Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fleeting Moments

It seems like lately I have heard a lot of mamas say, "I wish I could go back and spend more time with my kids when they were little."

When I want to work on a project or sleep through the night or drink my coffee without little chubby hands grabbing the mug and sloshing liquid out...

I remember the words of those mamas, and I know that here,

here in the thick of baby, I want to live wild and full and with intention and purpose.

Kissing her fat cheeks as often as I can.  Holding her while I cook or clean -maybe she's spoiled but I will never get to hold her like this again.  Lying on the floor next to her.

It's going so fast, and there is no rewind, no re-record, no take two.  

I've started taking one picture a day of us on self timer.  At some point during the day, I'll grab the camera and set it on something nearby.  I want memories of this ordinary extraordinary time.  Someday, she'll pull the albums off the shelf, and we'll go through them together.  "This is when you were starting to sit up."  "Your baby laugh was the sweetest."  "That outfit was one of my favorites to dress you in."


What an enormous blessing you are to me, Anna Hope.  I love living life with you more than I ever thought I could.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

10 Things We Learned in 2013

I realize that midway through February is traditionally a little late for reflection upon the past year, but haven't you heard?  February 13 is the new January 1.

Good.  Glad we got that settled.

While 2013 was a hard year, we did learn a lot.  Here's 10 things, some serious, some not.

1.  Never say you'll be finished with a house renovation by a certain date.  When it comes to renovating houses, it's best to take the approach of a culture with a laid back sense of time - say India.  "We might finish the house in August.  Or we might finish the house in December.  Who knows?"  Add a shrug of the shoulders for the perfect emphasis.

2.  Baby fingernails are HARD to cut!  There will be tears.  There may be blood.

3.  Living with your parents is not as bad as you think.  Of course, some days you will think it is much worse than you ever imagined, but overall (given you have gracious parents) it will be great.  And you won't have to cook dinner for three months.  Thanks, Mom!

4.  Don't fall for the fluffy puppy.  Just don't.  Especially when you're 8 weeks pregnant.  A new baby feels so far away, and the fluffy puppy is so cute, but turn your back and walk away.  It's not what it appears to be.

5.  An uninterrupted night of sleep is not as essential as you think it is.

6.  God is faithful.  Period.  His character cannot change.  You may have your doubts when your husband has been out of a job for three months, but He will take care of you so lovingly.

7.  An iron, aluminum foil, and many, many hours of scraping will remove carpet glue from hardwood floors.

8.  Craigslist is a unbelievable time sucker!  And 9 times out of 10, the ads that say "Nice Couch" in the description line turn out to be pastel floral prints or jewel toned plaids.  Hmm.

9.  Really hard seasons of marriage will come.  The good news?  They also go.  It's okay to grit your teeth and press through.  Also?  That mean thing you want to say?  Just zip your lips and go on.  This is the man you said yes to, after all, and on the other side of all this mess you will remember again why you are unbelievably glad you said yes.

10. When you pause and breathe and look back, you will be grateful for the tough things. You will see grace falling like so many shafts of light over the rough and pitted road, and you will know then that the Redeemer has never stopped his business of making beautiful things out of ashes.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Letters to a Much Missed Man

Daddy!  I miss you!  Where do you go all day long?  I'm so confused.  You come and get me in the mornings, and you get me out of those yucky diapers.  That's so great, and I love you so much, and I love putting my mouth on your cheek, and then, poof!  You're gone!  

I took some time to be a little nekked this morning.  My diaper rash is getting sort of viral.  So I aired everything out, and boy do I love airing out.  It's the best.  

Don't feel sorry for Mom because you took all the gyros.  She made these loaded nachos for lunch, and then she sat me on her lap and ate them all in front of me!  Not once did she offer to share.  Maggie and I were very offended.  

I love you, Daddy!  Come home soon, ok?  I need you to hold me and bounce me and make me laugh.  Things just aren't the same around here without ya.  

I'll try to keep Mom in line until you get back.  She said something about a walk, but oh boy, does she know how hard it is to get me in the stroller AND get Maggie on her leash?  Sheesh, sometimes I think that Momma's lost all her common sense.  But I do love walks...

-Your sweet Little Bird 

*    *   *

Master, oh Master!

Where are you?  I miss you!  I try to get the Lady Master to play with me, but all she does is hold that squawky thing that kicks its legs.  When I bark, she ignores me.  When I bark at you, you chase me and put me in time out!  Oh, how I hate time out, but I love it when you chase me!  I love it, love it, love it!  

All day I have been lying on the rug and pretending like I'm sleeping.  I ran out of sticks to chew.  

Please come home, please come home!  


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Questions for the Sick (And if You're Feeing Fine, You Can Play Too)

First trimester of pregnancy with Anna -but pretty much what I look like today 

Oh man.

We are struggling through the common cold over here.  Mama seems to have it much worse than sweet baby, which Mama is glad of - although it does make taking care of sweet baby more challenging than usual.

It is sort of humorous to me that when I get sick, all the things that normally matter so much to me fly out the window.  Cleaning the house?  Getting dressed?  Cooking good food?  Brushing my teeth?  Those things very quickly go from normal to...

"Really?  Does anyone ever do those things?  That's so weird."

So here I am, plopped down in the middle of the couch, dirty tissue mounds surrounding me.  Aaron told me last night, "Wow, there's nothing sexier than walking into our bedroom and seeing dirty Kleenex on my side of the bed."  Yep, babe.  Did that just for you.

In honor of this sick day, I thought I would share a question that I asked Aaron last week.  This question can be used by all, sick and well alike.

"If you could only listen to three musicians for the rest of your life, who would they be?"

We decided that a band would count as a single musician.  After much deliberation - it is the rest of your life, after all - Aaron decided upon:

1. J.S. Bach
2. The Oh Hellos
3. Allison Krauss

And I landed on:

1. Waterdeep
2. Andrew Peterson
3. Rich Mullins

I love questions that let you peer into the hearts of those you love.  Music hits something deep in most everyone, and I think you can tell a lot about people by the music they love.  I wish I could have asked this question of my Uncle Dave, who now is with Jesus.  He would have had a strong opinion!  A frequent commenter on my blog, he no doubt would have chastised me in the comments for my choices, directing me instead to the musical talents of Van Morrison or Bob Dylan.

Another one of our favorite question templates is the "Would you rather..."  For example, I like to give Aaron two absurdly awful choices.  "Would you rather live in Outer Mongolia for the rest of your life or give up meat and music for the rest of your life?"

Be a dear and give this poor couch-confined gal some entertainment.  Tell me your three musicians...or your favorite question to ask.

Meanwhile, I'll just be over here rubbing essential oils under my nose, popping Zicam, and trying to find the dang Kleenex box.

And if I'm lucky, I might, just might, brush my teeth.

Monday, February 3, 2014

What a Free Spirit Does During Naptime

It might be the newness of this mama job, but I don't feel "cooped-up" or "stuck" at home. We only have one car, so most days I am stuck, but I love it!  I'm three-quarters hermit (the other quarter is German in case you're wondering), so I'm sure that's a contributing factor.

Anna has been taking longer naps lately, which I love.  Love until it's been an hour and a half, and then I start to miss her and want to go wake her up.  But in that first hour and half, great things happen.  Not productive things, mind you, but great.  

I'm easily rabbit-trailed - or as my Mom and Aaron say - I'm a great piddler.  Maybe this is also why I like to be at home?  I can piddle to my hearts content.   I like to couch this tendency as "free-spirited."  Makes me feel like I'm riding a horse with a scarf whipping behind me across the Oklahoma plains.  

I don't have a horse.  So instead, during naptime, I - 

Journal.  A little come to Jesus time for this free-spirit who often gets side-tracked in her spiritual walk as well.  

Cut bangs.  Just because.  My hair grows fast.  If I hate them - which I inevitably do, but I keep coming back - a bobby pin comes to the rescue until they're long enough to tuck behind my ear.

Make treats.  Two out of three Weavers currently have a cold, but these sound so much better than smoothies and hot lemon juice.  I'll even everything out with an extra Vitamin C.

As for the laundry, sweeping, and sewing project that's been wait-listed several days...

there's always the afternoon nap!