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I have a sourdough starter in my refrigerator. It’s been there for months. When I first made the starter, I had grand visions of delicious sourdough bread. However, life happens and before too long it was placed into the back of the fridge on the shelf of forgottenness. Back when I started the starter (heh!) I named it Goob, after the adorable character from Disney‘s “Meet the Robinson’s.” If you’ve seen the movie, the rest of this post will make sense to you. If you (by random chance) haven’t seen it, drop everything and go watch it. Seriously. It’s amazing.
So at any rate: Goob was good to me, and then I abandoned him, and now he stinks.
I opened the fridge today to put away some pizza, and there sat Goob. My failure out front, in the open, for all to see. I turned to my husband and sighed.
“I’ve got to take care of poor Goob. I’ll try to look it up tomorrow and see if there’s anything I can do to save him.”
My husband immediately pops up with: “Go back in time, don’t neglect him so much.”
I love my husband.
Last week you turned the big TWO!! I was reading the letter I wrote you at 21 months and it’s amazing how much you have changed. Even over just a few months you change and grow.
You still talk and talk and talk. You love to run through the house, play with swords, and tickle Mommy and Daddy. The dogs drive you crazy (especially Frankie), and when you and Frankie are energetic and chasing each other you both drive US crazy. We’ve been swimming half a dozen times this summer and if I put you in your swim donut you can swim around the pool yelling “Kick! Kick! Kick!” as your legs frantically propel you forward. It’s a joy to watch.
We had your birthday party the day after your actual birthday. Lots of friends and family came over. I made you chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with chocolate and vanilla ice cream. You started crying when I lit the candle on your cupcake and everyone started singing. I’m not sure why – maybe the attention? Maybe the singing? However, as soon as we were done and you got to eat the cupcake, you were much better!
You got some neat toys for your birthday and love to play with them. Lots of animals and blocks and cars and trucks. Puzzles and dinosaurs and oh, my, the vehicles. Our house has become a speedway and you are the driver of racing machines darting in, out, and over the couch.
We took a trip to California almost two months ago. We were worried about how you would do in the plane, but we shouldn’t have worried. You love any kind of vehicle, planes included. Daddy sat next to you on the plane and talked about how you were going to go really, really fast, and go up, up, up! You loved it. We rode in the car for ages and ages, and you rarely fussed about it. We drove through random subdivisions in Elk Grove, and you asked if we were going to Mae Mae’s house! It was the cutest thing, and you made Mae Mae’s mom giggle about it when I told her. We went to a wedding for my best friend Amy. You love Amy, and you loved dancing at Amy and Keith’s wedding. We went to Monterey Bay Aquarium, and you had such a blast hanging out with your 3 cousins. We went camping (which you LOVED) at my old camping site in California. It was heart-wrenchingly beautiful to see you scale the same rocks I had scaled as a child. To see you in the “rock club” and down at the water’s edge was an incredible experience for me. Even though the water was freezing cold you stood in it until your feet turned to chubby little icicles, and you loved it. Watching you eat s’mores with your cousins is a memory I will treasure forever.
A few weeks ago we travelled to Senatobia, Mississippi to visit Papa’s parents. Mimi and PaPaw loved you, and we loved visiting them, and you had a good time running around their house and showing off. A mere week after that we went down to Houston for your cousin Austin’s graduation. Each road trip you demonstrated your willingness to sit still when needed, your love of movement, and your love of music. I love how you love music.
Son, I’ll be honest, because it’s my letter and I’m allowed to be: I don’t know what the future holds for you. What I do know is that you capture the attention of people – your joy, your mannerisms, and your movement. Watching you is like watching life take place – it’s like observing the best the world has to offer. Maybe you’re just like every other two-year old on the planet, I’m not sure. I hope that I can teach you to harness that attention-grabbing skill and use it to better the world around you. I know that living with you teaches me every day the meaning of slow down. Observe. Breathe. Love. Be patient.
Your Daddy and I talk about you, often, after you’ve finally given up and gone to sleep. We lay in bed, snuggled, and talk about whether or not we’re doing a good job (most days we think we’re doing OK). Recently we were talking about your exposure to television and video games. We don’t want to shelter you from the world and its issues, but we don’t want to desensitize you either. It’s tough to say “No, we won’t play this video game while Benjamin is awake, because it depicts violence too accurately,” but that’s exactly where we are at.
This world is dangerous and violent and broken, son, and you’ll have your whole life to learn that. I hope that we can teach you about the beauty of the world first, and it’s dark side later.
Eventually, Lucky will die, and you will learn grief. Eventually, you will ask where Mommy’s parents are, and you will see me cry. Eventually, you will ask why Jesus hangs on the cross, broken and beaten, and you will learn about sacrifice.
Our hope, though all of that, is to teach you about love. Love that shines through grief and brokenness, love that taught Mommy how to heal, love that makes Daddy get up even on the days when his depression beats his heart and soul, love that put Christ on the cross and love that triumphs all of the dark things in this world.
However, before you have to learn all of those things, I want you to know joy. I want to continue to see my baby boy, beautiful and full of grace and energy, running around squealing with laughter. I want to continue to love you so much it hurts. I want to see animals for the first time all over again, though your eyes. I want to continue to chase the dogs in the backyard until we collapse into fits of giggles. I want to dance with you in the living room until I’m sweaty and exhausted. I want these good and wonderful things for you so that when darkness seems to sneak in, you can remember the things from the light.
I hope you understand, one day, how hard it is trying to figure all this stuff out. I hope you have enough grace to forgive us when we mess up. I hope I have enough grace to forgive myself! But either way, we’ll muddle through this crazy adventure together. Being a Mommy is quite an amazing experience in general, but being Mommy to you – well – I think that’s my favorite job yet.
I love you son, happy 2nd birthday.
In honor of Valentine’s Day (which I actually thing is a lame holiday) I saw a few bloggers I read doing this and I thought I’d join them and tell you guys a bit about my hubby and I!
Last week was not a good week for working on my balance. However, it was an amazing week for working on my work-related development! I was able to take an instructor course that helped me learn how to create lesson plans, match a power point to said lesson plan (which I pretty much knew, but the review was beneficial) and teach within a certain amount of time.
Those of you who know me will not be surprised to hear the hardest part for me was keeping it within a certain amount of time
Usually training is not very energy-consuming, but this class took up all of my time/energy/brain power to pass. It was very informative and definitely worth the effort, but I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with the family. I’m really looking forward to next week, which will be much less stressful and unbalanced.
It’s interesting how much more mindful I am of the “balance” of my life now that I’ve listed that as my word to focus on this year. I always had issues with resolutions, and this is much less of a resolution and much more of a constant reminder – it seems to be working so much better.
I have grown to love bath time with Benjamin when he’s not being a complete and utter pain. He eagerly wants to help us wash him, as long as it’s not behind his ears. And I know I posted this on facebook, but it bears repeating:
Justin and I tend to give Benjamin baths together. It is one of the few, precious moments where we can be together and enjoy each other’s company without someone running away (ahemBenjamincough). One of our favorite things to do with Benjamin is teach him words. Words, my friend, are power. Words help people communicate and ask for their way!
So we teach him words, especially animals because that is the age he’s at right now. And he loves it. He loves horses, dogs, frogs, fish, turtles, sheep, pigs, cows, bunnies, dogs, bears, monsters, and did I mention dogs? So we’re in bath, and Benjamin has this mat from Target (which I love because of the Octopus, which is sadly not pictured). We ask him, where’s the shark? He points to the shark. Good job, Benjamin! Where’s the fish? He points to the fish. He also identified the octopus and the yellow fish (hey, it’s never too early for colors!)…the yellow fish thing might have just been a good guess, though, because he couldn’t find the green fish (or red fish, blue fish, haha, just kidding Dr. Seuss).
Then Justin asks him to find the frog. He starts looking. I get a bit confused - I’m looking at this very clear underwater sea diagram and thinking “oh no, am I losing it? I don’t know where the frog is!”
But then I spot a frog, beautiful and tiny and green, on the washrag floating in the water by Benjamin’s left foot. I look at Justin. He grins. “Snnneeeaaakky!” I tell him with a smile. He shrugs, “I know. I want to see if he’ll find it.”
Benjamin, meanwhile, is staring furiously at the bath mat looking for the frog. He finally expands his search, his eyes travelling around the length and width of the bathtub. His eyes dart back and forth, his tiny perfect hands still with dirt under their nails searching the air and water for the frog. He is still at this age where he searches with all of his being.
Finally… he finds it! He points to it triumphantly and says “FROG!”
My heart swells. Such joy from such a tiny creature, such love in these tiny moments. When this stuff happens, when my heart grows to bursting and my tears want to fall at the beauty of everything… it is in these brief moments that I feel the most balanced.
p.s. If you have a child (particularly a son) I highly recommend reading this.
Yesterday we really wanted to go eat out with a friend (who we randomly ran into) for dinner but we couldn’t because we hadn’t budgeted for it. I’m not going to lie, it sucked. If not for the strength of my husband, I would have caved and put it on a credit card.
So we didn’t eat out and the credit card was saved that expense. We went home and ate hamburger helper. And today, when we got paid, I sat down to pay bills saw how much money I had for groceries the next two weeks… and I was thankful my husband talked me out of eating out yesterday.
See, we are really trying to get our finances under control after all the health issues we had last year. Rebuild our savings, pay off the credit card (whoops), etc. It would be much easier if we didn’t have three weddings – two of which I’m an integral part of – and a new dog. Trust me, I am not complaining, I’m blessed to be a part of this important day for two people I care deeply for. And the new dog is adorable to watch. I’m just saying, it’s hard to save money when you want to spend extra money on fun stuff. Saving money is not fun. But sparkly things (and things that go ruff! ruff!) are definitely fun.
Luckily, my husband is a strong man who stands by me as I pout about not eating out. And pout about not buying cute shoes. And pout about not eating steak anymore. In the long run, he makes my life much, much more rich!
Tomorrow is my final follow up with my surgeon that charged me 5k to do nothing to fix my nose.
Well, no, it is more like she charged me thousands of dollars for a surgery that was supposed to stop my recurring sinus infections that only repaired my deviated septum.
I’m not really sure what I want to tell her tomorrow. I feel like I was promised one thing, given another, and am powerless to do anything about it. Justin is coming with me and hopefully he will help me tell her how horrible the last few months have been health-wise. A sinus infection that lasts years is terrible. I’m tired of tossing and turning so I can breathe, I’m tired of blowing my nose, I’m tired of taking pain killers every day. I’m just tired of it.
So I will go tomorrow and paint her a picture. We shall see how it goes.
I’m having a hard time relaxing at my new house these days because there is still a lot of stuff that needs to be done. Boxes of junk to go through and I just honestly want to throw it all away. But I have to sort it – junk, to be filed, to be donated… and honestly I just want to take the box, dump it in my trash can, and be done with it. I realize people could use it, that I can donate it to a better cause, but honestly I don’t know that it’s worth my sanity at this point to do a good thing. But at any rate, I can’t just throw it all away – nevermind all that, there’s so many random boxes of junk that there’s no way to tell where all the really important stuff is! So I have to find it all by sorting through every single box. And it’s driving me crazy!
It’s driving Justin crazy that it’s driving me crazy, because I am (unintentionally, of course) resenting the fact that he can relax while I’m constantly feeling like I need to be cleaning or organizing or decorating or…something. This is much worse than at my prior house, but at my prior house I had everything unpacked and organized within 3 days. This has only been a little over 2 weeks, but with a kid and a family and a full time job it’s been a bit harder to organize. My OCD is going CRAZY. I only have a tiny bit of OCD, just a bit, but the little bit I have right now is making me anxious and irritable and making Justin miserable. Which, in turn, makes me miserable. Because no one wants to be the source of their spouses misery.
I am eternally grateful that Justin and I can handle our fights like two people who love each other and patiently explain back and forth what’s going on. But honestly, I just need to chill the heck out.
I find myself at an impasse, of sorts. So much has changed in my life in the last two years (losing my parents, having a child, getting out of debt, buying a house, living with so many relatives, etc) that I find myself in desperate need of some time to re-evaluate myself. I need some time to meditate on who I am, who I want to be, why I act the way I do and ways I can better myself. These things will make me a better Christian, spouse, parent, friend and worker. But I can’t adequately do that until I get everything finished at my house. And I can’t do that with so many interruptions.
I’m trying to relax. And I’m taking breaks here and there, just not like I need to be. I’m going to try to limit myself to 1 hour of cleaning after I put Benjamin to bed tonight – we’ll see how that goes. I honestly don’t think I realized how bad it was until yesterday. So I’m trying to fix it. Wish me luck.
This weekend was a constant stream of boxes back and forth, furniture turned upside down, heart-bursting help from my church and a 103.3 fever that had me scared. In other words, it was a busy weekend and I’m actually VERY glad to be back at work.
We moved this weekend, and at 10am Saturday morning, with the truck backed up on our lawn, we started seeing church members trickle into my house asking how they could help. I am not kidding, we probably had almost 20 people there to help. Pastor Tony brought some kolaches (we had actually bought some too, we wanted to keep everyone fed!) and in ONE HOUR we had all our boxes and furniture (with the exception of the pool table and our bed, which were moved the day before) in the moving truck. Amazing! We drove it over to the new house… everyone came back….and 40 minutes later everything was unloaded and in the correct room. After we were done Tony called Justin and I over into the garage and everyone prayed for us and our new home. I teared up. Every time I doubt I’m where I’m supposed to be God gently kicks me in the face and tells me I just need to realize I’m exactly where I need to be, of course.
Benjamin ran a fever most of the weekend. It started Thursday and went until Sunday morning off and on. It got so bad that we had to give him a cool bath. It was scary. We think it may have been some sort of virus, as he had 0 other symptoms. No noticeable ear problems or anything. And even though he was burning up, he stayed in pretty good spirits. That made me happy, that my son is happy even when he doesn’t feel good. It was a little tiresome to hold him all night each of those nights… but I just remind myself that he is a tiny scared baby who can’t tell me that he needs me close, and he won’t be this way forever. So I enjoyed the snuggle time and made the best of it.
Right now my house is in sad disarray, but I’m so excited about the house that I don’t mind. There are boxes everywhere and lots of little things to do, but I’m already enjoying being in “my” home. Most of the kitchen is unpacked, but the pantry still needs work. My room is a mess of boxes and bags of clothing and Benjamin’s room (which is kind of the most unpacked room of the house right now) still needs rearranging. I’m hoping to get my room unpacked this week.
I’m about to go back to dayshift, which is awesome and happy and exciting for me. We worked out an arrangement with my mother-in-law to watch Benjamin on the days Justin and I both work. We have yet to decide if we are going to stay on the same weekends off, but I’m leaning towards us having different weekends off to limit the babysitting she needs to do and also give us each time on the weekend with just Benjamin and either Mommy or Daddy. I think that time will be more important later on, and any weekends we want to do things together I can usually request off from work with a little bit of notice. But we shall see. It’s also nice of us to have weekends off together to go do things. There are a lot of pros/cons we have to figure out, but thankfully we can decide that stuff later on. After we unpack!
One of the most important things for us to do right now is organize and purge. We very desperately need organization in the house to ensure sanity in the coming years. Purging will help with that. So we’re on a mission to simplify our lives and I’m excited about the prospects.
If I can manage, sometime in the next week or two I’ll try to get some before/after pics of the house. It’s AWESOME, you guys. Seriously.