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Showing posts from 2017

Why do I do this to myself?

Someone once told me, that the last good night's sleep I would ever have would be the night before I found out I was pregnant.  Truth.  Anybody's who has been pregnant knows that it comes with discomfort, and lots and lots of bathroom trips.  And leg cramps.  And husbands who wake you up, because you are sleeping flat on your back.  (Side note:  Don't do this.  Yes, technically laying on my back wasn't ideal, but at. least. I. was. asleep.)  And then we had babies, who were/are lovely and beautiful, but totally sucked at sleeping.  I was in Zombieville for like 5 years. I know I am in the minority in that I have never watched The Walking Dead.  I assume it is just about my life when my kids were babies?
And now, my kiddos are almost 7 and 9 and pretty much sleeping through the night consistently.  One of ours has a little GI/urinary issue, AND is afraid of the dark, so I do get woken frequently to escort her down the hallway to the potty.  Also, our 11-year-old dog ha…

You're Vulnerable? Hey, I'm Vulnerable too.

Wanna know one of the approximately 75,000 things that amazes me about children? Sure you do.  It astonishes and impresses me how quickly and easily children, especially young children, can befriend each other.  You might've noticed it too, on a playground, a birthday party, meeting up with your adult friends and their kiddos, or even the first day of school.  Even when another child is a perfect stranger, after a bit of a warming up period, longer for some temperaments than others, those two (or more!) strangers are soon best buddies.  It is like all they can see in each other is a potential playmate.  I imagine their unspoken dialogue like this: Click here to download the Let's Be Kids doodle.
It is a beautiful, magical skill that seems to unfortunately fade as we age.  With wisdom, with age, with growth, with knowledge, with experience, somehow also comes a degree of mistrust, a tendency to withdraw, a dangerous habit of comparison, and perhaps too much of a reliance on the…

Remarkable Welcome

People Won't Know Their Welcome Unless You Say They Are I once told my dear friend, our church secretary at the time, this, when we were discussing open and affirming congregations.  The thing is, if you are part of a group that has been historically held to the periphery of society, or in some way made to feel less than, or been explicitly told that you are an abomination, it would be really hard, it would take extreme bravery and courage to enter any place, but expecially a faith community that didn't go out of her way to offer you a specific welcome.  So, IT DOESN"T MATTER IF YOU WOULD WELCOME THEM ONCE THEY'RE THERE or not!  Leaving a church after three decades and becoming a visitor in others has opened my eyes to how much bravery and courage is involved in visiting new faith communities at all.  
So I picked one that displayed obvious welcome.  One that flies a rainbow flag, one that hangs a banner welcoming refugees and immigrants.  I am none of those things, …

There is no substitute...

Once upon a time I got a degree in Human Development and Family Studies and was employed as both an Infant/Toddler Classroom teacher and as a Preschool Teacher.  I have always loved people, especially tiny people, and learning about their development and how to support their development was a natural turn for me.  I developed many close bonds with many different kiddos, after all, I spent 8 hours a day with them 5 days a week.  I knew which baby needed to be rocked a little extra, which one needed her binky, which toddler loved to have his face tickled, and who really needed to be sung to during a diaper change.  I knew which little guy was having a hard time adjusting to a new place and needed to be tucked under my wing and be my little shadow for a few weeks.  I knew which little girly would be my copy cat, naming her imaginary boyfriend Jicheal when I mentioned my husband was named Micheal.  I knew which little squirt would challenge the "Where is tall man?" verse of tha…

What's Essential

I love personality quizzes.   I recently became intrigued by the Enneagram types, have been known to investigate my Meyer-Briggs type, and even found out my Hogwarts house.  You might think they are bologna or worthless, and you might be right.  But, I think they are insightful, reflective, thought-provoking, convicting, and frankly, fun.  
I also love spiritual gift inventories, which I participated in during an adult study at church once upon a time, and in another study, some time later, I participated in a study about defining my faith.  Those things are life-changing, eye-opening, and somehow super comforting.  To be sitting in a place where you are really understanding what and why you believe what you do is incredibly peaceful, even when some of your answers are I don't know.  Furthermore, it allows you to more easily identify when or why those beliefs change.  I recommend taking that journey if you are offered it.  
Faith Essentials Recently I was challenged to boil down …

Autumn is the school word for fall. -Junie B. Jones

Tomorrow is the unofficial, official start of fall. Today is Labor Day, and that makes tomorrow the day after Labor Day.  Which means, goodbye summer, hello fall!  Even though the equinox isn't until September 22, we kind of just agree to pretend that tomorrow is the official first day of fall, no matter what the calendar or thermometer say.   I love fall. I really love all the seasons (which is a good thing, living in the Midwest), but I fell in love with Fall again because both of my daughters have their birthdays in this season, also because of mellowcreme pumpkins.  I love those little boogers.  (Both my daughters and the candy.) Click here to download 5x7 Golden Fall doodle.
I also love pumpkin spice lattes (basic), boots, sweaters, crisp temps, fall scented candles, pot roast, the pumpkin patch, the changing color of leaves, and Halloween. Nothing beats a mild, sunny fall afternoon followed by a crisp, clear fall evening.  Sigh.  So much to look forward to!  Except... Fall…

C is for Cookie

Sometimes me think what is love, and then me think love is what last cookie is for.  Me give up last cookie for you. -Cookie Monster
Click here to download Milk and Cookie doodle.
I love baking. But, I am not a master baker or anything.  I mostly just enjoy the fruits of my labors.  There is one thing I have baked at my mother's side, as a child, and now flying solo, so often, that I figure I have pretty much mastered by now.  My mom's cookies.
Now, to be fair and honest, we don't use an original recipe, we use one by a famous French chef by the name of..
via GIPHY

Oh, what's that you say?  That's Nestle Tollhouse?  Well, yeah.  Here is where you can find that recipe.  Also, on the back of pretty much any bag of semi-sweet chocolate cookies.  
PLEASE NOTE: I make some adjustments, namely I use 2 1/2 cups of flour, and never, ever nuts.  I also use a stand mixer.

So, let's get started.
First, make sure your butter and eggs are room temperature.  The butter shoul…

What happens to any of us...

Let's go to Sunday School. Or actually, not, because I am not sure I ever learned this part of the story in Sunday School, and I was a star student in Sunday School.  I learned the story of Moses as a baby, his basket, and the princess who adopted him, but never learned the short story preceding it.  Found in Exodus 1:13-20, allow me to paraphrase.
Remember when Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery because they were jealous he was their dad's favorite, and really Joseph was pretty smug and annoying about it?  Then he ended up in Egypt, and in jail, but God gave him the gift of interpreting dreams and he ended up doing that for the Pharaoh.  Joseph became his right hand man, of sorts, because he helped Egypt by predicting a famine and oversaw preparations for that famine.  And while he was a big boss guy in Egypt, his family was struggling and came to him, without knowing his true identity, for help, and after some weird fancy cup planting on his baby brother, he reveal…

Breathe

I am learning to love stillness.  
I have been previously hopeless at this skill.  My mom tells me that when I had mono when I was in Kindergarten, the only difference was that I acted like a "normal" child.  Ha!  I sound like a dream.  I was a squirmy kid, who grew into a squirmy adult.  
I was a child dancer who couldn't even in ballet.  It was too slow, too still.  Instead, I tap danced down the grocery aisles.  I didn't even succumb to stillness in sleep, waking up twisted in the blankets or upside down in my bed.  I filled silence with songs, even commercial jingles, and overpowered my thoughts by escaping into the magnificent and magical world of books.  
My squirmy tendencies continued into adulthood, always crossing, recrossing, or folding my legs; pulling my split ends; and doodling in the margins in lecture halls in college.....and Bible studies as an adult.  
I started practicing yoga through our local YMCA in my twenties, and loved it.  I could focus on …

You Do You

I am so over our competition culture. Can we all agree to be confident enough in our own life choices that we can stop overselling them to our friends and family?  And stop arguing or at least implying that our choices are superior to theirs? You do you. Click here to download You Do You doodle. And I'll do me.  We can all be happy doing what is best for us.  
Home school or public school or private school.  Daisies or succulents.  Cable or Netflix/Hulu or no TVs.   Disposable diapers or cloth.  Mini-van or SUV or truck.  Color your hair or go gray.  Heels or flats.  Vegan or vegetarian or flexitarian or carnivore.  Read the book or watch the movie or both.  Coke or Pepsi or "I don't drink pop."  Pop or soda or soda pop.  Run or lift weights or dance or don't.  From scratch everything or go out to eat.  Chocolate lover or someone who obviously doesn't have tastebuds.
Of course, of course, I have an opinion on all of those things (and more!).  I researched the…

Raise Your Words

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.  -Robert Frost
With so much going on right now, both big and small, macro and micro, my mind has been on a spin cycle.  Big, cultural, societal problems take up mental real estate and battle with my smaller, everyday thoughts and frustrations about parenting, in particular.  
How do I show support?
How brave will I be?
How many times do I have to tell them?
Just stop bickering!
What happened in the news today?
What happened at school today?
We have to do better.
How can I be a better mom?
I just want to cry.
I just want to scream.
Poetry that stuck. On the screen in worship on Sunday was a poem by Rumi, a famous 13th century poet and scholar.  It really spoke to my heart and my mind, addressing my big and small worries and thoughts.  Raising my words in my parenting, in my relationships, in political discourse, in advocacy, in support, will cause so much more growth, so much more blooming, than simply ra…

Coziness cure Woes-iness

I love being cozy. Give me sweatpants and a blankie any day.  Amiright?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary, which is all kinds of rad, defines cozy like this:
Definition of cozy
cozier; coziest
1a:  enjoying or affording warmth and ease :snugcozy lakeside cabinb:  marked by or providing contentment or comfort won by a cozy margin 2a:  marked by the intimacy of the family or a close group We had a cozy dinner with the whole family.b:  marked by or suggesting close association or connivance a cozy agreementHis political opponents accused him of getting too cozy with powerful companies. 3:  marked by a discreet and cautious attitude or procedure a cozy waiting game

TBH, that third option threw me.  If your vocabulary has allowed you to use the word cozy in this context, just know that I am applauding you.  
Lots of things make me feel cozy.  Love notes.Hot drinks, like coffee.  Sometimes I am excited to go to bed at night because when I wake up I can have a cozy cup of coffee.  Yum!My husband…