Thursday, March 31, 2011

{30-DC} Day 18: Plans/dreams/goals you have a dreamer, I like this one! I am often making lists of things I'd like to do or be, and then making sub-lists of how to become those things. And before I go to sleep each night, I'm usually daydreaming. Lately, I've been working really hard on making those dreams become reality--rather than just written lists or sleepy daydreams. I have many, many dreams. I've shared lots of them here. I think my heart is pretty plainly displayed on my sleeve. So if these things are a bit redundant, well, feel free to skip this post. ;)

I think that when you begin to put into action the steps necessary to accomplish your dreams or goals, it all becomes one thing. Plans, dreams, goals--they all mesh. They become one thing. So here's my (rather abbreviated) list:

-Attend a Natalie Norton workshop

-Attend a Blue Lily workshop

-Live in a house with a big backyard and lots of natural light, enough to make me light-drunk, and a space for me to hang tons of photos

-Make enough of a living from photography or writing that Phill could quit or retire and do whatever he wants to do, and so that we could dictate our own schedules....well, HIS. Because I pretty much dictate mine. But I think it would be so incredible if Phill could be home whenever he'd like to be.

-Write a book that makes (good & powerful) waves where it matters most

And these last two, well, these Kind of tentative. Meaning, they're things that have come to mind many times, and I'm not sure whether they'll be a part of my life, or if they will, when...just...things on my radar.

-Being a doula


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

{30-DC} Day 17: Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why.

I think I really take the fun out of these challenges with some of my answers. I'm not trying to be difficult, but questions like this one, I just don't know how to answer! Because really--no matter how complicated life gets, I wouldn't trade Phill for all the world, and I wouldn't trade my children for all the world. Really. Ever. So--in keeping with my sort of roundabout way of following the unspoken rules of this challenge, I'm going to say that if I could trade places with myself a few years down the road, I guess that's who I'd pick...because I'm working hard to progress and grow, and because I'm giving it my all, I can only assume (with lots of hope and prayer) that the Me a few years down the road would have some valuable personal growth that I am presently wanting.

Now....if I HAVE to pick someone, and since it would really only be for a day...because I love them and sometimes I feel my empathy isn't enough, I would pick any one of my sisters, or my mom. I'd love to know what it's like to be in their shoes.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

{30-DC} Day 16: Something you could live without.

I'm not sure if this means something that annoys me, or if it's actually asking me to list the (many) things I could live without. Hm. We'll go with something that annoys me.

I could live without Clearance Sales that aren't really clearance. What I mean is:

When you are putting an item on clearance, your purpose is--at least as I understand it--to clear that item from your inventory. So to mark an item down like this--"CLEARANCE! 30% OFF!"--just annoys me! That's not clearance! To me, anything up to 40% is a sale, but anything 50% off or more is clearance.

So there. :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

{30-DC} Day 15: Put your iPod on shuffle & share the first 10 songs that play.

{Sorry--obviously I'm trying to play catch-up with the challenges}

The general purpose of my shuffle is for working out, so most of the songs on it are intended to motivate me to MOVE, with a few calmer exceptions.

1. 4 Minutes (the Glee version of the song by Justin Timberlake/Madonna)

2. Barbie Girl (HAHHAHAH...circa Heidelberg 1998. Sweet.)

3. No More Drama (Mary J. Blige)

4. Seven Nation Army (White Stripes)

5. When I Come Around (can't remember who sings this; too lazy to look it up....and, sidenote, instead of him saying, "When I come around", I used to think--at the age of 12--that he was saying, "Land of Colorado"....)

6. Hello (Glee version of the song...I know. Weird.)

7. PMS (Mary J. Blige...again...I know, totally random)

8. Dancing With Myself (the Glee version--see a pattern here--by....who?)

9. Starlight (Muse--this and Sing for Absolution and Time is Running Out all make me run so much better)

10. Beautiful (Smashing Pumpkins)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

{30-DC} Day 14: A picture of something you ate and 10 confessions.

I actually showed a great deal of restraint and only had 3 of these babies today. I made PW's Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich for dinner, know...I had to show some reserve in the dessert area to make up for all the butter. ;)

10 Confessions:

1-I watch too much TV. But I'm actually actively working on it, and my plan is working.

2-I haven't exercised regularly for a couple of months.

3-I like how long my hair is and would cry, feeling a loss of Hair Mojo, if I cut it.

4-I sometimes wonder if I've reached some unsuitable age for having really long hair. (Then I quickly decide there IS no such thing. Poo-poo to that.)

5-I let the kids stay up until 9:30 tonight, two hours past bedtime, because 1: I was feeling lazy, 2: It's Friday and 3: All three of them were playing blissfully together...and I like to encourage that whenever it happens.

6-Sometimes I'd like to re-create a scene from my 12-year-old days in Colorado, when my little sisters and I used to go out in the backyard at night, in our thin nightgowns in the summer, and sing My Fair Lady songs while dancing on the patio.

7-I read a lot of Young Adult books. Right now, The Mysterious Benedict Society. Just finished the 2nd.

8-I pick my nose.
Addendum: I worry about over-sharing, but obviously not enough.

9-This commercial makes me cry every time. Without fail. No matter how stone-cold I try to be whenever it comes on, I'm at the very least welling up with a lump in my throat by the end, or just full-on weeping while the kids stare at me in confusion.

10-I tend to forget to check the mail for days at a time.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

{30-DC} Day 13: Write a letter telling someone something you could never tell them.

Key words: "something you could never tell them"....

I can't think of anything, and if I could, I could never tell...obviously.

Zero points for dumbness, 30-Day Challenge....

Friday, March 25, 2011

{30-DC} Day 12: A picture of your room & don’t cheat by cleaning it. Share a secret.

Alright, listen.

I know you don't really want to see the dirty clothes that are usually all over the floor, or the random toys here and there, or Phill's makeshift "office" or "kitchen" that is usually on his nightstand....(mail...bowls...wrappers...pens...). You already know I'm very much human, very imperfect, and very much prone to normal (and also really gross) household messes. You don't need to see them to know they happen.

I mean, I don't even want to see that mess. Which is why I TOTALLY CHEATED and CLEANED IT thoroughly before I took these pictures. I don't feel even a smidgen of guilt. Plus I'm excited about our new bedding (Ikea) and our new bed (King), and I didn't want the usual mess to take over center stage. So.
I know this is just a silly detail, but I love this pillow. Love it. Eventually I'd like this (and the gray bedspread) to be the inspiration for the whole room. Someday. I know they're kind of two different styles, but...I like them both. A lot.

Also, what is that little appendix in the title? Share a secret? About what, specifically? My room? Um....about my life? About what, exactly?

I'll go with random.

Sometimes, when I don't want to share a treat/food I'm craving with the kids, I hide in the pantry. Abby has gotten texts to the tune of, "How's your day going? I'm in the pantry. Orange creamsicle. My day is going awesome."

Cutest detail in the room, and frequent night visitor. She had to be in at least one picture. :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

{30-DC} Day 11: A picture of something you dislike.


Now, I've never tried it fried, and I have faith that it could taste good many things do when covered in greasy yummy fat. But the one time I tried it I almost threw up, and I will not share the comparison I made--because you'd probably throw up, too.

I tried to find a picture of two other things I dislike--darkness and apathy--but it turns out, those are difficult things to photograph. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

{30-DC} Day 10 - A story about a past relationship.

Here's an (unfortunately true) story for you.

Once upon a time a boy I was kissing burped in my mouth.

And I'm stopping there.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

{30-DC} Day 9: Something/someone you’re proud of.

Aside from the "normal" things I'm proud of--my marriage, my children, my birthing of those children, etc., I'm proud of the fact that a few days ago, I made several dinners, labeled and froze them for quick future use. I am THRILLED about that, because now, instead of panicking about what to make for dinner at 5:30 (and resorting to Little Caesar's or McDonald's), I can just thaw it and make it. Ta-daaaa! This'll be especially helpful on Wednesdays--which go like this, usually:
4:30 - 5:30 Scouts (which I need to go to because I'm a leader, not just because Reed is in it)
6:00 or 6:30 Phill's meetings at the church
8:45 Phill comes home
9:00 Phill goes to basketball
I forgot to mention that at 7:35, I collapse.

I used the cookbook Once-a-Month Cooking for a sort of jumping-point (in fact, I actually ended up only using one meal from that cookbook, oddly enough--Taco Soup) and then most of the other things I froze were crockpot meals that I just assembled (doing the prep and putting it all in a labeled bag or dish) and just need to be thawed and thrown into the crockpot. (For three of my recipes I used Fix It and Forget It--I'm doing Easy Teriyaki Chicken, Hearty Beef Stew, and Melanie's Cordon Bleu. In case you wanted to know.) Then there are other things that are easy to freeze, like marinated chicken (LOVE Mel's Kitchen Cafe--her Lemon Garlic Chicken is a staple around here) and homemade macaroni and cheese.

So that's it! I'm proud of dinner. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

{30-DC} Day 8: Short-term goals for this month, and why.

I tend to try to keep my goals pretty simple. I get overwhelmed when I focus on more than two. I would say my (two) short-term goals this month are:

1: To make sure I remember my mom's birthday and Ciera's birthday and get them SOMEthing for the occasion.

2: To stick to my self-imposed (and self-made) Rule of 4x10. While the kids are awake, I am only allowed to be on the computer for 10 minutes at a time, up to 4 times before 5:00. Between each 10-minute-sit, I require myself to engage in at least 20 minutes of non-computer productive activity. This ensures that I get dinner going at an appropriate time and also ensures that my children see more than just the back of my head all day! I tend to get sucked into whatever I'm doing and just....sit....and sit....and before I know it, I've wasted a day. After the kids are in bed, I allow myself whatever computer time I want or need, but usually by that time, I'm just wanting to sit on the couch next to Phill if I don't have any editing to do. I don't always stick to this rule, but when I do, I notice a HUGE difference. Which is why it's a goal of mine to be more consistent with it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

{30-DC} Day 7: A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you.

I know this might seem like the expected answer, but it's true. If my relationship with the Lord isn't where it needs to be, I feel the impact in a major (and negative) way. If I'm doing what I can to be close to the Lord, I feel the impact in a major (positive) way.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

{30-DC} Day 6: A hobby you have.

Hmmm....a hobby.

Reading. I love to read. Usually fiction, but most anything.

That's a really short answer. Here are some others:

Eating chocolate
D.I. hunting
Revamping old things
Pretending I know how to decorate well
Running (sometimes)
Facebook (I know, not surprising)

Friday, March 18, 2011

{30-DC} Day 5: A picture of somewhere you've been.

Panama, of course....are you sick of Panama yet?
Also Panama.
Probably pointing at something scary. Panama.
I BELIEVE this was Colorado Springs, 732 Squire Street, to be our front yard. Q, help me out--this is CO, right?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

{30-DC} Day 4: List fifteen songs that represent your life's soundtrack.

Brown-Eyed Girl (Van Morrison) - I remember my dad singing this to me when I was really little, and all the way up to present-day time...

California Dreamin'  (Mamas and the Papas) - We went on LOTS of road trips growing up. This was a staple of those road trips--I remember my dad singing it in the van at the top of his lungs. We'd do the background. It was awesome. :)

Ironic (Alanis Morisette) - I listened to this in my bedroom, in the basement of our house in Colorado Springs, at the top of my lungs. I remember recording it from the radio and then replaying it again and again until Abby finally came in and gave me a look. You know, a look. That spoke volumes.

Feliz Navidad - When we lived in Panama, I heard this for the first time--during the Christmas season--and I thought it was the coolest song I'd ever heard. Probably was, considering I was only six. It's very nostalgic for me.

The song in this documentary - If you know the title and composer of the song, please tell me? My mom and I have been trying to remember. Anyway. I used to sit in the car after everyone had gone inside and turn up this piece of music really loud, and I would just sit in the car letting it wash over me and cry. Just because it's beautiful and evocative and I feel transformed when I listen to it.

Distant Green Valley (Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Band) - I can never go wrong with Yo-Yo Ma, for obvious reasons! But this song is from a CD I found when Phill was deployed. I listened to it in the car for weeks and weeks, wherever we drove. It makes me hopeful and happy and thoughtful.

From the same CD--Mohini (Enchantment) - This song is just so beautiful to me.The whole CD, really. (Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon)

You're My Best Friend (Tim McGraw) - This is the first country song I heard that I actually liked. And guess why? Because Phill is the one who introduced it to me. Long story short, it's "our" song. :)

Don't Speak (No Doubt) - Listened to this all the time after I found out the boy I liked didn't like me back anymore. I was 13. I was devastated.

Let it Be (the version from Across the Universe, w Carol Woods and Timothy T. Mitchum) - This arrangement just reaches in, grabs my heart, and won't let go. It kills me. It honestly changed my life, in that it changed the way I think about this song and the time period in which it was written, in relation to my life now.

Ringa Ringa (from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack) - I just realized the strange scope of the songs I'm listing here. What can I say? I like variety. Actually, I like what I like--and then when I like something I listen to it for weeks. And then move on to the next. :) The kids love to dance to this one.

If You Could Hie to Kolob (particularly this arrangement) - I love this hymn. It's really fun to play on the cello, and I've had some memorable spiritual experiences that involve this hymn.

O My Father (a hymn) - I could list several hymns, but I'll pick this for the second one. I love it.

I Dreamed a Dream (Les Mis) and  Think of Me (Phantom of the Opera) - Yes, I'm claiming two here--Abby and I sang the songs from both of these all the time. Not just these two, but whatever else we could find. Sometimes we even fancied that we sounded just as good as the real performers. :) And....*ahem*...we sang together again last Thanksgiving. So. This isn't just an old tradition. It's current, too.

Last one! This is hard, actually, to limit myself to only 15! Who would've thought?

My brother-in-law recently introduced me to Janelle Monae--and she is UH-MAZING. I LOVE her. Here's Tightrope.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

{30-DC} Out of order, because I forgot it! Day 3: A habit you wish you didn't have.

This is easy. I've beaten this one into the ground: Sleeping more than is needful.

But I'm tired of that one, so another habit I wish I didn't have is: Being hard on myself.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

{30-DC} Day 2: A picture of something you cannot live without.

First and foremost:
I don't really know any other way to picture the gospel of Jesus Christ/my religion, so that will have to do.

And then of course, a given, my family:

Monday, March 14, 2011

{30-DC} Day 1: A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself

Photo courtesy of Merilee Photography
1 - I've lived in Panama. (Not a new fact, but interesting nonetheless, right?)

2 - I like to watch girlie tween movies when Phill is out of town. The cheesier and girlier, the better.

3 - Sometimes I pick 'n flick (boogers). I know it's gross. Don't hate.

4 - I don't like sharing a blanket with Phill at night. He's not a hog--but I sure am.

5 - I have recently taken up meditation. It's a revelation.

6 - I have a soft spot for all things sock monkey.

7 - Sometimes I consider hiring someone to do my sweeping and mopping for me, I hate it that much. (Note: If you would like to come mop/sweep my floors twice weekly, for 8 weeks, I will gladly do a photo session for you....I'm completely serious.)

8 - I daydream about picnics in a large backyard with a pitcher of ice-cold homemade lemonade on a cheery yellow or red picnic table.

9 - I love olives. Green, black, kalamata. I love 'em all.

10 - I'm still scared of the dark. I manage it well, but I just really don't like darkness!

11 - I really love the smell of the pillowcases in my grandma's house. She doesn't use anything special--they're just beautiful and fresh and smell like....clean linen.

12 - I cry when I watch Monsters, Inc. and The Incredibles.

13 - The first movie I remember watching is Bambi. I will never watch it again.

14 - I love tea sets.

15 - One of my feet is half a shoe size bigger than the other.

30-Day Challenge!

{A.K.A.--I think this will help me come up with good ideas for blogging more consistently}

So I've decided that to lighten things up a bit, I'm going to do this 30-Day Blogging Challenge! Anyone who wants to, feel free to do it, too!

Day 01- A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself.

Day 02- A picture of something you cannot live without.

Day 03- A habit that you wish you didn’t have.

Day 04- List 15 songs that represent your life’s soundtrack.

Day 05- A picture of somewhere you’ve been to.

Day 06- A hobby you have.

Day 07- A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you.

Day 08- Short term goals for this month and why.

Day 09- Something/someone you’re proud of.

Day 10- A story about a past relationship.

Day 11- A picture of something you dislike.

Day 12- A picture of your room & don’t cheat by cleaning it. Share a secret.

Day 13- Write a letter telling someone something you could never tell them.

Day 14- A picture of something you ate and 10 confessions.

Day 15- Put your iPod on shuffle & share the first 10 songs that play.

Day 16- Something you could live without.

Day 17- Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why.

Day 18- Plans/dreams/goals you have.

Day 19- Nicknames you have & how or why you have them.

Day 20- If you had 3 wishes, what would they be.

Day 21- Share a picture from your day.

Day 22- What makes you different from everyone else.

Day 23- What is something you crave.

Day 24- Share a story about your past that you are ashamed of.

Day 25- What I would find in your bag.

Day 26- Places you want to visit before you die.

Day 27- Why are you doing this 30 day challenge?

Day 28- A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then?

Day 29- In this past month, what have you learned.

Day 30- A picture of you today & 20 goals you want to accomplish.

Friday, March 11, 2011

sweet little nothings

I was happily babysitting this darling bundle, Toryn.... 

...and Savvy was right next to me, at baby Toryn's head, quietly looking at her and occasionally extending one finger to stroke her soft cheek or smooth her silky hair. Suddenly Savvy points at Toryn's eyes and says in a delighted, high, quiet voice, "Mom! Her flashes! Her teeny tiny flashes!" I was confused for a split-second and then got it--and Savvy continued in the same excited voice, "I have big flashes. And you have big flashes. You wear makeup on your flashes. But Toryn has tiny flashes! They are soooo cuuuute." And then she giggled and patted Toryn's head.

Yesterday I had Jaxon in the clinic because of a high fever that wouldn't go away. While we waited for a long time to get his strep-test results back (negative, "just" an upper respiratory infection), Jaxon remained on the exam table, too tired to bother sitting up in one of the chairs. His eyes, which were already droopy to begin with, began to close and I wondered if he would fall asleep on the table. Suddenly his eyes popped open and he said, "Mom, I'm just going to close my eyes for a little while. I might sleep because it feels good." Then he closed his eyes and lay still, while I admired his insanely long lashes and felt sad for him. After a little while, he moved from his side to his back and said, "I'm cold." I said, "Are you? I could hold you." And he said, "But I know how to make myself warm." And with a little smile, he pulled his arms into his shirt, pulled his knees up under it, and lay there on his back like a turtle in its shell, content and cute.

Reed is into extreme statements. For instance, when one aspect of his day doesn't go well, it is "the worst" day of his life. Understandably, I have experienced some exasperation in trying to teach him that a day can be mostly good, even if he has to do homework or clean a toilet or isn't allowed to get a candy bar at the store. But I actually like this habit when it's turned on its good side--like when he got to play at his best friend's house for a few hours: "Mom, this is the best day I have ever had!" or when I let him have a third cookie: "You are the best mom EVER" or when he's having fun with Savvy and Jax: "I love you more than anything in the whole wide world."

Savvy is into shrugging, as in the shrug and "uh-uh" that means, "I don't know." Her favorite thing is to ask me a question when she knows I'm distracted: "Mom, is my hair blue?" -"Uh-uh...(shrug)"....then she repeats my answer with the clarification: Shrug + "I don't know". She's also into narrative prayers, and I am loving it. "And please bless that we will have fun. And thank you for our food. And Jesus Christ is my friend, and he loves me, and he loves mama and daddy and Reed and Jax and me, and he will come to my house and hug me, and I will say I love you and he will say I love you and I will say bye and he will say see you later"....

Lately Jaxon is discovering the beauty in silence. He has always been, how should I say....good at relaxing? Kind of a chill homebody. But last Sunday something must have really spoke to his heart, because as the kids sat at the counter while I made waffles, he said, "Mom, can we whisper? I like when it's quiet." So we whispered for about ten minutes, and he sat there with the biggest smile on his face and the sweetest sparkle in his eyes. We had a brief discussion of what sort of environment we need to cultivate for the Spirit to be in our home, and it was just a time that was full of peace.

Reed has walked (by himself) home from school and to school from home a few times this last week. He is happy as can be. (You know, happier than he's ever been in his whole life, in the language of extremes) I'm happy that he's happy, and I'm learning to (very slowly, with clenched fists and jumpy-stomach) let go. It's exciting and unnerving and wonderful. 

Lastly, not leastly, we are house-hunting. I'm hesitant to say more until we have something solid, but rest assured that I will document the journey and keep all of you posted!