Friday, January 26, 2007

revgal Friday Five

Per the revgalblogpals friday five, "In this week that looks unlikely to hold a complete day off, I am pondering renewal. List four ways you like to relax or give yourself a break. Then name a fifth, something you've never been able to do, a self-care dream."

I used to be the great upholder of Sabbath and self-care. That sort of ended at some point along the way and I'm mourning the loss. However, I'm excited to be working with this new colleague who actually said to me a couple weeks ago -- "So, you're going to take tomorrow off to compensate for the confirmation retreat this weekend, right?" And was pretty insistent, too. Anyway... onto self-care.

1. Massage.

2. Pedicure, even better if I'm able to spend some time reading (trashy novel) while having this done.

3. Library time. Alone. Untimed. No agenda.

4. Sleeping in. Little chance for this to happen since the birth of the kidlet nearly two years ago, but still a lovely idea.

5. The dream? I always have great ideas about a time away -- a retreat or vacation, waking up without having to tend to anyone else, perfect weather, etc. I know, it's a dream. This dream also involves chocolate, wine, candles, reading, etc.

How about you -- what's your self-care all about?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Because all the cool kids are doing it

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Duchess Pink Shoes the Sophisticated of Heffton St Mallet
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A bit like marbles

Someone pondered about me once, Do you hear the words that come to you, or do you see them, when they first enter your mind. That would be interesting to know about you, she said.

I remember feeling flattered, that somehow she -- this woman I admired and viewed as an artist, from the way she carried herself to the way that she spoke and the glasses she wore (because they make all the difference, I know) -- that she wanted to know about what happened inside my brain, that she somehow thought it to be a process. That the words that I was bringing forth had something of a creative origin.

Some of them do, I know, though I don't always admit it. While I'd never thought of it before she asked me I know now that I hear them, that they take on voice and character, spunk and sass, that if I'm to speak them, they might have a head-tilt or a lilt, or a coy little flutter about them, even while in my mind. Others, of course, have to be pulled out of me as a deadline approaches, with dull and voiceless often being the result.

For a few days now I've had some ideas rolling around in my head, nothing of great inspiration or worth. Ideas that could become essay-like blog posts, or that might develop into a conversation with a friend, if that were to happen. One of them has to do with modesty about the body -- our personal modesty and how it changes in different situations. I know that as I ponder and project statements about modesty as being "cultural" I have to force myself to distill my own statements from the wider public. I am not the culture, though I reflect and partake in it. I can't give my baggage or issues or passion to the culture without owning it as my own.

Another has to do with personal evaluation and leadership roles for me in the congregation. A new paradigm has begun and we are working hard to be intentional and healthy, but at the end of the day, after I've done it all or tried, I'm scared and tired. I know that's normal (whatever), but I'm also trying to get my own stuff together.

Doing what I do, day in and day out, has a lot to do with words. Maybe not all pastors see it that way, but my life has always had a lot to do with words, so that didn't change when I went to seminary or was ordained. Perhaps it's more true to say that I have a lot to do with words. These ideas in my head have words that go with them -- some loud and uncontained, others smooth and beautiful. I see the images, hear the words, that tonight are all a bit like marbles.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Reading again

Looking for a good, somewhat quick, read that weaves spirituality in between travel (Crete), romance, and creativity? I'd recommend Rosanne Keller's A Summer All Her Own. It came as no surprise to me that Ms. Keller has two theology degrees, but not in that sickening, I-feel-like-I'm-reading-something-for-work way. Instead it was more like finding delightful little depth-connections that I didn't expect in what I thought was simply going to be another semi-fluffy girly read.

And, on the other end of the spectrum... as if there aren't enough alphabet books out there, and already in our possession, I couldn't resist the Z is for Zamboni board book the other day. It made my MN roots sing as I recalled days in high school during state tournament time when instead of having actual gym class, we watched the games that were being broadcast. My hometown is too small to have a team, but that doesn't mean that most folks there don't know someone who plays or who did. Over Christmas the game with my in-laws became, "Name everyone we know who plays or has played in the NHL." The bonus of the book is W, "for Wickenheiser and other women who paved the way." For the last two nights, our son has asked to read "Hockey" as his bed-time story. We're working on Zamboni.

(FYI: I get no proceeds from the links.)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Little One

I don't do a lot of the things that (maybe) other mothers do -- I didn't write letters to the unborn child, though I think it's a brilliant idea. I did save some emails that I sent to friends, and wish I hadn't hit delete on some others, though. We haven't done as much videotaping and montaging as we should. I have a couple of baby books started, but well, that's it.

I've saved every update from the pediatrician and they're all in a box -- one of many boxes currently waiting to be unpacked in the basement. I've made some digital photo pages that I'm proud of, but he'll be hard-pressed to brag about the impeccable record-keeping that we did with him. And yet.

There have been moments this past week, as he's fully felt better and we've all been settling back into a new routine of working (Mommy, office. Daddy-office. Coffee-office.), and daycare, and my mother (Grammie) being here and leaving again, there have been moments of pure bliss. Little tender moments of him sleeping, or not -- staying up far later than he ever has, and we as his parents simply rolling with it. Because really, trying to reason with a non-tired toddler... yep. He rolled a choo-choo into a spot that he couldn't get and proceeded to squish his face down into the space and ask, "Doing down there?" with perfect inquisitive inflection. Indeed, little choo-choo, what are you doing down there?

Tonight he took a bath (which means I took one, too) and he wanted more and more and more lotion (which he calls "ocean") and so there were bubbles and bubbles and bubbles, because of course the bath ocean is soap. And I was astounded again at his understanding as I dried him off and he ran (naked) after the kitties, squealing the whole time in delight, and then he turned to me and said, "Comb, hair. Mommy comb." And we put him in his snuggly pjs and soon he was asleep.

I peeked not long ago and his hair is all squrmshed up in the back where it was still wet and he fell asleep, but he's clutching his bankie in his fist and there's a faint smile on his face. And I realize, more for myself than anyone else, that it doesn't matter how I catalog his height and weight, if I remember what his first word is or more importantly that I didn't write it down. It's not a competition between me and the "other mothers" that I've created in my mind. Tonight, more than anything, it's about being overwhelmed with the love that I have for him -- absolutely overwhelmed.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Nearly a year ago, I confessed to loving magazines and several of you weighed in on your own reading habits and gave several good suggestions. One of the delights that I indulged upon the other day was to purchase a number of magazines that we don't subscribe to, and lazily leaf my way through them. Some were art, some were reading, some were trivia and collections. All were wonderful.

I'm in the process of compiling a list, but wonder what magazine(s) you'd add to it -- what do you look forward to every week, two weeks, month. What do you guiltily purchase at the checkout stand? What do you savor, night after night? What magazines do you save, long after you've read them -- simply because they're too pretty, full of inspiration, might be useful, someday?

Look for list coming soon!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Wednesday -- It's really Wednesday?

Wow, I have no idea where the past days have gone -- I mean, when I look at a calendar and realize that I've been consumed with taking care of my child and settling into a new house and starting back to work my new colleague, then it makes sense. (Not to mention the fabulous time with friends that I had in my own home on New Year's Eve.) But there's also that startling disconnect of remembering that I had a conversation with a dear friend the other day, and the realizing that it was yesterday.

That conversation is but one of the random floaties that I'm experiencing -- delightful things that I can't always seem to place in the appropriate time/space. Others include buying many magazines and indulging in their beauty; getting caught up on reading my bloglines, or at least skimming appropriately; actually leaving a comment or two around the blogs; procuring a library card for the new community in which I now live; smiling in delight at learning (via their Christmas letter) that a former boyfriend and his wife are expecting their first child; making many phone calls and getting -- surprisingly -- a lot done at work.