I’m still afraid. But I want it MORE!
I’m still afraid. But I want it MORE!
Uncle Tom was a big man. His voice was booming and low, and when I was a kid, he could scare me when he raised his voice with my cousins. But he had a smile that filled up his face when he was amuzed, and his heart for service dominated his life as I knew it.
I’m thinking of my mom’s big brother today because my husband and I took the kids out to the military cemetery for Memorial Day for my first visit back since he went home to be with Jesus this March.
I cried. Not because I believe he is stuck there in the ground at that site, but because he isn’t here with us any more. Isn’t that most what we cry for when a loved one has passed? I don’t cry for what they are missing here, I cry for what we are missing not to have them here.
I also cried for my mom, who although she admits as a kid he teased and picked on her much, even pulling off heads of her dolls and dismembering Barbies…she knew how much he loved her as they grew to be adults. And as if he knew the end was near, the last time he saw her he hugged and hugged her as they stood by the door to say goodbye, saying, “I just can’t stop hugging you!”
And I cried for my cousins. Especially his oldest daughter who was states away when we all gathered in Uncle Tom’s home to love on him the night he passed. His 4 kids don’t have the dad he was to each one of them. And I think he had an amazingly unique relationship with them all.
I cried for my Aunt too. His wife for my entire life, I had only known them together. I had never known them apart. They were one in my mind. I can’t imagine the agony of waking to each day to again find him not there.
And yet, the eternal servitude he exuded will live on in her. Perhaps with a new zeal. She has a faith that can move mountains and conjure miracles. I know she will endure and my cousins are going to remain huddled around her all the rest of her days lest she forget for one moment the love they created lives on in their family forever.
I didn’t know my Uncle as a soldier, but I knew he had served in the US military. Movies like South Pacific made me think I could picture him in action, though Vietnam couldn’t have been anything like a Roger’s and Hammerstein classic.
I am left today with a heavy heart. I love my Uncle, and I miss him. I am proud of him. I believe God had a good and faithful servant in my Uncle Tom. And I don’t know of a greater thing we can be called to be.
Thank you, my dear Uncle Tom for your service. Not only in the Marine Corp, but in all the years that stretched across your life since then too.
It has been years since I really worked at writing. After years being blessed with freelance work for our local Catholic newspaper, I had to step away when our 4th child was on her way. Now, with her youngest sibling nearing her 3rd birthday, writing seems to be coming back into focus. Although I truly was in love with my writing assignments for our local paper in the past, I have felt a tug to write something of my own. But the “right” subject or topic never seemed to be presenting itself. So I would dutifully jot down the writing ideas that came to me without any inspiring projects jumping to the foreground. I would come back to the same logic every time: until something is nagging at me to write about it, I should (like every great writer) just keep reading. Perhaps that was my largest writing hurdle over the last 9 years. Finding time to read (and stay awake) was challenging in my sleep deprived mommy years. So this last year of getting back to reading has been the greatest gift I could give to my own writing. In reading, I uncovered a passion for the story of human life. The journey humans take to is absolutely fascinating to me. Each one being just as compelling, tragic, inspiring as the last, I find I devour memoirs and biographies from all directions of life. So it hit me one day, that the greatest story (right now) that I have to tell, is my own. I use the stories of my life all the time, with friends, other moms, my children, as examples of things I’ve figured out or struggled with on my journey. So, recently I began my new project. One that has already been developed, and has only to be documented and streamlined. Whether anyone else will ever read it, is not something I will concern myself with now. At least I have begun! And it feels like the right writing project for me. Finally.
Do you have recipe clippings and scraps of paper with random recipes saved but in a pile somewhere? I did. But one day I had an idea how to store those recipes so I could actually USE them! Here’s what I did:
Click here for step by step instructions.
If you have ideas like this, feel free to link them below in comments. It is fun to share home organizing ideas. Especially simple ideas that work!
I have been pondering the new Time magazing cover that goes with the attachment parenting article over the past few days since I first saw it (admittedly on Facebook). First, no, I did not read the article. I tried to read it (in my defense) online at Time.com, but you must subscribe to READ the article.
What I have read are a few of Dr. Sears books. And I have my own experiences with attachment parenting including baby wearing, co-sleeping, and extended nursing. I know what it is like to seem to be the only one you know of who believes these to be good parenting strategies or techniques.
For me, the picture of the young mother nursing her 3 year-old son doesn’t make me uncomfortable because she is nursing a child who is no longer an infant. No, the picture makes me uncomfortable because her breast is partially exposed. She is exposing a good portion of her breast in an unnatural nursing position with no sense of modesty. The picture is immodest and inappropriate in that regard, and not because a young and pretty mother is nursing a seemingly tall 3-year-old boy. (I do wonder what would have been said if it had been a little girl.)
That Time.com link of the picture did allow web visitors to the site to read another article regarding the very photo shoot that produced the picture that has so many people talking. That article was very enlightening. It talked about how the photographer had many baby and mother combinations, but this particular photo was “the one” because of the very fact that it showed something we aren’t used to seeing. The photographer said they chose that position and the older boy because they knew it would be shocking. It painted, for me, an ugly picture of an attention seeking photographer who was all about getting the picture that would cause a stir, and not about portraying attachment parenting through a picture of a loving nursing mother. And it makes me feel the mother might have shown up for a photography session all about nursing and attachment parenting, but she is left with permanent documentation of her decision to exploit herself and her son for what purpose?
So now we have all this stir. Already bubbling controversies come to a boil, just as the photographer and the editors of the magazine had hoped. They sell lots of magazines and the new media around the world gains another ratings-raising topic to throw around and turn inside out until there is nothing left for any one to uncover, judge, or criticize.
All the while, there are people around the world missing the point of a loving and nursing attachment parenting mother. People all over are dismissing attachment parenting as extreme, crazy, and now even damaging. What a bummer. Because these are not what baby wearing, extended nursing, and co-sleeping have been for me.
For me, wearing my baby in a sling wasn’t about being with the baby 24/7. Carrying my baby in a sling allowed me to have baby right where my babies and I both LOVED having them. At my chest. On my hip. They were easily managed. It took less effort to keep an eye on them. Moving in a crowd with baby but minus a stroller was so much easier.
My motivation for trying the sling came out of necessity. I had a new baby and a toddler. There were regular times every day that the toddler would need me. And invariably those times would land on times when the baby would want me to hold him. So it was a God-send to have a sling that would allow me to keep baby close while serving the toddler at the same time. And before long I realized the sling also allowed me to put in a load of laundry, or start dinner prep with my free hands while the baby stayed close and happy. Heck, I even used the sling to help lull my toddler to nap time when we first transitioned to a single bed instead of the crib. He was resisting staying in bed long enough to fall asleep, so one day I slipped my fussy little guy into the sling and kept on moving. Before I knew it he was asleep, and I could lay him in his bed for a nice nap!
And as far as the extended nursing goes, I am no stranger to breaking new ground where none of my friends or family members have ever gone on the breastfeeding frontier. I have 5 children who all nursed to 24 months, 3 who nursed longer, and 1 who is still nursing at 29 months now. Like some kind of cable company contract, I nursed all of my children with a fully devoted commitment to nursing for the first year, and then from there I would go month-to-month. And when it began to be a power struggle or an obstacle to sleeping soundly at night, I would gently wean them by delaying the nursing time with nursing-free cuddle time. I wouldn’t trade the sweet nursing journeys with any of them for anything.
But this brings me to my point in the first place. Darn you Time Magazine for choosing shock value over serious journalism. Way to fan the fire of early weaning and the continued strain between people who are allergic to knowing a woman is nursing her child in public. When my children reached an age where nursing became a full contact sport (can you say wiggle-mania?) the incidences of public weaning were dramatically reduced. The older my toddlers were, the more private our nursing sessions became. And if a toddler refused to allow me to remain modest and covered while they nursed, then they were popped off faster than they could say, “But Mama!”
So I just have to say, I’m very disappointed. Time got what they wanted – attention. And it’s score 1 for the cry-it-out, early-weaning team. But then, and this is just my humble opinion and experience: modesty and dignity are WAY under-rated today.
Oh, and I can’t believe I actually heard a woman “expert” on the Today Show say that mothers who baby-wear, co-sleep, and extend nursing into toddlerhood are destroying the child’s sense of autonomy. Seriously? Even the boy in the Time picture is just 3. The mother isn’t coming in to his Kindergarten class and nursing him at snack time!
When I was an 8th grade teacher, the helicopter parent who called me to try and talk me into giving her son a break when he hadn’t turned in his project after having repeated chances to work on it and turn it in to me, she may have been doing actual damage — to her son’s sense of responsibility and confidence. And I found out when our niece when to college that they now have added a special orientation class for parents at freshman orientation. They keep the parents in 1 room while the students are taken into another room. Then, they carefully tell the parents that the students are now registering for their classes. Then, they have to immediately stop the parents from storming out to find their child, and they have to remind the parents that the college student is the one who is going to have to show up for and study for the classes, so they need to sign up for the classes themselves. Seriously. What’s next? Attending job interviews with them? I see that as a control issue. But not an attachment parenting issue, my friends.
I can’t say it better than this. Awesome.
I have been working toward better health the last few years. Recently I became a member at a local gym where I am able to work out in the mornings, and it has truly transformed my winter season for the first time in years. I have never worked out through the winter before! As spring is unfolding and all through the neighborhoods flowers are appearing and trees are greening, I feel reborn and new again myself.
Much of my energy and happiness comes from the good feelings that are born of doing good things for my body. Eating healthy, wholesome foods and getting my blood moving to all my cells truly does amazing things for the mind and soul.
I often find great and encouraging things running through my mind while my feet are hitting the pavement, or the stair beast (or stair master), or what have you. So I thought I’d write some of them down.
1. Often inside we have strength and weakness existing at the same time. It is simply a matter of what we give more mental energy to at any given moment. So why not just lean into your strength?
2. You can run somewhere faster facing forward than you can facing backwards.
3. While on a walk or run, why not take it from the natural instincts of a child and take to skipping whenever you can.
4. If you think you can or you think you can’t go on…you are right.
5. There is an amazing thing that happens when you push just beyond what you think you can accomplish.
6. No matter where you are on your journey, there is likely someone ahead of you and someone behind you. Both deserve your respect. Appreciate where you are on your path!
7. Even if you are in pain or struggling, that is still LIVING!
8. Hard work and sweat are not to be feared or minimized. They feel DARN good!
9. People who accomplish their goals aren’t living in a state of comfort.
10. Stretching your mind is just as important as stretching your body.
🙂 God Bless you and the spot you are on your journey today!
Isn’t Facebook a handy tool. These wonderfully wise words were the status of a dear friend of mine today. I asked her if I could share:
“Someone wrote on the wall of a sister grieving the loss of her brother, to “stay strong and love hard”. Love hard….I wonder what it would look like if I did that. Some of us work hard, play hard, party hard….but I have never thought of loving hard. Love is so often associated with ‘softness’, like flowers and clouds and cuddly things. I think I want to love hard, because here are a few things that ‘hard’ means, by various dicitionary definitions:
Solid, firm, and resistant to pressure; not easily broken, bent, or pierced.
With a great deal of effort.
Intense in force or degree
With great force, vigor, or energy
To love firmly, intensely, with great effort. I think we would all like to BE loved that way, so wouldn’t it be good to put forth the effort TO love that way? Here’s to Wednesday…Stay strong and Love Hard!!”
Thank you for the wisdom and insight, Kari Thurman! ❤
Ever wonder when you might feel like you have it all together? I have wondered that for perhaps my whole life. Well, ever since that day that I woke up and was less a kid and more a teenager and I realized that the decisions I was making were actually going to start impacting more than just my next few moments. Remember that? When you realized that if you didn’t do this paper AND the next 3, that it would mean you failed that class, and failing could post-pone graduation? Or not getting your permit by THIS date meant that your time to finally drive would be pushed back that much farther?
Well, I still feel like I am barely holding on by the skin of my teeth most days. But I’m starting to wonder if many people feel like me too. Am I the majority, or the minority here?
But, what do you think? Is it possible to wake up one day and finally just be accomplishing more than you are not accomplishing? Is it even feasible that over time one might gradually be closer and closer to meeting their many, many goals in life.
I suppose this is why Bucket Lists were created. So we could have those important things we do not want to die w/o doing laid out there to tick off like a to do list. So, it is a new day. Every day is. I’d like to lay out some of the things I’d LOVE to carry out gradually (’cause we can’t just get crazy here) over the next 6 months before we ring in 2012:
*Paint the main level of our house (has NEVER been painted by us though we celebrate 12 years in this house next month)
*Make working out daily a habit
*Have more lean muscle than I do FAT
*Make writing every week a habit
*Make blessing my house something I do on auto-pilot
*Carve out regular time for my business so it can grow
*Make reading the bible a morning ritual
*Grow and cultivate systems for our personal finances
So there. I don’t think it is too much to ask that I am able to improve upon and create in these areas. And having the above list be a reality in my life would give me such a thrill! I’d like to have the life the above would give. I’d love to sit here in January next year and have to really concentrate to come up with a new list . . . after checking off the above as done (and will keep being done)!
Anyone care to share their list and join me? It is the last half of the latest new year. Has yours gotten stale? Or is it still a new day for you?
Having 5 children over the last 10 years, we have at times been unsure about the most current car seat restraint laws for our kiddos. So every so often I like to look up the laws again and make sure we are abiding.
Here is the website I used most recently to find the appropriate laws for our state:
With this website, you can go to the specific laws for your state.
Here is an example . . . we are in Colorado, so we clicked on the CO link and the article (thank you) was in plain English. We found out that for our 5 kiddos some things have changed since we last checked up on the laws. Meli, our youngest is 13 months old now and normally we would have turned her around to face forward by now. But it is being encouraged to keep them rear-facing for longer now, so we will. And in her case, she has a lot more entertainment facing her brothers and sisters instead of the back of my head.
We also learned that not only is our oldest allowed to ride in a car without a booster, but so is his 8-year-old brother. As long as he is over 8, he is considered legal to ride without a seat. We are going to keep him in the seat a bit longer, because of his height, but it is great to know that he can go for short trips (with friends and so forth) without if needed!
So, if you haven’t, visit the site and check on your state laws today. And I highly recommend bookmarking your state site and checking back regularly as your kids grow. And may you have safe and happy travels in the new year!