Needing a realignment

If I had to pick a recurring theme for each week in 2012 here at the Dasher house, it would be illness. I was completely absent from the blog last week after Loulie's first sick visit to the doctor which followed in her getting worse, then myself and Bert following. I found myself so aggravated over it too. Last week was supposed to be super productive and packed with activity but instead I found myself trapped in the house; completely unorganized with a dirty house, empty refridgerator and fussy child! Ugh! I started thinking about how much we've been sick this year; becoming anxious about being self insured and the fear that I let creep up on me over that. Before I knew it; I had hung the streamers, blown up the balloons and was on my way to inviting all around me into a pity party.
And just like I try to discern daily with Loulie, I love how our heavenly Father pulls out different parenting stops on us in every little tantrum we throw. Because that is exactly what I needed--a kick in the pants, a time out, what I call an adjustment of view. It's like you're looking at your world as a 4x6 seeing only what's going on in your peripheral and God opens it to a panoramic so you can see all that is going on around you.
Because in the midst of what was becoming a mixture of anxious pity, I got a phone call from a friend who had a REALLY BAD week. She could have complained about her circumstances but only gave thanks that though her sick family was wearing on her, she was grateful that all were alive and being healed. A reminder that an acquaintance from college (30 yrs old) has been diagnosed with breast cancer. And a comment from Bert on something that had was on his heart--how grateful we should be for employment and a thriving business. 
And then my devotional this weekend held this verse:
"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."- 1Thessalonians 5

And I am ashamed that I was not more grateful for the quiet time with Loulie at home last week, for the blessing that this has been her first real illness so far and that though taken down with a bug, my family is healthy. And I am grateful that God aligned my circumstances of friends and prayers and verse to remind  me of blessings, of His will and turned me back towards thankfulness. Pity can be a slippery slope, the act itself keeping you from seeing the good right in front of you. And I am grateful that God interceded just enough to keep me from sliding down it.



The fastest long weekend

Warning: I am about to post an absurd amount of pictures of Loulie Bug.

I apologize. If it bores you, just skip this post but I honestly can't help myself. We had one of the best weekends in a long time and I just had to post some pics of my girl having fun. Lovey and GDaddyBoy were here this weekend and we packed it in.
First haircut
Dinner with cousins
First birthday party for a classmate
Sewe Wildlife Festival
Dinner for GDaddyBoy's Birthday
and unfortunately ended it with Loulie's First Sick Visit to the Doctor (although I feel fortunate we've made it this long)
You can tell from the pictures how much Loulie is growing up. She was so proud of herself doing all these big girl things this weekend. We have been looking forward to this weekend and my parents visit for a while now so it went by pretty fast for what was supposed to be a long weekend. Luckily, we spent most of today at home trying to help Loulie get over her sinus infection. I'm starting to panic looking at the to do list for the next four days and it is already past midnight. Not much time for an in depth post so hopefully I'll be back again this week.
I hope everyone had a relaxing long weekend! Back to the grind tomorrow. :0



It's a double edged sword this whole motherhood thing: on one side you have this view. The whole "who the hell has time for that?" mindset. On the flip side there's the "you stay at home and you can't find the time to work with your kids on a simple craft? What else are you doing?" I'm just going to confess, I've been guilty of being all judgey on both sides. And after my tirade last Friday and now being in the actual shoes of a mother, I feel super bad for thinking either. And as usual, Bert put it all in perspective for me: "they are just going to throw it away anyhow, what do you think Loulie would like to do?" And then my own conscious reminded me to not really give a damn what everyone else was doing and to just enjoy hanging with my Bug.
So we made these:

They are valentine pinatas filled with M&Ms. A homemade valentine meant to be torn open and thrown away! And we had a big time making them. I cut out the hearts and obviously did the names. Loulie and Bert decorated the back. Then I spent about 10 minutes sewing them together and filling them with the candy. All with the Rio soundtrack (per LB's request) playing in the background. It wasn't until they were completely finished that Bert pointed out the mess they could make being torn open in say the car. By that time I was unconcerned and just hoped that the kids would have some type of supervision when going through their valentines. 
The frightening part of this whole ordeal was watching Loulie decorate her hearts. 
"What sticker do you want to give Griffin?"
"Hmmmm" (at least 2 minutes passes) "Dat one--the froggy."
Poor child has my OCD/ things must look just as I envision/older child syndrome. And to place two such people in a situation, each with their own vision? Well, it requires wine, patience and lots of prayers!
But does it really matter what you're giving out when you go to school dressed like Tammy Faye Baker?! Loulie picked out her outfit head to toe on Monday. And nothing says party like a fur coat and sunglasses!
All in all, it was a sweet day. I have never been one for valentine's day but this year we went out with friends to celebrate a birthday. Well into the wine tasting, someone suggested that all the guys had to recall to everyone how they met their wife and how long they had been together. After hearing some hilarious stories and holding my side from laughter; we noticed that many of the couples had known each other 10+ years and based on statistics should be divorced. And since everyone in the room had just reminisced over fateful meetings and years of courtship; someone toasted to "Great friends and beating the odds!"
And I'll celebrate that any day!


Staying at home...still learning the ropes.

I had no idea the cut throat operation that is preschool valentines. Many of Loulie's classmates' mothers were previous teachers--lucky kids.  While I was all excited about taking Loulie to the closest drug store tonight to pick out which Disney princess she wanted to express her two year old feelings of love, other mamas have all but knit together hats for each kid. Too bad you can't hand out business plans or an excel spread sheet--I used to tear those things up in my past life. 
Mrs. Dasher could you put together a plan on how to increase sales by 30% next quarter?--Sure thing! 
Mrs. Dasher can you cut out shapes and design a clever Valentine that also envelopes some kind of healthy treat by Monday?--uhh, what?! 
I personally blame pinterest for all this overachieving. That didn't keep me from immediately peeling out of the school parking lot and heading to Michael's. I can't have Loulie be the only kid with Walmart valentines and cruddy Dollar Store candy!!! After perusing the already empty racks--I still had nothing. I called mom.
"Why didn't you tell me this was a big deal?"
"Lauren, 20 years ago we used construction paper and glue. Besides, aren't the kids supposed to make them?"
I had now spent the better part of my morning on this.
I picked Loulie up from school who kindly reminded me that she has a party on Monday and wants to make a valentine for "Copie" because "she loves hims"!

*Three hours. Loulie's nap. 20 Work calls.*

"How was your nap Love Bug?"
"Go away mama! I want Daddy!"
"Go away!"
"That's not very nice. Are you going to continue to be mean to me the rest of the day?"
"Yes ma'am"

Yes ma'am? Yes ma'am?--No valentines, unproductive morning, sassy baby but manners!!! Oh yes, she unsolicited used her manners! It may not be a 30% sales increase but it's a victory nonetheless and I'll take it!


January Book Review

One of my resolutions this year is to read more and keep track of what I read. I actually read a lot last year but wish I had written down my thoughts to look back on. I read EVERYTHING (yes, even US Weekly) with a pen in hand so I have a lot of notes in each book. But what is enjoying something if you don't share it with others. So since the written word is one of life's greatest pleasures, here are this month's reviews:

Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World

Life of the Beloved
by Henri Nouwen

This was my first book of the new year. Several friends have mentioned that I would love his work and I found this book sticking out of a bookshelf at B&N as I was chasing Loulie down the aisle. It caught my eye and about 72 hrs later, I was hooked to Nouwen. Though a short book, it takes a little longer to get through than you would think because of the depth of his writing. This book is written as a letter to one of his secular friends to explain living a spiritual life. I cannot express enough how beautiful this book is. I have whole pages highlighted and have already gone back to reread sections to friends. I particularly loved his connection between suffering and joy--though I have heard that message over and over again, no one has covered it more eloquently than Nouwen.  Christian, non-Christian, man or woman--this is a must read!

Sundays at Tiffany's By James Patterson, Gabrielle Charbonnet

Sundays at Tiffany's
by James Patterson

I listened to this book tape on my way to Knoxville. (Is that cheating?) It's entertaining and quite sweet but not a realistic story that will stir any kind of thought or passion in you. I would recommend it for a beach read--the kind that you can just numb out and enjoy for exactly what it is--a fun story.

The Paris Wife: A Novel

The Paris Wife

by Paula McLain

I felt like it took a while to get through this book because it covers such a difficult story. Embarrassing to admit, I have never read anything by Hemingway but after seeing Midnight in Paris, I was excited to read this novel on his first wife. We all know like many great artists, Hemingway was nuts but this story really gets into the day in and out of their marriage and his work. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres but I always want more details on what actually happened. Did she really say that? Is that exactly the name of the restaurant? etc. So I enjoyed this book but it did not draw me in emotionally like I thought it would. I did enjoy learning more about Paris during that time period and seeing what it was like for the elite. (Crazy how they could just leave their kids at home and travel all over Europe doing these exotic adventures.) Definitely not my favorite book (already resold on ebay) but eye opening so worth the read.


January Pics & a Week I Hope to Forget

This week began with both Bert and I being taken down by the stomach flu and ended with Loulie taking two consecutive dives off various pieces of furniture. (Small gash but luckily no stitches needed.) So not good. We also lost our sweet girl Sulli which has left my heart so heavy. I've felt silly for feeling this way and being so upset until Bert pointed out that Sulli has been part of our family for half of my sister's life. And that's what good pets do--form a place in your heart forever. So I decided just to give into grieving knowing that it will lessen with time. I'm also still trying figure out how to explain death to Loulie who keeps asking to see Sussiboo. I tell you, it's a hard one and more and more I wish these kids came with a manual.
The good new is that Loulie must have the immune system of an ox because this is the 2nd year in a row that she has avoided getting a disgusting bug that I've shared with her. (I'm just going to take credit for that--10 months of breastfeeding=awesome immune system!) Also, Bert finally moved into an office outside of the home. While there are advantages and disadvantages to this, I am pumped because I now have my own office/writing/sewing nook! YES!!! I'm still organizing my stuff and hoping to repaint but have already made a skirt this morning for a friend's child and here I am blogging in peace and quiet. 
This office brings us one step closer to accomplishing some new year's resolutions which I am coming to realize are goals that I will be working towards all year. I really sat down and thought about what needed to be changed individually and as a household. Some were immediate but most are works in progress that I am having to be intentional about each week.  Which makes sense--if they were easy fixes then they wouldn't need to be resolutions.
Which brings me to Lent. I am thinking about giving up facebook in some form or limiting my time doing useless things on the computer (facebook, pinterest, etc.) Bert thinks that even considering it means I should probably go ahead and commit to losing it for 40 days. Anyone else tried this? 
And lastly, some pics of my Bug from January. I didn't post much on her sweet, growing self. My little nurse just proved what big girl she is becoming this week by dressing, feeding and entertaining herself while I got acquainted with the bathroom floor. At one point I crawled to the sofa to lie down. Next thing I know, she has covered me with her favorite blanket and is rubbing my leg saying "You gonna be okay momma. I get you some medicine and a kiss and you be okay."Oh that sweet baby--we're hoping to have an extra fun Saturday to make up for being such slack parents all week!

Cheers to 68 degree winters! Have a wonderful weekend!