Archive for December, 2011

December 31, 2011

It’s New Year’s—And I’m Back

It might have seemed that I fell off the face of the earth this last week, when what I intended to be a four- or five-day break turned into over a week off of blogging. The truth is, I was having so much fun with my family that I just didn’t sit down at my computer. And as much as I love blogging, a break from the norm was very, very welcome.

 

The silly bit of it is that I’ve had end-of-the-year posts saved up in my brain for weeks. That’s how my blogging mind works—I think of things to write before the appropriate occasions present themselves. Then I either write them down way too early and save them to be posted later or, as in this case, I keep thinking about them and thinking about them, then leave the state for a few days, stay away from my computer for a few more, and then finally cram it all into one post.

 

2011 has been an excellent year. I’ve come into my own as a mother; I’ve learned a great deal that’s helping me to focus on making my marriage and family life the best it can be; I’ve successfully launched a freelance business; I’ve read thirty books; I’ve learned to knit; and (for the most part) I’ve kept up with blogging.

 

Man, am I tired. Ha!

 

But then this list is not meant to toot my own horn. Rather it’s meant to express, in large part as a reminder to myself, that this year I learned to trust in a whole new way.

 

I learned that I achieve more when I don’t cling to what I think I know, what I think is mine.  I learned that life is more worthwhile when it’s not just about myself. I learned that I have more energy when I give my time completely to others—to John, to Jacob, to friends I talk with over the phone or visit with in person, and most especially to God in prayer.

 

I could not have had the year I did without my faith, my marriage, my family. People sometimes say that high school is the best four years of your life. Others contend that the years spent in undergrad are the greatest. Those times were good for me, and when they drew to a close, I had only a hazy expectation of what came next. It turns out, these years after high school, after college, when I am in the world and making it my own; when I am learning what it really means to be married, to be a mother, to be a woman of faith—it is these years that are truly my prime.  And I can’t wait to start another one.

 

Photos and “Best of 2011” lists coming soon!

 

Happy New Year!

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December 22, 2011

A Little Justification Goes a Long Way

Good news, blogger friends: a) I remembered what I was going to write about yesterday, and b) The Biggest Loser is over until January, so you have at least two weeks until I rave about it again.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the aquarium with my parents. Jacob had a wonderful time—there were four people to chase him/carry him around/feed him rolls, plus all kinds of fish and whatnot to look at. We went to celebrate my mom’s birthday, but Jacob probably thought it was his.

 

When it was time for the walrus feeding, the trainer went through a routine with the I-forget-how-many-hundreds-of-pounds beast to show off all she could do. The best part was when she explained that what the animal was doing weren’t tricks, per se but “behaviors,” skills she would have naturally used every day in the wild, but that she was doing on command while in captivity in order to keep her mentally and physically fit. “Behaviors, not tricks?” I thought to myself. “I can use this.”

 

So, friends, today I share some of Jacob’s recently developed “behaviors”—things he does naturally (in the wild?), but will do on command to his parents’ delight. I wish I could have captured some of this in video, but whenever I pick up the camera, all I get is a video of the little man whining to hold it himself. Maybe letting him play with it that day wasn’t such a good idea.

Jacob’s skills run the gamut these days. He’s a bit of a Renaissance man, tackling a little of everything. If we ask him where his ear is, he’ll point to it. If we ask him what a cow says, he’ll say, “Mmmmmmm.” And perhaps the most exciting trick, I mean, behavior, is that when we say “J-E-T-S!” he answers, “Jets! Jets! Jets!” For serious.

The performance isn’t always flawless. Honestly, if you ask him where any body part is, he’ll point to his ear (although he did make one valiant attempt at “belly button” yesterday). The other day, I asked him the two verbalizing questions too close together, so he ended up telling me that a cow says, “Jets! Jets! Jets!”

I’d like to meet that cow, for sure.

 

December 21, 2011

Gets Me Every Time

Okay, so I know I’ve written about this before, but I forgot what I’d planned to write about today. Better luck tomorrow.

 

In the meantime, here’s the thing: I love The Biggest Loser. I watch it on Hulu while I eat lunch if Jacob’s napping or dinner if John’s not home. The irony is not lost on me.

 

I don’t cry very much at books, movies, etc. I considered crying during Titanic. I guess The Notebook made me tear up (book and movie). Oh, don’t get me started on Where the Red Fern Grows. But every time a contestant on The Biggest Loser talks about his or her family, or sees his or her spouse or loved one after weeks away, I lose it. It’s like flipping a switch. I’m fine one second, and the next I’m totally blubbering.

 

I recognize that most “reality” TV is a lot of drama, and not an honest representation of real life. It is atypical to have twelve weeks—and three professional trainers—to get yourself healthy. But apparently, if you have the opportunity, it works.

 

What I loved about what I watched from this season was that it seems that more people came to the show ready to make a change. There was plenty of emotional breakthrough and enough struggle, for sure, but not a boatload of drama.

 

At the end of the day, it seems to me at least, this is a show about doing something positive for yourself, your family, and your community. It’s about being healthy inside and out and having a positive self-image—not because you’re skinny, but because you believe you’re worth it. And you can see it in their smiles and in the way so many of them point to the heavens in gratitude for their success.

 

There’s not a whole lot on TV that does that, and I’m grateful for a show that seems to be doing something right. And that gives me a good cry when I need it!

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