empower the good

This week I've read two blog posts in particular that have really resonated with me: you can find them here and here. It's so easy to find degenerate media--it's everywhere and it's in your face. It touts lies as truth and seeks to damage our bodies and spirits. It's real and we need to fight it--we just need to do it in the right way. I especially liked from this thought from the Five blog:

"Because no matter how disgusted you are, sharing dirt just makes things dirty."

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed thinking about all the forces working against me and what I teach my family. How can I possibly win in a world that begets more and more filth? But here's the thing: the good exists. It's there, and actually, there's a lot of it. The good doesn't shove itself up in your face because it wants to be chosen not forced. So if we look for it, we'll find it. And when we find it we need to share it. Let's not waste our efforts on supporting the degenerate forces in our world; rather, let's take our precious time and energy and empower the good. 

We need to teach our children about who they are, because the surest way to a virtuous life is rooted in an understood knowledge of your divine identity. The knowledge that you're a child of God changes everything. Expose your children to strong and moral characters in the media. I want my children to look up to Anne Shirley, Skeeter Phelan, Abilene Clark, and Minny Jackson, Ebenezer Scrooge, Ron Weasley, Mr. Darcy, and Jack Elliot. Yes, the world is full of bad things, but it's also full of good things, and in the end I have to believe that the good will win out because the good is inherently more powerful.

I'll leave you with a few links to some of the good that I've found online:

When you flood your world with good, that good will emanate and expand. Empower the good in this world, because it's there and it's waiting.


midweek listing

:: Last week I went to all the TV network sites and added the premier dates of my favorite shows into my calendar. Obviously. September is wonderful for many reasons, new TV episodes being one of them.

:: Asher received at least five or six different Melissa & Doug toys for his birthday. They're our favorite kind around here. They're wooden and simple and don't take themselves too seriously.

:: I have a school supply donation drive for church to wrap up this week, and I just want it to be over already. Is it bad that I'm ready to be finished with a service project?

:: Project Runway is my new favorite reality show now that Desiree found her love on The Bachelorette. I love spending Friday afternoons holed up in my sewing room watching the newest episode while Asher naps.

:: My least favorite times of the day are when Asher eats and when I change his diaper. He goes ballistic on me like I'm trying to torture him with thumbscrews instead of wiping his bum. Good hell.

:: Did I tell you that my mom and sister are flying in on Friday for a visit? Because they are. It's what Sarah wanted for her birthday (which is next week), and I'm kind of taking it as a present for me too.

:: I'm trying to settle on a spooky book to read this year during October. Any ideas? And if you're so inclined to join me, please do. Honestly, it's one of my favorite fall traditions.

:: I'm experiencing some birthday hangover this week. You know, when you just want to keep indulging in chocolate and reruns of New Girl? Of course you know.


a golden birthday

Yesterday I turned 26 on the 26th. So obviously it was my golden birthday. I've had plenty of birthday parties and celebrations in these 26 years, and I think that this birthday is in the running for the best one yet.

:: I spent the whole day in stretchy pants and didn't pay much mind to what I ate.

:: Josh surprised me with this Kate Spade bag emblazoned with my personal life mantra. Like, it's a real Kate Spade bag. A real one. And I have it.

:: My parents gave me this dress form, so now I feel like a legit seamstress.

:: I had many shout-outs, texts, and calls from friends wishing me a happy birthday. I even had an offer to babysit while I did something fun! I decided to continue chilling in my stretchy pants, but the gesture was oh so kind. And another friend dropped by with some of my favorite treats.

:: Josh's parents babysat while Josh and I went out to dinner. We decided on the Melting Pot because it's so expensive that we never go there just because. It turned out to be the perfect birthday celebration.

:: My favorite of the entrees was the shrimp. So amazing. (For entrees you skewer your bites and let them cook in seasoned broth. It's delicious.)

:: For dessert I picked the dark chocolate with peanut butter fondue, and I about died. I kept telling myself "only one more bite," and then at least five more would follow. Worth it.

:: We were seated in a more private booth, and it was nice to cozy up in between courses. It was romantic, delicious, and oh so celebratory.

:: I wanted to make one last stop at Powell's before heading home, and that place never disappoints.

:: At the checkout counter, they had a date marker, and so I had to take a picture. Obviously.

:: To top off the evening, it was raining just a bit, and I loved it. And then to top that off, my mother-in-law cleaned our whole downstairs while we were gone. Like, vacuuming and everything. And to top that off, Josh watched The Help with me, and if you know his usual movie tastes, you'll know that this would never make the cut except on a birthday.

I think the best part of this perfect day was the overwhelming contentment and gratitude I felt when Josh and I were out. You know those moments when everything clicks and you couldn't picture your life going any other way? Those moments flooded my day and especially my evening. My grandma always said that being in love in the best state of being, and she's right. These past 26 years, while certainly wonderful in their own right, have led me right here with my small, perfect family, and I couldn't be happier about it. Year 26 gave me contentment, and I'm embracing it.


the babe's birthday

A second post for Asher's birthday because I'm his mama and I can.

Oh, baby boy. My heart is tender today.

You enhance our lives and bring so much light into our home. You are perfect for our family. I never want to go back to life without you.

We love you and love you. And love you and love you. And love you and love you.

a poem of remembering

One year ago.

Tight stomach, swollen ankles.
Ready to meet him.
Ready for our life to change.

One year ago.

Contraction, pause,
Contraction, pause,
Contraction, contraction, contraction, hospital.

One year ago.

Epidural, please!
Josh, hold my hand.

One year ago.

Waiting and waiting and waiting.
Seconds tick away.
And then more seconds.

One year ago.

Push, Charlotte.
Push again.

One year ago.

Heaven in our arms,
Sweet, piercing cries.

One year ago.


lullaby prose, feverish

I wrote this in my head last night at 3:00 in the morning when we were rocking together.
We haven't had these midnight snuggles lately, those cuddles that the darkest hours bring.
Maybe it's because you're growing up a little more.

I can't say that I regret the solidity of your usual nighttime sleep.
But those snuggles are hard to refuse.
I guess that what's we get when you've run a fever for two days straight.
It's hard to sleep with a fever, isn't it?

Here's to a fever-free week
And a week for your birthday.
Catch up on your rest and
We'll bounce back in no time.

Now it's time for your nap,
And I might have to join you.
Fevers make for tired babes and sleepy mamas.
And they make for the best snuggles.


tchau, meu irmão

My brother left for his full-time church mission. He'll be gone for two whole years, and our primary method of communicating will be through letters and email. We'll get to talk to him on Christmas and Mothers' Day. I chose not to serve a full-time mission, so I can't say that I can relate fully to anything that he's experiencing right now. In the days leading up to his departure he was a little nervous, but he stayed mostly calm and focused.

Seeing my brother come into his own this way was such a beautiful experience for this older sister. He's still completely himself--witty, laid back, and silly all once--but there was something else there, something only God could give him. He possessed both confidence and humility, and that is a wondrous and powerful combination.

We all cried our fair share of tears, especially the night before he left, but really, this time was more exciting than sad for my family. We (minus Emily who was struck down by the flu) accompanied John to the airport and waited while he got ready to make his way to his plane. All of us gathered around the entrance to the security line and took our turns giving him hugs that will have to last him a long time. My eyes smarted a little, but what I felt was an even greater urge to smile.

We waited at the place in the airport where you can see all the security-cleared passengers go down the escalator to the train to the terminals. When we saw Elder Wood, we waved and smiled like goons and took a million cell phone pictures. Those moments will forever be etched in my heart, because even though I will be apart from my brother for a long time, I feel closer to him than ever before; he is fully engaged in God's work, and a shared love of Jesus Christ is the best glue for a family.

John is in Brazil now, and his mission president at the training center has sent us a few pictures. He looks happy. I pray for him every night and look forward to this time in two years when he'll be back in the States. But I don't need the time to rush by. John's mission is the most important thing he's ever done up to this point, and I want him to savor it and relish it and get lost in it.

You can go here to follow his mission!


early weekend?

First off, thank you all for your kind comments on my last post. This mama thing is hard on the heart sometimes, even when it's all good things in the long run. Blogging about these things makes me remember that all of us mamas aren't so different from each other. Our families are different, our mothering styles are different, but our hearts have so much more in common that all those differences don't matter so much.

I think I need to start my weekend early. I don't know what it's been, but I am ready for some hard-core, nothing-on-the-docket weekending. Maybe this has something to do with the Jillian Michaels workouts I've been doing after the babe goes to bed, consequently robbing me of my solo evening time. Or maybe it's that book I just want to finish or those sewing projects I've been dying to start.

Did I tell you I finally set up my sewing space? If you follow me on Instagram you'll know this. And did I tell you that I actually have an official sewing space in our new home? Because I do. A few months ago Josh's grandma asked me if the third bedroom will be for another baby, and I was all, "Heck no, lady! That's my sewing spot!" When a second babe comes along I think Asher will have to adjust to having a bedroom mate. I'm not giving up this sewing space for anything, even if that space is just a corner of a room. (See, the sewing room is also the computer room. We're all about sharing here. Asher will someday share a bedroom, and I have to share my sewing room.)

My time has been divvied out to varied household chores and church responsibilities that I haven't had much time for that therapeutic tactile work, that creativity expressed through textiles and buttons and the steady whirring of the sewing machine. I bought more fabric when I was in Denver (obviously), and I have a million projects jumping to be first out of the gate. Then on top of that I bought a houndstooth quilt pattern that I might just have to start come fall. Because what better fall project than a houndstooth quilt?

So it's official. My weekend will start tomorrow. After I write those articles. And fold that laundry. But after that? I'm reading and eating popcorn and maybe just pulling out some fabric.


a mourning

The babe is weaned. My plan was to make it to his first birthday and then take more definitive steps toward completely closing this chapter. This weekend, though, Asher made it clear that he is finished and ready to move on. In some ways, this is good. I've been feeling the itch to take this step for a while now, and I think my body was agreeing. I'm ready to have my body back for a season before we have second babe, and I want to really work on shedding that persistent pregnancy weight.

But still. A part of me wanted to nurse this babe just a little longer, because when he's nursing he's still a baby. And if he's a baby, he can't be an almost-toddler, right? Friday night and Saturday morning when Asher completely refused me, I felt both relieved and hurt. And then after he settled down for his morning nap, I felt sad. Very sad. And I cried. Because, you see, he's growing up and he doesn't need me in that same physical way anymore. Josh sweetly tried to console me by saying that we'll have other babies, and he's right. Except here's the thing: I won't ever have this baby again. This baby is growing up, and he'll never be a baby again. This person is growing out of infancy, and there's nothing I can do about it.

Sometimes it's so easy to focus on how you feel as a parent instead of on how your child feels. Sometimes what my heart needs isn't what his person needs, and so I learn to let go, piece by piece. Motherhood is a constant process of weaning, and some days it just breaks your heart.


hello, Monday

Hello, Monday.
Hello to cloudy skies and cool breezes.
Hello to relief.

Hello to late-summer barbecues and watermelons.
Hello to sewing projects and reading lists.

Hello to exercise and healthier eating,
And goodbye to nursing the babe.

Hello to laundry and grocery shopping and chores,
And hello to stolen minutes with a book.


the best dessert

If I had to pick a favorite dessert--and I'm not telling you that I'm ready to commit to only one dessert for the rest of my life--I know which one it would be.

Chocolate cream pie is simple and sweet. It doesn't have any tricks up its sleeve. It is exactly what it says it is: chocolate perfection. It's loyal and true, comforting and satisfying. I could easily eat an entire pie by myself in a weekend. I won't. But only because I let others have some. Don't think about fat, gluten, dairy, or calories, because this confection transcends all that stuff.

Simply put, it's the most perfect dessert.

What's your deserted island dessert?


input and output

I've been kind of anti-blogging lately, and I think it's just because I've been outputting so much that I just need some time for inputting. (One of my college roommates will know exactly what I mean.) Sometimes you just produce so much and really just need to consume.

So lately I've been traveling and expressing lots of emotion and making dinner and writing articles and folding laundry and figuring out a new/old church responsibility that when I have a moment to sit down all I want to do is read a book or watch The Mindy Project. For the past week, the prospect of producing something worthwhile to post on this blog is overwhelming. My input/output problem is probably why I still haven't taken Asher's 11-month photos yet, and I might just let those slide completely. I mean, he's already halfway to 12 months. Goodness.

So there we are. My input-output ratios are a little unbalanced, and I'd like to get them back to a healthy medium. Because it's not like I don't enjoy writing for this little blog, because I love it when I do it. I just don't always feel like it, especially when I have another Stitch Fix box to sort through.

This may be one of the more disjointed posts I've written, but there you have it. My output is starting to wan, and I still have some pretzel rolls to mix up. So, I'm signing off.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...