14 January, 2012

Daybook January 2012

Outside My Window ...
Darkness. While we've had an usually warm and snow-less winter here in Wisconsin, the days are no longer than any other year. I love the peace of the darkness. I love the warm lights that come from inside homes. I love how well I sleep. And I love how much I notice and appreciate the warmth of sunlight. I miss the days of my childhood when I could spend my afternoons with my nose buried in a book while curled up in a sunbeam.

I am listening to...
Clara yelling at her brother for dumping out a box of blocks. Words like "naughty" and "such a mess" seem to be babbling about. She is her daddy's tidy little girl. John Ross and I are more creative types for whom messes are just part of life. We like things a certain way, but it isn't typically the way other people like them.

To Live the Liturgy…
We have all been working on forgiveness. Both the kids and the parents in this house are good at "I'm sorry", but we're all working on what it means to accept an apology and how we behave afterwards. Mama is working on not holding a grudge.

To be Fit and Happy…
I mentioned in this same item in October that I was up against my anxiety. It really hasn't gotten much better since. Upon advisement of my RN mother, I researched and took up a regular dosage of St. John's Wort. A week and a half into the regimine I am feeling less edgy and more focused. My anxiety isn't derailing my plans nearly as often. I have high hopes that as it continues to take full effect (4-6 weeks) I will find myself a bit more joyful too. While I am not a "take a pill" kind of girl, anxiety and depression run in my family and the winter season can be rough on anyone up in this neck of the woods.


I am thankful for ...
Our basement being finished!!! Kevin worked tirelessly this fall amidst my hectic schedule to finish our previously empty basement. We now have a beautiful space for stashing the kids toys and watching movies. It is warm, welcoming, and I am SOOOO grateful. Disappointed that I will miss the championship games down there this weekend, but cheering on the Pack in hopes that I might be able to watch them in the SuperBowl in a few weeks!

From the kitchen ...
Christmas is over and we are in hunker down financial mode. We've re-established a budget and are focusing on simplifying. As an added challenge, my sister, a night NICU nurse, was looking for easy, afforable meals that she could count on. They had found themselves, like many of us, ordering in and eating out WAY too often. So, over the New Year we put together five weeks of meals, recipes, and shopping lists to help us all out. I'm trying to stick to them since I know exactly what they cost and the work they entail.

I am creating ...
I have some big news coming very soon on a big endeavor we have discerned as a family, but the timing isn't quite right yet for sharing. Keep praying for us and our BIG project!

I am reading…
"Lunch in Paris" all about a young woman living, eating and romancing in Paris. It's quick, light reading with some fun recipes to try! Nothing intense or soul satisfying, but a nice treat at the end of a busy day.

Towards a real education ...
We're working on politeness and proper pronunciation. Coo-cans and pokamots are cute, but not going to cut it in the real world. Clara is also working on knowing her own name instead of responding, "John Ross" or "Scoopy" when she is asked.

Bringing beauty to my home ...
I have taken Christmas down. I usually wait until the Baptism of Our Lord, but this year Christmas became cluttered and I needed to return to the simplicity of everyday life.

I am hoping and praying…
For a postive outcome of my mother's surgery this Friday. She's been dealing with a chronic issue for the past few years and as the bouts have become more painful and frequent, she is having a procedure done that we believe will correct it. Please keep her in your prayers.

Around the house ...
Warm weather + crazy kids = time outside! Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy...

One of my favorite things...
My new bras...I hate bra shopping and had two underwires snap within the week before Christmas. I dreaded replacing them, but armed myself with my sister warriors over the New Yeawr. We went to Soma and found some great after Christmas deals on just the kind of bras I need. And they're pretty too!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Work, work, and more work. Then rest. We are gearing up for Confirmation here and so the week is full of candidate interviews and our monthly faith formation family night. Then Clara and I are packing up for a girls weekend in Chicago with my sister. We're leaving John Ross and Daddy home.

In Pictures...
Spent the weekend with these two lovely people!!!! My sister and brother-in-law!

10 January, 2012

Gotta Love That Red-nose Reindeer!

My kids are fascinated by Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer this year. Last year, John Ross could have cared less, but this year it is definitely a highlight! He sings, dances, and panics in all the right places.

Amidst all of his joy, I'll be the first to admit that this season has been rough on this mama this year. Advent is one of my favorite times of year. I thrive on the anticipation, joy, and dare I say peace of the season. When things are less than peaceful, I am good at remembering that riding on a donkey nine months pregnant and giving birth in a cave is anything but peaceful. But this year, that explanation isn't taming the stress in my heart.

We have two weeks of illness that has required a lot of laundry and cleaning, two ambiguous medical diagnoses, a basement remodel, work politics, holiday work obligations, sitter-drama, and two snapped underwires (this may seem trivial to some, but amidst the big picture bra shopping was a complete nightmare - ultimately resulting in me walking out of the store empty handed). At one point I ended up in tears, in my car, in the middle of a grocery store parking lot at 9:30 at night. I believe my exact phrase to my mother on the phone was, "I just don't know what to do anymore."

And yet, the next day, that sweet little reindeer was on for the umpteenth time this season and a few things resonated with my holiday plight. Here is the list:

She thinks I'm CUTE...sometimes all we need is a little pick me up. We all just need to feel beautiful, loved, and appreciated. A single kind work goes a long way.

We're a couple of misfits...as followers of Christ we don't always fit the mold. Not only that, but we're all different and our differences is what makes our community rich. It's not always easy, but embracing our own differences and standing strong in them is being the person God created us to be.

Fame and fortune...in one of the version of the movie, the song about misfits was replaced with a song called "Fame and Fortune". Fame and fortune in today's world is something that can often become very dark and very lonely. But the words fame and fortune for us a Christians can mean our call to lead an exemplary life and a life that is full of the richness of being - gratitude, generosity, charity.

No human can live on an island...We need to live in community. I'm an introvert (I know, I know...some of you don't believe me...) and most days I would prefer to hole up in my house. With two small children I often feel like I am living in a penguin colony with all the chatter going on. That being said, it is important for everyone to reach out once in awhile for some quality human interaction. We need the perspective, affirmation, and accountability of having others in our life. It's a human need, not just a social desire.
Even the abominable snow monster needs a job...we all have gifts and when we aren't able to use our gifts we can get a little cranky. Serving others does not have to be something out of the ordinary or something we consider a chore. The best type of serving is the type we do best and joyfully. To quote Bishop Bob, "Don't stay out of your gifted area too long."