Friday, October 26, 2007

musings

We had a talk with our pastor last Sunday. I told him I wasn't sure what I believed. He didn't bat an eyelash and told me that he has had doubts in the past, too. I told him about researching evidence on near-death experiences, and he said that could either be proof of God, or proof of lack of oxygenation in a dying brain. I thought that response was unique in coming from a pastor, because most would probably say, "Oh, yes! People have seen God! Of course that is proof that it's heaven they see!" He also told us that he's been to many bedsides of people who are dying, and heard some pretty interesting and amazing stuff. Lately, though, the past 20 years or so, he hasn't seen as much because people are so sedated. That was interesting to me.

Anyway, we were talking about the validity of the Bible. He was saying that every once in awhile there's some study or something that comes out and sort of shakes him because maybe it is proof that there are errors in the Bible. And there are still some that he can't explain.

We covered homosexuality and some other topics. It was just nice to get it out there. I don't know what I believe. But if you asked me to tell you that God is not there, I wouldn't be able to. And if you asked me to tell you that Jesus was just a nice guy who lived a life of niceness and died the death of a fool, I wouldn't be able to agree with that, either. I have heard so much that people say that Jesus preached love and peace. Yes, He did. But you're sort of missing the point if that's all you think he preached, right? I was reading the gospels and read all that he spoke about no one entering the kingdom of heaven but through him, about how we shouldn't put any other gods before him. He brought a message that he was the only way to God. He also preached love and peace, but that wasn't his main message. It was never intended to be.

Sometimes I am so frustrated because I feel that God is silent. Then I think that just because He feels silent does not mean he actually is. My perception and the reality are not often one and the same. Are they ever? Part of the perceived silence may be that I have not spent enough time reading the Bible. But that trips me up, too. Who says that the Bible is the truth? The council of men who voted on it? How do I know that everything that is supposed to be in there is in there? It was actually quite a revelation to me a year or so ago when I realized that God didn't just 'hand' us a copy of the Bible and move on. It has been compiled by groups of men and individual men over a period of time.

One thing that is interesting to me is that the gospels were written roughly 30 - 50 years after Jesus was on the earth. In the history of time, that's a relatively short period of it.

I shared my struggles at small group. I felt like I got alot of blank stares. I guess people don't know what to say. I am jealous of people who don't ask these questions, or feel they have all the answers just by looking up a verse. But then I must ask: is this real faith? Quoting something because you were taught it as a baby? Deciding there must be no other way, though millions and millions of people believe that their way is correct, too?

People hate religion because it is so divisive. I am finally seeing that that's why many in our culture don't want to talk about it (that, and because it doesn't allow them to do whatever they want.). I've been thinking about those who claim that we are just temporal beings; that evolution had its way and here we are. We're not really as wonderful and great as we think we are. But then, there's really no evolutionary purpose for love. I give my husband a back rub because I want to make him happy, not because it makes me happy. Sure, it makes me happy to give him one, but his happiness far outweighs mine. If I REALLY wanted to make myself happy I'd just tell him to give me one, instead. Evolution really can't explain that simplest of human emotions - love. Why is it here? If we do everything we do so that we can live another day, why do some people sacrifice their lives for others? And if Christianity is just a man-made religion, why are so many parts of it so ridiculous? (Jesus telling us to put ourselves last, Him dying a horrendous death for a bunch of losers, etc., etc.)

I have had an epiphany of sorts lately about the whole, "Well, what about the people who have led wonderful lives, giving to the poor, etc. They'll go to hell if they don't believe that they are sinners and that Jesus was the son of God?" "Yes" seemed like such an obnoxious, stone-cold answer. I feel I've gotten more and more of a glimpse into the heart of man lately. Say I do everything right; give money away, take old ladies across the street, push myself in front of someone who's about to get hit by a bus. I led a wonderful life! Still, though, I refused to accept the fact that I am rotten without someone higher to help me up. It's a brand of hubris that is slightly nauseating. How can I look at the world around me and NOT believe it's full of sinners in need of a Saint?

I need a vodka on the rocks.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I fit into a size 8!!!!!!!!!!




Do you like my title? while you have been eating cookies I've been eating broccoli. It's been ALOT of hard work but I am getting nearer and nearer my goal!

I had an uppercase living party last night. It was fun, but only 3 people showed up. Quite a few people who said they were going to be there weren't. :( Oh well.

We put one up in my living room; I took pictures and will post them soon! I was going to take pictures of my house last night since it was all nice and clean. I will do that today so you can see it! It is really looking cute; more like how I want it.
We had a very good discussion with our pastor on Sunday. I told him about my struggles with the Christian faith - and surprisingly, he didn't give me the 'pat' answers that you expect pastors to give. That deserves a whole different blog post, though, and I am going to go and sleep while the kids are!
Everyone thought our house looked SO cute. I guess I forget how cute it can be sometimes because I'm too busy wishing for something bigger and better. :)

Friday, October 19, 2007

mommy bloggerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I looked at that last two posts and realized I am SUCH a mommy blogger. I sort of want to poke my eyes out with rusty spoons.

Well, while we're on a roll, this was one year ago today, kids...

10 ounces
that's how big she says you are
she says your body looks perfect,
and I agree.
the tears threaten to fall down cheeks
i cannot hold back the love already certain
you suck your thumb,
the word I breathe
to no one in particular is
son.

the 'randomest' post you will ever read.

I feel like even though pregnancy is scary for me, we will eventually have a 3rd child. 3 just seems like the right number. But maybe God will surprise us and 2 is right for us! Who knows.

I can't tell you how I know this, I just do. Is that strange? I don't even feel anxiety about it, like I did getting pregnant with Asher. I just feel a peace about it. It's strange, because I have told Scott he could go ahead and get the big surgery, but he is balking, too. We are enjoying these little munchkins so much. Isn't it so cool how they teach you things about yourself every day?

Asher is starting to scoot and crawl. He is such a happy little man. He is a MAMA'S BOY (I have realized how much truth there is to that statement. Baby boys are just CUDDLY!), and I adore getting up with him at night, listening to Lucy read to herself through the baby monitor.

I'm just realizing that all of the waiting you have to endure through pregnancy is like the waiting we endure when we're waiting on God. He teaches me new things every day, if I'm willing to watch and wait.

I am in no hurry to have another one any time soon. I love having Asher as my 'baby', and watching Lucy as the big Sis. I am overjoyed for my friends who are pregnant and adopting and have just had babies. I don't have the same "longing for a baby" that I did when Lucy was 9 months old.

I just know that we will someday have another baby. Is that weird? (Or maybe the wires are crossed and instead of another baby, God is telling me that I will have another chocolate chip cookie today. Who can say?)

I better go eat cookies just to be sure.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

2 Natalies + 1 Graham = happiness



The reasons that 5 AM wake-up calls and poop on the pillow really aren't that bad above. (Please post more pictures on your blogs, people! I am photo obsessed!) Do you like the wall with the black accents? I will have to take photos of it. My neighbor helped me figure it out, telling me that the white accents made it look like a little girls' bedroom and not a dining room!
Anyway, on to introduce 3 new beautiful babies!!!!!!!!!!

Congratulations to Kevin and Lauren (a 'real-life' friend), who welcomed Natalie Amelia on September 10. Isn't she divine?


Also, welcome to Natalie Rose, and congratulations to Jim and Michelle and big sister Gracie. I wasn't able to take a picture from your site, Michelle! I am so SO proud of you! You did it!

Also, welcome to baby Graham, born on Friday, to Steve and Sarah. I am so excited that you are here, baby! Sarah, I'm praying for a LOT of healing for you. I am so, so incredibly proud of you. I apologize for not writing you more while you were pregnant. I think sometimes it's hard for me to know what to say, and I am so afraid of saying the wrong thing that I make the mistake of not saying anything. Know that you are never far from my thoughts! Oh, he is beautiful!
Big siblings Joseph, Audrey, and Kate would be so proud. I'm so proud of you guys for having the strength to try again. You are truly an inspiration! Enjoy these newborn weeks!
Now, I'm off to open windows so you don't smell the burning-sippy-cup-in-the-dishwasher smell so acutely. :) I have a smile on my face because these babies just make me so gosh-darn happy.




Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cost Cutters

Anyone have a Cost Cutters near them? I have $10 in Cost Cutters certificates that we can't use because we don't have one! If you want them they are yours! First person to comment.

God vs. food

My parents are leaving for a month to Japan. My mom has given us the code to their house about 23 times, and I have taken to repeating it back to her, one digit off. Scott laughs in the background because this is a cruel thing to do. In an email, she will send us the code, but only put the first letter. For example, 3***. It makes us laugh. If someone has the time and talent to break into her email, figure out her address AND break into the house, they deserve whatever is in that house.

I found myself imagining what two crooks who broke into our house would say. "Larry! Shine the light over here! A 2001 picture tube tv set! Sweeeeeeeeeeet!" "Yeah, Manny! Check this out! I thought it was a diamond, but it's actually a fake jewel off of a Cinderella lunchbox. My lady friends are gonna LOVE this stuff!"

Anyway.

Sometimes I think God likes to struggle with me. I say this because I think it's not so much He likes to struggle with me as He likes to be engaged with me. You know the old adage about little kids? Negative attention is better than no attention at all? I firmly believe that God would rather have our negative attention and anger than no attention at all:
Revelation 3:16
''So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth."

God doesn't need me for His purposes. Sometimes I wonder why He would want me at all. My error in looking for God is this: I think when I finally find Him, how He's supposed to be found, all of the trouble in my life will go away. I want God, totally - the caveat being that I don't want any trouble or pain. God, yes. Hardship, no.

If you are breathing, friend, you will have hardship. Paul knows this firsthand in Philippians, a book that is starting to really make more and more sense to me. The only times I have experienced true and utter joy and peace are the times when I've been the hardest-hit by a bout of depression or a bad diagnosis. No, my experiences don't compare to some of yours. But they are my reality; things that I have dealt with. They are the mirrors which I hold to a cloudy sky, hoping to catch a vision of Him.

The amazing thing to me is how we view this world as so permanent. The longest any of us have before we see God is probably 80 years (do you want to live to be 108?). That is NOT a long time.

I think about my grandfather; how it wasn't so long ago that he was just a baby like Ashy and Lu. He was gurgling and eating and talking and sleeping. Now he's lived a full life and he's in the presence of the creator. This is amazing to me! Not depressing, but amazing. exciting.

This afternoon Lu and I will make cookies. It was such joy reading the cookbook with her, choosing which cookies to make while the rain poured down outside. How I treasure these sweet times, my sweet little charges. Lucy is so much like me. She wears a red Christmas sweater in the middle of October and pink corduroy pants, because, golly darn it, SHE wants to wear them. I love it. These kids are so amazing.

How little I have to do with their growth and development. That realization made by a friend on her blog has really stuck with me. We think we have so much control. Guess what, we don't. God does. It is amazing to me that the problem most people have isn't whether or not God exists, but whether or not He cares. And why are we programmed to think that way? Because we long for a connection with the Creator. We long to see ourselves how He sees us.

Part of the reason I don't want to give myself wholly to Him is because I don't want to become this delusional, boring Christian. This person who can't even see reality any more. But is the reality I see worth holding onto so hard? Is it worth giving Him up? That's a decision only I can make; only you can make.

I have been listening to Sara Groves hard core lately. There have been so many times I've wanted to write song lyrics out here, but they just lose their beauty when written on a computer screen. That's why I've added a little player on the site. I hope you like it!

Now, about food.

I am finally losing weight, and it feels good. It doesn't feel good because I just went down a size in jeans (yes, I am bragging - it has been HARD work), but because I am starting to feel more in control of my eating. I know I have control of it. Whenever I feel far from God or depressed or sad, I eat. I eat when I get a compulsive thought. I eat when I should be reading my Bible. I eat to fill the hole.

I'm not going to do that any more. I don't want my children to see that pattern in my life, either. It's not healthy and I'm not doing it any more.

I'm going to post a picture of the weight I would LOVE to be...however, I was 19 then and hadn't had two babies. I have lost 2 more pounds this week and have 4 more until I am at my wedding weight. The weight beyond that is just a bonus! I haven't been a size 10 since I WAS 10.

If you're still reading, you need to get back to work. Enjoy "Lucy" by Hanson. I know I sure do.

Love,
Rachel

Monday, October 15, 2007

9 months!



Dear Asher Scott,
You are 9 months old! How I treasure each day with you. You are such a mama's boy; everyone says so! Everyone is so surprised at how you will just sit and the floor and watch other children. You don't complain, you just watch. The only time I hear a sad refrain is when people are out of the room and you are totally alone.
You LOVE to nurse. You would nurse 8 times a day if I let you.


Some of the things you do:

stick just one chubby little finger out to touch your Cheerios, or anything else set in front of you

put both hands on the table and cock your head to the side, smiling broadly. SO cute!

play with your winky in the bath tub. This is all kinds of hilarious.

get all excited and start waving your arms whenever you see Sis. I can always know she is around when I am holding you by the way your body feels!

You do this funny whining/laughing thing when you want to be picked up. Half giggle, half annoyed whine. It's sweet.

I just think you are the cutest thing. I know, I am biased. You have these wide eyes and big lips and this sweet little solitary-toothed smile. You look so different from your sister, but there are moments when the two of you look so much alike.

Everyone thinks you look a carbon copy of Uncle Mike.

If I could sum you up in one word, Son, it would be "cuddly". You want to cuddle, all day long! I cherish it. The little fat pads on the top of your hands are delicious. You have one dimple on the left side of your cheek. You LOVE when we stick our heads on your tummy. Nothing makes you do that big belly laugh more!

You are such a happy baby. The meaning of your name fits you well!

You've just started doing this fake squinty-smile thing when we talk to you.

You don't exactly crawl; you're still in the infants' room with the newborns. Don't worry, Son, it doesn't affect your intelligence. You come from a line of slow developers. I didn't get my period until I was 16 years old (if you get a period, we probably need to talk.) You roll around, wherever you want to go. You still occassionally fall when you're sitting up. That makes you MAD!

If we aren't feeding you quickly enough, you start to cry in between bites. You often choke on your food.

Whenever you see your dad, you have to grab his big nose.

Every once in awhile you will make the same face you made right after you were born. I imagine you at 15, making the face once again as your father and I explain to you that you may not use the car.

I love the weight of you on my back when you're in the Ergo. Yesterday we all worked out in the back yard and you were in it for 2.5 hours. Nary a peep! (Sorry about the pants.)

I struggle with my faith; often wondering if there is more than this life or if God is a reality - or what is reality? When, as a friend recently said, I watch you grow and grow, knowing it has little to do with what I do or don't do, it reaffirms my belief in God.

Anyway, you have a full head of hair, reminiscent of a toupee, so people think you are 6 months older than you actually are. That makes you not crawling yet extra funny.

I love you, little man. I thank God for you every day.

Your never-ending source of cosmic embarrassment,
Mom

Friday, October 12, 2007

sun

I was feeling sad today that Lucy doesn't have a twin to play with. That there isn't another set of grubby toddler hands to play with the fake food in the middle of the kitchen floor. I don't know if other miscarriage and grief experiences are like this; if the sadness pops up in the middle of a moment. Maybe I feel it more intensely because I have a constant reminder of the exact stage of life her twin would be? Here, learning to walk. There, a shadow of that child mouthing the 'mama' word, right beside Lucy. Fighting in the back seat over the same toy. Becoming tired of the "oh, are they twins?" question. Telling me they're jealous of kids who don't have to share a birthday.

I just felt sad today.

Sometimes when I hear about multiples of any kind I get this really sad, jealous feeling. Sometimes it abates for months at a time, and then, like a leaking ball point pen, there's a blue mess of grief that stains the crisp white of my reality.

Anyway, this week has been like that. I feel like there are so many stories of multiples and how they are happy and healthy. I have trouble reading blogs about multiples. I don't like to be reminded that multiple pregnancies often end up happily. And because I feel this way, I also feel trite and selfish. I don't like to spend my time dwelling in this particular stagnant pond. I feel like it gets me nowhere.

Today I brought a dinner to a family in our church; a couple I met at our infant loss support group. They were originally having identical twins. One died at 20 weeks. The remaining baby, a little girl, was born 2 weeks ago. I had read in an email from the meal coordinator that there was a possibility of cerebral palsy.

Mama brought the baby down the stairs. At first I thought she was holding a doll. She was a beautiful little girl; curly hair. Her head was tiny, and there was a reason for that.

Tears popped up in the corner of mama's eyes. "Her brain didn't develop. The placenta didn't do its job. That's what killed our other baby, and what made her this way." She snuggled into her mama's arms, her own limbs outstretched and clawing at the air, eyes tightly closed, mewing like a newborn kitten. Something was off.

"She only has a brainstem. The rest of her brain is not there."

It was hard to believe. The baby was beautiful. You know, the kind of little face that makes you gasp with its perfection.

The doctors do not know if this baby has consciousness beyond basic body functions. A "do not resuscitate" sign was placed at her bedside in the hospital. Her parents have no idea what the future holds. I saw the grief spilling down her mom's cheeks as I laid my hand on her tiny back and prayed over her. I imagined our tears hitting the linoleum and turning it black.

Tears did the proverbial clouding of the vision as I stumbled back to my car.

"I love Baby Katy, mom. She was in her mama's arms. I love Baby Katy."

"I know you do, Lu. I love her too."

I sat there and let the tears come. For their babies, for mine. I wanted the grief to leave that little house; to leave their lives. To leave this earth.

On the car ride home, my sweet, sweet little girl sang a song called 'Baby Katy in her Mama's Arms.'

Grief. It absolutely stains the tapestry, the reds and golds in a life. One tries to chloroblast and oxyclean and blot, blot, blot it out. Still it stays.

I turned on my car and saw two reds and golds in the rearview mirror, squirming and kicking and demanding their dinner.

I'm starting to see that the more you let the grief sit, the more you rest with it, the more you recognize the vibrance of the hues surrounding the stain, something starts to happen:

You appreciate the sun.

dumb

Isn't Al Gore winning the nobel peace prize for alerting us about global warming the equivalent to a cave man telling his buddies their campfire smoke is causing the ice age?

Just wondering.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

gun shots

Today has been exhausting. I recently told a friend that when you have kids roughly 2 years apart, it gets easier when the baby is 3 months. That is true, but it gets hard again around 7 or 8 months, when the baby is wanting to crawl and get into everything and bite you and take less naps. :)



It is so strange to me how life is nothing but phases. About 9 phases. I am too tired to expand on this theory.



We started trying to get pregnant when Lucy was 11 months old. (Scott still claims he didn't know we were trying. What else could, "Honey, my cervical mucus is clear!" possibly mean! I think we have problems if he was thinking maybe that was just sweet, sweet pillow talk.)

I am apparently one of those people who doesn't ovulate or get pregnant while nursing, and it takes me a while to get my cycles back. I got pregnant 2 weeks after my first post-Lucy cycle. Looking back, I'm glad I didn't get pregnant when I wanted to, because that would have meant that Lucy and Asher would have been 20 months apart. I know, 20, 23, what's the difference? From what I hear, a big one. I keep telling my mom I don't know how she did 4 kids two years apart, and she reminds me that the closest age gap was 2 years and 3 months. To me, that's a good bit different than 23 months. 4 months, to be exact.



That was random. And we all know we'll take any kids whenever, no matter the age difference. I guess the point of that was to say that there's a HUGE difference between having kids 23 months apart and 27 months apart. So I need to quit comparing myself to my mom.



Moving on.



The other night we were sitting watching some lame show, minding our own business, when we heard what sounded like gunshots. My first instinct was to yell, as loud as I could, "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?" Scott, ever the human vegetable, lying in his sarcophagus of a recliner said, "Hmmm. Sounded like gun shots," as he lazily flipped channels. Just recalling this conversation has me laughing, as it highlights the huge chasm in our personalities.



So, I am pert-near hyperventilating, and he is now watching some lame show reminiscent of 'Cheaters'. I start drawing the blinds, and then tell him that we need to have a serious conversation about moving because I am NOT going to live in a neighborhood where drive-bys come standard. "Hm. Well, if we move, we won't make any money on our house. Don't worry, we're safe."



Another shot.



"I'm going to Sherry's (the neighbor's). I'm calling the cops. I HATE this!" I called 9-1-1 and told them I heard gun shots, then headed toward the door to go to the neighbor's.



"You're going to go out walking right after we've heard gunshots?"



"You just told me it was safe."



"I don't know, but I wouldn't go wandering around the neighborhood while a convict is on the loose."



I call Sherry, then another neighbor. (Can't you just see me in 70 years - the neighborhood bitty?)



********

Yesterday we found out that it was fireworks. Our neighbor saw them out his back window. Hahaha, joke's on me.

Here is Lucy discussing social issues in the ba*thtub. And Asher being his usual happy self.


Here is what Lulu and Ashy do while I'm in the kitchen. Take note of the wall. I can't decide if it's pretty or looks like my mom's decorating in the 80's. Country nappiness.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

girlie

Dear Lucy,
Tonight we went to Target. We spent two hours there! You could hardly contain your excitement as I explained to you that yes, you would get to stay up past your bedtime, and yes, the reason was that we were going to Target! Daddy got home and you went on and on about how you were going alone to Target with mommy, and "even Asher isn't going!"

We spent two hours there. You definitely wanted the polka-dot leggings instead of the boring gray ones, and making the choice between Cinderella, Winnie the Pooh, and Dora vitamins was nothing short of grueling for you. You are a work of art!

You continue to crack me up. Today I painted the dining room, turning it into a shabby chic girlie place for us to eat! After awakening from your nap, you exclaimed, "Oh, Mama! It's pink! I love it, Mama!"

You are such a little joy. Why on earth did I want only boys?

I love you, my sweet pumpkin. Every day is a new adventure with you. Thank you for being you!

Love,
Mom
p.s. Yes, you can help me 'decowate' more tomorrow. I would love it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

i hate that.

Could it be true that the longer you live, the less you know?
The more you experience, the less it makes sense?
And why did God make it so?
And why do I detest pat answers about God and the way He works?
Why does it feel like a grand copout to me?
On the other hand, if Jesus got millions to believe this extravagant farce, we've really got to hand him the gold medal, don't we?
What I don't get is this: If God detests evil, why doesn't He end the world now and bring those who love Him to heaven to live there? Why does He tolerate it?

No one has the answers and I hate it. Just conjecture.

Monday, October 8, 2007

thinking mom

If you think a blanket-dragging toddler and an 8 month old baby clad in an oatmeal-stained onesie sounds fun, just wait until you take them to the library!

Dear little Lucy wanted to play tag in the aisles and screamed, "I want the Elmo video! Elmooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" as she sprawled on the ground and beckoned the gods with her less-than-ephereal screams.

Then a blessed little "I used to be a kindergarten teacher" lady came up to me and told me that they are so precious. And then she looked at me and said, "They must run you ragged." "They run me ragged, but I love every minute of it."

I do.

I also really love reading books, and I wasn't able to get 'Freakonomics', a book I've been dying to get my hands on. So, we will watch Elmo and I will sip martinis and dream of a beach and a 3 hour long foot rub by a Mexican immigrant known only as "Raphael".

Asher stuck his hand in a bowl of scalding hot corn chowder. As if that weren't enough, he fell backwards, twice, and bruised his ginormous noggin. Now he's screaming in his crib because he wants to suck on my equally ginormous breast (eww. I just said breast.).

I have been reading "Joshua's Family" by Joseph F. Girzone. It is an account of Jesus' childhood, the way one man thinks it could have happened. I already have a problem with the theology of the book, as Joshua worries quite a bit. Isn't worrying a sin? Isn't that the entire premise of the Dale Carnegie movement?

It is so hard for me to distinguish my own identity/self from that of being a wife and mother. I am on call all the time - no pager for me. So how do I balance it? How do I still feed my mind amidst the MOPS meetings and teething talk and child-spacing debates? Well, I blog. I read my Bible. I engage my brother Nathan in talks about free trade and illegal immigration and Rudy Giuliani, and the farce that is global warming. I don't want to be a non-thinker just because I'm a mom.

Alot of times I DON'T think. Like when a friend tells me it's time for flu shots. What? Didn't realize. I put Asher in pink bibs and stick them both in the stroller without shoes on. I teach Lucy to say, "Quit farting, you sicko!" to my extremely flatulent older brother Mike.

I suppose in alot of ways I'm fighting the establishment. I'm raging against the mommy machine. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I want to do it in a thinking way.

A thinking mom.

Now, should I go to my ten-year reunion? (Keep in mind that Casey, Will, Kyle, L.D. and some other random post-high school make-out sessions will be there. Ah, 19-year-old indiscretions.) Should I tell you about calling the cops on my drug-dealing neighbors? Or would you rather hear about the accent wall I'm going to paint?

If there were a fairy that magically sorted my paper photographs by date, I wouldn't need a Christmas present.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

punkin patch



We went to the pumpkin farm today. It was all my doing because Scott hates the pumpkin farm. I think we drove 59 miles getting there and back. They wanted to charge us $7 apiece to actually go in the patch, so we made do just looking at some little pumpkins and doing the "pose in front of some fall foliage" thing instead. We told Lulu she could get one of those little 59 cent pumpkins and I about did the Roseanne Connor laugh when I turned around and she had nary a pumpkin. "Where is the one she's buying?"

"Um, she didn't want one. Let's just save our money!"

Here she is before her father absconded with the pumpkin.

No, it's not your imagination. My husband is gaining weight. Thanks to the guru of medicine Jen, we have found not only that he has a gluten allergy, but that he looks/acts/feels like a 97 year old man when he eats wheat. I had forgotten how nice it is to have the 'old' Scott back. (pun definitely not intended). I had forgotten how carefree he is when he is not feeling like the backside of Bill Grogan's goat.

Then we ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant, where Ashy choked and I freaked out and turned him upside down and whapped him on the back but apparently it wasn't hard enough and ohmygoshscottdosomethingwillyouidont'knowwhattodo. He wasn't making any noise and continued choking. I looked over at Scott and saw he was freaking out and this is when I really started freaking out. Scott grabbed him, threw him upside down and whapped his back over and over again. This woman came running over and goes, "Oh my God! Do the finger sweep! Do the finger sweep!" Scott is always saying, "Well, actually, you shouldn't do the finger sweep unless you can see the item, because that can lodge the food article further back into the airway." Thank you, Bill Nye.

Anyway, he's cocky with the eating thing because he has a tooth. $15 for the person who spots it first.

The whole thing was probably 15 seconds but it felt like 15 minutes. Ever been there? Lu dug her little fingers into the sour cream on my burrito. I made her pay:


Anyone know of a good navy blue I can use to paint my dining room? And where can I buy cute flats? I am tired of my 4-year-old flip flops.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

stream of consciousness

I have been asking God to show himself to me. I have been reading Romans and praying that He would. I have asked Him, more specifically, to show me how he wants me to honor Him most, if He is real.

Things that He has told me:
1. Read your Bible.
2. Worrying is a sin. Yes, you have OCD, but don't allow that to be an excuse. (Dining out with a friend the other day and a timely comment she made about her own life has made me realize just how much I use OCD as an excuse.)
3. We need to be consistently giving 10% of our gross income (that's before taxes, right?) to the church and other charities. Christians are instructed to do that; the Bible is pretty clear. That's a lot of money, and I think of all of the things we could do with that money (save it!). But then I realize that living my life with a tight fist is really no way to live at all, especially when He keeps blessing us over and over again (like the $42,000 bill for Asher's hospital stay that was unexpectedly paid for by insurance, the DAY after we decided to tithe faithfully).

I still want to drag my feet on the tithing thing. I don't like it. It goes against my selfish nature. I was contemplating this as I was on a walk with my neighbor, when I was stunned out of my reverie by Lucy screaming when her little friend asked for some of the Cheerios that Briana had given to her in the first place. These little examples are always miraculously timely, no?

I am realizing just how much I compare my life to others' lives. Why do I do this? It only serves to confuse and frustrate me. I was reading the blog of a friend who disclosed that she feels like all of these people around her are going through these terrible tragedies and she is relatively unscathed. Sometimes I feel like we as humans are so into competition that it happens with pain, too. What my friend fails to realize is that she suffered pain at a very young age - a situation I have tried to imagine going through and can't. It is so strange how pain is so relative. She looks at what we went through with our babies and doesn't think hers compares, but then I think that what she went through was very, very hard.

All this to say (and something Shrink Lady said as well) is that sometimes on the internet, especially, we get so immersed in our own pain and our little clubs of pain that we forget to live in the real world. I have definitely experienced this. I receive emails from a support group that I still am in, but realize that it is probably time to leave. Not because I Don't want to help others, but because I think if you are in something like that just to wear your experience like a badge, it's not healthy. It's time to move on. You have learned what you needed to and it's time to move on.

I told her how thinking I was pregnant a few months back left me in a cold sweat, and how I was literally nauseous thinking about another pregnancy. Usually when friends announce their pregnancies I am a little jealous, not so now, not even a little bit. It is so strange.

Is this post all over the place? I must be inhaling the meth-steam from my neighbor's lab. Either that or I just want to get this all out.

SL told me something today that I have suspected all along: I have a strange addiction to reading sad stories on the internet. It's like slowing down when you pass a car accident; you can't look away. The difference between me and you is that you can compartmentalize and go on. I, on the other hand, am incapacitated by an irrational fear that everything I read will happen to me. I have become obsessed with checking a website that deals with a little girl who died after a week of life. It's really not healthy.

That week that we didn't have the internet was one of the best weeks for me. I took Ashy and Luce on walks, cleaned, wrote in my journal, read my Bible, went to MOPS, church, made marijuana brownies to take to my neighbors, that sort of thing. I just felt CONNECTED, in a way that you can't always get on the great wide internet.

I get so caught up in fear that I forget to embrace the life that God has given me. I am so busy trying to escape any sort of pain that might come my way that I miss out on the joy of the everyday.

I should take a hint from the name of my blog.

Today is a day for rejoicing, for there will be no other like it. I can be assured that God has all of my tomorrows in the palm of his hand. I cannot ask God to speak to me and expect an answer when I spend no time reading His word.

SL and I talked quite a bit about religion today and I followed her until she handed me some crack baby book about a Unitarian Universalist. Then I sort of tuned it out. But, she was saying that we all have to make our own way with God, and I get that.

Scott and I talked at Bible study last night about how the Old Testament makes no sense to us, and that God seems so different in the old testament vs. the new testament. People always say that He is the same God, but why did He change His course of action, if His plan is perfect? And if the continuum time is of no consequence to God and He really knows what we are going to do before we do it, then why did He create a people who would have the ability to introduce themselves to evil?

I hate the pat Christian answers of, "There are some things we can't know." And the circular reasoning of "We know the Bible is true because it says it is." leaves my mouth a bit dry.

The lady who spoke at Bible study the other morning was telling us how she talks to God all the time, even down to what she should wear for that day. The particular day she was talking to us she said that God told her to wear black and green and that was interesting because green is the color of the tribe of Levi. And there was something to do with the tribe of Levi that was pertinent to what we were studying (I really don't know, because by that time my mind was wandering to chocolate chip cookies.) Anyway, I thought she was sort of a wacko for saying that she has these open conversations with God. Then I thought, "Well, why not? Why COULDN'T you have open conversations with God? Why does a prayer have to start with 'dear' and 'amen'?" Anyway, she continued talking and was telling us that we have the power to be sinless because Christ lives within us. That threw me for a loop because I know we are still sinful, and she encouraged me to email her and ask more questions.

I have so many questions and they just seem insurmountable.

There is interpretive dancing at my church and it makes me laugh. I can't take it seriously.

Why would God create a way for us to get to Him that is so complex? But then I say that, and it's not really complex at all. I mean, believe that Jesus came down from heaven to die on the cross for our sins? That's it? Not so complex at all.

The kids today at Good News Club were saying that it wasn't fair that God sent some people to hell. I responded that He gives everyone a choice. So in effect, you send yourself to hell if you wish to be separated from God. And no, it has nothing to do with whether you are a nice person or not. How nice do you have to be? And if you are depending on your own goodness to get you into heaven, that seems to me like a quickly sinking ship. I told them that actually, it IS fair, because we get a choice. He is a loving God and He gives us a choice.

I talked to SL today about wondering how much of this is spiritual warfare instead of OCD. I think that Satan has strongholds on certain areas of my life. I wonder what God would do with them if I gave them to Him.

I was thinking also of the things in my life that God has carried me through. Each time He showed Himself to be faithful. I wonder how much more He would do in my life if I just asked.

I don't want to be one of those people who says they're a Christian and tries to do good things and loves their kids and husband and goes to church but beyond that they don't put much thought into it.

I don't want to be one of those and I won't.

I can't.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Lucy-isms



Things I will forget if I don't write them down.

Scott asked her what my dad told her when they were on the phone. Her response: "Papa said, I'm going to poop in your ear, Lucy!"


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Asher got the giggles when I was putting the canned goods in the cardboard box at Aldi. It was that wonderful belly laugh. The kind of laugh where it almost sounds like a cry. Other people around us were laughing too.


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When the oven beeper goes off, she says, "The oven is screamin', Mom! The oven is screamin'!"


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When I used the aspirator (booger sucker) on Asher's nose - "Mom! You're hurting my brother bear! Stop it! HE DOESN'T LIKE DAT!" and then not ten minutes later she's slapping him and making him cry.


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The cute way she really annunciates each syllable in the word "monitor".


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Whenever we see a man (yes, has to be a man) in any sort of service uniform (mailman, police officer) she says, "Mom! Let's go say hi to that man!"


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A lady at Target crouched down to talk to Lucy - so Lu got down on her knees too.


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We bought her this set, in order to being explaining to her the process by which she got her colostomy bag. She is so sweet with the little baby - cuddling her, talking to her, but she wants nothing to do with the doctor.


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We're in Target, and she's ripping the bras off of the rack. I tell her she'd better behave. "I don't want you to pank my little butt, Mom!"


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I was getting ready for bed the other night and saw her little McDonald's bracelets on the sink. It struck me that we have a little girl in our house. Not a baby any more, but a little girl leaving her marks everywhere - lip gloss, sunglasses, shoes, shoes!
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There was a dead bug in our basement. "He's sad so he's sleepin', mom. He's sleepin'. You are so cute and sweet, bug!"
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Whenever I go on a walk without her I must bring back a leaf for her to admire.






Oh Lu, you are a delight.


Do you ever think you love them so much you might actually explode from the force of it? I do.










Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Gramps




So, there is Nate, and Michael, and Asher, and the electric green poop. Happy, Quinnley?

I went out to eat with a friend after Bible study. We were talking about how God uses things in our lives to teach us lessons, but sometimes we want to see the end result and don't want to put up with the pain. Depression is something I will always deal with, and more often than not I wonder what the heck God's doing. But then I know that there are ways he's using it. I also know there are ways he's using this blog. I started this blog in November, before Lucy was born as a way to keep track of my thoughts. And now, here we are, 3 years later! I hope someone who reads this blog has been encouraged.

I talked to my group at Bible study about how I feel like I have no faith, no faith that God is even real or existing. I feel like so many Christians just believe it because it is convenient, but they have no idea how the Bible even came to be (NO, God did not just hand Moses a Bible, ok?) If you believe that the Bible is true in its entirety, you also have to believe that the men who voted on the authenticity of the books were inspired by God in order to vote in such fashion. You also have to believe that Paul wasn't just on an acid trip when he was writing Philippians, or that David wasn't just severely manic when he wrote the Psalms. Yes, believing the Bible takes an awful lot of faith.

But then, on the other hand, believing anything takes an awful lot of faith. Believing that I am here because of some accident is even harder to believe. You can't take a box full of watch parts, shake it up, and then expect a watch to form. And that is what proponents of the big bang without God's orchestration theorize. I suspect their believing there is no God has more to do with the fact that they don't want to be accountable for anything or to anyone more than anything else.

Can I tell you something, and you promise not to laugh? I wasn't going to blog about it, because I didn't know how, but, here goes...

The other night I was sitting in my car (we bought it from my grandmother) after dropping something off at the post office. I was minding my own business, balancing my checkbook, when all of a sudden I had an overwhelming SENSE of my grandfather. I smelled my grandpa. It was the way my grandfather smelled when he was healthy. Like the land, a little sweaty, a little aftershave. It was a good, good smell. Whenever I gave him a hug I would breathe it in. I hadn't smelled that smell for a good 7 years. He didn't smell like that in the nursing home any more. In that moment in the car, the smell was so strong, as if he were sitting right there next to me. At that same time, I felt a presence in the car. The weird thing about it all is that I wasn't scared. I was so comforted; it was wonderful! I actually said out loud, "Gramps?" and turned to look in the passenger seat, for I was that sure he would be sitting there.

You can tell me I'm a kook, but I know what I experienced. Have you ever had an experience like that?