6.29.2015

on thinking differently

I certainly wasn't surprised at the SCOTUS ruling last week, and I also don't believe that every governmental act needs to align with my own personal values. That's one of the things that makes this free country so beautiful, that we are free to think differently.

But that's also what concerns me most about the Supreme Court decision. I'm not worried about same-sex marriage, but I am worried about how I will be able to express my own personal dissent in future. I'm worried about how schools will teach my children about this moment in history. On Friday my social media feeds were flooded with celebration--which I do not object at all--but it also contained noticeable doses of snark, gloating, and derision toward those who disagree with the principles at hand.

I've written before about my feelings regarding sexuality and marriage (see here and here). While I cringe over the tactless and unkind expression of my stance from my adolescence, I have spent the entirety of my adulthood seeking to find a balance between defending values and doctrines that are important to me and still treating everyone with kindness and compassion.

My opposition to same-sex marriage does not stem from hate or bigotry; rather I understand gender, sexuality, and marriage differently. I don't expect others to share that view, and that's why I'm not sulking about or bemoaning last week's historic court ruling. I understand that we all come from different places and that I can't expect people to see things the same way I see them.

So when I see posts and links that ridicule my sacred books, marginalize the opposing side, and throw around accusations of bigotry, I hurt. I hurt because I know how hard I've worked to find balance and kindness and understanding. I know how much I've thought about why I see matters differently and how much I've strived to cultivate empathy in my heart for those with whom I disagree. And I also know that not once has anyone come to me to ask how I see things, how I understand these essential tenets of personhood and love.

Because I do have a differing approach, one rooted in doctrines of my faith that, if discussed, could at least give explanation to an opinion that's too often labeled hateful. If I ever express my views to someone on the "other side" it's because I volunteer them in a medium like this one, not because any individual actually sought out a discussion of understanding. Perhaps liberal tolerance isn't always as far reaching as the media would have us think.

I don't want to argue or debate--I want only mutual understanding and respect. For those of you celebrating this ruling, I encourage you to celebrate because that's your right. We all should feel comfortable to rejoice when values close to our heart are validated, especially when it happens in such an official and public way. But please don't be a sore winner. I have to believe that mutual kindness and respect really are possible in an environment wherein disagreement is inherent. I have to believe that this country can continue to afford me the freedom and safety to think differently. I have to believe that even with all that makes us different from one another, that there's a world in which we could all shout from the rooftops that love wins.

6.25.2015

ice cream for lunch

I had actually already planned on having ice cream around lunchtime. But our plans suffered a twist. This morning I lugged my toddler, my sewing machine, and my serger down to Portland's Alberta Street where I dropped off my machines at my favorite local Bernina dealer for some quality TLC. (These babies work hard--they deserve some spa time, right?)

I reached into my bag for my wallet. And then I started pawing through my bag for my wallet. But it wasn't there. And I didn't know where I'd left it. So not only could I not shop in my favorite independent sewing shop, I also couldn't treat Asher and myself to Salt & Straw or the Grilled Cheese Grill where you get to eat your sandwich a school bus. So many things wrong with this situation.



With Asher buckled in and the AC blaring, I called the last place I remember paying for anything: Costco. And they had it. So back to my Portland suburb I went, ice-cream-less but soon-to-be wallet-carrying. Some good soul had turned in my wallet, complete with credit cards, cash, and identification. In celebration, Asher and I shared a full-sized swirl frozen yogurt for lunch. Asher thought it was spectacular, and I couldn't help but agree.

6.09.2015

on big brothers and ultrasounds

Right around when Josh and I decided we were ready to grow our family, Asher started talking about a "bebe sis-uh." Few of his friends had baby sisters, so he had little social context for his persistent assertion. Yet over and over, he would talk about this baby sister he was convinced he had. 

I listened to him and took him seriously. One of the key pillars of my faith's theology is the teaching that our spirits existed before mortality, that mortality begins when the spirit and body unite. So in more practical terms, I firmly believe that every child that will come to us already exists and is spiritually already a part of this family. So when Asher kept going on about a baby sister, I felt a sweet peace that perhaps he really did remember a little girl.

Though just because my two-and-a-half-year-old talks about a baby sister, doesn't mean that this baby will actually be that baby sister. So as we talked to Asher about the baby I tried to prep him for the possibility that this babe would be a brother. As far as my personal preferences went for this babe, I had none. Being a total boy mom would be so fun, but that "bebe sis-uh" would be equally delightful. I couldn't lose either way.

Yesterday morning before I headed off to my 20-week ultrasound (20 weeks already!), I asked Asher one more time, "So, is the baby a boy or a girl?" Asher gave me a look that said, Mom, how many times do I have to tell you? and stated matter-of-factly, "Girl."


Our ultrasound showed a blessedly healthy, growing, active little babe--and she's a girl. Asher will, indeed, be big brother to a "bebe sis-uh," and my heart is full and expanding to make room for both tractors and tea parties. Baby lady, we're so excited you're halfway here.

4.15.2015

why you don't have to be happy for me


Posting our babe announcement was almost bittersweet for me. And that may seem weird. But the thing is that not that long ago I had a really hard time with most baby news that filled my newsfeed.

We had to wait for this babe. Not nearly as long as many couples have to wait for a babe, and our waiting didn't involve extensive treatment or invasive surgery. But all the same, it was waiting, and we weren't sure how long the wait would last. There came a point in our waiting when I had no emotional energy left to be happy for others' happy baby news.

In the midst of our waiting, we suffered two early miscarriages, which demanded even more of my physical, mental, and emotional reservoirs. I had to come to terms with seeking medical advice, and that required more of my reserves. Pregnancy announcements would pop up, and I couldn't bring myself to click the "like" button. Instead I'd make the effort to hide the story from my feed completely.

I felt ashamed to admit that I did this, that I couldn't summon happiness for another. Because when you announce a babe-in-the-making, it's so wonderful to feel love and support from those around you. Happiness multiplies, and I usually love to be a part of that beautiful equation. But sometimes I had to excuse myself. It was too painful; I wasn't privy to the divine details of my family's own eternal plan and had to proceed every hour on trust in a loving Father. And that trust consumed me, for if it didn't, sorrow and fear would.

All of this to say, when I posted my happy news, I knew that someone out there would probably hurt. Someone might hide it from their feed or feel renewed waves of anger and grief. And that's okay. It really, really is.

If you are struggling with infertility--which could easily be much more difficult than my months of uncertainty were--and you wanted to hide my announcement from your feed, it's okay. If you are grieving for a babe or the promise of a babe and can't be happy about my happy news, I get it. I may not get what it is to struggle with long-term infertility, when your body quits working on you, when you have one shot at IVF and that's it. I don't get that. But I do get what it's like to ache for a babe and not know when you're going to have one of your own, and I do get that sometimes you don't have the emotions to spare for someone else.

My own experience with waiting and loss has infused me with an increased sensitivity to how I talk about pregnancy and babes, especially in public forums. I hope that as I document this pregnancy that I will be sensitive to those of you who may be wanting a babe of your own and have to wait. I carry a special and fervent prayer in my heart for you that you'll feel peace in your waiting and comfort in your grief.

I want to state again that my experience is in no way comparable to those who struggle with long-term infertility, who pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for treatment, who wait for years and years and often suffer silently. That was not my experience, and I'm not pretending that it was. But though I can't fully empathize with that specific experience, I do know what it's like to want a babe and not know when that babe will come. And that is so, so hard.

4.13.2015

when three becomes four

Our little family is growing from three members to four. I hardly know how to write this sweet announcement, because coming to this point has been emotional, humbling, and, at many times, uncertain. We're so happy to welcome another babe to our little family.


Babe Number Two is expected to arrive this fall, in late October. My heart--while wildly hormonal--is so full.

4.10.2015

Oregon spring

Tree branches droop with blossoms, and then one day you wake up and the trees turned green overnight. You're never quite sure how the weather will turn throughout the day, but you brave the park in the hopes that you can enjoy some sun before the clouds roll in at sundown. 


At night the rain falls softly, freshening the air and rustling the newly budded trees. You open the window to listen and smell and breathe. 

2.25.2015

an acts-of-service birthday celebration

Josh's birthday is this week, and I have a confession: I've struggled in the past with how to throw him an adequate birthday week celebration. I've had birthday gestures that have flopped simply because I think about what I would like instead of what my husband would like. So this year I turned to his love language: acts of service.

{Mr. Wilson and I on our Valentine date this year in downtown Portland.}

Instead of writing him love notes (which would make this words-of-affirmation girl swoon), I'm making his favorite meals this week. I tell him to go ahead and play one more computer game with his friends. I rub his back and make banana chocolate chips bars at 10:00 at night because I know he really loves them.

I research the perfect cobbler recipe instead of trying to fool myself into thinking he'll like cake better (because he doesn't). And I find an ice cream recipe that will go perfect with cobbler. 

When he tells me that he wants to have a LAN party with his friends, I say, OK! Let's buy you darlings nerds a bunch of pizza! Because here's the thing: this week is about Josh, and yeah, we're different. And I'm so grateful for that. When he turns 30 on Friday I want him to feel loved and appreciated. Maybe this year I'll do his birthday right, the way he likes it. And I like it best that way.

2.24.2015

said around here

Now that Asher is a full-blown conversationalist, I spend most of his waking hours talking with him. It's pretty much a never-ending conversation about planes, helicopters, and the little carts at Trader Joe's. Some days I kiss him goodnight and am so mentally exhausted by so much socializing that the thought of conversing with another person makes me want to hide. Most of the time his little words and sentences make me smile, even though we usually talk about all the same things every day. 


In case you were wondering what it feels like to be in the Wilson home for any amount of time, here are some conversation snippets for your enjoyment: 

:: "Yisten, Mommy! Yisten!" Listen. He says this when I'm telling him something he doesn't want to hear. He thinks that if I listen I will agree. Sometimes I do, but sometimes I don't.

:: "Um, me fine." Usually said in conjunction with "yisten, mommy."


:: "Waysing when Daddy g'home from wok!" Racing when Daddy gets home from work, referring to our now nightly Mario Kart races. Asher holds a non-functioning remote while Josh and I compete. Josh almost always wins, and we always congratulate Asher on his triumphs.

:: "Push yeettle cars a Tra-er Joe's!" Pushing the little carts at Trader Joe's is, so far, a lifetime highlight.

:: "Car pomming!" Car coming, said in mild panic anytime he has to think about walking through a parking lot. So instead of holding his hand, we usually end up carrying him.


:: "Mommy go kishen!" Mommy go to the kitchen. This one typically comes out when Josh gets home from work and Asher is hankering for some guy time. He sounds misogynistic, but he's really not. Promise.

:: "Watch Ar-hur?" Our morning routine consists of breakfast, watching Josh drive away, and then settling down for an episode of Arthur. Asher knows all the characters.


:: "Ash-uh Wiw-son." His name. I love it.  

:: "Me sil-yee!" Me silly. Yes, little boy, yes you are.

:: "A, B, C, F, G, K, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z now-know-ABCs-ness-time-seen-wi ME!!" The modified alphabet.

Asher makes me laugh on a regular basis, and even when I'm exasperated it's hard not to giggle sometimes. I will leave you with one of my favorite Asher-isms: "Seeya!"

2.02.2015

hello, Monday

:: Hello, Monday.
:: Hello, neglected blog. Hello, hello, hello.
:: Hello to February and clean slates.
:: In the same breath, goodbye to January. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.


:: Hello to grocery lists and checked-off boxes.
:: Hello to both skillet cookies and kickboxing.


:: Hello to a solo weekend trip to Utah.
:: Hello to flying on a plane with a bag full of books and without a lap full of toddler.
:: Hello to running away to my sister, at least for the weekend.


:: Hello to sanity t-shirts and nap-time sewing.
:: Hello to hoping and healing and maybe even a little bit more writing.

What are you saying hello to this week?

Joining in with Lisa Leonard in her Hello, Monday post today. 

12.31.2014

making peace

I've had a publicly difficult relationship with the month or so following Christmas. Growing up December 26 was the Worst of All the Days, because that meant that all the anticipation and advent and merriment were over. And I was rarely fooled by New Year's. New Year's Eve and Day just aren't as fun, and if you pretend otherwise, you're lying.


The past couple of years, though, I've finally started to make some peace with the last week in December. I can't definitively say the same for January, but if I can move past my childhood dread of the end of December, then maybe someday I can make good with January too.

Adulthood has introduced me to the frantic aspects of December. While I did make a point to step back throughout the month and simply enjoy the season, I admit to liking this liminal period before reality hits hard next week. We've had an easy dose of routine mixed with a healthy amount of vacation mode. My to-do lists have dwindled, replaced by brainstorming and daydreaming about what 2015 will bring.


I started reading the Outlander series, which I've seen pop up on some of my favorite blogs over the past year. It's adventurous and intriguing, with a dose of smut thrown in for good measure. It's delightful vacation reading, and now that I'm fully immersed in the 18-century Scottish Highland, I keep calling Asher "my wee bairn." So. (Knowing that I have seven more books after this first one makes me feel giddy. Is this what it feels like to read Harry Potter straight through for the first time?)

My in-laws gifted me an online script lettering class for Christmas, and now I'm itching to get my hands on some good graphite pencils so I can start practicing. I went to Michael's today to pick up some basic supplies and was so underwhelmed by the brand selection and appalled at the prices, that I'm just going to order them on Amazon instead.


I like having this week after Christmas to slow down and dawdle out the rest of the year. Giving my mind and heart a rest has been oh so good for me. How do you feel about the end of the year? Have your attitudes about it changed as you've gotten older?

Happy New Year!
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