What’s New This Week (er, Year)

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Hey, friends!

Figured I’d drop in and say “hi” and make another entry into this online journal of sorts.

Here’s what I’m into right now:

Listening

Reading

Learning

  • The basics of American History. We’re using the American Girl books to keep it interesting. The character, Kaya, introduced us to the Nez Perce Native Americans of the North West. Next up, Felicity!

Cooking

  • Not a ton, really. Ice cream. Smoothies. Cucumbers and carrots. Lots of things dipped in hummus. The sun is shining…I don’t have time for stoves.

Creating

Doing

  •  Spring cleaning. Mostly decluttering at this point. Maybe it’s just us, but the master bedroom seems to always be the default holding tank for all the things to be fixed, donated, kept away from children, and all the “Ah! People are coming! Just throw it in the bedroom!” things. Can I get a witness?

Enjoying

  • Listening to Teagan explain to her younger sister, Kylie, the finer points of hyper-sleep. “You don’t move during hyper-sleep! You don’t even know what’s going on when you’re asleep. Now, lay back down. It’s blast off time.”
  • The Tonight Show #hashtags.

What’s New This Week 6.1.15

Hi, again. Let’s just get one thing straight: I do not like being told what to do…especially when I’m the one doing the telling. I can want to do something, but this funny thing happens when I tell myself I need to or should do it. It kills it for me and I stick it to the man (in this story, I am “the man”…in the anarchistic sense, not the first-bumping sense). If I should eat an apple every day, I suddenly never want to see another apple ever again. Tracking with me? It’s weird. I’m a little weird. Hence, the no writing thing.

But, that’s okay. Because today, I made ghee. Coconut ghee.

I also listened to jazz. Jazz and Diana Ross.

And before that, I went on a date with our three-year-old “Rocket” daughter, which ended in her stripping off her flamingo patterned dress, grabbing my hand, and running into the ocean. A pretty decent way to kick off a new month.

Now for the ghee recipe: (This recipe will yield 1.5 cups total: 3/4 cup of ghee + 3/4 cup of coconut oil)
1. Melt 1 cup of unsalted, grass-fed butter in a saucepan over low-medium heat.
2. Once it comes to a gentle boil, the milk solids will start to come to the surface. Let it simmer for 8-10 minutes.
3. During the simmering process, a nice layer of foam will form on the surface and browned bits will fall to the bottom. (You can skim the foam off the top or just strain it out in the next step)
4. Cover the top of your jar or other small storage container with a few layers of cheesecloth OR a coffee filter. Pour the hot butter oil in and discard whatever brown bits are left over.
5. If you want to double the goodness of this ghee, add an equal amount of organic cold-pressed coconut oil and enjoy!
*No need to refrigerate, but if solid oil is your thing, then knock yourself out!
You can cook with it, use it as part of your nutritional plan to help heal cavities (what I am doing with our newly snaggletoothed five-year-old), or just eat it plain if you feel so moved.
I won’t mention anything else that I’m researching or hoping to do until I’ve actually done it or at least have a foot firmly in the door of said thing. Because, ya know, anarchy and stuff.

So This One Time, At Choir Practice…

It seems I’ve found myself in a hole that has taken me six months (I know, I gasped too) to find my way out of. I could blame our move (a whole five miles down the road) or my busy-bodied children, but it was mostly writer’s block and laziness. My fingers tickled the keyboard here and there, but nothing that followed really held my interest long enough to finish. Last month, though, I got to say something I’ve been waiting a whole year to repeat to someone! And now my keyboard and I would like to share it with you.

We were all dressed in our black or grey shirts, dark pants and non-reflective/no-noise-making shoes waiting to be called onto stage. Our voices warmed from scales and arpeggios rung out in the loading dock turned green room, we were shooting the breeze until we would walk out into a giant arena to go worship Jesus with a bunch of people we didn’t know. I was ready to go. I was also really hungry.

A new acquaintance-friend/massage therapist/nose ring rocker, “Ritz”, and I were talking about the legalization of marijuana (this is what choir practice looks like in Austin, TX) with another member of the crew, when my stomach reminded me that I would make a terrible Girl Scout because I had neither eaten lunch before or remembered to bring anything but a half a bottle of water to a four hour gig. Even more hungry. My stomach gave off an audible alert of its needs and Ritz, hippie Girl Scout that she was, pulled out her only organic granola bar, put it in my hand and went right back to talking about weed and the farming restrictions that would have to be imposed because of how invasive a plant it is. (You really do learn something new every day)

I didn’t want to steal the girl’s food, so I did the “Thanks, but you don’t have to do that/I can’t take that from you/insert polite refusal phrase here”. Her response was so very wonderful and beautiful and uncontrived. It was etched into my hangry little brain right then and there.

“Be a Christian and share with me”  <——-(this was the thing I got to say last month)

It was backwards. Kind of. Backwards in a world where sharing doesn’t come naturally. Backwards in a world where I want people to share with me, yet I guard my granola bars like a squirrel building a bomb bunker. She was reminding me that points don’t matter. She was reminding me to be a Christian. To share. To allow myself to be shared with–blessed–and to, thereby, be a blessing.

It wasn’t a thing. There was no big deal to be had. It was a flipping oatmeal stick in a room with Texas Longhorns orange carpet, but that should be my modus operandi! Ready to clean out my stash and give it all away at any moment. Not because I’m looking for status as a nice person or for anything in return, but just because it’s awesome. If you think that sounds dumb, go try it and get back to me. Let’s be nice to each other, shall we? Let’s share and allow ourselves to be shared with. It’s pretty nice.

sharing economy

…And, in the event that squirrels do become weaponized, we’ll have some happy Girl Scouts on our side.

I Am Not a Blogger

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Here’s a little bit of everything to catch you up, people.

2014 has been pretty great so far. We’ve been able to have some fun as a family in the unpredictable Florida weather, we’ve eaten a ghastly amount of cookies. I’ve learned-slash-admitted a few more things about myself. It’s been like having tiny lightbulbs flicker on while I do laundry or take a shower or talk to someone (I’m an external processor all.the.way.). It’s been a month of mini-epiphanies. Nothing huge or world-rocking, more just “hmmm, ya, I think that’s true/good/ok”.

Some of my gleanings:

-I am horrible at waking up.

-I am a professional guilt-carrier.

-The shared freedom in both of the above reminders is the realization that sleep is SUPER important to me (this is one of those “duh” kind of ideas, but my stubborn brain has tried to convince me that I can still run on four hours of sleep–a la college days–and happily take care of a family the next morning) aaaand that guilt sucks. It’s just stupid. And I tend to feel it most about things that truly don’t matter, like whether or not I woke up early in January. Fugget about it.

-Cookies made with oatmeal and applesauce–never mind what else is in them–are completely acceptable for breakfast. And your children will love you.

-People are walking miracles. Cue the sappy music, but c’mon! Good grief. Tons of miracles walking around. Seeing this truth is slowly growing a longer pause in my unthinking and graceless words.

-I complain. Even if it isn’t always out loud. It’s grody. The seeing miracles and living in and living out grace thing, though, gives me far fewer reasons to whine.

-I’ve been reading more and writing a little less. Not on purpose, it’s just worked out that way.

-I really love reading and I really love writing.

This podcast, listened to in three parts–while cooking dinner, cleaning up, and after kids were tucked in for the night–was so well timed that I goofy-grinned while shredding cheese that evening. I’m not a blogger. I love reading blogs and I love writing them, but I’m not a blogger. I am a writer. Even saying those words, thinking them, typing them out, makes me feel arrogant (or like I’m setting myself up for embarrassment), but I think it’s true. No matter what weird phases I’ve gone through, those two things, reading and writing, have been my constants.

-Blogs with tips, projects, and daily posts are amazing. I love visiting them and have learned some wonderful things from them, but I can’t do it. I’m far too flighty and forgetful to write something worth reading every day. Aaaand exhale…I did it. I admitted that I am not “good” at blogging. I don’t have a writing schedule or tons of helpful advice. And, when I have time to write in the evenings, all I really want to do is read, sleep, talk or watch The West Wing (we’re on Season 3 in case you’re wondering–pleated pants and shoulder pads for days).

-I don’t know what this blog will become or if it will fizzle out entirely. I never say never anymore. For now, I’ll keep reading, talking, and writing. I don’t know what about, but if I think it’s worth sharing, you’ll hear about it. Promise. Just as soon as I finish ooone more episode of West Wing.

Oh, and the “goal” for February is to be extra aware of and picky about what’s going on our calendar. Making space for that Philippians 4:8 stuff.

Captain’s Log: January–Sleep

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My name means “guardian of the sea”, so a Captain’s Log entry seems appropriate. This is what I imagine I might look like if I were ever to trade life on the land for ocean…and a few other things for a few other things.

Sleep. It’s been about 50/50 so far. I blame the “Polar Vortex” and my wimpy Floridian blood for making anything but my bed and three blankets look like a meat freezer in the morning. Even so, I’ve been enjoying the mornings I have made it up before the wee ones and completely letting myself off the hook otherwise. Baby steps, folks.

Here’s to the rest of the month! May it hold a more impressive ratio by the end!

 

2014 A.D.

Happy January 4th, folks! We’re freezing our tails off here (by Florida standards, my numb nose should fall off any second now)

It’s a new year and I have these ideas. I also have, which has been over the last few years: adamantly denied, very reluctantly nodded to, and now finally embraced with relieved arms, a very small plate. I used to think I was the queen of multi-tasking, but it was a dirty lie. If I have more than two (literal) pots cooking on my (literal) stove, I will (literally) burn/scald/render inedible their contents.

This, 2014 A.D., will be the year of embracing my teacup saucer of a plate, of listening to my husband’s advice and reading one book at a time (but there are SO MANY good ones!!!), of experimenting and sitting in one thing per one time. Plans like this are bound for hilarious failure in so many ways, but dang it I’m going for it.

For January, I’m trying to wake up before my kids more days than not. Today, I slept in until 9:59 AM because it felt good and my husband loves me. We’ll take tomorrow when tomorrow comes. From mornings past, though, things seem to go a little more smoothly when I have at least five minutes to wash the gunk out of my eyes, thank God for something and jot down those random thoughts I have in the first moments of the day.

I have ideas for each month. Some will be things to try, to finish, to remember. It’ll be fun:) I might keep some of them. I might incinerate some of them. Here goes.

cosleeping