Saturday, April 23, 2011

Serious Saturday

As pretty much everyone who has any connection to the modern world knows, yesterday was Good Friday. We spent the day with my grandparents (Gage's great-grandparents) and we had the best day we've had in a while. In all the craziness that's been going on the past two weeks, it was a nice change to spend the day with family.

We took Gage to see the Easter Bunny, and ironically, he cried BEFORE we saw the Bunny because I wouldn't let him down to run over to the Bunny. He REALLY wanted to see him, and when he did, he was just so sweet sitting there, patting the Bunny's hand and leg saying "bunny". And, he kissed the Bunny on the cheek. So, I'd say our visit was a success. This was his first time, because there's no way I was sitting my 4 month old baby on the same lap that every other germy kid had sat on last year. But, with all the dirt eating, nose picking, and letting the dogs lick his mouth over the past year, I figure he's built up his immunity enough for the onslaught of those germs. Generally, it was a great day and we all went to bed happy and exhausted.

I mentioned how growing up I always found it odd that we call it "Good Friday" when there was nothing GOOD about it. My grandmother was quick to insert that being forgiven for all our sins because of the death of Christ was pretty good news to her. Of course, we all agreed.

It inevitably makes me think of how hopeless this Saturday was for everyone who had been following Christ, and hearing Him predict His death and subsequent Resurrection, must have been.
Was He really dead? Would He really come back to life? Was there anything that they could do? My faith would have been shaken. And, many of these followers were so terrified they denied even knowing Christ. Peter denied him THREE times on this day. Peter, the one on which He said He would build His church. There must have been a collective holding of breath on this first Saturday.

There's a song by my favorite band of all time, Caedmon's Call where he sings

"It's like the long Saturday between Your death and the rising day, when no one wrote a word, wondered is this the end?"

I never thought a whole lot about this day before I heard that song several years ago. So, while you're running around, getting last minute Easter Sunday supplies (like basket stuffings, and whatever kitchen item you forgot), taking your kids to egg hunts at your local church, think about what today must have been like. We take a lot of time lamenting the beating and crucifixion of our Savior. And, we of course, celebrate His Resurrection on Sunday. But, what makes Sunday so celebratory is this long Saturday. This hopeless day. That's what makes the hope He brings so important. He died. For you. Like a criminal. Scorned like a murderer. Mocked as a phony Messiah. Buried like a pauper. Denied like a stranger.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

No time for THAT!

Following up on my last post, I have done some soul searching over the last few days because, well, sheesh, everything is in upheaval it seems. I feel like God is shaking my shoulder reminding me that He's there. I think when you get arrogant in the face of your Creator, He has a way of reminding you He's God and we're not. Mediocrity isn't what we're called to. The higher calling we have as believers is exactly that: Higher. But, it's about His righteousness, not our self righteousness. We boast in Christ or we don't boast at all. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

Who wants to admit that they're simply an ungrateful wretch? Reality is that we were all saved by Amazing Grace WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS. Yesterday I was reminded of how much I live my life for myself. Wondering what should I do for me? Wrong road to wander down in my mind.

I think I have drawn my conclusions fairly quickly although I have to say I didn't make it easy on myself: My heart's desire has always been to be a stay at home wife and mother. I've always enjoyed certain writing. Hello blog people, that's why I am here - But, after I got a 2 year college degree while working almost full time, and then taking a little time off from school and trying to go back and get a Bachelor's degree, I had my "aha! moment". I was walking across the DBU campus and I thought, "I don't want this. All I want is to be a stay at home mommy, and everyone knows NO AMOUNT OF SCHOOL can prepare you for that career!"

Within the next month, I withdrew from my classes, quit my job, we all suffered the loss of a dear friend. And, I met my husband. I could stop right there and make the point enough.

Right after Curtis read my last blog, he called me and then text messaged me to say he disagreed and thinks I do NOT suck at being a wife and mom. But, the deal is, I KNOW I can put more effort into my family. I KNOW I can offer more, do more, love more, give more. I've been selfish and resentful at times at losing the "me" and "myself". I know it sucks to have less time for yourself, but I also know if I say I need it, Curtis is always ready to make sure I get it.

I'd like to blame being an only child. It's always been all about me. I have to admit to myself, though, that being a 26 year old woman, I have figured out it's not all about me. To be real, it's all about Christ. And, when you truly center your life, mind, heart, thoughts, energy and self around HIM, your perspective changes. Your reality changes.

When you're busy living your life outside of God's will, you're not going to find happiness, and you'll certainly find no peace. So, what am I going to do with my time? Devote myself to my family and our business. It's that damn simple. Stop searching when there's nothing else to be found. Find True Rest. That's what I've got time for. So, it's Spring here. New life is budding and the old deadness of Winter has passed on.

P.S. We totally got a great deal on using a timeshare for camping, of all things. It's like having a membership to a country club where we can camp and still swim in a pool and go horseback riding and lots of other junk. They, of course, wanted to sell us a 2b/2b timeshare condo, but I SAID I CAN'T BE SOLD ANYTHING I DON'T WANT. And, I got exactly what we wanted. A great place to camp out in East Texas with an indoor waterpark and a spa onsite. And, of course, the FREE 5 DAY CRUISE they promised for sitting through the ordeal. I felt slightly guilty when the salesman realized I wasn't buying the whole package. He lost his poker face for a minute. But, hey, I pride myself on being un-sellable. Who wants Gage for a week while we soak up the Mexican sun??

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

To everything there is a season

As you all know, I have been watching Hannah and Noah for the past 6 months, and that is coming to a close. Tomorrow is my last day watching them. Gage is going to be bummed he's not seeing his best friends every day, and I am going to be bored out of my skull if I just sit at home the days we're not at MDO anymore.

So, I have been mulling over some ideas as to what I can do with my free-er time now. I know, you're all thinking I should just go ahead and pursue my calling as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, but I wouldn't want to make all those girls feel terrible about themselves after they see my sexy moves and my stretch marks.

I know my dear hubby would love for me to pour all my time and energy into promoting our Garage Door Repair business...or maybe just actually keeping our house clean and the laundry put away. I can respect that. I also know that I have untapped blogging potential. Why don't you guys do whatever it is that people do to make blogs popular. I would love to sit here and type away and entertain the masses for money. Like, if blogging could say, pay a mortgage on a house for us, then I think I could feel successful enough. I could be happy with that amount of blogging success. But, I don't want to make stuff, or provide you with awesome tips on how to do great things. I want to just purely entertain with my perspective on life and how I share my life of mild instanity.

Last night, I was in the bedroom putting away/hanging up laundry and Curtis asks me from the living room what I'm doing. The answer is obvious "Effing livin' the life, babe! I'm folding laundry." I think he was slightly offended. Whoops. I forgot I'm suppose to be basking in the glow of Pine Sol and Tide. TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THIS: The first thing I would do with my blogging income would be to hire a maid and send all my laundry to a full service laundromat. I've looked into the laundry deal. $1/lb for wash/dry/fold/hang on hangers you provide. In by 10am, ready by the afternoon.

Of course, if I had a small laundromat in my home, I would happily take care of it myself. I'd like to have two washers and two dryers and a table to fold laundry on with a long bar to hang clothes on above it. And either a small flat screen or a small stereo setup. And, then enough children to put it all away for me. Yep. Because my one year old throws trash away more consistently than my husband. So, I'm guessing children are more maleable. Funny how my grown ass man doesn't want to be bossed around. Who would've thought such a thing were true?

So, a time for everything. A time to be a stay at home mommy. A time to write a blog. A time to drink wine and soak my feet in mint bubble bath. A time to work full time? Doing something I love...yes. Getting so involved I can't be a good wife and mother...well, I suck enough at both those things often enough that I don't need something to take away from that.

I'd like to teach again. At the gym. I miss TurboKick and sweating and trying to not breath heavily or curse into the headset microphone while I teach. But, I feel out of shape and out of the loop. Two years away from teaching has caused the initial anxiety of not being able to teach well enough to build and keep a class going to return. And, guys, stuff changes with time. Two years is a lifetime when you're in a constantly changing industry like group fitness. And man do you have to work your way up from the bottom. Rookies start slow. I try to not think about how much I love the gym and how much I want to be back in the middle of it. It just takes so long to make any money at it. You have to build your class schedule as you prove you're a worthy teacher. I'm cool with that. I started filling in and was eventually teaching 15 classes a week by time I left. It's decent money, you get super sexy, free/discounted gym memberships for your family members, childcare for your brat when you teach...I know this September is the next Certification day that I'd like to attend. I know there's a lot of opportunity out there. I know I can get back into the TurboKick world, eventhough I think that's what's changed the most in the past two years. I just have to wait until September. And, that's 5 months away.

There's subbing at the Weekday School at FBC Plano. I turned in my application for that today. So, pending an interview and passing my background check - cross your fingers, I've got a shady past folks what with all my youth group functions and church camps I was a part of - I can be added to the call list there. MDO breaks for the summer. So, once the end of May gets here, I will probably lose what little of my mind I have left if I don't find something.

Let me say this one thing that will make a lot of people mad: I feel like I am too smart to just be a stay at home mommy without doing something extra with my brain. Great for you if you love just being with your're probably not reading this because you got offended when I talked about my PPD issues last spring. God gave me a lot of thinking power, and if I can't use it for the good of mankind - ya know, other than raising a really awesome kid who people seem to think has the sun shining out of his butt - well, I might as well stop showering and have about 5 more kids and never leave the house again. Don't ask me how I plan to get pregnant 5 more times if I stop showering. Curtis isn't that desperate.

I guess it's like what my friend said a couple of weeks ago: "What's my purpose here as a mom as my kid gets older and doesn't need me so much?" (I'd like to add that, I personally feel my kid doesn't want to listen to me as much, so has therefore decided to not need me as much. I blame the Avary blood in his veins.)

So, what season will it be then?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Gage Sixteen Month Letter

Dear Early Morning Maniac,

Well, son, you have made it to 16 months. I use to wonder if we would make it to 16 weeks, so I think we've managed a pretty huge accomplishment. There is a lot you've been up to this month, so I decided to not be such a slacker mom and combine your monthly letters this time.

You have so many words now, but you haven't put together any real sentences. Your vocabulary seems to have doubled in the last month. You say objects, some names (we won't say whose you can and cannot say), concepts (like eat, and hot) and... can fart on command. Yep. And, I swear, I don't think your dad has worked with you in secret on this; aside from him pointing and laughing and drawing attention to your farting when it happens. You farted in the tub last week and it surprised me and I asked you if you "tooted" and your response was to pause, lean a little to one side, and reproduce the fart. And sometimes you grunt and I see your belly tighten up like you're trying to fart.

The only positive thing about this, is at least you know what to do to poop. You understand the biology of making yourself "go". I am also proud because you have a concept of when you go potty too. Whenever I first put you in the bath, you like to stand and get use to the water. I have been splashing your legs and belly with warm water to get you to sit down, but inevitably it makes you pee. So, now when you get in the tub, I splash you and you watch your little pee pee until you go potty. So, you're aware of "going". (And, yes, you pee into your bath water. What's 3 tablespoons in 5 gallons? You're not drinking the water)

You're walking into school with me now. No stroller, no holding hands. You just follow along. Now if only you'd figure out how to make me a good latte in the mornings. You throw trash away. You wash your parts in the bathtub after I squirt soap into your hands. You bring things back and forth so your dad and I don't have to stress ourselves with getting off our butts.

The hardest/best thing is that you're big enough that you go places with daddy now. Without me. This week he took you 3 times to go hang out and do boy stuff while I stayed home. You LOVE your dad. You guys are really two peas in a pod. I love how much you two look alike and you're even starting to act more like him as you get older. I say this is 50/50 on being a good thing. :)

You got your second haircut yesterday. It's amazing how much more like a big boy you look without a mullet. Ok, it wasn't a mullet, but your hair was crazy shaggy. I decided you needed a haircut before all the spring pictures start with Easter and bluebonnets and all that. I took you to the Cool Cuts 4 Kids and you got to sit in a Taxi and watch Veggie Tales during the hair cut.

You still love being outside. You will stand at the door and say "ah-side" repeatedly until I say no or open the door. Of course, if I say no, then you usually throw a fit....

Also another great talent you've honed: throwing fits. You scream, spit, become dead weight, and bite yourself on the arm. I let you do your thing, but if you spit at me, or swing at me, I spank your diapered butt. You always look so surprised...and I'm surprised you're so shocked. I know it hurts your feelings more than your bottom. But, hey, it hurts my feelings when you hit me in the face. I think you're just about able to understand a time out...and I'm just about ready to put you in one.

You're such a sweet little boy most of the time, but you're stubborn as a mule. You get it from both of us...your dad told me "He's an Avary. We're just going to have to wake up every day and put our boxing gloves on." But. you're so sweet too. You give hugs and kissies to your friends at the dogs and you love babies. You're a good sleeper still, but we have GOT to get you weaned from waking up at 4am for a bottle. Yes, people, I still give him a bottle of milk at night. My game plan is this...after this next week (since I am watching Hannah and Noah one more week) you and I are going to have to get some tough love and you're going to cry it out when you wake up at night. You have put yourself to sleep for almost a year with minimal fussing and lots of chatting with yourself. You might make peeps at night, but you put yourself back to sleep. Then, come 4-4:30 you're squawking for a bottle. You're a hefty 26lbs, kid. You can make it 12 hours without a snack.

I think you just get more and more fun as you get bigger. But, it's still a little sad as you grow. I have figured out that's part of the territory that comes with being a parent. You get big and we're so proud as you make new accomplishments, but it's hard to watch you need us less.

We love you so much, and you're the best kid a mommy and daddy could ask for.

Love, Mommy