Saturday, February 15, 2014

Resolution Recap

Today is the 46th day of 2014. If you remember, I began the new year with a list of goals (it seemed less daunting to label them "goals" rather than "resolutions") I decided to work toward in the coming year.  I think it's about time for an update. I can use the accountability.

1. Spend more time in the Lords' Word. I'd like to say I am in His Word daily. I'm not. I could say being a working mom makes it hard to squeeze in the time, but that'd just be an excuse. I have, however, made it a point to intentionally surround my family with His promises and truths. So I bought this chalkboard/mail organizer with the intention of it featuring a new verse each week. For the first week, I found myself reading the verse whenever I passed by. I often meditated on and thanked the Lord for this promise. Then came week two when I prepared to feature a new verse and realized I used a chalk marker that didn't really like erasing. Oh well, this promise will hang around for a little while longer.

2. Write in my journal two times a week. Admittedly, not two times a week, but WAY more often than I had in the past. I'll take the improvement. 

3. Write in Nora's journal two times a week. Can you sense a theme occurring? Yup, no two times a week here either. I started strong and found myself writing the same thing just in multiple entries. Not a whole lot changes week to week in the life of an infant. So I resolved to record the most memorable days, like yesterday's snow adventures or her recent ability to reach toward the toy that's caught her attention.

4. Return to my pre-pregnancy weight by eating healthily and being more active. This weather is fierce and has trapped me indoors! On sunny days, Nora and I still enjoy our neighborhood strolls. I'm not at my pre-pregnancy weight yet, but I'm definitely getting closer!

5. Work out three times a week. Nothing overly exerting other than my walks, but I'm hoping to change that when the weather warms up some. Recently, a colleague of mine recently opened a new CrossFit with her husband. Hoping to check it out in the summer when I have more time during the day to devote to exercise. Any CrossFitters out there? Thoughts? I'd love to hear!

6. Replace one grocery list item with a healthier, organic alternative every time I shop. I'm succeeding! I've leaned more to clean, organic fruits and vegetables. I've been choosing more nutritious snack options and Chad is actually dairy-free right now. A challenge for meal planning, but looking forward to seeing the benefits for him. 

7. Establish an afternoon/evening routine. Find a time to "turn off" work. I no longer have my work email on my phone. I don't do schoolwork until Nora goes down for the night. The freedom I've allowed myself (really) to put work in my back pocket until later has allowed for such sweet times with my baby girl. 

8. Go on more (new) dates with Chad. We haven't yet gone on any new, noteworthy dates. Rather, we've been enjoying staying in and doing activities together as a small family. I wouldn't change a thing.

9. Spend more face time with friends-once a month, one on one date nights with a friend. One of my best college friends came to visit our little family over my birthday weekend. I had the best time reconnecting with her. We talked and laughed a lot, and even broke a sweat to the Wii game Just Dance. It was like old times and it warmed my soul. Can't wait to enjoy more of the amazing women in my life. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

I'll take this one. It fits.

I worked a total of 1.5 days this week. Why? Well, snow. And my mother-in-law had abdominal surgery (she watches Nora), so I planned to take Friday off to allow her to rest and heal. The extra time with Nora was amazing. We did many things together: smile, laugh, lay around in pajamas (yup!), nap, play with Koda, and explore the dusting of snow.

During our time together I realized something. I like to work. Being a mom, at home, is work. It's some of the hardest work I've had. (And I've had plenty of jobs in my day.) I have a wealth of respect for mothers who stay home and raise their children. It's challenging and exhausting, to say the least. You, stay-at-home-moms, have a grace and patience I will never know. After a day with Nora, when Chad comes home, I welcome passing off our daughter for a quick moment. Knowing that I don't have to keep an ear open toward the monitor in case she cries, coughs, or chokes brings a relaxation that can only be divine.

If we were in a financial position for me to stay home with Nora, I would, in a heartbeat. I'd be the mom who arranges play dates, brings bake goods to nursery school fundraisers, serves in various PTA roles, makes daily organic lunches, and volunteers at local charities in between knitting scarves. That isn't a joke. I really desire doing such things!

But in this season that's just not possible. And that's okay because I like working...outside of the home. I think that can be a tough realization for mothers to come to and publicly admit. When I'm at work, I miss cuddling Nora and rocking her to sleep for her naps. I miss her coos and big, gummy, bubbly smiles. I miss being her mom, all day, every day. But I like getting teenagers to read a line of Macbeth and feel the weight of Shakespeare's words. I like hearing a reluctant reader say, "That book wasn't so bad." I like seeing a student, who believes he is a bad writer, delight in the story he has told because the words came easy and with power. I like working to support my family and knowing I'm providing a life for my daughter that will open doors.

Does that make me a bad mother? Judge as you wish, but for this season, my role fits quite comfortably and I'll continue to wear it.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


For as long as I can remember I've wanted to be a writer. Along the way I may not have made the best choices toward my end goal. For example, choosing physical therapy as a major during my freshman year of college. Biology, chemistry, and calculus in one semester? My roommates, some of the most loyal women I know, can attest to the ill-fitting nature of that choice.

So I changed majors and started blogging. Blogging wasn't what it is now. Today, the blogging world has exploded. It is filled with fashionistas, DIY-ers, entrepreneurs, and the like. There are many exceptional bloggers doing amazing things through their sphere of influence. Different seasons found me trying to fit into the mold other bloggers have carved out for themselves. Those attempts, too, were ill-fitting. 

Twenty-nine has brought with it a new season I'm excited to explore. This season has come with questions I've had to confront; most of which concerns what I want with my life and where, exactly, I'm going. But I don't want to talk about those questions today. Chad's sweet birthday gift to me was the promise of helping me give my blog the facelift which it so desperately needs. (He's one of the best gift givers.) Preparations for a new look made me question my writing platform. Where do I want this blog to land in the sea of its companions? What's my edge? 

I then came face to face with the reality that my blog doesn't have an "edge". I'm far from a fashionista, DIY-er or entrepreneur. I just have me, my stories, and the hope that you read them. At first I was really discouraged by this. I questioned if I should drastically reinvent myself or just abandon blogging all together.

But my God uses simple people to do great things. God has given me a story. I want my simple stories to reach others and, if only for a second, resonate in their hearts as familiar. That's my "edge", however dull it may be. I'm okay with that.