Sunday, June 26, 2011

Me vs. My Bike

The bike is my hardest part of the triathlon.

I am afraid of it.

Well, not the bike itself, I like to look at it. It is the first size small anything I have owned in AGES. It is white and a really cool metallic green. :)

I am afraid of FALLING OFF, getting hit by a car, and crashing in general.

I knew it was bad, but this week, when I was in my spin class, there was a car passing on the VIDEO of the road we were "riding" on and I got stressed.

I KNOW!!! Crazy!!

So, I am going to have to let go of this ridiculous fear! I just have no idea how!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fessin' up to a new favorite, soggy campers, and keeping perspective

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My "'Fess-Up" begins this week with one of my favorite new treats. I know, I know, I am training for 3 triathlons and I am still only 20lbs lighter than I was this time last year and I have a new "treat". These things are so good - it's crazy! As a matter of fact, I have even been considering coating them in chocolate... but not today... By the way, I do account for the calories. I am not willing to sacrifice all my hard work for a gorge on these, even if it is tempting!
 
We had a fairly big event this week and it has caused me to shed a tear or two. My middle "little" has to get glasses. Since birth he has had this charisma and confidence that draws people to him. He has a charming personality and a grin that can make any bad day vanish like fog in the sunshine. His personality is so much like mine that instead of clashing, we mesh like peanut butter and chocolate (mmmm.... still thinking about those pretzels...) Anyway, I was pretty sure he was having trouble seeing far away because he has always sat too close to the tv when watching cartoons or playing video games, but he never seemed to have any trouble in school. We finally had his eyes checked, he's near-sighted, like me and his Dad. I didn't get glasses til I was 22 and realized I couldn't pitch a softball over the plate anymore because I couldn't see it. My Love, however, has had glasses since he was a small guy. He was pretty upset about him having to get glasses too after all the torture he endured as a kid with glasses.

Here is the sweet before picture:
 This is the adorable after picture... sigh. He looks different, his eyes still sparkle, his smile still glows, but deep in my heart I am afraid for him. I don't want ANYONE to pick on him and dim the light inside making him question how amazing he has been designed to be. True confession here: His brother has already said, "I like you better without glasses." And I had to restrain myself from throttling his jealous little neck (we still struggle with both boys wanting the same exact thing all the time)! But, I did passionately remind all my sons we are to speak life and blessing to each other, celebrating the way God made each of us, different and wonderful!

Now on to lighter things... Camping in the rain... the kids were soaked, every day. I shoved aside the inner panic of everyone "catching their death" of cold from being wet and just let them be little boys in the rain. After all, if you want to camp in North Idaho, you have to accept that if you get a completely sunny perfect weekend, it is a fluke. Or the month of August. Or the weekend you stay home to do yard work. Here are some of the happy faces doing what they love to do while camping...









And finally, apparently I am a little obsessed with getting a perfect Father's Day photo... this was photo #5 and below, photo #7. That was when I gave up. The t-shirts say, "I dig my Dad", which was also not possible to capture in the picture...

Also, I could tell my Love was about ready to steal my camera and hide it under a stump! Oh well. I am again reminded I do not want automatons that smile on cue, even if it would be convenient occasionally.

Friday, June 17, 2011

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Oh boy! I have two weeks of "Fess Ups" to make so as a woman who has ridden "Thunder Mountain" at Disneyland TOO many times in my lifetime:

"Hang on to your hats and glasses, 'cause this here's the wildest ride in the wilderness!"

I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have wanted to put that in print instead of keeping it my head!! And by the way, it has been AT LEAST 15 years since I have even been in the vicinity of Disneyland and I might be overstating the excitement you will find in this blog a bit, maybe...

My oldest has started wiping off kisses, extracting himself from my hugs, and working for hours on lego Star Wars battleships. I think he's growing up. I am not gonna lie... I am looking forward to what's next but I miss my little guy. 
On his 7th birthday, my young Jedi salutes me.

I always meant to send this in to Pace for their marketing campaign!


















I have tried to cook healthier now that I am doing a biggest loser challenge on Spark People. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. This didn't work...

My Love mocked my efforts and I swore to him it would taste better than it looked. It didn't.







If you have been following my "fess ups" you know about my most hated messy place I have been trying to conquer for months... Here is the most recent evolution. It took two weeks to go from beginning photo to the end.







We have a super small living room and this did not help increase its size, but I hope it will help increase my organization. I will keep you posted!

Every year my Love and his buds go to what I lovingly refer to "Man Camp".They are busy with their families all year long and then, for one weekend a year (and occasional "safety meetings") they spend two and a half days just being together. I took a picture this year of some of the groceries and packing style. My husband is terribly prompt. I am not. Some of his friends aren't either. He didn't care. The kids and I did have to stop running in and out of the house kissing him goodbye though... we were rather annoying. ;)

I took a poll on my Facebook status last week. I asked if I should spend my blow money on fake nails or on a cleaning lady. This is what I picked despite 47 responses encouraging a cleaning lady. Maybe someday when I get a bigger house, I will think a cleaning lady is a good idea. For now, my nails look like this:
I did get all ten nails done, this was just the picture that came out the best!


and I like them!


I finally caved to the sad begging of my sons to allow them to run through the sprinkler this "summer". I think it was about 65 degrees and windy. They are obviously miserable!





Finally, every year I think I can wrap my brain and brown thumbs around the idea of a garden. Some years I grow a tomato plant on the back porch. This year, my "garden" consists of three flower pots. Here's to hoping I remember to water them and that they grow!





Hopefully I won't have to confess in a few weeks that I put too many fertilizer sticks in, watered too much and drowned them or forgot to water them entirely. See now why I can't have pets!

We are due to go camping in a few hours. I am still in my pajamas, my kids need breakfast, and I am not packed yet. I am almost ready to go!

Happy Friday All!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Need to Cry Today?

I do.

I started (crying inside) by yelling at my kids because we were running behind schedule this morning for eye appointments in Spokane, eating 3 Krispy Kreme donuts, coming home to eat a big bowl of healthy turkey and black bean chili, AND 5 chicken nuggets with ketchup.

Then on Toy Story 2 which is playing in the background, they started the song about when the cowgirl toy had an owner, and I got tears in my eyes.

That's how I knew I needed to cry. Actually shed tears releasing the heartache I am feeling today.

I sure would have liked to have gotten it out of my system BEFORE I ate all those calories...

I have several things floating around in my spirit today:
- today is my good friend's birthday. He released his wife to Heaven almost 3 weeks ago. I can't imagine he feels much like celebrating. My heart aches with empathy for his agony. I am passionately asking God for an amazing gift for him today. Something super personal, ministering to his aching heart and something only the God of Creation could give.
- overall grieving today - nothing like fresh grief to stir up old grief too - I miss my friend Roni (sometimes when I close my eyes I see her face and long to ask her the questions I didn't have time to ask). I miss my uncle. I loved him so much and he and I were tight because he was only 13 when I was born. He made me laugh. He had the best laugh, no one else laughed like him - except his boys... they each have their own unique version of his Uncle Mark chuckle. I miss my baby. Two dear friends are having baby girls - one has birthed, the other one will. I love where I am in my life, but sometimes I wish I could hold her and see her smile. Jake Chissie and Mat Rocheleau were two of the young men God put on my prayer radar years ago. They both live in Heaven now and I miss them and the impact they had on their family and friends. My grandparents who are still here are super close to Heaven, they are seeing things, moving less, struggling more and I know it isn't long before they join my other grandparents. Many of my friends are missing their fathers and grandfathers this Father's Day.
- Feeling like my body will never change. Ever. (especially if I deal with my emotions by eating)

Here is what I am doing with this - releasing it to the Lord. He knows my heart. He says so in Psalm 139.

I need Him to be God today. He is. I need Him to be Big today. He is. I need to feel small today. I do. I need to know that He is capable of holding grieving hearts, discouraged hearts, sad hearts, and is never offended or overwhelmed.

So I cry. Freely. Wishing things were different, knowing He's in charge, and trusting Him with whatever is next.

If you need to cry. Go ahead.

I know He will hold you and comfort you. Just like He says He will in Matthew 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fake Nails vs Cleaning Lady

I recently posted this on my Facebook Status:
is wondering... need an opinion from ya'll... fake nails or cleaning lady (2x/mo)... I only have so much "blow money" in my Dave Ramsay envelope, and this girl needs a little somethin' for me...
It turns out MANY of my friends had opinions on this matter. Actually all but one had ONE opinion - HOUSE CLEANING! The only one who didn't automatically put "housecleaning" on her vote agreed it was not an easy decision to make.
Here is the argument for each...
I will address the "nails" first - for as long as I can remember (even when I was taking awesome vitamins and pregnant) my nails have been flimsy and peel. I paint them with amazing or cheap polish with all the coats (it takes about an hour - then let them sit for an hour) and they chip within the same day. 
I wrote about my nails a few weeks ago explaining how I have felt about them and how much I enjoy them. When I have them done, it is a treat for me. My nails are healthy and strong beneath their coating and they never chip, bend or break. When I see them I feel "put together". Even in my gym clothes and ponytail, I look "girlie".
Now for the house cleaner thing:
My house is 1600 sq ft. But we primarily live in the upstairs so I would only need someone to clean about 800 sq ft. Which would take an uninterrupted fast cleaning lady about 1 1/2 hrs at the most. IF I am uninterrupted, it takes me about 2 1/2 hrs to do the whole house every week - but how many times has that happened? 
MAYBE ONCE! 
When I am trying to do my weekly cleaning, it takes me ALL week with the zillion and a half interruptions. Or it takes me 4 -5 hours of one day and I have to act like "psycho-mommy" to keep the kids from messing up the room I just left, while I move on to cleaning the next one. 
I am NOT a neat freak, I battle clutter and don't have to have a clean house to have company. Cleaning for me has always been a fluid thing, when necessary but never compulsive or certainly not worth losing my temper over. That is one of the reasons I hate "psycho mommy". I want to get the task done, but I truly care more about the relationships in my life more than the dirt on my floor. I consistently seek balance (my Love is much more "orderly" than I) between relationships and tasks and I am improving for sure...
 So, I am in search of a solution. Hopefully one that will allow me to have nice nails and a clean house without negative impact on my family. :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fun with Turkey and Fly Spankings

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Since I spent the better part of the last week immobilized with grief from the loss of a friend, I must admit finding my "fess-ups" has been like hunting flowers in the weeds.

Here are just a few "daisies" in a weed covered week:

Making my lunch, which always is a trick since I cannot seem to keep my growing kindergartener full enough to not interrupt my progress with his "can I have some more..." and "can I have something ELSE?" was interrupted by shouts of "MOM!! LOOK!!" so loud I was jolted from my low blood sugar state to give full attention to these adorable faces...






Turkey Glasses and a Turkey Nose. I could care less about "don't play with your food" theories. I love it when my kids are creative like this, especially when I need a good belly laugh!
I forgot to frisk my kids for toys at the dinner table last night. I am glad I forgot. Where else can I write:
Milk - It does a Jedi good. 
Remember how proud I was of myself for getting my corner organized and keeping it clean? Well, here is what it looks like right now, and yes, I had to move an empty wine bottle out of the picture - too embarrassing and yet exposing at the same time... so I'll just tell ya about it instead! 



 I really have been wondering if I am speaking aloud or if the voices in my head are taking over. I make a simple request and no one moves...
I chucked a banana that was rudely smacked on my keyboard across the room. I demanded my son respect me and then  realized how ridiculous I sounded. Will I ever grow out of behaving like them? I am an "older mom" for that matter! 
My second son is obsessed with perfecting armpit farts and I am not sure if I should stop him or not. Every one needs a skill right?
I posted this on my facebook profile this week:
tales from the Kitchen Table... "Mom, where's the fly-spanker? We need to spank this fly out of the kitchen!"
I close this week with a question - Is there any solution to the little boy instinct to "if there is resistance, push against it"? 
I will remember to look for the "daisies" the rest of this weekend. Saying goodbye to a friend who has landed blissfully in Heaven puts me in the place to appreciate all the days I have, the crazy moments and every opportunity to "fess-up" to the antics of my family. What a gift!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Contending with the Sovereignty of God in the Valley of the Shadow of Death

He is good. I know it. His sovereignty is unquestionable. I believe it.

The depth of my pain is shocking. I have again, entered the Valley of the Shadow of Death. The death of my friend Roni has shaken me to the core.

I KNEW He would heal her.

He did. Just not HERE.

I hear His voice as a part of my daily interaction with Him. I engage with Him over big and small issues; things that would seem petty to many but I KNOW He cares about what matters to me.

She mattered to me, a lot and her precious family too. Her treasured husband, stood so strong in the face of such agony, steadfast in his conviction that God would heal her too.

And now, she is wrapped in the arms of Jesus and I am wondering why I KNEW He was going to heal her. What was He accomplishing in me with that rock solid conviction she would be healed HERE when He already knew she would return to Him?

I am learning to be more comfortable with questions that don’t have answers for this side of Heaven. His infinite picture far surpasses anything I can even begin to see.

In the Valley of the Shadow of Death, He remains sovereign. He already knows what is best. I can change His mind, but do I want to? If my perspective is finite and His is infinite, how can I begin to question Him?
When I contend (as the dictionary says: To strive in opposition, To strive against (others) for victory, To put forth reasons for or against something, often excitedly, To engage in a quarrel, To put into words positively and with conviction) with Him about His plan, I KNOW He hears my heart, the pain in it, and my submission to His will.
I think the key to being in the Valley of the Shadow of Death is to WALK through it like Psalm 23:4 in the Amplified says - Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me. – Not to set up camp there, dwell there, or wish I wasn’t there. For as long as it lasts, I am walking here, again, in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, anticipating His protection and His guidance, just like His Word says knowing good can be found in this place and in the places that come after, because He is good.

Who am I?

My photo
I am a wife and mother of 3. I have been married to my best friend for over 25 years and our children are 12, 11 and 9 years old. I have struggled with infertility, suffered the loss of a baby by miscarriage, and endured multiple career paths. I have experienced a crisis of faith that shook me to the core and lost a dear friend to a tragic death. I have had a personal relationship with Jesus for most of my life. The Bible and my relationship with Christ has been essential to my surviving and even thriving in my circumstances. I hope you will be blessed by joining me in this process of life. I thank you for showing up to read what I have written.