Saturday, February 25, 2017

And a Happy New Year

January is behind us, the dark days feel gone (already!). I love the cozy winter days. Every year has a different flavor, here's the way this one started . . .

Why not celebrate New Year's (or, keep celebrating Judah's birthday depending on how you look at it) at MOA - I mean, everyone's doing it (read: it was wild). On the 30th We hit Crayola with the kids and met Tay/Kate and Courtney/Dara at Shake Shack. Memorable, wonderful.

Questions for reflection:
What worked this year?
What didn't work?

Having these q's in the back of my mind has helped in stepping back to both affirm all the things that are working here, and empowering to remember we can make some changes for things that aren't. So much is working, I'm grateful.

And then the irony - as I think of what works, many of the things that work are things I wish didn't work. Like weekends - what works is a fair amount of tag teaming kids . . . I wish we would be blissfully together all the time, but that's not what works. Just one example. It's been good to process - even in moments when things are sliding to the side of crazy, I can say, "This doesn't work!" and try to think about a fix (acknowledging not everything is fixable, but there's this thing about parenting that brings out problem solving muscle training).

Word for the Year:


I don't even know why, it's just what popped up when thinking about it.

Another thought for the year:
"To Should or Not to Should - that is the question". Another just life long pondering, wanting to live out of not-obligation. Then again, there are times to "should". Hmmm.

Verse for the year: 
The wise woman builds her house (Proverbs 14:1)

Retreat/Work Weekend/Adios Mustache
Why not pack it all in. Mid January found me at a fave weekend away in WI with coworkers, listening and praying and feasting and laughing and connecting and walking across the frozen lake and wearing wool socks, doing morning yoga. It's as great as it sounds. Trev had an intense work weekend and totally rocked it, kids got to spend the weekend with gma/gpa/aunt/uncle. I always enjoy reuniting (even when it doesn't look the way I think it will - sometimes connection rejection). This time there were lots of cuddles and reading and being.

Trev went from work straight to the church so his mustache could be in the annual church video, then he came home and . . . shaved it!

Friday Fun Day
Per work weekend, Trev took a Friday off. Which I tried to not make MY day off . . . we played all morning with Judah at Modern Times Cafe, Minneapolis Institute of Art, World Market. Picked Karis up, popcorn picnic (new Friday tradition), movie dinner, ahhhhh.

Revelations from Hyperventilations
Funny how subtle feelings can be, how I stuff them without knowing. We had some house stuff going on one weekend, which I've learned is an anxiety trigger for me (the unknown, the lack of control?). And by Sunday night my breathing was shallow . . . and then pretty soon Karis was blowing into a balloon while also getting really upset at Judah and Trevor . . . and then pretty soon she was on my lap and both of us had paper bags to blow into. We prayed and breathed and got light together. It was memorable and beautiful. The victory is that I think even a year ago I might've felt guilt and/or shame at feeling anxious, concerned to set that kind of tone in our home. This time it felt natural to just be weak, to seek strength together, to seek help together, to breathe together, to know relief together. Strength in weakness felt tangible in that moment, freeing.

Books the past couple months: 
Karis - Elena of Avalor, Betsy and the Boys, Missy Piggle Wiggle, Armstrong, Sacajawea
Judah - Green Eggs and Ham, Tractor Mac, Old MacDonald had a Truck, Alfie Weather
Andrea - Four Seasons in Rome, Mr. Pettigrew's Last Stand, Flash, My Berlin Kitchen, A Man Called Ove, One Shall Chase a Thousand, Dear Sugar, The Year of Living Danishly, You are What You Love, Essentialism
Trevor - The Brothers Karamazov

- "I know that"
- "Wonder Woman doesn't believe in Jesus"
- "You got to do all these things, and grandma and grandpa lived on farms and I just feel like I'm missing out on so many things"
- "Oh, I just wish I could see those babies every day!"
- I'm amazed by her flexibility and she continues to be a joy bringer in our home and everywhere she goes. Welcome to Judah, a leader in play, sharing and teaching and loving so purely

Judah Jabs:
- "What is that man doing? Is he in a dark and spooky place? Is he dying?" (about the print in our kitchen, the traditional old man with white hair praying over a loaf of bread . . . what is it called?)
- "Are there no more spiders in my room?"
- "I got a HUGE gummy at the Mall of America"
- "Did I used to be a baby?"
- "I wanna keep mommy"
- "Kids make cars dirty"
- "Spiderman saves the day!"
- "Well, I'm a smarty pants too!"