Origins and home

Earlier this week I was drinking coffee at work with some in the den and talking about hot weather and the lack of apple orchards in this part of the country. One of them was playing guitar and started to sing a song, about me. The lyrics were amusing and mostly centered around my northernness. It included lyrics such as “organic crap” “damn yankees” and “gourmet pastries.” I am completely aware that I have a reputation for being a bit pretentious when it comes to food. I’m fine with it because I am so completely non snobby when it comes to loving people. Or at least I truly try to be warm, kind and accepting when it comes to people. 

So yes, I am from Michigan and yes I love cool weather, and Lake Michigan, and apples, and coffee shops but I am earnestly trying to make my home here. I truly believe that God has us here on purpose and for a reason and I see glimpses of this reason all around me. However, if I am honest with myself, Ada still doesn’t feel like home. Which for me brings to the surface the question of where home is. Home isn’t the house where I grew up, without getting into details, too much pain. Home is not Kentucky where we lived briefly before here. So home seems like an elusive place. I love our house here on Homer Road, I love that there is a bakery across the street, I used to love our flower beds but then I got pregnant and they are less a point of pride for me.
Anyway, there was another aspect to the song, a portion focused on how Noelle is an Okie even though her mom isn’t. Now she was born right here in Oklahoma, but I like to believe I was able to infuse some Michigan-ness into her while I carried her for nine months. And I suspect this belief is correct because she loves applesauce, splashing in the water, and one moment last winter when a friend from Ada and I took our baby girls out in the cold her daughter cried and hid her face and Noelle flung off her hood and grinned at the refreshing cool air. Mission accomplished. She is my daughter.
I want her to be where she is from, but on the other hand I long to take her to Michigan in the fall. To crunch the leaves of an apple orchard and share donuts and apple cider with her. To take her to Lake Michigan in the summer and eat ice cream with her on Grand Haven boardwalk. To dress her up in a little dutch girl costume and watch her clomp around Holland in tiny wooden shoes. And to see what she does in falling snow, sliding down a small hill and enjoying my grandmas cookies and cocoa.
The interesting thing is I want to show you the same thing, I want to share who I am and where I come from with you, and that’s what makes me a unique find in Oklahoma. Because I carry inside me the sense of something different, something a bit northern, and a bit rare for these parts. And I love sharing it, so I’ll make you apple crisp and almond pie and tell you about how much I’d love to take you to see the wonder of western Michigan. And I will share with Noelle the things I love and help her develop a deep sense of where she is as we explore our surroundings together, touching and smelling it all. And I’ll try to keep her from putting it all in her mouth right now.
She is a passionate girl, who loves outside, and all things sweet and carb. Today we watched her find a leftover cinnamon roll on a high table top and joyfully savor it as she ran around grinning. I can’t wait to see who God has in store for us in her, and to impart who he made me to be into her, as an option at least.
But for now I sit on my couch, longing to stroll through an orchard with my family, not someday but tomorrow.

Me and 5 a.m.

 Over the last few weeks Baby Barney, which is our code name for our son on the way, and I have reached a new level of closeness. I have gone from merely acceptance of him and A) his impending arrival into our home and B) The fact that he is male, to loving him and his unborn potential. You may think it is ridiculous that these things took me 20 weeks to adjust to, but this isn’t your life, your pregnancy or your blog, so I am finding great joy and excitement in falling for him now, and I’m not looking back.

This new found love for Baby B has, I must confess, been made a bit more challenging by the rapidly decreasing amount of sleep he allows me to have. At 23.3 weeks pregnant I feel that going to bed at ten should reasonably involve waking up twice to pee, once at 2:30 and once at 5:00 and then falling back into bed and hitting REM in 45 seconds. However I am up once before midnight and at least four more times before I decide around 5:30 AM that it’s just time to get up and start the coffee. Now I love the sunrise and the random cock a doodle doo of our neighbors rooster, on occasion. However I would prefer to see no more of either of them until January thank you very much.

Then this morning I had another thought. I have, in fact, been incredibly and shamefully absent in my time with God in the morning. By absent I mean, he shows up, I stay in bed, on the couch, or in the kitchen working on last nights dishes. Last nights dishes are truly a poor exchange for time with God I can assure you. So because it’s too late for today, tomorrow I will be trying something new. I will set my alarm for 6:15 and have the coffee maker pre-programmed for 6:00. I will get up before Noelle and give God my first time. You see my thought this morning was that maybe God was stirring me far to early in order to force me to the living room, bible and coffee in hand. So maybe, just maybe, if I come more willingly he might be persuaded to help me sleep until the alarm goes off. And that would be blissful on every level.

Mountains and rain

First of all I am writing to you from the comfort of my own home, on my day off and it’s raining.  Can I get a woot woot?!?

This past weekend I spent my Labor Day free time in Taos, NM. It’s a small and very upscale town surrounded by mountains and full of fabulous chefs. So needless to say I was in paradise. This was not the vacation we packed for however. We were going to go tent camping in the mountains surrounding Taos. However after 20 hours of chasing Noelle and begging her not to eat rocks and one night of attempted sleep in a 33 degree tent, we packed our camping gear faster than you can say tent stakes and booked a room at the Sagebrush Inn in town. And instead of chili from a can we enjoyed rum sticky buns, NY style pizza, tenderloin sandwiches with mango chutney, and home made ice cream. That seems to sound more like me.
But wait… I grew up camping with my family, in tents, and I loved it. So I have spent the last few days pondering what my bail out on camping move says about who I am now. I always thought I would progress from tent camper to maybe backpacker, because I really respect the people who strap what they need to survive on their backs and head out into the wild. However, after careful pondering during a 11 hr car trip, it may be my calling to do just that. Respect the campers and the backpackers and sleep in a queen bed with adjacent hot shower and have someone else make my french toast when I am on vacation.
You see I am starting to define who I am and who I am not. I am putting limits on my time and I am prioritizing my heart space this is definitely follow up action to the killing of superwoman post. So maybe I am a foodie and I am not camper. Maybe I am the sort of person who likes clean crisp sheets and I am no longer the kind of person who can deal with public showers… ew.
Right now I am reading a book called Bittersweet. It is by a pretty amazing woman named Shauna Niequist. Shauna’s first book, Cold Tangerines, really did it for me. Her deeply honest and insightful writing style brings up in me all manner of emotions, all of them so good. The way she shows that simple life is the essence of real spiritual life grounds me in a very healthy way.
So since I resounding recommend her books and think you should go buy one or the other right now I’ll make it even easier for you. Click this link and be blessed. or at least go here and learn a little more by checking out her blog. If you are disappointed I will make you dinner, but if you’re reading this and we know each other you know it’s not that hard to get me to cook for you. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take my advice.
So for now I am going to enjoy my last few moments of peaceful rainy day nap time.