*sniiiiif*

Nothing like spending the whole day feeling like you’re finally bouncing back from a wicked cold only to have it come back and hit you in the face as soon as night falls. Bleh.

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Never say never

Before I had Gavin, I always said I would never be one of those “spit mommies.” You know the kind: they’re the ones in the mall who spot some dirt on their kid’s cheek and lick a finger and swipe that spot right off. Gross, right? Yeah, that’s what I said, too.

Fast forward to 16 months after giving birth and I am here to tell you that I liberally exercise my “right to spit.”

Dirt on his cheek? I just swipe that sucker off (Come on, folks, we covered this!).
Paci on the gound? If you’re weak stomached, you might not want to know that I’ve put it in my mouth to clean in off. Just sayin’.
Stubborn cowlick? Lick three fingers, swipe vigorously at his head, and we’re good to go!

PS: I know, they make wipes for this stuff, but who has time to root around in a giant bag when your kid is screaming for his dropped paci?

PPS: Don’t act all bajiggity about this! If you have a crawler who also likes to put his/her hands in your mouth, the gross factor is pretty much the same thing!

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Minesweeper Cheerios

My son loves him some Honey Nut Cheerios.

Like, luuurves them.

He also really enjoys emptying little snack baggies (that I so lovingly prepare) of them all over the floor so he can see just what he’s working with.

I can’t tell you what his reasoning is, but every 10th Cheerio or so that gets put in his mouth gets spit right back out. It’s these little soggy delights that make cleaning up after him so much fun.

When I pick them up, it usually goes: normal Cheerio, normal Cheerio, soggy gross Cheerio (!!!), normal Cheerio. And so on.

Sure this might not seem like a big deal, but have you ever handled a soggy cold Cheerio when you’re not expecting it? Gross.

I swear, it’s like Minesweeper, but for moms.

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sex ed

Over the past few weeks, my husband’s been working on a series in youth group called ‘Sex Ed’. We haven’t been talking about your standard school-nurse-in-junior-high-birds-and-the-bees stuff, but rather on sex and God’s original plan for it and how that contradicts with what students are being taught by society and media.

We do a series like this every year and to round things up, we split up the guys and girls into groups according to their grades (jr and sr high school) so that we can do a small group roundtable-like talk.

Tonight I get to talk with senior high school girls and it would be such an understatement to say that I’m feeling nervous.

I always get like this right before the nights in youth group that I know are going to be big ones. Let’s face it, what students are seeing these days isn’t always exactly godly. Or designed to honor girls. I feel such responsibility for what the girls are going to hear from me and I also feel responsible to make sure that I’m being aware of each individual girl and how they’re responding to what we’re talking about. Let’s be real, not every girl has the same story and experiences. The last thing I want out of this is for a student to leave feeling condemned, or worse, like they’re less than good enough.

And yet, my desire for these girls to realize just how precious they are and how amazingly God designed sex and marriage isn’t something I want to be missed, either.

I think my apprehension comes from feeling like I can’t always relate to some students. I had the opportunity to grow up in a God-loving house. When I married my youth pastor husband, my very young, starry-eyed idealistic self thought I could handle whatever life in church ministry would throw our way.

(Er. Notsomuch. The things I wish I could go back and tell my younger-fresh-out-of-christian-college-newly-engaged-self. But those are stories for another time.)

Have you ever felt so responsible for something? I so desire that tonight go the way God wants it to. My words are so limited and as much as I try to prepare, how prepared can you really be when you’re talking about sex to girls from all walks of life?

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never enough

Lately I feel as though I’m not doing enough. I can’t keep my house clean for more than 4 hours, I have laundry that’s just been sitting in baskets waiting to be folded… and it’s been 3 days! When I’m at work, all I can think of is my son and how someone else is watching him and when I’m at home, I’m thinking about how tired and frustrated I am that I can’t keep it all together! As a wife, mom, teacher, youth worker, and friend I am a big, fat FAIL.

If you’re reading this you’re probably thinking, “Hey lady. Get off the internet and get to it!” I know. I’m thinking it, too. It’s just that if I were to start housework when I get home from school sites then I would feel like I’m never not working. So this is me, not working. And still obsessing about needing to get work done. (There’s also a good chance that I’m feeling guilty that I’m doing this from my bedroom while my husband is playing Guitar Hero by himself in the living room. He asked if I wanted to, too, but I’m just. so. tired. Like I said, FAIL.)

It makes me sad that I can’t do all of this. I know that I’m not supposed to be perfect, but to be honest, there’s not a whole lot I’m responsible for. Basically, it comes down to being a wife, mom, housekeeper, and teacher and I can think of lots of people who do far more than I do! So why can’t I just pull it together and feel like I’m actually doing a decent job at my life instead of constantly feeling like I’m just barely squeaking by? I feel like I’m cheating my husband and son out of something in the form of a wife/mom who always has the house cleaned, meals prepped and keeps a smile on. Not me. I want that to be me, but it just isn’t so.

While I’m frustrated that my efforts don’t feel like they’re good enough, I know I’m doing my best. And my husband, wonderful man that he is, knows it, too. (At least, that’s what he says when I’m crying about all of this. Again. For the 64th time in 2 weeks.) I just wish that “my best” was producing an outcome that I can stand proud of instead of constantly feeling like I have to apologize for whatever I might be lacking in that day. Sometimes it’s not having dinner prepared at a decent time — if even at all. Other times it’s that clean laundry has been sitting out for 3 days and Gavin’s legos haven’t seen the inside of their container in 4.

I wonder if I’ll always feel like this. Like I’m constantly coming up short.

I hope not.

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in your weakness.” There are days when I easily believe this and days when I’m not quite as sure. In those days, I cling to Him even tighter and am thankful all the more than I’m smothered in grace. He is always enough, even when I’m not.

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my thoughts on the bachelor

So, as I was watching The Bachelor’s finale episode, a few things stood out to me and I thought I would take a few minutes to talk about them because they were thoughts that struck a chord with how I view relationships and what it takes from people to have healthy, successful ones.

Everyone in America (literally, everyone) loved Tenley. I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being 100% on the Team Tenley train. But I think that Jake didn’t choose her because she didn’t need him. Sure, she loved him and wanted to spend her life with him, but she was a whole, complete person without him. Her past experiences strengthened her and made her more sensitive to that which she is seeking in a relationship and she wasn’t willing to go for anything less. Makes me wonder if Jake wondered where he could fit in her life. The man struck me as having a serious hero-complex. All he was lacking was a cape. And maybe some red tighties.

Vienna, on the other hand, was a great big ball of need. Constantly saying things like, “I don’t know who I’d be without you” and “I’m not complete without you” fed Jake’s desire to be a rescuer. Combined with the fact that he was naturally drawn to “protect” her from the other women and is it really any surprise that he picked her?

Whether or not I agree that she’s as great as he thinks she is is beside the point of this post (for the record, I think she’s a hot mess). I was most interested in the idea of completion. As in, is it possible that we are living our lives incompletely until we meet “The One”?

Personally, I think that people should only get into prospective marriage relationships once they’ve found that they can be whole, complete people all by themselves. I love my husband and our life together and now that I’ve found him, I’d never want to be in a position that leaves me without him. I think that we complement each other well and that together we make a pretty awesome team. But I can also honestly say that I know still I’m a whole person aside from him. I don’t need him to complete me but I love have him walking each step of our married life right beside me, in tandem.

I don’t know that I can honestly say that relationships that are made up of two people who are dependent on the other for the completion of their identities are the healthiest and best ideas in the world. Co-dependency is just the top of the list of potential problems I think of when I hear instances of people wishing for relationships because they know that that’s all that’s missing to “complete” them.

All that to say, I saw in Tenley that she has a grasp on her identity that’s admirable and it made me think of people, relationships, and marriage. I don’t know that anyone reads this, and for all I know, I’m still just writing to myself, but should anyone feel inclined, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.🙂

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spring cleaning

I mentioned in a previous post that this past February saw temperatures in the 60s.  I live in Oregon, people. Normal for this time of year is 40s and below and rain. Rain rain rain.

It’s like Oregon gave me a gift for my 25th birthday and that gift was 65 degree, sunny weather. Like, every other day. Ahhh…

All of this sunshine has given me the itch to start spring cleaning early. If you walk into my house, you’d see tidy spaces on an almost-daily basis. What you don’t see is what’s lurking in drawers, behind closet doors, and in my dreaded third bedroom. And the garage! Oh man. I hate that place. When I hit publish on this post, consider those spots as having red bulls-eyes painted on them. My sights are set. Operation Clean House is underway.

To be continued…

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