Sunday, September 30, 2007
I'm not the girl who is obsessed with being on time but I am extremely anal about having ENOUGH time to get everything done. If I feel like I don't have enough time to do something in a relaxed manner, I usually don't do it. Afternoons where I have something planned every thirty minutes or even every hour do not bode well with me - complete days like that make me an actual nut job.
Unfortunately - we had an entire weekend that was perfectly planned in ten minute increments and even more unfortunately - I didn't actually tackle it and handle it with finesse. I flipped out and lost it and whatever words you want to use to describe going nuts. So now I'm sort of stuck at a crossroads:
I was talking with my sister today about the realization we've both come to.... There is a reason why we can't find other women in our same position in life - there aren't any. Moms of young babes and children don't try to have only friends without children, support husbands in ministry and seminary, try to also do ministry themselves, get to starbucks a few times a week just to talk to our bff's, stay involved in reality TV & popular culture, work, bargain shop, see family atleast once a month, and meet new people constantly. Most of the younger moms we know do some of the above but not all and that's why it feels so lonely where we're at. I've got to start making some tough decisions - our family is only growing and while I think I'm doing the right thing by trying to juggle so much - I'm really hurting the ones I love and wasting precious days that could be filled with some sort of sanity. I'm doing everything 15% and it's time reevaluate.
It's just hard - I have such amazing friends - and they deserve more from me. I have a son and a husband who are more special than anything on earth - they deserve more. I have a Savior who's heart is hurting over my constant yucky attitude and who already died and conquered the grave so that I could live for Him. With so many reasons to give this life my all - I couldn't be more thankful that I really can just quit trying (and failing) and let the Lord live through me.
Monday, September 24, 2007
On a semi-related note - I'm addicted to my son. I spent the whole weekend with him and at times we both were pretty sick of one another but this morning when I took him to school for a few hours, he just couldn't let go - and I didn't want to either. Tonight, I missed him at small group & I'm already premeditating all the time I'm going to miss him this week. THANKFULLY, Nick will be at Greek class tomorrow night - so he's all mine from 3:00pm on. Nick and I are in the midst of planning our first weekend away... I can't wait to have some unadulterated time with my sweet husband, but I'm honestly already fighting the jealousy over who will get to have him for those two days. He is truly God's glory on display in the form of an 18 pound, two-toothed, wobbly, fair skinned, ball of delight.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tonight, on our weekly datenight - Nick took me to see 'The Nanny Diaries' because I've been dying to see it for weeks. Sweet Angela babysat Elias for us and it was awesome to have a few minutes with one another. The reason I've been so expectant about this movie has a good deal to do with the fact that I nannied for six months while I was pregnant with Elias. Before I nannied, I worked as a manager at Anthropologie. While I loved my job there, and the future looked really really really bright - I felt like I'd be a better wife and a better asset to my Christian Community if I wasn't working hard. PLUS... I'm self reflective enough to admit that the job looked glamorous and easy and I knew I didn't have to wear heels. I'll never forget the day before I started my new job, being on the phone with Katie, and gloating as she said "You're about to get paid to watch Oprah!".
There are few decisions in my life I would call true mistakes - but taking that job was one of them. I gave up a really secure pseudo career, with a salary & good insurance - it made me feel good at something and talented. My nanny job turned out to be everything I hoped it wasn't.... Unfortunately, the only times I got to watch Oprah were when I left "sick" halfway through the day because I was positive a massive kick to my abdomen (by one the three children) was causing serious damage to Elias - in utero. Bad at having patience with other people's children and the worst cook/house keeper in America - a good nanny I did not make. I was far more interested in the Oscar de la Renta robes that my boss wore when she opened the door for me in the morning or the fact that the kids had eaten at more five star restaurants than I had and had more designer jeans than me.
Anyhoo - that nanny job taught me more about parenting than any book I've ever read. It made me realize that I do want to be the kind of mother that puts lotion on my son after a bath until he decides its too girly. I also came to understand that discipline is not optional & children are not disposable. Every single day counts & each word spoken is life or death.
Watching the nanny diaries reminded me that my greatest privilege in this life is Elias. My greatest opportunity and my first ministry is my son, and any subsequent children God allows us to have. So I'm thankful for this weekend - for three whole days to enjoy the smiles, tears, correction, training, & especially the love.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I'm not sure what happened in the course of 24 hours - it may have started with Elias yanking my hair so hard I cried to wake me up on Tuesday morning... it also could have been when I almost lost my temper dropping Elias off at daycare and had to pray the entire way to work. By the time I got to Starbucks and had to repeat my order to the very rickety woman who takes my (SAME) order every morning, I was close to losing it. Seriously - does she have to act surprised that someone would like to order coffee? And does it really sound like gibberish when I say GRANDE.ICED.COFFEE.WITH.SUGAR.FREE.VANILLA???
I was feeling pretty hormonal and murderous by that point so I kept my mouth shut until almost bed time. However... the rude parker in my downtown neighborhood hadn't been informed that I was in a helacious mood & he should watch out. Since we live close to downtown, parking is always a little hairy - but like every day, when I got home yesterday I spent 13 minutes parallel parking our SUV, carried my sleeping son, unborn child in utero, diaper bag, and two bags of groceries across the parking lot & up the steps to our building. I only got disgruntled when the following occurred:
At around ten p.m. when Kalle was leaving, the big obnoxious truck-guy (previously named rude parker) couldn't bear to walk 50 feet from the overflow parking and so he just double parked, right beside Kalle's car - as if she has nothing better to do but wait until the morning for him to leave. Nick called to get his car towed & Kalle went out on the street to wait and I just sat on our pseudo-balcony yelling like a mad-woman. He finally came out and moved his car - Nick waited and spoke with him patiently while I still continue to yell from the balcony.
When I got in bed last night I thought two things:
a) wow - that wasn't a fun day.
and b) I need to practice a little patience and grace. IMMEDIATELY. Pregnancy isn't a good enough excuse to stop being a Christian for 24 hours. So - sorry world, I'll try again today.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
b. I really love my husband. I've been a major pain for the past two days but he's remained amazing. I mean MAJOR, MAJOR pain.
c. Tonight I'm meeting my favorite twins - Kanah & Grace Cowan. Kal & I are ambushing them at the airport & I can't wait.
d. This is going to be a fun few days - tomorrow I have my first mommy small group, then we're headed to Charleston... Saturday is Katie's birthday! Fun Fun!
...many updates to come!
Monday, September 10, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
He's just starting to develop his attitude and spunk and for the most part, I love it. I love that he is funny and he fake coughs to get our attention. I love that he has a high pitched scream that would shame a 4th grade girl. When he holds Nick (it is never the other way around), and they immediately butt heads to show how much they love one another - my heart literally jumps.
HOWEVER... I'm already torn between discipline tactics & strategies. He's only eight months - but that little boy is feisty as anything!
So today I remembered a quote I'm going to keep in mind:
Friday, September 7, 2007
date night=awesome. PF Changs with the honey, spicy scallops & brown rice.
Staci & Ally babysitting=amazing.
Friday=amazing all around
work out with Regi="fun", challenging, and thigh slimming. baby Connolly worked hard.
Starbucks with Kal= lots of Jesus, an afternoon saying things like "the Word is so refreshing, I just want to open my Bible & rub it all over my face!"
nap with Elias=great. beautiful. i love my son.
Greek fest with Kal & Shawn= yum.yum.yum. also - thanks Shawn for going polygamist for the night.
Taking Elias in a massive crowd for the first time=yikes. yikes. don't steal my baby, please.
Missing Nick while he was in seminary= sad.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
So since Kalle knows my testimony intimately, here was her response (heavily paraphrased):
"Your whole life before Christ was spent worrying about what people thought of you, and adjusting your personality to try & be what they wanted. Somewhere during your early life, when you felt as if you weren't good enough for the people you needed love from - you developed this second personality - to come out and be the exact opposite of yourself, in an effort to please them. The problem is, even now - when you know Christ & walk with Him - you're still resorting back to that personality, either because you feel threatened or unworthy."
I totally agreed... I told Kal I feel like I'm living Romans 7: 18-20 constantly:
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Here were her two pieces of advice for me:
a) Don't make that other person feel threatened. It's your defense mechanism and if you just try and tell it to go away and you just try and quit it, it's going to manifest itself in some other way. Instead, introduce that threatened-defense-mechanism-alter-ego person to yourself. Say, "Oh, it seems you haven't met adult Jessi! She's a believer, loving and walking with God, she is mature and even when she feels threatened - she's okay, because nothing that is against her can defeat her - her Father is behind her. You two should be friends...". That may sound strange and kooky, but the truth is, I have to recognize WHO I am & who I've become.
b) Instead of just dumping that yucky person to the side, use her for good. When she wants to come out and start being stupid, loud, or anything that is contrary to what is going on in your heart - listen to her. See why she feels threatened and address that issue. Let her show you how to have compassion for other women who are reverting to their weirdo alter-egos. But don't ignore her - utilize her when she tries to come out.
All that said, I am very thankful for Kalle & I am really thankful that I'm ready to stop wasting my time living like I don't want to. Christ has given me such life, such joy, & a massive amount of passion. It's time to live that out.
- In reality, I am and have been extremely passionate about purity of the heart & body for the past several years. However, for some reason - I started making this joke a year or two ago - telling my unmarried friends, "If you get pregnant - it's okay... God redeems those things." The other night, a few of them were even joking about it -saying it's one of the first things they remember about me. Can you imagine how depressing it knowing that my closest friends don't know one of my biggest passions? or... how even more depressing it is to know that is my fault?
- Another one: in our marriage, submission is completely and utterly important to me. Even though I frequently struggle with it, I don't question it - and there is not a single decision I would ever override of Nick's... there isn't one move I'd make without him. But for some reason, when we're with other couples - I come across as the bossiest, prissiest wife in the world. And I don't like it. One male counterpart of a couple friend even looked at his girl the other night and said "Don't ever say that to me." after I made a condescending joke towards Nick. And I don't blame him.
- Lastly... in my day to day life - I'm pretty cheesy (especially compared to my husband), fairly silly, and not at all serious in comparison to others. In contrast, when I'm with my nuclear family I tend to turn into a pissy, uber-stuffy, weirdo turtle. My sister's favorite thing to taunt me with is "toast, toast" because once on a holiday with the family, I was being so self-important that I refused to give into the silliness of giving a Christmas toast. That's stupid. I love my family & I wish I could toast to their greatness & health daily.
... So that's just what I do. Alot. I hate it & I think about it constantly. I'll finish a conversation with someone and walk away saying, "...why did I say that? why wasn't I real? what's my problem?" . So even though it seems like we talk about it a good amount already, I finally decided to ask my second-favorite counselor, (my first is my sister) Kal, why I do that. Please come read part two for her answers. LIFE CHANGING.
a) Elias threw up out of his nose today. Twice. I was drying my hair & he was sitting in his bumbo laughing (because of course he loves the hair dryer - it's his favorite toy). All of a sudden, he started grunting really horribly as if I he was passing a small child through his rectum. Since this is typical of his potty time, I kept drying my hair - only to hear a splash seconds later and see watery-milky throw up dripping from his nose. "Surely - my gentle warrior son did not just throw up out of his nostrils...", I thought. I looked at him closely and agh! HE DID IT AGAIN, right in front of my eyes. The doctor said it's fine, he just had his mouth closed (from the grunting) and so all the pressure came out somehow else.
b) Two nights ago we were having Spade Night with our BFF's - Kal & Shawn. While looking for something in our cabinets, Shawn came across what he assumed to be a "baby beer funnel". Why he thought we would have one, I'm not sure - but he was certainly dismayed to realize his new toy was really the attachment to my breast pump. Hilarious.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Also - I added a new blog to my list, Anne Marie Wicker. Anne is the sister of my best friend from high school, Katie Wicker and she is very very very wise. She's a sophomore at Queens and the last time I checked - she knew a lot about pop culture, which is awe inspiring to me:). It's funny, both Anne & Katie's (Ruby dear) most recent blogs are pretty similar - they both made really truthful lists of positive aspects of themselves. It is thrilling to know such strong women who can say what God has made them to be and be proud of His hand.
So in their honor - but really in gratefulness to my creator - here's my list:
- I love that God made me discerning about people. I feel like I can read a person's heart and character really quickly. I'm glad that he left the door open for me to CHOOSE to look for the good and He asks me to CHOOSE to see them covered in the blood of Christ. But it's still nice to be able to know genuine from not-so-much.
- I love that He is teaching me & growing the desire in me to make others feel good. The other day, this woman came into the shop and she had just had twins. She looked really beautiful and I just decided to make over her and gush over how great she looked. Later, Julie & I were in the back and I was giggling to myself and she asked why. I just said "hahaha... I'm a good person." I wasn't really delighting in the fact that I'm so great and helpful, but I just realized I used to be so resentful of everyone because I thought the success of others (in any area) ultimately meant my failure. Now I know - a woman can be beautiful, wise, and an incredible mother... a married couple can be wealthy, Godly, respected, & stylish... my husband can be revered, peaceful, and content and NONE of those things should have an effect on me - outside of me praising God for those around me.
- Listen - this is for real. I LOVE that God gave me the ability to put together creative outfits. Ya'll should see what I'm wearing to church tomorrow - it's very cute. My new leopard print shoes, a white skirt that I'm wearing as a dress so it hits right at the calves & my favorite little nautical jacket from Urban Outfitters. Tres Tres Chic.
So I dare you - make your list. I think it's time we took our cues from Anne & Katie and stopped thinking about ourselves & the things we don't like. Let's turn our attention to the Creator & praise Him for His work.