Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I just can't decide whether Wednesday or Thursday is my favorite day of the week. I treat myself on Wednesday evenings to some serious scrapbooking time. Usually after I put the kids to bed I tackle something on my list of 'big' cleaning projects. (It's hard to tackle the really tough dirt while making sure a toddler doesn't take off with the cleaning supplies!). My list of big chores is pretty long as our house was quite a mess when we moved in. I am happy to say it is getting shorter each day though. However, on Wednesdays I put the kids to bed, tidy up the living room and kitchen, grab myself a snack and settle in for an evening of scrapbooking and tv. Some weeks I do a lot of scrapbooking and some weeks I get a little scrapbooking done and a lot of tv watching. The shows I enjoy run from 8-11 and once they're done I pack up my stuff and head upstairs to bed. It's a good way to end a day. Plus knowing that I am going to treat myself makes me less irritable on tough days and is great motivation for accomplishing a lot during the day.

Then there's Thursdays. I get up and head to the church for LMO. Then I come home for lunch which we get to eat as an entire family! In the afternoon I put the girls down for a nap and if I want to I can leave the house kid free to run errands, go the library, hang out with Ange or whatever else. Or I can hang out with Nick or take a nap. Then we get to eat dinner, again as an entire family! Dinner is followed closely by our bedtime business. I tuck in the girls as Nick returns home with the baby sitter and we head out to Bible Study. It's an easy going day because I get to share the load of child care with Nick and I get to spend a lot of time with other adults. All things that make me quite happy.

I think maybe they are both my favorite, because they are together. Being an intorverted extrovert I get my energy from being with people, but I also need to have time by myself to do things for myself. It's great to have balance.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Number 47

Well, it's that time for me to write about this week's sermon. As you may recall we are doing a series on the book of Romans. This week I was really stoked about the message as our pastor was going deeper into an explanation of how the Gospel is logical. I was having a bit of a hard time understanding that. Nick took really great sermon notes so I got a look at how the sermon flowed and all but they were his thoughts and not mine which are very hard to turn into a post. We were just finishing up the final song in our worship time when out of the corner of Nick's eye he noticed the #47 flashing on the screen. One of our children was in need of a mom and I had to run to their aid.

It was Brooklyn, and this was the first time she needed us! We had been to church much earlier than usual this week because of another initiative for families the church has been doing and so she ate a bit earlier and just needed some food. No biggie. Except this girl has the loudest suck in the world! I absolutely cannot discreetly feed her!! So I was out in the foyer hoping to hear but got into some conversations with the other moms out there entertaining their toddlers and missed much of the sermon.

The point that I came in on is enough topic for an entire post though. Basically the pastor was using a chunk of Romans to describe how certain things in the Gospel need to happen because of how society is going, and how God knew it would go. (I'm really unsure how to describe it cuz I missed most of it, so I'm just going to skip to the point). He was talking about the journey toward moral depravity in society and he stated that as Christians we've lost our ability to call sin sin.

Once he said that I was completely distracted from the rest of the sermon and could not focus back. I don't know what you would do when you hear that statement but my mind immediately jumped to the issue of homosexuality. Just because it seems to be something we're really tolerating and not wanting to step on anyone's toes about, when God clearly states that homosexual acts are sin. (I'm not looking to start up a debate here, but he does.)

Our pastor approached that with saying it is a sin. Just like lying and stealing. There is no difference in 'sin scale' between homosexual acts and lying. I didn't need a reminder of that as I really don't believe in any sort of sin scale, but I began to wonder how many 'little' sins we let go. How many times we break a promise and think nothing of it. How often we gossip or say negative things behind people's backs without thinking about it. We don't call those sorts of sins sin nearly as much as we should.

Which brought me right back to the first sermon. And what would it look like in my life to be compelled, gripped and enamored by the Gospel enough to call all sins sin and work on changing them? I know that for me the sin I don't call sin is slothfulness, (or at least laziness), I have not yet subscribed to the Nike 'just do it' quite yet! But I don't want to be a hypocrite and if I'm going to sign a piece of paper asking the Government to not let homosexuals marry, I better be looking at the plank in my own eye at the same time!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Time Flies

After Brooklyn was born I did a couple posts about my thoughts on 'The Fourth Trimester'. In the beginning I was a new concept to me and I was really eager to figure it out. Since I began those posts I have come to figure it out for myself, (it may be different for you), and I thought that today I would write a bit of closure on the subject.

I first thought through the question, 'how long does the fourth trimester last?'. The answer, three months. At the beginning of the fourth month you enter the Fifth trimester as by definition I trimester is three months.

Which led to the second question, 'how many trimesters are there?'. The answer, it depends. I've come to the conclusion that once you begin having a life depend on you for nourishment you have entered the trimesters and they end once that life no longer depends on you for nourishment. So they end when you are no longer the milk maid and your precious bundle is eating just like everyone else.

The next thing I thought about was 'whether or not the trimesters after the baby were born are as important as the trimesters while carrying the baby'. I believe they are. It takes nine months for a life to grow, then more months to adjust to having that life around. Finally, (supposedly), we adjust to the reality of life and are ready to be ourselves again. In which point trimesters end because I don't think anyone measures their life in trimesters once they are grown up. (Hi, I'm Amanda I am 106.3 trimesters old!). I think we also need the after birth trimesters to remember to take care of ourselves for ourselves. It was quite easy for me to remember to eat healthily while pregnant because it was for another life, but to adjust back to remembering to do the same for myself takes a bit of time.

My final question I posed to myself was 'whether or not I will miss the trimesters.'. I hope not. I can see myself wanting to hold onto them though. It's so easy to say things like, 'I'm not fat I just had a baby.' or 'I can't work out my baby keeps me up all night.' Once the trimesters end I have to remember to take responsibility for myself and let go of the easy excuses that come with being a new mother, and that takes time to give up.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Daddy Daycare

I was reading an article this week in Parenting, (from months past I'm still catching up!), and it was about 6 Things your Babies Really Need. One of the 6 was daddy-style play. Nick loves to play with our kids and I love to let him do it and I love to let him do it his way. But I hadn't consciously considered that his "style" is inherently different than mine. Play is just play, right? Watching consciously now I can see the difference between our play styles and I can see how important it is for our girls to get both kinds of play.

This morning Ladies Morning Out started up again so out I went. I take both girls with me so that they can be in the nursery, (Belle loves the interaction and I think it's important for Brooklyn to be in the care of people other than us), I also take them so that Nick can get a few minutes off from life. It takes a lot to get them out the door and from the car to the church building and them home again all by myself, but it's so worth it to make that effort.

As I think you all can tell I've been having a deep time lately and Nick has been a great support while I work through it. We talk a tonne and he lets me cry and he lets me laugh. So earlier in the week he told me I could have Thursday afternoon to myself. I didn't want Thursday afternoon to myself! I'm home alone with my kids all the time I get a tonne of time to myself and when I have time with myself at home it's free! So I politely told him that was fine, I was good without it.

I came home from LMO and he had been making plans. He called up a couple guy pals and made arrangements to get all the kiddies and the guys together at one house and sent me and my local Ange out for a free hour together between feedings. It was so cool. The guys all hanging out watching golf with 4 kids under the age of 2 around them. We didn't know what to do with ourselves though! We got a coffee and talked and wandered around the Georgetown 'mall'. An hour out and we didn't know how to entertain ourselves anymore so home we went. It was such a nice treat to look at things that weren't my house and to talk to another mom. It's true we never totally left the kids as that's all we talked about, but we got to use full sentences and words with two syllables.

I totally understand why babies need daddy-style play, and why mommies need it too!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Sit Still Already!

I've been waiting about three weeks to get this picture! Isabella has been on the go so much lately. She has begun climbing on everything and about every 5 minutes jumps on the couch and gives me her version of the ending of Big Comfy Couch ('who made mess? me? tidy!'). It has been hard to get her to sit still lately. Brooklyn has also been hard to get to sit still. She has mastered rolling up onto each of her sides and skooching around in complete circles on her back. She has a great bald spot going as a result of that. Today I was taking pictures of Brooklyn and asked Isabella if she would like to hold her sister. She jumped up on the couch and screamed yes. She even supported her well enough without my hand! So cute.

In other breaking news I started doing Pilates this morning. I've only done one workout but I cannot believe I used to be able to do those moves. I'm so glad we don't own a video camera that could have been set up to tape my embarassment, it was baaaaaaaad. But like Nick said, in a month you'll be laughing through the work out, if you stick with it!

Embarassed No More

I struggle as I sit here to pen my thoughts on this week's sermon. It truly hit me hard in a lot of ways and I did come home with many a thought and desire to move forward in my journey. Yet within 24 hours of hearing and sensing what God was telling me, I was already worn out by life and feeling so spent. Do you ever have those times when you know you're doing all you can to try to live in Christlikeness, when you truly are reading your Bible and praying and living intentionally, but it just seems like everyone else is getting blessed while you have to endure? I'm having one of those enduring times, (as if you couldn't tell). So although this week really spurred me on to growing in God and really hit a nail on the head for me I'm not exactly feeling 'enamored' as it were and I fear that may show up in this post and not do the sermon justice. With that prelude let me soldier on.

This week we skipped over vs 16-17 which our pastor feels are the cornerstone of the message of Romans and we'll be focusing on them next week. We did talk about them briefly but focused more on Romans 1:13-15.

For any of you who know anything about Paul in the Bible you'll know he was on fire about whatever he did. Whether he was killing Christians or standing up for them he did so with fervor. I imagine him to be one of those guys that get so revved up spit flies and no amount of hairspray can keep their hair flat against their head. This week's big question was: What gave Paul the ability to be so bold for the Gospel?

As usual in an Alliance sermon there were some key points all beginning with the same letter! Paul had the courage to be bold because he knew the Gospel is a: Loving message, a Life changing message, a Logical message and a Liberating message.

Paul had an obvious life change after he heard the Gospel. He went from killing Christians to advocating for them. He not only began sparing the lives of Christians he became one of them and truly embraced what that meant. Could you imagine if Paul had not experienced the Gospel but went around trying to tell everyone about it? Some could have pulled that off, (I mean how many celebrities convince us to buy things they never use?), but when it comes to Christianity if you aren't experiencing it people can tell when you talk. Not only because your actions and words contradict each other but because of the hollowness of what is being said. To shout from the mountaintops 'God loves you!' without feeling God's love is really just noise. I'm not a person who had an obvious life change once I heard the Gospel. I'd always been the 'good' kid, I don't have a past full of events I wish I could change. While many may look at that as a blessing, I see it as more of a curse. Once again being reminded that the enemy of greatness is goodness. It takes a lot of extra effort to show the world what God has done for me, and how thankful I am for it, without my life doing a 180. To keep on doing the same thing I did before but with the power of God's gift transforming it and making me set apart from the world, I think it's safe to say that's not something I have mastered. I wonder what it looks like. To go through the every day grind with the same passion as a genuinely converted murderer or recovering addict. I wonder what it takes for my same old life to look as passionate as theirs. I wondered it all through the service and I'm still wondering about it.

I know that the Gospel is a loving message. It's right there in John 3:16, the first verse we ever learn in Sunday school, that God so loved the world. Our pastor challenged us to plead with God to show us each an experience of his unconditional love. I don't think I've felt that before. I know in my head that I can't do anything to earn unconditional love, but that doesn't keep me from trying! It also doesn't keep me from feeling like I've lost God's love at some point either. When I feel like I must have surely disappointed him and so I'm not getting the whole of his love. Which in my heart I know is bogus, but my head only has an understanding of human unconditional love. Which I would challenge is not the same. You know that saying 'I love him/her all the time, but it doesn't mean I always like him/her. I don't think that applies to God's unconditional love, but I sure feel it as a wife and a parent sometimes and that is my reality of unconditional love.

This is where the sermon gets a bit foggy for me, cuz I didn't really understand the next point and God has also been trying to teach me something which combines last week's sermon and the previous point. I really am hung up on the 'goodness is the enemy of greatness' line. Believing truly myself to be good but not great. It hit me at some point over the last few weeks that in believing myself to be good but not great I am in fact sinning. To look at God's creation in me and to not go 'Wow, what a work of art' is in effect saying 'hey God I think you did something wrong here'. Since it tugs so hard at my heart strings right now I fail to find the words to adequately describe my train of thought. But it goes something like; I currently feel like I'm not that great, because if I was great God would be filling my life with blessings not obstacles and since he doesn't seem to be doing so I must not be all that great. Since I'm not all that great God really doesn't love me unconditionally. I know he isn't loving me unconditionally because I can see him loving so and so unconditionally by the blessings he is giving so and so. Since I do not feel at the moment that God has made me great or that he loves me unconditionally I am not experiencing the same thing the Roman church is experiencing. I do not feel compelled, gripped or enamored by God who could bless me exponentially but has decided instead to fill my life with obstacles in order to show me his love. Since I am not experiencing the same thing as the Roman church I am not able to evangelize to other people because how can you talk about something you do not know firsthand. Now that I've filled your current mental experience with that gobbeldy gook, you can kinda see the confusion/frustration/wrestling match my heart/soul and mind are currently embarked on. I think. Like I said, foggy.

The next point of the sermon was that the Gospel is a logical message. I think I need to pursue having that point cleared up because to me the Gospel is anything but logical. Our pastor explained it in what seemed to make logical sense to him, (and I think many others because there was a lot of head shaking and amen's). The question is How can a holy God reach out to a polluted world without compromising his holiness. And the answer is Jesus. I wish I could explain it a bit more, but honestly I don't get it yet. It makes no logical sense to me that a holy God became a human, (unholy), without losing his holiness. To me that's the mystery of Christ and not something I am created to fully comprehend but rather to see it as something only God can do and therefore is no logical to me. Perhaps I don't know what logical means? Any thoughts?

The final point is that the Gospel is a liberating message. It's all about living a life of faith and works are an outpouring of that faith. Since righteousness is obtained by faith it liberates us from trying to have to earn it. We think of good things as having to be earned, like our paycheck or vacation time or even the love of someone. But that's not the case with the Gospel story that is a gift freely given.

So to put the last two weeks together: Paul was compelled, gripped and enamored by the Gospel that he was bold to share because he had experienced it. We should be pleading with God for just such an experience so we can live boldly and be gripped by the Gospel.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Brooklyn has been smiling intentionally since she was about two weeks old. It does my soul good to see her smile because there has also been a lot of crying with her. I'm not one of those women blessed with ease in the area of breastfeeding and it is a struggle for me, and therefore for my kids as well. But then there are days when a feed or two goes well and she sleeps peacefully and then she smiles. It does a tired mother good to see smiles. Both of my girls have great smiles and did right from the beginning. Smiles that include their eyes and their whole face. Isabella's smile is still just as adorable as the first time she flashed it at me, and I am terribly excited to look forward to a lifetime of their smiles. I'll probably be a bit jealous when they smile at someone else more than at me, but for now I'll just gobble them up and snap a zillion pictures to remember when I was the center of their universe.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Weight Lifting

A few posts ago I wrote in a rather weary mood. The weight of life just seemed to be crushing down on me. The ebb and flow of my life has been such for the past 3 years. So many obstacles and so many days where the challenges seem to outweigh the blessings. Not that I am not blessed, because I greatly am and I know it, just that many of the blessings I have come with price tags-both emotional and financial- and some days that weight is crushing.

I have been reminded the last few days though that it's not my shoulders carrying the load. I still have to do the work and continue to take step after step, but I don't carry it alone. That has been nice to remember. Another of my 2007 intentions is to read the Bible all the way through. I attempted this last year as well and didn't make it. I got stuck in the Old Testament in the geneologies. So I took a Bible off the shelf that I own and don't read. It's a two year read through in the NLT. I have been reading two of the days each day so I can get through it in one year. I am reading to just read this time around. When I come upon a question I have or something I want to know more about I jot it on a sticky note and stick it in there. After I've read the whole Bible I'm going to tackle each book at a time in a more studious kind of way.

I am only now in the book of Genesis but I am finding the characters such a refreshment. They waited a long, long, long time for things God promised them, (like Sarah and Abraham and their baby), they were mistreated by other humans, they had to work twice as hard for what they wanted. I am also reading the Psalms each day and it is encouraging to hear other people cry out to God thousands of years ago the way I want to cry out to him today.

The "sticky situation" I alluded to is still around and unsolved, it has to do with our vehicle, but I am not obsessing about it as much. The weary mood I was in has lifted because I am back in the groove of my every day, (as in doing things outside of the house). But perhaps the greatest adjustment to my mood was the glorious end to a pregnancy scare. I do long to grow my family, but not right now. I really, really want the next time I'm pregnant to be a time of true joyous expectation not worry. To add another member to our family in 2007 would be devastating to us, (and I'm not exaggerating), which made me feel like I was being crushed under all the weight of life.

I know a lot of people are dealing with the same kind of stuff right now. Not the exact situations I find myself facing, but things that make life seem crushing sometimes. I don't know if it's winter in general or the few weeks following Christmas, but it seems to hit so many at the same time of the year. I wonder why that is and what other people do to tackle it and get out of their 'funks'.

So, I tag you to write a Top 10 List of Thing that Encourage You. And here is mine.

1. Music. Of all kinds except country which I find depressing.
2. Emails from friends that contain real information on their lives.
3. Conversations with other adults.
4. When my favorite shows come on and they're not repeats. (It makes it feel like life is moving forward in a cheesy silly kind of way.)
5. Children. As I mentioned before both mine and those of others.
6. A routine which involves getting out of the house.
7. The fact that the main floor of my house is tidy every night before I go to bed.
8. My man.
9. My Brick Card statement and our Line of Credit Statement, (the current debts were focusing on paying off. It's encouraging cuz they always go down without fail.)
10. Blogging. Reading about the lives of others, writing about mine, and the encouraging comments people leave.


Go for Broke

It's a good thing I don't have an empty credit card right now, cuz if I did I might max it out on Robeez shoes. They are just so dang adorable and you can literally get a pair to go with every outfit. My un-local Ange sent me a link to enter a contest to win some of their new shoes. Since I know most people who read this have kids or know people with new kids I am attaching the link

here so you can all enter, even though I don't know all your email addresses. The new shoes, (and the old ones for that matter), are to die for.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Compelled, Gripped, Enamored

We attend a church that is blessed with a very exegetically inclined senior pastor. He takes the teaching part of being a pastor very seriously. Week in and week out there is nary a power point presentation, (although his main points show up on the screen behind him in black ink on a white background), and he talks for a full 45 minutes without fail. Due to his exegetical nature he goes through books of the Bible one verse after another in a painstaking way that is somehow also incredibly engaging. This January he began the book of Romans and this Sunday our pause came at verse 13. (You can see the pace I mean). It's true that he could be going through Romans for the next two years, but he will see it through to the end.

One of my intentions for 2007 is to not leave Church at church but to bring it home for the other 6 days of the week. Since I am truly a blog-a-holic, (I actually read my own blog entries again and again if no one I frequent is writing something new), I know that this will be a good medium for me to pen my thoughts on the weeks sermon. I'll be sure to link each week's post so that should you become interested in Romans they are available for your convenience. I'd love to have an running dialogue with whomever may have thoughts to share, so please feel free to comment. If you'd like to hear more on a particular week, (or think I may have misunderstood something I heard), y0u can actually download the sermons each week here .

I learned a new thing in church this week. We are beginning to look at the book of Romans and the church that existed there. I learned that the names of the person(s) who founded the Roman church are lost in history. Someone(s) who heard Paul talk became so compelled, gripped and enamored with what he had to say that they couldn't keep themselves from turning that talk into action. They didn't come home spurred on toward finding fifteen minutes of fame, or a book contract, or to become the next Billy Graham. They came home on fire for living like Christ as a community. No one was looking for superstardom, and that to me sounds completely unique. I don't know how many times I've daydreamed about doing something great for the world, too many to count. I am sure though that each time I thought about doing something great I also thought about becoming something great. I remember sitting in church when they were asking for volunteers to help with Hurricane Katrina relief. I immediately thought how cool it would be to go and be God's hands and feet, but right on the tail of that thought was another about having my face splashed around as a volunteer who made a difference. Maybe I'd even end up on Oprah! I'm sure my experience in that is not unique. I would even go so far as to say that we are wired to want those kind of accolades. How amazing would the Church be if we were one hundred percent, all the time, community minded? To truly engage in our churches in such a way that we didn't want people to talk about our individual greatness in a thousand years, but to talk about the church we attended.

The key points in this week's sermon were what this church was. Our pastor defined this church as a great church and as our example to strive for in bringing our church to greatness. The five things he identified the Roman church as having are: courage, constant and ceasless prayer, no superstars, a willingness to be stretched and a priority in preaching.

The Roman church was bold as it lived in a way to transform it's culture. The floodgate of thoughts that erupted in my mind when this was said was enough to distract me from the rest of the sermon. To live sold out and unshakable to the truth in an era of compromise and with the attitude of 'you do what works for you and I'll do what works for me' ,(which has a word but I am drawing a blank). I know there are lots of people trying to do that, but to do so in a unified way and with a genuine Christlike attitude. I get shivers just thinking of the possibilities. Yet those shivers chill as my cynical side says it's not something we'll see in my lifetime.

In Romans 1:9 we are drawn to the importance of prayer and as our pastor put it, the only way the church will go forward is on it's knees. I can't think of a better way to say that.

In 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 Paul talks in a great detail about the Church being made up of many parts. It is alluded to here in Romans 1:12. This is where I learned that no one remembers the individual(s) who founded the Roman church. They didn't have a superstar. Not a Sidney Crosby or a Gretzky or a Billy Graham. They were a group of people each using their own gifts to build each other up. It's a sad statistic, (the exact number I don't know), but something like 20% of a church congregation does the work while 80% just show up. I know it's used many times to try and guilt people into volunteering, but just imagine how many gifts are going unused! Imagine how many prayer warriors are called but struggling with consistency, or how many people have a heart for youth that never gets put to good use, or how many creative people don't think their gifts have a place in the church. We are missing out today in a huge way. I wonder why that is? Where did we go astray in our thinking of the community of the church?

Our pastor, (whose name I'm not using cuz it's Paul and that would get confusing with the Paul in the Bible whose teachings are focused on in Romans), talked a bit about the priority of preaching. Not in that we should place our pastors on pedestals, but rather that they are entrusted with an incredible gift of passing on the teaching of Christ. They need to be constantly lifted up in prayer so they don't give in to the temptation to make their messages sound more 'user friendly' or 'culturally acceptable'. They may say things that offend us, but instead of getting huffy we should be listening to what God is telling us through them. Preaching is a gift and it's not taken lightly by anyone called to do it. I know from watching Nick go through preparing his sermons while on Internship. He began working on them a few months in advance, praying and practicing, researching and rewriting. It's not as easy as public speaking. Could you imagine God giving you a burning bush moment in which he tells you to talk to the people for him? YIKES.

Perhaps the hardest part of the sermon for me to hear was when he talked about how the church was willing to be stretched. Our church is a good church, as are so many, but we're not a great church. We have a long ways to go to become one. The biggest obstacle to getting there will be the fact that we are a good church. The enemy of greatness is goodness. Let me say that again. The enemy of greatness is goodness. All my life I've felt that I'm good at a lot of things, great at nothing and that's just the way it is. I completely understand getting caught in the trap of goodness where apathy and contentedness lie. I'm sure a lot of our churches are also content with goodness. Could you imagine if we fully engaged ourselves in the process of Christlikeness. Constantly striving to change our method without compromising our message to bring about God's glory here on earth?

Could you imagine what our world would be like if we too were compelled, gripped and enamored by God the way the Roman church was?

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I've always considered it an honor to be blessed with children. To be given the gift of a tiny life to hold in my hands and to be entrusted with growing it healthily. I am now also learning the honor of being involved in the lives of my friend's children. I've mentioned a few times about our friends that recently had twins. They were in the hospital for quite some time and I had a vicious cold that did not allow me to go and visit. I couldn't imagine bringing sniffles to the Special Care Nursery and possibly infecting one of their kids, or worse yet the children of someone I didn't even know. Nick went on Monday, at my insistence, and got to see them. And he brought home the new mom and dad for dinner. I knew they were coming and warmed up some dinner and got the house quiet and comfortable so they could rest and eat and head home to bed. When they arrived I did my best to think of unique questions to ask them assuming they had already regalled the tale to a bazillion people. In one of the quiet moments I confessed I was searching my brain for a unique question and they confessed we were the first people they'd talked with since the twins were born! Sure they'd had visitors and done the usual small talk and taken them into the nursery to have the babies 'oohed' andd 'ahhhd' over but we were the first to hear about the adventures of week one of being the parents of twins. Such an honor. Then tonight I was invited to their house to meet their babies as I didn't get to see them in the hospital. They'd asked everyone else to not even call until Saturday but they invited me. My heart was bursting as I bounced around the corner to their home. And when I arrived I did my best to be respectful, (which was hard because my excitement did not want to let my voice whisper). Then they offered for me to hold their precious baby girl! In the hospital people were barely allowed to breathe around them, and here I was being offered a chance to hold them! I knew this was an honor above honors and cherished every moment. That tiny bundle of baby smelling goodness. A mere 5 pound baby dressed in preemie clothes and wrapped in 3 blankets. So tiny and yet already full to overflowing of life! I came home bursting with a freshness I haven't felt in a while. That someone else felt I was worthy of sharing their child with at such an early day in their life. Amazing. Amazing that such tiny people bring us so much closer to an amazingly huge God. Babies are definitely good things.


"The best reason to take your time is that this time is the only time you'll ever have. You must take it, or it will be taken from you. It is telling that the phrase 'Take your time' is synonymous with slowing down. If we want to live life fully, we do best to slow down. I don't suggest we turn back the clock, trying to retrieve a bygone era when life was slower. We couldn't, even if we wanted to. But I do believe we should want to. We should revel in our electronically supercharged, unbounded world. But to make the most out of this new world, avoid feeling overbooked, overstretched, and about to snap, to make modern life become better than life has ever been, a person must learn how to do what matters most first. Otherwise, you will bulldoze over life's best moments. You wont notice the little charms that adorn each day, nor will you ever transform the mundane into the extraordinary."

-Excerpted from Crazybusy by Edward M. Hallowell M.D.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Toll

Living in Ontario you have a choice between two major highways to get to other cities. One highway is called the Express and it's a toll lane. You go faster on it apparently, and there aren't any toll booths. They take pictures of licence plates along it and at the end of the month, (or whatever their system is), you get a bill in the mail. The other roads run right along side this Express line and it is used by the majority of Ontarians. You may wonder why this is so, and I'll tell you. Someone privately owns the Express highway and they get paid to have people use it. (After costs, but you get the idea).

Lately I have been wishing alot that I was one of those people who used the Express line, figurtively not literally. They can afford the luxury of getting places quicker than others, it doesn't sit in the back of their mind that they're paying for a service they can also get for free, they don't have to put up with annoying sandstills during rush hour and all of us on the regular highway wish we were them at some point. Even more than that I've been wishing I could be the person to own the Express line. You have to be pretty darn bored and wash yourself with dollar bills to think, "Today I am going to buy a road. The only road people can use and force them to pay me.". I imagine it takes a pretty big man to rate himself up there with the same priveleges of government.

What it must be like to be part of the 10%, (or whatever the miniscule number), that have that kind of guns. The people who live that comfortably. I'm not just talking about wealth but also influence, confidence, following. I imagine that to be such an utopian existence. To wake up in the morning and say to oneself- "today I am truly working because I want to". I know many people love their jobs, but to be a person who genuinely doesn't have to work and still chooses to. And to follow that statement with "Today will be a good day because I will make a difference beyond my front door.". That sure would be worth getting up for.

It feels like those of us on the regular highway pay so much more of a toll than those on the Express line. Exhaustion, tough choices daily, strained time, strained relationships, strained selves. All so we can keep plugging along like everyone else. And in all honesty I'm having one of those days, (er weeks), when I wonder if that toll is worth it.

I've been reading around that it's National Delurking Week and what a post to delurk on. Not to pump me up and tell me it is worth it, (I'm not looking for pity just the cathartic release of sharing without anyone looking at me with pity filled eyes), and not to tell me it will all be okay and one day I will begin to feel joy on a daily basis, (I mean you could say that and many of you will but I'll have to come back at that time and re-read it to believe you), but to "commune" with me in that you too wonder if it's worth getting in the car and what compels you to do so each day.

I always hesitate before posting something real. To tell the void of cyberspace that I have honestly spent the last two days on my couch crying without explaining why seems silly to even me. But for some reason if I don't get it out in this semi anonymous way it plagues me and I find that I must. I just need to let it out, the good with the bad and even the ugly. I'm sure I sound like a person to be pitied and a lot of folks read and shake their head and tune out of my blog for a bit assuming it must be that "time" and someone should really get me a regular dose of prozac. But it's not like that. And I wish I could explain. I'm not sad, I'm weary. Which is probably as good of an explanation as I can offer.

And now that I've barfed all these words out of my head and onto a screen I for some reason feel that someone is reading and for some reason my sharing of pain is helpful and I will finish the laundry and tidy up after my toddler tornado and finish cleaning the oven and enjoy watching my favorite wednesday night shows and maybe even scrapbook. I wont put on a ball gown and go make new friends, I probably wont pick up the phone either. But you'll never find me in the bathroom slitting my wrists or anything. I'm just searching for meaning in the hard times, for joy in the rain clouds and for steadiness on the journey which seem to be lacking at the time.

And perhaps if you do "commune" and you've never said hello before you'll find yourself doing so now and I'll stroll over and "commune" with you.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sleep becomes her.

Unfortunately that her is not me. I have the worst case of insomnia ever. Usually when I get insomnia it's because I have a huge project on the go. Like in college when I pulled all nighters even though the paper wasn't due for two weeks. As soon as I get into something I need to see it through. Sometimes my insomnia comes when my internal clock is all out of whack, like when I worked in the banquet department of a hotel and was often, but not always, up until 3:00am. But the worse times to get insomnia are when I'm stressed out. When all my mind does is try to think about things I cannot solve. This is just one of those such times. There is a sticky situation coming up in our near future that I haven't a clue how to solve. I sit around a lot during the day trying to think of an ingenious solution but there isn't any to be found as far as I can tell. Now, I know there is a solution and it will just take someone with expertise in the area to help us solve it, and we happen to know such a person! But, getting our schedule to jive with their schedule seems to be somewhat more difficult than I anticipated. I know that once we do meet with them the steps we need to take will be laid out and we'll begin taking them, and for some reason I feel that should be enough to give me ease of mind. But as this insomnia proves it just isn't. I laid in bed for four hours tonight trying to sleep. I tried to daydream about being on a cruise. I tried to count really slowly. I tried to get up and pee and get back into bed. Obviously none of it has worked as I am at the computer at 2:30am. Insomnia sucks. Especially when I have two little children that will be up in 5 hours and need me for the next 13. I can't believe I used to choose to stay up this late!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

At my house right now I am listening to the sound of.......nothing. Well I have the tv on so I don't get lonely, (there's something about Owen Wilson that just makes you feel like you're at a party). I started working on getting a routine down early last week, then I got quite sick, then yesterday I said to myself: 'Self, suck it up and let's get some normalcy around here.'.

So I'm working on getting Brooklyn a schedule. Mostly it's easy. I already know what she naturally does and most of it's really well suited to our lives once things start up again after the holidays in about two weeks. I'm trying to work our schedule out to limit the number of public feedings cuz those are hard to do while watching two kids alone. And I've tried to pump again, but things are not flowing as well as at the beginning so the bottles are few. It will all work out, but it takes dedication. Having switched to formula so early last time I feel like I'm really learning the sacrifice of breastfeeding.

Anywho. The hard part of the scheduling thing is teaching Brooklyn that nap time lasts a certain amount of time it's not in spurts throughout the day. It took about a week of being really diligent to get Isabella trained and I think the same could happen this time around except for the new variable. Siblings. I didn't have to teach Isabella to sleep through someone else's noise. It's definitely a blancing act around here.

But the pay off is so worth it. In the afternoon I could be child free, (as in no one attached to my hip or ankle), for two hours! Isabella plays in her room for an hour then sleeps for an hour in the afternoon. I'm hoping once we start doing more activities in the morning that she'll sleep longer and play less in the afternoon cuz she tends to play loudly.

They are getting along great as sisters these days. Isabella now climbs up on the couch about once a day and asks to hold Brooklyn, (when Nick is off next weekend I'll get a picture it's adorable), and when I say we're going to go for a walk or up for a bath or something Belle tries to pick her up! Brooklyn always smiles when Isabella giggles and even though she's been tripped over and stepped on countless times she doesn't cry about it. It will be so neat to see them become friends.

Speaking of sticking with it, I should probably use this free hour to do more practical things. I'm considering a shower, but I'm still sweating this cold out of me, so maybe I'll wait until later in the day and hopefully not have to shower four times today. I'll probably just get back to Owen Wilson......I am sick after all.

Friday, January 05, 2007

I love technology.

Tonight we staged about a dozen photos to catch up on some of Christmas activities that our camera was dead for. I asked Nick just to get a picture of him and Belle posing next to their Gingerbread house. And he did but then he had her pose so it looked like she was sneaking candy, and like they were putting it together. It was a hoot. The girls were also given a huge bear in a Santa hat and scarf. It's a cute bear and we, (and by we I mean I), decided to take a picture of the girls with it each year to see how they grow through the year. So we posed that for about 20 minutes. Nick even started saying to Belle "work it, work it", and she actually giggled, posed, and threw fake smiles at the camera!

We also purchased a cordless keyboard and mouse at a Boxing Day sale. We ended up getting it for about $25. Sweet! I am really enjoing not get stuck in cords. We have ours all bundled and put in a sleeve dohicky so the girls don't play with them. It left just enough free cord for the keyboard to be right at the computer screen. I don't sit that close so it was a constant struggle for me, and now I have FREEDOM!

I am also in love with 1 vs 100. I think I wont watch it as much when my regular shows are no longer repeats. It doesn't conflict time wise but I'll feel like I'm spending too much time with that box.

And in non technology news I am actually at July in Belle's first year album. I know she was only born in March so that's not a huge dent in the year, but there are already so man pages! It's been quite the challenge. I really need to get it done and Nick just arrived with my slurpee so I will now resituate in front of the other box with my scrapbooking!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I must be getting boring, or maybe everyone is just really busy with life right now. Either way I'm feeling a bit disconnected from the Blogger world right now. Seems like people's comments and posts feed what I want to write about and with a lack of both on the blogs I frequent I'm feeling quite stale in the idea department. I have decided to change it up a bit, and while I will continue to post here I am going to write a post about the girls each week day this month on their blog, Bytes of Belle and Brooklyn So swing on by and check it out, I even figured out how to upload some rare video footage off my camera!

Monday, January 01, 2007


I've spent the last week trying to "prepare" for the New Year. I like to have my house clean, the January groceries bought and a menu made, my Christmas thank you's in the mail, etc. etc. None of that happened. I began to think about how much stuff I've planned for that didn't happen. I thought about it so much that my New Years to-do list continued to go unaccomplished. I did a couple things, but not nearly what I wanted to do.

I was excited about the New Year beginning. My local Angela began her mat leave and once the Christmas bustle unbustled we were going to have until Jan. 22 to hang out in the day-time daydreaming about her twins, enjoying my girls, growing deeper into our great friendship. We got together on Dec. 30 for a girl's time. All the boys were at her house watching a UFC main event so we did the girl thing at my place. We were talking about all the things she was planning for, all the utopian ideas one gets while one is pregnant about the babes growing inside and what life will be like, the things we are planning to get back to the top loop of the rollar coaster of life.

At the end of our conversation it was determined that no matter how much planning or preparing we do, God will inevitably throw a "wrench" in it. For example she planned on getting pregnant, but not with twins. And we planned on having our kids but didn't know life would get turned upside down after each one was conceived. We were talking and working through some of our expectations and came to the conclusion that it's okay when things don't go how we plan cuz the Big Guy has it under control.

So for a bit of irony, Ange had her twins 10 hours later.

I hadn't been online much because I had my local Ange to talk with at any time and she was able to take care of her kids inside so they were all quite portable. But now, she's going to be in the hospital for a week, and her babes for longer, and then they'll have to adjust to their new life. Which begins my first unexpected event of 2007. I don't think I've experienced a friendship change once babies arrive, that is a new experience for me.

So as I sit here and think of how to 'wish you a Happy New Year', I'm completely befuddled what to wish. I know that when we look back on the year no one will say it went exactly as we envisioned. There will be great surprises and not so great surprises. Planned events, and unplanned events. Happy times and sad times. Summer highs and winter blahs. I think that instead of wishing you a happy one, I wish you a Content New Year. A peace that will sustain you through whatever waters, and I wish the same for myself.