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I know I said I would try to blog more this summer. Yeah…that didn’t quite happen and now it’s October?!? Just to give you all an update on how the prego and cripple are doing –the cripple is now not so cripple and the prego is very very prego. Larry’s ACL surgery in June went well and with regular physical therapy and the exercises he does at home, he’s pretty much back on his feet. It’ll be a while before he can be back on the ultimate field, but at least now he can manage to walk quickly after our two boys on their scooters. The one highlight from his whole recovery process was that he was able to get a temporary handicap parking permit. It was nice to be able to park in those nice big handicap spots and at any meter without having to pay for as long as we wanted. We got spoiled all summer driving to the library instead of having to limp and waddle there. But alas, the permit expired at the end of September, and now all I can do is look longingly at those handicap spots as we drive by looking for parking.

As I said, the prego is now very prego. I’m entering into my 37th week, which is when the baby is considered pretty much close to full term. Turner was born at 37 weeks, and if what they say about each kid coming out faster and sooner is true, d-day (or should I say b-day) can be any day now. We have diapers and clothes and dug out the bassinet and the car seat, so I think we’re ready. I’ve been trying to remember what labor is like. It’s funny, a mom asked me how I’ve prepared for this delivery compared to my previous two and I told her with CC, Larry and I took an 8 week Bradley class. Every Thursday we would gather in our teacher’s living room with 4 or 5 other couples and do relaxation exercises and I would visualize my beautiful natural birth. With Turner, I think I managed to dig out my Bradley method workbook and actually went over my notes. With this pregnancy, the extent of my preparation has been watching the entire season of Call the Midwife (haha just kidding, I think I already watched the whole season before I got pregnant).

So I thought I’d crank out this post before baby #3 decides to come, because you might not hear from me for awhile after he shows up. Truth be told, I’m starting to get pretty excited. Excited to not be walking around with a bowling ball in my tummy. Excited to eat all the carbs and sugar I want (With this pregnancy I technically did not have gestational diabetes, but “gluclose intolerance.” Not sure what the difference is, but I didn’t have to prick myself 4 times a day, which was fine by me). But most of all, excited to meet this new addition, whose arrival I believe will bring about a sense of completeness to our family, at least for me. Maybe I’ll try to blog at least one more time, just to let you all know when he comes. So stay tuned!

Here are some random pictures from our summer –

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Driving down to So Cal right after Larry’s surgery. We took the middle seat out so he could stretch out his leg.

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One of the reasons we went down was to be able to see my sister and my nieces and nephew!

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Yesterday I had the rare opportunity to take Turner to his preschool on the bus. The day before I had unfortunately gotten a flat tire on our brand new minivan after picking up the kids from school. It wasn’t fun having to sit at the gas station for an hour with 3 kids waiting for roadside assistance, but with the car’s DVD player and the one granola bar I managed to find in my bag, we somehow made it through.

So anyways, Larry wanted to take the car in to the dealer early in the morning so he wouldn’t have to deal with waiting in line, which meant I would be car-less for morning school drop offs. I borrowed a car from a friend to take Christopher to his carpool ride and then decided I would take Turner to school on the bus so that I could go straight to the car dealer afterwards to retrieve our car. Turner couldn’t be more excited to go on the big public bus. For the first few weeks of school he would look longingly at the yellow school buses parked in front and always ask me if he would get to go on them. Berkeley public transit may not be the same as a yellow school bus, but in the eyes of a 3 year old, it’s just as exciting.

We walked the couple of blocks from our house to the bus stop and waited for only about 5 minutes before our bus pulled up. I instructed Turner before getting on that he should say “Good morning” to the driver, and he did just that as we ascended the steps. I asked him where he wanted to sit, and he said, “in the caboose!” so we marched to the back of the bus and plunked down in two empty seats by the window. As the bus pulled away and as we watched the streets of the city flash past us, I was suddenly transported back to my childhood. I did most of my growing up in New York City and taking public transportation was a huge part of my life. I think as early as 4th grade I was already taking the public bus to school on my own and in junior high and high school, I had to take two buses everyday to school. I have fond memories of me and my friends gallivanting all over the city with our free school bus passes. It’s a little shocking to me now as a mom to think of how much freedom I had back then as a kid.

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Waiting at the bus stop

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Sitting in “the caboose”

 

As the bus curved its way through downtown Berkeley, I looked out the window with my son and noticed things I had never seen before. Turner and I took turns pointing things out to each other, people we saw walking down the streets, things we saw in shop windows. Before we knew it, we were at our stop. I pressed the stop requested button and both of us hopped out the back door and took our time walking the four blocks to his preschool. He was as happy as a clam…and I was too. I don’t think I would trade in the convenience of a car for taking public transportation every day, but it was nice not to be the one behind the wheel for one morning. And it was also nice being able to share a slice of my childhood with my son.

 

 

 

 

 

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hibernation

We took the whole Thanksgiving week off last week and just came back from visiting family and friends in SoCal. I’m still recovering. We all ended the trip with some stomach issues, with the exception of Turner. That boy has a tummy of steel; doesn’t seem like anything can suppress his appetite. We had a good time, but I’m glad to be back in my own bed and to have the kids back in school. Hopefully I’ll be back to eating soon too.

It just hit me today that IT’S DECEMBER! It’s hard to believe that in a month 2015 will be over. Crazy, isn’t it? I was recalling my post about my goals for this year and it just made me groan. At some point I will revisit that post and let you all know how I did, but this is the time of year when I lose all motivation to do anything, anything productive, that is. I wish I had the energy for that final sprint, but instead I think I’ll be dragging myself tooth and nail to the finish line.

I so wish I was a bear and could just go into hibernation for this next month. Winter has finally come to Berkeley (meaning the temperatures can go below 60!) and all I want to do is hide under the covers all day and waste my time scrolling through Facebook. Last night I went to bed at 9pm and woke up this morning at 6:30am. 9.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep = pure happiness. Maybe my stomach is telling me that I ate enough last week for me to just sleep this week. That would be so nice…

I’ve decided that for me December will be a season of rest, at least until we make that drive down to SoCal again in three more weeks. Maybe I’ll wake up from my hibernation refreshed and ready to tackle goals for another year. So you all probably won’t hear from me until January. Until then, happy December!

 

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It’s one of those days. It’s absolutely beautiful outside, sunny and blue skies, temperature has finally dropped so that it actually feels like fall here. Those are my favorite kind of days. But for some reason today I have no motivation to do anything. No motivation to go out and enjoy the beautiful weather, no motivation to clean the house that sorely needs cleaning, no motivation to try to figure out what to do with that hunk of meat defrosting in the kitchen. Instead I’m sitting in front of my computer, nursing my second cup of tea for the day, randomly opening useless windows on chrome, and all the while something keeps lifting my gaze to the big window in front of me, the one with five tiny pumpkins on the sill. I look out and see the big tree, full of leaves that are still green and somehow it calms me in my current restless state. Don’t psychologists say that looking at green is good for the brain and for the soul? I thought I’d heard something like that.

Something besides looking at that tree is good for my restless soul. It always hard for me to get started, especially on a blah day such as this one, but I find that when I close the other useless windows and grudgingly open my wordpress window and just start typing, I start to feel the same way I do when I look out at that tree. I feel centered, purposeful, and as I read the words pouring out through my fingertips onto the screen, I finally begin to understand how I feel. I would not call myself a writer by any means, but I have to say tending to this little blog for the last five years has become a therapy for me. Sorry to say, I’ve been neglectful of it these past few months. But today, being one of those days, I needed to come tend it again. I needed to get some words down so that my soul could be at rest.

Now that this post is written and my tea cup is empty, I think I have the motivation to go deal with that hunk of meat in the sink. So if you’re having one of those days…take a few minutes to go back to those simple things that bring you joy. And if that doesn’t work, go stare at something green. 🙂

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I’m sure you all have noticed the term “wardrobe capsules” being thrown around in social media lately. It’s a movement that is quickly gaining momentum. For the uninitiated, it’s basically paring down your wardrobe to a small limited number of versatile items and working with that for a whole season (meaning not shopping). I was skeptical at first. You all know where I stand when it comes to the state of my wardrobe. But I thought I’d give it a try and now…I’m a wardrobe capsule convert.

One post I read advised that you have to begin by taking EVERYTHING out of your closet and then only put back in what you love. So that’s where I started.

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After going through every piece, only one-third of what was in the closet made it back in. I moved some winter coats to the closet in the kids’ room and everything else got put in boxes for Goodwill. Now I had a closet that was two-thirds empty.

Next, I attacked my dresser drawers. Same thing as with the closet, everything got pulled out and was carefully scrutinized. All shirts I wanted to keep got hung up in the closet. I fit all my undergarments, pajamas, and work out clothes in one drawer and pants and shorts in another, freeing up a whole drawer for my husband to use. Now this is what my closet looks like.

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I thought that after getting rid of all the stuff I didn’t love, I’d have to go shopping to actually build my capsule. But in the clearing out process, I happily discovered clothes I forgot I’d had, crammed in the back of the closet, buried in the bottom of my drawers. So it was kind of like going shopping in my own closet. Now all the clothes I would actually wear are all out in plain view, which makes getting dressed in the mornings so much easier and faster.

Finally…a fashion trend that has actually made my life easier and that didn’t even cost me a cent. Wish all fashion trends were like that.

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Whoa, it’s March? How did that happen? It can’t be possible that we’re already three months into the new year! Back in January I designated March as a time that I would check in with how my flight plan for this new year is coming along. (By the way, thanks to all of you who commented on that post with encouraging words!  It makes me realize that I’m not flying solo!) Anyways, as a way to keep myself accountable, I’ll share with you all how I’m doing so far.

Speak more kindly to my family

This one’s still a work in progress, but I must say that being more conscious of how I speak to my husband and children has made a marked difference in the atmosphere in our home. There has definitely been less yelling on my part. It has also engendered some good conversations between CC and me about how we should speak to one another. Sometimes he’ll remind me to say please or tell me he doesn’t like my tone (oh these kids!). The shouting matches of old have now become more like spirited debates, so that’s a good thing.

Learn how to study the word

So far I’ve been pretty consistent with my two Life-study messages a week. I’ve designated Tuesday and Thursday afternoons when Turner’s napping as my “study time.” I actually really look forward to that one quiet hour when I can sit down with a cup of tea and my Bible. I’ve definitely felt more spiritually supplied this year as a result of these weekly tea times with God.

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Make plans to travel

Larry and I had big plans to go to Europe in May, but after talking it over we’ve decided that trip might have to wait until the summer of next year. So I’ll be putting that in my flight plan for 2016. That doesn’t mean we won’t be doing any traveling this year though. In a few weeks our family will be embarking on a grand road trip to Phoenix, AZ with a whole bunch of college students. And this summer my in-laws are spoiling the boys (and us) with a Disney cruise to Alaska! We’ll leave from Vancouver, so the new passports we got for the boys for our Europe trip will come in handy after all.

Start a regular neighborhood children’s meeting in our home

This one has been the most challenging item for me this year, but also the one I feel like God has blessed the most so far. I started a time with my boys once a week on Wednesday afternoons. We sing some songs, I’ll tell a short Bible story or character lesson, and then a simple craft. A friend o f mine started coming with her toddler son, and even though he was a little young to understand everything, it was nice to have more people come. CC started asking me why more kids didn’t come and so I started to pray with him at night about it. We’d pray for the Lord to bring his friends (and for his mom to have the boldness to invite them). After a couple months of it just being the three boys, I started to get a little discouraged, but a sister who had already established a meeting like this in her home just encouraged me to keep going. Two weeks ago I happened to bump into the mom of one of CC’s classmates when I went to pick him up at school and she and her son and baby daughter ended up all coming over to our place for an impromptu play date. We talked over tea and I told her about this weekly time I have with the kids and asked if her son would like to come and she said yes! So for the last two weeks I’ve been picking CC and his friend up at school and bringing them back here to have our children’s meeting. I still need a lot of help in learning how to get rowdy boys to sing and listen, but at least they all seem to enjoy the time. My faith was strengthened when I prayed with my son last night and he said, “Thank you Lord for answering our prayer and bringing Jakob to children’s meeting!”

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Speak the gospel to at least one person

This hasn’t quite happened yet…but I’m learning to just speak to people. The other day I struck up a conversation with a woman behind me in line at the grocery store, who also happened to be a stay-at-home mom. I ended up giving her a ride home because she didn’t have a car and we found out we had a lot in common. Anyways, I’m learning to step out of my shell and open my mouth more. Although I haven’t spoken the gospel ‘per se’ to anyone yet, I feel like there has definitely been opportunities when I’ve been able to speak my enjoyment of the Lord to others. The year is far from over, so I’ll still be praying for this.

How’s your flight plan for this year going so far?

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My Flight Plan for 2015

I know it’s a little late for a new year’s post, but here goes anyway.

A few days before the end of the year I was lamenting to Larry in the car how I didn’t feel like I accomplished anything in the past year. Yes, it was a busy year for us and there were plenty of things that we did, but looking back I just didn’t feel like there was much progress or growth with me personally. He reminded me that our growth in life is in the realm of faith and often not that noticeable and that being self-introspective will just lead me down a path to nowhere, which is all very true. So instead of introspecting, I’ve been trying to do more reflecting about 2014. I realized that much of the reason I felt like I didn’t accomplish much was because I hadn’t set clear goals (or I might have set goals but neglected to write them down, so they were forgotten by March).

Larry related to me a story yesterday that he had heard from someone else about two pilots of a commercial airline. They were in the plane, ready to go except for the fact that they had no flight plan. So they decided to take off anyway and wing it (no pun intended) and somehow figure it out when they were in the air. After 20 minutes in the air, they realized how ridiculous that idea was and turned back around to land. That’s kind of how I feel at the beginning of this year. I’ve gotten pretty good at maintenance, making sure fuel is filled and all systems are a go, but I don’t know where I’m going or even where I want to go. So instead of flying around aimlessly for another year just enjoying the ride, I think I’m going to turn around and land. It’s the 5th of January, CC is back in school and Larry is back at work. Turner is playing at a friend’s house. Today seemed like a perfect time for me to take a little pit stop and make myself a flight plan for this coming year.

I won’t share all my goals with you, but I will share some in the hopes that it’ll make me more accountable. Some are personal goals and some are related to our family. For those of you out there who actually read my posts, feel free to check up on me mid-year (or next week!). The more encouragement I can get, the better. Here goes some of my goals for 2015, in no particular order:

Speak more kindly to my family

Ok, confession time. I never thought I would be a yeller, but I am. I would never yell at my kids in public (because I’m too worried about what other people will think of me), but at home, when no one’s around, I yell. And I nag. Now I’m starting to reap the fruit of all that yelling and it’s not pretty. I see how my boys get into each other’s faces when they’re mad, screaming ugly words at one another and the truth starts to hit home. That’s exactly what mama does when she gets angry. Maybe I don’t say ugly words to them, but the tone, the facial expressions, the attitude is ugly. So I’m going to do my best to work on this – to speak kindly, politely, not in anger. I want to model to my kids what it means to “let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6).

Learn how to study the word

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’ve been trying to work my way through the Life-study of the Bible. Last year I finished the Life-study of Genesis and started the Life-study of Exodus. Even though it has been good, I realized most of the time I read it very superficially just to get through without much retention. So this year I want to try slowing down a bit and just read two messages a week. And instead of reading it on my ipad while lying in bed half asleep, I’d like to dedicate some time in my schedule to sit down and really study what I’m reading. Hopefully by doing this, my Truth Tuesday posts will become more consistent.

Make plans to travel

As Larry and I reviewed the past year, both of us agreed that our trip to the east coast was one of the most memorable things for 2014. So this year we’d like to make time for another family adventure, maybe this time not just across the country, but across the ocean. It has long been our dream to go to Europe together. Any tips on traveling in Europe with small children would be much appreciated.

Start a regular neighborhood children’s meeting in our home

I’ve been considering this and praying about this for awhile and I feel like this year I just need to go ahead and try it. I realized that outside of the two hours on Sunday morning, my kids don’t really get much directed moral education. We have so many meetings in our home – prayer meetings, Bible studies, small group meetings – this year, I’d like my kids to have a meeting that’s just for them and that they can invite their friends to. I’m not sure what we’ll do in this time, probably just some simple Bible stories, lessons on character, singing, and crafts. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Speak the gospel to at least one person

I’m setting the bar pretty low on this one because it’s something that’s always been a struggle for me. I so want preaching the gospel to be a normal part of my daily life and not an arduous, burdensome, insurmountable thing. I know there’s a particular joy in flowing the Lord out to people and I don’t want to miss out on that joy this year.

These are just some of my goals for this year. Even if the flight plan needs to be altered here and there as we go along, at least I feel like I kind of know where I’m going.

What are some of your goals for 2015? Whatever your flight plan for this year is, happy flying!

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