Sunday, February 28, 2010

End of Winter Update

The turn of winter into spring - at least on the calendar - never fails to stir in me a fervent desire to travel. It happens every year. We have had one of the coldest, seemingly longest, snowiest winters I can recall in my lifetime. Statistics probably prove otherwise, but for someone who gags when she is overly cold, this winter has been the pits. March, only a days away, signifies spring to me, whether the biting winter winds have died down or not. It is also time to start putting away the heaviest of winter clothes - the corduroy, the velvet, the wools, etc.

In previous years, March drove me to the streets. I felt like a caged wild cat, needing to get out, explore, anything for a change to the daily grind. I would hit the road with the kids, heading to the beach or to catch up with friends. Many times it was in tandem with my sister. Now that all the kids are in school, it makes the possibility pretty slim. And, with all that is going on with the business, it is not the time to "get away." My heart still pines for the warmth of the sunshine and change of scenery. I guess I will just have to settle on traveling 2 hours east for the kids' last swim meet of the season in Raleigh. The warmth will have to come from the humidity of the indoor pool.

I write this post on the heels of Jay's return to our home. He was away for 11 days for work. The kids were really out of sorts with him being gone. In the end, I was weary from consoling little children and wiping crocodile tears. I had to deal with some behavioral situations with Sadie, a crick in the neck with Lily and a weekend I had planned on being out of town since November, the logistics of which were quite ridiculous. However, I have found the most wonderful retreat for scrapbookers or any women wanting to get away. Whispering Winds. Simply divine!

Today was special because Sadie was baptized today. It was a sweet time of celebration. So many of our friends and family came to show their support. Throughout the service, she kept asking when was it going to be time. In her videotaped testimony, she said that the reason that she decided to get baptized was that she wanted everyone to know that she loves Jesus, the He is her Savior and that He is her Lord. She also talked about how Ethan led her to Jesus. It was a very special moment for our family.

Jay was asked to say a few words and here is what he said:

Ten years ago, Kelsey and I were baptized on the same Sunday in this church. It took us a lot longer to decide what you have already done in your short 8 years, Sadie. We are so proud of the choice you have made today. On your own, you have chosen to proclaim to your family, friends, and church that Jesus Christ is Lord of your life. Sadie, this is not the pinnacle of your journey with God. This is just another step that deepens your commitment to living out a Christ-centered life. We pray that you will continue to call upon Him in your time of need, that you will praise Him in the triumphs and in the defeats, and that you will understand that nothing surpasses knowing Him and being loved by Him.

I would like to close with this promise: Psalm 91:9-11
9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-
10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

We finished the day with a lunch at our house, adding in a birthday celebration for my grandmother - 84!

I was checking the kids' Friday school folders this evening. Sorting through the papers, I realized how much my youngest is growing this year. Adding numbers, writing little sentences like, "I like to ski."

Slow down! I wanted to scream, "Slow down clock. You make me very uneasy." And then, just as I needed it, like a director said, "ACTION!" Lily came prancing into my room, her hair a little unkempt and scraggly, wearing unmatching pajamas, requesting a "Lily sandwich" from her parents. She still needs me. Just reassuring to know.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


You wanted to play board games tonight. My day had been full of plans and to-do lists, but I had made a promise. Even I had to agree that it was a rare opportunity to play without little Miss Lily's stubby little fingers grabbing at all the pieces and parts or her insistence on playing a game that was way too difficult for her 5 year old mind.

We sat at the table, originally planning on including Sadie. One little meltdown before the first tile was played eliminated her from the table. There we sat, just the two of us. I saw the eagerness in your eyes. I saw how much this time meant to you. You had worked so hard this afternoon to help around the house. You wanted to help me with my job to guarantee my attention later.

Our game of strategy began. You were playing with as much skill as you could muster for a 9 year-old who had stayed up well beyond the usual bedtime the night before. Your yawns were another indication that the bed was calling you. Your little half smile. Your little quirky comments. I sat back and soaked it all in.

It was clear early on that I would be the victor and so I suggested that we simply stop keeping score. It would be nice just to play for the fun of it. You moved a little closer to me. I rubbed your head. You were content, despite a complete defeat, to continue playing...just to be with me.

You saw the tiredness in my eyes. You made the ultimate sacrificial suggestion to me. "Let's just put the game away and head to bed. It's ok, Mommy." My eyes watered for a moment. My sweet, senstive son. Willing to pass up what you had labored to ensure earlier. Just for me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Time crunch

My plate is full. Here is what has been dished out, slopped on, piled up for me:

1. School choices next year for my kiddos. In my mind I keep saying, "Really? You want me to do what? Are you kidding me?"

2. We have had an offer accepted on a new warehouse. The move is boggling enough. Trying to get it prepared for move-in pushes my brain into maximum capacity. Exciting growth, painful transition.

3. Jay is leaving town - possibly for 10 days. I don't want him to leave. We won a fantastic de-install project in NYC. It is a trade-off.

4. Terrible, I mean heinous, behavior week for Sadie last week. I was in tears for most of it. I cannot make her do what she is supposed to do, but if I could, I would. Why can't people understand that? I don't need another mother calling me to tell me she is worried about her heart. Like I am not.

5. Can't find my new glasses. They are in this house and yes, I have looked everywhere. I feel lost and my eyes are hurting again.

6. Dealt with the 3rd anniversary of her passing. Painful moments, passed quickly enough, moving on for now.

7. Office time, school time, kid time, swimming time, all not balanced well enough.

8. Leaving this weekend for a girls' weekend to scrapbook. Planned since November. Now how to arrange childcare for three kids. Not going all. Is it worth it?

9. A child that is continually not feeling well. No fever, but always headache, stomach ache. Aggravating.


10. A bible study that is awesome, but clearly outlines that ALL of the above has come between me and God.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A friend recently commented that she would like to hear more about my husband as he never appears in my blog. She is correct that he is mentioned only in passing. I guess the reason is that this is my self-created little world and when I write about the kids, they can't come back and complain or critique. Let's face it, they don't know this blog exists and definitely don't know that their antics provide much inspiration.

Therefore, on this Valentine's Day, a day of love, I dedicate this blog to my one and only.

My husband is the smartest person I know. Maybe that doesn't say much, or maybe it offends every one reading this blog. Sorry. There is nothing the man cannot do. If he doesn't know how, he will teach himself how...a consummate learner. During the course of our marriage, he has played raquetball, scuba dived, sewn curtains and slip covers, painted murals and walls, started his own business, baked bread from scratch, hand crafted the cabinets and built-ins for our home office, which is stunning I might add. He knows about everything it seems.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lily's love

So, this is one of those weeks where I could deal with not being a mom any least for a couple of days. Mothering is tough...tough...tough. But, before I get to the nitty gritty, let me recount a funny conversation I had with Lily, age 5:

Lily: I am going to marry Caleb.
Me: What?
Lily: I am going to marry Caleb, but he is going to marry Tristen. What can we do about that Mom?
Me: (giggling) Um. Lily. You don't need to worry about this stuff until you are much, much older.
Lily: Well, Caleb is 6. He is much older.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


I am in transition. It makes me weary, overloaded and burdened. I am not a crackerjack with transitions. A "go-with-the-flow" kind of gal, I am not. Therefore, when I find myself fluctuating between two worlds, I become a little controlling. Controlling, like a dictator along the lines of Mussolini, Duvalier and Pinochet. When I don't have responsibilities clearly defined for me, I spin like a mad top wiping out any who come my way. As the normal rhythm of my life becomes a mish mash of syncopated and staccato beats, I tighten my grip around the drummer to force some regularity. Squeezing the drummer is never a good thing. Never. (excuse #1)

Last week, we had some repair work completed on our water system - a well. We have had an above normal problem with our well since we built this house 5 years ago. The entire well pump has been replaced 2 times, along with multiple other issues. This time, when the repairman arrived he said, "You just can't stand not having us here, can you?" Lovely. This time the repairman had to remove the entire length of piping and replace it because it started leaking when we experienced an extreme cold snap in January. Whenever this type of repair gets made, it wrecks havoc on our water for the next 5 days or so. The result of which is bright orange colored, staining water. The orange derives from the rust and other mineral deposits that have become dislodged by the removal of the pipes and the "required by law" massive dumping of chlorine in the system. Every toilet, sink, tub becomes covered in the orange slime. I spend every day trying to prevent further staining of anything water touches. But, that was last week. (excuse #2)

I have reflected and pondered much on what is preventing me from taking that "next step" with my life. Having something I have written be published, losing weight, working out, finding a place where I can serve others, indecisiveness on many issues, for example. One conclusion is that I allow issues like the above (orange water) to prevent me from moving forward. Time management has ever been a great talent of mine. Yet, we all know we spend time on what we find important, right? (excuse #3)

Now that I think about it, there is always some wall, imagined or real, although I would venture to say mostly imagined, that blocks me from achieving much of anything significant. For example, I feed my kids because they would starve if I didn't. I accomplish that which is necessary, a requirement, something someone else depends on me doing. Am I doing anything that isn't required of me by others? (excuse #4)

I might be stagnant because it is comfortable in the still waters of the safe harbor. Is it fear that prevents me from hoisting the anchor and sailing out to the unknown? This whole writing thing, submitting articles, it takes some effort to figure out where and how. Why does my motivation stop after I click the "publish post" button on my blog? (excuse #5)

I am beginning to believe that I need to sacrifice something in order to achieve something beyond everyday survival. Sacrifice, give-up...that hour in the morning where I lounge around, drink coffee, sift through facebook, blog reading lists. The time I spend chatting with other moms during the kids' swim practice. The two chocolate turtles that I scarfed down right before I fell asleep. Those are fairly easy and I haven't made one step in that direction. What about the things that have resided so long and deeply in my clinched fist that they have grafted themselves into the deepest lines of my palms. I don't think I can complain, whine, or even contemplate inwardly about my heart's discontent if I am not taking a scalpel to remove them. (excuse #6)

Which leads me to my final conclusion, brought to the light through my bible study. My actions reflect a complacency that has become an idol to me. An idol that prevents me from a lot, but most importantly prevents me from going where God wants me to go and who God wants me to be. Here is where it gets a bit painful...I worship the status quo and I worship the time I spend COMPLAINING ABOUT IT. My treasure is always coming up with excuses as to why I have unrealized dreams. I have become the master of it. I have allowed excuses to dominate my life. I have allowed the laziness and lounging of my mind to prevent me from "doing." The excuses, however well-crafted and circumstantially supported at the time, are really lies and seriously..I am very, very good at them.

I begin a new chapter in my study more excuses.

If that weren't is a passage from my study:

Even when you have these grandiose plans, spiritual plans nonetheless, things can unexpectedly turn. I suppose that's why I'm writing all this in regard to this week's homework, because there will alwyas be a million nagging tugs on our time and attention, and somewhere in the middle of all the tugging it is essential we build a fortress wherein only God, His words, and our heart exist together for a time. It rarely happens accidently.