Thursday, August 27, 2009

Brushing off the dust... or the lint, as the case may be.

So, I apparently have fallen into some sort of blog-related slump.
I'm feeling a little rusty.
My brain is a little dusty.
Writers block.
Lack of inspiration.
Pregnancy brain.
Who knows.

I do know this, though. I am attending a Beth Moore Simulcast hosted by my church this weekend, and I'm more excited than words can express (which doesn't surprise me, since we've already established that I am having trouble putting words in any kind of order lately).

So, be prepared for a more-inspired MOM2DREW on Monday. And be warned that I might just use words like "GLORY!" and other Beth Moore-isms for the next few weeks.

I also want to let you know that I have possibly sunk to an all-time low in pregnancy-related food cravings. I was fishing through my purse for something a few minutes ago when I discovered a lone yellow jelly bean.

I didn't even hesitate before I popped it in my mouth. Unfortunately, I should have brushed off the lint first. Who knows what that little lemony snack has been sitting next to and for how long.

Luckily, I have found that the third trimester of pregnancy leaves me less-than-picky when it comes to food.

And blog post topics, too (apparently).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

To Preschool - AND BEYOND!

I thought I had him convinced. Something more mature this year. Something understated and, well, just not so GLOSSY.

But the lure of the Disney store proved too powerful, and the half-priced Superhero backpacks and lunch boxes just wouldn't be ignored.

So, while I'd hoped for something camoflauged or sports-themed, we are now the (VERY) proud owners of a Buzz Lightyear backpack and matching lunch tote.

My very wise friend (and mother of four boys) advised me to cherish these days. Before I know it, my son will be begging me to stop sending him to school with anything except a brown bag lunch with his name scribbled in marker.

So, today, I will be grateful that my little boy is still enticed by the antics of a spaceman and his friends.

Buzz Lightyear - to the rescue!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Girls Weekend

She's one of my favorite people on the planet, and I just got to spend almost 5 days with her (and her adorable twin three-year-old girls). And now, the author of PUT ME IN THE ZOO is hopefully surviving the long car trip home after our fun GIRLS weekend!

We followed a pretty standard formula each day:

1. Do everything we can possibly think of to wear out two 3-yr olds and one 4-yr old.
2. Deprive aforementioned children of any naptime or rest time during the day.
3. Have children fed, bathed and tucked in by 7pm.
4. Sit up until the wee morning hours solving all the rest of the world's issues... or at least making fun of our own.

Pictures to come! (of the kids... not us sitting on the couches solving the world's problems...which might be entertaining to listen to, but certainly boring in pictures)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stuff This Christian Likes...

As you know, I'm a big fan of the blog "Stuff Christians Like".

I'm also a pretty big fan of free stuff.

So, you can imagine how thrilled I am to learn that I WON a free book in a contest he ran last week!! The book, written by Jennifer Schuchmann and Mark Herringshaw, is called "Nine Ways God Always Speaks". I can't wait to read it.

Follow the link HERE to see the post announcing the winners and read about one of the best little nuggets of wisdom I have ever received.

And do yourself a favor and read some of Jon's other posts while you're there. He'll make you laugh, and he'll make you think.

A pretty good way to spend your Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's been a good day...

I was determined this morning to share some special time with my boy.

The days are ticking away. School is starting again soon. "The Fall" is coming, as Drew reminds me almost daily. His little sister is scheduled to make her debut "when the pumpkins come out".

In short, if our lives as a little family of three were a day, it is sunset... and I want to appreciate the glorious colors and the relaxation that comes with a day well-spent.

So, in that poetic frame of mind, I asked my son if he'd like to do something special with me. His response, "What? Like sit - or lie down?"

He's an observant little boy, I'll give him credit. My activities have alternated lately between those exact two things.

But I was undeterred. We were going to have a special morning. So, we got dressed and made our way to the mall for some back-to-school shopping. Once we arrived, I had a brilliant idea. The Build-A-Bear Workshop!

We walked in and examined each and every unstuffed animal. Drew chose an owl for his sister and some kind of terrier dog for himself. Not being that much of a "bird" person (or really a "terrier" kind of girl, either), I was able to talk my child into getting two identical standard teddy bears - one for him and one for his sister.

We proceeded to stop #2, where he was instructed to fluff up his bear, choose a heart, make a wish, and place the heart inside his creation. While his bear was being stuffed and fluffed, I listened as my child carried on a conversation with the lady doing all the stuffing.

What's your name? Andrew.
How old are you? Four.
I really like your hair. Thanks! I use mousse and then hairspray.
Wow... that's great.

As he stuffed the baby's bear, he carried on the conversation:
Who's this one for? My sister
And how old is she? She's not born yet. She's coming in "The Fall"
What month? When the pumpkins come out.
What's her name going to be? (Let's call her "Pearl". I haven't told you her name yet, have I?) Pearl.

He picked out a basketball jersey for his bear and named it "Basketball Bear". He's incredibly creative and imaginative, don't you think?

He then picked out two pink hairbows (after I nixed the leopard print cutoff top and mini skirt he chose for baby's bear) and named her "'Pearl' Bear". Again, I am dumbfounded by his imagination (and slightly concerned over his attraction to clothes of the less-than-modest variety... I'll be watching that first girlfriend closely).

The freshly stuffed animals were placed in their new boxed up homes and we were off to the clothing store across the street.

Our next mission was to find a new backpack and lunchbox for school. He noticed the camoflauged lunch boxes at the front of the store. "I like these, but let's keep looking for what I really need." OK... He had his mind set on a certain piece of apparel that he had determined was not well-represented in his 4-yr old wardrobe. We couldn't find any.

"Let's ask for some help, mommy!"
We patiently waited for the sales assistanct to finish with the customer at the register. She acknowledged me when she was ready for the next customer, and before I could make our request, Drew stood up on his tip toes and caught her eye. Ever-so-politely, he began, "Excuse me, but, where are your... do you have any ties?!"

Ties? She asked me.

"Yes, neckties", I confirmed. "He only has one, and we're looking to add to his collection."

Well, just the ties that go with the school uniforms in the front of the store.

With this bit of direction, he was off to see his one choice. It met his approval, so we purchased another necktie "for church and for when all my playclothes are dirty and I can wear it to school."

I could tell that the salesperson was amused. But not just by this four-year old's penache for business attire.

I like your hair, she commented.
"Thanks. I use mousse and then hairspray on it."

(Note: We get this comment almost everywhere we go, and I promise I will soon add pictures of Drew's hair-dos. Complete with his own video tutorial. We've been working on it.)

We departed with another mission successfully completed. As we drove toward work, my son pitched a bit of a tantrum as we passed by his favorite fast food restaurant without stopping. A few moments later, I asked him a question and got silence from the backseat. Adjusting my mirror at the stoplight, I asked, "Are you pouting?"

"Yes, I am." he replied.

"Does it make you feel any better to pout?"
"Not really."
"Yeah, me either. Just checking."

He was his normal self again as we arrived at work and I handed him off to spend the afternoon at Grandma's house.

"See you at 5 o'clock, mom!" he chirped.

Yeah, I thought. Five o'clock it is. Almost sunset.

And it's been a good day.

Monday, August 3, 2009

He Restores My Soul

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd.
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul.

It's been a hard week, I won't lie. By six o'clock this evening, I was nearly depleted.

I hesitate to share a lot of what's going on. Some of it is still fresh and painful for our family. There will be a proper time to tell you, but it's just not now.

And some of it is heartbreaking news of illness (my dear friend and neighbor's 8 year old son was diagnosed a few days ago with leukemia).

And some of it's just been going on for a little too long and I'm ready to see the evidence of victory in battles that I know God has already won for some friends.

But none of these stories are mine to share. As in, they are not personally happening within the walls of my home.

And I find that when I try to share, I am at a profound loss for words. I begin to type, but I end up staring at something utterly insufficient. The delete button is becoming a good friend.

All I'm left with lately is some verse of Scripture. That explains my previous post. And the beginning of this one, too.

So, back to 6 o'clock this evening. Dinner time. Family time. I managed to pull together a few ingredients and pass it off as a proper meal. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law, who have been staying with us, made small talk, entertained my son, and helped set out and clean up.

I heard my husband thank me for the delicious food. I heard him thank me a second time. I was pretty sure I had responded with the appropriate "You're welcome!", but I said it again. My words sounded foggy in my own head, so perhaps he'd missed my acknowledgement.

A third gesture of appreciation sent me over the edge. "You're welcome... you're welcome... you're welcome!!!!" I said, with great emphasis! I took my plate to the sink and began to clean up the dishes, trying to act normal, although I knew quite well that my outburst was anything but socially acceptable.

I felt an odd lump rising in my throat. I couldn't tame it.

So, I made my way to the bathroom, hoping that I could walk away from the intensity of the emotions that were caving in on me. As I shut the door, I just sat down in the bathroom to gather my thoughts. My husband came in quickly and asked all the right questions.

I could only answer with a few soft words about being overwhelmed. As I reached up to rub my burning eyes, I was surprised by the pool of hot tears just waiting to spill onto my fingers and down my cheeks.

"I need to get out of here for a little while." I managed. To his credit, my husband asked nothing further. He promised to take care of the bedtime routine and handed me the car keys.

I grabbed my Bible and journal and walked out the door. I had no idea where I was supposed to go - the sun was setting and darkness was imminent.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I found myself moments later in the parking lot of the nearest mall. Well-lit and teaming with security vehicles, I figured it was a safe place to have myself a good cry.

Which is what I did for the next five minutes or so. I cried tears of grief, anxiety, and some self-pity, if I'm going to be honest. And when a sufficient amount of tears had been shed, I opened my Bible and began to read through the Psalms.

As I read, my devotional-style Bible revealed a page titled, "Being Still Before God." It challenged the reader to meditate on the 23rd Psalm. To picture God leading us into green pastures and beside still waters.

My heart settled. I had memorized this familiar passage of Scripture early in my childhood. I didn't even have to turn back to the correct chapter. The psalmist's words were fresh in my mind.

The Lord is my shepherd.
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul.

Somehow, as the mall parking lot emptied and I continued to meditate on that picture, God proved Himself once again faithful by restoring my soul.

I was no longer depleted.

Of course, none of the circumstances that brought me to a place of momentary despair had magically changed over the course of those few hours.

But I found comfort in the words of writers who, thousands of years ago, knew and recounted the faithfulness of a loving Father. One who tends to his sheep and leads them to peaceful places. The one who saves, delivers and heals.

The one who restored my soul tonight and will do it all over again tomorrow if I need Him to.