Monday, April 30, 2012

The waiting game

Officially, this kid is fully baked. I have been given the "go ahead" to have him. Like I have any say in the matter.

This is the hardest part of pregnancy for me. Not only does everyone feel the need to look at me and comment, as if that is productive, helpful or welcome, but I feel like a bug under glass. Yes. I am round. Yes. I am due soon. I have to fight my smart mouth on a daily basis any way, but when people start making dumb comments about "haven't you had that kid yet" I really have to bite my tongue. No, I haven't had this baby yet, I have decided I don't want to, I would rather be the first woman in history to stay pregnant FOREVER.

This stage is also hard because I don't handle the "in between" very well. I am getting better. God is bound and determined to keep presenting me with situations until I learn to be happy in the now instead of always waiting for what is ahead or wondering what in the past I should have done differently.

So I work to find peace. I still feel good, no closer to having this kid than I did yesterday or a month ago. I cherish being able to read a story to my girls without interruption, make a meal with two hands. I sleep well. I am still getting around just fine, though I may waddle more than usual. I embrace today, the sunshine and sweet kisses, the big mighty kicks in the belly. I will be happy, at peace, in the here and now.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Making me smile

Things that are making me smile lately:

- The girls new favorite pretend game that they call "Friends". They pretend to be mama friends and go on all kinds of adventures. I like to think that this is because of the great example that I have shown them with the amazing women in my life :)

-Lemons. My sisters tree blessed us with a ton of lemons and I have had such fun thinking of things to do with them. Lemon bars, Lemonies (think brownies...but lemon) lemon curd, lemon poppy seed muffins, lemon cranberry scones, lemon aide...

-Annabelle is such a snuggle bug, it is awesome. She crawls up into my lap and ask for "a hug...but just a tiny, little one". She is such a sweet kid, spirited but sweet. She speaks very clearly in full sentences and just keeps me in stitches. I was building a dresser the other day and told her it was for the new baby. She asked if he was going to live in it. Then she asked when brother was going to get out of my big tummy. Looking at her own, she sighed and lamented that she had no babies on her tummy, only a button.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Epic Fail, Easter Style

I like holidays. Especially around family. I like to celebrate the stupid stuff. We like the little known holidays like Peanut Butter and Jelly day, Chocolate cake day and celebrate your sibling day. For me, it is a way to break routine, make a memory, enjoy something silly and special. When it comes to real holidays, I usually really like those. Since moving to Jersey, it has been a little harder. I miss my family and friends and celebrating with those I care about.

God has been working in my heart concerning relationship lately. I can't quite quantify it or describe it eloquently enough to make a provoking blog post but it is there, and I am learning. I am learning that relationship is the key. First, in my life, my relationship with God. It is supposed to be a unique and powerful as any other relationship that I have. Just like every relationship, there is not a diagram of "growth", I won't ever "arrive", it will change as I grow and He works in me. Second, my job on earth is relationship. It is what I am called to. I am to be in deep and meaningful relationship with those around me, loving with a love that only God can bring up in my life. That is the point. Any gifts I have been given, blessings I have, talents and abilities are mine to further my ability to be in relationship with those who God loves, that I may love them and that they might see that the point of their lives is to live a bigger story. Like I said, I don't have it all neatly categorized in my head yet, but you get the jest of it.

Easter day started just fine. It was Sunday, Matt was sleeping in and I was enjoying getting things ready for an Easter brunch to which I have invited friends. When Matt got up we gave our children there Easter baskets and we all got dressed to go to the village Easter egg hunt. I am trying to be involved in my neighborhood activities and build relationships with those around me, making choices that put me in proximity to others instead of falling back on my independent streak.

We pile in the car, baskets in hand, GPS giving us directions to the park. We arrive, after a little confused driving around (what is WITH all these stupid one way streets?!) but the park was empty. Wrong park? I asked a man walking his dog where the egg hunt was, he informed me that we were in the right place...on the wrong day. Crap. Back home with a car full of disappointed girls.

Now with plenty of time to prepare for Easter brunch, I turned on music and got to work. Fruit salad, deviled eggs, glazed ham, homemade rolls and roasted asparagus. Matt helped me set the table with white linens and the good plates. Everything was ready. But our company never showed. At 11:30 we sent a text only to find out that she was thinking dinner was that evening, despite the fact I had invited her to BRUNCH and we discussed only days before that it was going to be at 11.

I was irked. I worked hard to prepare a nice meal. My kids were excited for company to come. And our stupid friend failed to remember that BRUNCH was at 11. We all sat down to a slightly cooled Easter dinner, just our family. We made the best of it, the girls enjoyed themselves, as did Matt and I. The food was yummy but I was still simmering.

And here is my problem with living in relationship; people suck, they do stupid things, they let you down and make your kids sad and disappointed. The leave you with an entire glazed ham and all the dishes. I don't want to make friends. I am sick of "first date" friendships where I second guess everything from the cleanliness of my house (which usually leaves something to be desired) and wonder if they will judge me if my newly potty trained 2 year old poops on the floor. I have to choose to be vulnerable, to put myself out there and love others when they might walk away in disgust from my dog hair covered couch and...gulp...maybe even me.

Loving others in a real way is hard. I don't want to be patient when they ruined all my hard work. I don't want to be kind when they ask if they can just come over in the evening instead. I want to be snarky and sharp tonged, that comes naturally to me. I don't want to give second chances, live in the mess of real relationship with hurting people. But I know, at the end of the day, that is what matters, it is what brings fulfillment and joy in life, it is what shows God to those around me. Sure, I can feed the homeless once a month, but am I willing to go down every week and develop a relationship with the teen mom who is struggling?

The call seems to big. I have a list of excuses as long as my arm why I should be off the hook. But I am not and either are you. You are called to relationship, first with a God who loves you, second with those He puts in your life that you are to love. And forgive. And care for when it is inconvenient and hard. And sometimes, we just want to take our Easter baskets and go home.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Morals

We have a problem at our house; a Five Guys has just opened about 5 minutes away. If you are not familiar with Five Guys I am so sorry. It is a great burger place with hand cut fries and...happiness. My girls love it, Matt loves it and I love it too, so between that and being pregnant, we frequent there too often. I blame the baby.

Five Guys has these cool Coke machines. They have a touch screen. You can choose a ton of different sodas and all kinds of flavor mix ins. Matt and I are fond of peach Sprite and Vanilla Rootbeer but I am also not one to pass up a Cherry Coke.

We went there this weekend. We were sitting next to a table of boys, none older than 13 or 14, one maybe as young as 10. They had no adult with them. Only one of them had ordered food and he asked for a water cup which he promptly filled with soda. He then convinced his friends to do the same thing.

I was irked. First by the fact that these kids were pretty young to be galevanting in a resteraunt unattended, obviously they needed an adult with them still. Second, by something...unnamed. I still can't quite put my finger on it. You see, on one hand, I wanted to call the kids out on there unethical behavior. I wanted to let them know that taking something without paying is stealing, even if is just soda and you don't think you were caught. On the other hand, we live in such a culture of "mind your own business" that I felt torn. It wasn't my soda and they were not my kids.

I whispered my moral delema to Matt. He asked "what's your end game?". Good question. I didn't really want the boys to get busted, but I did want them to know that they didn't get away with there dishonesty. If they were my kids, I would want someone to call them on there unethical behavior.

About this time, the boy who had ordered food found a "hair" in his french fries. At the bottom, he had, of course, eaten the rest of the fries. He called over one of the employees and asked for a new thing of fries. That was the last straw. I leaned over and cheerily said "Or maybe you could just consider it compensation for all the soda you have been drinking!". I flashed a happy smile and winked. The boys all looked away and turned red as the employee thanked me and walked away.

It wasn't my business. I could have ignored it. I am still not sure I handled it right. But one day, when my girls have given in to peer pressure from one of there friends and done something stupid and dishonest, I hope they get called out. I hope they blush and feel embarrassed by their poor choice. So to the future suburban mom who is enjoying dinner out with her family, please, get my back and care enough to make it your business. I promise to do the same.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lemons

They say "when life hands you lemons..."

Well, my big sis in sunny CA has been handed lemons, a whole tree of them, both figuratively and literally, but for this post we will stick with the literal lemons.

I raided her tree while I was visiting and have been creating lemon wonder at home in Jersey. It helps that her lemon tree is full of Meyer lemons, which are the sweet kind. So far the girls and I have made a batch of lemonade, a pan of "Lemonies" which are a lemon bar cookie, and I made gluten free Eblskivers filled with lemon curd. The other night we had chicken with a creamy lemon and artichoke sauce. I still have lemons. So today I made Lemon Buddies and lemon glazed short bread for Easter. I still have lemons.

Just in case you have a sister with a lemon tree or a slight "eyes bigger than stomach" problem like I do, I figured I would share my Lemon Buddies recipie with you. They are so yummy, but have no redeeming health value.


Lemon Buddies:

ingredients:

9 cups Crispex cereal

1-1/4 cup White Chocolate Chips

1/2 a stick salted Butter

2 Tablespoons Lemon Zest

2 tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice {strained from pulp and seeds}

2 cups Powdered Sugar


preparation:

Combine the white chocolate chips, butter, zest and lemon juice into a medium bowl.

Microwave for 30 second and stir. Repeat until the mixture is creamy and melted.


Drizzle the white chocolate/ lemon mixture and toss to coat.

add in the powdered sugar. Gently stir to coat the cereal in the powdered sugar.

Spread back out on a large piece of parchment paper and let cool/dry.