tantrum tuesday.

Listen.  Maisy is outgrowing her ridiculous tantrums.  She only has legit tantrums like “I don’t want to take a nap” and “You keep bossing me around and I hate that” or “Don’t tell me I can’t punch Henry in the face.  I can.  And I will.  And also I just did.”

So here is a picture of Maisy Jo blissing out over some puppy chow Chex mix.

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Baycation 



I have never not lived on a bay.  I grew up on a river that fed into the Chesapeake Bay a short drive away.

San Diego, Mississippi, Norfolk, and Monterey are all also on a bay. In this way Nick’s gig with the Navy has been a huge blessing because a life away from the water would be a real Charlie Foxtrot.  Bays are the best. So beautiful are they that Journey wrote a hit song about them.  I’d like to talk to you about each bay I have lived on.

Chesapeake Bay.  Perhaps this is the grossest bay I’ve encountered. But I didn’t really know it was gross since it was the only bay I knew about.  Growing up near the bay ensured I would know the words “estuary” and “Delmarva”.  Wouldn’t you know that at the height of my manatee mania an actual Floridian Manatee swam into the Chesapeake Bay.  Her name was Chessie and they wrote a children’s book about her.  Yah know.  Like Nessie but Chessie.

306004_959053981351_1446445845_nSan Diego Bay.  The bay in San Diego is so tight.  It’s filled with Naval war ships and helicopters and subs and jets and naval bomb dolphins.  Also sailboats and paddle boarders.  I love a Navy town.  The bridge to Coronado island is hella scary- way scarier than the Chesapeake Bay bridge (sorry Marylanders).

Bay St. Louis.  Which is in Mississpi NOT Missouri which could be confusing to people who are not familiar with the gulf coast of Mississippi, that is to say, everyone.  One time a bunch of nutria (that is, giant imported swamp rats) drowned in Louisiana and the current washed them up on the beach and they all blew up, literally,  so the state had to bring in hazmat teams to remove them.


Norfolk.  Also the Chesapeake Bay.  Norfolk is full of little waterways making their way out to the bay, not unlike Annapolis, and is part of the reason it was so appealing to me so fast.  Norfolk is right at the mouth of the Bay and brings to mind another bay word: “brackish.”  The major port town brings in thrills like very long container trains and an abundance of rats. Ya beautiful and I love it.  Minus the rats.


Monterey.  Monterey Bay is a marine sanctuary and there are otters.  So, I can say in all sincerity, “Hey Nick!  Look at that otter gamboling in the kelp!” And it’s truly true.   If you don’t love sea otters then you are either lying or dead inside because otters are like a hug made manifest or what an actually warm fuzzy looks like.  Even still, sea otter felt too obvious when I picked my favorite marine mammal and I veered left and chose manatee, which is more like watching reality tv made manifest.  They eat sea lettuce so it’s mostly water weight.  Sea otters do eat starfish which for some reason strikes me as incredibly gruesome.  I think I thought they were depicted with starfish because they liked the conversation or they were just playing with them like a toy.

Thank you bay, or should I say Bae?!  (That was a bad joke that I wrote anyway because I have a massive disrespect for the time you take out of your day to come here and read this).

🎶When the lights, go down, in the city.  And the sun sets on the bay.  Oh I want to be there, in that city. Ohhhohwoooo.  Oh oh ohohoh🎶

Journey does not translate easily to the written word.  Theirs is a language best sang.

Old Testament boobs and other afflictions of motherhood.

Motherhood is a joy. It is a gift and a boon and to be absolutely forthright with you- it is an affliction.

After 6 years of pregnancy and breastfeeding- crammed as close together as Taylor Swift albums- I have become as dry as a page from Leviticus, as weary as Methuselah on his 969th Birthday.

Here I will list some afflictions, short and mostly to the point. (Shyeah right)

-I was sitting at a baby shower brunch (the only kind that exist in your 30’s!). And I caught an alarming glance of my side arm in a friends glasses! “They can’t be that wide” I thought “Perhaps they are distorted from the angle of her glasses”. The human heart has a high capacity for self deception…. but in that self same glance, out of my other eye, I perceived a lovely thing. It was a chocolate orange scone. And I forgot about my flabby arm and I ate that scone. I ate it real good.

-When given a moment to think, most mothers can speedily call up something to google. For me this mostly involves an appendage in -or function of my reproductive tract, like “why are my boobs a Chinese finger trap now?” Or “will this cystic acne from my spiraling soup of hormones ever leave?” I also have forlorn thoughts. I might just ask “Hey google, am I pretty?”

-Occasionally the old adage “The old gray mare just ain’t what she used to be” crowds my thoughts. Had I known what my body after 4 kids would be like I would NOT have squandered my youthful fawnlike body. What I lost in taughtness I gained in chin hair.

But I do think that there is something redemptive in naming your afflictions. Perhaps they seem frivolous in comparison with other afflictions. I mean, Leah had a ton of children and she had weak eyes and had to hauk a mandrake with her sister to sleep with her husband. I can certainly see where my pathetic groaning about the state of my rack can come off as a first world problem. It plagues us because the decaying of a fallen world feels so wrong. So absolutely backwards. 2 Corinthians 4:17 says, For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. Our saggy Old Testament boobs? They’re a -okay. Because salvation does not rest on our beauty but it rests in Christ’s sacrifice for us. We will ultimately be redeemed and whole and a witness to the glory of Christ. A glory so filled with light that Moses walked away from it glowing. Paul tells us to give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I think it’s ok to lament the loss of your youth. But I also think it’s rich to praise God when you see the ravages of time and childbirth on your body. Because He entered into our world to deliver us from it.

Come soon Lord Jesus, until then, thank you for allowing the invention of underwire.

procrastination.

Hi.  My name is Kaley.  And right now I am procrastinating.  I am procrastinating because there are, like, so many piles of laundry everywhere.  Imagine a prairie dog colony and how when the colony expands the prairie dogs must make more holes to come up for air.  The laundry in my house is much like an expanding prairie dog colony.  Piles just keep springing up.  Sometimes I call my guest room the laundry room because it is where I put clean laundry that I intend to put away, but then never do.  And sometimes when members of my family go in to the “laundry room” to find clean clothes they leave their dirty clothes in with the clean clothes and then I call that room a “Charlie Foxtrot” which is a military term that I bet you could figure out if you applied any effort at all.

I am also procrastinating because I have to finish working on my bible study which includes words in the English language that are strung together in sentences.  My eyes are bleary because Henry has a touch of the croup and my brain is making sounds that a derelict factory machine might make.  Grinding gears, squeaky wheels.  What is that phrase, the squeaky wheel gets the oil?  Did you ever wonder if the squeaky wheel just wanted a nap?

I am procrastinating because the carpet is so icky.  Having kids is icky.  In the not so distant past they got into the fire pit and colored the patio with charcoal and so now whenever anyone goes outside their feet turn black because the last time it rained in California was when the wooly mammoths were barreling around falling into tar pits.  Have you seen the news?  It’s straight fire in Cali.  And as a side note I would like to say that where I live it is not the land of fruit and nuts.  Where I live is where they grow artichokes and garlic and lettuce.  You have to go a couple hours away to get to the almond groves- so there.

I am procrastinating because I am wearing control top underwear which are very uncomfortable because my waist in so unruly and unwilling to submit to the control of the underwear.  Every time I sit down and try to concentrate I am liable to think “You know what?  I shouldn’t have eaten ______________ (just go ahead and insert everything I ate this weekend, none of which was a “healthy food” besides the avocado I added to my crispy chicken sandwich)

I am procrastinating because I stayed up late watching “Naked and Afraid” for shark week, which is when they drop you in shark infested waters.  Naked.  And you have to survive for 21 days.  And no one made clothes.  And I think my priorities would go as follows: Water.  Something to cover my lady bits.  Food, Shelter.  I SAW things they could have used.  I saw them eating coconuts ok?  Instead of laying around getting bitten by insects you could have been crafting an intricate coconut bra.  Probably they just didn’t want the stereotypical “coconut boob tanline” that every one knows you get on naked survival shows.  Don’t act like it’s too hard.  One time on Project runway they went to the dollar store with 10 bucks and then crafted COUTURE BALL GOWNS.  I’m just now realizing this is what Nick is talking about when he tells me I can’t prioritize what needs to get done.  This is why they would find a skeleton of a woman wearing a fabulous palm frond headdress.  And maybe I should be doing laundry.  Or bible study.  Or dishes.  Or carpet cleaning.  or parenting instead of writing this blog.

I’m going to do that now.

2017.

DJI_00181. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?

I went on the 21 day fix for slightly longer than the fixes prefixed time limit of 21 days.  In that time I became pretty thin, then fell off the wagon faster than some unsecured watermelons in mid July and immediately gained back most of that weight.

Wait!  That sounds exactly like a fad diet and I HAVE done that before, so color me a two bit liar.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make any.  This year I want to pray more for my children to conform to my will so I look better in front of my friends  to be drawn to the gospel truth.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 

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Me!  Me!  I did!  His name is Duke.  He is chubby and dense just like me and I love him and squeeze him and he has a cute button nose, but sometimes he pinches me which is very uncool, but he’s a baby so it’s fine.

I was concerned that he might not be cute because my other children are and 4 cute children felt like tempting fate, but he is indeed very cute. The Lord Jesus gives good gifts.

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4. Did anyone close to you die? 

Yes.  My sweet friends lost their sweet baby Jack this year.  I was so glad to get to know him during his short time with us.

Psalm 147

3He heals the brokenhearted

and binds up their wounds.

4He determines the number of the stars;

he gives to all of them their names.

5Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;

his understanding is beyond measure.

5. What places did you visit? 

San Diego!! It was just as sunny and wonderfully mild as I remembered.

Hot dang right? That’s a handsome looking pizza! Just kidding, I never objectify my pizza- I ONLY respect it.

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017? 

I would like my speech to be seasoned with salt and not seasoned with regret.

7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 7- Baby Duke was born!  He’s so cute.

March 19- The year I did not make Nick a trifle for his birthday and he can’t let it go and keeps casually bringing it up when I least expect it, very subltey, but enough to let me know that I should have made that damn trifle and maybe bought a balloon or something.

Hey google, set a reminder for Kaley to set up gofundme page for Nick’s record breaking most bangin trifle party in the history of man kind.

This is a trifle:

Pinterest.com

Every year Nick’s mom sends the special limey (I understand that to be a British insult) custard from the U.K. which I almost always can’t get to set correctly and if this is the worst thing Nick demands all year I should really stop complaining.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Walking again!  During my third trimester with Duke, for a myriad of reasons, I could walk nary a fifty paces.  Had someone challenged me to a duel, I would have been SOL.

9. What was your biggest failure? 

Wow.  Tough to pin this one down.  I bet if you asked Owen or Maisy they would know.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? 

Just the general aches and pains of being an unfit mother of 4!  Working out?  Ain’t nobody got time for that!

#whatsyourexcuse

This.  This is my excuse.

11. What was the best thing you bought this year?  

A pair of worn in Sperry’s at a thrift shop for 9 dollars.

12. Where did most of your money go? 

Food! Living in a touristy town is

🤑🤑🤑🤑

But look at these views Holmes-

I took that on a walk 7 minutes away from my house.

13. What did you get really excited about? Girls. Weekend.

We all met up and talked and ate and used the selfie stick and then we laughed and also had French fries. We talked about racial reconciliation, and earrings and spiritual warfare but also made a dubsmash. They are my bosom friends and I love them.

14. What song will always remind you of 2017? “Where You Are”- Moana

Consider the coconut. The WHAT?!

“Awake my Soul & Sing” -Bethany Barnard

15. Compared to this time last year, are you: – happier or sadder?

Crazier!

– thinner or fatter?

Thinner than 30 some weeks pregs. Which is like not even encouraging in any way! 💁🏻

– richer or poorer?

Richer in arrows for quiver. Poorer because #diapersforyears

1
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I had danced in public more. Like this lady.

I got in some sweet public dancing at the mall recently but only prancercised once or twice on my street this year and I just don’t want to hide my light under a bushel you know?! You get it.

Similarly, I wish I had danced in private more as well.

I wish I had been filmed at a live concert doing a strange dance and it was immortalized on a DVD somewhere.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of? I wish I had gotten less dental work. I thought getting a root canal would be relaxing, but there is a lot more choking on your own spit going on than what I had previously imagined.

18. How did you spend Christmas? Christmas program jokes

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STJ. Billy Graham meet up 🙌 God save the queen.

-Game of Thrones. Just everything. GOT is everything. The dragon scenes in this season were what I’ve been waiting for this entire series. Nerd out so hard.

-The Great British Baking Show. “It’s a good bake” watch this on Netflix. It’s, in a word, delightful.

Stranger Things- Because Billy.

20. What were your favorite books of the year? None Like Him- Jen Wilkin

The Heidelberg Catechism

Because He Loves Me- Elyse M Fitzpatrick

A Study in Scarlett- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Glory in the Ordinary- Courtney Reissig

Holding On to Hope- Nancy Guthrie

Walking with God through Pain and Suffering- Tim Keller

Daniel of the Bible. Lions, fiery furnaces, apocalyptic prophesy- its got everything!!

21. What was your favorite music from this year? https://youtu.be/jo0fECusCH0

Bethany Barnard (formerly Dillon) so, so deeply good.

Taylor Swift

22. What were your favorite movies of the year? Hollywood, y so much existential dread tho? Whyyyy???

Movies guaranteed not to make you want journal while Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls plays softly in the background, as follows:

The Big Sick- A must see. No really.

The Lego Batman Movie- Actually very funny.

Ok, upon deeper reflection, I think I hated almost every movie I watched this year 😳

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 32! I looked up from my phone on which I was googling “uterine prolapse symptoms” and realized I had turned 32.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurabley more satisfying? Living in Norfolk!

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?  Tight bottom, tight arms, loose where my torso loses all definition. Accentuate extremities ONLY! Pants must be tight enough to hold in internal organs since abdominal wall is, in a word, gone.

Still relying heavily on make up and flashy accessories to distract everyone from what I actually look like.

Got some clutch bronzer this year that took 5 lbs off of my face.

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Also, the Keurig machine.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017?  That it is important to remind yourself of the grace you have received from Jesus. When you reflect on the great sacrifice He made for you, on His love, then the focus can shift off of yourself and onto His glory.

Scripture is great to pray. And meditate on. Like, kind of a duh moment but it’s been huge for me to immerse myself more.

28. Your guilty pleasure?   Candy. Chocolate candy. Donuts with sprinkles. 🍩🍫🤤 29. Song lyric that sums up the year:

These T Swift lyrics sum up Nick’s Naval regulation Mustache.

Duke

Duke. I’ve told you nothing of Duke.

Let’s start from the beginning. I found out I was pregnant with Duke the week we arrived in Monterey. It was… startling. But then, it wasn’t.

I threw up in my mouth. A lot. I laid on the ground and read quotes about suffering by Spurgeon. I made sport of my OB/GYN’s Russian accent. And throughout all of this, I did not one dish. Not. A. One. It was a misery. But eventually, it wasn’t.

I knew this baby was a girl. I had girl clothes on my Amazon wishlist. I sat through 2 ultrasounds where Duke resolutely crossed his legs over his umbilical cord so I caved and did a blood test. This baby was supposed to be a girl, but he wasn’t.

After coming to terms with, let’s be honest, the loss of all the tiny tutu purchases I had anticipated, it was time to name my 4th baby and 3rd boy. I was taking suggestions because, it’s like, who has this many names?!

Duke was induced a week early because of my diabeetus. Fairly uneventful. Count Dracula. Uterus gone. The kid on nickelodeon who turned inside out on the swing.

Duke was born. Duke, to my surprise hates loud music. And his car seat. But other than that is happy and affable in every way.

Duke is a peacemaker. Duke refuses to play with toys and would rather play as if he is trying to make the team at training camp. And what I mean by that is he pushes heavy objects across the floor over and over again- then occasionally clothesline’s his older siblings. Duke is a tank. Duke loves to laugh.

And now you know about Duke.

on motherhood, moses, and manna

Ahhh motherhood.  You beautiful, terrible thing.  In this week after mother’s day, in the aftermath of the heart emojis, the potted plants gifted, and the manicures procured, I ask you, can I be honest?

I have found myself in the possession of many childrens, all mine, and I’ve found that I am, in a word, overwhelmed.  Where does this take me, but to the ever relatable book of Numbers?

I’ll catch you up.  Moses.  Red sea parted.  Isrealites victoriously delivered from slavery!  Whitney Houston’s “There Will Be Miracles!”

Then, Desert.  More Desert.  America’s “Horse with No Name.”  Manna.  More Manna.  Dang we could go for some meat.  Remember when we were slaves?  At least we had delicious meat.  Free and meatless sucks!  You didn’t say we’d have to go Vegan Moses.  We hate this.  And you.  And deliverance.

Moses responds to the Israelites demand for meat in Numbers 11:13-15.

13 Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”

Do you hear what Moses is saying here?  He’s saying it’s too hard.  The people that God has sovereignly appointed for Moses to shepherd, He is saying he is ill equipped handle all these people.  Me too Moses, as am I.  I too cannot handle all of the people God entrusted to me.  And I would be lying to you friends if I told you I have not laid face down on the bed after confronting disobedience in 3/4 of my children simultaneously and not wished for death.  And am I longing for actual death?  No.  But I crave peace- the glorious peace that comes from being with Jesus, in a place where there is no malice, impatience, or the ever present weakness in my pelvic floor that causes me to slouch, and sometimes google “uterine prolapse.”  So, we’ve established.  Moses = #sorelatable for overwhelmed mothers.  I feel like I could even argue that I might be getting a beard started.  So what now?  Moses was surrounded by such intense whining that wished for death.  Then what?  I’ve found that when I am longing for the Lord to talk to me, that I should just keep reading.  So… I kept reading.

Numbers 11:16-17

The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.

I feel pretty certain that in my particular situation I will not receive the gift of 70 wise elders to help.  But I do feel certain that God will send help, I do not carry this burden alone.  Isaiah 30 says that the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
    and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.

I notice 2 things about Moses here.  And 2 things about God.  Moses was honest about what was going on in his heart and he also sought God out to pray in that sincerity.  He offered up himself, in weakness.  God blesses the poor in spirit.  God heard Moses and He answered, but not in a way that Moses imagined or asked for.  Moses, in his infinite wisdom (eye roll emoji) said “Go ahead and kill me.”  (I say eye roll emoji but this is self deprecation because I literally do things like that ALL THE DANG TIME)  God in His infinite wisdom (no eye roll emoji) gave him what he needed to carry on.  Fellowship, help, a burden shared.  I think that you will find that if you reflect on the prayers of your heart- prayers that share your loneliness, your irritability, your anxiety and your pain, in these places the Lord is happy to meet you.  And not only meet you but deliver you.  Moses stood the mediator for God’s people.  He saw God as close as any man could.  But in the end, he sinned and a just God could not let him enter into the promised land.  Moses was just a man.  Time Keller says that “Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant.”

What is this new covenant?  Here is a taste via Jeremiah 31

31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Jesus is the sacrifice that makes this new covenant possible.  Jesus is the one who bears our burdens with us.  He who promised is faithful.  He will sustain you.  He will give you what you need, but not necessarily what you want or more appropriately what you thought you needed.  And this is a good thing.  Because- have you ever met a 4 year old girl?  I have.  Mine cut half a head of hair off because she wanted to.  She thought she was smart.  But it was not smart to get scissors and cut off her hair.  She could have asked and I would’ve given her some guidance.  In this example the girl was us and the parent was God.  Did you get that?  Was it obvious?

On manna and meat days remember, you do not have to bear your burden alone.