Tuesday, August 26, 2014

moved on.

I've moved on.  Find me here:


Friday, July 18, 2014

The night I finally sat down to write...

It felt foreign just now to sit down with the computer and type in the "blogger.com" address into the browser.  What is this place?  It used to be so familiar and lately it's just not been on my radar at all!  Until I had a request for another post.  It's been coming, Jill!  I've been thinking about it!  The problem is, I haven't come up with anything yet.  Haha.  But this has been an evening of straightening the whole house before sitting down, of clearing clutter that has been sitting around for too long, of knocking things off the "to do" list that have been on there forever.  So I figured, why not blog too?

Probably not having anything to say would be a good first reason not to blog right now.  But I said I would so I'll look for something to say.

Blogging used to be a place where I shared my heart.  In that season of life, I felt God nudging me gently toward being open and transparent.  Being honest.  (Not that we ever shouldn't be, of course!)  But I think there are seasons to share and let people in freely.  And then there are seasons to hold things a little more closely.  To choose the inner circle a little more cautiously.  To heal and reflect and learn.  I can't help but think of Mary who "stored up these things and pondered them in her heart."

Being in the latter of those two seasons, I am finding it hard to find things to type here on my blog.  This used to be a place where I would just let my mind flow through my fingers onto the screen, say a prayer, and hit "publish."  But now that I don't feel like that's where I am, what do I say?  I could just skim the surface and talk about my days.  What I do with the kids. How potty training is going and what my 3 year old is up to. But without feeling inspired, I fear it would lack that personality that has been here in the past.  It would feel empty and like just another thing to do every couple days so that people keep reading. 

All that being said, I think this will be the last post on this here ol' blog-ski.  Time to close this chapter.  If this has been a place you come to see how I'm doing and to keep in touch with my life, feel free to email me or find me on fb. I'd love to be in touch with more of you on a regular basis! If you don't know who I am, I would love to meet you...just leave a comment and we'll get in touch!

It's been grand, thanks for reading.  If I find that blogging is something I'm thinking of starting up again, I'll let you know.  But for now... Adios! Adieu! Ciao! Toodle-oo! Farewell!  Good-bye. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

The rest of them :)

Ok, so as with most blog series, I am losing momentum and updates are coming less and less frequently again.  SO...here's the rest of the questions answered in the "getting to know myself" series.  Enjoy!  I'll try not to make them too long but no promises!

15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

I think I would be a cat.  They can sit in the sun happily for hours and hours but still have the energy and agility to climb trees and hunt and pounce on each other.  They do whatever they feel like and can be both lazy and active.  In that way, I would say that if I were an animal, I would be a cat :)  Oh, and our one cat can go DAYS without seeing a human and I think that applies too ;)

16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments? (in no particular order)

- I got married

- I brought my kids into the world

- I completed a seminary-level counseling course with flying colours.  I felt pretty good about it at the time.  I still feel pretty good about it... ;)

- we bought an acreage, something we didn't think we'd accomplish until much later in life.

- I've managed to be a stay-at-home mom for 3.5 years now without ever throwing my hands up and walking away for good.  I've wanted to.  I've been tempted.  But I never have.  At least no further than the driveway...

17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?

I wish I were great at talking to people.  I wish I were great at mingling and small talk.  I feel like it would be easier to make friends if I felt like I had stuff to talk to people about.  I feel like it would be less awkward to hang around the church foyer every week if I could easily strike up a conversation with absolutely anyone.  I wish I were great at conversation. 

20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.

- I remember once when I was probably 6-7 years old and I was in the middle of a water fight in my yard, probably with my siblings, maybe some friends too.  I was standing on the outside of the 2 foot fence and laughing so hard.  I remember thinking, "This is the best day of my life!  This is a perfect day!  I'm going to remember this for the rest of my life!"  And I remember that moment exactly.  So I would call that a significant memory from my childhood, whether or not it had any meaning or weight to it :)

I remember shucking corn at my grandparents' farm when I was probably 8 years old and loving how soft the corn silk was!  While Mom and Grandma kept talking and working, I went to the treeline and made a little "log cabin" out of branches and twigs and carefully filled it with corn silk.  Then I put 1-2 baby kittens in there and added a roof so they would stay nice and cozy in their new little house.  I went back after supper/right before we were going to leave and the kittens were gone.  I was so worried that they would be lost because they were so little.  As an adult, I remember how close the treeline was to the house and they would never have been lost.  But I was so worried for them.

- I remember that my family used to have family nights where we would spend the evening once a week playing games together.  We would either play board games together or "find the stuffed animal by lantern-light" or whatever we felt like that evening.  One evening, we were playing sardines (basically a version of hide-and-seek where one person hides and everyone looks.  When someone finds you, they hide with you until everyone is there).  I remember climbing carefully behind Dad's guitar case that was propped against the wall beside their dresser.  I was tiny so I could fit into spaces nobody ever even thought to look.  I hid there a LONG time and remember needing to pee so bad but I couldn't leave my PERFECT hiding spot!  Finally I think I made noise - a lot of noise! - and people started finding me but yeah, I always remember that.  I remember it especially much these days as Levi has discovered hiding behind HIS daddy's guitar case and hides there on a daily basis when we play hide-and-seek.

22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

5 years
I see myself hopefully still living here, Nathan working at the church.  I'm still a stay-at-home mom, most likely.  I don't see much being different except our kids would be older...Levi would be 8 and Kayden would be 4.  Crazy.  Perhaps more kids, and perhaps done growing our family.  Who knows.

10 years
I see myself hopefully still living here, Nathan working at the church.  At this point we might start asking ourselves if God is calling us somewhere else or to something else, though I'm hoping we can stay here a long time!  I see us being done growing our family, unless adoption is something we feel God is calling us to.  Levi would be 13 and Kayden would be 11.  Yikes.  I suddenly see myself having lots more time for drinking tea and reading books.  Haha.  I might start working part time at this point because kids would likely all be in school during the day.

15 years
This one is hard!  I've always found 5 years to be hard, never mind 15 years!  Let's see.  Levi would be 18 and graduated. Kayden would be 16 and driving.  Whew.  I would be looking ahead at us being empty nesters.  I might be thinking about what I might want to do once the kids are out of the house.  Might go back to school or start working towards goals that I would hope to have accomplished once the kids are all away from home (perhaps running a small business or something of that nature).  Again, I still hope that we will be here with Nathan working at the church or somewhere else in the area.

23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.

- crocheting - I like it because I can take it out if I don't like it or change my mind and I haven't lost anything but time.  I also like it because it involves just enough concentration to keep me interested but not so much that I can't do other things like watch tv at the same time.  I also like that it can make me money ;)  But that is more of a bonus than a reason why I like it.

- reading - while I was getting up during the night - every night - with the kids, I couldn't read because I had no concentration whatsoever.  Years of interrupted sleep impacts so much more than your typical sleepiness/dragging feeling.  I couldn't concentrate so I couldn't read books.  I thought I had lost my love for reading but now that I'm sleeping so much better, I've been able to read again and I find that I still really enjoy it!  I love that I can escape everything that is going on in my mind and just be somewhere else.  I love that I can travel - both distance and time - just by opening a book.  I love that it's portable and that I can read anywhere.

- playing with finances/numbers.  It's not unusual that I spend an evening working on the "numbers"...bank accounts, excel documents, etc.  I love it because it gives me a sense of satisfaction to see everything line up and balance.  I love it because I can see exactly how long it will take us to reach financial goals.  I like it because I can plan and put things neatly into slots and it's all organized and it's one part of my life that nobody else can touch/mess up!  I'm just kidding about that last one.  Mostly.

- gardening - I always forget this one because it's so new!  As a kid, I hated everything to do with gardening.  I thought it was the most boring thing ever.  But now that I have my own gardens, it's all different. I enjoy planting things and watching them grow.  House plants?  Yes please.  I love to just wander around the house and look at how the different plants I have are growing and changing.  Unless, of course, the change is that they're dying.  Then it bugs me until I can figure out what's wrong and turn it around.  Most of the time I can't...

- cleaning - I love it because it needs to be done so I may as well enjoy it.  Right??  I also like the immediate results that come with a good cleaning.  There's nothing so calming as a freshly cleaned house.  That said, I find it futile as ever to clean with two young kids underfoot, so if you come into my house and it's untidy or a bit dirty...just know that I've let myself be ok with a little clutter and mess for this season of my life.  There will come a day when I'll have everything as clean as I like it again but for now, it's not happening.  I would drive myself nuts.  And hobby #6 is doing whatever I can to keep myself from going nuts. ;)

24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.

I would say it is fairly similar.  Very warm home.  Kids know that parents love them unconditionally.  Lots of laughter.  Lots of play.  We pray together.  We work together.  We eat meals together.  It's a calm home without yelling/violence.  Dad works out of the home (also in a church, no less!) and Mom stays home.  If I had to come up with some differences...I'd say spanking is one.  I was spanked as a kid and we have chosen not to spank.  I am not necessarily against spanking, but with there being so many Christian homes who are "for" spanking, we didn't want others to see that and associate Christians with child-abusers.  At least that's one of my reasons.  We also see how Levi looks at us with fear when we discipline him physically (pinch/flick) and I can only imagine what a spank would do.  But I'm not getting into the whole spanking/not spanking debate.  I think both can be done well and both can be done poorly.  Another difference between my childhood family dynamic vs my family dynamic now...I don't know!  It's probably hardest for a stay-at-home mom to come up with differences unless she is trying to intentionally do things differently than her parents!  I just do what comes naturally as I make this home and a lot of that comes from what I was raised with.  Therefore, I think the family dynamics are fairly similar.

28. What is your love language?

My top love language... ... ... let me just go quickly find online quiz... ... ...


QUALITY TIME!  I probably didn't need a quiz to tell me that.  It came out WAY ahead!  It's always been like that. It was fun to try to explain that one to Nathan when we were dating because it was close to the bottom of his list. 

Me - "Yes, Nathan, if you make eye contact with me from across the Ad, I feel VERY loved!"
Nathan - "But...we're not even touching...?"

Acts of service was a not-so-close second (but still there!).  This one has come up on the list since having kids.  I used to not mind doing things on my own but now that there are kids to take care of in addition to getting things done, I feel VERY loved when Nathan serves me by either taking the kids or getting things around the house done when he can see that I've had a long day. :)

30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

- that I loved my family
- that I cared for people
- that I fed people well (I'm serious! haha)
- that the home I made was welcoming for everyone who entered
- that I knew how to laugh
- that I was easy-going
- that I was good with kids and loved babies (???) - this is getting hard!
- that I was generous
- that I put others ahead of myself - need to work on this one!
- that I was present with people

Well, that's the last question!  It feels good to be done.  I have tons of stuff floating around in my head these days but I'm just not sure how much of it I want to share here.  Perhaps my days of blogging my deepest, darkest secrets are behind me.  It was freeing and wonderful in its season - and I think God used my willingness to share - but I think now it's time to pull the curtains a little tighter and ponder more than share.  Maybe it will be time to share again one day.  Until then...this blog will be more of a surface update on family and life.  That is, if I ever find the time!  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Numbers 13-14 - Strengths and Weaknesses

13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

1. Knowing what to talk to people about/mingling.  Hate it.  Hate the awkward silences.  Hate the potential for awkward silences.  If there was at least a potential for a GOOD talk in those situations, I might be ok with it, but you're never going to actually have a good, deep conversation in a busy foyer, so let's just skip it, shall we?

2. Group work.  I don't feel like I'm at my strongest when I'm working with a group.  Unless I'm clearly leading the group.  But if it's supposed to be a mutual effort, I fall short. 

3. Decorating cakes. I always have this great vision for a birthday cake and then it ends up falling sadly short.  Sadly, sadly short.  So now I'm practicing.  Everyone gets a birthday cake and a half-birthday cake.  Levi had a sail boat cake this month.  And it actually turned out.  But I won't let one successful attempt fool me.  I need at least 18 months worth of practice to be confident that my cakes won't routinely flop.

4. Understanding politics.  Need I say more?

5. I have a weakness for my family.  If I ever have a chance to hang out with my family (immediate and extended), I'll jump on it.  It's a different kind of weakness, but I think it counts :)

14. Describe 5 strengths you have.

1.  Patience - It's not that I never lose my patience with my kids/other people, but I feel like my patience stretches more than some.  If you come to the end of my patience, you must really be pushing my buttons. :)

2. I can cook/bake.  And I can bless people with my cooking/baking.  I really enjoy being able to put something together and bless someone with a meal or a treat.

3. Crocheting.  I also love to bless people with my ability to make things with my hands.  I don't always have as much time to make things as I would like, but when I can put something together and see the look on their face when I give it to them, it makes me smile.

4. I give people the benefit of the doubt.  If someone makes a silly comment while I'm out, I think, "well, they must not have thought before they said that, it happens to everyone" instead of wondering why they're so dumb.  Or if someone does something ridiculous/rude, I usually think that they were just having a rough day rather than letting it taint my opinion of them.  I give people a fair chance to show me who they are.  I meet people with the assumption that they are good and kind until their actions prove otherwise.

5. Organization and Efficiency.  I work really well in a job that requires being organized and efficient.  I worked in a lumber yard and it was possibly the perfect job for me.  My hours were flexible and completely controlled by moi!  It was up to me to come up with a filing system and keep it organized.  The only problem was that I got my work done too efficiently and was continually running out of work to do. :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Number 12 - Daily Routine

12. Describe a typical day in your current life.

My days usually start between 6:30-8:30 am and they usually start one of two ways:  I hear soft talking and giggling from the crib in the next room...happy noises.  Perfect way to start the day.  Less perfect if the hour is pre-8am but lovely noises nonetheless.  Second way my day might start: shrieks and screams jolt me awake and I try to run to the next room before the screaming/crying kid (often of the male variety in this house) wakes the other kid.  These are less than ideal mornings and may or may not indicate how the rest of the day will go.

Once it's clear that we're up for the day, we drag ourselves out of bed and get something for Kayden to eat.  That girl starts the day HUNGRY and will rarely wait for breakfast for more than 20 minutes after waking for the day.  Once she's happily snacking on whatever we can find (often a muffin from the freezer - not thawed...she seems to prefer it that way, screaming if we put it in the microwave), we try to convince Levi to eat something too.  He is a grazer.  A VERY light grazer and trying to convince him to eat is like pulling teeth.  I seriously wish I could inject nourishment into him some days because he gets grumpy as ever without food (a trait lovingly passed down from his daddy) yet is quite picky and rarely feels like eating.  Not helpful, buddy.

With the kids eating, I often check a little fb/email before sitting down to eat my own breakfast.  Why check those things first, you ask?  Well, the first few minutes that the kids are hungrily ingesting breakfast are quiet and uninterrupted.  If I can get the morning check out of the way, I can put my phone away for a few hours and just BE.  While we're having breakfast, Nathan is getting ready for work and usually walks out the door while we're still at the table (though not before kissing us each good-bye!).

After breakfast we get dressed and the kids play.  If I have anything to do that day like laundry, baking, etc, now is the time I start that. Sometimes we head outside after breakfast, especially now that it's nice outside. Around 10-10:30, Kayden goes down for her morning nap and Levi and I have about an hour to play together - or else I continue whatever it is that I'm doing that day (laundry, etc).  Once Kayden wakes up, it is almost lunch time so I get some lunch ready while two hungry kids play in the kitchen and beg for snacks.  I put lunch on the table and if I've served anything but noodles and hot dogs, I hear, "Mama, I don't like what you made!"  cue: tears and running to the couch to pout (Levi).  Mama gets frustrated but says very calmly, "Well, Levi, that's what we're having today.  You can either eat it or wait for supper."  He usually ends up eating it :)

After lunch, the kids play for a few more minutes while I clear the table and before long Kayden is ready for her afternoon nap, which is about 2-2.5 hours after she wakes up from her morning nap.  She goes to bed and Levi heads to the living room for quiet time.  I set the timer for 75 minutes on the microwave and usually head to the couch to do some crocheting.  Or painting the last two days.  But most often this is my crocheting time.  These are the only 75 minutes in my day that are MINE.  Though Levi's "regularity" has timed itself to quiet time so I usually hear a plea and end up having to tend to bathroom duties once or twice during this time.  Though Levi has started taking himself to the bathroom so I only need to go to "finish up" in there.  So nice.

When the microwave timer goes, I hear "Mama, can I come out now?" from the living room and I call "Come!" to him.  He runs to me with a big smile on his face (quiet time is good for BOTH of us!) and says, "Mama, I want to watch a cooking show!" and "Mama, I want a snack."  So I get him a snack - afternoon snack is a "treat" snack...this is the time of day when he knows he gets something sugary/salty for a snack.  The rest of the time when he asks for snacks, he gets offered fruit or cheese or whatever else healthy I can think of.  But right after quiet time we throw proper nutrition out the window and he can have a cookie or some candy or melted chocolate with chips to dip.  And he loves cooking shows.  It has to be close to a year now that he has asked to watch cooking shows with me.  I can't complain!

When Kayden wakes up, I give her some snack too and, once snack is finished, we go outside for a bit.  That is, if we have time.  I try to get myself and the kids out at least a bit every day.  It's hard to squeeze it in sometimes between naps and meals and snacks (especially in winter when "going outside" is an hour-long activity with all the snow suits and boots that need to be put on!).  But we try to get out for fresh air at this point.  Around 4-4:30 I start some supper (earlier if it's something that takes longer, obviously).  Nathan gets home usually between 5-5:30 and I try to have supper ready between 5-6.  After supper, I do the dishes and Nathan plays with the kids.  It may seem like work to have to do the dishes after a full day and preparing the meal BUT, it is quite relaxing to know that for those 30 minutes I have no kid responsibility.  All I need to do is get the dishes done, the house tidied, and floor swept.  Aah...

Around 7pm we start bedtime routine.  The kids watch some shows on the computer while they have night snack at the table. Levi's favourite is a Leap Frog Word Whammer show that Nathan found on Youtube. It's a show about learning to read.  Kayden rarely watches as long as Levi so she gets some one-on-one time with either me or Nathan for a bit before bed. Then it's time to brush teeth (Kayden actually has some teeth now so she gets in on this as of 6 weeks ago!), pee, and get into pj's.  Levi chooses two stories and Kayden sits at the bookshelf and "reads" her board books while either Nathan or I reads Levi his stories.  Kayden's favourite is "The Monster at the End of this Book."  She reads it every night and will often hold it out to us so that we will read it to her too.  But if we try to read Kayden more than one story, Levi jumps in and says, "No!  Kayden is only allowed to have one story!"  He is one for rules, that boy.  He is only allowed to have two stories and Kayden is only allowed to have one.  No if's, and's or but's.  That's how it is.  With stories read, it's into bed for the kids. By this time it is often close to 8:30pm.  We pray with them, tuck them in, and turn on their bedtime music.  Sometimes they are asleep before we even leave the room it seems, while other nights (like tonight) they play together until after 9pm before falling asleep.

After the kids are in bed, I tidy the house one last time.  I put away what's left of night snack.  Then, once I'm sure that absolutely every chore that I feel I need to do is finished (I hate the feeling of sitting down and then realizing there's more I need to do), I sit on the couch and pull out my crocheting again.  10-10:30pm rolls around and it's time to head to bed.  The light is usually not out before 11 though.  And goodnight.  The kids mostly sleep through the night, though probably 1 in every 3 nights one of the kids is up for the bathroom or teething or something.  But sleeping through the night 60% of the time is feeling SO good.  It was a long 3 years of being up much, much more than that. :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Number 18 - Difficult to Forgive, Number 25 - Dinner, Number 27 - Body, Number 29 - Misunderstanding

18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?

Without going into detail, I once felt like we were wronged by one of Nathan's workplaces.  That has been hard to forgive.  It was made easier by how well they dealt with some other things...but there were parts of that job/workplace that I still have a hard time forgiving.  But workplaces are just people, right?  And people make mistakes.  Or they're just mean.  haha.  But everyone needs forgiveness so that's what I aim to give.

25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?

I would have dinner with any one of my ancestors who has passed away.  Any of my grandparents or great-grandparents or great-great-grandparents.  I would ask them about their life and how they grew up and what their dreams are for their family and so many things!  What would we eat?  Probably some traditional Mennonite meal.  Some good, old meat and potatoes!

27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?

My eyes.  It's probably because, as a child, I got a lot of comments/compliments on my eyes.  I have big, brown eyes that I quite appreciate having.  It sounds weird to say what you like about your body but that would be one thing that I love about me.  There are other parts of my body that aren't my favourite BUT I can appreciate the fact that I can look at them and know who I got that particular gene from...and that makes them pretty cool, even if I wouldn't choose it :) But really, I don't have too many issues with my body.  Ideal or not, it's what I have and it treats me pretty well so I can't complain!

29. What do you think people misunderstand most about you?

I feel like people misunderstand my quietness.  She's quiet therefore she must not have anything to say.  Not true.  I often don't have anything to say, which is why I'm usually quiet.  But don't assume that I'll never have anything to say. 

She's quiet therefore she's not having fun.  Not true.  Sometimes I am having fun and sometimes I'm not. You won't be able to tell based on my auditory level.

She's quiet therefore she must always be a quiet person, in every situation.  Not true. I talk Nathan's ear off at home. Sometimes I'm quiet and sometimes I'm not.  If you only ever see me in groups, then you probably think I'm always quiet.  But one-on-one, with the right topic, I can talk.

She's quiet therefore she has no sense of humour.  Not true.  I hate it when I make a joke and people think I'm serious just because they didn't expect it.  Nothing like throwing out a joke and having people stare at you awkwardly just because they weren't expecting it and think you're being serious.  Umm...no.  I find that if people get my jokes, I can be real with them much more quickly than if I throw something out and it's incredibly awkward.  If I make a joke or comment and it's not received well, I clam up even tighter and will be less likely to open my mouth the next time. Just so you all know ;)

She's quiet therefore she must not like hosting people in her home.  Not true.  I actually love to host.  It's the potential for awkward silences that keeps me from inviting people into our home more. If you promise to talk, I promise to feed you!

Yup, I feel like my quietness leaves a lot of room for being misunderstood.  Oh well.  The people who really know me, understand me despite my quietness.  Thanks.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Number 9 - Influential People

9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.

1.  Parents - it's obvious how they influenced me, right?  They raised me.  They gave me their genes.  All that fun stuff. 

2. Nathan - he loves me exactly the way I am.  He loves me because of who I am and not despite who I am.  That's influential because I can be exactly who I am and not edit myself at all when I'm with him.  Nathan has encouraged me to treat myself so I've learned how to do that and what things/activities I especially like.  Nathan has taught me how to take other people's opinions into consideration when making decisions and how to compromise - though we usually agree and not much compromise is needed!   

3. My siblings - I don't know how.  I just know that they did.  Maybe the side of me that feels like I need to fight for everything I get?  haha.  I learned how to respect my peers/friends through my siblings.  I learned how to be a mentor (to an extent) and how to take advice.  I learned to laugh at myself and to have patience despite someone (not mentioning any names... *cough*ANDREW*cough*) doing their best to push my buttons.

4. My high school friends - they pushed me to go outside my comfort zone and do things I never would have done on my own...in a good way!  I wouldn't necessarily have done some of the crazy things I did without the friends I had.  Is that why I have the sense of adventure that I have today?  Well, not entirely.  I've always been someone who wants to be spontaneous and do things that other people might not consider...but I imagine the friends I had in high school nurtured that side of me more than if I'd had some other friends :)

I'm so bad at this.  I'm only on #5???

5. My friends Marsha and Teena - they have shown me that I'm worth being friends with and that I don't need to be anyone but myself in order to keep friends.  I can be completely myself when I'm with them and it's good.  I've learned that it's possible to be with people and not have to watch what I say and do. I can let go and people will still like me (and if they don't, maybe it's not my problem after all). 

6. My kids - I've learned to be more selfless from them.  They've influenced me to just do what needs to be done, whether I want to or not.  They've shown me what it means to love unconditionally and without inhibitions. 

I've stalled.  I'm sure there are many more people who have influenced me.  Pastors, teachers, co-workers, campers/co-camp-counselors, friends, customers, etc.  But my brain is just not working tonight.  haha.  Enjoy!

Number 8 - Passions

8. What are 5 passions you have?

For my own sake, I'll just define "passion" so I can refer back :)

Passion - an intense desire or enthusiasm for something

1. Mothering and childhood development - I could talk about being a mom and about kids all day long.  Part of it is just where I am, but truly, I love it.  I always have been drawn to moms and young kids and hearing about motherhood and kids and how they grow up and what stages they are in.

2. Cloth diapering/living simply/being frugal - if I can save a penny by doing a little extra work, I'm often on board.  Especially if it's something "easy" like making something myself or canning something myself or re-washing something instead of using disposable...I could talk about those things all day too.  Just ask me about cloth diapering.  I dare you.

3. Finding out about who people are and what makes them that way - a big part of this is hearing people's stories and their family's history.  It tells a lot about a person and the things they do/decisions they make to hear where they've come from and what they've been through.  I find it easier to be patient if I know why someone is doing what they are doing.  I find it easier to be compassionate if I understand what someone has been through.  I find it easier to feel like I know someone if I have heard a bunch of stories about where they've been and how they grew up.  I wonder, though, if this is less of a passion and more just how my brain works.  I am constantly thinking about why people do what they do.  It's just what my mind does.  I know I've mentioned it before.  But I think it fits into the passion category too.  Come and tell me about who you are and I could listen to you for hours :)

4. Gardening - I grew up saying I would NEVER have my own garden and here I have been, the last few years, dreaming about my own yard and gardens - yes, plural! - in January!  It could partly fit into number 2 above but it's about more than just growing our own food and storing it away for winter (being frugal).  It's about transforming our yard into a beautiful retreat.  It's about being able to walk around and know that, through a partnership with God, I put that plant there and it's thriving (or dying...I'm still learning) and making the yard more complete and breathtaking.  Now, being frugal gets in the way of me just going out and making the yard exactly the way I want it, but over the next few years I hope to transform our yard into something special.  I'm lucky because I'm starting here on the acreage with something special already...we have a yard that will be a beautiful retreat right from the start!

I'm having trouble coming up with #5.  Maybe I'm not very passionate?  Or maybe a good question would be how many things you can be fully passionate about?  Not many things really get me excited without abandon.  Hmm...ok.

5. Road trips with my hubby.  I get so excited about getting in the vehicle with a loose itinerary (as in, we need to be back in two weeks and we want to get HERE while we're gone) and just driving together.  We have so much fun.  We laugh a lot.  We spend a lot of time in silence.  Now that we have kids, road trips are different.  They're not the big adventure that they once were, though I do still get excited for them!  They just need to be a tiny bit more planned and with shorter driving days and more stops.  And gas costs more these days, not to mention our van being a gas guzzler (that sucks the fun out of a 60 hour road trip pretty quick).  BUT...the thought of getting in a vehicle with my honey still gives me "enthusiasm and great desire." :)

Number 7 - Dream Job

7. What is your dream job, and why?

No surprise to anyone who has been reading my blog for any amount of time...my dream job is being a stay-at-home mom.  I'm living the dream.  :)

Why?  Because I can totally run my own schedule (except for the two little people who try to steer the schedule awry).

I can set the vision and carry out the vision without having to follow someone else's vision that I may or may not agree with.

I can be 100% self-motivated (or not motivated at all but at least I don't have anyone on my tail to meet deadlines - ha!).

I am literally pouring myself out every day for my family and not running out.  I think that is a sign that you're working in the right job.  To be able to give and give and give without even thinking about how much it's costing because as you pour out, you are also being filled.