Monthly Archives: December 2007

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30 Minutes with the Seavers

Whenever I’m feeling like the house is a mess and I’m in a crunch to get things done, I think of my favorite episode of “Growing Pains” (yes, “Growing Pains”. Hear me out.) It’s the one where they are throwing a fancy party (which Donald Trump is going to be at), and realize that the date on the invitations was misprinted and they have a half an hour to get the party pulled together. Amazingly — they do it!

So this holiday season, if you find yourself stressed out with all that needs to be done around the house with not much time to do it in, do what I do: remember that if the Seavers can do it, so can you (and ignore that voice in the back of your head that keeps saying “It’s just a TV show”…)

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A SubURBAN Christmas

I am ridiculously suburban. I love our quiet street, the sound of lawnmowers in the summer, the delightful squeals of laughter coming from neighborhood children playing in their backyards, and the fact that I am 2 minutes from a CUB Foods and a Scrapbooking store. Oh yes, and I drive an SUV.

On the contrary, I am not so much an urban person. For one thing, I am a terrible city driver. It stresses me out. And parallel parking? I am horrible at it. Horrible. Like, “People are probably watching me try to park and thinking to themselves ‘Oh look, there’s a suburban girl’ horrible.”  To me, the city has always seemed big and scary. I have always felt like this. I remember when my family took a trip to New York City when I was 6 and feeling terrified. The city was so big…and there were so many people…and why did that man come up to our car and start washing the windows without us asking him to?!

While in some respects my view of the city has changed since I was 6 (I now think a trip to NYC sounds like fun, so long as I am accompanied – and driven around by, if necessary – my husband :)), suburbia is still very much my comfort zone – and I’m quite happy that way. However, I am very grateful to have some pretty great girl friends who all happen to be pretty urban-minded, and who every once in awhile are able to give this suburban mommy a good healthy dose of city fun. Tonight was one such occasion. We met up at my friend Sarah’s house (she and her hubby live in a cozy little apartment near the Walker Art center) and together went to the Macy’s 5th (or is it 7th?) floor display of “The Nutcracker” followed by dessert and drinks (in my case a strawberry lemonade :)) at the Palamino. It was a fun, classy little evening filled with holiday cheer, decadent desserts and good conversation.

We utilized the wonderful Minneapolis skyway system, in which I found something utterly delightful: did you know there is now a Target there?! Apparently it’s been there for awhile, so…probably. I love it!! It’s like a comfortable little slice of suburbia, right in the heart of the city…

(And yes, I realize that a mid-evening walk through of a children’s Christmas display, a visit to a restaurant and a discovery of a major superstore in the middle of the skyway aren’t exactly what most would consider to be an all-out “night on the town” – but humor me.  :))

Yes, it was a nice little evening. My only regret was that I’d somehow forgotten that we’d all decided to dress up…so I showed up in a sweater, blue jeans and my brown shoes while everyone else was looking all elegant. Oops. At least I’d opted for my festive red pea coat instead of my black hooded winter vest, so I at least looked somewhat Christmas-y! I’m not sure how it had slipped my mind. I so enjoy getting dressed up, and am always looking for an excuse to use my little green sequined handbag, for which there never seems to be an appropriate occasion!  Oh well. Maybe next year…

A Christmas Message

Thanks to my friend Kim for passing this forward along my way:

 I CORINTHIANS 13 – A CHRISTMAS VERSION

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.  If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing. If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.  Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.  Love is kind, though harried and tired.  Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens. Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.  Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.  Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.

Merry Christmas and lots of love to you and yours!

My New Mom-Eyes

Today I’m feeling a little more like a “Martha” then a “Mary”. No no no, not Martha Stewart (although it’s perhaps no coincidence that those two share a name) — Martha of the Bible. Martha who was so worried about keeping up with the tasks of the house that she forgot the importance of just sitting at the feet of Jesus, enjoying his company and hanging on his every word.

I say this because today I’m having trouble shaking the fact that the house is a mess, the laundry is piled high, I have work to do, errands to run, the fridge is empty (only because I need to go to the grocery store), I’ve got a bottle to make, Christmas gifts to by, Christmas cards to finish making and get in the mail….blah blah blah…

(granted, maybe I don’t have to worry TOO much about being a Martha – I’m sitting here blogging and not stressing, after all).

It’s funny, I didn’t used to be this way.  Work hasn’t always been the priority that it probably should have been to me, so in a way I suppose it’s a good thing that it’s risen to a higher place on my list. I do so often enjoy this job of keeping up with the house. Today, though, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by all there is to do, and keenly aware of my need to just stop…breathe…and enjoy the blessings of having a home…especially this time of year.

It’s funny how I see things differently now that I”m a mom…

…I’m more aware of things at the mall like elevators and nursing rooms. I’m also more aware of the teenage boys who fill the elevator for no good reason while the people with strollers wait and the mothers who take up chairs in the nursing room so that they can nurse their 3 year old (and could you please use a blanket?)

…I watch shows now about parenthood and children through a much more sensitive lens. The other night as I watched the Dateline special on the McCaughey septuplets and the joys, challenges and struggles of their 2 handicapped kids,  I found myself sobbing. Not “a little misty-eyed”, mind you — SOBBING.

…When I hear of a child abused or neglected, it pains me in places it didn’t before.

…I’ve found myself flipping the channel to “Regis & Kelly” and “The View” as I get going for the day (maybe this isn’t a good change). I’m also a bit more tolerant of “Barney” & (yes) “Teletubbies” (OK, Teletubbies is a stretch. That’s a creepy show).

…I could sit & look at my baby smile for hours, and even the smallest discovery he makes or milestone he achieves swells my heart up with pride.

… I  am hurt by anyone who doesn’t welcome or include my baby, or in any other way implies that he’s a nuisance.

… I am more fervently pro-life than I ever have been before. Would you like my vote for president? Be pro-life. Cuz if you’re not, you’re not gonna get it. Period.

I think I like these new eyes I’ve got. Thanks, God!

A Burp and A Giggle

Yesterday afternoon after Will finished nursing, I sat him up on my knee so we could have a little “chat”. Suddenly he let out a giant BURRRRP. Immediately his big blue eyes looked up into mine, he grinned big, and he let out an amused “ha!”. 🙂
It was very cute and probably one of my favorite moments with him so far.

I sure love my little pikachu (that’s my nickname of the day for him. I don’t know.)

A Seinfeldian Moment

Why is it that when we sign an email or close a transaction at the store, we so often tell the person we are communicating with to “Have a nice day”, “Have a good weekend” or “Have a great week”? Why do we pick such seemingly arbitrary segments of time to wish them well for?

For example, I just received an email from a friend who closed it by saying “Have a great week!”, and I thought to myself Why just a week? What is it about this particular week that she hopes is so great? Is she anticipating or even hoping that said “greatness” will expire at the end of this week, and not extend into the next? Similar concerns could be expressed when one is wished a great day, weekend, or any other finite amount of time.

When you think about it, you don’t often hear people wish people well for any segment of time longer than a week (with the exception of phrases like “Have a Great Summer” or “Have a Great Year”, which you will find in yearbooks and New Year’s greetings, respectively).

You would never close a letter to your friend with “Have a great month” (for that’s just sort of odd) or a transaction at the grocery store with “Have a great year” (again, with the exception of New Year’s).

Really, shouldn’t we be telling eachother to “Have a great life”? But here’s the twist: for some reason that’s considered an insult!

What gives?!

OK, it’s been a long day and I’m clearly thinking too hard. Time for bed!