Monday, August 22, 2011

The Best Disaster Ever

The blog has been a little quiet recently because of a beautiful disaster that happened a week or two ago. Namely, I spilled a gigantic glass of water on my laptop. And I'm so thankful I did.

Don't get my wrong, we tried to save it. I immediately turned it upside down to let the water drip off, David pulled it apart to let it dry out. However, it's still in need of about $100 worth of repairs.

In some ways, it's no big deal. We both came into marriage with our laptops from college, so I can share David's when I need to read a recipe or check my email and we have a more powerful desk top downstairs for storing photos and editing video.

Not having my "own" computer though has just been the next step in my journey to break my internet addiction. I've been debating writing about this for a while, but, to be honest, felt a little ridiculous posting an online article about how I want to spend less Also, I wasn't sure I was really committed to cutting back. I mean really, just what is the big deal about a little harmless entertainment (like checking my facebook page 20+ times per day).

I don't use the word addiction lightly. I'm actually quite embarrassed to admit the hold my computer, especially facebook, has on me. I started realizing there was a true problem when David and I started spending more of our already limited free time in the evenings vegging out in front of our dualing laptops rather then interacting...mostly because I requested to. Then I started thinking about those quick glances I'd give my minifeed when Caleb was awake. That kid was seeing me interact with the computer more than any other thing in the house besides him. What was that teaching him about it's importance? Despite all this, I still don't think I even saw how much it was really damaging our family life until I started to back away.

The first change I made was Caleb awake = Computer off. We already aren't big TV watchers (we might watch 3 hours of TV/week) so having a screen free house when the baby was awake was a no brainer. I don't feel deprived, because it's normal. The computer seemed so innocent though...I never even thought to set up boundaries around the place I share photos and stories with far away family. Despite all of my confessions, I'm still thankful for that aspect of technology. It's not the computer that's's my heart.

When I would start to crave interacting with someone who can actually, you know, talk, I'd turn to facebook. Not call a friend to hang out or chat, but just read the 140 characters friends, past coworkers and that girl I had biology with wanted to share about their day. Really deep stuff.

Still, my free time in the evening had me "catching up" on that deep facebook interaction I'd missed out on during the day. Now I could really see it taking a toll on David and I. Some nights I'd feel like I'd hardly spoken to him before bed even though there had been plenty of time. He tried to lovingly address the issue, but I made excuses about how tough my day had been and brushed his words aside.

Then we started feeling convicted about how we spend our Sundays. I read a beautiful passage in Isaiah (58:13-14) about honoring the Sabbath. The first thought that popped into my mind, the thing I knew I needed rest from, was the computer. All day. For about the past month my Sunday has been computer free. We aren't legalistic, we still enjoy Skyping family and will even look up a recipe if needed. But there is no internet news reading, browsing, etc. This was the step that really showed me my addiction for what it is.

The first Sunday I literally felt deprived. I wanted to open up the computer so badly, just for a few minutes! I felt almost antsy for the day to be over. Each week got better and now I actually look forward to Sunday because it's the day I feel closest to God and David all week (which should probably tell you that I'm still struggling the other 6 days).

I don't have a tidy, cheerful wrap up to this story. Dealing with this problem is still something I am right in the middle of. I never would have imagined drenching my laptop would have been step 3 of the process, but I'm so glad it was. Being unable to both use the computer at the same time each night (even I'm not addicted enough to go all the way to the basement rather than sit near David!) has meant we spend more time doing the things we truly enjoy: interacting with family, friends and one another.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What Exactly Is My Job?

We recently addressed the topic of "work" in Sunday school, which helped bring together a lot of things I've been learning recently. As I read over the questions our study guide was asking (What is the purpose of your work?, Who determines what is valued or how goals are reached? How is success defined?) I was in awe of both the incredible responsibility and freedom my job offers.

So what is my job exactly? Hmmm, that was a hard one for me to sum up, but I found thinking of it as the three-legged stool of Wife, Mother, and Homemaker to be the most useful. Recently, God has brought 3 articles to my attention (one for each of these areas)that I have found tremendously helpful and I wanted to share them:

On Being a Wife: This article makes the case that excellent wives aren't found, but formed over time. She sums it up this way: "It takes a 10-minute ceremony to become a wife. It takes a lifetime to become an excellent wife – one who understands that Christ’s shed blood on the cross is needed to offer excellence to our husbands." Definitely worth a read!

On Being a Mother: Many articles on motherhood tend to over glamorize the profession. This article takes a balanced approach, reminding us who are in the thick of wiping a face, highchair, nose, tush, etc. for the 50th time that it is an important vocation without using idealized visions of how our days look. Confession: I've actually read this about 3 times now because I'm just that encouraged after each reading!

On Being a Home Maker: Not as deep as the previous two articles, but a great reminder to me that sometimes the best thing I can do towards keeping our home running smoothly is to just do SOMETHING. Yes, even if it means just one toilet gets cleaned today...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Caleb: 13 Months

It's official...the teens have begun. He's got his own opinions about everything, he's sure he knows best, he wants to be independent, but we all know he's not ready...Ok so he may just be 13 months, but some days it does seems like this age has a lot in common with the teen years : )

Seriously though, I LOVE this age. Just when I think he can't amaze me any more or be any cuter, he out does himself. Last month, he took his first steps a few days before his first birthday. Now, beginning the day after he turned 13 months old, he is walking! At first he would only walk between David and I. Now he hikes up his little tush into the air and takes off at a moments notice...much more quietly than crawling was I might add! It's going to be even more challenging to keep track of this kid now!

More Highlights from the month:

-During a trip to the library, Caleb surprised me by putting in a puzzle piece. After taking apart a 4 piece puzzle, he put the beach ball back in! This week Granny and Grandpa bought him a belated birthday present, which also has a circular puzzle piece in it and he put it in again! All the other shapes are still just good for taking out and eating : )

-He's also learned to stack his rings onto the stacker. He practices this over and over again and gets very frustrated if they don't go on properly! I have no idea when he decided he should do this, but one morning he just pulled out his stacker and starting putting them on after taking them off. No big deal, Mom!

-He has (oh sooo thankfully) learned to steer his dinosaur walker. I still have to rescue him from door jams and corners occasionally, but my back is very thankful for this particular milestone.

-His receptive language has exploded. I have no idea how much he understands now, but we are constantly getting surprised as to what he listens to. For instance, this past week, David told him to go push mommy over (I was crouching a short distance away). He immediately turned around put both hands on my knees and pushed me right over! David and I both had a good laugh about that.

-Expressive language is coming along. He says "Oh Oh" for "Uh Oh" and I think he's getting close to understanding Mama vs. Dada, although we are both still called by both names.

-He is still loving finger foods. His two favorites this month were my friend Jen's broccoli chicken in Gorgonzola sauce and my spicy black beans. He loves things with strong flavors! He also devoured about half of a roasted chicken breast when I was picking meat off the bones one day.

-Each meal now uses 2 spoons. One is for Caleb to pretend to feed himself with (or throw on the floor, or poke in his eye...) and one is for mommy. He is so cute trying to be a big boy. Right after I put a bite in his mouth, he puts his spoon in his mouth and looks at me as if to say, "See, I did it!" He also tried to scoop up his cherrios with the spoon. It sometimes works, depending on how sticky the spoon is.

This week he has had a great time with Granny and Grandpa. Grandpa Joe has been keeping him company in the back seat (and is the master of keeping a sleepy baby awake and laughing so we can make it home for a real nap!) and they have both been his special entertainers at meal times. I know he (and mommy) will sure miss them!

We are definitely missing all you grandparents. Caleb is such a joy to us each day and I wish I could somehow share every memory with you! I hope this gives you a glimpse into how our days look at the moment.