Thursday, March 11, 2010

Silly: Ruh-Roh, Scooby

I've done the unthinkable.

Yesterday, I became friends with my boss on Facebook. (Hi Blair, if you're reading.)

I've actually seen articles in credible periodicals debating whether or not this is a good idea. First of all, that Facebook is taking up valuable article space in different newspapers and magazines is so laughable to me I can't imagine how the guy who invented it feels. He is laughing all the way to the bank, to be sure. Secondly, the whole reason to "not be friends with the boss" boils down to the potential that the boss may see pictures of their employee doing something they shouldn't be doing.

This leads me to my rant, which sounds scarily like the lectures my mom and dad gave me growing up but that's neither here nor there.

The bottom line is that if you're doing things that your boss shouldn't see, you shouldn't be stupid enough to post pictures of that behavior on Facebook. It goes back to what my mom would say when I'd ask to stay out later than my midnight curfew. "Nothing good happens after midnight," she'd say. You know what? She was right. Nothing good ever DID happen after midnight.

There was a time in my life that I was participating in behavior that I wouldn't want my boss (parents, "responsible" friends, etc) to see pictures of. I'm so glad that's not true anymore. I have friends who are still living lifestyles that they probably don't want the boss to know about. I'm too tired to maintain all those personalities anymore, and not just because I'm 30 weeks pregnant.

So anyway, I'm pretty secure in what "the boss" will see if he decides to snoop around my Facebook profile. (whew!) Can you say the same?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Silly: Geez, a two week break?

I didn't mean to take two weeks off, but boy has a lot happened since the last time I blogged. Let me sum up:
  • Thursday, Jan. 28: We listed our house "just to see what would happen." We settled in for the long process of selling a home.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 10: We got an offer on the house for 99% of our asking price. Um...what? 13 days later?!? God is really doing crazy things. We accepted the offer. (Duh.)
  • Thursday, Feb. 11 (morning):  We put an offer on a little place we found in Brown farm.
  • Thursday, Feb. 11 (afternoon): The offer on the little place was accepted.
  • Thursday, Feb. 11 (early evening): Community Auto called and said they had administered Last Rites to our sweet little Saturn, Ruthie. She needs an overhaul that will cost more than she is worth.
  • Thursday, Feb. 11 (later evening): I got so overwhelmed I couldn't stop crying. The house thing is ca-razy. I am so sad about my little Ruthie, but I know it'll work out just fine.
My lack of brain space has resulted in absolutely *nothing* profound coming from me tonight. Really, I am just so humbled at God's provision and timing: if all goes as planned, we close on both houses on Wednesday, March 31 and will presumably be (mostly) settled before the baby comes in May. The new house is smaller square footage wise, but it sits on 1/4 of an acre! So, Olivia will have a swingset and the dogs will get to run around! There is open space behind us and it's going to be so fun.

More later. Peace out, homies.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Serious: Miscellaneous

1. We are selling the house, without any idea about where we're going next. (We'll stay in Ft. Collins.) That's interesting. It's also interesting to get a house ready to sell. Good night nurse. I'm exhausted, and I haven't even been doing any of the heavy lifting. (Thanks, Reza.)

2. Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Michelle Obama and various members of congress are wearing purple items of clothing during tonight's State of the Union Address. Believe it or not, that's the kind of thing I went to graduate school to study, so my most educated guess is that they're trying to unite the red and blue parties. My personal opinion is that it will take more than purple clothes to do that. All of President Obama's speeches are starting to sound the same to me. Regardless of your political affiliation, his tone and cadence are the same time after time. Somebody ought to tell him to mix it up. Good thing I didn't have a blog during President Bush's speaking years. Yikes. Also, Nancy Pelosi's little crush on the President is disturbing.

3. Olivia has learned to buckle herself in to her high chair. It's become a fun little game. After she's done eating, I unbuckle her and she rebuckles herself in. This goes on a couple of times. We've learned that she wants to get out of the chair with the buckles still attached. So, she'll rebuckle it, then reach up for me to get her out. Obviously, I can't get her out without unbuckling her again. This upsets her, so she sits down, buckles up, and reaches for me again. This goes on over and over until I unbuckle her and then quickly (before she can rebuckle) lift  her out. Frankly, it's a little maddening sometimes that she doesn't "get it" that she needs to be unbuckled.

At the risk of sounding preachy, I wonder how many of us take for granted the "unbuckling" God has done for us? God sent His Son to die on the cross to literally "unbuckle" us from the grasp that sin has on us. Even if we are believers in the atoning death of Christ on the cross (I realize that not everyone reading this may be) how many times do we "buckle back up" into the same mistakes we've already made over and over again? And, because we believe in the atoning work of Jesus, we reach up to God the Father and say "help me! Get me out!" He reminds us that we've been "unbuckled," but it's familiar to stay buckled. It's comfortable. It's easy. We like the "security" that comes along with being buckled. It's not safe to follow Christ. Frankly, it's risky business. There are no guarantees, this side of heaven, of comfort, or ease, or happiness, or security, or any of the things our humanity demands. So, we stay comfortably buckled up.

My challenge to you tonight? Don't rebuckle! Let God swiftly take you out of your unbuckled chair on to a new adventure.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Serious, Kinda: Childbirth

I just read a Facebook status update of a friend of mine from high school. She had a baby girl earlier this week. (Yay! Congrats! Everyone is healthy, which is really what matters in the long run.) Her labor was 27 hours long, (that's longer than it takes for Jack Bauer to catch The Bad Guys) and the baby had a 14" head.

And she had no drugs.

When I was young, I had visions of myself doing that. In fact, my original thought about Olivia's delivery was in the peace and quiet of my own home, in the bathtub. I would be so focused on my job (that's why they call it labor) that I would peacefully and calmly push her out into the warm water, where she would enjoy a gradual transition from the womb. We would both cry, and angels would probably sing.

I remember telling these plans to another friend of mine, who now has four children, but was also pregnant at the time. She looked at me like I was crazy. She's a big fan of the epidural and couldn't see why anyone would attempt to welcome a child without the drugs that the Good Lord allowed to be created. In my mind, I judged her. "Wimp," I thought.

Then, on August 28, 2008 at 8am in the morning, my midwife entered my hospital room (that was my compromise: still a midwife, but in the hospital, just in case anything went wrong) and broke my water to induce Olivia's birth. The bath tub was full of warm water for me to labor in. Reza had scripture written on cards that he was going to read to me to get through the contractions. My sister was there, ready to give a massage at any given time. They had the TENS unit on hand, in case I needed it to distract me from the contractions.

Sitting in the water grossed me out.

Reza couldn't read anything aloud through the screaming.

Massage annoyed me.

The TENS unit (a device that sends electrical pulses through your skin at a level of your choosing) only made me hurt from the outside AS WELL AS the inside.

I cried "uncle" at noon. After only four agonizing hours, I was only 4 cm (out of 10) dialated. Turns out, I am a wuss! I could have kissed the anesthesiologist after she gave me that epidural. I have nothing to prove to anyone. God knows I am a wuss. Reza knows I am a wuss. My sister knows, probably best of all actually, that I am a wuss. Still, they all let me try it out.

After the epidural, Reza, my sister and I all had a pleasant afternoon playing UNO until Olivia got here at 5:12pm. It was the best UNO game I can remember in a l-o-n-g time.

This time, there will be no delaying the epidural. In fact, I have a doctor's appointment this coming Tuesday; maybe I'll just ask them to give it to me then for the remaining 16 weeks of my pregnancy.

For you women who can do it: Go YOU! You're awesome. But please don't judge my wussiness.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Serious: Reflections of a Crazy Pregnant Woman

I think the books call it "nesting."

My husband calls it "crazy."

This weekend, while Reza was skiing in Steamboat with 87 other people, I went to Staples Office Supply (where Olivia had a meltdown of epic proportions, by the way) and purchased 50 cardboard office storage boxes. My sister Kendall came over and we sorted baby clothes, which are generous hand me downs from numerous friends. By the time we were finished, we had 28 boxes of clothes sorted and labeled and stacked neatly on the Air Hockey Table I am dying to get rid of. (Full sized...$150...anybody interested?) Kendall had to go home after that, but we had so much fun looking at all the baby girl clothes!

Then, I filled up 22 more boxes in the basement, organizing stuff that had been stacked in laundry baskets or mismatched rubber tubs that may or may not have lids. Oh, those boxes are so pretty. They're all the same size, and they're easy to label and look as neat as storage can possibly look.

Then, Sunday, I went back to Staples and got 20 more boxes.

I cleaned the front hall closet.

I cleaned out Olivia's closet.

I may have put the pug in one of the boxes - I haven't seen him for a while, but there's no box labeled "Harley."

KIDDING! He's right here next to me on the couch.

Then, last night I cleaned out the office closet and my side of our closet. (Reza had done his side a week ago or so.) You should have seen the stack of trash. I think I took 14 or 15 bags of clothes to the GoodWill. Reza came home at about 8pm last night to chaos. He had to sort through his hats and coats "right now!" And help me load the bags in the car "right now!" And take the trash to the garage "right now!" Poor guy.

This afternoon I did the guest bathroom and our bathroom. Four more bags of trash - nothing to donate there. I cleaned 8 empty contact lens cases with a spare toothbrush.

To compound the "nesting" issue, we are listing our house with our fabulous realtor, Joanne DeLeon ( on Friday, and everyone knows that clutter won't sell a house. Reza (accurately) assessed that I'm trying to do everything BEFORE the stager comes to tell me what we need to do to get this house sold, which is as ridiculous as it gets.

Welcome to the insanity of pregnancy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Serious: Just a couple things

Two things tonight.

1. As I have been struggling with doing what is right vs. what is easy, this verse got sent to me today: "For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right." (Psalm 84:11) I don't believe it's a coincidence, and I have to remember that the Lord doesn't promise us "easy." Looks like "right," here I come.

2. I am devastated for Haiti, and so angry at the people who are saying that it's "because they made a deal with the devil," or "made the wrong god angry." What good can come from saying any of that? There are people dying of thirst, hunger, or because they were crushed by debris...dead laying in the streets...survivors walking around numb trying to find their loved ones. WHY would anyone throw salt in those wounds? People in leadership positions should be the first to stand up and say that Christians will be praying for those affected - NOT giving Christians a bad name by saying such nonsense. It infuriates me. I am praying for Haiti, and hope you'll join me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Serious: Yin and Yang

Last night, Reza and I got into a really interesting "discussion." We were teasing each other about it on our stupid Facebook profiles, (lame, I know) and I promised a rousing science lesson for my next blog post, so here it is.

Our discussion was about whether or not muscles pull and push. Reza says they only pull. Since he was an exercise science major, he must be right, but I don't really understand why. Some people have tried to explain it to me, and I understand for a minute while they're talking, but then it leaves my mind again. So, the physical science lesson here is "ask Reza if you want to know about muscles pulling and pushing."

My science lesson is going to be more analogous than anything. See, this isn't the first time that Reza has had to explain sciency stuff to me. We've had conversations about whether trees have feelings, the difference between a mammal animal categories, and the snow cycle in the Colorado mountains, among other sciency things. He knows the answers to all those things! Just off the top of his head. It's impressive to me, because I don't. I also don't have the heart that Reza has. There is no more merciful soul than my husband's. He gives *everyone* the benefit of the doubt, and trusts people until they give him reason not to. He will shovel anybody's driveway and help anyone in need, at any time. He will drive to the airport at 3am if you need him to. He defines "extravert." He is smart, compassionate, talented, loving, hilarious, and his servant heart is beyond explanation. To watch him take care of our little girl is heaven on earth for me.

I, on the other hand, can thoroughly and completely explain the difference between to, too and two, discuss speech audience analysis and put together a budgeting spreadsheet like nobody's business. I have a completely overdeveloped sense of justice, and insane OCD tendencies, especially when it comes to counting and odd numbers. I am embarrassed to confess that I don't always give everyone the benefit of the doubt and it takes a while for me to trust. I'm terribly unlikely to give up sleep for any reason. I like policies, procedures and rules. I am the one who reads every syllable of the manual that comes with the new gadget. I have to gear up to be around people, which surprises some because of how outgoing I am. I am a definite introvert.

So what's the "science lesson" I promised?? It's balance. Reza is the yin to my yang. The Fred to my Ginger. The fine wine to my cheese. The banana to my Cheerios. His strengths complement my own in ways that make us strongest together, and that is a God thing. The "science" of this is the miracle of God bringing two broken people together in a broken world to walk through things together.

The truth is that Reza is a much better husband than I am wife. What a blessing he is to so many people - especially to me, Olivia, and our extended family. When I first thought about starting this blog, I had a specific name that I wanted to call it. I googled the name to see if it was available, and it's already taken, so I clicked on it to see what it was like. It's written by a pastor's wife who is anonymously complaining about her husband and all the hypocritical things that he does. I am so thankful that I don't have a story like that. I was heart broken for this woman, but wanted to make sure that I go out of my way to publicly say how RAD my husband is. :) Not perfect. But perfect for me, a gift straight from the Lord.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Silly: I lied.

I did think of something else tonight. Not a shock, I'm sure.

I've had to buy completely different maternity clothes for this pregnancy since Olivia was born in late August, it's a different wardrobe than winter. I bought a piece of clothing the other day that I have to tell you about.

I saved the receipt from Target ( for the $24.99 pair of "Be Maternity" leggings by Ingrid and Isabel, because I thought for sure I'd be returning them. First of all, leggings? What is this, the 80s? Why am I wasting my time? Secondly, $24.99 for them? You must be kidding. I was quite certain that our financial advisor Dave Ramsey ( would not approve. Then, I got them home and tried them on.

Oh. My. WORD.

I may never take them off. Even after the baby comes. Maybe I'll wear them while I'm in labor, I don't know. They're incredible. It feels like I'm wearing jammies, which I prefer to real

So if you are pregnant, know someone who is pregnant, might ever become pregnant, or might ever be married to someone who might become pregnant, I suggest you go to Target and pay the $24.99 for the Be Maternity leggings. It'll be the best $24.99 for maternity clothes you will ever spend.

Ok, I'm really done. I'm going to go spend some time with my husband. The laptop isn't as cuddly as he is.

Serious: Right vs. Easy

I hate that the right thing is not the easy thing. I have been grappling with this for weeks and weeks and it is so frustrating to me that it's not easier to do the right thing. What is *that* about? You would think that it would be an easy decision to do the right thing, but it isn't, always.

That's all I got tonight.

Silly: Funny Truths of the Day

The difference between men's brains and women's brains - the mystery unraveled! This comedian is a former Pastor who now gives seminars on healthy marriages. Enjoy this silly laugh!

Here's another one he does about having to ask your husband to do something more than once. Too funny! No wonder studies have shown that women speak twice as many words per day as men...we're constantly repeating ourselves!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Serious: An after thought

I need to keep reminding myself about where my identity should come from. I'm realizing how much I identify myself through my job - yeesh, I can't believe how much I identify myself through my job. This truth has hit home in recent weeks more so than ever and I don't like it.

I identify myself through my role as a wife, mother, daughter, sister. "Pastor's wife" is an absolutely loaded identity that sometimes makes me want to take a nap if I think about it too much. What a blessing it is to be married to a pastor that doesn't expect me to wear flowered dresses or play the piano, though, because my thighs might start a fire if I wear dresses too much, and "Heart and Soul" (the only song I can play on the piano) isn't really good church music.

Kidding aside, it's curious how we identify ourselves isn't it? Our jobs, our familial relationships - maybe our bank account balance, or the square footage of our house, or how many Facebook friends we have. I struggle with this, because as a (stumbling, but trying hard to follow Christ) Christian, my identity should come only from my relationship with Him.

But, no matter how confused I get, I am God's kid, first and foremost. He loves me more than I can imagine. Jeremiah 29:11 promises me that He has "plans to prosper me and not harm me; plans to give me hope and a future." That's something to take to the bank, right there.

Here we go...

Well, I'm jumping on the Bandwagon and starting a blog. For some reason this seems like a better alternative than journaling; I don't know why. Maybe sorting through some of my thoughts this way will help keep me sane through the last 18 weeks of this pregnancy! Pregnancy brain is definitely a real phenomenon. I'm so scattered and unreliable that I'm certain I shouldn't even be allowed to go in public. But alas, I fact, work started again this week, which means I'm actually responsible for helping educate part of America's future. Lord help us all.

One thing that is on my mind right now is our Tupperware Cabinet. Are we the only ones that have this household problem? The Tupperware Cabinet is so chaotic that Reza (my husband) won't even open the door. Part of the problem is that our toddler enjoys playing in it, so any hope of keeping it organized is thrown out the window virtually with the start of every day. Part of the problem also is that it's so hard to keep the lids and the containers together and/or straight. It's ridiculous, really, how long it takes to find a lid that matches a container.

Basically, the rest of our kitchen is pretty well organized. Sure, there are some exceptions, and some days are better than others, but The Tupperware Cabinet is definitely the messiest part of our kitchen. Always. It's tucked away in the corner, conveniently hidden behind a door and nobody would know that it's chaotic in there unless they open the door.

Then I think about how really, truly I am like the kitchen. For the most part, I can present myself as pretty "with it," like the majority of the kitchen. But I have a couple psychological "Tupperware Cabinets." These are areas of my life that I don't willingly share with others - sometimes not even my husband. I don't say that with pride.

One thing that I claim is very important to me is to be transparent with the people around me. But when I think about my psychological "Tupperware Cabinets," I realize that it's not a Truth that I'm living. I like people to see the cleaned up kitchen...but do everything I can to make sure that nobody comes near those "Tupperware Cabinets."

Ouch. That hurts.

As a Christian, I value authenticity. I value honesty. I value transparency. I value those who are "real." And yet...I'm not nearly as authentic as I want to be. Or honest. Or transparent. So here I am. Admitting that my "Tupperware Cabinets" exist.

This is a risky little game. (Thanks Rachel Greene, Friends Season 8, episode 1, "The one after I do.") It may mean that somebody reading this will actually open a Cabinet and see the mess. I'll just tell you right now that I won't blog about the Cabinet Contents - that's a little too much disclosure, even for me. But I am admitting that I need people more than I've allowed myself to. I need more deep connection with my girlfriends. I need to apologize to you women I've held at an arms length - out of fear that you might get near those Tupperware Cabinets.

So, it's a New Year, and a New Attitude. The softer side of Allyson has to be able to come through. Ugh. I don't do the softer side well. Thanks for the help, friends. 2010 will be interesting...