berries, burn, and the death of a faithful friend

Oh Happy Day!  I lost 1.4 pounds!  I lost the poundage I gained
 last week plus a pound more!  Thank you God!

Yesterday Isaac and I went berry picking with our good friends Kayla, Madeline, and Aubrey. Isaac loves being around other kids so much....and it seems he especially likes these two.

We were out there picking raspberries for a good 2 hours!  Isaac and the girls did great, wandering up and down the rows of berries.  At one point I looked at Isaac and his cheeks were red with heat.  I took him to our friend's van to change his diaper and give him a reprieve from the hot sun.  I must say, the sunscreen I got works wonderfully!  At the end of it all he left with only a little pinkness on his arms and his cheeks.  I, on the other hand, have a bright red neck, a red patch on my right arm, a red patch my left knee pit, and redness on both sides of my face.  It's weird how sometimes I only get burned in certain places.  I must say the back of the neck one is really sensitive!

Sadly, I couldn't be absolutely happy while we were berry picking.  Earlier that day a good friend of mine, who I've known for 7 years, and who has helped me out countless times, passed away.  I know it's rare, but I was able to get a picture of my friend's demise.  He will be missed.


Daily Blunders

Every time I go to a certain fast food restaurant, my order is wrong.  Ok, maybe not every time.  But let's say 3 out of 5 times it's wrong.  The tea isn't sweetened.  They don't give me an ENTIRE PORTION OF MY ORDER!  I think someone is trying to tell me that I shouldn't be eating fast food.  The truth is, I don't want to eat fast food.  The thought of it makes my stomach hurt.  But I can't stop myself!  It's like I'm an addict.  I need greasy fries!

So, here's my challenge for the month of August.  I want to try to stop eating fast food from a particular establishment.  I'm not saying the name because I don't know if it's ok to!  Don't want to get into trouble....

I'm not going to beat myself up if I fail, and I'm going to try my darnedest to succeed!  This will help my weight loss, I'm sure.

Isaac and I went to a big, grassy field to run around today.  He liked it so much that he cried actual tears when I finally had to drag him away.  He loves being outside!



Somewhere there's a disconnect.

Between me and my friends.  Me and my family.  Me and myself.

I feel a little lost, hanging in the balance of work, life, church, love, motherhood.  Where do I fit in?  What should I be doing differently?  What am I doing right?

I'm disconnected from the music I used to love.  My fingers are unlined and tender, where there were once callouses.

I go to church, but I don't feel really there.  I'm thinking about my son in the nursery with people who are practically strangers.  I'm feeling light headed because I haven't eaten breakfast yet.  My legs are still wobbly with sleep.  I'm longing for more sleep.  The study is good, God's word is GOOD.  But I feel arrogant and think, "I've heard it all before."

At work I'm tired.  So tired.  Tired of dealing with other people's problems.  Tired of adapting to everyone around me, and them never adapting to me.  Weary of playing the part of someone who cares.  I want to care.  I used to care.

I love home.  I'm distracted at home.  I want to watch the Teen Mom and the 4 Little Houses that I taped. I want to go for a walk in the cool evening air.  I want to go to bed early.  Those other things, like family and fellowship, they can wait.  But how long?

Friends.  Well, I have them, I think.  I have a few friends that are in similar life situations as me.  But we don't see each other.  Maybe it's me: I've been so distant for so long.  They all got tired of it and decided to quit trying.  The ones that do try, well, there's always something to come up and change our plans or prevent us from following through.  Or they (or I) live too far away.

I'm living in the land of "how things could be" instead of living in the land of "how things are."  More than a few times I've been told that I need to put down some roots here and see what grows.  There's always something holding me back from planting anything.  I'm always waiting for what's around the corner.

How do I love and accept what's happening right now?


Walking Fool

Now that Isaac can walk, he wants to walk everywhere by himself.  We went to Costco with a friend on Saturday, and he walked all over the parking lot, climbed all over the carts, and squealed and squirmed every time I tried to pick him up.

Today I haven't been feeling so hot, I can't shake a headache.  But Isaac was so antsy inside, so I took him to the park.  He walked everywhere.  He walked over to the foul-mouthed teenagers dribbling basketballs.  He walked over to the slide and watched the little boys pretending to be Obi-Wan Kenobi slide down and climb back up again.  He tried to climb up the slide.  He climbed up the stairs. He meandered all over the grass that was sprinkled with little yellow flowers.  About a half an hour after we got there it started raining big, fat rain drops, so we had to go.  I'm glad we got out of the house for a little while.  I think it did wonders for my headache.


Keep on Keepin' on

I gained weight this week!  .4 lbs to be exact.  Not much, I know.  I can gain that amount from drinking a glass of water.  But it was still disappointing.  I hope that instead of getting disappointed and quitting, I will be motivated to do better.  This past week was a hard one, so I wasn't that surprised when the scale went up.

We went to church again this week.  Isaac had another great time in the nursery.  He loves playing with other little cuties.  It's good for him, and it's good for me.  I'm slowly (turtle-like-slow) learning to trust him in the hands of strangers.  Not strangers, brothers and sisters in Christ that I don't happen to know.  It's still not extremely comfortable for me, but it's doable.  It will get easier.

The weather is finally beautiful here in the north west.  Not too hot, but warm.  80s and sunny.  We got Isaac a little plastic wading pool.  He doesn't like it.  He loves baths, but I think that's because the water is warm.  The pool water was just too cold for him, even after we mixed in a few pitchers of hot water.  He did enjoy crawling around in the dirt afterwards and getting his swimming trunks all muddy.  He also enjoyed the luke warm bath I gave him in the house.

He has 6 teeth now!  Growing quickly....

On this lovely Sunday I'll leave you with a picture of me and my friend Miranda.  I hope that this week brings joy to you all!



Why do the innocent have to suffer because of the sins of the guilty?

This world makes me sick and it makes me sad.  How can I live freely in a world that is so gross?  Where people do evil things for only God knows why?  How can I act normal when there is so much to be afraid of?

Fear paralyzes me.  For a few days after a terrorist attack I am left feeling...terrorized.  Even if the attack was no where near me, had nothing to do with me, didn't involve people in my current situation.  Just knowing that at any time anything like that could happen - anywhere - makes me extremely afraid.

God I know that you are long suffering and you aren't willing that any should perish...so you wait.  But, can you please come back now?



The lights are out.
The dogs and cat away.
The baby's eyelids fluttering with dreams.
Husband close beside.

Peace wraps itself around me in the form of a faux down comforter.

My heart is loud, beating in the center.  I hear it in my ears, feel it in my stomach.

Fans purr and drown out foreign noise.  

Nothing to do.
Nowhere to be.
Nothing to pretend.
No one to care.

Quiet.  We're safe inside the arms of the One who never sleeps.  It's here that I face Him.  Here in this quiet I can almost hear Him.  Safety.  I pray for it earnestly.  My son.  My husband.  Our house.  Me.

Double curtains block out the long stretching daylight - but it's not dark enough.  Never dark enough.  With eyelids closed I can still see the light scratching it's way in.  Trying to wake me.  Trying to take me from my peace.  Bidding me "do. go. work. worry."

The world outside sleeps.  I silently wish for forever night. 


a good day

Today was weird.  Some things got under my skin.  The first was my little buddy.  He has been working on letting some top teeth push through the gums for a couple days now.  It must be so uncomfortable.  When it comes to teething, he's gotten past the feverish, waking up at night stage, and moved on to the don't-put-me-down-for-a-second-and-I-only-want-to-take-short-naps stage.  I tried hard not to let his clingy-ness get to me, but I failed a couple times.  We took a trip to the store and he did wonderfully.  With my son, I find that getting out of the house and getting busy really helps when he is having a cranky day.  He loves looking at people, things, animals, nature....anything moving and making noise or talking.

I usually lay down when he does for a morning nap on the days that I am home.  It helps me catch up on the sleep that I miss at night (not the best sleeper!)  Well, today, we both laid down at 9 am.  Of course, the neighbor starts banging around trash cans, a bird is chirping loudly, the dogs are barking.  I flip to my other side and hear a "bleep" from my phone that I forgot to silence.  I turn onto my back and the crack between the curtains shines right into my eyes.  I finally get to where I feel myself drifting and I hear buddy talking.  He's awake.  No nap for mama today.

The rest of the day is much the same.  I go way over my points for the day.  Nothing good came in the mail.  Money is tight.

But there are good things.  Buddy screams loudly and happily when dad walks through the door.  He eats an entire bowl of leftover spaghetti squash (chalk full of tomatoes, zuchinnis, and garlic) as well as a fruit cup and some of both mine and Andrew's corn on the cob.  A little victory - my son ate a lot of food!  He rarely does that.  I was so thankful and praised the heck out of him for it.

I was also able to get all the laundry done, get a package ready to put in the mail, and paint my finger nails.

It was a good day.

to bake a spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash is a good alternative to pasta if you are trying to eat a bit healthier (and maybe conserve some points if you are on WW).  It's easy to prepare!  Here's what to do:

  • preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise
  • scoop out the seeds
  • place the halves face down, side by side on a cookie sheet
  • pour about a half an inch of water onto the cookie sheet
  • place the squash in the oven on the bottom rack
  • cook for 45 minutes (or until tender)
When the squash comes out, all the water that you poured onto the cookie sheet will be gone.  The halves should be very soft.  Be careful, they'll be hot!  Using a fork, gently scrape out the inside of the squash.  It will be very soft and easy to scoop out.  It will come out in strings, a lot like pasta.

You can do many things with it, but I eat it just like I would spaghetti.  Some pasta sauce and veggies and cooked/seasoned ground beef on top.  You can also just add a little butter or olive oil and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.


and I still lost weight!

This week was a busy one.  A good one.  My dear friend Miranda made a stop here on her way to Seattle.  Although I had to work while she was here, we were still able to go out to lunch twice, make a trip to a nearby park to play our guitars and sing, make some peach cobbler, and play dance central.  Isaac thought she was the cat's meow.  And he's right, she is!

Having her here brought back a flood of memories from my short stay in California many years ago.  I lived there from 1999-2002.  Just long enough to make some friends that I'll have for eternity.  Miranda brought with her the love for life, and that optimistic realness that she has always possessed.  It was refreshing.  I was very sad to see her go.  But, as she kept saying, "it won't be the last time I visit!"  Can't wait till the next time.

The weather this week.  Ugh.  I mean, I love Oregon and I even love constant rain, but not in the summer when we've been waiting for sun for so long.  There were a couple sun breaks big enough to get out into muggy, buggy nature.

I'm happy to report that even though I ate out twice and had a generous helping of Peach Cobbler, I still lost 1.8 pounds.  That's the beauty of WW!  You can splurge here and there, and as long as you follow the healthy guidelines and stick to your points (adjust accordingly) you can still meet your weight loss goal.  I'm really not trying to sound like a spokesperson.  Anyway, grand total so far is 4.2 - in three weeks!  Yay!  Tonight I made homemade spaghetti sauce w/ garlic, onion, olive oil, zucchini, tomato sauce, and stewed tomatoes.  Added in was some dried Italian seasoning and some basil.  I put that and some browned, seasoned ground beef on top of baked spaghetti squash.  I must say, it was pretty scrumptious, and I only had to count the beef and some Parmesan cheese, while at the same time getting all the servings of vegetables in that I needed for today.  I'm very happy to report that my picky son even liked it, and ate many pieces of zucchini.

Lastly, Andrew, Isaac, and I went to church today.  That's right.  Church.  I'm not proud to admit it, but it was Isaac's first time at church.  First time in the nursery!  He did so well.  The ladies who watched him call him "a joy."  When I peeked around the corner to see him at the end of the service, he was playing with two adorable babies, a boy and a girl.  It was heartwarming to see him with friends!  He loves other kids.  I'm relieved that it went so well.  As for Andrew and I, we liked the service well enough.  I think it's hard to judge a church on the first visit, so we'll be going back a few more times before we decide if we want to make it our home or not.  It would be nice, because it's so close, and Isaac had such a good time in the nursery, but I believe that the study of the word needs to be relevant and challenging....and well, there are just certain teaching styles that I don't particularly like or thrive on.  So, we'll see.  Whatever the case, it's high time we got our butts back in church.  If this one doesn't work out, I'm determined to find one that does!

Here's my boys in their Sunday best:


Neighborhood Kitten

Isaac made a new feline friend today, much to the chagrin of our cat, Ginny.  It's her own fault for running away every time Isaac tries to pull her whiskers and tail.

Isaac and I stepped outside to see what Andrew was doing in the garage and we heard a pathetic sounding "meow" coming from our neighbor's house across the street.  After a few minutes of searching, we finally spotted a little cat underneath the car in our neighbor's driveway.  I mimicked her meowing and pretty soon she came trotting over to investigate.

Very sweet, black w/ calico patches and one tan foot (all the others black), the little kitten started circling my feet.  I put Isaac down and he was all smiles, reaching for her.  She let him grab her, push against her to stand up, yell in her face, and pound on her back.  She laid down and rolled onto her back, apparently loving the attention.  All the while Ginny watched jealously from the windowsill inside our house.  Again, I don't feel bad for her.  If she wanted, she could have 12 hours of undivided attention from the youngest member of the family.

We went outside a little later to run an errand and she was there, sleeping in the shade of the tree in our front yard.  When we came back from the errand she emerged from under a nearby car to greet us.  I don't know if she's someone's, and I hope that if she is she goes home soon; surely some family is missing their adorable, affectionate cat.  If she doesn't have a family, though, she's welcome to sleep in the shade of our tree anytime.


another loss!

I'm happy to report that I lost .8 lbs this last week on weight watchers!  So a loss of 2.4 lbs total.  Hooray!


half a pound gained, half a pound lost?

As I'm trying desperately to get my son to gain weight, I'm struggling to lose weight.

Isaac had a weight check today at his doctor's office.  I love his doctor.  I'm so glad with the decision I made to switch.  She makes me see the importance of getting Isaac's weight up a little bit, but doesn't make me worry about it.  At his weigh-in he gained 6 ounces!  She celebrated the gain with us.  He's still only 18.7 pounds, and she'd like to see him get past the 20 mark pretty soon.  He will sooner or later.  I just hope that it's sooner.

The doctor knocked on the door and then came in the room dancing.  Yes, dancing!  It was hilarious!  She danced her way over to Isaac and he was all smiles, laughs, and drool.  While she danced her way over to him I realized how perfect she is for us.  Isaac walked over to her more than once and put his hands up towards her as if to say, "I like you.  Pick me up."  I won't say her name, because I'm not sure if that's allowed, but if you live in the Portland, Oregon area and you need a good Pediatrician, send me an email and I'll give you the info :)

As for my weight loss journey, I'm not looking forward to my weigh- in tomorrow.  I did pretty crappy this week.  I stayed within my daily and weekly allowance points, but I ate more junk than I'd care to admit.  We hiked a bit on Monday, but that was the only exercising I had done all week--until today.  Andrew's friend let him borrow a work out game because we recently got a Kinect for our Xbox.  The game is the REAL deal.  You stand in front of the sensor and it measures your body.  It asks if you are male or female, how old you are, and how much you weigh.  You then do cardio and toning tests to see what level you should begin on.  For some crazy reason I got put into the advanced cardio level.  I was huffing and puffing after the tests alone...before I even started any of the work outs!  After the tests you get asked what you want to achieve.  I chose that I want to slim down after having a baby.  There is a work out specifically designed for "after baby toning."  I started on the beginner level of that one.


Squats....so/many/squats.  I stumbled through the only 14 minutes work out and I never want to do another squat as long as I live!  (but I will, the day after tomorrow, because I want to do it every other day if I can muster the gumption.)  The virtual trainer kept telling me to "get those squats lower!"  It's pretty neat, although brutal!

I walked to the bathroom on shaky legs...and then when I sat down in the computer chair my legs basically gave out on me.  I also kind of feel like throwing up.  Haha!  It was a good work out.  Supposedly I burned 116 calories.  I'm going to be hurting tomorrow! (a good hurt!)


in with the morning light

My eyes are closed tight.  The lids closed on top of my eye balls feel like sandpaper.

It's dark, but not dark enough.  Two layers of curtains cannot block out the fading sunlight and the still brightness of the sky.

Teeth clenched.  As I try to relax my jaw it only protests.

I smell burnt paper, sulfur.  The sweat collecting on my forehead does not convince me to remove the covers from on top of me.  I can't sleep without a blanket.

I'm uncomfortable in more ways than I can count.  My legs ache from an uphill hike.  The mosquito bite on my wrist is hot and itchy.

The clock says 12:10.  Then 3:20.  Then 4:05.  5:10.  6:12, 6:25.  6:34 brings the alarm.  I'm dreading having to drag myself out of bed, wishing for anything but the work of moving my legs and having to think.

But he greets me.  A touch of my foot as he walks by my side of the bed.

Another greeting as I stumble groggily into the nursery.  A pacifier, 2 wide eyes, and a hand simultaneously clutching the side of the crib and the froggy-lovey.  He bounces up and down when he seems me, and points to the ceiling fan.

The sun has been up for a few hours by now.  Today it seems especially bright.  Today, strangely, I don't mind it's brightness.

Wash my hair, grab some food, drive through Starbucks and off to work.  I forget my sunglasses at home.  For some reason I don't mind.  The chai on my tongue tastes especially sweet.

They are all in good spirits at work.  Brimming with stories from their vacations, eager to hear about mine.  For the day, the troubles of reality don't matter that much.  Even when that patient gets upset with me, I face it like an adult and don't let it bother me for even a minute after he leaves.

I had another terrible night's sleep, but God is good and He keeps His promises.  I'm thankful.

For His anger is but for a moment, 
His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:5


Best Just to Forget Today

Last Independence Day I had a one month old.  It was a terrible, TERRIBLE day.  Today I have a 13 month old.  It was a terrible, TERRIBLE day.

The day wasn't all terrible, in fact it started off wonderfully.  The three of us made our way to Bridal Veil Falls.  We have a tradition of going somewhere, and we almost always find a new waterfall to marvel at.  Oregon really is beautiful, and I'm learning to be thankful that I live smack in the middle of all it's beauty.

Isaac didn't sleep on the way to the falls like I hoped he would.  When we got there, though, he was in good spirits.  We were there for an hour or so.  Half a mile to the falls, half a mile back.  I carried buddy on my back in the free baby carrier I got from evenflo.  It's not the easiest carrier to use, but once all the knots are tied and the baby is situated, it works well enough.

The hike was beautiful.  It was a perfect day.  Every shade of green all around us.  As we got closer we heard the roar of the falls getting louder and louder.  There were only a few people there, and they didn't stay very long, so we got right in and up to the water.  I don't think I could quite feel the spray, but it was a lot cooler up there by the rush of white.  As a group of ladies was leaving, one of them paused and asked me, "do you want me to take a picture of you before I go?"  I don't think anyone has ever asked me to take my picture with my camera - it's usually me asking someone to take it for us.  How very sweet.  She took a picture with my phone, waved and smiled at Isaac (who of course smiled and flirted right back), and was on her way.

We wanted to go to Blue Lake to eat the picnic lunch we brought, but decided against it when it was $10 a car to park there.  We stopped and got a sweet tea and a strawberry lemonade at McD's on the way home.  I hopped into the back seat so I could feed Isaac.  By this time he hadn't taken more than a 10 minute nap.  He also had eaten very little.  He thought it was the bees knees to have me in the backseat with him.  He stared at me, laughed, smiled, gawked.  I fed him a few pieces of a PB&J, and a teddy graham or two.  He was too excited and exhausted to eat.

We got home around two and all laid down for a nap.  I should have known....10 minutes later Isaac was yelling from his crib.  He wouldn't nap.  So, I got up and played with him.  He ate about a million grapes and then finally dad was able to put him to sleep around 4.

He awoke at 5:45 crying.  The crying did not stop till 6:15.  Until I put him to bed at 7:10 (he usually stays up till 8 but he was just so. very. tired) the crying was off and on.

The dog licked his finger.  He cried.

Dad closed the sliding glass door.  He cried.

I tried to change his diaper.  He cried.

At least he's sleeping now.  Let's pray that the fireworks don't wake him up.

Oh and did I mention that I have a dog who's terrified of fireworks?  She was in her kennel because she does best in there during the booming, but she peed in it.  So Andrew cleaned it out.  She's in our room in her kennel in the dark with a fan blowing on high.  Hope that works to drown out some sound.

If I could remember the good about today and forget the bad, life would be swell.  So I think I'll do just that.  Happy Birthday America.



Today I noticed how different Isaac is from when we first brought him home last year.  It dawned on me when I saw him look for a specific book, pick it up and put it in my hand, and plop himself down in front of me so I could read to him.  No infant can do that.  He's not an infant anymore.

Cleaning up his room the other day, I noticed a toy that saved my life more times than I can count while Isaac was a tiny, constantly crying baby.  It's a stuffed duck that has a button on each of it's hands and legs, and also one on it's stomach.  Each button plays a different instrument, except the one on the stomach that plays all the instruments together at the same time in a symphony of sorts.  If I remember right there are drums, a violin, a xylophone, and a tuba.  Laying on the mattress that I slept on in the nursery next to Isaac's crib, he and I listened to that duck night after night, sometimes for a very long time.  I pressed the duck's right hand, left hand, right foot, left foot OVER and OVER and OVER until my baby calmed down.  He finally gave in and let his eyelids droop.  His limbs relaxed.  He'd blink slowly, and the pacifier would stop moving up and down in his mouth.  Swaddle.  Crib.  Light out.  Fight to sleep until waking up in forty minutes to an hour and a half to breast feed.  Repeat, repeat, repeat...

I remember laying on that bed next to his crib and thinking, "I'd give anything to skip this and go straight to the walking and talking.  I'm so very tired."  Now as I look back at that time, I miss it.  I can't believe I'm saying that.  I never thought I'd say that.  But I do.  Today as I watched him walk barefoot at the park, climb up the stairs to the slide, stand up to play with the faucet in the bathtub, and hand me a book to read to him, I found myself swallowing down tears that threatened to choke me.  This baby is turning into a little boy!

While I was enduring it, I should have been relishing it.  It felt like the slowest year of my life.  I've never felt more tired, drained, used......

It felt like the longest year of my life.  In reality, I blinked, and it was gone!
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