Focus

And he died for all,

that those who live

should no longer live for themselves

but for him who died for them and was raised again.

(2 Corinthians 5:15 NIV)

The truth of God’s word is always much grimier, grittier, and involving more elbow grease than I first assume. I know for certain that the practical application of living for Christ is in living with my children. My part in the perfect circle of a sacrificing life involves cheerios. No, seriously–cheerios. Sippy cups, stories read for the fifth time in a row, tiny frequent meals, messes, trips to the potty, wiping noses, coloring with chewed-up crayons, and cheerios broken into quarters so Henry won’t find reasons to choke on them.

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Social Obligations

There must be a rulebook somewhere about these…

Rule 1: When talking to parents about the appearance of their baby, you must comment on who they look like. Because trust me, those parents are really concerned to know whether or not you think Johnny has Daddy’s eyes, so take your time and really scrutinize that little face.

Rule 2: If you are a grandmother or at least a “grandmotherly type”, it is your duty, nay–a fulfillment of your destiny if you make a guess at the age of the child. It is easily considered a social obligation for a woman over a certain age to look knowingly at the baby and say something like “Awwww….wook at you, you little cutiepatootie! You must be just about three months old!” Also, please don’t be deterred when the parents laugh at you and say something disrespectful like, “No, actually he’s almost nine months…”

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Violet: Look Daddy! A dog!!!

AJ turns to see the head of a Lab hanging out the window of the car next to us while we wait at a light.

AJ: What a nice dog! Is he saying “Hi” to you?

Violet: Um, Yeah!

The stoplight changes to green…

Violet: Bye bye Doggie!

AJ: Bye bye Doggie…

AJ: I’m such a dad–I just waved at a dog.

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Recycled thoughts…

I don’t have a blog thought for today so i am sinking to the unthinkable. I wrote this post on my old blog (www.splendified.blogspot.com) a few years ago. It still describes so much of my frailness.

like jacobs’ hip

i’m gun-shy of God
i am Jacob’s hip.
i’m strong enough to strive
and shaky enough to slip.
i’m gun-shy of God.
gun-shy of getting shattered at the whim of God.

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Wuv, twoo wuv…

True love is love without conditions. When I hear “unconditional love” i kind of check out mentally because i’ve heard it a thousand times before. AJ and I were at a beautifully tender wedding this weekend where the officiant spoke about marriage being built on love without conditions. Just simply changing the phrasing there seems to make it grab my attention a little more. He also talked about how true love is about the covenant, not the chemistry. True love is about the covenant, not the chemistry. Say wha?
Dear Hollywood, it has recently come to my attention that you may be wrong about love…


Fast forward to Tuesday when I listened to a friend give a devotion on parenting and children. Being a mother is a ridiculously complicated, ever-changing, life-molding task, where absolutely EVERYTHING is at stake. What’s more, we don’t get to try it out first. Ha! You think you get real-life experience as a mom by babysitting or having younger siblings? Think again, my friend. In the course of her devotion, my friend compared parenting to marriage–except that in marriage we get to date first and see if this person drives us crazy or not. We also usually don’t have to change them, or force-feed them, or argue the logistics of which shoe goes on which foot. I think you can see where this comparison is going.
So I have to remind myself of this. True love is about the covenant, not the chemistry. True love is not about all the rainbows and giggles and playing games in a clean house that come only once in a blue moon, true love is about the sacred trust I hold as a mother to my children–whether or not I find them drawing with a permanent marker on something irreplaceable.
Fast forward to today. I’m not going to lie–we had a rough morning. Finally, we headed out the door to a friend’s house so that our children could entertain each other while we had adult conversations where we could link more than three words in a sentence. I had already failed miserably as a person and a mother too many times to count, which of course did nothing for my sunshiny mood, but as we drove off with steam still escaping from my ears, I heard my sweet girl pipe up from the back.
“Mommy not yucky! Mommy niiiiiice.”

Because true love is love without conditions.

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No Fear

That title would be a lot more effective if it could be in the same font as that classic nineties sticker/decal that ended up on everything from hats to cars. It predominately adorned the identities of teenage boys everywhere. Let’s think about this: teenage boys being encouraged not to have fear. Boys in general…because if that isn’t a free pass to do something stupid, I don’t know what is.

Obviously I’m not a boy. I have a very through risk-assessment skill-set in place. I’m not saying all boys are risky and prone to stupidity in highschool, but I will say that a lot of them are a little bit and a little bit of them are a lot. Don’t give me that look–I have five younger brothers.
Anyway. So, fast forward to now. I have a boy. First I had a girl, and then I had a boy. I thought Violet fell down a lot, until Mr Henry came along. He is consistently about five steps more ambitious than his skills are. This means that he is constantly getting himself into situations with no back-up plan. This means that he falls all the time because he can get himself up into tricky poses but he doesn’t entertain the risk factors about his situation, like a slippery floor, the sheer physics of his proportions, or his coordination.

This is the part where I would very much like someone to reassure me that he will grow out of this–soon. Maybe I should just change to a lower co-pay healthcare plan…

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Who, What, Where.

Everyone always talks about how the favorite question of childhood is “Why”. Maybe we just haven’t gotten there yet, because lately Violet is preoccupied with asking the who, what, where in regards to everything you can imagine. I now know why so many parents make up answers to childhood questions. It’s not out of a devious desire to mislead, it’s just simply because they won’t accept “I don’t know” as an answer. The following is an excerpt from a car ride this afternoon.

“Mom, who is dat?”

“Is it a person?”

“No…”

“If it isn’t a person, we say What.”

“Mom, what is dat?”

“Ummmm, I can’t see where you’re pointing. I don’t know.”

“Mom, what is dat?”

“A tree?”

“No, what is dat?”

Oh, that’s just a something.”

“Mom, where your friends?”

“I don’t know.”

“Where your friends at, Mom?”

“My friends are at their house.”

“Where is my Daddy?”

“He’s at work.”

“Where is Isla?”

“I don’t know.”

“Mom, where Isla at?”

“She’s at her house.”

“Where her house?”

“In Stanwood.”

“Where my house?”

“In our town.”

“Where Gramma?”

“She’s at her house.”

“Where my kitty?”

“He’s at Auntie Beth’s house.”

“Where Daddy’s friends?”

“They are at their houses.”

“Where is Matt?”

“He is at work.”

“Where is Matt, Mom?”

“Matt is at his work, Violet.”

“Where my Daddy?”

“Daddy is at work.”

“Where my friends?”

“At their house.”

 

…a small, small excerpt.

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2, 30 and 3

Today is two years since i’ve been writing on this blog. Twenty thousand hits later and I would like to surmise my feelings with the immortal words of Sally Fields, “You like me, you really like me!” Sorry, I don’t know where that came from, but it makes me want to watch Steel Magnolias.

Today is also important because it marks the half-birthday for my dearest little lady. Violet is 30 months old or “Two an’ Half!” It was literally just yesterday that my little sister was “two an’ half”” and busily informing anyone who would listen of this important fact. That was nineteen years ago. That happened really fast. We are very thankful to see the grace of God portrayed in her life and so lovingly demonstrated to us in our relationship with her as we learn more about the heart of God through her. Her Bells’ Palsy seems to have pretty much cleared up. One eye still doesn’t get quite as many wrinkles as the other, but I think it’s safe to say that we are in the clear.

What is the “3” in the title for? 3 is a number. This measly number represents the responses I got in the poll on my last blog post. I hold all of you personally responsible for the way this makes me feel. Wait, it gets better. The responses I got on the poll are as follows.

1. other bugs

2. If you believe in UFO’s

3. poop

 

Here’s to another year in blogging.

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Titles and other not easy things

Sometimes I come here to blog and after sitting here realizing I can’t think of a title, I stop. Sometimes I think of a blog earlier in the day and then the fog of <insert good excuse here> comes in a whoosh that leaves me befuddled and forgetful. Sometimes I come up with a title and nothing else. Sometimes I sit here and evaluate the purpose, focus, and direction of this blog, only to be discouraged by the obvious lack of material on my part to satisfy those needs. Sometimes I just sit here and type nonsensical statements because I like the way my fingernails tap on the keys. It makes me evaluate my fingernails, and then I want to file them and possibly paint or buff them shiny, and before I know it I’m organizing the bathroom closets. Anyone ever read If You Give A Mouse A Cookie?

If I’m being honest, blogging is scary. It’s daunting to be evaluated on this scale. Because of course I care what you think–I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. And besides, most of the things I should blog about are the things that make waves in my heart every day. Those things of course are usually embarrassing, revealing, and uncensored.

Or silly little blurps that don’t seem to necessitate a post.

wordpress.com has an inspiration blog for writers like me who have brainfreeze, or writer’s block, or whatever you want to call it. Their idea for today was to write about what I do for fun when I get snowed in. Um….I don’t feel compelled, and I would like some better suggestions.

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Video Day

Here for your entertainment I have prepared the following video links for you to watch.

First, watch this one to hear what may very well be the greatest movie music opening of all time ever.

Then, watch this.

Finally, just to lighten the mood, this:

 

If I’m being honest here, you should know that the second one made me laugh so hard I cried. Is that normal?

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The Mavens of Mayhem

Okay, so you wouldn’t know if from looking at these pictures because cuteness is distracting, but these two little people are giving us a run for our money.

Here is AJ feeding King Henry

Here is his expensive organic baby food. The little Booger refuses to eat anything homemade.

He knows he’s being a booger. Henry is okay with that.

This is Violet with her dollhouse.

Here is her sweet smiling face. In case you’re wondering, the side affected by Bells Palsy is the side that looks normal. When she smiles, her eyes basically close. It’s pretty adorable.

Thankfully, Violet’s Bells Palsy is almost completely gone. I am very relieved and thankful that we don’t have another battery of tests to look forward to. I think it affected AJ and I more than it affected Violet, as evidenced by the number of times she told us, “Dentist not yucky, Dentist nice!” So maybe she has the whole doctor/dentist thing switched up. For the record, last time she went to the dentist she screamed hysterically when we tried putting her in the dentist chair and the poor dentist tried to console her with a toy. The next time she went to the “dentist” she got her pants pulled down and a needle stuck in her leg. We were a little perplexed then that at 2:30 in the morning at Children’s Hospital, she would all of a sudden decide that she actually really liked dentists. I hope this works in our favor with a real dentist.

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Happy New Year!!

Still, no flying cars. But–we do have these. Yay us!

I have a bunch of awesome resolutions, which I won’t post on here right now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think you should make some of your own. Not making resolutions is a cop-out to avoid taking responsibility for your future.  Remember, you can’t accomplish stuff unless you know what you want to accomplish.

2011, you are going to be an awesome year. You are going to be a year of adventure, surprises, and joy. You are going to be a year for discovering the joy that comes from obedience and not just the drudgery. In 2011, limits will be pushed to discover new territory, babies will learn to walk, bubbles will be blown, foot races won, tootsieroll pops crunched, and life will be lived in the beauty of everydayness.

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