Saturday, January 31, 2009

jane started gymnastics today. She was so brave, so respectful to her teachers, so polite to the other children and so excited about the outfit. As far as the actual gymnastics...hmmm.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Winter Doldrums

Those close to me know that despite my melancholy adolescence, I'm a fairly upbeat person - pretty optimistic - especially in the last couple of years. This week, however, has been a challenge to my sunny disposition. No doubt the weather has played a role. I mean come on - sub-zero temperatures, interminable gray skies, snow piled upon snow (pretty much keeping us homebound) was taking a toll. "Hmm, got the winter dull-drums?" my husband said (sort of mockingly - him who could live just fine on the north pole - but give him Texas sun and he breaks out in hives).

But I did - have the winter doldrums. Nothing seemed to be working - like one of those bad dreams that you run with all of your might, but get nowhere - sweeping the floor just produced more dust and crumbs, disciplining Jane just resulted in more tantrums and our new puppy (who seemed to have mastered the housebreaking thing) had suddenly taking to pooping in the girls' pink fairy tent.

So when I woke this morning, I expected more of the same - I had, after all, heard that today's high was expected to reach a whopping -2 (that's just ridiculous). But something had shifted. As I was editing an AFR podcast last night, Dn Michael Hyatt referred to the Old Testament story regarding the Arc of the Covenant. I guess one of David's men had tried to help out and was immediately struck down dead. Sort of seems like a raw deal - but as Dn Michael points out - God doesn't need our help. That reminder lodged itself in my brain - and I awoke this morning feeling a little lighter. Of course it's not that we don't work - we do - and hard work feels good - but we don't control. Trying to control the things around me results in depression every time.

And so I will try - to pottytrain this dog and my two year old - too winterwize my old drafty house - to get the word out about Molly's amazing book - to feed my family local, wholesome foods - to teach Isabelle how to read....and on and on... but I can't and won't be able to control the outcome of my efforts. I may still find poop in the tent - but, truly, a little poop beats depression any day.

p.s - just because today really did get better, I had to post a couple more pictures. I mean, my neighbor shoveled my walkway, for goodness sake. And - Isabelle and jane got dressed all by themselves - and the sun is shining. Things are certainly looking up.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Hubby Family

Just a little shout out to my precious family in Tx. It's 20 degrees here in the greater Chicago area and snowing - again. Lola, Jane and I are freezing.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

January 6

"The word 'theophany' means 'the manifestation of God' or the 'showing forth of God'. The Orthodox Feast of Theophany is a remembrance of the Baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in the waters of the Jordan river, (Mt.3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22), and, more generally, a celebration of the public manifestation of the Incarnate Word to the world."

We got back from our Christmas trek to Texas last night - late. I woke today to the gray cold mess that I know will last for many months; trying to recapture the thrill the cold air gave me as i decorated and baked cookies a few weeks ago. it's not that our trip wasn't great - it was - it's just that living 1136 miles away from my parents, sisters and brother is a really long way. I think often of something a blogger friend wrote a few months ago about living under one roof with all of those she loves - drinking coffee until 3:00 and switching to wine after that - it sounded glorious. My fantasy is more like the compound on Big Love (sans polygamy and ugly clothes). I would love to live across the street from my sisters and mom - sharing meals with ingredients we've grown in our own gardens - I'm even trying to talk my brother into becoming a farmer (he doesn't realize that he also has to move to Indiana and live next door to me).

But I'm back home now - and everything seems foreign and overwhelming. It's like this when I've come from my mom's - like I've completely forgotten how to do laundry and make food (fortunately my amazing in-laws took us out to lunch) - unpacking the car seems in the realm of running a marathon or passing the bar. Yet despite the Talking Heads song repeating itself in my head, this is my house, and around 4:00 this afternoon I force myself to unzip a suitcase.

I guess I just feel a bit down after Christmas. I love it so much and think I run a bit on adrenaline and coffee - only to realize after the fact that I should have taken several more naps along the way. It's also two days before Isabelle's 5th birthday. "Didn't we just get you a bunch of gifts?" doesn't really sit well with a 4 almost 5 year old who wants a legitimate birthday. I think of my two close friends whose birthdays are just before and after Christmas - and I resolve to "gear up" and make the day special for my precious daughter.

This morning our priest's homily referred to Christ's fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies not only by His birth but by His ministry. Christmas is just the beginning. As I started putting away t-shirts, swimsuits (yes it can get pretty warm in Tx) and other remnants of our trip a small feeling of determination began to take root. Our priest reminded us of the value of doing the Lord's work despite "rewards." "Get busy," he seemed to be saying - not in the frenzied, manic way I'd carried out some of my holiday preparations, but in a steady, real way - "keeping our eyes fixed on the prize."

Isabelle was born on january 6th; Theophany. The longer I'm Orthodox, the more I'm realizing just how special that is. Isabelle was born just a few months after my sister Tiffany died. Her birth was ray of hope for my family. We realized that life would and could go on. Theophany - the "showing forth of God." How amazing is that?