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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Learning curve

Ah, I am actually writing a post. You know, the whole point to my blog. I spent hours, this past sunny weekend, working on both my sites, trying to figure out how the magic happens. I grew up in the late 80's. I am here to report I learned nothing useful in college, those many years ago, that pertains to the computer in my lap. Simple tasks are slow going. And the jargon, oh the jargon. You, the audience I will have once I figure out how to syndicate this puppy, would pity me, perhaps even shun me if you when how pathetic I really am at this stuff.

I also added a dopey picture to both sites. When scrolling through our family albums, it is clear who is snapping the shots. I didn't have many to choose from, yet I found one I could live with and cropped it, and wahla, there I am. I look a little tipsy in it, but it's just me being happy I guess because I was quite sober on the night in question. Greg has promised to help me create some new picture, you know, of my eye or something. See, I am catching on.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Prevailing westerlies

Since school started a few weeks ago, I have noticed a big change in our 8 year old daughter, Lexi. Up until now, this is the girl who begs to go to school with a triple digit fever and vomiting, promising something along the lines of 'I'll try to puke only in the bathroom' or some other nonsense. But after one short week, she stated she is really tired of third grade. Oh, and she looked forward to when it ends. These statements were coupled with crying jags and irritability, in mother and child. (And I postponed my attempt to give up the java. I can only take so much.) I know she is entering into puberty, not uncommon these days to start earlier than my generation did. I won't go into details, as I don't want to tell too much about my very private girl, but change is afoot, and much too soon for this mama. I have been digging in my past, searching for ways to manage these outbursts and mood swings. Who knew I'd be employing my retail management skills with my kids? When dealing with a hostile customer, I often found it helpful to keep my tone as level and calm as possible, in effort to keep the ugly situation from escalating. When dealing with my daughter, I try to remain sane and understand her feelings. This can be difficult. Near as I can tell, she was angry at me one morning this week for walking near her, creating a wind current that caused her eye to hurt. Really. Apparently, I did this terrible deed on purpose. I think. So I try to put myself in her shoes, or in this case, use major sarcasm, giving her advance warning that I may walk through my kitchen again; preparing her for the loud thud the breakfast plate may make as it is placed before her. She managed to laugh and I didn't even have to give her a worthless coupon or 1-800 number, so she could rat me out to my boss. Although if I had a big boss, I think I would ask for a raise.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Corporate prayer

I started attending Imago Dei Community with my kids last summer, marking my return to church. I have had my share of negative church experiences, so pedestrian in nature that it probably doesn't warrant mention, but I doubt that will keep me from writing about them the rest of my life. I don't think capital C church is the 'evil empire'. I stayed away for a decade because I was heart broken and I couldn't get over it. Believe me, I tried. It took me about another five years to find a church home. I finally feel like I belong somewhere, attend regularly and even volunteer sometimes.

I still find myself hesitant to commit to church events. Some of what keeps me home is learning to manage my new life with chronic health problems--I no sooner say I am going to something, and I don't feel well enough to follow through. It's also awkward the first few times. I don't know what to expect when I attend a Good Friday service or my daughter volunteers to read at Advent for hundreds of people. The kids and I just push through until we become familiar I guess. So when I decided to attend a corporate prayer night Monday, I didn't know what it would look like. Guys in ties? Powerpoints? Corporate threw me off a bit. I was pleased it was an interactive event, until I read the word 'confession' on the program. It sounded scary and I started thinking maybe I could quietly leave. I stayed.

One of the portions of the night was focusing on the heaviness of sin in our lives, the way we often feel no relief from the burden of sin. We dipped our hands in black paint and stained a sketch of Christ with our prints. Instead of immediately washing our hands, we sat with wet paint, the discomfort. We later went into another room where we washed up and took communion, being clean again.

I haven't done anything like that in years, an exercise meant to deepen my faith, to open me up to prayer. I felt like I was going through the motions-- that I was yearning for something more, something I couldn't quite reach. But I was there.

deliberate

I spent several days alone at the end of the summer. Greg has been traveling with his new job, but that leaves me playing single Mom-- more work, but less dinner planning. But in August, I found myself sans kids for the first time in 8 years. That kind of freedom is something I have often longed for, that former self, especially when my babies were colicky. But after the initial quiet, and a little extra sleep, I was somewhat at a loss. Sure, I could read, but I read compulsively, daily with or without kids. I treated myself to a movie, went for walks. Over the first weekend alone, I sat in quiet. Motherhood has provided a template for my daily round, and like it or not, I have grown accustom to the frantic demands of raising a family. It was hard for me to just be still and calm. I guess while I have been clamoring for a little 'peace and quiet', I have constructed a world that leaves room for neither. It was uncomfortable.

Soon my family came home, and I was thrilled to see them. I felt a bit more patient; a little kinder. I could hear my own thoughts. I felt more deliberate, more centered.

I am still impatient with the quiet at times, now that both kids are gone half the day. But I could get used to it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

'Tis possible

Summer came. Summer left. There were no posts. Like so many things, I was thinking about my blog often and reading about HTML, something I know nothing about, but not writing. In fairness, my beloved laptop was out of commission most of the summer. We have another computer in the 'computer room', a room used as a crap-catcher. If I don't know what to do with it, it goes there. I eventually cleaned it out a couple of weekends ago, when my husband, Greg, took our kiddos camping, leaving me with oodles of free time. It's a bit sad that I cleaned the whole time, but oh so necessary.

So the kids are in school, at least half the day now, so I have no excuses for myself. I look forward to getting fancy down the line, adding better features as I learn more, but for now, I am writing, moving forward.