Thursday, December 24, 2015

merry Christmas!

From the cutest kids I ever laid eyes on:
(And from us, too:)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

gifted

In a season filled with gift giving I've found myself reflective of the non-physical gifts of those around me. This introspection was probably brought on by the fact that my knee-jerk reaction to my boss telling me not to worry about something was to respond, "you don't know me at all--worrying is the one thing I am good at!" and partially due to the fact that I am constantly noticing all the things Jon excels at (theology--I seriously think he has the potential to be an earth-changing theologian of our generation, cooking, singing/playing ukulele, loving our kids, being hot, essentially any hobby he picks up, etc.).

(If you haven't noticed in my writing or just from knowing me in general, I have a pretty poor view of myself and my capabilities.)

While I think it is important to be critical of one's self so that we constantly grow, I am critical of myself to a fault. I think I suck at my job. I think I am completely and unequivocally unattractive from a physical perspective. I constantly question my parenting and wifely abilities. I think I am incompetent and annoying*, loud and immature, a crappy Christian**, so on and so forth. 

In spite of my faults, I do my best to love my neighbors. To treat those around me with care and respect. To give a voice to the marginalized. To forgive those who have slighted me, be it actual or perceived.

But I can't extend the same grace to myself.

If pressed, I would say the only other thing I am good at is that I am empathetic and passionate about the issues that feel near to me. My heart aches for the hurting, the broken and the forgotten. I do what I can to help, but my help is oft contingent on my convenience and comfort level. 

In 2016 I want to be better at two things: saying yes when it's inconvenient and being kinder to myself. If I took the energy and passion I have for telling myself lies about how useless I am and redirected it towards doing something positive, perhaps I could learn to love myself a little bit and make an actual difference in the world. Perhaps by living my life more sacrificially I can better grasp--albeit never fully comprehend--the way Jesus loved sinful, unworthy me.

*this part is at least partially true 
**also at least partially true 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

life lately

Lately we have been spending a whole lot of time scrambling to remember and keep up with our commitments. I have been working part time at night/on weekends from home doing quality & compliance documentation for a friend with a medical device startup. It has been so fulfilling (I miss the BME at my main gig) but also quite the time constraint. That being said, we really needed the money between paying off Jon's hernia surgery + car problems that it has been a total blessing. 

As you may expect, I'm finding myself spread thin. The living room still isn't done (need to finish caulking and painting and putting up a few more pieces of molding) but we have had to shift gears to organizing the basement as we got the kids a playhouse for Christmas and it had become the spot after the move where random boxes filled with junk we never use had gone to die.

We are making significant headway in tossing a whole lot of stuff and rearranging the stuff we want to keep. I'm hoping to have it done by this weekend.

-- 

This has been an odd season of life for us. Jon and I want more kids. We always envisioned a larger family. Now that we are nearing the age Elden was when I got pregnant with Edith we find ourselves trying to make decisions regarding how we grow our family. I never felt like Edith was my last pregnancy. I certainly didn't cherish it and I believed we would go on to have at least one more biological kid. But I have been feeling an ever-increasing pull towards foster-to-adopt lately so we are conflicted. No decisions have been made either way and as of last night we are reconsidering doing anything within the next several months since we are so uncertain.

--

We are hosting my family for Christmas this year and have started to really finalize the menu. I can't wait to share more once we have it nailed down!

Friday, December 11, 2015

ten on ten

I started yesterday with full intentions to do the Ten on Ten. However, I only snapped 9 photos that didn't have our friends' kids in them (Thursday nights we usually have small group). Since I didn't ask any of their parent's permission to share the photos I decided to make this a nine on ten.

{1} we got a new car. There was a big debacle last week regarding my tire shredding on the turnpike and me spending two hours waiting for roadside assistance and crying my eyes out while doing my darnedest to resist the cookies on my passenger seat. When we took it in to be looked at (concerns for my rim) they found a smattering of things that needed addressed. The repairs were approximately a few hundred less than the value of my car, and since it was a 2004, we decided it was time. I wanted to buy used but the dealership ended up offering us a ridiculously awesome lease on a 2016 Hyundai. We plan on buying it when the lease is up in three years and in the meantime I am overwhelmed by all the fancy pants features.

{2} I addressed Christmas cards and got them in the mail for today's pickup. Apologies if you don't get one--I tried my best but I have been so stressed lately that I know I inevitably forgot people.

{3} this one has a hard time understanding we can't (won't) buy him a toy or treat at every store we go to. We keep explaining that Santa is coming soon and he doesn't need gifts. I have even tried to explain to him how fortunate he is by way of pointing out some kids don't even have parents (I'm such a Deb) but it's not clicking. I'm seriously considering trying to find a place we can volunteer at with him to try to open his eyes to the many injustices of the world. But I also don't want to kill his childhood innocence. Any suggestions on making him less spoiled (seriously we have not been buying him things everywhere we go so I'm not sure why he feels so entitled) are welcome and appreciated.

{4} this girl. She has us laughing throughout the day and is into everything. She says no one second then yes the next but she doesn't mean it. She hasn't been eating much lately--doesn't even want new foods--and we think it's because she is cutting approximately 6-8 teeth right now. 

{5} this relationship is very much hot and cold. There are moments they are so sweet to each other and then moments where it's WW3 over some unnamed and usually ignored toy. Generally speaking, though, when one of them is upset (so long as the cause is not the sibling) the other is right there trying to make it better (Elden) or make sure we are paying attention to make it better (Edith). 

{6} as of this past weekend I am down 4.4 pounds on Weight Watchers! I know weight loss at that rate is not necessarily healthy nor sustainable and I expect it to level off to 1-2 pounds per week now that the water weight is seemingly gone. I have been so good about keeping up with this diet and a few of my pants already feel a bit better.

{7} this popped up on my timehop as 8 years ago. Disregard my abuse of filters. It's really hard for me to believe that at the end of next year Jon and I will have dated (unofficially) for a decade. Times were so much simpler!!

{8} at small group it was a Christmas pajama party for the littles. There was cookie decorating. This kid was quite happy. We got to see 90% of our people and it made our hearts swell. One thing I really love about our group is we all have relatively similar styles of parenting and we are all cool with other parents intervening and correcting our cherubs if they are doing something they shouldn't be/we don't notice. This really is a village and we are so grateful for it.

{9} the last time this happened is unknown. Edith definitely enjoyed herself at group!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

weight watchers

Thanksgiving was the day I realized something needed to be done about my weight.

I tried on three pairs of pants that morning--pre-feast--and none of them fit. Even though I was thisclose to slapping on a pair of ratty pajama pants and calling it a loss, I suffered through some much too tight but zippable jeans.

I had planned on starting a diet that day (then the next, then the next, then the next) but you know how it goes. Until I stepped on a scale on Sunday night.

20 pounds over my typical healthy weight. Enough was enough.

I had huge success with Weight Watchers after Jon and I got married and decided to try again as I was familiar with the program, really liked it and could get an app for $4 to keep track of my daily points. Yesterday was my first day and even though I was quite hungry (it's amazing what a difference my actual serving size and the recommended serving sizes were...) I felt better about myself. I passed on donuts when I saw one was 11 points and I drank more water. 

My goal is to lose twenty pounds. I want my clothes to fit better and to feel better about how I look. More importantly, I want to be healthy for my family. I'm publishing this with the hopes that "outing" myself will keep me more accountable. I've found some awesome recipes I'm excited to try and I think meal planning--which will be critical to keeping me on track--will also help us be more accountable on our grocery budget.