Sunday, July 11, 2010

a good day

Next weekend Ellie will turn six.   She’s incredibly excited about being six, about going to first grade, about “growing up”, and (of course) about getting birthday presents.

Since we’re going to be out of town on her actual birthday, we opted to have her birthday party on Saturday for friends and family here at the ranch.

The day started pretty early.   I think Jenn were awake (thanks Lilly) before 7am, and knowing that the afternoon would be filled with visitors, celebrating, and hopefully relaxation we started out early on the the frantic “clean this place up” routine that happens around here prior to most of our gatherings.

By 11am we had cleaned the kitchen, living room, toy room, kids bedroom.   Not just “straightening up”... I’m talking about really cleaning up.  All surfaces dusted, floors vacuumed, kitchen and bathroom tackled with Jenn’s new Shark steam mop thing, cleaned up lots of odds and ends that were sitting around the driveway and yard, and generally whipped the place into shape.   I even cleaned off my coffee table, which if you know us at all or have ever visited us is a rare thing indeed.

I think we all dread the these massive house cleanups when we know they are coming up.  I even tried to get out of this time by running to Columbus with some buddies on Saturday morning before the party.   But once we get underway it feels good to be tidying up, and we always bask a little in how nice, neat, and shiny everything is for a few days after the fact.

By noon or noon-thirty, we were in pretty good shape for the party.    Jenn had a last-minute Wal-mart run to make, and we set out the snacks, made lemonade and tea, whipped some quick “cowboy” foods (chuckwagon beans and cornbread) before falling into relax mode and waiting for the guests to arrive.

Over the course of several hours we had about 25 or 30 people swing by the ranch and hang out anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours.    My mom and brother made it down, so did Jenn’s parents, and lots of our friends from church, including most of Ellie’s “peer group” of teens and college students.  (Yeah, she’s six going on fifteen).

The afternoon was about as perfect as you could hope for.   

Hanging out with friends and family.

Eating, laughing, talking, telling stories, grown-ups playing pre-school games.

Jenn will probably blog about the party in detail (mabye?).

She uploaded photos to facebook here if you care to take a gander.

When everyone had gone, and the kids were exhausted and settled in bed, Jenn and I tidied up the kitchen a bit and then sat to watch some TV and talk for a little bit.   We got sucked into watching Titanic on one of the movie channels (which wasn’t as bad as I remembered).

Jenn and Lilly headed to bed just before ten, and the movie 21 came on.   It’s about MIT students who count cards and win at blackjack.    I intended to head to bed myself shortly after Jenn and Lilly turned in, but couldn’t stop watching 21 after I got started.    Good flick.

Shortly after midnight I turned off the lights, killed the TV, locked the door, checked on the Elli & Slias and took myself to bed.   Crawling into bed with Jenn and Lil, who were already snoozing, I let my mind wander back over the day and reflected...

I felt so relaxed and content.   Tired... but a good tired.

It’s not often I go to bed without being stressed about something or other, or worried about things I need to tomorrow, but last as I lay in the dark and gazed at the ceiling I breathed deeply, I listened to Jenn and Lilly asleep next to me, smiled at how blessed I am, and drifted into deep and peaceful sleep.

Nights like that are good.

Very good.

I should have them more often.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Morning Routine

My friend Wes Molebash (Legendary Cartoonish of Legend) has a web comic which is most excellent, and a blog on said web comic that I find very worthwhile of my RSS feed.

So yesterday Wes posted a blog entitled "The Morning Routine" (which you can go and read by clicking the linky-thing there) and not only was the blog post entertaining and thought provoking, but the responses (22 at present) were also great fun to read.

I started to respond, and whilst typing in that general direction realized two things… 
1. that my response was getting terribly out of hand, and 
2. that I haven't blogged in a really really long time.

Thus I decided to take my long-winded reply and turn it into a blog-post of my own, which I will refer to in the comments of Wes's blog for anyone who cares to read my rambling.

if you've read this far and not lost interest…
1. I commend you
2. Here is the good stuff

The Morning Routine

I used to be a morning person…  I don't recall exactly at what point in my life this changed, but I suspect that my discovery of alarm clocks with snooze buttons during while at college had something to do with it…

I (like many people, I think) use my cell phone (read iPhone) as an alarm clock.   I set three alarms, beginning at least 30 minutes before I need to get up, just so I can smack the snooze button a few times.   The times these alarms need to go off depends on whether school is in session, because I have to get up earlier and leave earlier if I have to drop Ellie off at school before getting to work.

The times pictured here are for summer, they are all 30 minutes earlier when school's happening.

I have different ring-tones set for each of these too… the first one is a very soothing, subtle, water trickling kind of noise, that if I'm sleeping really hard I don't even hear.   
The second one is a little less subtle, and the third is, well…  kind of like the alarm sound you think of if you're being warned of a bomb about to off in your general area.

This third alarm (the one that means business) prompts me to actually pick my phone up off of my night-stand, turn the ringer off, and reset all three alarms for the next day…  

So now with phone in hand, and alarms silenced, I can proceed to the checking of email and twitter before I ever toss the covers aside.

At this point I now have approximately 50 minutes before I need to be out the door… 

I grab my towel and head for the bathroom in the other end of the house where I go to the bathroom, and get in the shower.  

Now, unlike Wes, I don't subscribe to any particular shower routine…  I can typically wash my body, face, and hair in a about 10 minutes and that happens in whichever order I happen to grab the soap, shampoo, and face-wash out of the little cubby thing…  I typically take about 5 minutes also to just stand and let the water run on me because I just like those few minutes for waking up.

Following the shower I dry off, wrap the towel around me and head back to the bathroom attached to our bedroom (which has two sinks and is where we get ready, but no shower).I get out my clothes as a pass through the bedroom and put them on the bed, then finish drying off, brush teeth, apply  deodorant, etc and then back into the bedroom to get dressed.

at this point, mostly because it factored highly into Wes's blog (especially the comments) I feel like I need to have an interlude to discuss shaving…

I don't do it much. My beard (go ahead, laugh) doesn't grow very fast, and grows in mostly blonde…  I usually shave once a week on Saturday evening so that I don't look scruffy for church on Sunday, and I always shave my face when I shave my head (which is about every two weeks).   When I do shave I use a Gillette Mach 3 Power and shave cream in a tube from C.O. Bigelow for both my head and face.

Anyway… back to the morning thing… 

Once dressed I head out to the living room and my recliner which is the central location for the deposition of "stuff" when I come home in the evenings…

My wallet, pocket knife, rings, and fountain pen all get picked up from my coffee table and put back in/on the appropriate pockets and fingers.  My laptop, iPad, any cables, drives, etc I had out the night before go in my backpack, glasses go on my face and Silas usually brings me my shoes from by the door.  (Which sometimes lead to funny comments).

Shoes on feet, backpack over shoulder, I grab the keys from the hutch by the door and head out.

My morning commute is 35-40 minutes on non-school days.   I always stop at Tim Horton's in Waverly for an XL coffee with 2 cream, and an everything bagel double-toasted with butter.

I always listen to WOUB (our local NPR station) while I drive to work.

This puts me at my desk around 8:15-8:30 in the mornings where I unpack, finish my coffee, and begin tackling the day at hand…

So, what is your morning like?  Leave comments here, or on Wes's blog, or if you blog about it yourself let us know!

hello? is this thing still on?

wow...  has it really been over a year?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It seems fitting...

I have been slacking a lot lately when it comes to blogging... Life has just been so busy, and so many other things have been happening that blogging took a quick trip to the very bottom of the priority list.

Things haven't necessarily slowed down any today, but I've had this post in the drafts folder for a while and today (St. Patrick's Day) seemed like a fitting day to post it for reasons which will soon become obvious...

All of that intro out of the way here we go...

On December 18 I got a tattoo.

Much thought, prayer, and discussion went into it before I had it done with a very close circle of friends and confidants including Jenn.

I sent an email out to those close friends and family the day I had the work done, and since then have sent it out and shared it with over 100 other people who've expressed interest in the ink or wondered what the heck I was thinking.

The rest of this post is word-for-word the contents of that email I sent out on December 18, 2009.


December 18, 2008 - 11:50 AM

Samuel took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer — "the stone of help" — for he said, "Up to this point the Lord has helped us!" — 1 Samuel 7:12, NLT

After a long period of sadness and trouble, a consequence of Israel's disobedience, Israel repented under the leadership of a new priest and judge, Samuel. God restored their political security, and the people, for their part, re-committed their hearts and minds to their Lord.

Samuel placed a large stone at the place where this restoration began. He publicly dedicated it as a monument to God's help, God's faithfulness, God's eternal covenant. And as the people got on with their lives, the stone stood there, visible to all who passed that way, a reminder of judgment and repentance, mercy and restoration.

The Ebenezer stone represented a fresh beginning, a reversal of course for God's people. It also said something important about God: his mercies are everlasting; his covenant is forever.

Members of AA can tell you how long they have been sober. They keep alive the memory of the last drink they took, and with each new day, one day at a time, they move farther down the road of sobriety. AA is on to something important. Do they ask their members to count the number of years spent in drunken waste? No. They count the days spent walking in a new direction. All that went before is water over the dam.

Samuel was a wise man with a good idea. He recognized something that's true about human nature — we're forgetful.

At Ebenezer, Israel could stand next to that big old rock and remind themselves, "Yes, we serve a living and faithful God, whose mercies are everlasting."


Today, I am raising an ebenezer...

It will be a constant, visible, physical reminder to me of God's work in my life, especially relating to...

  • the changes in my personal theology and understanding of what it means to be a "Christ Follower" over the course of this past year
  • the spiritual awakening I am experiencing and how that is leading me to spiritual formation stuff
  • the community of RVCC and the ministries there I am able to take part in
  • the friendships I have cherished this year
  • Jenn, Ellie, and Silas who love me unconditionally, even though I make it difficult
  • being the lay director of boy's chrysalis #24 (the process, the weekend, the team, the flight, the memories)
  • turning 30, which was a much bigger/harder deal for me than I expected
  • that God's mercy is everlasting and forever
  • that regardless of how insignificant I feel that He will use me, if I will just get out of His way and let Him
My appointment is today from 4pm to 7pm at Wicked Sensations in Chillicothe...

I have a small suspicion that this is going to hurt... so, if you think to say a prayer during that time I'd appreciate it.


A Prayer of St. Patrick

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

so... yeah

Ellie & Silas were all excited to wear their new t-shirts to church this morning.

so... yeah.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

defined by function

I was sitting in my chair this morning when my nose started to run and itch.

Silas was playing on the floor in the living room so I said "Quick Silas, get me a tissue!"

Silas seems to have a runny/snotty nose all the time, so we have him pretty well trained to find and fetch the tissue box, and he's pretty good about letting us wipe his nose and will even blow it himself when he's really snotty.

Well, he jumped up and ran into the kitchen (passing the tissue box, which was on the couch) and brought me back a cloth napkin from the napkin basket.

I said "No no Silas, get me a tissue buddy".

He looked at me quizzically for a second, unfolded the cloth napkin and honked his nose into it quite loudly as if to demonstrate the point that it would serve the same function and I should stop being picky.

Then he patted me on the leg, stuffed the snotty napkin into my hand and went back to playing on the floor.

That's my boy.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Where does it go?

Where has the time gone?

Two years ago today our little guy was born.

Happy Birthday Silas.

I love you buddy.