Being a Mom

In honor of Mother’s Day I will be writing all about being a mom this week.

 

As a mom I cannot get enough of my babies crawling into my lap for a little snuggle. Stroking the soft fuzziness of the hair on their little heads as they nod off to sleep is one of the great perks of being a mom. Sleeping babies are so precious. As a mom we take these special moments and savor them. If I had known how quickly they were going to grow up I think I would have spent an extra minute watching them snooze, or spent a few moments longer in bed reading with them.

I often wonder what I laughed at before the entered my life. What a boring life it was before them.

I will admit that sometimes I do remember the quiet peaceful times.  There are negatives to being a mom. For one, I do not appreciate being woken up in the middle of the night. I wish they could clean up after themselves. I do not like bruising my foot on some small toy left (purposely?) in my path.  Sullen expressions while I’m talking to them. Ignoring me when I am calling them for dinner, or snack. I’d like to be able to read their minds. To know what makes them do the things they do.

One minute they are affectionate. The next they are snapping at me. I can never predict their moods. Begging for attention or stalking away with indignation. This moment angry with me for a crime I do not yet know that I have committed, the next moment they are bestowing me with affection, following me around the house, begging me to stop and spend just one minute with them.

They act like they don’t really need me. And yet when I get home they are right there talking my ear off, trying to tell me about their day while asking me to make them dinner. Their desire to spend time with me at all, however few and far between these moments are, is what lets me know that they do love me. I just wish their timing on when they loved me would line up with my agenda. But that is not a luxury for moms. When it finally does become a reality, when we finally get some time to ourselves, ironically we wish they were young and demanding again.

It never fails. As soon as I sit down to get something done on the computer they come in and plop right down. Ready for some quality time.  Interrupting my ability to do what I want in order to give them what they want. I sometimes think they have radar and know when I have shut a door to get some privacy. No sooner does the latch click when I hear the pitter patter of little feet and a shadow appears under the door and they wait. As if by shutting the door I have offended them. Hurt their feelings. Abandoned them.  They bang on the door impatiently expecting me to invite them in for some quality time together. And I usually do.

Now let’s turn that around. What happens when I want  some quality time with them?  They have something better to do. I can call out to them but my voice echoes in the empty rooms. They are no where to be found. They have abandoned me.

I occasionally get upset with the callous way they treat me but in the end an affectionate leg rub, a meow of gratitude, a purr because I’ve scratched in just the right place, seems to wash away my hurt feelings. Hacked up fur balls, destroyed curtains and dirty litter boxes are forgotten. Forgotten because I can think of nothing else but the numbness in my legs from sitting in this position for so long. Sitting for so long that I can’t feel my toes but I won’t move. I don’t want to disturb their peaceful slumber.

Such is the fate of being a cat mom.

 

 

 

 

 

God Can Speak Using an Irish AND a German Accent

For some reason a man with a German accent has always…um…intrigued…me.  

I have heard German spoken and I don’t think it is particularly a pretty language. It sounds very harsh to me and does not flow romantically like French nor does it run rapidly off the tongue like Spanish. It sort of sounds like hammering. It’s blunt. 

But the accent…I just love it. I like how the and comes out undt. I like the w’s pronounced as v’s. And it makes me smile when the s sounds like sh.

If you say ‘That girl is a very sweet and funny one.’ It would sound like ‘Dat gurl ish un very shveet undt foony vun.’

Bob knows that if he wants to get my toes to curl he need only speak a couple of sentences with a German accent. He has a joke that he tells about Lufthansa airlines that never gets old to my ears. Although sometimes when he tells it it can be turned into a sort of Irish/Indian/Polish/German accent. Not quite the same effect for me but his effort is always appreciated.

Telling this joke is granted to put me in the mood. (Undt der mooed – Undt being interchangeable with in undt and.)

I once read a short story by Mark Twain called “That Awful German Language“. It made me laugh so hard that the tears rolled down my face. According to Twain, it is not an easy language to learn. As an example let’s use the word ‘air’. In France it is aire. In Spain it is also aire. In German it is Luft. And yes, it is capitalized. This is my own example, Twain’s are much better.

Let’s try it in a sentence.

Love is in the air. (English)

Amor en el aire. (Spanish)

L’amour est dans l’air. (French)

Notice that you can pretty easily translate these on your own because the words are similar to ours. Now let’s look at it in German.

Liebe liegt in der Luft.

Hmmm….Not one word is like any of the words in the other three languages. For me, I can look at a book written in Spanish or French and can pick out a few words that I know the meaning of and could possibly get in the ball park regarding the topic. Not so if it were in German. It is an awful language, but the accent…

I heard someone with an authentic German accent speak yesterday and I can’t get the words out of my mind. I am often perplexed when God doesn’t answer my cries for help. I am always humbled when He answers them in His time, not mine. 

I have a friend and her last name is Freund. Freund is German and it means friend (isn’t that ironic?) She is not German, she is Irish and has an Irish accent. Irish is another accent that I adore-and apparently so do lots of others because she has a story about having a run in with the police, while being beverage happy, and getting out unscathed…I’m certain it was the accent–I must remember this the next time I need to get out of a situation with the po po.

Daph uses the word delightful in her sentences when she speaks. Her laughter is contagious. And she laughs alot. She laughs at her self. She laughs with joy. She attracts friends like flies to honey. She is delightful. I haven’t known her long but she greets me as if we were family. She plays the harp. She teaches spin. She is in my bible study and her rock solid relationship with God is what this post is about.

Daphne is married to Walter. He speaks with a German accent. To sit and listen to them talk back and forth would be like candy for me. I don’t care what the topic, just say stuff.

I know this seems an odd post. Let me explain without really explaining. Mein Freund (my friend-for those of you that haven’t been keeping up) has been on my mind for the last week. I do not want to share her sadness here, but I could not keep it in any longer. Grace has shown it’s beautiful face in Daphne. God has been so present in the lives of her and her family and for the life of me I cannot figure out why I got to witness it. 

I struggle in my walk with Christ on a daily basis. 

I cry out why.

He answers by showing me how.

And this time He spoke to me in an Irish AND a German accent.

How lucky am I?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shtuff I did While I Wasn’t Here

As I am out and about carousing on the world wide web I find many fascinating things. This is my chance to share them with you, in case you are not out carousing as well.

If you are reading this in your email, it might be best to switch to the web. There are links you can follow. If something is underlined, you click it and it will take you to the fascinating thing I found.

No Bob, this is not all I have this week. Did you eat? I thought so.

March 20th was the first day of Spring. Chicagoans everywhere rejoiced. Most of the snow is gone exposing land beneath. Not yet green grass but there is hope. I saw windows on cars down. Shorts. I have not yet seen my own crocus but I know they are in there.

crocus

This guy keeps showing up on my facebook stream. Dancing Nathan. One ugly mug but he sure can cut the rug.

Remember that little boy that was trying to convince his mom that he deserved cupcakes? Ellen gave him cupcakes and his mom got 10,000 bucks. What he really needed was one of these.

I’ve seen this kid before but I like his advice to newborn babies.

Today is day 15 of no eating sugar. Things last week all looked like donuts. I could not stop thinking about donuts and I dreamed about donuts. Here’s what that means…

To see a donut in your dream represents the Self. It suggests that you may be feeling lost and still trying to find yourself and your purpose in life. Alternatively, it refers to growth, development and nurturance. You are not yet completely whole.

Or it could just mean that I gave up sugar and want a dang donut. Do you know how many Dunkin’ Donuts there are in the world? I must pass by 18 of them on my way to anywhere.

My daughter Emmer, lives in Denver. She added to my torture by sharing this with me.

Now that  The Bachelor is over I have not been crocheting. I need a new program to get addicted to so I can sit quietly for an hour and crochet. I have been catching up on The Walking Dead but no one else in the house will watch it with me and it is uncomfortable to crochet in bed. Bob has offered up allowing me to watch golf with him but those whispery voices put me right to sleep.

March Madness could be an option but I’d rather sleep through golf than listen to this. I will work on Bob’s blankie this week and show you progress next week.

Speaking of March Madness…Ohio State? I had them to win the whole Shebang just because that is my country of birth. Next year I will have to come up with a different theory on how to pick the winner. One woman I know won last year based on the color scheme of her dream house. Maybe I will try that.

I really like Pinterest. It gives me inspiration and I like looking at all the pretty pictures.  It is loaded with stuff I fully intend to make. Food, crafts, gardening, clothing, shoes, food…I think there is even a donut board. This week I only made one thing from Pinterest and boy oh boy is it delicious.

Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal. I work at the YMCA at 5am. I do not have time to eat breakfast before I go so I have been making this the night before and eating it at work. I changed my recipe up a bit.

One 6oz container Light and Fit Greek Yogurt-Peach (this had the least amount of grams of sugar)

1/2 Cup rolled oats

1C. frozen raspberries (also good with fresh blueberries)

And Chia seeds. Sometimes I add a little soy milk because I like mine soupier.

And yes, every time I pull out the bag of Chia seeds I say Ch-ch-ch-chia.

I have been pretty good about exercising. I burned a total of 1782 calories since last Saturday.

I read a lot of blogs. I’m always finding brand new ones. This week the post that kept coming to mind was this one.

In other news:

Most of the snow has melted which means the yard is muddy which means the dogs paws are muddy when they come in the house which means my floors are dirty all the time. If anyone would like to adopt a dog leave a comment below. Free, no give backs.

I have learned that fit people want you to be fit too. I have been sharing with others at the Y that I am trying to get on a healthy path and everyone I’ve spoken to has been supportive and offered advice.  One woman there started running when she was 40. Fourteen years later she has run 36 marathons. Her hope is to complete a marathon in every state. I mentioned that I am considering doing the Disney marathon in January of 2015 and she said she’d be glad to help me train. Sick woman. Just another person I have to try and avoid.

Rumor has it that both of my girls will be home at the same time in April…this means I may have the opportunity to get a picture of ALL THREE OF MY CHILDREN. My heart is bursting with happiness.

We all have a choice on how our day or week can go…choose to make yours a good one. 

 

TBT renamed BFD

It’s Thursday which means its Throwback Thursday, a day where I get out of having to actually write a blog, I just get to put up a picture and call it a day.

I am renaming it BFD because it is Bob’s Favorite Day. He says every Throwback Thursday decreases our followers.

Someone said BFD could also mean something else, I said of course it could.

It could stand for:

Bavarian Fudge Donut (I’ve given up sugar, I find a lot of my sentences end in ‘donut’ these days. Like, I wish I had a donut. I’d like to eat a donut. The cat looks a bit like a donut. Donut, donut, donut.)

Blessed Father Day…is there a blessed Father?

Blended Family Dysfunction…no comment

Blind Faith Day…the band.

Best Friend Day…at our house it is always this day. Just ask the dog. Or the cat.

Blackened Fish Dinner…healthier than donuts but not as much fun…see below.

Bring Forth Donuts (Like a magic mantra, say this three times in front of the mirror and they will magically appear)

or

Bring Four Donuts (May be my favorite BFD)

Breathe Fire Day (for dragons of course)

A lot of BFD’s could be all about Bob

Bob’s Fried Day (If one has vacationed with Bob one understands this.)

Bob’s Farting Diary…seriously, I would not be surprised.

Bob’s Food Diet… same as a seafood diet.

Bob Finds Donut (yay! I love him!)

But no, it stands for Bob’s Favorite Day. He thinks TBT days are cheating.

Here’s the photo. I couldn’t even tell you what year it is from.

The redhead is Dawn Troke. She and I shared many days scrapbooking, stamping, camping, drinking and laughing.  Our kids played well together and some of my favorite memories are around times with her family and our other Cary friends. This cruise has many stories but does not even come close to the stories we could tell about our Mother’s Day cruise! Another blog…or blackmail!

Image

I Gave Up Sugar For Lent

A little more than a week ago I decided to give up sugar for Lent. I was so committed to being successful that I wrote about it here so I would have accountability. It’s been thirteen days and I have not fallen off the wagon. Though temptation lurks around every corner. 

I have also started working at the YMCA. One of the perks of working there is a free adult membership. So yeah, I have a Y membership. I gave up sugar and I got a Y membership. I read somewhere that said on the days a person works out they are less likely to eat something unhealthy. I decided I could again use all the help I can get to stick to this no sweets idea and am trying to exercise five days a week.

Stop me.

Then I downloaded an app called LoseIt. It’s an app that allows you to type in your current weight, pick a goal weight and determine an end date. The app then figures out how many calories you would need per day to get to your goal weight. Is everyone out there on board with calories?  I hear new schools of thought that say calories don’t really matter it’s quality of food that you eat. Who can give me feedback on this? I had great success losing weight with Weight Watchers and I don’t think counting calories is much different than counting points. Bob is on board for this one. As of Monday he and I are keeping track of all of our food. It’s day two and already Bob says it’s a stupid app.

Also this month I have set another goal for improving my health. It is eating five servings of fruits or veggies per day. Did you know you can eat a boatload of vegetables for minimal calories. I rarely add a vegetable to my meal. I don’t like many of them cooked and sometimes the thought of preparing a salad feels like too much work. I just started this challenge on Sunday and so far I am four for four. I am feeling some rumblings in and around my stomach area. Is that fiber? Bob has those rumblings, heads into the bathroom, uses the acoustics in there to his advantage and then yells out “Hear all that weight I’m losing?” 

All these goals and sticking to it and working out and not eating what I love. Want to know how it all happened? Here’s the story.

I’m working out. I’m doing some big calorie burn on an elliptical type machine. Sweating like crazy, breathing heavy and I’m pretty sure my face is really red. Upon completion I am happy to note that my total calorie burn is around 500 calories. As I’m heading out a friend sees me and we start chatting. This guy is all muscle. Hard muscle. I wonder what he does to keep in such great shape. He says cardio is useless. What?!? He says he can give me a workout that, providing I am diligent, could produce changes in two weeks. Am I interested? Then he adds, that if I am really serious it should all start with the food I eat.

All right, hind sight is 20/20. I should have said, gee, that’s intriguing, I have to go, but no, I said ‘You’re on.” Now I am realizing that ‘you’re on’ rhymes with moron. I panicked a bit on my car ride home. I’m afraid this workout he has in mind is going to hurt me but I calm myself down with the thought that this guy is not gonna remember I said that…

Then you know what happened? My darling husband saw this same guy, Greg, at the Y the next day and Greg asks where I am. Bob says she needed a day off. Greg then asked for my phone number and MY HUSBAND GIVES IT TO HIM! Next thing I know I am getting a text.

rest day

 

My husband threw me under the bus.

Meanwhile I realize that all these good health habits started when I gave up sweets and sugar and doughnuts. I am seeing a correlation. Sugar. Is. Bad.  Or….it could be that I never should have worked out in the first place then I wouldn’t have run into Greg and then I wouldn’t have thought about getting healthier then I wouldn’t be hungry right now!

Mulling. I’m not sure about this.

Aside

Jump

It is always on my mind to write a ‘spiritual’ post on Sundays. In my head they are called Kitchen Stool Sermons. I envision giving a little synopsis of what I heard in church or expounding on something I learned in Bible study. I did it once or twice a year or more ago and haven’t been very loyal to the idea despite the fact that every Sunday I get a little nudge that says “What are you afraid of? Just jump, I will catch you.”

In AA they tell us that alcoholics are really the only ones that can help other alcoholics because we have actually walked the same path. As a recovering alcoholic I have credibility to the newly sober. I get it when a newly sober friend is crying about not being able to drink again. I get it because I did it. Not drinking anymore was me leaving my one and only constant friend. It was abandoning the one and only thing that I always had, the one and only thing that was always there for me. The one and only thing that I understood and felt that it understood me too. Other alcoholics have said similar things in rooms everywhere.

I think this concept works for followers of Christ too. There are many broken people out there. People unsure of what following Christ looks like. Christians often get lumped into one hypocritical pile. My story of drinking will be different than every other alcoholic in any AA meeting across the world but our stories will be filled with commonalities. We each will be able to relate to the other. Faith walks are the same. Mine is different than yours. Not better, not worse, just all mine. People looking into Christianity need to see all varieties of walks because chances are one of them is going to speak to them and when they get into a pinch they will know where to go.

Someone once shared their story with me about how they got sober. When things got unbearable for me I knew where to get help. The best way to thank her is to pay it forward. 

The day I got sober was the day that I met God. You can read about my first day of sobriety here. I just reread it myself and cried. It’s an emotional story for me every time. I think it’s good that I can’t read or tell that story without crying. If it becomes a story I can tell by rote  it will be the end of my sobriety. The end of my relationship with God. The end of me.

That heart wrenching day on May 8, 2001 was the day I saw the me that God sees. He saw my hurts and my doubts and He said “I will help you to stop hurting. I will help you to stop doubting how wonderful you are.” He spoke to lowly me. He said the ledge I was on was precarious and even though I couldn’t see the bottom I needed to jump. I needed to take his hand and jump. Being buried by self doubt, self hate and shame is not the life He had planned for me.

So I jumped and together God and I have exhumed me, the Teri Lyn I am today.

I’m here to tell you that I believe God was in that chapel with me that night. I’m here to tell you that I believe I would not be sober today without His faith in me. I’m here to tell you that my tinky tiny faith in Him saved me then and saves me again and again now. I’m here to tell you that I have left Him, I have forgotten He was there. I’m here to tell you I have always been called back and he has always welcomed me with open arms and He always asks me to jump again. And though I may not do it immediately, I have not yet regretted a jump.

But I am also telling you that lying in the mud and muck of a coffin made of alcohol is a miserable place to be. I’m telling you that it was hard work digging out. I am telling you that there was doubt, fear and more doubt. There was ugly crying. There was stuff I had to look at that was hideous. Messes I made that could only be cleaned up by me. Messes that made me gag because of the stench. I’m telling you my faith walk has been intermittent and inconsistent. My faith walk has the gait of a drunk. On a ship. Sailing on rocky seas.

I am here to tell you that it has been and continues to be hard work. It’s the hardest work I have ever done.

I believe God is with me.

I falter. I forget He is with me. I still wander around in the sludge of my past beliefs but each passing year I spend less and less time there. I still do bad things. I still have horrible thoughts. I still battle with the urge to fall back to my old ways.

It was the hard path to take. Weak me did it. I jumped.

People say a leopard can’t change it’s spots. That a person is who he is and can’t change. In my heart I know that is false. I changed. Not changing is the easy road. Don’t be afraid. Jump.

I believe it is absolutely false that it is too late for anyone. Fear is for the weak. Don’t be weak anymore. Jump.

The thought that the sin that you or I have committed is bigger than what God can forgive is false. You are the only one not forgiving you. Let it go. Be Nike. Just do it. Jump.

You can change, it is not too late, God is waiting. Jump.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 6:14

This post was written using the prompt given by the Daily Post.

Free Forty-five Minute Consultation

Dave Ramsey spoke at our church last weekend. Dave Ramsey is the creator of Financial Peace University. A biblical-based training system that teaches us how to be smart with our money. He’s a great speaker and a lot of  what  he said was stuff I needed to hear. Most importantly he said that without a map you are not going to get anywhere. A map for finances would be a budget. He encouraged us all to go home and at the very least make our map so we’d know where we were going. This idea appealed to Bob and once home he forced had me sit down with him to make a budget.

He also signed us up for a class at Harper about planning for retirement. Never let it be said that Bob does not know how to have fun.

I am bored on board with this idea but the day of the class I woke up with a cold. Sneezing, sniffling, blowing, coughing and so tired. I was scheduled to go to work at 5am. I told myself I could work for four hours because then I could come home and take a little nap and be rested for class tonight. At nine the woman that was supposed to relieve me at work came in and looked like death warmed over. She was sick but couldn’t find anyone to work for her. Okay, she looked worse than I felt so I told her to go home I would stay. So I stayed until 2pm.

After nine hours of working, with a cold (martyr) I am thinking that this is for sure going to get me out of class tonight.

sick_note

But I know that this is important for Bob and I so I buck up, drink a red bull (martyr with wings) and go.

Our instructor describes himself as a successful financial guy, he put up a slide listing the many degrees and certificates that he has. He also explained the reason he teaches at Harper is because he has a genuine desire to help people. He is not looking for our business but, you know, if, by accident, you become a client well…so be it. He also adds that there is a free forty-five minute, no obligation consultation included with the price of the class.

Finally he starts to talk about finances. But first an entertaining story. A story from the Peace Corps manual. This section in the manual is called How to Kill an Anaconda. After the story you will understand how to handle your finances.

1. If you are attacked by an anaconda do not run. The snake is faster than you are.

(The instructor added to the story by saying that Anacondas can move up to 35mph.)

2. Lie flat on the ground. Put your arms tight against your sides, your legs tight against one another.

3. Tuck your chin in. (Really?)

4. The snake will come and begin to nudge and climb over your body.

5. Do not panic. (Really?)

6. After the snake has examined you, it will begin to swallow you from the feet and always from that end. Permit the snake to swallow your feet and ankles. Do not panic.

(The instructor ad-libbed here telling us that for some reason the brain is the sweetest part. Like dessert for the snake.)

7. The snake will now begin to suck your legs into its body. You must lie perfectly still. This will take a long time.

8. When the snake has reached your knees slowly and with as little movement as possible, reach down, take your knife (we needed a knife and this is the first time we are hearing about it?) and very gently slide it into the side of the snake’s mouth between the edge of its mouth and your leg, then suddenly rip upwards, severing the snake’s head.

(If you think about this, you will not be severing his head right off…I mean that was one big knife I had in my pocket if it is big enough to sever this snakes head. Think about it, his head is as wide as my legs… And, since my legs are in his mouth I am not going to be cutting the bottom part of his head off because my legs are in the way. Who tested this out in the field?)

9. Be sure you have your knife. (I knew it had to be in here!)

10. Be sure your knife is sharp.

He concludes by emphasizing that the most important thing to being successful with your money in retirement is not to panic. Remain calm? I should remain calm despite the fact that social security is running out, insurance costs more and covers less and my 401k has been swallowed up to the hips. Did he say retirement income?  He might as well have said my retirement income will be delivered weekly via unicorn. I am thinking this guy is missing an important part of the guide…I am thinking I may need a knife.

Now I am going to give you some facts.

This Peace Corps manual chapter is an urban legend that began circulating around 1998. Completely made up. This is absolutely not what to do in the case of an anaconda attack. Not even written by the Peace Corps which really is pretty obvious because I know the Peace Corps would be smart enough to mention that you should have a knife well before the last step.

Anacondas are fast in the water but on land can only move about one mph. The average human can run about 11mph. So you only need one rule. Run, just run. Think Forrest Gump…no knife required.

The bit about always eating the feet first?   I scoured the internet and couldn’t find one picture of an anaconda eating something feet first. Apparently the opposite is true, the feet are the sweetest part and they save them for last. Your head is going in first, probably because the snake hates the screaming.

anaconda

I didn’t know this guy was a bullshit artist that night but now I am wondering how many other things he made up  just for my entertainment. And despite the fact that we should under no circumstances feel obligated to use his services we do get a forty-five minute free consultation, but we don’t have to use it, it’s not mandatory. But he’d love to see us in the office…I’m gonna be sure to have my knife.

He then launches into some great information (as described by him) on how to calculate what we will need to live on in retirement. There really was some good information there, if you have the first clue about finances. For those of us that are…for lack of a better word, clueless, it was a little hard to keep up. Thank goodness he had a lot of clients that he helped become financially secure and could share some real life stories. He also showed us many charts that could help and if we are still struggling we do have a free forty-five minute no obligation consultation but really, that’s not required, he’s not here to make money.

Now, we did get a manual so we could go over this stuff at home but he doesn’t really follow the manual, he made up most of the slides on his own so he laughs and says don’t even bother to follow along in the manual because it is meaningless. If you need further explanation you can use the forty-five minute no obligation consultation at his office that is included with the price of the class, his office is close, right in Barrington, about five miles from here.

Throughout this three hour class. Bob occasionally looks at me and says, “This is all you, I have no idea what he’s talking about.” About midway through Bob did look a little overwhelmed.

At the end I asked Bob what parts he did understand. Hoping that he got some of the math stuff because I am a writer, not a mather.

He says “I know my name is Bob (we got name tags) and the teachers name was Joe (it was written on the board.) “And I should never run from an anaconda.” (there was a slide illustrating this.)

Bob’s a visual learner.

Then he excitedly added, “We get a free forty-five minute consultation!”

My take on all this?  Anacondas are sly little camouflage artists that often start eating you at the butt because that is where your wallet is.

Part two of this class is next week. I’ll let you know what we learn.

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