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Welcome to my little haven of creative writing, passionate ranting, and thoughtful learning.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Bath Paint, Trains for Days and Letting Go (January Learning)

1.) How to make Bath Paint.
   This is brilliant. January was a lets-be-frugal-because-December-was-expensive month, so the fact that I had all the ingredients and we could make bath paint for free was amazing. I asked Jace which colors he wanted and then he was able to paint the walls, the alcoves and himself with blue and green soapy paint. Here is where I found the recipe in case you're interested, and I halved it, which still made plenty to last a few baths of fun.

2.) I'm really not great at working from home.
We were supposed to move into our new office on January 5. The old office was cleaned out, but the new office wasn't quite ready (read: no internet or phone and construction workers still wandering the halls and painting). We all ended up working from home, complete with hooking up our phones. But the problem I have with working from home is that it's really hard for me to stay focused on an office job when my mind is constantly going but I should really run the vacuum, and unload the dishwasher, oh and the dog needs to go out. Needless to say, I was really happy to get into the office and settle into my new work space and routine.

3.) Change is hard. Change involving your child is harder.
With Nathan's new job, we decided to enroll Jace in daycare. After much searching and checking out, I found one that I liked and that had an opening. His mornings are now set up like preschool where he is learning letters and numbers, and getting ready for the all-too-soon day when he will start school. The logical side of me knows that this is a good thing. But the emotional mom side of me sobbed like a baby the first day (okay, the first week) every morning after I dropped him off.

4.) Walking over train tracks in every room is worth it for the smile.
For Christmas Jace received trains. Lots of trains. Enough trains to take over my entire living room and hallway out to the kitchen. There are still more coming from Ohio that we couldn't fit into the car to bring down with us. But you know what? Walking over and sometimes on train tracks every day is just fine with me because I have never seen a toy bring so much joy to Jace, and hey, they hurt a lot less to step on than Legos!

5.) Audio. Books. Complete. My. Life.
I've never really listed to audio books, preferring to actually hold the book and feel the page turn (not big on the e-readers either). But with my new commute meaning that I spend over an hour in my car daily, Monday through Friday, I went to the library and figured I'd give the book on CD option another shot. So very very worth it, because now my drive in rush-home-at-5-traffic is bearable. Almost enjoyable. And listening to audio books on my phone while jogging, or taking Luna out, means I keep going longer because I don't want to turn off the story!


This fun post of learning is linking up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky, check her out and (if you blog) share what this month has taught you as well!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Kids and Marriage

Having a kid changes the relationship you have with your significant other. There's no way around it, no way to deny it: the relationship you had before you became parents is not and can never be the same.

It is dangerous, but also wonderful. Because when Jace entered the world, he became my priority. Nathan was important to me, of course, but Jace needed me. There were times (like the months of up-every-two-hours-for-feedings) that our marriage fell to the wayside a bit, but then there are also so many times now that Jace makes sure our relationship stays strong. Jace loves to share his experiences with mommy and daddy. He wants to hold both our hands, be hugged and cuddled by us both, and there are few things he enjoys more than going out for the day all three of us. This weekend after giving him a kiss on the cheek, he looked at me, pointed to Nathan and instructed me to "Kiss, mommy." He's not yet three, but he knows that he loves to see the two of us love each other as well as love him.

Which is also why I find it funny to think back to the times and reasons that Nathan and I have been told we wouldn't "make it," and how those things have changed.

I was told (mostly in jest) that my relationship with Nathan would never survive because we are simply too different. First, I am not a sports girl. So much not a sports girl that if football is on TV, I find a book. I mix up baseball team names with football teams (sometimes even claiming the wrong city for a team) and cannot hold a conversation about any sport with a ball to save my life. It's not that I'm incapable of understanding sports, I simply choose not to because it doesn't hold my interest.

Nathan, to the contrast, loves sports. His idea of a perfect Sunday is to spend the entire afternoon on the couch yelling at the players on TV for doing something wrong with the ball. He's tried to engage me in conversations about the players, but it simply doesn't work.

When it comes to food we were also told (again, mostly just joking) that we were going to drive each other nuts when it came to planning dinners because our food tastes differed so drastically. Nathan's history of illness means he doesn't eat much cheese, canceling out some of my favorite things to eat like mac'n'cheese. He can't stand meatloaf, and didn't like spicy (that one is changing slowly.) I, on the other hand, detest pork unless it's sausage or bacon, don't touch eggs unless they're baked in something like a cookie, and am completely unadventurous when it comes to trying new dishes.

But here's the funny part in all this, the difference in thinking that those things would drive us apart, and knowing now otherwise, is Jace. My boisterous little toddler ran around the house yesterday saying "football, football, football!" while he and daddy watched a game.

I still don't like pork, and won't touch scrambled eggs, but Jace loves both and will happily eat them with daddy. The truth was, Nathan didn't need me to watch football with him, he just wanted someone in the house to share it with. Jace may not understand the game yet, but he certainly loves to jump up and down and yell excitedly at the TV when daddy does.

Since Nathan has someone to share his football love with, when Nathan and I have time to ourselves we can do something together that we both enjoy. We can make the most out of being with each other without one of us sacrificing our joy.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

When the Routine Needs Some Color

Sometimes I find it so easy to get caught up in routine that I actually forget that my child is growing up.

That he can do and enjoy things that he couldn't last month, let alone last year. I realized how much he had changed when I was off for two weeks in December and was able to spend days on end with him. And I also realized how much I haven't kept up with him.

While I was home with no worry about getting to work the next morning, we did crafts and activities I found on Pinterest. We played play-doh, made bath paint, took a trip to the library, and did fun things that I will get to hold onto the memories of forever.

And then it hit me: there is no rule that says I can only be that fun mom on the weekends. There is no reason we can't paint the bathtub on a Tuesday night, or make a spaghetti collage on a Thursday before dinner. The only reason we haven't is because I bought into the idea that after a full day of work I should be able to have dinner, relax and then put him to bed.

Now sometimes I'm sure I will need to do that after a stressful day at work, but the reality is that my evenings are the only time of day I have to make memories with Jace. Working full-time means, for me, that if I want to have experiences with him, then I have to be willing to shake up the normal routine. Because Jace doesn't yet understand what I do when I'm away from him for eight hours, what he does know is what we do when we're together. So I think it's time for me really enjoy being a toddler mom, and embrace the messiness that comes with some good and crafty fun.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Shedding My Excuse

Starting a new year always leads me to analyze my life and see what I would really like to change. In the past it has always been a goal to figure out how to change my lifestyle to a healthier one, but not this year. This year is something that hits a little deeper.

I am a cowardly Christian.
I am. I'm afraid to actually get into deep discussion about Jesus because I am always afraid that I do not know enough to hold an intelligent conversation. I use the excuse that I didn't grow up in the church. I didn't learn the books of the bible by age five and say a prayer before meals.
Actually, I more than just "use" that excuse: I cling to it. I define my life by it. And I am finally tired enough of it to stop.

So this year my one resolution, my single achievable, sustainable goal, is to stop hiding behind the excuse of not "knowing enough" and  instead focus on just learning more. To start I am into a reference book that is designed to help me understand the Bible and it's framework so I'm no longer as intimidated by it.

It's called "30 Days to Understanding the Bible" by Max Anders. (No, I am not being paid to promote it or asked to review it, this is just the book I happened across that looked the most promising for me to start.) The idea is to spend 10 to 15 minutes each day working through each chapter and learning. For me, that's perfect, because it is a structured plan that tells me exactly what to do, which means I am able to follow it. Thus far, I've learned a lot from it. Once I finish it, I want to move forward in bible studies (something I have never been able to do because I was too intimidated by the bible to have any idea where to begin studying it).

I think this is the best goal I could work toward this year, and by being open about it I hope to hold myself more accountable.