Sunday, December 25, 2011

Number 200

All day, I've felt the need/urge to blog. I've been saving it all up.

Then I logged on and noticed that this blog, this will be my 200th post.

Suddenly I'm nervous. 

This was going to just be one of those catch-all, free-flow posts, culminating in some pithy, hopefully meaningful point, possibly about Christmas, most likely about motherhood or things like that.

But now I realize it's my 200th post. Is that like, monumental? I'm not sure ... so I'll just move forward as planned.

Carving ham is fairly gross. My brother concurs. The noises are disgusting. Good thing the ham is tasty.

I've always slightly prided myself on not having fancy china. I mostly have an ecclectic assortment of POM bottles and glasses from Goodwill (why buy new when people give stuff away?!), blandly colored dinner plates, and mismatched silverware. Today was the first time in my life I wished for china. And this first time coincided with my first time serving Christmas dinner all by myself, in my own home. I found myself wanting special plates. It's a strange thing, feeling a "need" for prettier plates, just to serve fairly normal food. Any yet, I wanted my table to look fancier. Why? I don't really know... the meal wasn't that impressive, Joshua still wouldn't eat it, we ate in the normal amount of time, and I still spent forever cleaning up. (in fact there are to pots and a pan waiting for me still.) Would it have made a difference if my plates had matching ivy on them? I guess I'll never know, since I don't foresee buying china anytime soon. Oo--maybe I should check Goodwill ....

I'm reading Donald Miller's A Million Miles in A Thousand Years. Don't ask me what took me so long to read it ... I can't really say. Except for I usually choose crashing on the couch or zoning on Facebook before I choose reading lately. Wonder what that says about my story .... if you haven't read the book, it's great. And as I sat and read the book tonight, the book about living a better story, I paused and took stock.

My son was watching "Elmo's World" on Sesame Street. I was reading right next to him. He turned at one point and said, 'Color!' This was just as the "Elmo's World" intro was on, and the "color" is all over the screen. I just said, "Yep! Elmo's coloring!" and went back to my book. And Josh went back to watching TV.

And then I realized something ... I was reading the part in the book where Miller talks about actually living a better story. Actually doing it--not just reading about it, thinking about it, dreaming about it ... but doing it. And I realized I'd just, in essence, denied my child the chance to actually color, and instead basically told him to watch a puppet color in some world on the big screen.

How sad is that?

So I put down my book on living a better story, and I went about living it. I pulled out Joshua's "woo whoos" (trains) and started making all the appropriate sounds. I flipped open his favorite cell phone, recorded my voice, and enticed him with that. He pulled himself away from the big screen world and joined his mommy in the real one. 

And we played. 

Then we moved up to his room (and I confess, I brought my book, but only because I knew precisely what would happen.) We entered his room, and he excitedly said, "Rock!" and proceeded to climb onto his glider (which is actually quite hysterical to watch him accomplish) and read his favorite book.

I slid down the wall, in between his new kitchen set and the end of his crib, and read my book. We read books together. And he'd come over and feed me plastic pie, and miscolored, oddly shaped noodles, and he'd climb back onto his chair with a new book. We'd read quietly for a while, and then he'd pull at the last page of the book--he always wishes there was more--and looked at me as if I could instantly create more pages. He, at one point, climbed off the glider, and came quite quickly over to me. I thought he wanted to sit on my lap, so I closed my book, losing my page, and pulled him in. He wiggled with so much opinion, I realized that's not what he wanted. I realized he wanted to sit by me and read his book. With his back against the wall, next to the kitchen set at the end of the crib.

I love how impressionable he is right now! He loves rocking and reading. But because Mommy was reading against the wall in the corner, he needed to as well.

We read, and danced, and ate plastic food together. Finally I realized it was bed time. So I talked him into letting me change his diaper, coaxed him into a sleeper, let him "brush" his teeth with his Thomas the Train spin brush (there's no brushing happening--just button pushing and lots of water dripping), and washed his little face.

Then, since I'm no longer allowed to read and rock, I sat on the footstool while he sat on his glider-throne, and I read him a book upside down. Good thing I memorized it long ago from reading it so much. I got to the part about when Jesus was born, and I looked into my 20 month old son's eyes and told him the story of how Jesus invaded our world, and helps us live a better story. He giggled and said, "Je--us Je-us!" (one of his three new words today), and I got tears in my eyes.

Because even though I let my kid watch some TV, and even though I struggle with playing the martyr as the wife and mother in this home, and even though I lose my patience, and battle selfishness, and always think I could be doing better and doing more, I think I'm living a pretty good story. I am the mother of Joshua, and that, my friends, is a role I would never pass up. 

So I guess this 200th blog turned into a little bit of a catchall, but mostly a motherhood, hopefully meaningful muse mostly about me and a little about my first Christmas on "my own".

Oh, and the other two words Joshua decided to say today were "Cardo" (his soon to be uncle) and "Eva" (his cousin, my sister's dog).

Does he say "Mommy" yet? Nope. But that just makes this story all the better.

And he did finally let me rock him ... in the dark, I sang him our favorite songs while he clutched his favorite book. We prayed to "Je-us" and I smiled. I love my story.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Don't Want to Want It

"I just really don't want to want it again, until I get it, and then I want to want it fully. Make sense?"

I muttered this to my husband as we both attempted to drift to sleep, each battling our own never ending colds and rarely silent thoughts. Fortunately (or unfortunately) he totally understood what I meant.

It's starting. Well, really, it started to start in October, but now it's really starting.

The baby itch.

Sigh. I'm so not ready for this ....

I got great news from two good friends yesterday. One friend is having a girl, and the other is newly pregnant. I'm so excited for them both! And then it hit me .... I want to announce a pregnancy. But I don't want to start the process that is most likely inevitably our path to conception and pregnancy. I don't want to chart, I don't want to give myself shots, I don't want to "try" and "try" and "try" .... I don't want to want it, until I get it, and then I want to want it fully.

Make sense?

I'd like another child ... perhaps even another after that. But the memory that is not far from my mind and my heart of the yearning and longing and painful waiting makes my stomach twist in knots. The fear of more miscarriages, later term miscarriages, gobs and gobs of money, days and days of charting ... it's almost enough to make me not want to try.

The thought of wanting to be pregnant, longing for it, yearning for it--it drains me. It scares me.

I don't want to want it until I get it. If only we had the luxury of an "oops".

As I told a good friend this morning, our journey to Joshua has touched so many others who have had similar struggles. I guess I can get behind another tough journey if it means we can touch more lives. But sometimes, often times, in my most genuine moments, I just want to be "that woman" who gets pregnant just by looking at her husband and carries easily to term. Sometimes, often times, I don't want to be "that woman" who God works through in her pain and sadness to minister to others.

Of course, though, if this is our path--to struggle in this life to conceive our children and use that pain to touch others--then we are honored that God would redeem our pain, redeem our sadness, redeem our struggle for His good purpose.

It'd just be really great to not want it until we got it, but I'm guessing that's not how this is going to go .... So, let's get on with it!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

this is my life

I was thinking about my life today, and I've decided it's decidedly unique. 

I get to spend a whole lot of time with my child, and a whole lot of time with my husband. 

Other than some work hours (that I stick to pretty well), I'm free as a bird for much of my week. 

One day I can be meal planning and grocery shopping with Joshua, and the next day I'm "jet setting" across the country, landing in a hotel in downtown Des Moines.

I can be sick on the couch on Monday, and running a high energy training session for rural hospital employees on Friday. 

I can be master primer/painter/furniture rearranger one moment, and pastor's wife, ministering via text the next moment. 

I spend 20% of my time in casual jeans and a comfortable top, 75% of my time in workout clothes and/or pajamas, and 5% of my time in one of two Limited suits. 

I can be marketing guru one minute, sales person extraordinaire the next minute, corporate trainer the next, toddler educator the next, and laundry specialist amidst it all. 

I'm always a wife, always a mommy, always a Christian, always a daughter, and every once in a while, a professional speaker. 

I spend random amounts of time with strangers--in cabs, on airplanes, at hotel restaurants waiting for my food, in shuttles, trains, trams, vans and buses. 

I drop my son off at daycare, and 4 hours later, I'm in another state, on my own for 48 hours while the hubby, who is amazing by the way, holds down the fort at home. 

I have seasons of crazy busy-ness, and seasons where it appears I don't work much at all. 

The balancing act of a working mom is a strange one--especially a working mom with such disparity in her schedule. 

From PJs to Limited suits, from emailing from my kitchen to working from the Hyatt. From multi-tasking mommy to corporate trainer lady, from choo choo train conductor to curriculum designer ... 

this is my life. 

Love it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Stationery card

Every Month Christmas Card
Turn your favorite photos into Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nothing Like a One Year Old ...

... to keep you up all night and still cause you to wake with a smile

... to throw multiple curve balls at your plans for the day

... to remind you of the simple joys in life, such as throwing Cheerios

... to help you find the fun in doing laundry and sorting old clothes

... to force you to get outside and realize it's not so cold after all

... to keep your pride in check

... to break your selfish spirit and get you to be more selfless

... to get you to "dance dance dance" to no music at all, just because

... to make sure the neighbors know you are not a perfect, have-it-all-together mommy

... to abolish all ideals of a well rounded diet

... to cherish your alone time

... to break your heart (in a good way) with the new found skill of unsolicited hugs and kisses

... to challenge the heck out of you with violent, unashamed tantrums over .... everything

... to make the Christmas tree look funny, since all the ornaments have to be high out of reach

... to improve your marriage (by necessity ... do, or die. Literally.)

... to bring the perfect amount of wonder and awe to normal every day experiences

... to provide a wonderful purpose for getting up in the morning ... with a huge mug of coffee

Nothing like a Joshua Nelson Lindeen to make me sigh, yawn, shake my head, and smile hugely, all at the same time.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How'd I miss that?

We've all heard about peace. The peace that passes understanding, the peace of Christ, wonderful glorious peace in the midst of any and all circumstances.

Have you, like me, ever had a hard time finding and sustaining said peace?

I've read this verse a hundred times (I almost said a thousand, but that would be exaggerating. But a hundred ... well, it's possible. Perhaps more like 63 but that doesn't flow as well.)

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
I'm one of those Christians who struggles to read the Word, simply because I feel like every passage I read, I've read before. It's hard for me to take the time and mental energy to discover what is fresh, alive and active in the pages of God's Word. It's a struggle I know many long term believers face; I am no different. 

So today I sat down to check my devotions off my list; but even with my slightly religious heart, doing it pretty much just to say I did it, the Spirit blessed me with a small revelation. 

How could I have never noticed this before? Well, I probably never took the time, because I read quickly, feeling like I've heard it all before. 

Let's look at that verse again: 

 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

What?! How could I have never noticed this before? I immediately wanted to blame it on my NIV translation. I spent my whole life in the NIV and only recently, in order to attempt to find fresh stimulation from the Word, switched to the ESV. So I pulled up the NIV version ... What?! It says it too? So I pulled up the NLT .... same thing. So I pulled up the Message ... well, we all know it's not the same thing, but still a pretty cool translation: 

... I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world.
 So, it wasn't the translation ... it wasn't that I've never read the verse ... it wasn't that I've never studied it (I mean, for goodness sakes, I took a whole class on John in college.)

Here's what it was: I'd forgotten. I'd forgotten the importance of each and every part of each and every verse in the Bible. I'd forgotten how important it is to read and read and read again, but although I may have at one time noticed this phrase "in me" and the implications of it .... I had forgotten.

How can I be "in Him" in the midst of a tired morning, diaper changing tantrums, tense moments in business and family, lonely moments in a new city, phases of indecision and self doubt, long afternoons, and sleepless nights if I'm not reading? Sitting? Listening? Praying? How can I be "in Him" if I think I've heard it all before, and I sit to do devotions simply so I can say I did them?

Being "in Him" is a whole lot more. And that is where I will find unshakable assurance of His deep peace.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dear Joshua: I love how you love your Daddy ....

But maybe you could choose a word for Mommy? 

It's pretty funny when I arrive to pick you up from the kids' room at the Y and you see me, delightedly smile, and shout, "Daddy!!!" 

It's super adorable that when Daddy is out of the house you wander around looking for him, calling, "Daddyyy? Dadddyyy?" 

And it's also super cute that when I take a shower, or open the garage door, or turn on lights in the music room, you say, "Daddyyy?" as if you expect him to be in those places. 

It's definitely pretty sweet when I lay you down to sleep, all cuddled up in the quilt your Grammie made for your Daddy years ago, after singing and giggling with me in the most precious way for 20 minutes, you sigh softly, flutter your eyes, and say, "Daddy?"

It's all super funny, adorable, cute and sweet .... but I sure would love to hear you say Mommy! 

To my sweet little boy, I love you. You can call me Daddy for the rest of your life, as long as you love me forever, and always let me love you. 

Kisses little one ... Mommy who is often called Daddy loves you so much.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Facebook Updates

I had a number of Facebook statuses running through my head today that I never got to.

I'd rather not sit and fill up everyone's wall with my random thoughts from the day, so I figured I'd blog it. I should blog more anyway. You know what I found when I gave up Facebook for Lent? I blogged more. Because instead of little one-liner snippets on Facebook, I combined all my daily thoughts for a blog. Perhaps more useful in life ... perhaps not. Maybe it's just interesting, but whatever. I digress.

Random updates from today that I didn't get around to typing out on Facebook:

I sure wish Joshua would learn to say "mommy." I mean, it's super cute that he calls for "Daddeeee" all day, but sheesh, come on kiddo, I'm right here!

Welcome back, T-zone skin. I sure didn't miss you when I lived in perfect world AKA Colorado. 

A little boy (6 y/o) at the park asked me if Joshua was my baby. When I said yes, he said "How old ARE you?" as his 4 1/2 year old sister simultaneously said, "I thought you were the babysitter ...." NICE. 

Open gym night at the Y was a GREAT idea! Credit--me. :) 

I decided today was the day, of all days, to make Joshua eat his dinner. We had to try three times, with many tears, and even a time out (which he still doesn't understand ...) And at the end of the day, he ate a few bites of his hot dog. My reward? A sleepy baby boy who smells of hot dogs. Kinda gross. But pretty sweet. 

Holding a 1 1/2 year old into place in timeout while gripping the timer and watching him frantically sign "All done" is rather depressing. The job of a mommy ....

How important is a good conversation with a great friend? Super. Super important. 

The 4 1/2 year old girl at the park asked me when my baby is going to grow up. I told her he does a little bit every day. As she ran home for dinner, she said it was nice to meet me and she hopes my baby grows up soon. 

Josh watches the Ezra Church video at least 6 times a day. Before it even ends, he's signing, "More! More!" and today he figured out that he doesn't need Mommy. He just hits space bar and it plays again. And again. and againandagainandagain......

I keep wishing I had more restraint and discipline with finances. I do this often--get all geared up to be better about watching spending .... and then I realize I don't know how. Same with eating right .... blah. 

Working out is fun. I should do it more often. So is baking. And dancing with my son. And laying in the grass. And laughing with my husband .... why don't I do these things more often? 

Yesterday, I did my devotions in the bathroom. Cuz there is where I found a minute of peace while Joshua played with the bubbles in the tub. God understands .... 

I could go on .... aren't you glad I didn't put all this on Facebook to fill up your wall? :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Blogging ...

I love my life. 

Joshua is such a joy, my husband is such a servant and leader, and I love Fall. 

It's strange to live in this new place, and not really know anyone, but it has been good for us--good for me. 

Instead of running off to hang out with teens, meet with a friend, or crash at my parents' place, I have to--get to--learn to do life all by myself. Be a mom, all by myself. Get through day-to-day life with an 18 month old, all by myself. 

And what I'm learning, is that I don't have to "get through" or "deal"--it's great! I love it! Yeah, it's tough discerning what's best for him all day long, and it's hard sometimes to lay down my own desires minute after minute, but it's so exhilarating to realize that I CAN do this. I can be a Mom, I can keep a house (keep it perfect? No. Keep it liveable and happy? Yes.) I can work, I can enjoy, I can live in this new place, with my husband, with my son, all by myself.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lessons Learned Today

1. Never ever. ever. ever ever ever ever trust an airline when they tell you your checked bag will arrive with you at your new destination after they've cancelled your flight and rebooked you on a different airline. NEVER.

2. Stop sharing so many kisses, apples, spoonfuls, and straws with your son. He is ALWAYS carrying germs. Always.

3. Sickness will hit you when you travel. Period.

4. Don't travel for business to Dallas during the state fair. So. Many. People. .......

5. No matter how much extra space they take, how much extra effort it is, always ALWAYS keep your laptop charging cord, your iPhone charging cord, and your training materials with you when traveling. Refer to lesson #1 for reference.

6. Learn to be more assertive and less push-overy with airline representatives.

7. Always carry a snack. I thought I'd learned this when pregnant, but apparently I forgot it.

8. Laptop bags without straps are sinful.

9. Somehow I will always choose to recommit to lunges and squats the day before traveling. Making the traveling day a very very sore one for me.

10. My Dad always comes through. Always.

11. Downtown hotels may be cooler, but they are further away from amenities. Like, department stores and Apple stores and copier stores .... see lesson 1 and 5 for reference.

12. Travel in business clothes. Not jeans, sneakers, an old shirt and light weight sweater. Now I understand why business people travel in their clothes--so when the airlines lose their bag, they can still go to work in the morning.

Real business people don't check their bags. Oh--right. I forgot.

Real business people also don't travel with their 18 month old.

Real business people don't have the pleasure of routing themselves through Denver to hug their parents and drop off the 18 month old on their way to work in Dallas.

Real business people don't have the heartwarming experience of watching their son jump and run/waddle toward his Grandpa and Grandma with a huge grin on his face while routing themselves through Denver on their way to work in Dallas.

So .... I guess the problem started today when I took off my business person hat and put on my mommy hat and packed according to being a mommy not a business person .... and then United cancelled my flight to Dallas Love Field, and rebooked me on American to Dallas/Fort Worth and didn't send my one lonely checked bag ....

All because I didn't want to carry an extra bag along with the 18 month old, the diaper bag, the stroller and the Elmo backpack full of books and snacks.

Am I worried about my 9am training session tomorrow, for which I need handouts, business attire, make up, hair products, and heels? Nah--there's a Target 1.7 miles away. I'll manage.

So, biggest lesson of all? Hmm .... sometimes, you just have a perfect storm of poor decisions, cancelled flights, and snotty noses.Oh--and never ever ever ever EVER trust an airline with the materials and clothing that you need at 9am the next day. EVER.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I'm a MOP ... What?

I just spent a little under an hour coloring. Don't get me wrong--I LOVE coloring. I just don't spend a lot of time doing it anymore. What got me coloring you ask? MOPS. 

I have a funny history with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). My Mom was a Mentor Mom (a woman with children out of the preschool age who attends MOPS to offer wisdom) for a while, and I respected her involvement in it, but declared it would never be for me. I don't do crafts. I don't love to cut coupons. I didn't think I'd need to talk (so much) about my child ... My friend Becky practically forced me to join MOPS as a way to meet people and get out of the house in my new town. 

It was a good decision.

Tonight, I colored. (Making matching games for Joshua!) And because of MOPS, Joshua and I played with wagon wheel pasta today. And I just sat back, laughed at my son, made funny noises, and enjoyed the "process". I enjoyed the process of play, the process of bonding, the process of teaching, the process of ... cleaning ... :)

Look at him developing fine motor skills!
Yay for pre-math skills! :)
What a helper ... Loving the process!
Thanks MOPS for equipping this MOP with fun activities--something OTHER than "keep the technology away from the baby..." :)

(this is the point in the process when I realized we were nearing the close of this fine activity....)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dear Joshua: You're Hilarious

Dear Joshua,

Thank you for being so funny! Your silly grins, crazy antics and tiny little sense of humor completely and totally make up for the tantrums you've discovered, the loud opinions you love to voice and the never ending messy diapers and food fights.

Thank you for loving me so much! My mommy-heart swells when you grin so huge when you see me, and I can hardly stand how much you love your father. The recognition and genuine love I see on your face when you see us, the crazy amount of time you want to spend with us ... I'm soaking it all up because I know it will morph and change. But for right now, all you want is mama and dada and I LOVE IT.

Thank you for being so active! Sometimes I feel like a horrible mommy because we watch cartoons, but then I realize you're dancing, and twirling, and running and jumping--and that's all just while watching some T.V.! Then we go to the park, and the other park, and the other park, and the backyard and the mailbox, and pretty soon, I'm just worn out.

Thank you for learning sign language! Without "more," "please," "all done," and "thank you," Mommy would be going INSANE! Please now learn some more words, OK? To start, how about "Mama"? Because it's really funny when you point right at me and say, "Dada" but actually not so much. :)

Love you Joshua, you're the best ever!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The New Girl

I'm the New Girl ... and nobody knows.

It's weird really. When I've been the New Girl in the past, people knew.

When I switched schools after first grade, people knew.
When I entered a Christian school in January of 4th grade, people knew.
When I started at public high school after being in private school forever, people knew.
When I switched high schools (and states) in the middle of 9th grade, people knew.
When I started at college, well, we were all new, so, people knew.
When I got married and moved to a new town in CO and started a new job, people knew.
When I had to switch churches because, well, that's what happens to a pastor's wife when her husband gets a new job, people knew.

But now, no one knows. I go to the mall, and I sit alone while Josh runs crazy at the play place. I see ladies and their friends arrive, stroller by stroller with their kiddos, content to sit and chit-chat while their children play.

I go to parks and crawl around with Joshua while other moms have their playdates or cell phone calls, all the while wishing they'd move past that polite smile and ask me my name and where I'm from.

I walked around Target today, and got kind of annoyed with myself because every woman who looked 25-30ish, who wore a wedding band and had 1 or 0 children was a potential friend to me. It's like they had "Possible Friendship" written on their foreheads. Which is truly a great approach to life, but seriously, what am I supposed to do? In a Target? With a cart? Stop and say, "Hi! I think we could be friends. Wanna give it a try?"

It's so weird, being the New Girl. No one knows I'm the New Girl, and I'm not quite sure how to break in! I'm seriously going to start approaching people, groups of ladies (and we all know how intimidating that is) and saying, "Hi! I'm new. I need friends. Will you be my friend?" and see how it goes.

I've been the New Girl a lot in my life. Less than some, but more than others. But this time is definitely weird, because no one knows!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tattoos and My One Year Old

How do you start a new church?

You tell people about it.

Sounds simple right? Well, not for me. I hate to be perceived as pushy, salesy or "yanking your arm" in any way. And so I tend to shy away from giving the schpeel about our church, even though ...

I believe in the vision
I agree with the mission
I want people to know Christ
I think our church is pretty cool

Even then... I still have a hard time. I watched Erik meet a salesclerk and give the schpeel--and even though my tension rose as I tried to evaluate her response, she seemed just fine! She listened, knodded and say, "Oh! Well isn't that nice." (With full Wisconsin accent of course.)

So, I'm trying. In my own way.

Thank goodness for tattoos and my one year old. 

Without these things, I wouldn't know how to start conversations! But having Joshua is an easy in. And the tattoos have proven themselves awesome conversation starters again and again and again.

Case(s) in point ....

At the park the other day, as our children ran around the playground, I met a lady and told her I was new to the area (another easy-in for us right now--it makes people ask us questions!). Told her briefly we are here to start a church. It got a little awkward, as sometimes people don't know what to say to that. Weird thing is, yesterday Erik and Joshua and I went down to a lake side park in Madison and who comes walking up the sidewalk?? This lady and her son! So, we met again, and laughed about how we'd both end up at the same place so far from home. I am now fervently praying that we'll meet again and again and again. :)

At the diner in downtown Sun Prairie, a family of three (Mom, Dad, 10 yr old girl) sat across the aisle from us in their own booth. They ate in peace, while we ate and managed a one year old who has truly discovered the tantrum. (At one point he reared his head back so hard he hit it on the wall, thus screaming louder. Beautiful. I'm pretty sure the whole restaurant turned to watch as I took him outside to calm down.) Niceties were exchanged about how they would trade their 15 year old for our one year old (I think they're crazy) and we got up to leave. Erik and Joshua walked out, and while I gathered the diaper bag, the Dad says, "So, how much did those hurt?" indicating my wrists.

Yea for tattoos.

This led into a quite long conversation about tattoos, pastors, why they don't attend church, how old their kids are, where I live, where they live, what my husband does, how they never woulda guessed he was a pastor, how great Sun Prairie is for raising kids, how they chose their daughter's name, how I share the ten year old's middle name, until finally I asked, "Soooo....does your daughter babysit?"

Now they have a flier for our church, and I have their home phone, all their names, and a great start to a fun relationship with a family who lives only 2 blocks from us! Tattoos and a one year old--nice!

Crazy coincidence, if you believe in those ...

We then stopped by our landlords place to give them some paperwork. After chatting for a while, I mentioned something about meeting a family at the diner, and their daughter Hope babysits ... and my landlord's face went from confused, to thinking hard to ... "Oh! You mean the (insert last name)?" And I said, "Uh....yes...." and she said, "Oh my! Their ten year old is close friends with my daughter! What a great family .... "

Hilarious. This happened the same day that I had run into the lady and her son downtown. God is connecting us all over the place!

And just now, at the park, thank goodness for my one year old ... a young girl, far too young to have the three kids she was playing with, was at the park. I asked her if she was babysitting and she said yep! Turns out she's a college student who lives 15 minutes from here and babysits. I started to walk home, but seriously felt like I was supposed to go talk to her more and get her info. So, I did. I said, "Sorry if this seems odd, but I'm new to the area and sometime soon my husband and I are going to need a date night! Can I get your contact info?" I told her we're here to start a new church, and she seemed intrigued. Typical me, I didn't launch into the schpeel, but I will now proceed to connect with her, ask her to babysit and see where the relationship goes!

Erik and I are going to have a go on a lot of date nights if I keep using babysitting as a way to meet people!

And so, this is how you start a church, and further God's kingdom. Kristin-style.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


So .... I guess I live in Wisconsin now.


It's such a strange phenomenon, in this modern world of ours, to move to a new place. I often forget we've moved.

In Home Depot, which looks the exact same as in Colorado, I can let the reality of our move fade into the recesses of my mind while working with the paint guy and Erik to determine paint colors. It's as if nothing has changed and we've just decided to repaint a room and finally invest in a step stool. Until suddenly I'm snapped back to reality when the paint guy says, "Oh, so you're gonna wanna buy a snowblower sooner rather than later," with full Wisconsin accent.

Smack--I'm back in reality and remembering that I now live in Wisconsin.

Same thing happened at Chilis the other night. I'm enjoying chips and salsa, like normal, with good friends, like normal, when all of the sudden a Menards commercial plays and that jingle "Save big money at Menards" that you only know if you've lived near a Menards in the past threw me smack right back into reality.

I now live in Wisconsin.

Every time I step outside and feel humidity ... smack, reality.
Every time I get in my car and realize I have NO idea where I'm going ... smack, reality.
Every time I wonder when I get to be done with this "camp" like experience and go back home ... smack reality.
Every time I think about dropping Joshua off to visit his grandparents ... smack, reality.
Every time I realize I feel like I'm just playing house and I'll go back to mine sometime ... smack, reality.

Moving is a strange thing. Especially in our society where most cities and towns have the same big-box stores, similar building styles, and generally nice people. It's seriously easy to forget that you've moved from your home, family and friends until .... smack. Something slams you right back into reality.

Reality is, moving is hard. Reality is, we made this choice, and we will get through this transition.

No matter how many "smacks" it takes, I will start to adjust to my new reality.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Good bye Old Friends

2005, new kittens
2008, Christmas cats

Pretty Nicolett
Sheridan loves Erik--and his stuff!

Nicky, my princess, 2011, the Giveaway Day

Sheridan, "Evil", 2011, the Giveaway Day

My life is a constant streams of "lasts" and "goodbyes." A little unexpectedly, one of the hardest good byes happened today.

We gave up our cats. My first babies, my princess and "evil" -- nicknames. Don't ask.

Six years ago we got married.

And my Mom's crazy best friend gave us cats for our wedding present. Longest lasting, most rewarding wedding gift. Ever. (actually, she just gave us supplies, and a check to be used for the adoption.)

July 2005, we brought home Nicolett and Sheridan from MaxFund, not realizing that we'd just named them after an actress. TOTAL ACCIDENT! We were not, and still aren't, Desperate Housewives fans. We chose their names after a major avenue (Nicolett) in Minneapolis, our home town, and the boulevard that the store we got them from was on (Sheridan).

These cats have been such a joy in our lives. They truly were lifesavers throughout our struggle with infertility. They cuddled with us, they played with us, they let us cry on them ... I miss them so much..

We got home today, and I immediately looked for Nicky in the window behind the sheer white curtain. I listened for fatty Sheridan's "thud" of jumping off our bed upstairs to come greet us. I waited for Nicky to brush up against my legs and beg for a cuddle and fresh, cold water. I was confused when I saw that the basement door was shut, because we could NEVER leave it shut because that's where their litterbox was.  I'm sure tonight I will miss the weight of Sheridan, who loved to "spoon" with me all night long.

An awful lot lately I have shoved them off my lap, rolled my eyes at their head butts, sighed in exhasperation at their incredibly persistent requests for love ... I know this was the right thing to do. I know their new owner has a lot more love to give than we do right now.
I love my babies ...

And yet, I'm sitting here, shedding tears for my babies, and wondering why I was ever annoyed at Nicky for climbing onto my lap and through my arms while I typed. Because that's all I wish would happen right now.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Life Lately

Life is a little bit of a blur lately. I remember the beginning of August ... but I'm not quite sure when and how it became August 25th. I remember saying that I wanted August to be over ... and here it is almost over and I'm not sure how I feel about that!

I'm excited to move and start this adventure--an adventure we've been talking about and planning for since April. 

I'm scared silly to do every day life without our amazing support network of family and friends.

I'm anticipating the joy of discovering a new life and new friendships. 

I'm nervous for the meltdown that I know will come once I've used up all the adrenaline from moving.

I'm counting on the growth that will be forced upon me in new situations and life experiences.

I'm grieving the inevitable fade of friendships and loss of connection--Facebook is incredible, but there's nothing like a real live squishy human hug.

I'm in awe of how quickly this has happened ... and shocked at how slow these months have seemed. 

I'm proud of us for doing this ... and nostalgic already for "the good ole days" in Colorado. 

I'm looking forward to doing life in Sun Prairie ... and I'm already tired of saying goodbye in Colorado. And it has truly barely begun .... 

Awareness and articulation--these are two words that have stuck out to me lately. I, increasingly every day, become aware  of my feelings, emotions (and hormones I'm sure!) that are swirling around inside of me. And after a bit of processing, it becomes very essential that I be allowed to articulate these feelings and emotions, without fear of rejection, bad consequences, and/or toooooo much sympathy and pity. Aware, articulate, move on. (and sometimes revisit!) That's been my process lately. So, if you run into me, and I randomly blab some form of articulation about how I'm feeling--I'm sorry! If it sounds for a minute like I'm crabby about this move--I'm not! I'm just in the process of processing. The journey of awareness and articulation. It's a rollercoaster, that's for sure.

But let's be very clear about one thing: I am choosing this. Choosing this because God has called us to it, and I choose to be in His will. Because as much as I'd love to be near family, as much as I'd love to stay with friends, as much as I love my view of the mountains .... His place for me is far better than my place for me. So do not be confused. I am not angry, I am not kicking and screaming, I am not fighting. I'm just aware, and articulating. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The End of an Era

Our first Chinese Dinner Night was June 18, 2010, and we didn't even know what we'd started! All we knew was going to dinner together was so fun and facilitated such great conversation, that we had to do it again! Casey, Bethany, Jessica and Samantha were in attendance, and we ended the night with oatmeal face masks and toenail painting.

And I came home that night and declared to Erik, "I will make this a regular thing. I will make sure I set aside special time for these ladies in the months to come."

And we did! With lots of rescheduling, and invites on Facebook, and reminders by text, we pulled off 4 more--count 'em FOUR--Chinese nights. Whoot Whoot!

C.N. #2
Chinese Night #2 was September 12, 2010. Samantha, Stephanie, and Casey and I had a wonderfully intimate meal of Chinese together. And Sam made us get the chicken on skewers that you roast over a little flame. Good times, good times.

C.N. #4
Chinese Night #3 was November 28, 2010. Jessica, Casey and Bethany came. I remember laughing a lot .... This was took many many reschedulings, so I was a little burned out for a while .... Night #4 was long in coming. :)

Chinese Night #4 was June 3, 2011 (Officially titled Chinese Night ... I've lost count!) This was definitely a fun turn out! Bethany, Casey, Jessica, Paige, and Stephanie! This one I convinced them to get ice cream too, which was hard to do considering how much we stuff ourselves with yummy Chinese goodness!

Chinese Night #5 ... the Final One was tonight. What a bittersweet event. For the first time, alum Jessica Ho was able to join us, which was super fun! Sadly, Mackey, who'd been to every one since the beginning, missed this final night. Sad day!
Final Chinese Night

Casey Morris gets the award for perfect attendance! Yay! Way to go! :) and for being the best red head EV-ER.
Stephanie Ho gets the award for best facial expressions while eating Chinese. I don't think she even knows it ... :)
Jessica Mackey get the award for always being the first student to arrive and always having a smile on her face.
Samantha Krejcik gets the award for enthusiasm, specially for chicken on skewers and $1 wonton soup.
Bethany Morris gets the award for knocking her water glass over. Often. :) And for introducing me to dumplings and beef lo mein. YUM!
Paige Becker gets an award, just because I'm so excited she made it to one!
Jessica Ho gets an award for being my favorite alum ever. :)

From conversations on everything from boys, flies, cracks, Germany, band, books, dinosaurs, church, discipleship, friends, Chinese food (duh), camping, jobs, moving, college, sleep, siblings, babies (usually started by me), weddings, youth group and so much more, these nights meant the world to me. From forcing you to eat ice cream, to smearing oatmeal goo on our faces, to taking crazy photos in Safeway cart stalls, to watching Sam bite a leaf, to discussing how long we take in the restroom--and why, to swinging as high as we possibly can, to getting married and divorced several times :), to being dive bombed by bats, to hugging goodbye by the porta-potty in the twilight, I've loved every minute.

The end of an era. The end of regular (semi anyway) Chinese Nights. To my ladies, I love you. God led me to you and you to me for a season, and it's a season I will never forget. You each hold a dear place in my heart, and I've learned so much from each one of you. I can only hope you've learned in return, and we can continue to stay in touch.

Seek Jesus, live life to the fullest, and VISIT ME!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Waterfalls, Dams and Kinkos.

I cry a lot lately.

Just here and there, and everywhere--any random thing can make the waters rise and trickle down my cheeks.

At the local park, as I round the corner of the pond and gaze on the most beautiful mountain range I've ever lived near and realize that I'm leaving my mountains.

At the FedEx/Kinkos office, where James, the most helpful and kindest employee ever, remembers my name, and recalls that my son is about 1 1/2 (Josh is 15 months old--I'd say James was pretty close!)

At the weekly Bible study with ladies I've taken for granted and now realize I will deeply deeply miss ... no explanation needed. The tears flow just writing about it.

At the sound of Joshua squealing and clapping in delight as we make the right turn into my parents' drive. My tears could rival waterfalls in the Amazon.

At the memories in this home, the far off voices in the walls, the images that float through the halls. The dam might break forever if I contemplate what leaving this house will feel like.

At the moment in Denver where I thought I heard someone call our names. No one did, but the fact that I knew we could run into someone we knew was wonderful. Until I remembered we're moving to a place where no one knows us and it'll be rare for many years for us to run into people we know anywhere we go.

At the twists and turns and streets and stoplights that I can navigate in my sleep, and have since high school.

At the reassurance that I always have a place to go when I need a break, a hug or some super super super ridiculously strong coffee. (A.K.A. Mom and Dad's. The coffee is always stronger when Mom makes it though...)

At the truth that explodes in my heart that while this is where I'm known, this is where I reside, this is where I wish I could live forever ... I'm no longer called to be here. The tears that well and gush and flow at that are a mixture of grief and hope. Grief at leaving my home, and hope at the prospect of an adventure. Grief at leaving the known for the unknown, and hope at the blessings of following the call of my Lord. Grief and hope ... tears and more tears.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again--moving is hard.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Day Seven ... The Cleanse END!

I made it! Pretty much without cheating, I made it!

Actually, yesterday my Mom said to me, "You know, you're doing really well. I cheated all the time! I'd eat turkey, blue corn chips ... to get me through the day!"

This was as I was almost fainted, sprawled out in exhaustion on the kitchen island. I dragged my gaze to her and with a heaving sigh said, "So, I'm sposed to be happy that I'm not cheating? As I feel like this?!"

But, she's right--I did it pretty much to the letter. And I do feel really good! I just got back from date night, where I had my first "real" meal in 7 days.

Day Seven Observations:

1) I discovered almond milk this morning. My sister Molly kept saying to me, USE ALMOND MILK in your shakes! But for whatever reason, I didn't. I think I thought it was cheating. Then I read the booklet. Apparently, it's not cheating. I was missing out on yummy calories all week because I didn't read the stupid booklet. So, the shakes today, my last three, were must tastier than the others!

2) It's important to read the booklet. Always always read the booklet.

3) Baking lasagnas was hard ... grilling hot dogs was hard ... but going to Harry Potter and sitting next to my hubby while he munched on popcorn .... UNBEARABLE! I had 15 kernels. And sadly, it wasn't even that amazing. Which continues to prove that ...

4) Cravings and food desires are SOOOOO in my head! Honestly, the veggies I had this week tasted better than those elicit handfuls of popcorn.

The appetizer that ended my detox week.
5) My "real" meal tonight was good, though I had to eat really slow and I definitely could tell, well, um, how do I say this sensitively ... I could tell that my colon and intestines were working differently than ever before and were quite shocked at the sudden arrival of hand made mozzarella, lavender sourdough bread, goat cheese biscuits, arugula gnocchi, porcini mushrooms and sweet corn nage.

6) I quite concerned about how to now ease back into normal life, without returning to my normal self. What principles of eating can I take away from this week? Veggies are yummy? Replace graham crackers with almonds? Fruit is incredible for dessert? One doesn't need popcorn to survive?

7) I'm glad I did it. That's an important observation.

8) I will do it again someday. And make my husband do it with me. :)

9) I hope I've encouraged someone else along the way to give it a go--even if you "cheat" and eat organic turkey as a snack instead of a carrot, it's better than our normal diets of fast food, quick-grab-carb snacks and very little whole, real foods!

10) You won't feel skinny during or after a detox. Just healthy. And a little bit less "cravy" than before. I still desire certain foods, but I'm--at least for now--much more able to say no thanks, or only take a few nibbles. I hope I can keep that up ...


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day Six ... The Cleanse.

Day 6. I'm not sure I believed I'd get here! I think a huge part of my success (so far) was knowing I had to blog about it each night. :)

Day Six Observations:

1) I awoke today with my normal fatigue and desire to lay on Joshua's floor with his teddy bear as a pillow, but without weakness, intense hunger or cravings for bad food. Hip hip hooray!

2) Because of my renewed energy and lack of weak/hungry feeling, I decided to take a walk with my Mom.

3) Taking a walk was a bad idea.

4) I felt my stomach go empty 15 minutes into the 45 minutes walk. And I almost fainted. Stupid stupid idea.

5) After guzzling a nasty green shake, I felt worse. Sick, stomach cramps, nasty. Blah. Ick. Don't try this at home--or anywhere.

6) Finally, I felt better. And realized that today was the best of the days so far, as far as hunger, cravings, weakness etc. Yea for day 6!

7) I cheated. I had a bite of bread. My mother in law led me astray by pointing out that is had no preservatives and was all natural. *sigh* I can't even say it was that amazing. I think it was more the idea of it ... though is was soft, and warm, with a crunchy crust. Mmm.... In my head, it was HEAVENLY.

8) On that note, so much of my cravings are in my head!! I'm realizing this!!!

9) I LOVE veggies! They are so incredibly flavorful! I can't taste this normally because of my taste for chips, cookies and crap. Carrots=amazing! Zucchini=incredible!

10) Glad I did this .. and trying to heed my sister's wisdom. She said, "I was so excited for Day 7 and then I got up and realized ... I still had to do Day 7." So, I'm trying not to be too excited.

But I am .... :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dear Josh: Messy Wonderful

Dear Joshua,

Oh my goodness, are you just the cutest little guy ever? Yes, yes you are.

I love hearing you babble to yourself in your crib when you wake up in the morning.

I love entering the room and seeing you shake the whole crib in excitement!

I love how sturdy you are, and how exuberant you are in your reaching for me.

I love how when you recognize me across a room (or the airport baggage claim) you grin and run as fast as you possibly can and all the strangers stop to smile at this little son loving his mommy.

I love how the second you get into my arms, you twist your body and point--at what, we never know. I don't think you know either ... you just point until you find something good.

I love how you love escalators, elevators, cars, buses, remotes, keys, buttons of any kind and keyboard--musical and computer.

I love how you say "Hi" and wave at every single person at Walmart. Big or small, young or old, interested in you or not interested in you ... you force them to respond. Love it.

I love how obsessed you are with going outside. Ok, maybe I don't always love this, but it's better than never wanting to go outside!

I love how you love your Daddy. And of course how he loves you.

I love how you now know when we drive into Grandma and Grandpa's house and you kick and kick and kick with excitement to go see Roxy the Horse, Sammy the Snake and Nugget the Pug!

I love how lately we only read the first 2/3 of any book before you're hopping off my lap to find another one, climb back on to my legs, read another 2/3 and so on and so forth.

I love how when I say no more books, you sigh, give me a slightly evil eye, but then curl up in my arms for singing and prayers.

I love how when I mess up or try to change the melody in a bedtime song, you notice and look at me funny.

I love how you scwinch up your face and make really loud noises in an attempt to communicate.

I love how you make my life full and exhausting and joyous and loud and messy and wonderful. 

I love you Joshua Nelson Lindeen--and I want everyone to know. I LOVE being your mommy!

Day Five ... The Cleanse.

Sigh. Why did I do this again?

Nah, actually today wasn't that bad. Why? Because I cheated. :) I just couldn't get through a day of packing my house and chasing Josh with just a nasty tasting shake, veggies and a banana in me!

So, with my Mom's permission, I had a grilled chicken salad for lunch. Push off the corn relish, picked off the cheese and only used, like, 2 tsp of ranch dressing. HEAVEN!

Day Five Observations:

1) The second stage of the shakes is grosser. It's green. And no one told me it ups to three shakes a day--breakfast, lunch and 2pm snack. Who snacks on green goo?? Me, that's who.

2) The first batch of shakes (Days 1-4) were not that bad--very tolerable. This batch, not so much. I think because it's green. And three a day.

3) One should read the instructions of a cleanse more closely. I did--today. On Day Five. It actually tells me that I will feel "out of sorts" and "hungry." I'm not sure why I just put "hungry" in quotes.

4) I actually had a dizzy spell today. Not sure if that was lack of food, the new stage of actual colon cleansing wonderfulness or simply too much coffee.

5) Intriguing ... I'm sitting here finally reading the pamphlet that comes with the program. It's listing some of the possible "unpleasant short term reactions" --I've had a lot of them! I'm not abnormal! Yay!

6) It says to avoid caffeine. Um, have they met Joshua??

7) Wow. There are recipes in here for better tasting shakes. TOTALLY should have read this little booklet thingy.

8) Didn't get the usual headache today ... I wonder if, now that I'm done with the "revitalizing" part and moving into the "detoxification" part I'll experience new and different reactions. Oh goody.

9) I didn't realize until today that the first part of this cleanse was intended to prepare my body for the second part of the cleanse--the actual detox part. So apparently NOW we are ridding my body of metals, toxins and other such nasty buggers. Good to know! (This link explains the cleanse really well: CLICK HERE)

10) Observation: I really did not know what I was getting into or why. Story of my life ...

Only two more days to go!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day Four ... The Cleanse.

I don't like Day 4. I didn't like Day 3. Honestly, I haven't really liked any of the days. I'm thinking I'll like Day 7 ... only because it's the end.

Day Four Observations:

1) Woke up exhausted ... that could be from crying about life changes until midnight, but whatever. Let's blame the cleanse!

2) I have decided that today I was in hoarding mode. I ate a lot today--a lot. Granted, veggies, hummice (I'm cheating with the hummice, but come on--it's HUMMICE) and fruit. And my trusty almonds. Now I know--one can overeat on healthy foods.

3) I was reminded today that eating is a habit. A habit a love. And one that I'm tired of doing with pea pods and dry nuts.

4) There's something called detox breath. And I have it. Nas-ty.

5) Um, when am I supposed to start feeling energized and amazing due to the lack of processed carbs, sugars and the increase of natural foods? I feel icky. Still.

6) I think I'm not drinking enough water. Just FYI.

7) I saw 123 on the scale for the first time since early early pregnancy ... it was strange. Strange but good...

8) My sister told me that she remembers dropping weight like crazy the first three days, eating a lot (must be a family thing) the fourth day, and then balancing out again days 5-7. I'll let you know if it's the same for me ...

9) Sometimes getting to 10 is hard. Maybe I should release myself from the perfection of 10 and go back to letters?

10) Day 4 IS the middle of 7 days! Whoot Whoot! Over the hill and rolling down--hopefully super fast with renewed energy and no more detox breath.

You ready for 3 more days of my random semi-worthless observations? Boo-yeah, me too.

Oooo---Hunger pains. Reaching for my water ....

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day Three ... The Cleanse.

I think I'm getting the hang of this!

Day Three Observations:

1) No gnawing hunger pains today--yay!

2) The shake really is better with a whole banana, not just a half, blended in.

3) I switched back to numbers because they are more organized. :)

4) I thought preparing lasagnas for the freezer was rough ... today I hosted a youth group event and grilled 24 hot dogs, tore open bags of chips, set out the makings for smores, and inhaled the aroma of pizza. Seriously--will power.

5) Will power--I do have it. Huh--who woulda thunk?

6) I still really needed/wanted that chicken/rice/veggie dinner by 3:15pm. Counted the minutes .... and it tasted AMAZING. As usual.

7) Still get a headache and feel lethargic around 2ish every day. Coffee slump? Probably. Sugar withdrawal? Definitely.

8) Is Day 4 half way in a 7 day cleanse? Yes, yes it is. YAY!

9) I sat at McDonald's today and truly honestly was not even the least bit tempted--weird! I just drank my water and ate my almonds. Intriguing ...

10) The smores tempted me more than I thought they would ... but I didn't give in. Will power--what an idea!

Tomorrow is half way! Whoot Whoot!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day Two ... The Cleanse.

I hate this. I'm dying. I hate this. What was I, crazy? I'm dying--literally dying. 

Over dramatic? Yes. But that's me.

Day Two=I hate this detox.

Day Two Observations:

A) The shake was not nearly as good the second day. It was more watery--I'm not sure why. I used a little apple juice and used only half a banana. Not my favorite.

B) No amount of food satisfied my hunger today! And totally not a good idea to start this thing when I'm single-moming it for the weekend. Being the only parent in such heat taking crazy Josh to parks when all I can munch on are almonds and cantaloupe chunks was TOUGH!

C) Oh--I dropped 4 whole pounds between 7am and 11pm yesterday. CRAZY! (Water weight, I know, but crazy!)

D) My sister said that Day Two was her "I hate this" day as well. I think Day One I was like, "Yeah, I can do this. I'm awesome. It'll be great!" and Day Two I awoke to reality, gnawing hunger, a headache the size of India, and discovered, "Yikes--I want food. And not carrots--FOOD."

E) Don't ever think it's a good idea to prepare lasagnas for the freezer on Day Two (or any day for that matter) of a detox. BAD idea. Major temptation to nibble ...

F) I vividly recall glancing at the clock at 4:44pm and registering that I only had to wait 16 minutes for dinner. GLORIOUS!

G) I just realized that yesterday I used numbers for the observation list, today letters. Strange.

H) As I ate my bland chicken, tasteless brown rice, and steamed veggies, my sister Molly mentioned that she had put avocado in her detox dinners for flavor. I raced to the fridge, found avocado, sliced it into my bowl .... HEAVENLY! The clouds parted and angels sang--avocado is my new hero.

I) I've had a headache all day, my faces aches, my jaw bones ache, my vision feels hazy, and I'm lethargic ... What the ... ?!

J) Cherries are amazing. They are my dessert for tonight.

K) 1 through 10 is a lot cleaner than letters .... A-K? Weird.

That's all I guess .... Until Day Three ....

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day One of ... The Cleanse.

Why a cleanse, you ask? Because of a few reasons, that I will now list:

A) Lethargy, poor diet, and consistent aches and case of the "blahs"-time to jump start my system!
B) Poor diet (I know, double listing) combined with the seeming inability to simply eat better--time to jump start my system!
C) Because I'm finally done attempting to get pregnant, being pregnant, nursing, being pregnant again, and miscarrying--time to jump start my system!
D) Um, time to jump start my system?

So, Day One Observations:

1. The shake for breakfast, mixed with water and a whole banana in my Magic Bullet (which I must say, is mostly magic, but no matter what, there's always one chunk of banana that is missed. My sister confirms this, as she has a Magic Bullet too) was not all that bad! Molly set me up to think it would be awful, but when I'm hungry, I'm hungry. Now, talk to me on Day 7 and shake 13 and we'll see what I think.

2. As I learned with Joshua on "Super Why!", carrots are a good snack. So, I had a carrot--a big one--for a snack. Why don't I do this normally? Hmmm...not sure. Because graham crackers are easy access? And don't require skinning?

3. Almonds do a surprisingly adequate job of satisfying gnawing hunger.

4. I must intake a lot of calories by simply eating a bite of everything I feed Josh! I had to stop myself from eat a piece of his string cheese, a nibble of his turkey, a bit of his cracker ... Seriously!

5. By lunch, I was definitely in need of that second shake with a whole banana mixed in my Magic Bullet. Definitely.

6. Dinner couldn't come fast enough. The almonds just weren't cutting it, so I ate like, half a cantaloupe. Not joking. I swear, it didn't make a dent. I'm not sure what my body was craving, but it did not want cantaloupe and water!!

7. Chicken, brown rice, mixed with carrots, pea pods and zucchini has never ever ever tasted so good!

8. After gorging myself on dinner, I still had an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. That's probably the space that I normally fill with sugar, worthless carbs, processed foods and all sorts of other goodies.

9. I ate 1/2 a package--wait, hold up, 3/4 of a package of blackberries. Heavenly. And I'll probably finish it when I'm done here.

10. I'm tired. I'm assuming it's the sugar low, dip, crash mixed with the high heat and chasing a one year old. I hope this cleanse really does jump start my system ... 6 days to go!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Luxury of an Oops

Ever since I miscarried last week, I've had this phrase rolling through my mind:
Luxury of an Oops
It has occurred to me that having an "oops" pregnancy, while unexpected and kinda stressful, is actually a luxury. At least from the point of view I'm coming from. See, I'll most likely, as confirmed by last week's miscarriage, never have the luxury of "Oops! We're unexpectedly pregnant! Well, haha---guess God decided it was time!" 

See, that won't be us because of my ridiculous genetic blood protein chromosome something something problem--the beautiful MTHFR. My problem is not necessarily in the conception--it's in the keeping of an embryo. I've conceived four times (to my knowledge), and I have one child. Bad odds. That's because my body doesn't seem to know how to sustain a pregnancy without lotsa blood thinner shots, baby aspirin and uber amounts of folic acid to help my own body combat, well, itself. In order to keep my child. Sheesh. What a mess! 

You may recall that Erik and I went a LONG time without conceiving before we struck gold with little Joshua. I truly believe God heard, and not only heard but answered our prayers. Our prayer was quite specific, and truly, I don't know if we really knew what we were actually asking for. We prayed:
"God please PLEASE don't let us miscarry again. Please don't let us conceive until it's going to stick and carry." 
Well, after miscarrying our second in September of 2007, I did not conceive again until August of 2009. Let me tell you--that's a LOT of trying and failing. A lot of praying and waiting. A lot of wishing and hoping. 

God does answer prayer. He knew we needed to find out about MTHFR. He knew I needed to be with the right, arrogant, aggressive doctor who would treat this contested disorder. He knew I needed to be on certain shots and drugs even preconception for little "Bubba" (now Joshua) to stick. 
He knew, He heard, and He answered. 
And after this quite unexpected pregnancy that ended not unexpectedly in miscarriage, I ask of my Lord again. Please, Please, don't let me have another oops if it's just going to end like this. I'd rather find the specialist, pay the money, do the shots that bruise my skin and turn me ugly shades of yellow, purple, black and blue. I'd rather take the horse-sized pills, cut the caffiene, endure the blood draws, and mess with my hormones. I'd rather do all this then be reminded again some time in the future that my body does not have the ability to--on it's own--sustain a tiny little embryo past 6 weeks. 

I won't ever experience the luxury of an oops.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Unexpected ... Miscarriage

It's amazing how something you weren't expecting and not trying for can change your whole train of thought. Alter your entire way of thinking about the near future. Morph the image in your mind of the next steps.

On July 4th, we were shocked to find out we were pregnant. And this morning, sadly, I am losing the pregnancy.

I'd forgotten how quickly that positive pregnancy test changes your life. I had a inkling I was pregnant. As we traipsed around New York City, and I was extra tired, ridiculously crabby, and quite demanding of food, a small voice in my brain kept taunting me saying, "You're pregnant! You're pregnant!"

And so I was. And the second we saw that test, planned or not, our visualization of our future changed. Suddenly there was a pregnant belly while unpacking our place in Madison. There was a newborn baby early in March, or most likely February.  Joshua would have a baby sister or brother before he was 2--definitely not in our plans, but now our new reality.

This is, was, the first time I've ever been pregnant without trying. I have a whole new understanding for the woman who has an "oops." (Please don't comment and rant about how no baby is an oops and every baby is created by God ... I'm aware. It's a phrase. Thank you.) This was our "oops!" (I like to tack an exclamation point on the end because it sounds like a happy oops then.) And Baby Oops really threw me for a loop. I'd never not planned on a pregnancy before. And this one startled me--and so did my emotions.

I remember laying down with Joshua at my Grandma's house to spend some time with him before nap time. And I cried. Cried with shock, cried with happiness, cried with those crazy pregnant lady hormones. And Joshua laid with me, forehead to forehead. He reached out his chubby little hand and patted my cheek, as if to say, "There there Mommy, we can handle another one like me."

I had thoughts like, I'm not ready. I can't do this. Wait! Maybe I only want Joshua!!!!
But then I had thoughts like, What a miracle. We didn't even have to try!

Then the cramping started, and I couldn't decide what to feel. Sadness? Relief? Fear? A mix of it all. Then the cramping went away ... then it returned ... then it went away .... Ugh--just happen already!

And so now, the answer is clear: no baby in March. No brother or sister for Joshua--not yet anyway.

I've miscarried before. I've sobbed and I've bawled. This one is different. I'm still a mother, so yes I am grieving. I'm heartbroken and sad. But this one is different too. Because this time, I was able to open a door, smile at a little boy, pick him up and receive the biggest most exuberant hug any mommy could ever receive. Having Joshua makes this okay, and trusting God gives me hope.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Me? Insecure? Never! ... Well, maybe ... a smidge ...

I was invited to do one last bible study with Discovery Church women before our big move to Madison, Wisconsin. I waffled on the decision for a while, knowing that this summer would be crazy and also knowing that I would love the time with these ladies. Then I saw the book title they'd chosen: So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore. And I thought, "Nah, I don't need to read that--I'm not insecure!"

Insert laughter here.

Because only a few pages into the book, I realized wow--I am in these pages, in these examples. Insecurity is not just what I tend to picture--a mousy wall flower woman who can't speak her mind and spends 19 hours choosing an outfit just to change it later. No, insecurity can and does look very different from that.

I could quote a dozen lines from this book, and you'd probably think, "Oh my--that's me! She's talking about me!" even if you are like I was and utterly convinced of your security. No matter what, we've all got something that triggers us. Some broken relationship, some failed promise, some shortcoming or fear that paralyzes us and causes us to forget who we are in Christ. For me, I'm realizing a lot of different things about myself. So anyway, I'll just quote a few:

I constantly feel unqualified, inadequate, and out of my league. I realized this morning that I not only lack security, I also lack faith. I don't just doubt myself, I also doubt God about myself. 

Some of us never seek healing from God for our insecurities because we feel like we don't fit the profile. We think insecurity only looks one way--mousy, maybe even inept--and that's not exactly who we see in the mirror ... Insecurity's best cover is perfectionism. That's where it becomes an art form.

The fact that she [an insecure woman] can be a complicated mix of confidence and self-consciousness is the very reason it took me so long to identify it in myself and admit it. 

Those above quotes are all from the first couple chapters of the book. Those are the quotes, just a sampling, that drew me in and helped me realize this book was good for me. This next quote I read just yesterday, and with my life the way it is lately, boy did I need to read it. This section is in the form of a prayer ...

Lord, help me to learn how to hang on tight to You when my life is rocked by dramatic change. Empower me to trust You and not to panic or fight for control. Help me to stop confusing a change in my circumstances with a change in my security status. You are my security, O God. You are the one sure thing. When everything around me shakes, You are unshakeable. Nothing has the propensity to reveal false gods in me like a sudden change in my circumstances. Help me to see them and surrender them instantaneously. Use change to provoke what needs changing in me, Lord, and to increase my appreciation of the only One who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

I need to print this up and plaster it all over my walls, mirrors, car and laptop. What is it about change that gets me all jittery and insecure?? My God is in control, my God is orchestrating this change, and He is in it all, blessings, challenges, surprises, twists and turns. He is my Rock, my Guide and my Salvation. Whom--and what--shall I fear?

I'll close with this quote:

No, you are no the only one to blame [for your insecurity], but girlfriend, you are the only one you can change. God is willing, God is able. Let Him get to that terrified part of you that devalues the rest of you.

I highly recommend that you--yes you--read this book. :) Even if you think you're totally and completely secure, I promise you--you're not.