Hitting the Wall

Today I hit a wall. Thankfully in the more metaphorical sense. Literal wall-hitting is uncomfortable. And that little verbal diversion was just more of me trying to not deal with the part where metaphorically hitting a wall also fucking sucks. (And I apologise for swearing. I avoid it most of the time, but there are some cases where I think precise application of swearing is useful.)

This morning was Day Who-Even-Knows-Anymore of being in lockdown and for whatever reason I was just done. Not done as in being angry at every little thing, although I have been doing that on and off too. (Shameless plug, I wrote a blog post about it here.) Just done as in nothing matters and I don’t care about anything anymore. I haven’t felt that numb and apathetic about anything in a very long time and it is the worst.

I didn’t get dressed today. I barely got out of bed today. We just ordered Chinese food for supper because even though I’m feeling better than I was this morning, I’m still not up to making supper and neither is Kyle.

I hit such a wall. I did not care about anything this morning. I barely spoke to my children, I barely even managed to idly scroll through social media on my phone. I lay in my bed in a ball, and then on the couch in a ball, and mostly just stared into space. I went to bed with Timbit at naptime and slept for two hours despite having drank an entire pot of caffeinated tea. I did not do any homework with Kid Flash today. I did not take him or Goober outside. We put the tv on at about 10:30 and frankly, I’m amazed we made it that long. It’s still on now, as I’m typing this at 5:00 and yes I am horrified by exactly how many hours of tv my children watch today.

Part of my reason for posting this is because I needed to get the words out. I needed to say that “Hey, I am extremely not okay today.” And part of it was because this morning I posted a lovely picture of the boys and I playing UNO and it felt like a lie. (Not the picture itself, it’s lovely and I’m glad I took it because when we look back on it we will remember sunny mornings spending time together and not the fact that I almost didn’t get out of bed this morning at all.) The picture was fine. Posting that picture to Facebook and Instagram felt like a lie. People will look at that picture and see it and see me playing a game with my children and it looks like I’ve got it together and I’m coping well. But I wasn’t. And I’m not. And that’s okay.

I’m doing better now. The two hour nap helped. The shower I took this afternoon helped even more. Sitting down and finishing this blog post, processing my thoughts and feelings through writing helps even more. And here’s the thing. I’m feeling much better this afternoon and this evening, but I still didn’t get dressed, or make supper, or make the kids turn off the tv, or do any of the laundry or dishes that I didn’t get to yesterday. Even now as I finish writing this, now at nearly 9:00 with the kids asleep and in bed, I didn’t clear the table or put the supper away. I just shoved the plates out of the way and pulled out my laptop and sat there amid the mess.

I had a terrible day. And that’s okay. The world is strange and terrible right now. It’s different and overwhelming and for an extrovert like me the inability to see people is very difficult. At the same time the constant presence of my children with no respite is also very tiring on a physical and emotional level. There are no breaks and I am tired.

But!

Tomorrow is a brand new day.

Tomorrow might be terrible too, or it might be wonderful. But I shall face it when it comes. Today I am going to lean into the fact that the day was terrible. I will accept it and weather it. It’s okay to have trouble getting out of bed some days. I did get out of bed, and I made it all the way through today. Tomorrow will be a new day.

Today I managed. Tomorrow will sort itself out. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

Our Picture Perfect Moment

Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By

I tried to write a blog post for Easter. It was a good start, I was very pleased with it. Unfortunately, it was also typed up in the WordPress app on my phone and now I can’t find it on the computer. It shows up just fine as a saved draft in the app on my phone. It does not show up when I use the WordPress website via my computer. Why? I don’t know.

Does this really matter? No. It wasn’t that long, I can re-type it on the computer. But I’m annoyed and so I’m blogging about it because I’m stuck in the house and don’t have anything else to do. I’ll eventually convert type it up on the computer and post it. But today I’m just going to post about it.

I am posting this entirely for the sake of just… posting *anything* at all. Is it interesting or compelling? No. Will you gain anything from reading it? Probably not. But here is the thing, I will gain something from writing and posting it.

Writing is a skill like any other, it requires you to take time and practice to improve. And while I have a certain baseline of basic skill with writing at the moment, I actually do want to get better at it. For me, a huge part of improving at writing has nothing at all to do with writing and everything to do with self-discipline. This is an entirely different skill and one that I am not nearly as accomplished in.

So the act of typing up a blog post without much meat on it, simply for the sake of ensuring that I typed *something* and posted it is useful. Even if it’s mostly just being cranky about technical difficulties. Because it helps me build my self-discipline and make time to write. Even when, like today, that time is eked out inches, and half of the blog post is typed with one hand (not even the dominant one!) while the other hangs onto a baby and tries to make sure she doesn’t add to the post.

So… I guess, here’s to making time.

the comfort of rocks and water

it makes me feel better

riding my bike as fast as I can so I can barely breathe and my legs are screaming

careening down a hill

then off I go to the comfort of the little creek near our house

it is filled with the springtime burble of water over rocks and it soothes me

i sit for a while, my music blasting in my ears, and stare at the rocks and the water

sometimes I think, as long as I can find rocks and water crashing into each other unendingly, then it will be okay

as long as there are rocks and water, I will be okay.

Anger and Rejoicing

I am so angry today. And that is okay.

I woke up angry. I had breakfast angry. I drank my tea angry. I browsed a variety of social media feeds angry. The social media feeds were mostly filled with genuine, heartfelt and poignant positivity. I wanted to throw my phone at the wall. (It wasn’t even the terrible kind of “think positive, it’s not so bad!” idiocy that is useless and ignores that things are difficult, it was the genuine kind that acknowledges that difficult but still finds the positive so at least there’s that. It still made me angry.)

Today is Palm Sunday. We attended church via livestream from our living room. The feed was a bit glitchy and there were technical difficulties on their end, and our children were antsy and bored on our end, and I was still angry.

The psalm for today was a portion of Psalm 118 and it contained an oft-quoted line that very much stuck out to me.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
But I am angry.

“You are my God, and I will thank you,” it continues a bit later.
But I am still angry.

“You are my God and I will exalt you.”
But I am still so angry.

“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his mercy endures forever.”
And yet, I am still so, so angry.

It is okay. I am allowed to be angry. You are allowed to be angry. It feels like the world is broken right now. Everything is strange and different and difficult and overwhelming. It is okay to not be okay. I’m not. You probably aren’t either. It’s okay. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be lonely.

It is okay to grieve. I am grieving and I am angry and it is okay. You probably are too.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
But I am so angry.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
But I am so sad.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
But I am so lonely.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
But it is so hard.

And this is the wonderful, difficult, incomprehensible thing: those are not mutually exclusive. I can, and often do, contain multitudes. God certainly does. It is strange and feels a bit contradictory but I can be all those things at once.

I will rejoice today. Not despite my anger, my sadness, my loneliness, but alongside them.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

I will rejoice and be angry.
I will rejoice and be sad.
I will rejoice and be lonely.
I will rejoice and be afraid.
I will rejoice and grieve.


Today is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in him.

I’m maybe back!

My last blog post I wrote while I was pregnant. My last draft I wrote shortly after the baby was born. The baby is now seven months old. I am bad at this.

But here’s a brief new post, for the sake of reminding myself that I can write, and I want to write, and I like to write.

The world is different now. We are all living in isolation because of a pandemic the likes of which has not been seen in living memory. I do not suddenly have more time on my hands. For one thing, I don’t think anyone actually does, we just have different things to deal with than we did a month ago. For another, I have three children. Being stuck at home with them without being able to see people does not, shockingly, lend itself to… well anything remotely productive.

But we are finding a new sort of routine. (Featuring far more screen time than is probably good for us, but sometimes I just need the kids to not be climbing on me for a bit and that is okay.) And I think that I will try to make some more space for writing in this new routine. After all, I like collecting and sharing my thoughts, and Facebook and Twitter are not really good places to do that on the level that I want to do it.

So you know… stay tuned for more words. Maybe.

Babywearing While Pregnant

And now for something completely different!

I don’t think I’ve even mentioned babywearing on this blog before, which is frankly shocking as it is something that I love deeply and is a huge part of my daily life.

My newest adventure in babywearing is babywearing while pregnant! I’m five months along now, and I’ve got a wonderful baby bump. This has added a whole new element to wearing my toddler. I can’t really wear Little Goober on the front anymore, and I can only do a hip carry for short periods of time. Luckily, I’ve been carrying him on my back regularly for quite a while now. However the bump can sometimes pose a problem.

I’ve seen a couple of people in my local babywearing group asking about pregnant wearing options, so here’s a quick run down on what I’ve been finding really useful.

*Note: this guide is geared at people who already babywear and know about using different types of baby carriers. The section on wraps assumes that you’re already passably familiar with using woven wraps for back carries. If you’re a complete newbie,  I’m sorry but this isn’t the best post for you. Don’t worry! I’m planning on adding some more babywearing posts, and if you’ve got questions feel free to contact me!

Carriers:
Some people find that they can use their Soft-Structured Carrier (SSC) or Meh Dai while pregnant by placing the waist belt either above or below their bump and otherwise using it as normal. I haven’t tried this myself, though. I’ve never been a huge fan of the SSC because I don’t like a chunky waist belt even when I’m not pregnant.

If you’d rather use a carrier, but want to skip the waist belt, then an onbuhimo is a great option. This is a really cool baby carrier style from Japan. It’s primarily used for high back carries with older babies who have good head support, but most onbuhimos can also be used to front carry. We love ours and it has all the security of an SSC without using a waist belt. I find it a great option for when Little Guy is particularly adamant about Not Going Up but we have to leave Right Now. A useful thing to be aware of with an onbuhimo: because there’s no waist belt, you are bearing all of your baby’s weight on your shoulders. This can take some getting used to if you haven’t done it before since it uses the muscles in your back and shoulders differently. Some people dislike onbuhimos because they find this weight distribution uncomfortable. I prefer to carry the weight with my shoulders rather than my lower back, so it works out well for me. 

Here’s a video tutorial for using an onbuhimo:
Onbuhimo Back Carry From Sitting by Sakura Bloom

Wraps:
I’m a huge wrap nerd! Woven wraps are my jam when it comes to babywearing and will always be my favourite. I’m already pretty accomplished at back carrying with a wrap, so it didn’t take a huge amount for me to modify things to make room for the bump. I’ve had a while to figure out what I like in a good back carry and it turns out that what I like is no waist belts and knotless finishes! This has put in a place where most of my favourite back carries are ones that also happen to be bump friendly!

Here is a run down of some good bump-friendly back carries. I made sure to include carries that can be done with a variety of different wrap sizes because I like being able to mix it up! Useful note: I am in between a size 5 and a size 6 for my base size. Some base size carries I can do with a size 5 and others I need a 6. Right now I count 6 as my base for determining which wrap to use for any given carry. So base +1 for me is a size 7, base -1 is a size 5 and so on. 

Ruck Tied Tibetan
This is probably the fastest and easiest bump-friendly back carry, especially if you’re fond of using a Ruck carry. It’s best done with a base size-ish wrap. (I usually use base size but can do it with some base-1 wraps, and it can work with base +1 too.) Unlike the classic Ruck, the Tibetan finish eliminates the waist tie and makes space for the bump. Plus it’s a knotless finish which I am always fond of! You can easily spread the passes over your chest to make things more comfortable. I didn’t because, as you can see, Little Goober was in an abysmal mood when we did this one.

Here’s a tutorial video from which shows three different ways to tie off a ruck. The second one is the Tibetan finish.
Rucksack Carry Three Finishes by Tandem Trouble

Norwegian Wiggleproof
I have always loved this carry as it’s the first back carry that I was able to figure out, and it totally got me into back carrying. It works well with a base size or base +1 wrap. The chest pass which gives some extra weight distribution and support without being uncomfortable on the belly. This is most helpful for me since I’m wearing a 28lb toddler! Making sure the chest pass is nice and high helps it sit comfortably over the bump. This carry also features a cross pass which is very helpful for babies prone to seat popping. In these pictures I’m using a ring finish instead of a knot, but you can do either. If you’re doing this with a longer base size wrap or a base +1 you can also finish with a Candy Cane Chest belt.

Here is a tutorial video! *Note: I actually do this carry slightly differently than the video. I do the pass that goes under baby’s leg and up over my shoulder before I do the chest pass. It doesn’t make much of a difference which way you do it. I like doing the cross pass first because Little Guy is an incorrigible seat popper.
Norwegian Wiggleproof Back Carry by Tandem Trouble

Double Hammock Tied Under Bum
The Double Hammock is one of the most common back carries, and a lot of people really love it. (I don’t use it much because I am very rarely able to use any carry that doesn’t have at least one cross pass because Little Guy is so determined to try to pop his seat.) If you want to stick with your trusty DH but want to avoid the classic finish of tying off at the waist then this is a great carry for you. Like with the Norwegian Wiggleproof, keeping the chest pass in the DH nice an high gives you space for your bump. This also a great carry to use a fun finish like the Saltwater or Freshwater Finish. Both these finishes let you use a base size wrap for this carry without having your tails dangling too far after you’ve tied off.

Here is a tutorial video for the basic tied under bum:
Double Hammock Tied Under Bum by Wrapping Rachel

This tutorial video shows how to do a Saltwater Finish and a Freshwater Finish with a Double Hammock.
Double Hammock Freshwater and Saltwater Finish by JGMacDonald

Pirate Carry (also known as Reinforced Rear Ruck/RRR)
This is a great carry that is finished and secure really quickly. I find this particularly useful with my wiggly toddler! Because this carry doesn’t have a chest pass of any kind, you will be carrying all of baby’s weight on your shoulders. This can take some getting used to, especially if you haven’t done many carries like this before. It will use the muscles in your back and shoulders differently. The Pirate Carry is best done with a base -2 wrap, or even a base -3 if you’re especially brave. It can also be done with a base -1 wrap, but you’ll have longer tails to deal with. I like doing it with base -1 or -2 and doing a Candy Cane Chest Belt to finish. In these pictures I’m using a size 3 (base -3) but my tails were a bit uneven so I used the longer tail to make a very messy chest belt for the second picture.

Here is a tutorial video for this carry. I like to do the second pass a little different than the video. Instead of passing it over both of baby’s legs, I pass it under the first leg, making a cross pass instead of a horizontal pass. I find this helps with keeping my little seat popper contained!
Reinforced Rear Ruck by Tandem Trouble

Shepherd’s Carry
I have always loved this carry even though I don’t end up using it super often. It’s built the same way as the Double Hammock, with hammock passes, which means that it might not always be the best choice if your baby is a big seat popper. But the chest pass helps distribute weight which makes it very comfortable, and keeping the chest pass nice and high makes space for bump. I also think it’s really pretty! I’ve finished with a knot in these pictures but this is also great with a ring finish.

This is a simple tutorial video for a Shepherd’s carry.
Shepherd’s Back Carry by Tandem Trouble

Double Hammock with Rings
Continuing on the Double Hammock variations, the DH with rings is… well… exactly what it says in the name. In this case the use of rings means that your chest pass is bunched which keeps it nice and high over your bump. This also means that you’re carrying baby’s weight more on your shoulders like you do with the Pirate Carry or when using an onbuhimo. I like this one because I am a sucker for a good ring finish and also really like finding ways to use my shorty wraps. In these pictures I’m using a size 5 (base -1) which is rather long for this carry, but Little Goober really wanted the purple wrap. Normally I use a size 4 for this, or even a 3 if I’m feeling brave.

Here is a tutorial for doing the Double Hammock with Rings, by me! Because I wasn’t finding any I liked.
Double Hammock with Rings by JGMacDonald

The Girl is Back in Town (but probably not with any level of regularity)

Yo listen up, it’s me again! I’m writing a new blog post for the first time in… you know, I don’t actually know how long. So definitely too long.

So I have a complete inability to maintain any level of self-discipline about anything. It’s a problem in my life when it comes to things like doing laundry and washing dishes and otherwise maintaining a home that contains small children, but it’s also bad with my creative endeavours.

I have ADHD and one of the hallmarks of ADHD is that you have tons and tons of really great creative ideas that are really exciting! Another hallmark of ADHD is that after the first exciting creative rush when you start a project… your brain finds another exciting idea and your motivation to finish the first (or tenth) idea just evaporates completely. If you have a house full of half-finished creative projects with no end in sight… you might have ADHD.

Now self-discipline is a challenge for many people, regardless of how their brains are wired. I started this blog, wrote about four posts and then mostly abandoned it. Now, I frequently tell myself that this is because my computer doesn’t work and it’s really difficult to run a blog from the WordPress app on your phone and extremely out of date iPad. And that certainly has some truth to it. But if I am honest with myself, and you, the real reason is that this blog became another casualty of my lack of self-discipline. But I would like to change that a little.

I’ve been thinking about self-discipline a lot lately. I have come to the conclusion that not only is it something that I really do need to work on, but it is something that I am actively making a commitment to myself and others to work on.

One of the biggest problems for me, and I suspect a lot of people with ADHD, is that in the initial rush of excitement for a new endeavor, I take on more than I should. I tell myself “I want to do [insert thing here] and I am going to do SO MUCH OF IT!” I set myself up for failure because I give myself a schedule that is unsustainable. I have a great story idea so I tell myself, “I’m going to write a whole chapter every week!” And for the first two weeks I do pretty well, but then the initial rush fades, and that chapter every week starts to seem like a lot of work, and then I don’t finish the next chapter, and then I feel discouraged, and then I give up and the book that I was going to write becomes just a half-filled notebook collecting dust. And the same thing goes for this very blog, or my attempt to do a regular exercise routine, or the ten crochet projects I have going at any one time. I get overwhelmed by my overambitious goal, get discouraged, and then get distracted. (Even as I write this I have three other tabs open on my web browser and I keep clicking on them and going off down rabbit trails before I have to yank my attention back here. I’m a hot mess.)

So I decided to start small. I want to work diligently on improving my self-discipline and the first step to that is starting with a reasonable, attainable goal. For me, that goal is managing to wash my face and brush my teeth at least once every day. “Wait,” you might be thinking, “I know you said you’re starting small, but isn’t that maybe a little too small?” And yes, it is a pathetically small start. Frankly, it’s something that I probably should not have trouble with, and in fact, at previous points in my life, I didn’t have trouble with it. But this is where I am right now. I went out and bought some decent quality face wash and moisturizer to help make it fun. I asked my husband to try and remind me both to do this and that I want to do this for my own growth as a person. So I sat down and did a good hard think, and I decided that I would focus on making sure face washing and teeth brushing happen every night. I did this for two reasons.

Reason 1: I have two kids, one in the middle of potty training, and one who has to be at school for 8am. As a result, mornings are, to put it lightly, utter chaos. I am usually awake at 6:30 every morning. I usually get around to “starting” my morning for myself between 8:30 and 9:30 in the morning. That is, I start making sure that I am awake, fed, dressed, and ready to face the day, two to three hours after I have woken up and made sure all of that has happened for my kids. Most mornings I drop Kid Flash off at school having put on the first pair of “real” pants I found and still wearing my pajama t-shirt. (Winter in Canada is great for this. No one has any idea that I haven’t brushed my hair or that I’m wearing my pajamas under my snowsuit. It’s 7am and -40 and no one can even see anything because the cold is making their eyes water and also making those tears freeze. Why do people live here? It is an endless mystery.) All this to say that it is not surprising that it is difficult for me to find time to make sure my face gets washed and my teeth brushed in the mornings. Chaos.

Reason 2: choosing to focus on my little goal of a daily hygiene routine at the end of the day means that if I don’t get to it in the morning, I still have a chance to not miss the goal, and I don’t have any excuses not to do it. It sets me up for success because if I get to the end of the day and realize, “Oh no! I forgot to do that thing that I’m working on!” then I can just, you know, go do it. It also means that I have to be real and honest with myself about not doing it. At bedtime, I’m not chasing down my kids, I don’t have anywhere to be, I don’t have anything else that I need to get to. Any excuses I could put forth about why I can’t do the thing right now are invalid. If I succeed at my goal I go to bed having proud of myself. If I fail at my goal, it was because I let myself fail. I don’t beat myself up about it, but I do have to be honest with myself.

So far my little attempt at self-discipline is going pretty well. I have managed to succeed more often than I have failed. In fact, several times I managed to wash my face and brush my teeth in the morning AND at night! This is obviously great for hygiene reasons, but also because it is helping me grow as a person. It is intentionally cultivating self-discipline in this one area of my life. My ultimate goal is to cultivate self-discipline in all areas of my life. And honestly, I think that is working. I’ve gone back to doing some exercise routines again. Not every day, but I’m focusing on doing it more often. I’ve pulled out my computer written a blog post, which I’ve been telling myself I ought to do since school finished in June. I’m getting better at doing the laundry even though it is the Bane of My Existence. It’s early days yet, but I am hopeful. And if I fail… well, I’ll just pick myself up and start again. With a clean face and clean teeth.

So I hope I’ll be seeing you around a bit more.

Cheers,

Jessie

Good Enough

Today I was talking with a friend of mine about the weird and complicated thing that is life. We are both mothers, though in different stages of that Grand Adventure. As we chatted and drank our tea, we wandered into the topics of clean houses, and of writing. You see, as mothers of children, we both fight the inexorable force that is mess and are in a constant battle to keep our homes clean. And, we both write.

On the surface, writing and being a mother to children (small or large) do not have a whole lot in common.(Although both demand a certain level of impressive creativity.) But as we talked, my friend and I, she mentioned how she had learned to embrace the concept of “Good Enough.” Sometimes, a piece of writing or a moment of parenting will not be your best, but it will be good enough. Good enough for today, good enough for right now, good enough to make it through.

I think the concept of Good Enough is one that I often struggle with. My house is not good enough. It’s a mess and I’m behind on laundry, and dishes, and everything. My parenting, my mothering , it’s not good enough. I am making mistakes, or getting cranky, and I am failing. My relationship with my husband is not good enough. There are places that need to be worked on and grown. And sometimes, all those things are true.

But also, those things are not true.

My house IS good enough. It is not perfect. The laundry needs folding and the floors need vacuuming. It may not be perfect, but it IS good enough for today, and tomorrow is a new day.

My mothering IS good enough. It is not perfect. My patience is not infinite, and I do make mistakes. But it IS good enough for today, and tomorrow is a new day.

My relationship with my husband IS good enough. It is not perfect. I do need to learn to hear him better, and there are things we are working on. But it IS good enough for today, and tomorrow is a new day.

Good Enough is an important concept for me right now. I am struggling to manage how to be a mother of two, instead of just one. I am struggling to manage my eldest son’s behaviour, which is difficult beyond the average for a child of six. I am struggling to be a good mother, and to be the mother that both of my sons needs. I am struggling to be the wife my husband needs, struggling to navigate our conflicts well. Learning that sometimes, good enough is okay is a huge part of my life. It is also a wonderful relief from the stress and pressure. Accepting that something might not have been my best, but it was good enough gives me the space I need to keep moving, and the grace to (hopefully) do better next time.

Good Enough is very tied to the other guiding principle of my life. That other principle can be articulated many ways. One Step at a Time. Strength for Today. Just Do the Next Thing. What it comes down to, for me, is accepting God’s grace and strength  each morning, with the knowledge that that grace and strength will get me through the day. It will not get me through tomorrow, and it doesn’t need to because “his mercies are new every morning.”*
In my last session with my therapist, I was asked “what are you good at?” I answered this with several things, but the one that I am most proud of is that I have gotten really good at figuring out what my next step is, and doing it. I don’t worry about the step after the next one, there will be time for that later. I just move forward one step at a time, one day at a time. And I trust that God will give me what I need to get through each day. So far he hasn’t let me down.

So I will continue to take things one day at a time. Each day I will take the grace that God extends. Each day I will do my best to get through that day. Some days will be the best I could possibly provide. Some days will not. But they will be Good enough.

*This is a (fairly common) paraphrase of Lamentations 3:22-23

Dramatis Personae: An Introduction 

Sometimes, it is important to jump right in and hit the ground running with things. Other times it is important to make introductions. I am not completely sure which way to go with this blog. On the one hand, I am writing to an audience that currently consists entirely of people with whom I am already acquainted. On the other hand, part of the reason I started this blog was to make my life experiences and thoughts available to a larger audience.

In the end, I decided to go with introductions, because they help me get my head on straight. They also provide a good summary to help regular readers understand where I’m coming from as I write future posts. Of course, I don’t currently have regular readers, but hopefully that will change.

So, an introduction. 

I am Jessie. I am 27 years old and some days that feels like ancient and wise, and others it feels like woefully young and inexperienced. I am married, for two and a half years, and I have two children. Currently, I am in the process of learning a lot of things. The things that pertain most to this blog are how to be the parent my child needs, even when that doesn’t look like what I think it does, and how to put my faith into daily practice, even when that is counterintuitive and scary. I mad the person writing the blog, although the my husband may sometimes have input as well. 

My husband is Kyle. He is younger than me by enough to sometimes make a difference. He is an amazing husband, and a wonderful father, and I love him dearly. He is courageous and extremely principled and I think the biggest thing he is learning right now as we go through life is how to let go of expectations and cope with life’s curveballs. 

We have two children. I don’t believe in sharing children’s names on the Internet, so you will have to know them as Kid Flash and Baby Guy. (“Baby Guy” is likely to change as he will not, in fact, remain a baby forever.)

Kid Flash is 6 and in Grade 1. This year has been a bit difficult so far. Grade 1 is very different from kindergarten, and that is not an easy thing. But his heart is in the right place, and he is incredibly clever so I think things will be okay. KF also has ADHD and some substantial behavioural problems. It is difficult to paint an accurate picture of Kid Flash. It is not uncommon for him to have very dramatic temper tantrums, where he will attack me or Kyle with a flurry of punching and kicking and biting. But he is also extremely kind and loving. He is constantly showing that his heart in in the right place, and his desire is to do well in the setting he is isn’t. Much of this blog will deal with Kid Flash’s challenges, the challenges of being the parent he needs, the inevitable times when I as mother am not enough, when Kyle as father is not enough, and the Grace of God that covers those moments. 

Baby Guy is currently a baby. He is absorbed with important baby things like figuring out how to eat food that is not milk, how to stand on his legs, and how to get as far into the kitchen cabinets as possible and drag out that really cool muffin tin at the back. He thinks that Kid Flash makes the world go round and it is a joy to behold. Right now, being the parent he needs seems absurdly simple: ensure he does not eat things he should not! Good! But just because a baby is small does not necessarily mean his needs are simple. Much of this blog will deal with my musings on parenting a child young enough that the more abstract issues of personhood and character seem irrelevant. I firmly believe that they are not. 

There are other regularly players in our lives, but I think I will introduce them as they arrive. For now, you have met our little family, and why we each matter to this blog. Or at least, the things that are most on my mind. 

Until next time, Grace and Peace, 

Jessie 

Welcome

Hello my friends,

Lately, I have been feeling like it is important for me to share what is happening in my life. I have been doing this on an individual level, in one-on-one conversations, but I get the sense that I need to share with a wider audience. Thankfully, we live in The Era of the Internet and it is extraordinarily easy to get things out there.

I am grateful for the Internet. I am glad that there is this tool that I can use to share with people who I would not otherwise be able to share with. There are people who are far away, where I can’t see them to chat.  There are people who’s free time doesn’t match up with mine, regardless of geography. There are people who may be greatly blessed by my story, and by my witness, that I do not have a close relationship with. There are people with whom I cannot have a conversation, but who can read my blog. 

I am also grateful for the one-on-one conversations with people. I think that is important to share your life within the context of relationships. Each time I have a conversation with someone about my life it is a conversation, a give and take, where my thoughts are received and responded to. Those thoughts that people respond with are valuable. They help me to see new perspectives, and to clarify my thoughts. 

I want to invite you to join me in this journey. Whether you are one of those people with whom I have spoken, or one of those people who I haven’t. I want to share my story and let it touch your hearts. And I want to continue the conversation. If you read a post and are touched by my words, then please reach out to me. You can leave a comment on a blog post, use the contact page, or connect with me through another channel you have access to. 

Cheers,
Jessie