Friday, November 24, 2006

We have so much to be thankful for. Jeff and I are coming up on our two year anniversary, and have been getting along better than ever. It is so wonderful to have his friendship and company every day. We are both very aware of how we have grown in the last year, and how the challenges of late have just made us a better team. Things have been pretty hard at times, but it has made us look harder for excuses to enjoy a good laugh, and that alone makes life better.

We had a wonderful time last night at the C. home, sharing the big meal with family. It was a little sad to realize that this may be one of the last events with this part of family for a while for us, since we are moving in the summer. I have to say, though, that it may have been the most enjoyable family gathering yet for me, and that is the best way to close a chapter!
And, of course, we are the most grateful for Amelia. She is five months old, and sometimes we still can't believe that she is actually ours. She is so full of life, and loves to be involved in everything. She smiles easily, "talks" a lot, and fake coughs to get our attention all day. She can laugh, but she is an unusually tough crowd. We wear our selves out for a little guffaw.

Jeff and I are so aware that our lives are so rich and full. We eat such great food every day, and are able to enjoy so many luxuries in life. We have such a nice place to live, with quality people all around. And we have options. We are thankful that we are able to make major changes and moves to benefit our future family, that we are not stuck in an "unsustainable" situation! We have been given so much to work with, and realize that this is not actually the norm. Sometimes we are tempted to feel guilty about abundance, but I know that part of God's delight in taking care of us is for us to just say "Thank you!" We are so grateful.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Who would YOU be?
So I have a fun reader poll.
Please participate.
Yes, even if you think that I have no idea that you even read my blog (yes, I know about you...)

Here is the question: If you could come back in another life as anyone you wanted, who would it be?
Here is the one rule: Please, no super- spiritual answers like Jesus Christ, or the Apostle Paul. This is supposed to be fun, not edifying. Thought- provoking is OK in moderation. And don't say, "I'd come back as myself, because my life is so great." That's no fun either.

I'll go first.
OK, so I would be Jennifer Lopez. I'm serious. Most people would be very surprised to learn that I am a closet Pop Music fan. It's just so upbeat. I love the attitude and the danceability. Back to JLO, not only is she gorgeous, but she is a singer and a dancer AND she owns at least two fantastic restaurants (I've been to two, there are probably more out there.) Madre's in Pasadena sealed the deal for me. It is a Cuban restaurant that has the aesthetic of a rich family's formal dining room, and you can tell that she got to choose everything, including the rose- covered wallpaper in the bathroom. Who else gets to do that just for fun, since they have the money and the fame?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"Back" in Business!

I could just leave it at that, but there is a little more to tell. I have set my table up after several months of maternity leave. It feels great to use my skills to help people move better again, and to get a break from my regular job description. Plus, the extra money isn't too bad! If you are local and know someone who could use some bodywork, then please spread the word that I'm back!
Something interesting has come up in the past week or so. My accupuncturist has asked me to work in her clinic. Not only doing massage, but helping teach Tai Chi. The hard part is that I don't want to HAVE to work. I love to work, but have somehow graduated from being tied to employment, and that has been a long and painful process that I don't want to have to repeat. I am willing to work for her an evening and a Saturday morning each week, but she is offering several types of business opportunities through her clinic. I think it will be tricky for me to figure out how to just extract from the situation the parts that will help me most and say no to all of the other seemingly wonderful opportunities being offered. If you didn't know already, I am NOT very good at doing that!
As genuinely thankful I am that I am able to stay home with Amelia full-time, it feels incredibly good to me to switch gears now and then. If you think of it, please pray for wisdom and discipline on my part as I test these waters.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Reflection on Childhood Passions and Kudos to Mom.

The other day, I was laughing at all of the flower arrangements we have in our home. Six at the moment. Two are from the farmer's market, and four are from the yard. It seemed so ridiculous to me, but it makes my heart so glad to see all of the flowers, and to have the luxury of being able to buy them each week at the market, and to have them in our yard. It brought back memories of being ten to twelve years old in Gingoog. I used to gather flowers around the yard for arrangements in our house. My mom noticed this, and made me Officially in Charge of flowers in our home. We procured a flower suki (vendor you have an exclusive or favored relationship with) that would come to our house every week, and I got to take our money and buy whichever blooms I liked and then put them together inside. I felt so important, and my mom really affirmed my creativity and eye for beauty, not to mention humoring this indulgence each week.

A couple of other passions I had during those years also came to mind. I loved animals and really really wanted to have a goat. So I saved my allowance and was approved to buy one. I took care of her devotedly, and she was so much fun! She had two kids ever six months, and although we sold them, the money was mine to keep! My mom even helped me manage this small business remotely for a couple of years when I was at school. I still think of Oreo so fondly.

Cooking was my other great love, and I remember as a nine year old, being allowed to cook my own meat "Japanese" style in the kitchen with our helpers when I had a friend over to eat sitting on the floor with chopsticks made from skewers. Mom was always game for letting me cook just about anything, provided that I read the recipe three times and get out ALL the ingredients I needed first (after a few crises.) In sixth and seventh grade, I spent a lot of time at our landlady Mrs. E's house. Her side business was baking, and she taught me how to bake and ice cakes (think big Mexican birthday cakes,) including making icing flowers on a toothpick. I began baking really fudgy cakes that you can't find in our town, and found a regular buyer for my cakes (we're talking one per week-- nothing too ambitious!) I sat down with my parents and figured out how much the ingredients for each cake would cost, including gas for the stove to bake them, then paid them their expense and pocketed a pretty decent amount of money. And a great lesson in math and business.

I was pleased to realize that my love for homemaking, animals and cooking were there from childhood, and had been nurtured in me. I take so much pleasure in these things now (although I am having to wait on the goat purchase at this point) and I am so thankful to my mom for recognizing and reinforcing these passions. She had such a "yes" spirit about the things I was interested in, and that is something I really want to do for my kids. Thanks Mom!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Amelia moves out...

Amelia was sleeping in bed with me for a while, and Jeff was on the couch. Obviously a less than desireable setup for us. Amelia thought it was pretty great while it lasted though. We made her a crib and I made a special sleeping blanket, and we are all working hard on sleep patterns. It is so fun to sew stuff for her, even if she can't appreciate it yet. I will have to put pictures of her room in her baby book so she can see what a sweet little place she had during her first year of life...
And we are all getting more sleep!