If I could make her feel what I feel….

If I don’t write a post, I’ll have broken a resolution one week after declaring it, so here goes. I have nothing to talk about. It’s 10pm on Sunday, Ryan is asleep on the couch next to me snoring, Annie is crying in her bed even though I’ve just fed her, and Ruthie is back down after having what I think was a nightmare that involved her stuffed duck. Said duck is now shoved under the bed and Ruth is reassured that mama Carrie will never let a duck, stuffed or otherwise, get my little Ruthie.

My goal for next week is to write about Christmas. I almost became a multi-millionaire, Ryan got (and still has) bronchitis, and Ruthie learned (and has probably forgotten already) that we need to give more than receive. More on that later. Hopefully. No, YES I say! MORE on that later, gosh dangit! Ugh, this is what happens when I don’t just write captions on photos. It gets scary.

Wanna know what else is scary? Me. And my thoughts, and my actions. Pretty much all of me. It’s been a couple months since we’ve been to church, due to weather and travelling and sickness, it just always seemed to never work out. And this is my conclusion: if I don’t make it to church at least one day out of the week, I start to become a little mean. I forget to give grace (to both others and myself). I start to dwell in the minutia of the day-to-day and become annoyed by it. I start to be less content and more envious. I start to close myself off deeper and deeper until it literally takes an act of God to open me back up. And sometimes that act includes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, so thank you God for giving those guys the talent of ice cream-making. And for a freezer for the ice cream, and electricity for the freezer, and spoons to eat it with, and for fingers when spoons are not nearby, and for legs to deliberately walk past the drawer with spoons straight to the couch to eat it with my fingers. It might just be the sugar from downing an entire pint, but man I do feel better. Or it could be from being thankful. They both have the same effect on me.

Update: Ryan is still snoring, Annie’s cry turned out to be a whimper and is quiet again, and Ruth hasn’t stirred. It’s been windy today and I just heard dry leaves swirl around and hit a window in the guest room. I immediately think it’s someone trying to get into Ruthie’s window, so throw the computer down, and run back there with my heart pounding in my chest ready to bust someone up.

Update: I’m back on the couch. She’s fine. I’m not, though. See 3rd paragraph.

So anyway, today was windy and beautiful. We girls spent as much time outside as we could, and, not gonna lie, I kept hoping Annie would go down for a nap so it could be just me and Ruthie. She’s cool on my chest and all, but without my little joey in my pouch, I can get down and dirty with Ruth. We found an area under the pine trees with moss and pretended it was our bed. I could have laid there next to her looking up at the sky forever. We raced to a tree stump and with a broken off pine branch complete with needles, used it as a broom to sweep off the stump, our new stage. I gave her a stick to use as a microphone and she insisted that it was only a stick. When she says things like that, it makes me want to throw all her “lifelike” toys away. We argued back and forth and eventually I gave up. She was right, after all.

At one point the wind blew so hard through the trees that we both stopped in our tracks and listened. I so desperately wanted for her to feel what that sound feels to me. It’s one of the most comforting sounds I’ll ever know. The wind.

One year in college was worse than the others. I used to internalize a lot, never talking of my feelings. Sadness was the first and most important emotion to be smooshed down in every dark crevice of my body. It would emerge as anger or too loud laughter or sarcasm or tears (during sad movies, you know, as a cover-up), but it was only shared very rarely with others. To combat it, I took many walks, sometimes everyday, on the Konza prairie trail right outside our little college town. I would run up the steep hills, I would linger near the barbed wire fence and watch the cows on the other side, I would recite poems, one in particular learned in a Spanish class, and because not many people walked the largest trail loop, I would say them out loud without fear or insecurity, and I’d talk to myself, both pumping myself up and tearing myself down. And I’d listen. To the wind.

I’d stand on the trail and listen to that wind until any mean thing I said to myself was whipped away with it.

But God meets you where you are.

Because even though I had stopped going to church and stopped focusing on what was good for me, I think He sent the wind to me on those walks that year. He sent it to push me up the bigger hills, to tousle my hair, to carry my voice with those poems, to dry my tears, and to block out any thoughts in my head good or bad, leaving me with the only option to stare at His creation and feel that I’m not alone.

Oh Ruthie and Annie, listen to the wind and hear how sweet it is.

More photos of the Konza on this blog post: http://windowontheprairie.com/2011/06/24/the-konza-prairie/


It’s almost time for bed and I feel eager for the coming week. I convinced my sister to do a bible study with me and we start tomorrow.  I’m excited to dig deep in the knowledge that I no longer need a windy day to know I’m not alone. Good night!

My last dump and Resolutions

…as in last iphone dump, because my friends, I’ve gotten rid of it. I’m now the proud owner of a regular ole basic phone. And I’m going through withdrawals, big time. Mostly because when I type ” Im” it doesn’t automatically populate the apostrophe, which is pretty much worth the extra $50 per month.

But Ruthie, I did this for you. You too Annie, but Ruthie was my original catalyst. I would catch myself checking facebook and instagram literally every two minutes. If she wanted  to do something with me, I’d begrudgingly oblige. The icing on the cake was when snapped at her because she dared to ask me (okay fifty times) to play catch while I was in the middle of texting a friend.


Some people can balance the two. I couldn’t. So, see ya iPhone.

It hasn’t been all peaches and cream. During my detox, I am still barking at her occasionally.. but at least it’s now a “I actually watched you for the past five minutes and you totally deserve this” bark as opposed to the “I’m kinda watching you out of the corner of my eye while I catch up on the latest celebrity gossip and I think I just saw what you did” bark.

I’m also going to deactivate my facebook account Monday through Thursday, just so I don’t have that added distraction during the week. I tried going off facebook cold turkey, but it didn’t last. I have several friends on there going through some personal struggles and because facebook is my only form of contact with them, I kept wondering what was going on and how they were doing. I’ve discovered that while it’s nice to email people and text and call them… sometimes it’s even nicer (for both of us) if they share an update and I just comment on it. They know I’m watching, reading, caring and I know who and what to pray for that evening.

Onto the pics, some are old ones from texts that I wanted to save, like these ones, of Ruthie. Bear with me.
IMG_2896 IMG_2895Excuse me, but look at those rolls. IMG_2893IMG_2890These are some extras from Annie’s first meeting with her great grandparents. And no I’m not expecting. Rude.IMG_2909IMG_2908I remember when I had Ruthie and went over there to visit. I had to nurse and was about to go in the back room, but Leitta (Ryan’s grandmother) grabbed my arm and said, “Oh just do it out here. I don’t care. I remember having to sit in a hallway at (I can’t remember who’s) house and (a guy relative) kept walking by talking to me. I just wanted him to go away.”IMG_2907I’ve discovered I go through phases with my nursing exposure. Right after the birth, I’m like, “Hee-eeeey!!! Is it Mardi Gras up in here??!! Throw me some beads!!” Ryan would occasionally hiss at me if his dad happened to be in the room. But you know what, I could have literally cared less. However as time progresses, do you know how much I enjoy sequestering myself in the back room for just a few minutes? It’s just long enough to feel the need to be social again.

Ruthie insisted on wearing her great-grandma’s earrings:

We watched Ryan and his dad fell a tree.IMG_2911IMG_2912
I’m thinking about my iPhone here:IMG_2914Just kidding.

I was thinking about facebook.

No, really, she never falls asleep on me anymore so I was eating. this. girl. UP.
IMG_2918Let’s talk resolutions, because it’s mandatory.
1. Send more letters – I started doing this after Annie was born and was consistently two weeks late on everyone’s birthday. My husband works at a card company. For the love, I should be able to send out a card once in a while. IMG_29172. Floss – this is SO Michael from The Office, but seriously, I need to get on this. IMG_29163. Give more, Complain less.IMG_29154. Buy a really good bra – these girls are saggin’.

We had a few awesome 60 degree weather days in between cold ones and I forced Ruthie to play in the dirt. “Go play in the dirt. Now. I want you dirty so I can feel like I’ve accomplished something in your childhood.” I seriously have thoughts like that. That dirt = childhood and don’t you dare come over and ask to wash your hands before lunch. You get that pb&j nice and smudgy.

IMG_2540Ryan would be appalled. He’s very much the wash-your-hands-before-lunch guy. Maybe that’s why I get ring worm all the time. No, I  don’t. Actually never, I have no idea why I wrote that.

I saw this photo from who knows where (sorry credit!) and lusted after this garden with the fruit tree in the middle. So clean and organized and flourishing.

IMG_27055. Start a garden – and I should add, finish a garden. Man I love the planning. I’m an idea girl, I’m not a finisher. This will be my first test this summer.

The first (of now many) snow:

Ann-girl. Already getting her two top teeth, she’s gonna have a full smile before I know it and I’m already missing her gummy one. Times are a-changin’.IMG_2818Ruthie gave her leftover pannycakes to the birds outside and watched them eat it up during the snowstorm. She loves birds now, just like her two grandpas. IMG_2826While trying to go down for a nap, she just didn’t want to read any of her normal favorite books. So I brought in non-fiction “What Are Birds” book for her. She squealed at it and then fell asleep ten minutes later.

Coveting. Again. For this bookcase set up. And the piano. And the girl pretending to be a queen. All of it:IMG_28216. Learn how to make cocktails. I’m kinda tired of wine and beer. I want to become a mixer and know what I’m doing. That would require a stocked bar. So,

7. Stock a mini-bar with the basics… and maybe an antique seltzer bottle, like this:
This was rehashed from last year’s work party. I like that Ryan commits. No matter what, he commits to his character.IMG_2838
Last month, Ryan went hunting with his dad and brother. He took Ruthie with him, leaving me and Annie alone for the first time ever. I remember when Ruthie itty bitty, and thinking I had no time to do anything. Or maybe I just napped a lot, which you know what, I’m glad I did… because I fear I will never, ever get another nap ever, ever again. But I did get the guest room organized, so the bags under the eyes are worth it.

While Ruthie was there, her Jama took her to visit the greats again. Leitta fell down and needed a Band-Aid on her knee. Ruthie said, “Oh no! Great grandma fell down!! She’s okay though” about three hundred times that next week. Here they are reading a book:

And Ruthie showing great grandma how to put on her shoes. IMG_2899
Meanwhile, Annie and I did snuggle together. Because, after organizing that room, I made sure to get in a four hour nap like the good ole days. Annie fell asleep on me, then I fell asleep, then she woke up and lifted her head caused me to wake up, then we connected eyes, then she put her head back down, then we both went back to sleep. It was GLORIOUS.IMG_2847IMG_2850Ruthie, on the other hand was kept very busy with Christmas crafts. I covet bookcase layouts, Ruthie covets glue sticks.IMG_2903IMG_2901IMG_2900IMG_2904I could have sworn Jama would have had Ruthie potty-trained by the time she got back. It’s fun to watch her and Ruthie have their little bonding time on the toilet, chit-chatting and singing. It surprises me how little I’m worried about potty training Ruthie. I thought with my first born that I’d  feel like she HAD to be trained by a certain time, since that’s normally my nature. But my mom and older sister have both reassured me to not stress over it. So I’m not. I’ve read up on the three-day potty training and we’ll do that eventually. For now, I just smile and nod when asked about it. Just smile and nod.

These look like sick, tired eyes. I can’t remember.

IMG_2856Resolution 8. Start remembering.

One night, after Ryan read Ruthie her nightly stories, he never came back out. And I heard snoring:

Annie’s first Christmas tree (and possible Ruthie’s as well). I can’t remember if we put one up in the Shack or not. I wanted natural, but sentimental. So the foil star made the cut as well as some dehydrated oranges and apples. It took about three weeks to get everything up on it. I move slowly these days, see above on potty training.IMG_2864IMG_2865 IMG_2868IMG_2869
Only my childhood stocking hung up there this year. Ryan’s childhood one was ruined in a flooded basement, so we are remaking his and also doing the girls’ at the same time. Christmas just came to fast for it to be done.
IMG_2870My mom would be proud. I put all of our Christmas books next to the fireplace like she does. IMG_2871More on our Christmas’ later, because, hello, Ruthie wanted to give Pete the Cat a bath and did so in her little kitchen sink.
IMG_2874And then she proceeded to break her ceramic tea pot. I barked.IMG_28829. Slow down on the barking.

Ruthie reading to her dad when he got sick over Christmas.

To me, Ruthie looks like an 80s highschool student here. Too cool to look at the camera, sleeveless shirt, sniffing candles. You know, the stereotypical buff candle sniffer. IMG_2897Did I mention these photos were out of order? That’s how I roll. Sometimes.

Ruthie B. How I want to go back and kiss this face. I loved this stage.

Oh my gosh. The outstretched leg, Ruthie. You kill me.IMG_2892IMG_2894
Gettin’ artsy with her next door neighbor. IMG_2920Popsicle in front of our townhome. The other day I asked if she wanted a popsicle and she said, “Remember popsicles on the sidewalk with Daddy? Remember that?” True story. She still remembers them sitting side by side eating them and watching the actual Ice Cream Truck go by. IMG_2922IMG_2923
This all feels so long ago.IMG_2924
Holy yikes. I was due any day (or let’s hope I was anyway). IMG_2925
After I chopped off my hair.  It felt good.IMG_2926Ruthie and Blanche at their bible study nursery. Two old fogies sittin’ on the front porch.IMG_2927I do remember the whiny days, though too. IMG_2928But this next picture pretty much outweighs any whiny days that were had. I freaking LOVE it. It’s her first “official” Halloween, dressed in an outfit Ryan brought home from China and she’s in mid-sentence jabbering at Blanche. She had fallen down that day and got a black eye and she has a double chin. I hope I kissed it that day.IMG_2929We miss being just steps from the park.IMG_2930Speaking of Ryan going to China… He actually went to both India and China back to back, so I stayed at my parents for a month. It couldn’t have worked out better because I was newly pregnant and having a hard time with the morning sickness. So having those extra hands during the day were definitely a blessing. We drove home and the next day went to pick him up from the airport. The plane was late, Ruthie was up past her bedtime, and when he picked her up she stared at him with no expression for five minutes straight. No joke. IMG_2931This is a really old one from The Shack and Ruthie rolling rolling rolling. Apart from that, I really think I needed more popcorn for the guests coming over. Seriously, did I serve anything else?IMG_2932
So that was my last dump.

And my last resolution for 2014 is to blog once a week. Even if nothing happened of importance that week. I used to write about random things that had nothing to do with my day-to-day and I want to get back to that. We’ll see how far I get it. If I make it to Easter, I’ll be thrilled.

Here goes nothing!