raising a mommy

raising a mommy

Saturday, August 31, 2013

my (not so shocking) confession

Today's blessing:
Kind people

Well, here it is. Some of you who know me already know this truth. Some know, but don't understand the full extent. Still others may have no idea, though I'm not sure how that would happen.

My friends, I am awkward.

No, really.

I'm not talking about chewing on my hair or being unable to make eye contact.

I don't know how to talk to people adults. I'm good with kids. Kids are easy. "How old are you?" "What's your favorite color?" "I like your shoes." "What did you have for lunch today? I love chicken nuggets!" Kids don't care if you don't have a witty response to their question; often they don't care if your response is even accurate - they just love that someone took the time to listen to their question and provide some form of acknowledgement to it. (At least, this is correct for the kids I worked with!)

I've been fortunate enough to always have a built-in group of friends. In high school I had an immediate in with the musical people. College brought my runner friends and the music majors with whom I shared the majority of my classes every semester. After college, I got married and slipped right into my husband's life and circle of friends, bringing my own with. It's been so easy.

Then, one day, we were at church. (Well, not just one day - we've spent many days at church. Many, many days.) We were wrapping up a choir rehearsal, and it happened. Another mom from the choir made eye contact and smiled. I smiled back and went back to my post-rehearsal packing up. Then she came over to talk to me. "We should get our kids together for a play date sometime!"

A play date? Like where the kids fight over the coolest/noisiest toy and the parents sit back and watch, sipping a beverage while talking? To each other? Oh dear...this is so far outside my comfort zone, that I don't even know what to say. I probably smiled and nodded and came up with some silly generic "That would be great" response before running quickly in the other direction.

"Maybe she'll forget about it. She was just being polite. She didn't really mean it..."

Then, the next week, she brought it up again. She actually seemed to want to do this. There was no avoiding it. So we set a date.

And, my friends, I did it. The kids played. The parents talked. I think we probably sipped water because it was one of those 90+ degree days. And I survived.

I am still not completely comfortable around adults. I would way rather make goofy animal noises with a four year old while setting up the ultimate farm, complete with cows, hippos, and a peacock or two.

But I can do it.

And as I unpack my new home and think about all the adventures in front of me, it is comforting to know that I can make intelligent conversation with grown ups. If I have to.

But we should do it over dinner, because a glass of wine really helps!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Today's blessings:
All of the following people and probably many more who I have forgotten (I'm sorry!):

For donating boxes (or offering to donate boxes):
Mark and Heidi
Scott and LuAnne
The custodians at the Northern Dakota County Service Center
The Hein family

For braving the heat to help us on truck loading day:
Kate and Mike
Tom and Julie
Grammy and Ong Noi

For providing me with delicious caffeine in the form of a Pumpkin White Mocha on moving day:

For braving the heat again to help us unload the truck:
Our future friends from Prairie Star. The only people I remember are Mark, Brian, Spencer, Scott, Rachel, and Sophie, but there were more, and they were amazing!

For lending us a trailer when we realized that our truck was far too small:

For taking time away from your own move to drive the trailer to us:
Ugly sister

For just plain old being awesome:
Both of our families
Pretty much everyone else we know

In addition to being awesome, thanks to my mom for providing ingredients for and helping me make freezer meals. Thank you for helping me pack the kitchen and bedroom. We haven't had a single broken item so far, and the kitchen is completely unpacked. Without your help, I probably would have stood in the middle of our home, spun around in a few circles, then sat down and cried. Also, thanks for getting me away from the moving madness for a few days.

To my in-laws (in addition to the aforementioned awesomeness), thank you for taking P so much in the last week so Husband and I had uninterrupted work time. Thank you for allowing me to raid your kitchen when mine was in boxes, and thank you for my year's supply of flour, sugar, and rice. (I believe I got that apostrophe right, because it is the supply of the year. Correct?) Thank you for driving our second vehicle down to us in the extreme heat with no air conditioning.

To everyone else who sent us prayers, positive thoughts, and encouraging words: We cannot thank you enough. We are so blessed to have you in our lives, and we are so excited to discover what this next year is going to bring.

Coming soon:
A virtual tour of our new home
My moving tips

Thursday, August 22, 2013

fmf: last

Here are the rules:
1. Write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Lisa Jo Baker's blog with the rest of the Five Minute Friday-ers.
2. Comment on the person who linked up before you.

Please join us!

Today's prompt: Last

How appropriate - I think Lisa Jo picked this one just for me! (Obviously, since she knows who I am...but isn't it funny how things seem to work out like that sometimes?)

I've been "celebrating" lasts for a few weeks now. Last day of work at the job I loved. Last visit to my parent's house for quite awhile. Last trips here and there...favorite restaurants, stores, friends' homes... (Was that apostrophe in the right spot? I don't want to waste my five minutes trying to figure it out!)

Tomorrow is my last Friday in my current apartment. Followed by my last Saturday, my last Sunday, and then my last Monday morning. Then we roll out and start the next step in our lives.

I know that new, crazy, and wonderful things are waiting for us, and I'm so excited to experience them. However, there's the flip side...I don't make friends super easily, so big moves are always a little scary. It takes me awhile to make friends, and it's been awhile since I had to try. However, I know that when I do, I put everything into it. I want to make friendships that will last.


My last Five Minute Friday from my little one bedroom home! Next week I'll be writing from the massive four bedroom open country parsonage that we are blessed enough to call home for a whole year!

Five Minute Friday

let's catch up

Today's blessing:
Being prepared!

There's lots going on in my life right now, so why not reflect that in the blog?

My first announcement:
I am excited to announce that I am now a Nicki's Diapers affiliate! You may know that we use cloth diapers on P; maybe you even read one of my posts on the subject. (Or maybe you want to! Here's the most recent one!) Well, now I can earn a little bit of money for my referrals. With potty training right around the corner (is that wishful thinking? Maybe...), I'm so excited to try the Best Bottoms training pants! You can click on the banner below to browse the site and place your order, or, if you come back later, you can always click the banner on the right side of my page!

Number two:
I'm sure you're all dying to know who won my giveaway. Well, the lucky winner is none other than my lovely first college roommate! Even though she ditched me after just one semester, we've kept in touch. Her daughter is just a few months younger than P, and she's almost as cute, too
Pretty cute, right?

I was also beyond thrilled to see an entry or two from people I don't know! How cool!

Number three:
I also recently signed up to be a Compassion blogger. I'll be honest; I don't know exactly what this entails, but I know Compassion International is a wonderful organization. I've had a child adopted through their organization for seven years now. While I've never met "my" child, I have had the opportunity to see first hand what they do through my travels to Tanzania. There's another banner on the right side of my page with a link to more information about Compassion International. If you do decide to adopt a child through the program, I'd love it if you'd use my link. The more referrals I get, the more benefits my adopted child, Jose from Mexico, will receive. I'll also be posting periodically on assignments that will be sent to me, so look out for those! If you have questions about what it's like to be a sponsor or want to know more about my experience, feel free to contact me!

Number four:
We're moving! We pick up the truck tomorrow evening and load it all through the weekend. If you're in the area, you're welcome (and encouraged!) to come help us out. You will be fed! This also means that we will have a couple long and probably exhausting days - loading Saturday and Sunday, driving to our new home Monday, unpacking Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday...etc. Long story short, it may be quiet around here for awhile!

Also, if you have any tips on moving/unpacking/organizing a new home or keeping a large home clean and organized, I would be eternally grateful if you would leave a comment! And visitors are always welcome!

Number five:
P had her 18 month check up today, and, no surprise here, she is perfect. And she's tall! 82nd percentile for her age! Looking at mommy and daddy, it's only a matter of time before everyone else catches up.

That's all I've got for now. I think I'm missing something, but that's been a constant state for me for the last few weeks, so I'm getting used to it!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

fmf: small

Here are the rules:
1. Write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Lisa Jo Baker's blog with the rest of the Five Minute Friday-ers.
2. Comment on the person who linked up before you.

Please join us!

Today's prompt: Small


I'm having trouble even getting started with this one! This whole writer's block thing is weird and unfamiliar for me. Usually if I get stuck writing, I at least know where I want to go. That way I can start in the middle and write the part I know, then go back and work my way into it. I have no idea where "small" will lead me, so I certainly can't do that!

Good things come in small packages?

I'm not small, I'm fun-sized?

How many other "small" cliches can you come up with?

I recently did a post on the challenges of living in a small space.

Somehow my five minutes is nearly up, and I've said absolutely nothing. I hope my random musings have at least made you chuckle or shake your head and smile.

How do you deal with writer's block? I'd love some advice from more experienced writers so my next week isn't this ridiculous!


Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go cut myself a not-so-small chunk of peanut butter rice krispie bar and settle back down with Big Bang Theory and my crocheting. As soon as I do, I'm sure an insightful and eloquent idea will pop into my head. You'll have to come back another day to read it.

Love to all my Five Minute Friday-ers who show me patience and support in spite of my haphazardness!

Five Minute Friday

mission statement: part two

Today's blessing:

Some of you may remember several months ago when I said I wanted to come up with a mission statement for my blog. Well, I've been giving it a lot of thought, (also, I kind of forgot) and I am ready to move forward. What is the purpose of this little space on the internet?

Well, it really only makes sense for me to write about the things I'm passionate about. (Or "about which I'm passionate" if you're a stickler for grammar. Which I am. However, that is not going to be a regular topic on my blog. Maybe just occasionally. Perhaps in the form of a guest post from my baby brother, who is, in many ways, a younger, male version of me. And yes, I do realize that I included several sentence fragments in this paragraph. That is not something that bothers me quite as much, as long as it's done effectively.)

And I digress...

What am I passionate about? (About what am I passionate?)
my little girl
my husband
(not necessarily in that order!)

What do I want to do for people?
encourage them
make them smile
make them laugh

What other things do I enjoy that could possibly lend themselves to occasional posts or topics of conversation?
crafts (especially quilting and crocheting)

(Side note, or underneath note if you want to be literal: I originally had running and singing in the passionate section. Upon reflection, I realized that they're not as important to me as I once thought. Several years ago they would have been up there. Isn't it funny how priorities change?)

So how to work this into a mission statement?

Well, I created this blog as a way to share the joys of parenting. That in itself is hopefully encouraging. I read lots of blogs that are fantastic about encouraging you when you're feeling tired and down. They are wonderful. I could probably write something like that, but there are already others who do it so well! Anna at Girl With Blog, Sarah Mae, and Lisa Jo Baker are a few of my favorites.

Sometimes I can be funny. Well, amusing is probably a more accurate word. I'm not going to make you roll on the floor or put you in danger of wetting your pants, but I can evoke the occasional chuckle. Ask my Up With People friends about my city runner reports. I was funny. And I liked being funny! It's more of a challenge for me than being sappy, but I'm up for that. I haven't done much of it so far, at least not intentionally, so this is going to be like a mini-revamp or relaunch of my blog. So I think my purpose going forward will be to "share the joys of motherhood with a touch of humor." That's a little bit of pressure; we're getting serious here. Ready? Go!

Monday, August 12, 2013

celebrate with me! {my first giveaway!}

I was going to wait until I got to 5000 all time page views to do this, but I'm only 5 away right now, and I'm getting impatient! So, I'm going to hope that 5 people will read this and do a little bit of early celebrating. I've decided that I would like to thank you for reading my little blog by doing a giveaway! Some of you may know that I'm a little old lady locked inside a 27 year old's body. That's right, I love to crochet. (And quilt and read and sip coffee and, if I had them regularly available and had time, I would probably enjoy doing crossword puzzles.) So I've decided that the winner of this raffle will win the crocheted hat of their choice! Check out some of my pictures below or pick your own design. I'll mail or deliver (but probably mail) the hat anywhere in the world, so my international friends don't need to be shy about entering! Most of these are for little kids (though I don't know why an adult couldn't wear a monkey hat), but I can do grown up hats, too!

Please excuse the poor lighting, and the darling child is not included in this deal, though you are always welcome to come visit her! Maybe after we move so you can sit on a surface that's not covered in boxes or packing material! I've also made monkeys, bears, bunnies, and many more. I'm currently working on a set of four that I'm guessing I can't market because of copyright issues. Let's just say they live in the sewers, eat pizza, and say "Cowabunga!"

So. Cute. I also have one started that is green with purple - a little more girly. And you could always add a bow or something.

The picture is not great, because this is a really darn cute hat. You can't even see the antennae, but they're there!

Nearly all of my crocheted hats came, at least in part, from Repeat Crafter Me. It's a wonderful little blog for crocheting, cooking, and crock potting. Is there a better combination?

If you aren't lucky enough to win the hat of your choice, you are certainly welcome to place an order...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 10, 2013

our little girl: 18 months

My friends...what a couple of days. Not only is my sweet little girl a year and a half (egad!), but I am celebrating another milestone, as well. Yesterday was my last day of work. Crazy. There will be much more about this later, I'm sure, but for now, let's focus on a cute child. I would have had this post up yesterday, on her actual 1 1/2 year birthday, but my wonderful husband surprised me by winning lower level tickets to the Vikings game...yes, he is a keeper!

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Will "read" board books on her own: She does, and it's easily one of the cutest things I've seen. (How often do I say that about her? But really...)
Can pedal when put on a trike: Hmm...I don't know about this one. She usually asks Grammy to push her whenever she wants to ride the trike. We'll have to work on that!
Scribbles well: Like a pro. She's quite the little artist!

Emerging Skills (half of children can do)
Strings words together in phrases: Yes indeed! We've even moved beyond the two word "Elmo pants" to the ever more advanced "Piggy ride, please?" And how do you say no to that? She even said please! (Well, usually it sounds like "peas," but you get the idea!)
Brushes teeth with help: Mom or Dad brushes her teeth, then she sucks the rest of the toothpaste off and wiggles the brush around her mouth. So I guess yes to this one.
Builds a tower of four cubes: She's not much of a builder. I don't know that we even have her blocks out yet. I would say I'll pull them out, but we're moving in two weeks, so they're going to stay packed up for awhile longer!

Advanced Skills (a few children can do)
Throws ball overhand: It doesn't go very far, but she sure tries! She LOVES playing with the puppy!
Takes toys apart and puts them back together: I haven't seen this one yet. She likes playing with tools, though. Mostly just banging the hammer on things to see how much noise she can make.
Shows signs of toilet training readiness: Well...she knows potty and loves reading her Elmo potty book. I think sometimes she tells daddy when she poops, so that's a good sign, right? I'd certainly love for her to be potty trained, but I'm not really in a huge hurry. I'd rather wait another few months and have her trained in a week than start now and have it be a three month long battle!

Other things you might want to know:
-The poor baby has been cutting her molars. The first one came in and we barely noticed, but she sure has been feeling the last one!
-She stopped nursing a few weeks ago. We were down to once a day (just before bed), but she decided that she was done one night. (I know this sometimes happens when mom is pregnant. I am not pregnant, so you don't even need to let the thought enter your mind. This is my preemptive warning.) I never thought I would nurse this long, but I wouldn't change a thing!

New words she's saying:
I can't even keep track anymore. She's mastered the request for a "piggy ride." She's getting better at saying "please." We're also working on "thank you," which she says when prompted. It sounds like "geeky," and she usually follows it up with "welcome." Pretty darn cute.

She hits the ball against the ground and says "dibble, dibble." Then daddy melts.

Already learning the importance of wearing a helmet. Good girl!

Wearing mommy's shoes...this is one of my favorite things that she does!

Apparently she's into physics. I don't know where that comes from!

Coloring pictures on the living room floor

Thursday, August 8, 2013

fmf: lonely

Here are the rules:
1. Write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Lisa Jo Baker's blog with the rest of the Five Minute Friday-ers.
2. Comment on the person who linked up before you.

Please join us!

Today's prompt: Lonely


With the big move looming ever closer, this word certainly is weighing on my mind. I'm not an overly social person. I don't enjoy big crowds and being around people I don't know for long periods of time is exhausting.

However, I am much luckier than most. I will have a built-in network. No, the relationships won't be handed to me on a platter, but the people are right there. As a future pastor's wife, I will probably always be surrounded by quality potential friends. What a blessing.

It's just a matter of me stepping out of my comfort zone - taking that first step to invite myself into their world.

When I say I'm a little awkward, I really do mean it. I don't know what to say. I'm not good at talking to adults. So...if you have some tips on how to make friends, I sure would appreciate your input!


Five Minute Friday

Friday, August 2, 2013

fmf: story

Here are the rules:
1. Write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Lisa Jo Baker's blog with the rest of the Five Minute Friday-ers.
3. Comment on the person who linked up before you.

Please join us!

Today's prompt: Story


What kind of story are you writing for the world? Is it one that you're proud of?

Husband and I were talking the other day (because that's what married people are supposed to do occasionally, I hear) and we decided that we were pretty proud of ourselves. We're living a story that is pretty cool. We've done a lot in our young lives so far. Everyone says that when you have kids, your life completely changes. Of course, this is true. How could it not be? But they make it sound like it's the end of your lives. You'll never do anything exciting again. Your new version of exciting is 2 am feedings, getting over a particularly nasty bout of diaper rash, and discovering that your child actually enjoys eating peas. Don't get me wrong, all of those things are exciting to me now, but really? Why would anyone have kids if they have to stop being themselves and living their lives?

When our baby girl was born, we made an unspoken decision that she would not end our story. We won't stop going to Africa because of her. We don't completely abandon our late night Baker's Square runs when one of us can't shake the craving for pie. Things have changed, of course. But it's more like the beginning of a new chapter in our story, rather than a whole new book. And I think that's a pretty healthy story to tell!


A note to the person who linked up before me: I hope you're reading this! I've been trying to get onto Lisa Jo's website, but for some reason it's not loading for me. I'll keep trying throughout the day, but if it worked for you and you ended up here, please leave me a comment so I can return the favor. I'm not a jerk who doesn't want to play by the rules; my computer isn't letting me play by the rules!

  Five Minute Friday