Monday, December 17, 2012

The Tree Hunt

A couple weekends ago I became acutely aware of how sweet motherhood 
is. It's easy to get caught up in the go, go, go (and not as is Diego) and the 
do, do, do of it all, easy to lose sight of what's important, of what really counts. 
Sure the tantrums are tough and the defiance from the five year old brings to 
mind a scene of a classic stand off between a parent and their teen. But we're 
in the business of bringing amazing individuals from baby to child to adult. I'm 
convinced it's the most difficult and rewarding job there is. 

That weekend we drove an hour with our little crew and cut down our
own Christmas tree at a tree farm. Unseasonably warm, it was a great
day to be out with the kids. Our tiniest family member to needed to be 
nursed as soon as we arrived, and of course a massive poopie blowout
followed. With my car seat as a makeshift changing table, I struggled to
keep my six month old from squirming off the seat, desperately tried
to avoid smearing poop somewhere it shouldn't be, and braced myself
against the car door, which the wind attempted to force close. Once the 
wind got the better of me, and the door frame clunked against my temple.

Where was my dear husband and darling children? They were off exploring 
the tree farm and deciding what kind of tree they wanted. My husband's
expression was both questioning and relieved when he saw me trudge 
up the hill toward them. I explained the poopie episode, wind fight, and 
the bump on my head (I forgot to mention the struggle with the baby sling
I had just bought, couldn't get it nearly as tight as it was supposed to be.
It had seemed so easy in the store!). I received a sympathetic look and 
we proceeded with our small band of (what was it that day?), oh yes,
Christmas tree hunters (it could've been pirates, tigers, cowboys, or
bunny rabbits), that day we were all simply Christmas tree hunters, on
a mission to find the perfect tree. 

The children hopped, jumped, ran, and danced their way between the 
trees. A few were too short, a few too misshapen, a couple too tall. It 
had to be just right. Clearly the farm had been picked over a bit, and 
the drought from the summer was evident in branches colored a lighter
green to light brown. We wove our way through the small, symmetrical
forest until we stumbled upon a good contender, nicely shaped and a 
perfect height. Although not as green as I'd like, it was our tree. The 
children shouted their approval, out came the borrowed saw, and down
came our tree. There were a few shoves to claim who would pull the 
small plastic sled carrying the tree first, but after a stern scolding, a 
reminder to share, and apologetic hugs and kisses, we were off again.
Back by a small barn-like structure to pay for our prize, the children
attempted to befriend everyone who happened by and introduced them
to our tree. 

On our way home, I reflected over our little excursion and watched 
the children slowly become calm and glassy-eyed as nap time 
approached. Although a touch stressful at times, how sweet this time
had been. Letting our kids be kids, enjoying each of their personalities, 
loving every bit of who they are, and appreciating that God gave them
to us is what I took from that afternoon. 

Life happens so quickly. Let's enjoy every moment with our families,
always love and forgive each other, and always cherish what God has
given us.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Busted by Brownie

To say that I have a sweet tooth is an understatement. I prefer 
chocolate to any other form of sweet. I'm guilty of sneaking a piece
of cocoa goodness behind my children's backs more often than
I'd care to admit, but anyone who knows my kiddos, can testify
that the last thing they need is sugar. 

This last weekend I made a couple batches of homemade 
super dark brownies. Unfortunately neither were for myself. One
batch was for a baby shower at work, and the other was for
a friend who's a new mom again. I did hold back a few pieces from
the baby shower batch for myself... I mean my family. On Saturday
morning, after working late the night before, my husband informed
me that he had eaten two of the last four pieces of brownie due to
a stressful evening alone with the children the night before. "The 
last two are in there (the fridge), and are all yours... ," he reassured me. 

After lunch, the older two kids were playing elsewhere in the house,
and I was chatting with my husband in the kitchen. The thought of 
yummy brownies propelled me towards the fridge. The children were 
immersed in some type of pretend play scenario, so it would be 
safe to discreetly eat one of my brownies. 

I carefully unwrapped the tin foil, took my first bite, and there she 
was, my five year old, who has a sweet tooth just as big as mine, wide- 
eyed, mouth running a mile a minute about something. I didn't hear 
a word. I was frozen, brownie in hand, hoping that she hadn't 
noticed. Maybe if I didn't move, it would be okay. The longer I 
remained there, the more I realized I had to get the brownie out of 
sight before it was too late. With my lil' lovely still rambling about
some obviously important issue, I slowly lowered my hand to 
the counter, behind an enormous jar of peanut butter. I refrained
from chewing and shifted the morsel to my cheek like a squirrel. 

Just when I thought I was in the clear, the chattering slowed and 
I heard her ask, "What's that?"


"What are you eating, Mom?" she reiterated. I was busted.

"Oh, you want a bite of my brownie?" I asked, knowing full well
what the answer would be.

Her little eyes lit up and the corners of her mouth turned upward, 
revealing her dimples. She relished every little bite, just like her 
Mommy. After sharing the brownie, I quickly wrapped the last one 
in tin foil and returned it to the fridge. 

Guess what I had as soon as the kids were in bed that night?

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Life's Status Report

Has it really been nearly three months since I last posted?? Life with a five 
year old, almost three year old and a three month old is crazy! So while I
feel creative juices are still hiding somewhere in the deep recesses of my
brain, I thought I would let those who do follow this blog know that, yes, I 
am still alive and will continue to write. 

This is a status report on my crazy, wonderful life. 

  • House - despite desperate efforts, still a disaster zone.
    • dishes - not too bad.
    • common areas - cluttered with toys.
    • my bedroom - scary.
    • kids bedrooms - not as scary.
    • laundry - you don't want to know.
    • yard - yikes!
  • Children - all are well, and in never ending growth spurts.
    • Avalon - 
      • loves Pre-Kindergarden.
      • thinks five years old is the new fifteen.
      • broke her arm over the summer. 
      • will not climb the monkey bars for a while.
    • James - 
      • enjoys two mornings of preschool during the week.
      • knows more species of dinos than the average adult.
      • is not potty trained yet (will start to tackle that next month).
      • is not yet three, but most people think he's four.
    • Benjamin
      • started teething at ten weeks.
      • is sleeping through the night!
      • is wearing 6-12 month clothes at three months.
      • is rolling over and cooing, so cute.
  • Husband - is still sane but threatening a vasectomy.
  • I - 
    • am chronically sleep deprived.
    • have about two minutes a day to myself.
    • have about 200 emails waiting in my inbox.
    • feel like my social life is on hold.
    • haven't written in far too long. 
    • am a little worried I've forgotten everything I've learned about writing children's stories.
    • know that even though this is a crazy time of my life, it's also wonderful and must be enjoyed to the fullest.
    • know that God is faithful and gives me the strength to do all I have to do every day.
    • am starting to cook up some new stories and hope to have some one-on-one time with my laptop soon.
"Praise the Lord. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His steadfast love 
endures forever!" Psalm 106:1

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Here We Go!

I'm returning after a bit of a hiatus, now a mommy of three.  It's been over a 
month since my new little man, Benjamin Michael, has joined us. The last three 
nights he's actually slept soundly between feedings (Praise the Lord!), and I 
finally feel like my sleep deprived brain can string more than a few words 
together to write a halfway decent post. 

I now have a four year old a two year old and an infant. To say life is busy would
be an understatement! And despite drowning in diapers, refereeing the older two,
administering endless kisses to both real and imagined boo-boos, and perpetual 
dish and laundry duty, I'm absolutely thrilled. I've always wanted a minimum
of three kids, and now I have them. My prayer is, "Thank you, Lord, for the 
blessing and privilege of raising my three children, and please preserve my
sanity... ." It's a bit of a challenge when my four year old (Avalon) cross 
examines me as though a seasoned lawyer and my two year old (James) 
behaves more like bulldozer in human toddler form. 

If you could listen to a bit of my day you'd hear:

"James do NOT drink out of the dogs water bowl!"
"James! We do not stand on the back of the couch!"
"James, spit out that dog food, and we do NOT eat dirt!"
"James? What is in your mouth?"
"Oh James, that's gross."
"Avalon, no tattling."
"Avalon, you are not the mommy."
"Avalon, I am the mommy."
"Avalon, your mouth is getting you into trouble. Close it."
"Both of you, back away from the baby."
"Personal space, Avalon, back up."
"James, too close to the TV, back up. Back up more.
"James, do not touch the baby's head, OR EYES!"
"Inside voices, please... INSIDE VOICES PLEASE! Let's practice inside voices."
"No running in the house." (a second blur goes by) "No running!" 
"No yelling in the house... if you want to talk to me, come here (as I shout back)."

I'm sure most of you mothers out there relate to my list of frequently spoken 
mom statements. Sometimes I have to suppress a chuckle after some of the 
things I say. And yes, my two year old boy is as boy as they come. He eats 
dirt, dog food, and even toe lint. His hugs are really more like tackles and 
"gentle" is a word that doesn't compute in his male toddler brain. But he's 
amazing with captivating blue eyes and a smile that doesn't allow you to 
stay upset very long. 

My four year old (going on twenty two) is a pure delight, thoughtful, sweet and so
full of love. I love how much she loves her family, immediate and extended. I 
can't wait to see what kind of personality my new little one possesses. What a 
crazy, exciting, chaotic adventure this life is. I feel like I'm in a roller coaster at 
the top of a steep hill, saying to myself, Hold on and here we go!  I'm 
determined to enjoy the ride and call on the Lord to help me be the best mom 
for my children, and wife to my sweetie.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Guest Post on Redwood's Medical Edge: Pacifier Use

I'm happy to be guest posting again today on Redwood's Medical Edge. 
This time the topic is pacifier use. Have pacifiers been falsely vilified? 
What is the latest research telling us concerning pacifier use and successful
breastfeeding? Read all about it and weigh in on the conversation here.

Jordyn Redwood is a RN who has eighteen years of ER and ICU 
experience who also writes suspense novels. Her debut thriller, Proof,
is coming out June 1st, 2012. Being a medical suspense fan myself,
I can't wait! Her blog is devoted to medical accuracy in literature and is
always an interesting read. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Ready or Not...

You may have noticed that my posting has been less frequent lately. Even now,
my foggy brain is struggling stringing words together to transfer to the computer
screen. Sleep deprivation secondary to advanced pregnancy is to blame. My 
mother teased me earlier this week that it's God's way of preparing the soon
to be new mother for what will be elusive after her new baby comes. I've even
said this jokingly myself in the past, but it makes much more sense for a new
(or new again) mom to be well rested before her new bundle comes into the
world. Waking at least twice a night to go to the bathroom and then not being
able to go back to sleep despite extreme sleepiness just isn't right. 

If the lack of sleep isn't enough, there's the fact that taking a nice deep breath
isn't an option. Deep inside there is a sweet little baby bottom pushing up against
my lungs, causing the classic third trimester shortness of breath. So, here I am
putting forth a conscience effort to focus my thoughts while gasping for air. 
Dramatic, I know, but true nonetheless. 

Despite my physical complaints, I've been obsessed with readying the house for 
baby #3. This includes ungodly amounts of laundry; salvaging what I can from
my two year old's former newborn clothes; arranging a space in our bedroom for 
a crib, changing table and rocking chair (thankfully our bedroom can 
accommodate); cleaning out and organizing cabinets to make room for baby 
things; figuring out how to squeeze more linens into my linen cabinet; and the 
list goes on. 

Last weekend, my poor husband experienced a bit of shock when shopping for 
the new baby. For my second child, we were able to use a lot of same things 
(excluding clothes) I had for my first one, the majority of which didn't make it 
past baby #2. Reality set in big time when we purchased a new pumpkin seat 
(infant car seat) and set it up in the car. All child seats have been shifted in the 
old minivan to have the pumpkin seat in the only seat that has a latch system. 
Thankfully, my two year old is happy with his new place in the van and my four 
year old is thrilled the be in the "way back" like a big girl. 

I now feel mostly ready for our newest member to come and join our family. This
next week's objective is to pack my hospital bag. Talk about a reality check. I'm 
bit (or more than a bit) apprehensive about transitioning from two children to 
three. I hear varying stories about the process from other mothers. Most say it's 
easier than when you go from one to two, but a few say it's absolutely nuts. I'll 
opt to believe the former and trust God that He'll give me the rest, strength, time 
management, and organizational skills that will surely be needed. 

I plan to post at least twice a month over the next couple months as this 
transition takes place and then try to go back to weekly as I've done earlier 
this year. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Checked Your Oil Lately?

Last week while the munchkins were in preschool, I decided to get my van's
oil changed. To say that it was overdue would be an understatement. My 
dear husband had been intending to change it himself, but since weeks and
weeks, or maybe months had gone by, I decided it was time. I gave my other
half a courtesy call, and he agreed. I pulled up to a local garage and informed
the gentleman who came to my window that my oil change was sadly overdue.
I'm sure I gave him a, "please don't judge me," look. I warned him again, "It's 
been a long time." He smiled politely and asked me to leave my keys in the 
car and have a seat inside. 

After a few minutes of perusing children's magazines in the waiting room he 
came in and asked if the car had been serviced since their last record... in 
July (mind you this is now April the following year). I sheepishly shook my 
head and got ready for the bad news. I was informed that not one drop of oil 
came out of my van's engine. Not one drop. I knew it wouldn't be great, but I 
didn't expect it to be that bad. He assessed my driving habits quickly, stating 
that I probably mostly drove short distances around town, but had I taken a 
longer drive, I would've noticed problems. He was surprised the poor thing 
was still chugging along, and I wouldn't have made it one more week for sure.
The only thing that had really saved me was the high mileage oil used last
time. That, I thought, and some divine protection from above.

Now what to do about it. He said he couldn't just put more oil in and that my
van needed and engine flush. I verified with my husband that it was okay,
and my van received a flush, new high mileage oil, and new wiper blades 
(part of a combo deal). He was gracious enough to give me a few discounts
on all the services and reminded me before I pulled away that they'll check
my oil and fluid levels for me in between oil changes and top off for free. 
I assured him I'd remember that and never neglect my van so bad again.

I learned from this experience. Don't assume that because your car still
drives, all is well. God also showed me a spiritual lesson. A while back
my pastor compared maintaining your car's oil to our spiritual lives. This 
incident reminded me of that sermon. If I coast along in life ignoring 
potential problems, assuming I'm okay, not receiving fresh "oil" from 
God's Word (the Bible) on a daily basis, I could literally be on the verge 
of breaking down at any moment. I don't want to live my life with an empty 
oil tank. I want to be full of God's love, patience, grace, and gentleness. 
I can only do that by "abiding" in Him as He states in John 15:4.

"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless
it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me." English 
Standard Version

Friday, April 6, 2012

Verity or Apparition?

5 a.m. the other morning I was in the middle of an active REM cycle. My
subconscious was deeply ensconced in a dream about a Christmas 
play I had written. Even though I had written this play (not something I've
done in the lucid world), I only had one speaking line, and it escaped
me! There I stood, bewildered and flustered, behind back stage doors
about to go on with no clue what I was suppose to do or say. Finally a 
cast member handed me a script and all was well, or so I thought. 

This dream took a turn for the worst when I glanced down and spied
a gigantic spider on my left hand. I screamed and tried to brush it off,
but to no avail. The hair-raising arachnid clung to my fingers as though
its life depended on it. 

The next instant I was awake. In the dim light cast by my charging cell
phone, I noticed a familiar eight-legged creature. It scurried across my
left hand, my husband's pillow, and over the edge of the mattress at the
head of the bed. I felt frozen but heard myself saying, "Big spider, big
spider, big spider!" 

Jason sprang to action and used the flashlight app on his cell phone 
to begin the search. After a few breathless seconds there was no sign
of it. I turned on the lamp for better visualization. Jason pulled up the
mattress and looked under the bed. No spider. 

No spider, the words repeated in my foggy brain. Had there been an
actual spider, or was it remnants of my dream... real or imagined?
This dilemma was more disturbing to me. Jason decided to get
ready for work. I had a good hour before my alarm would go off, 
but there was no way I would put my head back where it had been.
Instead I plopped my pillow at the foot of my bed and curled up in 
a fetal position, not even my toes would fall victim to the potential
antagonist. Despite my fear of creepy-crawly creatures, I quickly fell 
back asleep.

Now, two days later, I'm still bothered by the question. Was the spider 
real or imagined? Last night I slept with my head a couple of feet away
from the head of the bed. I'd be inclined to believe it had been imagined
except that the spider I saw looked entirely different than the one in my 
dream. I think that night I prayed that the Lord would strike the thing dead
in its tracks. Whether or not He would do that, I'm not sure, but it doesn't 
hurt to ask. 

Some may chuckle at my reaction to this experience, and that's okay. 
We all have our quirks, weaknesses, or irrational fears. I feel I may 
have more than the average person, but self-awareness is a good 
thing, right? What do you think? Was spider real? Should I sleep
with one eye open? Should I chill and forget about it? 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Not Too Fast...

This week was school break for us. No preschool for the kids... no rest for 
the weary. Thankfully, the weather has been great. We've been able to 
visit multiple parks... along with the rest of the school district. It was 
difficult attempting to explain to my two year old that we had to wait for
our turn on the toddler swings, his favorite. 

Again I find myself pensive. How can time go by so quickly? Not only 
have I had my college degree for nearly ten years (gulp), but my oldest
(who you'll remember is only four), is informing me of who she will marry
when she's all grown up. My little lady has her life planned out already.
She will get married, but still live with her mommy and daddy, and have
four children, two boys and two girls. Her occupation will be, "only a 
mommy." Although today she voiced the realization that she might have
to get a job to support her four children. 

I chuckle to myself at these sweet conversations, but deep down I know 
that her grown up years aren't too far off. I think about her wedding day
and the biggest, "letting go," I'll hopefully face. It's hard enough for me 
when she's picked up for play dates with school friends. How am I going 
to handle her moving out, let alone getting married! Slow down, I remind 
myself, that's at least twenty years away, or thirty if her father has any say.

From this contemplation I'll take an appreciation of the moment and try not
to get flustered when one or both of them meltdown in public, or become 
frustrated when I find remnants of a tasty lunch all over new clothes. 
But instead I'll cherish every moment, realizing it's all part of the process, 
and make sure that above all, they know and feel how loved they are, so 
that in turn when they look back on their childhoods, they can reflect with as 
much affection as I do. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Superhuman Mommy Senses

Earlier this week, my four year old darted away from the lunch table while 
my back was turned. Not only did I hear the swishing of wind made from 
her hasty escape, but I noted a flash of pink into the dining room from my 
extreme peripheral vision. Without turning around I calmly stated, "Avalon, 
come back to the table and finish your food." 

"How did you know where I was!?" she asked in amazement.

A scene from my childhood sparked in the recesses of my brain. "Don't 
you know that mommies have eyes in the backs of their heads?"

If it was possible for her eyes to grow wider, they did. "How did you get
them, Mommy? When did you get them?" 

I could literally see her logical young mind trying to make sense of my 
claim. "I got them when I became a mommy. You won't have eyes in the
back of your head until you become a mommy." She accepted the explanation 
without further questioning, a rarity, and returned to the table as instructed.

Today I stepped away from the kitchen for some reason and upon returning,
again she was nowhere to be seen. "Avalon, come back and finish your milk."
Instead of the much desired, "Yes, Mother," I heard a creeping then a lunge 
onto a love seat, the back of which faces the kitchen. I leaned over the couch,
and spied a disappointed face. 

"How did you know I was here?" her voice a bit exasperated. 

"I heard you. Don't you know mommies have super hearing?" This time no 
discussion ensued. 

Now in writing this, I think I may know why she wants to be a mommy and 
"only a mommy" when she grows up. Obviously, mommies have superhuman
abilities that other people are not fortunate enough to develop. Who wants 
to go to a job all day when you can have super hearing, extra eyes that permit
you to see everything, and not to mention an unnerving ability to sense when
someone is not telling the truth?

She'll be amazing no matter what she does in the future. Along with being 
proficient in whatever profession she chooses, I know she'll be an excellent

Monday, March 5, 2012

Guest Posting Today on Redwood's Medical Edge

I'm a sucker for a good medical thriller, my favorite genre for pleasure reading.
So when I came across a blog devoted to accuracy concerning medical facts
in literature, I was intrigued. Redwood's Medical Edge is author Jordyn 
Redwood's blog. If you're a writer with a medical scene in your WIP (work
in progress), she'll be happy to review it for medical accuracy. I personally
can't stand it when I'm watching a medical show or reading a book containing
medical impossibilities or fallacies. I'm the one shouting at the TV, "You can't 
shock asystole!!" Really how many times will writers make that mistake? 

I was thrilled when Jordyn asked me if I had any ideas for a guest post. Since
the area of nursing I practice is postpartum, I took on the polarizing topic of 
home verses hospital deliveries. An issue many are passionate about. My 
goal in writing this post for Jordyn was to be sure soon to be parents make
an informed decision about where to deliver, knowing the risks and benefits
of both. You can read my guest post on Redwood's Medical Edge here. Thanks,
Jordyn, for the opportunity, and I can't wait to read your new novel, Proof
coming out this June!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Best Laid Plans

The last couple of weeks have been interesting. I've neglected my computer
in attempts to declutter my home and begin preparing for baby number three
to arrive. It might be a bit early yet, but better now than scrambling the week 
before he's due. It's been a challenge considering now I'm a bit anemic 
(taking iron now) and am feeling it. I've been doing a bit everyday, rendering
me completely exhausted by the late afternoon. 

In addition to my new found compulsion to get the house in order, I've also 
been extremely pensive, analyzing my heart and perspectives on life. I like
to plan. I consider multiple possibilities about a certain something, dissect the
pros and cons, decide on the best course of action (according to my brain), 
and make plans accordingly. Good luck changing my mind after I've been 
through this process. However, I've learned a difficult lesson this last month
which has caused me to reassess how I go about making decisions. 

My kids have been attending a wonderful private preschool attached to a 
local church, which also has an excellent elementary and middle school. 
My mom-in-law teaches at another nearby private school which enrolls 
2 year olds through middle school. It's much smaller, newer (only been 
in existence for five years), and Jason (my other half) wanted me to check
it out. Why would I? I thought. The kids' current school is well established,
(my mother went there as a child) nationally recognized blue ribbon, of course
accredited, and had plenty of extracurricular sports. Their school was everything
I wanted. My daughter has sweet little friends there. I saw no need to change.

My husband wouldn't let it go, no matter how many times I expressed my 
opinion. I reluctantly agreed for my daughter to go visit the 4/5 year old 
class at my mom-in-law's school. On the fateful day I showed up about mid 
morning to observe my daughter during the visit. They were cleaning up 
before going outside for recess and then to art class. I had an hour with 
the class teacher and discussed her methods of teaching, curriculum, 
approaches to discipline, and her thoughts on my daughter. She completely
blew me away. I loved everything she said and appreciated her spot on 
assessment of my daughter. We finished with a tour of the facilities, which 
were excellent, especially considering the young age of the school. 

I knew right away, deep down, that this was the perfect setting for my daughter. 
That "knowing" was God. He was gently showing me His plan for my
children. I was teary eyed upon the realization. I had been so sure of the 
right direction for my children. Of course I had prayed that the Lord show me
what to do, but I was positive He agreed with me. I was so sure that I had
already registered my daughter for next year at her current school. With the
registration fee nonrefundable I knew instantly I was out a few hundred 
dollars. It caused a nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach. What's worse,
after finally having a release from Jason to register her for next year at her
current school a couple weeks earlier, on the way to do so, I had a funny 
feeling that maybe I shouldn't, what we Christians call a "check" in our
spirit. A small voice whispering direction. I had dismissed the feeling. I knew
better! Lesson learned the hard way.

Both my children are now enrolled for next year at the new school. Although
it saddens me to not be returning to their current school next year, I'm 
at peace knowing we're following God. Our plans may seem perfectly 
logical and correct, but God always knows better. I trust my family's future
in His hands much better than in my own. God sees everything, past, present,
future. He knows everything and has our best interests at heart. 

As aftermath from this learning experience, I have naturally questioned other
areas of my life, hence the incredibly pensive last couple weeks. Am I truly
seeking God in all I do? Or am I planning my life and casually running my
plans by the Lord for His check mark of approval without really asking what
His plans are? I have begun to ask the Lord for wisdom in all that I do. I want
His best for me and my family.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and
not for evil, to give your a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11, English Standard

Friday, February 3, 2012

Want a New Distressed Look for your Home? No Problem!

Love that trendy distressed look they have for wood furniture and floors?
Want the look without the price tag? I have just the answer. Within my 
family there is one who will pound, hammer, scrap your wood furniture 
or floors providing that much desired "rustic" look and the feel you've been
searching for. True he only is about 37 inches tall and 30 pounds, but 
don't let his size deceive you. He can pack a punch harder than those
two or three times his size. 

His preferred tools are toy train engines. The tiny wheels leave the perfect 
size indentations for a store bought distressed look. If trains are not available, 
his second favorite tool is a toy wooden hammer. "Isn't that what it's made 
for?" will be the look he'll give you. The one I speak of is quite resourceful,
so if trains and toy hammers are out of reach, he'll gladly use anything lying
around, a coaster, small ottoman, remote control, and the list goes on. 

Did I mention his pricing is more than competitive? As payment for this fresh, 
new distressed look, he requires only a snack of gold fish and juice and 
possibly a diaper change, depending on how extensive the job is. His 
immediate supervisor may wish to accompany him on a job site. She's a
bit taller and will also require gold fish and juice as she directs his efforts.
Of course, the big boss herself (yours truly) will come along to make sure
the working conditions are satisfactory and the workers are being treated
well. FYI - the big boss likes dark chocolate. 

So for the price of a half a bag of gold fish, 16 ounces of juice, and a dark
chocolate candy bar, you too can have a refreshing new look on your 
current wood floors and furniture!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"I Don't Want To"

My two year old's new favorite phrase is, "No, I don't want to." He blurts it
out almost constantly, but especially at mealtimes, nap times, or when I try
to hold his hand crossing parking lots. The latter requires me to pick him 
up while he's kicking, flailing, and screaming until we arrive to safety. I'm
now immune to this embarrassing scene. 

How often do I feel like saying, "I don't want to," or even more appropriately,
"I don't feel like it?" Lately, all I want to do is curl up on the couch and nap. 
True, I have two small children and another one on the way, but stuff still
needs to get done. I still need to keep up with the house, prayer time, and 
my writing. Even as an adult, there are times I wish I could behave like my
son and get away with it. 

Even if just inwardly, we can throw our own little tantrums when something 
doesn't go our way. I'm thankful our Heavenly Father is not only immune 
to them, but covers us with His mercy and grace. This doesn't give us a 
license to behave badly, inwardly or outwardly. However there have been 
times in my life when I, spiritually speaking, was kicking and screaming, 
and God brought me to safety anyway. I'm thankful He's so good to us, 
especially when we don't deserve it.