Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009; it was a very good year.

Okay, here is a year in review. I didn't link any of these posts, just excerpted. December's is new stuff, because I have hardly posted at all in December. What a great year! What a challenging year! What a disorienting year! Anyway, this is a little baby heavy, and I can see that next year will be more "normal". This was an extraordinary year, to be certain!

January '09

I find myself leaning into the season I am in, rather that fighting against it. It seems as if part of living with an open hand means accepting what is real, what is put in my hand and what is taken out, and by doing so, experiencing the blessings of all the seasons of life. 1/14

When the baby moves, I just can not believe how satisfying a feeling it is. I know I will miss it when the baby is born. I am so loving being pregnant. 1/23

Being content is a gift. Lord knows I can not make myself content, although I do spend much time trying. I thank God this morning that He allowed me, in His wisdom, to begin my day with a deep, cozy contentment; He just GAVE it to me today. 1/28

February '09

During Liturgy, I get chills every time we are at the Consecration, "This is my body". I feel so connected to Christ right now, having my body being given to assist in creation. Birth is coming, the sacrifice that will be given to bring my baby into new life. I know how much I love my new baby, and therefore can rest so completely in the love that Christ has for me, given His sacrifice of love to bring ME to new life. It is all so amazingly, mystically beautiful! 2/6

Offering my body, and my blood, my sleep and my comfort for the good of the other. Letting Love conquer fear, and accepting both the blessings and sacrifices offered me by being open to new life. Relinquishing my plans and my control for the reality that, what will happen will happen, and I can not be in charge here. I have given birth many times before, twice before during Lent. There is something quite spiritually rich about joining in the Lenten Offerings with birth giving. A true gift for me to be allowed to do so. 2/24

March '09

Six weeks after I had my first baby, we got a dog. A puppy. A little Sheltie puppy, very timid and very sweet, very beautiful. We named her Sophie, which was the name we were going to use had the first baby been a girl. This wasn't even a year after my husband and I got married. For 15 and a half years, this dog has been part of our family...She followed me around everywhere, and if I was out of the house for a few days, she wouldn't eat until I got back. No doubt I will never be the recipient of such devotion for the rest of my days...So now we get used to the house being a little less full, for a while, until our new baby girl comes home, and new life brings its joy again. We all know that it was a good decision, to have our Sophie put to rest, after a long and faithful life with us. But we miss her. She was a part of us all along. 3/11

I ardently hope my placenta is retired by next week. Ardently. 3/13

I never thought I would get to test the theory that childbirth is better than a root canal. I would have been content to leave it an irrelevant saying. 3/13



April '09

My eldest two children are her Godparents!

Melanie only gained 3 oz this week. She is still 12 oz below her birth weight, and is 4 weeks old. She still has a lazy suck and poor latch, and we both have thrush. I am sore and tired, and tied to either her while nursing, or the breast pump when she is finished. Someone remind me how glad I will be that I persevered in nursing. That this is really a good thing for her, that she will chub up, that this really isn't that big of a deal. Thank you. I feel much better now =). 4/15

I found a fabulous pram style stroller at the thrift store for 12 dollars. I love it, it is so cute, and baby fell asleep in it as we took a walk. 4/23

Just as I have learned through experience NOT to wish away a moment of the newborn and baby phase, exhausting as it may be, I am exhorting myself to live in the present moment with my teens as well, relishing the time we still have together. The confidence and competence will come, but this time together is finite and precious. 4/28

May '09

Baby in a cute outfit before church last Sunday. 5/6

Just a quick note to say just how much I love watching my 10 year old son. He is totally immersed in Star Wars right now, and I have observed him swinging his light saber around, doing daring jumps and flips on the trampoline, all the while so engrossed in his imaginary battle that the real world fades away. I can almost see his imagined battles by the intensity of his actions. 5/26

June '09

I can only come up with one (success) this time, and that is the fact that today, I got up, and started to do the whole darn thing all over again. After I see most of what I do undone so very, very quickly, and my efforts so completely unnoticed, I figure that the fact I am still trying is a flippin' big success, actually. So there you all go, a little, bitter success. Hurumph. 6/4

Three months old! 6/17

July '09

Four months old! 7/17

So, as I mentioned, school is approaching and I am doing my yearly freak out. My husband reminded me that I only have to make a reasonable decision, put an honest amount of effort into it (regarding curriculum, scheduling etc.) and then really let God assist in the process. He reminded me that it really isn't all up to ME, that God is going to help, and fill in gaps, and take care of them. So now I need to repeat this to myself over and over, and quit thinking that there is some perfect choice for my children, the Holy Grail of Education, so to speak, if I could only find it. I am not Indiana Jones. 7/24

August '09

I had to clean out baby's dresser, and empty out all the newborn and 0-3 month clothes. Sniff. Bawl. I am saving them in case a friend of mine from church has a girl baby this fall. The gowns, onsies and sleepers will work well, as I used them for the early spring. The first of many heart aching transitions with this baby, to be certain! 8/7


September '09


I can not keep up. I fall short everywhere. I am truly fatigued from comparing my insides with everyone else's outsides. I am tired of fighting the temptation to covet everyone else's lives. I have come to the conclusion (a gift of grace, I am certain), that I am coveting an image, not a reality. And what a stinking waste of a sin. Coveting something that isn't even real, for heaven's sake. 9/18

October '09

The day I got married, I have to say, I could not see the fruits of our marriage, not even in a foggy, hopeful sort of way. I had no idea what life was going to bring. This morning, as I was sitting in the nursery (that used to be my icon room), with the baby, one daughter bringing me coffee, another bringing me some delicious cinnamon toast with pumpkin butter, and a few other children just sitting around, being a little sleepy, my husband walks in with the latte, a card and a nice bottle of wine for later. It occurred to me, that had I been asked seventeen years ago what my life might be like now, I wouldn't have ventured a guess that I would have a baby on my lap, seven other children, a bigger icon studio in the basement, 3 acres, and a vibrant life full of friends and family. 10/10


I am amused by the difference in perception about the fall foliage between myself and my 7 year old son. While driving my eldest to school this morning, I was bemoaning the recent rain and wind had knocked all the leaves off the trees prematurely. It was so beautiful earlier this week, but didn't last long at all. My son, however, came to me this morning (with his shield made from cardboard and duct tape and a stick/sword) and said, "Thank you, trees, for looking so scary just in time for Halloween." See? It is all about perception! 10/30

November '09

Melanie was sitting on the floor by me, playing with some toys, clapping, cooing, babbling. I enjoyed telling her about her newborn days, and realized with a great deal of satisfaction that my pregnancy with her, her birth and newborn days were truly some of the most glorious of my life. I treasure all the memories of my babies, of course, but there was something truly different about her birth, and I think it was my appreciation of the miracle and gift that new life is. You would think that would have happened before, but I wasn't as receptive to the notion of "gift" as I am now. Life has a way of doing that, doesn't it? 11/05


December '09 ***NEW CONTENT***

(Draft post I entitled "Whelmed Again")
Oy. What is whelmed, you ask? We all know what overwhelmed is, right? So whelmed is when I am just at the edge of overwhelm, and if I don't make some changes, I am going down hill quickly. And this, at a time when we are approaching Christmas. So here is my challenge to myself:

1)Be grateful everyday for the people in my life.
2)Let my emotions work their way out, and do not feel ashamed of them.
3)No sweets until Christmas
4)Some exercise every day, even if it is only 10 minutes
5)Be at ease with saying "no" when I need to

(Photos of Melanie at Christmas taken by my Sister in law Anne Marie, over at Nada Farm Life)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Still here.

Oh, I have a back log of posts in my head, and on my camera. Today was the day I was going to catch it all up, but alas and alack, it isn't going to happen. I began the day vacuuming the living room and den (so baby can crawl around without choking every other second), and that quickly turned into a project of disassembling, cleaning and reassembling the vacuum cleaner. Then vacuuming all the corners, nooks and crannies that get missed when the children of the house do most of the housework. Now, the day is in full swing, and I may not get back to the computer until tomorrow or the next day. But, I've got show and tell about my newly 9 month old baby (??!!$$#@???), Advent wreath, St. Nicholas mantle, concerts and plays that my children have been in, and a craft or two. Toodles and blessings!

Monday, December 07, 2009

A Cutie to Remember

We woke to a bit of snow and one very excited seven year old, "Mom, do you think I'll get to wear my snoveralls today?" I asked him where he heard the term "snoveralls". "I just now made it up!" It is great to start the day with a laugh!

I have some photos to share when I get my purse back, which is where I put my camera, which I left at a friends house. We have our St. Nicholas Mantle set up and our Advent activities (simple as they are) in place.

Until later, my friends,


Thursday, December 03, 2009


Thought for today:

"If you do not allow yourself to feel anger, sadness or pain, then you probably won't feel joy either."
(From "You Can Choose Christmas" by Clyde Reid. I picked it up at the thrift store, and it has so far been worth the .59 I paid.)