Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reporting in

Been awhile since I gave a general report, so here goes:

1) The snow has completely melted, with the exception of large mounds of grey glacier-like "ice crust" that remain until what seems like July... these are the results of snow plow placement. It's especially weird to observe these mountains on a sixty degree day. They really WANT to be gone, they just take so darn long to trickle away.

2) I am feeling extremely motivated to make our outdoor property prettier. The trouble is, I cannot seem to pair back (no pun intended) all my imagination is throwing at me. It makes good sense that there is no realistic or financially-feasible way to re-landscape the front, move a couple bushes and trees, build a patio for our firepit, install a border around our mulched areas in the back, prepare a massive vegetable garden, buy all the accessories (flower boxes, an indoor-outdoor rug, etc) to make the perfect deck, and paint the entrety of our house all in one season. And yet that's what's going on in my head. One project at a time, Tricia. One project at a time.

3) There are so many people near and dear to me - AND distant and not as close to me - who are hurting right now. Sometimes God gives me the right things to say and the right acts of service to support. And sometimes I just feel so darn helpless.

4) Spring Break at school is just around the corner (begins Friday) and I'm all out of steam. So are the students. I drew a picture on the board yesterday to illustrate how I've felt the past couple weeks: a tug boat pulling behind it this huge cruise ship. I'm trying so hard to keep them all motivated. But, honestly, when the bees are buzzing and the nights are lighter and the spring is in the air, it is SO hard for them to focus on the volume of a recangular prism. I long ago learned the key to motivation at this point in the school year: candy.

5) Gma Decker is coming in town during Spring Break. Aunt Jo is coming after that. And after THAT, Scott and I are escapading to the island of St. John, where counsins Steve and Jennifer will be wed (clarification: they are not cousins to one another... we just have already indoctrinated Jennifer into the family and call her our cousin too. HA!). The following statement just makes me laugh, even as I prepare to type it: I am marrying them. Reverand Tricia Arthur of the Universal Life Church (it's an online program for those wanting to serve in the capacity of a wedding officiant) will preside over the wedding. Wish me luck! Should be a ball.

6) Sullivan and Jackson are really getting to know one another. Just yesterday, I caught them playing together. Like REALLY playing together (to be compared to Jackson getting a project going and Sullivan incidentally and innocently destroying it). It's cute.

7) A woman by the name of Suzanne is our newest angel addition to the fam. She is now watching the boys in our home. So Scott and I take off while the boys are sometimes still IN BED. Let's just say mornings are incredibly different now! No garbing them up and shipping out so rushedly. Suzanne is making life a whole lot easier. She also is quite creative. I came home today to find dyed eggs on the counter! Jackson was very proud.

8) I'm really jazzed about some professional directions seeming to take shape. I still very much cherish teaching...sometimes I grow teary-eyed thinking about how much of a chance I have to impact those young people. That said, I also have had this growing passion for emotional wellness - in all people. Specifically, I feel drawn to working with women. Currently, I facilitate a group of nine women, connected to the Mothers and More Chapter I am apart of here in town, in a 12 week journey called "Finishing Your Puzzle." Long story made short: It's a set of exercises and discussions that get us all thinking about the changes needed in our lives to make us the best us. In general, I just love to dig and reflect and contemplate and analyze life and am obsessed with making sure it's fulfilling. I could see this passion playing out in the form of life coaching, clinical counseling, wellness coaching, retreat-planning... who knows!

9) We found a church! It's been a long journey finding the right fit, but Scott and I finally feel very comfortable at Mount Olive Lutheran Church. I had a heart-to-heart theological discussion with the lead pastor before the holidays and he didn't balk at my crazy thinking about God (I don't think it's crazy, but probably there are many who might!). He was very affirming and it made me feel like we can fit into a progressive community of believers like this one; I just was searching for faithful believers who wanted to know God more, but acknowledged that we can never know what that means entirely. Pastor Peter is all about that line of thinking. Yey.

10) I think I'm typed out.

Monday, March 22, 2010

You know you're in Minnesota when...'re at the play place in the mall and you are disapprovingly watching older boys play with imaginary artillery, ducking and hiding and shooting each other with their finger-barrels, when a mother corrects, "Jimmy, you know we only use guns to shoot animals, not humans."

This story was told by my husband, who takes Jackson nearly every Saturday to the mall place place. It gave me a really good laugh.

Wonder if Jimmy turned his gun on the innocent plastic frog and duck other small children were riding on?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sullivan is celebrated (and so is sleep!)

Sullivan's 1 year birthday was celebrated Sunday evening (a tad early) in style! There's not much Sullivan likes more that sleep (esparagus [no joke!] and balls may rank slight ahead), so we thought it appropriate to connect that theme to his party.
Thanks for loving on little Sullivan, guests! He felt cherished. And you were all good sports, arriving in PJs in the middle of a delightfully sunny afternoon (hard to come inside!).
Sign on door greeting Sullivan's guests
Daddy's entertainment: reading a bedtime story to the kiddos (and adults!)


Daddy, Sullivan, and Mommy! (and J in the background)

Didn't take long for him to dig into the "bedtime cookies and milk" - his first sweets!

I confess, I was so proud of my creativity in preparing Sullivan's PJ-wear, that I took pictures pre-garb - just to have it permanently recorded. Shameless pride, I know.

Shoot! Couldn't rotate this little pup. This was the other entertainment... "Pin the "Z" on Sullivan's Word Bubble." Kids were eagerly first up... then, I must say I was impressed with the adult enthusiasm. Ellie Lindloff (kid) and Danika Nelson (adult) were the winners!

P.S. Sugar Cookie Cut Outs are NOT an easy dessert to prepare the afternoon of a party... especially when one has never made sugar cookies before. Although a random supplement to the SLEEP theme, I thought these little shamrocks spoke to the week ahead! (RACHEL, I'll give you one guess where the cookie cutter came from!)