Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The "E" word

Momma's Log February 1, 2016 (Kwrp)


Last week I chose to share with you my goal about being purposeful in staying home.  That is goal #1 .  To continue with that theme I'll share with you my second goal for this year.(I promise I won't drag you through every last one of them)  Goal #2 is a low down dirty word for me.  I call it the "E" word.  For many of us it is the bane of our existence, it makes our hearts thunk down to our toes at the very thought or it, our flesh screams in pain at the mention of it.  It is...EXERCISE.  Now, I realize, there is a group of you out there and you are probably throwing your hands up and thinking "what's the big deal? I live for going to the gym and spending a gagillion hours pumping iron, doing spin classes, getting to my optimal heart rate level, calculating my BMI (what the HECK is that?!!.  No. wait. Don't answer.  I don't want to know)." I admire you.  I think you're a super star.  But, I confess, I do not understand you.  I just don't share this enthusiasm and passion (insanity) that you have.  For me, exercise is a necessary evil and if I didn't have to... I wouldn't.  There.  I said it.

Super Rock Star and I watched the movie Everest this week.  The whole time watched it I was wondering who ARE these people that decide one day "You know what?  I would like to know what it feels like to  push my body beyond its created limits (to the death) so,  I'm going to pay an enormous amount of money, fly half way around the world and deprive myself of oxygen whilst I climb--on purpose-- to the height that 747's fly"  At one point in the movie the guide for the trek up the mountain tells his fearless followers "At (and he names some altitude above 20,000ft) your body will start to die.  It is my job to get you to the top and back down safely before that happens". Sounds like a real hoot! Not to spoil too much--but, he was not completely successful.
 
So, this post is not for you exercise enthusiasts (crazies) and certainly not for those of you who are extreme athletes like those in the movie I watched.  It is for the folks on my side of the universe that simply realize that unless we want to eat only lettuce leaves and unrecognizable tasteless food AND we want to live long enough to see our children grow up and meet our grand children we must do something to maintain our health and girlish figures.  So, please understand.  I am not an expert on this.  I do not have answers on any of the technical parts of it.  I do not know the names of most of my muscles and bones.  If you are interested in that side of this discussion I suggest that you seek out some professionals who know so much more than I.  What I DO know is that exercise is necessary for ALL of us.  Yes, that means you too.  I read a lot of Beth Moore's blog and have done many of her studies.  One of my favorites is Breaking Free.  In this study she talks about how if your weight has become an obsession for you--you are constantly tracking the number on the scale, you weigh and measure every bite, you live and breath what comes into your body and what goes out--then you are worshiping an idol.  You are bowing down to a false god.   And that covers both ends of the spectrum--whether or not you're obsessed with  trying to lose 10, 20, 100 lbs OR if you are so zoned with the level of fitness in your body that its all you do, think about, talk about and live for-- that is also a form of idol worship. 

Now, simmer down-- I'm not talking about keeping track of your calories or keeping a food diary and things like that.  Those things are good and helpful.  Heck, I've been known to count calories--otherwise I could  rationalize eating myself to the moon and back and wonder where those extra twenty pounds came from.  And I'm certainly not talking about those of you that spend a couple hours at the gym every day (more power to ya). No. I'm talking about something more serious and that is when the shape and size of your body is all you think about. It consumes you and keeps you from ever being content with where you are.  Your identity and self esteem is so wrapped up in it that if you are a person that is on the heavier side of the scale you may not ever feel comfortable going out in public and feel embarrassed by your appearance and--on the flip side--the one who is driven only by perfecting their bodies and drinking only green goo to survive and scorning those who have not "seen the light" on how to get and maintain a perfect body. In Luke 12:34 It says "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
 
I knew a sweet young woman in a Bible study a few years ago who was a recovering anorexic.  She was well aware of her obsession over her weight to the point that she joked about how she thought that she looked like a rescued victim from Auschwitz.  I asked her one time what led her to almost starving herself to death and her answer surprised me.  "Because I was good at it." She felt that she was so good at not eating and maintaining a skeleton like figure and that's why she kept at it. She was obsessed with doing something COMPLETELY about her body because she felt like she could be in charge of it and control it.  I think there's a danger of that happening to any of us no matter which way the scale is tipping.

Exercise was never meant to be a punishment or obsession.  It's to help us to feel good (releasing those awesome "feel good" endorphin's), to strengthen our bodies so we can function properly, do our work/tasks  and not be in constant pain, and to maintain our health.  That's it.  As Beth Moore put it "get up, do it, get it over with and move on".

And that's what my goal is--to just get up and move.  I admit over the last several years--it's been tricky.  When my boys were small I could put them in a double jogger stroller and walk or jog to a park.  Sure, I resembled the sound of a freight train as I chugged up some hills, but I found out real quick how necessary a little exercise was for my personal sanity.  When they got older and too heavy for the stroller I found some exercise videos to do while they watched a show.   It's not my favorite form of exercise--but something is better than nothing, right?  AND now they've come out with so many cool new ones that give you optimal heart beat levels (I'm really lousy at this) in only 25 to 30 minutes.   Sometimes my boys would join me and-- as I've heard my fitness enthusiasts friends talk about-- it's good for our kids to see us taking care of ourselves.  These days, I'm in a sweet spot.  I can actually go out for a jog --I'm more motivated if I can be outside (it still ain't pretty) or a bike ride or hike after I take my boys to school and get it done and move on with my day. I can testify that a little exercise gives me more energy for the other things I need to do and I feel better --my posture is better, I feel stronger and yes, those endorphin's help me immensely in not feeling so stressed and weary and whiny (Super Rock Star really appreciates this, I think). 

Just like with anything I think it's best to start slow and move up.  Years ago (WAY before I had children) I had made up my mind that I wanted to start training to run a marathon (I know, right?).  But, I didn't start by going out and running 26.2 miles the first day.  I started with running around the block (it's all I could do at the time) and then week by week I increased my radius until I was up to doing some measurable distances and actually did complete a half-marathon.  No, I never did get to run my full marathon--I got pregnant and then just sort of lost interest in it.  My point is, I had to start somewhere.  As we are beginning yet, another new month in this year I would like to encourage you as well in this.  It's okay if, like me, exercise is not your thing.  But hey, find your motivation--go for a walk in the rain or snow (bundle up) (make sure it's not blizzard conditions like it is here today), get a treadmill (I got one for $20 on Craigslist) and walk it out while you listen to your favorite music or watch a show, join a gym and take advantage of their child care while you go pound out some frustrations, socialize with some other people and recharge.  Remember--something IS better than nothing.  If it's 5 minutes or 55 minutes or 5 hours (let's not get fanatical).

What motivates me is wanting to be able to keep up with my frantically energetic boys.  I want to be a kid with them and not feel like a slug and a party pooper.  I want to have a body that is still functioning well as I age (and age and age) hopefully into my 80's or 90's and not be a burden to any of my family or rack up exorbitant health care costs.  And I really want to see you there too.  Let's make a pact to be those Granny's you see on YouTube doing Michael Jackson moves and having the time of their lives.






Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Stay Home

Momma's Log January 19, 2016 (Kwrp)

So....how's every one doing?  Are you keeping up with all your New Years resolutions? Working out 5 days a week, not eating as much, not spending as much, making sure you are kind to each and every person you encounter?  Yeah...me neither.  It's always amusing to me how much time and effort I put into writing, planning and getting my hopes up each year only to get to just about this point and realize I have blown every promise I made to myself.  There is a flaw in the system I think.

I've been  reading a lot about how folks are choosing to write goals rather than resolutions for their up coming year. To be honest--the suspicious, un-trusting side of me thinks that we HAD to come up with another name for it--because we all know that the word RESOLUTIONS is a set up for certain failures.  Whereas the word GOAL has some meaning to it--it's a word we can sink our teeth into.  We're not saying we WILL do it, but that we will TRY to do it.  And something about that difference seems to make all the difference.  So, I have jumped right on that band wagon and spent the last two weeks considering, pondering, scrutinizing and yes even praying about goals that I want to achieve this year.  I'm even following the experts advice and breaking into smaller pieces--month by month, etc.. however, I am NOT following their advice (at least not yet) to write out the "how I'm going to achieve this goal". It's too much pressure. And to be perfectly honest--on some of them--I don't know how I will achieve this goal.  One of my goals is a financial goal--to payoff some debt. Since I don't have any plans of getting a job outside of the home at this point and no money fairy has appeared at our door step--I'm thinking I'm going to have to get creative on this one.

The vague "how to" I can come up with is --cut back on expenses (Oh how I DESPISE doing that--it's SO hard!) and find things to sell (not Super Rock Star's guitars or the bajillion Lego's my boys have collected  that seem to be worth a fortune).  But the biggest "how to" for me is a decision--a goal--to stay home more.  I know what you're probably thinking--"but aren't you a stay at home mom?  Isn't that what you're kinda SUPPOSED to be doing?".  You're right.  I am supposed to be staying home--and for the most part I do.  But, I'll be honest.  This past 5 months brought on a bit of an unexpected emotional crisis for me.  For the first time in forever--I was left ALONE.  With my boys now both in school all day-- it is a strange new world that has taken a lot more getting used to than I expected.  When they were home--there was always some activity, play date, park to go to and my days were fully wrapped around them.  Oh sure--I did some things for myself too--Super Rock Star would give me a day to myself and I would go out and enjoy.  But to be home. by myself. unsupervised. without anyone yelling at me, no fights to break up, and no super ridiculous crafts and projects to come up with.  It's just been me and it's taking some getting used to.

Now, some of you may wonder--why don't you go back to work--get a job?


It's a fair question.  The short answer is:  I'm not ready.  B.C. (before children) I worked A LOT.   I had my own business, I worked for a business, and sometimes I worked for a second or even third business.  At one point I had a full time job and 3 part time jobs.  To say that I got burned out is a HUGE understatement.  When we found out we were pregnant that first time, I looked forward to being a stay at home mom.  I was finally going to get to just sit around and eat bon bons, while enjoying the gentle coos of my newborn and I would fa la la and prance around the house all day long. (BWA HA HA HA!!) But, even with all the challenges (there is a dream killer of all new Mom's and thy name is "Colic"!) I have really enjoyed being home with my boys.

I love the freedom and joy of getting to stay in my jammies all day if I want and plan how I spend my time.  And I thought I was REALLY looking forward to having whole days to myself when my boys DID finally both go to school full time.  Trust me, it has come as quite a shock that I struggled with it so much when that day came.  For those of you out there that are truly pining away for that day--there is one word for it. WEIRD.  It is SO weird to have had your humans all around you 24/7 and then all of a sudden--silence.  And it's not the kind of silence that's golden.  Oh, sure--the first hour or so....well, it is amazing.  It's so nice to be able to have complete uninterrupted thoughts, to go to the bathroom and take a shower without "visitors", but then, after that it just feels-- weird.

At first, it felt sort of like I was doing something I wasn't supposed to be.

I'm kind of like "wait a minute...I know what this is... any second now, someone's going to pop through my door and say--"fooled ya"! You don't get to be alone--that's for grown ups!"  But, to be alone in my home for 7 uninterrupted hours has been a little TOO MUCH even for this introvert.  So, I have NOT been staying home as much as I should.  I have invented reasons to leave the house, to go "looking" at stores (which we ALL know is code for spending money we don't have), I just had a need to be around noise/people.  That obviously doesn't work for very long--my home started looking and feeling like a wreck, I was flying by the seat of my pants in organizing and I generally felt grumpy.  Because, by the time I came to my senses and got my "noise fill" I was having to rush to get things done--house cleaning, meals fixed and when my boys got home, I felt like I hadn't had ENOUGH time.  Silly huh?  I know some of you out there can relate to what I'm saying.  It's a process and I am fumbling along trying to find my way.  Thanks to some advice from friends I'm finding ways to fill the "noise voids" that were causing me to feel so strange in my own home.  I have found the joy of listening to pod casts, I have a favorite show that I DVR and watch while I do the not so enjoyable chores and tasks that need to be done and I am enjoying reading like I haven't in years.

I have many goals this year that all have a lot to do with financial as well as being more organized and taking better care of our home and my family.  Becoming more purposeful in staying home will surely have a  ripple affect in to all these areas.  I will still venture out--I still need to be around people even if I don't talk to them and, thankfully, I have a really nice Bible study group I get to enjoy every week and they are SUPER considerate of my out of practice social skills (I start talking and I can not stop. I'm thinking I might need to keep a roll of duct tape in my purse--just in case they need a break from my incessant babbling).

I also LOVE living so close to some beautiful hiking trails and I occasionally go out for a little stroll.  But I want my outings to be more purposeful and not just simply to fill a void I feel.

I'm slowly beginning to realize that the emptiness I feel so often is not necessarily loneliness, but hungriness.  And I'm not talking about food (but oh. my. goodness--I really shouldn't be left unsupervised with a full refrigerator within grabbing distance).  The hunger I feel is one I think we all experience.  Sometimes it just takes allowing yourself to be alone, to hear silence and to shut off the distractions to feel it.  I have a hunger to know things.  I want to know more about God and His love for me, I want to know how to be a better wife, mother, friend and caretaker of my home, I want to know how to make creative things (don't worry--I have not joined the ranks of Pinterest or Martha Stewart "who the heck has time for these impossibilities"), I want to know how to change the not so attractive parts of me into being better, I want to learn how to live my life with a purpose and a meaning rather than just existing and surviving day after day.

Sometimes I think it's good to allow the emptiness, the quietness and even the loneliness into our lives--even if it's just for a short window of time.  It says in 1 Kings 19:12 that God's voice is a still small voice.  I don't know about you, but I'm tired of wasting my time doing things my way--making worthless to do lists and failing, failing and failing and feeling like I'm just spinning my wheels. I want to hear the voice of the One who engineered me and created me for a specific purpose.  I want to know what He desires me to do with the time He has doled out to me.  For me--right now--that means staying home.  It is not easy.  Starbucks beckons me every day.  Old Navy is always sending me emails about some fabulous sale they are having.  There always seems to be a reason or excuse to abandon my plan.  But, my hope is that as I TRY to be obedient in this one seemingly insignificant area--that God will show up BIG in all the other areas and that these goal that I have carefully considered and written down will not become a punch line at the end of this year, but that each and every one of them will be completed in victory.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Happy New Year!

Momma's Log January 8, 2016 (Kwrp)



Happy 2016! I hope every one of you is having an awesome year so far--and for those that aren't, I'm praying that things get better very soon (Hey! There's 51 more weeks--chances are good!).  As I write to you this morning, I am enjoying being inside a snow globe.  One of my favorite things about living in Colorado is the beautiful fluffy snow that visits us about every 3 weeks in the winter and then the sun comes out and it disappears--so you're never too long with the same ole same ole. It's been snowing on and off for the last 24 hours or so and it's beautiful!  On my morning walk it felt like I had just tumbled out of the back of a giant wardrobe and landed in Narnia.



I had a brief moment of panic last night when Super Rock Star announced that the roads were snow packed on his way home from work and with the snow still falling all I could think was:  "They won't cancel school will they?"


I know, I know.  What kind of Momma am I that I would WISH for my children to be out from under foot?  (I can almost hear my own Mom saying, "It all goes by so fast, you will be wishing for the noise, chaos, dirty underwear--o.k. I made that part up--some day) (Spoken with a wistful, quavery, forlorn voice) Yeah. I'm not there yet.  After 3 weeks of almost constant companionship, Lego building, cookie making, craft doing and kids movie watching-- I've been in need of a bit of space.  I knew that Super Rock Star was getting there too when he seemed a bit too eager to spend an afternoon on our roof top taking the Christmas lights down last week.
But, even when my husband and children are not in my home--they are still very much a part of my life.  Sometimes Super Rock Star needs me to pick something up for him or take care of some small annoyance that he can't get to since he's in meetings all day. (Today's joy is contacting our Internet provider since it goes out at least once a day and is turtle slow even though we upgraded to a faster speed just 3 months ago--spoken while gritting my teeth and my best dead eye stare).  And my boys--well they ALWAYS have left me something to do--laundry left strewn around, toys blocking the stairs.  My favorite though, has been my youngest--Grayson.  He has two VERY favorite stuffed animals--Baby and Den.

They are his children and they are very real to him.  Long before my boys were in school we would have a schedule we kept every day and it always included some sort of learning time, playing, sometimes video games on the iPad, maybe watching a TV show and nap time.  So, he has asked me to make sure I incorporate all of this for Baby and Den this week.  When I pick him up from school, he wants to know their progress and a full report on how they did.  It is the most precious thing EVER!




Nope--No sittin around eating bon bon's for this Momma.  Huh, I guess it's pretty obvious that I DO miss my family when they aren't here (posing your child's stuffed animals throughout your house might be a bit of a clue) (might be time to get a dog) (don't tell Super Rock Star that I said that).

Having a little quiet to myself is a good thing, but I also really love having some quiet time with the Lord.  When I spend time with the Lord--just He and I--reading His Word, praying for those I love, seeking Him for wisdom and discernment on how I can do this life better, I feel hope.  And when I feel hope, I feel joy, and when I feel joy I feel content, and when I feel content, I want to spend time with others and encourage those who desperately need it.  The negative voices in my head (my seemingly constant unwanted companions) want me to feel defeated all the time--always reminding me about my failures, shortcomings, and wanting me to hide from the world because who would ever want to be around such a useless, flawed  individual like me? But, God reminds me that I am loved and cherished ALWAYS by Him and that none of my human qualities and my tendency to be a little unsavory now and then (o.k. constantly) will EVER change how He feels about me. He loves me--period.  Redemption is just an ask away.  Forgiveness is constant.  The hope of change is forthcoming.

As we begin a new year and look forward with hope (I hope) to becoming more of whom we were created to be--a better parent, spouse, teacher, student, lawyer, politician (please. someone. anyone--take a stab at this one--will you?), friend, pastor, barista (God bless you and your gift for making delicious caffeinated beverages!), whatever you have been gifted at--I pray that this year will bring you giant leaps forward to following the dreams that were planted in you before the creation of this universe. I will be here if you need a cheerleader (with pom poms and a hearty "GO TEAM"!), friend, encourager, supporter, sounding board for your great ideas (I could REALLY use some) and especially if you just need a place to come and enjoy reading about my family adventures, lessons I learn as I attempt to figure out this being a wife, mom and decent human being thing, triumphs I enjoy when I learn something that works,  mistakes I make and what I hopefully learn from them, and mostly just stories from the daily blooper reel that is my life.



Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Momma's Log December 25, 2015 (Kwrp)

It's mid afternoon on Christmas Day and I am in between feeling the elation of yet another Christmas success and kind of like I got hit by freight train.  Our two (very anxious, over excited) boys woke up 5:15am--which is pretty good for them (I think doping them up with Benedryl helped) (Just kidding--kind of). While Super Rock Star and I groggily drug ourselves out of bed, stumbling down the stairs to get the camera ready and lights on, I realized a harness and leash might have been a good idea to restrain our rabid boys as they seemed to be jumping out of their skin in anticipation on seeing what awaited them downstairs.  (Why don't they show this much enthusiasm when it's time to get ready to go to school?) This is what it looked like at 5:21am



It was SO much fun to hear them squeal in excitement and enjoy every gift.  They have not stopped playing all day.  Super Rock Star always takes such special care of me too.  He owns my heart and I love that he always finds special things that he knows I will treasure.  Here are my two prized possessions this year:

Some Antique Books to add to my library shelves ( I LOVE old books!!!)
AND a new Bobbsey Twin book to also add to my collection. 

I have always loved reading and two years ago my parents built us some beautiful shelves and installed them in a previously unused part of our home.  Now, this is our favorite space in our home and Super Rock Star and I have filled the shelves with all of the things we treasure and for me that is BOOKS!

I hope you and your family all have a wonderful and Merry Christmas and enjoy all of the things that makes this day so special--especially remembering that a tiny baby was born to be our Savior and THAT is the best treasure of all.  Here is the Christmas letter I sent out this year for those interested in reading how my family and I spent this past year. See you next year!


Dear Family and Friends,
Another year almost in the books and to my dismay my two boys keep getting bigger and older and so do I.  I will say though that I feel really grateful for the life we are privileged to live—so you won’t hear me complain too much J. Here’s the rundown for the Glenn family for 2015:
Tim
Job: Compassion International, USA Communications Director.
Hobbies:  Lead singer in local cover band SofaKillers, watching the Cowboys (please don’t talk to him about it—sore subject), wrestling, playing football and generally wearing out our two rambunctious boys, writing, going to “look but don’t touch” (antique) stores and garage sales with me and our boys, listening to vinyl albums for the first time in decades on a cool stereo we found at a garage sale and consistently giving me a hard time and teasing me relentlessly.
Likes: French fries, dark chocolate, anyone who beats the Broncos and Giants, and sitting in his big comfy chair enjoying our family room.
Dislikes: Too many meetings, breaking into small groups, and a dismal season for the Cowboys.
Highlights of his year: Being chosen to be the speaker for Compassion’s first chapel of the year—discussing the construction success of 30 school buildings in Haiti since the earthquake. Tim also traveled to Haiti in April to help a media crew do a documentary on the same subject. (You can watch the documentary at https://vimeo.com/149298814.) He also played A LOT of fun gigs with SofaKillers—including being the headliner for Briarfest (local festival) the Buddy Walk (fundraiser for Down Syndrome Association) and holiday parties for REMAX and the local NBC station, KOAA. He also made our boys summer by creating spy briefcases and coming up with several spy missions. They loved it! (And I think they honestly believe they are spies.) Tim was also excited to go for his first train ride on an old fashioned train in Georgetown, CO with me, the boys and my parents.
Jen
Job: Cleaning lady, chef, event planner, chauffer, nurse, and volunteer (stay at home mom.)
Hobbies: Reading, writing about my family adventures (check out my blog, But Wait I Have Something to Say at http://jenglenn.blogspot.com), going for bike rides and hikes, and being a groupie for a really awesome band called SofaKillers (I kind of have a crush on the lead singer.)
Likes: Dark chocolate, volunteering in my boys’ classrooms every week at their school, going to see movies on weekdays with Tim (because we can now), having a nice quiet home during the weekdays.
Dislikes: Our too quiet house with both boys in school all day, cleaning the toilets used by 3 boys, and Legos (because they are everywhere in our home).
Highlights of my year:  Going skiing with my mom in February (so much fun!), watching our two boys enjoy so many fun things and help them act out anything that comes into their wonderful imaginations, spending Labor Day weekend with my parents, sister and most of her family at Hermit Basin, the Georgetown train—loved seeing all 3 of my boys so happy, going on many school-related field trips to art museums, pioneer places, and plays , making Shark Boy costumes for Morgan and Grayson for Halloween.
Morgan
Job:  3rd grade, vacuuming, doing laundry, gathering trash, sweeping kitchen floor
Hobbies: Building amazing creations out of Legos, singing (makes up his own songs), playing with his brother, tormenting his brother, leaving his clothing and toys everywhere.
Likes: Stir-fried rice, pancakes Daddy makes for him, Nerds candy, Sprite, watching movies and TV, playing games on the iPad, and Sarina (girl from his class—yes, he has a crush!)
Dislikes: School, doing math homework, chores, picking up after himself, flushing the toilet.
Highlights of his year:  Landsharks (track racing for elementary schools), going to Barnum and Bailey Circus, taking Tae Kwon Do lessons, staying in hotels and swimming in their pools, visiting Grandma and Papa for 4th of July and setting off our own fireworks and swimming in “Grandma’s pool” (their local city pool), many visits from Grandma and Papa at our house, doing spy missions, going on the Georgetown train, and getting to be Shark Boy for Halloween.
Grayson
Job:  1st grade, vacuuming, doing laundry, gathering trash, sweeping kitchen floor
Hobbies:  Doing whatever his big brother is doing, playing with his big brother, tormenting his big brother, wrestling with his Daddy, telling long, drawn-out stories that always start with “Guys, hear this…”, giggling (has the best giggle you’ve ever heard), playing with his millions of stuffed animals.
Likes:  Everything.  He really does like everything and everyone, including school, my homemade spaghetti, all candy and cookies, Sprite, watching movies (and talking throughout them and hiding and squealing during any insinuation of a love scene), playing games on the iPad and Liberty (girl from his class. Who knew “crushes” started this soon?)
Dislikes:  When no one will play with him, green beans, being quiet, sleeping past 5:30am.
Highlights of his year:  Landsharks, going to the circus, playing baseball, swimming, visits to Grandma and Papas and when they visit us, doing spy missions, going on the Georgetown train, and being in 1st grade.
We would love to hear from each and every one of you and pray you will be blessed with God’s love, joy and peace for Christmas and throughout 2016! Merry Christmas!
                                                                        Love,
                                                                        Tim, Jen, Morgan and Grayson



Friday, December 18, 2015

The Rebel Force has awakened in me

Momma's Log December 18, 2015 (Kwrp)


No, I have not seen the newest Star Wars movie(but boy, I can't wait to)--so, don't worry--no spoilers here.  But, today has been all about rebellion for me.   Normally, I go about my business as usual, don't rock the boat, and try to do and be my best.  It all started with yesterday.  Yesterday I finished my Christmas shopping.  Yep. I know.  Hold your applause.  Because, you see--it awakened something in me.  Maybe it's all the stress of trying to make sure I get it all finished--buying gifts (hopefully not forgetting anyone), keeping belief in Santa alive for my boys, playing the part of an elf as I order and shop for all the items that they asked Santa for when we visited him at the North Pole (good gracious NO, we do not do that creepy, spying, naughty Elf on the Shelf!) (Sorry, that was harsh--I applaud those of you who can keep that going--it's WAY too much work for this chic!), making sure we keep our traditions in check--Christmas cards, hosting a party, baking goodies, and all the things we enjoy to make this season special.  All of the stuff to remember can make most of us bleary eyed and feel like crying.  Maybe it was just the exhale of finishing the most joyful (brutal) part of Christmas--the shopping.  (Maybe my head is not screwed on right or maybe my shoes are on too tight)



But, mostly I think something snapped in me because today is my last day of freedom.  At 1:00pm today, my boys will be finished with school until January 5th.  Today is my last day to enjoy a quiet, nobody else around, do what I want to do day.

Today I did things that I have NEVER done before. The first thing was that I wore my P.J.'s in public.  Now, it was only for a few moments, while I walked my boys from our car to the door of their school. And in my defense, it was Jammie Day for their school. I admit I have always been a little "judgy" when I see folks out and about in their jammies--it's like they're saying "you know what?  I give up! I have lost all self respect and hope, I don't care any more and getting dressed is just too much effort!" But, I have to say --to those of you who do this regularly--it was kind of nice.  I had that moment of panic--you know like when you look down to make sure you're wearing pants, but overall it was a very pleasant experience.  I always felt like I had to at least wear yoga pants or something--to maybe give the illusion that even though I was not dressed nice, I had a purpose-- like I was going to go work out or something.  But I think this whole wear my jammies all day thing might be a new way of living.  Who knows what's next?

Which leads to rebellious act #2.   I got a special holiday latte today.  Twice.  Yep!  I know.  It's a CRAZY day already and now I'm pumped full of twice as much caffeine as usual that I spent an insane amount of money on (please don't tell Super Rock Star).  Now, here's the thing.  (Whisper voice) I didn't even know this was allowed.  Seriously.  Who does this?  I made sure to go to two different places just in case, but I gotta tell you I was pretty nervous.   In fact at the second stop, I was giving the cashier the shifty eyed side look as I waited for him to swipe my card.  I fully expecting the alarms to start blaring and a loud voice booming. "Ma'am! You are exceeding  your delicious overpriced coffee limit for the day!  For the next two weeks you are banished to your cheap home made coffee with NO creamer.  Shame on you!!!" But, that didn't happen so, I slowly pulled away sipping my second fully caffeinated beverage of the day.  Oh my goodness --I'm outta control!  Thelma and Louise have nuthin me!

This leads to my 3rd rebellious act.  This is one I really struggled with.  Both my boys have class Christmas parties at school today.  It's the last day before Christmas break and it'll just be a fun day. It's Jammie day for them (see? I totally fit in when I dropped them off) and they'll get to have treats and watch movies.  In the past I have always volunteered to be there and help out.  But this year when I got the google document asking for treat donations and parent volunteers, I slyly closed the page after signing up for a treat for my son to bring and did not put my name in the (many) open slots for classroom volunteers. You see, as all teachers will tell you, the day before Christmas break is like no other.  It is the worst form of chaos ever known to man. Not only are our kids excited about it being the last day of school before Christmas break, not only are they ecstatic about getting to wear pajamas to school, but they know they will get to watch movies, they will get to play games and then you add sugary snacks and drinks into the mix and it is all out a war zone.  I've never seen anything like it: total anarchy.


And the teachers--well I'm convinced they are serving some nice "holiday punch"  in the lounge or something, because all of them are so mellow and cheerful as their entire classroom seems to be exploding with unbridled energy and loud screaming(or maybe they are just having to go inside their minds and find their happy place to escape from all of the carnage).  This year.  I can't.  I just can't do it.  Now, if they were willing to share this "holiday punch" with the parents--we might be on to something, but as of yet, it's never been offered and to go into that kind of situation with out some "grown up liquid management"--its just more than I can do.  I've seen too much.  I know too much.  Leave this for the rookies who are still enamored with the idea of being super parent of the year, or believe that Santa is watching and they want to score some extra points, or that they really are so much more mature than I am and have these good and gracious and selfless hearts that I've heard so much about.  This is not me.  I'm willing to sacrifice going on the naughty list and humbly accepting my lump of coal.  But, for you brave teachers and parents that are heading into battle today.  I salute you.  Godspeed!



This all led to my last bit of guilty indulgence.  Since I am finished with my Christmas shopping, I am seriously feeling like I'm on top of the world.   I  found myself wanting to high five perfect strangers.  I am giddy with excitement and feel both joyful and triumphant. So, I strolled.  Yes, strolled.  No more frantic driving around and running in and out of stores.  I leisurely walked into a store just to enjoy looking.  I was feeling a little smug as I saw other moms with the frantic half baked insane look in their eyes as they were searching for that one thing that little Johnny or Suzy HAS to have and every store is sold out.  I sauntered along , sipping my second extravagant coffee drink, swirling it around and sipping it like it was cognac and feeling like I needed a trumpet fanfare walking before me declaring my smashing victory over conquering my Christmas list. At the very least a victory tunnel of folks leading out to my car giving me low fives and chanting my name would have been a nice finish to the day.

For those of you wearing real clothes and not knowing the joy of wearing your jammies in public, for those of you surviving on home made, pre-ground, no fun stuff in it coffee, for those of you in the midst of volunteering at your child's last day before break party, for those of you in the thick of finishing your Christmas shopping lists--your time is coming, You're almost there. And you can count on me to be in the live for your victory tunnel-- low fiving, high fiving and blowing a trumpet fanfare for your celebration.  Christmas is ALMOST here! Jesus was born! Santa is on his way!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Please don't stop being thankful


Momma's Log December 8, 2015 (Kwrp)


Thanksgiving was a couple weeks ago and , I have to tell you, I am just now coming out of my turkey induced coma.  Boy! I sure enjoyed indulging.  Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing.  Super Rock Star makes the BEST giblet gravy and pecan pie.  It was AWESOME!   Even though the food was amazing, being with family was great, and oh. my. goodness. whip cream--I absolutely adore the whip cream.  But,  my favorite part of Thanksgiving really is the focus on being thankful.  I LOVED reading everyone's lists on Facebook and those that did the 30 days of thankfulness posts throughout the month of November. In a time when everyone in our country seems to be so self focused and full of bitterness of what they DON'T have, it's refreshing to see folks expressing gratitude for what they do.

I'll be honest though, this last couple of weeks have been hard on me emotionally and being thankful is not at all how I have felt.  Normally, I'm a very sunny, the glass is half full kind of person.  But, with the multiple attacks that Paris suffered almost a month ago, the tragedy in my own home town of Colorado Springs on Black Friday , and the terror that happened in San Bernardino, CA my sunny disposition has quickly turned cloudy.   I'm the type of human that personalizes every tragedy that I read or hear about. I don't watch or read a lot of news for that exact reason. Super Rock Star worked in television news as a news anchor many moons ago and though I loved watching him do his thing on t.v., I sank to an all time low emotionally during that season simply because my brain cannot process the majority of the harsh reality going on in our world.  It's not that I want to ignore it.  It's not that I don't care.  I just simply cannot cope hearing about the constant despair of our human condition.  I know many of you are the same.  You hear about the dark things that happen and put yourself in the victim's shoes living out the horror they must be facing.  Here in Colorado Springs the 3 victims that lost their lives were all parents with kids and all I could think about was how 6 children were now facing a Christmas season and the rest of their lives without their beloved Daddy's and Mommy.   What is it about Christmas that makes it especially hard to handle?  The ache in my heart for those families that had made plans, purchased gifts, looked forward to moments together and they had all of their dreams crushed and destroyed by some very confused individuals that thought that the only way to their own personal fulfillment was to crush and devestate the lives of so many.



I think a great majority of us must be suffering through some feelings of grief over all the instability we have been overloaded with in the media the last few weeks.  My Facebook feed is no longer full of what folks are thankful for, instead I see a lot of folks talking about guns, our rights as citizens, our view of politics and opinions on what we should all be doing or thinking about all of these things.  It's kind of like we are all throwing a big tantrum right now whether it's crying, yelling, being snarky and sarcastic, or even picking fights on purpose.  Just like when my 8 year old screams out in all of his emotions that he hates something or someone--he doesn't really mean it.  He just needs to get it out.  As we grow up and even as we mature we still have a need to explode every once in a while.  Sometimes we just choose to do it in words on a page rather than screaming into a pillow (as I've been known to do a time or two).  A couple of years ago, I bought a punching bag for super rock star just in time for football season.  Any time our beloved Cowboys lost, he could go out and punch the bag.  Unfortunately, since this year has been such a dismal year for our team that punching bag is toast--yep, knocked to kingdom come.  But, that's the kind of thing I'm talking about.  We all have a need to decompress--to let it out--to explode--to scream and pound our fists when things are not going in the happy, peaceful way that we want them to.

So, once you've thrown your fit, had your 5 seconds on your soap box, and gotten all of that ugliness out there, what do you do?  Well, there is a cure for what ails you.  And it's something so many of us started back on November 1st.  Thankfulness.  Even though it's not November any more.  Even though some bad things have happened.  Even though you feel unstable about what tomorrow will bring.  Please don't stop being thankful.  There's an old hymn chorus that my Mom used to sing (at least it's her voice in my head I hear when I remember it)

Count your many blessings name them one by one.
Count your blessings see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.


If you don't remember to be thankful--to count your blessings, bitterness and discontent will surely wedge in and destroy your view of everything that you have to be thankful for.  Be thankful that you still have lungs and a beating heart to draw breath another day.  Be thankful for the spouse that you have chosen and has chosen you. Be thankful for your little and big kids, and grand kids.  Be thankful for the roof over your head and the running water in your sink.  Be thankful for the fridge full of food.  Be thankful for the job you get to have that pays for all of the things you need and want.  And it's o.k. to also be thankful that you have been spared great tragedy like the ones I've mentioned.  Pray for those that are suffering.  Pray for those in need who do not have all that you do.  Ask God to show you how you can help. We all have things that make us grumble.  In John 16:33 it says "I have told you all these things so that you may have peace.  In this world you will have many troubles, but take heart! I have overcome the world."  Being thankful is the very antidote we all need when the ways of this world weigh so heavily upon us.
 
I've mentioned before that Super Rock Star works for an amazing organization called Compassion International.  If you don't know about them, I highly recommend you go check out their website www.compassioninternational.com.  There are so many ways they help children and their families in very dire circumstances every day.  I love the 1000's of stories I read about them but, one of my favorite is about a team from Compassion that was visiting a family's home in a village in Africa.  By all accounts this family was living in dismal conditions--straw and mud hut, mostly barren land, and no running water. But as the team was getting ready to leave they asked the father of the home how they could pray for him. His response?  "I have everything I need.  I have a roof over my head to protect me from the weather, I have a tree that bears fruit and provides food for my family and I have water to drink.  God is good."

As we enter this Christmas season--a time of year when we love to share and give and receive, I also encourage you to be remember to be thankful.  Just take a few minutes right now and right down 10 things you are thankful for.  Even  if life is hard right now--a job lost, a sickness in your family, an uncertain future. Even if all you can muster up is that you are thankful you don't have a big zit on your forehead right now.  Try to think of 10 things that you can thank God for.  And remember:  Yes, God is good!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Procrastination, Pinterest Fails and Curse Words

Momma's Log November 20, 2015 (Kwrp)

So, last week started off with the realization that the craft fair that I had signed up to participate in at Super Rock Star's workplace was happening. On Thursday.  In my true to form procrastinating nature I started gathering ideas Monday morning.  How hard could it be?   SO.. I started off where any good crafting soldier starts off--PINTEREST.  I have a love/hate relationship with this particular place.  I LOVE it because you can get super good ideas for just about anything here and I HATE it because those super good ideas almost NEVER turn out the way they show in the picture--known as Pinterest Fails.  As you will soon see--I had one of those precious moments in my week.

TUESDAY morning (the procrastination continues) I found this SUPER cute idea for making a candle center piece out of mason jars. 

It just so happens that a friend of mine from my Bible study had just given me a bunch of mason jars that she no longer wanted.  As you get to know me...you will find that I NEVER turn down a freebie-- even if I have NO idea what I will do with it.  If it's free.  It's mine.  Anyway, I thought they looked adorable and relatively easy to make:  Some jars,some spray snow, a cute little cut out scene (PLUS the artist supplied the template for printing--YAY!) -- pop in a candle and POOF you're done.  Cute. Easy--Heh Heh--not so much.   FIRST of all, the artist said to use spray snow.  I should have grown a little suspicious when I noticed a comment questioning how well the spray snow would stay on. "I've had mine for over a year, and the snow has NEVER flaked off" says the artist. Liar, liar, pants on fire!!! I wasted an entire day spraying these jars and waiting patiently for them to dry.  Just merely picking them up sent the snow disintegrating off like the needles on Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. 

I even tried putting a finishing coat on. Nuttin.  They were a HUGE mess.  And the cute little cut out? Oh. My. Goodness.
It took me half an hour just to get ONE cut out.  I looked at the time.... I looked at what else I had to do and I saw this was going to turn into "one of those" weeks.

Next, on my list to make was some pillows.  I had all the fabric I needed, had come up with a simple Christmas tree pattern and I thought I would use up my plethora of extra buttons to sew on to make it look like ornaments on the tree. PERFECT! Now, here's where things start to take a very bad turn.   Super Rock Star got home Tuesday evening and I had managed to have 16 jars sprayed that were spewing dusty snow everywhere, one template cut out and the fronts of 4 pillows PARTIALLY done.  I was feeling pretty good about my progress until WHAM he hits me with "You know you have to have these ready by tomorrow afternoon, right?"  WHA WHAT??!! Yeah, apparently to participate in the craft fair you have to be oh, I don't know, PREPARED and have your table all set up the afternoon BEFORE the fair starts! Gulp!  I give him my best -- I had no idea look and I think he could see the desperation in my eyes.

Being the loving super SUPER ROCK STAR guy that he is AND the best husband EVER, he offered to help.  He came up with the BRILLIANT solution to use white spray paint (which does not flake off everywhere) for the jars AND he spent the entire evening cutting out the scenes.  Did I mention that the scenes were on thick craft paper. And had tiny details like 1000 windows on a house with at least two chimneys (Who does TWO chimney's. On a cut out? Why?!) ? 

Yep.  I owe him BIG time. Good GRAVY!!! Can anything just be easy?!!

Sewing on the buttons on the Christmas trees took and  EXCRUCIATINGLY long amount of time. Also, I punctured my fingers with the needle so much, I was howling in pain with all 32 buttons. (If only they made something to put on your fingers to protect them from being poked by the pins and needles when sewing....)

Also it turns out that in my pile of a bajillion buttons the only colors I possessed were brown, black and beige. Not very Christmassy (UGH!)   I had decided to buy some rope trim just to give them a little extra "I made an effort" look. Let me ask you-- have you ever tried to sew rope trim onto square pillows? 

If not--it's a real hoot (said no one EVER)! In trying to force my sewing machine over the stacks of 3ft high trim and fabric (small exaggeration--but that's what it seemed like) I had to grit my teeth (because that helps--you know) and shove the masses through the machine praying that some small particle of a stitch would latch on holding it together--meanwhile the pins that I used to hold the stacks together are jamming into my wrists and the howling in pain continues (no--they do not make a thimble type apparatus for wrists--I checked).  I am not a big curse word user.  In fact most of the time the worst that pops out of my mouth is the phrase "curse word" and the OCCASIONAL use of the "D" word.  By the end of all this I was throwing curse words out left and right without remorse.  I was yelling at my sewing machine as if my words would some how miraculously get it to defy all the odds and produce a somewhat straight seam in the midst of all of the uneven terrain of fabric, trim and buttons. At one point I noticed Super Rock Star giving me a side glance that was either fear or pride--maybe a mix of both.

By late that night, we had managed to finish most of it--only some assembly left to do. But, we were both exhausted and our hands were cramped into grotesquely painful positions.  Our home was a complete disaster area and we both fell EXHAUSTED into bed.




The finished products actually turned out o.k. and, to be honest Super Rock Star was kind of hoping the tree pillows wouldn't sell so that we could keep them for ourselves. (that is a HUGE compliment to me).

As for the craft fair.  I sold 3 of the 6 pillows I made and 0 of the mason jar contraptions.  I don't blame people--as much effort as we put into making them they didn't seem up to par for selling. Plus, there were at least 3 other tables that had some sort of mason jar craft to sell, so maybe they weren't as special as I had hoped they would be.   Lessons I learned:  1) Once again, NEVER trust an idea on Pinterest (esp. if your making it the night before said event--this is true for recipes, crafts, everything) and 2) If you decide to sign up for a craft fair--maybe start a little earlier than the day before.