12 November 2014

some Anne Lamott on March 16

I read this earlier this morning.
And thought I would share.

An excerpt from Anne Lamott's book Operating Instructions, chapter March 16.

24 September 2014

enjoying right now... at home with a baby

I always wanted to be a stay at home mom. Like really, I was offended when people commented on how hard that would be in this economy or how long I'd have to wait... I remember one person (who I didn't even know very well) straight up told me it was never going to happen, so I should get over it sooner rather than later and just have kids. 

OOOOHHHH, the righteous indignation... But now I smile at the memory.

18 September 2014

our Tiny Cottage: itty bitty kitchen

The kitchen is DONE(ish)!! Cabinets are in, counterop is on, sink is in, water is on! All that's missing is the fridge, which won't go in until the floors are done. Here's the gorgeous mostly finished product.

12 September 2014

living a better story

I have read this book a couple of times before. Now I am listening to it on audible while I jog, which means intermittently for short periods of time over the past couple of weeks. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is a thought documentary by Donald Miller, inspired by the process of turning his written memoir into a movie. It's really good. And I really like his writing style (it's easy to read).

09 September 2014

the man of my dreams!

Several people have made mention of late that it's been awhile since I've blogged. Anything. Forget a profound thought, I haven't even been keeping you up to date on our cute cottage, which would really only require a photo and a couple sentences. Easy right?

HELLO! I am a new(ish) mom, and that comes with a lot of interruptions and chaos (side note: how long do I get to claim that I'm still "new"??). I am still working part-time and often from home, which means that when I have some brain-space or free time to sit at a computer I feel obligated to attempt catching up on workload. We are still building a tiny cottage and I am a woeful under-contributor these days. We hike a lot on weekends because my husband works his tush off all week at work and on our cottage and putting up with me, so he deserves to have fun sometimes.... and luckily, he likes it when I tag along. I am generally trying to get in shape again, which means that there is always at least one more thing above 'blogging' on the official Hierarchy of Things I Should Do With My "Free" Time.

These are all the things that I have thought to myself when I feel bad about not blogging. They are pretty good/decent reasons, and they comfort me temporarily.

But let's be honest... and this is a bit painful for me to admit... the REAL reason I am not blogging lately, is that I am watching way too much tv. Netflix, really. Currently, House, M.D. to be specific. In all fairness, I mostly watch it while I am nursing Emery to sleep or working out at the Y. But I am on Season 5 already and it's only been a month or so, so maybe I'm cheating in a few extra minutes here and there. Maybe.

13 June 2014

our Tiny Cottage: little windows :)

We've got windooooooowwws!! The sleeping loft is fully open, and our two little windows have been installed :) They let in so much LIGHT. I seriously love them. During daylight hours, we really won't even need our lights on. Everything is really coming together!

08 June 2014

where in the attic is my pride?

We live in my parent's attic. I like to say that tongue-in-cheek because it sounds better somehow than just straight out saying we live with my parents...

Usually it comes up because we're trying to make dinner plans with new friends or something and it feels awkward that I'm not offering up our place as an option. But then I hurriedly explain about how it's JUST while we're working on this remodel project (see posts about our Tiny Cottage), and we DO own a home in port orchard but the commute was a waste of finite resources (time, fuel, money) so this just works better. PLEASE think of us as quirky and time/space-conscientious, but not as losers! Not as people who aren't responsible, independent adults!

But, oh wait, we have been living here in this attic for a year and a half now. AND this is not our first stint living with my parents since we've been married. What does this mean?? Are we losers? I don't think so, but we definitely don't measure up against the typical independence + wealth = success American ideal.

Part of me really does want the typical good income, good benefits, nice house, two good cars, and vacations once or twice per year kinda life. It sounds nice, and even more than that... people would look at me and think, "she is successful." No one would doubt my having 'arrived,' so then I would feel that way too, right? Right?

This is when the other part of me rears her snarky head and starts making sarcastic, stick-it-to-the-man comments. Let me translate for her, so it's not as offensive as when she says it :)

Real security and the feeling of having arrived are not to be found on this earth, except fleetingly. None of those things I listed will really make me 'successful,' but they probably will put me deeper in debt. And the chasing and then maintaining them will cost me precious time and energy. This rebellious half of me wants to be the face of the resistance. The ultimate anti-consumer. Buy as little as possible, make/create/grow as much as possible, recycle and reuse!! If I'm dedicated to my cause, then I can feel superior to those poor chumps stuck in the consumerist cycle of Keeping Up with the Joneses. I am successful BECAUSE I live in an attic, because we grocery-share, and because I choose not to engage in the machine of production and consumption.

Still though, this rings false. I don't really have enough energy for it, and ultimately... it still comes down to my obsessive concern for how others perceive me. Which doesn't really sound all that successful to me, or even pleasant. So what is true? What am I learning while living in this attic on top of my parent's house? (Notice, I'm getting closer to just saying it.)

Mother Teresa is quoted, "God hasn't called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful." I love this, and I'm so glad it's true for me too. Part of being faithful is being a good steward. My husband and I want to be great stewards of our lives, which we've realized isn't just about financial and material security, but about our time, our relationships, our skills and abilities.

Rather than structuring our lives around earning more money and thinking that it will result in the freedom we crave, we've decided to structure our lives around earning more time. Time together, time with family and friends, time to travel, time to rest, time to have fun, time to learn.

This life is a gift. And gifts should be cherished, not leveraged. If a dear friend gave me something beautiful and rare, would I use it as collateral in a bet? Neither should I leverage this life that God has given me.

Sure, finances play a role here... we have to pay our bills (so we don't end up serving time, haha) and we want to pay off lingering school debt (so we have more freedom to take time off work)... but it's all built around our goals for more time! This season of living with my parents (said it) has been such a time-blessing - I get to spend most days at home with my daughter, we get to make memories with family every day, I have time to prioritize my health and fitness like never before, we get to take long walks as a couple in the afternoons, I get to volunteer! We are rich in time right now.

So while my pride may suffer because we live in an attic and it doesn't fit the mold, I don't really care because my soul is thriving and we're making memories I'll hold dear all my life.