Sunday, September 26, 2010 |

Goodbye to blogging!

I'm going to take a little break from blogging.

Right now, it's just a time in life where I feel like this isn't a good fit for me. I've realized that I struggle a lot with not knowing what to write about, and feeling some weird pressure to write something funny, or meaningful, or deep. But I hardly ever write about what's really on my heart. And the way I see it, this isn't really the appropriate venue to share my heart anyways. I think that should be left for phone calls, or better yet, in person over coffee.

It takes a lot of my focus off what really matters - my family, pouring into my husband and sons, and being intentional with relationships. And it feels a lot like FB to me sometimes - when people "know" what's going on in my life because they read about it here. And not because we shared a conversation, or invested in our relationship. You know?

So let's have coffee sometime instead.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 |

Truth and Beauty

Lately, Kris has really been into the band Rise Against*. At first, it was just some band that I had heard mentioned on Sonic here and there, and kind of wrote it off as something I'd have little interest in. Then, Kris started telling me about some of their songs and lyrics, and we both discovered how they touch on some really interesting social issues. One of Kris' favourite Rise Against songs is "Hero of War", which does a fantastic job of poking criticism at the issues of war - how it takes advantage of young men and their desire to make others proud and do something meaningful, as well as the injustice of violent acts done in the name of one's country. (Check out the lyrics here, and the video above.)

It's got me thinking a lot about one of the sections in Rob Bell's book Velvet Elvis. (I don't have the book around right now, or else I'd love to type out the section. I guess you'll have to check it out for yourself if you're interested. And I highly recommend that course of action.) Rob talks about the word "Christian", and that in the Bible, that word is only ever used as a noun. A Christian was a person. A person who followed Christ. But now, we've morphed the word to become an adjective, and we've been tacking it on to anything that we deem worthy - books, music, even candy. I love when he gets to the part where he talks about truth and beauty, and how so many things dubbed "Christian" sometimes contain very little truth, and no real beauty. Yet something that doesn't necessarily have the label can contain an abundant amount of truth and beauty. Like some of Rise Against's songs. Yet, they definitely aren't getting any air time on Shine FM...

Another song that, to me, contains a huge amount of truth and beauty (despite the odd F-bomb), is Everlast's "What It's Like". I remember this song being hugely popular when I was in high school, but I've only recently been really appreciating it for what a great song it really is. Check it out sometime, if you don't know it. And if you do, check it out again with a new set of eyes and see what you think. (The lyrics are here and the video is here.)

Along the same lines, one of the most worshipful experiences I've ever had was at U2's 360 concert in Vancouver last October. Although U2 doesn't market their music under a Christian label, it's hard to miss the spiritual undertones of a lot of their music. Not to mention Bono's obvious love for his Lord, and his role as a social activist. I clearly remember feeling SO in awe of who our God is, that He could so completely capture a man, a ROCKSTAR, like Bono. Truth and beauty, right there in BC Place. I'm tellin' ya...

What unlikely places have you found truth and beauty lately?


*And just as an interesting side note (and because I like using asterisks and making you come all the way down here), all of the band members of Rise Against are vegetarians and active members of PETA, abstain from alcohol and recreational drugs, and are conscious of human rights issues in clothing and footwear production. I haven't told Kris about this research I've done yet. I'm pretty sure their PETA involvement might be a deal breaker... :) I'll keep you posted on his reaction...
Thursday, September 16, 2010 |


My Grandma passed away last Monday.

I don't know what the rule is when it comes to blogging about death - but I figure, it's on my mind, so I'm going to talk about it.

She was pretty healthy and independent until only 4 days before her passing. Then she started having strokes, each day getting worse. The worst one occurred on Sunday, and Kris and I decided last minute that we wanted to fly out to Vancouver to see her. Even if we could just hold her hand and have her know we cared, and that we were there for her.

We arrived in Vancouver at 830 in the morning, and headed off to rent a car. Kris checked his cell phone, and noticed 3 messages. Two of them were from my mom, to call her right away. My heart sank. I knew we had missed her. And it turns out, by only 2.5 hours. I'd like to believe that somehow she knew we were coming for her.

But it all happened the way she would have wanted. She was a stubborn, independent lady who would have NEVER taken kindly to being in any kind of care. So for that, I am happy.

We will miss her. Her crazy stories, that were part truth, and maybe part something else. Having tea, or going for pizza and beer (yup, I had a beer-drinking, caesar-loving Grandma!). How much she loved Sam, and how much Sam really liked his "big Grandma" (before he could say "great" - but she was a big woman, and she just laughed and laughed when he'd call her that).

And the funny thing - while going through some of her things, (and making sure she hadn't stashed a large sum of money in her underwear drawer - which is something she would have done because she didn't trust the bank or the government) we found a drawer with about 2 dozen unopened pairs of pantyhose. In addition to about the same amount of opened pairs.

I guess you never know when you're gonna get a runner in your stocking, huh, Grandma?! :)

Sam with my Grandma, right after he barfed on her and then peed through his sleeper!
Monday, September 13, 2010 |

Clothes Shopping with Kris, and a Skinny Jean Update

This has been a big couple of days for me.

First - I deactivated my Facebook account. (I miss it more than I thought I would, but I'm experiencing a lot of freedom, too. Plus, it's WAY too early to go back with my tail between my legs. I figure I have to display at least a bit of dignity and maturity in this. *Sigh*)

Second - and more importantly - I bought a pair of skinny jeans. I was certainly NOT foreseeing this one. I recently just talked about how I'm not sure about skinny jeans, and didn't know if I'd ever be able to wear a pair. However, the whole mom jean thing was really bugging me.

And then there were the issues with Kris' fashion. Lately, he's been talking a lot about feeling dumpy in his clothes, and needing some new jeans. Plus, I don't remember the last time we bought Kris some clothes that weren't second hand.

It was true - we looked like parents. Uh oh.

So all of this landed us at H&M on Saturday. (As a side note, I did a bit of research beforehand because I was curious to see how socially responsible H&M is with their manufacturing. Turns out, they're not bad. Certainly not as terrible as the Gap company and their subsidiaries. So that's something.) We found Kris some great jeans and a few tops. The whole experience was a lot for him. And I think the cherry on the cake was when the male change room worker said to Kris, "Oooh, I really like that shirt. I was thinking of getting that one in black." Kris' rule about fashion is as follows:

The first rule of fashion is, you do not talk about fashion.
The second rule of fashion is, you DO NOT talk about fashion.

(This rule applies to everyone other than your wife.) Kris made some comment about how his friends were going to bug him about how snug his new jeans are. Turns out, it was actually his dad. I don't think it bothered him too much. I think that falls under the fashion rule that states:

Don't take fashion advice from anyone a whole generation older than you.

And let's face it - it's probably a worse thing when our parents start liking what we wear. No matter our age.

As for me, I made the comment as we walked in the store, "I should totally try on some skinny jeans, just to see how terrible they look". I then laughed, and Kris was adamant that I actually do it. We found some right at the front of the store. I tried them on. And really kind of liked them. I came out of the change room, feeling kind of hip and young, and was met with a belly laugh from Kris when he first laid eyes on the jeans. I think my rule about fashion should be:

If an article of clothing ever elicits laughter from another human, DON'T BUY IT.

Apparently I have no self-respect when it comes to this, and instead proceeded to convince Kris how good I thought they looked. Once the laughter subsided, he said he really liked them. (He also said, "Wow, those are realllly tight on your legs!" Why did I buy them again?! Oh right, because they were $12.95 and I'm desperate not to end up one of those women who's still wearing, at 50, what was cool when she was 20. You know the type.)

So there you have it. I left H&M a brand new owner of the infamous "skinny jean". And Kris left muttering about his need to go to Wholesale Sports to restore any shred of manhood that he may have had left.

And all I have to say is: In yo' face, Mom Jean!

(Just for the record, I totally haven't had the courage to actually wear them yet. I realized that all my shoes are Mom-jean-friendly, and not so much skinny-jean-friendly. Which poses a problem. But that's for another day.)
Thursday, September 9, 2010 |

Goodbye, Facebook!

I did it.

I finally did it.

Yesterday, I freed myself from the bondage that is Facebook!

A good friend of mine recently made the break, and after debating and struggling with the idea for a LONG time, I decided it was time for me too. That was just the push I needed to get off the fence, and hop off into the land of "more free time", where status updates and newsfeed don't exist.

I want to be more intentional with people. I was really noticing how Facebook has made me SO lazy with relationships. The words "Facebook me!" will no longer be part of my vocabulary. Instead, I'll use the phone. Email. Letters.

I can still share fun stuff about our life, and photos, here on this blog.

So that's what I'm going to do. But right now, it's time for an afternoon nap.
Friday, September 3, 2010 |

Strangers and Temper Tantrums

Dear Stranger,

Please do not stare when my child has a temper tantrum in public.

And while I have your attention, I'd like to make a few other points:
  • My son is 2. It is perfectly normal for him to feel like the world is falling apart around him when his mother says "no" to a chocolate bar in the checkout line. Sometimes I feel like that too. And sometimes, I just buy the damn chocolate.
  • I don't need your comments about how he must be in the "terrible twos", or how he's a "busy little guy".
  • I'm not interested in a conversation about how awful or tough our children are; I like my son, and think he's pretty great. I like to speak positively about him as much as possible.
  • I'm not a terrible mom because I don't have a tantrum that's equal in size to my son's to try and control his behaviour. (And if I did, perhaps that would warrant some stares.)
  • ALL (conscious) children behave like this at some time or another. I am not more sure of any other fact.
  • Your pity looks don't help. What does help, is just to walk on by like this isn't happening right now. Because I'm trying my darnedest to pretend like it isn't. Let me live in my moment of denial.
  • If you're a mother, you've experienced this. Don't give me that "I would never let my child act like that in public" look.
So, next time you may experience my child having a tough time in public, just keep on walking. It's what's best for everyone. Trust me.