Sunday, March 30, 2014

Acceptable Times

At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. 
Psalm 69:13b

I've been putting off this post. Mostly because although I finished reading Rebekah Lyons' Freefall to Fly two weeks ago, I'm still thinking through a lot of what she said and trying to decide what to do with it.

It's hard to read a book about finding the life you were designed for when you don't have much of a say in what you do with your current time. I can think and pray all I want about what my gifts and passions are, but the truth is that the minutes and hours of my life are taken up with four fuzzy heads and the bodies attached to them. Then there's trying to keep the house from turning into a crumb/fur/dirt pit, putting food on our yogurt-finger-printed table, making sure that my best friendship with the Man stays strong, and, if I'm lucky, doing something for myself, like running or--hey!--writing.

So the idea of sitting down and thinking through whether or not I'm "living the life I was designed for" or even exploring the idea that there might be a different purpose for me down the road? Yeah: terrifyingly overwhelming.

And that's okay. There are seasons. And I really am enjoying this one, even if I'm using some of my gifts while putting the rest on a back burner. I know that, in an acceptable time, I will be in a different season which I will enjoy in different ways at which point I might reread Lyons' book.

Lyons also spends a significant portion of the book talking about her own struggle with depression and anxiety. One of the questions she raises is "Why is there rescue and there is not?" I get this. How many times did I hear of others who found healing from their depression and question why it wasn't me? I wondered what was wrong with me. Did I just not have enough faith? Did I not want it enough? So when Lyons' asks, "Why is there rescue and there is not?" I asked with her. Yes, even now when, as far as I can tell, I have been rescued. Why is there not rescue for a dear friend of mine who still daily walks through the shadow? Why is there not rescue for the millions of people whose anguish cries for an end?

At the same time that I was reading Freefall to Fly, our chaplain spoke on Psalm 28. The psalmist spends the first 5 verses calling out to God in despair and then the last four verses praising God for his salvation. There is no obvious transition between. Our chaplain asked, "How do we get from verses 1-5 to verses 6-9? How do we help others get there?"

Because, sometimes there is rescue and there is not. It is so easy for those of us who are in the rescue portion of our lives to want to drag those stuck in verses 1-5 with us into verses 6-9. But we can't. We can't fix them. We can't rush them. We ourselves cannot rescue them. Christ is the only one who can, and here is the truth, sometimes, just like with finding our purpose, there are seasons. And, in an acceptable time, there is rescue. Even if sometimes God's acceptable time takes a lot longer to get here than we sometimes wish. In the meantime, we pray, and we encourage, and we hope, and we share our stories, and we wait.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mostly Food (Seriously)

I've kind of bombed on the cooking front this week.

First, I burned a waffle. That's a travesty in our household when our waffle recipe only makes three (monstrously huge) ones and we all like them somewhat squashy. So I took it out in the front yard and ripped it up for the birds. There's only been one portly robin pecking around at them the last few days. Evidently our avian population has gourmet tastes. I didn't rise to the occasion.

The two who didn't have to survive my cooking.
Understandably cheery.

Then, I forgot I'd signed up to take a snack for Little's class, so Monday morning I got up obscenely early and threw together a quick loaf of banana bread. Incidentally, this was the same recipe I've been using for the last six years. And banana bread: it's not that hard, folks. I pulled a beautiful loaf out of the oven an hour later and left it to cool but when I went to slice and bag it, it had fallen! How is that even possible? There was a massive valley right through the middle. And I had nothing else to send with Littles, so…slice and bag I did. When I picked up Littles from school, I asked him if the banana bread was really awful, to which he replied decidedly, "YES." At least he's honest. I have withdrawn my bid for Mom of the Year.

This weekend, while I languished in snot, my children survived on frozen pizza and quesadillas…and Whataburger. I'm just being honest. It must've been pretty awful for them because right now they're busy "packing" their "car" to move to "Alabama." Although the draw may just be the Man and his superior parenting skills (sick me is not nice to be around).

They're leaving on a love seat.
Don't know when they'll be back again.

Last  night I thought it would be ironic if I ruined supper since I was in the middle of writing this blog about my AWOL cooking skills, but I eat too much these days--and don't have the indulgence of sneaking out for a grocery trip whenever I want--to make that funny any more. So I paid close attention and only had the naan stick to the pan in a couple places. It could've been worse.

Regardless, I redeemed the entire last week by making cinnamon raisin french toast for breakfast this morning. When your food critics are 2 and 4 year old boys, add a side of strawberries and whipped cream and you win Chef of the Century.

Relaxing after a good breakfast. Finally.
Bee is in my lap in an effort to keep her from getting squashed.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I'm Not Crying: It's Only A Cold

I've had a cold this week. Stuffy head, runny nose, sore throat…you know the drill. In an effort to pretend I wasn't sick and that the Man wasn't heading out the door again for another eight weeks, I've been hiding with some well read book-friends any time I wasn't actively engaging my family. Text messages have been unanswered. Emails have gone unread. Cleaning has taken a backseat. And I have been back in the world of New Moon and the Aunt Hill. Now that L.M. Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott have shamed me into getting off my rear and back to work (and the Man has packed up the jeep and hugged us all good bye), I'm going to blow my nose loudly and buckle down. Again.

And no: I'm not crying. It's only a cold. See above title.

But a few thoughts first:

  • Uncle Alec in Eight Cousins did unschooling before there was unschooling. However, Uncle Alec's version of unschooling is a legitimate educational option unlike most of the stories I hear coming out of the unschooling phenomenon.
  • Brown rice takes a ridiculously long time to cook. Just wanted to share that. Yes, I realize this has nothing to do with the rest of the post.
  • I saw the first budding tree of spring yesterday. I was more than a little excited, probably because I was in the middle of the L.M. Montgomery phase and she loves to wax poetic about all things green and growing.
  • The Man bought me an old childhood favourite before he left, The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye. It came complete with the wonderfully rendered original illustrations but some idiot had the cover redone about ten years back for no apparent reason. It's a travesty. Still, I loved my reread.

    In closing, these next eight weeks had better go by quickly:

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

    My Coffee Loves To Laugh With Me

    This week I put chocolate milk in my coffee. I'm such a rebel.

    But the truth is: when you're getting up on your feet again after months of bed rest and twin birth recovery, it takes a little extra energy to get your days rolling the way they used to.

    And yes, sometimes I fall asleep on the couch seconds after the kids are in bed when I'm still in the middle of a  conversation with my husband, and yes, sometimes I feel like a big ol' bucket of crazy (hormones are fun!), and yes, sometimes I read food blogs in the middle of the night when I'm nursing and that makes me incredibly hungry, but really…

    Living room picnic with raisins for dessert.
    I have no explanation for the faces on my children.
    And it's really hard to get all four kids in one shot.

    Sometimes it's just worth taking the time to laugh in between the bleach-scented mopping and the volcanic diapers and the perfect head-lock form my eldest son is now able to practice on innocent children at the playground.

    Laughter, they say, is the best medicine. And I'm planning to use it as a weight loss pill to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans. But laughter always comes with a side of chocolate milked coffee. Always.

    Bruiser was admiring himself in the mirror
    (he approved of what he saw)
    while Bee experimented with crossing her eyes.

    I'm working on another post with a little more meat to it, but it's taking time to work past the layers of dead brain cells currently taking up space in my head. But hang in there with me. I'm on my way back.

    Monday, March 10, 2014

    Awesomeness and Things Thereof

    When you ask your husband what you can do for him while he's tackling his first day back at work and he generously answers, "Eat food and maybe blog something," don't do what I did. Think to yourself, "I have the most incredible husband in the world!" and leave it at that.

    Happy Bruiser

    Don't, please don't, do what I did and think, instead, "I have the most incredible husband in the world, but pssssh, I've got this covered! I can do both those things, plus finish the laundry, straighten the house, put all the dishes in the dishwasher, wipe down the bathrooms, change the kitty litter, vacuum and dust, prep for dinner, and make those four moldy bananas into banana bread. I can live up to being married to the most incredible husband in the world!"

    Don't do that. Be smart.

    Because it will be almost one o'clock and you will find yourself a) scrambling to eat something while b) trying valiantly to knock out a blog after c) enduring a long morning of twins who instead of being their normally scheduled selves opted to not nap all day and bullied you into supplementing with formula which made you feel like a crummy mom because obviously if you had listened to your husband and eaten something your milk supply wouldn't be low and have you ever noticed how two babies screaming in tandem can make you feel like you've given shaken baby syndrome to yourself? (Did you get all that?). But I did get the banana bread made, so eat that! No really. I'm planning to. Possibly the whole loaf.

    Happy Bee

    In the meantime, just a few things for you to laugh about with me:
    • Sometimes, when I wake up in the morning, Bruiser is in a purple swaddle. Hopefully this won't scar him for life. Purple is the color of royalty, right? In my defense though, I got back from the commissary yesterday and found Bruiser in a pink swaddle when pointedly unnamed person who swaddled him was both fully awake and not fumbling for clean swaddles in the dark. Said unnamed person did not have a good explanation.
    • Twins are so handy. If you position them close enough to each other in bed, they can hold the other one's paci in.
    • My biggest fear right now: decreased milk supply for the twins. This month's reality: a stomach bug that has…decreased my milk supply for the twins. I am still finding a way to make this funny. Suggestions are welcome.
    • The pantry is not where leftover broccoli and acorn squash should be kept. Learned this one the hard and sleep deprived way. I have a distinct memory of putting that container in the fridge.
    • There is a chance (a slim one) that if you're dressing your twins next to each other, you will put the head of one twin into a onesie and the arm of the other twin through the same onesie. It's a confusing time in my life. And in the lives of Bruiser and Bee.
    • This happened:
    He loves that he's too big for the rock n' play.
    So he makes sure to get in it at least once a day
    so he can hear me say the words, "Tiny, you're
    just too big!"

    • And I found the most loving spud in the history of spuds:

    • Finally, the sad reality of four kids is that so many funny things happen that I don't have time to write down and my brain is so overextended that I don't remember them. Just know that our house is hilarious right now. And chaotic. But mostly hilarious.

    Littles taking a break from the chaos.

    Alright, giving myself a check mark for today. Now I can move on to other productive things so I can continue in my quest to eclipse the Man's awesomeness. Well, at the very least, I can try.

    PS Can I confess that I've kind of been dreading getting back to blogging since I've been a little overwhelmed with life on the home front? But I'm glad the Man gave me a little loving push this morning. I forgot how much fun this was. msf