That's why it's called a shortcut. If it were easy, it would just be "the way".

Saturday, December 16, 2006


My social life is making a comeback. I have been out to all sorts of Christmas parties with my baby. We are both getting our social fix, I guess. Of course, having a newborn attracts all sorts of attention, even from people I would like to not get attention from.

Jeremy and I went to my company's Christmas party last night. First of all, most of the people I work with are very upper class that own multi-million homes, BMWs, have investment portfolios, etc. They aren't people I feel completely comfortable around. I am middle class and work well with blue collar or even white collar people. But people who are so rich they have no collars because they don't have to work, that is a different story. I would like to be one of those people someday, but hopefully I can still be down to earth.

So this lady last night who I have never met kind of camped out near Jeremy and I and offered tidbits of advice like, "Babies are small." Okay, it wasn't really advice but more obvious facts that anyone would know about a baby. She was wearing a gold shirt and a vest that was embroidered with what looked like a scene from a Victorian painting. I am sure she was wearing pants, but I don't remember because of the upper half of her outfit. I had never met this woman before, but she hovered and stared a lot. I had to nod and smile quite a bit. It was odd.

Tonight we had the Christmas party with the teenagers. We probably had 35 people there. It was a blast and I felt so much more natural and comfortable. No one gave me baby advice. I had lots of compliments on how handsome Karsten is which a mother always likes. (I hear it so much I wonder if it is sincere though.) The teens played games and laughed and teased. It was wonderful.

Tomorrow night is another Christmas party at our friend's house. Thursday night is a Christmas party for my husband's work. We will leave to go to the in-laws for Christmas on Sunday.

So I have to finish wrapping presents, hit Wal Mart for a few last items and count my blessings again. I love Christmas!

This year I think I am more in the Christmas spirit because we don't have money this year. We had to keep our gifts to everyone at about $10. We didn't buy a Christmas tree. My husband and I aren't exchanging presents with each other. I was sad at first. I love buying gifts for people without much consideration for cost. I am sure we usually blow about $1000 every Christmas. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in getting EVERYONE a present, shopping, wrapping, and the busyness of the season that I feel more exhausted than anything. This year I have had time to reflect on the true blessings I have in my life which no store bought gift could ever rival. I have a home. I have a loving husband. I have a well behaved, easy to care for baby boy who is beautiful. I have family who cherishes me. I have friends who care for me. My family is healthy. My family is functional. I have good in-laws. The weather is still in the 60s and 70s here. God has given me so many gifts that mean so much! He is the best gift giver.

On to Motherhood updates: (Even though my readership is zero!)

My baby is sleeping through the night. I feel so blessed that at only seven weeks, he started going to sleep through the night. The first time I had eight hours of sleep in a row, I actually felt more tired than when I was getting about three hours at a time. My body apparently was saying, "Okay, give me more."

Did I mention that I fit into all of my pre-pregnancy jeans? It is such a great feeling. I still feel pretty. I still feel beautiful like a woman should. I thought I would lose a big chunk of that as a mom. Not so. Moms can be sexy, I guess. Who would've thunk it?

I am also getting up at 6:00 in the morning without a problem. I wake up before he does now. I have quiet time by myself before Jeremy wakes up. I actually got a lot of cleaning done.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

To Be Honest

Well, I am writing to you because I just want a "sounding board". So I'm talking about the "F" word! (In my life, the "F" word is "feelings".) I'm not really looking for a response or anything.
I have finally figured out that I am feeling insecure because I know I am changing and I am afraid that Jeremy won't like me as much.

I told Jeremy this and he says I'm being silly. Which is pretty much the response I expected.

I want to like myself and I guess I'm having a hard time accepting the changes and liking them. It's been a very long time since I've not liked myself so I'm losing self-confidence which is the ONE thing a woman needs to be attractive. Vicious cycle!

So the solution? I should probably figure out what I am not liking about the changes and work on making positive changes.

Motherhood is a beautiful, wonderful thing. I think it makes me be more aware and more attentive to the kind of person I am becoming for my sake, the sake of my husband and the sake of my son. I would like my family to be as functional as possible and the dysfunction usually starts with a crazy mom. The world does not need another one of those!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Amberland has been bought out!

I'm bored. I just want to relax. I need a back massage. I don't relax very much anymore because I think Karsten will need me at any minute so I feel like I'm constantly "on".

Now I feel like having a nap. Or a margarita. Or something.

I don't feel as fun as I used to be. I don't know. It's serious to be a mom but I just want to have fun and laugh and keep things light. I feel like I am losing that "keeping things light" part of myself.

My marriage has changed. I didn't want it to. We have to function more as adults, I guess. It takes more communication, talking about things even when things are not pleasant and just fun and silly. I like just fun and silly. I don't like confrontation of any sort, really. However, I know it is unhealthy to keep things bottled up or to stuff problems when everything isn't just fine. Parenthood takes more compromise in a marriage I guess.

If anyone has tips on how to stay silly with a newborn, please let me know. I try to think of silly things to do, or make light of situations I have to deal with repetitively with my son. But I don't feel like I have the resources outside of that to cope, to find as much humor, to truly enjoy the lighter side of life. Which is sad because it's that side that is the best side for me.

I want AmberLand back!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Money Issues

I think a lot more about things like health insurance, drug problems in my community and the state education system now that I'm a mom.

My momness is stressed about bills. I really want to be responsible about paying everything on time. I need health insurance for my family. I am self employed. My husband works at a small church.

I have been thinking a lot about finding a "real" job instead of being self employed but the potential for money in this job is so good. I am in my third year and building my business, so I should just get busier and learn more to do better, correct? I don't know.

I want to go back and finish school. I want to live somewhere that is close to a four year college. I am looking for a profession that will pay well and be reliable. Not something I necessarily love because now I love my son and my family and that's what I will work for.

I want to live in a state where the education is better than 48th out of 50.

I could sell my house, take the profit and buy a home in Iowa free and clear. The downside is that I would then live in Iowa.

All of a sudden, life as it was two months ago is not going to cut it for life with a son. I am going to have to step up my game in real estate and start pulling down the money I know I can make if I apply myself. I am going to have to live within a budget. I am going to have to start saving for retirement and Baby K's college fund.

I feel motivated to do all of these things now. It's just the immediate future that is stressing me out. Maybe by the Spring, I will be rolling along in business enough to generate income for a good insurance program, get an online education and start that savings program!!

Anyway, that is what's on my mind right now. Thanks for letting me get it out!

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Monday, December 04, 2006


I can tell I am getting more rest. I actually have brain capacity to daydream and wish. It is a change from the grind of worrying about the basics of food, sleep and cleanliness. However, day dreaming is dangerous. I found myself wanting a brief vacation and only six weeks into this new momness! I am ready for Baby K to be a bit more independent, but only for a week so I can go to San Diego or Maui. Ahhh....beaches and mai tais. I could just wave my worries and stresses away. I could sleep in again. Just some simple things to look forward to.

I think I have a year to go at least for something like that. And I am sure five hours into an excursion, I would be missing Mr. J and Baby K and would have to turn around and go home immediately.

So this evening I was feeling a wee bit sorry for myself. I gave the dogs a bath, did dishes, did laundry, took out trash, fed changed and burped Baby K countless times today. By this evening, I just wanted someone to make dinner for me. I wanted to take a long bath or have sex or do something normal. I wanted the house to be magically clean and the laundry to put itself away. Just a break where I didn't feel guilty for leaving Mr. J to tend to things just because I didn't want to for a while.

I am grateful that I have a great husband who can help out and is more than willing to. He is constantly telling me, "Amber, just ask for help when you need it." But I feel guilty for not wanting to do it myself. If I don't want to do it, why would anyone else?

On a side note, Mr. J needs to take cooking classes.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Boring or Strange?

I don’t like blending in, being normal, hum-drum or status quo. I think it is part of the reason I waited a while to become a mom. Everyone has kids it seems. I know God made us to reproduce and it’s fairly easy to do, even without intending to.

I am a middle income American, wife of a youth pastor, a mom and I don’t even think I qualify as a MILF. I don’t think there is much originality in that. The thought sort of depressed me for a few days. I am just glad I have today’s version of a wagon instead of a white minivan I guess. Plus, I don’t have to take anyone to soccer practice just yet.

I now wake up between 4:30 and 5:30 in the morning and go to bed no later than 9:00 at night in most cases. I do laundry, clean the house, get urges to make homemade cookies, make dinner, feed the dogs, compulsively vacuum the living room. I watch Oprah and Dr. Phil in the afternoon. I even think about looking for coupons online before I go shopping and I budget and figure out how much I have in the bank account and how many bills I have to pay to see if they balance. (The good news is that I live in a country where the national deficit will always be something to consider before I begin to panic. Do other countries call the White House daily asking about payment? I digress.)

I worry about germs and sickness and coughs and cleanliness. I have a working knowledge of how to change a diaper on a six week old baby at 2:30 in the morning when he is squirming, kicking and screaming and can manage to get the diaper on and all fifty snaps repositioned in no time flat. I eat even faster. I can down lunch or dinner in under two minutes flat.

Where’s my originality? Basically, it’s in my DNA.

Psalm 139 (The Bible)

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

I talk to my teens a lot about purpose and identity. (Or, at least I did before I became pregnant and I formed a one track mind for Mommy-ville.) I have been stripped of my previous purpose and identity. It still exists, but in a much smaller, less significant way. I still have a profession. I still enjoy my relationships with teens. I still write blogs occasionally. I still read books sometimes, have conversations with my husband and shop at Wal Mart. My purpose and identity in life might be confused with being a 30 year old mom, a pastor’s wife, my looks, my checking account balance, the vehicle I drive or a myriad of other things.

The truth is my identity has been given to be uniquely by the unique Creator. My husband shared with me that God says, “I know the plans I have made for you.” The word "plan" there correlates to “invented”. God invented something unique and special for this run-of-the-mill mom.

My true identity might be hidden to most people behind the yellow cleaning gloves, lack of coiffed hair, spit up on my shirt, or slippers that perpetually grace my feet. But I know my true identity. I am unique. God spent time on me personally, starting from the inside out. From day one, he had invented a whole story for me and me only. Even if I fit the profile of 300 million other people, I am my own person with my own story. My power and my life flow from the Creator of the universe. Imagine, he invented something for ME and he also invented things like Earth, flowers, animals, the sun, the moon, DNA, string theory, integers, the way a woman’s body works when she gets pregnant to after the baby is born, thought of everything, planned for everything….He invented me and a story for me.

I am excited to see what the next sentence of my story will be!

P.S. I am sure a bunch of people would label me a "nut" for this post alone! Here's to not being normal!

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