Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Can't Get Enough

We're starting him on solids.  What do you think?  Is the entire apple too much?

I just can't seem to get enough of this little guy.  I told myself that I would take pictures of things other than my child.  I told myself that there is more to life.  I told myself that I would document all of life, not just the child.  I've been trapped in the room before with the proud parent and 4,000 pictures of the first three weeks of life.  I've given them the "ooohs" and "ahhhs" that were expected even though to my untrained eye I could NOT tell the difference in facial expressions compared to the first 100 that were shown to me.


It seems I have a problem.  I am completely taken with this little guy!  He makes me laugh.  He can always bring a smile to my face and a lift to my spirits.  He has stolen my heart.

So forgive me my indulgence.  I do have many many blog post topics running around in my brain, and perhaps if you are lucky, and I remove the camera from my immediate reach... you'll get to read something more.  Then again, maybe not.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Risk

I am taking a risk. 
I have really enjoyed this time of my life.  This time with Ben.  This time of cuddling and cooing and being a mommy.  The mom that I didn't really think I would get the opportunity to be.  But here I am.  Enjoying.  Capturing.  Loving.

and then...

Will he be an only?  Is there more?  Will my little Benjamin have a little someone to play with and laugh with and fight with and be best friends with?

Do we start trying?  Again.
Will it take us back to the doctor?  Will it cost us money that we don't have?  Will it matter?

Since nothing was explained about our infertility situation, I still feel lost in the unknown.  I wanted an answer.  I wanted to know why things didn't work on their own.  On our own. 

Now.  Do we try again and see if we just needed this jump start?
Do we try again and have it take right off?
Do we try again and have the same heartbreaking situation as last time?
Can I really handle that now?

I want my son to have a playmate.  Someone to hide under the covers with and tell stories with and go on adventures with.  I want to hear dual laughter coming from the bedroom late at night.  I want him to be the one that can make his little brother or sister laugh the most.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Welcome to my life, Chaos

I used to be one of those people who "had it together".  I had routine.  I had order.  I had goals that I could actually achieve on any given day.

I would wake up 5 minutes before the alarm.  Exercise, shower, get ready for the day.  My laundry was done on Mondays.  My dishes were kept washed, my counters wiped down, and my rooms were decluttered on a regular basis.

I used to plan menus and execute them with style.  The table actually got set.  Forks, knives, napkins.  I could write regularly.  I could read regularly.  I could breathe regularly.

And then Chaos was introduced into my life.

Chaos has many forms and it has been introduced into my life in several of those.  Jobless, scheduleless, sleepless, energyless.  I have to remind myself of the basics, like "be sure to brush your teeth this morning... you know, before noon."  And "exercise is good for you! Remember when it was the only thing that kept you sane?"

My dishes are lucky to make it to the sink on a daily basis.  Lunch is almost a chore to put together.  A decluttered room? I laugh in your general direction! Ha!... ha ha ha haaa!

It seems like life could not be more different than it used to be... back then.  Back then when I didn't have the challenges that I face now.  Back then when I wasn't greeted every morning by the most adorable smiling face in the entire world.  Back when my day was scheduled and predictable and rarely had me bursting out in laughter at odd times.  Like when he catches himself in the mirror and his smile lights up both of our faces.  Or when I pick him up and dance around the room to quality music like "Pressure" and he giggles with delight.

Now I get my reading time in with my little boy snuggled in my arms.  I read my stories to him and he drifts off to sleep to the sounds of my fake English accent and all the proper voices that the book requires.  That's when I look around the room and see little toys, little chairs, little things and a part of me thinks that perhaps I should put him down and clean things up.  Regain some order in my life.

It's a fleeting thought though.  If I've learned anything in my 36 years of life, it is that it goes fast.  This growing up thing.  Nieces and nephews change overnight.  A few weeks or months pass and they are different children.  More grown up, less baby-faced.  There may not be time to snuggle tomorrow.  He might not look the same.  He might not want to snuggle in my arms much longer.  So I try to embrace the Chaos and enjoy the moments.  They might not last much longer. 

I never thought Chaos would bring so much joy.


Pathtime... oh snap. That should be pastime.

Is it just me, or do I sound like I have a lisp?

It's Words With Friends time.

I recently started playing via facebook and now I can't spell anything.  I can't pronounce anything properly, and I submit some words that are surely not words and it turns out they are.  I have absolutely no idea what they mean.  None.

I have found that my husband is a genius at it.  Despicably so.  Almost to where I might never play with him again.  Interestingly enough, when we play Scrabble I can kick his trash... well most of the time.  He kills me in Words With Friends.

What have we learned?  If David doesn't have an eternity to think about it, I'll win every time.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Why does "Great Expectations" always pop into my mind when I think of expectations?

I expect a lot from life.  Mostly from myself.  And quite a bit from David.  We've talked about my expectations before.  Whether they are too much to handle or just enough to push one to grow.  To move forward.  To better oneself.

We didn't come up with an answer.  Or rather I didn't.  David is from a kinder bolt of cloth than I am.

I sometimes find that I push my expectations on others.  Well, maybe not push them, but judge them through my set of standards; through what I expect from myself.  Too often I forget that I don't usually meet my own expectations.  Too often I forget that everybody's life is different.  Every set of trials, blessings, life lessons... are different. 

When I remember, then I can let go of certain expectations.  Mostly.  Sometimes it doesn't work so well.  I do try though.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A few photos

For those of you not in facebook land... I give you Ben.
You're welcome.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Value Yourself, Part the Second

Joe Black: You love Allison, don't you.

Quince: Yes, I do.

J: How did you meet?

Q: Well, um, I was this world-class loser, and she was this happy little rich girl, and for some reason she took me in.

J: But Allison loves you.  How do you know?

Q: Because she knows the worst thing about me, and it's okay..... It's like you know each other's secrets, your deepest, darkest secrets.

J: Deepest, darkest secrets?

Q: Yeah, and then you... you're free. 

J: Free?

Q: You're free!  You're free to love each other completely, totally.  Just no fear.  So there's nothing you don't know about each other and it's okay.

Did you think I had disappeared?  Well I did.  Just for a little while.  After asking for your comments I ended up spending a week at my mom's house.  It was longer than I had planned but oh so worth it!  For some reason I have to go home sometimes to remember how to relax.  Of course it helps that I didn't have to plan the meals and my contribution was always dessert.  I really like dessert.  It kind of makes me happy.

Moving on though.  The above quote is from Meet Joe Black.  Love or hate the the movie, doesn't matter.  This is one of my favorite all time quotes and it lends itself so well in talking about self worth.  I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments.  I love the honesty in them.  I love that lurkers have made themselves known!  Welcome! I love that they helped give direction to my thoughts.

Pep-talks.  Practice.  Ownership.  Action.  God.

How many of you know the deepest darkest secrets about someone and love them anyway? 

How many of you are strong enough to face your own deepest darkest secrets and love yourself anyway? 

How many of you are strong enough to embrace your own flaws?

How many of you can, as Julie put so well, "Open yourself and let the love in when others beam it in your direction"?

Value Yourself.  Not to be confused with pride.  There's a difference.  Self value builds you up while pride tears others down.

Do you ever feel like only a part of you is valuable and that there is this "other" part that you keep on trying to throw out with the trash and it keeps finding its way back?  You sweep it under the rug when company comes over.  You throw it in the "junk" drawer where all the other things go that don't have a real home.  Does that other part of you make you feel inferior?  Does it embarrass you?  Do you find that it often trumps the "valuable" part of yourself?  Do you ever let it turn down the light on the good things you've done.  Do you let it invalidate you and your right to be happy?

Do you let it turn off your emotions, shutting down your ability, and even your desire, to be loved by others?

Once upon a time in a land far far away known as St. Louis, Missouri, I lived.  I was serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (yes, I'm a Mormon!) and I was miserable.  I was not having a good time.  At all.  I had been there for about 6 months and was struggling.  I was working hard but I wasn't really enjoying life.  I had absolutely no self worth.  So much so that I didn't do anything, say anything, even wear anything if I thought someone might not like it.  If my companion didn't like purple, I wouldn't wear it.  When asked questions, rather than give my honest opinion I would say what I thought they wanted to hear.  At that point I wouldn't have known an honest opinion if it had bitten me in the butt!

I was a mess.  I was homesick.  I was depressed.  I thought if people knew the real me then they wouldn't like me.  At all.  I had no idea how unhappy I had been until something changed.

I was jogging one morning alone in the parking garage of our building.  Shock! Gasp! What! I thought missionaries weren't supposed to be alone!  I know, what can I say, I'm a rule breaker.  Besides, it was an enclosed structure so technically, we were in the same building.  Moving on. I had flash cards and was memorizing scriptures as I made laps through the garage.  I'm not quite sure what spurred everything, but a thought struck me.  Almost literally.  I stopped in my tracks as this thought popped into my head.  It was something like "Do you know what your problem is? You're afraid of rejection! You're so scared that if the real you shows through that people will hate you." 

The thought was right.  I hadn't known it before that point but it was dead on.  I didn't exactly like myself so why would anyone else?  Wouldn't they run screaming or at the very least get these strange looks on their faces and wonder where I came from.  Then I would be out.  Gone.  Lost.  Ostracized from society by people who were okay, not odd/weird/different like me.

Fortunately, the thought did not stop there.  It went on.  "I know who you are.  I know your problems and I love you all the same."  There it was.  I love those bits of personal revelation from God that give you permission to be free.  If anyone knew my deepest darkest secrets it was him.  I was overcome by this wonderful feeling of love.  I knew from then on out that as long as I was square (honest) with the Lord, then nothing else mattered.  He loved me as I was, flaws and all.  He would help me overcome things little by little, but he certainly would not withhold his love.

It was one of the scariest things that I had ventured on thus far in my life.  The commitment to stop saying/doing/acting how I thought others would want me to say/do/act and to say/do/act exactly how I wanted to.  I remember well the first time I was asked for my opinion about something and instead of searching for the "acceptable" answer, I got brave and said what I thought.  In my mind I closed my eyes and waited for the nuclear fallout that was certain.  The laughter, the mocking, the look of incredulity that was sure to come.  Guess what.  It didn't.  Not at all.  In fact, my opinion was respected and valued.  I survived.  I kept going.  The more honest I became, the more liked I was.  The people that I thought were my friends suddenly really were my friends.  They got to know me and they liked me.  Me.  Not pretend me.

Life got happier from then on out.  I was free from all that worry and stress and anxiety.  Free to love and be loved.  I wish I could say that I never faltered again.  But I did.  The lesson of self value, like many other lessons, has to be learned again and again.  Practice practice practice... and remember.  Remember who you are.

Now, lest you think I was a miserable person to be around before this point in time, not so my friends.  I was pretty fun, but I wasn't truly happy.  My value was based on whether a guy liked me or not, whether I had a good job, a talent, a winning batch of brownies.  Everything temporary.  Jobs would change and guys would leave and there went my self worth.  I was more of a roller coaster ride.  My value and therefore the ability to value myself, had to come from something and someone who did not change.

I absolutely love my mother in law's response.   "I want to feel valued without having to loose weight, without worrying about my hair, worrying about clothes, without proving that I'm competent, being accepted if I say no...."

Value Yourself.  Do it.  Now.

You matter.  Your opinions, your desires, your need to be heard, your need to be loved.  You bring something to this life, to your family, your circle of friends, that no one else can.  You are not replaceable.  You matter. 

Are you perfect?  No.  Does imperfection make you less than anyone else? NO! Absolutely not. Never.

There.  I said it.  I think I got it all out.  I hope it makes sense.  Thank you all for your contributions.  Pat yourself on the back and have yourself a bowl of value yourself ice cream!  Oh, and don't forget you're awesome.  Really and truly.