Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Sometimes it happens. Especially on days when you reach out to several people with no response, or their response is too late and you're already home from whatever it was you were hoping to have their company for. It's not their fault either. I am guilty of responding to a call or a text late. However, it is important to me to get a fast response and I try to do the same for others. So I pouted a bit.

Also, I ran into someone that I have tried to be friends with but not had much of a response. That's hard for me. Perhaps because I want everyone to like me, or because I genuinely like this person and am worried I have offended them. Either way, the conversation was cut short because they just said hi and kept walking. It also seemed like they tried to get away with not saying hi. But I force people to do things that are uncomfortable, I guess.

I mean, the other day I called across the sidewalk to a man I thought I saw at my church and we talked for twenty minutes. So, if I am under the impression that we're okay friends, we text, you come to my house even, and we talk at church, then you will not likely cross my path without me yelling your name and trying to get you to go to coffee with me. Ha. Ok, yes, I'm scary.

So I went home and watched frozen and cut up old shirts into cloth wipes, which I love. Tyler told Leon I was a dirty hippy, but, if I was a baby, I'd much rather have my behind wiped with a soft, well-loved tshirt and water than some chemicals that turn my b-hole red. Also, some wipes give babies a reaction that makes their mouth and lips break out in a scab. GROSS. Listen, people in charge of everything, I don't trust you one bit. Keep your poison wipes off my childs behind. And your fingers out of my Dave Ramsey wallet. I'll kill ya.

I was so tired last night. We had a members meeting at church and they served ice cream after. I never eat ice cream... so when I do, I eat enough to make myself sick. And then I never eat it again, until the next time I do.

I am going on a date with Tyler tonight. His work, or someone he purchases from at work, people, someone, is throwing a gathering at the Art Museum. Open bar, free appetizers, and I'm wearing a long black dress that my mom bought me from H&M and a necklace to fancify it. I am so excited. My friend Kate is taking care of Leon. He loves her. He just snuggles right up to her. And she loves him, so it works out. It really means a lot having people love your baby, like actually love him, and love me.

I made my second cup of coffee. Oh, and I need to add something about social media. People say it's bad because you only post the good stuff and then people get jealous or whatever, or I guess it's like porn, where you get this unrealistic view of how the way things are and think life is like that. And that yours should be too, all the time. Well, yesterday I even typed out a funny, saddish status. It said this: I'm very thankful that I get to stay home with Leon. And then it's 12:30 and the only words I've said are "small coffee, please," and "did you poop your pants?!" and I pray fervently on our windy walk home that God will send me a friend that can throw on shoes and go for a walk with us.

But then the terror sinks in. People will think I'm pointless, because all I do is go on walks with a baby and drink coffee. People will think I'm ungrateful, because they would love to stay home with their kids. People will think I'm simple-minded. People will think I'm desperate. Oh, but I am! Well, I felt it yesterday. It's not that I don't have friends. I have so many people who love me, and they all have jobs. Which is great. Or there are moms but they have lots of kids and it's harder to get out of the house.

Anyway. I am okay with people thinking I'm desperate. But I don't want pity. I want honesty. Like, "Shannon, you can be a bitch, that's why no one wants to walk with you."

I'm doing this thing on Instagram where you #100happydays something that makes you happy. Yesterday I posted a picture of my coffee at the bike stop, where I was alone, and grieving my loneliness. And I didn't lie, because coffee does make me happy. Walks make me happy. Alone time sometimes makes me happy, and often it's good for me. But I was sad. So yeah, I lied a little. The curse of social media!

Leon tries to crawl when I lay him down. So he walks his legs forward, his butt is up in the air, and then his butt falls off to the side. He does this over and over for a few minutes, and every time his butt falls the crib bumps the wall, so I always know when he's crawling. Also, we're going to teach him that his crib is called a cage just to freak other people out.

I think that's all. I'm not lonely today. I'm going to lunch with Tyler's sister. I talk to Allison every day on facebook chat. I text people. I call a few people. It's not this dramatic loneliness, but sometimes you just want a human to stand in front of you.

My house is cold.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hello. I find my self wanting to blog less and less these days. I have been quite busy lately. Leon is growing and napping and eating and sticking his tongue out and spitting. Today during communion I was standing at the back of church and it was the point right after Trey said "come as you're ready," where it's quiet for 5 seconds and the music hasn't started... And Leon filled his diaper LOUD. The whole back row turned around. It was so loud that it caught me off guard and my face was drop jawed and eyes big, but I got a bunch of smiles. 

He also napped belly down, butt up during church in the row of chairs. It was so freaking cute. I didn't think to take a picture. 

What's happened lately... We moved upstairs, got a king size bed. It's wonderful. Windows open, attic fan running. You could break in and I wouldn't even know it. Seriously. Just stay downstairs. You can have the microwave. And the tv. If you come upstairs I will murder you. Trust me, I've thought it all through. 

My mom came to visit. We had a relaxing time of walking and sipping coffee and napping and shopping and drinking wine and snuggling Leon. She babysat while Tyler and I went on a date and while I went to yoga and while Tyler was in class and I was with friends. It was great. I can't wait to come home next month. 

I have a new friend. She asks me questions I never think of like "what are your spiritual gifts?" And "what do you feel like your life calling is?" And I'm like, "coffee is good, and I'm learning how to knit...?"  There is certainly something to be said for the disciplines I was brought up with, which I have not been accustomed to for a long, long time. Growing up, I prayed constantly, out of fear, confessing every little thing because when I needed God's help, a little white lie had better not be blocking him from hearing me! Please note: exclamation points usually mean facetiousness or admittance of foolishness. Prayer is just one weird thing. I'm scared to pray sometimes, but damn it, I am constantly praying for God to give babies to people who want them. Or to give a mate to people who are lonely. Or to make broken things whole again. 

And all the other ones. Reading the bible, meditating, etc. sometimes I don't brush my teeth until 3 pm. You think I meditate? 

I purpose to. I make lists, and those lists feel good and almost replace the actual acting out of those lists. 

We picked out a verse for Leon's dedication. It's Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness, he will quiet you with his love, he will exult over you with loud singing. 

I think if I read that every morning, I would be a different person. But do I? I want my baby to remember that when he feels worthless, when he feels hopeless, when he is so sad that and crying so hard he can hardly breathe, when he feels lonely. But he won't know it unless I do. And there have been a few times where I've cried so hard I can't breathe. And I'm not talking about being tired of the exersaucer crying. I'm talking, my world is over, I am alone, I am worthless, uncontrollable, hopeless sobbing. He is in our midst. He quiets us with his love. He is making us New. 

My sweet Leon. When people ask his name, I tell them, and it's usually silence after, or "oh." Makes me laugh every time. Maybe next time I'll be like "it's French." 

Tyler's sister Olivia took some pictures of us on Easter. Opted for jorts instead if a dress

My new sandals from in the background. Oh, and Leon in his Easter outfit. 

He loves this thing. 

Our new bedroom and Charlotte loving her rug. When I vacuum it she paces around it like I'm hurting one of her friends. 

Mimi and Leon practicing life skills

It seems as though my heart is in a constant struggle. I think it might be a little, but a lot if it is in my mind, because I envision this perfect way things should be and I'm a world away from it. But that's life. 

I have to make spaghetti for our community group tonight. Ill be done now. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

This morning I got to blow dry my hair. I put on a cardigan instead of a hoodie. It's been nice. I'm sipping a coconut La Croix. I think I like the smell more than the flavor, but it makes me feel special. I already had plenty of coffee this morning at a DoTerra Essential Oils class. I'm a Young Living person, currently, because my mom was nice enough to get me started with them. I think both brands have good oils, but I really do care about the brand. If I pursue oils, I'm going to look into the brands more. Let me just say, I don't support cults... So. We shall see. Other brands exist besides those two. Perhaps I will look into a less mainstream brand.

My friend Lisa gave me a bumbo seat and a huge stack of Mothering magazines. She is so sweet. Tyler and I were talking about being meek, because that's what Sunday's sermon touched on. I have a weird understanding of the word meek, because in the dictionary it's basically "weak, mouse-like." I told Tyler that all of the "meek" people I had known were un-relatable, had it all together, gave me a bible verse for all of my problems. We agreed that my understanding was wrong. Meek doesn't mean I can't have an opinion or that I'm not allowed to question anything. One of the synonyms for meek is "tame," and I kind of like that. Women who spew their opinions and make things out to be wars that are not wars tend to bother me. But women who hide bother me too... I want to say, "Fight for yourself!" Whatever that looks like. I find myself in both of those extremes - it's hard to hang in the middle. All that to say, my friend Lisa is meek. The true meek. She just lives out her beliefs, doesn't throw them at you, is supportive, honest. I don't even know how she got to me. I think I just noticed her, wearing her baby, quietly feeding him in church, and then I sought her out - "Please, tell me how you do things!" Maybe I'll be meek someday. 

I had a bury-myself type of Monday. I wanted to hide, sit and meditate on all of my mistakes. Ugh, it's toxic. You have to be full of love to be my friend. You have to be patient. You have to filter my sentences through a cheese cloth made of grace and just smile at me. "Poor child. She has a lot to learn." You can say that after I walk away. I don't mind. I wrote a blog post, but it was too icky to actually post it. Good to get the words out though. 

I always used to want a pet monkey. Having a baby is cooler, and chances are you won't get your face ripped off. I love Leon's warm, fat skin. His drool, his dimples. The toe jam that magially appears every five minutes. The way he looks at me like, "What are you?! I love you!" Babies are miracles. Giving birth to one is a miracle. A terrifying miracle. I'm thankful to have muscles again and to be able to sit on a toilet and walk around my house. To wear shirts. About a year ago is when speculated that I was pregnant. I don't miss dry-heaving, and I'm okay with just having gas bubbles right now instead of having a tiny fist jam into my cervix. I'm thankful for my life right now. At times I feel like I have no purpose, and then I remember the fat, warm lump napping on my bed. Yesterday I texted Tyler and said, "The only thing good about today is Leon, and that's ok." But I mean, this morning I went to an oils class, drank Keurig coffee, talked to my mom on the phone, laid my baby down, ate a cabbage roll that I made last night. And here I sit. I live a charmed life. I won't deny it. I have guilt over it, and then that sense of worthlessness comes in. 

So, I will go finish washing my cloth diapers and consider making dinner. Recycle the mail. Do a load of dishes. I did do a bit of yoga this morning in the living room and that was nice. I tried to read the psalms, but I felt like I was reading about a man I couldn't relate to. If I have enemies, I don't know who they are, and my bones feel fine. I love God, but I don't feel close to Him right now. I do on Sundays while we sing, but that's it. He feels like one of those distant relatives that you percieve only cares about you because you're related, so at Christmas when there are 47 people around, you don't bother even saying hi. I have felt like this maybe forever. Off and on. 

It sounds dramatic, but neutrality is my tone right now. Anyway...

I'll end with a funny story. At the class this morning, Leon was a little (a very little) fussy, because he was tired but too distracted by talking to sleep. So an odd woman who had been knitting and talking over the presenter asked if she could hold him. She probably saw my 1.5 seconds of reluctance, but I smiled and said sure. So shes bouncing him and he was fine. Duh. I know how to make my kid stop fussing, but he was hardly making a few noises and I didn't feel like standing up the whole time. Anyway, she says, loudly, "See! Babies like to stand up and be bounced!" and then she asked if he was my first baby. Oddly, I felt calm towards her. She enjoyed him for about five minutes until she started sweating then handed him back. She also kept saying "DO YOU HAVE MOUNTAINS ON YOUR SHIRT?!" when, in fact, he had wales on his shirt. Oh well. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I went on a walk today with Leon. I used to be terrified of running or walking around town by myself because standing at intersections made me feel really insecure. I don't care anymore, plus it's easier to distract myself with a stroller instead of like, "Ah! Where do I look? What do I do with my hands?" I walked to Picasso's, Leon slept, I maneuvered my stroller into the shop (up stairs, through a swinging door) which I'm sure they hate, but we don't live in Finland where you can leave your babies in strollers outside. I got my coffee and sat down outside. By myself. I didn't even sweat or turn red.

This, my friends, is a breakthrough. Come with me, back to the time when I was 15 and had the social skills of a shy 4-year-old. I used to turn so red when people talked to me, sweat, and in college I still would get my tongue caught in my throat if I was talking and nervous. It came out as a random stutter. Anyway.

The weather was perfect, and then it hailed tiny pea sized hail for a bit, and then it was perfect again. And I felt like I could tackle anything. It is amazing what being outside can do to you.

While I was at Picasso's there was a late-forties guy who was at church on Sunday. At church I had told Tyler I knew the guy from somewhere, but he didn't recognize him. So the guy is walking toward the door and I said, "excuse me, sir" because I'm a weirdo. I asked him if he was at Refuge on Sunday. He was. We chatted a bit until we both realized at the same time that I had sold him shoes at New Balance. I remember when I met him I thought "that guy is a little wacky, but I like him." And before we discovered how we knew each other today I thought, "this guy is a little wacky, but I like him."

And then I remembered the customer I helped who visited every year from Colorado. She was INSANE. We hit it off just great. She invited me to come stay with her in CO. And another lady who is a children's book author and wears Harry Potter glasses and would ask me, "Shannon... how are you doing?" I'd say fine. Then she'd say, "no, I mean... how are you doing." Oh, she's like, asking about my soul.

I just love crazy people. I'm serious.

Tyler's sweet Granny left us some money when she passed away, so we used it to purchase a king size bed, a dresser with a mirror, and a nightstand. Oh and a mattress. It will arrive in the middle of April and I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!! We're going to move it upstairs into the pine room, and leave our current bedroom as the guest bedroom. When/... if... Leon ever stops sleeping in our bed, he will have the other upstairs room. Change is so exciting! I love it. Though, attics freak me out. I told Tyler we need to stay up their one night to make sure it isn't haunted. I'm only half kidding when I say that if there are ghosts in our house, they have been nice ones so far.

I am almost done reading Girl at the End of the World. It's a true story about a girl who grew up in a religious cult, and I won't tell you anymore... I haven't read the end yet. Emotionally, it's hard to read. But she does a fantastic job of telling her story. My heart hurts a little when I think about it. I mean, picture little kids from Westboro Baptist holding a sign that says "God Hates Fags." How manipulated and brainwashed and abused they are, and the people doing it truly believe they're doing what's right. Man. The world is dark, but there is hope.

Anyway. This week feels busy. But I like it. And I like storms. Leon has started to cease crying when I sing to him, and he smiles and laughs, and then sometimes when I stop singing he starts crying again. Also, sometimes he will look at me and just smile and talk, and then his eyes water. Today he was smiling at me and a full blown tear fell down his cheek. Either his eyes are just watery or both of his parents are very emotional and he got it. I think it's the latter.

I'll be done now.