Thursday, December 17, 2009


Tuesday I worked outside of the home for the first time in 2 years. I am on call as a substitute teacher for Paul's preschool!  It works out great because if I get called in Anna can go with me, I don't get charged for Paul that day and on top of that I get paid.  I feel like I am cheating. Like I am getting the better end of the deal. 

I got to work in the baby room where there were two 11 month old boys and a little 14 month old girl. It  was so quiet! The baby boys were content to sit on the floor chewing on toys while the little girl walked around the room smiling. They were so adorable and I got lots and lots of cuddle time.  It helped to tame that baby fever! 

It was so relaxing to get to sit on my bum and smile at the little people all day.  I'm just so used to running up and down the stairs getting the laundry put away, scrubbing toilets, mopping the floor, chasing Anna around and cleaning up her messes, stopping fights between a 3year old and a 1year old, and threatening to put Anna in time out if she screams "one more time."  It was nice to have a change. 

I got the check today and was floored by how much  money I made in that small amount of enjoyable time. It paid a WHOLE bill.  Maybe I should get a part-time job.  School, kids and a part-time job.  Could I handle that?  I guess it depends on what kind of job.  Lord knows I'm not going to go back to work at the psych hospital.  Or should I?  Humm. It paid so well and I got good insurance for working part-time. I could work on friday nights like I used to while I was in college. 

Anyway, I'm going to go enjoy my adorable little family and think about how blessed I have been this year. Two healthy, happy and absolutely beautiful children. A husband that adores me. A house that I have always dreamed of.  Neighbors that are just too kind.  Friends that let me vent.  It has been a good year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Solidarity in Motherhood

This blog shall be about solidarity amongst mothers. 

Motherhood is hard work. I like to compare it to going to war. Parenthood turns your life into a war zone. You are constantly trying to avoid land mines. As soon as you see two little pink lines on an awkward shaped stick you are in the battle. 

First comes the battle of the body. You wake up one morning and you feel like utter crap. Get used to it!  You're pregnant. You're going to feel like crap for the rest of your life. Welcome to parenthood. You hug nasty toilets. You crave weird food. You lack sleep. Something strange happens to your bowls. Yep. You're body, you're life has been taken over by a some little person within you.  Enjoy the quiet though, because that small little human is LOUD when it is fully functional on the outside world.

Then the child is born and your body hurts for other reasons. You're vagina is sore for three whole months because that precious little bundle of everlasting joy's head was too big and had to be cut out.  You can't manage to get the hang of breast feeding so your boobs start to blister, pop and bleed.  You scream out in agony while that little bundle sucks the life and blood from your body. The whole time you are swearing that this is the last month of the "oh so beneficial breast-feeding" and that starting tomorrow you are going to research which formula to use.  All the while you can never seem to get a full nights rest. 

Then comes the crawling/walking phase. The house that you once had spotless becomes a maze of bottles, diapers, teething toys, balls and baby vomit. The house that was once quiet and relaxing becomes a place of torture.  A place of constant battles in which the small child screams for items that you know they just can't have. One day you'll lie flat on the floor, face down in exhaustion, near tears and say "oh gross WHAT IS THAT SMELL" you'll turn your head slowly to the left and discover an old sippy cup full of clabbered milk. 

Then the time comes when the little rascal heads to preschool.  Along with preschool comes the new challenge of getting a small yet strong willed individual to and from a specific location at a specific time.  Typically by this point you have already reached the baby fever phase and have popped out yet another screaming, angry yet loving and cute individual. You slowly begin to find yourself in constant motion. Getting those two children in and out of the car with their crap in tow becomes a sweat inducing workout. Every morning you wake with the yearning for some coffee, a nice comfy couch, and a good book. Instead you get a screaming, toothing baby and a preschooler that insists on wearing his pants backwards to school.  If and when you do get a chance to make yourself coffee you'll probably only get a sip or two before one of your children step on the ever so annoying land mine. 

Now, when I speak of these land mines I am talking about those mini explosions that children tend to have starting at about a year old.  The ones where the toy isn't working like it is suppose to, the cereal you just poured was the wrong kind, the second child is pulling the first child's hair or the preschooler can't manage to get his shoes on. These explosions that send a parent into the forefront of the battle. because remember, parenthood is a battle that you are constantly trying to survive. 

Every parent, whether a stay at home or a work your bum off in the work force, is exhausted. Each parent has those days where the world is completely and utterly falling around them. A quiet drive alone in the car becomes comparable to a week long vacation on the beach. During this time mothers need each other. But often times when one reaches this point of extreme exhaustion, burnt out on giving, loving and caring, there is no where to turn but inward.  The blame game begins. The punching bag is out and it looks so familiar.  Why? Because it is you. You are punching yourself.   Why does this happen?

I'll tell ya why.  Because every mother thinks at some point that they are the worst mother in the world. When you finally do begin to vent to other mothers about your pain you are, often times than not, met with either advise on how to be a BETTER mother or told that it "gets worse when they are older."  Why can't we stick together as mothers and let one another vent. Just stop talking while another mother is venting and give that mom a HUGE HUG!  She needs it more than your words.  Give that mother friendship.  Stop comparing your parenting to hers or her way of dealing with motherhood stress to your way of dealing with it. 

Us mothers need to stick together. We need to make a code of ethics within motherhood which states that no mother should make another mother feel lower by making motherhood out to be an easy endeavor when that mother comes to you to vent. No mother has EVERYTHING under control EVERY single day. 

We can all sympathize with one another so why don't we?  Stop the competition, the comparing and bring on the solidarity!  Together we can make a world of difference. 

 (side note: it amazes me how many children there are between the three mothers that I get together with weekly. From the three of us there are 6 new people in the world. Our job is so important. We are truly changing the world. How we raise that child, love that child, discipline that child, affects the future. That's why I think mothers are AWESOME! And the caftiness of human making  is way more important than any craft you will ever make.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Today I blew up. I had an emotional breakdown. These past couple of weeks have been hard. Roger is working hard on school and work while I am trying to hold it together on the home front and work on my own school work. Both of us attempting to attend graduate school while these children are young is nuts. I just reached that boiling point today and threw my hands in the air. "I'm exhausted. I am completely exhausted." 

I took the kids to church, Anna to the nursery, Paul to his children's church. Made sure Roger knew they were there and then explained to him that I needed to go away for a while. I just needed space to breath. Time to center myself. So, where did I go?  Where else but my mom and dad's.  Isn't that where everyone runs to?  They go home.  

The drive down was tearful but nice. I wasn't quite sure what I was crying about other than exhaustion but that hour and 30 min of crying sure helped. Then bashing my head on my parent's table while crying out "I'm exhausted. It's so hard mom. So hard," really helped as well. 

After getting out the frustration and being reassured that parenthood isn't always going to be this hard, I began typing out my last paper for my seminary class. It was so refreshing to actually be able to sit for several hours and work, undisturbed, on my paper. I'm almost finished!!!!  

For dinner mom made homemade broccoli and cheese soup!  mmmmmmmm.  A nice yummy home cooked meal. It was so nice to be able to eat without screaming children. I actually just sat and ate slowly. I didn't have to constantly get up to get something for someone or clean up someone's mess or share my food. 

At around 8:30pm I packed up and headed back to my little family. The kids were already in bed but I woke Paul up to give him  kisses and a good night hug. He had left me a bowl of candy sitting out and had made me a gingerbread house.  What a sweet little boy.  

Tomorrow is another crazy day and the start of yet another crazy week. But I feel that my little break has helped me at least take a breath.   

Saturday, November 28, 2009


We ran away to the mountains for thanksgiving with Roger's parents. They paid for our hotel room, our thanksgiving dinner and everything else they could manage beating us to the cash register for. It was a great 4 days spent with the in-laws and out-laws (paul and anna).

Here are some highlights:

Wednesday was the travel day so all morning long I packed up the lugage, took care of the kids and tended to the worker dude that was putting in our new windows. By the time we actually got everyone in the car at noon I was exhausted but alas I had to drive all the way to the mountains because Roger had to work on his sermon on the way there.  Needless to say a 4 hour drive took about 6 hours with the kids.  But we expected that and checked out a book on cd from our local library!!!

Thursday we slept in until, get this, 9am!!!!!    WOW!!!!  It was AMAZING.  Then I was able to waller in bed and read until 10:30am because we sent the kids to the grandparents hotel room. I thought to myself "this is why people with small children travel with the grandparents."  Around noon we walked down to a local restaurant that the in-laws had reserved for us to have our thanksgiving dinner at.  Great food. No mess to clean up but there sure was a mess made thanks to Anna.  The rest of the afternoon was spent with Paul and Roger visiting the grandparents while I watched Anna sleep in our room with a good book in my hand.  That afternoon we all went for a big walk on the strip and ate some really nasty food from a guy that I am pretty sure had meth mouth. 

Friday was exciting!  We went to the Aquarium.  It was Paul and Anna's first time and they both were so happy that I had to hold back tears.  It was adorable!!!  We even got to see the divers feed the sting rays and the multicolored fish. At one point Anna ran up to the glass, banged on it and the diver dude took out his breather thing and gave her a big toothy smile. Her response was a BIG kiss on the glass.  My heart melted.  It was just one of those moments where you feel at peace being right where you are, in the moment. I have had a lot of those lately.   After the aquarium we ate at the lovely Applewood Restaurant.  YUMMY!!! But by that time the kids were NUTTS.  sorry people at the tables around us. I should have backed ear plugs for ya.

Roger and I were also able to spend friday night ALONE!!  We did lame things like snuggle in the bed to watch Super Nanny, walk the strip while sipping coffee and giggling at crazy things, and eating cake together at midnight while watching Sleepless in Seattle. We were going to enjoy the hot tub after the movie watching/cake eating but we fell asleep.  I guess having kids makes the lame dates seem so much more exciting.  And you know what?  I am ok with that!

Saturday we took the kids to see the bears!  While there Paul saw some go carts and I just HAD to take him for a ride.  We got one with two stirring wheels so he is convinced that he drove a race car and I am convinced that I am an awesome mom for letting him think that he was driving.  When we got finished with the ride he looked up at me with those big blue eyes, smiled and said "That was super fun mom!!  I'm a FAST race car driver!" 

Now we are at home and EXHAUSTED.  Traveling with two small children is a challenge. At one point this weekend paul walked out of the bathroom with blood on his face. "umm I was shaving" was the response I got when I mentioned the blood. I knew the day would come when he would attempt the shaving.  I still remember my first attempt.  Do you?

Oh one more thing.  Paul walked up to a Santa Clause in the store and said "Hey, my names Paul and I'm a super hero."  Then he walked away.  My 4 year old is hilarious!

Monday, November 23, 2009

letter from Shane Claiborne

A letter from Shane Claiborne.  A letter that was needed to be written.

To all my nonbelieving, sort-of-believing, and used-to-be-believing friends: I feel like I should begin with a confession. I am sorry that so often the biggest obstacle to God has been Christians. Christians who have had so much to say with our mouths and so little to show with our lives. I am sorry that so often we have forgotten the Christ of our Christianity.

Forgive us. Forgive us for the embarrassing things we have done in the name of God.

The other night I headed into downtown Philly for a stroll with some friends from out of town. We walked down to Penn's Landing along the river, where there are street performers, artists, musicians. We passed a great magician who did some pretty sweet tricks like pour change out of his iPhone, and then there was a preacher. He wasn't quite as captivating as the magician. He stood on a box, yelling into a microphone, and beside him was a coffin with a fake dead body inside. He talked about how we are all going to die and go to hell if we don't know Jesus.

Some folks snickered. Some told him to shut the hell up. A couple of teenagers tried to steal the dead body in the coffin. All I could do was think to myself, I want to jump up on a box beside him and yell at the top of my lungs, "God is not a monster." Maybe next time I will.

The more I have read the Bible and studied the life of Jesus, the more I have become convinced that Christianity spreads best not through force but through fascination. But over the past few decades our Christianity, at least here in the United States, has become less and less fascinating. We have given the atheists less and less to disbelieve. And the sort of Christianity many of us have seen on TV and heard on the radio looks less and less like Jesus.

At one point Gandhi was asked if he was a Christian, and he said, essentially, "I sure love Jesus, but the Christians seem so unlike their Christ." A recent study showed that the top three perceptions of Christians in the U. S. among young non-Christians are that Christians are 1) antigay, 2) judgmental, and 3) hypocritical. So what we have here is a bit of an image crisis, and much of that reputation is well deserved. That's the ugly stuff. And that's why I begin by saying that I'm sorry.

Now for the good news.

I want to invite you to consider that maybe the televangelists and street preachers are wrong — and that God really is love. Maybe the fruits of the Spirit really are beautiful things like peace, patience, kindness, joy, love, goodness, and not the ugly things that have come to characterize religion, or politics, for that matter. (If there is anything I have learned from liberals and conservatives, it's that you can have great answers and still be mean... and that just as important as being right is being nice.)

The Bible that I read says that God did not send Jesus to condemn the world but to save it... it was because "God so loved the world." That is the God I know, and I long for others to know. I did not choose to devote my life to Jesus because I was scared to death of hell or because I wanted crowns in heaven... but because he is good. For those of you who are on a sincere spiritual journey, I hope that you do not reject Christ because of Christians. We have always been a messed-up bunch, and somehow God has survived the embarrassing things we do in His name. At the core of our "Gospel" is the message that Jesus came "not [for] the healthy... but the sick." And if you choose Jesus, may it not be simply because of a fear of hell or hope for mansions in heaven.

Don't get me wrong, I still believe in the afterlife, but too often all the church has done is promise the world that there is life after death and use it as a ticket to ignore the hells around us. I am convinced that the Christian Gospel has as much to do with this life as the next, and that the message of that Gospel is not just about going up when we die but about bringing God's Kingdom down. It was Jesus who taught us to pray that God's will be done "on earth as it is in heaven." On earth.

One of Jesus' most scandalous stories is the story of the Good Samaritan. As sentimental as we may have made it, the original story was about a man who gets beat up and left on the side of the road. A priest passes by. A Levite, the quintessential religious guy, also passes by on the other side (perhaps late for a meeting at church). And then comes the Samaritan... you can almost imagine a snicker in the Jewish crowd. Jews did not talk to Samaritans, or even walk through Samaria. But the Samaritan stops and takes care of the guy in the ditch and is lifted up as the hero of the story. I'm sure some of the listeners were ticked. According to the religious elite, Samaritans did not keep the right rules, and they did not have sound doctrine... but Jesus shows that true faith has to work itself out in a way that is Good News to the most bruised and broken person lying in the ditch.

It is so simple, but the pious forget this lesson constantly. God may indeed be evident in a priest, but God is just as likely to be at work through a Samaritan or a prostitute. In fact the Scripture is brimful of God using folks like a lying prostitute named Rahab, an adulterous king named David... at one point God even speaks to a guy named Balaam through his donkey. Some say God spoke to Balaam through his ass and has been speaking through asses ever since. So if God should choose to use us, then we should be grateful but not think too highly of ourselves. And if upon meeting someone we think God could never use, we should think again.

After all, Jesus says to the religious elite who looked down on everybody else: "The tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom ahead of you." And we wonder what got him killed?

I have a friend in the UK who talks about "dirty theology" — that we have a God who is always using dirt to bring life and healing and redemption, a God who shows up in the most unlikely and scandalous ways. After all, the whole story begins with God reaching down from heaven, picking up some dirt, and breathing life into it. At one point, Jesus takes some mud, spits in it, and wipes it on a blind man's eyes to heal him. (The priests and producers of anointing oil were not happy that day.)

In fact, the entire story of Jesus is about a God who did not just want to stay "out there" but who moves into the neighborhood, a neighborhood where folks said, "Nothing good could come." It is this Jesus who was accused of being a glutton and drunkard and rabble-rouser for hanging out with all of society's rejects, and who died on the imperial cross of Rome reserved for bandits and failed messiahs. This is why the triumph over the cross was a triumph over everything ugly we do to ourselves and to others. It is the final promise that love wins.

It is this Jesus who was born in a stank manger in the middle of a genocide. That is the God that we are just as likely to find in the streets as in the sanctuary, who can redeem revolutionaries and tax collectors, the oppressed and the oppressors... a God who is saving some of us from the ghettos of poverty, and some of us from the ghettos of wealth.

In closing, to those who have closed the door on religion — I was recently asked by a non-Christian friend if I thought he was going to hell. I said, "I hope not. It will be hard to enjoy heaven without you." If those of us who believe in God do not believe God's grace is big enough to save the whole world... well, we should at least pray that it is.

Your brother,


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Episode 1 of "Spiritual Journey"

I have always been told to "let go and let God" but I never really got it until these last two years. These last two years have been no less than a spiritual transformation, a journey towards a Higher being that I feel I have  no control over. I feel compelled to write about it. A feeling that I have been pushing away since it began but that keeps surfacing during moments of anxiety that are brought on by a need to put into words what has been taking place deep within my soul. 

There is so much to write about, so much to explain. I know where to start but I have no clue where to end. There is no ending. The transformation is continuous. So, with a little nudging from my Husband I have decided to start writing about the inner dwellings of my soul and the transformation that has been taking place, well, all my life, but that I have just recently become aware of. Funny how that happens isn't it. How when our soul is finally given the ability to reach out towards the Light and be touched, it is given a voice that has long been silenced!

I pray that in writing these blogs someone else's soul is aided on their journey towards wholeness. If there is one thing that I have learned throughout this awakening it is the power of the human story. Listening to the stories of others has not only given word to my feelings but as helped lead me through the muck that so often times we find ourselves in.  

Monday, October 19, 2009

I think I am sick

I am sitting in my mother's house, on her sofa, with the windows open, the sun kissing my cheeks, wrapped in a blanket, sipping coffee from a big white mug and reading to my hearts content. Yes, ladies and gentle men, I have, what I think is the flu or maybe I am suffering from what many mothers suffer from, exhaustion. Either way, I am thoroughly enjoying myself. Who wouldn't?

Which brings me to why I feel inspired to write this blog. I am currently reading Belong to Me written by Marisa de los Santos. The book is so good I could cry. I smile. I laugh. I bite my nails. At times I even want to slap a character or hug a character. It is a book that draws the reader in and makes them become emotionally involved in the lives of the characters. The character development is incredible. I am at the end of the book (sadness) and everything is falling into place in such a lovely way. I keep yelling things out like "oh man. come on Dev," or "I could just jump in there and give you a big bear hug little clare," or "holy shit this writer is amazing." Then I look around to make sure no one heard me yelling at the book, relieved to find myself in my parents 'empty house.

Speaking of empty house. I LOVE IT!!! Both of my brothers have moved out and although I am sad that my mother and father are going through the first stages of the empty nest "what to do with my life now" I am having a blast in a brother-free house. To be honest my brothers are slobs (what brothers aren't) so the house is clean, smells like yummy pie and is oh so quite. It is amazing. Also, I have a confession, I have been sleeping in my little brothers room. John's bed is just so darn comfy. I mean, I jump in that thing and waller around like a pig in mud. I feel the urge to holler out "John, I'm in your bed. come try and stop me," then I laugh an evil laugh and continue to waller. Every part of this house is so peaceful. Down stairs is like HEAVEN. The buck stove is burning some logs, the yellow walls call out "peace be with you," the furniture gives me a lovely welcoming grin "oh jess, I have missed you. pop a squat and let's chat." I have free roam of this house. I feel like I am an only child again. Maybe I'll just move in!!! Free child care. Free dinner. 5 achers of yard. PEACE and QUITE!! Holy crap that sounds AWESOME.

Ok, I am clearly enjoying this being sick way to much at the moment.

Now, for the explanation of why I am actually here instead of at home being sick. My husband sent me away. He has been so behind in his school work because of me :( He works over 40 hours, helps with the kids, the house and goes to school full-time. So, when my parent's offered to pick me and the kids up he jumped all over that "GET OUT OF THE HOUSE SO I CAN STUDY FOR MY MIDTERM." Although at the time I felt rejected, I am really loving this predicament that I am in. Study away husband of mine I am living the good life.

well, off to enjoy the rest of the day. when I am finished with this coffee I think I might enjoy a glass of wine. sssssshhh I found some in the fridge. that will totally help with the flu. RIGHT??

Monday, October 12, 2009

unethical culture

I can not get this video out of my mind. Such a powerful song. Such a powerful video. Just think of the small things. The fact that most of our clothes are made in sweat shops. So? What can I do? Buy clothes only made ethically in the united states or buy only second hand clothes. Lets even think about our food. How ethical is our food? Did you know that that hershey puts child slaves to work? Yeah.  Buying hershey's chocolate is supporting slavery.

America, it is inescapable, we are saturated in an unethical life style of unethical products. How does this not blow your mind? How can you stand to walk into a super center and not feel dirty. Even christian book stores are saturated. Look at those little crosses made in china. CHINA?? REALLY??? The same china that imprisons and tortures Christians. You say you don't support communism but you're buying their products. Last I checked buying something from someone is supporting them.

In short what I am saying is there are a lot of unethical practices going on. BUY LOCAL. Support your LOCAL farmer. support your LOCAL clothing store. You don't believe in slavery, sweat shops, Communism? Then STOP SUPPORTING IT! This is a massive life style change that doesn't just happen over night. But let's start now! America, the GREAT nation?? Whatever.  When you think about how we are USING and EXPLOITING other countries to live these lives of LUXARY doesn't that make you sick?  Makes me sick.  Let's do something about it!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

our version of a marriage restreat

I have had a beyond amazing weekend!  It all started on thursday afternoon. Roger showed up after work with a present for me. It included bubble bath, english chocolate, and a bottle of wine. I made the mistake of opening the present in front of the children so I had to share my chocolate. But it was one of those mommy moments that we all got to sit in the bed eating yummy chocolate. 

Late Roger made dinner, cleaned up after dinner and packed the kids up to go to their nanna's house for the weekend.  Nanna's house is a little over an hour away so I was left alone thursday afternoon to enjoy a quite house.  It was AMAZING!!!  I didn't know what to  do with myself.  


As soon as my little family was out the door I ran upstairs and got ready to go for a walk across the hay field.  I was so excited to be alone that I felt like I was flying!

I'm not really sure who exactly owns the hay field but it is open to the public to walk on. They even have a 0.9 mile trail marked out. I usually walk 2 miles twice a week but because I was so excited I went ahead and walked 3.

Often times I find myself sitting here on this bench in the early mornings thinking about life!  It is a beautiful place to watch the sun rise and fall.
I was hoping to get a better picture of the beautiful red clouds but by the time I ran back to the car, grabbed the camera, and ran back to this spot, the sky had already shifted. But believe me. It was stunning. Somewhat enchanting!
Once I got back home I felt so sticky and sweaty that I really needed to shower.  Then I remembered the bubble bath and wine that Roger had given me to enjoy. I did a little hop and skip to the bathroom and did what any mother who finds herself in an quite, empty house does. I took a bubble bath!

As most of you know I am an avid reader! I always have to have at least 3 books that I am reading. I can not live without a good book. However, with two loud and energetic children it is hard to get in reading time that doesn't immediately pertain to class. After the bath I grabbed my book (Sea Glass by Anita Shreve), threw on some warm, comfy clothes and snuggled up in my bed.  I sat there until Roger came home.  2 and a half hours!!  I ended up finishing the book!
On Friday morning I got up early, went to the church and exercised with the little old ladies. It was rather commical but I did enjoy the stretching part of it. I must say that I never thought flexing your fingers in and out was an exercise. But I guess when you have really bad arthritis it is. We also got to learn a line dance together, canes and all.  I love little Alice to death and did benefit from the relaxation of stretching. I also rather enjoyed her whistle. When the talking got out of hand, which tends to happen with ladies of any age, she blew a big yellow whistle. I couldn't hold in my laugh. She gave me a look and then an inside chuckle. I also enjoyed the conversation  of "Honey, you are so flexible."  "Well, ladies, she IS 50 years younger than us."  "oh, yeah that's right." "But look at how she bends her ankles and knees."  "Now don't try that ladies. You know Betty you need to get those knees replaced. It's done wonders for me."  I just pray that I am that jubilant at their age and have that many ladies to hang out with.

After spending the morning with the ladies while the pastor and my husband drank coffee together and laughed at me. Roger and I headed to a local deli that is frequented by young and old alike in this small town. It is a local Wendell Berry type of hang out. I can just imagine all the characters sitting around the table gossiping about the town. It is easy to imagine because that is what actually takes place here. There is one big long table in the front that everybody shares when they get their food or coffee.  Older men come in the morning and stay until the afternoon. Young kids come in after school to enjoy their free cookies and a soda.  It is a place you go to catch up on the town gossip, check in with old friends. It is the heart of the town. It was my first visit!!  Made me miss my Papal.  He would have loved the place.
Friday evening we met up with Tyler and his date to grab a bite to eat and a few drinks before heading to a square dance put on by the local bicycle club. Being new to the whole bike thing we opted out of the race before hand and just met up with the crew for the party afterwards. I know, we are pretty lame.

The square dance was amazing. We met up with Justin and Amanda at the dance as well. My favorite dance was the 4 couple dance where we all got to stay together in a little square doing crazy things (break the ocean, take a little peak, dose e dow, swing your partner, swing your corner.)   It wore me out to be honest. Tyler and Justin kept having to yell "JESSICA!  JESSICA!!!" and grab me because I had no clue where I was  because  of the spinning.   But I think we danced pretty well for being first timers, in the middle of a dark field.  It is something we must do again and again and again.   

On saturday morning Roger and I hung out at the house until around 1pm then took a short bike ride out to the high school.  We thought it would take longer but who knew riding a bike could get you somewhere so fast!!!   If we walked if would have been 30min to and 30min back. With the bikes it took us round trip 15 min.  CRAZY!!!  I love bikes!

from about 2pm until 4:30pm we enjoyed being lazy on the couch and reading our books.  At 5pm we headed to the city for the play pinocchio which had been adapted by James Still. It was amazing. Very abstract!  Before the show we stopped at a local bar to have stuffed mushrooms and drinks. (my drink of the weekend was a highball from the 1930's)  After the show Roger surprised me with reservations to my favorite restaurant!  We enjoyed a nice swanky dinner together, including some delicious  wine, duck and snails.  

It was a pretty awesome weekend and we will probably be yearning for another one in a couple of weeks.  Once the kids got home reality set in.  "we had fun but these kids are really just too darn cute to go too long without!" 

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturdays with Children

Wrote this part prior to Paul waking up:
It is a cool, rainy fall day. I am sitting here in my kitchen with the window open, watching Anna eat breakfast. The sound of the rain is so soothing. I feel that God new I needed a lazy Saturday full of books, movies, card games and front porch sitting. So, he sent the rain!!

This morning Roger and I woke up around 7am. I couldn't get back to sleep so I crept down stairs to make coffee for the two of us. While Roger was showering I sat on the front porch, sipping coffee and reading scripture. I was mesmerized by the rain and ended up sitting on the porch for an hour reading and listening. It will go down as one of those moments. A moment of peace. A moment that I truly felt the ultimate presence. And the lack of children!

Now I am sitting here all showered and spruced up, watching Anna eating cheerios and I feel fantastic.  Paul isn't up yet and I am going to let him sleep. Today I have declared shall be a sleep as long as you please day. He needs his sleep anyway. The poor boy has a viral infection in and hasn't been feeling very well as all. Plus as soon as he gets up I have two children to take care of instead of one.

Roger is at the church for a "work day."  A family at the church declared it a "work day" in order to get some church members together to spruce up the building, sort through old junk and make some repairs. I hope they finish early or he doesn't stay the whole time so we can enjoy this day together. It seems like we are never at the house at the same time anymore. There is always something that needs doing. Be it groceries, doctors appointments, class, a midnight diaper run, a hospital visit, a child that demands to go to the park, something always comes up.  And for some reason in each scenario I am stick with two screaming children.

This I wrote after Paul woke up:
While I was in the middle of typing this Paul woke up screaming "While I was sleeping my night night pants came off and jumped into the floor.  AHHHH  I wanted to sleep in my night night pants but now it is day time AAAAAAHHH."  Once we got that settled Paul and I decided "PAJAMA DAY!"  I put new pj's on him and put some pj's on anna.  They are both being adorable here in the kitchen in their PJ's.  Ok, so I lied, they are actually sitting here randomly screaming about something. Paul- "AAAHHH my tongue hurts AAAHH."  Anna - "AAAAAHHH this this this this aaaaaaah."  Every time they let out a shriek I feel my head imploding. WHERE IS ROGER?!?!?!  Oh, yeah he is at the church cleaning. Why can't I go to the church and clean. I would much rather do that than sit here and listen to the screaming. IT NEVER STOPS. I fix one catastrophe and then another one takes place, one after another.  I finally just give up and let them scream because there is really nothing I can do.  I wish my relaxing morning could last all day. Now I am sweating because the screaming is really getting horrible. Roger is so lucky that he doesn't have to deal with this EVER. (the mornings and late afternoons are the worst but I figure that they are tired in both cases)

Oh, well, maybe we'll get a kids movie at the library. Which brings me to the topic of "when will I ever again get to sit ALONE, cuddled in a blanket and watch a movie of my choosing?"  OR maybe Roger will magically APPEAR and I can go somewhere for the remainder of the day.  If you see a random person lying in her pj's in a book store, sipping coffee on the couch by the fireplace THAT'S ME.  I want to have a relaxing day at home but realize that the children from HELL (and I say that in a loving way) will never allow me that. So, I will take up residents at the local book store!!

Have a GREAT saturday ya'll!!!! 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Story Book

Let me just start out by saying WHERE IS THE FALL WEATHER??  I am sitting here in the living room with the fan on and the windows open, dripping in sweat. Explain this to me. I am not one to complain about warm weather but I am ready for it to cool off.

Ok, now, on to what I was inspired to write about. The cuteness of my little family. Let me first set up the story. Paul was running around the house with one of those scary horse heads on a stick that some toy maker made to inspire children to play "look at me I'm a jockey." They scare me. Just look at them. They are simply horse heads on sticks. Strange. Anyway, Roger said "you know what a person is called that rides a horse in a race? A Jockey!"  

Fast forward to the end of the evening.   I am standing in the bathroom washing my face as I over hear Roger putting Paul to bed. "Do you know what a person that works at the library is called? A librarian. Do you know what a person that works at the hospital is called? A Doctor. Do you know what a person that rides a horse is called? A jockey."  Then he gets to "do you know what a person that works at a church is called?"  There was a small pause and Paul yells out in excitement "DADDY!!!!"   Roger and Paul both giggled, "I love you son!"  "I love you too Dad."   

I just thought that was so incredibly precious. Over hearing it made my heart smile. It is funny to think how far Roger and I have come. I had to stop in the middle of washing my face to reflect. I met him in the 4th grade, we started dating at 15, got married at 20, graduated college together, had two children together and bought a house together.  Who would have thought that the little boy I had a massive crush on in the 4th grade, the one with crazy hair, crazy clothes and crazy facial expressions, would one day be tucking in our son into bed. Sometimes, we do end up with a story book life!

A picture of Roger and Paul during his senior year of college. Paul loved to sit with Roger while he was typing papers! 

Monday, September 7, 2009

John and Shelbie

The past couple of weeks have not lacked in the drama. Our pastor left, Roger and I both started back to graduate school, Paul and Anna have reached the crazy stage that many have told me about and my 17 year old brother got married. It has been one of those "need to breath, must remember to breath" kinda two weeks. I must say that if it wasn't for that natural peace that I receive daily from the good Lord through prayer and meditation, I would be in a ditch some where pulling my hair out. 'Hey, who's that girl sitting there in the ditch?  Is she pulling her hair out?"  

Let me just go ahead and talk about what has been on my mind the most. My 17 year old brother, John.  I got a call from my mother last weekend informing me that John was engaged. No surprise, ok, a little bit of a surprise since they hadn't been dating very long. I mean, even though Roger and I KNEW we wanted to get married after dating 6months we didn't actually get engaged until we had dated about 3 years. So, I was like, well I guess they know what they want and don't want to wait.  I understand.  

On Thursday after I had just dropped Paul off for school, placed Anna down for a nap and was preparing a nice cup of tea, my mother called in a frantic state "you're brother is getting married TODAY."  "Where?"  "At the court house."   Needless to say I busted out laughing and tried to calm her by explaining that you had to be at least 18.  That's when she explained that both of the parents had already signed the papers because John and his girlfriend said 
they would wait a while.  I guess a while meant a week.  I don't know. I was confused.  I immediately called my minister who also happens to be my husband!

Shelbie and John agreed to wait until Friday so Roger could drive down to marry them and family could be there.  They ended up having a precious wedding at a beautiful creek!! Both wore jeans. Shelbie wore a gorgeous white flowing top with a flower band in her hair and John wore a white dress shirt over a dark blue t-shirt. Both were barefoot. After the ceremony we all went back to my parent's house for some cake.  I believe it turned out very nicely and I'm happy that they got to have such a nice, peaceful wedding.  
I believe everyone shares some fear, excitement and a peace about this marriage. We're fearful because it was so fast.  John and Shelbie were led to one another and immediately jumped into marriage. My parents, Shelbie's parents and Roger and I all have one thing in common. We met that special someone and knew instantly "I'm going to marry him/her"  Even though we waited and waited and waited and waited we did finally marry that person. John and Shelbie thought "why wait. let's get married." They have done what we all thought of doing at some point so that gives us excitement for them both.  I remember crying to Roger about wanting to get married before we graduated high school but we ended up waiting, going through pre-marital class and getting married our sophomore year of college. I remember how big of a deal it was getting married in college. I got married 9 days after my 20th birthday. Our parents were freaking out. "they'll never finish college."   Ps: we FINISHED!! 

We all also share a since of peace about the marriage.  Shelbie and John both decided they wanted to do this, who are we to stop them. They truly feel called to one another, want to live in a godly way and have decided to no longer burn in lust. I accept that. I am also at peace that they have an amazing support group surrounding them.  Marriage is work. Sometimes work is fun and sometimes it's not. You need people around to lean on, to learn from, during the good and the bad.  I feel at peace that they both have two wonderful examples of a godly marriage. It is important to have that support. 

So, here I sit thinking about my 17 year old brother John, the fact that he is a husband now and I pray. I don't have specifics, I just pray. I know tomorrow is going to be hard on them. Both have their first day back to their senior year of high school as a married couple. They will arrive to their first class feeling a bit excited, but a bit out of place. They have grown up over the weekend. They have changed. I remember that feeling. That feeling of not quite fitting in. That feeling of responsibility that everyone else around me lacked. That feeling of not being understood. That feeling of "YES I'M MARRIED.  QUIT ASKING ME QUESTIONS!." 

Tomorrow, the next couple of weeks and the next year are going to be hard. Fun but hard. All us married people know that that first year is the rough one. Getting to know each other as husband and wife is challenging. After all the excitement of "getting married" calms, you find yourself in the mist of plain old life. Having to adjust to knowing each others life rhythm, spiritual rhythm and quarks is challenging. I just pray. That's all I can do. Pray.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Stress Test of '09

This morning we got up super early and headed into the city far way.  Far far away. I slept while Roger drove and was amazed to find the sun shinning when we arrived at our destination. "This is a cruel punishment Roger. Just cruel. Why so early?"  

After circling around for a little bit, laughing at our misfortune and our need to pee we finally made it to the Jewish Hospital. "YAY I'm so excited! Maybe I'll meet a Jewish doctor."  Well, I didn't meet a Jewish doctor just one that seemed annoyed that he had to monitor a chick doing a stress test.  WE called Him Dr. Xylophone because we couldn't understand a world he said and he had a REALLY REALLY long name that started with a X. 

Here's a pic of the entering into the clinic.

We were hoping to take a few more pictures of the stress test. Like one of me actually on the treadmill with the crazy thing wrapped around my head and the elephant looking mask that clamped my nose shut, forcing me to breath from a small tube. But the nurses seemed in need of some coffee and the Doctor just plum hated his life. So, we snuck this one while they were out getting me a battery for some sort of hook up thing a ma jig.
This is just a picture of me acting out what I might look like when the stress test is over.
After the test we had to rush across the way to another hospital to see ANOTHER doctor. "YAY hospital hoping is F-U-N!!!"  I am a bad patient and I thoroughly  enjoy spinning around in the Doctors stool before they come in. First of all, spinning is great fun. It's something you never grow out of. Second, I enjoy watching the doctor try to scoot up to the table only to realize that they have to spin the stool down. The whole time making grunting sounds and saying something like "man, how many spins."
AFter the spinning, if any of you decide to do this, you must quickly jump up on the exam table and look all innocent. It is great!!!  I throw the "Hey, Look at me. I would never mess up your stool" look.  Works like a charm.  And have no fear people. They have to knock before coming in. So, if you are in the middle of a spin you'll have plenty of time to jump up and give the innocent look.  PS: I do this to Paul and Anna's Doctors as well. I'm an addict.
I have a problem. When I get bored I snoop. Look what I found though. A year's supply of tissue! I was so excited but Roger caught me filling up the backpack and assured me that our insurance would not in fact pay for it.
The next grand adventure was getting the echo (an ultra sound for your heart). I love echos!!  I just have this fascination with looking at the inside of my body. A part of me would love to be able to hold my heart in my hands as the Doctor explains every detail to me. But since I know there is no way under the sun that that can ever happen I take advantage of resources that are put in front of me. I sat at the desk "Explain this to me!  In great detail."   
So, my new doctor, whom I just met today explained EVERYTHING to me!!!  It was the first day meeting her (she's a SHE!  A female cardiologist. EXCITING!!!!) but I can already tell she is going to be great!  She truthfully answered each of my questions and explained things to me in a "not dumbed down for the patient" way. She understood that I have been doing some research and teaching myself little things about the heart and desperately wanted to learn. 

Ok, now, on to what she said. Here's a list
- I did AWESOME on the stress test and she can't believe I went so long with nothing major being detected on the test.
- My heart looks VERY BEAUTIFUL. Actually pretty Amazing for my condition.
- Over the years I will need to be checked each year still just to make sure the arteries don't begin to narrow from the scar tissue that is present. But the majority of that happens during adolescents.  When the heart is growing.
- There are no signs that the muscle is wearing out but if there ever is they have plenty of meds they can put me on and keep adding 

Then I asked the question. "What if non of those medicines work? Then what"  She responded "Then we would put you on the transplant list."  She followed it up with "I am not telling this to scare you."  I said "I know. I just want you to be truthful with me and not try to sugar things up."   Then she went on to explain that she doesn't see that happening in my future. That I have done an excellent job at keeping my heart healthy and the surgery that was performed at 3 months was absolutely beautiful. The surgeon did an excellent job.  Then she told me to keep up the exercise, the eating healthy and the rest will work out beautifully. 

I WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOOO HAPPPPPY!!!!!!  Roger and I skipped out of the office (I was saying prayers of thanks to God) and we went to a brew pub to eat a BIG unhealthy Bison burger and have a sampler of their beers.  

I feel so blessed!  So happy. So calm. So proud. So relieved. Happy tears feel so nice sometimes. I shall go enjoy them.  

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Well, Paul has successfully embarrassed me three times already this weekend. 

The first one:
We were at a wedding of a friend, he was REALLY interested in it because he has been talking for weeks about how he wants to marry me. We have tried to explain that you can't marry your mom or your sister or your dad or you grandparents. He doesn't understand, "but I'm nice! I love you." When we told him we were going to watch two people get married he was all about how we weren't getting in the car fast enough. Once at the wedding i found a lovely cry room and took advantage of the situation. I pulled a chair up next to the window so paul could watch the wedding and I let anna go crazy in the room. However, Paul lost his balance, slammed his body into the looking window, slid down the wall and knocked over the vases that the bridesmaids had left there, full of water, to put their flowers in. No one in the little room said a thing. It was as if nothing happened but I could feel the stink eye on me. I tried my best to clean up the mess with the little amount of diaper wipes I had with me.

The second one:
We are still in the cry room. Paul is standing beside me now because I wouldn't dare let him back onto he chair after the fall. I learnt my lesson, he didn't. Then he screams out  "MY PENIS IS OUT OF MY UNDERWEAR!  AAAAAAH"  I can feel the embarrassment start to seep to my face. Then I started to calm myself down with a mental "Jess, your child is hilarious."  Then I did what any mother would do in that situation. "well, then, reach down in there and put him back in."  Once again, no one said a thing but I sure felt the stink eye as I began to giggle.

The third one:
We have a interim pastor at our church now. This sunday was his first Sunday preaching. The first thing that Paul says to him is "That's Jeff's office."  The man smiles tries to ask Paul a few questions. Paul responds by crying "I was going to be the preacher. I'm the preacher. I want to be the preacher."  The little guy really thought he was going to take over Jeff's job.

Having Paul as a son has been challenging at times but at the end of the day my son cracks me up. I love how big of a smile such a little guy can put on my face. 

Now I am going to enjoy the rest of this beautiful Sunday with my family in a park out in the country. I can already smell the hay!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

marriage, ministry, work and hardships

This morning is very bitter sweet.  It is our pastor's last sermon. His last day of work. I wont go into details  but the whole situation surrounding his departure has been very emotional. Emotional for the church. Emotional for his family. I'm still in shock that he was treated so poorly by some members of the congregation. I never knew that people could be so ugly. Maybe I knew but wasn't expecting it to be within the church.

Anyway, on to why I feel the need to type out a blog before church this morning. This church is the first full time ministry position that my husband has ever had. For five years he was the pastor of a small, and I do mean small, church in a quaint rural town. We fell in love with each person that walked within the doors. They were sweet, caring, God loving, Christians that we began to see as part of our family. They celebrated with us when got married, when we announced the birth of both of our children, when we graduated from college. They mourned with us when we were going through the depths of despair with the lose of a family member(love you papal) with a death of a church member (love you mrs. emily). They were more than willing to give us a pat on the back when we were going through moments of discouragement. I can honestly say that I love that church. I dearly miss it even though I know that it was time to move on. Time to let someone else have the opportunity to meet such great Christian people. 

This church is different. It is more business like. Which I guess you would expect with a larger congregation. We are still in the process of forming relationships with people, which is always difficult. With a full time position the demands on the staff are sometimes immense. I am in a position where I am learning the hardships about being married to a minister. We have not gone through any hardships as of yet but looking at the pastor and his family and all the hardships that they have been through has opened my eyes to the possibilities. Of the things that no matter how hard we try, no matter how prepared we are, will inevitably happen. There are always going to be people within the church that have some sort of problem with you, your husband or your children. There's always going to be that person that enjoys gossiping about the pastors family. I just pray that we will never have to go through the amount of hardship that our pastor and his family has gone through on numerous occasions.

When Roger told me, while we were dating, that he wanted to go into the ministry I was more than willing to support him. I am still all for supporting him. But I had no clue how difficult it can be to be married to a minister. Let me preface this with admitting that we have not actually experienced much of this but I have observed from the wife of our soon to be former minister. At any given time your husband can be called away. For example, called away to the hospital to mourn with a grieving family. At any given time your husband can pack up and move to another state in pursuing another church job. As a wife you don't choose where you live, what church you go to. I mean I guess you talk it over with your husband but when it boils down to it you go where he gets a job. You are constantly waiting and constantly following. You expect this when you marry some sort of other professional as the classic example of a doctor but I had no clue it was like that with a minister. I never thought about the fact that at any given moment he could be called away and that I was to smile, pat him on the back and say "I love you honey. i guess we'll try to have dinner together another night." Or that any given moment he could announce his intentions to apply for an "awsome job out of state" get it and the whole family pack up, leave our friends, family, school and job in order to follow. I guess that was just part of my la la land "oh I'm marrying a minister. he is so handsome" thing.  Now I am married to him, have taken solemn vows and I am in it for the long haul. I love him. 
We have come to the conclusion that marriage is hard work, go figure, who knew. So, once a month we send the kids to the grandparents for an extended weekend. This has been one of those weekends and it has been fabulous. I almost feel like I am cheating on my husband with my husband. It's always reassuring when the kids leave that we still have the ability to be alone with one another and actually have fun, acutally have good conversations. I have heard horror stories about couples that divorce after the kids are grown because they have discovered that the kids were the only thing that they had in common. It is so sad. So, we are trying to take time to get to know one another each month because each month we change a little and have to become reacquainted.

This has gone off subject. I better go brush the teeth and head to church. Even though it is the pastor's last Sunday, so sad, we are having two baptisms, so exciting. 

I ask that you keep our pastor in your prayers. There family is going through a rough time right now. Not only is he losing a job but his family is losing a church, his children losing a youth ministry that they seemed to love.  But they seem to have a strong family unit and a very strong marriage.      

Monday, August 17, 2009

a day with the heart monitor on

It is only 1:30pm and I have already and I FANTASTIC day!!  Praise the Lord!!!

I was not looking forward to today because the cardiologist had sent me home with the halter monitor to put on by myself and wear during the exercise thing with the other moms in the park First of all I was nervous about putting the monitor on right but after all the years of having them I figured that out pretty fast.  Now I'm thinking about going to school to be an ekg hooker upper person.  Just kidding.  But I think I did a fantastic job putting the electrodes on.

Anyway.  I got up early, early, early, took my heart medicine, drank a lot of water, ate a oatmeal breakfast, did my little bible study and then got the kids up.  Then around 8am I put on the heart monitor only to find that it would not turn on.  Oh no!!  I called the cardiologist but the office wasn't open yet.  After have a small short panic, Roger and I figured out that it needed a new battery. So, he rushed out to buy new batteries.

I met the ladies at the park, explained the heart situation, and proceeded to exercise. I think it went GREAT. I kept up with them and only felt absolutely horrible one time.(I wrote it in the jornal that the cardiologist sent with me. "short of breath. dizzy. very very tired.") Renee was REALLY good about doing cool downs before and after the big time exercising. It REALLY helped me.  When we got finished exercising Renee got out the parachute and the kids giggled and laughed while tossing it in the air. Then they all played tag/monsters while we laid in the grass relaxing and talking.  At which point we decided it would be an AWSOME idea to go eat pizza.  Therefor, we loaded up all the kids (6 in all. we each have two. YAY for double strollers) and headed for some yummy, greasy, cheesy pizza!!  DELICIOUS.  Nothing like chowing down on pizza while you are still in your nasty, sweaty clothes. "MMMM  MMMMM this is so so good!!"   "Oh man I  know! I know!!"

When I got home Anna was knocked out so I put her to bed.  Then I attempted to sponge bathe myself.  The electrodes have to stay on until tomorrow morning.  I once again did a fantastic job and I actually feel clean and I didn't electrocute myself!!!  YAY!!!! I also did a good job washing my hair upside down.  What can I say.  I am starting to be GREAT at everything. :)

Now, I'm going to try to get Paul to lay down for a nap so I can pass out on the couch for a little bit before the dinner rush.  Oh and another exciting thing.  We are sending the kids to Roger's parents house this weekend.  YAY for some alone time!!  I'm so excited!  If you have kids and haven't sent them to the grandparents for the weekend before I would highly recommend it. It helps Roger and I reconnect and remember why we are still together.  I love it!! Plus, sometimes you just need to get away from your kids and vis versa. 

bye bye for now!!!  Keep me in your prayers that the results from this monitor are good and that the results from the stress test turns out great!   I'm a little nervous but after today I feel like it will be ok. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

cardiologist appointment

My cardiologist walked into the room with a concerned parental look on his face, sat in the chair, crossed his arms and said "so, tell me what's been going on."  This was after he had reviewed the results from my pacemaker interrogation. i had no clue what he was talking about. "Have you been having chest pains, shortness of breath, accelerations?"  I thought and thought and all I could think of was when I have been exercising how incredibly painful it has been. But being me I have been pushing on through the pain thinking "I can do it. I can do it."  That's when my cardiologist had me explain my work out regiment and informed me that I could be damaging my already damaged heart. I was in SHOCK.  Then he started talking about the seriousness of it by saying "you have little ones now."  He has given me a halter monitor to take home and put on the day I participate in the jogging stroller fitness class.  He also set me up for an extreme version of the famous stress test.  He said "from there we will decide what you should and should not be doing."

The reality of this scares me. The fact that I have a serious heart condition scares me. The possibility of dropping dead at an early age frightens me. I want to grow old with Roger. I want to see my children have children. At one point today my cardiologist said "Jessica, you are in denial. You are in denial that you have a heart condition."  I had to sit and think for a bit and then I realized that I have been in denial my whole life. I go about things as if I am a perfectly healthy individual. I try my hardest to live a very active life. Hiking. Swimming. Biking. Running. Pushing myself to the breaking point. There are times when I push and push and push until I literally drop on the ground in exhaustion. I am constantly telling myself that I am just out of shape and need to just push myself a little harder.  But the fact is I have a congenital heart defect. My chest has been sliced open, my heart has been totally reconstructed and I have a machine hooked up to me that tells my heart how and when to pump. I need to let that sink in. The sinking in process really hurts emotionally. I am in denial. Denial.  I need a thin mint blizzard from DQ.    

I need to cry. I hate being told that I can't do something. I hate being told that what I am doing could be damaging my already damaged heart. I enjoy the challenge of pushing myself. While I am exercising I feel normal. I feel ALIVE.  But now I know that I could possibly be putting myself in the grave even earlier because of my denial. because of my need to push myself. Because of my need to feel normal.

I'm not normal and I HATE it.  I just HATE it so bad that I want to put my running shoes on and run until I fall dead.  Or maybe I'll just throw something really hard and then go get that thin mint blizzard from DQ.

I don't want this. I don't want to worry about this. I don't want to think about this. Why?  Why?  Sometimes I ask "why God?  Why me? WHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!  Why did I live?  Why?" All I can say is there must be something GREAT that God wants to do through me.  
Then on top of this my cardiologist informs me that my insurance company is having some sort of argument with the hospital and refusing to work with them (pay).  Then he banged his head on the wall  a few times while screaming "aaaaaaaahh  I HATE INSURANCE COMPANIES."  But he ended up figuring out a way that we could sneak around the system and get my tests paid for!!! He is sending me to the Jewish hospital across the street!!! :)  I'm telling ya.  He is a GREAT doctor.

Ok, enough of the pity party and back to some sort of denial.  Man, I need to find a therapist. I'm being serious. I have so many emotional issues that stem from having this heart condition. So many "why God" questions. I'm constantly searching and asking.

Thank the Lord that Roger went with me today or I would have cried the whole way home. Instead we went out for a nice quite lunch, explored a locally owned book store and sat on a sunny patio sipping coffee. At least I have an amazing husband, and two beautiful and healthy children to put a smile on my face during times of uncertainty. If I do die at a young age at least I have given something to the world.  Love and Life 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Major Ramblings

I just finished reading a book that I would highly recommend.  Are you ready for this??  The book of Judges is INCREDIBLE.  Each story within left me going "What the Heck?"  I feel like I have been let down. Why didn't I hear about all those cool, and not so cool, stories growing up.  And why was the story of Samson so unlike the one I heard as a child.  And why did I never hear the story about Jephthah's daughter?  I mean, it is a horrible story, he asks God to give him victory in battle and promises that he will sacrifice the first person that comes out of his home to greet him when he returns from war. Poor Jephthah is heart broken when his only child, a daughter, comes from the house, on his return from victory in battle, dancing and  playing a tambourine.  I would have been like "Hey, get back in that house young child. I'll pretend I never saw ya."  But no. Jephthah is faithful to God and explains to his daughter the deal he had made with the Lord. She is shocked and asks for two months alone in the mountains with her friends to grieve that she will die a virgin, childless. I can only imagine that she went up on the mountain and got completely wasted with her friends. Laughing, Crying, Vomiting. You know, going through all the stages of denial.  Who knows. They don't write much about her in the story. Only that she understands her father's deal with the Lord and offers herself as a sacrifice.  Horrible. Powerful
It got me thinking about how God offered his only son as a sacrifice for us. How powerful it must have been back in the day to see or hear such a thing. Now days we are like "Wow, Christ being sacrificed on the cross is so awesome. It is so awesome that I am going to wear a cross around my neck"   I fear that we don't really understand the magnitude of such a thing. I mean, I have never personally had to sacrifice anyone or anything. So, I will be the first to admit it is hard for me to understand the magnitude. What is even more troubling to me is the lack of good friday participation and true celebration on Easter Sunday. I fear that more, so called, christians would show up to fight for the old law to be placed in a public building than to mourn and celebrate our amazing God sacrificing his son for US. 
But imagine if  you will, if you were a descendant of Jephthah.  It mentioned in Judges that after the death of his daughter the Israelite women would go out for four days every year to grieve over her death. Can you imagine being one of those women?  Can you imagine being told that God is going to, in the future, sacrifice his only child, a son? What a humbling thing. I would be in shock.  The story made me stop and think.  I thought I would share that with you.   Now, on to a confession. Anna has been taking her naps at a different time than Paul so by the time I get Paul to sleep Anna is just waking up and I am EXHAUSTED. The past couple of days I have been getting Anna's baby mattress out of her bed, putting it on the floor,shutting her bedroom door and laying on the mattress, in her room, sleeping while she plays. It is completely uncomfortable and  I have to be willing to get hit in the head every five seconds with a block or a finger up the nose. But it is totally worth being able to lay motionless, with my eyes closed for 20 to 30 min.
On a grieving note. Today is the 2nd anniversary of my grandfather's (Papal) death. I am doing pretty well.  I have no clue how the rest of my family is holding up, especially my grandmother (mamal).  I know she has been suffering quietly inside the past two years. My family seems to have problems with the whole grieving process. I however am a firm believer that you never "get over" a death of such a significant person in your life.  You must "deal with it" constantly.  Cry out loud. Scream. Talk about your grief with others who have lost someone close. The grieving process is a touchy subject, everyone goes through it differently, but I know we all go through it. To hide the process is more harmful than the actual process. To hell with the "I'm strong." statement. That is not healthy. I am weak during this process and reach out to people for comfort. I rely on their strength during these times. 

Ok, the kids are up. Roger is home and I need some caffeine.  The early afternoon is always the hardest part of the day. I heard an author describe it as the noon day demon. It makes you feel like all you have done before that time is worthless, that you are lazy for feeling so drained. And "how dare you take a nap." 

On a side note:  Roger and I got up early this morning!!  I ate breakfast, cleaned the house, took a shower, got dressed and helped Roger put the laundry away. All of this was accomplished before the kids got up. When they got up I fed them breakfast, took them to see a magic show at the library, made a quick trip to Kroger and then cleaned the bathroom.  Now I am EXHAUSTED.  But YAY the house is clean!!!    

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday July 23, 09

Most days I feel like I have gotten nothing accomplished. However, most days I get tons of stuff done. Sometimes when I sit down after a morning full of fun activity I think "I didn't get anything done."  This afternoon I did the same thing. I walked inside around 3:30, started sipping a glass of water while enjoying a quite house full of sleeping children. (ok, so there is just 2 kids)  Then it popped in my head "I haven't done anything to day."  Then I thought "you are so hard on yourself."  So, I wrote a list of things that I did today.

1. got both the kids up , dressed and fed
2. followed Anna around all morning picking up her tornadoes. 
3. cleaned both the bathrooms
4. straightened up the house
5. picked paul up from VBS and let him play in the bouncy thing for an hour while I watched anna
6. fed kids lunch and cleaned up after them
7. took the kids to Lowes to get some pest killer, dirt and mulch
8. read books to the kids and put them down for a nap
9. mowed the grass and trimmed.
10. planted a flower and put more mulch around the bushes
11. sprayed the bushes with bug killer stuff

Now I am sitting here writing this blog so I will no longer think at the end of the day "I did nothing."  It is strange how when you enjoy doing something so much, when the end of the day comes you feel like you did nothing. How weird??  I need to do this more often, write a list. Because sometimes I get that guilty feeling for staying home with the kids. Like all I am doing is playing house. It's hard not to feel that way when I get told so often that I am not using my BA in psychology degree. Hey people, I am totally using those skills that I picked up during all my psych hours. I would not be as good a mom or wife if I wasn't.  

 But anyway I need to pat myself on the back every now and then.  If it weren't for me the house would be a mess, the grass wouldn't be mowed, the kids would never get a bath, the laundry would never get done and the kids wouldn't even know what a book is.

There, I have had my uplifting moment that I so needed.  I sometimes wish that maybe I could get a boring job where I sit somewhere and stare at the computer waiting for the day to end and my paycheck to come.  But, I have been there and done that and I am pretty sure I have the best job in the world. (but doesn't everybody?)  Right here at Jasper n' Jasper. 

 I am starting to think about how my answer to the question "Do you work or stay home with the kids?"will be from now on. I just HATE that question.   It shall be "I work from home."  

"oh really!  What kind of work?"  
"maid, janitor, cook, nanny, landscaper, PE couch, therapist"   

 Holly Crap I totally just cracked myself up.  I love when I do that.  Ha Ha  (chuckle with me)

Ok, I'm sitting here covered in grass and dirt from the landscaper part of my job so I need to get cleaned off before the kids wake up or roger gets home.  He tends to walk in the door and say "Ha Ha what in the world have you gotten yourself into?"  I get pretty messy when I play outside.  I just can't help it.  I don't care about getting dirt all over the place.  I'm also a bit clumsy so that doesn't help.   

Monday, July 20, 2009

Jogging Strollers Rock My World and Bum

This morning at 9:30 I met up with a few other moms and did some major exercising in the park. There were moments when I thought that I was going to vomit and moments that I thought my legs were going to fall off but when all was said and done I did have a great time. The mom who formed the club is a fitness trainer that does yoga and other mom/baby classes throughout town. She is very nice and really knows how to whip your body into shape. We worked nonstop, hard until 11am.  By the time it was over I didn't know if I was going to have enough strength to walk back home (it's in the park by our house).  

This is very exciting for me because I am a fitness fanatic. I love it!!!  I can't explain it. I just love the challenge of fitness. I love getting my pulse up, pushing myself. I am also anxious to meet people in our new community. So, this whole jogging club is PERFECT!!!  We get to warm up together, stretch and talk, then walk a bit while we talk, then start the hard stuff at which point we can;t talk because we are too busy trying to breath. After all the hard work is complete, the calories burned, the muscles pumped and cooled down, we sit together while the little ones play on the park. Fabulous.  Social/ Exercise time for me and social/exercise time for Paul and Anna.  I must admit my favorite part was when we parked the strollers, turned the kids toward us and did crazy aerobics under the beautiful shade tree. "This is a perk of staying at home with the kids!"  

It was a nice morning. Cool, Sunny, just enough of a breeze to cool the sweat. However, I am worn out. Exhausted

On a side note: Paul is VBS hopping. He went to ours last week and this week I am taking him to the churh's across the street.  It works out perfect because they meet in the morning so it gives me a little time to get some chores done before noon. I'm also getting the opportunity to meet people at the Methodist church across the street!  Works out perfect!

Friday, July 17, 2009


I'm sitting here watching Anna do some sort of craziness with the rug and Paul watch Ice Age.  Fridays are movie days at our house. I don't allow him to watch tv or movies much so on friday we veg out.  I wish I could enjoy this veg out experience more but I have a horrible head ache. I think I have taken to many drugs this morning. There is a possibility I am becoming a druggy. I took my normal vitamin this morning. Then decided that maybe I was a little low in iron and that was why I was so tired so I popped an iron pill.  Then later this morning I decided maybe I had a headache because of allergies so I took some allergy meds.  After that I thought maybe I just needed some caffeine so I had some coffee and tea.  Then I took some ibuprofen.  Now I am sitting here in pain, a bit spaced out and feeling shaking from the caffeine. I've really gotta stop the self diagnosing.  My Obgyn has already forbidden me from googling things "Jess, just ask me and I'll tell you all you need to know. You're just going to scare yourself for no reason."  I stopped googling but I didn't stop thinking the worst and popping the meds.  Gotta stop that.  I guess I just need to go get blood work like a normal person when I feel that there is a possibility that I am low in iron. Thank the Lord there isn't such a thing as a take home blood work kit or I would totally be sticking myself all the time.

Tonight is the last night for VBS. I must admit that after the first night in which roger and I both experienced an emotional meltdown, it has been fun. I feel like for 2 whole hours I get to be a kid again, playing make believe. The best part being that I am teaching young ones about Rome: Paul and the underground church.  Including my young one. He is excited to get to learn more about his name sake. It puts a smile on my face.

Alright, Paul's movie is over, Roger just put anna down for a nap and is walking to church, so I better get busy reading to Paul. That's one of my favorite Mom things to do with him....READ.  I LOVE reading and I LOVE that paul loves it as well. We read books for at least 40 min each day cuddled up on the couch. 

Exciting note for the day: I have found a stroller fitness class that I am going to join!! They meet at the park right by our house every monday, work out together and then let the kids play together on the park.  It is so exciting!!!  I'll get to combine my love of exercise, kids and socializing!!!  FABULOUS!! She said "come prepared to sweat. We burn off abut 450 cal a work out!!"   YAY

I'll write about how that goes. Hopefully I don't kill over.  :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer days and nights

Thus far I have had a fabulous morning. I was able to get my scripture reading done in the peace and quite of the morning before the kids got up.  This morning I finished the horribly depressing book of Jeremiah!!!  I enjoyed reading through it but it was just such a downer. Seriously.  I need to read a happier book next time.  Hummm

After the kids got up and ate breakfast we headed out for a lovely morning stroll and ended up at the park. Paul and Anna are having so much fun playing with each other.  I just love watching them interact with one another. It warms my heart. Paul says that God gave him a little friend.  That little friend being Anna. I told him that I agreed. 

Anna is a WILD CHILD.  She is so unlike paul. She is not the least bit shy and she is more than willing to try any and everything. It is so funny to watch her climd up the little stairs and slide down the slide on her belly all by herself. She is HILARIOUS.  She giggles the whole time we are at the park.  And of course Paul thinks that is just the cutest thing.  I sure hope they grow up to be close.  I dream of having a close nit little family. Roger, me, anna and Paul.  

Tonight is the first night of vacation bible school and I would rather eat rocks than go to it. I HATE all the church drama. What I mean is the church politics. I just absolutely HATE it.  I think I need to wear a sign that says "I am NOT the youth minister.  I just married one."  I HATE getting asked questions about this or that. I HATE being told where to go or what to do.  Heaven for bid.  Leave me alone and let me for once passively enjoy something. And PS if you hired Roger to do the job then step back and let him do the job.  AAAAAHHHHHH  I think it best at this point to go into a nearby closet and CURSE.   I never knew church could be so unloving and demanding at times.

Ok, enough about that.  Let me talk about my wonderful week that I had with my little rascals. 

On tuesday I took Paul and Anna to the public swimming pool.  They had a GREAT time and so did I. A woman from church was also there with her two girls so we sat by/in the pool and talked while the kids entertained themselves.  It was going great and I was thinking about just moving in FOREVER until Paul came hobbling over SCREAMING about his foot.  He had scrapped it and blood was everywhere.  Thank the Lord for Beth and her first aid kit or I have no clue what I would have done.  We bandaged him up and ended up heading back home.  At which point we ALL took a nap.

Later in the week paul and I took a bike ride together. Me on my hybrid Trek and Paul on his little red tricycle. WE rode on the side walk, through the alley way, across the street and into a big parking lot. Once we got to the parking lot we rode in a circle for a good 30 min before heading back home.  On the ride back we discussed how his birthday was coming up and that we needed to get him a bigger bike that would connect to my bike so that we could ride faster.

On Friday after taking Paul and Anna to their reading group at the library we decided to randomly pack up and go hiking at the Gorge.  So, we packed a few things, including the camel pack and headed out into the great outdoors, me, roger and the two kiddos. 

Paul insisted on taking his camping backpack with him so I just had to take a picture of him next to the fence that he claimed he built so that we wouldn't fall off the cliff and die  

When we came upon our first clearing paul screamed out IT's BEAUTIFUL!!!!!  AWWW LOOK AT THAT!!!"  It made me smile.  So, we took another picture.

The crazy wild cat Anna also had a lot of fun. She was talking to herself the whole way. It was as if she was telling us a big long story about something. She also enjoyed eating the dirt and tried desperately to sneak a rock into her mouth.

These of course were everywhere and paul thought they were funny looking. That is until we told him what they meant.  I guess he thought the little man was having fun.
After hiking to Chimney Top we decided to hike to princess arch. This hike was a bit nuts with Anna. We had to take turns climbing down and up and handing off the kids. "You got her?'  "YEAH, toss her to me." But I must admit that it was totally worth it. 

When we got back home it started to rain and a really cool rainbow appeared.  

So we put Paul's rain boots on and let him splash in the puddles.
The next day, Saturday, we got up early and went to the farmers market to by some yummy local produce.  Then we grabbed a quick lunch and headed to the park for a picnic.  After paul and Roger played pretend baseball on the REAL baseball field "look mom, the sandlot!" we headed home to rest. On the drive home we decided "Hey, let's go to the drive in tonight."  So, we took naps and baths and around 8:30pm headed out to the drive-in to watch Ice Age. On the drive there we were blessed with a gorgeous sunset.  You know the ones that turn the sky an orange and pink color. "mom, that is the setting sun!!!"   "Yes Paul it sure is!" 
We had a great time watching the kids play under the screen before the movie and cuddling when the big dinosaur seemed like he was coming out of the screen.  Anna thought it was the greatest thing EVER and Paul didn't stop smiling.  

All in all we had a GREAT week.  THis summer has been full of fun little family adventures! 

WE started this week with a visit from Justin and Amanda.  There is nothing quite like sitting on the porch with friends eating breakfast for dinner on a sunday afternoon. They helped to calm our nerves about the upcoming VBS!