Sunday, January 31, 2010

Last week, on the way to church I noticed how this barn looked so peaceful in the fog and snow.  I didn't have my camera with me, but I went back that afternoon, hoping to catch that special lighting of evening.  It wasn't the same as I had seen in the morning.  But in the morning there wasn't a resident waiting to get in either.  Pretty cool!

Basketball season is half way done at this point.  J is loving it.  He plays defense very well - pretty much shutting down anyone he is guarding.  His team had a rough start to the season, but achieved their first win yesterday - prior to that they lost by two points in over time, and then were competely blown out. 
J keeps up and is really in the game all the way.  Durning that tied game he played all four quarters - then came home, ate everything he could find and then laid on the couch in pure exhaustion!

I'm still adjusting to the whole being a working mom thing.  Love my job, but often frustated by how little time I have at home.  Can't have it both ways, so I'll just have to adjust my expectations!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


We went downtown for the funeral procession of Cpl. Nicholas K. Uzenski, a 21-year-old Marine killed in Afghanistan and burried here in Bozeman today.  J was off of school for the day, so we thought it would be a good experience for him and it would show the family support from the community.

There was an almost 2 hour wait for the procession, because the service went longer than expected. And the wind was whipping making us very cold.

I think with wind chill it was probably close to 0 degrees - seriously.  But we toughed it out and waited.

Then when the procession came it was so quiet from the people along the street, but the wind was making a haunting low moaning sound. 

It was quite approriate!

It broke my heart to see his mother, looking out the window of her car, and when she saw my son their on the corner, the only child to be scene, and standing out from the crowd, waiving his little tiny flag.  Her black gloved hand came up and pressed on the window, as if her wave was suddenly stopped and she was reaching out to touch.  I just cried.

I can't imagine her pain.  The sacrifice she has made for all of us.

I'm glad we were there.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Took me long enough!

At long last, here are two layouts I did earlier this month.  Funny thing happened when I sat down to scrapbook after the new year began - suddenly I hardly used any embellishments.  HUH????  So not my usual style.  But I feel like they are complete, so I'm just going with it.

This whole working mom life is crazy busy!  I can't believe how fast the weekends fly by, and the evenings are done before I have time to take a breath.  I like my job, but I miss my home time.  All part of the adjustment.  I knew things had changed when I found myself scheduling my Saturday hour by hour - when to clean the house, when to make dinner, when to go for a walk, and when to SCRAPBOOK!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wind skiing?

I guess this would be called Wind Skiing.  Or Para-skiing.  It sure looks like fun.  J and I seem them doing this as we are driving home most afternoons.

Work is going well.  Today I went to a meeting with the City of Bozeman planners regarding so prelimnary issues on our new school building.  That was a bit of the familiar from my past career as an enviornmental attorney - land use and environmental law have some cross-over issues.  It was fun and stimiulating to go, although my main interest for my job is to know about timing on getting permits approved and unexpected costs, because those issues dictate how much and by when I need to raise money.

Adjusting to working is going pretty well.  This week I've stuck to my schedule of what I want to be the "normal" day.  There will be times when this cannot work, but so far this week, so good.  I get home with time to do step aerobics and make dinner while J does homework.  Then we have the rest of the evening to enjoy and relax.  Of course there are little issues like laundry and doing the dishes that take up some of that relaxing time, but I'll get used to it.

The hardest part of the adjustment is definately the early rising in the morning.  I used to be able to get J off to school before I had to shower, and often I stayed in sweats or p.j.s until noon.  Not any more!  I have to be up, showered, and dressed in a skirt or dress every morning.  Saturdays sleeping in until 9 a.m. is going to be a real luxury!

Hope to have more tomorrow.  I've got two layouts I did over a week ago to photograph and share.  Maybe I'll get that done after school tomorrow.

Oh yeah, and my heart goes out to all those hurting and frightened people in Haitti!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Difference In Transitions

I remember almost twelve years ago when I quit my full time job to stay home and do infertility treatments I really had a hard time adjusting. I quit on July 10th, and all the way through the following January I struggled with what to do with all this time I had on my hands.

Of course, it didn't help that just after I quit we moved to a community where I knew nobody by my in-laws, and even they were traveling about half the time. And my husband had a ninety minute commute each way, so was gone before I got up in the morning, and back after dark! It was the first time I'd been without a job since I was about 15 years old.

It was a struggle to fill my days and find something that made me feel like I was valuable. I wasn't depressed, but I did have to learn to relax. It was a gift my husband gave me.

Of course, I had left a job as a litigation attorney where days were full and things moved at a quick pace. I had felt important and successful. So daily walks in local parks, reading magazines, and waiting for my husband to get home was really a big change.

But eventually I adjusted. During that time I focused more on my photography than ever before. I took my first quilting class, which really is part of what lead to me becoming a scrapbooker (that's another story). I started lunching with some of the older women in my life from time to time and learned to sit at their feet and absorb their wisdom. It was good for me!

Now, the reverse transition is proving to be a bit easier - at least if the first day is any indication.

I was really engaged in what I was doing today. The time went by nicely, and at the end of the day I felt like I had accomplished something. Okay, well go back to the post about this year's word: PROGRESS, because that is what I accomplished. Nothing is complete yet, but I made progress. Just some baby steps in many ways, but emotionally, it was huge!

I did a whole day at work. I was a self-starter! I learned a few new skills (like using the wireless printing system they've got going there at the school). And I was with people I really enjoyed.

What a gift from God this new job is!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Reason I quit the snowball fight

It is simple really.

Just look:

Yeah, admit it, most of you would have quit too.

Tomorrow is the big day of starting the new job. I'm nervous and excited and already tired just thinking of life back at work full time.

My house is not as clean as I would like it to be for tomorrow.

I didn't get the billing finished because the printer ran out of ink, and I don't keep $90 cartridges right on hand.

I didn't get every last thread of laundry washed and folded as I hoped. But that never lasts long anyways

I didn't make a weeks worth of menu plans so that meals would be no brainers this week.

Oh well. I'm going to start this new adventure anyway.

Pray for me, okay?!

A great day!

At church this morning was a young man that has been Andy's client since he was a teenager. He's an orphan, so the fact that he ended up in trouble isn't surprising. None of his trouble is that "BIG" but he just constantly gets into it. So, Andy sent him to the Christian recovery group that our church hosts. He went, and got invited to church. Brought his girlfriend with him.

Now, we've had lots of clients come to our church - some stay and become part of the body, other's move on. We've had clients who've been part of the church longer than us, who come to Andy for legal help because he goes to that church.

But this one today was special. Andy's had him as a client so long, in some ways, Andy is a parental figure to him. Certainly he's watched him grow up from a teenager to a young adult. It suddenly dawned on me in service today, that for Andy, this was a big deal. After all those years of helping the young man through the justice system, Andy's a bit attached. (This is a kid we have spent some time and resources on out of the goodness of our hearts because nobody else would, and he has needs).

So, what a celebration at church today to see him there. But is was a quiet celebration between us, because we wouldn't go around pointing him out and saying "Oh, that is one of Andy's clients." That would violate confidentiality, and let everybody know that the kid has been in trouble.

Fortunately, we go to a very friendly church, and people who don't have the slightest idea that he's Andy's client were greeting him and his girl, being super friendly to them! I'm so hopeful that they will come back. I kept looking over at them, and they were smiling, so hopefully that is a good indication.

They were at another church, but were feeling quite judged. Let's face it, they have a lot of "issues" to overcome, like all of us do. It's just that their issues are a bit more visible than most people's issues! If they can come and be gracefully discipled towards a life with Jesus, it will be the accomplishment of the true mission of the church!

It is a story like this that makes it so worth taking the low paying public defender cases and putting our entire heart and soul into them. The rewards can be eternal!

God is good!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Family Outing

Yesterday I posted that one of the things I wanted for this coming year is more family outings.
Well, got right on that goal, as we went on a hike up Cottonwood Canyon as a family today. Really enjoyed it! Including the snowball fight between Andy and J.
That's what I call PROGRESS! Which is important, because my theme word for this year is PROGRESS.
One little Word is a concept introduced to me by Ali Edwards, an accomplished scrapbooker who really had a great value for journaling with scrapbooking. She has encouraged people to pick a theme word each year. I think this is the first year I've actually done it.
So, I'm hoping to make progress on all the goals I posted yesterday this year, because some of those goals are not accomplishable in just one year.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Goals, Not Resolutions

I'm afraid to make resolutions! They seem like such a set up for failure.

At the same time, I don't want to let this opportunity of a clean slate just pass me by - because you know it will be mucked up soon! So, I'm setting some goals. After all, without goals, how will I know where I'm going, and if I've arrived?

I'm using Allison LaMarr's "Eight Lanes of Living" to help me put some structure to this. (Click that link to read the intro to these concepts. It is really good! And her posts that follow explain each and every one of them in detail.)

Spiritual Life:

I need to have a more organized prayer life - perhaps make myself a journal, and set aside some time each day. I know I am capable of making a great artsy journal, and that might be a fun project for this weekend - if I get all my other stuff done. I'm not all that efficient in the morning, and getting up earlier is more a problem than a solution for me, so it may be that I need to set aside time in the evening to do this.

I also need to find a good devotional for me. I love our weekly Bible Study, but really, I need something daily. I'm interested in studying the book of Daniel, but I don't have any materials. So, I'll have to seek something out and get a move on with that.

Family Life:

I feel pretty good about our family life in general, but there is room for improvement in everything. So, relative to J, I'd like to be better at supporting him through school challenges - like better at being consistent in helping him to practice his writing. I'd also like to be better at being consistent in expecting him to clean up after himself. Those are both pretty big goals, so for now, I'll leave him alone.

Relative to Andy, I'd love to have more one on one time with him. Maybe a monthly date night, to start with. Also, I need to return to asking him every morning what he needs from me that day.

For all of us together, I'd like to have at least a day a month where we do some adventure together just for fun. That's not always easy, but these are goals, not resolutions, right!?!

Professional Life:

This is a big area this year as I start my new job on Monday. So, first I want to be a sponge and absorb information about my new area of work. I think I'll try for one training event a month - whether that is attending a webinar (already set up for one later this month) or reading a book or article, I need to keep myself open to many new ideas to accomplish this job.

I also want to keep my Mary Kay business going. That means I need to start checking in with my customers so they know I still love them. I've slacked off in this, but can get better!

And I need to be organized about keeping up with my responsibilities at Andy's office - do time sheets every Friday night and do the filing after work on Mondays! That doesn't seem like much, but if I don't keep it as a priority it will get ignored, and Andy will be unhappy. I want him to be happy!

Personal Development:

Ah, the place I'm tempted to spend all my time. I'm thinking this covers art and photography. I'd love to find a photography class to take. They seem pretty far out of my price range right now, but I'll keep looking. In the mean time, I may look for a group of online people who would like to do a photography group and give constructive criticism and helpful hints to one another. (If you are interested in this, let me know! I'm really serious about this!)

And on the art side, I'd love to do at least four scrapbook pages a month, and one project a month with other medium (fabric, fibers, whatever). That's a pretty big goal, so I may have to keep the projects smaller.

I'd also like to work on my listening skills - be better at listening all the way before I start to formulate my response in my mind. It will help me with all aspects of relationships, I'm certain.

Physical Health:

This is "easy" in that I know exactly what I want to do: EAT CLEAN! I've been doing it for three days now, and I see so much potential! It already has increased my energy levels. (I got more done before noon today than I do most days total, and I wasn't wiped out from it!)

Financial Health:

Ugh, this is a hard topic. But, I want to be focused here because there is so much to do.

First, I want to really be good at paying off our debt, which means not treating my new income as money that is available to us. Instead, apply it to anything and everything that needs to get paid.

Second, I want to be a good saver. Andy and I want to have six months of expenses saved up (won't happen in a year, but something we will work towards) and still be putting money aside for retirement.

It is kind of depressing to think of these, because basically it means we will be just as tight as before, even though we are significantly increasing our income. But, that is only for a couple of years - then we'll be able to have a few extras, although we will always be putting money into savings! And, really, although we will live the same frugal lifestyle, we won't have the stress of being concerned that we can't afford what is necessary!

Social Life:

I think it would be good for me to have at least one outing a month with my women friends - whether that is just dinner together or an evening scrapbooking together.

And I would love for our family to entertain at least one night a month - we need to invite some of those wonderful people we love to spend some time with us in our home! We love to do it, but we allow ourselves to get too overwhelmed to make it happen. So, time to see if we can change that a bit.

Community Involvement:

Whew! Is there really time for this? I think I will focus this at my church, and be sure to keep a servant's heart there. I am stepping down as the Deaconess of Women's Ministry (not enough time with my new job), so I need to find another way to serve. I'd like to teach a Sunday School class or lead a Bible Study, as I've done in the past. Maybe that will be where I can serve.

This is an area I need to look into a bit more.

So, there you have it. A set of goals for the year. I won't have everything all perfect by the end of January. I may not get it all done by next December. But it is something to work towards!


BRING ON 2010!