30 December 2006

freshman 15

Oh, and speaking of addictions...

(You'll have to forgive, but I'm on a roll. I can't stop now! Let's see how many more posts I can write between now and tomorrow night... Besides, no matter how great the show is, I just can't end the year on Grey's Anatomy... although I (unlike you, sorry) know where this is going, and I DEFINITELY can't end here either... how trite! I digress.)

So, what I was going to say is that I have another addiction: an addiction to food (especially sweet food) that has spiraled out of control.
It was easier to ignore when I was pudgy and pregnant and even while I was bountiful and breastfeeding. But now... it's just not becoming. For whatever reason (perhaps because it is the 30th of December) my mirrors have started working properly again. What a mess!

I can just hear some of you now, "NO, not YOU, Abi!!"

Rrrrrriiiiiiiggggghhhhtttttt... fibbers!

I don't have to be thunderous and thick just because I'm thirty. I can be thin... Oh who am I kidding, no I can't!!! Scratch that... I can be... I can be... (I'm trying to think of another "t-h" adjective, but the perfect one eludes me... ah well). You know what I mean.

Just because I'm a mom in my thirties doesn't mean I have to let myself go, hack off my hair, hike up my jeans over my paunch belly, trade in the keys of my truck for those of a minivan and throw a denim potato sack over my swollen self for those "special" occasions. I can still be cute. I can be toned. I can be chiseled.
Heck, I can be svelte.

(Oh dear, I feel a Bridget Jones style, early midlife, pathetically banal resolution coming on...)

Sadly, my reflection reveals that I found the freshman 15 I once lost (except that it's 20, not 15, and I'm 30, not 18). There is NO excuse. The simple law of gravity indicate that it is no longer appropriate to eat three bowls (troughs) of ice cream just because the carton says "cookies and cream" and "light." There are plenty of women with more kids, more responsibilities and far less time than me, who have it together and have found the balance.

I hesitate to continue writing, because the next time you see me with a triple cheeseburger in one hand and a double chocolate milkshake in the other (OK, I'm being dramatic), you'll have my number. But you know what, that's probably a good thing.

I'm unnecessarily chubby, and I'm tired of carrying around the weight of an extra toddler. I only signed up for two kids!
I need to grow a dose of will-power, and I need some accountability! Not sure what it is going to look like, but enough is enough. Suggestions? I'd love to hear them.

Alright. I'm going to find something to eat (kidding!).

a new addiction... great

Grey's Anatomy. Do you watch this show? I didn't. In fact, in spite of the hype, the reviews, the recommendations... the craze, I remember saying to a friend a while back, "Who has time to watch television for a whole hour - on a Sunday night,
no less - about a bunch of characters that aren't even real?"

"How good could it be, anyway?!?" I wondered.

through the genius of Netflix and TV on DVD, I sat for not one, but three uninterrupted hours last night (until 2 a.m.) glued to my television to find out how the first season ended. Yeah, it's that good.

I LOVE THIS SHOW. I'm totally, thoroughly, crazily and completely hooked! I love the characters, love the cast, love the story lines and the scrubs, love the medical jargon and the operating tables, love the guy top row, far right... LOVE IT.

When I went to bed last night, I was horrified. Not that it was after two and I was just getting in bed, but that Dr. McDreamy is married?!?!?!? And, it will be at least Tuesday before I get the next disc in the series (like I'm going to have time to sit and watch for another three hours on Tuesday!!!).

This is not good. I'm seriously considering sacrificing more sleep to forge through Season Two, so I can jump on the Thursday night bandwagon. Even worse, I've dedicated an entire post - potentially the last of the year - to a TV show.

Yeah, it's THAT good.

28 December 2006

the list

Oprah has hers. Dave has one too. Barbara... yep, she's got one along with People and Time magazines, YouTube, MarketWatch, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, MTV, VH-1 and a whole host of other folks out there. You know what I'm talking about... the lists. The best of... The year end... The most fascinating... The lists.

OF COURSE I have to have one too! A wee bit self-indulgent? Aye. Fun to think about and definitely worth proceeding? Aye.

So, without further ado, it's the moment you've waited for all year long... I give you, "My Favorite, Most Interesting, Most Important, Top 10 Posts of 2006."

10. its fun. its free. Yes, this about sums it up for Paul and me.

9. beautiful. What an amazing evening. Although so much has changed and we have each traveled so far from that night, it was monumental in my life. I will love these women until I die. I will never forget that night.

8. His response. I asked. He answered.

7. ambition. OK, I was mad and turned the drama on. Forgive. Nevertheless, the emotions were real and the feedback was too. I allowed myself to feel and speak the fire inside without squelching it. That was huge.

6. marathon... and it was! This post was the culmination of a six-month, life-changing journey. I had to deal with the next day, with the disappointment of finishing short of my goal, with the exhilaration of the finish line...

5. british virgin islands '06. Paul and I chose to put the family on hold for six days to invest in our marriage. It was probably the best decision we made in 2006.

4. indignant. I was blown away by the response I received from my 20 minutes of lamenting. Shocked, acutally. To witness and hear about the conversations sparked, the questions asked, the behaviors altered, the lives impacted by something I wrote... wow.

3. secrets revealed. This was just fun. I can't remember laughing so hard - out loud - literally to the point of tears... at myself. Truth-be-told, I struggled at first to so flippantly admit and expose the naked truth that I'M NOT PERFECT (don't tell anyone). In the end, this post was liberating, constructive... and funny! (oh yeah, and I'm still working on the basement - wink, wink - I'll keep you posted).

2. water. I was pretty insecure about publishing this story once it was written. This was me - the vulnerable writer - putting my stuff out there for anyone and everyone to see. Surprisingly, it felt good. I loved this story. I was so pleased to have found words to capture the thrill of that morning in my life. I grew as writer and person with the challenge of sharing an experience that was so precious...

... and finally the pinnacle of the 70+ posts I wrote on my blogs this year...

1. the middle. This is the post that started this ever-important journey for me. I actually began something - even though the foundation had not been laid, the circumstances were not ideal and I had no idea where I was going. This "middle" was the beginning of something that has already blessed me a thousand times. This is one of the most important things I have ever written - by far the most important thing I wrote this year.

And that's it. Thank you for joining me on this wonderful ride. As this year closes, I hope that you will also take the plunge - do that thing you have been waiting to do. I have learned a most valuable lesson this year - that "the perfect" time or opportunity is... isn't. Too many times we let life pass us by while we're waiting for that magical something - only to find out that it was nothing after all. Why wait? Just Start.

I wish you all the best for the last few moments of 2006 and even more for 2007. Happy New Year!!

part deux

Our local weatherpersons have died and gone to Weatherpersons' Heaven. It's snowing... AGAIN. As my husband would put it, "We've got some accumulation, people!!"

A handful of flight have been canceled, a few roads have been temporarily closed, and perpetual "Winter Storm" breaking news stories continue to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming. For the second time in less than two weeks, we're up to our knees in powder... whoopie!

24 December 2006


Although snowflakes are falling, the soul-warming smell of Christmas is in the air, lights twinkle up and down my snow-packed street, burning behind me is the perfectly cozy fire and dozens of colorful boxes are piled high beneath our tree... although the shopping is done, the cards have been sent, the presents are wrapped and the kiddos are nestled all snug in their beds... somewhere down deep, I feel sad.

"Look at the people to your right and your left. Think about the people in your life for whom you are most thankful," Michael encouraged earlier today.

The glaring reality for me in that moment was that there was an empty chair to my left and an empty chair to my right. As my children colored and played in the nursery down the hall and my husband chauffeured last-minute travelers around town, I sat in service alone.

"He has no boundaries... he works too much... I'm trying to understand, but frankly, I'm pissed..." my anger erupted inside, spilled down my face and landed beneath me in a pool of disappointment.
Arise, O God, plead Your own cause...

Paula, Niki, Kristi, Wendy... Paul, Maya, Cole... Mom, Dad, Tolu, Folayo... quickly I scribbled the first names that came to mind as more names flooded my heart and overflowed onto the little piece of paper in my lap... Karen, Dick, Liz, David, Jason, Ava... Lauren, Leah, Juli, Sara, Lib, Vic... on and on and on.

We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near...

Indeed. In that moment and this one, I am bummed. Yet, somewhere even deeper, I feel full. It's not the season or the presents. It's not the cozy fire,
the crisp air or the warm home. It's really isn't even the the family or the friends. It is You.

So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

16 December 2006

most wonderful

There is that day near the end of November when the shift occurs. Seemingly in an instant, the air turns crisp and smells delicious. Days last a moment, then are quickly covered by the thick blanket of night. The pace of life quickens to an eventual dash for the season's end.

I love this time of year because I can't help but to pause... often. I remember and think about the people in my life - the people that I love and even those that I don't. Invariably I assume a somber, contemplative posture and reflect on the past - about the good, the bad, about the life lessons I can leave behind and those I can take into the future.

I remember my Father and his Son... I think about that night, that life. The woman and her husband. Without fail I am thankful.

04 December 2006


Yesteday, I marveled at the beauty of birth.
I watched a child breathe her first breath.
Tonight, I have been leveled to my knees as I wonder at the brevity and uncertainty of life.
I feel sad and small and broken.

Today, an american soldier fell. The son of my sister in Christ died in Iraq. As he shed blood thousands of miles away, a mother down the street and near my heart lost her son. Two children lost their brother and a young bride lost her bridegroom.

Today, as one daughter's life began, a son's life ended.

Tonight my heart leaps for one family and bleeds for another. Each life so precious, so signficant, yet small. I feel happy and sad. So, so sad.

03 December 2006

a breath of heaven

Today, at 2:05 p.m., Morgan Elizabeth was born in Lafayette, Colorado. I was blessed with the honor of supporting and walking beside her parents through 14 of the 19 hours they labored. This afternoon, I received a grand reward for my part in their journey - I watched her life begin.

Oh, I am overwhelmed. I am humbled and in complete awe. Never, have I witnessed anything more beautiful than the miracle of childbirth. I am convinced that there is nothing more breathtaking that one can behold on this side of heaven. Tonight, I am touched. I am full. I am SO sleepy.

Thank you, Lord.

01 December 2006

chinny chin-chin

Motherhood has blessed and changed me in so many ways. I've learned more of what it means to love, to give, to sacrifice. I've mastered the art of multi-tasking, I've really come to appreciate the simple pleasure of animal crackers and I can almost carry on three (or more) simultaneous conversations.

I'm warming to the idea of "company" in the bathroom, and I'm learning contentment and even joy when drowning in laundry, diapers, spit-up and all sorts of other unimaginable things. I've grown... literally. My bottom has spread, my belly is "fuller" and my feet are nearly two sizes larger post-babies.

Changes. They are to be expected... of course. Nevertheless, nothing prepared me for this. I thought it was a fluke.

Maybe about 6 months ago, I noticed something I'd NEVER noticed before. I spied this curly little something at the bottom of my chin. Naively, I tried to brush it away, but it wouldn't come off. After further examination, I realized: that's a hair... AND IT'S GROWING OUT OF MY CHIN!?!?!?

Please keep in mind that I was the girl who innocently wondered every time I was in a hair or nail salon, "Why in the world would any woman need to wax her lip or her chin?"

Well, now I know.

I stretched the hair to its length in horror. "How long has it been there???? Why didn't anyone tell me??" I wondered. With tweezers, I tugged on the little nuisance.

"Gone... Oh, wait...."

To my dismay, I found another. Then another. Then another. FOUR CURLY HAIRS?! That's a beard!!! Somehow, in my naivitee, I thought that once I plucked, my nightmare would be over. Sadly, I was wrong.

In front of the mirror this morning, as I transitioned from asleep to awake, I noticed a pimple. Just as I was set to operate, I discovered that my new little companion had not stopped by on his own. He brought four curly-haired friends along with him.

I'll never be alone again! Yet another unexpected blessing of motherhood.

PLEASE NOTE: I promise that I will try to keep my facial hair under control if you promise not to stare at my chin every time you talk to me in the future.