Thursday, January 23, 2014

Swimming uphill in mud

Parenting is hard. Really, intensely hard. 

I can't speak for anyone else in the parenting world, but some days as a stay at home mom are frustratingly awful. Those are the days I don't so much feel like a parent as some poor sod who has woken up to find that she is the head keeper of a deranged zoo where all of the animals have escaped and are trying to eat each other. 

And I have never in my life had one single class tell me what to do about carnivorous children. 

I have taken classes that tell me what the characteristics of 12 tone music are. I have taken classes that describe how calcium channels make your cardiac muscle cells work. I have taken classes on how to beautifully render the human body in two dimensions. 

WHY?  Why do I know nothing about what makes a three year old sob and whine and lament for 12 solid hours?  I almost can't blame Oliver for biting...I'm frustrated too.  Why do I stand dazed in my kitchen after two hours of breakfast, half way through a limp attempt at cleaning up only to hear the dreaded words, "I'm hungry?"

I thought I would be a mom who never got tired of parenting. I didn't think it would be easy, but I genuinely thought careful parenting, and I would feed off of each success and wake each morning with energy and IDEAS!  

I can't even laugh. I just sigh and shake my head because I never anticipated the lobbying. If we really want to change the government, we should just send my children to Washington and tell them if they can negotiate free health care for everyone they can each have a bag of marshmallows and an iPad. BAM!! By the time they left, Democrats and Republicans, dogs and cats and doctors and lawyers would all be working together to push the legislation through so their ears would stop bleeding. they are all asleep, so I'm back to being a courageous and forward thinking mother instead of the sniveling, staring husk I was just minutes ago. 

Ahhhh. Ain't life great. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Nail polish ideas for a real mom

As I sit in my children's room, holding them hostage until they fall asleep, I do a fair bit of pondering...well, when I am not reading (right now, the Outlander series). 

I keep pondering what it is to be a mom and a woman today and finding that, for the first time, I am learning something from the story of Mary and Martha. I have always resented that story because I feel like Jesus probably enjoyed the fruits of Martha's labor while simultaneously telling her she was focusing on the wrong things. For someone who is head cook and clothes washer and also slightly

Friday, January 17, 2014


Laine: ok, mom. You can't bring dogs, skateboards, bikes or knives and forks into this exhibit. 

Me: {snort}

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Turn of a phrase

You look nice! used to mean: I like what you are wearing.  Now it means: wow, you put on clothes AND shoes!!


It has been three months. 

Three months. 

I'm still sad.  I'm still tired.  I still don't understand. 

I have learned the split-mindedness of grief. Here but always aware of the other who is gone. I have

Monday, January 13, 2014

Our Daily Bread

I have one thing that I make that is extraordinary. One single recipe that is mine and that I am truly proud of. 

My Honey Oatmeal Whole Wheat Bread. 

Give us this day our daily bread.

Making all of our bread has taught me something significant about this bit of the "Our Father" (as Laine calls it...good little Methodist?).  In these words there is more of patience than demand, there is more of faith than expectation and there is more of nourishment than gratification. 

Bread: the stuff of, gentle, flavorful and temporary.  God provides for our needs when we are needy. God provides healing when we are hurt. The troubling thing is that God never promises us we will never be hungry or angry or lost.

The other day Laine asked me if we would never cry in heaven or if there would always be someone there to wipe our tears away.  I didn't know. I still don't. 

I promise that I would be glad to have some of my tears wiped away, but I can't imagine a place with no tears. Some days the tears help me know I haven't gone numb. So, yes, Laine. I think heaven will be a place where there will always be someone to wipe your tears away. 

And for now my prayer is for just enough for this day: enough wits, enough love, enough hope and enough rest. 

My daily bread. 

My Honey Oatmeal Whole Wheat Bread. 

3 tsp rapid rise yeast (this is what I use because it keeps and it's cheap and I use a ton...feel free to use Active Dry...)
6 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt

Mix together in a large bowl. I use a stand mixer. 


1 cup oatmeal (already cooked...I use leftovers from breakfast)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1 egg (duck eggs if you can get them)
1 3/4 cups very warm water

Mix together until the flour is all worked in. 

Knead for five minutes (on "2" in my stand mixer) or by hand until elastic. This dough stays a bit sticky, but you should be able to handle it without too much mess. 

Cover and allow to rise for 2 hours. 

Deflate and allow to rise for 1 hour. 

Deflate, shape into 2 loaves and allow to rise for 1 hour in greased loaf pans.  I use stoneware pans and truly love them. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. 

Enjoy. Daily.