Monthly Archives: December 2011

House Hunters

I live in a 600 square foot apartment with my husband, our rambunctious five year old son, and our feisty (but sweet) three year old daughter. We live above our cafe which makes life convenient for my husband. However, the lack of space, yard, dishwasher, laundry, and knee space (while reading on the toilet) occasionally (or regularly. tomato tomato) get to me. Also, our bed is a futon, and its behind our living room couch.

This post, however, has nothing to do with my complaints. We’re breathing, we have food, heat, blankets, and strong family and community. We don’t need anything.

Watching HGTV’s “My First Place” and “House Hunters” earlier today, I enjoyed noting the expectations people had of their potential home. Must be within a certain outrageous price range, a room for each member of the house including the dog and goldfish, architecture, location, etc… the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong… I do want a Craftsman or Victorian style house (as pictured to the Right) with a nice yard and neighbor kids… but in reality, here’s how the conversation might go at this point in time.

“Hi Kelly, welcome to House Hunters.”

Hi Todd (I don’t really know the host’s name).

“What kind of house are you looking for?”

The kind that doesn’t fall apart.

“Hmm, so what style do you think might fit your needs?”

The style with plumbing and a roof, and some walls.

“Do you prefer real wood or pergo flooring?”

The kind that’s on top of the foundation and can withstand child usage.

“How many bedrooms are you looking for?”

One for my husband and I. Is there a playhouse for the kids to sleep in?

“No.”

Ok then I guess two.

“Do you prefer central heating systems or baseboards?”

Yes.

“What kind of washer and dryer will you be installing?”

The kind that run.

“What size yard are you looking for?”

One my kids can destroy and still look good. Is that possible?

“Sure, if its cement.”

Ok, then I want a cement yard.

“What are your security needs?”

How about I give keycodes to only people I know, and if anyone else tries to enter my house, they get shocked?

“Ok, what about privacy.”

Yes please.

So… there’s really no conclusion. Have fun with that, Type A personalities! 🙂

Wondrous Love

Last Spring, a friend and I led worship for my church’s women’s retreat. One of my favorite hymns, “What Wondrous Love” was part of the set list for the weekend. for those of you who don’t know this beautiful song (or any hymn for that matter), its a simple declaration of the love God has for us.

This evening, my husband and I drove our kids around town looking at Christmas lights. Our five year old son Ian was completely into it. His reaction by the end of the night: “I like a lot of lights.” On the other end of the spectrum, our three year old daughter Ana had apparently grown tired of the car and the fantastic experience, and called out to us “I want to go home, and look at NO lights.” I turned to my husband and asked him how Scrooge had appeared in the back seat of our van.

I have a lot of moments like this. I expect my kids to react a certain way to life experiences, or things I provide for them, and its pretty disappointing when their reaction doesn’t meet my expectations. Like when I set a plate of food in front of them, and they immediately retort “I don’t like it!” There are also those times my kids are misbehaving so badly, I want to kick through a wall. I kicked my dresser once, and the mark is still there.

But regardless of these moments of frustration, sadness, and agitation, I simply have to look at my child to remember why I’m here. When I hear my children’s voices, my heart flutters. When they say profound things or make me crack up, my heart melts. They can’t do anything to make me not love them or to not care for them. Sometimes I am oblivious to the world as I stare at Ana. She is precious, intelligent, and full of surprises. My son Ian confuses me immensely. He is so loving and sensitive, yet so physically passionate and aggressive. He can’t fully speak clearly, but he is brilliant. Underneath the  mask introversion, he is the wittiest five year old I have ever met. I pay attention to every little detail of their lives, although sometimes it may look like I’m too busy or preoccupied with my church job to notice.

So, how does God see me? Well, to be honest, I am flawed. Sometimes my words are ugly. Sometimes my reactions aren’t in line with the way I know I should act. Sometimes, I’m just tired, and don’t know what to do with myself. Sometimes, I am stuck in a problem I’ve created, and I wonder why God doesn’t just pull me out of my mess.

How does God see me? Well, I’m His child, and so are you. He loves and cares for us in a way we can’t fathom. He gazes at us in awe of the beauty of His creation. He loves the qualities that make each of us unique. The greatness of His wondrous love is beyond anything we can understand.

We think we know love; but we know nothing until we experience His wondrous love.

Something to think about this Christmas season.

Forks Over Knives

There are controversies in every direction over how and what we should eat, how much we should consume, what research has been done, how that research was done, and how qualified the researchers are. So with this reflection on the documentary “Forks Over Knives,” I’m not trying to sway anyone, tell you your lifestyle is wrong or right, and I am absolutely not telling you that I am 100% buying into this without further research and digging.

Forks Over Knives is simply based on the premise that a plant-based protein diet (vs. a meat-based protein diet) prevents (and in fact has been known to reverse) diseases and disorders a large percentage of our population faces. Obesity, Diabetes, Cancer, and Heart Disease were the main focus in the research they showed. From the reversal of heart disease, to curing breast cancer, they showed a whole lot of proof that a plant-based protein diet is the solution for our nation’s health problems. In other words, cut the animal produced products out of your diet (animal milk, meat, eggs, cheese) and you will avoid a majority of the health problems our current generation faces.

My short and simple reaction: “sounds logical to me.” I think my initial dilemma here is that any documentary–no matter the issue–sets out to prove a point, and selects exactly the right data and research they need to sway the viewers beliefs or understanding in a specific direction. Believe me I know… I wrote a college thesis. 🙂 So I can’t always accept a documentary without a certain amount of skepticism.

However, the part that stuck out to me and convicted me the most was a study they showed on the country of Norway during the Nazi Regime. In 1939 the Nazis inhabited Norway, and confiscated all their livestock for their own use, forcing the native people to eat a strictly plant-based diet based on what was left for consumption. After the Nazis skedaddled, the native people reacquired all their livestock. Research was done on the Cardiovascular deaths over the span of the 1900s and the trends over an entire century were fascinating. From 1900-1939, Cardiovascular-related deaths steadily rose to a ridiculously high number. When the Nazis took their livestock in 1939, the trend dropped immediately to practically nothing in comparison. After the Norwegians regained their livestock, numbers of Cardiovascular deaths steadily increased yet again.

What strikes me in this research on Norway in WWII is that these are ACCIDENTAL STATISTICS. No one rigged them, or set them up with a fixed variable. I DO want to look into this study more. However, the fact that this happened without anyone setting it up, and that there was a direct relation to the removal and reintroduction of livestock in the population to Cardiovascular deaths, is definitely something to take seriously.

Oh, that and the lady in the movie who was able to make her breast cancer go into spontaneous remission, simply by cutting animal-based proteins out of her diet…

I don’t really want to go into what this means for my family and our diet. I think its up to each of us to research and explore what is good for our bodies, and what improves our lifestyle.

However, I’m already off cow’s milk due to a lactose sensitivity. I might as well try a few more diet alterations. 🙂

Form Letters Gone Wild

I just visited pinterest.com. Because apparently everyone’s addicted and I decided “Hey, I don’t have enough going on in life.” There were two options: info, and request invite. I chose to request an invite, because who wants info anyway? Here’s the email I received:

“Hi!

Thanks for joining the Pinterest waiting list. We’ll be sure to send you an invite soon.

In the meantime, you can follow us on Twitter. You can also explore a few pins.

We’re excited to get you pinning soon!

– Ben and the Pinterest Team”

I disregard the donotreply emails. I believe my messages reach somebody. I mean, what if what I had to say really affected someone and it touched their heart? I also hate waiting in lines. So naturally, I responded:

“But, what if I started a parallel site called winterest. People could post all the things that are the MOST winterey, and then it would turn into an all-out virtual brawl and someone would just get hurt. That would so not be a good idea. OR you could bump me up the waiting list to like, #7 so it didn’t look like you were playing favorites. That way, I get on pinterest sooner, and we avoid a winterest.com cat fight.

– Kelly and the Winterest team”

I hope they pick me.

And I said hey….

I was going to title this post “What’s Going on” but then that one Four None Blondes song popped into my head and my post found its true title. I think its important to share the rest of the iceberg with you. Although, I don’t know why people talk about that. Iceberg lettuce has no flavor, no nutritional value, and its cheap. Three things I’m not. Eh, I’ll just go with it. I have a hard time exposing myself (in writing) like this, not knowing who reads this. But I wouldn’t have this blog if I didn’t want to share.

*Thankfulness overflows in my heart. Things like my Mom delivering a sandwich to me during play practice, having friends who are fine letting me be who I am in my entirety without judgment or harsh criticism, having a husband who is wise beyond belief and knows exactly what to say and MEANS it. I am thankful for the ability to express myself in music, writing, and laughter. Thankful for friends who pay for lunch unexpectedly, for unexpected compliments, for Undeserved Gifts.

*Joy under stress. My husband prayed for me last night after an incredibly rough day of emotions and battles.  He prayed that I would remember to find joy in the middle of my trials, and that I would be able to be at peace knowing I am doing God’s work, regardless of how hard I am being hit in life.

*I am self-centered. While my brain tries to internalize everything and make the whole world revolve around me, I work REALLY hard to push my attention outward. You have no idea how hard I work to extinguish my selfish, egocentric nature. My heart constantly wants to turn everything into an issue about me, which makes my brain work double time trying to logically prove to my heart that “its not about me.”

*People refer often to how they “date themselves.” I know what this REALLY means, but I don’t care. If I was dating myself I’d totally buy me a massage and have a nice night in with a romantic comedy, a Mimosa, and abundance of Thai food.

*I’m thinking of buying furry cat suits for my kids so they have an excuse to misbehave in public and still be socially accepted. The thought really did cross my mind for a second, so I looked it up. How could anyone resist my kids’ cuteness in one of these: …even if they are knocking over entire palettes of Mayonnaise and attempting to reposition the containers (with no success).

How to Answer Your Kids’ Repetitive Questions

“Mommy, where are we going?”

To my bible study.

“Then where?”

Then home to eat lunch.

“Then where?”

Then we’ll organize and play.

“Then where?”

Well, umm, then Daddy gets home and I work out.

“Then where?”

Then we’ll eat dinner.

“Then where?”

Then you’ll go to bed.

… “Then where?”

Then you’ll check me in to the insane asylum.

 

This conversation has been brought to you by earplugs. and duct tape.