Saturday, January 31, 2009

Southern Snow Day

This is the snow that brings a southern city like ours to a screeching halt (pictures from 1/20/09):

Beautiful 3 inches, isnt' it? I'm sure my mom (Northern Minnesota) and my sister (Central Colorado) are just laughing their butts off right now.

This is the boy who, upon recognizing that the ground had snow, yelled to his sleeping daddy, "DAT SNOW! DAT SNOW!!! DADDY, DAT SNOW!!!"

This is the boy who nagged us both incessantly for about two hours to go outside and play (He needed breakfast and we needed coffee, quite frankly)

This is the boy who was actually WILLING to wear a hat and mittens if he could go out and play.

And this is the boy who played outside as many hours as his little face and feet could take - TWICE.

He slept like a log...HA!

Peace, ya'll!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Mysterious Life

Those who have abandoned themselves to God always lead mysterious lives and receive from him exceptional and miraculous gifts by means of the most ordinary, natural and chance experiences in which there appears to be nothing unusual.

- Jean-Pierre de Caussade – The Sacrament of the Present Moment –

Is it not true?

If you follow the deepest desires of your heart, un-adulterated by thoughts of acceptance or rejection, un-affected by worry over how you look to anyone outside of you and God, un-wavering in your dedication to hear that still small voice inside of you and move with it, get into its flow, do what it leads you to do…if you do that, do you not receive miraculous gifts from the most ordinary things?

Blessings are so much about being in the moment, being in tune to your heart and completely ignoring the harsh critics of your choices…INCLUDING your own brain screaming out how “wrong” something might be or how “SILLY” you might look.

My BEST cheerleader is my son…he tells me regularly how beautiful I am, how I’m a wonderful mommy, how much he loves me, how much he desires my company.

We dance in silly ways, sing completely random songs, have funny conversations about pickles in the grocery store and regularly high-five over the small accomplishments.

He teaches me daily to be in the now, in the moment, and to push aside whatever criticism the world might offer.

He teaches me to be the most authentic self I have, abandoned to my love for him and these small moments we share, abandoned to my silly and artistic side, completely ignorant of the part of me that craves things in boxes and neat little rows.

And I’ve said often that he is my direct connection to God – to how God must feel about ME. When I have to tell him “NO” I think of all the times God has said “NO” to me because I wasn’t ready or something was dangerous or out of step with my path. When I get to indulge him with an unexpected blessing, I think of God blessing me with something fun and unexpected. When we draw happy face after happy face on a chalk board and call it “art” I think of all my meager artistic offerings against the majestic sunset, the stunning ocean, the quite breeze, the amazing trees.

I live a mysterious life every day when I abandon myself to what God has placed before me right now and I do not worry about anything outside of His voice and His call and this moment and this thing…whatever that thing is.

And therein lies my miracle!

Peace, ya’ll!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Heard At Our House - Brand New Concepts

At 1:00 am after being allowed to crawl into Mommy and Daddy's bed only to find out that a bottle is out of the question:

Oh, I know! Wets half a convahsayshuuuun!!

(A conversation???? WHAT!?!?!?)

While trying to get one more bit of Daddy's blueberry waffle:

I woot wike won mo bite of patty cake, pahWEESE!

After looking out the window and seeing snow for the first time:


After receiving mommy's broken cell phone to play with:

Daddy, do your phone wite up? Mine not wite up!

When requesting his morning vitamins:

I want some bitamins an some dawops and some calsies!!!

(That's vitamins, allergy drops and calciums.)

Yesterday at dinner:

Daddy? Why it get dahk? Why it get wight?

(at this point, Daddy explained in VERY GREAT detail how the earth spins on an axis and goes around the sun)

MOMMY! Know how it get dahk? Da eart go wound da sun! and awoun and awoun wike dis!!! (showing spinning cirlce motions with two extended index fingers)

Question to parents of older children - isn't it a little early to ask why it gets dark and light?


Peace ya'lll!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Have you missed me and Crackberry

Have you missed me?

I've just returned back (well...last Thursday, but its taken a bit to recover) from Jackson, Tennesse, home of the Casey Jones Train Museum (and all the touristy things that go with it.)

I'd like to tell you I had a wonderful time touring all the historical sites. Alas, I was there for work and literally didn't even need my sunglasses as I left my hotel in the dark and returned to it in the dark. LONG days of working...

The people were extraordinarily freindly, tho! I didn't meet one single person who wasn't extremely friendly and helpful. Perhaps I'll get to return one to day to actually see the city!

When I got back to town, my trusty cell phone of three years took a dive and I was forced to get a new one...

So I took the plunge and got a cute pink crack-berry. Its really very awesome! It took a few days to get it all set up, but it was SO WORTH it!

AND it was free - with my trade-in discount and their rebates, I ended up with a free phone!

Now I'm off to get some more work done!

Has anyone figured out how to make lots of money doing nothing? If so, drop me a line!

HA! HA!!!

Blessings and PEACE, ya'll!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Self-Portraits and a Scene Stealer

I have been attempting to get some self-portraits for some projects I'm working on. Its not always easy in this house to get a self-portrait.

For one, the little man knows what a camera is and always wants to be in the pictures. He will say, "Now MY turn!" and just help himself into your shot - which in this case meant climing a stool to get into my lap.

For another, if little man isn't IN your shot, he's over by the camera, jostling the tri-pod or trying to "shee, shee" the pictures on the LCD.

This must be a product of living in a digital age - he can see pictures immediately and is fascinated with the fact that a picture will be taken and then produced on the spot for his enjoyment.

At any rate, the pictures I did take required some cropping, warming and other fancy effects. I'm CERTAINLY no master at this editing gig, and tend to prefer correction to shots rather than editing. As bad as they may be, I like pictures that rather reflect our imperfect life and my hugely imperfect photography...they have a raw quality that I treasure. Its not dissimilar to my taste in music - I prefer acoustic live music - first of all, it takes way more talent to make it sound good and it also makes "art" of those delightful imperfections...I'm just not a fan of "producing" music (or a photo shot!)

Anywho...these are a couple of my favorites, in all their imperfections...

NOTE to self...when did I get so many wrinkles around my eyes????

And perhaps the best shot of all (because I am NOT the star of it!) and evidence that Jay was literally climbing into my shots...

Peace, Ya'll!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Wrapping Up Christmas

What an amazing Christmas it was this year!!

We've always enjoyed Christmas - for us it is the celebration of our Lord and our Savior. I'm constantly overwhelmed by the thought that my savior came to us as a helpless baby. Now that we have a two-year-old in our house, the thought is even more amazing. I often wonder if Christ talked early, didn't listen to his mommy, and played fun imagination games like "train" using two empty boxes and a ton of little toy "guys." Having a child has taught me SO MUCH about our Savior and my relationship with him. Every day there are lessons to be learned from this little one.

Jayden certainly understood the aspects of Christmas this year. He wanted to read all the Christmas stories we have - Mary and Jesus, The Legend of the Candy Cane, The Legend of the Christmas Tree, and The Night Before Christmas. He understood (from school and us) that Christmas was baby Jesus birthday and wanted to sing "Happy birthday" to Jesus. It was pure delight to watch him comprehend.

Our season was smaller and quieter than in past years, as I'm certain it was for everyone this year. But in the slower pace, and without all the "present" trappings, it was a much more contemplative and peaceful time of year this year. It felt far less crazy and far less stressful. More, I'm absolutely sure, of what God wants for us...peace, generosity of spirit, and love.

There is always a cookie party to start off our Christmas Season, but this year I spent the time enjoying my company instead of taking are no shots of it this year. It was grand and happy and the perfect start to our season.

Then we attended the Christmas Program at Evangel Christian Academy where Jay goes to school. The little ones sat at their table and sang Jingle Bells and one other "bells" song with little jingle bells strapped to their was the cutest thing ever. Our boy is VERY familiar with Jingle Bells, as him and Grandma sing the song multiple times a day during the Holiday Season.

Like most parents in America, we were up late, late, late on Christmas eve. I had to take a picture of our beautiful tree with its surrounding presents. It was so peaceful and so quiet...just a beatiful moment - my special moment.

Another aspect of a child who "gets" Christmas, Jay really understood this year that he was supposed to unwrap the presents. He took great joy in tearing the paper off of his own presents and ours too.

When we got to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Christmas dinner, there was a brand new Jayeden-sized bouncy castle in the play room. He was so excited!!

One of the funnest things he got at Grandmas was a sing-along-book. Its a book with a little music box and microphone attached. Does anyone think he looks like mama here? hee hee!

Grandma and Grandpa K sent a wonderful workbench with tools to Jay. He LOVES this has so many parts, all ripe for his imagination. We've found him many times turning a piece of this set over and over in his hands trying to figure out what its used for.

It was an amazing season and we are looking very forward to 2009. We see lots of change for us on the horizon and are looking forward to what is to come.

Happy New Year and Peace, ya'll!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Embrace Imperfection

The fastest way to break the cycle of perfectionism and become a fearless mother is to give up the idea of doing it perfectly - indeed to embrace uncertainty and imperfection.
- Arianna Huffington -

This is how I'd like it to read:

The fastest way to break the cycle of perfectionism and become fearless is to give up the idea of doing it perfectly - indeed to embrace uncertainty and imperfection.

mmmmm...THAT's GOOD!

Peace, Ya'll!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

One Little Word.

Many of you know about One Little Word, either from my last post, or from Ali.

My word for 2008 was RENEW.

In some sense, I have accomplished the things I set out to do, and in some sense NOT. I certainly applied more energy and importance to the things that matter to me in 2008. I also discovered that PROCESS was a huge part of my 2008. Walking things out in steady (sometimes boring!) steps to get from there to here.

Honestly, I think I could really manage another year of RENEW. But its time for a new word and a new focus.

The word I’ve chosen for this year is EMBRACE.

1. to take or receive gladly or eagerly; accept willingly
2. to avail oneself of
3. to adopt
4. to take in with the eye or the mind.
5. to encircle; surround; enclose.
6. to include or contain:

I am particularly fond of “to take in with the eye or the mind” and “to take or receive or eagerly”

After the little rant about “purge” yesterday, this may be a confusing departure, but let me explain.

In my little tizzy fit yesterday, I realized that my control-freak nature is really an issue. I spend entirely too much of my life fighting against the very things that God brings into my life. I spend a lot of time on “should” and “going to” instead of just “do” and “be.”

And so, I’ve decided to embrace the things that God places before me, rather than focusing on what I should or should not do, think, be, feel, act. I’m ready to accept and receive and be open to things.

Now, I’m a strong willed girl – a girl of action…so I needed an active word. EMBRACE is such an active word, but its positive in nature and accepting in its stature. It takes the stance that what will be will be, but does not absolve me from taking actions. I guess the key is that instead of holding things at arms length, or holding myself separate from them, I will be encompassing them, eagerly accepting them, taking things in and processing.

I’m so excited!!!