day 9: listening ears after a long week

in

The heading says all I can say. Good night and I hope you all have a lovely weekend :)

Wall

in

For some reason, this post has received nearly 25 times the page views of any other on my blog.

How did I get around the wall? I barged right through it and over it and chipped away at it and I'm still sorting through the rubble to make sense of the pieces. But, it is possible. It just takes a lot more work than I think most of us realize at first. A lot more rewriting, a lot more reading and research. And a lot more rewriting again.

Day 7: eggs

in

Last Christmas I bought my husband a fantastic cookbook that teaches some very simple lessons about cooking that do not seem obvious to the world of so-so chefs like me.


One of the chapters is on eggs. How to cook them all sorts of ways. My favorite and most common request is scrambled eggs. They are varied, because you add whatever you have if you have anything - usually we have salt, pepper, cheese, onion, maybe ham or bacon lying around to toss in, but the last ones not always.

They are luscious and creamy and they taste. like. eggs. They taste better every time he makes them. Always something better.

Today I am thankful for those eggs and all the other beautiful, wonderful things eggs do. Quiche. Custards and pies. Hollandaise sauce.

Scrambled eggs always remind me of a  night when we had a fire on the beach and lit fireworks and dreamed up what it would be like to do these things together our whole lives and then we went inside and ate scrambled eggs and toast. I think for me they will always be a symbol of a quiet, simplicity and hope for what comes next. I suppose that is a lot to attribute to some eggs, but they are just such a peace-filled comfort food that I cannot help but romanticize it a bit.

It is nice to know that we still have our little family and we still have these little comforts. All the rise and name calling and hatred that I've read lately around the election has made me sick. No matter what the results, I'm pretty sure I would have been sick. But, at the end of the day, politicians don't determine my life or how we raise our children. We have electricity to cook the eggs, we have people to share them with. The little lessons in gratitude that I am trying to give myself ripple out when I start to count my blessings. I suppose that's what counting your blessings is all about -- about an attitude of gratitude as the Sunday school slogan goes -- allowing the gratitude to inspire the rest of your thoughts and actions. So here's to change in our hearts first, and then our homes, and then the world. Here's to making ever more delicious eggs.

Day 6: a job that is work but doesn't (always) feel like work

in

I have a job that is a serious, grown up job.

Not like grad school is a "job" -- that's a job that you work for but you only get paid for just about none of what you do.

Not like teaching university is a job -- that's the kind of job that I would love to do, but I just can't really afford to do it with two children and two mortgages. That's a dream job that, given the fact that I don't have a doctoral degree yet, is still a dream or a half dozen chapters and a defense away.

Not like staying at home with my children was a job -- that was the hardest job I have ever done. Bar none. I think we should get rid of social security and all those things and pay stay-at-home parents. That's what I call really social security: people able to raise their own children. And, yeah, that's a sidebar. Point is: It's hard and you know, I wasn't really cut out for the homemaker position. I like to cook. And I like a select few organizational tasks: laundry, vacuuming, unloading clean dishes from a dishwasher, baking and cooking interesting healthy meals, groceries. But I do not love it all at once and I certainly did not love it all at once being destroyed by two little people everywhere I went about my homemaking. I really didn't seem cut out for it. Oh, I loved reading stories and snuggling the babies and playing outside with the babies. But I missed social, adult conversation and interaction.

Oh, and my job is not like the job of marking 200 reports or essays, either: that's repetitive and while I do love editing and marking, I do not love the late papers straggling in and the endless errors of the same type (make them interesting if you are going to make them!).

No, my job is not much like any of those, but there is a lady who has a candy jar filled with something different every day and fresh fruit for us to eat in the kitchen. Free coffee in a glorious range of flavours and boldness options. There are laptops for every person and a benefits package that includes a fitness reimbursement. What I like the most is that the days go by quickly because of the busy-ness of it all and that everyone there actually works for about 8 hours a day and they actually get paid to do so. There are very few, if any, stupid people. Most people seem to like what they do, a lot. Most people seem to enjoy coming into work every day, and many come early and many stay late out of loyalty to the place. If a person does well, there are performance bonuses, and raises are granted usually every year if you meet your goals.

It's a grown-up job, and it's tempting me to quit my night job of being a grad student. But yet, I hold on, thinking and wishing and hoping that there's a place for both in my world.

Day 5: food on the table

in

I am so grateful that we have healthy food to place in front of our children and ourselves every day.

Day 4: Fall back

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Fall back always sets things right, doesn't it?

So grateful for the chance to fix the children's sleep schedule. And mine.

Day 3: Ladies at church

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I don't have any ladies at church. I mean, my church has lots of ladies, but I don't have a church ladies posse there.

My church is one where the ladies don't get together and hang out. Well, if they do, they don't invite me.

But on Saturday I was invited to another church by some ladies that I know and it was nice just chatting with them all over pizza and caesar salads.

One of them kept saying things like, "I thought it was going to be a dinner, you know? But I suppose there isn't anything on there about a dinner per se" or "Oh what a generous serving of this brownie!" And then avoided most of the toppings. She's the one who really made it possible for me to be there and she was trying hard to really enjoy it given that I had been late, and she had had to save a spot for me, and that she would be leaving early to make sure things were safe and sound back home. She helped me get there when it wasn't looking good for a babysitter.

Another lady told us how she had come to this church, they'd brought her in, set her up at her apartment with her roommate because her illness was so bad she was ordered by the doctor not to lift a finger. She walked into her new retirement complex and her home was all set up. She volunteers a lot with the church, and can make it to bible study because she lives very close by. All my stubbornness about the night really disappeared when I heard how she'd arrived at that table.

Another lady gave me her door prize that she won because she said that the lip gloss and pampering really were for younger people anyway, she and her friend had such intelligent down to earth conversation for me, refreshing. They were the types of women that I would naturally get along with anyway, but they talked about God and their spiritual lives without hesitation but with grace and poise.

Another was the quiet engineer who had gotten us all together, and she just praised God quietly and was grateful in that and blessed by it all.

The speakers at the dinner were inspiring and I learned a thing or two. Mostly that if I just open up to the blessing, it's bound to happen. And for that, I'm thankful that these church ladies are in my life.

Day 2: dipthongs

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Cause I mean, who doesn't love how they sound and who doesn't love how the word itself sounds?

Day 1: I am thankful for always finding something to agree upon

in

I am thankful for the determination my husband and I have to agree upon something, anything, even if it seems we only disagree.

There is a lot we disagree about, but we ALWAYS find a way to agree upon some aspect of it  -- out of a sheer stubbornness that agreeing to disagree about big issues is just not ok in a marriage.

This weekend, we agreed to kick butt at our respective challenges/chores to encourage the other person, even though we were both a bit upset that we couldn't trade places or go back and fix things so that they would be the way they were last weekend.

Next weekend, we'll have restored some sort of peace to the household, but this weekend was going to be tough. We were arguing about the best laid plans and the worst laid plans, and were fighting to reach an agreement. An understanding. "you kick butt and so will I and we'll both be happy" is where we landed while one person was being told to shut off the phone, sir, the plane's engines are running.

I am thankful that we always fight to get there, down to the engines running.

Long time no update

in

And that's because our house has been filled with a lot of this type of fun:



and...this too...



and our days have been busy going places like here:


So I haven't been blogging. Just getting used to being a mom of two and being home instead of the office. I have a post planned to talk about the wee one's birth at home... want it to be crafted well so I can send it to our birth instructor - but it is on its way.


On the job front: Some exciting things may be a-brewin'... a move to happen in the next few months likely. But for now, I'm enjoying this summer/maternity leave business. We have a kiddie pool in the backyard next to our neighbor's slip'n slide and a used a/c system we found at a yard sale in our bedroom. Heat can't kill us this summer.