Thursday, February 28, 2008

being content

I met with my discipler today, which is always a blessing. I usually end up leaving with a number of things to ponder, which is never bad. Today, the musing is: Can I be content in my circumstances?

I don't believe I was designed to be a mother AND father to a three-year-old boy...but I am (of course, I could be phrasing this wrong - I also wasn't designed to sin and live apart from God...but I do). God thinks I am enough for my young son right now, or my circumstances would be different. I want to agree with God - that His plan is best - but my common sense seems to tell me differently. Darn that common sense. Gets me in all kinds of trouble.

I wrestle with self-pity: why am I alone? Why do I have to crawl into bed alone (which may explain why I stay up so late for no good reason)? How am I supposed to introduce my son to his dear father who is unfortunately deceased? Why do friends and family, ignoring God's instructions otherwise, shack up, get pregnant, get married - in any willy-nilly order they like - and appear to get everything I want? (Aside: don't get me wrong - I do not envy that scenario. I do not envy the hard work and pain and tears that come with bringing such circumstances under God's blessing - if such a blessing is even desired, in some cases. I DON'T WANT THAT. I just want to be comfortably married with children, enjoying the favor of the Lord.)

Is that so much to ask? Barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen?

I wrestle with pride: I'm a tough chiquita. I'm ballsy and energetic, honest and hard-working...I'm the shit. I have a kiddo who is a pleasure to be around, and I've put in the hours and painful (for both of us) discipline to make that happen. I've got it going on...and God help any man who tries to enter into such a heart.

Both pride and self-pity leave out the critical ingredient of gratitude. Gratitude is what helps me to push both temptations away:
  • Yes, I'm alone, but God's graced me with a dear boy, a faithful family, loving friends, and a solid church, all of whom want to wrap us up in a very tangible sense of community.
  • Yes, I go to bed alone and too late, but I wake up bright and early to a cheerful little stale-breathed buddy who stretches out and snuggles with me for a few minutes before whispering, nose to nose, "Momma, open your eyes."
  • Yes, my husband is dead (saying he's "not here" just makes him sound like an absentee father), but Blake's been praying every night: "Thank you for Momma and Daddy and..." he trails off into a list of anything and everything in his room. I don't know how I'm doing it, but he's getting it. Somehow.
  • Yes, I see others defy God and "get away with it," but I'm not perfect either, and I don't have to see the heartache behind their decisions or the consequences resulting. What of them? God has me here.
  • Yes, I'm tough, ballsy, energetic, honest, and hard-working. Praise God for those virtues, because on my own, I tend towards manic, judgmental, and bitchy. God has made me who I am and saved me from the same.
  • Yes, little Blake is a delight. Praise God for blessing me with a tender-hearted little toughie who responds well to my loving discipline (taught to me by others).
  • Yes, God help the man who steps into this family. I have things a certain way, and I have not had to compromise in my home for a good long while. May God have mercy on ME, by not bringing a fellow along before my heart is soft and ready.
Can I be content here? Probably. We're doing better than ok - we are thriving. Yet my son needs men who will be a part of our lives for many, many who can invest a few hours into a little boy who just wants a callused hand to hold. Thanks be to God that I know just the fellows, and that they are eager to walk beside us, holding that little hand. Also, they should be prepared for the corresponding hero worship.

My hand will still be empty. God knows best, and I trust (or want to trust) that He has someone picked out to come alongside me, take that empty hand, and lead me through the tangled mess of life. Until then...well, God has me here. I don't know exactly what He's up to (the proud part of me wants it to be BIG), other than making me a dose of perspective to others, but I would rather wait on Him than try to make something happen on my own.

Psalm 27:13-14
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (emphasis mine)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

weird dream

"Momma, Spiderman ree ree hurt me. He kissed me A LOT."

"He did? And that hurt?"

"Yes. I told Spiderman to GO AWAY. He's ree naughty."


  • The magical age of three years old.
  • Friday gymnastics with TRAMPOLINES! BUILT INTO THE FLOOR!
  • Falling into said trampoline because I didn't see it.
  • Formal dances, with reels, jigs, and posties - and never lacking a partner.
  • New brown boots.
  • New black boots.


  • Tipping less than 20%.
  • My new upstairs roomie, who moonlights as a stomping elephant who stomps.
  • Napless days.
  • Overdraft charges.
  • The fact that it's not June.
  • Desired black boots only being available in brown.

Monday, February 25, 2008

doesn't take much

As I lay out a towel, in order to fold it: "Momma, you making a BED?"

"No, I'm folding my laundry."

"Oh...that's ree nice of you."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

he gets that from me

"Here's what we're gonna do."

"I ree just so sorry, Momma."

"That sounds good...Tjabe's a nice boy."

"Mmmm, I LOVE my bed!"

"Mmmm, I LOVE corn!"

"I just ree so sirsty, Momma. I need some chocolate milk."

"I have a sore froat. I need some medicine."

"You don't spank me, Momma. You just need to be so gentle."

My little Blake is personality plus.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

one more thing

I might be a little immature, but both Blake and I were thoroughly entertained by the ridiculous volume of bubbles created by his rootin' tootin' in the tub.

I don't care who you are: farts are funny.

self-indulgent navel-gazing

Things of note:
I am experiencing the storm before the calm relating to work. Here are some details...
  • BPL is moving. Both the warehouse inventory (to San Fran) and the offices (to a different, more pleasant Bozeman location). Both are happening very, very soon, and the amount of effort I have to put into it is minimal compared to poor Ryan and Stephanie. Maybe once this is over, they can actually take a vacation. Like, to a drug-induced coma. For a month. I would miss them, and we may not recognize them after they get a semblance of rest.
  • I am training two gals to take over for me, as I get ready to transition into the promoted role of Managing Editor at BPL. Everything that we publish (online, print mag, books, etc) will flow through my fingers. Scary. Exciting. Hopefully not too many more hours per week.
  • My daycare is closing for good reasons that have nothing to do with the level of care provided by sweet Julie. The downside: I can't find many viable alternatives. I have until March 7. I'm not panicking too much, but it's definitely discouraging. I never wanted to have to utilize daycare or preschool, preferring instead to raise my kids myself. The fact that I even have the option of only doing it part time is amazing, but it doesn't change the fact that my circumstances are not what I had anticipated. Also, despite believing we were on a wait-list (makes me want to puke) for a preschool here for three months, I found out that the woman in charge never put our names down. Again, not too panicky, but definitely discouraged. And a little pissed off.
All this conspires to occupy a great chunk of my week, and I'm driven to distraction by such petty nuisances as feeding a very energetic boy something other than cereal and candy. Or cleaning house. Or bathing. The good news is that I remembered to get my oil changed today, and gymnastics is tomorrow. I also get to have a friend over for coffee in the afternoon. It's the little things that keep me the following, uttered by my son in the last two days:

"I making a mess!" said gleefully as he leaned into the dish full of powdered sugar and blew.
"You really amazing, Momma," after I leaned over to pick up the Kleenex I dropped (we both have a cold). I do what I can. Keep those standards low, darlin', and EVERYONE can be amazing.

We made cookies last night, the kind that are chocolate rolled in powdered sugar. Blake helped a little with making the dough, and I rolled them into balls and handed them to him for the crucial pow-pow step. We had a blast, even though he wanted me to wipe his hands after every one. The kid can make a mess, just DON'T LET IT TOUCH HIM.

I thought I had wiped down every lightly coated surface...until I caught him tonight, licking his finger and running it through the powdered sugar on the floor, then licking it off. Sure, sticky hands are a critical situation, but essentially licking an unwashed floor? Totally ok.

Monday, February 18, 2008


My darling friend Molly got to be here this weekend. We had great fun, she helped me celebrate my birthday, and she was thoroughly entertained by Blake. In fact, she's so amazing that she not only took pictures of him yesterday, she even posted them on HER blog yesterday. In the interest of making sure everyone sees how cute he is, I'll get you there.

However, she sets the bar pretty high, and I just want you to know: I can't be THAT amazing. At least, not this week.

great advice

How lucky am I? I got this email on Thursday night from my boss/friend/brotha-from-anotha-motha:


I have a favor to ask of you.

1. Drink a glass of wine tonight. ONE! :) And not a stein, please.
2. Go to bed - be IN BED - by 11pm. Then pray. Then, if you're not tired, read.
3. Set your alarm for 7:30 and get up when it goes off. Just roll out of bed and lay on the floor, that's fine. Just get out of the bed.
4. As soon as you're awake, pray.
5. Read your Bible for 10 minutes.
6. Most important: do NOT do anything related to BPL, housework, primping, leisure reading, etc. between #2 and #5.

Let me know how it went. I'll do the same.

I sincerely believe that you really need to get into a pattern that is more structured. I know you have a lot going on personally right now. But you and I are a lot alike, in that structure provides us with some ability to cope, and turning off the reality channel for 8 or 10 hours every day is pretty important.

I get where you were this morning and what you were going through. It's a tough way to tackle work, I've been there more times than you know. Just know that we care immensely.

I love the folks I get to work for and work with. I love that their birthday gift to me was: a movie rental from Hastings, a bottle of wine, popcorn, and chocolate. They wanted to make catching up on my movie-watching as easy as possible. I love that they know me well enough to send an email like the one above (I've done #2-#6 a few days since, and the difference between those days and the ones in which I laze around in bed for too long...huge). I love getting to encourage THEM in their trials. I truly feel so fortunate to know and be friends with Ryan & Stephanie, and one of the most amazing parts about all this is that I would not have known them (at least, not in this capacity nor as well) if Blake hadn't died.

I would be richer if Blake were here, true, but I would also be much poorer.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

laughing and crying

This is the best video on the internet. Blake's cousin and her husband had a baby girl just before Reese had the twins. Reagan was born deaf. She had a cochlear implant done in January (or, as April referred to it: implants - leading to lots of confusion for folks not as "in the know"), and this is the video of the bionic ear activation...truly one of the most wonderful things I've ever seen.

In case it's not clear, the doctor activates the bionic ear, then says "Ba-ba-ba" to see if Reggie reacts.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I don't like anyone to suffer alone. I take things on to a degree that is probably unhealthy and co-dependent, and it's a very big part of why I don't subscribe to "The Voice of the Martyrs."

I found out yesterday that a friend had gone into preterm, unstoppable labor, and the twins, all 25 weeks of them, are now in the NICU in Great Falls. Her husband is there with the boys, but she's stuck in Bozeman, recovering from both a delivery and a C-section. While it's still a life-or-death situation for Miles and Will, there's considerably more hope for their survival and health than was indicated when I first found out. Praise God for that: being born at 25 weeks gestation is not an automatic death sentence.

Still, sometimes I just want the world to be ok - well, more than that, I want it to be redeemed. How much more crappiness do we have to take?

Revelation 22:20-21
He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon."
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen.

(Ok's been 2000 years, give or take. I know you're not late, but I am ready!)

Friday, February 8, 2008


Just finished cutting Blake's hair, and I'd like to tell any of you within, oh, a mile or so that I was not shoving bamboo shoots under his fingernails, despite what it sounded like. For some reason, the sensation of the vibrating clippers combined with the sound absolutely terrifies him. After promising to finish up with scissors and inadvertently poking him behind the ear, we both threw in the towel.

So, for those of you who tell him he needs a haircut, I gratefully cede the responsibility to you. Me? I'm going to learn how to French braid.


Thanks to those who have offered help - I will take it whenever and however you can give it.
Thanks to the friends of my folks who gave me a great big laugh last night. Apparently, they were discussing the grammatical uses of a particularly foul word, and, at a loss, decided to ask me, I think more for my grasp of English grammar than my grasp of four letter words (though I am equally good at both). It was the best assignment ever, and I was able to remember, search for, and pass on the transcript of a certain George Carlin routine that thoroughly answered their question.

Sometimes it's good to have a head full of useless information.
I started a growth group with church last night. It is a blessing to have one take place very near us, with childcare, and with a group of people I already enjoy. That sort of perfect storm has not happened for me yet, and I look forward to having meaningful conversation about eternal things.
Eternal things in the same post as a four letter word? I must be tired.
The other day, we were invited to go sledding with friends, after which we came home and had lunch together. Blake stops mid-sip of his hot chocolate, lets out a big sigh, and exclaims, "I love this day!"

Since then, he happily declares his love for many things:
"I love syrup!"
"I love Spiderman!"
"I love kikis!"

And when snuggling me?
"Mmmm, Momma, I missed you so much."
Even when we've spent the entire day together. I'm not sure why.
Last night, I fixed his CD from skipping ("Oh, Momma, it's broken. We have to throw it away?"), and once it got started, he gasped, grinned, and said, "Oh, thank you for fixing it, Momma!"

This kid makes me melt. He sings along to Regina Spektor with me, pretends to be Dora (or Diego) while I am Boots (or Alicia), sneaks into my room at night to sleep on the floor next to my bed, and blows his own nose - as in, notices he needs it, grabs a Kleenex, and takes care of it himself - he cries if I shovel the walk without him, declares "That's silly" about almost everything, hollers "Watch me, Momma - I making silly faces!" and calls our morning drink "sasmooties."

He would be starting his first job next week, but I don't think I could talk his boss into changing his diaper. That's really the only thing slowing him down.

craving white chocolate

It's cold and windy here today, and I was stuck at home this morning for a few reasons, so I could not indulge my craving. Sad. Now my son's napping, and I still cannot indulge my craving.

Sometimes it's better when I don't blog.

Monday, February 4, 2008

birthday boy

Blake turns three tomorrow! Like the fabulous mother I am, I have nothing planned for his actual birthday - I leave it to day care Julie to plan that stuff. His special day is Saturday, and I am about to go whip up a few cute little invitations to the very small number of people I hope can come. No sense in overwhelming a three-year-old that I have to live with: two friends is plenty, especially when one shrieks his name ecstatically every time they see one another, and the other thinks his father shot a bear.

Good times!


I've recently had a fit of the "tidies." I think that's what I'll call it. After looking for two small items that I KNOW I own, but not knowing where to start, I came the abrupt realization that I have way too much stuff. WAY TOO MUCH. Cannot over-emphasize that.

It makes no sense for me to hang onto, say, full-size bed linens to fit the full-size bed I'm storing at my folks' place. By the time I live in a home where a full-size bed will fit, you can bet I will probably upgrade sheets. Also, most of my baby stuff? When do I think I'll have another baby? At the rate I'm going, it may never happen, or if it does, it will be in five more years...and be a girl. Better that someone use all this stuff NOW, because when I finally get to have another wee one, I imagine that me and everyone related to me will be so excited that I'll get everything all over again.

Well, now I'm ensuring that happens. I've discovered, where I list things I no longer want, that don't belong in the dump, but that aren't of any eBay-able value...and people JUMP at the opportunity to come pick them up. Like 40 back issues of Real Simple? Gone within hours. I love this.

Now, I will keep a box of baby Blake things for sentimental reasons (don't look so shocked - I can be as sentimental as all get out), and I will probably keep a chunk of big Blake things for sentimental reasons. But my notes from Business 101? Gone. Framed art I have no intention of putting up in my home again (lovely, but not my taste), also gone. That high chair we never used? You guessed: I've bronzed it and stuck it in a corner of my room. Or...gone!

Also, I'm semi-stressed about all the things that I a) do not have time to do, or b) cannot do alone. (I would lump "parenting an energetic toddler" into group b, but God's not given me many choices there.) This is my official call for help. I need help moving things in my garage (a few hours should suffice), I need help moving furniture in my house so that I can caulk and putty and touch up the baseboard (nope, still not done that), and I need help taping my guest bathroom so that I can paint it. I need help analyzing Blake's ski boots and liners: which ones are junk, which ones are not, and how much should I eBay them for (unless, of course, his family wants to bronze them all and put them in their bedrooms)? I need help sorting through the massive quantities of you-name-it and deciding what to do with it.

Any takers? I'm dead serious here...and I feel badly actually calling any one individual and making this their problem. So, I'm making it the internet's problem.

Friday, February 1, 2008


My friend's daughter is apparently intrigued by the idea of bear hunting.

Keli: "Do you know anyone who's shot a bear?"
Ellese (3.5 yrs): "Well, I'm pretty sure Blake's daddy must have shot a bear."

Ellese's idea of what Blake's daddy must have been like is dear to me. This is the girl who helpfully told an oblivious Blake "Your daddy died. Your daddy's in heaven," then cheerfully offered up, "It's ok though - you can share MY daddy."

I love her.