Faith Story

July29

So.

Some of you may know I’ve been cheating on my progressive church with the capital “C” Catholic Church. Most of you are probably a little confounded by this. Or a lot. I’d like to dip my toes in the water of Explaining This. I’m nervous about it. I think I’ll do a bad job. But. I’m going to take it slow. If you have questions, I will be super happy to attempt to answer them as I tell this story. Any question is cool, as long as it’s a real question. So “How can you believe such stupid bullshit?” isn’t a real question because it’s secretly a statement. However, “That whole being against contraception thing seems like stupid bullshit to me; what’s your take on that?” works for me.

Anyway.

The story kind of starts with Andrew. Although I don’t know if he really wants the blame for it! When I met him, I was kind of religiously nothing. I was always interested in religion. I had spent the last decade or so reading – Judaism, a little paganism, and finally back around to Christianity – but I kept it pretty intellectually removed from life. (Actually, I’m still good at that.) So while I was coming around to the idea that Christianity wasn’t complete made-up bullshit after all and actually had some amazing, insightful, philosophically sound qualities, I started showing up for Sunday morning services at Ye Olde Progressive Dogma-Free Church about once every six months. I’d feel the tug, go, and then be done for half a year.

My moral compass was a bit damaged, especially relationship-wise, but before I met Andy I had finally decided that marriage and family were also not a big bullshit con that I didn’t deserve anyway, but rather something of value, something I wanted. I learned that love was not the warm fuzzies I felt (all about me) but an action toward another (all about them). (Don’t get me wrong: I’m still really selfish. But at least I know better.) When I met Andy, the complete opposite of my past choices, I immediately recognized a Good Man.

(Also a cute one. And there were still warm fuzzies. But that’s not what this post is about. Ahem.)

I once saw this interview on The Daily Show. I swear it happened, though I can’t find the video. Jon Stewart was interviewing Gene Simmons. Gene was talking about his wife, but also his many other women, and giving Jon crap for being married monogamously. Jon, utterly unfazed, smiled and said, “It’s the difference between pleasure and joy, my friend.”

Ah.

Yeah. I was starting to get that distinction. Eventually, I would be able to see it in more categories of my life. I mean, that’s kind of what Christianity is selling: it seems like a rulebook to kill all pleasure, but it’s actually in order to replace it with joy.

Somewhere at about a year of dating Andy, I knew we’d be getting engaged before long, and I started going to church regularly. And Bible study. I know, it’s hard to explain. Funny thing is, before that, I could have given you plenty of historical or scientific or philosophical reasons to take Christianity seriously, but that’s not what got me through the door. There was something in me, that when I thought about having a family – family – made me seek a place to mark those milestones. What I told Andy after we were engaged, when trying to decide what kind of wedding we’d have, was that I didn’t know what I believed about God, but I knew this was sacred.

And that’s how it started. Family turned me to God. Family is where I saw God. Family is where a lot of abstract theological concepts started to make gritty, real-life sense to me. Sacrificial love? Got it. The interplay between justice and mercy? Totally, we’ve got kids. Good and Evil and Love and Free Will as very real things and not meaningless terms we attach to biological impulses or whatever? Uh, hell yeah. All that is grand and cosmic is also right here in my house.

So. That’s the beginning.

 

Audrey Contemplates the Nature of Family

July24

“Does everyone have a Mom and Dad?

She asks this a lot. Short answer, yes. Biologically. Long answer…whew…baby steps on that one. I heard her talking about dead parents while she was playing yesterday. Dammit, Frozen. Also, we have covered adoption. Well, we continue to cover it, as I’m sure it’s not easy to grasp.

“Are there two kinds of Mommies?”

Okay, I think she’s asking about adoption, so I’m going to talk about adoption again. There’s a Mommy who grows a baby in her belly and a Mommy who takes care of that baby forever.

“Do I have two kinds of Mommies?”

Nope. Just one. Just me. I did both those things.

“Is Grandma your mom?”

Asked with a bit of humor, because she knows Grammy is my mom. But she also knows Grams is Daddy’s mom, so…Okay. Here we go. Grandma is Daddy’s Stepmother. See, Grandpa is Daddy’s Daddy. And Grandma is married to Grandpa. That’s how she’s a Grandma. Does that make sense?

“It doesn’t make sense, but it’s kind of sense-y!”

Excellent.

I’m sure the questions will never get harder than this…

posted under Audrey, wisdom | No Comments »

Facebook, You Suck

July20

I undertook a Facebook fast over a month ago. I was making myself miserable with that thing: obsessively reading everyone’s opinion on every damn thing; not having the strength of character to avoid engaging people on their awful different points of view; ignoring my family, the natural world and God because I had so many worthless articles queued up to read, unable to be alone with myself. There’s more but I’m getting stressed listing it all.

You guys, I’ve been so happy. It’s been so peaceful. When I read about all those Supreme Court rulings, it was so not anxiety-producing. I could just read the news! That was it! I’ve been spending so much time getting offended at people’s offendedness and this whole time I didn’t have to live that way!

I read books. Actual books! Even made of paper! Suddenly the physical world has more appeal. It’s like that’s where existence is or something.

I was a hardcore FB ascetic for a while but I’ve cheated a little bit. I’ve checked in on a couple of friends, I’ve sold some diapers and bought some math books, I’ve gone a few inches down my feed and “liked” whatever good stuff I found at the top. I posted about my baby’s birthday and that was lovely.

I know you normal people can do moderation and maybe I can to, I don’t know. But I found myself commenting on someone’s post today, then going back ten minutes later and deleting it because of the anxiety it left in the pit of my stomach. I’m always fighting that compulsion to comment on controversy, and then waiting scared for someone to get mad at me. It’s messed up. I don’t have the constitution for this.

So. For now, I guess I’ll keep doing little drive-by lurks. Make sure I don’t miss any new babies, that kind of thing. But I’ve got to be careful.

I’ve really liked being happy.

Zachary’s First Birthday

July18

My little bitty baby that I just had…

250 (768x1024)

…is one year old.

IMG_20150717_080711_134

He drives cars now.

Sigh.

We made him a cake. This is Andrew hammering some hard candy for my sugar sculpture (I’m making that sound fancier than it is.)

IMG_20150718_094757_385

We made jokes about playing Candy Crush. Mostly me. Andrew mostly didn’t laugh. Cause I’m not funny.

This was the cake. (All the pics from here on out are my dad’s. He’s awesome.)

P7180001

It’s a campfire! Cause it was a cowboy birthday. (This is totally what cowboys do, right?)

P7180018

Sure they do.

This is me awkwardly reading a blessing (off my phone) for my beautiful child. I wasn’t so much awkward in real life as awkward in my head cause I feel like I’ll never get used to acting like a religious person out loud. If that makes sense.

P7180017

But these babies made the sacred all obvious in my life, so that’s what I do now.

P7180021

I’m all full of sloppy emotion over this boy. My sister-in-law was all, “It was hard when my last baby turned one too,” and I said, “Last?!?!? Oh, no, if I thought about it that way, I’d be much worse. I haven’t given up hope yet!!!!

P7180027

P7180010

 

P7180022

 

Love you, baby boy. May you enjoy many, many more happy trips around the sun.

 

 

 

 

It’s Pictures Again

July15

Since we last talked…

Fourth of July.

IMG_20150704_164413_336

IMG_20150704_164426_543

 

 

IMG_20150704_191225_529

Zachary had his first Zoo train ride that he could really appreciate.

IMG_20150707_135613_867

Audrey learned how to do this.

IMG_20150709_182812_247

Zachary learned how to do this.

IMG_20150708_184150_142

IMG_20150715_085856_854

 

And tomorrow he’s one year old.

I have a lot to say but have lost the urge to talk quite so much. Well, type so much. I still talk a lot. Maybe soon. Got to go watch The Jim Gaffigan Show. I’m very excited about that.

posted under Audrey, husband, TV, Zachary | Comments Off on It’s Pictures Again

Adorable Pictures, Part 428

July2

Continuing the long on pictures/short on content blog series (apparently), here: we splashed in the kiddie pool this week.

 

IMG_20150630_154052_618

IMG_20150630_154020_699

IMG_20150630_154004_325

IMG_20150630_153956_710

 

Admit it, that’s more interesting than my thoughts on the Supreme Court, right?

posted under Audrey, Zachary | Comments Off on Adorable Pictures, Part 428

You Could Die From Such Cute

June29

cwvDm9asA3Lw9bN3Ifl5esWDJpg

Seriously.

cwvDm9asA3Lw9bOGIfl5esWDJpY (1)

Whut? You’re adorable.

cwvDm9asA3Lw9bOGIfl5esWDJpY

I. Can’t. Stand. It.

 

Audrey and I took a trip down the party aisle at Hobby Lobby for first birthday inspiration and I had an unnatural compulsion toward the cowboy stuff. There was nothing I could do. It had to be a cowboy party. So I did this to him, made my dad take pictures, and put that squishy cuteness on the invites. (I didn’t need invites, it’s just a family party, what is wrong with me….)

A couple more weeks till I have a one-year-old.

Whaaaat?

posted under Zachary | 3 Comments »

Audrey Contemplates Life

June28

Audrey pops out of her room after not napping for an hour.

“Mom? How much tall will I be when I get bigger?”

“Maybe as tall as me. What do you think?”

“Mom…? Will you…be here…when I get bigger?”

Oh, crap. After months of watching Frozen, Audrey only today asked why Anna and Elsa’s parents had to leave.

“Yeah, baby. I’ll be here while you grow up. That’s my job. To help you grow up so you can be a mommy someday if you want to.”

Audrey thinks.

“I don’t want to drink wine.”

Ha. Hahahahaha.

“You don’t have to, baby.”

posted under Audrey, wisdom | Comments Off on Audrey Contemplates Life

We Got Class

June24

We’re moseying through the homeschool year we started…when did we start?…March?…I don’t even know. We skipped it the week of Vacation Bible School and haven’t gotten back in the groove. But on and off, we accomplish a few things.

Audrey’s working on the basics of sounding out short words but it still mostly eludes her. She writes letters by tracing over my highlighter letters.

IMG_20150525_071908_673

We read tons of stories. We learn what different people do in a society. We learn about animals and nature. I’m not being cute with the “we,” I often learn something new from the prekindergarten curriculum.

IMG_20150422_163529_788

Here’s a little experiment with displacement after reading a fable about a crow and a pail of water. I don’t know that the physics sunk in (she’s still three, you know) but she loooooooved tossing pebbles in water.

That’s the story on the schoolin’ front. The rest of Audrey’s time is spent narrating her life in song. It’s pretty dramatic around here.

Fiber Cannon

June16

Baby eats bananas.

IMG_20150617_182708_662

Baby gags on bananas.

IMG_20150617_182717_252

 

I’m not supposed to find that hilarious, right? It’s just that I’ve gotten used to him gagging on everything, since he was tiny and sticking fingers too far down his throat. I’m always vigilant and a tiny bit terrified, but mostly just resigned to it.

Posting from the pediatrician’s parking lot. We’re early, baby’s napping, so we’re biding time. Audrey is checking out the state map. Audrey’s about to get checked out for constipation. We’ve always had some difficulty with poop, but we may have gotten to a bad place. I’m extremist, so we’ve cut all dairy from our cheesy diet, and putting better things in her. Her body was never into it anyway, though her soul sure was. Must dissent from Big Dairy propaganda and be healthier! (See, I’m extremist.) (For now.)

I’ll leave you with these words of wisdom from Andy when I was pregnant with Audrey:

“Keep that fiber cannon loaded!”

 

posted under Audrey, food, husband, pregnancy, Zachary | Comments Off on Fiber Cannon
« Older Entries