Thursday, February 28, 2008

growth patterns...

as jillian's hair continues to grow...into a mullet, will i be able to bring myself to trim her locks???

yes. i think i've just found enough of an argument right here.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

i'm gonna let my freedom ring

Okay...I have to do this. I have to go back to one of the worst weeks in recent Jenna history. It's imperative for two reasons. First, I mentioned in the "battling bugs" post that I would write more about what I learned that week. And second, it's for my own good to go back and relive some of these moments and then make myself articulate the thoughts. So many times, an experience will conjur a half-baked epiphany and the concepts can linger out there unformed, incomplete and I'll just lose them. I don't want that to happen.

So, let's go back to those dark days. It started with an ache in my back. The kind that accompanies a low grade fever. Just slightly achy. Then Miles was hit with high fevers and sick stomach. Then Avery passed out at school the next day. Then his fevers came. Two down. I was still just feeling under the weather. And you all know Brent was hit with this thing. High fevers, major chills, ralphed a bit, finally diagnosed with pneumonia, suffered from severe side effects from the antibiotics. Brent was down for a week. Me? Low grade fever and achiness.

So, faced with the blessing of being well enough to take care of my family, do you know what my attitude was? I'll tell you. I was bitter. BITTER. I just wished I would get my fair share of illness and go to bed like everyone else. It was ridiculous, I know. Okay. So, note that. I was bitter.

Now, somewhere in the middle of this, I had an interaction with a friend. A friend whom I love dearly. Well, she said something that rubbed me the wrong way and I wasted a day stewing about it. Really. It's embarrassing to admit this. Anyway, the next day, we spoke again and I brought it up. I should have given her grace and I didn't. I don't even want to relive the conversation in my mind, much less try to recap it here. I'll just say that I injured our friendship. Not for good by any means, but goodness. I was ungracious. So, note that. I was ungracious.

What else happened that week? I found out that I had offended someone. I was really so embarrassed that I didn't even tell Brent at first. Now, this shouldn't really surprise anyone, because I'm a nervous motormouth. I get a wee bit anxious, I start talking, er, rambling, and , something has leapt from my mouth that I instantly regret. But, this wasn't the case. I was actually trying to be sensative and sympathetic, but the result was a sting to my friend's soul. The problem was that I assumed something about her. And we ALL know what happens when you assume. Please note that I made an assumption which resulted in a friends pain.

Then Jillian got sick. And she was teething. One night, I think I accumulated like 2 and 1/2 hours of sleep. We're talking grand total here.

So, I told you that I was bitter that I was the only healthy being in my house. But, did I tell you how incredibly frustrated with Brent I was? Oh man. I wished he would just frip-frappin' get healthy. One night, he had the chills so badly that I woke up to the bed shaking. Remember those beds in hotels in the 80s that you could put a quarter in and they'd shake? I have a vague memory of a bed like that when I was a kid. It wasn't sleezy. I was on a road trip with my family. Anyway, that's what it felt like. The whole bed was vibrating. I was so annoyed. My husband is waking me up in the night??? Please note that I had almost ZERO sympathy for my husband.

Did I tell you that friends brought us amazing home made chicken noodle soup? Did I tell you that my sister, who is the busiest person I know, ran to the grocery store for us in those wickedly freezing temps (were talking wind chill of 40 below, folks), WITH her TODDLER? Did I tell you that people were so sympathetic and kind to me and my sick family? My mother-in-law even sent flowers!

So let me recap to make sure I'm recalling my depravity in full. I was ungracious to my friend, I was an idiot to another friend in my assumption, I was unsympathetic to my husband, I was ungrateful to God for the blessings he poured out to us, OH. Yep. I forgot one thing. This is the one that sent me over the edge. I lied. I told someone a lie. It wasn't a huge lie, but it was a lie and I was in a sticky mess. By the way, I DO NOT MAKE A HABIT OF THIS. And, so, I was sick to my stomach. I frantically called a friend, told her the situation, which was complicated. She agreed that it wasn't an easy fix and said, "Well, you could start with prayer. You can confess it to God."

and then it hit me: I crave what only God can give me in Jesus. I want to be washed clean of all my guilt. (And I was well-aware of most of it.) I want forgiveness.

I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest. Free. I felt free. I am free. In one moment, I felt like I was in chains and the next, I was free. I recalled a verse I've memorized this year, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness."

This means so little to one who is aware of a little sin in their life.

But, I had been overwhelmed with my sin, and heavily burdened, and it felt so good to take on the yoke of Christ. Much lighter. Very easy.

Epilogue: First, my fever broke the moment I longed for forgiveness more than anything. Seriously. Second, I was humbled and truly, my attitude changed for the good towards my dear husband. Third, I want to remember my depravity and the grace of God. I don't want to forget how ugly I was, how hopeless I felt and how relieved I was when I remembered the forgiveness I already had in Christ. Because, fourth, I'm going to be failing daily.

Well. goodness. And I thought showing you that ugly wall would make me feel vulnerable...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

hope this makes my new friend laugh

I have a new friend. Her name is Keitha. I met her at church, when she and her husband were visiting...from's complicated. Anyway, we are very kindred and like-minded. However, we have a very not-so-subtle difference. Here. Pictured below is a room that she designed and decorated for some clients. It is on HGTV's website as one of the top-rated "Rate My Space" dealios.

Here. Pictured below is an actual wall in my family room. We impulsively ripped some stuff out and then, what now? I have officially applied to be on an HGTV show so that I might be rescued from this horror. Are you enjoying the irony? And, do you think we have a shot???

Hope this make you feel good about your life! And, Keitha, I hope we can still be friends!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Whatchyou talkin' 'bout, Willis??

I've posted this picture already, but I just had to let you know what I think everytime I see it!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

"pop challenge"

So after school, I asked my 7 1/2 year-old if he'd like some soda. (Yes, I call it "soda".) You must know that I've offered soda to Avery other time, or, really, maybe never. He's had it, but only a little and that's when he's asked for it, not when I've offered. His eyes got big and serious and he said, "No, no, no. It's 'pop challenge' at school. We're not drinking soda for like eight weeks." This is so funny to me, because my kids regularly go eight months without soda, kool-aid, crystal light...whatever. They drink water. Good old-fashioned, hydrating WATER. But, I'm glad Avery's rising to the challenge. Good Luck to ya ol' buddy!

a riveting interview

Well, I read every morsel of this interview and feel like it's worth your time as well.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

"fun facts"

1.) There is a yellow bag with the words "out of service" covering the nozzle at Pump "B" at the Holiday on 46th Street and Hiawatha.

2.) If one drives away whilst the nozzle is still in the gas tank, there is a safety feature which releases the 15 feet of hose connected to the nozzle...and it sounds a lot like clunk when it hits the pavement.

3.) If the second "fun fact" should happen, it's recommended that one remove the nozzle from the gas tank, and walk clear up to the cashier's window with it in hand. One should gently tap on the glass with the nozzle and look very befuddled.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


this is what is beckoning me to open my fridge.

calling sweetly, "just even up the edges"'s a cheesecake on top of a brownie...num-a-licious

Monday, February 4, 2008

battling bugs

Well, we were under attack last week. All of us fell victim to some malady. I thought I'd prove it with some horrendous pictures of us. So here are the mugs.

Low Grade Fever...just well enough to begrudgingly take care of the free-loaders.

Avery fainted AT SCHOOL!!

Miles was really the first one who spiked a fever. He pretty much
stayed on this couch for three days.

No rest for the weary. Brent had a fever for six days. "Jenna, I think I have pneumonia." "Brent, pneumonia isn't contagious. And it takes some time to develop. You don't just *get* pneumonia."
He was diagnosed with pneumonia.

I learned a lot this week. I'll be posting more thoughts on the lessons later.