Friday, May 31, 2013

What I'm Into: May



On the Nightstand:
Good reading going on this month...

Reflections for Ragamuffins: Daily Devotions by Brennan Manning 
So many good words. So many. 

No More Perfect Moms: Learn to Love Your Real Life by Jill SavageThis one has been really good. It's very authentic and I'm one who really values transparency. It's given us a lot of good stuff to talk about in our groups- how we can avoid insecurity and judgement and playing the comparison game, that kind of thing. I thought it might be sort of trite and "fluffy", but so far it's been great.

I need to finish this one up. I sort of took a break when we started No More Perfect Moms, but it's a good read and I'm excited to get more into it.  


Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur and The Thirteen Apostles by J. Ellsworth Kalas
Our Sunday school class is doing a study on the disciples and using these two book. I'm just now starting both. In the interest of full disclosure, Peyton and I both kind of pushed back against the MacArthur book because he has some opinions that I disagree with pretty strongly. That said, I don't know that there'll be much of that in this paticular book, and I'd hate for it to be said of me that I can't learn from someone who I disagree with. Kalas is less known but he was the writer of the Christian Believer series we did awhile back which we LOVED (sidenote: I would really like to one day finish out those posts. Probably when the kids are in high school. That or never.). 


Daddies
I've been reading more to Annie since we're less busy and this is a current favorite. I sort of love that it's original copyright is circa 1950 and it's a Little Golden Book. Okay, I really love those things. [For what it's worth, I've started being more intentional with the discussion about how daddies can and do stay at home all day and things along those lines. Because I think that's a good one to have.]


On the Shelf:
I'm leaving the two from last month because I didn't get to them and adding one more to the list. 

1000 Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp
Yes I'm late to this party. I bought it when it came out and other things just kept coming up and really I didn't read near enough until this year and it's still a struggle. I absolutely adore Ann's blog, though, and I really think I'd gain alot from this. 

The God of Intimacy and Action: Reconnecting Ancient Spiritual Practices, Evangelism and Jusitce by Tony Campolo
This is another one that I've been meaning to read forever. I saw Tony speak awhile back and really any time I read something by him I'm moved. The title just intrigues me and I'm excited for it. 

Many Ways to Say I Love You: Wisdom for Parents and Children from Mister Rodgers by Fred Rogers
If this seems dorky and cliche, I'm with you. But what I've read (a few pages) is actually really good. My mom got it and loved it and passed it on and I'm looking forward to it. 


At the Theater (or from the couch):
We talked about seeing The Great Gatsby, but didn't. We'll probably get it on Netflix, though. We did watch the documentary Bully (I actually still need to finish the last little bit of it). It was so incredibly sad, but I felt, really important. There is SO much we can be doing better to prevent school bullying, in my opinion. 

On the Small Screen:
More of The West Wing. I'm moving through it pretty slowly. 

In My Ears:
May Playlist. SO awesome. 
   
Around the House:
Since it's really Summer now(!!!), I took the heavy comforter off Ann Peyton's bed and put this old quilt on it. I love, love, love the pinwheels. It was actually in my room when I was young and it's so soft and feels so good. I think she's enjoying it. It's got a few worn places, but I think it adds to it's charm. It feels very cottage like to me, which is definitely my style. 

In the Kitchen:
Summer Salad Challenge is in full force. But I'm clinging to my old favorites, really. These are three of my all time favorite salads:
[Left to right, top to bottom: super simple egg salad via Jo-Lynne, Waldorf salad via Minnie, and this great green salad I just adore (romaine, cherry tomatoes, half an avocado and blue cheese dressing with real bacon and crumbled Feta on top). They are all so good.]

I also made one of my all time favorite desserts and I really need to make it again:
[Layer store bought angel food cake, vanilla pudding, fresh strawberries, and Cool Whip. YUM. And so incredibly easy.]

But when I'm too lazy for even that, THIS:

In My Closet:
It's officially Summer, so I broke out my favorite Summer dress....
I love the polka dots. I love the retro feel. I love how comfy it is. I love everything about it. 

And I'm adding a new feature...

In Their Closets:
I've talked AP into embracing the bubble/romper in this, her fifth Summer of life. I know it could well be our last and I'm not taking a second of her tiny bubble-clad self for granted. This is probably the "sweetest" and most baby one. I think it's perfect for a little girl, though.



And then there's this. I'd post a picture, but I don't do nake/semi-nake toddler pictures on the Internet. Just take my word for it, seeing my sweet boy in tiny little super hero underwear nearly killed me. I'm not sure there's a jonjon on the planet that compares. 

In My Mailbox:
I ordered some new homeschool materials for Annie recently. I got her several new critical thinking skills books. At this point, that's her absolute favorite part of school. She LOVES these BrainQuest cards my mom got her and I found some for Graves's age, so I ordered those, too. 

In My Cart:
Hmmm....more of the same. A friend told me about this great curriculum and I researched it and ended up ordering it. It's called Five in a Row and the basic idea is that you read the same story book for five days in a row and each day focus on a different aspect(s). It incorporates science, social studies, math, literacy skills, art, and cultural awareness. It's very discussion oriented and isn't too fact based. Also, it isn't about huge time consuming projects. I feel like it will be a good fit and I'm going to blog more about it once we get our feet wet a little more. 

[The makers provide the option of ordering the books in a bundle or you can just get the curriculum and locate the books yourself. Our local library was missing a few titles and since the books are classics and Caldecott winners and in general just good pieces of literature, I thought we'd go ahead and get them. I did debate it because I'm trying to minimize and that's a lot of books. I'm sure we'll enjoy having them and in my opinion if there's ever a place to splurge it's on good literature.]


On My Heart:
I've really been dwelling on how blessed I am by the relationships God has provided. His provision is so evident because he's provided different (very different) people to encourage me and walk alongside me in different spheres of my life. I spent some time hanging out and on the phone with two of my favorites yesterday and Peyton was off today and that's been wonderful. I could not be more grateful.

In My Prayers:
- As always, I'm praying specifically for our mom's small group- that it will be a place of encouragement for moms and also a place where we can share our struggles as well as our triumphs openly and without fear. 
- I'm praying for a sweet friend who just welcomed a new baby. 
- I'm praying for another friend who longs so deeply for that. 

On the Calendar: 
June is a bit busy. Peyton has a trip, we're hosting our church supper group at our house, and the pool is open. I'm excited about it all (well, maybe not the trip).   

I'm linking up with Leigh, of course. I'd LOVE it if you'd join me!


What I'm Into at HopefulLeigh

Stove-side Lessons



Annie used to love to chop onions with me in the Vidalia chopper thing. It was her favorite. Then all of a sudden one day she realized they made her teary and she hasn't wanted to since. She told me "I'll just sit under the table and wait for the next thing. I don't want to cry". Bless her heart.

I thought about how in a way that onion is a metaphor for parts of life. It's going to make me cry ever last time. But whatever I'm making is richer and fuller and better because it's there. And that's sort of how this life is, I think. Like that old onion.

Those onions find themselves into life a lot of different ways...

Sometimes it means embracing being married to someone who is very, very different from you. Sometimes it means making sacrifices so you can know a tiny bit of your brothers and sisters' pain, a tiny taste of what it means to "walk a mile in their shoes".  Sometimes it means letting go of what you thought you'd be doing with your life. Sometimes it means casting off fear of the unexpected even though you're a planner and really, really like to be in control. Sometimes it means realizing that learning someone's ways takes time and if love comes slowly but it still comes that's okay. Sometimes it means knowing that one day you'll give up what your life looks like now so that someone else's story can have a different ending. Sometimes it means coming to terms with what you know will be a lifelong struggle and finding the beauty it in because it's a part of you and you know that you were fearfully and wonderfully made.

Oftentimes, the things that reap the most flavor in a life are the things that are sewn with the most tears. Would we have it any other way?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tunes for the Month: May

I didn't really have a theme this month, either, so this is just a fun collection of songs. I bought more songs off iTunes for this list than I ever had before, but I've just found several new ones I really liked. Here's this month's list.

1. On the Turning Away- Pink Floyd


On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won't understand
"Don't accept that what's happening
Is just a case of others' suffering
Or you'll find that you're joining in
The turning away"...
On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
Mesmerised as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night
No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It's not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there'll be
No more turning away?


Ya'll. This is my new favorite song. Truly. Peyton was playing it awhile back and we listened several time because I love it and then he said "Hey, let me read you the words". And he did. And well...they sort of sound like the cries of our heart, ya know? It's almost like a social justice mantra via rock and roll. LOVE. 

2. Solsbury Hill- Peter Gabriel
Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still
Eagle flew out of the night
He was something to observe
Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing stretching every nerve
I had to listen had no choice...
When illusion spin her net
I'm never where I want to be
And liberty she pirouette
When I think that I am free
Watched by empty silhouettes
Who close their eyes, but still can see
No one taught them etiquette
I will show another me

This is one of my forever favorites. In all honesty, I'm really shocked it's just now making itself onto one of these lists. Mainly I love it because it's about the catchiest tune I've ever heard in my life. But also it just speaks to life changes and finding freedom and being true to yourself and letting go of being concerned with what people think. Which is all kind of a big deal.

3. Hard Times- Eastmountainsouth
let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears
while we all sup sorrow with the poor
there's a song that will linger forever in our ears
oh, hard times come again no more
while we seek mirth and beauty
and music light and gay
there are frail ones fainting at the door
though their voices are silent
their pleading looks will say 
oh, hard times come again no more

The list seems just full of convicting power this go-round (see also: song one). How often I "seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay" while there are "frail ones fainting at the door". I need to be more intentional about serving, and if nothing else, praying for, the poor.

4. Hallelujah- Jeff Buckley


Well there was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show that to me do you?
And remember when I moved in you?
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

I'm pretty honest in this here space, but I'm pretty sure those lyrics there are about the rawest thing I've ever put out there. Thank goodness they're not my own words. The first half of this stanza, I take to be a mental/emotional thing. It always makes me think of how I never want to Peyton and I to get to a place where we don't show each other the stuff that's below the surface. I doubt it'll happen since I show pretty much everyone what's below the surface, but it's a good reminder not to build walls. The second part is interesting to me and forgive me if you think it's crude. I really probably wouldn't have shared those lyrics but for a conversation I recently saw between a few people I really respect on Twitter. It was about how as Incarnational people we have to believe the Spirit is present even in *that* intimate act. Which, I mean is obvious  But weird to think about. And I've been thinking about it. And without going into weird details (because gross), I'm really in love with the idea. [For the record, this is a secular (some would say blasphemous) song. So, I don't think it was the writer's intent to convey this idea in the sense I am. But I'm not into rewriting songs. I'm into seeing the sacred in the secular.]

5. Alleluia, He Is Coming- HDC Seven Band
I looked up and I saw my Lord a comin?
I looked up and I saw my Lord a comin?
Down the road
Hallelujah, He is coming
Hallelujah, He is here
Hallelujah, He is coming
Hallelujah, He is here

I was introduced to this song at Cursillo an have loved it sense. There's really not a great iTunes version of it, but I did what I could.

6. Stronger- Hillsong Live
Faithfulness none can deny
Through the storm
And through the fire
There is truth that sets me free
Jesus Christ who lives in me
You are stronger
You are stronger
Sin is broken
You have saved me
It is written
Christ is risen
Jesus You are Lord of all

I was looking for the next song and found this one. It's just gorgeous and is a new favorite. I'm glad I included a few worship songs on this list because this week I needed to hear these truths so badly. 

7. Born Is the King (It's Christmas)- Hillsong
So lift up your voice and sing out His praise
It's Christmas
Born is the King, rejoice in the day
It's Christmas
Make a joyful sound
It's Christmas
Let His praise resound
It's Christmas

I know y'all, a Christmas song. Weird. But I heard it recently (on a playlist of Peyton's) and SO GOOD.

8. Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)- Chris Tomlin
I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies is always by my side
The One who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies is always by my side

More really good words for the week. I know my God is a god of Love, but every bit as much He's a God of POWER and claiming that is something that keeps me from totally loosing it. I love the image of Him as a friend but also the one at the head of a huge army of angels.

9. H.M.S. Pinafore: "For He Is an Englishman"- The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
But in spite of all temptations 
To belong to other nations, 
He remains an Englishman! 
He remains an Englishman! 

Again, it's alright if you think I'm a little bit weird. I heard this on an episode of The West Wing and knew I needed it for the month's collection. I never claimed I didn't love a good show tune. Also, this non-movie watching girl is determined to see a video of the play. 

10. Alright for Now- Tom Petty
I've spent my life travelin'
I've spent my life free
I could not repay all you've done for me
So sleep tight baby
Unfurrow your brow
And know I love you
We're alright for now


I resumed my old strategy of just going through Peyton's vast musical collection in alphabetical order to complete the list. Not the best I've heard from TP, but not bad and sort of a sweet message.

11. AM Radio- Everclear
The VCR and the DVD
There wasn't none of that crap back in 1970
We didn't know about a World Wide Web
It was a whole different game being played back when I was a kid...
I'd be in bed with the radio on
I would listen to it all night long
Just to hear my favorite song
You'd have to wait but you could hear it on the AM radio
Yeah, you could hear the music on a AM radio

Well, this takes me back in multiple ways. First, it takes me back to when the song was popular, but also to it makes me reminisce about my own (non AM, of course) radio experiences. I used to love listening to the hits on my little radio when I was twelve, thirteen, and fourteen. I also would fall asleep listening for my favorites. Sadly, I hardly ever listen to the radio because well...CRAP. Sorry, just an opinion.

12. Amazing Grace- Johnny Cash
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see....
Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.

A cliche favorite. And one that reminds me of funerals. But still it's beautiful and I adore it with every ounce of my being.

13. Amazing Grace Bagpipes- Catholic Classics
When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.

I adore it especially when it's played on bagpipes. Also, I just adore bagpipes. Back when I went to Saint Andrew's, I always LOVED the chapel service on Saint Andrew's Day and other special occasion because BAGPIPES. I just think they're so pretty.

14. America- Simon and Garfukel
Laughing on the bus
Playing games with the faces
She said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy
I said "Be careful his bowtie is really a camera"...
"Kathy, I'm lost," I said, though I knew she was sleeping
I'm empty and aching and I don't know why
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They've all gone to look for America
All gone to look for America
All gone to look for America

Okay, I lied. We got a little Americana theme going on here. But it's due to the very systematic pilfering of Peyton's library. Anyway, this is a good one. I like the story it tells. And anybody that's ever been on a greyhound bus (hey, that's us!) knows you have some stories to tell. Also, let's go look for America! January sound good? ;)

15. America- Tracy Chapman
You were lost and got lucky
Came upon the shore
Found you were conquering America
You spoke of peace
But waged a war
While you were conquering America
There was land to take
And people to kill
While you were conquering America
You served yourself
Did God's will
While you were conquering America...
The ghost of Columbus haunts this world
'Cause you're still conquering America
The meek won't survive
Or inherit the earth
'Cause you're still conquering America...
You hands are at my throat
My back's against the wall
Because you're still conquering America
We're sick and tired hungry and poor
'Cause you're still conquering America

Hmm, another one that's more than a little convicting. I'm certainly proud of our country, but I sort of hate the way our (read: my) ancestors treated those who were here first. Peyton and I have had a lot of conversations in recent years about the ideas of colonization and Imperialism and the enthnocentric attitude too many Americans have. Manifest Destiny is really kind of horrifying if you think on it enough. 

16. American Dream- Casting Crowns
Now he works all day and cries alone at night
It's not getting any better
Looks like he's running out of time
'Cause he worked and he built with his own two hands
And he poured all he had in a castle made with sand
But the wind and the rain are coming crashing in
Time will tell just how long his kingdom stands
His kingdom stands

Casting Crowns used to be one of my favorite Christian bands (I still like them, but I'm not obsessed). I love the message of this song. The "American Dream" really isn't all there is to it, ya know?

17. American Girl- Tom Petty
Well it was kind of cold that night,
She stood alone on her balcony
Yeah, she could hear the cars roll by,
Out on 441 like waves crashin' on the beach
And for one desperate moment
There he crept back in her memory
God it's so painful when something that's so close
Is still so far out of reach
O yeah, all right
Take it easy, baby
Make it last all night
She was an American girl

Now, *this* might be one of Tom Petty's best. It's sort of a sad tale, but I love the imagery. And so that you know I was completely pathetic and out of touch with reality, I used to listen to the part of about "something so close" that's "still so far out of reach" and pine for a boy. Praise God it stayed out of reach and nothing ever came of it. I mean, PRAISE GOD.

18. American Land- Bruce Springsteen

[At the 5:40 mark: "You've just seen the heart-stopping, pants-dropping, hard-rocking, earth-shocking, booty-shaking, love-making, viagra-taking, history-making, legendary - E STREET BAND"....Yep.]

I docked at Ellis Island in a city of light and spire
I wandered to the valley of red-hot steel and fire

We made the steel that built the cities with the sweat of our two hands

And I made my home in the American land...
The McNicholas, the Posalski's, the Smiths, Zerillis too

The Blacks, the Irish, the Italians, the Germans and the Jews
The Puerto Ricans, illegals, the Asians, Arabs miles from home
Come across the water with a fire down below
They died building the railroads, worked to bones and skin
They died in the fields and factories, names scattered in the wind
They died to get here a hundred years ago, they're dyin' now
The hands that built the country we're all trying to keep down



Hmm, LOVE the music. It's sort of Irish folk and Bruce does that really well. I absolutely cannot get enough of it. And the lyrics. Whoa. When I read these lyrics it makes me think we really need to push the "diversity" qualification as a priority for our NYC neighborhood. I just think immigrant stories are so beautiful and there's something we (and our children) could learn here. But you know, everyone has a beautiful story when Bruce sings it :)

These lists always shock me with how deeply I feel them. I'm not sure why. I feel things deeply in general and music is one of the things that TURNS MY WORLD. It's dumb that it shocks me, but it does. I would say this is one of my favorites, but they all are.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Deep



Graves fell in the lake at my parents' house on Monday. He is fine. Both my parents were right there and they both jumped in and he was fine. HE IS FINE.
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I, on the other hand, have been struggling. I spent the evening last night and then morning today in a really dark place.

The water where he fell is near the shoreline and is probably waist high on my dad. It wasn't even deep....but these feelings, y'all.

DEEP.

My anxiety has been so reigned in for a good while now and I don't know...it's been weird because I've felt different than I EVER have in my life...maybe even better than when I was on medicine. It's blown my mind, frankly. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and things to get really hard again. For awhile I was really scared to say anything. Not that I'd jinx it really, I don't believe in that. Just that I'd say something and then have a really low spell and have to "eat my words". Which is stupid, because I'm allowed to say I'm in a good place and still have bad days...or weeks.

Also, it's honestly so weird to me that my anxiety has been so much better with him than it was Annie's first couple of years. Because he's the one that actually does things like JUMP IN THE DAMN LAKE. He's the one that would run out in front of a car or drink poison or jump off the roof or whatever. She's a cautious little person for the most part.

Nothing about this is really rational, though and I learned to let go of that notion awhile back. People saying "Don't worry, what are the chances that would happen?" have never helped. It's always taken Peyton or Minnie or someone coming alongside and helping me process the whole thing as if it were reality.

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Last night I made my mom replay the scenario multiple times in my weird, morbid way. I wanted to know what his eyes looked like (they were closed) and if he was struggling (he wasn't) and exactly what he looked like when he went into the water (the same way he looks when he goes under in the bath...which has happened way too often for my liking).

She told me every detail: He was reaching for a leaf and feel head first into the water. Her and Micky both jumped in, both reacting in the moment even though they were in each other's peripheral vision. By the time she was in the water, he was floating to the top...eyes squeezed shut, not flailing, looking like he does in the tub. At that point they were lifting him out of the water and I was racing down the hill to them. I was really running in slow motion, though. I knew exactly what had happened, but the gravity of it hadn't hit me yet. They were lifting my soaking baby out of the water and he was fine. Annie was sobbing and scared and he was saying "Momma. Fell." and stretching his trembling arms out for me. My parents started fooling with their (both soaked) phones and we consoled Ann Peyton, who seemed pretty undone. I took a picture to Instagram. Peyton got there and we ate hot dogs and wings and gave the kids Hawaiian Punch for the first time.

I left in tears and my parents neither one knew it.

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It took a few hours for it to catch up to me and then it just hit me. I had said days before on Facebook that water has always been a big trigger for my anxiety and the irony wasn't lost on me. Days after I had claimed victory in how the Spirit was working in my life ON THIS SPECIFIC FEAR I watched my parents pull my two year old son's soaking body out of a lake. By God's grace (and by some grandparents' diligence)  he was fine. HE IS FINE. But I'm not sure I am.

I struggled with thoughts of what could have been. I let my mind go places it shouldn't go and I let myself picture things I shouldn't picture. I saw myself as the mother of one child again. I even went as far as to think about how I'd never be able to move to New York without him. It was terrifying. I have a vivid imagination and I could almost literally feel it. It hurt so bad.

I struggled with why I wasn't right there. I struggled with what if I had been there. Truly, I know my parents had it covered. I don't for a minute regret that I wasn't there. But in this weird sense, I wish I had been and I didn't have to keep asking my mom about dumb details that don't matter (that's another manifestation of this thing- I get obsessive about minutia and really have a compulsion to know every detail about things, even in simple things like a telephone conversation Peyton has). But then I don't, because I'd still be asking the questions because I wouldn't have seen everything.

Also, I honestly wonder if I would have hesitated. If I would have made sure Annie was safe and settled somewhere before I jumped in. Or worse if I would have put my phone down. Or just waited for one of them. I'm always slow with reaction times and I know what it probably would have looked like. And I know I'd be battling bigger demons today if all that were the case.

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I sort of zombied through the morning and tried not to totally fall apart in front of the kids. I was able to numb it all for short periods if I occupied myself with something, but the distractions didn't help much. Finally we made our way outside and the sunshine really seemed to help. I let them eat their lunch outside and I just enjoyed them. I made it to nap time and that was my first little goal (Peyton had a meeting in another STATE...ugh). When they got up, we played and talked to Peyton who was on his way home. I made it until he got here, which was my second little goal and then we actually had a really enjoyable night.

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I know this is a minor set back and is only a small sentence on the page of the story that is my (our) journey. That said, I'd really appreciate your prayers as I work through this. A friend from high school and a friend from church and a few "pocket friends" have checked in on me throughout the day and it means so much to know I'm surrounded by love and prayers and to hear the reminder that I don't have to do this in my own strength.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Weekly Smorgasbord

I don't have much from last week. Not sure why. I guess I didn't do that much Internet reading. Kind of weird because usually I notice more on weeks when I don't spend as much time with my Reader. Anyway, here are my few little links:


On Parenting:
Posted: 24 May 2013 01:31 PM PDT
Several people told me that I should punish AP re: the bath time thing when she was terrified of baths. Um, we just washed her hair in the sink and did a quick rinse in the tub. We ordered a fun little spray hose thing for it, too, and that helped. Mostly, of course it was just a phase. I'm pretty sure she never took our accommodations as her "ruling the roost", but they probably did show her that we could empathize with her. With her, I *really* struggled to feel secure in my decisions and like everyone wasn't judging me for not spanking her or whatever (almost always they weren't- I was just so self conscious). It was a huge battle. With Graves, I did thing I never thought I would and I didn't care what anyone else said because that was how I was able to survive and thrive. And I became so much of a better mom when I stopped worrying about what everyone else thought. [I will say that I disagree about not seeing permissiveness. I see it everywhere. Mostly in the form of lack of attention and engagement rather than an actual conscious decision to parent a certain way. 
On Adoption:
Posted: 27 May 2013 09:23 PM PDT
"In the end, Amber and I were unsatisfied with the answers we received from the agency and those in the adoption community. And after a good bit of soul-searching, a long lot of prayer, and many nights of lost sleep (not to mention a few lost pennies), we withdrew from the adoption process. We still count it as a miscarriage of sorts."

Apparently a couple of my favorites are tackling this. I knew this was part of Seth Haines's story, but I didn't know many (any) details. It's heartbreaking and eye opening to be sure. And props to Seth for being brave enough to share. 

On America's Failing Infastructure:
Posted: 27 May 2013 09:24 PM PDT
It's a testament to the Spirit's power that I can see this and be at place above basic functioning/going through the motions. [Water was/is a HUGE trigger for my anxiety.]
On Decorating a Small Space:

Posted: 27 May 2013 09:35 PM PDT
This home tour is so cool (it's a 665 sq foot cabin that houses a family of FIVE). Be sure to click on the link at the bottom to see the Great Room, too.


Enjoy!

Weekly Happenings Post #217 (May 20-26)-- Easing into Summer



Today is Memorial Day. Meaning (amongst other more important things) this past weekend was Memorial Day weekend. Meaning, Summer is here. I'm thrilled to pieces. I know the weather will get near unbearable, but Summer is so, so good here. We're ready for it!

Monday was a weird day. Peyton was working, so I couldn't go to the CPC. The kids slept late- until almost nine- which was SO nice. As I result, I actually got up and got going when they woke up. I kept getting distracted by things, though, so the morning didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped. I changed AP's sheets and we  all ate breakfast and then I got my bath and made up our bed. I started laundry and then started getting distracted. Graves had two potty accidents and I decided to start searching for bedding for the kids in NYC. It's something that's been on my list, but still. Five minutes turns into thirty and between that and the accidents an hour had passed. I did go through the kids dress up clothes basket and organize. I took out some too small things and hung up a few things in the kids' big closet, so now it's more hats and shoes rather than actual big costumes. Anyway, I showed Annie the bulletin board I made and we did calendar time. I attempted it in the same room as Busy Bud and that was a mistake. Poor guy, I don't blame him for wanting to be involved. But no. Never again. I realized their were still a couple of adjustments to make to the board so I did that while I was thinking about it. Anyway, we did her memory work and then they ate lunch. I got them down for naps, but it was late.
In lieu of reading together like we normally do for the first part of Graves's nap, I taught AP how to sew!

I got on the computer and did a few things. When I put Graves down I had been messing around and tapped his head and said "knock knock". He looked around and said "Mickey?? Here?!?". Sweet boy, I guess he had so much fun with his buddy last week when Mickey kept him solo for the first time. Needless to say, I called Mick and told him. He happened to be close to our house, so when he finished up what he was doing, he dropped by. I had to wake Graves up, but I think he was about to wake up anyway. Daddy stayed for like an hour and a half!

 Right after he left, Peyton got home. We picked up, had supper, did baths and put the kids to bed. We visited some and then I finished a post and he watched TV and we went to bed. I had a hard time sleeping for some reason.

Peyton was off and I slept a bit late on Tuesday and then we got a slow start. I did school stuff with AP after I got my bath and then we picked up toys and got ready and ran a couple of errands- the cell phone place and Kroger. We got home and put up groceries and fed the kids. We got them down for naps and ate our lunch and then I got on Twitter and read a few blogs. Peyton ran some more errands- we were hosting Ultreya that night and needed to set up (basically just get out some decorations and put out the silverware and napkins and such), so he did that and bought some tea for the meeting. He got home and I finished up and got myself and AP ready and then we woke up Graves.


I successfully convinced AP that Cinderella and Belle wore bubbles when they were four. 

After our discussion, she told me that Belle actually wore bubbles when she was five and six and that the dwarfs did, too...when they were two. 

 We headed to church. It went well and we cleaned up afterwards.
He was tired and clingy so I let him bring his Baa (paci) and Bot (robot) with him. 

The kids were hungry when we got home, so we fixed them supper and put them to bed. I got on the computer and Peyton and I talked and went to bed.

I got a real treat on Wednesday! Peyton had a meeting, but the kids slept late. Actually AP got up at 8:30 to go potty, but then she watched cartoons in our bed until Graves got up at, wait for it....almost ten. When I went in there he was just reading his books in his crib. I think he knows when his early riser BFF isn't here. Ha!

Anyway, by the time we all had breakfast and I had a bath it was like eleven.
I never leave him eating while I take my bath and dry my hair- I get scared he'll choke or find a way to unbuckle or something. Look, it's a weird anxiety quirk and I'm a freak. Anyway, two years in with Bud and I finally had the sense to do this.

Oh and you better believe I let him take his blanket and three lovies to his highchair. Because, dry cereal. Baby Bus has learned how to possum and he knows it's the cutest thing ever.

 I talked to my mom on the phone and folded laundry and the kids played. I did school stuff with AP and read to them both and then I started vacuuming and hands-and-knees scrubbing the kitchen and laundry room. I did the sunroom and Peyton got home. It was after two, but he had gone to Walker's for lunch with some other pharmacists and stopped by our friend Patrick's store to visit. I fed the kids lunch and vacuumed the rest of the house and then got them settled. Peyton and I talked and I ate lunch and then got on the computer. Peyton left after a bit to run errands and I got the kids up and ready and we all went to church for my moms' group. We had some more great discussion and I really think I'm going to enjoy the book we're doing. We got home and Peyton had cooked steaks for us. We ate and got the kids ready for bed. The toilet flooded right after we put Graves down and somehow Peyton dripped water from the plunger on AP. She fah-reaked out and told me she needed a bath and then refused a bath. It was after ten at this point and Peyton and I were both tired and frustrated. We ended up washing her hair in the sink and sending her to bed. We talked and I got on the computer and Peyton watched The West Wing.

Annie got up in the middle of the night SOAKING wet and sobbing about her stomach hurting. She was in so much pain, but I think it was just gas/being constipated. It was terrible, though. I sat her on the potty, snuggled her, gave her juice, gave her a supository. Ugh. Peyton had to work in Meridan the next day, so I wanted him to sleep. Graves woke up, but he put himself back to sleep quickly. We finally got back to sleep and thankfully the kids weren't up until a little before nine.

I was kind of experiencing some overwhelm Thursday morning, though. The plunger and stuff was still out in the kids' bathroom, AP's sheets needed changing and the kitchen was a disaster zone. I got moving and got a bath after Annie got up (Graves and I had been snuggling and having breakfast) and then I started laundry and dishes and picked up everywhere. I did the recycling and trash and cooked a ham for dinner that night and by about one o'clock we were ready to have lunch/clean up/do school for the morning. Ha! We did all that and I put them down. I ate my lunch and got on Twitter and started a blog post. I ended up taking a nice nap after that. When we got up, I started supper. We had a veggie dinner- green beans, butter beans, and we tried a new delicious recipe for brussel sprouts. Peyton got home and we all ate together and then bathed the kids and put them to bed. I read over some homeschool curriculum I had ordered  we chatted and then I got on the computer and wrote a post. I went to bed pretty late.

I got up and got ready to go to the CPC on Friday since I had missed it on Monday. It was super busy because one of the full time workers was out. I worked on inputting data and just helped with getting clients checked in. When I got home, I put fresh sheets on AP's bed, did dishes, and adjusted the straps in Graves's carseat. I fixed the kids lunch and we picked up and then we ran to two different CSpire locations. Peyton had dropped my phone off at one and I needed to pick up his new phone at another one. Unfortunately, his wasn't in, but we got mine and headed home. I put Graves down and Annie and I worked on memory work and calendar time. I got her settled and had much lunch and got on the computer. I read blogs, checked Twitter, uploaded pictures and finished a post. I sent a friend a Facebook message and ordered a phone cover. I read my Bible and then took a super short nap since Graves took an AMAZING one. When the kids got up, we got ready and headed over to my parents' house. We had a nice visit and got home pretty late. I put the kids to bed and got on the computer. Peyton and I visited when he got home.

The kids were up around their normal time on Saturday (sad since we were at Beans late, but what can you do?). Anyway, Peyton had to work and I lazed around while they played and then got going. I took a bath, went to the attic, got dressed and cleaned a toilet (I have to clean the kids' more often now that Graves is using it ;) and then I got them dressed. We went back to the cellphone place to get Peyton's new phone and get his contacts transferred  It took about forty five minutes and Graves was slightly wild.
"BudBud, if you have a pony tail holder and you can get a lot of hair, it will make a ponytail." Eventful Saturday for sure.

Her actually only ran behind the counter at the cell phone place twice while we had to wait for forty five minutes on Saturday. I know it's nothing to be super proud of, but seeing as how he broke two things at my house that morning, I'm gonna have to call it a success of sorts. 

"Okay, Bud, it's ready for you to knock it down". Y'all she is GOOD to him.

Anyway, we got home and I cooked some bacon and did dishes and then the kids ate lunch. I put them down and got on the computer and then took a short nap myself. When I woke up, I had a headache. Ugh. I folded some laundry while the kiddos played and then started getting ready. We were going out to eat with our Suppers of Eight group from church. Anyway, Peyton got home and then Claire got here to keep the kids. We left and met our friends at Georgia Blue. The foot was pretty good, but there was a long wait and the service wasn't great (although the manager ended up feeling bad for us and sending someone to Kroger to get beer for one of our friends). We got home and visited with Claire (her parents were in our group so that was neat). We put Annie to bed and I got on the computer and then worked on organizing some of the kids' stuff to go to the attic. I was up like every thirty minutes. I know it was because I took a Sudafed too late in the day. I told Peyton that it was sort of fun waking up so much because I'd just look at the clock and think "Wow! I've still got a lot longer to sleep" and snuggle up under the covers. I can go right back to sleep, so that's good. But every time I was up like half an hour later. And I was pretty on edge the next day.

Peyton had to work, but the kids and I went to Sunday school and church on Sunday. The pastor from Camp Wesley Pines came to speak about the camp and that was really interesting. After we got home, I attempted (for like forty five minutes) to take ONE good picture of the kids. It didn't happen.






I ended up getting irrationally frustrated. I know in twenty years, these will be some of my favorites, but I just wanted ONE good one. I didn't treat them with the kindness and gentleness I want to characterize my mothering and I ended up apologizing and snuggling them both. Thankfully, his mercies are new...after every nap. 

I fixed them lunch and then got them settled and ate my lunch.
Guess the monitor wasn't overkill afterall. 

I read blogs and got on Twitter and then I took another nap. When the kids got up, I folded laundry and then I started working on taking some of their stuff to the attic and cleaning up the study. Peyton got home and fed the kids dinner while I finished that. We ate some crab cakes he had bought at the grocery store and got Graves to bed . We did AP's nighttime stuff and put her down. I got on the computer and he watched TV.

Peyton's got some extra stuff going on but otherwise this week should be pretty slow, too!