Monday, January 31, 2011

Kids...a Gift from God? ~ Meditation Mondays

You've probably heard these verses from Psalm 127 in one form or another:

Sons are a heritage from the Lord,
children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one's youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them,
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

I admit, sometimes these verses set me on edge.  On bad days when I hear them I want to say "if children are a reward or gift does this mean it's returnable? Or maybe exchangeable? Something I could regift perhaps?"

My husband was reading a book and I asked him what came to mind when I said, "children are a gift from God?"  He looked up from his book, rolled his eyes, and said "don't ask me this week" and went back to reading.

Why does this gift come with such responsibility?  Why does it cause such anger and frustration at times? Aren't gifts supposed to be something I'll always like? This gift requires so much of me sometimes that I have nothing left to give anyone else.

Some days can feel hopeless, but when I look...really look, I can find the reward amidst the daily struggle. When I'm around my "gifts" so much they tend to blend into the woodwork. They become common, not significant to me. So today, instead of focusing on the mundane, I sought out the joy that my two precious gifts give me.  They bring me...

the gift of imagination - not mess

the gift of squeezable and kissable girliness - not "hold still!"

the gift of companionship - not "in the way"

the gift of comforting - not drama

the gift of creativity - not mess

the gift of nonsense - not "what are you two doing in here?"

The most significant thing my "gifts" have given me though is a deepened relationship with the Lord...for there is nothing on earth that brings me to my knees more than my children do. :)

Thank you Lord for the gifts given to me, may I always seek their significance.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Reprieve

Oh, thank you Lord in heaven for the reprieve from the winter weather! I literally turn into Eeyore during the winter.  A few weeks into January after the excitement of Christmas is over, I find myself to be a Negative Nancy about everything.  I can not find the good in anything.  Everyone's sick with either the pukes or sinus infections so you can't even get out to see friends. A sadness sets in and stays until spring comes with a promise of sunny days.

I've heard it called Seasonal Depression but I'll say the "Winter Blues" since I think that does a disservice to people who struggle with depression year round. I have much sympathy for these people. I get the "winter blues" and the "baby blues" and months seem like years when you're in a funk.  I can't imagine continually struggling with "no hope" type of feelings.

So when there is even a hint of sunshine we are basking in it...

It's never too early to break out the Popsicles!

and laughing in it...

and swinging in it...

and playing in it...

and laying in it...

Some of us, though, are enjoying it a little too much...

Monday, January 24, 2011

A "Me" Day

I can't remember the last time I had a whole day to myself. A day at home without kids, a day off. I occasionally get some "me" time when I go get my hair done or go shopping but I never just stay at home. What did I used to do on my days off before I had kids?  I often find myself jealous of people without children because I miss those days off so much it makes me crazy sometimes.  Well, I've been down in the dumps lately because of the weather so I decided to take a "me" day darn it!

I scheduled daycare for my kids with only mild guilt after Austyn said, "mommy I no want you to go," and had one glorious day all to myself. Even battling a sinus infection wasn't getting in my way.  I had things to organize and clean - there's just something about loud music and no interruptions that gets me excited about menial tasks. So my morning was spent checking things off my list.

Then Eric came home for lunch and said, "I'm disappointed in you, sit your butt on the couch and enjoy your day." Ummmm....okay.  Don't have to tell me twice.  Then came a nap on the couch, some mindless web surfing, a Made marathon on MTV, and glorious time wasting.

Thank you to my husband who gave me permission not to be "on" every minute of every day.  This is why I keep him around, so I don't go completely crazy.

I'm thinking I might have to pencil in more days like this, so let's all dream together....what would you do with a "me" day?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bachelor Denied

I have been watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette series since the very first show. Yes, I even watched Trista and Ryan's wedding. I guess what I love about it is the romance and the fairytale ending (yes, I do realize this is complete crap). Well, my love affair was forced to come to a screeching halt. This is the first season I am not watching the show.  Painful as it is, here's why....

After a show last season I was giving some attitude to Eric and he said, "why are you so cranky?"

"I don't know. I'm not," I lied. Knowing full well what had made me so cranky.  He was having a hard time measuring up to the bachelors on the show. I mean, what was I doing with a Pharmacist? I should be married to a professional baseball player like Roberto?  As a matter of fact, why did I marry a Caucasian, a Latino would've been much better. I need someone who can take me horseback riding on the beach and fly me in a helicopter overlooking the most beautiful landscapes! Someone who will punch another guy out for me one day and write songs about me the next.

I think you get my drift.

My sisters and I would all call each other after the show and chat about the idiots and the heartthrobs. Oh the drama! How I miss it! I called my sister Ann after one episode and she said at one point she looked over at her husband - who was dressed in red shorts, a purple cutoff shirt, and black dress socks - and became immediately angry. We had a good laugh over this but both decided it would be best for our marriages if we boycotted. So, boycotting I am....Is it pathetic that I miss it so much? 

So goodbye Bachelor, my frenemy, and in the words of the oh-so-quotable Lady Gaga:

~ "Don't call my name, don't call my name.....Roberto."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Birthday "Sweetie"

Happy Birthday Eric! 
A big "I Love You" to the best husband, friend, and father out there.

Eric's parents brought over a box of his old college stuff as a "birthday present".  May I just say, (with a good dose of sarcasm) thank you so much! How long will it sit on my counter before I find a place for it :)?

However, it was a good trip down memory lane. There were a few gems in it including some old love letters from me. I asked my mother-in-law if she read any of them and she said "no, I wouldn't do that!" To which I replied "why not! I would have!"  To heck with people's privacy when you have such juicy literature in front of you.

But, after I opened a few of them up I was eternally grateful that she hadn't read them. One went directly into the fireplace after I read something about wanting to touch Eric's pecs. What was I thinking putting that in writing? Geez, use your head Tam.

In my defense, #2 was looking pretty good.

Here's one of the tamer ones...

Yes, that's my writing - not my 4 year old's. The keyboard is my friend.  And, "Sweetie?"  (Gag reflex) Who was this girl and what was she thinking?  Makes me wonder if 18 years old is still too young to date.

These letters were extremely painful to read mainly because I wish I could go back in time and slap myself across the face for all the dumb things I said.  I'm just glad we're still together because if those were in circulation somewhere I would die.

So here's to you Eric, for sticking by me through the "dumb" years.

Happy Birthday!

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Need My Strength ~ Meditation Mondays

In a recent sermon our Pastor read this:

"Martin Luther is quoted as saying that if he felt too busy to spend an hour in prayer and devotion he immediately stopped everything and took two hours. Not because he was so pious or punishing himself but because he realized in the temptation to not spend that devotional time, the devil was wrestling the strength of the faith away from him, hindering his ability to do anything for his Lord."

The idea that the devil can wrestle strength of the faith away from believers by making them too busy for the Word really stuck with me. Probably because I know that it's true. I have felt the weakness, I just had never thought of it as the devil stealing my strength. If I get too busy with life and get out of my routine of reading God's word, I feel different. I feel out of touch. I feel weakened - a lack of passion for my faith. And I so easily forget the life-giving feeling of just reading God's words. Without me even realizing it, the dumb devil has sucked my life and light right out of me.

When I realize what's happening as a result of my "busyness" I start back up and have to reacquaint myself with God. It takes a while to get that closeness back, that strength. And then when I have it, I think "how could I ever let this go?"

And then I do.

Sometimes I think our fellow believers are so easy to let us off the hook about not spending a good amount of time in the Word. Yes, I'm a busy mom, I don't get much time to myself. Yes, I have to keep a household running.  Yes, I need my sleep or I am a nightmare to live with. But, if I can make time for a work out, I can make time for God. If I can make time for Sarah Palin's Alaska, I can make time for God. If I can find time to write this, I can find time for God. So, don't let me off the hook friends and Mom Books!  I need to have my Strength!

O My Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.
Psalm 59:17

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why My Mom is the Coolest

This is a picture of my mom (center) with her two sisters.  Isn't this cool?  They are all still involved in rodeo. My Aunt Linda (right) team pens and my mom and Aunt Patty barrel race with the best of 'em. They're all in their 50's but you'd never know it.  They all have such life, adventure, and toughness in them - love it!

My siblings and I often joke with mom about her loving her horse more than she loves us.  While I sometimes wonder if it's not the truth, I am super proud of her and glad she has something she's passionate about.  :)

So, for January, this is Why My Mom is the Coolest.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A New Addition

Meet Shelby

We got a new puppy!  The excitement level is at an all time high around here. As you can see Rylie has not left her side since we got her.  Shelby's been introduced to many friends...

Eric named her after Josh Selby (KU basketball player) I thought Selby sounded weird so we compromised on Shelby.  Our cat is named Wayne after Wayne Simeon (former KU player) so we thought it only fitting. (We found out later our cat was a girl but it was too late, the name stuck.)

She is a Shiba Inu.  I've never heard of it.  I did a lot of research on the Internet about what kind of dog we wanted. My criteria was:

has to be an outside dog
not a big dog but not a tiny dog
must not be a barker!
must be great with kids
a dog that I can start a small family breeding business with

and after months of research I kept coming back to the Shibas.  A few days out and I feel like we've made a great choice. I did have a little cry after we got her because based on pictures I thought she was going to be fluffier, but I have moved on to "big girl world" and I can see past my vanity. 

Technically we now have two new additions to the family as I saw a mouse scurry across my kitchen floor this morning. The latter will hopefully go to a better place soon. It's either me or him I guess.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I am not normally one to torture myself with New Year's resolutions but I drew some inspiration from my friend Natalie and made a couple this year. Nat does resolutions every year without fail and actually sticks with them. In the past her resolutions have involved giving up pop (I would classify this one as torture), exercising, recycling, giving up chocolate, etc. The only one she's ever broken is the chocolate one, which I think we can all understand.

I figure I may have a better chance of keeping my resolutions if I tell people about them, so here are my two for the year: (drum roll please)

1. Recycle my cardboard

2. Get on a Budget

I have been recycling for a few years now but have never done my cardboard trash. The main reason is that I have no more room in my garage for recycles!  Other reasons include the inconvenience of our recycling center and pure laziness.

The Budget one will be harder. I think our longest running record for being on a budget lasted about 3 months. Don't get me wrong, we are great at starting them and have done so too many times to count. It's the sticking with it that's the hard part. Something always blows the budget...Christmas, a trip, stupidity - you name it. So, for 2011 I will try to stick on the budget for an entire year (Yikes! Do I have to?).

While this isn't really a measured goal, I also would like to concentrate on being more chill about things. I get way to stressed about certain things so I'm going to work on giving my stress to the Lord.  Pray before freaking - my new motto for 2011.

Would love to hear about your resolutions for the New Year!

Monday, January 3, 2011

"Know Me" ~ Meditation Mondays

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts, see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24

Do you ever feel troubled and can't quite put a finger on why? I feel like this happens to me a lot. I find that often times it's the Holy Spirit trying to get my attention about something I thought, said, or did that wasn't honoring to God. (Sometimes I realize I just forgot to pay a bill or return a phone call, but most times this feeling involves repentance.)

Today I woke up feeling this way and I haven't quite figured out what's troubling my soul yet.  I always get a little scared because I wonder who I've offended and how many apologies I have to make.  So today I find myself praying the above Psalm. Well, it usually doesn't take long after praying and reflecting that the Lord reveals to me a wrong I need to make right.

I sometimes pray this prayer a little reluctantly because I just don't want to face a backlash for my behavior. Part of me also feels like if I don't ask the Lord to point out my sin He somehow won't be able to pinpoint it Himself. While I would much rather just try to ignore the feeling and hope it goes away, it will not go away today, so here goes:

Lord will you please:

Search me

Test me

See me

Lead me



And please, may it just be a late bill today.
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