Fast Thoughts

fasting

I have had several people reach out and ask me about fasting for Lent (which starts tomorrow) so I thought I’d do a quick post about my PERSONAL thoughts on fasting and how I’ve handled it in the past.  I want to start off by saying these are MY thoughts, not coming from our church (since I work there I just want to be clear on that)!

I have always felt that fasting should be SIMPLE, not to be confused with easy.  The point of fasting is to be able to focus your time and energy on prayer.  To give up something that will challenge you and direct your thoughts to God. I personally feel that if I were to do the “Daniel Fast” or give up meat or do whole 30 or another dietary fast my days would be consumed with what I am going to eat everyday, which is not the purpose at all.

So I keep it simple.  Giving up sweets, that’s simple, but for me personally that is my one vice, when I’m having a bad day I turn to sweets for comfort.  I know a lot of people give up some form of media (especially facebook).  There is genuinely no wrong choice on what to give up.  When you are mad, sad, angry, anxious, worried, etc. what do you turn to?  That would be one place to start when considering what you might want to give up.  Pray about it, and trust your gut on that.  I knew someone one time who felt like she was supposed to give up snickers bars which she thought was ridiculous until day one of her fast, she got upset at work and found herself at the vending machine purchasing a snickers bar and in that moment she realized she ate a snickers every time she was upset.

If you’ve never tried it, do it.  If you have something in your life you need a break through on, do it. If it terrifies you, do it.  If you are afraid you are going to fail at it, do it anyway.  I personally have had more answered prayers during times of fasting than any other time in my life. I also get a lot of peace from it and am more joyful.  I am excited to see what God does in my life and in the lives of people around me.  If you are praying audacious prayers right now and want me to partner with you feel free to message me and I’d love to pray for your needs!

23 Months Later

We moved to the Peoria area 23 months ago today.  And it took until today to find a radio station I like.  Our biggest complaint about Peoria, believe it or not, was that their radio stations were TERRIBLE.  Pretty much everyone I know here shares the same view.  I hopped in the car today to take Ellery & Vaughn to story time and my ears were delightfully surprised that there was a radio station playing the kinds of music I prefer.  We were super spoiled in Austin with 93.3 KGSR, and I’m not saying that this is it’s twin, but I’d say it’s a cousin.  99.9 is the station, check it out, if for no other reason than to see the kinds of music me and the mister like.  You are welcome Peorians!

Sometimes it’s so Obvious

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A couple weeks ago I was talking to Andrew and telling him how I was frustrated that my rubber gloves to wash dishes got water inside them and were not drying out.  I told him, I just didn’t know how to get them to dry out.  He looked at me and said, “why don’t you just turn them inside out?”  Um DUH, I had literally never thought of this.  I had been trying to hang them for days and never once did this cross my mind.

I had another one of these Ah Ha/DUH moments this week.  I’ve been trying to figure out how to spend more time with Ellery and still get my food prep tasks done.  It hit me this week that she would probably really enjoy helping me in the kitchen.  We got her stool out and she helped me put all the ingredients in the bread machine and mix up some homemade brownies.  She was really into it, I got to hang out with her and I got my chores done. Sometimes the answer to a problem is so obvious and yet it takes me forever to figure it out.  She since has memorized how to turn the bread machine on, select the dough setting and press start and this is her job now, I dare not do it.  Last night she helped me make chili and cornbread and during our February Advent she got really into making our cut out sugar cookies.

This past week we also dusted the house together.  She had her very own dust rag and I showed her how to dust the blinds, window sills, and bottom of the doors.  She was so proud of herself and I got the whole house dusted without her trying to get my attention, or getting into mischief.  It just never really occurred to me to have her help me with these tasks because it’s not “fun” work, but for a 2 year old doing “grown up tasks and hanging out with mom” is just about the most fun you can have.

Facebook Etiquette

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Recently a friend of mine had something happen to them that made me realize this post is unfortunately necessary for all age groups of people using Facebook.  I thought this was common sense, but then I’ve seen this simple rule violated OVER and OVER again and I feel the need to share this……

If it’s not your news, don’t share it first.

I know it’s like um, duh, but I feel the need to post this because people don’t get that.  If your friend has a baby and hasn’t announced on Facebook that she had the baby, don’t post congratulations on her wall….it’s not public knowledge yet.  If you go to the hospital and see this sweet baby and take pictures, but the parent’s themselves haven’t posted pictures yet, it’s not your turn to post a picture (this also goes for Instagram).  If you attend a gender reveal party and find out what someone is having and they haven’t posted it on Facebook yet, there is no need to announce it to the world….remember people Facebook is the world.  And please, if your friend tells you they are pregnant, or newly engaged, or got a new job, or any other exciting news of life, it’s not time to post a congratulations on their page until they have made the announcement themselves.  Am I being clear enough on here??

The ONLY exception I can think of is if someone gets married and you took pictures at their wedding.  It’s totally acceptable to post the pictures to their wall because every bride wants to see pictures from their day and they will be waiting weeks for the professional pictures to be edited.  Just do her a favor and make sure she is looking especially gorgeous.

Pass it on friends, let’s spread the word.  If it’s not your news to share, please don’t share it first!!!

Speechless

It’s not often that I’m speechless. But lately when it comes to the blog I have been just that. Nothing I can think of is important enough to write about and I think I can finally put my finger on why this is. I’m consumed. Absolutely consumed with motherhood right now. Not to be confused with overwhelmed. Honestly motherhood for me is rather underwhelming (I have one child remember). Many days we don’t leave the house. I’m content to play on the floor, sing songs on my ukelele to Elle, color, snuggle up and watch Daniel Tiger, do laundry, fix meals, wash dishes, read books, naptime, watch an elmo, read more books and then wait for daddy to get off work. It has been my commitment since day one of the blog that no matter what stage of life I’m in the blog would not change to be a blog about that. But everything that I want to write about pertains to my kid and how stinking awesome she is and NO ONE, with the exception of grandparents, wants to hear about that. So I just chose silence instead. So to be fair I just wanted to let you know that’s where I’ve been. I’ve followed a lot of blogs for years and when they go silent for awhile I always wonder. Is everything ok? Why aren’t they writing? What’s new in their life? etc, etc, etc. So the update is: everything is good. I’ve wanted to post pictures of our kitchen upgrades, but the perfectionist in me can’t bring myself to do it because our floors are still HIDEOUS and will be that way until we save our pennies for a new one, not literally, we are not doing a penny floor. I keep telling myself “just show some progress shots”, so maybe I’ll talk myself into that. I will be back to writing consistently. Give me until mid-april, ok? I have some things planned between now and then so I know I won’t be committed to anything and until then I’ll just post something whenever it strikes me and sometimes you will absolutely have to deal with me writing about my kid because like I said she is pretty stinking awesome.

Not AS Bad

It’s been cold here, like really really cold. Probably one of the worst winters I remember ever in Illinois. For some reason though as bad as the winter has been it hasn’t FELT as bad as it usually does. I credit a few things for this.

1. We chose to live here, we really like living her, so I feel as though complaining about the weather that I chose to live in would just be silly.
2. We work from home. That means we never HAVE to leave the house. Well until the groceries run out, and if you know me well, that’s often. I’m an under buyer in the grocery department. I need to seriously step up my freezer meals.
3. We have a garage for the first time ever. Getting into a chilly car, far exceeds getting into a cold car. This also means we never have to scrape, which is pretty stinking awesome.
4. Heated seats. I mean who knew heated seats could be so life changing? I sure didn’t.
5. And last, but certainly not least. We have a great excuse to use our fireplace.

I will be welcoming Spring with open arms this year, but in a weird way I have enjoyed the winter, especially the snow.

Hindsight is NOT 20/20

I’ve been thinking about this for a few months I don’t agree with the old adage that hindsight is 20/20. I really realized this after I had my c-section. Looking back months later I kept telling myself that I definitely should have pushed to not be induced. Because months later I didn’t have a rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, a daily headache and frequent nausea, months later when I looked back nothing was wrong and I really didn’t need to be induced. No friends, hindsight is not 20/20.

So next time that older lady stops you in the supermarket and tells you that these are the best years of your life. Or they tell you they wish they could go back to diaper days, remember their hindsight is rose colored. They aren’t remembering sleepless nights, teething babies, blowouts, stomach flus, demanding screaming toddlers, melt downs in the middle of the grocery store, fear of choking on everything in your entire house, and exhaustion just to name a few. No friends, they are remembering morning snuggles, first words, first steps, baby babble, watching their children discover new things and that first amazing night of uninterrupted sleep. So to all you veteran mama’s out there, put a sock in it! And I mean that in the kindest way possible. And to all you weary Mama’s out there I always say it gets better. I thought I loved the infant phase until we entered the toddler phase and I’m sure I’ll enjoy and hate different things about every phase. So hang in there, you might not like where you’re at in this moment, but the beauty of kids is they change daily. So enjoy what you can and stop beating yourself up that you aren’t enjoying EVERY SINGLE MOMENT OF EVERY SINGLE DAY, like they advise you to do. Get real people, puke is not something to be enjoyed.

Thinking of all you mama friends who are having a rough go at motherhood this week!

Why?

Here are some thoughts I’ve had recently.

Why do we have to sleep? God could have made us any way he wanted and he chose that we needed to sleep in order to function. I think I have some ideas on why. Sometimes you need to reset. You know when you have a terrible day and you say to yourself, hopefully tomorrow will be better and you watch the clock until it’s a reasonable time to go to bed? Yeah sleep is to cure that. I think he created us to sleep so that our babies would be created to sleep so that we get a break. I LOVE my kid and I love being a stay at home mom, but I love that she naps and that she sleeps at night. I need the break in order to enjoy her. And if those reasons weren’t enough, crawling in bed at the end of the day is one of the best feelings ever!

Why am I afraid of mice? For that matter why are we afraid of things like spiders, mice, bugs in general, teeny tiny things that cannot hurt us. And why am I not afraid of them if I see them outside, but if they are inside I freak out? I think there is a mouse in the utility area off my basement and now I’m terrified to go down there. It’s a mouse, likely no bigger than a kiwi and it causes me to run back up the stairs and I don’t even know if it exists.

Why does good for you food taste bad, and bad for you food taste good? I mean really, why?

Why did Smash have to be cancelled? I know why, because people didn’t watch it, so I guess the better question is why didn’t people watch it? It was fantastic and it only got more fantastic as it went on, I felt really sad after I watched the last episode. Ok I’ll admit Katharine McPhee needed some acting work, but her voice is beautiful which kinda made up for it.

I have tons more questions, but I would guess you’d rather not hear them, and you’re probably wondering why I even wrote this post 😉

Themed Christmas

My mom and I have tossed this idea around this year for years to come. My brother has put the big fat nix on this idea, but that doesn’t mean Andrew and I can’t do it with just our family. Themed Christmas gift giving. Each year we pick a different theme. Some thoughts are second hand Christmas where you can only buy gently used gifts from eBay, consignment or even gift something from your house. A TJMaxx Christmas, my parents would have a hay day doing this one. Charity Christmas where you don’t buy for each other, but donate things in honor of each other so perhaps buying animals through World Vision or toys for toys for tots or angel tree. Homemade Christmas, I think this would be really fun. I just think it would be nice to dial back Christmas a little bit and just enjoy the season. We cut back on spending considerably this year because of our birth expenses and me becoming a stay at home mom. For us it would be more fun if there wasn’t a spending expectation rather just a themed expectation. My mother-in-law started this for Christmas this year and I really like the simplicity of it!

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What do you think, would it be fun or too restrictive?

The Hunger Olympics

Andrew has never watched the Olympics.  He didn’t grow up watching them and he just doesn’t quite understand our families love of the games.  Every four years for two weeks in the summer our family sat fixated on the T.V. cheering on the United States.  In fact I liked the Olympics so much I had an Olympic themed birthday party one year complete with an Olympic rings cake, events and a medal ceremony.  Four years ago Andrew and I were getting ready to say I do so we didn’t prioritize the Olympics and Andrew somehow missed them.  Since we are basically home bound right now we have been catching a lot of the games and Andrew is getting into them much more than he would like to admit.

Friday night we watched the opening ceremony and Andrew couldn’t believe how similar the ceremony was to the Hunger Games.  He kept saying, “I can’t believe it, this is essentially the hunger games.”  I continued to remind him that this was not a fight to the death, but I do see his point.  Obviously the Olympics have been around for MUCH longer than this book series, but there were a few things that were creepily similar to this popular fiction.  The kids lighting the torch at the end in all black.  I mean come on all black outfits, blazing fire.  Andrew and I were just waiting for their outfits to burst into flames.  The fact that all those kids were under 18 and they were the main event/one of the most anticipated things of the night.  Then to make it just a little bit more like the hunger games each of these “tributes” had “sponsors.”  Hmm anyone else find this a little odd?  Clearly the Hunger Games was loosely based off the Olympic Games, but the opening ceremony director may have taken a few cues from the books.

Hope you are enjoying the games this year.  I’m really looking forward to the gymnastics finals.  What event do you anticipate watching every 4 years?