Friday, September 30, 2022

100 days (5/10)

What a week. Er, 10 days. There isn't a word that means "10 days" like week means 7...but what a...long and stressful 10 days.

During these last 10 days I have been having some digestive issues and also headaches and other health problems that have derailed my life. Hence the mostly-selfies and I am tired. 

I also found out I am pregnant. Which is probably related to the health issues. And/or the main cause of them. Sigh. 

After that emotional roller coaster, I am facing the next 10 days... with a lot to figure out. Oh, and deal with the debilitating nausea that hit like an unwelcome friend soon after the pregnancy awareness. I'll be honest, I have been laying around feeling sick and sorry for myself and moody and irritable and cranky and upset and nauseous and waiting to have a miscarriage (because I have had six) but this week I am 7 weeks and have not miscarried yet. SO. I guess this is happening. 

I don't know how to feel about it yet.

Well. I think its a boy and we don't have a name, but I guess that can wait.

Pray for all the decisions I have to make in a short time!

How are you all? 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

100 days (4/10)

I made it to 40 days! I am getting used to "the dress" and enjoying it throughly. My favorite way to wear it is with my new sweater and now that fall is here I plan to wear it for at least 5 days straight. I am finally starting to realize I need to wear my apron when I cook so "the dress" doesn't need to be washed. I had two times where I had to wash it and was only able to wear it after lunch and that was frustrating! 

I'm almost halfway!!! Wheee. 

No one has noticed that I wear the same thing...Reuben noticed the first 10 no one comments anymore.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Jewelry Handicraft

My kids are so different and these necklaces are proof of this. The top one was made by Becky. She didn't want my help and would get mad when I would suggest a bead or try to assist in any way. She knows exactly what she wants and isn't afraid to tell me about it. I love her and her quirky wonderful personality. Becky gifted this necklace to her friend Vivian at church. 

I made this green necklace and bracelet to wear as a set. Actually, it is one I made before but back when I was just starting jewelry making and I didn't fill up the whole wire with beads, which was a mistake. So when the kids were making theirs I re-made and fixed mine. I love it so much more now especially since I hid the wire ends so they don't scratch me. 

Reuben made this bottom one. He loved working with me and would ask me what I thought would look best next. He wanted my opinion on everything. He is also so wonderful, kind and thoughtful! He decided to gift this necklace to his music teacher (he picked the charm out just for her!!) and is super excited for violin practice tomorrow. 

Handicrafts are fun, and we are 6 weeks into our homeschooling for his Year Two, and Becky's Pre-K.

Monday, September 12, 2022

a dance I didn't know existed

The saying about when it rains it pours is totally true. And probably part of why adults have anxiety? Things have been rolling along like a proverbial train, homeschooling, child-reading, battling my own sin nature, digging deep in God's word, shoving as much natural medicine knowledge into my head as possible...

Until, yesterday! 

I have found lately that I don't like myself much. I am in an overly critical phase or something. Please tell me its a phase and not the new normal because I don't want to be a judgmental crab apple of a person forever. I have noticed a trend of either oversimplifying people/situations or staring down my nose with a hindsight bias attitude. Neither of which are helpful or kind to whatever crisis a person is currently going through.

Example: a friend of mine texted me she was so tired, she had been up for 9 nights with a sick 9 month old baby. I typed back "my husband and I take turns when this happens so that at least one of us is sleeping". I reread what I had typed and erased it. I wrote instead "I understand, you sound exhausted, praying for you more". Then I offered to bring her hummus and sourdough pita tomorrow. 

In the course of writing the advice portion, I realized that my kids are 4 and 7 and not a breastfeeding 9 month old, and that my "husband and I taking turns" really only works because my kids are older. We were not able to take turns when the kids were little, and I had forgotten that. A breastfeeding baby does not want daddy at 9am. At least, mine didn't.

Also she didn't ask for advice, and giving her that kind of advice in the middle of her sleep-deprived state wasn't helpful. She's a smart human, she's doing all she can. I resolved from now on not to try to "fix" problems but instead help, if I can. 

Is this what 35 is? Am I evolving into a kind and caring creature? 

In the last two days we have learned:

  • my mother in law has covid (she's doing fine)
  • friend with sick baby finally went to the ER and the baby has RSV
  • another friend had a car wreck (she's okay. was scary!)
  • drove to the dentist with my husband (stressful!!) for Reuben
  • ended a week of family stay-cation 
  • church drama
  • family drama 
and more. I could go on--I am amazed at how much Reuben has grown and matured but I keep stepping on his 7-year old toes and forgetting the myriad of things he really can do for himself. And that I need to stop micromanaging him and I need to start letting him make more decisions for himself. I have frustrated him a lot since he turned seven doing things that he had no qualms about me doing/or deciding when he was six. Growing up is hard. Being a mama to someone who is growing up is hard. Navigating communication, tasks, and independence is a dance I didn't know existed. 

But through it all God is good and usually I maintain my trust and calm as I abide in him. 

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Our ladies bible study at church is studying 1 Samual this semester and it has been just what I needed. 

God is good and I hope I can be the mother God would want me to be for Reuben and Rebekah. And the wife for my husband, and a good supportive friend to all those who I am honored to call friends. Here is to 35 and all the insights it offers, even if they are about my personality and it's flaws. 

Sunday, September 11, 2022


Lately I have been a bit lonely. It happens, right? Homeschooling takes my mornings with all the wonderful learning, and then there is chores, cooking, cleaning, and spending what time I can with the kids. This stage in life, for my extroverted self, is a bit lonely. I love my kids, but I miss my friends sometimes. My best friend Mandy has been coming over every other week in the evenings for two hours and it has been the balm for my parched soul! We have been doing the gateway 1 homeopathy coarse by Joette together and I am falling more and more in love with homeopathy. 

But I just don't have time for many playdates anymore. I used to be able to manage 1-2 a week and we haven't been getting any in...I don't think it is good for Reuben. He misses his best friend. He does have friends he sees at church and we do a small nature co-op twice a month but we used to do a co-op weekly and also try and see at least one friend once a week on top of that. And we just came off summer where I did playdates as much as possible. 

We have met another one of our neighbors and she has a daughter the same age as Reuben and they play beautifully together. I need to make more playdates with them, but she and I are both exhausted homeschooling mothers who garden. She has chickens! But we can make it work. We always seem to be free at opposite times, the irony. 

The holidays are coming. And while I love the holidays with my family, I have come to dread what I miss. Growing up we either spent the holidays with my stepfather's large extended family in TN, or with my favorite Aunt in GA. I have wonderful memories of large thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. I have said this before on here, but Reuben does not have any of that and I mourn for him. It is just me, Brian and the kids for most holidays. One Christmas I visited my favorite Aunt in GA and that was SO wonderful! But we can't always drive 8 hours for holidays, and my Aunt usually gets only 2-3 days off work. It's so hard. 

Brian has no family, his only brother died. My sister has four kids, two that are significantly older than mine and she doesn't visit because of her trauma. Her younger two kids are living with their father and she hasn't seen them in three years. She is miserable and unhappy most of the time if she does visit it is hard to be around, as she can be combative and angry. I realize that is no excuse not to see someone, and I try to help. But it is hard to be around someone who is depressed, especially on the holidays. Even if they have good reasons. My sister also has three dogs and many cats, and Brian, my husband, is seriously allergic to dogs and cats so if she does bring one (and she is only allowed to bring one) it usually barks and she has to leave. The dogs cannot come inside because of my husband allergies. 

This all sounds like excuses. But it is just life. Life is hard sometimes, in many ways. I love my sister, and I know she loves me, but I struggle to find the line where I can help her, be a friend to her, and also have good boundaries. Sometimes I think I am doing it well, and it all blows up in my face.

A few months ago (2? 3?) I was headed out to the garden to weed around the tomatoes and pick some vegetables when my sister showed up without texting or calling. It was a Saturday, and she sent her kids to our back porch where we were hanging out to show us some newborn puppies that her dog had about four weeks back. They were cute and my kids were enthralled. My sister stayed in the car and I spent a few minutes chatting with her kids and then went on my way towards the garden to do my picking, leaving the cousins to play together.

This is apparently when my sister got out of the car and came up to the porch. She thought I was avoiding her--I wasn't (And I didn't know she thought this until much later when my mom finally told me) but she had her kids tell my husband that they were hungry. I regularly feed them when they come over, I love cooking and her kids love my food which is nice, since my kids usually cry when I cook...(especially Becky!) My husband gave them some yellow squash I had picked from the garden yesterday. If I had been there I would have given them something to eat right that moment. Apparently my sister was upset that she had been given squash when she had her kids tell my husband they were hungry, and she left. I had seen her get out of the car and seen her chat with my husband but was too far away to hear anything, and I thought after I got done weeding/picking I would get a chance to chat with her, but she left so suddenly I did not get too. I didn't think anything of this at the time, I thought oh, she just stopped by quickly to show the puppies.

Apparently she has been angry at me for weeks, one for not feeing her kids and two for ignoring her and going to the garden. I heard all about this from my mother. My mom said her food stamps had run out and she had no food at all, which wasn't what my husband understood from the brief communication. We don't keep a lot of convenience food around, because of our allergies we make most things from scratch. But I didn't know she didn't have any food and that was what she was asking for. I thought, when my husband told me what her kids said, that they were just doing what they always do; asking for food because they were at my house. I was wrong.

She still won't talk to me, I have been trying for weeks. 

My mom bought her groceries. 

This is just one of many interactions and miscommunications with my sister that make life hard. I know I don't understand her. I know her life is really awful and she's struggling. What I don't know is how to help and how to have a relationship with her sometimes. I wonder if she feels the same about me, that I live in another world? I don't know. I would tell her, and I try, that I also have struggles with my health, my kids, communicating with my husband and navigating life. But she always replies "at least I have a husband" or "at least I have my kids". Which is true, I do have those things. But I also have bad days. 

My mom was a single mom and probably understands her better. I try hard not to judge and love, and I hope she tries not to judge me and also love. 

Anyway, this just goes to show a tiny bit of why our extended family dynamics are a bit of a muddle.

No one is promised tomorrow, so let's make the best of today. But I am kind of mad at my sister, can you tell? I shouldn't be, but I wrestle with it regardless. I need to love her as Christ would love her, and she should do the same for me. 

Anyway. After writing this I just feel tired, and perhaps I shouldn't have written all this personal stuff, but here it is. I'm going to eat a bunch of chips and dip and persuade my husband to go on a walk with me. Tomorrow Reuben gets a dental device installed and he is really nervous (it shouldn't hurt and is non-invasive) and I am hopeful it will help him heal and be able to breathe out of his nose. Poor kid. Pray that it works. 

Monday, September 5, 2022

What I Read (August 2022)

The Easter Cat by Meindert DeJong (9/10 stars)

I really loved this book! It's a cute story about a little girl who just wants a cat, but her mother is allergic. Beyond adorable and very well written. DeJong really understands children. 

Marya: A Life by Joyce Carol Oats (1/10 stars)

I'm sorry, but I really did not like this book. It made me uncomfortable and I didn't like the writing style. I also hate books where unhappiness and hardship abound and then they go and end on a cliffhanger and a bad note. This one has both. The whole experience of reading this book was traumatizing. 

The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf (4/10 stars)

This book was okay. It was a weird 1900s coming of age novel that also ends on a "bad note" but in a more believable sense. I couldn't get a good grasp of the characters while I was reading it, and Rachel bored me. I think St. John is a narcissist. If I could sum up this book in one sentence, I would say "Two very uninteresting people take a very long and roundabout time falling in love; and by the end of the book neither understand love or each other. The End. 

Even Better than Eden (4/10 stars)

This book I had to read for my church bible study. I loved the first half, hated the middle, and was okay by the end. Some of the stuff she draws correlations between was mind-blowing. The book was interesting but left no long lasting impression. 

I will be donating all these books except for The Easter Cat which I have given to Reuben.  May September be less disappointing. 

100 days (3/10)

These last 10 finally got hard! Many times I don't want to wear my dress. I am worried that at the end of the 100 days I won't want to look at it again, hah! But I am keeping on keeping on. I got two days behind because Becky was sick and I didn't post those pictures, but that's okay. 

I am over ONE FORTH of the way done!!! WHOOO. 

30 days in. One month! I have 70 more days to go, all of September and October and part of November. 

Also I only 'did' my hair twice these 10 days but, its something, right? (I was shocked to see when I took these pictures that I do have some gray hairs; but they blend in when my hair dries). Also the kids are done taking pictures of me (they were originally arguing about who got to take my picture) but now they are not interested, so expect more selfies and timer-photos! Hehe. 

Becky has been wearing her dress when it suits her and looking cute as a button. 

Here is to the next 10 days.