Saturday, December 29, 2007

More of Derek's First Christmas

Have you been waiting with baited breath? I thought so. Here's some more of Derek's 1st Christmas.

More of Derek in that "Winnie the Pooh" hat and booties set. Couldn't you just eat him??? (I mean that figuratively. I would never condone baby cannibalism. I have always spoken against that.)

Silas is very good with babies. He'll sit there and talk to Derek. It's really very cute.
Kisses from Uncle Owy!

Okay, this picture doesn't have any Derek in it, but the nephews wanted Guitar Hero so bad, that they were just so happy about it.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Derek's First Christmas

My baby boy's first Christmas went a little like this....

Jenny-O gave him this great "Winnie the Pooh" hat and booties set. Holy crap, this kid is cute!!!

Once he learns how to use these toys - he's going to think they're pretty awesome. He'll learn how to use them any day now.... he's incredibly brilliant. I know most moms think that of their kids, but in this case, it's absolutely true.
Hanging with the cousins. He's smiling at his Titi Lindsey. He's a big fan of hers.
Abuelita loves her Derek calendar. They'll be hitting the store shelves soon, I'm sure. They're going to be in high demand. I mean, who wouldn't want this kid to keep track of their days.
More to come... stay tuned.....

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Carols

My favorite Christmas carol is "O, Holy Night". The words are just so incredibly powerful and so worshipful.
"O, holy night
The stars are bright shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world
In sin and error pining
Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth"

Just chew on that. Christ was born and your soul felt its worth. Pining for so long for freedom from sin. I was meditating on this thought yesterday, as we listened to the Christmas carols on the radio. Paul asked the question, "Do you think the artists that sing these songs really think about what they're singing?" And I asked, "Do you think most Christians that sing these songs and really think about what they're singing?" I forced myself to really pay attention to the lyrics. They're are so full of glory and joyful declaration of the birth of an eternal savior! And we take so many of these songs for granted. I imagined them being written by a composer completely inspired by their love for a God who would move heaven and earth (and send his Son) to save mankind. The scope of that is so HUGE and almost incomprehensible. It overwhelms my heart.

"Fall on your knees!
O, hear the angels' voices!
O, night divine
O, night, when Christ was born
O, night divine
O, night
O, night divine

I imagined a composer sitting at a piano and writing a love song for Jesus to celebrate and commemorate the day He was born. It's easy to look past these songs without ever thinking on them. You know the words by heart and can sing them while mentally putting together your grocery list. It can become so mechanical.

I don't want it to be mechanical. Not my worship for my Creator. When I sing glorious songs full of joy of His existence, I want it to be from the heart - and not some part of my brain that committed to memory the right words and actions to perform. Worship isn't a performance - it's a life.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

My Week in Review

I just felt like reviewing my week cause it was a mixture of pleasure and pain - and it felt worth blogging about.

1. Derek spent time with his BFF Carter. They're awesome. His mom, Ashley, is one of my heroes. She's a single mom and has this motherhood thing in the bag! I have a hard time and I've got Paul, but she's doing this mom thing with such grace, I'm in absolute awe. She gives me advice and tips. She's pretty much the bomb.
2. Thursday wing nights. Mark singing "Music is My Girlfriend" while showing how nicely he can switch around his reversible jacket. I thought my life was a soundtrack, but I rarely sing it aloud. I'm inspired.
3. Christmas shopping. Tis the season to.... KILL KILL KILL! There's nothing like the season of giving to really bring out that brutal kill or be killed instinct. I mean, when someone stands between you and that must have last "Elmo" on the shelf for your child - well, if there's blood drawn, so be it. I love Christmas, I hate Christmas shopping. All rules are null and void if it means you get where you want a few seconds faster and get what you want leaving no live bodies in your wake. Usually, after a horrific day of Christmas shopping, it sends me into a fetal position, sucking my thumb, rocking back and forth in a corner and crying for my mommy. I'll be repaying my therapist a visit here shortly. She'll no doubtedly up my dosage.
4. Party at Judi-Free's! A smorgasbord of foods I should not be eating post-baby, but LOVE LOVE LOVE! Yellow cake and gobs of chocolate icing... well, I'm a sucker for cake. Ask Paul, it's my weakness. Cake is my kryptonite. Damn you, cake! You foiled me again.
5. Party at Judi-Free's (part-deux) - it's been so long since I had a girl's night out. Oh man! What fun!! Listening to the 80's mix over Music Choice and eating cake, what more could this gal ask for?!?! Thanks Judi. You rock! You are quickly becoming one of my very favorite people on the planet.
6. Today I watched part of VH1's "100 best songs of the 90's". I've been watching it in doses over the week. So many good songs (and bad ones - I'm looking at you 'Color Me Badd'). "Enter Sandman" by Metallica... so good. I've come to terms with my love for late 80's and early 90's metal. (Side note: On the verge of breaking up, Metallica hired a psycho-analyst to get them through their inability to work and write together. Therapy is so metal.) During tonight's viewing I saw a commercial with Slash playing Guitar Hero. Again, very metal.

Well, that about covers it. All in all, a great week (minus the nervous tick I got from Christmas shopping) and I thought I'd share it with you.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Paul and I are lazy Christmas people. We do the absolute bare minimum to celebrate the holiday in a festive manner. We don't bake cookies, we don't shop until the weekend before, we don't send Christmas cards, and we rarely think to buy gifts for anyone other than immediate family. Today I saw an old friend from high school who now lives on the east coast and is visiting for the holidays. She walks up to the house and has two gifts in her hand and I think to myself, "Oh right, that's what people do for Christmas. Give gifts. Make a mental note of that." (Side note: I make that mental note every year.)

We were celebrating our first Christmas in our new home about three years ago. It was about four days before Christmas and we still hadn't gotten a tree. Paul went to the local K-Mart to negotiate for one of those beautifully decorated display trees (to show you how a decorated tree is really supposed to look). It was a pre-lit tree, with the lights wrapped around the branches and all the ornaments. I mean, what are they going to need those trees for. Now, it's just extra stock. He buys the tree for $60 (total value of said tree with decorations would've been about $150, what a bargain!). He throws the tree in the back of his truck and plops it right in front of the window. Here's the kicker: all of the price tags were still on ALL of the ornaments. And of course, we left them on there. I convinced myself that it was because it was funny and kitschy, but it was really because it would've taken way too much effort to take off every price tag. I mean, obviously, I wasn't putting that much energy into Christmas decorations that year.

Now, it's three years later and the lights are starting to go out. When we put up the tree, I really put a lot of effort into finding the dead bulbs and making sure the entire tree was lit. There was just one section that I couldn't fix. I tried to convince myself that it wasn't that noticeable, but in truth, there is a dark ring around our tree. Any other "Suzy Homemaker" would find some creative way to fix that dark spot. And by creative, I mean going and buying a separate strand of lights and adding them to the tree. I just wasn't cut from the "domestic diva" fabric. I can live with the dark spot. Annoying? Yes. Ignorable? Absolutely.

I just walked by the tree tonight and noticed that the lights on the top of the tree have gone out now. Here is the conversation Paul and I had:

Me: Hey, the lights at the top of the tree are out now.
Paul: Yeah, they've been out for a couple of days. I didn't have the heart to tell you.

That's right, I hadn't noticed. Another testament to our laziness. I would post a picture, but my camera isn't readily seen on any of the surfaces around me and I'm just too lazy to go look for it. That's how I roll.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Gigantor and the Pipsqueak

Carter is 5 weeks older than Derek and is about twice his size. He's already offered protection to anyone giving Derek trouble. What can I say... thats how BFF's roll.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Time to Make the Donuts

Tomorrow is the last day of my 12 week maternity leave. It seems like just a few weeks ago I was going to the hospital, knowing that I wouldn't be going home without a baby in my arms. So much has happened since that time. At the beginning, I wanted to hurry and get back to my old self and get back to work right away. I was startled to see how much I missed my old life and my ability to get up and go. It's such a weird dichotomy. I wouldn't change having Derek for a minute and yet, I was missing the life I had without him. I can't explain it and to say it out loud, it feels so callous. But, it's the truth. I suppose it's not surprising to feel some sense of mourning for an old way of life. I've felt that every time I've gone through major changes in my life, but that's another post.
I think it was easy to feel that way because being a mom was so new and you're constantly questioning yourself, especially when your decisions affect another human being. That's a lot of pressure. Combine that with lack of sleep and substantive nutrition (and regular showers), and you find yourself missing the days when you could shower daily, eat when you needed and wanted, sleep a full 8 hours and most of all - feel confident in your every ability. Needless to say, having a child changes your view of yourself and your world view. That's alot to take in all of the sudden. And quite the adjustment.
Now, I've got more time as a mother under my feet (as well as more sleep) and I'm feeling a little more confident day by day. Time to go back to work. And another dichotomy arises. I look forward to starting my job again. I love my work. Church and music is the perfect combination. But, that means I have to leave my son. Paul gets to work from home and I am extremely jealous. He gets to see that cute little face anytime he wants. Hold him, kiss him, play with him. I want to work AND spend all day with Derek. We'll see how God works this out. I really pray that I'm doing what God wills of me and what's best for me, my family and my calling. We shall see.

Try leaving this little face every morning and tell me how you'd feel...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hallelujah! He sleeps in the crib!

My mom bought Derek this great bassinet before he was born. She buys them for all her grandkids. It's her signature gift. Well, he's slept in it all of 3 hours in his life. The longest he'll sleep in it is for about 15 minutes. He'll only sleep in his swing. Doctors have tons of reasons why babies don't like sleeping on their back: acid reflux, too different from the womb, yada yada yada. But, he's just getting too big to sleep in his swing. We decided to forego the bassinet and save it for kid #2. Paul went to buy the crib. We put it together yesterday and I was determined to have him transitioned to it by the end of the day. I laid him down for a nap and he slept in it for about 40 minutes. Progress!! Last night, we laid him down for the evening and he wailed for about an hour. Difficult, yes, but my determination was not swayed by the sad cries of my son. After that hour, I fed him and laid him back down. He slept through the night! Waking up once to feed!! I can't tell you how excited this makes me. My chest is puffed up with pride. There's just such an immense feeling of satisfaction that I've accomplished something as his mother, even if it's as simple as getting him to sleep in his crib. Way to go, my beautiful little crib sleeper!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I'm no Daniel, that's for sure

I've been reading the book of Daniel. I remember reading the popular stories as a kid, Daniel in the lion's den, the fiery furnace. Those stories were so important to introducing a little kid to a powerful God that can save you from the mouths of ferocious lions and really piping hot fire. But, as I read the book as an adult, an introspective and soul-searching adult, I'm seeing the real meat of the stories - people so passionate about their God that they are willing to die for what they believe, to give up their very lives for a God that gave them that life. What am I willing to give? A faith like Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego's compared to my own makes mine look quite apathetic. I know that I will never face the threat of a lion's mouth or to be burnt alive, but what am I willing to forsake? Reading my bible nightly makes me uncomfortable. Praying daily makes me uneasy and seems, at times, cumbersome and burdensome. So there you have it, a few minutes of discomfort and I feel that I've suffered my fair share of persecution!

For a person I believe died for my very eternity, a God I believe breathed into me my very first breath - I owe more. He deserves much more and better. Oprah once said, struggling with trying to lose weight, that discipline comes by doing. You aren't magically motivated. You motivate by getting off your rear and doing something. That's the only way I will give God more. By simply giving Him more. There will never come a day when I will all of the sudden feel incredibly inspired to read my entire bible as fast as I can and pray for hours on end. Faith is endurance. Faith is a marathon. But I can't run the race if I don't at least start by putting on my running shoes. So, here's the passion plan: Today - a chapter of the bible and some prayer, Tomorrow - a fiery furnace... or maybe just more bible and prayer.

My Cool Bro, part deux

Tony started a weekly blog called "Do the Shuffle" where he gives his review of music on whatever songs pop up. I've placed it on my blogroll and so should you! Here's the link:

Friday, December 14, 2007

We Salute You

My Cool Bro

Ever since I was a little my older brother, Tony, was somewhat of a hero to me. My younger bro and I idolized him. 9 years older than me, everything he did (and still does) was something to be emulated. Some of my favorite things that were Tony-inspired include bleu cheese salad dressing, the art of making a mix tape, and most of all, my love for good music. If Tony is listening to it, it means it must be worth listening to. Now, he's a minor celebrity in Minneapolis as a DJ for a Sat afternoon radio show, which is only fitting. Now he introduces his listeners, both on the FM dial and web-streaming, to incredible mixes of all kinds of music that you should be listening to.

As a cancer survivor and recoverer of open-heart surgery, Tony is still one of my heroes. Here's to you DJ Fly. Keep rockin'!

You can catch Tony's show online Saturdays from 2-4pm(MST) at:

You can also hear him on the MPR podcast "Musicheads".

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Working Mom

I am beginning a new phase in my life. Working mother. Sheesh, mother is new enough and now I'm adding "working" to the title.

Having a child has completely altered my view of myself. Where do I find my value? How do I see myself? After giving birth, I experienced feelings I didn't expect. I missed my job. Before delivering, I thought it would be nice to have a break. Being the workaholic that I am, I knew that it would be nice to focus on my family. But after delivering, I felt so useless. Yes, I was the life-sustainer for my son, but I still felt so useless. Which led me to think - where do I find my value? Do I truly find it in who Christ is within me or do I find it what I do for Christ? I think I found my answer which has been upsetting to say the least.

As a follower of Christ, I have endeavored to know who I am in Him and who He is in me. My rock, my deliverer, my shelter... all of that has meant something more than regurgitated Christianese. Now I fear that I'm back at square one, struggling to gain a confidence I thought I had. Was it shallow ground? Or do I just have to re-define it now that my life role has changed?

I think that I just got very caught up in the doing instead of the being. I want what I do to have value but I don't want it to be my value.