Check out this GREAT giveaway from amy at evy's tree here. My fingers are crossed in hopes that I win!
Archive for March 2010
Check out this GREAT giveaway from amy at evy's tree here. My fingers are crossed in hopes that I win!
We started this week off by running the Shamrock Shuffle. And I must admit, I did much better than I thought I would. My goal was to finish this 8k race (4.96 miles) in under an hour. During my training, I was able to run 5 miles in 50 minutes, but this was on a flat, warm indoor track. The actual race was outdoors on the streets of Chicago in 36 degree weather. I figured these logistics would add some significant time to my run. I was wrong! I finished our first race of the season in 51 minutes and 19 seconds!!! I was so proud of myself when I saw my results! I need to throw a huge shout out to Rojo (he rocked this race with a finish time of 42 min 56 sec!!!) for making me a GREAT playlist! Pink started me off at a great pace. Lady GaGa kept me going at the half way point. No Doubt propelled me forward in my last mile. And Adam Lambert saw me through to the finish line! It was a fun race to run. Now we have to start preparing for the Warrior Dash!
Even though I had a fabulous start to my week, I am finishing in a slump! Huck is doing some serious teething and has been waking me up at 5:30 every morning! I am so tired and worn out that I haven't gone the gym at all, my to do list is still very full and my house is dirty! I've got to get my act together because my in-laws will be here Monday - Wednesday, and my mom flies in Wednesday evening and stays through Sunday. Yikes! You would think that bit of info would light a fire under me to get things done, but no...I still just sit here drowning my sorrows in a cup of hot tea and breaking my Lenten vow by eating 4 Thin Mints. Ugh...I really am a mess!!!
Ok...off to muster up some motivation.
Friday, March 26, 2010 | 5 Comments »
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 | Leave A Comment »
This is "rojo" here.
I just got out the calendar, sat down with my co-workers and planned out the most amazing opportunities that I dread every year.Travel used to be such a romantic idea. Airports meant adventure. Sitting in a plane was an enchanting opportunity. I would buzz with excitement each time a travel opportunity presented itself. Maybe it is still that way for you. I do still buzz with excitement, just not as loudly anymore.
Filling in some of the details, I work as a photographer and print designer for a not-for-profit organization, called TEAM, based in the Chicagoland area. We publish a magazine twice a year. (Is that semi-annually or bi-annually. If you can let me know which way is correct, please leave a comment.) This means that I have a wonderful opportunity to travel all over the world to photograph the stories for the magazine (TEAMHorizons). Tough, huh? I really do mean that it is a great opportunity, and my passport is an amazing journal of visas and stamps that I love to look at, reliving all of those experiences. But over the course of 7 years many changes have happened, making these trips harder.
Who knew that when I said "I do" this young love would grow to a point that I don't enjoy extended periods of time away from Cheyenne? I wasn't aware that over time we would develop such a connection with each other that the weeks apart drag on as if they are months. Time seems to grind to a halt.
Who knew that I would miss the hands smeared with spaghetti grabbing a hold of my pant legs, or the persistent request for just one more game of go-fish so much?
My stomach started to churn a little bit as we discussed the weeks of travel over the next few months that would work best for us and our respective families. I started feeling that sinking feeling of sitting in a room all by myself wishing that the silence would be broken with a cute little giggle and a set of arms wrapping around my neck. Or that suddenly out of nowhere a small-framed child would pounce up into my lap and mistake me for a jungle gym. I suddenly started thinking about soaking up every minute of the next few weeks, and bottling them up in my heart because I will be needing to open up those stored memories, hugs and laughs and living off of that joy while I am away.
Those first trips of being away from all that we call "our lovely mess" I began to realize that I was overlooking a lot of precious and valuable moments of every day life. I then made the choice to consciously live in those moments that strengthen the love within our family. I thrive on this love, this joy, and this laughter.
I used to think that I couldn't slow down and still be the macho-manly provider of the household. I would work for 8 hours at TEAM, head home to basically go straight to my basement office and work for another 4-5 hours on some freelance work with a small break in there to put the kids in bed. But somewhere in all of my detached-dad work mode there was this crazy amount of love that was growing for my family. (I have to say "crazy" because me, 24-year-old standing at the alter looking down the aisle at my bride, would have never thought it would get like this.) All of that was unearthed being half of a world away from the most important people in my life. Wondering what they were doing at those moments. Wishing that we were all together.
I've started to learn to savor the moments that we share together. Laugh. Tickle. Wrestle. Just sit on the couch together because we can, and because we are together. I don't always do so well. Projects slip up on me, I procrastinate until I have to pull all-nighters (which now means only about 1am or 2am...I can't quite stay up like I used to), and I begin to live in a future mentality. Trying to get to the next deadline. Forgetting that the world around me, here and now, is so valuable.
So I had a reality check, literally a gut check. The dates of my summer started to fill up, meaning more time away. May 21-June 7...Czech Republic, Austria, and Sweden. A week in early August in Mexico. Two weeks in December in Nepal (most likely). Each of them an amazing opportunity! Now I just need to start stocking up on hugs, "I love yous" and lots of laughs. You know...some of life's more understated moments.
I really have become a family man. [sigh] ...and I love it.
So while I am away, I do get to meet some great people and see some wonderful things. Here are just a few shots from around the world.
Peru - Kids in Cuidad de Dios, on the outskirts of Arequipa, play a game of tag before they enjoy a time of crafts and a Bible lesson.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 | 6 Comments »
I have considered myself mostly "green" since I was in college, but some of my lifestyle has not been very environmentally friendly. When I was pregnant with Huck, I listened to Rob Bell's sermon series entitled "God is Green." It brought on a lot of self reflection!
So in order to become greener, Robert and I made some more green choices. One of those choices happened to be cloth diapering Huck. I ordered contours, prefolds, fitteds, fleece covers, lycra covers, all-in-ones and pockets. After trying just about every type of cloth diaper out there, I found my favorite: the bumGenius 3.0.
We purchased a nice little sprayer that attaches to our toilet so I can spray the diapers off before tossing them into my dray pail. I machine wash all the diapers and machine dry most of them twice a week, so it's really not that overwhelming. There was only one downside to cloth diapering Huck, and that was his diaper rash problem. When he is cutting a tooth, he gets an insane rash. And the only rash creams that get rid of it are too thick to use with cloth diapers (they leave a residue on the diaper that prevents absorption). I started putting him in disposables until the rash would go away. I hated buying disposables when we loved cloth so much.
That is when I discovered the genius of gdaipers. I can put a disposable gliner in the gpant, load Huck up with rash cream, and then just flush the liner down the toilet when it's dirty or compost it. Brilliant! And now they have introduced cloth gliners, so I can still use those super cute gpants with a cloth liner that actually fits. (I still have Huck sleep in a disposable every now and then if his rash is really bad.)
So for all of you out there that have always thought I was a complete nut for using cloth diapers, you now see that it's really not that hard to do. Cloth diapers have come a LONG way since our grandmothers used them. :)
But I did give up on them for a while. Last summer, we were traveling a lot between California and Louisiana taking care of my dad's belongings, and by August I just didn't have any energy left to wash another diaper. (It was hard enough to keep up with the rest of the laundry.) So I decided to pack up my cloth diapers and not be good to the environment for a while. My goal was to take a 4 month break. I would resume cloth diapering in 2010. But because of certain home improvement set backs (see here), that 4 month break turned into 6 months!
And now I am happy to announce that the cloth diapers are back! I pulled them out of hiding on March 2nd (that was the day our bathroom was finally put back together).
And here are some cute pics of Huck rockin his gdiapers
Sunday, March 14, 2010 | 7 Comments »
I am watching the Oprah show right now while Huck naps. It is about mothers who are alcoholics and actually drive drunk with their children in the car.
I think we can all agree that motherhood can be the most stressful job there is. I have been to the point where I have literally wanted to hurt my child. But it's at that moment where I have to find the rational to say "NO!" I have to put my child down in a safe place and just walk away. I end up hiding in the basement for 5-10 minutes to clear my head, say a prayer, and remind myself how important it is to be a good mother.
I totally understand how these mothers are driven to drunkenness, but I don't understand how they actually let themselves do it. It is one thing to think, "I need a stiff drink", or "I could throw this kid out the window." But it is a complete different thing to actually drink that stiff drink(s) or to actually throw your child out the window!
I am still in shock from these stories. My heart goes out the families and friends who have lost loved ones in a car accident because a mother was driving drunk! I hope all who watched that show will seriously think about their actions and what it truly means to be a good mother.
And coming from someone who has been at the end of her rope...there is help. I don't know how many conversations I had with my therapist last year about the anger and frustration I felt toward my kids. But after talking and praying about it, I realized how it is possible to overcome that and be a good mother. I still have those moments when my kids are driving me crazy, but I have grasped the understanding of just walking away.
Seriously, if you feel like you are losing it, please don't be afraid or embarrassed to tell someone. All mothers have been there. It's normal to feel like your world is caving in. That you just want someone to come and take your kids away. That maybe motherhood is not what you really wanted. Talking about these feelings will help.
Some of the greatest advice I was given as a new mother was this: "When you can't take it anymore, put Shiloh-Grace in her bed, shut the door, and go get in your bed, take a shower, pray, watch TV, surf the web, do something that will help you relax and calm down for a few minutes. You are no good to your child when you are stressed to the point of anger or frustration. Take the few minutes you need to be a good mom." Thank you Debbie from La Leche League in Lombard for telling me that! It is advice that I have turned to many times over the last 5 1/2 years!
Friday, March 12, 2010 | 7 Comments »
This week has been a rough week.
Sunday, March 7, 2010 | 8 Comments »