Friday, February 29, 2008

living at the short end of the stick

I don't know what it is about me that thinks I can live without giving my body the least bit of attention or care. I keenly remember an instance of this - I was pregnant with our second baby, money was extremely tight so I ate all the food-pantry rejects. You know, the stuff that they gave me at the food pantry that no one else cared o eat. The canned stew (gross) the canned chow-mein (double-gross). Here I was growing a baby again eating canned meat! Looking back that was pretty irresponsible of me, but I could so I did.
My eating habits haven't changed a lot since then. I am careful to give my children what they need, and give my husband what he likes but what about taking care of myself? Ohh...
too much coffee and not enough water
too much sugar and not enough vegetables
too much empty carbs and not enough protein
too much to eat and not enough exercise
too much sitting at the computer and not enough sleep
How much more will my body take, I wonder. How much better would I feel if I showed my body a little more respect? I wonder sometimes if we have settled for less, if feeling horrible has become the new norm, we just don't know we feel so horrible (and look so horrible) because this is just how it always is.

Sara is such an inspiration to me she lives out on the edge and beckons me to take one step farther away from what is "normal" and towards what is healthy. She's been eating 90% raw and I've been thinking that I'm not ready for that yet but I am ready to make a change in my diet, at least for the month of March.

The hard part about making a change in my diet is knowing exactly what to do. Should I cut carbs or calories? Where do I draw the line? I find myself often swinging to extremes and I get to thinking I'll just cut carbs and calories and while I'm cutting things out of my diet I'll cut out coffee too, and since we're on a roll with the C's why not cut out chocolate, and cola and candy and carrots - whoops!
Let's start back at the beginning. What do I want to achieve? Healthy eating habits. How will I achieve it? Self-control coupled with a dose of self-nurture or self-respect or whatever you want to call it. It's time, high time, that I take care of myself because no one is going to do it for me. So I'm not going to post a list of my do's and don'ts (I never know how to write that word, it feels like it should be "don't's"... but anyway) I just wanted to post a simple reminder to take care of your body, to take care of yourself!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

it's okay

Today I was reminded of something important and I wanted to share it here because I know some of you who read my blog are going through a lot right now. It's so simple yet somehow it seemed like a revelation to me - it's okay to be sad. It's okay to fall apart a bit, to admit, if only to myself that no, everything is not okay.
I don't understand why I expect myself to be so together and on top of it all. There are just days when the weight of it all comes crashing down and today, for me, was one of those days. And so I stayed in the clothes I threw on first thing this morning, I sipped tea and read my book while the girls played in the tent I made for them out of quilts and chairs. I did get some work done around the house, but it felt so freeing to know that it's okay to be sad and to not hide my emotions behind my self-expectations. It's freeing to bring my emotions to God and know that I didn't have to move on quickly to the next item on my list, I can embrace this sadness and not be ashamed of my weakness.

For the LORD comforts Zion;
he comforts all her waste places
and makes her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the LORD;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

randomness

Today was the complete opposite of yesterday.

First of all the weather turned grey and rainy and cold.
(Where did my blue skies and sunny warmth go?!)
So we never really got the day started well.
And I was preoccupied.
Paying attention to all the wrong things at all the wrong times.
Oh well.
Every day can't be perfect, the best thing I can do is go to bed and try again tomorrow.
Just thought I'd share that and even the score a bit.

Tonight I've turned the light off in the kitchen, though the sink still has dirty dishes, I've been reading my book and erasing the grey feelings with Brown Cow Ice cream. Now generally I'm a Moose Tracks girl - all the way, baby! I take regular detours to taste Bear Claw and English Toffee just so the Moose Tracks won't get old but I always come back to my favorite - my favorite, that is, until I discovered Brown Cow. The name just doesn't do it justice. Brown Cow. What's up with that? It reminds me of a story my brother in-law likes to tell on his sister, who when she saw a brown cow for the first time said "Is that where chocolate milk comes from?" Brown Cow. The name just doesn't do it justice. It ought to be named something extravagant, something rich and wonderful that feels good just saying it - the way my girls feel about "Tinkerbell" and "Arabella".

Anyway, I just finished eating the last bit of that fudge swirl that never gets swirled enough and ends up in a clump in the middle of the bottom of the box. I'm very happy, very satisfied, and very much ignoring the fact that I haven't lost any weight since Christmas!

Monday, February 25, 2008

a nearly perfect day

Emma


Okay, I'm detangling myself from flickr now to pop in here and jot down a few thought from the day - and what a lovely day it has been!

The weather was perfect and my mood was amazingly good but even better I spent nearly the entire day with my kids! So many days go by when I don't take the time to pro-actively train them, play with them and just generally enjoy being with them. They are great kids and truly a joy to raise but in the day-to-day I miss so much. Today we tossed balls, I listened to Beth read a book all by herself and was amazed as she said "I need to read another page because that one was so short" and we brought a blanket outside and I started reading "eat pray love" which was not at all what I expected but I'm looking forward to reading more of tonight. After dinner I washed dishes while the girls played outside some more. They yelled and ran and climbed on trees, they fed sticks to the dog and Katie-Abigail only bonked Emma on the head with a stick once! I bathed them before bed and brewed some Starbucks coffee.

I didn't get the bathroom clean like I'd hoped (though I did wash the towels in this lovely new scented detergent I bought!) and I didn't even get started sorting out the girls room like I'd planned, but I think I chose the right thing to do today. This afternoon I kept thinking "what has happened to this day? why haven't I done more?" then I realized that I had been too busy toting my babies around and it just puts a smile on my face to realize that today I was present. Today I looked my children in the eye and told them "I love you" and I listened and I laughed. Today I felt alive. Not half asleep, overwhelmed, trying to escape the pain. Those painful thoughts did creep up but as soon as they did I set them aside. "I will not allow this to define who I am." I'd think to myself. "I will not allow this to consume me." and I put on praise music by Paul Baloche, Matt Papa and Tim Hughes and I turned it up loud!

About "eat pray love" it is a "spiritual" book but not a Christian book. In the beginning pages she thanks her Guru! I have certainly never read anything like this before! But it's an easy and enjoyable read and I look forward to hearing her observations about live and spirituality, so now I'm going to snuggle down on the couch and read while I wait for Daniel to come home from work.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

spring

pink flowes with texture
read the full post here
This photo was taken with a NikonD80 Digital SLR & 55-200mm lens. 
Texture is one I downloaded for free & applied in Digital Image Pro.

Friday, February 22, 2008

a quiet night

fingers
Daddy's fingers

It's so still and quiet tonight. Daniel is at work my kiddos are in bed and I am just nursing Josiah before he heads to bed. Tonight is Daniel's first night at work. He was laid off the first of the year and today was his first day back to work. I am very thankful for the new job but the terms will be quite difficult for me. Daniel will be gone from around noon to 9pm Monday - Friday and on Saturday mornings leaving me at home with the kids by myself without a vehicle. Needless to say I'm not thrilled. But this is the Lord's provision for me and I'm sure I'll adapt.

Anyway, I've been cleaning like crazy today and I switched the curtains around so that the ones from the Living Room are in our bedroom now and I brought some curtains out from storage to go in the Living Room. I've vacuumed nearly every room and cleaned my bedroom up - yay! I got the girls to clean up most of their room by sending them to go pick up one doll, they'd come back and I'd tell them to pick up three pieces of clothing, next one piece of trash. It worked really well, at least I could vacuum the center of their room. I finally folded the laundry that's been piling up in the Living Room and put on "Pride & Prejudice" (the new one) I've watched it a hundred times or more but today I was totally inspired by the details of beauty. The ribbons, the flowers, the lace the fruit. I went searching for a pretty plate that I bought several years ago but couldn't find it. I did find a box of pictures and I took a couple minutes to show my girls some old pictures from my Ballet recitals when I was little. They liked that.

So now I've put a CD by Norah Jones in my player and I lit a couple of candles in the kitchen. I've got some dishes to wash and then I'll probably drink a glass of wine, take a bath and get ready for bed early tonight.

I took this photo in the hospital after giving birth to Josiah of Daniel's finger in Josiah's hand. It's one of my all-time favorites.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

inspiration procrastination

Tonight I find myself procrastinating I have 200ish photos to sort through & edit from a photo shoot I did for some friends of mine. They are a husband/wife band and they call themselves Clay Canvases. It was drizzling rain so my plan went out the window and, yet again, I wasn't thrilled with my white balance. It was very frustrating. A LOT of the photos are total crap, I messed up on things where I ought to have known better. But while I've been procrastinating I found some neat-o blogs:

An amazing blog attatched to a super-chic photography site called Design Aglow.
Another is here and is the blog for Bottle Bell Photography.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I've been wanting to do a little "me-me" post for awhile and today I had a good idea. I did this with the girls and it was SO fun so here goes...

You are at the grocery store with an unlimited amount of money to spend, you have ten items in your cart - what are they?

1. Starbucks Cafe Verona Coffee
2. Byciclette Pinot Noir Red Wine
3. Mayfield Brown Cow Ice Cream
4. A box of Cinnamon Life Cereal
5. Crunchy Peanut Butter
6. Strawberry Jelly
7. Old Fashioned Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread
8. Tyson's Breaded Chicken Breasts
9. Strawberries
10. Minute Maid Orange Juice the "not from concentrate" kind

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

a quiet moment

bathroom tranquility

All the children are finally asleep, it's late tonight and Daniel is sitting in the Living Room watching a guy flick on his laptop, with the headphones plugged in, as I run a bath. It's become my nightly routine, like a bedtime ritual, I soak for awhile, decompressing from the day, counting the bruises on my legs and laughing at myself, I wonder where did they come from? My mom used to tell me how easily my grandma bruised, I must take after her. I sit in the warmth writing silly things like this in my head, chasing the worries and to do lists out of my head.
It seems like I never get it all done. No matter how early I get up or how late I go to bed I always feel like there's something still to do. I'm learning to live with it, to go to bed early (sometimes) and get up late (more often than I'd ever admit) and reject guilt, because I'll never ever get it all done. And I realized today that it seems like the faster I try to go the less I get done and the worse I behave and the more guilty I feel. My ideal is to be present. To do and be what I need to in this moment and then move on. I do't live up to that ideal often, my brain is whirring, spinning in a hundred different directions. Maybe that's why I enjoy my evening routine so much. It's warm, peacful, quiet and I can simply be. I hope you get a moment like that today too.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday rest

widow


I've got pizza dough rising in my bread maker, the girls are munching on (and making a mess of) a bag of popcorn. I just popped a batch of sugar cookies into the oven and started a pot of coffee so now I'm sitting down to write what's on my mind: I enjoy Sundays!

This is quite a recent development, Sundays used to be awkward, ill-fitting and negative, a list of rules and a load of guilt - guilty if we ate out, guilty if I watched a movie with Daniel. But as I'm learning about grace and as I'm learning the Father's heart for me I am learning to rest.

I look forward to the meetings on Sunday morning - it's like a big fat buffet for my soul - and I go because I want to go not because I feel like I have to go. And after lunch (which is more often at MacDonalds than not) I sit in my chair and read a book (currently I'm reading "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World") or I read my Bible and journal while Josiah sleeps. And I sit in that chair and doze for awhile 'til the girls get up. My Sundays are days of rest for my body and food for my soul.

Rob preached at church today about feeding on the word. He is not the most brilliant or captivating speaker but his heart for God and for God's people is brilliant and captivating and very very encouraging. I love how he encouraged us today to spend time in God's word because we love God, not because we are trying to be a good Christian.

I've struggled for my whole Christian life with "the disciplines". I've never had totally consistant quiet times or kept up with a prayer list. I've recently come to see this is a strange but very real grace. Sundays have become the same sort of thing now. I don't always get the day or rest I want on a Sunday and I certainly don't keep any sort of list of rules.

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)

why blog?

Beth with the camera - watch out world!

I have been working on photo-editing nearly all day long and I am so ready to start using words again tonight. So I thought I'd write a little post on why I started blogging again. My last blog was a bit of a catch-all, a collection of tidbits of this and that, mostly journal-type entries about my family and that was great. But that's not what this blog is about. And I have to admit that the email from sitemeter was thrilling when the numbers were big, devastating when my site-traffic dropped. I would sometimes tailor my blog-posts to what I thought others would want to read, comment on and make me feel accomplished.

Beth - my photo girl

That's not this blog. This blog is for me. Because I am a creative type and I need an outlet. Also because I'd like to work on changing my writing style and I was hoping to be writing everyday. Obviously it hasn't worked out like that but that's okay. Ever since I read "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller I've been dissatisfied with my writing style. Some people find his writing style irritating but I loved it! I loved the way he told stories and hung out, quietly and subversively placing mines in my unconscious, later to explode into thought. Or to put it more gently reading that book was as if he walked along beside me chatting as he sticks a little pebble of truth in my pocket. It was wonderful. If you have a copy of that book at least flip to the chapter about life being a play and I'm the main character, that one was my favorite.

the world through the eyes of Beth

So anyway that is why I carve out a little time each night to post. If you like something that I've written I'd appreciate it if you'd leave a little note by clicking "comments" at the end of the post. If you disagree or want to give suggestions feel free to do that too. So I guess that about does it for tonight - goodnight!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

photos

I'm up to my eyeballs at the moment with photography. I'm totally lovin' it but it's all rather exhausting! Here's a bit of Mari's peach tea to share with you today :-)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

tea

love this one
I took this photograph for a friend of mine who is updating her website. You can see more from this shoot by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

honesty

I've had this post rolling around in the back of my mind for a while now, just haven't had the time to write it and frankly I'm still not sure I have the right words to write what I'm thinking. On Saturday it hit me as I was cleaning and listening to my CD by the Fray, and one of the lines in one of the songs goes like this: maybe in five or ten yours and mine will meet again and straiten this whole thing out, maybe then honesty need not be feared... And I wondered "why do we fear honesty?" I know I fear honesty. Transparency has continually been difficult for me. I am, to most people, a closed book, ambiguous, indirect, ever hiding behind a smile and something polite. It goes deeper than a naturally reserved personality and farther than a character of integrity. Still, honesty eludes me, especially in relationships. I struggle to find the words to bring form to my longings, the right time and the right way to say what's on my mind. I often stand in front of my bathroom mirror silently rehearsing speeches, forming sentences I will not ever say. Why is this? I am the last one to attempt to give an answer. I can not explain this longing for the light yet this permanent residence in the gray shadows between the darkness of lies and the light of truth.


I guess this is one of a million reasons why I love Jesus so much, because he is light, pure light; there's not a trace of darkness in him (1 john 1:5) though I don't always understand Jesus, though there is often mystery, there is always honesty. He takes me from the shadows of fear and self-doubt into the light of his glorious love and he speaks the truth to my spirit. With Jesus honesty need not be feared...

I was talking to Daniel about this and he mentioned that this fear also is a response to how others have responded to our honesty in the past, that was a really great point.

Monday, February 11, 2008

good morning mama!
A few things that made me happy today...
a wonderfully clean kitchen counter - I spent Saturday super-cleaning my kitchen. It's SO nice to have that spot in my home conquered!
a scrambled egg burrito every - morning I've been making myself a scrambled egg burrito, it's very satisfying and keeps me running 'till lunch-time, the best one ever was a couple of days ago but today's was nice and warm and cheezy
a hot cup of tea on a cold morning - I'm just loving tea in the morning these days. I brew a cup after the coffee pot's turned itself off. It's very satisfying.
kissing my husband - he's been home a lot lately, which is stressful. This afternoon he asked me to take his picture for a networking card. I kissed him when we were done.
a walk with my kiddos - the weather is just too lovely to stay indoors!
my baby's smile when he wakes up - Josiah makes me feel like to him I'm the most important person in the world.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

links

hey! before I head to bed tonight I wanted to throw a couple links up here to artists I found on flickr

Erica Jones
shay2002 aka chubby cheek designs

Monday, February 4, 2008

silliness

Beth said some silly things today, I thought I'd share...

"You should name this. I name everything with eyes, you should name this too. Let's name it Sally." (to Daniel while giving him a massage with the massage lady-bug)

"The teacher says that if you don't you'll get laid-off from school." (to Emma while they were having some imaginative play time)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

this is me.

DSC_0112b


I also took a photo of my reflection in the tile but it didn't look good in b&w so you'll have to see it here!


Friday, February 1, 2008

Simplicity - my life in black and white

Black and White

Apparently I am a blog (blogger/blogging?) addict. I kissed my old blog goodbye towards the end of last year and have been pining for it ever since. Then the other night while I was turning a batch of photos into black and whites I got the idea for this blog's title SIMPLICITY - my life in black and white and I just knew that it was time to begin again.
So welcome to my blog and welcome to the corner of my world I share here.



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