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6.29.2012

<< my week in review 06/22-28




JD and John had baseball games on Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday this week. 


Friday night they lost, but John got a triple. A triple! A fact which he tried to milk to the best of his ability. 
"John, take the garbage out." / "But I got a triple."
"Hey mom, I got a triple, can you pour me a glass of milk? And bring it to me? Because I got a triple." / "Yes you did get a triple, but you still lost."
He's a funny guy. I enjoy laughing with him.








Sunday we didn't have baseball so we took a walk around Silver Lake with the family. Truth be told, we had to pull a couple teeth to have a family walk, but by the end of the walk we'd enjoyed some laughs and some memories. Afterwards, the kids lobbied for a dipped cone at Dairy Queen. We were happy to oblige.

Oh NO! I'm out of coffee!

I've made a commitment to buy only fair trade coffee. So when I realized I was out of the stuff, I had to make a quick run to Trader Joe's, which has the biggest selection of fair trade coffee for the right price. I'll drive further for fair trade. I think it's pretty important.

On Friday, one of my tenants brought some of his father's artwork into my office for me to look at. I've brought in a couple of my ceramic figures that I've done, so he thought I would like to see his father's bronze figures. He was right. I fell in love with this particular piece. Her lines are beautiful. It was inspiring to see her and the other sculptures. Made me want to get back to making my ceramic figures.



Crossings is my creativity inspiration spot. It's just a block from where I work and I like to go there to get my creative juices flowing and work in the clay studio when I get a chance. The gallery is jam packed with all sorts of artwork. Much of it is done by local artists. Marie, the owner, has been a huge encouragement to me as I have tried to get back to creative.


This little girl is one of my first clay figures.  I made her just  for fun, exploring the little girl in me, but Marie convinced me to put her up for sale. I was a little nervous about selling my stuff, as in "will anyone even want to buy it?" I've not really made art to sell it before. Its all been for gifts or for myself. This little girl has been there a little while. Maybe she was meant for me to keep?



I enjoy when the weather's nice and I can relax with a book during softball practice. The book I'm currently reading is Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman. I've laughed and I've cried while reading it. I appreciate her honesty about her depression and her grief.

There was a day this week when I felt down. Lots of stuff going on, just drained emotionally, feeling empty. As I got into my car after work to drive home, I looked down and saw this little flower. It spoke beauty to me where I didn't expect to find it between the asphalt and the concrete. It was a little bit of grace just when I needed it. Thanks, God.

When I got home from work one day, this was written on the chalkboard in the kitchen. I got such a kick out of it because I'm not sure that I ever could have written that, even now. I pray that her positive self image continues through middle school and high school.

 
The sky during Wednesday night's game captured my attention. Driving to the game my girls laughed at how many times I said, "wow, look at the clouds!" The beautiful clouds became a gorgeous sunset, which I thought would look great in the background of a picture of John batting. He didn't cooperate with me and swung at the first pitch, so instead I got a shot of him as he starts for first base. But I got the sunset.


On Thursday this one and I went to the pool while the others went to an away baseball game. She's a fish. And I am Rudolph. I need to remember to put sunscreen on my nose.

This week we harvested the peas from the pea plant that Sarah brought home from school. True story: I forgot they were peas and thought they were green beans & popped the whole pod in my mouth. (Pea pods don't taste very good.) (I am not a gardener.)


This week I've been studying Phillipians 2:1-8 for my Love Like Him study, thinking about the humility that Jesus had and what an example of love that is for me in my life and my relationships. I'd already been thinking about it as I wrote about the importance of validation last week. It's not about putting myself down, it's about making sure that others are put up. Differentiating my needs from others' needs makes it easier / possible to practice humility. I'm wrapping my mind around that.




life rearranged

6.25.2012

There Will Be Pain (Embrace It)

"Embrace the pain." That's what my mom said to me as she was giving me a pep talk before I went to the hospital to have my first child. Having heard the stories that women like to tell about their experiences of child birth, I was understandably a little afraid of the pain. But she was telling me to embrace it.

"The pain is your body getting ready for the baby to be born," she told me. "So when you feel the pain, you are closer to holding your baby. Embrace the pain, it's bringing your baby."

I was reminded of her advice when our pastor said that pursuing godliness is a lot like childbirth. Naturally my mind when to the three times I have experienced the labor and pain of giving birth, each experience so different from the other. The third time was the only time I was able to have anything to lessen the pain. Interestingly, it was the third time that it took me the longest to bond with the baby.

6.22.2012

InstaFriday

My week in Instagrams.

Sunday was Father's Day. It was also the weekend of the Edina 13UAAA baseball tournament. The night before I asked my husband what he wanted for Father's Day. He joked, "I wanna get up at 5 and drive to the cities to play baseball."
And that's just what we did.

I love driving past farms and barns. At 6:00 am, with the sun low in the sky, it was beautiful.


At the ball field, before the game, my husband gave the boys a pregame talk before the semi-final game. As soon as I snapped the camera to take this picture, the players looked over at the sound. I felt bad about distracting them. But I got the shot.

It came down to the final out, a play at home plate. Our centerfielder made a great throw, and our catcher was able to block the runner from scoring. Game over, we won 6-5 to go on to the championship game!


It rained pretty hard before our next game, so the field crew came out to dry out the mound, batter's box and base paths. I thought the dirt looked cool as it blew away while the field crew was throwing it down to dry out the mud. I also thought I'd be clever and submit this photo for the weekend's instagram hashtag project, #outtodry. (They came #outtodry the field, get it?) Once the field was dried out enough to play, the championship game got started. 


We won, 9-7. First place, on Father's Day! (My son is the far left of the top row.)

My husband had told the boys that if they won the championship game, that he would slide down the hill behind the outfield fence (it was so wet from rain that kids were sliding, not rolling, down the hill during the pregame warm-ups), so after the game the players held him to it.

1. My husband sliding down while the players cheer him on.
2. An assistant coach decided to take the roll down the hill, too.
3. The players get a running start.
4. My daughter and her friend join in the fun.

And then, the long drive home.

Past farms and barns.









And that was just Sunday!


I've been thinking about 2 Cor. 5:14-21 this week. It's good stuff.


My husband put together a Summer Chore and Activity Chart for the kids while they are at home this summer, while I am gone at work and he is at home trying to work. It blesses me that he took the time to do this. I intended to make one, I have such good intenions, but he is much better at planning than I am.


This is what my planning looks like. I wanted to make menu plans, so I got on Pinterest to find recipes and meal plans. I don't know what we're having for dinner tonight, but I have a lot of new pins.


My daughter made a fort in the living room and decided to spend the night there. She made it the whole night, I was impressed. She made it the whole next night, too. I may need to reclaim my living room.


The maintenance man called me at work and said, "Anne, are you watching the radar?" As if I sit at my desk and watch the radar. "The storm is coming, you'd better get out of there." Well, I didn't quite get out of there in time. Visibility was minimal, as were the highway speeds, and I was white knuckling it all the way home. (This photo, however, was taken while I was still in park in the parking lot.)


This is our bedroom door, the notes left by our littlest. She's a sweetie. I'm going to leave it up there until she is old and grey.


There's this 91 year old man who lives in the apartment where I am property manager. He likes to bake. The newspaper even did a story on him and his Christmas cookies. When I see him come into the office and see his big smile as he gives me some baked goodness, I always reward him with a big smile of my own and an especially animated thank you. He brought me this rhubarb baked something while it was still warm. Yum.


Every time Sarah was up to bat, she swung and hit the first pitch, so I couldn't get a very good picture of her batting. But here's a picture of her running (#12). I think this might be the double that she got. She's a hitting machine off the pitching machine.

And that is my week in Instagrams.


A link up with Life. Rearranged.

life rearranged



6.19.2012

Hooray! I'm Depressed... and That's Valid! - or - Parenting Lessons From Marriage Counselling, Part 2

Some feelings are easier to express than others. I have a tendency to want to avoid the more difficult emotions. My flawed reasoning goes something like this: if I don't acknowledge the pain, then maybe I won't feel it. If I avoid conflict, I won't have to experience it. As I sat in marriage counselling, I realized my reasoning didn't work out very well for me. For us.

"That thinking is very old" my counsellor would tell me. What she meant was I brought that way of thinking into our marriage from my childhood.

I do not want my children to bring that way of thinking into their marriages. I want them to be able to share their pain without fear of conflict. Not because there won't be conflict, but because they do not fear it. I want them to be able to tell me, "Mom, I feel sad right now... I feel afraid because I don't want you to be mad... I feel angry because I don't think it's fair!"

But in order for them to feel free to tell me their honest feelings and emotions, I need to foster a safe place for them to express that valuable emotional treasure.

6.18.2012

That's How We Roll


This is my man and my boy. This photo was taken yesterday, Father's Day. We woke up at 5:00 am to drive to the baseball tournament in Edina. Somehow it seemed appropriate to be at a ball field on Father's Day. I love watching my man coach baseball. He loves the game. He loves the kids.


He uses the game to teach the kids life lessons like character, competition, confidence, & communication. Over the years a few mothers of the players have pulled me aside and told me how much they appreciate that my man has taught their boys the importance of these things, how he has encouraged the boys and built into them. I appreciate that about him too.


My man, the coach, told the players that he would roll down the hill if they won the tournament. They beat Edina 9-7 in the championship game. After the team photos with the first place trophies, the players ran to the top of the hill where they waited for their coach. When he reached the top, he reached for his baseball hat, turned it backwards, then took a running leap as the players cheered him on then joined him in rolling down the hill.



That's how we roll.

What a fun memory. What a fun coach. What a fun father. Grateful for the fun Father's Day memory. And especially grateful for my man. 

6.11.2012

Raw Honey and EV Olive Oil. On my face. True Story.


I love the smell of honey in the morning. As I spread it on my face. I never imagined I would ever say that. But that thought goes through my mind every morning as I wash my face with raw honey. 

It's true. Raw honey and extra virgin olive oil are my skin care routine.

I posted the above photo on Instagram. I love looking at those beautiful colors on my bathroom sink. I kind of stumbled onto this skin care routine after I stumbled onto Crunchy Betty. My daughter and her friends wanted to have a spa sleepover and make homemade facials. Google introduced me to Crunchy Betty (who's name is Leslie). Not long after that, I ran out of my facial moisturizer. That stuff can be expensive and my first thought was "I can't afford to get new moisturizer." 

My second thought was 
"I wonder if there is something that I have in my kitchen that I can put on my face." 

I'd read a post that Betty/Leslie had written about extra virgin olive oil. The post itself was discussing how important it is to be sure that you are actually using extra virgin olive oil, because apparently even if it's labelled as such, it might not be. In the post she referenced using it as a facial cleanser. I wasn't looking for a cleanser, but thought it could be a candidate for a facial moisturizer.

I wanted to be sure, though, so I googled "olive oil for skin" and found many websites discussing the benefits of using olive oil on your skin. I thought this website gave the best explanation of why to use olive oil on your skin - besides the fact that it is much cheaper than costly moisturizers. Here's what they say:
"What many consumers don’t realize is something that people living millennia ago in ancient Greece took for granted; that extra virgin olive oil, all by itself, is one of the best beauty secrets. In addition to being a natural, hypoallergenic way to moisturize skin, extra virgin olive oil has the added advantage of providing strong antioxidants, like Vitamins A and E that help repair and renew skin that has been damaged from overexposure to sun, air pollution, and other modern-day environmental hazards – like cigarette smoke and fast food. These antioxidants have the natural ability to stimulate cells and return skin to a firmer, smoother, and healthier state." - Olive Oil Source, Beauty and Olive Oil
With words like 
natural
antioxidant
renew
firm, 
smooth, 
and 
healthy 
how could I not 
be intrigued? 

I, who dawdle in the skin care aisle, drawn in by the promises of anti-aging potions, asked myself,
"Could it be that there is a natural anti-aging moisturizer in my kitchen?"

I was convinced I could use it on my skin, but not quite sure I wanted to put it on my face. So next I googled "olive oil bad for skin" and all the links that came up were pro-olive oil on the face. The most interesting link I found was a conversation thread on acne.org. I figured that if anyone might have issues with olive oil on the face, it would be someone who hangs out on acne.org. Instead there were many comments about how extra virgin olive oil actually helps get rid of acne and blackheads.

That convinced me. Since then I've used extra virgin olive oil on my face. And my legs and arms and every other spot that needs moisturizing.

Now, here's the story of the honey.

O!

The honey!

That's
what I love
smearing on
my face.
It just smells

so

yummy.

After I got used to the idea of putting a kitchen ingredient in my bathroom, I had another idea. I'd seen discussions on the benefits of honey wash and it got me thinking that I could not only moisturize but also cleanse with kitchen ingredients. So I wondered:
What if my entire skin care routine was from my kitchen? 

What entire skin care routine? I was already doing my one step routine: moisturizing.

I do not like washing my face. Never have. Since I don't like cleansing it, as with many things that I don't like to do and won't do if I don't have to, I didn't cleanse my skin.

But  I was carried away in a crunchy frenzy and suddenly I wanted a multi-step skin care routine. From my kitchen! I decided to try the honey face wash idea. I discovered that raw honey also has moisturizing and antibacterial properties that my aging face will benefit from.

I also discovered that I really do like washing my face.

With raw honey.
Because it smells yummy.

And, so, now you know the story behind the photo, and the story behind my skin care routine.


 


6.08.2012

Why I Don't Have Quiet Times

I tend to associate quiet with good. Maybe that's because I am an introvert and I recover with quiet. Maybe it's because when I was growing up the two words were sometimes used interchangeably.

"You were very good," My mom told me when I asked her if I was like my kids when I was their age. "Very quiet," she added.

I was the first born, what else could I be but compliant? I knew that "be good" meant "be quiet." My brother, the second child, was full of energy. Once, when he was two or three, we were in church and he was being fidgety. "Be normal," my dad told him. Which meant "sit still and be quiet." Because quiet is normal, and normal is good.

6.03.2012

Instamotivation


15 days of 1 Corinthians 13
15 different coffee cups
16 instagram photos

So far, this social media bible study experiment has been a good experience. I have found that the idea of posting a photo to instagram each day is motivating. I'm not sure if that is a good thing, though. I am motivated to read God's word because I want to know God and what He has to say to me. Taking photos of my time with God seems to make it more production than productive.

The other aspects of the Maximizing Your Mornings is to take time to exercise and plan. I have not been good at either of those things so far. Perhaps I need to take photos of me exercising or menu planning in order to maximize the motivation I get from posting photos to Instagram.

Hooray! My Son Just Got Angry! - or - Things I Learned In Marriage Counselling & How I Parent Differently Because of Them - Part 1

After seventeen years of marriange, my husband and I had a crisis. The kind of crisis you never expect to have when you are standing at the altar promising to honor and cherish each other. The kind of crisis you go to intensive counselling over.

The marriage counselor told us that we each had stuff to deal with as individuals before we could even begin to deal with our marriage stuff. One of the huge lessons I had to learn in my individual sessions was this:

It's okay to get angry.

I don't know where I got the idea that it is not okay to express heavy emotions. That's what my counselor called them, "heavy." I called them "negative" but she said "there are no negative emotions."

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