Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Woman Problems

Sometimes I read things and I get all amped like "Yeah! Nurse your baby in public!" or "No! I won't apologize for my crying child!" or "I'm a woman and I want to share my opinion!"

And then real life happens. All the things I feel strongly about... well, they shrink, and I'm just a little girl again, and who cares about little girls? Not men (this is my mind talking).

I was in a coffee shop the other day and Leon was quite boyish and wild. Then I put him in the car seat to leave and he was crying. What did I do? I apologized to a table of three blue-collar looking men that I assumed I was bothering. They seemed kind of gruff. It went against everything in me! Why did I do it? It's a crying baby. Get over it. I'm leaving. But, I did it. And they all, loudly and interrupting each other, told me not to apologize and that they all had kids and they were just glad I was getting out. What?! Thank you, men, for being different than I thought you'd be. Sorry I'm a jerk and assume that you're jerks.

I sprint back and forth between being a chest-beating woman (in my mind), and a quiet, apologizing, doormat, child-thing (in real life).

Why? I don't know. How can a person think so little of themselves and then so much of themselves in a split moment?

We had a guest speaker at church on Sunday. He was really good, and I got to stay in for the whole service. It was the first full service I've been in since Leon was born. He read/preached from the passage about Zacheus the wee little man. It was good and it was the gospel and I needed to hear it. I sang that morning, so between services (I was in the band bother services) I was with the band and the pastor and a few others. I wanted to tell him that his sermon was the first I'd heard since before my 7.5 month old baby was born, and how meaningful it was to me, and how badly I needed to hear it. But I was too scared. Cuz I'm a girl. I didn't even meet the guy. Just sat five feet from him while all the men talked.

And I over exaggerate. I did talk. But I had all these feelings.

Which just proves to me that I need to tell myself the truth more often. I am loved so much more than I can imagine, even when my heart is hard and dark and thinks that the male gender is awful. I have a sweet husband who disproves that belief all the time. We are all broken and we all need grace.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Last night we threw a blanket on the lawn, opened a bottle of $2 chuck, let Leon crawl all over us, and talked about pesticides.

I'm serious. I started the conversation with "I want to talk to you about something." Doesn't that make your stomach drop? Whoops, but at least it got his attention. Usually he just makes fun of me and I feel defeated when he grabs the cheaper, non-organic produce... and we continue to eat grapes that come in a plastic container with Flavor EXPLOSION!!! written on it and I'm thinking, yeah, my intestines are exploding as we speak.

Hear me. I wouldn't turn down food from anyone or miss up on an opportunity to love people or accept kindness from them because their food isn't organic. I've eaten pesticide ridden GMOs since I could chew.

As I have mentioned on here before, I like things the way God made them... which makes me question a whole lot about our culture. For me, it boils down to this - when people choose money over the good of others, I'm not okay with it. Business. OK, I get it. Businesses are in business to make money. I know. But what about doctors? What about the people we get our food from? Hey, I know you eat veggies to be healthy, but in order for me to grow my business and meet demand, I'm gonna throw some agent orange on there and... oh, it's just trace amounts, you'll be fine for...

Why is my gut so against trusting people that we are told we can trust? That's a real question. Feel free to inform me. I think a lot of people start out with good intentions, but eventually it's just money.

Anyway, we discussed for an hour. Several times I laughed because, how weird. A neighbor even brought a vase of black eyed susans over, so it looked like a legitimate date - wine, flowers, and a beautiful evening. OK, let's DISCUSS organic produce!

He agreed to watch Food Matters and we are both going to read Naked Economics. My request was to just buy the dirty dozen organic. His point was that even organic food is a racket. Normal greens, 7oz for $2.49. Organic greens, 5oz for $3.99. I guess our issue is where to draw the line. Do I just give up because everyone is money hungry? I told him I wanted to live in a big field with a group of people and we'd garden, I'd teach yoga, he could teach the kids math. He said we'd all starve to death.

The end.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I've talked about the book "Lying" by Sam Harris on here before. The book is great. Zach was the one who recommended it to me. Anyway, I need to read it again.

I do exaggerate, or "quote" people. Change wording. I would never let myself outright lie, and even white lies (like trying to get out of hanging out... saying you don't feel well when you actually double-booked) bother me. I'd rather just be honest, because I hold fast to certain rules. I'm a legalist, turned grace "abuser," and now flailing, rule maker/breaker, inconsistent, preaching, hypocrite. 

A little adjustment to a story to make it cooler... well, that just flows right out of me. 

Yesterday I said I wanted my breast milk to be magical (for my kid to be impressive to my Pediatrician). Her wording to me was (in a thick Indian accent) "You have very good breast milk. You have perfect baby." Now, that is not a misquote. But I told my friend that she said I had magic breast milk, which she totally did not. Maybe I wanted her to say that, maybe I mixed my blog and her up. I wasn't thinking "I'm going to tell Allison that my Ped said this, and then she will think I'm awesome." Because if your Ped uses the word magic instead of good, well, that just means you're better than everyone else, and that your ped is a loony. 

I don't think doctors use the word magic, except Dr. Oz. 

It's one thing to say you've had a million cups of coffee today. Obviously, that just means you had 4 cups. Over exaggerating is something I have to keep tabs on for myself. It comes from deep within me, the desire to be perfect, to be special, seemingly without trying.

Here is a true story. Yesterday at the Pediatrician's office, an elderly woman was across the large room, waving and smiling at me/Leon. So I walked over to her and said "I thought we would just come say hi," because old people love babies a lot. She replied, "Oh, you're lovely. You're beautiful. You're wonderful. Wonderful." and she continued on. That's all she would say. Most people just gawk at Leon and ignore me, so it really did seem as though she was talking to him. Then it was like she seemed surprised to see I was holding a baby and she said, "OH! He's cute too!" I laughed, and then my eyes watered, because the woman was very sweet and very nuts. Sadly, her husband came back over and didn't speak very kindly to her. But even if she was nuts, she was sweet. 

Then I was sitting on the floor with Leon, because sitting in the chair or standing up was absolutely freaking unacceptable, said the teething baby. An old lady walked in, she was dressed very nicely, looked down at us and her eyes bulged. She was sending a message. At that moment, I wished Leon was only wearing a diaper. Because that would have doubled our trashiness in her eyes. And I just want to be the best at everything.

It didn't phase me much, because she was my typical customer at New Balance. But I said a little prayer that God would let me get old with grace, even if it means I'm insane and waving at strangers and saying wild things and making their day. 

Ok, we're going to go outside, because it's so nice I could scream. 
PS. Leon is 71st percentile for weight (19lbs 9oz), 79th for height (28 inches), and 80th for head circumference. Healthy boy. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

So, I mentioned I'm doing that book study on Jude at the coffee shop I don't like. I told Tyler I was going to stop at Donut King and get my fave donut and take it to the coffee shop. He said I wasn't allowed. Anyway...

This morning someone was paying for their coffee and signed their name on the iPad for the credit card. When they finished they accidentally flopped the iPad screen down on the counter. The owner said, "Careful now. Nice things don't come easy to everyone." I about died laughing, and then I realized that, yes, this man is kind of an ass hole, but you get that way when you deal with all kinds of people. I am not justifying his rudeness, but maybe my heart got a little softer to this weird business owner.

Last week the question I was left with (after the bible study) was what does it look like to contend for the Gospel. Now, my initial answer, honestly, was that I don't really have to. I'm a stay at home mom. No one is threatening my right to believe whatever I want. Obviously that isn't the best answer, but it's truly how I felt. I thought about it all week and realized that not only is my view of the bible and God quite small at times, but my view of myself is so shitty. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE myself. I think I'm so funny, I think I'm right about everything, and that I'm all around pretty awesome. However, I also see myself as kind of worthless... not just as a stay at home mom, but as a woman. As a person. It's so strange how I can feel all these things about myself.

This morning someone asked what kind of coffee I was getting and I said, "I don't know, probably something girly." All things about that sentence bother me. Like that my view of myself reflects my view of women in general. That's not fair. I pretend I'm being ironic sometimes, but it's deep rooted in my insecurity and self-loathing.

This morning I was afraid to read in front of the group. Yeah, I'm still that home schooled little girl who is afraid that people will think she's dumb. Anyway, so I made myself read. And I talk. I share what I'm thinking, and usually it's just honesty about my misconception of the bible or God, or how dark my heart is, or how I don't believe I'm worth using in this Story.

I'm not sad, it's just hitting me how I hear things and say them about myself in my head and actually believe them. A lot of it is men/women things. I think reading Jesus Feminist is bringing it out of me a little more. Ah. Anyway.

Leon was a terror this morning. He's pretty good at throwing a fit when his teeth hurt. We have a pediatrician appt this morning. I'm having to fight off this odd nervousness about it. Like, I want my kid to be above average, I want my breast milk to be magical and have the healthiest kid in the world, I want her to be impressed. Jesus, help me not scar my babies. Goodness. It's not really about Leon, but my abilities as a mom to be the best. I'm praying for God to help me with that. It's ugly.

Well. I was thinking about the dumbs things I say, or the things that maybe seem too honest, or just share to much. I just say a prayer afterward that people will have grace with me. I do that every time I blog too. Wooo, it's scary.

Friday, July 11, 2014


I'm drinking coffee blended with a little honey and coconut oil, and I made us a smoothie and somecinnamon raisin ezekiel bread. It's a good Friday morning.

Tyler was in a car accident last night. He's fine, a little stiff this morning. He was driving home from work on the highway and he noticed a car darting through traffic. He thinks she overcorrected, hit the guardrail, and flipped. He said "I responded so calmly. It didn't make any sense... I hit my breaks, but not so hard that I'd get hit from behind. The airbags didn't deploy." And I was thinking, so.. you're a superhero. But really. Isn't it just like Tyler to be calm. Thankfully, lots of people were there to help the girl get out of her flipped car. She crawled out of the window screaming, and he saw blood. He said he couldn't have handled it, so he was thankful other people were there.

I had just been thinking, "Hm, Tyler is 6 minutes late. I wonder what he did differently today than he does every other day." I pictured him chatting it up like a 9 year old boy with one of his work friends. And then my mind went to chain reactions, and traffic. Traffic baffles me. And then my phone rang. I heard loud highway and my first thought was, "roll your damn windows up. rude," when Tyler said in a shaky, loud voice that he'd been in an accident and he was ok. He got emotional a couple of times. Woooo, I've been there. Adrenaline.

He got home later and was standing at the sink. I'm rude and I process things strangely. I had already texted him before he got home and told him I felt like we should go to dinner. I offered him a beer, but I forget when traumatic things happen they can be quite sobering already. He drank water. His voice had been calm the whole time, but then he said the paramedic told him if he hadn't been there to call so quickly, the girl probably would have died. At that moment he broke. I love my tender husband. God knew I needed someone with just the right amount of tenderness. Ah.

They were heading to the tow yard and the police stopped them to search her car. All they told him was that they had reason to search it.

I told Tyler this morning that when things like this happen but no one I know gets hurt, I'm like (very matter of fact) "OK. It happened. No one got hurt. It couldn't have happened any other way. No reason to get upset about it." But had he broken a bone or got a concussion, that would be a little different. Sometimes I glaze over situations and don't take a minute to say thanks to Jesus for sparing my husband, my baby's daddy. Thanks for making our life good. Thanks for making it fairly easy. We have good things, we don't sweat too much or get too cold, our bellies stay full, we have joy. And I know God would still be good if we did get hungry or chilly. I am spoiled, and I always have been. But I try to remember why things are so good. Not because I worked hard through college (I didn't, really), not because I married a perfect man (I didn't), or read all the self help books (I do), but because God is so good. And even the bad things, the broken marriages, hurricanes, death, loneliness... all of those things point to the fact that God is making all things new, and that we need him to. And all the good things, the mornings in July that feel like Autumn, a great cup of coffee, a chubby baby right after they wake up, peace that passes all understanding, these things are God's way of showing himself. And I don't say it out loud enough. I think it. I think, "thanks, God." But mostly I keep it inside my weird head. But those little bits of peace that shine through the shit... He is showing himself, because he is so Good. Thank you, Jesus, for showing yourself by letting my man walk away with not even a scratch.

Ah. Anyway. I have some reading to do. Currently, finishing Notes from a Blue Bike, just started A Practical Guide to Children's Health, and I'm reading Jesus Feminist (which is really good).

So, if you've forgotten... find a way to remind yourself that life is sweet. And if you believe in God, remind yourself that he is good.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

When it's been so long since I've blogged, I can't remember anything to tell you. So I just tell you what's in my head currently.

Tyler encouraged me to go to a morning study on the book of Jude, so I just came from that. It's weird/nice to get away in the morning for an hour. I drank some extremely hot coffee and ate a 3 day old scone, which likely attributed to the fiery diarrhea I had when I got home, or it could have been the sea salt flush I did yesterday. Either way, my poochy meat-filled tummy from this weekend is gone. WOW. I don't even care anymore, obviously. I think I talked to at least five people about pooping yesterday. I can't even stop myself.

Also, as much as I want to support a local coffee shop... I get it when people are like "Well, if you don't like it, don't come here." I have thought that about extreme jerks who came into New Balance. But I'm really nice. Even if you suck at your job, I'm nice. How about this: be friendly to your customers, let your baked goods be fresh, clean your kitchen and bathroom often, and BE NICE TO TO ME. I guess when people buy your crap regardless of the level of crappiness, you don't have to be nice. So I'll go support the coffee shop that is nice to me.

Oh, I asked the owner if he had any smaller pastries because the only thing I saw sitting out were giant cinnamon rolls. He raised his eyebrows and says, "Well, I don't know what you want.. but.. I mean, you can look at these.." and seemed perturbed, like I was wasting his time. OH, Thank you for pointing me to the hidden pastry compartment, you jackass. I apologize for not noticing your old scones in the far window.

Anyway. Good thing I studied the bible this morning (that's a joke pointing out that my heart is still ugly). I'll calm down now.

My baby is very passionate and energetic. It makes me a little nervous, but it's kind of awesome.