Category: rambling

Wait – who are you?

I know I have an “About me” link up there in the header, but I just realized that maybe, just maybe …

I should pause …

Re-introduce myself …

Give a little context …

That sort of thing. Especially for Holidailies and people who may not know me and why I’m all “Babies! Running! Blah!” all the time.

You’ve already gathered, I think, that I’m Erin.

I have three kids. (You probably have guessed this. For one thing, the category navigation on the right is a dead giveaway.)

I don’t work at home.

I run (slowly) because I want to be healthy. I take ridiculous pictures after the runs because I’m in a contest with my husband to have the worst post-run picture. It was a lot easier to win in August.

I post these pictures online because I want different images of fitness on the internet and in my kids’ lives.

When it was just me and my cats, I’d blog all the time. Now I typically write in December of most years, when my brother reminds me of Holidailies.

(He’s not my brother by blood, but by that feeling of “Oh! I’ve found you!” when life randomly connects you to a brain and heart so similar yet different that you know you must need each other.)

And I love Holidailies. I love it for the sense of family reunion, of so many familiar faces coming back together after 15ish years of writing online, joining together, and maybe going separate ways.

So there you go — context. Maybe?

Also: I hate chevrons. I hate them so much as a design motif that I thought about buying the domain name “ihatechevrons.com.” I may also be a grumpy old man.

Sometimes …

Photo Credit: Cheyenne Sprouse, Heartsongs Photography
Photo Credit: Cheyenne Sprouse, Heartsongs Photography

If you’ve known me for any length of time, you probably know that I sometimes struggle with working outside of the home.

My big dream was to be a stay-at-home mom.

I wanted to be a doctor, but didn’t really strive for pre-med studies and med school because I didn’t want to prioritize school/residency over family timing. I wanted a family early, I wanted several kids, and I wanted to stay home with them. I admired the women I knew who did the pre-med and doctor path. I was probably a little relieved to not pursue it because I’m kind of lazy and the idea of cadaver-cutting squicked me out.

Ha, ha – the joke was on me. Will and I didn’t get married until a month after my 29th birthday. Seth was born two months before my 31st birthday. I would have had PLENTY of time to get through med school before my first baby’s arrival. God had other plans and timing.

Those plans – obviously – did NOT include being a stay-at-home mom. For whatever reason, I’m the primary income for our family. Will was home most of the time with Seth and then Nora while he did his home inspection training and then started his business. My mom has been Jude’s primary daytime caregiver.

So occasionally I wallow around — you know, as you do — in the what might have beens. What would it have been like to be a doctor? What if I’d pursued a career I actually wanted? What if I could have been a stay-at-home mom?

That’s not really very healthy, you know?

And sometimes I think, “I’d give ANYTHING to be at home with the kids … ” and start to wallow some more.

(Hint: not healthy either.)

I’m trying to get out of some mental bad habits, and this is one of them. Because I WOULDN’T give anything.

Photo Credit: Cheyenne Sprouse, Heartsongs Photography
Photo Credit: Cheyenne Sprouse, Heartsongs Photography

I wouldn’t give up the dreams my husband has been able to pursue.

I wouldn’t give up having my mother live down here with us.

I wouldn’t give up the support we’re able to give to missionaries and other people around the world.

I wouldn’t give up the career that has been so obviously God-given, since I have tried over and over to leave it and yet it still remains constant.

I wouldn’t give up the world I’ve found with this career – a world of incredible teammates, working for an amazing organization, and parts of myself that I didn’t know existed.

I wouldn’t give up the friends I’ve gained through this job.

I wouldn’t give up the advice and counsel I can give to my husband (and others) as they go after their dreams, because of what I’ve learned in this serendipitous career.

I wouldn’t give up the time my babies have had with their daddy, learning French and being immersed in daddy love and learning to be fearless (something they wouldn’t have learned with me).

There are lots of things that are great about this. And I get to relish the time at home when I get it.

There are two verses that have meant a lot to me while I’ve struggled with this idea of contentment. If you’re not interested, it won’t hurt my feelings if you stop reading here. If you are, I hope they come to mind some day when they can help you, too:

“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD.”

Psalm 27:14 (NAS)

“God has made everything fit beautifully in its appropriate time, but he has also placed ignorance in the human heart so that people cannot discover what God has ordained, from the beginning to the end of their lives.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NET)

I also love the NIV translation of this verse: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

Off to work we go …

Ah, yes. After 16 days of government shutdown, we got calls last night informing us to check communications and head back to work in the morning. I actually would have appreciated getting that phone call this morning instead of 11:30 last night when I’d finally managed to sleep, but whatever!

It was … interesting … to be back at work today. I really don’t remember a lot of what we had planned. During my orderly shutdown on October 1, I took notes on things I thought I’d need to remember. Hmm. Well, we’ll just have to see if I even remember WHY those were important. I have a feeling things will start to gel a little more on Monday after we’ve all had a chance to sweep out the cobwebs.

By the way — I never did run out of things to do or get bored while I was furloughed. I felt like I was finally able to focus on what I really wanted to do at home and with my family instead of having fractured attention. I didn’t make it all the way through my to-do list, but I sure got a lot done!

So in the meantime, when I’m not at work or when I have a break, I let my mind wander back to more fun things … like Halloween art or making up running costumes for Disney races. I know it’s silly but I just can’t help it.

Sofia in First?
Sofia in First? by dormousie

I think Nora would be quite impressed by this one.

Or how about this one? I loved Beauty and the Beast. It came out when I was in high school (dating myself!) and I was almost obsessed with it.

Très Belle!
Très Belle! by dormousie 

Much more appealing than “real” work!

I’m still raising money for Homes For Our Troops and the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 10k! Tomorrow I’m going to kick off the voting for the Disney character I’ll use for inspiration for my REAL running costume. Everyone gets a vote, but my donors get MORE votes! Stay tuned … or even better, donate now!

Furlough Fun & a WDW 10K Update

Well, it’s been one week of furlough “fun.” I’ve been working through my to-do list in between enjoying time with my kids and husband. I’m trying to NOT worry about the lack of a paycheck, but it’s kind of hard! I have enjoyed being able to cook dinner for the family and take care of things that normally just bug me.  I’ve asked Will to teach me to paint so I can tackle some painting projects instead of always asking him to do it. We’ll see how that goes …

Meanwhile, I’ve started a different training plan for the WDW Marathon Weekend 10K! The other one was a bit too challenging for me and my newly returned to running state. This one is an easier ramp-up, and it comes with reminders to take time for yoga on the non-running days. I need the stretching – particularly in my left hip, calf, and ankle – and I need the peaceful mind.

Update for the Homes For Our Troops fundraising! I have passed my $500 goal!!! Big thanks to my sister, who pushed me over the $500 mark, and everyone else who has donated so far. I’m going to spend some furlough time writing out real thank you notes to my supporters.

Now the challenge is to get to $750, when we let Nora choose the final costume! I’m going to keep the voting challenge open until my birthday – October 22 – and then my donors get to vote on which character I’ll represent. To give another idea of what that could look like, here’s an Alice vs. Cheshire Cat mock-up .

Here’s info on how you can earn votes and support Homes For Our Troops!

Alice or Cat?
Alice or Cat? by dormousie featuring blue pearl jewelry
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