Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Deliciousness of Staying Up Late...

I am not a morning person... My high school sweetheart (aka Craigy my hubby) used to swing by my house in the morning so we could walk to school together... Often he would find me running around the house trying to find... Homework... My clothes (I was in my Jammies)... My brain... And once I was put together enough we would run out of the house.

A few times we got to the end of my street and Craig would say something like "do you know you're running with deodorant in your hand?"  I'm telling ya... Mornings and I are not a productive combination.

That's not to say I haven't tried being a morning person... In fact lately (ok so for like the past week) I've been getting up before my kiddos to do a little workout... You know start my day right.  (Which requires going to bed at a sensible time).

But tonight I am making plans to sleep In tomorrow...  Because there is something delicious about being awake after everyone else.  There is an allure to burning the midnight oil... And knowing that tomorrow I am not on my own... That there will be another set of hands here to play Polly Pockets... Smooth over temper tantrums...another adult brain gets to take over 1/2 the thinking about what's for lunch.

So I will read another chapter... Or 2... Or 5... And maybe make a snack... And relish my chance to stay up late.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
photo credit: Pandiyan via photopin cc

Monday, August 25, 2014

On Derek

For those of you who have not yet seen Derek... or have no idea what Derek is... It's a genuinely clever show about a brilliantly written character Derek... played and created by Ricky Gervais... be warned however it's not the sort of show for everyone.... there are some crude situations and humor scattered through out... 

I loves Derek though... He's this lovely sweet man who works in an "old folks" home.  He's good and he cares... Ricky Gervais (who is an atheist) even called the character "a bit Christ-like"  siting traits about Derek like "he forgives, he's tolerant, he's kind, brave, stands up for the underdog."

I find it very interesting that this is how a celebrity atheist sees Christ... When we His followers often don't.  Tolerant and stands up for the underdog?  My heart cries YES!  That is Jesus!  That is the guy I want to model my life after... but my head says where is He?  

 People who are the body of Jesus... Where are we?  Stop hiding behind our comfy lives and our excuses and come out and be brave.  

I'm talking to myself here as much as anyone...  I would say that I am quite tolerant...  Until I think back to the last time I got together with my girlfriends... and criticized some stranger's outfit at the grocery store.  As for standing up for the underdog... I'm often too caught up in measuring the risk... and the last time I actually talked to someone sitting on the sidewalk with his hat on the ground... it was so very awkward...I haven't attempted it again since.  

 People who are the body of Jesus... Where are we?  Stop hiding behind our comfy lives and our excuses and come out and be brave.  

An atheist sees who our Jesus is... shouldn't we?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Because This... 11th Edition

My favorite photos and links from the past week...

Last week I wrote about situations in the world making me feel hopeless.  Sarah Bessey addresses this with so much gumption... You are Not Powerless: One Way to be a Beloved Warrior This Week

The series on Highly Sensitive Parents by Megan over at Sorta Crunchy has been super helpful in understanding some of my own parenting issues and some ways to deal with them... 

While I'm not sure if I would chose to read poetry every time I have the urge to mindlessly peruse Facebook... I absolutely agree with the idea of finding a good habit to replace the one you are trying to change... Less internet – but more of what?

Friday, August 22, 2014

2 Ways to Give Through Crafting...

Fall is on it's way... (don't shoot the messenger).  The days are getting shorter... the nights are feeling colder... and you just might be looking for something to do while binge watching your favorite shows on Netflix... If that's the sort of thing you do... ahem.

Here are a couple of organizations I know of that could benefit from your handiwork and multitasking:

Craft Hope:

A few years back now Hudson and I scoured the local fabric store for the perfect pillowcase fabric to make and send a pillowcase to a little boy in Children's Hospital... 
Craft Hope was the driving force behind this campaign... They've organized drives for many different items...from bean bags for Liberian orphans to sock monkeys for children who lost homes to wildfire in Texas. Click on over to their site and see what they are working on now to bring a smile to someone's face.

Knit a Square:

This is what I've been working on while binge watching The Mindy Project listening to educational podcasts... ahem... Crocheting blanket squares for Knit a Square.

I love crocheting blanket squares for Knit a Square...  I choose an easy pattern that my hands can pretty much take over automatically... and spend an evening relaxing and crafting... 

A couple of my friends have been making squares as well so it feels like a bit of a community project.

Every 8x8 square sent is sown into a blanket to keep an AIDS orphan in southern Africa.  It's a pretty amazing gift to be able to create sitting in your living room.

What other organizations do you know of that could benefit from some moms (or dads, or grandmas, or teenage girls) crafting this Autumn?  Leave a link in the comments... 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thankful Thursday... Sweet 16

Welcome to Thankful Thursday... feel free to chime in about what you are thankful for this week.

  1. The opportunity to chat with some pretty spectacular kids while their parents were at the hospital with their baby brother.
  2. Soup... mmm soup
  3. Friends who volunteer to pick up lunch on their way up to visit.
  4. Garlic and herb perogies swimming in brown butter... (oh yes I did).
  5. Waking up before my kiddos... it is so much easier to be happy with them when they are not the disturbers of my slumber.
  6. Podcasts...they are like a little bit of adult conversation... even thought I'm surrounded by the 8 and under crowd.
  7. Books that make me want to DO SOMETHING!!! (stay tuned for my to read list coming soon).
  8. Toddlers who are tired at naptime... can I get an amen Mamas?
  9. My car... it's kind of zippy... it runs well... and it fits my family.
  10. It's cool enough at night to snuggle my hubby.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Work of Life...

I must be in my early thirties... people tell me that this soul searching, purpose hunting, self reinventing... is a symptom of that.

The books in my "to read" pile tell me that I am hungry for change... They are books about radical love... the kind that is inconvenient...  And it's not that I am looking to be inconvenienced... but I am looking to REALLY live.

There is a nagging fear in me that I might find excuses to stay wrapped up in my little cocoon... Where vulnerability is easy... but there is a competing fear that I will miss out... that what I do won't matter.

I want the work of my life to matter!!!

I thought growing pains would be left behind in my adolescent years... but it seems they move from my limbs to my heart...

Monday, August 18, 2014

5 Intentional Choices That Make Me a Better Mom...

Please note that the title of this post is not Intentional Choices That Make Me a Better Mom... Than You.  These are quite simply things that I have chosen for my family that make me a better mom than I would be without them.

We live rural...This means that my kiddos have plenty of places to explore.
We have no shortage of pets to care for... teaching gentleness, compassion and serving others.
I don't feel the need to be a helicopter parent... my kids abundance of freedom creates confidence.

We homeschool... (refer to top paragraph where I stated that these are my choices that make ME a better mom).
This gives me the opportunity to be part of my kiddos every day...
 I often learn right alongside them...
I am part of their struggles and their victories.

I hire a house cleaner... Why beat myself over the head with something that I kind of suck at?  I have a great house cleaner... she knows the drill... my house is always much less chaotic when she is done... and less stress means happier mama.

We limit toys... If it doesn't fit in the red box in the livingroom or serve a specific purpose (ex: game, puzzle, hobby...) then it doesn't usually stick around.  This somewhat stops my house from being over run with ahem dare I say...crap.

I surround myself with other moms... Especially ones who think I am a good mom and have a fondness for my children... I have enough self doubt without having someone else add to it... plus I need a village... I need women in my life who are supportive and encouraging... and I believe that I have a monkey sphere who will lift me up (or at least help me escape) when the going gets rough.

What do you do that makes you a better mom?  How do you handle the rough spots of parenting?