Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Family Visit

We got to spend this past week visiting Jeff and Jessica and co. in Round Rock. I had discussed with Brandon going to visit Jessica for her birthday since that would probably be the present she would like most. Of course, her birthday snuck up on us, who knew? One would have thought she moved it this year. ;) But really, May has seemed to just fly by.

Not only was it fun just getting to chat and hang out with my friend of a sister-in-law, but it's was fun getting to see Madeline doted on by her aunt and uncle and getting a chance to play with her older cousins. They adore her and always ask when she can come visit again. Plus, visiting now I was able to tell Jessica to pick any dessert on my Sweet Treats board and I would make it for her birthday. She chose hummingbird cake, so she (and the rest) got to be my guinea pig and it turned out quite good.

We got to go around looking at model homes since they are on the verge of buying a house and had narrowed it down to a few plans and wanted to show us. I don't know if our family is weird but looking at model homes is a source of entertainment for us.

We also got some bonus treats on our visit. Matthew informed us Wednesday night that he had a concert the next evening. Awesome! I had been wanting to see one of his concerts since he has been sticking so diligently with learning the bass. It was a full orchestra concert which is rare for junior high and I made sure to tell him how cool I thought it was. We also got to attend his awards ceremony on Friday morning where he made 7th grade honor roll. Two years in a row on honor roll, way to go Matt!

Friday night we got to go sit on the lawn at a Round Rock Express game. It was fun though Little Miss saw all the other kids running around on the hill and she wondered (loudly) why we wouldn't let her just join in the fun. We ended up taking turns walking around with her so she could get some wiggles out. The game lasted past her bedtime and her eyes started getting heavy. But we stayed to see the fireworks afterward which was a pretty good show. She still doesn't quite know what to think of them but she only whimpered a couple of times as she watched wide-eyed from Daddy's arms.

All in all it was a good trip and we all had fun. Still I wish we lived closer together.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Real Thinking

"The reality is that most people don't think; they only rearrange their prejudices. Real thinking can be disruptive to the status quo and requires a great deal of courage." -Will Mancini

I'm currently participating in the Church Unique visioning process with staff members and other leaders at church. While reading the material the above quote really stuck out to me. On a personal level, Ouch!! How often do I not think at all because I'm just too busy with this or that? How often do I just push the thoughts and feelings aside and think, I will deal with them later? I need to stop doing this.

I'm supposed to be working on my "homework" for my role as the journalist. I need to write something to report to the congregation what this process is and what we hope to gain from it over the next several months. But life keeps getting in the way and the thoughts rolling around in my head on the subject won't come together. Story of my life lately. I realize that's not an excuse, I agreed to take this role on (with apprehension, I might add) and I must fulfill my duties.

On a side note, I am thoroughly enjoying reading this book, not only is it helping to unravel some perceptions about the church but I am also finding some good tidbits to employ in personal life as well. It hasn't been an easy read. I began reading, eyes "went cross", started over, still wasn't internalizing anything and began a 3rd time before things started to sink in. I look forward to continuing the journey as it is helping me better connect with and really dig deeper to serve the church and community in the best possible way we can.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Helpful

Getting some of my thoughts out was very helpful, more than I lately realized it could be. It's so easy to get into a bad habit that climbing back out of it seems nearly impossible to do. Even when the opposite was the older habit.

Writing used to be a real outlet for me. A healthy way for me to get some of my feeling out so they don't just build up until they feel like a crushing weight.  But somehow life seems to always creep up and get in the way. Something else always seems more important.

Can I keep this up? I think I need to in order to find a better balance in my life. How can I take care of others, take care of other responsibilities when I am always neglecting myself in the process?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Progress with Water

Little Miss hasn't been the biggest fan of water. Her experiences with bathing and swimming are long and storied.

From her very first bath she screamed until she was red in the face. It took her months to warm up to the baby bath tub, each bath time was crying from start to finish. (And nerve wracking  for mommy too.) Eventually it got better but we continued bathing her in the baby tub until she was 7 months old.

When it was time to graduate to the big tub, it was a disaster. She screamed so hard that she threw up. After a couple of day of this, I gave up. So she began showering with mommy instead. She still hated it but didn't scream so violently and eventually stopped crying all together for showers.

By the time she was 1 she was getting too heavy and squirmy to continue holding while showering so it was time to try the bath tub again. After several days of trying everything I finally started getting in with her which made the tears stop completely. After a day or two of this I was able to put her in by herself with few tears. Things progressed well until after not listening to mommy's request of, "sit down so you don't fall", she slipped and momentarily dunked her head. That scared her badly and she began screaming violently for every bath after that. So it was back to showering with mommy again.

After a month of that I decided she needed to get used to the bath. So we bought a few new toys and popped her back in. Surprisingly she didn't cry from that time on and happily splashed and kicked around.

Swimming was much the same. Last season she was only happy tightly clinging to mommy or daddy. Eventually she warmed up to being in a baby float but these were the only 2 positions she liked. If we tried to lay her back or swing her around in the water she became frightened.

Since it's been warm we've taken her swimming a few times this season with her where she has acted much the same as last summer.

Until today. Today she made huge progress! After several minutes of just hanging onto daddy he turned her around, her back against his chest. Trying this with her in the past has only elicited panic from her. But this time she laid back and started furiously kicking her little legs. A huge smile broke across her face. This is fun!!!! Many delighted squeals followed. And Madeline was pretty excited too. ;)

After that she began throwing her head all the way back into the water and she was able to practice her floating form.

I can't express how proud I was watching her overcome one of her fears. I have been planning to take her for swim lessons this summer so maybe now it won't be an ordeal. The sooner she can be taught to swim and how to be safe around water, the better.

Way to go baby! Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Trouble with Me

I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth. But sometimes it feels like my mind has. While it's been a difficult past year in some ways, it has been equally joyous in other ways.

Joyous because of watching Madeline grow and change every day. I am thoroughly enjoying being able to spend so much time with her. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God I get to be a part of her life. That's not to say there aren't times when she tries my patience, quite the contrary, it comes with the territory of having a strong-willed, independently minded child.

Unfortunately, for the not so pleasant things I haven't been dealing with them in the most healthy ways. I've been suppressing the difficult stuff in an effort to not give in to stress and worry. I don't want stress and worry taking over my life, but I do need to stop shoving the thoughts and feelings aside. Instead I need to figure some of it out so it doesn't become this overwhelming array of thoughts swirling around my head. I need to be honest with myself. Just, what to do? After having a bad habit for so long it's hard to change it.

I think part of it is finding a healthy balance of everything that is going on. It's easy to devote a large amount of time to caring for Madeline. Squeaky wheel and all. And I've got pretty well under control planning and making meals for our family, we eat out so rarely now (mostly due to having no income at the moment) and I'm also not left with many days where I can't figure out what to do for dinner. Household tasks have gone downhill since Madeline arrived but I'm still keeping up with all of it pretty well.

The areas that are lacking; quiet time for me, or any personal time really; time spent on my marriage; time spent in the Word; finding regular time to get out for a jog; projects around the house; reading...this list goes on and on. All things I enjoy and want to make time for but have shifted over the last year or so.

So like I said, I need balance.  I realize I need to enjoy my life where it is at this particular moment, but I admit in a lot of ways I struggle with it.