Wednesday, June 20

Wonder Woman Doesn't Live Here, Either

Jennifer at The Lactivist has a great post up today about being a perfectionist mom.

I am reminded of a conference Adam sent me to last year. I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to be there and definitely wasn't in the mood (when we arrived) for all the high-energy praise music and hanging out with the rest of the women filling up the stadium. It just didn't feel like me. But the main speaker for the evening got up and shared her story about coming to terms with her own imperfections. By the end of her session, I was bawling with the best of them.

To admit I'm not perfect, even in the face of the overwhelming evidence, is soooo difficult. It's a matter of pride, I guess. I want other people to think I'm perfect (or at least be impressed with how close I've come), even when I know I'm not.

The thing is, God knows all about how imperfect I am. He knows because He knit me together this way. Humans are not perfect. That's part of our nature. And God loves me here in the midst of my imperfection. Sometimes, I have a really hard time trusting in that. I mean, it's so much easier to love someone when they're doing good stuff for you, right?

I'm glad that God is more perfect than I am. I just wish it were easier to believe that sometimes.

Tuesday, June 19

Will Work for...$50 Grand?

I haven't really known how to say this (especially in the midst of my contest over the weekend), but Adam lost his job on Friday.

We're not entirely devastated, by this turn of events, as he was having problems with some of his coworkers and had already begun to look around for another job. But, at the same time, it's nice when one of us is bringing home a regular paycheck.

While I'm confident in the Lord's provision, I'm also a person who likes to have a plan, so this time of uncertainty is very uncomfortable for me. We have a lot of decisions on the table besides just where to find a new job.

Please keep us in your prayers, and by all means, if you know of an employment opportunity, let me know! Adam's got a ton of Customer Service and Call Center experience, as well as some management, training, and teaching (piano). Moving isn't entirely out of the question, either, so even if you're not local, feel free to suggest a job we might not otherwise hear about.


Monday, June 18

Contest Results

And the winner is...

(drum roll)

TotallyScrappy from Mudpies to Dragonflies.

Congratulations. Please send me an e-mail so we can get started on your new banner or button!

Thanks to everybody who entered and talked up my contest on your blogs. This was fun. I'll have to do it again sometime.

Also, for those of you who were left wondering, the movie quote was from Beaches. The character's name is Cecilia Carol (C.C.) Bloom, portrayed by Bette Midler.

Thursday, June 14

Bloggetyville...100 mi.

It's my 100th post. Hooray! I had big plans to make a banner and everything, but somehow the time this week has gotten away from me. Alas.

Still, you can share in some of what I have most enjoyed creating so far.

Favorites from my first 100 posts.

My Best Photo:

My Favorite Meme: Meme of the Arts

My Best Carnival Entry: Thirteen things that make it Christmas

My Favorite Comment: You all leave some great comments! I couldn't choose just one, so I broke them down by category. My favorite serious/inspirational comment is from Cool Mama. I still have two that tied for the funny comment, one from Jeanne and the other from Ruth.

My Favorite Link From Another Site: My intro from At A Hen's Pace

My Favorite Graphic: (from this post)

Most Fun Off-site Links: I couldn't decide between SnowDays virtual snowflakes and 3D Stereogram, where you can create your own magic 3D images.

Most Inspiring Quote:
    [T]hink about what we do...spend time praying and seeking to discern what is done because it 'should' be, and what is actually part of God's plan and will. It is easy to feel like I 'should' be busy and active and accomplishing tangible things. But maybe for this season living the Gospel authentically means being content without being particularly productive. It's a challenge to live to please God and not others or myself.
    -Abigail Sutton (quoted here)

Best Books I've Read: Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend wins for most useful, but Theodora's Diary by Penny Culliford wins for most fun. You can take a look at all my 2007 reads here.

Best Contest: I've never done a contest, so I thought this would be a good time for my first. Here's the scoop...

I'm giving away a free custom button or header graphic for use on your blog, website, or e-mail.

How to Enter
Leave me a comment on this post by midnight on Sunday, June 17th. I will randomly select one winner on Monday, June 18th.

Improve Your Chances of Winning
Link to this post on your blog and I will enter your name into the drawing twice more. Also, if you can tell the character and movie for the quote below, I'll enter you once more.

Enough about me, let's talk about you.
What do you think of me?

***Updated to add***
You can e-mail me your reference for the quote using the link in my sidebar--you don't want to be giving away the answer to just anybody now, do you?

Let the festivities continue!!

Wednesday, June 13

Something's Coming, Something Good

I've decided to be mysterious...

Tomorrow, come by and join in the celebration.

If you're looking for something to do today, I'm participating in the Works for Me Wednesday carnival with a summer cooking and dieting tip on my project blog.

See you tomorrow!

Works for Me: Summer "Diet" Cookies

This post originally appeared on By Hook or By Cook.

One of the reasons I've never been good at the pre-packaged diet plans is that I just can't do margarine, reduced-fat cheeses, and artificial sweeteners. I'd rather simply eat less of what I really like (though, I'm not so good at that either...).

This is a recipe for those of us who do not have large families to eat a couple of dozen cookies in an afternoon. It makes 6 cookies. My theory here is, if I only make 6, I can't eat a dozen accidentally before Adam gets home from work. For summer heat-reduction purposes, you cook them in a toaster oven.

"Diet" Cookies

¼ c sugar (you can mix white and brown sugar, if you like)
2 T butter
1 T beaten egg (see note)
¼ t vanilla
¼ t baking soda
½ c flour
2 T miniature chocolate chips
2 T chopped walnuts

• Cream together butter and sugar(s)
• Add egg and vanilla; mix well
• Stir in flour until soft dough is formed
• Add chocolate chips and walnuts; mix until they are evenly distributed throughout dough
• Drop six evenly-spaced cookies onto a small baking sheet
• Bake in preheated toaster oven at 350° for 8-9 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown

Note: Beat one egg and measure out one tablespoon. You can refrigerate the remainder in a cup with plastic wrap pressed to the surface of the liquid or in a zippered bag with the air pressed out for 1-2 days.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cookie (16 g)
Serving per Recipe 6
Amount per Serving
Calories 83 Calories from Fat 48

% DV
Total Fat 5.5g
Saturated Fat 2.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 10mg
Sodium 27mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.5g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 8.5g
Protein 0.5g


For more tips and advice visit Rocks in my Dryer.

Check out Experience Imagination tomorrow (Thursday, June 13th) for a special celebration!

Monday, June 11

M&Ms--Guilt Free

One of my friends keeps a regular update of interesting quotes, websites, and random thoughts on her e-mail profile. Today's is Planet M&M.

Using their Character Creator, you can design an M&M that looks just like you. Or your friends or a space alien or whatever. Then you can have a photo shoot or even create a movie (I haven't tried that one yet).

Here's my creature:

Those of you who have seen me in real life will have to let me know if you think it really looks like me.

Sunday, June 10


I submitted my true story yesterday for Owlhaven's Opinion Saturday. The topic this week is miracles. Go check it out.

Saturday, June 9

Proud of Me

I've been in a bit of a funk lately. I recently had some good friends talk to me about areas in my life where I need to grow up (important conversations, but never fun). Adam and I have been dealing with some work-related stress as well. Generally, I've just been kind of down on myself.

Additionally, for the past several months I've been spending a lot of time participating in some on-line discussions about childbirth. I've realized that I had a number of unresolved issues from the birth of my daughter. Everything seemed a bit out of control to me and I felt forced into some decisions I was uncomfortable having to make. Now that Adam and I are trying to conceive once again, these issues started resurfacing as fears about another birth.

Today, for the first time, I found myself able to write a positive description of my experience. I was responding to a question about Natural Childbirth (NCB) on one of the bulletin boards I frequent. NCB can be described as birth without pain medications or, for some, without any medical intervention. Another poster to the discussion had suggested perhaps women who succeed in having a NCB simply have lower-risk pregnancies. She wondered how many women who had risks higher than those considered acceptable for a birth at home or in an out-of-hospital birth center were really able to achieve NCB.

Here is part of my response to her:

I left my homebirth midwife at about 25 weeks [six months pregnant] because of high blood pressure. I usually say I risked out, but I was the one who made the choice to leave at that point in order to have more time to build a relationship with the midwives in the practice to which I transferred.

My active labor was...20-some hours long. My contractions stopped getting stronger and closer together pretty much from the moment I set foot in the hospital. We tried walking, other means of naturally stimulating contractions, and finally breaking my water. None of it got the contractions moving forward. After I was there for nearly 12 hours, stuck at 5cm [full dilation is 10cm], they started Pitocin. I spent about an hour not thinking I could make it--the Pit-induced contractions were horrible. When I was asked to give my pain level on the 1-10 scale (1 being hardly anything, 10 being the worst pain you've ever been in), I said 12!

But I did it. After the first hour or so, I started listening to my body again and stopped fighting. It still hurt, but I was able to take one contraction at a time. When I quit trying to figure out how I'd deal with all the contractions after the one I was in right then, I found my groove, so to speak. From then on out, I knew I could do it.

Three-and-a-half hours later, my daughter was born. I was amazed at myself, because I really hadn't thought I could do it. And yet, I did. I guess that's what I would have had a hard time with if I'd consented to narcotics or an epidural--I'd have always wondered if I really could have done it if I'd tried.

Some women may never care one way or the other and that's their prerogative, but for me, I wanted to have the lowest-risk, least-interventive birth I could in the circumstances. I was (and am) quite proud of what I accomplished.