Friday, June 29, 2012

the "for worse" part



Becky: "That's your problem! You don't want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie"


On this particular day, like most, I got each of my 3 kids dressed & fed, stocked the diaper bag, got every one in & out of the van, checked into the child care and made my way to the treadmill at our gym-which is across town. I was putting on my ear buds, ready to press play on Pandora when I got a phone call. My husband, with a full patient load ahead of him, couldn’t find his keys and worse, was quite sure he left them in the van the night before. Oh.My. LORD! Wishing, hoping, praying I didn’t find them as I rummaged through the usual spots, I called him back from the parking lot to report: no keys found.
"Check the bottom pocket of the BOB stroller in the trunk."
Jingle. 
I had them.
He needed them.
I had no choice.
Well, actually I did.
Quite a doozie of a choice.
Silently, I rebuked him & his irresponsibility &threw a pity party for myself the whole way back into the gym and while I collected my kid from childcare.
So soon?
Yep.

As I headed up the entrance to the highway it hit me: this is what I’ll love you…for worsemeans.

Time to make a choice.
By some act of God, I found mercy & even kissed him as I handed him the keys in the driveway.

I get spitting mad when he leaves the finger paint in armsreach after finishing a project with the kids, or drives thru Chick Fil A instead of making something of the groceries in the fridge, or leaves the garage door open, or he'd rather be inside than at the beach and talks about when we’re going to leave on the way there.

There are times I want to reply to his mid-day texts with something snide about how nice it must be to listen to NPR, work on his laptop at Starbucks, or drive through the most beautiful parts of the State-ALONE-while I’m at home listening to tattle-tailing and caring for an inconsolable, teething baby.

Of course, sometimes I’m hearing giggling and thank you, mommy and our son sounding out words for the first time. Just like sometimes he’s caring for a grumpy,smelly, non-compliant patient. It can change hour by hour, can’t it?

The same goes for feelings; they change often.
Commitment, though, remains. 
Noah & Ally make this sort of "it's not going to be easy. it's going to be really hard. and we're going to have to work at this every day" seem far more romantic than it is in the trenches.

Most moments I feel like the luckiest girl in the world that Dan Poulsen chose me, and not just because I got a pretty ring to wear in memory of his proposal.  It occurred to me as I’m reading this book about grace, that if I began to categorize these annoyances as the “for worse”part of my vows, they’re less likely to produce ugly thoughts & attitudes. 
After all, I committed.
And making it even easier, are all the “for worse” things that I bring to the relationship. For example: I push. And I have unrealistic expectations. I hate waking up in the morning and I almost never meet him at the door when he gets home.

PS: I can only write about this now because lately, I’m crazy about him and the “for better”seems to outweigh the “for worse”.

Besides, aren't we the lucky ones?
Our “for worse”isn’t so worse in comparison to worse things.

Remaining committed through “for poorer” and “in sickness” while much harder to navigate, contributes profoundly to a marriage.

“For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ‘till death do us part.
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cute

There we were in juvenile fiction searching through what else?: Scooby Doo.
My boy who is too sensitive to watch the beginning of Finding Nemo or The Lion King is wild about the mystery-chasers and the ghosts & monsters they encounter.
Using my best persuasion skills, I lead him toward other non-goblin titles. If left on his own, he'd head to the counter with arms full of Scooby Doo books & DVDs.
We stood in front of the shelf surveying their selection when a pretty little girl-likely Carter's age-with curly hair & a cute flower dress joined us.
"Ummmm...do you know where the Scooby Doo videos are?"
Carter's head shot up toward me, eyes wide and almost as quickly, he knelt down & said "they're right here."
I watched him showing her each one.
I listened to her saying which she had & hadn't seen.
She grabbed one & stuck it in her bag.

There I was in the middle of what screenwriters refer to as a "meet-cute".
At least that's what Arthur tells Iris in The Holiday.
Could have been a scene from a romantic comedy if they weren't Kindergarteners.
It could be that I've got the master of romantic comedies, Nora Ephron, on my brain, after her recent death.
(Tom Hanks writes about his late friend & colleague here.)
I'm looking down at my son, 6 years old and the little girl who said the words that were sure to sweep him off his feet. I swear I never, ever think that way of him. I find it quite annoying, actually, when people pair up little kids. Let them have their innocence for crying out loud!

For now, he's got another cute, flowered dress-wearing girl for a book partner.

The other girl in our house has made it quite clear since she arrived that she only has eyes for one guy. She's typically the first one to crash our morning coffee & news time and she heads straight for her daddy's side.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Parenting | Running | Reading

First of all, Happiest birthday to my friend Klaire (aka: Katie, Kate, Kathryn, Dr., depending on the year). Wish I were climbing a mountain with you in Colorado. Who am I kidding? I do not. Could not. But, I can hardly wait for your visit and our nonstop talking, teenage girl sleepover style. xo

So, blogging has taken a hit by the new state of affairs in our home. All. 3. kids. every day. all day. 

But I wanted to share a few bits with you.
Carter, as anticipated, received a glowing final report card from his Kindergarten teacher. Above grade level this and that, outstanding classmate and learner, etc. I looked down into his wondering blue eyes after reading it and just wanted to say, "You are stellar! I promise I'll try not to take it for granted. And pack your bags we're headed to Disney World in your honor!" 
Instead, I hugged him & kissed him & shared the unfortunate news that he's not allowed to go to 1st grade, because that means one day he'll go to middle school and will no longer hold my hand walking in or out.
  ~~~
Lilah is her own person. She's helpful, she's too smart, she will under no circumstance take help before she's tried to do it independently, she picks up the guitar whenever music comes on TV, and she loves to eat fruits & veges. I have been near to tears (and cussing) many times lately as my patience and consistent discipline proves to be no match for her 3 year old will. A will that is all too familiar to me. More on that when it's not so fresh, I'm sure.
Wishing to be more a part of the conversation than her vocabulary allows, she provides loads of laughs. Just recently she said: "mommy. mommy. mommy. (repeat 4 more x at least) a bud (bug) bit me. it did mommy. a bud. it bit me. RIGHT HERE (pointing to her bum) ON MY BE HINEY."
~~~
I'm making some personal progress too. I ran 3 10 min miles yesterday for the first time! I've come so close before-finishing 3 miles at 10 min 58 seconds, but never 10 fair & square minutes each.
I've embraced what I've learned about how your body responds to running: oxygen & blood, yada, yada, yada. For me, the first mile is always hardest and on the contrary, I find myself enjoying the last mile as well as running much faster in the home stretch, comfortably. Now that I understand why, I enter a run expecting such and don't get discouraged when the beginning feels impossible.
I also bought a jazzy new pair of running shoes with ample heel cushion.
You may be interested in how not to quit running and the start of my personal running journey, something I never thought I'd start because I figured I'd fail.
~~~
Last night I couldn't put down the newly released Dinner: A Love Story book written by the author of the engaging blog by the same name. I'm enjoying the rhythm of the book: personal stories leading to beloved recipes and back and forth. Jenny and her husband Andy remind me of my husband and I a bit, both food-loving & family-committed folks. They live in NYC and work in publishing so they're coolness factor is much higher. It's certainly useful for a newbie cook as well as seasoned family meal-maker. I like the way she has it separated into stages of life, as the dinner table often reflects the differences-newlywed, young parents, etc. I've tried a few of the recipes from her blog in the past and was pleased. I'm considering cooking my way through this book a la Julie & Julia, minus the blogging & dedication to the degree of preparing aspics.

Friends and admirable parents have recommended Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus and once I read the excerpt available online, I ordered it immediately. Our desire as Christian parents is that our children grasp the love of Jesus and in turn love and obey Him and not that my kids are only moral, good people abiding by civil and religious standards. Here's a bit from the Introduction, but I recommend reading the whole book & taking from it what jives with your personal beliefs and parenting goals.
"Certainly the faith that has empowered the persecuted church for two millennia isn't as thin and boring as "Say you're sorry," "Be nice," and "Don't be like them." Why would anyone want to deny himself, lay down his life, or suffer for something as insane as that?....Let's face it most of our children believe that God is happy if they're "good for goodness' sake." We've transformed the holy, terrifying, magnificent, and loving God of the Bible into Santa and his elves."
Amazon offers a "look inside" option if you want to read more. Pin It

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Celebrating 1 year today!

One year ago today our family got a special surprise!

Clara Lily 6.16.2011 from Tina Poulsen on Vimeo.

Happy Birthday, Clara Lily! Pin It

Monday, June 11, 2012

She has perfect timing, that one.

It's been exactly one week since Lilah finished preschool and in one week all 3 of my kids will be home with me all summer long. Hoping to squeeze every bit of peace I can before that time, I sent Lilah to water camp put on by her church preschool all this week. I know, shameful. It's only been 1 week & I've already passed her off. She was THRILLED to pack a lunch & put on her bathing suit this morning and can hardly wait to go again tomorrow. So it's a win for both of us.
I'm committing to laying low til Friday with baby Clara, who turns 1 year old on Saturday (can-you-even-believe-it face).
Last night we headed over to Busch Gardens to catch Chris Tomlin in concert. All of our babysitters were unavailable so we made a family night of it. What a neat experience for my kids to be a part of a group of fellow Jesus-lovers, singing along with one of the most influential worship leaders of our time!

Here we are quite the picture of a loving family, complete with daddy snuggling giggling baby in the background.
Two of the parks' sky-high roller coasters looped as the backdrop to the concert stage. The hollering from riders mixed with the voices in the stadium made for a fun celebration; heavenly. Well, if heaven is 3 million degrees and sweaty kids are climbing all over you.
No seriously, there was a point where he sang Indescribable and the sun was setting as these lyrics echoed among the reverent crowd:
"Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom
Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God"
The crowd was still, silent. 
It was something special.
In that remarkable moment my daughter yelled out 
"MAAAHHHMEEEEE! Carter said SHUT UP TO ME!!!"

Yeah it may have been my proudest mom moment.

 
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Goodbye, preschool. Hello summer fun!

 This one has graduated from her fun 3 year old preschool class. Her teachers were incredibly enthusiastic teaching her class all sorts of things. They surely impressed the heck out of me with all the activities, experiments, and fun they had this year.
Truth be told, I was merely hoping for a safe place for Lilah to have fun for a few hours a few days a week when Carter went off to Kindergarten & baby Clara was born & she craved "her own" thing.

Monkey Class has done loads for her maturity & her teachers' patient care is largely appreciated. What a treat!
Our family has watched the DVD reel of class photos & songs many times since her teacher gifted it to her at the end of school last week.
Now, she's home every day with me.
Her expression fits my feelings exactly; a mix of joy & YIKES!
So far we've been to the gym, the pool, the beach, a lunch date, a picnic, & painted nails. 
It's going to be a long few months. 
What's that quote? The days are long but the years are short. Very true.

I love all the brightly colored chalkboard bucket lists for summer circulating the web. And I am planning to draft a schedule for at least one plan per day of the week: bake, outdoor fun, read, craft, etc. (inspiration for both chalkboard & weekly plans found here)
Most days we could do all 4 before 10am. Still, something on the agenda for each day will help us not to get lost in a sea of free time.
Some of our summer plans:
Some of our list is specific to us. Some you can use too! I've been collecting ideas for activities for us to do this summer on my Pinterest Kids board.

 
Free bowling at AMF locations (click link to get your voucher) for all kids this summer (2 games per day) or check out kidsbowlfree.com for other offers

Free family movies at many theaters offered a couple of days a week. Click the picture above for the schedule at the Regal theater near you. No Regal nearby? This site has a long list of other summer movie options.
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Friday, June 1, 2012

friendship. trancending by kelly corrigan

Last week I shared that heavy things were on my heart. 
Thank you to all who reached out to me. Fortunately it's not exactly my heaviness.
I can't help but carry the burdens of family & friends around me.
Choices are more life-altering now that we're older.
A diagnosis can change everything.
It's so hard not to be able to do anything; really do something, isn't it?

I treasure the friendships I've collected through my life. I owe a debt of gratitude to texting, blogging, and Instagram for helping me to maintain those relationships conveniently.

If you're in a sentimental mood, you'll enjoy the video below as much as I did.
Trancending. By Kelly Corrigan
 

Feeling burdened?
A friend shared an inspirational link regarding sharing burdens, specifically "throwing them off". If you've ever carried a care, you'll be glad you read Beth Moore's inspirational post. (Short on time? Skip the first 4 paragraphs & read from there.) Throw Your Burden Pin It
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