February 29, 2008

Chemical Pregnancy.

hot cocoa therapy.



They call it a "chemical pregnancy", which to me is just ridiculous on some deep down level because those two words just don't seem like they ever would belong in a sentence together. One is so impersonal, and the other is the most "personal" thing I think this world has to offer. They need a new name. Oxymorons don't suit the medical field.

The doc said it could have been a result of the fever that I tossed and turned with for a day or two back when the stomach flu came and steamrolled me a couple of weeks ago. I, however, am convinced that this is what did it.

The week before I had the flu, I just knew I was pregnant. I had allllll the symptoms. And when I looked directly at my own pupils in the mirror, they told me so. I felt... excited. And somewhat unsettled. Am I ready to put on the 'Mother of Two Kids' hat? Why does this hat feel like it will be so much heavier and self-consuming than the 'Mother of One Kid' hat that is currently perched comfortably on my head? Why does it feel like comparing a fancy, stylish little pillbox hat to a gargantuan floppy sombrero? Will I disappear underneath it completely?

Despite these questions, I begin to feel more and more excited with each passing day. Baby names are whizzing through my brain. I'm mentally rearranging the house to make room for a crib. I'm daydreaming about the smells, sounds, joys of a new baby. I go there in my head. Which is 100% perfectly okay and right and good. I do not regret it with any iota of my being.

Then, I get the flu. I'm feverish and sleep a lot that whole day. When I wake up the next morning, something has changed. I no longer feel pregnant.

A few days go by. Still- no symptoms. But, I am late. My hope is still holding on. I take a test. Negative. I take THREE tests over the next couple of days. Negative. Negative. Negative. Now I am... more late. This never happens to me. I am confused.

A couple of days go by, and finally I start to bleed. But it's unlike any cycle I've ever had. Heavier and getting progressively more so with each passing day. Clotting. Nine whole days later, it still hasn't stopped. I am ready for this to be over, but it just won't stop.

So, that's where I am at. I have an appointment on Wednesday of this week to get everything checked out. I am told this will pass soon, that I don't have anything to worry about. Unless the bleeding gets heavier- then I'm to get myself to a doctor ASAP. I may become anemic.

I know this happens alot, that it is completely normal and says nothing about my ability to become and remain pregnant in the future, but I still feel... sad.

I feel silly for feeling sad. It was SO early. This is SO common. I did not ever expect I would feel sad over something like this. I was shocked to discover the distinct bitterness of loss in my heart. I mean, isn't it silly to feel loss? A bit... drama? It was just a tiny clump of cells.

I am mourning the immense possibility that was wrapped up inside those cells.

Also, (what's this?) I am feeling a little bit guilty. Like, if I'd taken more precautions against getting sick, or taken better care of myself, I might be writing a much different post right now. I know this is ridiculous. Yet still... I find these things hiding out in my heart.

So, instead of repressing these feelings, or hiding them from the people I love just because "oh, this happens to a lot of people- no one wants to hear it", I'm trying to ride them out. I'm trying to allow myself to feel them because I know they are valid and important enough to honor with honesty and openness.

So... hello out there. I am sad. I lost something that I loved this week, but I have hopeful eyes set on the horizon. And I've learned something important through all of this as well:

Sometimes it takes a little bit of loss to open your eyes and show you what you have been desperately longing for unaware.

February 28, 2008

Playing Catch Up.

Ezra honing his tracing skills with the little maze I made for him.


Some things:
  • We're meant to have the storm shelter installed in the garage this weekend, but lo and behold! The garage door broke! CRASH! No one can get in or out! Life thinks it's sooo funny!
  • Garage door man came out and fixed everything for us. We didn't have to pay a billion dollars for a new one. Life may resume as planned.
  • Now the dishwasher sounds like it may implode. Again.
  • Chris is leaving town tomorrow. I will be left to deal with storm shelter people by my lonesome. I fear the worst... perhaps they will install it upside-down under my watchful direction?
  • Ezra is on antibiotics due to a recent double ear infection.
  • Antibiotics = constant stream of diarrhea = horrible, painful rash on son's bum = no leaving the house ever ever ever. Every time I have to wipe him, I feel like I'm torturing him. This is... how shall I say? Unpleasant. He's going to be on this stuff for TEN DAYS. (Heaven help us.)
  • I have been eating poorly and been very inactive lately. I am trying to find ways to remedy this while on Diarrhea Lock Down 2008.
  • Ezra has learned all of his alphabet phonics... The 'A' says AH! The 'B' says BUH! The 'C' says CUH!.... He's so smart. Now he's on to sounding out words. Although at this point, he thinks most words say "EZRA!" Example: "BUH... ALL... BUH... ALL... dat say EZRA!"
  • Chris is currently outside at the top of our 40 foot tree- trimming the branches that were damaged in the storm a couple of months ago. He is using his 30 ft ladder and a full body harness (tied off) for safety. But still... a chainsaw in a tree? I am as nervous as a wet cat.
  • I am better understanding WHY I have been having such intense emotions over the past month- and will probably write more about this (very personal) experience later on- when I'm feeling up for it and not knee deep in liquid toddler poo.
  • Also on the agenda: Sharing with you all the video of Ezra singing a collection of his favorite songs, (including a little Sufjan Stevens) which I have FINALLY captured on film. This boy has an INSANE ear for melody and pitch... I foresee a vocalist in my future. How lovely!
  • Um, that's all for now I think.
*End random transmission. Boop!*

February 26, 2008

Operation: Grow Hair!

OK, since you asked, here's an update on the Operation: Grow Hair! situation.


First, let's do a refresher of how long my hair was when I started this "growing out my hair" bit 14 months ago:

(Look at me... So young! So innocent! So unaware of how sucky growing out one's hair can be! Also: cute hair! Why the eff have I been growing my hair long again?!)


Aaaaaand now here's how long my hairs are now:



...which is pretty great, right? Except I NEVER wear my hair down like this because it feels like a lion's mane on crack- flying this way and that and finding its way into 80% of what I try to eat. So, I daily resort to my staple hair-doo of the moment: The Side Pony.



Here's where I need your help, dear hair help people of the world. I have a friend who is a hair stylist and she's asked me to be a hair model for her, which means HELLO free fancy hair cut! She says she can leave my length and just cut some layers and trim my bangs, but now I'm thinking "Hmmm... perhaps an A-Line cut would look nice?" You know- shorter in the back and sloping to longer in the front? But then I probably couldn't do my side pony anymore. And it might be harder to grow out after that?

I don't know. I need your help. I must know EXACTLY what to do before I get in the room with a pair of scissors- or else, knowing me, I'll suddenly scream, "SHAVE IT OFF !!!" and then I'd have to slink back here and tell you that, um, I "trimmed my bangs" again. And the stylist must have sneezed or something because NOW I'M BALD.

What to doooo????

February 24, 2008

Finally Ready to Be Okay. (LPA*)

*Loooooong Post Alert

Oh, Lordy Lordy Lordy you guys. It's is 1:30 in the morning and I am supposed to be sleeping but I just absolutely CANNOT because I feel like my life is completely changing right this very moment and the last thing I will be able to do is bed myself back down in the face of something so profound. That would be like trying to sleep on a big comfy bed of crocodiles.

Here are the things that have changed my life in the past few hours. I am realizing that:

1) God really is in control of everything. My life is a bunch of little puzzle pieces that He's meticulously connecting. (This applies to my EVERYTHING. ALL THE TIME.)

2) Despite my greatest efforts, I am not my mother.

Allow me to explain. Here are the recent puzzle pieces that have brought me to where I am now- in the dark office at 1:30AM on a Saturday night.

--A few weeks ago I got this idea while sitting at church. A little idea of something I might organize- a publication of sorts. But the idea was blurry so I tucked it away in my brain somewhere.

--Then, a few days ago, a friend of mine came over and said she'd had a similar little idea tucked away in a pocket of her brain, too- so we started to talk about our ideas and give them a little more shape. This left me feeling *gasp* inspired for the first time in, oh, 987467q8640 (is that a Q in there?) days, and this little burst of creativity and inspiration led me to this little, teeny tiny inkling in my heart: I am right where I'm meant to be.

This is not a feeling that I have often, so I babied it and gave it food and a warm sweater and then clung to it like it was my last ticket out of GOING-CRAZY-VILLE.

--Then, lo and behold, a new thought popped up in my brain. It said something along the lines of "All of this discontentment that you've been feeling is coming from an impossibly high standard that you've set for yourself."

"Interesting!", I thought to myself. "I wonder where this standard I'm setting for myself is coming from?" Then I ate lots of cookies.

--Then, an amazing thing happened at exactly the right moment. A thing that occurs so rarely in the universe, it is considered an absolute scientific phenomenon.

It's called DATE NIGHT.

--My husband and I dropped off the baby child and drove towards the movie theater. We were going to see Juno. But then, my husband (whom God in all His infinite wisdom brought to me years and years ago so that he could help me not cave in on myself) told me he did not want to spend our precious free time staring at a screen... that he would rather spend that time having actual conversation over a good meal.

Part of me dropped. This meant I would have to, you know, talk about stuff. Outloud. And I hadn't brought any cookies with me.

--We end up at a fancy restaurant that we had a gift card for. Chris shows no mercy. "Why do you think you've been isolating yourself so much lately?"

I fear the worst: Melting into a puddle of messy cry right there on the fancy restaurant floor. AND WE HAVEN'T EVEN GOTTEN OUR BREAD YET.

Instead, I keep it together and I tell him that I don't really know... I just feel like whenever I get a moment to do what I want to do, I can think of nothing but being alone. All day long, I crave these moments. I feel like I NEED them to survive. But, I keep denying myself these moments or I feel guilty because of them... I mean, shouldn't I be doing something more productive with these free moments? When I drop Ezra off at school- shouldn't I be grocery shopping? Why do I (without fail) end up at a coffee shop- staring out the window and getting lost in my never-ending stream of thoughts? Why do I end up wandering through stores or reading or sitting in my quiet house writing? Why can't I just get my butt in gear and go buy bread?

--As I am sputtering talking like this, I start to realize something. I am (and have been) trying desperately to be my mother. Because I respect her with ever fiber of my being. She's organized. On top of things. Productive. Orderly. Task-Driven. And when I don't measure up, when I end up sitting in coffee shops for hours staring out of windows when I should be calling doctors, I feel like I'm failing. I tell myself I am a failure. At life.

My mother is amazing at all of these productive organizational things, because she has had to learn to be. Her mind is sharply brilliant and logical- she is wise and tackles problems with dexterity and a level head. (Whereas I usually take more of the bumbling and ful-a-baloo approach.) When something needs to get done, she does it. This is simple logic to her. And I envy her for her abilities.

Suddenly, while sitting in this fancy restaurant, I realize that maybe... just maybe... I'm wired differently. And, what's more: Maybe That's Okay. (Maybe?)

My family is a perfect split of artists and logicalists. (haha is that even a word? That pretty much PROVES I'm not a "logicalist", eh?) One brother is a starving artist. The other is a successful civil engineer. And I've always felt like I'm somewhere in the middle-- not sure which side of the fence to plant my feet on. And I've seen my parents grapple with understanding where my artist brother is coming from. Because they are more logical and don't understand the 'eh, it will all work out' mentality. So, I've been afraid to embrace the artist in myself. Because I don't want them to worry about me.

At the same time, I know that all they want for me is to be happy. And I AM happy where I'm at- if I could just get myself to accept that it was enough.

What would happen if I stopped putting all this pressure on myself and just started being who I am? I am an artist. I need time and space and quiet to wander through my thoughts so I can write them, sing them, get them out of my skin. I have a husband who takes care of me and understands this part of me better than I do. He sees that the thing I'm struggling against so hard is nothing more than me arm wrestling MYSELF. The Me I Think I Should Be VS. The Me That I Am.

Chris is constantly telling me that he can help take care of the little things. That I don't have to stress so much about everything. He enjoys taking care of me in that way. But something in me won't let him. Something in me says that if I let him help me in these things, I will be sealing the deal forever:

I FAIL AT LIFE. F minus plus plus.

Here's the thing: I am at a point in my life where I have the freedom and ability to explore these things about myself. My house is in working order, my husband is not starved, my boy is cared for, and after all of this, I still find pockets of time to sit and just be. To think and write and think and sit and be. So why will I not allow myself to do that? Why can't I just embrace these times and use them guilt free? Gobble them up like the hungry artist that I am? Why do I keep telling myself I have to have a job? When will I realize that depriving myself of these times is doing more harm than good?

If circumstances were to change, and I were unable to have that time, if I suddenly HAD to be in charge of all the little things, I know I would be okay. I would do what needed to be done (with god's help) and spring to action where needed. I know how and I am a capable and intelligent human being.

But in this season of my life, I am taken care of. And I think that's okay. To rest in that. Chris is my covering. And... for now? I think I've got some writing to do.

I think I'm finally ready to accept these things and move on with my life already. I think I'm ready to pick up the reigns and tell this thing where to go from here.

I think I'm finally ready to be okay.

February 22, 2008

Contentment.



I've realized that the thing that holds me and pushes against me day after day is not much more than plain ol' apathy. That's my enemy. And if I don't start taking steps to knock the weight of it off of me, it's going to pin me down completely and lay me flat.

How do I stop being apathetic? I pray and I step. Pray and step. Pray and step. Till I'm standing somewhere new and I have no choice but to acclimate to my new surroundings.

But... also? I'm tired of constantly feeling like I'm not doing enough. I haven't had a break from this self-imposed pressure for as long as I can remember being alive. And, heck, maybe by some people's standards, I'm really not doing enough, but I think I'm pretty much through with living by the criteria of what I imagine other people think of when they look at me.

I'm a mom. I'm a writer. I'm a musician. I'm a fashionista. And for now? Stick a fork in me, I'M DONE.

Because, who knows what the future will bring? Fashionably late educations? High pressure careers? Fancy parties? Relentless travel? Non-stop here and theres?

Maybe.

But wait, aren't I forgetting something very important here? Ah, yes... I could be gone tomorrow! How lame would it be if I spent all my todays waiting for them to "improve" into tomorrows already? And then when it was my very very last today, I'd be all, "Well, crap. Should have lived differently." THE END. Roll credits.

I have a feeling that if I don't enjoy what's been put in front of me now, I will kick myself for it later. This doesn't mean allowing myself to hole up in my house all day everyday- fearing the worst at all times. No! This means... grabbing hold of what I've been given and pouring all that I have into it. Being faithful with the small things and truly grateful for the honor of being entrusted with them. Even if the sum of those things seems small to others. There's more beauty in doing one or two things really well than being spread so thin that everything starts to look... economical.

There is a very fine balance between falling into total apathy and "doing" just for the sake of "Hey! Look at me! I'm DOING! Weeee!"

I'm trying to find that magical balancing point in my own life in all of this, and I think that if I'd take a moment to really think about it, I'd see that it's been right under my nose this whole time. Just waiting for me to acknowledge the greatness of this simple little life I've been given.

Lord, smother me with contentment. I want to soak in it like a hot tub until I'm pruned up and (oh, finally!) deep down grateful.

It Could Be Yours!

Just listed in my ebay store:



I'll be posting some more items later today, as well. Check it out!

February 20, 2008

Wedding Dancers.

I meant to post a link to these pics awhile ago, but I forgot. They are from the wedding we went to a while back- the one that was so much fun I never wanted it to end.

All these photos were taken by a photographer in Seattle named Sarah Rhoads. Check out her stuff, it's absolutely amazing.

Can you spot my handsome dancin' hubby and the little pink & black dress you all helped me pick out?

me, chris, pete, and crystal. CATCHING AIR.


Joel and Chris. Simply amazing.


Chris and I firmly believe that EVERY wedding needs choreographed dances to Michael Jackson tunes.


Congrats again, Dustin and Becca! Your wedding was a blast!

I LOVE the flu!



Hello, world!

We are doing much better now, thank you for your well wishes! Chris and Ezra were spared from the flu death, and just got cute little matching colds instead. (Hey... ANYTHING is cute compared to what knocked me over a few days ago. Even snot!) We are all recovering slowly, and I'm even thinking of leaving the house again sometime in late July! (I've been a bit cooped up... a bit stir-crazy... but also kind of enjoying the seclusion and non-stop PJ wearing at the same time. I'm such a hermit.)

The day I was sick, my husband let me sleep. ALL DAY. Also? He took care of Ezra, cleaned the house, did the laundry, put fresh sheets on the bed, researched homeopathic flu remedies, went to the store and came home only to whip me up a batch of the yummiest homemade chicken soup I've ever tasted, and then he took Ezra to the mall so he could run around and play before he came home and put him to bed. (Oh! And I think he also found time to put an end world hunger in there somewhere, too.)

I felt so taken care of and so loved- it almost made the flu enjoyable.

ALMOST.

Thanks, honey bean. You are crazy amazing. (Will you marry me?)

February 16, 2008

February 15, 2008

Wait... He's SHORT?

Ezra's birthday was great fun but not nearly as documented as I'd have liked it to be because (as it turns out) having 15+ children and their moms in my little house was a bit... um... chaotic? Gee... Who'da thunk it?

Here are the three photos I managed to snap of the most special event:

Cupcakes.


Chaos.


Cutie.


Ezra had a blast. (A very whiny "I-want-everything-right-now-don't-touch-my-
toys-gimmie-my-presents-don't-eat-my-cupcakes"
kind of a blast.) It was so fun having all his friends over to celebrate, though, and the fact that there may or may not have been FIVE cupcakes leftover for me to scarf dispose of was really just an added bonus.

Our most favoritest neighbors and dear friends brought over a gift for Ezra before the party on Wednesday, and that gift has hardly left the boy's shoulders ever since:





IS THIS NOT THE COOLEST THING YOU'VE EVER SEEN? My neighbor and her mother designed it and made it, because they both knew that at the very moment a little boy turns three, knowledge of all things Super hero falls out of the sky and downloads into their brains by some miraculous, unknown force- causing them to run up and down hallways all day long screaming "I FLY! FWOOSH! I FLY! FWOOSH!"

Ezra loves the cape almost as much as I do.

My latest journal:



Created by buying a cheapy spiral bound notebook and taping some pages from my friend Jeremy's old clothing catalog onto the front with clear packaging tape. I have a feeling this journal is going to hold many good things between its covers. New things.

I took Ezra to a new doctor (LOVE HIM) on Tuesday, and he was able to explain to me more of what Ezra's chest wall deformity really is. (Have I ever talked about this here before? No? Well, his ribs have been silly shaped since birth.) It's some form of Pectus- where his lower right ribs are sunken in due to a cartilage abnormality. It isn't causing him any pain or shortness of breath at this point, so it is just one of those things they'll keep their eye on as he grows. Doc said it would probably get worse before it gets better, but it's not harmful. Just odd looking.

Also, Ezra only measured in the second percentile for height. 2%!! THAT'S REALLY SHORT. I was all, "Um, Doc? My husband and I be TALL glasses of water. How is this possible?" He asked me if I was always tall, or if I had a sudden growth-spurt later on in life. Then I remembered that I was always the shortest kid in my class (do you guys remember lining up for picture day by height?) until about 7th grade when suddenly my arms and legs got so long that I had to wrangle them in to fit through doorways. That's right about the time my gymnastics career took a nosedive, too. I should've been a ballerina. Or a swimmer. Or a coat rack.

Chris said he was never tall as a kid, either, but that he grew very gradually over a very long period of time. He was still growing in college. People ask him all the time if he played basketball in high school, and he always says "No, I wasn't really all that tall back then." and as the people gaze upwards into his face you can almost see the wild look of disbelief in their eyes.

So, we have a short kid. With silly ribs. And a wicked sense of humor. Wearing a star spangled cape.

Absolutely perfect in every way.

February 13, 2008

I Am Afraid.



I learned something about fear last night.

I learned that a lot of times it is telling you that you NEED something. But it's always lying.

I met with a group of ladies last night, and one of the questions we dove into was "What is your biggest fear?"

My biggest fear is never being seen... never fulfilling the plans that God has mapped out for me. I am terrified that I am never going to figure out what I'm 'meant to do' on this earth, and I'm going to die without ever being who I was called to be. Unheard. Unseen.

My fear is telling me that I NEED to do something big and grand and extravagant with my life, or I will amount to nothing at all.

But you know what I realized last night? Even if someone walked up to me and handed me an opportunity to do something grand and extravagant and big tomorrow, and I seized that opportunity, I would still wake up the next morning with this fear. Throwing myself in the spotlight isn't going to magically make the fear disappear. It will always want, will always need MORE.

And I realized that this is true for pretty much any fear. Fear of poverty? Throwing money at it won't make that mindset, that deep down belief that you'll never be provided for go away. I know of people who are wealthy, yet still they are terrified of poverty. Afraid of being alone? Getting married won't fix that. Marriage can be just as lonely (if not, in some ways, more so) as being alone can be. Afraid of sickness/death? You can be perfectly healthy and still spend half your life worrying about the 'what ifs'.

Fear is always rooted in something deeper, something much more difficult to pin point. It creeps in when we least expect it (oftentimes when we are young and defenseless) and puts a choke hold on us before we even realize we're afraid. And then it wears us down, slowly, until it controls everything in our lives.

I'm learning that the only way to really get rid of all this fear is to stop and LOOK at the things I am afraid of, and then ask God to be all of those things FOR me.

I am afraid of being unseen. God tells me HE sees me and delights in me- just as I am. I need to know that I am seen by Him before I'm going to feel seen by anyone else. Period. If I'm afraid of not having enough money, I need to know that He promises to provide for me... that He alone is my security. I need to know that even obscene amounts of money couldn't (wouldn't!) offer me those things.

So, that's where I am at. Trying to rip out all the roots that have grown in me and told me that I'll never be enough. I'm asking God to be my Enough.

I was reminded of something that God said to me back when I was in college and struggling so much with thoughts of death and feelings of abandonment. I felt completely unseen- unseen by Chris, unseen by God, unseen by the Church. And one night, I was sitting in my apartment across the street from the college I was attending, and I was journaling. I was telling God that He didn't even know me, that He obviously didn't care for me because He was nowhere to be found when I needed Him the most. And then, clear as day, I heard Him say:
"Emery... You are NOT just another face in the crowd to Me."

I remember I was completely stunned for a moment. I cautiously wrote what I had just heard in my journal.

And then? I started bawling my eyes out.

God knows our fears better than we do ourselves. And sometimes, if we'll just stop and listen, He will remind us gently that He's stronger than fear.

And He won't stop there, either. He'll grab hold of those fears that have gripped us and bound us, and He'll turn them for good... Taking the very things that we've pushed Him away with for so long and using them to draw us closer to Him than we've ever been before.

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In other news, Thanks to Piper for this lovely gift! Just in time for Valentine's Day! I feel the love. Click the picture to get swept away to the loveliest blog of them all!

February 9, 2008

A Psalm Of Life.


A Psalm Of Life

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,--act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;--

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

February 8, 2008

This Post is an Emotional Rollercoaster.

Your comments on the post before last blew me away. You guys are wise, and I can't thank you enough for what you brought to my table that day. Encouragement, practical suggestions, tough love, opening my eyes to people who have changed the world without leaving their homes... all of these things really did help me on one of the lowest days I can remember. I am thinking some of these 'slumps' may be chemically and/or hormonally driven, so I am going to look into that. I feel weird even typing that just now. But it's the truth. And I owe it to myself to look into it.

I have NO reason to be unhappy- unhappy to the point of being nonfunctional- yet it seems that I am interminably pushing despair away from my surface. It is exhausting. And I think it's just been a part of who I am for so long that I don't even realize how incessantly I am having to do it. Who would I be if I weren't using all that energy just to stay functional? What if a lifeboat came along?

Who would I be??

Anywho... thank you all. Deeply.


***********************************************


In other news...

We sold our green sofa bed couch on Craigslist and bought a bed to take its place. (Sorry, Darrin! I know you were attached to the green monster.) We are officially adults because our guests no longer have to sleep on a vintage pull-out sofa mattress. Yay us! Now, come stay with us! We'll feed you good acceptable food and make you yummy tea!



I went to Ross to find some bedding and found some really nice sheets, a fabulous modern GRAY bed skirt, and this fantastic down alternative plaid comforter. (Chris told me he desired to have at least ONE room that wasn't covered in floral floraly-ness... that he wanted to keep the office/guest room MODERN and SIMPLE. This is the best I could do. I am drawn to busy patterns like a moth to a bug zapper.) Then a lamp and a picture frame jumped into my cart. It all ended up costing less than $80.

Long live Ross!

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In other OTHER news...

My parents are fronting us a little money so that we can have a storm shelter installed in our garage. Recent events demand it for us. In a couple of weeks, a company will come out, cut a square into the cement of our garage floor, dig a big hole in the ground, and drop a steel bunker down into it. Then they will finish it all off with a sliding door that is flush with the ground.




I am SO wishing I could Photoshop these images with some funny captions, but my husband is using the laptop to watch LOST, so I CAN'T. (Just pretend they are saying really funny things, mmmm kay?)


In the past, we've asked all of our neighbors what their tornado plan was. They all kindof shrugged and said, "We don't really know... what's yours?"

eek.

For those of you who live in tornado-prone areas (I'm looking at YOU Nashvillians and Oklahomans that I love) these things aren't all that expensive. And you might never ever need them, but also? YOU MIGHT.

You all should look into it.

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Some of Chris' family have been in town this week due to tragic circumstances... Chris' aunt's sister passed away here in Oklahoma, and then when Chris' aunt came down to attend the funeral, she passed away as well. She just didn't wake up one morning.

Needless to say, the family is in shock and grappling with two unexpected deaths within the same week. We had some of the family over for dinner last night, and it was such a sweet time. It is so sad that such horrible circumstances brought us all together finally, but I am so glad we got to see them and spend time with them. They are amazing people. We are praying that God would be closer than their very breath during this difficult time...

February 6, 2008

Three.


I didn't even know you three years ago.

That's weird to think about.

Three years ago, after the most intense night of my entire life, you suddenly showed up.

Screaming.

You only weighed 6 lbs. (I had prayed you would weigh six pounds.) You had heart-stopping eyelashes. (I had prayed you'd have them.) I was only in labor for five hours. (I had prayed you'd come quickly.)

We were off to a good start- you and me. You were all I'd hoped for and more.

But I didn't even know you.

You hung out by my hospital bed in something that looked like oversized tupperware on wheels. I would glance over at you from time to time and wonder what you were thinking about. Then I'd scold myself because, hello? Babies can't think! Then, I'd think: Wait... maybe they can? Crap! Am I already limiting my child? I'm so sorry! Think away, dear two hour old baby!

I had this feeling that you could tell I had no idea what I was doing, so I tried to play it cool in front of you. But you were on to me, weren't you?

Visitors came. Sometimes it felt like when you go to a party and see someone you sort of know and then someone else walks up and wants to be introduced to your "friend" and you suddenly realize you have no idea what your "friend's" name even is. It was a little awkward. "Hi! This is Ezra! He, um, sleeps! And sometimes eats! Um, I think he likes that light up there!"

That was all I knew about you at the time.

We brought you home. I started to figure out what you liked and didn't like- Slowly. Clumsily. Tearfully. (More on my part than yours.) You hardly made a sound. Your cry sounded like the volume was turned down on the TV. It was... soft.



I liked to go places and show you off. You were really small. And you never pooped. (Your record? TWELVE DAYS. The doctors kept telling me you were just very... "efficient.") I was learning to get used to the new human I was responsible for while trying to hang on to the tattered bits of my old life... My old self. They were tattered because, after you were born, I realized I'd never lived for anyone but ME. And suddenly that seemed kinda silly.

Anyways... you grew. And as you grew, I got to know you more and more. And with every new thing I learned about you, I fell more and more in love with you. You took your time with the talking thing, and that was hard because I was ready to move beyond the language of grunts and growls. I wanted to know what made you tick. I was beginning to think I'd birthed a perpetual CAVEMAN.



But now? You are three. That's one more than two and two more than one.

THREE.

In some ways, we are still getting to know one another, yes? That's why you push my buttons all the time. Because you're just checking to see what they all do. (Just so you know: that 'constant whine' button you've been pushing the last couple of weeks? That's mommy's EYE TWITCH button. May we move on?)

I know you better than anyone else in the world does by now. Better than I've known anyone ever before. (I wipe your bum, is all I'm saying.) And yet... you still manage to confound me. Surprise me. Lay new cards on the table at least once or twice a day. You are a little thunderstorm running up and down the hall... full of energy and passion and prone to sudden changes.

You are not who I thought you were when I gave birth to you three years ago. You are complex and stubborn and sensitive. You are observant and aware and have a powerful memory. You are logical and emotional. You are goofy and inclusive. You are more amazing than my vivid imagination could've ever imagined you'd be.

I realize now that I will never know you completely. But I'm okay with that, Ezra, because I've already seen enough good in you to last a lifetime. You are an incredible person, and I am so proud of who you are becoming.

Happy Birthday, Sweet boy. I love you.

February 4, 2008

Losing Steam.




It is going to be SEVENTY SIX degrees here today. 76!!

Tomorrow?

Chance of SNOW.

We had a picnic with the neighbors today and I had a tank top on and felt HOT. Ezra's cheeks turned bright pink like he'd gotten too much sun. Yet tomorrow, I will be watching rain and snow from my window- cranking up the heater and feeling like I am in the Twilight Zone.

Oklahoma weather is bizarre.

I must openly admit to the cheese-ball card I'm about to play here and tell you that, yes, I'm moments away from relating these crazy weather patterns to the patterns of my heart/mind over the past few days.

I am losing steam.

My desire and passion to get out and find a job and do new things is fading and I am feeling like my old self again... tired, unmotivated, sad.

Summer yesterday, Winter today.

I have been beating myself up about these things. Telling myself I am not a good Christian, a good wife, a good mum, a good friend. Ezra has started conversing non-stop in the body-cringing frequency of a WHINE. I am quick to lose my temper and my days feel like years. I never go outside. I wonder if God thinks this is stupid. I suddenly wish I was an outdoors-y type of person... leading Ezra on adventures through the woods and taking family camping trips into the middle of nowhere with nothing but tents and food... adventure in our faces and sunsets on our backs.

Why am I feeling this strange tension all of the sudden?

I think it has a lot to do with the recent realization that I have led a completely SAFE and completely SHELTERED life up to this point... and that no one who's ever contributed to the world could describe their lives as "safe". I am so blessed to have had such a life, but when you are an American who has always had everything you've ever needed, it doesn't leave much room for FAITH or total dependence on God. I'm suddenly not okay with being a couch potato Christian. This suddenly seems ridiculous to me, but it's the life I have been living for as long as I can remember.

The God I believe in is not a safe God. He is adventurous and dangerous and wild. He asks you to do ludicrous things with no promise of pleasant outcomes. He calls you to risk your life for others; calls you to lay it all on the line so that He can shine through you. He demands great sacrifice and obedience.

Going to the grocery store is the adventure in my life. And I feel like I don't even know God because I've never really had to know Him. (Is any of this making sense? Didn't I start this post off by talking about the weather?) All of these thoughts seem a bit scary to me. And they are so loud inside my head I can't think of much else.

Back when life was tumultuous and my heart was at a constant breaking point... back when I was fighting for the man I loved... I felt God near. It was the most difficult yet sweetest time of my life. Because I needed Him. I woke up each morning feeling like I wasn't going to survive if He didn't spoon-feed me my next breath.

I NEEDED Him.

So, I am praying. I am praying that God would use me in a great adventure. That He would find me ready and able when and if He ever needs me. I am praying for the motivation to get out of my house. The motivation to volunteer or spend myself on account of someone else. Because right now, I don't have that motivation. I don't have any desire to walk out of my front door. And I NEED that to change because the adventure I so desperately want to be a part of isn't just going to come knock on my door and ask if I'm not doing anything later. And I honestly think that's what I've been waiting for all this time...

I woke up in the middle of the night last night feeling panic at the thought of all of this. Like I'd messed everything up and wanted nothing more than to start it all over again. Regret. The WORST feeling in the world. And something in the atmosphere of my house didn't feel right... there was something heavy and oppressive in the air and I felt scared and hopeless. I tried to pray. I felt a strong urge to grab the dusty Bible on my nightstand. I wished that I had more of His words memorized in my heart so that I could recall them to my mind in the dark.

I prayed that God would forgive me, change me, calm me. I told the darkness in my bedroom that He is Faithful and Good. I whispered it to my quiet room and tried to believe it. My chest started to feel a bit lighter and the atmosphere began to shift. I prayed some more and finally fell back asleep.

So, to the inky stuff inside my heart:

God is Faithful. God is Good.

The weather could change again tomorrow, but those things never will.