Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Well

I've been a bit of a crank lately. It seems like I'm extremely prone to irritability and anger, two qualities that don't at all match the way I think of myself or the self that I want to be.

Here is my theory.

Actually, here is the lead-up to my theory.

I enjoy thinking of my life in seasons. My additional word to describe life lately has been "capacity."

When I see someone who is better then me - well, not better than me - but someone who seems to be able to keep more balls in the air or fit more hats on her head, I remind myself that each of us have a different capacity.

I also try and give myself grace when I can't seem to hold as many things together. I recognize that my capacity can grow and shrink depending on the amount of sleep I get, exercise, emotional factors...

I'm in a season where my capacity is very small. I don't get much sleep. I've just moved and am adjusting to an entirely new way of living. I am parenting two small children who require near-constant hands-on attention.

Today I was particularly moody.

That brings us back to my new theory.

In my pondering over why I am having such a hard time keeping an even keel, I thought of a new word picture.

A well.

I can see myself as a well. Deposits being poured in, and water being drawn out. I see all the people and projects of my life standing around the well. My sweet friends are pouring huge buckets of delicious clean water into my well. Jack walks up to the edge and gleefully dumps his little cup into the well, all the while using a giant sized bucket to draw water right back out and fling it on the ground in a colossal tantrum.

Commitments I've made pull water up and out.

Andy pours water in. I draw water from my own well to pour back to him.

In and out.

The water line moves up and down.

Sometimes I'm full to overflowing, sometimes it looks like I'm going to be completely dry.

I think my emotional struggle lies in the fact that I moved from a season where my well seemed so full to a dry spell.

My capacity is small, simply from the nature of my life stage. I am trying to conserve my water, save it for Andy and Jack and Joey, and some days it feels like water is being drawn out of me with huge buckets, against my will. I'm fighting to have enough for everyone, but there just isn't.

I get angry when I feel like my water has gone to something that is less important to me that one of my boys. It irritates me when I have to give them less so that the other realities of life (laundry, grocery lists, complicated relationships) can get a few drops.

This picture shed some light on my mood, but it also brought me to the solution.

I've been trying to keep my well full on my own. I try and conserve where I think I can. I monitor everything that goes in and comes out. I stress when I see the levels getting low and I get giddy when I've just received generous amounts of water poured back in.

But Jesus said, "Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him," and, "... if you knew the gift of God ... you would have asked him and he would have give you the living water."

I've been trying to live fully on lifeless water. The only solution for my dry well, is to fill it from a source that never runs dry.

Oh Lord, forgive me for trying to keep my well full on my own. I've been stingy with my water where I could have been generous. Please fill me with your living water and teach me to give it freely.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I think we might have a problem.

Here I am, writing happily about my issues with undies, thinking that only my gal-pals bother to read what I post, only to discover today that the trainer at the new gym-thing I'm going to reads it too!


I walked in today in my bright pink girly top and messy hair (my hair is always messy these days, but especially on work-out days because it takes SO MUCH effort to get out the door and to class on time) and he says, "Your blog is hilarious!"



That would be a double GAH!

It is hard enough to act normal when I'm doing things like dead-lifts and pull-ups (don't worry, I have to do the most baby version of pull-ups and can hardly manage that) - things that I've never done before and look really awkward doing, but now I have to try and act normal while doing those things AND running through my mind all the ridiculous things I've said here recently, thinking I was just chatting it up via blog with GIRLS.

Maybe I need to change the name to No Boys Allowed.

Despite the awkwardness I felt at having my trainer know that I own pink panties, I am really, really enjoying this new way of working out.

I like getting out of the house by myself. I like learning new things (and everything I've learned so far is new) and I really like waking up a little sore, knowing that I'm getting stronger and stronger.

So three cheers!

For CrossFit

For a brighter outlook


For the hot shower I'm about to take.

Life is looking good.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I have a lot to say about Fred Meyer

Do you ever have moments when you realize that at your core you are petty and trite and not even close to the nice, lovely person you think of yourself as?

I am that petty person these days.

I know I'm really a miser at heart because when I looked at my attitude and realized it was terrible I actually though, "I know I am seeing this ugly thing in myself now, but God can change that in me... but I don't know that I really want to ask him to. I kind of want to be a brat and feel justified in my mean ways."

I am not a nice person.

In a few more days I will come to a place where I will lay myself before the Lord, but because I'm always perfectly honest here on this ol' blog, I will tell you that I'm just stewing in my sin at this point.

But let's not talk about that too much.

Let's talk about Fred Meyer.

I have always been a Target girl. I love me some Target.

But I might have a new bff.

The Snohomish Fred Meyer.

Maybe because it is so close. But it might just be because something awesome happens each time I go.

Last week I went to FM wearing a grey cotton skirt and a pair of leggings. Under my leggings I was wearing some of the brightest pink panties you have ever encountered.

Somewhere near the organic carrots my leggings suddenly started to creep from my waist to my hips and showed no sign of stopping.

I'm not sure how it all happened, whether I was just walking with wiggly hips, or the very sheer nature of my undergarments caused some sort of legging malfunction, but as the leggings were doing the shimmy, my underwear decided they wanted in on the trek.

I was trying to find an unoccupied aisle to adjust myself, but the store was very busy. I tried a few inconspicuous hitches but all that did was pull up the leggings and miss the panties. Pretty soon the leggings were barely holding on to my rear and my pretty pinks were not anywhere near where I had put them in the morning.


By the time I left the store there was nothing between my bottom and my skirt and I was gritting my teeth against the moment when both the leggings and my underwear made the final plunge to my ankles.

That moment never came, but the first thing I did when I got to my van was to put everything in it's right place. If someone had walked by at just the right moment I very well could have been arrested for indecent exposure.


Today I took Jack and Joey with me to grab a few items and get Jack out of the house.

When I shop with both boys Jack always sits in the front seat and I put Joey's carrier in the main section of the cart. It doesn't leave any room for groceries, but I don't have to do it very often, so I can manage once in a while.

When our trip was finished, I wheeled the cart out to the van. I rested the front of the cart against the van to keep it in place and transfered Jack first (I always do him first so that he is as contained as possible). Then I grabbed our groceries and put them in.

When I turned around for the third time, to get Joey, the cart was gone.

Can you even imagine what went through my mind?

First I was totally confused, then I was a little scared, and then I was laughing hysterically as I saw the cart rolling at a leisurely pace down the parking lot with a little baby in it.

Somehow the cart got free of my positioning and was following the gentle slope of the lot.

I made some sort of exclamation and quickly chased after the cart (good thing I wasn't wearing leggings!). After I had retrieved it and returned it to the cart rack I heard someone chuckle. I looked up and a young couple had witnessed the whole thing and enjoyed the show a good deal.

I know that could have gone horribly wrong had a car been part of the equation, but as it was, I had a good laugh, which felt very nice.


Not all of my enjoyment of FM comes from my own propensity for being totally ridiculous. The employees also brighten my day.

On the same day that I almost showed the world of Fred Meyer my fancy pants

Side note:
In England,
"pants" means panties.
I didn't learn this until
after I told someone at the train stop
"I like your pants,"
and they looked at me like I
was really, really weird.

I was purchasing some pastrami at the deli.

I was going to make reuben sandwiches.

I really love reubens.

The woman behind the counter was a little older, and seemed like a totally run-of-the-mill deli lady. That is, until she handed me my pastrami.

She said, "Have you ever had our pastrami?" When I answered in the negative she began to show off the sliced meat, "you can see how beautiful it is..." and promised me that it would be the best that I had ever tasted.

I smiled, pleased by her enthusiasm, but what made her my favorite deli lady ever is that when I took my meat and offered the usual, "Thanks, have a nice day," she returned with a very sincere, "I hope you enjoy it immensely."

I love that!

When was the last time you enjoyed something immensely?

That pastrami may not have been the very best I have ever had, but I did enjoy it immensely.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Good Gifts

This season of my life has been pretty rough. Kids are hard, moves are hard, a spouse in school is hard... sometimes hard things just pile up. That isn't a bad thing all the time, it is just how life goes.

When I was pregnant with Joey, I felt so lame and I truly worried that I wouldn't have any friends when it was over.

Boy have I been proved wrong!

Not a week has gone by without someone calling me or texting me to see how they can help.

Last week I was almost delirious with fatigue. I started composing a snarky blog post in my head (please tell me you do that too) about all the things that people CAN'T help with... it was going something like this:

"How's it going? Is there anything I can do to help?'

"Well, no, actually, there is NOTHING you can do to help. Because I'm pretty sure you don't want to take my baby who wakes up every two hours or less in the night, and let me get some sleep, and I'm pretty sure you don't want to give us a free car so that I'm not stranded in the country and I'm.... "

Blah blah blah, I'm a whiner.

But then, I started thinking. Sometimes I let things stay awful for a little while and then one day, *snap!* I start problem solving.

So I started thinking through what people COULD help me with. I realized that a large part of what is making life hard right now is that I am so, so, so lacking in sleep.

I originally assumed that there would be no way to get a full night sleep, because who in their right mind would bring home someone else's baby and subject themselves to that if they didn't have to.

And then I thought of who.

Sweet, sweet Rosemary and Josh. Here's why I thought they would be up for it: 1) they are awesome 2) they don't have kids yet (one on the way) so they will be able to catch up on the sleep they miss 3) they love kids... A LOT 4) they think that anything that is a new experience is fun and worth a try.

A night with a newborn is definitely an experience.

So, I called Rosemary and she without hesitation said she would have my baby overnight!

Do you hear the angels singing?

What a gift. If you ever encounter a mom to a new baby who is not getting enough sleep, offer to have her baby overnight. You will bless her socks off!

Or, I might be the only woman on the face of the earth willing to part with my baby for a whole 14 hours just 2 months into his life. If I am, I'm okay with it.

The day following Joey's big sleepover, another of my friends, Ashley, who happened to be the recipient of The Meltdown, came and picked Jack up. Even though he had a snotty nose she took him out ALL DAY with her two kids and left me with hours and hours to take another nap, organize my room from the move, and just enjoy Joey.

Jack is a handful.

You can tell because the first thing my mom friends tell me when they bring him back is, "Jack did so good! He only hit one kid!"

I'm hoping he'll grow out of that.

So for Ashley to take Jack with her own 2 year old and infant was a major commitment. And one that I so appreciate.

But she wasn't the only one! Allison, another dear friend, has taken Jack on several occasions. And this weekend, she took BOTH of my babies with her one toddler. She asked me in the morning if she could do that for me and before I could say anything she said, "Don't worry. I know what I'm getting myself into."

Oh the bliss of a few hours all to myself!

I caught up on some emails, unloaded the dishwasher and, you guessed it, took a nap.

I love my friends!

And now, not wanting to be left out of the gift-giving extravaganza, my very own Andy has lined up childcare for me for Monday, Wednesday AND Friday nights for the WHOLE MONTH of May so that I can go workout.

It is weeks like these that make me wonder, how did I get so lucky?

I may stop thinking that when I go to my first workout.

Because remember how I told you that Andy now looks like Hugh Jackman?

Side note:
Why didn't anyone tell me that
in the original post
I wrote "Huge" Jackman
instead of Hugh?
I wonder what other horrible
mistakes I will find when I go
back to the posts from my pregnancy and
these first few months.
I shudder at the thought!

It is all thanks to a workout theory... system... I don't even know what to call it. But it's name is CrossFit.

So when he arranged for childcare, he also signed me up for an introductory CrossFit class.

I will be doing this.
Be careful on YouTube.
I just got sucked into
like 40 minutes of looking at
people doing CrossFit.

Am I insane?


Do I really wish I could look like one of those girls?


Enough to workout like I live on the Biggest Loser Ranch?


We shall see.

I hope I don't puke the first class.