Sunday, March 28, 2010

God is still God and im inspired

very powerful story...i can only hope that when faced with the daily 'issues' of my day, i can remember this. remember him. and keep it all in perspective. God is good. God is still good. and i am left humbled and inspired by zac and the numerous others He has recently placed in my path...i realize daily just how much i have to learn and how far i have to go.

jimmy dean

i have always had sausage fingers. regardless of weight or size, my fingers have always resembled a nice collection of 10 sausage links in varying lengths. in hawaii, after an evening of grilling out with great friends and probably a few great drinks, one of my friends found out that my middle name (prior to me getting hitched and making my maiden name part of the deal) was for the vast majority of my life 'dean'. as in katherine dean. as in katie dean. as in of course (how the hell could i have missed the obvious correlation my entire life) katie dean sausage. fingers that is. trust me when i tell you that in order for you to get the heelariousness of this night, you did have to be there preferably with a slight buzz and a front row seat to frank (the friend) giving out his best katie dean sausage fingers commercials. they were funny. i laughed. i still laugh every time i think of it. what made it funny was a combination of many things, but what made it super funny to me was that it was just my fingers. wouldnt have been so funny if it had been 'katie dean sausage body'.

which leads me to my recent journey through the trenches of hell known as swimsuit shopping. two things i know i should have done more of before having kids (which incidentally i didnt figure out until after having them. (thats fairly typical of my luck and judgment) 1. sky diving (once was not enough) and 2. bikini wearing. yes, i wore them. a lot. always under the constant self loathing that bookended my bikini esteem from ages 14 to 28. i see pictures now of those days that had me hating my body and am saving them for my plastic surgeon for what i want my after pictures to look like. i would no more put on a bikini today than attempt to do math in public. im not putting my kids through it (seriously, your kids do not want their mom rocking a bikini) and im really not willing to put myself through it. but alas, who really loves their body in a bikini and more importantly who wants to be around someone who does? ill take self deprecating friend time on the beach any day over 'happy to be in my body' banter. like thats fun.

anywho, i decided it was time to add to my swimwear wardrobe this spring. when i originally ventured out in february, i put on a suit and immediately thought, 'okay, this is way too soon. clearly im still winterized', must wait until spring. but we all know that the early bird gets the worm or in my case, the reluctant winterized shopper will at least get sizes other than 2 and 16 to choose from. part of my problem (which i assure you is vast) is i have not committed a day in advance to this endeavor. its always grabbing a few minutes of time to try something on and then realizing it doesnt work. if i had a day in mind, i could at least go tanning (spray on, mom, i promise) and of course a 24 hour fast wouldnt hurt either, but these few minutes here and there with kids with me is not conducive to swimsuit shopping success. take last week for example when i had jack with me at an unnamed store. i grabbed a few options that involved mini swim skirts (the lamest attempt ever to make a 'mom' suit sexy) and halter tops. i also grabbed a box of yogurt covered raisins to keep jack happy. while stripping down to swimsuit attire, i noticed jack was now eating the raisins off the floor. thats dirty. and awesome because i would need to make a large deposit to his future therapy fund if he were actually paying attention to his half naked crazy mother frantically tugging and tying and turning around. which i should not have done. things werent awesome from the front, but really, a 3 way mirror in a dressing room?? shouldnt those only be in the common dressing area, as in youd have to really want to see yourself from 3 angles to do it? why are they forcing reflections of myself on me id rather not see right there in the dressing room? i made a mental note to fill out a customer service card, just a simple suggestion of removing the 3 way mirrors when the swimwear arrives would be sufficient. while staring at myself in disgust, jack thankfully broke the mood with the pin cushion. as in he found it somehow between fistfuls of dirty raisins and was now beginning to put the pin in his mouth. so, i moved in quickly and saved the boy from the choking hazard. i did nothing about the dirty raisins. i decided to call this a wasted day and started getting dressed. i was between the swimsuit and my clothing (that brief minute when you can think of nothing other than the comfort of your own clothes that fit and hide hail damage) when jack opened the dressing room door. thank you, jack. now im naked and horrified. what a great combo. in one seamless move jack was tossed and the door was closed, with a barricade of me preventing any future public exposure.

we left that wonderful 3 way mirror, pin cushion, lever handle door knobs store and came home. which was awesome because my $400 lands end order was waiting on the steps! yay! i had been assured by several very reliable sources that lands end was made for moms and grandmas and all varieties of women who need some bathing suit help (which i find somewhat deceiving because none of their models need any help, but whatever). apparently, they have an insane amount of spandex (which i always thought i should avoid, but supposedly, when in a suit, it has a less trashy scary look and manages to hold you in) it sounded altogether magical. i have never in my life been in such a hurry to go through the hell of putting on a suit, but with the lands end package in hand, i felt my luck was changing. ill say right now, dont take me to vegas. i put that spandex filled contraption on and looked. and stared. i look like something...something familiar, wait for it...oh, clearly, i looked like a sausage in casing. a big katie dean sausage. you have got to be kidding me. am i really the one person in the world who cant even wear a lands end suit? i have already returned all but one of them. the one i kept is really not good. add in what i paid for it and its down right ridiculous, but im not giving up or giving in. i am keeping this casing until i look great in it or find something else. im ordering from athleta this week...ill keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

want vs need

what i want to blog about today is my recent swimsuit shopping endeavor aptly named 'mission somewhat impossible' or 'holy crap, these two kids have done a number on me' or 'whose arse is that really in the mirror', but instead, what i need to blog about today is the recent wave of stories ive read of families losing those they love, a child, a father, a wife. families who are drowning in grief one excruciatingly long moment at a time. and i dont want take you down these gut wrenching roads with me as i relive their journey with them in size 12 font nor do i want to ruin your day with their sadness. rather, i want to give you the cliff notes version of what im taking away from them. if all i do is read and weep and lift gut wrenching prayers on behalf of their suffering, but fail to change something within myself, i have missed it. i have missed the opportunity of their lifetime to change the course of mine. and after reading and weeping, their lives are more than worthy of altering my own. their lives and love are heavy enough to permeate my days if ill let them and today as i sit here and am left with the opportunity to reflect, i want nothing more than to be saturated by their legacies.

i will cherish the interruptions to my plans. this will not mean celebrating a blizzard that delays my husbands return home (although how blessed i am to have a husband coming home). rather, it means giving my 'plans' their due priority. laundry can wait while i read books under a blanket with one very cuddly baby boy. dinner can wait while i attend yet another afternoon tea party with 4 babies, two puppies and one very proud 4 year old peach. we will blow off errands to play at the park, get out the play dough, puzzles and paint and blow bubbles until we're sick of it. what im learning daily is that the joy justifies the mess every time. and while i love a clean house and enjoy nice things, at the end of the day we are not living in a museum (and seriously, mt vernon is nice, but i would never want that old stuffy house anyway) and our home is so much more about the feelings within it than the crap filling up the spaces.

i rocked my son to sleep today just because i could. he would have happily laid down and fallen asleep, just like he will do the majority of his life, but today, while looking at him i swear i saw changes in him from a week ago. he is growing and changing and running faster than i would like to admit. so, now, while i can catch him, im going to hold him. we prayed for these families as we rocked back and forth and when i laid him down in his crib i saw the verse painted on the wall above ::

for He will order His angels to protect you wherever you go.
psalm 91:11

i have always imagined the wherever being more than his physical location (although those of you that know our sweet and fearless boy can most certainly attest to angels holding his hands and protecting him from a 3 story fall most recently). more than his physical location and condition, i prayed when placing this above jacks crib that His angels would be protecting him in his spirit, in his heart and in his mind. i imagined them sitting with him in times of grief and loneliness, in longing and pain. i imagined them celebrating with him in moments of joy and elation, in love and success. and i am comforted by a God who is there, filling up and filling in the spaces of our grief and corners of our doubt. in our justified anger and outrage. in our all consuming fear and sadness. He is there. even when we are so removed from Him, we cannot feel Him. even when we deny His presence. He is still there. my prayer for these families as they crawl through every stage of their grief and suffering is they would feel Him, too. that His angels would protect them wherever they go. that His arms would offer a haven of comfort and sanctuary of peace. and most of all, that i can honor their loved ones with how i choose to spend the minutes of my days. it is the one tribute worthy of their legacy that will forever be a part of mine.