Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Museum Of Play

Mondays are Nate’s day off so we usually try to plan to be together as a family.  Mondays are by far one of my favorite days of the week.  I love having my hubby around.  I love spending time together as a family.  I love seeing Nate give extra lovin’ to Livi.  I love having a bit of a breather from momma-ness because Nate is an extra set of hands and eyes I usually don’t have when he’s working.  So, we decided on Sunday night that we would go to the Museum of Play the following day.  For the non-Rochestarians, the Museum of Play is basically an interactive museum filled with explorative goodness for the little ones.  It’s quite a lifesaver on rainy/cold days that Rochester is so commonly known for.  I actually have a Museum of Play membership high on my priority list for Christmas this year (coughcough grandparentgift coughcough).  Hmm…I must be coming down with a cough or something?  Anyway, we spent a big chunk of the late morning and early afternoon there.  The penny pincher in me made a lunch for all of us so we could make the most of our time and money.  So the first “exhibit” we stumbled upon was good old Sesame Street.  I’ll admit it…I got more excited for the Sesame Street “house steps” than Livi did.  I saw it as a great photo op to start off our museum adventures…she saw it as a torturous, boring beginning.  If she could talk more, I could just see her saying, “Moooooooom!  Don’t make me do this.  Don’t you know Elmo’s World is right around the corner?!”  We moved on quickly.  I loved seeing Livi’s eyes light up as she explored the world around her.  It was extra fun watching Livi play and laugh with her daddy.  There’s something about the times where Nate and Livi are interacting one-on-one that is so very dear to my heart.  Sometimes, I like to just sit back and watch Livi be showered with love from the one man who currently (and I’m sure temporarily…ugh I don’t even like to think of the day she brings a boy home!) holds the key to her heart.  One time (this is a major side note and has nothing to do with the museum but I want to end with this story because it’s a fave), we had finished dinner and while we were all still sitting at the table, Livi was checking out Nate’s face.  She was studying every part of it, and when Nate would say “Where’s my __________?,” she would stick her cute, little pointer finger out and proudly show him she knew exactly what he was talking about.  She found a special interest in his stubbly chin.  She reached her hand out and was ever so gently feeling his facial features.  At this moment, I proceeded to tear up and as soon as Nate broke his gaze with his daughter’s to look across the table at me I swear I thought he thought I was mental.  It was just such a special scene for me to sit back and observe.  I told Nate, through my watery eyes, that I would take a mental picture of this moment and keep it in my mind forever.  Olivia’s not going to be this small, this explorative, this excited about new things for long.  I have GOT to remember to take one day at a time, and love my little nugget with all that I can.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Muffins With My Muffin

I really enjoy cooking and baking!...Probably more baking though because I have a major sweet tooth that gets its fix when I whip up some sugary goodness.  As Livi has grown into the toddler stage, she loves to help out around the house!  Her area of expertise is helping me with “loodee” (aka laundry).  I take full advantage of allowing her to help me out, secretly hoping to pass on some of my “chores” to her at a young age before she gets the concept of allowance.  Child labor???  Heck no!...RESPONSIBILITY!  There is one thing that I would unashamedly pass onto her though: my love for creating delicious delectables in the kitchen.  So today, I recruited her assistance in making a new and ridiculously easy recipe: Pumpkin Muffins.  I pulled a chair over to the counter for the little one to get some height, and I started off by cutting the bag of cake mix open so Livi could dump that into the bowl.  I cautiously handed her the bag, and in one swift movement she emptied half the bag of the dry cake mix into the bowl AND onto the counter.  MESS!  I nervously took over emptying the rest of the bag into the bowl.  Then came the can of pumpkin.  I scooped it out of the can in little plops over the powdery spice cake, and what happens next???...Little hands right in the gooey pumpkin plops.  MESS!  So, from this point on I pretty much took over, letting Livi experience with her eyes only.  As I began to clean up and the muffins did their thing in the oven, Livi was long gone, favoring her Sing-a-ma-jigs over her controlling Mama.  Controlling Mama…I began to think.  Why didn't I just let her dump the whole bag of cake mix by herself?  Would it really have been a big deal if half the bag got all over the counter?  I could’ve just brushed whatever ended up on the counter into the bowl!  Why did I tense up when her little hands came out of the bowl with orange goo on them?  More work for me to clean up messy hands?  She was just being a curious toddler!  I continued my thought process, and I thought of the times that I made a “mess” in my life.  I thought about how that relates with my relationship with God.  There have been so many instances in the course of my life that I've made a total mess…like not just cake mix on the counter kinda mess, but like cake mix all over the entire kitchen kinda mess.  I am so thankful that in those moments when I make a mess that God doesn't react like I did with Livi today.  Yes, God is in control of every situation, but He doesn't halt the situation I’ve created and take over as I watch from the sidelines.  He lets me learn from my mistakes, and by His amazing grace forgives me and patiently loves me through it.  I SO LONG to show that to my sweet girl!  As she grows and discovers more about her world, mistakes will be made, owies will require lots of kisses, and lessons will need to be learned.  I pray that I’ll be able to show even an inkling of what God has shown to me in the midst of my messy mistakes.  In the meantime…there’s lots of baking to do!  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Here It Goes!

I’m just gonna lay this right out on the table: I’m extremely hesitant when it comes to the blog world.  When the thought came into my mind, “Maybe I’ll start a blog!”, I pretty quickly jumped to the conclusion that it would never last and I’d drop it like a hot potato in a months’ time…if that!  Lately, I have been so inspired by other women’s blogs that have the ability to bring me to the place of encouragement, motivation, or allow me to laugh out loud at the computer screen as if it magically turned into a human being sitting in front of me telling me a funny story. 

When I think about doing something BIG…meaning it’s going to take a lot of commitment…I think…and think…and think…

I get so wrapped up in my thoughts that it paralyzes me to actually DO anything.  So, I wanted to break that habit by really truly following through and starting this blasted blog.  With all this thinking, I realized that there is a definite fear of failure too.  As I was in the midst of my thinking process, I read a chapter in a book I’ve been working through that talks about the fear of failure.  Let me just share a few choice nuggets with you that really grabbed my attention:

Sometimes the fear of failure steals the beauty we were meant to create.”

“Assuming that God is calling you to do something, you will fail by being disobedient, not by a lack of success at the task.”

“Our natural reaction when we fear failure is either to hightail it out of that situation, or perhaps more likely, to procrastinate.”

Um, can I get an AMEN on that last one!?!?  I’ve been out of college for a number of years, but when I was the studious student back in the day “procrastination” was my middle name.  FEAR OF FAILURE.  One thing I know for sure though…I may have procrastinated beginning this blog out of my fear of failure, but I am praying that God uses my fear to bring Himself glory.  Maybe…just maybe God will use my blog to reach others just like many of the other blogs I’ve come across recently.  Maybe some place, somewhere, someone can relate.  So, here it goes!