Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Omaha is not that bad

I have only just begun to watch the Omaha auditions on American Idol and I looked at Jeff and said, " no one is ever going to come visit us."


Ok, disclaimer, I have a lot of stuff rattling around inside my head and maybe 20 more minutes of nap to get it out. My spelling may be bad - it is actually my typing, I am a great speller and my grammar may be worse but this is important for me to put out there so you all can keep me accountable and I can come back and review.

I have had a very insightful weekend. I went to a women's conference at a church here with some friends and I learned a lot. Oddly enough what I learned was about men, mainly my husband but probably all men. I learned that my words are the most powerful device I have. Women in our society often grow up believing sex is their best weapon. Through no fault of my parents I certainly did and frankly it turned in to a weapon of mass desturction for me. In all actuality though our words are far more powerful than any of that craziness. Men want to be respected and my husband is no exception and yet so often I don't respect Jeff. Not because I don't actually respect him and not because I mean to be disrespectful, but mostly because I am frustrated about (fill in the balnk) and I need someone to take it out on and he is there. The baby and the dog have sometimes taken this role too but they are not as good since they don't talk back.

As I started to process what the speaker was saying the word choice came up a lot. She talked about choosing to see a disagreement not as right and wrong but simply a difference of opinion. At one point a women got up and asked what I was thinking. "Okay I get what you are saying, but what if he really is wrong?" I am known to be pretty stubborn and to almost always think my way is right which in turn means that every other way must be wrong. The speaker said that 95% of the time if you can take a step back and choose not to go down the path of right vs. wrong you will see it is just a different way of looking at something or doing something. That is so true especially for me. Usually the outcome I want to see is the same wether we use my way or Jeff's, but again, my way is right.

Not anymore.

The word choice played over and over again in my head and I realized that all of life is a choice. I have made some great choices - God, Jeff, all my friends, those awesome black and pink cowboy boots in 10th grade. I have also made some awful choices - alcohol, boys, the cut off jean shorts I wore with the awsome cowboy boots and mostly bitterness. If I choose to flip my perspectiive and keep hold of my blessings then the hostility can not take over. Yes we moved and yes it is cold and yes I have sad days but by and large I am tremendously blessed. It really is true that God times of trial t perfect your faith and teach perseverance, because honestly the time that my blessings were the clearest were in the days after my mother dies. When she died a part of me died and I missed her more than I can adequately express, I still do really, but I knew one day I would see her again and when I did she would have hair and she wouldn't be sick and we could eat french fries again. So if in the hardest days of my life I could find blessing then why can't I find it now? The answer is because I am choosing not to. I am choosing to give in to fear, doubt and self-pity.

Not anymore.

So I made myself an acronym because I like an acronym almost as much as I like a list. It is probably a little hoakie, but when things feel tense I can hear it in my head and hopefully I will make betters choices.

C -Capture
H - Hostility
O - Offer
I - Instead
C - Christ's
E - Endless Grace

If God can offer me grace after the countless bad choices I have made then I can certainly offer a sliver of grace to the people I love and care about.

Then Sunday came, yes all of this came bursting forth in one day. On Sunday we went back to the first chrch we had tried and I felt it. I felt that gentle vibration where my whole body says yes this is it. God took me to the other churches so I could find Holly and Stephanie and the gang that make me feel like a good mom and a real person. The sermon on Sunday was about the passage where Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. Jesus came to serve not to be served and then it hit me. I have been looking at a church and saying what does this church have to offer me? Are there women's ministries and mom activities and what about Jeff is their men's ministry thriving? What I should have been asking is what do I have for this church. Can my God given gifts have an impact at this church? God is funny like that. One day, one sermon and it all turns around.

God is good and I am thankful for the choices He gives me. I pray each day for the grace to make a better choice than I made the day before.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I just called to say I love you

at least I would if my phone was not dead and completely unresponsive to the charger. Devastated, that is the only word I can use to describe my feelings about it. My cell phone houses everyone's phone numbers and addresses. It also allows me to play solitaire while my child naps in a parking lot because she fell asleep on the way to or from somewhere. I have another cell phone I can use so I thought it would not be terrible because I figured I would just pop my SIM card in to the new phone and all of my info would come up. I was mistaken. I don't know why or if it is fixable and I am not certain what the solution is yet (short of asking everyone for their phone numbers and addresses but I refuse to think about inputting all of that all over again. Right now I am just in mourning for my phone. I really has a relationship with that phone. This weekend I may take it to Cingular and see if someone can revive it, I love it that much.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

No really, naps are for sissies

The Mochal house has been very busy. Jeff had a men's conference at church Friday evening and Saturday day. Then I had a friend in town Sunday and Monday and now we are settling back in to our normal routine - with one minor but important exception. We are not napping. I know you all must get tired of reading about my non-napping child. It is just so frustrating. You can be cruising along happily with somewhat of a routine intact and then wham, no routine, no nap, no sanity.

On the positive side, I had a great visit with my friend Korri. It was so nice to hang out with her and her daughter. I also got a great lamp at Hobby Lobby for $13 - and it came with a light bulb. I also took a water aerobics class today which was really fun. It was hard work. I was the youngest person in the class but it was nice because the teacher gives you three exertion levels so grandma Bea can take it easy and I can work harder in the hopes of looking good in my friends wedding.

Oh and another REALLY positive, I think we have sold the house in St. Louis and should be ready to close the book on that house. WOO HOO!!! I am not going to think to much about it until we sign the papers but then I will tell you all about it.

Okay, she looks tired, I am going to try some Elmo magic and see if she will sleep. Wish me well.

Here are some photos of the "no it is fine that I am not napping, who needs to nap?" face

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The power of being positive

So I saw this story on the Today Show about complaining and how it can be detrimental to your health and a variety of other things. Apparently just by being positive you can keep wrinkles away, live longer and be happier.

I just called about traffic school and it is only $98 and four hours! Woo Hoo!!!!!!! What a happy ending to my sobbing speeding ticket.

My forehead feels smoother already!

Waiting for tomorrow to come

So yesterday was a pretty bad day. It started with not being able to sleep so I think I got maybe five hours of sleep. I know some people can be fine on that, I, however, am not one of them. Then I had to go to the Dr. and I took the baby with me. It was awful, she wouldn't sit still in the stroller and then she howled if I wasn't holding her. It was just bad. We finished at the Dr. and I decided to go to the gym. I knew we would be a bit off schedule but I thought it would be fine. I dropped her off, she didn't cry, I did a great 30 minute cardio workout and life was good. Normally I give her a pretzel when I pick her up to keep her awake in the car and hold her hunger off until we get home for lunch. Well I didn't have any pretzels and when I offered her a graham cracker she began to wail. She was screaming when I put her in the car and I thought if I can just get her home and feed her she will be fine. Apparently I was too overzealous and I was speeding. I got a ticket. God bless the officer, when he came to my window the baby is howling, I am sobbing and the car smells like sweaty gym mom. He wrote the ticket for a lesser speed so I can at least go to traffic school. UGH!!

After all that I got home gave Em lunch and tried to put her down for a nap. She was not having it. After half an hour I got her up and we both took a bath and put on our pajamas. We played and then I tried again. Again she wailed for half an hour but then miraculously she fell asleep - for 20 minutes. Through God's grace alone she was not crazy the rest of the day. She sat on my lap and we watched High School Musical 2 and ate the beloved pretzels. Mostly I just wanted to stay on the couch until it was a new day.

Today is a new day, she slept until 7:20 and seems to be in a good mood. We will try it all again today.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I am woman hear me roar

I am too handy to ignore. Sing along, everyone! I have handywoman high right now. Handywoman high is defined as the euphoria associated with a completed home improvement project. I just hung shelves and they look good, not great, but good. You see, neither Jeff nor I are particularly handy. When we were putting the house on the market in St. Louis though, I got adventurous, mostly because I was cheap. We had a handyman come out and give us an estimate for a laundry list of things. I started doing some research and tried a few things on my own. I figured the worst that could happen was that the handyman had to come and fix my mistake so I went for it. I changed a three-way light switch, replaced a GFI outlet in the backyard, removed a ceiling fan and put in a light fixture and replaced the fixtures in the bathroom, thus saving us about $800. Then we moved in to this house and I got timid. I think because it is new and everything looked so shiny and I was scared to mess things up. Things like hanging curtain rods became a nightmare I avoided.

But as I was finishing putting the living room together, all that was left was hanging the shelves. So yesterday I went to Home Depot and bought a drill and was ready to finish the job. The bummer was the drill had to charge overnight. Rats! Jeff was going to help me when he got home from work but I got impatient and did it myself. (I know that sounds so weird, I am normally so patient - NOT!) Oh I am soooooooo pleased.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The recipe that will save your life

Ok well maybe that is a bit dramatic, but I heart this recipe. It is tortilla soup and I originally got it from Korri and have made some modifications mostly because I used what I had one night and it turned out great. I literally open the cans and poor them in to the pot and let it simmer until Jeff gets home. Even Em likes it!
Tortilla Soup
1 large can chicken-drain this and break up the chicken chunks
1 32 oz. can/box of chicken broth
1 can Rotel
1 can black beans (don't drain them it adds to the taste but be prepared the soup is sort of a purple color because of it)
1 can Northern beans - drain those
1 can mexican style stewed tomatoes
2 tsp. parsley
1 small onion diced (I don't like onions so I skip this one)

simmer until onion is tender , serve over crushed tortilla chips and mexican style cheese or any cheese will do.

I know some of you don't like meat in a can , Lindsey, so you can use regular chicken but it isn't as fast or easy. I use mild Rotel. but you can dial up the spice with regular or hot. If you don't like chunky tomatoes, like my husband, then use a slotted spoon to remove the actual tomatoes or I supposed you could skip that ingredient but I have a hard time not following recipes - yes, I am that anal. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Gym

I joined a new gym, one that has childcare during the hours my child is awake, and today I went. Em took a short 30 minute nap this morning and I wasn't going to go but I stood my ground and I went. I dropped her off in the nursery and she cried as soon as we walked through the door. Then she cried even harder as I left. God bless the girls working there because they said, "oh she'll be fine, have a good work out." I left and proceeded to cry. It makes me want to throw up when she cries because of something I am doing. I know in my head that she will be fine and that it is good for her to be around other kids and that it is good for me to go to the gym, but still, it sucked. I got over it though when I spent 45 blissful minutes on the treadmill. I like working out, my problem is always getting there, I can find 59 other things to do, but once I am there I am good. It was a good thing to get me out of the house without another trip to Target to buy crap I don't need and can't afford.

Ugh, miss thing is awake from the nap I put her down for 25 minutes ago. I am not convinced she slept. What's the deal?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The beauty of a shower

I have to say, I have never been one of those people who claims not to be able to shower because of my child. If I don't shower it is usually because I chose to do something else instead like clean the bathroom or empty the dishwasher. I have always managed okay, mostly because I take quick showers and I don't wash my hair everyday because it is really dry. I will say though that there is a difference between a shower and a SHOWER. If I take a shower while she naps then I can take a "long, hot, shave my legs and use the body scrub shower" and man, it is excellent. Then I can actually blow dry my hair and use a straightener - for those of you who knew me back in my perm years you know that I have just recently adopted a straightener because I believe the bigger your hair is the smaller your waist looks. I digress, but anyway I love that clean, exfoliated, moisturized feeling. I will spend the next ten minutes reveling in it until I return to my normal smell of peanut butter and baby wipes.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Goods from the Goodwill

This is the perfectly petit pink coat for my friend Thuy!

I heart this mirror and it was $3.99! Please see a frame that looks just like it featured in O magazine "http://www2.oprah.com/presents/oathome/200711/winter/winter_holiday_101.jhtml

This is a tray from a thrift store - $2, filler from Target and the cherub is a Christmas ornament that was 90% off so it cost me a whopping 39 cents - fun huh?

This is a pair of pears from the Goodwill - $8.00, filler and candles bring the total to $20

Toddlers are bipolar

So exactly one minute ago Emelia was on the floor crying because, well, I have no idea why, but I am sure it has something to do with what I did or did not do. Now she is happily putting balls back in to the ballpopper. I did nothing in between. I decided that she was clean, safe and well fed therefore I was going to ignore the tantrum. I am not sure if it was the right thing to do but I did it anyway. Note to self, find a book that deals with toddler behavior. Oh my, let's see what else today brings...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Don't look now but I think we have friends

It has been a banner week. Here's why... (You know I love a good list!)

1. Jeff was home for the first part of the week so that meant more daddy time for the punkin and me.
2. I got to watch the Rose Parade, love it!
3. I got invited to a playdate and a girls night out all on the same day which means I got to hang with other moms both with and without our kids, it doesn't get much better that that.
4. We got new blinds, I am currently typing this in my robe and our neighbors don't know it.
5. We got furniture for the living room and it was cheap and it was slightly nicked so it was even cheaper!
6. I went to the thrift store yesterday and bought some awesomely fun/unique things to decorate the newly furnished living room and it only cost me $30. (Holly thanks for the tip about Goodwill, the one on 84th and Giles had some great stuff.)
7.I bought my friend Thuy a pink spring coat from Ann Taylor at the Goodwill for $7.99. It is the cutest coat and I saw it and said who do I know that is an extra small petite, yes, my delightful friend Thuy!
8. All of the Christmas decorations have been put away.
9. We went to dinner at the home of one of Jeff's friends from work and had a great time. They have two girls and one is the same age as Emmy so miss Em had plenty of toys to play with. We took her with and had a great time and she ate like a champ and she didn't melt down even though we left an hour after her normal bedtime and well, it was lovely.
10. The dog has gone out and my coffee is done brewing and I am still the only one awake. I really enjoy a quiet morning to myself, just me and God.

God is so gracious and good, even though I fall short of His expectations every day He still blesses me abundantly.

Friday, January 04, 2008

A Fake Christmas Tree, a New Year and a Case of the Chicken Pox

So it has been a busy/fun/exciting time since I last wrote. Christmas was really nice. I think Jeff really enjoyed it, even with the fake tree. I cleaned up at the day after sales and got ornaments for my Martha tree for next year so we can have a real tree with the family ornies and my strategically decorated fake tree as well - a good compromise I think. Emmy didn't seem to interested in opening presents but she liked Elmo and her Learning House (both from the resale shop, love it!) My dad came on Christmas day and that was nice. It was great to see him.

Our neighbors invited us to their New Year's party which was exciting except we didn't end up going. IEmmy came down with a mild case of the chicken pox from her vaccine. She wasn't too bad but she was crankenstein for a few days.

I went to another play date and even a girls night out ( I think the whole night cost me ten bucks for dinner and a coffee - God bless Omaha!). The women in the group are so fun and diverse. Listening to their stories and their lives I realize that I really have it pretty good. Sometimes various members of my family make me crazy but all in all I am blessed with a family that may be crazy but I know they love me.

The new year is always a good time for me. I think it is because I am a morning person and the new year is like a big long morning. When I first wake up I am so optimistic and the day is filled with such promise. I can just feel all the things I can get done and the errands/chores I can cross off my list. As the day progresses and reality sets in I have less crossed off and less optimism. By evening I am tired and ready for a new day's promise. The new year has that same promise but times 365 - the things I can get done, the new stages for Emelia, the weight I can lose - it is all there in front of me. One of those things to get done is finishing the house. I am eager to paint and hang things so I can finally feel settled. We made a major step towards that yesterday when we got blinds for the downstairs. I can't believe what a difference they make. The installers even hung my curtain rods for free. We got a few new pieces of furniture from the clearance store at the Furniture Mart, which are being delivered today. I can't wait.

The last three days have been really great, between the night out, the blinds and my trip to the gym today I have almost forgotten that it is ridiculously cold and I live in Nebraska. It is supposed to be 46 one day this weekend, maybe 2008 will live up to it's promise.

Here are some pics of Christmas, by the way the baby buggy is just a smaller version of the wagon. I have taken a waffle a pacifier, a dog toy and dollies out of it at various times since she got it.