Monthly Archives: October 2012

RTF: Hey, look at that. It’s Friday.

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I missed the random thoughts on Tuesday. And it turns out I have some, so let’s go with “better late than never.”

  • Remember when I was feeling all restless? I dyed my hair. Peacock colors. Please enjoy this grainy self portrait that doesn’t do the color justice. And a new closeup so you can see the actual color.

It’s dip dyed. So it’s just the ends, the rest is my natural color. It required bleaching the ends in foils, followed by painting the dip dye (purple, blue and teal) in foils. So it’s a full two color processes. I LOVE IT. I mean, I am crazy in love with it. My only sadness is that crazy colors don’t last as long, because it would be a long time before I’m sick of it. It’s been trippy having peacock hair. It gets a lot of looks, not all pleasant. And I’ve never had so many compliments from the age 7-9 crowd. But I have not had a moment’s regret. When I saw it in the salon mirror, I thought, “YES!! There I am!!”

  • Captain America is going to be participating in Movember. This means for November he’ll grow an awful mustache, and help raise money for men’s health issues. They’re gathering a crew from work, and from my understanding they are ready to seriously DO THIS THING. So, yes, once our church is over and we start visiting other churches he’ll have a creepy ‘stache and I’ll be sporting the peacock hair. That should make the experience extremely interesting.
  • Captain America is a big Aaron Gleeman fan. It comes with being a fan of All Things Sports. But on occasion Mr. Gleeman posts something related to music. Recently he linked to this youtube video: Ben Howard, Call Me Maybe.
    CA made me listen to it. And I’m glad he did, because then I found Ben Howard’s album “Every Kingdom,” and I love it. I really like his voice, and the music is right up my alley.
  • Parenthood is still the very best show on television. I want it to be more than an hour. I want it to be on more than once a week. And they should never, ever take a week off, especially not for a presidential debate.
  • Zoey is becoming the Queen of Terrible Twos. Or the Grand Poobah. Something. So many meltdowns. I’ve got to give it to her, she really puts her all into it. I just hope it’s an incredibly short phase. Otherwise CA is going to start coming home to me curled up in the fetal position in the corner. When she’s throwing a good fit at home, I like to ignore her. Like right now. Because your tantrum is not going to get you what you want, Kid. Only she’s so persistent. She will actually come and turn my computer chair around to scream at me. If I walk away, she’ll crawl after me, pausing only to roll around on the floor, or collapse on her face. But it’s all good. I’m sure she’ll thank me in every Oscar acceptance speech.
  • Hey, Politics, are you over yet? I would like to vote now and then just go to bed until November 12 or so. Or move into a remote cabin in the mountains with no link to the outside world, because nothing is safe. Just ugliness and nastiness and meanness everywhere. Ok, no link to the outside world except Pinterest.
  • I have a pile of mending to do. It makes me feel like a pioneer woman. Only I’m just trying to make some velour sweatpants fit my skinny child. And make the holes in my other child’s jeans look cuter and cover her knees. Also, I’m not a very good seamstress. So that makes it interesting.

Feels good to get that little random out. I wonder if I’ll have anything left when Tuesday comes.

 

 

Broken

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I don’t even know where to start. The church I have loved since we moved here is closing its doors on Sunday. And I mean that figuratively, because it’s a mobile church – we met at a high school. So there really aren’t doors to close. All I know is, it’s tearing me up. My heart is absolutely broken.

We’ve known it was coming for a few months. I don’t want to get in to how it came to be, but suffice to say we went through some turmoil and didn’t fare well. Our numbers have dwindled. People are tired and worn out. Friends are gone. So this week we are having a service of reflection and thanksgiving for what has been, and then we will move on. I will bring a box of tissues, because this is pretty much going to rip my heart right open.

I’ve been a mess of emotions. Half of me is ready to move on. Half of me wishes I had some kind of “Oh Captain, My Captain” speech to give from a desktop to rally the troops. This was the first church that I really felt called to – like I was 100% where I was supposed to be. Obviously it wasn’t perfect, but it just felt like it was my best fit. I’ve left a church before, when it was no longer a fit for me or when I moved. But I’ve never even known anyone whose church has closed – I have no precedence to follow. It’s one thing to leave a church, and know they’re going on just fine without you. There’s something comforting about the power and sovereignty of God in that. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about this. If you’d asked a few months ago, depending on the day, I might have said I was ready to find something new. No, I’m sure I would have. It was a lot of work and stress. But now that this week is here, I’m having some trouble letting go. A lot of trouble.

I know God is bigger than this. I’ve seen what he can do with a broken heart. I’ve gotten my own rainbow promise before. I know we’ll find a new church home. I know there will be good that comes from it. And I wish that made this less sad, and somehow easier.

RTT: A random rant

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For this Tuesday: A random rant. When I’m done, you can catch more random at Stacy’s.

It’s no secret that I love the internet. I can buy cheap things. I can pretend I’m going on vacation. I can get ideas of fun things to make. I can keep in contact with people I might not otherwise. The internet is why I’m able to do my work from home, so I can keep an eye on my own babies. It’s a treasure trove – the internet. I am in love with it.

But I hate the internet. The anonymity of the internet has falsely led us to believe that we can say whatever we want. Civility has been thrown right out the window. And I’ll tell you what. That makes me ANGRY. From completely anonymous bullies, to people spouting whatever political junk they want on Facebook, we have forgotten that there are people on the other side of the computer. We have forgotten that there’s another side to the story. That there are others with legitimate opinions and feelings and rights.

I never enjoy Facebook around elections. Somebody posts a link. Somebody else comments that it’s a pack of lies and that candidate is straight from Satan. There is no helpful discussion. There is no searching for the root of the issue, or solving real problems. There’s only “my guy’s better than your guy!” Which, let’s face it, is more accurately described as “my guy is less awful than your guy.” Truthfully, if we re-stated most issues, we’d probably agree. It’s the “how to get there” we disagree on. Yet in the midst of everything, it gets personal. Suddenly we forget that the people on Facebook are people we know in real life. People with whom we have a history. People who, at least at some point in our lives, we called friend. Would political discussions happen this way if we were having them over dinner face to face? I doubt it. The stupid computer detaches us from the real people we know.

There is not a single person I am friends with on Facebook just so I can see how they feel about politics. I want to see pictures of your kids. I want to see a picture of the cake you worked so hard on. I want to read that you got a new job. Or that you found an extra prize in your Crackerjacks. Maybe you tried a new lattĂ© at Caribou or Starbucks, and it was good. That’s what I want.

Politics has its place. I will vote. I will research the candidates using the most non-partisan information I can find, and I will decide who to vote for on my own. I honestly do not care one bit what anyone else in the world thinks about it. I’m all for a healthy political discussion in person. But I am left feeling that it needs to be outright BANNED from Facebook. My opinion on politics is not changing by what is posted, but my opinion of some people is definitely changing. That makes me incredibly sad.

So much more heartbreaking to me, is the opinion I’d have of God if I didn’t already know who he was. I’m afraid Jesus can be easily misrepresented. So many times as I read what people post – and especially the way they post it – I think to myself, “Wow – that is NOT the kind of God I’d want to give my life to.” Or “If that was what it meant to be a Christian, I would definitely not be interested.” I’m thankful to have a strong faith, and to know what I believe. It’s not that I have it all together and that I’m right. I’m a mess. But I do try very hard to be careful of what image of Jesus I put off. When I became a follower of Christ, it was the peace others had that attracted me to him. It wasn’t fear. It wasn’t judgement. I wanted the peace of Christ. And that’s what I want others to see in me. I’m sure I fail constantly, but I’m trying.

It’s not just politics. That’s just an easy example of the way we’ve stopped caring about people. I grew up in a newspaper family. I have always had a healthy respect for the written word. Once you write it, it can take on a life of its own. Print or publish it somehow, and those words have serious power – even more than words just spoken. Spoken words are strong, but published words have been edited. They are more purposeful. Even a status or comment on Facebook has been chosen carefully, just by the process of writing it down. Spoken words are easily forgotten. Written words are studied, read and re-read.

Have you ever received an email or message that hurt your feelings? Maybe you saw something someone else posted somewhere? Did you read it and forget it? I’ll bet not. I’ll bet you went back to it. You read it again. You considered it. You imagined the inflection. You maybe even added a tone to it that wasn’t there. You wondered if that’s what they meant. But if they didn’t, why did they say it that way? You analyzed it.

I don’t understand what’s happened. I don’t understand when we decided that we care more about our own opinion than we care about real people. And I really don’t know how we go about changing it. I’ll say it again. There has not been one political post that has affected my political beliefs. But the attitude used in many political posts has changed my opinion of people I know in real life. Choose your words wisely. People are reading.

RTT: Tuesday edition

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That doesn’t really make sense, because it’s Random Tuesday Thoughts.

  • On Monday, I took Zoey to the dentist. Which was good, because on Thursday, I spaced her appointment. However, I did have to sit in the chair and hold her down while they cleaned her teeth and painted on some fluoride. I’m glad this is not more often than every six months. At the end of the appointment, Zoey was showered with prizes and gifts. I think there should be a little Starbucks card for mom, or SOMETHING after enduring that. I could have hidden Zoey’s prizes after 5 minutes, and she wouldn’t have remembered. I’ll be scarred for weeks.
  • I learned more in 5 minutes of eavesdropping on my 4th grader than I’ve gotten in weeks. I wasn’t being sneaky, mind you. They just forgot I was in earshot. First of all, I didn’t realize my 9 year old actually lived in the Valley in the 80s. “Ummm…YAH!!” And apparently at her last sleepover, they were up at 2 am sneaking into the kitchen for peanut butter and beef jerky. “But…PROBLEM…we didn’t have spoons!” Yuck. Shortly after they remembered I could hear them, but before they hastily retreated to her room, that child looked me straight in the face and gave me some quintessential teenage attitude. And then apologized, based on my facial expression. She’s still a good kid.
  • My 7 year old wants to be a dog for Halloween. But not just any dog, her teacher’s dog. So I need to create a costume for a white springer spaniel with orangey brown spots. No problem! *sigh* Today we’ve received pictures of the dog. There’s talk of borrowing a collar of said dog. And a possible playdate with the dogs (and the friend who is dressing up as the other dog), to be able to get into character. This has gotten very serious, and I’m really going to have to deliver on this costume.
  • I haven’t had a haircut since May. It’s too much work to try and get in for one. At first I didn’t care, but now my hair is stringy and bedraggled. So I look in the mirror and say, “I need a haircut so very badly. I’m going to make an appointment.” And then I think about how hard it is to find a time and say, “Nobody’s looking at my hair anyway.” This is the attitude that gets people on What Not to Wear. And Me From 10 Years Ago thinks that’s sad. Me From Today thinks nobody’s looking at my hair.
  • Did anybody watch What Not to Wear before it was Stacy & Clinton? When it was Stacy & Wayne? At first I didn’t like when it switched to Clinton, but now I can’t imagine it without him. I want to shop with him. And I miss Nick Arrojo doing hair.
  • I’ve been watching a lot of HGTV lately. I’ve decided I will never remodel anything unless it’s for one of these shows. It seems way too scary on your own. Which brings me to a question: Do you think it’s a sin to paint or stain oak so it doesn’t look like oak? Our house is chock full of oak, and it’s just not my favorite. But it’s a perfectly good wood, so I’d feel kind of bad changing it. Someone really wanted oak in here, and paid for oak. I’m probably not going to do anything about it, because it would be a slippery slope. Like we’d have to change everything all at once. Vanities. Baseboards. Doors. Trim. The fireplace mantel. SO MUCH OAK. I have a hard time with the idea of changing something I don’t like, if it’s in perfectly good condition. But it’s OUR house. Not the Oak and Brass People’s house. In the end, I’ll just be too lazy to change it. Partially because I can’t visualize it darker, and that makes me nervous.

Well, I think I’ve achieved random. If it wasn’t enough for you, Stacy’s got more.

RTT: Oh Tuesday. You’re so random.

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I tried a new shampoo and conditioner today. I’d been perfectly happy with my previous ones, but it seems my scalp might not be happy with them anymore. We’ll see how it goes.

Yesterday I went to the gym. I don’t usually. Just sometimes I get in a mood when  my pants don’t fit, and I go. After a few trips, someone usually gets sick (me or a child), and I stop going. But I went yesterday. I think my favorite thing about the gym is eavesdropping in the locker room. I mean, it’s hard not to hear people. People are having loud conversations, and I’m by myself having no conversation. Yesterday two sweet little old ladies were talking about banking. One of them said she didn’t use a certain bank anymore, because it was somehow affiliated with our governor here in Wisconsin. I don’t know how much people outside of Wisconsin know about him, but he got rid of unions (among other things). You either love that or hate it. It’s been pretty polarizing. My point is, I love liberal little old ladies. Because it’s unexpected. I get a kick out of unexpected. A couple weeks ago I heard one say, “Did you make it to the social justice meeting last week?” I don’t know. There’s just something about getting to that point in your life, knowing what the sum of your experiences has taught you, and feeling called to action. I want to be a spunky, sure of myself little old lady when I grow up.

Random question: How do you handle a friend of your child’s that seems to be a bad influence? Nothing major. Yet. I’m just getting some unwelcome attitude, and I feel like it’s related to the excessive amount of time she spends with a certain individual. I mean, how do you balance, “You should be nice and friendly with everyone” and “Stop hanging out with this girl because you’re becoming a snot?” I’m not saying she’s a bad person. I’m saying the combination of their personalities is kind of a recipe for trouble. Oh the mothering of girls – it is not for the feint of heart. I have it three times over. Pardon me while I go back to bed. Wake me up when high school is over. When is that? 2029? Oh good gracious.

Recently a local news anchor received an email that basically said it should be her community responsibility to be a good role model to young girls, and she was failing. Because of her weight. I believe bullying is a learned behavior, and I think we need to be incredibly careful what’s said around our children. Our words and attitudes can easily be copied or misconstrued into something ugly really fast. This woman responded on her news show today in a way I applaud. I want to teach my girls to be kind. And I also want them to know their self worth should not be made of what other people say. Please click here to watch for yourself. Bravo, Jennifer!

My friend Matt wrote a book. While being a devoted father and pastor. You know, just so at the next reunion he can be all, “What have YOU been doing?” I kid. It’s a fiction book about politics. The main premise is that a governor running for president asks his opponent to be the vice president if he wins. You know, like it was at the beginning. It’s called “Running Mate,” and I think you should check it out. I haven’t read it yet, because mine’s in the mail. But I did read the first few pages on Amazon, and it easily hooked me. And I don’t usually get interested in politically themed books. Such an interesting idea, and I wish him the best. He’s a good writer, born from good writers. His dad is also in the Minnesota House of Representatives. I’d love to see his book really take off, spark a new political discussion (couldn’t we use a NEW political discussion??) and then I can say, “Ah, yes. Matt. I knew him when. I knew him when he dribbled or carried a basketball to every single class.

It was not my intention to have brought up politics at all, let alone in two different randoms. I usually try to avoid it like the plague. I like things that bring us together, not things that cause division. Like pumpkin. Pumpkin lattes. Pumpkin muffins. Pumpkin blizzards from Dairy Queen. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Ok, two more political things. The first, a prayer my cousin Josh posted on Facebook that I love: “Lord, in the weeks to come I will be tempted to embrace ideas about the people who oppose me politically that are not accurate and not fair. Help me resist the temptation to believe that others seek a lesser world rather than a better one. Help me to remember that, though we may have different ideas about how to achieve them, they are motivated by the same values of human dignity, justice, and benevolence. Though they might oppose me in this small realm we are not truly opponents but allies. We are not enemies but friends. Amen.” Then a Facebook status from Captain America: “As more and more political posts fly, I must state for the record that as a person of faith, I believe that political affiliation isn’t a core component of being a Christian. Christians are people who follow Jesus, not a political party – and those who say all Christians should vote a certain way all the time are dabbling in bad theology.” I think they go together. But please, let’s not talk about actual politics.

Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin cake. Pumpkin custard. Pumpkin pie apple dip. Pumpkin cookies. Pumpkin oatmeal.

If this wasn’t random enough for you, you could stop by Stacy’s.