Sunday, July 23, 2006

28 Weeks

28 weeks copy

Mr. Jayden is still sitting up, up, up…He’s quite the mover, but he’s completely courteous – he only wakes me up at a reasonable hour and he doesn’t keep me up past my normal bed time…such a good baby!!!

Dr’s appointment on Friday…all GREAT! - Blood pressure normal, weight gain a larger than I would want, but still well under “normal.” The doctor said he was impressed with the ideal progress of my pregnancy! YEA!!!

That’s the baby update for now…

Peace, everyone!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Morning Coffee…

If you know me, you know I LOVE COFFEE…yes, it is my “drug” of choice.

I find it interesting, after reading this, to note that the best coffee is made from beans that are the greasiest, oiliest, most “unclean” beans…

Anyway…cannot claim this. My friend Sareta sent it to me…It’s a fabulous message! ENJOY!

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to
visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into
complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and
returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups -
porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive,
some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

All the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If
you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving
behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want
only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and
stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee - it's just
more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink.

What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you
consciously went for the best cups ... and then began eyeing each
other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee. The jobs, the money, the
positions in society, etc. are the cups.

They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we
have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee
God has provided us."

Commentary: (Important, I think!) That the jobs, money, positions in society, etc are just TOOLS to hold life…and as any skilled craftsman will tell you, JUST having the tools is not enough. You also have to know the proper and appropriate way to use those tools to their best effect.

God brews the coffee, not the cups ... enjoy your coffee.

Friday, July 14, 2006

You know you’re in the south when…

Today I saw a lady leaving the office who was just a beautiful lady.

She had on a crisp white button down shirt with short sleeves.

And bright salmon colored pants…

But the thing that got me was that her shoes AND her handbag AND her
necklace MATCHED that bright salmon color…

Perfectly matched…like they were all made from the same dye batch!

And I felt so inadequate…

I can’t say that my shoes, bag and pants never match…they frequently do…

Its just that when they match its because they are all black, brown or
navy…

And I thought to myself…how do you shop for an outfit like that?

Do you remember the color and buy the pieces when you come across them?

Do you actively go hunting through the mall to find just the right shoes
and bags?

Are there special stores that put the matching-pants-shoes-and-purses
outfits all in one section?

Do you buy one piece because you love it and then cart it around to
every store you go to until you find just the right other pieces to go
with it?

Do you carry swatches or photographs?

I will admit…in the 80’s I had everything-matches outfits…lots of
them…in the 80’s…did I say in the 80’s?

I will also admit to being on a quest to make sure that my navy’s
match…because you know they don’t sometimes…and I always bring along
navy pieces I already own so I don’t have different navy’s floating
around in my closet…

Lucky for me, I usually (non-pregnant self) shop for my clothing in only
a handful of stores and my work clothes almost exclusively at casual
corner…so…my navy’s are usually easy to match…

I thought the idea of fashions and colors these days was sort of this
anything goes, don’t mix your warm and cool neutrals, buy colors and
cuts that are made for your body, and blend or compliment the color
family rather than matchy-matchy…

I must have missed something…

I don’t know how to accessorize an outfit that matches perfectly…does
the lighting your in matter? I mean, do you have to verify the color in
both sunlight and fluorescent? Candle light or incandescent?

What about the season? Do you only wear salmon in the heat of summer?
And if so, do you only buy open-toed salmon shoes?

Do you buy a few matchy-matchy things in lots of different colors? Or
do you choose one or two of your best colors and have lots of pieces so
you can “mix-and-match”? (which is really just matching, if you think
about it, because there is no mixing when its all one perfectly chosen
color)

I mean, I about have a heart attack when I think of all the shoes I
would have to own to match all my tops in my closet…I have lots of shoes
already…and the turquoise flip-flops were a splurge purchase…I don’t own
a turquoise outfit! I wear them with black capris and a white shirt!

Speaking of which….when the shoes wear out, do you have to throw out the
rest of the outfit? Or do you go on the great salmon-colored-shoe-hunt
extravaganza across three cities to replace the shoes?

See this baffles me…

Oh, what the closets must look like!

Mine is a disaster with my basic neutral, tried and true classics and my
shirt-o-the-month choices! How, exactly do you organize a closet with
all these matching things? By color family? “Here are all my salmon
colored clothing pieces.” Gosh, I think I’d have to do it that way, or
I’d never find the appropriate shoes to wear in the dark of the morning…

And God-forbid I wear my salmon pants and handbag with my hot pink
shoes…

Oh the shame it would cause…

Peace, everyone!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The devil is such a good liar…

That we don’t even know when we are being lied to!

Ok…that’s powerful…

(I can't claim this one...its from our pastor's sermon last Saturday night.)

The devil is such a good liar that we don't even know we are being lied to.

Makes you look with new perspective at the world around you and the
things you think, say, feel and do, doesn’t it?

Makes you want to examine and back-check, to determine if what you
believe is really what you believe…and to determine if what you believe
is based on truth or on lies.

Makes me want to ask, “Where did that come from and why is it part of my
world?”

Good stuff, I think, to review and check myself, to validate what is
habit or life-style against what I am called to be as Heaven’s
ambassador…

Really good stuff to ask the question, “Why do I think that?” and dig
deep enough to find some real answers…and where there are no answers,
find a new thought…a new perspective based more on truth than on shadows
or memories or on what somebody else fed me…

This was in my FC planner today as the quote of the day:

“Everyone has his burden. What counts is how you carry it.” – Joe Brown
and David Brown.

This, too, has me examining and checking myself…

Now as burdens go, mine, frankly, is not all that dramatic…but in my
comfortable life, do I carry it as though it were bigger and more
debilitating than it really is?

What do others see and know of me carrying my burden?

It’s a good question…a very good question.

My burden is light…I could help somebody else with theirs…

I could not whine and complain about mine so much…

Happy pondering!

Peace, everyone!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Living in the moment…

As I read blogs and understand how other people see themselves, relate to the world, build relationships and get their work done, I find out so much about “us.”

How similar we are…

And how different…

One thing I’m not good at…I’m not good at living in the now…

I’m constantly remembering a past event and marking it…”I remember when such-and-such happened. I’m not going to let THAT happen again!”

Or reaching for a future event…”When such-and-such happens, then I can take a rest.”

In its own, way, this kind of thinking is a driving force…it keeps me from the bad and propels me toward goals. It keeps me organized and mindful of the details. It helps me to pay attention to things going on around me and judge a situation for positive or negative content.

On the other hand, it keeps me from taking risks that would have great reward. It keeps me “inside” myself with new people. It keeps me on my couch watching events, or in my studio documenting events, but does not get me into the world experiencing events.

A great example: my life group. I’ve got an amazing life group! They are truly the most STUNNING group of women – beautiful and willing to share and be open to one another. And me…I have to FORCE myself to connect.

Why? Because I’ve pre-judged this experience…I would not call myself stunning…I would call myself awkward…or large…or loud…or something not quite adequate to the challenge of sitting in a room discussing my spiritual search and the answers I’ve found with so many gorgeous women...

And why? Because somewhere in my past, I’ve made a false connection between beauty and not having any “real” problems…Somewhere, I got the impression that I can’t belong to a group of real beauties because they are a level above me and I cannot possibly relate to them…Somewhere, I have marked an experience that says, “I’m not a beautiful and my problems are too huge for this group.”

Now, let me say, I believe every girlfriend I have is beautiful. And with each and every one of them, I’ve forged meaningful relationships…but these relationships I have are hard won and have existed for many years…I was not prepared to be matched with a group of 9 gorgeous women, all leading amazing and diverse lives, and then be called to be honest about my feelings and impressions and spirituality and life.

As easy as it is for me to strike up a conversation and get to know people, this level of involvement isn’t usually part of the bargain…there is just no shallow stuff possible here! I cannot hide behind small talk and current events conversation while feeling out the situation, if you know what I mean.

Now, when I say I want to grow, I mean it. When I say I want to leave these things behind, I mean it. But as I’ve written before, when so much of one’s definition of oneself depends upon the baggage carried, its difficult to find the core of your being without all those suitcases.

One really amazing thing about my life is that I’ve learned that God puts me RIGHT where He wants me and no where else. And a further amazing thing, my husband can usually vocalize this concept with great candor and caring for my fragile feelings.

And so, when I said, “God, what are you doing!?!?!?!?!?!” He said, “Putting you RIGHT where you need to be!” And, of course, Scott echoed this by telling me that this is the perfect time and place for me to deal with this issue – this nagging feeling that I am not as beautiful as other people, this issue that I’m too something and not enough something else.

If you have read the Eldridge’s book Captivating, you will recognize this concept…too much and not enough. After reading that book, I realized just how many women in the world struggle just as I am..

I read somewhere…I cannot now remember where…that if you are still struggling with God, you have not yet reached the end of yourself…

That is so true…and I am unequivocally not at the end of myself.

But I heard some more words that I’m putting on as my mantra today:

I'm gonna stop lookin' back and start movin' on
And learn how to face my fears
Love with all of my heart, make my mark
I wanna leave something here

Go out on a ledge, with out any net
That's what I'm gonna be about
Yeah I wanna be runnin'
When the sand runs out

Peace, ya’ll!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Today’s happiness:

Tinted lip balm from Goldie in a luscious color called “Monk.”

Funny how a tube of lip balm can make me so happy…

So, all you men who think that women are complicated – sometimes all it
takes is a new tube of tinted lip balm.

For me, a package in the mail (that’s not a bill or a sales
advertisement!) will do it. Or a single bloom in a bright color. Or an
“I love you” phone call from Scott (with no subtext…just I love you!).
Or a scoop of ice cream. Or a “just because” note or card. Or one
great cup of coffee. Or looking around my house and NOT having one
single thing to “do.” Or a cool spritz of body splash when it’s hot out.
Or one fabulous found quote. Or finding a dollar in my winter coat
pocket. Or somebody saying I have pretty hair. Or a pre-teen gentleman
holding the door for me.

And from this list I can safely say, if I could have one or more of
these simple pleasures on any given day, it would be a fantastic day!

My hypothesis is this:

Women are not really complicated at all…

Its not about some big scary complicated thing for women…it’s about the
million tiny happies that make up the day.

Its about those tiny moments that let us know we are alive, that we have
senses, that we matter, are seen, thought of, appreciated, or that we
are just human and on a fantastic journey that make a woman’s life a
pleasure.

This, I think, is a critical thing that men miss…it’s not what you say
it’s how you say it.

It’s not the dozen roses that we love (although I’ve never turned away a
bouquet!) it’s that somebody thought enough to bring one bloom.

Its not the expensive gift purchased online, it’s the 99 cent card that
you chose yourself.

It’s the “lets go get ice cream” when its warm and the night is pretty.

It’s the consciousness that goes into the details…these tiny things add
up to lifetimes of extraordinary happiness!

One more happiness for me…

Found this song…

I’m in love with the words…

It’s Rascal Flatts…

And it makes me think of Baby Jayden and get all teary…every single time
I play it…

It’s going in his book.

The Day Before You

I had all but given up on finding
The one that I could fall into
On the day before you
I was ready settled for
Less than love and not much more
There was no such thing as a dream come true
Oh, but that was all the day before you

In your eyes I see forever
Makes me wish that my life never knew
The day before you
The Heaven knows those years without you
Shaping my heart for the that day I found you
You're the reason for all that I've been through
Then I'm thankful for the day before you

Now you're here and everything's changing
Suddenly life means so much
I can't wait to wake up tomorrow
And find out this promise is true
I would never have to go back to
The day before you

Peace, everyone

Sunday, July 02, 2006

25 Weeks…

25 Weeks…

25 Weeks copy

As you can tell, Jayden has grown…and flipped forward and is sitting much higher. Now he is no longer sitting between my hips, which is good…because that way, my lower back doesn’t hurt any more. Unfortunately, my little angel is now throwing off my balance. Just call me GRACE! HA! (ps...do I look pregnant NOW, Dad?)

We found this child-sized monkey at Babies R Us the other day…I just HAD to have it for the jungle nursery…Scott says Jayden is going to want to be an animal trainer from the nursery d├ęcor…well…I can think of worse things!!!
Monkey copy

We got the BEST box from my friend Teri on Friday…it was a “year in a box” kind of box…because she, too, has Barb’s disease…sorry mom…I guess its contagious! (Barb’s disease is where you don’t go mail your packages until long after you are supposed to, just in case you’ve never seen me mention that before…I have the WORST case.)

ANYWAY…it had birthday gifts, Mother’s and Father’s day gifts, a new house gift, some Trader Joes treats – OH how I miss Trader Joes!!! – and this absolutely adorable Happy Baby gift…a “diaper cake.” Its got a blankie, diapers, washcloths, a bib and a rattle…and it comes packaged in a cake box!!! SO completely adorable!!!

Diaper Cake copy

THANK YOU, miss Teri!!

That’s my Sunday morning stuff…

More insightful stuff to come soon…

Peace, everyone!