Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On Doors

The spontaneity update: Worth it. Nothing is ever as bad as you plan for. Also, it really only takes a few concentrated hours to plan and prepare for a trip. A person doesn't actually NEED those two weeks of worrying and imagining every possible negative outcome in order to plan well.
On Doors: There are three doors that we are looking through right now. After several years of having no doors in sight we are grateful and relieved to have any doors. One door is small, you have to crouch to get through it and once you are through the landscape looks dark and uncomfortable. But it is a door that could possibly lead to another door and so if given the option to stay put or to go through it we really have to go through.
The second door is bigger, although the landscape is also dark and uncomfortable. The difference is that you are given a blanket and cup of joe to make you more comfortable while you are there (i.e. more money). This door almost certainly would eventually lead to a bigger and better door.
The third door is like the middle door of St. Peter's. It is huge, ornate, very easy to walk through and when you get inside the landscape is also similar to St. Peter's. A little bit difficult to pull off when you have kids with you but really, really worth the try and the peace that surrounds you is palpable. The problem is that a lot of people want to go through this door so it is crowded and finding your way through it can be a challenge. This door makes me drool.
The job David interviewed for last week was door number two. We just found out today that door number two has been closed. As a consolation prize that have opened door number one for us. The job David interviewed for yesterday is door number three. They will be letting us know within two weeks what they have decided.
Once again, we are happy that there are doors at all - we have been through a long doorless drought. We are are also thrilled that there is one beautiful door among the doors. But I would be lying if I didn't say that it will be hard to accept being shut out of the beautiful door and crawling through the consolation door. So we are looking for prayers over the next two weeks that the door we are supposed and go through will open wide (and some trumpet fanfare while we walk through wouldn't hurt), that it is door number three and that if it isn't door number three that we will be encouraged be the mere presence of such a door and will be given patience to wait longer. God's timing is his own and I know that he has "plans for your welfare, not for your woe" but sometimes my perspective is undeniably woeful, regardless of Jeremiah's truth-telling.

And finally, while I don't want to give the impression of equating my piddly struggles with hers, I am borrowing a prayer that Minnesota Mom posted last week because it can be used for the bigger troubles and the smaller troubles. And it just said what I need to be saying right now.
“Lord, teach me to be patient - with life, with people, and with myself. I sometimes try to hurry things along too much, and I push for answers before the time is right. Teach me to trust Your sense of timing rather than my own and to surrender my will to Your greater and wiser plan. Help me let life unfold slowly, like the small rosebud whose petals unravel bit by bit, and remind me that in hurrying the bloom along, I destroy the bud and much of the beauty therein.

Instead, let me wait for all to unfold in its own time. Each moment and state of growth contains loveliness. Teach me to slow down enough to appreciate life and all it holds.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Following closely on the heels...

OK, so I guess that my zoo-trip this Monday was just a dry-run for the real spontaneity challenge. I was just informed that my husband will be heading down to the DC area to pursue a job opportunity (your prayers for this would be greatly appreciated - it seems "too good to be true" but I really hope it isn't!) tomorrow and I have decided that since the kids and I are so fresh from our victory of the perfect-zoo-day that we will go too! Most of David's family is down there and we've been trying to figure out a way to visit before Lovelett is extra-utero. Based on my prior post describing my planning of a trip to the zoo then you can imagine the type of planning a 9-hour road trip with the kiddos usually involves. But hey - if we can go to the zoo on 20 minutes notice then we can go to DC on one-days notice!
And if next time you see me I jump out from behind a tree and scream, "happy birthday" or walk up to a total stranger and give them a hug just because they look sad, or go to Mass without two fully loaded sippy cups - then you'll know that this training in spontaneity is running deep.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Animal House

We just had the perfect day at the zoo - to no credit of my own. I did not plan, I did not prepare, I did not execute well but we still had a perfect day. I am this type of planner usually. For those not inclined to read the article (although if you aren't then I highly suggest that you work on that flaw since Laskas is hilarious) I tend to lean toward the Type A side of the chart, or the J side of the P/J Myers-Briggs categories. In other words, I plan - and I do not like things left to chance, not even a little. Spontaneity is generally not exciting to me, it is very stressful and puts me in a terrible mood. Well, at least the kind of spontaneity that involves children. But I woke up this morning sensing that that I had to go to the zoo - even though normally going to the zoo is an event that takes me several days of planning and scheduling and monitoring the weather.
Today I woke up, saw that it was supposed to be mostly cloudy and still decided to go. I had about 20 minutes to get everything ready for a day-long outing with the kids and still decided to go. I knew that I was going to totally screw with Lily's nap-schedule and that we would show up at the zoo just as she was hitting her need for a morning nap and still decided to go. I knew that I would be alone and pregnant with two needy munchkins and still decided to go.
This is not the way I do things. Just not. The idea of throwing caution to the wind, of damning the torpedoes! I do not damn torpedoes, I respect and reverence them.
But I am SO GLAD we did. It was perfect. Lily was an angel, an angel, I tell you! Moses was so excited and interested and obedient. The weather was a perfectly sunny, 70 degrees. Lily did have to go pant-less after peeing through her pants but she has the cutest tush and thighs ever, so even that was perfect.
I have no pictures to show you because of the whole 20-minutes-to-blast-of business but even that seems perfect because I was able to just really enjoy my kiddos instead of trying to get them on film. I got to revel in the perfection of the day without trying too hard to capture it in a photo. Thank the good Lord for coming through for me in my day of wild abandon and smoothing over all the places where my bad planning could have done much worse damage then those proverbial torpedoes.
And now look at me! Spontaneously writing a blog post! I'm just on-FIRE today!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Lily's Belated Birthday

Sorry for the late pictures but...well hey...that's how we're doing things around here apparently...

This is the "pink cake with a crown", as conceived of and designed by Big Brother

Oh yeah, we have a crown - note the pigtails peeking out the top.

Very tentative first bite - the strawberry cake with cherry frosting was suspicious to most of us.

Gosh. She's such a girl. This is as messy as she got - nothing like a certain other first birthday (see below).

Now, THAT is how it's done.

Ooooo! Presents! Lot's of pink presents!
She took her first steps three days before her birthday AND I got it on video - how amazing is that?!

Friday, April 11, 2008


Gosh. I just don't feel entertaining, insightful or even very interesting but since sometimes a thing is only worth doing if it's worth doing badly (thanks ol' GK), I will write a post.
This past weekend we went to Dallas for a wedding of a dear friend of mine from college. The weather was beautiful (but, amazingly enough it was just as beautiful here!) but I was colder down there then I generally am in Michigan since apparently Texans refuse to heat their freezing cold houses and apparently I anticipated a slightly warmer climate then Michigan while packing. Ah well. The highlight of the trip was that no one died on our flight and we actually had a flight (apparently not ALL the American Airline flights were down yet). Lily came with us and fussed like a champ most of the weekend. Probably due to the frigid temperature and the rather loud barking at our host-home. She did have fun with her new friend Anna who is only a month older then her - almost as much fun as I had with her mom, another good friend from college. Whenever there was music on Anna would do a little shoulder-shimmy dance and Lily would join in by singing. It was very cute, they made quite a pair.
Moses spent a euphoric weekend with Aunt Reenie and for a full account of his activities or just some great pictures of him you can visit her blog. Oh, our flights at 6:20 and 6:40 AM required two mornings with wake up calls before 4 am...oh my gosh. I'll never do that again.
We got home and a day later I spent a big, bad night from 11 pm - 4 am throwing up and...other unpleasant activities...meant to rid my body of some sort of bug that I surely contracted on the aforementioned flight. The next day I spent in bed or slowly hobbling to the couch feeling so weak that I thought I would never be able to sit up for more then 5 minutes again. Thank God David had another sick day he could take for me.
Today though I had a hot dog so I must be better. Also today I spent two hours at the playground with the kids and my brother David, who's six. They had a blast and were so completely wiped out when we got home that I had a very easy time getting everyone down for a nap. Lily did experience her first busted lip though. I tried to assure her that "it feels bigger then it looks", but I'm not sure she really believed me.
Last night we celebrated the return of The Office with a sushi making party (led by my sort-of-chef brother, Nick and his fiance Katie) and were led into even new depths of horror at Jan and Michael's relationship.
My baby is getting bigger and bigger and I am getting bigger and bigger but am thoroughly enjoying this stage of pregnancy where my round-ligaments aren't sabotaging my every move yet but I'm not ENTIRELY zombi-like with exhaustion either. It's a good place to be, pregnancy wise.
Ugh. I just got up to "rescue" Lily who, despite being able to climb her way to the top of the dining room table, somehow manages to get stranded on the 5 inch-tall treadmill several times a day. Before I was able to rescue her though I had to rescue my downstairs neighbors kitchen because the meat I had left in the sink, under running water to thaw, has wiggled its way into the drain and clogged it and my sink runneth over. Oi. This will probably make the third time that we have flooded our neighbor's kitchen. I don't know why they never look me in the eye when they pass me. Oh, maybe it's me that doesn't look them in the eye.
OK, there are picture of Lily's birthday on their way to a post near you. Pictures make you feel less stupid when you look at them later. Even if I can't write good posts I do, at least, make cute babies. There's no denying it folks.