Friday, July 31, 2009

Big D, Little d, what begins with D?

Donuts and a duck-dog, D, d, D*

  • Departure ~ of MIL this morning, meaning that tomorrow will be the first full 24 hour day that it's just my hubby, Baby Girl and me home since July 4. I am so ready. I am grateful for her help, and my mom's prior to that, but I'm done sharing my house. I'm a J on Myers-Briggs and I really like my order and don't like it messed with. My husband will tell me to get over it, but the big thing today is what I noticed while playing outside with Baby Girl this afternoon. My MIL (who always has to be doing...) decided to do some re-landscaping of my yard. Okay--if she'd asked, maybe. I don't have time to do lots of yard work; I'm trying to keep things alive that were here. I realize this, but what she did was move lots of the decorative rocks. I couldn't tell you where they all came from, but I do know that they are now covering all the spots where from up close you could see dirt. You know why you can see dirt in those spots? It's because that's where the spring flowers (like ALL the tulips) came through the beds of small rocks. Tulips are my favorites. Okay--venting over for now....this is supposed to be things I'm grateful for.
  • D ~ my husband. He's a wonderful daddy and he's very caring. I know I sometimes take him for granted and I know sometimes I get annoyed. After a near week with MIL, it helps me remember some of the things he does he can't help. He's just like her in some things.
  • Disposable diapers ~ I know...they are bad for the environment, expensive, etc. But for me, at this point in my life, it was worth it.
  • Dishwasher ~ not only because I'm lazy and don't enjoy washing dishes, but because I love knowing that the dishes get clean and sanitized with very hot water.
  • Dozing ~ Baby Girl was out of sorts when all left this morning, so I decided we'd snuggle for a bit and watch some TV. She fell asleep and thinking she wouldn't sleep long, I just snuggled with her and ended up dozing with her. She slept about an hour and I probably dozed 1/2 that time.
  • Day off ~ Having a day off so I had that luxury. Though since she's down for her real nap, I should really do something that I need to accomplish--like message for Sunday or some laundry or a stack of papers....

*Thanks to Dr. Seuss

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Big C, Little c, what begins with C?

Camels on the ceiling, C, c, C*

Today I'm grateful for:
  • church ~ the body of Christ, the universal church, especially those times we live it out well
  • communion ~ I'm such a Lutheran; sacraments are so important to me
  • communion of saints ~ especially that "mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won"
  • connections ~ of all sorts, especially with people
  • colleagues ~ one in particular has been particularly helpful in my life in the last few days, but there are so many I'm grateful for
  • cats ~ I've always been more of a cat person than a dog person. Perhaps it's because cats are more like me--fiercely independent, seem stand-offish and/or shy, but when they love you, they can't get enough attention
  • cuddles ~ especially from a certain 14-month-old in my life
  • china ~ two sets in particular, one handed down from my grandpa's cousin that has real gold leafing and one handed down from my mom
  • C ~ my daddy...he's one major reason the communion of saints is so important for me. He's been gone for 22 years now, more than double the time I had to know him. He meant so much and I know how much he loved me. And I know we are connected. It doesn't always feel like enough, but it's all I have.

I'll think of more later; I know I will. I keep thinking of so many things for the past letters. Here's the beginning of that list: Advent, anticipation, baptism, books, blogs, boxes. (I mean really, how could I forget baptism, books, and blogs yesterday?)

*thanks to Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Big B, little b, What Begins with B?

Barber, baby, bubbles, and a bumblebee*

  • Babies ~ I wrote about my baby girl yesterday and I'm most grateful for her, but all babies give me so much hope. They remind me of possibilities and love and newness. There is nothing more precious to me that snuggling a tiny one.
  • Breast milk ~ I am so grateful for these months that I have had plenty of breast milk to nourish my little one. I know everyone is not so lucky. Right now it is bittersweet as we are nearing being fully weaned -- just nursing once a day. I'll miss it when we are done completely.
  • Boppies ~ These make nursing so much easier. I'm not sure I could have nursed so long without having one!
  • Bed ~ I love to sleep. I'm grateful for a soft cozy bed and warm covers.
  • Butterflies ~ I have a little card with a butterfly pin on that says this, "Butterflies are a reminder to us that the world flutters with new possibilities." I have it hanging near my desk. I often need the reminder!
  • Bees ~ Though bees also terrify me a little bit, I love to look at the big fluffy ones that look like they'd be soft to touch. I also enjoy the fruits of the bee's labor, particularly honey.
  • Bread ~ Fresh bread--nothing like it.
  • Bananas ~ on the green side or in banana bread, or watching Baby Girl's excitement to have one to eat
  • B, Baby Girl's beloved babysitter ~ While Baby Girl will go to a new daycare this fall, we are so blessed that Baby Girl was in B's wonderful and loving hands for so much of her first year. I will always be grateful for that.

*Thanks to Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Big A, Little a, what begins with A?

Aunt Annie's alligator...A, a, A*

So I've happened upon a number of blogs lately that have been doing gratitude lists, one letter at a time. I've been overwhelmed and wanting to write, but not knowing how. This seemed like a good idea to get me going. We'll see how 26 days goes!

But here is my list for A:
  • A (aka Baby Girl for blog purposes) ~ she is the joy in my life, the way her whole face lights up when she sees me, the way she snuggles into my arms, says "mamam" and pats me when she's excited to see me, the way I can see her mind working as she figures things out, the toothy grin and her infectious giggle, and her love of books--so much so that I have Big A, Little a memorized (among others!)
  • Anniversaries ~ today is my 8th wedding anniversary, sometimes it feels like it can't possibly have been that long that we've been married and other times it feels like we've been together forever (in a good way)
  • Alone time ~ summer has been crazy and chaotic and basically involved no time to myself, but there have been moments and there will be moments coming up soon for which I am grateful

It seems like there should be so much more. Perhaps I'll have to come and add later today. The good news is that I'm thinking of lots of things for other letters! Maybe those will come easier.


  • Automatic transmission ~ as I was driving around between nursing home visits this afternoon, I realized how grateful I am that I don't have to worry about gears or clutches and can instead go on a kind of auto-pilot and think (about things that begin with a)...oh, I'm sure I could learn to drive a manual transmission, but I'm glad I don't HAVE to
  • ATMs ~ not so much to get cash, but to check the balance quickly without having to enter a month of reciepts into the computer program
  • A (different A than Baby Girl) ~ my BFF, though somehow those letters make our relationship seem trivial. A has been my friend forever, though we didn't always know it. We were born the same day (within 2 hours) at the same hospital and our moms shared a hospital room. We went to different elementary schools, but met in junior high and became forever friends. We aren't always the best at being in touch and can go for months without communicating and years without seeing each other. But when we get together, we fall back into easy friendship. And that is a blessing.
  • Aunties ~ growing up, I was very close to my aunties (my mom's two sisters) and great-aunts (my grandma's sisters). Only one great-aunt is left and it's hard to make time to see my aunties, but I'm glad for the presence they all were in my life.
  • August ~ the month--sure, after all it is my birth month, but also the only grandpa I remember. He loved me, his baby grandchild, fiercely and protectively, especially after my dad died. Unfortunately, his mind started to leave him a few short years after that and his body not much later. He meant more to me than I can say.

*thanks to Dr. Seuss

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I am feeling so utterly overwhelmed by so much that I don't even know where to begin. Here's hoping that writing this post will help...if I get it written.

This spring Hubby and I decided that yes, he could do his annual summer job out of state--about an hour and half away from our home. Not that long of a distance, but for a 24/7 job that means living in a hotel room away from Baby Girl and me, long enough. And with no babysitter for the summer--since he's in education and would be home. Yeah. We thought, hoped, prayed that he'd have a principal job lined up and be able to forgo the summer job. Didn't happen. So...thankfully grandmas and friends are willing to help. But since grandmas live a distance means they come to stay. And that has its own challenges. I'm still the parent and though I have help, I'm the primary caregiver. And it's a balancing act of letting grandma do things her way compared to the way I'd do them.

My mom left yesterday morning. Baby Girl and I are home alone today. Baby Girl's godmother comes for the day tomorrow. MIL comes on Saturday. Hubby will come home on Monday BUT did get a principal job, but one that doesn't require a move. He starts on Tuesday with that and we didn't line up our childcare until August 3, so MIL is staying until Friday morning.

And then, senior pastor is gone for three weeks--nearly two down near. In that time, in addition to the usual stuff, I had a wedding and now have a funeral tomorrow. Funeral tomorrow wouldn't be so bad except they are only having the visitation an hour before (deceased was 92 so most friends are gone) and have family time just before that which means they will be at the church by 8 a.m. My friend wasn't going to arrive until between 8 and 8:30 since I normally go in between 8:30 and 9. I'm going to call her today in hopes she can arrive a bit earlier. Our office manager is awesome, so she'll get the funeral home help in getting settled which helps so much. But sermon for both the funeral and the weekend is not done.

And, next week, office manager will be gone too.

Oh, and did I mention that Baby Girl is teething and/or has a cold and we are weaning. So we have Velcro Girl.

And I wanted to move 2 years ago. And now was encouraged to interview at a place about 30 minutes from here and so have to decide if I should and update my papers for a congregation if I do. And it's 30 minutes from my home in the opposite direction of the 30 minutes hubby will have to drive for his new job. And he thinks he would only stay at this job a couple years and I don't want to do that to a congregation--because even if I interviewed today, there'd be time before starting (if it was the right call in my mind and theirs) there would be transition time, so I could potentially only be there a year and then look to move and that is just not fair to a congregation. But it would be a solo position which would be good experience.

Plus I was sick the first week senior pastor was gone, so I got little done except the bare necessities and now all these things have piled up. School starts in our district on August 13, so there's lot of organizing for fall that needs to happen now. And I have jury duty on August 17th.

So...I think that about cover it. I've held off Velcro Girl while I wrote this and now she's stuck in something so will tend to her.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Few Words

Yesterday was my day off and since Hubby is out of town for his summer job, Baby Girl and I were home alone all day. And, I suddenly realized, at least one reason it is so exhausting to be home with her alone all day. There are so few words.

When I'm home alone alone, I usually have the tv on for background noise. I don't want her watching tv, so I don't have it on. Other spaces, I usually have the radio on if I'm alone. When I'm in the office, even if there's no talking, I'm still surrounded by words--written though, either on computer or in books.

Baby Girl says a few words, but more or less, the only words are in the books we read (which though there are many books, the vocabularly is still quite limited) or in the words I say. And when it comes to spoken words, being surrounded by only mine--not so exciting.

Hmm, guess we should listen to the radio. But Grandma J. comes tomorrow for about 2 weeks, so there will be words again!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Quiet and Chaos

It is nearly absolute quiet in my house. Baby Girl is sleeping (despite the wailing siren of the ambulance that just went by). Hubby is away--gone for the month for his summer job. Grandma J. will be coming on Wednesday to babysit while I work. So tonight through Wednesday, I'm on my own with Baby Girl. I'm sure we'll do fine, but right now the house is so quiet!

In the midst of the chaos of daily life, of poopy diapers, of little fingers getting into mischief, of balancing work and home, of not getting dishes washed or floors vacuumed, of toys spread out throughout the house and toys not as appealing as whatever it is Mommy and Daddy are trying to accomplish, I crave the quiet.

Now, in the quiet--I crave the chaos. I have forced myself to leave the tv off, to listen only to the sounds of my fingers on the keyboard, the ceiling fans whirring above my head, the cars speeding past the windows, the occasional boom of (I'm sure) illegal firework, and even that siren. (Which I wonder if will return or head another route to a hospital.) In the quiet, I feel so alone, so disconnected.

I have a to-do list a mile long. There is so much I 'should' do right now while I have the quiet and no little hands vying for my attention. But all I want to do is lose myself in something outside of my life--a tv show, a book, a magazine, a blog. I don't want to be Mommy at the moment; I don't want to be wife at the moment; and I certainly don't want to be Pastor. Those titles all feel so full of chaos.

But yet, those define me--perhaps not all of me, but me in this season. And so I guess I'll turn the tv on, tidy up some spaces, and give thanks for both the quiet and the chaos.