Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Been a while....

Yes, it's been a while since I posted anything here....just got caught up in life I suppose. I've also noticed that it's been a while since I've been "Suzanne". I was thinking the other day about my life pre-husband and pre-kids. What were my worries? What were my concerns? What did I DO???!!!!??? I had to get the pick-axes out and really dig deep into my memories....even though I've only been married for 5 years and have had kids for 3.5, it really is difficult to remember life BEFORE all that.

Oh yes! I remember, I was JUST Suzanne. I wasn't "wife", "honey", "mom", "mommy", "Mrs. Suzanne".....I was just Suzanne. Wow, I wonder what that feels like - to not have any of those labels attached to me. I remember after college, I was living at home (saving money), I had a great job as an assistant buyer, I bought a bright yellow Beetle and came and went wherever I desired to come and go. I ate what I wanted (which was fairly healthy), went shopping when I wanted to, read books without being interrupted, went to concerts, went out with friends, went running, went to the gym, visited friends and family, and watched TV. Wow. I can't really imagine doing any of those things now - well, not without dragging children along and coordinating work schedules with the hubby. I actually did things for myself, I had time to think, people didn't expect the world from me. Imagine that!

So what did I worry about if it wasn't:
"What am I going to make for dinner?"
"Will the kids nap well for me today?"
"I have to go grocery shopping."
"Does my husband still think I'm attractive?"
"How can I get to church,the grocery store,get gas, AND get the kids to take a nap?"
"Can't we just order pizza for dinner?"
"Man, there's a lot of laundry to do."
"This place is a WRECK!"
"Dinner, I have to think of something to make for dinner."
"Ugh, I should make the bed."
"Maybe we can do Chinese for dinner."
"What music are we playing in church on Sunday?"
"Should I eat this or should I be good?"
"Am I a good wife?"
"Are my kids watching too much television?"
"I look fat in this."
"Am I drinking too much coffee?"
"Should I send my kids to private school, public school, or home school?"
"Am I a good mother?"
"What, oh WHAT will I make for dinner?"
"Am I being a good example for the teens at church?"
"Where's my OTHER SHOE?!?!?"
"Am I on the computer too much?"
"I need to pray more."
"Will the laundry pile EVER recede????!!!"

So what did I worry about before all this? Well, for certain, I still worried about where my other shoe was, I've always had trouble keeping them together. But seriously, what did I worry about? I guess I worried about getting married and having kids. So...I worried about having the life I have now. Interesting.

I love being "wife", "honey", "mom", "mommy", "Mrs. Suzanne", and even "ma'am"....but sometimes I just want to be "Suzanne". The other day I went to the mall all by myself,(after a very very very very difficult day) and reflected on all of these things. I suppose it's just part of the ever-changing cycle of life. But once in a while, I don't want to HAVE to do anything but be ME. So I think I'm gonna do that, schedule some "SUZANNE TIME", not "me time", not "mommy time", but SUZANNE TIME. How about once a month? I think that's doable. Afterall, my name IS Suzanne, and I AM a person, not just a wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, and church goer. I am Suzanne, hear me wait.....hear me sneak out the back door and go somewhere all by myself.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Poor "Those" People

Today, while at the gym, I saw a segment on something about obesity. I feel bad for "those" people. You know, the people whose anonymous bulging mid sections are filmed and use for such news segments. Often times, they are poor souls making their way down the street of some unnamed city, just going about their day. I feel bad for these poor people. I'm sure they are aware of their stoutness and I'm equally sure they wouldn't want their overweightness put on display for all the world to see. How violating!

Having said that....I have decided to do something a little more proactive about my own bulging midsection. It's always been difficult for me, but since having kids and being diagnosed with hypothyroidism (my metabolism is slower than a turtle in molasses), it's been even more difficult. I've tried almost everything out there, but lately, to no avail. I don't want to do any fad diets or anything where I can't eat real food, because I am a practical person. It's just not practical to drink your meals and it's equally unpractical to eat only boxed food sent to your house. Because, in the end, you WILL return to eating "normal" food and you'll be back to where you started from.

Anyway, I am back at the gym 3-4 days a week (perhaps more) and I have decided to keep a food journal. I have heard that people who keep them lose tons more weight than those who don't. So I found this website called NutriMirror. It's awesome, it's free, it's helpful, it's eye-opening. Not only can you track everything you eat, it keeps track of your calories, fat, vitamins, and lots of other stuff. It gives you estimates on where you should be as far as eating and your goal is to "be in the green" on your food analysis page. (Not in the red.) Although I've always known how to eat healthy, this website has opened my eyes to my eating trends and I've noticed perhaps I'm not eating the way I should be. There is community support, recipe ideas, and all sorts of good stuff included FREE!!!! So, if you are looking to change your own bulging midsection, I'd suggest keeping a journal. And I'd suggest keeping it at NutriMirror, it's awesome! Go me!
Click here to go to NutriMirror!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Potty Training

Talk about an adventure! Here we go again! This is take 2 of potty training for my older son Benjamin. This time around, he SAYS he's ready to be a big boy. He's got his superhero underwear on and he's all ready to go. We've got the frog potty in the living room and the Deigo potty seat in the bathroom. He's already tried once....WITH his underwear on. Hm. Sort of missed the point there.

I guess we, as adults, take for granted all the stuff we just "know" how to do. We are (hopefully!?) potty-trained, we know how to tie our shoes, we know how to feed ourselves (well, most of us....not sure how Josh survived before we got married!??!!), we know how to write a check and pay bills, we know how to drive and generally take care of ourselves. It's such a huge task when you think about how much our children rely on us to learn things. It's also a huge honor!

I can't help but parallel this to learning from our Heavenly Father. Not everyone does, but we need to lean on him and learn from Him. Not quite potty-training or tying our shoes, but it's equivalent to that spiritually speaking. Sure, people can survive without God, but I don't want to just "survive", I want to live life to it's fullest. I know I could get along without listening to God and living the way He would want me too, but why would I want to? I think about children who don't have parents who really take care of them - they always end up having issues. If I ignored my Father in Heaven, I would have a lot more issues than I do now!

I thank God for his endless supply of grace and mercy every day. I pray that I can have even an ounce of that great grace and mercy for Benjamin during potty training. It's been an hour and we are already on our third pair of superhero underpants. Oh Lord, help me!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Birthday Memories

Hmmmm...31 is the new....what? 20? I wish. So today is my birthday. I am now 31 years old. Wow, that SOUNDS old but I know it's not. I guess it's a matter of perspective, right? When my older sister turned 30, I thought she was SO OLD...even though I was only 3 1/2 years behind her. Now here i am....31. Wowzers.

Growing up, I LOVED my birthday. I would announce to EVERYONE that my birthday was coming and my birthday DAY would be filled with lots of happiness and joy for me. We would always go out to dinner as a family and even as an adult, my mom and dad would often drive up here to take me out to dinner. This year, it'll just be my mom. *sigh*
But my mom's got lots of love for me, so I'll TAKE IT! :)

Anyway, my sister would always be in charge of my birthday parties. I would always have rambunctious sleepovers with 5 or 6 girlfriends. Mind you, I grew up in a little cape. My room could never hold the amount of girlfriends, or the amount of energy and just plain craziness of 5 or 6 pre teen or teen girls. Therefore, we had to sleep in the not-so-spacious living room. We would spread out our sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, and various special stuffed animals and act like complete nuts. :) This, in turn, would often cause my parents to call me into their room (just around the corner) where they would BEG me to try to stay a little quieter. My friends were a little rowdy...just a little.... Oh God bless my parents, I'm sure they got next to no sleep at my sleepovers. I love them so much. :)

My sister would make up some awesome games, one of which was very popular and made a reappearance every year at my 'annual' sleepover party. It involved my sister writing out silly things to act out on little slips of paper and putting them into balloons. She would blow up the balloons and put them in a big garbage bag. Then, we'd take turns picking out a balloon and we had to pop it without using our hands. We got pretty creative and this often allowed hilarity to ensue. :) Then the person would have to act out the silly thing on the paper without using and words and the rest of us would have to guess. It was FUN-NY!!!! What a blast. Mucho props to my big sister Jen, she always made my birthday parties a hit.

Then we'd make stupid videos on my dad's video camera. One I remember in particular is of my friend Pearl. She was pretending to be a news anchor talking about O.J. Simpson getting away in his WHITE - FORD - BRONCO. Wow, if that doesn't date me, I don't know what does.

We would often eat pizza and ice cream cake...since ice cream is my most favoritest thing to nosh in the whole wide world, that certainly hasn't changed. Then we would watch some movies and yak yak yak the night away, and sometimes even tell ghost stories. Ah, the memories. Then my dad would make us all a yummy breakfast the next morning. Wow, I wish I could have another sleepover now. What fun!

So here I am, a good 20 years or so later. And I still remember those good times. For my birthday this year I am spending the day cleaning the house, doing laundry, and loving on my kiddos. Then I'm going to the movies with the hubby. Still good. Although I'm no longer proclaiming my birthday to every person I see. Perhaps I should, after all, I 31 is the new 20, right? Right.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I need a new nonstick pan.

While making grilled cheese for my 3 year old running circles around my house screaming and while holstering my 17 month old on my hip, a normal, run-of-the-mill lunch project turned into something more. I went to flip over the buttery, cheesy, yumminess and the sandwiches were sticking to the pan. That's odd. It's a non-stick pan that I usually have no problems with. Granted, it's a cheap-o version from IKea years ago, but still, I don't usually have a problem with things sticking. Well, today I had to get the cooking spray out so as not to turn the grilled cheese sandwiches into melted cheese mush-piles. I manages to save them (mostly) when God pointed something out to me. I need a new nonstick pan. This one is old and no longer helps me where I need it to help me out. So I need a new nonstick pan in this new year.

"So what?" you ask. That's weird. What I mean by all this is....I'm going through a rough spot spiritually and I need a fresh start in this new year. I need to throw out my old nonstick pan, I need to throw away all those things and feelings sticking to me about this past year and start new. I need a fresh dose of God's love. It's not going to come in church. It's going to come when I seek His face wholly. I need to delve in, I need to persevere....even when I feel alone. My spiritual life has been in such upheaval since my dad started to get really really sick. Yes, God helped me through the most difficult stretches....but the damage came after the dust settled. My nonstick pan is old and has lost its' usefulness - sort of like my faith. I hate to say it, but that's what I'm going through right now. I need to find it again.

I know God's there, he's there for me. I just have to look harder. After all, it's never Him that walks away from me, it's ME that's walks away from Him. I know I'm letting doubts, fears, anger, and sorrow corrode my pan to the point where the goop is sticking to my pan, rather than letting go to let God's Word in. There are so many people so upbeat for this new year, ready to make a fresh start. I just want a faith-freshener. And I know I'll get there. Because I won't give up. I KNOW God is good - ALL THE TIME.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Traditions

I'm excited to start some Christmas traditions with my family. Growing up, we had a few of our own. There was no elaborate thing we did but there was little stuff whose memory always brings a smile to my face. I guess they were my own little traditions that I hold so dear to my heart. I was coming downstairs late last night (or very early morning) and there were no lights on anywhere. As I walked down the stairs, a Christmas memory swept over me that led to a big smile at 1:30 a.m. (And that's a big feat!) I remember how I used to sneak downstairs VERY early on Christmas morning before anyone else in the house was awake. In fact, I'm sure my parents just finished their wrapping only shortly before - they used to have a sort of "wrapping party" on Christmas Eve night. I remember hearing them wrap gifts as I lay their, wide awake with excitement and anticipation of the next morning. Anyway, I used to sneak downstairs in the dark of the early morning and my heart would be filled with joy and anticipation. I remember grinning so big and having to suppress my excited giggles. I would peak my head around the corner of the stairwell and squint my eyes to try to make out the gifts under the tree. I would continue my descent into the living room and stand in front of the tree and stare at all of the treasures wrapped up for my sister and I. Sometimes, I would even turn on the lights on the tree to get a better look. And I remember, every year, my mom would say, "Don't get your hopes up too high, it's going to be a small Christmas", and every year, there would be towers of gifts and overflowing stockings. My mom was always so worried we'd be disappointed. It was a tradition. :)

I would TRY to go back to sleep but I'd always be so overly excited about Christmas morning. As soon as I would hear my father up and about (he was always up first), I would spring out of bed and run downstairs. I can almost hear my dad now, "Merry Christmas Suzy!" and he'd give me a big hug. (He was always the best hugger - I got my love of hugs from him. :) ) Then I would just sit there on the couch, listening to Christmas music as my dad made is Christmas morning feast. I would attempt to get my sister up, but she ALWAYS valued her sleep more than I did. My mom would eventually shuffle out of her bedroom in her slippers and nightgown and look at me with tired eyes and a half-asleep smile on her face and say, "Merry Christmas!" We would be allowed to open ONE gift before breakfast, eat breakfast, and then open our chock-full stockings, complete with a clementine on the bottom. Then the gift opening would commence slowly, each person opening one gift at a time. I loved that. We didn't all rip into our presents all at once, we would open one at a time, taking turns, so that everyone could see what the other got and whomever bought the gift could feel that sense of joy when the recipient opened their gift. I don't enjoy it when people just all tear open their gifts at once, it's over in 30 seconds. This slow-opening tradition made us savor the joy of Christmas morning.

These memories are bitter-sweet to me this year, seeing as my dad is no longer with us. But he was always my Christmas morning buddy and I'll never forget that. I sort of miss waking up in my parents' house and I remember feeling a little sad when it was my last Christmas morning at home. (I'm sure it's when I was engaged, and I knew Josh and I would be living together and waking up in our own apartment together the next Christmas...) It was like the end of an era. This year, I'm praying that the joy and happiness of Christmas isn't stifled too much by the sadness of my dad being gone. And I pray that my mom still has an enjoyable Christmas. She'll have to begin a new era herself, making new traditions....without my dad.

This Christmas Eve, we are getting pizza after church, eating it around the Christmas tree, and opening a gift for the two boys - new matching jammies. Each Christmas eve, they will get new pj's so that they look great in the pictures the next day! Then we will read the story of Christmas together and go to sleep. On Christmas morning, I'm making Monkey Bread (it's a big Christmas morning tradition for some people and it looks amazingly yummy - and easy). I'll let them open ONE gift before breakfast, eat the monkey bread, open the stockings, complete with a clementine on the bottom, and then move on to opening gifts - one at a time. I can't wait to savor Christmas morning again. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I guess I grew up

So I'm realizing lately that I guess I'm officially an 'adult' now. When did that happen? When I turned 18? Uh....NO. I was in no way an adult when I was 18. Legally, yes, but in no other way. Was it when I got married? Had kids??? Maybe when I started to relate with slowing metabolisms, Oil of Olay commercials, and body aches. I'm 30....soon to be 31. That is definitely an adult. I mean, in a little over 9 years I'll be 40!?!?!?!?!? WHAT!?!?!?!?!? When did that happen???? It's scary is what it is.

When I think about it, I guess I'm more responsible due to my age, but I don't feel any different. I work with the youth group in my church and I can totally relate to some of the things they are going through. The difference is that now I can look at those situations through 30-year-old glasses, as opposed to hormones, immaturity, and ignorant glasses. (And I mean that nicely...but boy what I chock full of ALL those things at 15 and up....)

I was always sort of silly...and still am. Perhaps that's why I don't feel 'all grown up'. Recently, my older sister pointed out to me that I am rarely ever serious - I'm always sarcastic and making a joke of things. Hm. I guess I didn't realize that I did that. It sort of gave me a complex. Now I look at myself a little differently. Perhaps I'm too immature for 30?!?! I don't know, I sorta like me. I like that I don't take life too seriously. I like that I'm too emotional. I like that I make fun of myself. I like that I act goofy more often than not. I like that I tell people how it is - right to their faces. I like that I'm not afraid to be me. Hm. So perhaps I have grown up - I'm more sure of myself than I ever was. I know who I am and I love me, who cares what anyone else thinks. I'm an old fart, and I look forward to getting older and fartier. :)