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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Restlessness

Vacation is a time to relax right? This week has been wonderful, but also very stressful, VERY tiring and created a sort of restlessness. I want to relax, but I can't relax. Don't get me wrong, family has been absolutely wonderful at watching the kids so we can ride some rides, hang out in the hot tub. But it's not that sort of relaxation that is missing.

There is a sort of restlessness that I just could not pin point. *Something* was missing. God must have seen how tired and brain dead I was, and figured I would never figure it out on my own. So he gave me a little nudge.

While we were home for a bit on Sunday, in the rush to grab things I forgot to bring, I picked up the first book I saw just in case I had time to sit and read. It's a book I was given to for my graduation from a priest who has since left our parish. I started reading it in college, but school reading and friends and homework quickly got in the way of any reading for pleasure and I haven't picked it up since.

The very first chapter of this book talks about guess what? Restlessness. And how we are all longing for something. Someone. To go somewhere, to be someone great. To make a difference. Something better than what we have. We always want more, no matter how much we have, and how much we achieve in life, it will never be enough.

Basically, we were created with an infinite capacity to love, be loved, to be filled up. But we are living in a finite world where we will never find something that is perfect to completely fill that longing.

But that doesn't mean we should give up. God has his hand in our lives at all times. And if we take a second to look, we will see those glimpses of what we were made for.

So while I'm still restless (and could use a nap more than anything), I'm feeling a little more at peace knowing this is the plan, and that God is showing me those little glimpses of what is to come.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Be Still

We are leaving for vacation today to spend a wonderful week with family riding rides at Cedar Point, hiking, fishing, swimming and I'm sure tons of other things. Please don't break into my house while we are gone, we have several people watching it who would probably not be happy to see you. Have I blogged yet about our neighbors who like to shoot things? ;)

But in all of the craziness of sharing a house with 20+ other people, and the time we will spend in a loud amusement park, I am going to challenge myself to spend at least 15 minutes a day to just be still. I originally wanted an hour, but with 3 kids, I'm not sure that is very realistic. And who needs to be stressed out about scheduling in their quiet time?

It's easy to get caught up in everything that is always going on, tv, radio, computers, laughing children, crying children, screaming children, dishes, laundry, cleaning, cooking. It is much much harder to do nothing. But I think it is important to take time to be still and listen.

I often spend my prayer time telling Go what I want, or am struggling with, or who I would like to pray for. But the most fruitful prayer always comes from the times I am still and willing to put aside my own thoughts and just listen to what he has to say to me.

So pray for me this week, that I make (or find) the time to be still.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dance Party Friday!

Today we're listening to the Pandora Glee station while we pack for vacation.

Lots of fun upbeat music, and great voices! It's making something like making sure we have enough clothes, diapers, socks, underwear, bathing suits, swim trunks, towels, pajamas, games, toys, food, sunscreen, books, shoes, toothbrushes and sippy cups just a little bit more enjoyable.

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

{pink}

Pink. When did it become a dirty word?

I read a few blogs of fellow crafters, or occasionally see articles posted on facebook condeming the color pink, and princesses, and how these things are bringing down society and turning our girls into drones who will dream of growing up, finding a handsome prince and living happily ever after...

First of all, really? REALLY? The choice of a color is going to change our children's lives? And secondly, I find absolutely nothing wrong with playing pretend that a prince will come and you will live happily ever after. Why would I wish less for my daughter? Why would a loving God wish less for us?

Alright so let's start with the color. The argument is that we are limiting our girls, telling them that they can ONLY like pink, or play with pink, or do things that somehow involve pink. But what does it tell them if we steer them away from the color like it's dirty? If my daughter wants to wear a pink frilly boa around the house, or paint her room pink with pink carpeting (this is what my bedroom was like growing up) who am I to tell her she shouldn't, or can't like that color so much? Isn't that setting limits? In a world where princesses and all of her friends love pink wouldn't telling her it's somehow wrong start to send a message that maybe this whole being a girl thing is "wrong"?

Why so much push to tell girls to act like boys, or at least not act so much like girls? I read an article a few weeks ago about a family that was keeping their child's sex a secret, choosing a neutral sounding name, dressing in completely neutral clothing and refusing to call the child by he or she instead opting for (it's?) name only. Why has it suddenly become a bad thing to act male or female? Men and woman were created differently. Take a look at just the physical structure of men and woman. Generally speaking, men are bigger, more muscle mass, woman are smaller, woman can be pregnant, and give birth to new life. These things are not accidents of who we are, they are fundamental differences put in place to create two separate beings who work together and complement each other.

Please don't misunderstand, I'm not saying men can't be caring, women can't be strong, or boys can't wear pink. (my boys have worn pink and purple, and Nathan sometimes says pink is one of his favorite colors because it is a light red, his actual favorite color) I just don't understand why such a big fuss over girls choosing to act like girls.

The whole point seems to be giving girls more freedom, steering them away from the pink and encouraging them to like other things, nothing wrong with being well rounded, but by getting rid of the pink (if they want it) I think we are basically telling them "don't be like a girl, don't like things other girls like, you can be better than that (girl)" In a sense telling them that they are flawed in the way they were created. That there is something wrong with embracing their femininity. 

Now onto the princesses. I've read articles about "Princess proofing" not wanting their child to be called a princess, or act like a princess, or wear princess things, or aspire to be a princess. Why? Because they feel it's sticking their child on a one lane track, because being a "princess" means relying on someone else to save them, or take care of them. But isn't that what we all long for? Yes, be independent, learn to do things on your own, but who doesn't want someone with them on their side ready to help them when they do fall? I don't know about you, but I married my prince, not that I was in a situation that warranted "saving" in a movie sense, but he has saved me many times. Rescued me from a stressful day with 3 kids by coming home and doing the dishes. Rescued me from walking around 8 months pregnant by pulling the car around. It's in his protective nature as my husband to look out for me and keep me safe. When walking together through parking lots holding hands he instinctively pulls me to the side of him when a car is coming. Not because he thinks I am stupid enough to just stand there and be hit by a car, but it is in his nature as my prince to save me without even realizing he is doing it.

Why do so many girls play "princess"? Why does Disney make so much money off of all of their princess gear? Because girls long to be fought for, desired, protected. It starts before they are even old enough to understand the whole princess thing. It starts with their fathers. What little girl doesn't love the protection of a dad? Sure, mom is always there for hugs and cuddles, playing and reading, and as an infant providing most basic needs, but there is something special about a father who fights for his daughter, there to fend off anything that might harm her. It's more than just a marketing ploy, it's instinct. And probably why this stuff sells so well.

One of my favorite books "Captivated" by John and Stasi Eldredge talks about this, and the desires of our hearts as women. It is not an embarrassment, or a shame to long for someone to take care of you. So I wish we would stop trying to teach our daughters that they need to be alone to be of any value. Or that they are weaker to have a partner that they rely on.

Overall my point is not that girls have to act in this way, there is nothing wrong with a little girl who hates pink and princesses, my point is more that there is nothing wrong with a little girl who does, or parents who allow her to. I won't be shoving Barbie dolls at my daughter the second she learns to sit up and play with things, but I won't ban them from the house or discourage her from liking them. I'm looking forward to tea parties and baby dolls. My sons have dolls and they like them alright, but they would much rather spend their days building rocket ships by dumping out all of their toys and throwing them in a giant heap in the corner of the room. Or fighting off bad guys with their swords. And that is just fine with me.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

another cedar point trip!

21. Turn 27

Today was my 27th birthday, and looking back at the last year it's been even more eventful than I realized. But in the last 5 years change has been the norm, so it was a pretty normal year :)


1 year ago today I found out we would be adding another little baby to our family, and our children would for the first time out number us.

In the last year a lot has changed, new baby, new sister in law, new house. Anthony even started a new job which let us enjoy every other Friday off with him and has given us time to do more as a family while everyone else is at work ;)

I've been able to spend time with family and friends, play with my kids, plant a garden, teach and choreograph several ballet pieces and even start sewing again. It's been a wonderful year, and I'm looking forward to what excitement 27 has to bring.

Friday, June 10, 2011

5. Plant a garden

When I originally put this on my list I envisioned Anthony and I working out in the garden together, digging up the soil, picking out our plants and planting them together into our new garden.

Then I remembered that we have 3 kids, and that sort of time together while they are sleeping or busy just isn't realistic. Especially when you're trying to plant a garden between the constant rain storms we've been having.

So I'm showing you a garden dug up and planted entirely by my awesome husband, who luckily LOVES salsa, so was willing to spend the hours it took to do this alone to make it work. I did get out there with "the claw" for about 20 minutes, but according to my husband my hands are too girly and I ended up with 3 giant blisters in those 20 minutes of gardening. I think I'll stick to watering and weeding from now on.

The garden
Our lone zucchini plant that we hope doesn't take over
Tomatoes in several varieties
Peppers
Baby cucumber plants


and my little herb garden in a flower bed. Right now just Cilantro, but I'm hoping to add some more. I actually planted this one by myself lol

Thursday, June 9, 2011

41. Snuggle

Noah has been sick with a mystery illness (probably some sort of virus like roseola, just waiting for the rash to show up). While it's exhausting having a sick kid, and I really do hope he kicks this soon, it's meant lots and lots of snuggle time.

Noah snuggling with his daddy. At one point they were actually both asleep like this.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

7. Go to the zoo

Time to start working on that summer list!

We went to the zoo last weekend with my mom, dad and 2 of my brothers. It was HOT, very hot, but we had a lot of fun and got to see the new elephant exhibit! Here are just a few pictures from the fun we had
I thought for sure Noah was just going to walk up and touch this bird
Checking out the red panda
Nathan's favorite, the giraffes!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

This is what happens when you forget to buckle the baby in the bouncer

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Connie the worm

Today we are FINALLY getting our garden in after several failed attempts and lots of researching over the last few weeks. And when I say we, I mean my awesome husband who took the boys out this morning to dig and till our garden while I was able to sit inside with the baby and enjoy a cup of coffee. He really is awesome. As Nathan just told me "Daddy is doing a great job mom" yes he is!

Anyway, this post is less about the garden, and more about Nathan's new friend. Connie the worm. While he was outside gardening, (aka pretending to dig holes with his trowel and mostly just pushing dirt around) he found a worm! He held it and played with it a few minutes and then told Anthony that his worm's name was Connie. We don't know anyone named Connie, I can't think of any books or movies he has seen with a character named Connie, so assuming he meant something else Anthony started asking some questions to figure it out.

"Do you mean Tiny?"
"No dad Connie."
"Is your worm's name Carney?" (makes even less sense than Connie)
"No dad, my worm's name is C-ahhhhh-nie"
"Connie?"
"yes, that is my worm's name."

During this time Nathan lost sight of his new friend and she escaped into the dirt. He's been looking for Connie ever since. It's nap time right now, but he let me know that as soon as he wakes up he is going to go find Connie in the garden. It's a good thing he's sleeping through the rototiller.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dance Party Friday!

When Nathan was a baby we LOVED to dance and very often had dance parties. It sort of became a tradition for a while that on Friday's we would crank up the music and just dance for an hour or so.

Elise is getting to a point where she loves music now, so we're bringing it back!

Noah is very excited and had a few requsts

Nathan cried when I asked him to join us...but then peeked around the corner and watched. Now that I'm sitting down typing he's upset that I'm typing and asked me to stand up and dance on the ground...but not look at him. So I think he likes it too ;)

Here's a few of our favorites we're dancing to today

By request from Noah, it can't be a dance party Friday without "Friday" by Rebecca Black

Then one of Nathan's favorites from when he was a baby "Dance with You" by Bowling for Soup

And I'm sure we'll throw a bit of Lady Gaga in there at some point to.

We'd love hear about some of your favorite dance party songs!