Thursday, March 29, 2012

Being Purposeful about Whining

My New Years Resolution is to be purposeful. I realized I am doing a mediocre job of that lately. Maybe writing about different ways I am putting this into practice will hold me accountable.

Lately we have been working on the memory verse “Do everything without complaining or arguing” (Philippians 2:14). It is out of order of our memory verses but I feel that lately it is super fitting. This just in, three year olds like to whine! Who knew?! You would think the way I have responded to Hayleigh’s whining and arguing that this idea was a revelation to me. I find myself “reminding” her of this verse in a not so patient way. I find myself thinking “what could be so bad in her life!?” And that applies to Braxton to, who it seems thinks the worst possible tragedies in his life include having his diaper changed and when a gate keeps him out of the kitchen and all the cabinets have to offer. I even find myself, get this, whining and complaining to Peter at end of the day about all the whining. Seriously?!

It seems like maybe I need this memory verse as much (or more) than my three year old. Sometimes I wonder what is going through God’s mind as He looks at me complain and whine. I complain about all that I don’t have instead of looking at what I do have. And then, to top it, I complain about how all I do have is stressing me out, taking up too much of my time etc. This just in, twenty-somethings like to whine!
I am not trying to say that there is something wrong with expressing your feelings. That is cathartic. Clearly as a Psychology and Christian Counseling major, I am all about expressing our thoughts and emotions to others. It is a big part of helping us sort things out and grow. I love to have a conversation with someone where either one or both of us is expressing real, honest, raw emotions-however ugly, for the purpose of healing. I guess for me the difference is that when I whine I am not looking for a real solution; I am not looking for honest, loving, constructive support from a loved one. I am just looking for an opportunity to make myself feel better without making any changes. I am looking for someone to whine alongside me, or at least agree with me, certainly not challenge me.

I find it so refreshing, although convicting, when what I am trying to teach my daughter from the Word of God also applies to me. Isn’t it great that the Bible never gets old? The same passage that I have heard a thousand times I can see in a new light or apply to a new part of my life. I am going to work on committing this passage to memory, and hopefully to practice in my life.

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky  as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.” Philippians 2:12-18

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sickies and Spring Smiles

We are really ready for spring around here. Funny thing is, it has been a very mild winter. There were only 2 or 3 times where there was a large accumulation of snow for more than a day or two. Very unusual. But we have been sick almost non-stop since about mid December. I have made more trips to the Doctor (and paid the annoying copays!), cancelled more plans with friends (booooo) and wiped more noses than I can count. I know it all comes with the territory of having young kids and it being winter, but c'mon! This year has been the worst ever, by far! I am at my wits end, ready to be healthy, ready to be outside, ready to have a social life again (or at least something that resembles a social life).
I feel silly complaining. I know I could have it much worse than kids with colds and ear infections. I try to keep that perspective when I am ripping my hair out or actually breaking down in tears when the thermometer reads another fever. I could be much worse.
Yesterday while Braxton was taking a looong nap (for him) the Little Mama and I went outside to soak up some much anticipated sunshine. I brought the bubbles. And my camera. I had so much fun watching her enjoying being outside. It was a great way to celebrate one of the first glimpses of spring. She also relishes the rare one on one time with me. I have to admit there will always be a soft spot in my heart for just spending time with my first baby. There is just something about that smile…and that giggle…and those eyes. Although it was tough to blow bubbles and snap pictures I managed to take no less than a thousand. I just can’t help myself.

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Yep, it could be a lot worse.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

NYC

My mom and I spent Wednesday thru Sunday in The Big Apple for the Big East Tournament! It was something we had dreamed of doing since I was single digits. Finally, this year we decided the time had come and we made it happen! And I am so glad we did! Since we are both avid college basketball fans we knew we were going to be in for a treat. The games started on Tuesday but we didn’t get there until Wednesday evening. We watched two games Wednesday night and four games on Thursday including our nail bitter win over UConn. Then Friday we spent the day walking around the Upper East Side and Central Park before heading to Stout (a sports bar) for a pre-game party hosted by the Syracuse Alumni Association. Talk about lots of free SWAG! Then we went back to Madison Square Garden for two more games that night. Saturday we went to the World Trade Center Site and visited the Memorial. We also walked to the Brooklyn Bridge, around Tribeca, headed to Times Square for dinner. The we went back uptown to do a little shopping before watching the championship game that night. Then Sunday we headed home bearing gifts for my anxious babies.

My favorite moment: watching us beat Uconn surrounded by lots of crazy SU fans

My least favorite moment: getting lost walking back to our hotel at 1am

My favorite thing I bought: fun earrings from a street vendor

The best thing I ate: Crumbs cupcakes

The most memorable moment: getting off the subway near the World Trade Center Site and hearing the eerie silence. There was a sense of reverence on the streets even 10 years later.

My favorite spot: Central Park, especially after two days of frantically trying to find our way through the mess of over-crowded, dirty downtown subways

The funniest moment: toss up between my mom and I getting cursed out by a slightly crazy, very smelly guy on the subway (we DID run into him), or laughing with disgust as the guy next to us on the train back to Westchester County (where our hotel was) who picked his nose nearly the entire 30 min ride.

I took lots of pictures (but somehow we managed to not get one of ourselves at any point…grrrrr). Here is a (poor man’s) taste of our trip.

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One of the towers is half way done being rebuilt. This is also a picture of the tree that survived 9/11.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Dad on Duty Care Package

I just got back from my trip yesterday afternoon! I had so much fun  being at the Big East Tournament, seeing the City and spending time with my mom! I wish my team had done a bit better but never-the-less it was wonderful to be there after years of wishing and planning. I am still recovering from a lack of sleep and no lack of walking. We were pretty ambitious in the two full days we weren’t watching basketball. That, coupled with the fact that we were frequently lost made for miles of walking. I am a little embarrassed to say that my feet and legs are a bit sore! Can you say out of shape?! Maybe I need to hit the gym a bit more frequently!
I will post some pictures of our adventures soon. While I was gone Peter was having some adventures of his own watching the kids. I left Wednesday morning and my sister and sister in law helped out during the day. Then Peter was “on duty” from Wednesday evening until Sunday evening. Let me just say that I am so blessed to have a husband who is willing to use some of his vacation time to let me go away. Also, he really surpassed my expectations in caring for the kids and making sure that they were having lots of fun. Everyday he planned some sort of fun activity including breakfast out, a playground trip, and a trip to the children’s museum. While he said he had lots of fun making memories with them I know it wasn’t easy. So, before I left I arranged a small care package for him. It was nothing elaborate. Actually it was kind of thrown together in the last hour before I left. But I like the idea of the Dad on Duty Care Package.

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