They’re two, They’re four, They’re six, They’re eight…

We have this obsession in our house. We cannot speak his name because just the mere mention of his name brings on confusion and delay across the land.

He Who Shall Not Be Named has taken over. Elliot will come home and stare at the blank TV screen saying His name over and over. Pointing. Shrieking. Throwing himself on the ground.  Sacrificing his other toys at the altar of Cheeky British Tank Engines. It’s insanity.

I am wondering why little guys love Him so much. It is the most boring show ever. And those engines are SO STUPID. If I was riding in a train that could talk and make decisions, I would have higher expectations. Couldn’t they have hired engines with college degrees or something?

Elliot knows all the names of His friends. He dances to His songs. He is practically speaking in a British accent. It’s so bizarre.

Often throughout our house can be heard shrieks of “MAMA?! MAMA?!” You would think that he would be calling on the name of the woman who carried him in her womb. Sorry, friends. Elliot can’t really make the “T” or the “S” sound. So it comes out… “Mama”.    BOO.   I’ve often been caught thinking that my son is joyfully calling my name at the top of his lungs. Then I realize he is holding that blue toy train again and pointing to the blank TV screen.

He Who Must Not Be Named: 1

Mama: 0

Oh… and more evidence.

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In Honor of 2010: The Year of the Creative ReAwakening

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Dear Internet

Dear Internet,

I’m just going to come right out and say it:  I.  LOVE.  YOU.

I can’t imagine my life without you.

We’ve known each other a while now. Remember when we were introduced in high school? Remember the AOL CD that came in the mail? Those were good times. Simpler times. Then I went off to college and got my first email address. Things got pretty serious after that. I am pretty certain that I would have never graduated if it weren’t for you. Thank you for being with me through all those research papers. I’ll never forget my first apartment, holding my laptop up to the window sill to steal wireless from my neighbors just so we could be together.

You’ve answered so many questions for me. The answers may or may not be true, but I’m pretty satisfied with saying, “I Googled it.”  And I am confident that someone on Wikipedia will edit in the correct information. Internet, that’s how much I trust you.

You have provided me with endless opportunities to waste my time, money, and brain cells. For that, my friend, I must thank you. You instill in me a quiet numbness that is comforting on a stressful day.

On this day, Internet, I am glad that we are together and that we’ve made it this far.

All my love,

Tia

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Culture up

And this… ladies and gentlemen… is why I love Jen Lancaster.

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Content

Are you content? I think there are some people who just have more contented personalities. I, however, am not one of those people. I know that we all at some time or another feel like we want something more or better. I’ve always thought of myself as a person who dreams big dreams– but I’m seeing how that can sort of get in my way.

It’s infuriating. I have a great life! I really do. I have more good things in my life than bad things. But those few “bad” things become the things I obsess over.

BUT HAVE I TOLD YOU ABOUT ALL THE AWESOME STUFF?

How I live in America and my husband and I both have jobs? How we live in a highly efficient home that stays warm in Alaska? How I have friends who encourage me and make me laugh? How I am typing this entry on my sweet new tiny computer? How I made homemade pretzels, pizza dough, and cinnamon rolls (SUCCESSFULLY) this week? How I’m excited because my sister is getting married this summer and I get to be a part of that?

But why is it that the one crappy email that I got this week is sticking with me? Why am I unhappy that we haven’t put up a fence in the back yard? Why (WHY?!) am I wanting a new puppy? Why do I look at how much cheaper houses are in the rest of the country?

It’s a part of me. I’ve always been that way. I’m trying hard to step outside of my childish “BUT I WAAAAAAAANT IT” and really survey the good stuff. Because it’s there. And there’s lots of it.

And I hate knowing that I’ve been ungrateful. I have always been a slacker when it comes to Thank You’s. It’s not that I am not grateful to the person who has given me something. I am just forgetful. I remember relatives hassling my mom if I would forget to send a thank you note. That was a terrible feeling. Then I would always send the card after they mentioned it and it seemed like it meant less. It was forced.

My hope is that I can be more proactive about giving thanks to God for the good stuff in my life. I don’t want it to wait until heaven when we sit down and talk about my life and he reminds me of all the great stuff and I say, “Oh yeah, I remember that! Thanks for that. And that. Oh, and that…” I want to give the note right away, because I know how awesome those gifts are. Because I am so thankful.

Because I can’t not be grateful.

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SHORTEST POST EVER

THE SNOW IS MELTING!

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Who Would Have Thought?

So I had another birthday. I know. Shocking. 358 days until the big 3-0.

When I was twenty what did I think my life would look like as I approached thirty?

Living in Alaska?

I came up to Alaska for my internship at Zion. I figured I could go anywhere for a year. Then I was asked to stay, met Andy, got married, bought a house, got a dog, had a baby… and 6 years later, here we are.

Working in a church?

Yes. But I had no idea what I was getting into. I’ve learned a lot of things in the past 6 years about the church.  I’ve seen how a community of people can love and care for one another. I’ve seen how church family can replace blood relatives when you live 3,000 miles away. I’ve seen how God works through the church to reach into lives of people who need to see Jesus. That’s good stuff. I’ve also learned that things are not as easy as I thought they’d be. I thought helping people grow in faith was going to be something that everyone would be excited about. We would put our heads together and come up with amazing and creative ideas that the whole congregation would essentially stand up and cheer for. Everyone would be committed to growing in faith and teaching their children. God would move mountains.
I believe that God can move mountains… but WOW… it hasn’t been exactly what I thought it would be. Maybe God is moving the mountains an inch at a time. I can live with that, it just isn’t what I expected.

Married with a son?

I still wake up in the morning and look around and think… HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?! How did I jump from being 18 and ready to head off to art school (whoa, that’s an entirely different story for another day)– to being a real, live GROWN UP?! I have no idea. I seriously walk around our house and think, I own a house? I’m married? Holy crap! I have a kid! Who approved this?!

Don’t get me wrong– I love my life. I really do. I love my house. I love my husband. I love being a mom. I love my son. It’s just hard for me to believe that this is my life. I thought it would have taken a lot more strategic planning or at least some forms to fill out. It just sort of happened. In the past ten years… I grew up. You have no idea how much that freaks me out! I sometimes feel like the same girl who cut her hair waaaay too short and was constantly overdrawing her checking account. I feel like the girl on the  bus in Minneapolis, waiting for my stop. I feel like the girl who gave up and finally decided to “co-exist” with the mouse in her first apartment. I don’t feel like the grown woman who has real responsibilities and a family of her very own. But I do. And it’s pretty freakin’ awesome.

Writing a blog now and then?

I had never really considered myself someone who particularly likes to write. I would bang out 10 page papers in college at light-speed rates, but I wasn’t careful about what I wrote. I wasn’t precise. I didn’t think of writing like a craft or an art. And I still don’t.  I can’t wrap my brain around that. And if I approached it that way, you’d never get any updates from me. I would be editing and perfecting and obsessing for weeks before I would dare hit that terrifying “publish” button. So this is what you get, my endless drivel. Sorry, folks.

Having a [very] amateur cupcake business?

At twenty I was learning how to brown ground beef and make perfect Hamburger Helper. At (almost) thirty, I would like to think that my culinary skills have improved. I looooooove to bake. I think I get that from my mom. She’s diabetic, but would always make delicious baked goodies for the rest of us. She always took pride in a good recipe. I think I’ve taken that to the extreme. I refuse to share with anyone where I found the recipe for butter cream. I am sure its not a secret, but I like the idea that people think I am the exclusive source. It’s really all about protecting my own fragile ego.

358 days. Bring it on.

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