Meditating on packing

I'm going to try to play a little catch up tomorrow and this weekend. I've got a lot of things planned for this weekend but hopefully having some blogging time will keep me from getting to frantic.
Here are two pictures from the ride to Colorado. I had packed lots of toys for Ruby but her favorite by far was a water bottle. Hours of fun.

Hopefully I've learned my lesson in over packing form this trip and from now on pack lighter. We didn't need as many clothes, blankets, toys, etc. as I had anticipated. Meditating on the idea of packing lighter reminds me that not only do I pack more than I need I own (and buy) more than I and my family needs. Over the next few months, hopefully before June I hope to have accomplished these goals:

  • Donate/Refashion/Get rid of the 80% of my wardrobe that I don't wear and learn to accessorize with the 20% that I do wear (or 60 - 40... I've heard the statistics but I may need to start small. Lets not get crazy!)
  • Get rid of more books/crafts/old papers and such that I don't need. I remember reading this really interesting article that a man wrote about how we keep certain things because they represent the kind of people we wish we were. For example, I have a box of yarn in my closet for because I want to knit more, be a "knitter" and wear knitted things although my time nor my energy are best spent on knitting. I enjoy it ok but I'd rather be doing other things. I used to buy patterns and fabric for dresses and 5 piece suits because I wanted to sew well and dress like that even though my skill nor my lifestyle were (are) in line with them.
  • Keep my house clean and clutter free. If there's a spot that keeps clutter I need to ignore out why and do something about it. If I hate dusting my bookshelf I need to come up with a solution or at least get rid of some books/knickknacks so it's less of a hassle to dust.
  • Also, I'm going to bike with Ruby regularly. I'm no good at sticking to "workout routines" because progress is so slow and I don't see the end goal as that desirable - I mean, I'm in ok shape and I'm back to my pre-baby shape (mostly) so why bother really? Well, I know I need to and it will be worth it in the end so I've decided that my end goal is to be able to bike to the center of town to the Farmer's Market and back. I think by June I should be able to do that and then not only will I get a good workout in but I'll have wonderful fruits and veggies to show for it to! What does it say about me that I have to trick myself into exercising? No wait, don't answer that...

Well, on that note, stay tuned for more posts and have a wonderful afternoon!

Breastfeeding Campaign in CA

I first learned about this story through my friend Emily's blog but you can read the article here.
It's a creative, and in my opinion much needed, ad campaign promoting breastfeeding in CA. Check it out and let me know what you think!

In support of CA - but mostly of just of breastfeeding - here is a list of some of my favorite things about breastfeeding. What are yours?

It's free.

It warm and comforting for both Ruby and I.

I don't have to make bottles in the middle of the night.

I don't have to worry about making bottles or packing bottles while out or on vacation. Example: while driving to Colorado I simply had to lean over into Ruby's seat. Chaching.

It's nutritionally best for Ruby and it helps me to make better choices about my nutrition. What I eat she eats!

It helped me lose weight - and the eating healthy thing helps too.

Here's a picture of Ruby and I learning to nurse. She was so little!

Well, that's what I can think of right now. I've got a few more posts to get up today/tomorrow but until then, have a great afternoon!

craft hope

Jade of Chikaustin has begun a wonderful ministry called craft hope. With the help of volunteers all over the blogosphere and country she'll be sending handmade dresses and shorts to children in need. I'm going to join in and you can to! Simply link over from this post or from the button on my sidebar.

Thank you Jade for your vision and work to put this together!

"Panic is not a vacation."

It's been a busy week. We went skiing last weekend in Colorado and I started school this week.
I'd never been snow skiing before but Chuck has been going his "whole life" and I like to water ski and love to visit Colorado so we figured it would be a good trip. I'm not positive how it came about we just sort of decided to go and went! We wanted to bring my brother, Jon, along because awesome and we had another seat in our car so we also invited my close friend, Suzanne. We had a blast. We drove all night Thursday night and although I only got a few hours of sleep Ruby slept well and somehow the excitement kept me going the next day. We bought a ski package that included hotel and tickets to a hot spring pool near our hotel. We did that on Friday and Ruby loved it. We don't have pictures because we were all wet but she loves the water. This summer is going to be so much fun!
On Sat. and Sun. we skied. Chuck's Dad and Gran met us at the lodge to watch Ruby for us. It was so nice to see them as well. Suzanne has been skiing her whole life and Jon had been a few times on class trips and with youth group when he was in junior high and the like so I was the only first timer. We decided I should skip the bunny slope, however, because of the amount of people and small children on it and went to the easiest slope half-way up the mountain. I fell over twice on the way to the lift but didn't let it get me down (figuratively). We did a quick tutorial on how to turn and what to do if you're going to fast and want to stop (fall over - that I can do!) and then we were off! I went really slow to begin with and tried to turn and make long sweeps across the slope, which went pretty well until I got going to fast and then I would freak out and wipe out. I only fell over about three times, however, and in between those times my form was perfect! By the end of the day on Sunday I made it all the way down one of the runs without falling over once! Yay!
I loved skiing and look forward to doing it again. I hope that we can take more family vacations as Ruby grows and we add to our family. I'm glad that we have extended family and adopted family that we can vacation with also. We didn't take many pictures because we were skiing most of the time but Chuck did get some video and here are a few of the best photos. The first is us in the lodge all suited up to ski and the second is us at a local bar on Saturday night trying to soak up some local color and be hip young people even though we were exhausted and it was only 8pm. (Don't worry we left Ruby in the safe, warm arms of her great grandmother back at the hotel)
We had so much fun not only because skiing is a great activity but because we're all so crazy. There was lots of ragging on each other, relaxing, adventure and laughing until our sides hurt. For example, Chuck commented on how fast I had gone on one of the slopes and I whimpered that I didn't mean to go that fast! Suzanne added that she doesn't like going on harder slopes because she'd rather enjoy herself on an easy one than panic the whole way down. "Panic is not a vacation," She assured Chuck. We all almost fell over in the snow laughing. I can't wait to do it again next year!
Have a great Friday!

A new endevor for a new year

I used to have an old Canon SLR - an AE 1 - and it finally seized up for good a few years ago. I remember when I entered art school I would dream about taking photos of all the important as well as everyday activities of my future life. My family especially. Chuck and I got some good pictures out of it in out early marriage but it will never photograph my children. It might just be hormones but that thought puts a lump in my throat.

I decided today that I wasn't going to let my mourning over that keep me from taking photos of my life and my Ruby. All I've got right now is a little Canon PowerShot - an A620 - and it's definitely nothing like my old beauty but I'm learning to use the manual setting as well as take advantage of the other semi-manual ones. Here are a few shots that Ruby and I took. She helped take the last one. I hope she doesn't think I look as frightening as I do in that last shot. :)

Busy, Busy!

This month has been going well and very fast. Ruby turned seven months on the 9th, I start school next Tues. and we're going skiing this weekend! I'll talk about that after the fact but if you would, please pray for us it's the longest driving trip Ruby has been on, we'll be going to extreme altitudes and who knows if she'll get regular naps or not - but I'm excited!

I wanted to pop in to tell you about a few of my recent projects. The last few weeks, when we weren't celebrating holidays and trying to catch up on sleep (oh, and being sick - yuck) I got around to a project I'd been wanting to finish, dreamed up some new things, did some reading and got to work on my home decor skills. Here are a few of photos:

This is my prayer tree that currently lives on our coffee table. I haven't written any prayers on it yet but I'm hoping to add the things that come up over the next few months, like new babies, friends hardships, etc. the things that you think about or offer to pray about but then forget (or maybe that's just me). If you have any prayers you'd like me to add to my list and my tree let me know! The next photo is a close up of the little bird that's also on my tree. I like it. It's made out of a shoulder pad, some iron on applique flowers and embroidery floss.

This is my cake plate (with $2 dome that fits perfectly!) I talked about making one of these months back (if you dig around you'll find the post and the link to the original inspiration, this wasn't my idea) and finally got around to doing it! It's a flower vase with a decorative plate glued to the top. Super easy! I've got another, smaller, matching vase that is in need of a pretty plate but they're so easy I have a feeling I'll be making lots. They'd made good gifts, don't you think?

I bought some woodsy garland and pretty beaded garland at Hobby Lobby during the after Christmas mega sales and decided that January needed some decorating. I'm going to try to do a different garland on the beam between the kitchen and dining room based on the month/holiday. I'm going to have to start working on something for spring soon or I won't have it done in time!

Have a wonderful day!

It must be Januaury

"When you walk into the bookstore and see a table filled with books on dieting, you know it must be January."

When I read the first line of "Our Daily Bread" this morning I had to laugh because Chuck and I thought the very same thing when we walked into Barnes and Noble yesterday and front and center was the table filled with the latest diet books. I would have agreed with the author and thought, "of course, everything in moderation, yada yada" but it's when I read the second to last line I was reminded that this whole following Jesus thing isn't about following the rules, it's about getting closer to him. I'm grateful for wise people and orginizations like "Our Daily Bread." I hope this inspires you today as it did me to not focus on the gifts, whether food or clothes or money, but focus on the giver. Have a nice weekend!

"When you walk into the bookstore and see a table filled with books on dieting, you know it must be January.
After several weeks of overeating all kinds of holiday foods, people in many cultures turn their attention to not eating.
Food plays an important role in Scripture. God uses it not only to bless us but also to teach us. Our misuse of food keeps us from knowing God in ways He wants to be known.
In the Old Testament, God gave instructions to Adam as to what to eat and what not to eat (Gen. 2:16-17). Later He gave the Israelites manna to convince them that He was God and to test them to find out if they believed Him (Ex. 16:12; Deut. 8:16). In the New Testament, the apostle Paul stated the proper attitude for everything we do, including eating: “Whether you eat or drink, . . . do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).
When we think of food as a friend that comforts us or an enemy that makes us fat, we miss the wonder of receiving with gratitude a splendid gift from God. Obsessive eating or not eating indicates that we are focused on the gift rather than on the Giver, which is a form of idolatry.
 When eating becomes a true act of worship, we will no longer worship food". Julie Ackerman Link

Happy New Year!

We're back home and slowly getting back into the swing of things. Ruby is growing so fast that I can't keep up. Literally. I used to be able to sit her next to me on the coach while I opened the mail. Not anymore. She dove off on Tuesday. Dove as in intentionally moving down hill head first. She was totally fine - I mean not even a bump on her head fine. I, on the other hand, was totally traumatized. Luckily I caught her before her whole body hit the floor but her little head hitting the concrete made me want to invest in a few more rugs and reminded me that I'll have to start seriously "baby proofing" the house. Also, I'm going to have to be more clean and tidy. That's one of my "New Year's Resolutions" this year. My friend Emily called them goals on her blog and I like the sound of that better. (She's also having a new year giveaway you should check out!)

Here's a picture of my family at Christmas. We had a tough time because Ruby was fussy and everyone was itching to get home and have breakfast and get back into our comfy clothes. We had a lot of fun in MN over the Holiday's but resolved that we're spending Christmas at home next year and my parents and siblings can visit us. We had our dose of snow (especially Chuck) for a few years (or a lifetime).

I don't have any pictures from our New Year's party but we had a lot of fun. Have you ever heard of the game "Psychiatrist"? Who would have thought that a cheesy group game would get us so involved that we even missed the countdown? Well, Happy New Year! May God bless you and draw you closer to him in 2009.