Thursday, May 26, 2011

My embarassing encounter with Mr. THATAABOC.

The sound of the static tension above me in the florescent lights is stagnant, and my tolerance for it is not.

It was 2PM and I was hitting the afternoon stretch. Nay we call it the home stretch to be optimistic?

My boss has been out of town all this week, and will continue to be through next Wednesday. She’ll be back for two days, and then gone for another week. I am desperately searching for work to keep me busy. I get disgusted at the idea of doing nothing for an entire day, much less an entire week. At least at work. At home- I would be okay attempting to do nothing for a day… or two.. I digress.

I’ve been helping out the two professors that are here, as every other sane one is home enjoying the bloom of their summer vacation. I had already read a 250+ page book for a professor, double checking the scripture references. He repaid me with a Starbucks Soy Strawberries and Crème frappuccino, which I was very grateful for. It was an interesting study on the book of John which he was co-authoring. Some of it was a little mundane, but some of it surprised me. Especially a section, where he talks about angels. I emailed him this morning asking for the Scripture references, since I returned the draft copy of his book yesterday, and didn’t write any of the verses down that had caught my attention. When I asked him for the scripture reference he used when talking about how angels have taken on human form (remembering my encounter here: I wanted, really really wanted, to write to you all about my angel experience a few weeks back...), he emailed me this:

  • Angles on occasion have taken on human form.
  • Genesis 18:1 – 19:1 (most people think these men were angels)
  • Jacob wrestled with an angel (Genesis 32:24-34 and Hosea 12:4)
  • Hebrews 3:2
  • Judges 13:2-6
  • Angels  are referred to in masculine terms and in masculine names.
  • A few people think they might also appear women  (Zechariah 5:9).

Nevertheless, later that afternoon when the two o’clock hour had finally hit (every new hour was a milestone passed), and that same professor called asking for a favor, I went downstairs. I enter to find Mr. THATAABOC (short for Mr. Thinks he’s All That and a bag of Chips) in his office in his usual progressed linebacker position. He’s the kind of guy that talks with not just his hands, but his body. When you listen to him teach, he shuffles from one side to the other, as if getting ready to dodge an opponent on the football field. He laughs with his shoulders, and his face turns kind of a purply-red when he is caught off guard by someone one-upping his joke. He greeted me with his usual “hello” (enunciated HeLOW!). The conversation below ensued:

Mr. THATAABOC: Well I need to try out a game.
Me: You know, Mr. THATAABOC (real name was used), I was a Youth Ministry major and I hated playing games. Hence why I never once in four years volunteered to play any of the games when asked in class.
Mr. THATAABOC: Oh it’s not that bad. You see, I write a monthly column in a national article that is published for thousands of youth workers, and my focus is on games.
Me: (thinks to herself) Shocker.
Mr. THATAABOC: And I need to try out this game. You see, I get a lot of my game ideas from my students.
Me: (thinks to herself) Real original.
Mr. THATAABOC: Well a student wrote about this game where one person uses one of these (shows Article A) to catch a Kleenex while the other person uses a straw to blow the Kleenex up in the air.

Article A

Me: (thinks to herself) You have got to be kidding me.
Mr. THATAABOC: Here let me show you.
Me: (outloud) You have got to be kidding me.
Mr. THATAABOC: (Chuckles with purple face) (moves stationary chair out of his office and into the main hall.)
Example Chair

Mr. THATAABOC: Okay, so one person sits on the chair like this. (Begins to straddle the chair, and then sits with both knees kindergarten grade style, legs underneath knees bent).
Excuse her butt- its the only picture i could find that accurately showed
how uncomfortable I was while demonstrating an accurate pose.

Mr. THATAABOC (continues): Then you blow this thing (holds up Article A again), and try to catch the Kleenex. You can play that role, which you’d probably prefer, or this one where the person lies on his back underneath with his head right at the base of the chair.
Me: Oh yeah, I’ll sit in the chair. (prego-penguin wobbles over to chair). You know Mr. THATAABOC, you could have Professor Diamond or Professor Too-Good do this.
Mr. THATAABOC: Oh yeah! (chuckles with purple face), Professor Diamond! Ha!
*authors note- both of these professors, Professor Diamond (truly a jewel, older woman who is very well educated, kind of the “mama” of the family) and Professor Too-Good (also a wonderful woman, but despite her claims to be completely different off-campus, has never been seen forgetting something in the oven/microwave, walking on a crack in the sidewalk, misspeaking, without high heals) would truly never be seen – even if Jesus asked – doing this game with Mr. THATAABOC. Or just doing this game period.
Me: I’d pay big money to see one of them do this.
Mr. THATAABOC: Oh yeah! Okay… (chuckles with shoulders without making any sound). (He hands me Article A and says) I haven’t used this. (He then lies on his back and proceeds to position himself where I can only see him if I lean forward enough to look in-between Mt. Everest and Mt. Shasta. Awesome. Good thing I’m wearing jeans. I try to lean back, realize that the length of Article A can only stretch so far, and I must place my pride aside to play this game.

This is Mr. THATAABOC (Chair is backwards, with back of chair slightly behind head).

He begins to repeatedly try to place this Kleenex at one end of the straw, while blowing the other, directing its destination to be in the exact spot that it could catch on Article A if I blew it at the right time. We try this unsuccessfully 3 or 4 times. As I slightly lean back, just to pull up my jeans and make sure I’m still looking professional (ha), guess who walks down the hall in the previously empty Faculty Offices but Professor Diamond. Of course. Awkward.....

Professor Diamond: Well (raises eyebrows and grins, stopping in the hallway at the other end of us).
Mr. THATAABOC: (Goes from grape to strawberry.)
Me: Oh Lordie. It’s for a game.
Mr. THATAABOC: (Rolls on his side to keep from choking from laughter, or embarrassment)
Professor Diamond: Well they do say when the cats are away, the mice will play.
Me: You can’t tell my boss this is what I’m do when she’s gone. She’ll think I don’t get anything done!
Professor Diamond: Gets up off the floor and half out of breath, attempts to tell Professor Diamond what we were doing, and how it couldn’t possibly be as irresponsible or outlandish as it appeared.
Mr. THATAABOC: You see, I write a monthly column in a national article that is published for thousands of youth workers, and my focus is on games.
Me: (Thinking to herself) Of course, he has to preface is with national.
Professor Diamond: (politely grinning and smiling while clutching her briefcase, probably in fear of the crazy youth ministry/game guy.
Mr. THATAABOC: And a student wrote about this game that I wanted to try before I published it in this national article.
Me: (thinking to herself) Oh give me a break.
Professor Diamond: Oh I see.

Untraceable conversation ensues of generalized comments between Professor Diamond and Mr. THATAABOC. I end up briefing Professor Diamond on the work I had completed for her the day prior, and letting them both know,

Me: If either of you need anything, please let me know. Well, except Mr. THATAABOC, I think you’ve hit your quota.

All in the day of a life of me.

Me: Walks upstairs, thinks to herself, of course it had to be Professor Diamond that walked in. Serves me right for trying a game with Mr. THATAABOC.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Someone told me today that if you don’t set your heart on your dreams, even if they’re in the far distance, they’ll disappear.

If you could do anything what would you do? No one had asked me this question since I was graduating college. I think the people who did ask me that got used to my answer changing dramatically from one spectrum to the next.

While Scooby Doo & I were dating, I made a list in our journal of possible careers that I would enjoy. Here is what I wrote:

  • Astronaut
  • Art Curator
  • Old Testament Professor, Christian University
  • Archeologist
  • Rock Collector
  • Ballet Dancer
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • CHP Motorcycle Cop
  • DJ
  • Photographer - especially of weddings and children
  • Meteor Specialist
  • Marriage & Family Therapist
  • Sociologist
  • Genealogist
  • Marine Biologist
  • Composer
  • Musician (flute), specializing in work with the primary grades in the local school systems, as well as participating in a jazz group.
  • Any job without a desk where I get to be outside.
  • Christian Youth Summer Camp Director, or any kind of science/environmental awareness/nature camp
  • Youth Pastor
  • Women’s Pastor over high school & junior high
After I had YumYum, one of my good friends, Melody, asked me what I enjoyed doing when I told her that I felt like I was losing myself. I said being with YumYum, bathing her, talking to her, singing to her…. She said it can’t involve YumYum. The only thing I could come up with was YumYum. Granted I was plagued with an awful sickness at the time (PPD), but when someone asked me today if I could do anything down the road, what would I do,… I felt the punch in the gut and tears being held back at the same time. Have I really gotten that far?

I have a beautiful family whom I love so much, a house that I adore…. I don’t just like my life- I LOVE IT. The joy that I get from being Scooby Doo’s wife and YumYum’s Mom, and a daughter and a sister are simply priceless. Then why is it that I felt so lost when asked that question? I think perhaps because the majority of my current identities are intertwined with the relationship of someone else. All of who I am is someone’s mom, wife, sister, daughter…. You take all of that away, and it gets scary quiet.

So this is my attempt to remember who I am, by myself. Who has God made me to be? I don’t want to lose that. Especially going into having another baby, I remember how lost I felt after YumYum. I felt like a human boob, helpless, and weak. Looking back that was the time in my life that I’ve leaned on God the most, and realized just how much stronger He was than what I thought.

I would love to study a bazillion different subjects. I would love to know everything there is to know. Because that’s not possible, that makes it even more fun, because I love to learn, and to live a life full of learning- I can’t think of something more fun. I love studying the Old Testament and archeology, the proof, the truth, and how the New Testament makes it all wholly truthful. I would love to teach it, because I think I would be dynamic. I’m more introverted than extroverted, which is the exact opposite of how I was in high school and even some of college. I’m not as spontaneous as I used to be, or perhaps now I’m just too tired. I still enjoy doing spontaneous trips, but more so I love laying in bed on a Saturday morning playing solitaire or reading a well-worn book.

I HATE being put on the spot. I HATE being the center of attention. I love giving insight to people in areas that they need encouragement, and especially am brought joy when I see they are encouraged and touched. I love leading and organizing and being in-charge, but I also relish the times I get to be a follower, and just part of the crowd, not in charge of something. I hate baby showers. I think it’s fun having everybody together, but dread the games. I hate baby shower games. Bachelorette parties wear me out, and even at my own bachelorette party, I think we were done by 9:30.

I miss my body before baby, and unless I have surgery, some things just won’t be the same regardless of how often I work out. I often set my expectations too high, so high, that somebody else has to call me on it. I think it’s ridiculous and irrational when other people do the same thing. I take medicine for depression, and am on the highest dose possible of Prozac. I’ve been on it for a few years now, and still hate the fact that I have to take medicine to feel normal. I give it to God in hopes that someday, I won’t need it anymore. Yes I know it’s a chemical deficiency and yes I know it runs in my blood and that I’m the perfect candidate for medicine since exercise, eating well, and sleep still only help so much. I just hate that I have to, and that probably won’t change.

I will ALWAYS get bored in a job after a year. I hit my one year mark and I’m done. Unfortunately, as of late, that mark has shortened. It stinks because I could be in a perfectly great job, and when I get it (every time, regardless of the job), I think this is the one that I’ll fall in love with and not mind working the rest of my life as. But I will never wrap my head around the idea of working to live, even though it’s not as bad as living to work. I can’t imagine how everyone is okay with the 8-5, Monday – Friday until you’re 65 plan! I can’t imagine that kind of a life. I assumed I would be a stay at home Mom. It never crossed my mind that I would have to work. I just thought- when you have kids, I would choose to stay home for the first five years, and then go back to work part-time, that way I could still drop them off at school and be home when they came home. I never thought there would be this underlying tension of having to work, or wanting to work and wanting to be at home at the same time.

I am praying Smiles (my son) will nurse well. With having mastitis twice with YumYum, coupled with her allergies and colic-like temperament, nursing was a challenge when we did. I loved the intimacy I shared with her, and immensely cherish those memories. If only I could have that again with her. There are other ways to bond, I know, but for me- those quiet 2AM mornings of nursing her back to sleep in the rocking chair, praying for her, falling asleep myself with her cuddling in the crevasse in my arm and against my body- there is nothing like those moments.

I NEVER thought I would own a small, typically "yappy" dog. I always said as soon as I graduate college and have my own place, I’m getting a golden retriever. A puppy- that I train and grow up. I never thought I’d get a Bob.

I do athletic things, and enjoy being called or labeled athletic, but I am far from it. I love taking walking trails and biking long distances. I did do a triathlon while Scooby Doo & I were dating, and I’ve done several 5ks. I was the last one in my age group to finish in the triathalon since I walked some of the trail near the end. But I finished, and I was so proud of myself. I love to kayak. I wish I was more athletic because I think I would really enjoy team sports such as softball or bowling. I tried to get a bowling team together for the local league, but schedules were too busy to get a group. I really do enjoy sports though. And watching them.

I’m rambling now… but just in case I forget a little bit about who I am, I can come back to this blog and remember, yes, you are a daughter of Christ- and this is who He made you to be.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Things I’ve wanted to blog about but haven’t had time.

 Here's to playing catch up... a review on the last month:

-    It really sucks not having electricity in your house. The luxury of having hot water for showers and a stove for cooking will never again be taken for granted.

-     I wanted, really really wanted, to write to you all about my angel experience a few weeks back. Basically, I think I met an angel. I’ve never experienced it before- the world kind of stopped when I was talking to her. I opened the door for her at Khols, and this grandma slowly crutched her way to the door and told me I was beautiful. I said thank you, and she gently put her wrinkled soft hand on top of mine, and said, do you know how beautiful you are? Have your husband remind you. You are a blessed woman, yes you are. She spoke in gentle terms, not quite hushed, they were unrushed and steady, gently floating melodies. It was a beautiful moment. She said she had been married for 50 some odd years now. It was a beautiful moment amongst several other seamlessly hurried errands.

Anyone? Touched by an angel? I loved that show....
but it got a bit corny. I still watched it.

-     While getting my eyebrows waxed, my esthetician told me how her dog and her roommates dog had escaped a few days prior. Their two labs had JUMPED OVER their 6 foot fences. Then, somehow they casually survived a walk across one of the busiet intersections in the city and right before a freeway. They were spotted meandering the area and ended up at a store, the only known specialty store for freshly baked dog treats. The owners called the numbers on the tag and the dogs, regretfully, returned home. At least they had full bellies! The owners now have put ladders on top their fences to deter the dogs. Mission ~ Deter Dog Escape- SUCCESS, with the exception of the unsightly latter lying sideways on the wooden fence outside. Last I heard her roommate had already tried to add two feet of ply-wood to the 6-foot fences and was so proud of herself. The dogs both got over it that night.

-    My daughter is growing up so fast. She’s been a bit wobbly on her feet lately, but still sprinting throughout the house, jetting from one disaster area to the next. Unraveling toilet paper rolls, attempting to crawl in and out of bathtubs, eating dog food, hiding in her play kitchen’s refrigerator, and playing with ANY possible non-kid friendly item that we may have left out.

Caught in the act.

Little butts!

      She also eats any food that is found anywhere. Yes, I do mean soggy cheerios and have crumbled, stale pieces of bread that she finds in her carseat, in the collar of her dress, and last night- in her neck crevasse. I do clean off my child, I promise. I just wait till after she's done... for obvious reasons.
Eating a full PB&J sandwich... with crust.
      And of course, she loves playing with everything but toys.
You love water bottles!

Taking apart the Wii Sensor bar.

Finding Mom's pictures and going through them, under the coffee table,
and with her partner-in-crime no less.

You still fall asleep while eating sometimes....

Do you think anyone will notice if I walk through these wood rails? OOPS! They caught me again!
darn it... quick! play it off... *flashes cute face* hello friends!

      You've had your share of bumps and bruises. That phase of your life has started earlier than I had hoped. I try to protect you from everything, but sometimes you learn on your own.

First black eye. YumYum: 0. Coffee Table: 1.
      Apparently, she still hoards her food. Last week, I remember Scooby Doo playing with her. She thought it was absolutely hilarious to “feed Daddy”. She kept giving him Kicks off her plate, until she reached down in-between her thigh and the highchair and pulled out a cheerio (you can imagine my facial expression). She then fed it to Daddy, who said “I wonder how long that’s been there… yum… soggy”. J I love you both. Lately, YumYum has had major separation anxiety, and tears have come at every turn of the corner where mom cannot be seen. It is a HUGE meltdown, and as much as it pulls on my heart, she needs to pass this phase! She constantly wants to be held by me or Dad, and fortunately, has loved snuggling with the most recent addition to our home, MacGyver- Scooby Doo’s brother.
Snuggiling with Paula Deen (my sister)... *heaven*

      You're pretty worn out at the end of the day.... and still in the next morning sometimes too....

Note: The persons who own this bed, and like sleeping in this bed, are not in this bed... yet it is full!
      She turned one this past Sunday and we are celebrating this weekend. Unfortunately last weekend, she celebrated with a trip to Home Depot to get our new locks changed on our house, and to Meek’s to buy some pruning shears and gardening gloves. Hopefully, she’ll have a bit more fun this weekend. In buying her a birthday card, reading through my different options at Party City, I teared up when I found the card. My first reaction, “I’m so pregnant.” My second? “My little baby is turning one, of course I’m emotional”.
We love you.
-    I actually had another female from work tell me that I was getting bigger. I said, “Oh this one?” and pointed to my belly, “yeah he’s growing.” She said, “No I meant up top.”. Thank you. Really. I love hearing that. (Seriously?! GEEZ people!) Who likes hearing that you're getting big.. anywhere!

      -    Things I enjoy doing. #1 “Quiet” time with my husband. #2 Enjoying my new bath    
            tub. It is heavenly.

*heaven*... although, hopefully not too much of a resemblance.

-    My favorite room in the house? The sun room, although most would call it a front room. There’s this beautiful window that overlooks our front porch and lawn, you can look across the street and down the driveway. I absolutely love it. There’s no coffee table or television in that room, just two couches, two bookshelves, a reading lamp, and lots and lots of kids toys. Last night I curled up and read about 2 sentences in a new book before I got pulled away. The two sentences were bliss. If only I can remember which book I was trying to read… yes, it was a fleeting moment, but with the sun streaming down and YumYum contently attempting to hurdle her large block toys and getting stuck in between the end tables and couches, I was in heaven. J
Not exactly my front room... but this is how I felt.
Until next time!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shoulds Woulds and Didn'ts...

I wish I could pick up a book right now that would fill my heart. I want to feel rejuvenated, inspired… I wish I could read something thought-provoking without being challenged. I’m too tired to be challenged. I don’t really want something else to try to do, I just want someone else to tell me this can be hard, and you’re doing a great job. I wish I could live in a land with “thank yous”, “pleases”, kind gestures, and smiles. I really don’t live in that bad of a place. Most would consider it a pleasant-ville type suburbia filled with raised trucks and golden-doodles. Perhaps it’s the goggles I’m wearing today. I dislike how easily distracted I am. God could have 20 wonderful people cross my path, and have one person run into me with their bad attitude and inconvenient glare, and I’m perturbed! I wish I could be standing firmer.

Maybe this has something to do with the fact that it’s been awhile since I opened the Bible for me. Heck- it’s been a while since I just opened the Bible. Dude- where is my Bible. I think I packed it. Or no, that’s right- I left it out in hopes that I would (my sister-in-law constantly reminds me of my incessant habit to catch the “should’s/would’s” disease”) pick it up in the time I would carefully crave out in my day because in my heart of hearts, I knew this was a priority. HAH! I got up one morning, maybe two weeks ago, and had some tea and quiet reading and talking to the Heavenly Father by myself on the porch. Scooby Doo lay sleeping with YumYum, and I think Bob may have even stayed asleep. It was so nice. Why can’t I add this to and do it regularly? Because the last thing I want to do is add something else to my day that is scheduled. Things that aren’t scheduled just don’t happen, but I’m so tired of scheduling my days. Today on my way home during my lunch break I was scheduling how I would spend my hour off. *Home, bathroom, re-curl bangs, apply make-up since you got up late this morning and only put on blush, grab anniversary card for Scooby Doo to write later even though your anniversary was the day before yesterday, get car seat to return to Heather*…. I actually thought, this is crazy to plan. 007- relax. After that thought, I continued planning. Maybe I’m just hopelessly Type A. I have been like that forever, after all.

So if you know of any good books that aren’t challenging, but rather thought-provoking, that doesn’t use too many big words, but isn’t a no-brainer, that’s a comfort to read, and that is God-based- I’d love it. J