Monday, April 25, 2011

Sniffles, Sneezing, and Easter...Oh My!

Sore throat. Sniffles. Sneezing. Sleepless nights. 
Not my choice for Easter week.
In our church we celebrate Holy Week...not only Easter Sunday.
It is hands-down my favorite time in our church.
Holy Thursday. Good Friday. Easter Vigil.
They all combine to cause an emotional and deep reaction to
the story of our Lord.
And I love it.
I just wish I could have participated with a feeling of wellness in my body.

Holy Thursday?
I almost skipped the feet washing ceremony because I just didn't have the energy to make sure my legs were shaved before I went to church.
Yes, I know, vain.
When I realized that my husband would be the one to wash my foot I quickly changed my mind
and participated.
He sleeps next to, and sometimes actually touches those unshaven legs, so
I was safe.

Good Friday?
The most heartrending day as we walk the road with Jesus (figuratively of course!).
It involves Adoration of the Cross which simply means as music plays softly the congregation precedes to the Cross, and each person takes a moment to touch the wood,
 head bent in private prayer.
It really is beautiful.
It really is long....2 1/2 hours.
 I almost fell asleep while waiting for my turn.

Easter Vigil?
The glorious Saturday night celebration.
Complete with fire, drums, rainbows of color, baptisms, boundless joy.
Celebrating the miracle of the Resurrection.
My husband and I, testy with each other because both of us were sick,
were not quite in a celebratory mood.
Little tension in the pew.

Easter Sunday?
Since the Easter Bunny had been sick I had some scurrying to do..and quickly.
Ran to Rite-Aide for some last minutes candy and I-tune cards.
Got caught when husband and daughter pulled up next to me in parking lot.
Proceeded to fill Easter Baskets in the darkness of the basement,
hide them,
and then send my 3 teenagers on a hunt to find them at....
12:00 noon!!
No early dawn hunt this year!
Then the preparing of dinner began.
Ham, pork roast, potatoes, asparagus with hollandaise sauce.
Candied carrots, gravy, double knot rolls, stuffed celery, strawberry shortcake.
My parents arrived.
Seeing them reminded me of why I was preparing this meal.
Their faces, at 80 and 78 years of age, are so dear to our whole family...
and we are blessed they are with us for another year.

Easter Night?
The realization in the stillness...
among the dirty dishes and scattered family members..
some at friends, some sleeping, some returned home..
The realization that sick or healthy,
happy or stressed,
big problems or small inconveniences
I am loved.
I am loved enough the He died for me.
Sometimes I can forget that in the busyness of my days.
And as I finished my Holy Week in front of a fire,
with a Hallmark movie
and glass of Pinot Grigio,
I couldn't help but think that maybe He understood
and maybe...
He smiled.
It's not in how well we serve Him,
it's that we serve and celebrate Him
in spite of circumstances.

Happy Belated Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Freedom to Run

Tonight I'm going to post when I'm in an upbeat mood!  The last few posts have been when I was tired or overwhelmed.  Certainly don't want to be a downer for any of you that are kind enough to stop by.

Well, I started out as Debbie Downer this evening. Full day at work and full evening working at all know the drill!  I have been telling myself over & over that I need to get back to eating healthier and back to running. I felt my best when I was doing those things.....but have just lacked the motivation or discipline.

I'm not sure what hit me ...maybe the Holy Spirit? :)....but at 9:15 I put on my running shoes and headed out the door.  I only ran 1 mile but I did it!  The cold air was taking it's toll on my breathing, but I must admit I feel better.

I am one of the most nonathletic people in the world, so the fact that I began running a year and a half ago is really a miracle.  I have been very sporadic with it the last 6 months but I'm planning on doing a 5K next month, and a 10 mile race in August. Better get these buns moving!!

My underlying reason for posting this is if I announce it to all of you maybe, just maybe, it will make me more accountable.  Discipline in my physical self-care is sorely lacking. 

Although the potato chips would have tasted better, I think I chose the right escape tonight....and for that, I'm grateful!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Weary and Wine

I've been feeling a bit weary lately. I think it's due to the fact that I'm back working full-time outside the home while still trying to work full-time inside the home.  My hubby has had to travel for work more than ever and has been gone most weekdays and weekends.  I miss his presence...the strong hugs, the smile at just the right moment, the sound of him breathing next to me in bed.  Although I adore our golden retriever, and am thankful to have her company, it's not quite the same hearing her sprawled out on his side of the bed.

We had small church group at our home last night, and although I don't feel a great burst of energy, I do feel a sense of peace.  I love the feeling of our close friends gathered together to share the Gospel, prayer, heartfelt discussions, laughter and, ultimately, snacks.  There is a glow they leave behind that is hard to explain. I can only say it must be the Holy Spirit.

So tonight, as I sit in the same room where our hearts and souls all opened last night, I will rememberer that everyone gets weary at times.  Even Jesus needed to withdraw at times in order to pray and rest.  I am in no means comparing myself to the Lord.....I just like the knowledge that even He had his moments!

I read this post tonight on ayala's blog, a sun kissed life, that soothed me. So....

For tonight I'm going to be kind to myself. 
For tonight I'm going to not focus on the new wrinkles, gray hair, and extra pounds that are on my body.
For tonight I'm going to be compassionate towards myself...not only to others.
For tonight I'm going to open my front door to a dear friend,
pour us both a glass of wine (maybe even two!),
and share the lighthearted joy of watching our favorite show "Parenthood".
Some nights that is more than enough.

How is your night going, friends?  Are you being kind to yourself?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Soup, Sex, and Sunday

Today on Sunday Citar  I take you on a journey.
A journey from the silly,
to the serious,
to the oh, so true!
See if you can figure out which is which!

What does good in bed mean to me? When I'm sick and I stay home from school propped up with lots of pillows watching TV and my mom brings me soup - that's good in bed.
Brooke Shields

Oh, for the days, when being "good in bed" meant easy-breezy relaxation.

The new sign I bought yesterday for our living room.
It inspires me when I feel overwhelmed about blogging, parenting, or life in general.

When you meet a woman that you think you like, don't ask her for a drink. Take her out for a bowl of soup. Because a woman who can enjoy a bowl of soup is bound to be more interesting. Art Cooper

My husband must be married to the most interesting woman on earth.
I had both the soup and the Pinot Grigio.
What a lucky man! :)

Please go and link up to the fun.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Restaurants + NYC = Bathroom Decor

My husband and I went on a get-away weekend to NYC last week.
It is one of our all-time favorite cities!
We have framed Playbills from the musicals we have seen,
we have never hung them anywhere.
I came up with a strange spot
I think we're going to like it!
It's our master bathroom!
I can hear the laughter even now as I type
but to us it makes perfect sense.
We have long expanses of walls in there that have been neglected.
My theory is that some mornings
it's tough just getting out of bed,
much less going to work.
being surrounded with pictures of things we love,
& places we've traveled,
all made possible because we DO work,
seems like a perfect way to start our day
on a happier note.
In addition to the Playbills I'm going to make a black & white photo collage of signs
from some of our favorite restaurants in NYC,
along with some pics of subway signs, city sights, or whatever else made us smile.
Here's a sneak peak at some of the photos I may use.
I need to crop and edit but wanted to share with all of you now.
I'm impatient that way!

I will post photos of the bathroom when it's done.
We'll see how this experiment goes!
At least it's original (I think!).

Friday, April 8, 2011

Learning From the Young

When do we start to worry
about this need to be right?
Twenty-five kindergartners, bright eyes...shining..bursting
Hands flying up in the air
With nary a thought of "rightness".
Wanting their voices to be heard
Confident in their thoughts and answers.

Flash forward: middle school: less hands
are flying up in the air.
The smell of fear, embarrassment, humiliation
is wafting through the hormonal air.
Wondering if their answer is right.
Wondering if their hair is right.
Wondering if their clothes are right.
Wondering if they, themselves, are right.

Flash forward: adulthood: same basic worry
Just more subtle, just more grown-up.
Eyes scanning the conference room, checking
Eyes scanning the other women....checking
Eyes scanning their whole day...checking.
Do I fit? Am I right?

We can learn from the young.
We can embrace their bursting enthusiasm
Their philosophy that of course they're
Right. Just as they are. Right.
Because "right" isn't the best answer.
It isn't the best clothes... hair.
Right is accepting ourselves as is.
Letting our own uniqueness shine out.
Secure in the knowledge that God
Created us exactly "right" for Him.

Inspired by:  Six Word Fridays~ word of the week is "right".

Linked to:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

If You Really Knew Me...

 If you really knew me....

You would know I'm struggling with the slow process of letting go of my children. When they were younger it was difficult at times. The sheer physicality of caring for them...wiping bottoms, noses, mouths, anything that moved...I wiped!  Consoling the weepy, kissing the needy, laughing with the carefree, frustrated with the stubbornness and unending determination of three children who wanted to do it their way.
....and it was hard. 

Yet I was queen of the kingdom. I could pull up the drawbridge, and we were all safe in our palace. I could control choose those things that I wanted them to learn...that I wanted them to soak in like little sponges. 
.....and all was right with our world.  

Then...they ventured out of our kingdom.  Little adventures... and they would come back telling me tales of glory or defeat depending on the day. Calender time and show-and- tell gave way to big kid's stories. Who they sat with at lunch and how they did on their projects were all shared at the end of the day.
They were writing their own life stories with each days memories.
....and I was still a part of it.

Now it's different....and my head knows that this is the way it should be.  Teenagers are finding their way...testing their independence...trying to figure out what is solid in their world and who they want to be apart from mom and dad. Starting to build their own unique kingdom. My head knows this. Yet, my heart? My heart is still fighting the inevitable.
.....and it's painful.

People tried to tell me when they were smaller. "They grow up so fast, enjoy them while you can" was the standard line I would get from those more experienced parents.  They would share the stories of their teenagers. Dating, driving, drinking, drugs, drama.  All the D words. All the things that put fear in a mother's heart. But those things were so far away.....far, far away in a distant place. I had pictures to paint and pudding to make. 
...and I didn't really understand.

I didn't understand that even when they are 18, or 16, or 13 I would still see glimpses of my little companions. My heart soars as we share a joke, a smile, a poignant moment. But some days that's all I see..glimpses. As they struggle for their independence they seem at times....strangers. But wait...these are MY babies. Flesh of my flesh..bone of my bone....and I used to know every part of them intimately. How can those familiar eyes be locked with mine....and look so unfamiliar? I am no longer queen of their kingdom.
.....and I feel left behind.

 I can't pull up that drawbridge anymore...not without their permission. They are making their own choices, fighting their own battles, and earning their own victories. I used to worry about them crossing the street or getting in a car with strangers. Now it seems much bigger. They are driving to different cities and getting in cars with other teenagers.
...and I feel scared.

I also struggle with the illusion. You know the one..the illusion that other moms don't struggle with darker feelings. Because, let's be honest, there are certain things that we don't want to talk about; things we don't even want to admit to ourselves. Since we don't talk about it I wasn't quite prepared when that feeling came. That feeling of not liking their choices, and at times  not liking the person they appear to be. There!  I said it... the thing that most moms don't want to admit. The fact that although they are my beloveds I don't like them at times.
....and I feel guilty.

In my kingdom of old, I forgot to mention the king. That isn't because the king isn't important...because he certainly is! It's just in those early days he was off slaying dragons... or something like that... while I was home keeping the fires burning.  I need to mention him now because he is essential. He is my partner, my friend, my love, and the person I would still choose to spend a whole day with.  I haven't put all my identity, all my story, on our children. We've worked hard on keeping the "us" in our remembering that it began with the two of us and someday it will be just the two of us once again.
...and I feel grateful.

This time will end. I know that the teenage years are not forever. I just wish I had been better prepared for the onslaught of emotions that would tumble around me. I knew their hormones would be going rouge..I just didn't know mine would also.  Yet, my compassionate oldest son throws me a grin as he walks out the door, keys in hand saying, " It's ok Mom. I know it's your job to watch over and worry about me. I love you".  My middle one, my 6'1" sunshine boy, wraps his arms around me in a bear me his own brand of reassurance. My precious baby girl, going through the 13 year old angst I remember so well, falls on my lap wanting to be snuggled for just a moment. Still needing her mama's touch.
...and I feel encouraged.

So....if you made it this far ....and if you really knew would know that I'm struggling with relinquishing my throne. Yet this shouldn't be surprising. Motherhood is born in a mixture of pleasure and pain, and those are emotions we never outgrow. The holding on, the letting go, the bitter, and the sweet, all come with the journey. Watching them come into their own...watching them "becoming" a privilage.
...and I feel blessed.   

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Encouragment of Friends

One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement.
When someone encourages you,
that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.
I started running in Jan. of 2010 with the encouragement of my friend Denise.
I had NEVER run before..except when forced to by my 
gym teachers!

Flash foward 8 months:
This is Denise, me, and Candi after we completed
The Crim Race....10 MILES!
We're still standing...still smiling...

smiling even more at the lake
"after-party" celebration!

What a wonderful feeling of accomplishment...
What wonderful friends I have...
What a beautiful thing encouragement is!

Drop by and see the other inspiring quotes!

Ultimate Blog Party...

This looks like a blast!  I just had to link up...especially when I saw the two lovely hosts had drinks!  :)  Seriously, I'm excited to participate in this blog party because it goes on for days....which means it's ok if I'm away from the blog for a day. 
I really like to check out new blogs, be inspired, (or just laugh as the case may be!), and leave lots of comments.  I probably don't get to as many blogs as others because I tend to spend a lot of time exploring and leaving long winded comments...but, hey, as least you know I read your 'stuff'.

I'm Kristi, and I'm very new to blogging.  I have a fantastic husband (we are in NYC as I type...a couple get-away he planned!)  We have 3 teenagers. Hence, the get-away! The teenage years really are like being on a different planet at times. I don't always understand what they're saying or why they're doing things....but I always love them. (Even on the days they're hard to like!)

I used to teach elementary school full time when we were first married. I now substitute in our district; mainly long-term positions.  I get to "pinch-hit" when all those young teachers are out having their babies!  I can work around my schedule so it's perfect for me.

I love to travel, read, have conversations over a cup of tea or a glass of wine....depending on the company and time of day!  I blog mostly about life...and all the changes that time has brought. My posts can be poems, stories, tales about my family, home, decorating, faith...pretty much anything that I feel moved to write about.

Hope you stop by again. I'm loving the friends I'm making through this blog...and I LOVE visiting others. Leave a comment or follow and I'll be sure to see you, and I'll share the love back.

So....let the party begin! Actually, I think it's already begun...I'm just a little late getting to it.  :)

I goofed (no surprise there) and linked up under the wrong category. I do not have product placement or give-aways on my blog...although that could change at any time. :) I didn't want anyone to think I led them here with promises of "goodies"...I just linked under the first "linky link" I came upon. What can I say? It's early morning and I didn't have my tea yet!

Friday, April 1, 2011


I have missed this little blog.
No "The Red Dress Club".
No "Mama Kat's"
No "Six Word Fridays".
worst of all,
no writing....
or visiting my blog friends.

I'm back to work full time through June.
I spend my days with interesting people,
who have an interesting perspective on life.
Who laugh and cry with equal abandon.
Who are around 4 feet in height.
Who question, question, question...
I love them.

It's just that I feel like I've been
I miss all of you.
Somehow, I will figure out this crazy balancing act
we call life,
I will be back here writing and sharing life with you.

Until then,
here's a peek at where I've been spending my days.

Teaching third grade.
It's an adventure
a blessing.
But so is this blogging world.
Promise I won't go
M.I.A. again.
Or, at the very least,
if I do,
you will know where I'm am.

Stop by and see us...
just bring an art shirt,
your library book,
and of course
a snack.
Everyday should begin with the Pledge of Allegiance,
have regular snack and bathroom breaks,
end with a healthy dose of recess.
Just sayin'...
the world would be a happier place.
Have a blessed weekend, friends!