Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Blessed With Rest

Sometimes blessings come hidden in strange disguises. For me the blessing was a true day of rest last Sunday, the likes of which I haven't had in.....I don't really remember. The disguise was that all four members of our family were sick. Thankfully not with anything too serious. Just some bad colds and sinus stuff that had been hanging on for a couple of weeks. No one was stuck puking into the toilet, be we were sick enough that we needed to cancel the commitments we had made that day and just stay home and rest.

It was the perfect amount of sickness, and honestly, one of the most enjoyable days I have had in a long time. We stayed in our jammies, and napped, and snuggled, and ate left overs and didn't worry about getting anything done. We had a day of rest.

Rest. This is something I do not do well. I sleep fine. I'm usually asleep withing about 30 seconds of turning off the light at night. But during the day there are almost zero moments of rest. There's the obvious busyness of life with small children. Constant comforting and carrying, feeding people and keeping them clean. And the new element and getting a child to and from school certainly doesn't add any restfulness. But even when babies are napping or have gone to sleep at the end of the day I seldom choose rest, because there is always that extra chore I can't get done with the kids around, or there's a post bedtime social gathering I'd like to get to, or there's the temptation to stay up late with a new crafting project, or in front of a screen trying to crank out a new blog post. As relaxing as knitting and blogging are for me, I'm not sure that I'm really resting when I do those things. My brain is still racing, trying to think up something creative, original and inspiring. I'm obsessed with having something to show for my time. I want to see output, results, the fruit of the labor.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and 
I will give you rest." Mt. 11:28

How long have I had this verse memorized and yet how often I read it and weep because the thing that I desire most but deny myself so often is resting in the sweet, restorative presence of Jesus.

Let's face it, life is busy and noisy. Results are everything, success is measured by achievement, and our minds are racing to absorb a never ending feed of information. There's always more, but my soul is crying out for less.

So here's what I'm advocating for, for myself and for anyone else feeling burned out and in need of true rest. Not a total abandonment of chores and responsibilities, just the ability to be ok with an unfinished to-do list. Not the adoption of a life as a hermit, but maybe saying no to one social commitment each week. Not denying yourself the creative outlets you need, but realizing that they are not the end, output does not equal fulfillment, and please, don't start something new if it's after 10:00 pm. Then, take those little moments of time you have now carved out each week to rest in Jesus, and do nothing else, and be ok with doing nothing else. Finally, go to bed 30 minutes earlier everyday.

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him." Ps. 62:5

Friday, October 28, 2016

7 quick takes vol. 29

linking up with Kelly, as always.


Remember a couple weeks ago I was talking about how Alex was starting rotations and I was hoping they would be easier on our family than his academic year was, but I was bracing myself because each step of PA school has gotten progressively worse? Well, it's been two weeks of rotations so far and...the jury is still out.

The academic year was grueling, but his schedule was set. He was usually home by 4:00 and could play with the kids while I made dinner. He had to study all the time, but he had no class on Fridays, he was around in the mornings, and it worked out perfectly for him to take Johnny to school. This first rotation, ENT, has been rather unpredictable. He's working long hours, going to multiple locations, some of them are an hour away, no more Fridays off, and he has to leave really early, so now I get to take Johnny to school. Wah-wah. And he still has studying to do. Sounds like it's worse, right?

But, strangely, it doesn't feel as stressful. He doesn't have deadlines, the studying is more focused. He seems more motivated to make the most of his studying, since he's using it in real life situations. He also feels like he can stop, take a night off, or most of the weekend. It's busier, but it's less stressful. So, is it worse? I'm not really sure.


I did a Warby Parker home try-on a few weeks ago. Thanks to everyone who gave feedback on Instagram. I couldn't decide on a frame, so I sent them all back. But then a friend of mine told me we have a WP store right here in Minneapolis. So the two of us went together, along with a collective four children under four years old. Sounds like a perfect storm, but no one had a melt down, and we both found frames we like. These are mine! They look almost identical to my old frames. So....really exciting!


As I mentioned earlier, I am now taking Johnny to school in the morning.  I don't like it for many reasons. Having to get up and out the door with two small children first thing in the morning is not my idea of fun. I realize that unless I end up homeschooling this will be my life for the next 15? 20? years, so I better get used to it. But some mornings there's no time to make coffee before I leave and soon we will have snow...Ugh.

Early morning struggles aside.  I've realized I don't like taking Johnny to school because I don't like leaving him there. Not because I think it's a bad place or that he doesn't like it.  It's a great school, his speech is improving every day. And he has a lot of fun there. His teachers told us at his parent-teacher conference (wow does that sound grown-up) that he's kind of a class clown and likes to make the other kids laugh.(by putting his shoe on his head apparently? idk) But it still makes me sad to leave him there. I think it's still just a little unnatural to not have him with me all day long. He's my first baby, and even though he's a wild and stubborn little boy, he's still my baby.

Picking him up at the end of the day is much more fun. He is always so happy to see me. And even happier to see Trixie.


Lots of fiber arts going on here. I spent the first couple weeks of October working on Trixie's birthday presents. I knit her a hat and mini infinity scarf, because she needed them. And I crocheted her a little purse, because she loves to carry my purse around, and a little doll, because we have no girl toys.  They were both really fun to make, although it took forEVER to put that little doll's hair in.

I'm currently working on this sweater pattern by Isabell Kraemer. I'm making it with some Malabrigo yarn I got with a birthday gift card and I'm making it for myself. I love that golden rod/mustard yellow that has been all over the place the last year or two, but it really doesn't work with my ruddy/fair coloring. All the same I really wanted to use it in a sweater. So I'm making the majority of the sweater gray, but the last 5 inches or so will be yellow. I think the accent- far away from my face-will work nicely.


Laurel shared this squash recipe on her Instagram feed a couple weeks ago and we made it last week and oh my stars was it AMAZING! I can't stop thinking about it. I think I'm even dreaming about it. It was so tasty and such perfect cold weather comfort food. I ate an entire half of a butternut squash you guys. No joke. You've GOT to try it.


In case you missed it. We've got our line-up of speakers for the Midwest Catholic Women Bloggers Conference this spring. I'm so excited to have Haley, Laura, and Nell together under one roof sharing their wisdom and expertise. I feel so lucky to have met all these ladies before, and to live just a few minutes away from one of them (here's looking at you, Nell). They're all lovely and I know it's going to be a blast. If you want to stay in the loop join our Facebook group, or send me an email if you're not on Facebook.


Now that Johnny's in school every week day except Friday, our Friday mornings at home have become really special. We stay in our jammies as long as possible and I try to kiss my babies as much as they will let me. One of their favorite games is to "play on papa's bed" as Johnny calls it. I don't know why it's just "papa's bed" and not "mama's bed" or more accurately, "mama and papa's bed." Whatever, everyone knows papa is more fun, so that must be why the fun game is associated with him.  But they just love to jump on our bed and roll around and then lay down on the pillows. It's very cute, and it means I get to stay in bed.

Here's hoping you all have a great weekend, and that you can stay in your jammies as long as possible.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Trixie is One

"Time like an ever rolling stream soon bears us all away,
We fly forgotten as a dream dies at the opening day."

Trixie turned one last week. Our little Beatrix is officially a toddler! I'm feeling that thing every more experienced parent has warned me of- it goes by so fast. These days with babies can be so long and grueling, but the years are whizzing by and when I look at my giant baby I know I need to savor them more.

We had a birthday brunch for Trixie on Sunday, and as if she was holding out for a celebration, she started walking! She's been doing a couple steps here and there for about a month. But she decided her birthday party was a good time to start walking in earnest. She's been going back and forth across the living room and is getting steadier and faster everyday. 

In addition to walking, she likes to turn pages in books, ruin Johnny's train sets and put on his backpack and my purse. She also likes trying to put on socks and shoes. She loves to bounce on the bed and loves to be kissed. She says mama, papa, bye-bye, and water. I thought these were coincidental at first, but she's so consistent. I guess she's started talking. (Very different from our first born.) She's in the 50th percentile for height and the 90th for weight. #thosethighstho Oh, and she had zero teeth until she was about 11 months old, then she cut her top four all at once and it was terrible. 

I love when people do monthly updates of their babies. I was never organized enough to do that. But I did look through photos from this past year and pick out one from each month, thus reinforcing this feeling that it's going by way too fast. What happened to my little baby? 


one month

two months

three months

four months

five months

six months

seven months

 eight months

 nine months

ten months

eleven months

one year

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