Friday, May 27, 2011

Dear Life....and Love...and Heartache...and Healing

It hit me this morning. While running through the woods in the rain with 12 or so other crazy women it hit me....much like I hoped it would. It meaning all of my experiences over the last month.

I have experienced new life, death, fear, hope, longing, anticipation, relief, a need for comfort, love, reminiscing, and a need to keep pushing forward. The need to push forward is something I have been experiencing since I was at least 4 although I am sure it started long before. 4 years old is the first time I remember the emotion so strong to want to cry, to want to break but knowing deep down that I needed to move forward, surprisingly I was 4 years old when I taught myself how to pray. And boy have I felt this is the last month! The good news is in these times I have learned that what doesn't kill you or rather what you don't let win will make you stronger. It will also be what you need to pull yourself out of the mud puddles and holes you find yourself in. The mud may still be up to your knees and you may have sweat on your brow from all the pushing and pulling it takes to get through, but the best part is you can look behind yourself and smile knowing you weren't alone in that hole, nope God was right there and even though you felt you were all alone he was there giving you a boost the whole way through. Then you smile at that hole and you may even taunt it a bit...knowing its no match for you and what you have chosen to steer your life. And this is when the healing begins.

I am so blessed it hurts sometimes. My life is so full even from the outside when it looks like everything is crumbling. I have so much to be thankful for!! And the difference between me and that little red headed 4 year old girl is I have so much to keeping pushing for, so much to hope for and look forward to! Somewhere down deep she must have known that it would look up someday, that there was a greater truth out there than the one she knew, and she survived because of it. She and I survived because of someone so much bigger than the daily problems we face.

We all have them, problems, and I have said this before, the only thing that makes mine different than yours is that they are mine:)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Number Nine:)

Today marks nine years of married love for the pair of us today folks. Nine is crazy. It doesn't feel like nine until we start reminiscing about all we have experienced in the last nine years and then it seems like a lifetime. A happy, full, wonderful lifetime!!

This is a picture is from our rehearsal dinner...thanks Moml for the cute hats. Its funny to think that I could be more in love now than I was that day:)

Nine years ago I married my best friend. Someone that God had already planned out for me to meet and love. Someone that would God had planned out for me to partner with. They (who are they really) say you should marry someone that you are stronger together with than apart and I think that is true for us. We have always made a great team not only in times of stress but also in times of great joy. His is the smile I search for when something good happens and the smile I look for when I need a pick me up.

We went away overnight on Sunday to celebrate the occasion, it is always so nice to get away together even if for an evening. Our lives call for much scheduling in this department, not just on our part with two kids in school there is always homework to be done, activities to attend, and bedtimes to adhere to,not to mention our other obligations and responsibilities. It is totally a new season. So 1 night away seems like a real treat, just the two of us, no agenda and family and friends that know we are gone so our cell phones were quiet. This is bliss.

We stayed in Belltown Seattle's new food central these days. As you can probably guess I was in heaven. We spent most of the day wandering, however the evening held reservations at Branzino....that delicious Italian restaurant from our food tour. Not only did we have reservations but my husband had arranged for us to sit at a small expediting area right in front of the chef line. I was in heaven!!! We sat there for two hours watching, eating, talking, eating, watching and eating some more. I had the chef pick my meal because if you ever waver on what to order you should always ask the chef what he/she would order. So we started with a large antipasti platter, followed by Papperdelle for me and Spaghetti with Calamari(not the fried kind people), and ended with a fresh made to order apple crisp with house made cinnamon gelato. There may have been some red wine in there as well. Afterwards we managed to waddle the mile back to our hotel, mind you for some reason I thought my 4 inch heels were a good idea(not)....and we curled up in bed and watched a movie. May not sound to exciting, but the pair of us have had a hellish (sorry no other word to describe it) month. And rest and relaxation is exactly what the Dr. ordered. When we woke up in the morning my wonderful hub-dub ran across the street to Dahlia Bakery and retrieved warm made to order mini donuts with marscapone and fresh strawberry rhubarb jam, and fresh coffee. What was I to do but wait for his return and read the newspaper while watching the news. Seriously it gets no better!

So what does the next year hold, on our way to a decade of marriage? Well I am sure it will hold more hellish months, sorrow and tears however the good times override all of the bad. Sometimes The good times are what make you cry.

I am so incredibly blessed to have been given a man that is leading me and my little family in the direction that we are longing to go. I am so incredibly blessed to a man that encourages me to reach for the stars as I strive to live out Gods purpose for me. I am so blessed to be married to a man that tells em I am beautiful every morning. I am so blessed to be married to a man that has shown me love that is bigger than I was able to even dream of before I married him. And in saying this I am ready to glide through another nine years or as many as I have left on this earth with my best friend.

And one more little funny after this mushy post. When Elliot woke up this morning he told Elliot what today was and informed him he might need a blindfold because there was going to be a lot of kissing. I am so blessed to be married to a husband that grosses out his kids for fun:)

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Perfect Sunny Day....and Breaking The Rules

So I broke my own rules today. You see I have a job tomorrow. The job is me cooking for 13 high end clients. First I must say I love high end clients but more on that later. Back to my rule. I made a rule a long time ago that the day before a catering would be devoted to just that. Now on big jobs, weddings, funerals and the like, I have no choice but to devote an entire 4-5 days to a catering. But sometimes with a smaller job I tend to give my self more leeway, hence the need for the rule. However, faced with the nice weather and the opportunity to go on a field trip to the beach (my favorite place), I chose the beach and 15 adorable and fun 2nd graders.
It was way worth it, during the field trip I though nothing of the catering I was faced with, however afterward I quickly became freaked out about the amount of work I had to do this evening to catch up. So what does this Angry Blueberry do to get herself through the evening but stop for a coffee mid supply shopping trip and get herself all caffeined up for the long evening ahead. The problem was they were offering double shots and how could a frugal girl pass that up, it would be waste right? Brian reminded me upon my arrival home that I should always pass up double coffee shots because me on lots of caffeine and a sharp knife freaks him out:) Such is life to each there own....I am happy to report that I finished my prep work an hour ahead of schedule:) And Brian went to a movie so he didn't need to witness my wicked knife skills for to long.

Back to the field trip, first of all it was a beautiful day, I even was able to achieve the perfect amount of pink from the sun.... The kids were amazingly behaved(of course they were they are form Ebenezer;) And there was plenty to be found in the tide pools today. I even scored some sand dollars for my beach collection. Elliot had a great day, I had a great day and I was reminded that my children are my ultimate purpose right now, and that was totally worth breaking the rules!

Now why do I love high end clients. It is not for the reasons you may think. The main reason I love high end clients is because they don't mess around! They expect what they expect and if you don't deliver they blacklist you, send you your final check and you will never work in their community again(I love a challenge). They don't call you a half a dozen times in the week prior to the job because they are busy golfing, moving tables form the big house to the new house to accommodate their guests, ultimately they are just to busy to worry about if you are going to come through with what you said you would do. This creates bliss for me! It gives me time to process, provide and deliver the best that I possibly can. The other thing I love is that they usually have the nicest most well stocked kitchens , which makes for a nice work environment.

What am I making???

Appetizer Hour

Greek Style Stuffed Mushrooms
Bleu Cheese Stuffed Tiger Prawns Wrapped in Prosciutto
Seared Scallops Garnished with a Reduced Carrot Sauce (sounds weird, its not)

Salad Course
King Crab Cocktails (not traditional)


Lemon Thyme Halibut
Roasted Asparagus
Mushroom and Thyme Risotto


Brown Sugar Souffle served with creme anglaise and macerated Grand Marnier berries

And that's that. I am excited. Kristin and Brian are coming with me. The dinner is plated and the apps are passed so I need me some staff:)

In other news Grace learned to ride her bike without training wheels and lost both her front teeth within 10 days, I am so not ready for her to grow up, it seems I have no choice. If you ask her she will tell you she is famous because the neighbor boys witnessed her inaugural ride and cheered her on:) I love this girl! She is the picture of confidence, it melts me:)
Oh and she totally wears felted flower pins to kindergarten, because she is all about the accessory (Which she doesn't get from me). She also wheres rhinestone studded sunglasses into school and on the school bus. Shes famous...just ask her:)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Monkey Fell Out Of A Tree.

I have been calling Elliot Monkey (affectionately) since he was born. He would always just cling on to me when he wanted to be held. Now I call him a spider monkey because if I pick him up he is so tall and his legs are so long he can literally wrap himself around me:)

Well last night my monkey fell about 6 or 7 feet out of our tree in the front yard onto the sidewalk. Grace came running in the front door crying telling me Elliot had gotten hurt. Here comes the bad, experience sometimes gets me in trouble mom part. I was waiting for him to come in after her screaming. Well that didn't happen and about 30 seconds later my neighbor comes running in and says Elliot is really hurt we need towels. When I walked out of my door I see my child laying face down in a puddle of blood and he wasn't moving-and I am not exaggerating his shirt was soaked there was a puddle laying under his head and his arms were covered with blood-all I could think was he busted his head or something. Turns out he hit his jaw to the point of splitting it wide open.

After the ambulance came and stopped the bleeding we got him to the ER and they put seven stitches in his jaw. He also chipped some teeth, knocked some teeth loose and jammed his knee. He tried to grab on to the branches when he was following so one of his arms is pretty badly scraped as well. We have plenty of bumps and bruise and road rash to go around.

It is pretty amazing how skin can just split open, it was so wide we could see his jaw bone. Sorry for the graphics...I don't have a weak stomach at all. 7 stitches.

Apparently he was trying to save the neighbor boys rocket from the top of the tree, the rocket was rescued:) I am not sure the neighbor kids will be the same for awhile they were all pretty traumatized by the whole event.

I am constantly reminded that God is so good to us. I know boys fall out of trees all the time and walk away with a couple of stitches. I am not sure that they fall onto pavement out of trees all the time. We are so blessed that Elliot walked away with just a few stitches, it could have been so much worse.

I am also reminded how great it is to be able to raise my children with faith. Grace went to the neighbors house after this happened while we went to hospital and my neighbor said she gathered up her buddies and they prayed for Elliot. This alone makes me cry, that my children know that they can go to God first with everything and that my little sassy Grace would think to pray for her brother all on her own is amazing to me.

We reminded our kids last night during bedtime prayers that it is God that gets the glory for this one. That God was there to protect Elliot and make sure he was ok.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Woman - Uterus Not Required.

I read a blog post of another woman over Mothers Day that struck a nerve in me. It said if you have a uterus today is your day to rock. Interesting. It was her way of saying Happy Mothers Day, I believe. Now don't get me wrong I am not offended by this woman I know with every fiber that she didn't mean to exclude anyone.

However I think we so often forget that being a woman means much more than being a mom. I know I am losing readers by the second now so please hear me out.

Being a mother is something that easily marks me as a woman. However after two extremely difficult pregnancies, I myself was told that the idea of any more babies was something I needed to let go of. My dream "family" of 6 was wiped away and I had to learn to focus on what I had. I am sure you are all saying be thankful for what you have and how could you say this with two beautiful babies, be thankful many women can not even have one. However being told you can't do something is difficult and at the time I was 23 years old and in my mind I had plenty of baby growing years ahead of me. So although at the time my arms were full with a 2 year old boy and a beautiful baby girl, my heart felt a bit sad that this would be as full as my arms would ever be. At this point I had no idea what it would feel like to go through a hysterectomy at the age of 26, this too would be harder than I orginally thought.

So much of what I thought was part of being a woman was wrapped up in a single part of uterus, which is now gone. As soon as I came out of my drugged slumber after surgery I felt like something was missing. Not just physically, but emotionally, I had been fooled that what made me a woman was now gone. It was a dark time...

I have had my own struggles and believe me I know how incredibly blessed I am, I also continually rest in the fact that God knew this was how my family would be shaped. And God has given me many other opurtunities to lend my mommies heart to other children that do not belong to me.

There are also women that have all of the right parts but for some reason can't talk the parts into doing the job they are supposed to do. Some of them are childless, some of them have taken different routes to start a "family." Some of these women are my friends and there is nothing more painful than not being able to have a baby when that is all you want. I have walked with these women through some dark times. I have been standing next to them when some one asks them, so when are you guys going to start having kids, and I have seen their faces drop and felt their hearts break. I have had conversations with them about what it means to be a woman. And let me tell you having babies is not what makes being a woman possible.

The statement of if you have a uterus today is your day to rock bugs me. Some of us don't have one, some of us have defective ones, and some people never plan on using them. This is not the common thread......

I believe the common thread runs much deeper. I am not sure that I can define the common thread, it is one that is complex, one that holds an understanding among the team, the girl team, the woman team. So lets not wrap it up into an organ. Lets broaden it, lets widen it to involve all women no matter what their ability or desire of motherhood may be. Its greater than that. Its an honor,it sets us apart.

Okay so I thought it might be fun to find some other things that makes each of us feel like a woman....leave a comment and I will start a post with all of the responses. I will add mine too. It doesn't have to be a deep meaningful thing it can be as shallow as all get out. Just let me know. Leave a comment here or email it. jessica at angry blueberry dot com

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My children are blessed.....

My children are so blessed. They are surrounded by so much love and care, they should be bursting at the seams. They have great grandparents and grandparents coming out of their ears and they all spoil them in their own ways.

This past weekend their Great Gma and Gpa VP took them and some of their cousins to see Alice Through The Looking Glass at the theater downtown. It was a treat( I got to go to). Gpa and Gma had been the week before and decided that it would be the perfect outing for their grandkids. The kids loved it.


Thanks Gma and Gpa for taking us, we all had a great time.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A little piece of hope.

I slept for the first time in 3 weeks to the point of dreaming. I didn't wake once all night. This is a tiny piece of hope, a tiny piece of heaven. I have mentioned before that I am not a very great sleeper, however this doesn't mean I don't need sleep. The feeling of sleep however after not having any is a bit intoxicating when you wake in the morning, and the vigor and excitement that comes with it is very encouraging:)

I was reading in a devotional I turn to time and again called Streams in the Desert, it will always be one of my favorites. My system for reading it after picking it up again after sometime is to simply pick it up flip to a page and drink up the goodness that lies inside. So that is what I did yesterday I flipped to the date of May 11, and this is what I found, it is amazing to me that God can even use my random attempts at being fed. These were the exact words I needed yesterday, and He knew.

Part of it goes on to say....Oh, how everything gives way when affliction first comes upon us! The clinging stem of our hopes are quickly snapped, and our heart lies overwhelmed and prostrate, like a vine the windstorm has torn from the trellis. But once the initial shock is over and we are able to look up and say,"It is the Lord" faith begins to lift our shattered hopes once more and securely binds them to the feet of God. And the final result is confidence, safety, and peace.

The adverse winds blew against my life;
My little ship with grief was tossed;
my plans were gone-heart full of strife,
And all hope seemed to be lost-
"Then He arose"-one word of peace
"There was a calm"-a sweet release.

A tempest great of doubt and fear
Possessed of my mind; no light was there
To guide, or make my vision clear.
Dark night! twas more than I could bear-
"Then He arose"-one word of peace
"There was a calm"-a sweet release.

My heart was sinking neath the wave
Of deepening test and raging grief;
All seemed as lost, and none could save,
And nothing could bring me relief-
"Then He arose"-and spoke one word,
"There was a calm!" "IT IS THE LORD."

Oh how I love my God! I love that His presence alone can bring me the peace I need. And when I remember to ask he will give me rest! I love that when all my hope is gone my hope in Him never fades:)

And so I let it go yesterday with the knowledge that not everything is perfect yet, but it will be! I let it go knowing that not everything that has happened in the last three weeks makes sense or even panned out even close to how I wanted it to, but someday it will. I went to sleep knowing that my God know my heart hurts and my heart joys and He is there for both side of my life.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Seasons of Motherhood.

Mothers day is just around the bend and I thought this year I would do my Mothers Day Post before it gets here.

My sister just had her first baby, and I know many that are in the trenches of early childhood, hopefully this post can be an encouragement to you. There is always another mom who has walked the path before you. I am always thankful for my friends who are older moms that can comfort me in the stage I am currently in. So next time you see a mom with a screaming child in the grocery store don't distract your eyes look right at her and give her a smile or a simple I remember those days, it gets better:) This is what I do. Sometimes we all need a cheerleader. And its not like your child never threw a colossal fit in the middle of Target when you wouldn't let them get play doh (maybe its just me:).
One of my all time favorite pictures of my monkeys, aren't they cute. This was one of the ways we got through our day when I was in the trenches, it was always the last thing we did before Daddy got home from work, and it was so much fun. DOn't you just want to chew on Grace's arms, I do and I did:)

There are so many seasons we go through as mothers and the seasons are different from child to child and stage to stage.

There's the season of holy moly I'm pregnant. That stage was especially real for me when I found out I was pregnant with Elliot. After two weeks of having the "flu" my Mom pointed out to me that I was a married lady and married ladies get pregnant sometimes:) Elliot was the greatest "flu" bug I have ever had even if the flu lasted for the 15 months I was pregnant with him.

There's the awestruck bewilderment of the first moment you lay eyes on their precious little faces and you realize that they are yours (well kinda yours...more on that later). And that a miraculous God used your body to harbor this sweet tiny being to grow and form into a fully complete and beautiful baby. It will be your smile that makes your cheeks hurt and your tears that fall from your eyes in amazement, because you are their mom.

There are seasons of no sleep, endless diapers, coughs, colds, runny noses, spit up, blow outs,teething, firsts and fits:) It will be your tears that fall from worry and exhaustion because you are their mom:)

There are seasons of firsts, steps, words, outings, holidays, birthdays and what not. You will be the one that gets to experience these and fell your heart burst when they smile:)

There are first bumps, bruises, cuts, scrapes...if you have an Elliot ER trips (yes that would be purposefully plural), owies to kiss and band aids to place even if there isn't any blood. With this comes the beginning realization that you aren't able to protect them from everything they will encounter in this world because its big and scary and unpredictable. But they are your kisses they need and your fingers are the ones that place the bandaids.

There are first days of school, first school bus rides, sleepovers, and broken hearts on the playground. Your heart will break the first time they get their feelings hurt, but hopefully its you they come to reassure them that everything will be ok, why because you are their mom:)

In some seasons of motherhood we can feel the mundane, we can feel a lack of purpose, we can feel forgotten and under appreciated. We don't like to admit these feelings but its there and its ok.

However, we are also the ones that get to be used by God to grow up these tiny beings into young men and women that hopefully hold God in their hearts and walk from day to day with purpose and strength and the knowledge that not only does God love them but they have a mother that holds them in her heart always with prayers and the knowledge of how they became who they are now to be.

Its a gift and a honor to be a mother, That God would entrust you with one of His own to hold and love and nurture. It is an honor because they don't belong to us as much as we would like to think they do. They are ours on loan until we all reach our eternal destiny. And we have a God given power to mold and to shape these little people in what they are to become, to lead them into the promise.

I am constantly reminding myself that my love for my children should be much like Christs love for me, one that is unconditional, one that teaches, one that comforts, and one that is ever present.

We are so blessed as mothers to be able to accept a calling that is so full, I am so grateful for the way I can look at their little faces and be instantly reminded of how much they have grown already and how much God has already blessed them, protected, loved and fought for them. They are walking little testaments of God's faithfulness to them and to me.

Happy Mothers Day, and to all of you who aren't mothers surely you know someone that is, give them a hug, tell them you love them.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 10th???

So I thought my life was settling down this week.....not:) Turns out I have just been neglecting my calendar. As in not looking at all. We have recently been in a season in which the tragedy at hand wipes out the previously planned events, which equals no need for a calendar:)

Well after two weeks reality has returned and I couldn't be happier. This week is teacher appreciation week, a granny's club luncheon, final eagle boosters meeting for the school year, a Jog-A-Thon BBQ, Worship Team Meeting, and a million other things. However the event that is bothering me the most is for next Tuesday, May 10, I have the word soup followed by 12pm????????? seriously for the life of me I can not remember who I am bringing soup to at noon, so if you are reading this and I am supposed to be bringing you soup please let me know;) In the meantime I am planning on making soup and having it ready in the event that someone calls and reminds me:)

I also have been desperately searching for the word vacation my planner? If you find it let me know;)