Saturday, January 31, 2015

Final Weeks

The past few weeks have felt filled with big highs and lows. We are in the final stretch of waiting on baby boy, just 3 weeks from our due date. Man I have to say, in a pathetic winey way that only a really pregnant woman can do, that I hate being this pregnant. So needless to say I'm ready to see this boy and be done. But at the same time I am so sentimental about my little Liam and him being my only baby for a little while longer. Gosh being a mommy can be conflicting. We had our first ER visit the other day because someone was playing superman and jumping off the couch and whacked his chin. Thankfully no stitches just super glue needed. He also nearly gives me a heart attack on a daily basis by re-injuring it and causing it to bleed because he just won't slow down. Little boys are rough on their mommies sometimes. 
We had Grannie Polly here for a little visit which was very fun and now we are gearing up for the squatters. Thats what I'm calling my mother who is going to be hanging out waiting for me to have this baby. Im no making any promises people. As Liam showed us all, by being 2 weeks late, and needing to be ejected by force, they come when they want!
Andrew and I did manage to sneak out on a date the other night to the cutest little place called "The Copper Hen". Minneapolis really has no shortage of lovely buildings and places to visit. I even snapped a bathroom selfie because the wallpaper was so cute! I love being out with my guy and pretending its just the two of us sometimes. 
So here is to hoping for sunny weather, an early or on time baby, and cherishing our sweet little boy before he becomes a big brother!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cultivate a Healthy Poverty

I really liked this article, I don't read many of the articles that get passed around on Facebook but this one caught my attention "Secret To Squashing Anxiety This Year". It seems that anxiety is running rampant these days. Minds dominated by fear. It may not be as recognizable in everyone, or as strong at all times, but I hear about it everywhere. What is the cure? Im not sure I would use the word "cure" for anything having to do with the human condition here on earth. But relief, hope, medicine, that I do believe in. 
Gratitude or the adoration of Christ is what this article says. And I agree.

But practically how does that look? Those answers always irritate me. They sound so simple But what does it look like when your circumstances don't seem to warrant adoration. What about when life is really hard, or lonely, or unfair?

I am more and more convinced that it is in narrowing our vision and really honing our senses in on the "little things" that we can begin to feel thankful and adore. I love this quote from "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" by Annie Dillard. The context is she is telling a story about how when she was a young girl she would hide pennies for people to find every where she went. Just because she thought it would bring the finder joy to find a penny! 

“The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside by a generous hand. But- and this is the point- who gets excited by a mere penny? But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days.” 

In our world of abundance I can see that we have been robbed of this great gift. The great gift of healthy poverty. I know that living simply and smaller is trending right now, (do you get the tiny house fascination? Not sure I'm all in yet. Isn't the tiny house thing just a given in Southern California for most people under 40 with kids) but why? I think it is because innately people are realizing what excess does to the soul. It doesn't satisfy. It doesn't heal. In fact in impoverishes. Now I'm not saying sell all your possessions or move into a tiny house, for goodness sakes I moved to the midwest and our old condo in California could fit inside our new houses garage, ha! But in your heart and in your soul, cultivate a healthy poverty. Look at each tiny thing as a blessing. My kid took a great nap, thank you Lord! Choose to see blessings everywhere. Choose to feel rich when you find the pennies in your day. And then express it outwardly. Sing out loud, say it out loud, your mind may just start to believe what your mouth says. 

I thought these pictures of us at the Mall of America (a space completely lacking in simplicity, where more is more and bigger is better) would provide some comic relief to my words : ) Some days when it is miserably cold you just have to go out and see the giant legos and eat a ridiculous amount at the Rainforest cafe and spend way too much a Lindt Chocolate. Its all about balance right?

Saturday, January 10, 2015


I have been thinking a lot about gentleness. I think naturally I am not the most gentle person. In the obvious way of not being physically very gentle, as a kid I was accused of being too strong, or you know making the boys cry. Andrew used to make fun of me when we where dating because I always wore this worn out old 80s shirt that said "no violence" and he would laugh saying that that didn't seem like the thing that I would be promoting. My nickname when I played soccer in high school was "thrasher". Anyways, you get the point. Now in my adult life it is a different type of gentleness I think I am lacking and want to work toward. My natural tendency is to be very intense. I think this has served me well in lots of ways, I get a lot done, and I can handle a lot. But as I am coming out of a season of a lot of big changes and growth I think it is time to settle into a more gentle, tranquil space. I read this the other day and I think it sums it all up pretty well. It isn't that I don't want to work, or move forward, there are just times that call for calm. There are times that call you to trust that the hard labor has been done, and just rest.

On a farm you learn to respect nature, particularly for the wisdom of its dark underworld. When you sow things in the spring, you commit them to the darkness of the soil. The soil does its own work. It is destructive to interfere with the rhythm and wisdom of its darkness. You sow drills of potatoes on Tuesday and you are delighted with them. You meet someone on a Wednesday who says that you spread the potatoes too thickly, you will have no crop. You dig up the potatoes again and spread them more thinly. On the following Monday you meet an agricultural adviser who says this particular variety of seed potatoes needs to be spread close together. You dig them up again and set them closer to each other. If you keep scraping at the garden, you will never allow anything to grow. People in our hungry modern world are always scraping at the clay of their hearts. They have a new thought, a new plan, a new syndrome that now explains why they are the way they are. They have found an old memory that opens a new wound. They keep on relentlessly, again and again, scraping the clay away from their own hearts. In nature we do not see the trees, for instance, getting seriously involved in therapeutic analysis of their root systems or the whole stony world that they had to avoid on their way to the light. Each tree grows in two directions at once, into the darkness and out to the light, with as many branches and roots as it needs to embody its wild desires.

Anam Cara

Pictures from our weekend trip up north with our sweet friends.

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Blessing of Solitude

We started off the new year slow and calm, with what I think will be a new tradition, a simple breakfast in bed, and a movie. Coffee, toast, strawberries, and yogurt, and this year Dumbo (have you seen dumbo lately? quite interesting... but thats a completely separate topic). 
Andrew and I aren't big new years resolution makers but I do think it is lovely to take time to think of themes for the year and do some reordering. A couple of things I have been thinking about...
2014 was a year of clean up, we moved, started fresh in a new house all our own, we purged a lot of items and have been careful to only replace them with things we love. We did a lot of mental purging of thoughts and habits and ways of thinking. It was a year of a lot of healing. 
2015 we are calling a year of new beginnings. A fresh start. 
I want to focus on a few specific things myself, but I read this on a blog I like the other day and some of it really spoke to me, the blog is
The post was titled "How to Enjoy Your Life"

1. Decide to fall in love with your imperfections. 
2. It's better to be kooky. 
3. Eschew petty things people have said to you -- things that have hurt, offended, belittled, misunderstood you. Your life will improve drastically when you decide to ignore these bits. 
4. Give compliments constantly. (But only ones you mean.) 
5. Do everything more slowly. Convince yourself that everything you do -- every time you cross a room, button your blouse, read a book, say hello, listen to someone -- is art, and you will be more graceful for it. 
6. Worry less about having interesting answers, and more about asking interesting questions. 
7. Be kind to everyone. 
8. But also know when to walk away. And do it. 
9. Cultivate the friendships that make you a more compelling person. 
10. Read more books. 
11. Go the mirror (now) and smile. It is important to see yourself smile.
12. Decide to enjoy whatever you are doing, in the moment. 
13. Making up songs about whatever you're doing is immeasurably helpful in enacting #12.
14. Learn to entertain other people's beliefs and inclinations -- without adopting them yourself. You will be gentler and more loving for this. 
15. Stop worrying so much about what other people have/are doing. Social comparison is the heartiest killjoy, and you, my dear, are above such things. Decide, right now, to be happy about what you have. 
16. Keep a notebook with you, and write down the funny things you overhear at the post office, single lines for potential poems, words you like, things you see. 
17. Eat delicious food that is good for you.
18. Walk everywhere (as much as possible). 
19. Delight in other people's happiness. 

20. Believe that romance is everywhere (and it is). 

I especially like 6, 12, and 14. Since we are going to have 2 little kiddos here so soon (next month we will have another little person in our life eeeek!!) I know I will be spending more time at home and am thinking about how to embrace that season. I know it will not be one of calm solitude like when you are totally alone, but if you are a stay at home mom you know it can be very lonely at times. I am thinking of ways to embrace solitude and the slow time alone while giving my attention to two little boys. Presence is not something I am very good at, I often find it hard to live in the moment and not always be thinking and planning ahead. I read this Celtic blessing this morning and especially love the last paragraph. 
Cheers to a New Year, one of new beginnings and presence!!

A Blessing of Solitude
(the phrases in parenthesis are my own interjections)

May you recognize in your life the presence, power and light of your soul.
May you realize that you are never alone 
that your soul in its brightness and belonging connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe (I would say God).
May you have respect for your own individuality and difference.
May you realize that the shape oft your soul is unique, that you have a special destiny here (I would say purpose)  
that behind the facade of your life there is something beautiful, good and eternal happening. 
May you learn to see your self with the same delight, pride and expectation with which God sees you in every moment. 


We had the sweetest little Christmas this year. We spent Christmas Eve morning just the three of us and gave Liam his "big boy" bed. Then we went to our church in the afternoon and spent the evening with Andrews dad and the family. Christmas day was relaxing and filled with food and gifts and even snow which I had been really hoping for. If it is going to be terribly cold it needs to snow! Some of our highlight new toys are the new gun daddy got (can't believe we are a gun family!), my Le Creuset (don't know how I ever cooked without a dutch oven!), the new bed of course, and the beautiful sweater Andrew picked out for me all on his own (yay for husbands who shop at Anthropologie!) But the sweetest part for me of Christmas was seeing Liam embrace our families traditions. We did our advent calendar again, and an advent devotional liturgy from our church very night of advent. Liam loved it and almost had a whole verse memorized by the end just from hearing it every night. He is still asking to sing the hymn from it and knows it all by heart. I now he is only two but seeing his little faith grow and his understanding of his identity as a child of God is one of the greatest joys I have ever experienced. Im so thankful for Gods grace and the gift of faith and hope. 
Twas a Merry Christmas indeed!