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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dear Me

Twenty years ago, I was an eighteen year old freshman in college.  I was so sure that my future was a good and secure one, confident that my choices and behavior would protect me from serious detours.  I didn't expect an easy life, but I thought it would be fairly predictable.  This is what I would write to that perky 18-year-old just setting out ...

That's me in the red, with my sweet sister in 1992.

Dear Missy,

You are having the time of your life - enjoy this season!  Get to know as many different people and diffent kinds of people as you can.  Your mind will open to so many new possibilities.  You are making deep and intimate friendships right now and twenty years later these will still be some of the most treasured relationships of your life. 

That guy you met at lunch the first of year, you will fall blindly in love with him.  Try not to be so blind.  You're keeping some space right now and that is good, but don't get in the habit of protecting your heart.  Let the good in!  It's going to take you many years to discern healthy boundaries for your heart and you will build high, thick walls.  It's okay, but letting those walls down will be the keys to your true happiness. 

You are known for your positive outlook - hang on to that!  You are going to need to see the best in situations more than you ever have in the past.  Remember all those times when it was hard to see the good, but you chose to be hopeful.  Keep up that pattern.

Often you choose to be alone over hanging out with others.  It's okay to like being alone, just don't isolate yourself in the process.  There is strength in going your own way and doing things differently. 

Most of all, try to accept that it's okay to not be perfect. Try to be gentle with yourself. Things in this life aren't perfect, and no one expects that of you. 

What would you tell the you of twenty years ago?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Moody Monday - Cranky!

My allergies have been at full scream for the past couple of weeks, and this weekend all that drainage seems to have become infected.  Because my head fills up like a fishtank and it feels like a brick between my eyes, I have trouble sleeping.  Then, in order to alleviate the pressure, I think a 3 am bath sounds like a good idea and I sit in a steamy tub with a hot washcloth on my face trying to find relief.  It does feel better, but it doesn't last.  So then I get back into bed only to roll from side to side as one nostril fills, then the other.  Such a night leads to a very cranky morning.


This is not a great way to start the week.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Moody Monday - Whew!

Just a quick update to share that I'm negotiating on the sale of our home.  It's a good thing and we'll see what the future holds.  Right now, I just feel a bit overwhelmed!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Peaceful Mornings

Sometimes life with three little ones gets crazy.  Lately things are improving after a rather challenging few weeks.  I'm learning it's pretty normal to have swings of ups and downs.  However, one area in which we are fairly consistent is avoiding the morning crazy!  Beginning our day peacefully is important to my sanity and I believe it sets the tone for their days, also.

What works for us is nothing new - it's sticking to some basic routines and procedures.  Here is our routine - for anytime we have to get up and out, whether to school, church or another activity:

1) Mom gets up first!  This is crucial, even if it only an extra five minutes.  This time to brush my teeth, gather my wits and begin the day is vita.

2) Wake everyone else.  My baby boy (he's four) usually hears me and it quickly up.  Firstborn quickly follows, but I have to wake and rouse my middle daughter.  She's the only one who will sleep till nine if allowed.  Everyone meets in the living room where they get to watch their "shows" (PBS). 

3) Clothing is chosen the night before, so the children get themselves dressed as they watch their shows.  Breakfast is served in the living room.  We rotate through ceral, toast, bacon, biscuits, etc.  Pancakes or scrambled eggs happen when Mommy wakes up and gets completely ready early.  Within a half hour, everyone is dressed and fed.

4) Twenty minutes to go!  This means they take turns brushing their teeth, while I help with hair and check over the outfits.  Beds get made and the dishes or toys put away.

5) At five minutes, we start turning off lights, get lunches into backpacks and head out to the van. 

The children are great about knowing the routine.  We keep our backpacks and jackets on a hook by the garage door.  Bible are on a nearby shelf for church days.  I employ occassional prodding or reminding, and help the little guy quite a bit.  But I'm thankful that our mornings are fairly predictable and calm.  I do so much better to start the day this way.

Little things make it easier: choosing clothes the night before, packing lunches in advance.  Are your mornings crazy or calm?  Do you do have any hints or tricks to make things run more smoothly!   I confess that I love the days my neighbor has carpool ... it gives me a few extra minutes to tidy myself and home. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

An Update & A Preview

I am super-busy but feeling super-productive!  Here are some updates and upcoming notes ...
  • School, soccer, Awana, church: we are busy!
  • My home will go back on the market officially on October 1.
  • I'm doing home maintenance and seasonal chores like crazy!
  • I can't wait to show you my organized pantry - woo hoo!
  • I'm purging all sorts of of things and it feels great.
  • I long for a new recliner.
  • I worry less than I used to, but it still creeps up on me at times.
  • It is great to be back in small group at church - love those girls!
  • We found a puppy.  We fell in love.  We found its owners.  Even I was sad.
And coming soon -
  • We need to get back to the mountains, it's been too long.
  • Cooler weather is predicted for next week.
  • I plan to move my boots from the top shelf to the closet floor. 
  • I have a new babysitter scheduled for fall break.
  • My sister is coming to visit at the end of the month - YAY!
  • The van has lasted for over a year without any major repairs needed.  Now I need new tires, breaks and a bit of body work.  Ick.
  • Mr. Wonderful will have to help me with transportation while my van gets worked on (note to self: ask him!)
  • Oh, he looks cuter than ever in soccer shorts!
Tonight is a night to hang out with my peeps.  First my children when they come home from school, then over to Mr. Wonderful's home and his girls.  Tomorrow morning I'll exercise with a friend then go to a soccer game.  I hope to get my bathroom and bedroom taped off for painting.  Ick.  And take a load to the Habitat Store.  We may venture to the mountains Sunday after church.

Does anyone else have fun weekend plans? 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Change in our Sunday Schedule

I shared last summer how I had decided to join the Single Moms Class.  More than a year later, I've decided not to go anymore.  Honestly, I have mixed feelings because I hate to disappoint anyone and I know the teacher genuinely cared for me and my children.  Still, I'm confident this is the right choice for me, and for the kiddos.  Here's why:
  1. There has been a change in the way our church organizes it's children's program and there is only one hour of children's programming. 
  2. I haven't bonded with any members of the class and I've had doubts about whether is is a good fit for a long time.  But I was determined to give it my best for a year. 
  3. We have joined Mr. Wonderful at his church as we explore more ways to integrate our lives.  Attending one service at our church frees us to join him and his family for a second worship time.
So, change continues to be the norm for us.  When I let go fo the false guilt, I feel really good about my decision.  I also found the article below interesting - especially noting that singleness is intended to make us more available for service, not to receive a catered program.

The Great Disappearing Singles Ministry