Jan 29, 2010

This is why I can't sleep

My brain will not slow down.

Just some examples of last night's bedtime thoughts:

Do grocery store checker outer people like it when you call them by name (that is if you can pronounce what's on the nametag)? As if there's a sense of familiarity, when there's not? I do it to be polite and acknowledge him/her as a person, but, I wonder if it's annoying.

Who decides what fashion trends are in versus not, and why is it a big deal? Adam and Eve wore leaves and fur.

Speaking of the Bible, were there fish and dolphins and whales and sharks on the ark or did Noah cross his fingers that they'd survive the violent flood?

Also related...how did someone know to drill really far deep to find oil?

Do semis get into a lot of trouble if they don't stop at a weigh station? What if no one's at the weigh station?
Do semi drivers get scared when they're asleep in their trucks?

Are the Native American descendants okay? I don't know anything about their lives right now.

Who cleans the poop off of those one semis that take the cows everywhere?

I wonder if the recycle people have been able to recycle all our stuff okay. The salsa jar wasn't quite clean.

Are the cosmetic companies ever going to run out of names for their nail polishes and eye shadows? Royal Raha Ruby, Ladies and Magenta-men...

How come the mascara commercials only show models with long, fake lashes? Can't we see what the formula would look like on regular, sparse, blonde eyelashes like mine?

Why does Victoria's Secret insist on sending at least 2 catalogs a week? Shouldn't they know I'm pregnant and the last thing I want to see is, well,

Will my children know what libraries and books are, or will technology replace? Ipad.

Should I do the nursery bright and punchy or organic and naturey? If we do organic we don't have to paint...

Is this the last day for Wilder's antibiotic or was that yesterday?

Do we have any chocolate chips in the pantry for cookies?

Should I give birth at Wesley or St. Joes?

Has Shawn called Cox about internet?

We are out of butter, yogurt, animal crackers, and strawberries.

Jan 28, 2010


Peace run to me

Peace cling to me

Peace surpass what I know

I want my moment of ebullience

Relieve pain I can't reach
Restore when I want to hide

Rescue when I am apt to cave

Replenish when I am devoid

Peace, sweet peace

Lay calm these bones

Overflow within me a quiet

As you do the darkness for the night

~mindy harris

photo courtesy of shawn harris, nov 09
humboldt, ks

Jan 27, 2010

Valen-"times" cupcakes

I'm only slightly obsessed with Valentine's Day...

Cupcakes for everyone at my and Wilder's playdate this morning:

Click here for frosting recipe. I used Wilton's gel icing color in Rose.

And here for letterpress Valentine's cards like these:

And prints like these:

Jan 26, 2010


Some dislike poetry and creative writing, but I challenge you, if you're one of those people, to look at the words anyway--let them become a part of yourself for a few moments. Like you would a sunset or a heart-stopping ballad or crazy perfect painting/photo, or a gentle dance.

It's been awhile since a poem has touched me the way the one below has; it's laced with patience and delicacy, but points toward everyday life and feelings.

Happiness is all around. It is mine and yours.


There's just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.

And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.

No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.

It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basket maker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.
It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.

~Jane Kenyon

Jan 25, 2010

Field trip at Krispy Kreme

We're on the up and up. No more fever, though nostrils still run with goo (so much so that I blurred it out of the below picture of Wilder, just to spare ya)...

You know your week's off to a good start when you get to have donuts & milk with pals:

Let the sugar high commence.

Jan 24, 2010

Mindy Harris and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Yesterday wasn't good. At all. At least the first half.

Wilder's been battling an ear infection but given his persistent fever, I took him in for blood work. That confirmed that he has a secondary problem, a virus. He has NO appetite; spits out all the things he used to love. He was a good patient, but it froze my heart to see him have blood drawn. And I wished Shawn had been there. He was working.

So that's another reason why things've been a little tricky. Shawn's doing overtime hours, even though he is ill, but we have just one car...and I go psycho if I have to stay inside for more than, oh, a day. So we take turns.

This leads me to the next issue:

I quasi-wrecked said one car. I was running late for a hair appointment, which I was giddily anxious about (oh, to sit on one's rear for a few hrs), when I careened around a windy part by the river and popped my tire on the curb (it was loud, like a "real" car accident). The car just scarily went it's own way...clunk, clunk, clunk... until I landed parallel-parked in front of a pretty Riverside home. Their door was open and I wanted to go in and lay on their couch and tell them my problems and have homemade lemonade.

I was hysterical, crying, and angry at myself. I had wanted to hurry to Shawn's work to get some coupons since our printer is out of ink, so I could get $10 off the dang haircut. I hadn't yet put makeup on so I was trying to do that and drive. I don't recommend that.

A range of thoughts jogged through my head, the primary being that I sacrificed my and the new baby's safety for a fluff of powder to the face. This makeup thing has become too important and I just need to let it go. The whole point was to be okay looking at myself in the mirror for 2+ hours at the beauty school. They plop you right in front of a mirror, and who am I kidding when I say we all can't help but to look at ourselves?

Meanwhile, Shawn's parents were watching Wilder and couldn't come pick me up because "Papa" had locked his keys in their van (locksmith 2.5 hrs late). So I composed myself and tried to look "normal" for the walk home...although who walks around holding a dirty, cracked hubcap they've found yards away from their car? And my baggy maternity pants were inching toward my ankles; my uterus on its way there, too.

I missed my appointment and felt I deserved it. The accident was my fault, a result of stress and anxiety and rushing. An example of ignoring my body's signals to calm down and breathe.

I've mentioned a book before, Captivating, and I can't quote it verbatim because IT'S IN THE CAR that Shawn took to work (spare tire), but it denotes something like, "a woman at rest invites others to be at rest." When I'm around friends or family, I try to make them feel special and invited into my space, whether that's the physical space of my home, or the invisible one of my heart. Others can sniff out an attitude pretty quick.

I just didn't think I'd ever be in a place where my car was at a literal, commanded, no turning back, mandatory rest. A place of aloneness in a car I've come to loathe, then re-appreciate. I was given the opportunity to buck up, compose myself and pray, because, well,

I had nowhere else to be.

Jan 22, 2010

Nursery planning

Our nursery savings consists of $20 at the moment, but that doesn't mean I'm not perusing stores and online sites for inspiration. I frequent Craig'sList, for a changing table and a crib (as long as it met federal requirements and was clean, safe, etc).

The most challenging task will be fitting everything into the room. It currently serves as library, office, and guest bedroom, and is a wreck/the room we hadn't spent time decorating. The closet is full of cast-off estate sale finds, old
Dwell magazines, and Shawn's computer/college stuff.

The second most challenging task will be arranging the furniture around the three doors and two windows. Here are some pictures to give you an idea:

I also am unsure as to where to put the crib. If I put it against kitchen wall, baby will hear kitchen cleaning. If I put it against Wilder's wall, Wilder may hear the baby crying through the night. If I put the crib by the window, it will be too bright & drafty (not to mention creepy because of burglars). If I put it against the living room wall, the baby might hear an occasional blockbuster on the tube.

Lastly, we want to keep a futon (albeit bulky) in the nursery so I can crash there when Shawn's snoring is unbearable or when it just makes more sense to be close to the baby; the nights can become draining and I want to make it as easy as possible. I could see it lasting until the baby only gets up once or twice during the night. So that adds to the space issue...

Ok, one more thing...I'm not privy to themes as we're all over the board, but some of our ideas include old pull-down school maps, varied sized world globes, a bird's nest, cuckoo clock, bird mobile, and perhaps a colorful painting, chalkboard painted square, or rub-on acrylic for the wall. If we do all that while adding punches of color, I'll keep the bedding cream-colored, like Wilder's.
The outcome of the room will strongly depend on our tightly wound budget, though!

Here are some images of nurseries I favor:

That rug makes me salivate!
This nursery is perfect in every way. Love the white crib/dresser and OWL.
Great example of an easily assembled bird mobile
Nursery featured on OhDeeDoh--beautiful.

For other modern nursery ideas visit ModernNursery or DwellStudios, where you will be tempted.

Jan 21, 2010

In ten years...

I was thinking, earlier, when my brain wouldn't shut up (is this what it's like for writers, to have ideas incessantly rattling back/forth/up/down?), of what answer I would offer to:

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

As a momma I'm freaked out about having two children, about making them both feel special and amazing, while still managing to have a shower and put on a bra, so it's hard to look past this seemingly draining phase toward a different time. And I've a notion that that period, ten years from now, will too have its ups and downs and be just as tiring...considering the kids will be "tweens"...

I've a notion that, as much as I crave it, there will never be prolonged rest in this life. Perhaps that's why they call it life and living. If it's exhausting, then that means you're making something of it...or you are at least trying to live valiantly.

Nonetheless, it's vital to self-awareness to figure out some kind of path. Or, more importantly, to pray for that path then trust God to lead you on it. None of our days are wasted. They're leading to somewhere.

So I thought of this:

In ten years I will still be in love with Shawn (this is obvious to me but seems against the norm). I will have practiced putting his needs above my own, to where it comes naturally. Hopefully we'll have had our Europe trip. The statue of nakey David is beckoning...

I will have grown in the Lord in a way that I see Him everywhere, that I rely on Him first, rather than myself. I want to have shared my testimony with more people. I want to have given more to people than a smile, to be more invested in those who don't know Him...to use the pain I've been through to support their own journeys toward healing.

Our family will be tight-knit, the TV off more oft than not, the Scrabble board worn from use, books frayed from consumption. I can only hope our children will be healthy and pursuing their dreams, trying things out, messing up. I hope that they will feel they can be 100% who they are. I'll probably still be reading lots of parenting books, be freaking out over safety and curfew and all that...and miss them like crazy when they're at camp...

I will be back at work, but it will be an entrepreneurial effort. I'm used to not having a boss and I don't really want one again (ok, unless it's a really rad job where I have some leadership). I may have gone back to school. I'm unsure of that. But my work will be something creative, whether writing, doing women's ministry, or dealing mid-century interiors. Public speaking is one of my worst fears, so that may be something that God would want to stretch in me.

In the realm of physical activity, I really want to work up to running at least 10K. I have crummy knees and shin splints, but I enjoy the challenge running brings. Running for meaningful causes makes it that much more worthwhile.

And because life winds in a way we can never foresee, none of this may take place. But it's at least empowering to work every day to be the person I want to be. I don't in fact like to set goals or dream big because I feel other people are keeping track and will see me as flaky if I don't follow through (but who's keeping track? that's dumb). I don't want God's purpose in my life to ever be overshadowed by daily demands...and He put certain desires in my heart that He'll see into fruition.

Lastly, we will have two cars and a jetted tub in the master bath. And a KitchenAid mixer.

So, how would you answer the question?

Good night friends. Breathe deeply. You've earned it.

Jan 20, 2010

Growing Pains

Our day didn't go as planned. As a parent I should learn that this is the way things will be, mostly, and that it's okay.

We were slated for story time at the library then a quick lunch afterward, but our difficult evening prior nudged me to take Wilder to the doctor. He has another ear infection. He's such a good patient as we attempt to nurse him back to health. But more than anything, I wish I could remove his pain and replace it with health and peace. Such are the prayers to my Father.

In these moments of feeling completely needed by my baby (both babies, really!), my mind wanders to a time when summer meant diving for weighted toys at the bottom of the pool, when school breaks entailed sleeping in, watching TV, and baking. When summer nights meant playing at the park, catching lightning bugs, and rollerblading.

The refrigerator was magically stocked, the cupboards filled with our favorite sugary cereals. My parents managed the bills and inventoried the supply of toilet cleaner and kitty litter. I had my chores, I helped "to be nice", but nothing beat the feeling of someone else being in total control. There's security in that, accompanied with the freedom to be young and mess up.

As Shawn and I approach some decisions that are just part of being grown up, we can only pray to be offered support and mercy from the Lord, as we, rather unprofessionally, weave a safety net for our own children.

One that they can fall freely into.

Kind of like taking that first night swim of the summer.

Jan 19, 2010

A little bit of banter

Hi, everybody. It's Tuesday and Wilder and I have "let" Shawn have the car...so, we're home today (!!!). My brilliant idea of crafting a haphazard drawing table for Wilder did.not.work. I wanted him to color a picture for Grandpa Mustache's birthday, but instead he clamorously dragged the little green chair all around the house. Now I have a headache.

I am so proud of him for eating well today, though. In fact, I'm proud of him for lots of things--for putting up with me, mostly. Since mommas are blessedly different in their tactics and approaches, it's hard not to break out the ole comparison tool. It leads to frequent feelings of inadequacy. But I know I just need to traipse on, to be appreciative of every day I have with my family-for health. And if I ever think of what it would have been like to juggle wee one plus career, my head starts spinning. And mostly, I get sad because I wouldn't have wanted to miss
anything Wilder's experienced.

I am blessed indeed.

Helpful Hints from Heloise:
*if you're planning on going out for Valentine's Day, book your sitter now! Some people hate Valentine's Day, and that's their prerogative. I LOVE it! ;-) Even if I have to plan the date...
*it's Girl Scout Cookie season so be sure to order (one of the highlights of my year)

I'm elated to have some city-lovin' readers! I just can't say how badly I wanted to move into our friends' apartment. Most appealing was the simplified living...paring down belongings to mere necessities (and rad decor). And the view...and the elevator ride (but maybe not with groceries in tow).

Promised pics (these kids know how to decorate; I've decided we need more original art in our home, because art reminds me to think past what I already know/see/do):She has a KitchenAid mixer. Lucky!
I call that the blog's second official home tour!

Jan 18, 2010

8th floor view; could get used to it

One of the blessiest (not a word) things about living in Wichita is that we're only 45 minutes from Shawn's parents who are glad to watch Wilder so we can get away, as they did this weekend. Our friends Drew and SG, who live in Kansas City, invited us to visit the same time our mutual friends, Todd and Katie (from Seattle) were visiting. These couples are supercool, bound to us by our K-State glory years. It's effortless to pick up where we left off...

While the trip was a bit short (we just could not get it together Saturday morning: I couldn't find my sneaker, was sick the night before, couldn't find camera charger, had to get gas, had to drop Marley off, Shawn couldn't find clean shirts...it's always about not finding stuff!), we made the most of our child-free time.

Drew and SG live in a high rise apartment, the 8th floor to be exact. I was infatuated with the place. Itty bitty, around 600 sq. ft...beautiful view--true city life (compared to how Shawn and I live). The obsession birthed the urge to photograph their cozy pad; will post pictures tomorrow.

Okay, one of SG's bracelet:
I was asking them about where their trash goes (all the way outside--no chute like on all the CSI shows where dead people turn up inside them) and how about laundry (coinamatic in scary basement)? I can see how they tire of the crummy aspects to apartment living, but I was in a dreamland. At night we saw the lighted Cinderella horse carriages below, moving like enchanted balls of glowing cotton..and the church bells Sunday morning? Ahh...

Another cool thing: SG is 2 weeks more pregnant than I, with Jonah, so we had a lot to discuss. Here tummy is cuter because she has no freckles. Mine is just weird with the doorbell belly button.
Oh, and we got to shop at one of my most favorite stores, Stuff, but the sales lady reprimanded me when I tried taking photos--something about original artwork in there; I understood.
Wichita needs an Anthropologie:
Thank goodness for mini-breaks, for friends to spend them with, and for the BEST babysitters, even though I thought about Wilder the whole time and got teary when I saw toddlers...

Happy Monday. Give the day some love, for Mondays get the shaft all too often!