. I make lists constantly
70. I love gadgets
71. I read the instructions
72. Watching people dance makes me cry and I don't know why
73. Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods
74. I am very excited to homeschool my kids. This is new.
75. I love to shop, especially with my mom and sisters
76. The second I get in the car, I lock the doors
77. I hate feeling taken advantage of
78. I would rather get something done than do it perfectly
79. I am great at journaling/blogging, but bad at keeping baby books/taking pictures
80. I don't believe in leaving my kids overnight until they are around 5
81. My purse is usually a mess
82. I love being on time
83. I almost never wash my face and rarely break out
84. I never get tired of being touched and hugged
85. It makes me nervous when people don't make eye contact
86. If I thought my body could handle it, I would already be ready to have another baby
87. I still want to get my degree someday, even though it wouldn't change what I can already do as a career
88. I open all the blinds on the windows in my house every day
89. I like Loooong showers
90. I have always basically liked the way I look
91. I read every issue of In Style and Mothering magazines cover to cover
92. I hate wind
93. I have worked as an assistant for 5 years total, and I still get nervous before I make phone calls.
94. Waterdeep is my all-time-favorite band
95. I love watching What Not to Wear and the Food Network
96. I don't like cucumbers or watermelon
97. I usually feel inept at home decorating. I've been trying to just ask myself, "what do I like?"
98. When people use long words it makes me want to look them up and use them too
99. I am almost done with this thing!
100. It took me 4 sittings to finish it. :)

Kyla, I did it! :) I'm going to break the solemn rules of blogging, and refuse to tag anybody, mainly because I'm not sure I know anybody who will try it. :) If you do, let me know! Hope I didn't bore ya too much.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Letting go

I get attached to stuff. Places, houses, cars, things with sentimental value... They become part of who I am. I don't have a great memory, so I'm often afraid that if I get rid of something, I'll forget. Believe it or not, this does not end up making me a pack rat. I have no problem getting rid of junk...at least I tell myself that. I do come from a long line of pack rats, and my pack rattage does not compare to my grampa's, or even to my mother's! :)

In the next month, we are having a garage sale and moving. Some of the things we need to get rid of remind me of stories. Nick bought gold boots in England, for example. They are the ugliest things I've ever seen, yet part of me wants to beg him to keep them. They remind me of a more carefree time in life, when we bought things like gold boots just because they were funny. This townhouse, although very plain and on a busy street, is a place our girls grew up a lot. Audrey went from four days old to (probably before we move) walking. We are also still trying unsuccessfully to sell the Jetta, the car that was my dream as a teenager and college kid.

The fact is, I need to release these things. I grew up singing a hymn called "This World is Not My Home." It was running through my head yesterday.

This world is not my home, I'm just passing through.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.


What is really important to me, my husband and kids, and even my memories go with me even as we leave "stuff" behind.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My love


Three years ago Tuesday, I married my best friend.

It was a rainy, misty day, the coldest July day in Colorado Springs history. The ceremony that was to be outside was moved inside, to the barn already decorated to host the reception. Tables were pushed aside for an aisle, the wreath wrapped with ribbon and tulle was re-hung, and a horse and carriage came to pick up my father and me from my parents' house down the dirt drive. I carried a bouquet of wildflowers. My cousins played harp, violin and viola. A couple hundred people we love saw us exchange our vows.

It wasn't what I expected. The ceremony could not take place in the wet grass under dripping pine trees, but the barn was warm(er), and full of joy. The mist outside gave our pictures a magical quality. The caterer we hired fell on hard times and did not have the money to serve what he had promised. Nobody will remember the food anyway. The best man dropped my ring on the dusty wooden second floor of the barn. We were all thankful there were no cracks for it to fall through, and laughed. Pastor Ross, who Nick and I respect now more than ever, served us communion and made jokes about "all Nick has to do is be like Jesus."

And I married my best friend.

Three years, one c-section, one homebirth, four (soon to be five) moves, and one seizure later, I love him more now than I ever thought I could. We have two beautiful children, a relationship of mutual trust and respect and tenderness, and a great future. I love you, Nick.

Overheard

A conversation at our house this week, as we were grabbing lunch on the go...

Me: Hannah, would you like chicken and carrots for lunch?
Hannah: Uh...how 'bout...rice and broccoli?
Me: No, we don't have rice or broccoli, how about chicken and carrots?
Hannah: How 'bout rice?
Me: Nope, no rice today.
Hannah: How 'bout broccoli?
Me: (laughing hysterically) Nope. How about chicken and carrots?

When you can't have what you want...negotiate!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Is it enough?

I am a part of the revival generation, according to the band Delirious. All the youth events I attended as a teenager (and there were many), told us we were going to be the ones to fulfill the Great Commission. We would go to the ends of the earth. We would change the world for Christ. I ate it up.

Because I was skilled in music even as a young child, it only made logical sense that my part in that calling would be in worship ministry. I became passionate about learning everything I could on how to lead people into a more intimate relationship with God through my music. This is how I spent my life. There was a drive, a resolve, to be the best so I could really make a difference. I knew I wanted a family, but if God's hand was on my life, how could I resist? Why would I want to?

Fast forward just a few years. I followed my spiritual head (then it was my father) to a new church where nobody knew me. No relationships=no opportunities here. Just as the relationships began to develop, God blessed Nick and me with a new baby, and everyone assumed I would not be interested any more. At this point it has been three and a half years since I played with a worship band consistently. I am rusty. I'm not even confident I could still do it well without some practice. I have no opportunities there right now unless I go out looking for them in places other than my own church.

Here's my question: is it enough?
-to keep a clean, pleasant, beautiful home?
-to be available to people and able to sit and have a cup of tea any time?
-to raise my girls, though the days are sometimes tedious, to be Godly women who are smart both intellectually and emotionally?
-to devote my extra time to things that are productive and creative, like reading, playing the piano, planning meals, teaching piano, playing with my children, writing blogs, growing plants/gardens...the list could go on and on?

Because, I think if I could be sure that just doing that was enough to be pleasing to God, the struggle to be content at home might be over for me. Everyone sure had high expectations for me. I was going to be the one to change the world. How about the lives of two very small girls?

Is that good enough?

WATERDEEP

We downloaded their new album over the weekend (Nick, I hacked into your account to finish today. :)

Oh, my goodness, I'm excited.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Oh, my goodness, I love this

From a very long, very good post here:

"These belief systems invade the home and make the family unstable. As home keepers we are supposed to guard the home. These destructive philosophies of life come into the home via the media, the mail, the schools, music, literature, the new laws that are made, and even infect things like the way our food is produced, the way our houses are built, the arts and crafts of our era, and the way our government is run, if we allow it. The home is the last frontier of freedom, where the practices that make it good can be quietly enforced. The homemaker can determine to put what is good and lovely into her life and her home. She has more power to create loveliness in the era in which we live, than the world knows."

What a novel idea...we as homemakers have the power to create what we want to create in our home! This is what women miss when they become bitter and discouraged with their children and their home lives. It reminds me of Proverbs 14:1, "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."

I can do this. We can do this.

Friday, July 20, 2007

How to be unique

Then Moses said to him,

"If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"

And the Lord said to Moses,

"I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."
Ex. 33:15-17

So... Know God and be pleasing to Him, and His presence will mark your life and distinguish you from everyone else? It all goes back to that "seek first the Kingdom of Heaven" thing, doesn't it?

Pea Souuuppp!


Two random comments before I really start this blog:

1. You've never lived until you've Google image searched "pea soup." As my 16 year old sister likes to say, "I think I just threw up a little in my mouth."

2. Did you ever see "The Rescuers Down Under"? There's these ants running around a restaurant, and somebody drops a pea from a table, and the ants run around carrying the pea, sayng, "Pea Souuupp!"

OK! Now that I have that out of my system...

I made split pea soup for dinner last night. I put it in the crockpot at 9am. It had split peas, ham, carrots, celery, onion, and spices. Oh, and tomato. It was going to be good. I started it on low, but at about 1:00 I turned it to high because it didn't seem to be going as quickly as it needed to. At 10:30pm, I finally unplugged it and gave up. The peas were still crunchy. 13 1/2 hours total, and 9 hours on high. It should have been mush. Apparently, my grocery store doesn't rotate it's stock as often as I might like... The peas must have been old. That's the only thing I can come up with.

It's still sitting in the crockpot on the counter. What, exactly, do I do with a FULL crockpot of soup? Gross. I'm not sure whether to cry or laugh?

It's cloudy outside

And Hannah's watching Elmo. Again.

I have to teach a piano lesson today. Just the one. The only one I've taught in three weeks. Nobody wants to take lessons during the summer.

We all have runny noses. It's clear, so hopefully it won't be a big deal. (I'm sorry, was that more than you wanted to know?)

Somehow I need to grocery shop today. The co-op we go to closes at 6. Nick gets home at 6:30ish. Therefore, I have to pull off this trip every week. It is a challenge. Audrey goes in the Bjorn and Hannah in the cart, or Audrey in the cart and Hannah runs around the store. Either way, I'm wiped out after a 20 minute trip. Either choice has its ups and downs. I love bringing the girls with me when I run errands. I feel like it helps them learn. But it sure requires patience and energy from me!

I have felt terrible for the past several days. For some reason any time I'm under stress, my digestion shuts down on me and my stomach is...not happy. I nurse myself with a combination of digestive enzymes, DGL, and probiotics. The silliest thing about it, is the only "stress" I'm currently under is my own thoughts. Everything is good. Somebody tell my stomach that, please.

Tomorrow we're going to the lake again. Should be fun!

OK, I guess I'll quit procrastinating now. Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Jar of clay

Why does everything seem bad late at night sometimes? Have you ever experienced that? It's kind of a habit of mine. I remember nights as a child, when I would begin to get more and more worked up, and my mom would say to me, "Go to bed. You're overtired." And really, she was right. So anytime I feel sad at night, I always take it with that grain of salt.

But, I feel sad tonight.

I don't know what I expected this life to be - raising kids, having a husband, keeping my own home, etc. But sometimes I just get discouraged about it. My kids have tough days (wow, they do not enjoy the heat with no AC! It was 95 here yesterday!), Nick and I have disagreements, there is no end to the messes in the house...

I want to do this mommy thing well. I know all moms do. I want to do it better than everybody else. Is that arrogant? It might be. I don't intend it to be. Growing up, I always felt unique. I was always the leader. Being a mommy has started sort of an identity crisis for me. Any idiot can bear children. So, if I can't do it better than (at least) most people, what makes me important anymore? I am the entire world for Hannah and Audrey, but on days when they struggle, it's awfully easy to throw my hands up in the air and go, "That does it. I'm a failure." It all comes down to who I am in Christ and finding my value there rather than in what I accomplish. I'm not very good at that stuff.

I know these things:
-Life is a process, and nothing has a real, quick fix
-I MUST rely on God for strength. There is no one else who can give me what I need.
-Prioritizing is the only way to actually get to the things that are really important (like, do I deal with the messy bedroom, or read books to the girls?)
-This too shall pass
-God promises to complete the work He begins in us (like taking us away from finding our value in accomplishments, and showing us instead why we really matter)

I haven't had much to say lately because, honestly, I'm wrestling through things. Pastor Ross was speaking on Sunday about allowing other people to see our weaknesses, while reflecting the light of Christ at the same time. I have hope that on the other side of these struggles, I will be more like Jesus. I am determined, by God's power, to move that direction rather than the other. Although I have that desire that everybody has, to look like I have it all together, I hate that thing. I believe that desire is what keeps us separate from each other and alone.

And so, I will send this out into the void and hope it encourages someone to share their heart...with someone - anyone. We are all works in progress!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Expectations

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about what makes me do the things I do. For example, I have a tendency to beat myself up about stuff. Everywhere you look as a parent, there are people with opinions about how you're doing it. Experts, family members, friends, well-meaning strangers, not-so-well-meaning strangers...all of them would like to contribute to the way I raise my kids.

There are always going to be situations in which I, as Hannah and Audrey's mother, need counsel and support. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the times I feel guilty when we stay in our pajamas until 2. Or when the laundry doesn't get put away for days. Or when we have a tough day and we watch movies all day. There's this thing in me that says, "what would people think if they knew?" Here's my new thought: I don't care. :)

I have to raise my kids the best way I know how. God gave my girls to me, not to anybody else. So, here are the new questions I'm asking:

Does it please God?
Does it please Nick?
Does it please me?

If it's not important to any of us, why should I carry that burden? There are circumstances in which I will need counsel particularly to figure out what pleases God, but opinions that come in from every direction are not helpful. Cutting down the input to only the people who matter will make motherhood more fun and less stressful. For that matter, so will cutting down on the things I personally have an opinion about. Really, that's just a good way to live - whether you have kids or not!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mmmmm...

We tried a GOOD local restaurant Friday night... Culpepper's. If you live here in town, you should go. It's cajun food, which is not something we know all that well, but boy, is it good. We ordered the "alligator pears" as an appetizer: avocado halves with mini shrimp and garlic butter spilling out. Full of fat and not really on the diet, but yummy as anything. We split a steak for dinner. It was spicy (even though we got the milder version) and crispy on the outside and very tender on the inside. With yams on the side that were sweet and buttery, and also a corn dish that we didn't really eat. Hannah had rice and beans with sausage and was perfectly happy. It was delicious. And afterward, next door, we decided to hit the "Gelatoria," a place that makes Italian style ice cream. They have a non-dairy blueberry. Yum. Not a cheap night, but we had so much fun. The girls had a blast, too.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Color Quiz

colorquiz.com - You gotta try this. It's downright creepy. For anybody who ever had a hard time believing that colors effect your moods...this will convince you otherwise.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hannah plays twinkle, twinkle

video
I finally captured this on video. Wait for Audrey's cheer at the very end. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

House!

We found one... We move September 1st. It's tiny - 800 sq. ft, and cheap! And it has a yard. And we can get a dog...and a cat...and if I stay really brave through that adventure...maybe even some chickens. It's old and it has character, and we can paint and make it really cute. Maybe we can even stay more than a year. This will be our fifth home since we got married three years ago.

Monday, July 9, 2007

More on Organizing

Found this site today. I like to skim through lists like this periodically. I'm all for ideas that can make life simpler!

What to say?

I haven't known what to write again lately. I've started multiple blogs and then decided I didn't want to post them. So, today you get my random thoughts.

Our lease is up at the end of next month. We've been looking for a house with a backyard for cheap. Another move...this will be the fifth place we'll have lived in three years. Wow. We have to start packing in the next few weeks. Weird.

Our three year anniversary is the 24th. It feels like forever and a moment at the same time. Boy, have we grown and changed a lot in those three years.

Hannah is currently watching the Care Bears dvd Nick's sister got her, for the five thousandth time. I would very much like to break that little piece of plastic, but then where would I be when Hannah says, "Bebears?"

I made bread last night. I would be proud of myself, except for the fact that I accidentely used tablespoons of salt instead of teaspoons. It's still edible, sort of. That and the fact that the dishes are still all over the kitchen kind of cuts back on the sense of accomplishment.

Now Hannah is banging on the piano, singing "tinkle, tinkle wittle guy, tinkle, tinkle witta gar." Then she picks up the piece of paper and pencil I keep on the piano, scribbles a little, puts them back on the piano, and continues singing. It's just about the cutest thing she has done. I've tried to get it on video, but my little camera doesn't seem to pick up the audio well enough.

I got to play the piano yesterday. Through a friend of a friend, I heard about a little church that needed a pianist this weekend. It was a traditional, liturgical service - hymns and responsive readings, etc. I had to play the last phrase of the hymn for an intro, and then two verses. There was no songleader, so I had to play solidly enough that the congregation could follow just me. It was really fun, and because of my background, really easy. And they paid me $75 for a 45 minute service. That was Really cool. :)

I suppose I'll go tackle my mountain of laundry. I've been trying to do the laundry all in one day so it doesn't end up laying clean all over the house all week, as opposed to one load a day like flylady recommends. One day of folding laundry is enough for me!

This concludes this boring blog.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Worship

Guys, Jason Upton. Seriously.

I had heard him some before, but it never really connected before. In my book, you can't go wrong with a guy playing the piano and singing his head off to God. Especially when he reminds me of Keith Green, whose music I cut my musical teeth on. (He was my dad's favorite.)

This is the kind of music to play in the background if you need a sense of God's presence throughout the day. I know I need it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Gluten-free bread

By request, (here ya go, Liz!) I will talk about my latest adventures in baking.

I got sick and tired of spending $5.50 a loaf (that's what it really costs) for a terrible loaf of gluten free bread, so I decided I would start making it. I'm not entirely sure it saves us much money because I'm still new to it and too lazy to add it all up. However, it certainly tastes better. I've been using this recipe, although I want to get some cookbooks and try some different ones. The ingredients are weird, but they can all be found at the health food store. And, this bread doesn't have to be kneaded. The hardest part is the long list of ingredients. I've been mixing up a HUGE batch of the flour mix and keeping it in the freezer to cut down assembly time.
So, there ya go. Try it, you'll like it! (maybe)

Monday, July 2, 2007

More on Community

My cousin Brian has been talking on his blog about building community for a while now. He's leading a Sunday School class on the topic (Right, Brian?). I thought these steps were fascinating. I think all friendships even go through these phases.

Gluten

Hannah had another gluten episode this weekend. It's been a very long time, yet it was still discouraging to me. Every time she goes for a while, I start to hope it's going away, or that God healed her, or that she's growing out of it, or something along those lines. We had lots of temper tantrums over the weekend. I have to remind myself those happen because she's not feeling that great. It's hard. She seems to be better today, which means we managed to avoid another exposure while eating out with my family this weekend. Always a good thing.

Today we're going to pick up the things we need to make gluten-free playdough. You wouldn't think of it, but playdough is made mostly of flour. As easy as it is to eat, and as quickly as fingers get stuck in the mouth while covered with just about anything, gluten-containing playdough is not a good idea. Thankfully, you can find recipes for just about anything on the internet. I'll have to post pics. I'm sure Hannah will have a blast.