Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Boy

    A boy.
    I always wanted a boy.
    I had reoccurring dreams that I had a baby boy for as long as I can remember.
    On September 27, 2014, at 7:04 in the morning, that dream became a reality.
    For one year, I have learned all about the completely different species that is the male. If Rory rocked my world, Owen done threw my snow-globe life into a dryer.Everything is done rougher and louder with boys. He likes to cuddle more than Rory did. And food, holy cow, he eats and eats and eats.
    But this is my boy. My sweat-er. My napper. My lover of macaroni, and of cats. A goofy, naughty giggle as he runs down the hall. Flicked fingers for the 14th time that morning because he will not leave his daddy's books alone. The smell of a favorite blankie. He loves to be read to and can hear a sleeve of crackers being opened a block away. 
    Something happens to you when you have kids. All new instincts (mostly survival, I'm sure) kick in, new skills are learned, and new love takes root in your heart.
    But something happens right down in your guts when you have a boy. Rarely am I at a loss for words about anything, but there is no description for what I am trying to convey. It's not favoritism; I love my daughter with my whole heart and she is my joy. But it's certainly different.

    Happy first birthday, my Owen. You were, and are, a dream come true.

Monday, January 20, 2014

One Year

    For one year I have changed diaper upon diaper upon diaper.
    For one year I have kissed soft, chubby cheeks.
    For one year I have humiliated myself just for a dimpled smile. 
    For one year I have looked down into bright, mischievous eyes and wondered what  could possibly be coming next.

     My baby girl turns one tomorrow. The ways God has used her to stretch me and mature me are countless. My husband seems to be even MORE patient now than he was (how it's possible, I do not know), and so willingly lays aside his own desires for rest and relaxation after a long day at work just to read princess books to our daughter.

     This child, who has an immense love for butter bread and books, has rocked my world.  For the first time in my life, I feel older than 13. That sounds incredibly strange, but I seriously have felt that I stayed 13 mentally. No concept of taking charge of a problem, nothing ever depending on me. I could do whatever the heck I wanted.
     Now there is a little girl watching me, learning from my example how to be a woman, how to love a husband, how to keep a house. What a sobering thought it is that I am my daughter's role model. I feel so incredibly inept, yet know that where I fail God will provide grace.  Kids are resiliant, right?

    So happy birthday tomorrow,  my sweet Loralai. You are the joy of my heart and the delight of my eyes. Mommy loves you.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

And So It Begins...

    Tomorrow I officially start the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan. I had seen an ad for it months ago and mentally stashed it on my Ignore Forever list being as they were Above Rubies chicks. Sure, they were skinny and gorgeous women, but that didn't matter. Guilt by association.
    Then my mother-in-law dropped 20 pounds loosely following the plan when she hadn't even bought the book yet. I sure am a sucker for that sort of thing.
    So I ordered the daggum thing and have all but ignored my child, my house and everything else since I got it on Wednesday because it's GINORMOUS and takes almost 250 pages just to get to recipes. Putzing around with those these last couple of days I've already seen the numbers on the scale move down, too! Geez Louise!
    The way I'm going to do this is I'm going to weigh and measure myself tomorrow morning and then hide my scale for exactly a month. I get so caught up in mere decimals on a daily basis and am so easily discouraged, I'm just gonna (hopefully) surprise myself. And while it's totally unlike me, I'm going to wait to do their hardcore Fuel Pull Cycle for a month. I need to be more familiar and confident with food combinations before I jump into something like that. Plus with Christmas coming up I don't want to get a week into it and go, "Well, screwed that up, pass the rolls and gimme a beer." So, I'll be patient.
    From the recipes I've tried I've been pretty darn happy. Cheese, cheese, glorious cheese! My Trim Healthy Pancakes were an absolute epic fail this morning. In my Andie-Needs-Food-NOW fuzzy state I misread the recipe and had already put in 1 tsp of baking soda when I realized it needed to be powder. Genius that I am, I added 2 tsp of baking powder to hopefully undo my oopsie.
    Bad move.
    I ended up with some floppy, lifeless, eggy, sproingy disappointment. Un. Happyville. So that was a big ol' bummer, but hopefully they're as good as they're supposed to be next Sunday when pancake time rolls around again.

    I have skipped a couple chunks of the book because they bored me to tears and I'm not going to go get blood tests done to see how my hormones are doing. It took a lot of restraint to not mark all the places that needed further editing or X out all the unnecessary commas. I think this book could have been hacked down quite a few pages just by nixing the cutesy sisterly fighting gaggery and extremely long opinions. I've only wanted to throw the book across the room once, which is a miracle considering my pre-conceived ideas.
    All in all, I really am excited to officially start and will for sure take a before picture some point today and post it with an after when my full month is over. Stay tuned ;)


Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Pruney Little Victory

    I had a small victory earlier this week. What was it? you may ask.
    Yep, I ate prunes.
    But it was the attitude behind the prunes. I've been working out everyday and have been keeping track of my calories on hardcore. I have been super good. Well, at some point this week, snack time was rolling around, but I wasn't in the best of moods. Initially I was going to go for something with empty calories and carby. Then, at the last moment, I decided maybe I'd go do a quick workout instead. And so I did.
    I felt so good after I did that 10 minute little ditty that I decided to go for something that might actually benefit my body instead of just being useless. My search ended when I spotted some prunes Will had bought. I've always made fun of him for liking prunes cause that's a total old person thing to like. But I thought, eh, why not? I love plums, this is just a raisin version of a plum.
   Yeah, I kinda love prunes now.
    But it was just a little victory in overcoming emotional eating/food addiction. This has been a challenging two weeks for sure. I read an article on overeating and how you have to re-learn what it feels like to be hungry and satisfied and I am doing just that. I'm starting to hate that stuffed feeling again, which was usually my aim. I've never ever gone hungry, yet I have an irrational fear of starving. My food addictions are just an outward way of saying I don't trust God to take care of me and supply for my needs. I'm learning to depend on Him and "taste and see that the Lord is good." I'm learning that I need to find my satisfaction in Him and that I'm not being deprived if I don't go back for seconds. There are other ways to be happy than just when you're eating. It's been quite a learning experience. I didn't realize this was such a big issue, but it definitely is.

    That's all I got, I just wanted to share my little win :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why Punish Tomorrow?

    I literally think this every single day. It just popped into my head one evening as I was debating doing the dishes or just leaving them until the next day, but it has stuck with me.

    I hate having a messy house. I hate waking up to dirty dishes and a bazillion (okay, 2) loads of laundry. Seeing every single toy my daughter owns strewn about the floor as I turn off the lights makes me cringe.
    That being said, I am not what you would call an orderly person. My whole life I have been unorganized, forgetful and unmotivated.
    "Sorry for the mess!" I would say, "It's been a crazy week!"
    Psh, yeah, crazy LAZY week.

    I would go through spurts at the Love Shack where I was pretty decent at keeping up with household stuff for about a week, and then drop it. We didn't have much space to store stuff and what we did, I was so afraid of mouse kooties that I didn't use it.
    Then we moved to our current apartment. Let me tell you what, I despise this place. The renters before us smoked, as does our upstairs neighbor. No matter how strong I have my Scentsy going, there is a perpetual funk in the air, which I realized clung to our clothes as well. I have a big ol' I-Hate-You!!! list for this place that I won't go into. But anyway, we decided after about a week and a half of living here that once the lease is up in March, we are so gone. So I decided that I would halt the unpacking. What was the point of getting everything out and funkified if I just had to box it up in a couple months anyway?
    So we lived in a bloomin' pit for about a month. And I was bitter, discouraged and crazy embarrassed.
    I'm not entirely sure what sparked me to start taking care of it, but I realized that I was basically trying to punish an inanimate object by letting it be a sty and making myself and my family miserable in the process.
    So I put on my big girl undies and tackled the beast. I put myself on a schedule so I wouldn't wander through my day, aimlessly spending hours on Pinterest and Facebook from my phone. It's not a real tight schedule, I just get up 6:45 (Now pushed back to 5:30 so I have time to work out and spend a good chunk of time reading my Bible), pack Will's lunch, make the bed and get whatever cleaning/organizing I can get done before Rory wakes up. I do what I can do without neglecting my child while she's awake and hit the bigger projects when she naps. After dinner I make sure all the dishes get done, tables/prep spaces get wiped down and the kitchen floor swept (I absolutely cannot stand the feel of Cheerios getting crunched under my socks!!!). When Will is reading to Loralai before bed I tidy up the living room, which usually takes less than five minutes.
   This has changed my attitude so dramatically. While I still don't care for this apartment, I can tolerate it. I can be thankful that this is where God has us for now. My biggest goal has always been to have a house where there's "a place for everything, and everything in its place", and I am so close to that. There is only one or two boxes of random stuff in my house as compared to stacks and stacks. Meaningless junk has been tossed or donated. There is order and peace, not chaos and stress.

    The way this has effected my Sunday mornings has also been huge. I used to get up at the absolute last minute I could, rush like crazy to get Loralai and myself presentable, choke down some form of carby substance and usually be very unkind to my ever-patient husband as we ran out the door to get to church while the worship team is already halfway through the first song.
    Angry angry Andie.
    These last 2 Sundays have been a breeze. I get up before Will and Loralai so I can for sure be put together and not running through the house at the last minute, frantically searching for the mysteriously illusive creature known as my belt. I can get a good breakfast made for my family and sit down and enjoy it with them and even get the dishes washed so I don't come home to a mess.

    Discipline is something I am learning and trying to make a habit, but if my title is "Homemaker", then doggonit, I need to make my house. Will works his butt off every single day so I can stay home with our little girl, and I need to pull my own weight. He should not have to work all day just to come home and start cleaning something. That is lunacy to me. Living in squalor is stressful. Change the attitude of your home; take control of your domain; utilize your time, don't blow it on meaningless crap. Schedule some "you" time into your day so you get a break to do something you enjoy, but there needs to be conscious effort put into the maintaining of your home. Even if it's one corner, one box, one cleaning project a day until you get caught up. Don't punish tomorrow for your laziness today.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Lessons in Leaky Lids

    I was meandering around The Pioneer Woman's  website for awhile yesterday and happened upon her blog about, well, blogging. Point #2 was about writing often  #9 was about writer's block, and I found both to be incredibly helpful. I have been epically struggling in the area of blogging, as you can tell. I figured, in my great and mighty understanding of culture, that there were enough people out there posting pictures and silly little ditties about their days; I need not contribute to the fad. I'd only post when I really had something I needed to say and was semi-beneficial to mankind.

...yeeeeaaaahhh, and that's how you go 3+ months without so much as a word.
    I can't beat them, so I think I'll join them. I might even try a couple of those fancy schmancy foodie types of posts being as I love to cook so much. We'll see.

    I try to be adventurous in the kitchen nowadays. I had tried quite a bit back in Idaho as well, but having Pinterest available to me has helped dramatically.
    It was also during these exploits that I discovered something:

    I HATE pre-minced garlic.

    Yes, the oh-so-convenient little jars at the store. I came to this conclusion earlierish last year. When I was pregnant I could not handle the smell of garlic. I never had morning sickness, but just thinking about those potent little cloves (and ground beef. Ground beef was even worse) about did me in.
    So when my fridge starting emitting a certain garlickety aroma, I went on a witch hunt. I scrubbed high and lo and threw stuff out to the point it looked like we were going to starve. I just couldn't get rid of it. It was driving me mad. Why did my fridge smell like garlic!?!?!?!
    Well, in August we went on an anniversary camping trip. We came home early due to Will having  sunburn that usually comes from taking a tour through Hell and I wasn't exactly a fan of going to the bathroom in a hole outside. Not. Awesome. So we pretty much stayed long enough to pick huckleberries and then came home.
    Now, Will's Grammy had said that you really need to store huckleberries in glass containers, otherwise their flavor leaches into everything. Us being us, we just kept them in Ziplocs.
    You know what? When Grammy gives advice, ya really ought to take it. Not only did my fridge smell like I was storing a lifetime supply of vampire repellent in there, but it was now berrylicious, too. Everything tasted like huckleberry, which is definitely not as pleasant as it sounds. It ruined everything. Had we not hiked two miles up a daggum mountain to get those stupid berries, I'd have thrown 'em all away.
    I tried one more time to find my aromatic invader. And I finally found it! My cheapo bottle of minced garlic had tipped over and the nasty juice had run out onto the condiment shelf. Victory was mine.

    I vowed that day never to buy minced garlic again. Maybe it's a mental thing, but I think fresh tastes better anyway. Plus I can chop mine finer anyway and it makes me feel cool.

    Anywho. Here's to more frequent posting and lessons in leaky lids!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I've Wasted It

I’ve Wasted It

Two weeks. That’s all the time we have left in Idaho before we move back to Iowa. Yes, you read correctly, Will and I are moving to Iowa. It was definitely not my idea, being as I just assumed I’d always live really far away from my family being as, at the time, Will was interested in church planting. He broached the subject last May and felt peace about it in November, and now we are a short 14 days away from handing over the keys to the Love Shack and moving on.

I’m not sure how to describe my time here. To say Idaho has beaten the stinkin’ tar out of me would probably be accurate. I have been stretched in ways I could not imagine, worked harder than I ever have, and been hurt deeper than I felt I could handle at times. I’ve been lied to straight to my face and blamed for things I didn’t do or say and seen how truly nasty people really can be.
On the plus side, I’ve learned what it means to be a member of a church family. I’ve learned that the reason I’ve always felt I never had friends was because of my own unwillingness to suffer through potential awkwardness in the getting-to-know-someone process; the world is not actually out to exclude me. I’ve learned that I love to cook. I have had the privilege of being surrounded by older, godly women who are quick to listen and quick to encourage or correct when necessary. At the same time, I’ve been in a church where the men are MEN. I’ve discovered that if most all of the current church music we sing nowadays was to disappear off the face of the earth and we only had hymns to sing on Sunday mornings, I’d be more than happy.

I have learned a lot of life lessons in Benewah County, both pleasant and hard. Despite all that, I feel like I’ve wasted my two years here. I have spent so much energy protecting my own time, my comfort. How many close friendships could I have built if I had just been willing to endure a little discomfort ‘til we broke the ice? I regret that I didn’t take the time to take my sisters-in-law out, just to hang out with them. All the things the older ladies in church were willing to teach me if I’d just set something up…”I’ve wasted it, I’ve wasted it!” was a quote I remember reading in John Piper’s book, Don’t Waste Your Life. If I remember correctly -I never even got halfway through the book- an old man had come to Christ very late in life and was repeating that line as he was mourning at the altar.
I’ve wasted opportunity after opportunity after opportunity, relationship after relationship after relationship. I fear falling back into my idolatrous worship of comfort once we move. I have no idea what our life is going to look like. I cringe to think of what it was before; work from 6-2, get home and immediately don pajamas and stay holed up in the house ‘til I went to bed at 9 and repeat. “Nope, can’t hang out tonight, I have to work in the morning. I’m just feeling lazy.”

I guess my point is this: living for my own convenience is boring, lonely, and wasteful. I’ve spent nearly my whole life waiting for life to happen to me. Sometimes you just have to get over yourself and get uncomfortable. People are worth that.