Friday, May 29, 2009

It's a girl!

I thought I had blogged awhile back about the 4 couples I know that are pregnant but I couldn't find it in my blog list...which is a pretty impressive 273 entries strong! Wow! Anyway, in the next few months 4 babies are due (may, june, july and august...all at the end of each month oddly enough) and the first of the group arrived this morning! Yea!

Meet baby girl Mac. So happy that she's here safe and sound. Congrats to Momma, Daddy and all the grandparents! Rumor has it that Grandma Mac was already out buying ballerina slippers this afternoon...dancing is in her future!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I know, right?

Today's rant comes courtesy of this inane saying that's taking over the world. I give you *I know, right?* Opinionated Friend started using this phrase and was on the receiving end of my very loving, caring request to STOP SAYING THAT!!! She was kind enough to agree that it's an annoying phrase used by people around her that she has picked up on. Another friend uses it all the time as well, but I'm not close enough to her to tell her to KNOCK IT OFF!!!! (I do realize that using all capital letters means I'm screaming. I'm screaming.)

When I say the phrase is taking over the world, I mean it. While in Iowa, Yo Momma and I went to lunch. We were seated and the waitress came over to take our order. She was a cheerful person who was very helpful there was just one problem, she used this phrase every other sentence. Not kidding. The phrase that I thought was just used in California has made it to Iowa. It's spreading!

Then yesterday R-girl, Blaise and I went to see this movie:
It was good, fun and just as satisfying as the first movie. I recommend it for a laugh and I'm not a Ben Stiller fan so that's saying something...but about a third of the way through one of the people in the movie says IT, that phrase that makes my ears hurt, *I know, right?*. STOP THE INSANITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Make it stop, make it stop, for the love of all that's holy, make it stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thus ends today's rant.

Monday, May 25, 2009

When did I move to the zoo?

Friday evening I arrived home after a couple of glorious days away. So good to just be. Be quiet. Be serious. Be silly. Be contemplative. Be aware. Be sad. Be happy. Be shopping. Be listening. Be watchful. Be me. Just be.

Arriving home I pulled into the garage, opened the trunk and began to pull out the many items I collected when I heard a bird crying. Nothing unusual around this house, but this bird cry was different. I'd heard it before but not at home. Huh.

Took my stuff inside and went upstairs to visit. That's when I heard the bird again and Yo Momma says "It's a peacock". THAT'S IT! I knew I'd heard that sound the zoo! Turns out there's a white peacock roaming around the neighborhood. Guess it spent the day in our neighborhood and then moved across the gully to another neighborhood. I never caught a glimpse of it, but I've heard it several times in the last couple of days. Yo Momma did some research and turns out the tail feathers can be sold for up to $500. Yikes! Me thinks someone in the area is without a very valuable pet.Edited to add:
No joke. I pushed publish and the peacock started talking again from the neighbors tree. Crazy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Out of pocket

Yo Momma goes on a bike ride every year with her friends in Iowa. They get on their bikes and ride 62 miles whichever way the wind is blowing. For five days they ride, staying in motels at night and just having a grand time. At the end of the week they call one of the husbands back in Davenport, IA and say "come get us!". Sometimes they wind up 300+ miles away, sometimes they circle back to where they started. Yo Momma then stays a few days afterwards to visit with the family we have back there.

About 2 months ago, Papa Bear came up with an idea. Why don't we (Papa Bear and I) fly to Iowa the day that the ride is done and surprise Yo Momma. In fact why not surprise everyone back there and just show up. The plan was set in motion, tickets were bought and the fun began. I was so good at keeping the secret that I didn't tell some people who really needed to know! Sorry!

Anyway, the time came and we flew away (arms flapping all the way, Meggie, hee-hee). We arrived at 6pm Chicago time, rented a car and drove into Davenport. We had a time crunch though because our favorite ice cream shop was closing and we really needed to get there. The idea was that we would send Yo Momma a text pic with us eating ice cream and ask "Where are we?". We arrived 5 minutes before closing and gleefully had ice cream before dinner! Yo Momma, though, had turned off her phone so the surprise had to wait.

Next morning, after a night in a local hotel, we hopped into the car and headed to our friends house for the surprise. A ring of the door bell, the opening of a door and the exclamations began. What are you doing here!?! I can't believe it! It was a good surprise...I saw the tears in Yo Momma's eyes.

So, for the last few days I've been *out of pocket* as my friend Ben T. likes to say and it's been fun. I love traveling back to Iowa and being with the family there but also love driving through the countryside, looking at corn fields, going to the Isabel Bloom store and spending money, admiring farm houses and just being a little slower than life in CA tends to be. Not to mention the nightly ice cream stops (lose weight on this trip? naaaahhhh). BTW, If you are ever in Naperville, Illinois stop in downtown at the Egg Harbor Cafe...oh my goodness that food is good! They have multiple locations. I highly recommend the Cinnamon Bun French Toast. Drooling as I write this!

My time away is not yet done, though I am back to the hurried-ness of CA. This time though, it's me and God and no one else. I'm looking forward to the time to be quiet and pray.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A paragraph poem

There are times
when I think
that I am paragraph crazy.

A space must be added
between my words,
between the sentences,
on a regular basis.

But then I read writings
where sentences are crammed together
into one big
mish mash of words
so that my eyes can barely discern
where they have been and where
they have yet to be.
Soon my mind becomes crazy
trying to figure it all out
and I

Paragraphs are my friend.
I will use them at will.
To give my eyes and brain
a rest.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Be fruitful...

A few years ago Opinionated Friend and I got into a discussion with someone about that verse in the Bible that says "Be fruitful and multiply." Person A's contention was that God was telling us to have children, as many children as possible. The Bible says it, we should do it, don't ask anymore questions. Opinionated Friend and I contended that we were also giving a brain and the guidance of the Holy Spirit and that sometimes we didn't need to have children to "be fruitful and multiply", that maybe the best thing for us to do was to be prayerful and aware of who God had created us to be.

I've been thinking about that whole conversation a lot lately, as more and more people around me share their news of impending parenthood. While happy for those who are going to be parents for the first or second time, I'm also becoming more aware that having children is more than about being fruitful and multiplying. Children aren't just a commodity to be owned, they are a life that needs, no, demands respect, continuity, trust, love and lots and lots of time.

I love Adventure Boy and Train Guy with my whole heart. My heart melts every time I hear "Hi Britt-any" coming from Adventure Boy's mouth. I love when Train Guy spontaneously comes over for a hug and a kiss. I love watching them grow and learn, explore who they are and test the limits of those adults around them. They are two bright lights in my life. At the same time I am completely aware that they require more attention than I feel prepared to give at times. They desire consistency, steadiness, time, love and patience and there are many days when patience and time are the last things that I have. They also remind me that I am a very selfish person.

Coming from the other end of childhood, I also know that if children aren't given time, love, respect, consistency, steadiness and patience that the end result of childhood can be very, very tough. Even when given all those things the teenage years can be horrendous for parents and teens alike.

Someone who was that fruitful multiplier in my life has made a deliberate choice not to have children. Her name came up in conversation one day and someone else said "She's going to regret that when she's old and there's no one to take care of her." I sat there wondering if having someone to take care of you in old age really was a good reason to have children. (I know people who are older who don't want their children to have anything to do with their lives...they call it interfering or telling them what to do, which leads me to wonder when did caring about someone turn into interferring? Oh yeah, teenage years.)

What's my point? We shouldn't have children to take care of us when we are older or because it's expected of us. Children aren't a commodity. They are people, human beings with needs, wants and desires same as the rest of us. No one chooses to be born, it just doesn't work that way. Adults do have a choice and we need to start realizing that our choice effects more than just our life, it effects the lives of the ones we choose to bring into the world. Whether that's one or 18 (have you seen that show??) parents have a responsibility to care for and love that child with all that is within them, until the end of their days.

I don't know that the whole point of be fruitful and multiply meant just have as many kids as you can possibly have, sometimes I wonder if our fruitfulness comes about in different ways. Maybe the fruitful multiplying that I'm supposed to be doing is exactly what I'm doing pouring my life into the lives of the teenagers that are around me. Maybe I'm not supposed to have children myself, but spend my life being a positive, compassionate, Christ centered adult who works with teenagers and leads music at VBS. God and I are still talking about all of that.

What I do know is that when I look around the world, I see a lot of people who have been fruitful and multiplied and a lot of kids who are looking around wondering where those people went. Be fruitful and multiply, that's what I'm contemplating today.

Monday, May 4, 2009

On blogging

I've come to really love blogging. I like being able to write whatever is on my heart and mind, to share it with people that I know and don't know. I like getting feedback from people on whatever has crossed my mind that day, that week, that month. Blogging has helped me reconnect with a love of writing that was lost somewhere between Video English and being left off the list for AP English in High School (I was told two weeks after school had started my senior year that I was really supposed to be in AP English and somehow had been left off the list. The damage had already been done to my writing soul and I declined the offer...wound up being the best choice. I had Mrs. C for Senior English instead. God knew what God was doing.) Blogging, for me, has been a good thing.

One of the hardest things, though, is writing things down that might seem a little too close, a little too tender, a little too dangerous and then daring to push that button that says 'publish post'. Many posts sit, never to make it to the front page of the blog, never to be seen by eyes other than my own and that's OK.

When the words, though, reach the front page and are seen by others, I never expect them to be used by the reader to poke fun at me, to point out my flaws or my downfalls. I expect the reader to understand that they are my words, my thoughts, that it's my heart, soul and spirit poured out. I expect to there to be respect on the part of the reader, that the reader will honor my vulnerability or laugh with me or rant with me or ponder with me as needed. I don't expect the words to come back to harm me. I never expect them to come back to harm me.

Maybe, though, I should expect that because I choose to write publicly. I don't limit the people who can read my words and I shouldn't expect people to honor or respect my words. That thought makes me very, very sad. It also makes me sad when it's people that I know. It makes me sad when it's people who I hold in esteem, in honor, in respect who then trample all of that to pieces.

I think about all this stuff when reading other people's blogs too. I think about the person on the other side, who spent time typing out their thoughts, hitting the delete button, correcting this sentence or that. The person who has had a hard day and just needs to vent, the person who puts their soul into making their words just right, the person who happily shares whatever is going on just because, the person who has found a home for their words that makes them happy. I also think about how my words about or on someone else's blog impacts that person...and sometimes I choose not to write them.

Blogging makes me happy. It's a creative, emotional release that I'm grateful to have found. At the same time it can be super personal. When people talk about my words, I pray that they have the respect due the words and the person writing them.

A promise

"That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life--whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

So don't worry about these things, saying 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already know all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring it's own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."
Matthew 6:25-34 (NLT)

Friday, May 1, 2009

The flu

Concerned about Swine Flu? I read a blog this morning that put Swine Flu in a little different perspective. Check it out for yourself here.

Happy Friday!