Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Comfort of Home

As I get older (readers who think I am a baby bite your tongue) I find that there are a few things that really give me comfort because they remind me of my childhood. So of course like anyone there are certain foods that bring me back or I want when down, you know comfort food. Recently I found on a Sunday afternoon having football on in the back ground was rather comforting to me. Made me feel almost safe. That's because every Sunday was spent watching NFL football or car racing in our house. Usually both in some combination. I hated football for a very long time and I out grew car racing right around when it became cool to everyone else. Now on Sunday afternoons as I cook or clean or read or do what ever it is that Sunday brings you can usually hear a football game on because it gives me comfort.

Today I was getting ready to put football on when I happened along a PBS telethon that was featuring big band music. There was a show on that was some what reminiscent of the Lawrence Welk Show. I stopped clicking and listened awhile. Thought to myself I need to pull out my big band music CD. Then I had this horrifying thought. What if some day no one knows the Lawrence Welk show or the Glenn Miller Band or just big band in general? Suddenly I felt my age. I was painfully aware that I am an oddity even in my own generation. I recalled my Grandmother complaining that there was no nice music anymore. Listening to the big band today I understand where she was coming from. She was right, while I like some modern music it is not that same as big band, which you can listen to with you family and not give it a second thought. I love the dancing too. Why do we not have those sorts of night club opportunities today. How grand would it be to have a forties ball room experience today? One where women don't have to look like slut bags and men are much more covert about their wanting "to get it on" with the ladies. What if there was still something left to the imagination? What if the music actually had music in it.

I know I sound like a jaded old woman now. I was riding in the car the other day listening to the radio and had to change the station because every song was about cheating on your other with no regret or some other behavior that wouldn't be becoming of the young lady I am trying to raise. I didn't used to do that. So now I am thinking that maybe those old big band cds might have a two fold purpose. Lilia will be exposed to something many of her peers won't know and it will be better than the radio for sure.

So at any rate, it makes me think of my grandparents who I miss dearly. I am wondering what did your grandparents teach you as their legacy?

Mine taught me to appreciate this...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fall Fest Begins!

So today we went on our first Fall Family Outing of the year. We started out by going to get some mums from a farm about 40 minutes from here. We love the mums from this place and they are reasonably priced and grown right there with local farm help. Could you ask for more? So last year was the first year we went there. We took a picture of Lilia with the mums and did the same this year check them out.

I forgot the camera. So we had to make due with the cell phone today. I didn't get as many shots as I wanted of our next adventure. Originally we had planned on heading out to Princeton to apple pick at an orchard where we buy apple cider every year. However I hawk eyed a little homemade sign pointing us to Russo's U Pick Apples. We followed many a sign like it all through the winding back roads of what I think was Burlington County and Monmouth County. I should have taken pictures of the little signs they were just charming.

So off we went apple picking. Here are the high lights.
Hope you enjoyed!

Other fall related thoughts. We bought some apple cider doughnuts that weren't so great and now we are on a quest to find the real deal. Last weekend in VT we had for the first time soft serve maple ice cream AKA Maple Creamies. That was pure bliss for someone who isn't the biggest ice cream fan in the world. Just enough maple and it was real too no fake overly sweet fake maple. I wanted to take a picture of the sign and what not but I forgot. It is a little store just down the road from our camp ground called the Pumpkin Patch.

Happy Fall!


Yesterday I noticed a few things about my life.

1. I never get a day off and I probably won't for a very long time. Maybe it was just my mood yesterday but this makes me feel a little over whelmed.

2. Friday Night no longer has meaning because Saturday is just like Friday or Monday. Weekends for me don't exist. There is no tomorrow is Saturday so I get to relax.

3. We often sit the baby in her chair to eat and run around the house getting things done. I think I will stop this because I noticed yesterday that she ends up eating alone. That's just not cool. So I guess I will have to find some other time to straighten the house and fold the laundry.

Yesterday, I wasn't feeling well, I was completely stressed out and hormonal. I have a lot on my plate and my mind. So maybe just maybe that all was effecting the way I felt. Today is still too new to know what it will bring.

If today starts your weekend, Happy Weekend to you!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


So this morning I was reading a youth worker update that comes to my in-box each week. There was a link to some writing about a news story that I must have missed over the weekend while away. So I had to find the story and read it. So a teen girl in Canada went to a rave, which I am assuming is your typical teenage part in Canada speak, assuming the late 90s raves are a thing of the past. However I live under a rock at times so I could be wrong. Said teen girl gets drugged and rapped; gang rapped. Some _______________ (pick your poison) of a teen boy took pictures of said rape (weirdo who needs help) and POSTED THEM ON FACEBOOK (maybe needs some jail time or at least inpatient mental health care). So ok get the pictures taken down press charges done. Oh no no no, said pictures went viral on facebook and have been downloaded and reposted all over the place.

OK I am not one to swear much on my blog these days, but are you fucking kidding me?

There are so many levels of wrong there, that I can't even begin!

It got me thinking though are we breeding the conscious out of people? Have we forgotten to teach kids about right and wrong? Have we been that desensitized my our culture that kids think it is ok to do things like this?

How on Earth do I raise a child so that she knows clearly there is a line in life that you just don't cross?

Cyber-bullying is cowardly. Name calling is not acceptable. Rise above the influences of your peers and don't be afraid to have a voice and use it to do right. It seems so simple. I guess like most other things when you have kids, it starts with me and how I interact and react to those around me. God in heaven help me!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bad Parents?

Last night Lilia went to bed probably two hours early than she normally does. Although normal is kind of relative because it changes. So our little night owl was asleep by 8 last night. Whew! Momma was in bed shortly there after. Of course she woke up at 3 and then at 4 at which point Paul clumsily brought her in our bed. She was restless until 5. Thinking there was a teething problem I brought in a cup of water, teething tabs and a clean diaper. This all just woke her up more. So I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed and plopped her into her playpen much to her demise. She started to cry and I waited it out and she started to play. Then out of no where she starts screaming. So I get out of the chair and fumble with my slippers and angrily mutter shut up already under my breath. I feed her breakfast in my arms because she is now so upset I can't put her down. She calms. I hand her off to Paul while I fix her a bottle and I give her a bottle too. This is not our norm but she just seemed to need it.

Five minutes after the bottle she was sound asleep on my lap at 6 am. She of course peed all over me and I had to go change her and she woke up. Then I got her back to sleep in her crib.

All I can think is OMGosh, we were starving our kid and getting mad at her for protesting and didn't even know it! I could venture into a million reasons why we didn't think to feed her. However, I will just end with we screwed up and hopefully next time we will do better.

Monday, September 13, 2010

God and thoughts on God

First let me start by saying when I preached I accidentally said something was the gospel that wasn't. No one called me out on it but man did it irk me. I said it was the gospel reading but it wasn't part of the gospel. Oh well. Such is life. In case any one is reading I do know the difference.

Now, I have had faith in God for as long as I can remember. This is an oddity in it self because I wasn't raised with God. I knew the stories of Christmas and Easter. I knew there was a bible and I knew there were churches but we only went for Baptisms, Weddings and the like. However I always wanted to go to church from the time I was like five years old I would ask to go to church. Around 16 I finally went to a church for no particular reason other than being dragged there by my mother. I would say that is when my faith really took root and became a normal part of my life. I should also add that I am not counting the time I got "saved" in an after school prayer club. I also went through a period of time where I didn't believe there was a God at all.

Until now my faith has never made me feel too different than everyone else. I mean there are little things here and there. Never has there been anything that was so glaringly different that I couldn't ignore it. Alas though the time has come where I feel like I might have just a little Jesus freak in me. I am not spilling the beans on my blog as to what has made me feel this way it is a little personal. (If you are one of those needs the details people, e-mail, send a letter, a text, call, smoke signal and I will try to honor your request.) I will tell you that I have made some active and prayerful decisions that were incredibly hard to make. Likely because they involve trusting God. Also giving up somethings and facing others.

As I force myself out of the house on Sunday mornings to get my booty to church I notice the sermons really reaching me. As if God has sent the Preacher Man just to speak to me. Which I know isn't the case. It just makes me feel as if these hard decisions were possibly the best ones I could have made.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Being Good

OK so really I should probably spend time reflecting on today's sermon because it was a good one. The last two times I have been in church I have understood things and felt really connected. This is a very good thing. However I am going to let them simmer a little longer.

I want to write about something very personal that I have never really written and shared before. I have always struggled with my weight. Always from the time I was like five I was fat of course then they called it chubby or baby fat. I never out grew it. I just got well fatter. In my mid twenties I learned part of the reason, hormones not working how they should. The only medication that helps makes me incredibly sick. At least there was a reason for the struggle.

Lately I have been feeling crummy so I decided to monitor my diet. Not go on a diet because that is just a set up for failure. Now my other problem is I tend to be an emotional eater. Which might also explain why childhood wasn't good for me. My grandmother comforted me with cake and cookies and candy and ice cream and all those tasty things that seem to start with a C. Then I would wash them down with root beer because me and Grammy loved root beer. I should be clear my Grammy just enjoyed feeding people. I am in no way implying it is her fault I packed on the pounds.

In the past few years I have been able to identify when I am emotional and eating and try to just own it. I am emotional and I am trying to eat my feelings away. This week though I made huge progress. At least in my own opinion. Twice this week I faced really emotional situations. Twice I resisted the urge to stuff myself full of crap or soda.

Friday night as I sorted through Kira's old clothes I was crying and hugging them. I thought about drinking a ton of soda but I didn't. I thought about french fries and sweets but I didn't go get any. Which is kind of funny because that is the only time I eat those foods in quantity.

Anyhow I did it. I resisted the urge to eat when I was upset. I feel like that was a little victory for me. One I am rather proud of maybe the start of something new.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bad Dream

You remember when you were a kid and you had a bad dream and you either braved the scary dark hallway to get to your parents bed or screamed bloody hell until your mother came running?

I haven't had one like that in ages. I should tell you that I dream very very vividly all the time. My dreams play like movies in my head. They are very real and sometimes I am the director and I can control them as I go. So times they are so real and terrifying that when I wake up I can't tell where I am or what is real. Or the emotions are so strong in the dreams that they set me up for the day until I shake it. It was only a dream.

This morning I had a terrifying dream. Probably the closest thing I have ever had to a night terror. Like always it didn't all fit together just right. First I was leaving church early to attend a funeral for a family member. Which family member kept changing. I remember feeling really numb as it was definitely some one young. Then there was my Uncle coming to the house warning us not to open the door for someone who knew our names it was a robbery plot.

Then Paul and I were in some sort of office. The people who were also there were talking about how someone had a hand gun in the high school the day before. Then you guessed it we were in the high school. In a classroom just us with Lilia. Paul was trying to fix something. I was sitting in the back with her. We were talking about how there was a shooter in the school and we couldn't find anything on the internet to confirm it.

The shooter walked in, in a black hoodie with the gun concealed by a piece of orange paper that looked like a paycheck. He made us get down and I was trying to slide the baby out the door but I couldn't get her there. Paul asked how long does that gun work for?

I woke up shaking my whole body hot with fear. It felt like my skin was burning.

So I got out of bed and started my day and shook it off.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Daycare, No Thanks we will pass.

OK so when you have a baby all your personal decisions seem to be ok for political worthy debate. No one cares that they are personal decisions. Breast feeding, the type of diapers you use, formula if you choose it, the type of food you feed them, vaccines, schools of parenting thought, oh yes and daycare.

Ages ago long before a child was more than a glimmer in our distant future Paul and I discussed things like daycare and or childcare. We agreed that if we had children one of us would stay home with them. We would be one of those no daycare families until the child could at least tell us what happens there. So through her first year this is what we have done. Maybe because I didn't have a job to go back to it was easier to transition to full time childcare provider for my love. I have already blogged about life on one income. That is a choice we make everyday. It isn't easy sometimes but we get by.

Anyhow, my point being, I am so tired of people who judge me (and Paul) for making the decision to raise our own child. We thought it out before we had a baby to care for. We made sure we could afford to do it. Unless we owe you money and we aren't paying it you don't get to have an opinion on how we raise our child daycare free or our financial situation. That is the end of the story.

Sometimes I think people are just resentful.

Here is the deal Lilia won't go to daycare for now. Next year when I am back in school we will have to look at childcare options. If you don't like that too bad. If you send your kid to daycare or leave them with a sitter good for you. Not my business.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Things of Note

I had originally had just three thoughts I was going to share today.

Coexist- Today while acquiring some gas for our car, the gas station attendant asked if he could take a picture of our bumper sticker. I said sure but looked at him funny. He said it's so cool I want a tattoo of it. I was like sure. That is so cool since it is my Coexist sticker. I was a little nervous at first because around here there are a lot of wanna be red necks and or conservative types who are rather offended by out having a symbol of Islam on our car.

Waxing- I was spoiled as a teenager. My mother owned a hair salon. I started waxing my eyebrows in high school. Now the shop is long closed and I do it myself. Can I just say I miss having someone else do it. I have had lopsided eyebrows for the past 4 years and probably will until I can afford to pay someone else to do it.

Juno- There is a scene in this movie where there is a single girl protest and she is saying "All babies want to get borned." This is stuck in my head like a bad grocery store song.

So those were my three thoughts.

Then there was the largest groundhog in the history of the world that took up residence in the back yard today. After my sheer shock and fear because I thought it was a rabid raccoon in the middle of the day, I think it is cute when it is up on it's hind legs eating nuts. Now I have to make sure it is permanently out from under the deck. The thing is freaking huge though and bound to give me dog trouble sooner or later.

Then there was the baby saying Uncle Dale. Very exciting. Although she hasn't seen him since her birth over a year ago and she doesn't say mommy or daddy.

Then there was the evenings events. So we headed out to the Philly Ale House for Paul's birthday dinner. We had a hard time getting going because of balancing work schedules of the people going with us. We finally got there a full hour and a half later than we had wanted to. We ordered and the food was just ok. I felt bad because Paul was so excited.

I brought the cake I had wrestled with all day. The results were gross. I think I am giving up on scratch cakes. It was the same recipe as last time but so dry. AND it wouldn't cook it took forever. What gives? At least the frosting was good.

So when we were leaving, a handful of police cars went flying by. Then a fire truck. Then more police and we were like what the heck. After a u turn that nearly stopped my heart, we just kept seeing more and more police activity. So much so I texted friends who live near by who were with us if they knew what was going on since they would be home already. Mind you at this point we think we saw a total of 25 police cars, one paramedic truck and one fire truck. It was a hostage/shooting situation at the Kraft Foods factory just three blocks from where we were. Needless to say all that police activity delayed our arrival home. Thank God we needed to travel in the opposite direction to get home!

What a day!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Today I was trying really hard to be positive. Even though I knew I had my work cut out for me. I started the day with a status message saying I am going to make today a fabulous day.

It didn't happen. I haven't even started my house work yet let alone get to what I wanted to. However, it did turn out to be a horrid day. Truths were revealed and they can't be covered back up. So the decisions have been made and I have no choice but to live with them.

I guess there is always tomorrow.

Morning Thoughts

It seems that the world has moved from back to school to Halloween over night. Doesn't that just drive you mad? By October 15 we will be well past the skip over Thanksgiving season and into Christmas. Personally I might jump the gun on Fall. I am tempted to go dig out my fall box while I go gather camping gear in the garage later today.

Speaking of camping gear. Paul made the executive decision yesterday that we are indeed going camping one weekend this month. He even made the reservation. This was a nice surprise. I must admit though I am feeling rather overwhelmed at getting it together. This is our first time camping with a baby. I need to go buy her some serious gear for cool temperatures and tent sleeping. I also need to go test and inventory all our gear make sure we have what we need and that it is working. One of the airbeds needs a patch and I can't decide the best sleeping system for the baby. So today after a baby sitting commitment and all my house work is done I will be making the lists of all that is to be done and cooked and prepared.

Last thought, I took the Duggar book out from the library. I must say that I think a conversation with them would be difficult because our ideas are almost polar opposites on everything. That's ok though. I still find them fascinating and it seems to me that they are genuinely kind people with good hearts. I think I would like to have dinner with their family and just observe and chat with them too. I am sure with all there is in life we could find some common ground.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Too Much Hate

So today I went a little out of my mind and I e-mailed this ridiculous church in Florida that is burning Quarans on Saturday.

You might think that I went on some long winded rant but I didn't I just typed... Jesus didn't teach hate under any circumstance.

What else is there to say really?

I don't want to react to hatred and anger with more hatred and anger. So there wasn't much more to say.

I am so tired of this. The end isn't in sight either thanks to conservative politicians fear mongering. God help us all!

Monday, September 6, 2010


A few days ago I shared my first sermon with my mentor (that seems so formal but I guess it is the appropriate term), I was nervous about the feed back I would get. After all the whole purpose of the sermon was to fill his shoes. Those are some big shoes both literally and figuratively speaking. The response was not one of many words. Two sentences actually. The later said, "I am so proud of you!" I was like a child after that over joyed at a parent's praise for doing well. The funny thing about that is I didn't know I longed to hear those words but when I did they filled my spirit. They made me soar!

They taught me something about myself. As I struggle with ending a relationship (friendship just in case relationship sends your mind places, I know mine would) that was unhealthy for me and really for my little family. It taught me how fulfilled I can be with my own actions and healthy relationships. Actually since I have preached I have received way more affirmation than I had ever anticipated from so many sources. I am feeling really good about me. Something in the past I thought could only happen when other people were involved. Really though when it's me and God I do alright. That is an answered prayer in itself. I don't want to go in to it all here. I am just really glad I choose to do what I did. Now I am seeing God in the bigger picture. Not all the things that are making my heart heavy are gone but it's better.

Now for the discernment part. As I really shift my focus to where God is calling me once again I have become aware of many things. I am noticing things that I haven't before. So here are the questions I am asking myself.

Ordination or no ordination?
I think I know the answer and I dread it.

Women's Ministry or Youth Ministry?
Both would seem to be the answer I would prefer. However I am not certain there are enough hours in the day. I miss the kids like crazy. I know I have a gift for working with them. It's just not one I have a proper outlet for right now. Women would be a huge challenge for me. I think God likes to challenge me.

I will resist the temptation to compartmentalize the rest of it. There are other things I feel need a place. I am going to try to let them come together organically.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Thinking about skipping all things birthday and anniversary this year and going camping instead. We talked about this the other day. Looked at the online reservation page today and our most favorite site is available. We haven't been able to book it in like 6 years. Only thing stopping us is if we can keep little babe warm enough. Thoughts?

The Best Feeling!

So today I have what Paul and I are calling a moving hang over. Yesterday we helped some friends move. There was lots of stuff. Lots of stairs. Lots of babies. Today all day I felt like I stayed out late drinking. I had no such adult beverage. I was tired had a head ache couldn't motivate myself to do anything. I did take a shower and then we ran out to the store to pick something up.

As we were getting out of the car I heard foot steps running up behind me. There was one of my former youth groups so excited to see me and Paul. He is still a teenager but left his friend on the street to run over and hug us and high five the baby. Other than me be in a panic that the dog would try to eat him because he was running at me, it was the best feeling.

Here is a 15 year old boy running to see his former youth workers leaving his friend to do so.

It was so awesome. I knew that even though I am not working with the kids right now that in the past I must have done something right. I love seeing my former students. Living on a main corner makes it easy. I get waves regularly as they drive by. Hugs aren't as often. It's good to know that you did make a difference.

Anyhow in this time of discernment where I am considering where to focus my ministry it helps me to see that Youth Ministry will always be a part of my life. Even if it isn't direct and hands on all the time. Once you do youth work you are always a youth worker.


I can't decide on what my dream home would be. Would it be my classic Victorian on a large piece of land? A lakefront cabin in the woods? Maybe it's an ocean front home?

If given the choice those would be my top three. I can imagine all three. hmmmm

Friday, September 3, 2010


So last night I set aside a large block of time in which to get some editing done on the documentary project. Paul and I sat down and finally started the project in the middle of course. So I noticed a few things. The piece we were working on was the FRPC and WPC partnership. I realized that I was miserable while shooting all of the events. I was pregnant for every single one of them except the retreat last October. As I reviewed the footage I could remember things like my legs falling asleep and burning with pins an needles as I stood there. I can remember wanting to run away and puke. I can remember wanting nothing but my bed. I can remember wanting to scream this is so stupid I want to go home. I can also remember my training when I was in school. Get the job done no matter what it doesn't matter if you are tired or hungry or hurting you have a job to do get it done. That definitely carried me through the shooting and pregnancy.

Then there was the second line of thought. What was I thinking agreeing to shoot a one woman documentary?!?!?!? I have training in all aspects of production which I haven't used in nearly ten years. So in theory I am able to make an entire documentary. However, knowing how to do things and being good at them are two different things. I am an excellent producer and director. I can coordinate like it's nothing. I can even give artistic vision. However I am terrible editor. I could care less about sound and lighting. Some times my camera shots are nothing short of something that looks like home video on crack. I started remembering why a crew is important. I haven't been able to do a single job well on this project because I am doing them all.

I am well in over my head. I am in Earl's stormy seas. With nothing but my hands and feet to keep me afloat in the editing world.

So there we sat in this moment finally getting some editing done. Then the baby woke up and we stayed up all night... with her... not editing! With very little time left and a tight schedule and a sleep proof baby HOW ARE WE EVER GOING TO GET THIS DONE?!