The Crazies

When I woke up this morning and started brewing some coffee, Jordan asked me if I was doing ok. “Yea, I’m fine… why would I not be doing ok?” I was legitimately confused. Jordan seemed a bit hesitant, “Well you know, last night you were… pretty upset about a few things.”

Oh right. That.

When the Crazies paid a visit.

So here’s the thing: I promise I am not normally a melodramatic person. But every now and then (about once a month, come to think of it 😉 ), the “Crazies” step in. All rational thought leaves my body for a few minutes, and one single emotion is magnified by about 29890838 times. Welcome to being a woman.

This happened last night. Probably about an hour before bed, I started feeling pretty upset. I knew I needed to go into the bedroom immediately and check in with Jordan. You know, just see if he knew a few important things.

For example:

Did he know that I have been eating REALLY healthy lately and I have been working out FREQUENTLY (like, EVERYDAY!!!), and yet the results are coming SOOOO slow?!!? I mean… (GASP) what if I were to end up getting pregnant again sometime soon?! Did he know that would mean that I would gain a TON of weight all over again, and this time I would NEVER take it off and, DID HE KNOW THAT HIS FUTURE WAS GOING TO BE WITH A WOMAN WHO COULD NEVER LOSE BABY WEIGHT??!?!?!?!?! DID HE??

(no pause for him to answer).

Also, did he know that I am SO frustrated with THAT bookshelf!!?!?!? I swear I have organized it SO many times and yet books just keep piling up and it looks SO bad and one day he is going to walk into our home, not be able to find me, and then be like, “Oh there’s my wife who can never lose weight, she is stuck under a pile of BOOKS!”

(no pause for him to answer).

Finally (and very importantly), did he know that I HATE those curtains in our room?! I mean, doesn’t he know that they are just awful? And how did I ever let that happen? How did I actually PICK OUT, PURCHASE, and let us HANG those awful curtains? Did he know that he had married a wife who was NOT good at keeping a home, because obviously a wife who is good at that would have never let those curtains happen?!!

When I finally paused for him to answer, the expression on his face was priceless. I wish I had a picture of it. It was as if he were trying to muster up some hint of empathy, compassion and understanding, but he was very obviously suppressing laughter and stifling a smile.

I think it was that face that made me suddenly realize how ridiculous I was being, and we both erupted into laughter :).

Once I realized why he asked if I was ok this morning, I couldn’t help laughing again.

I feel fine about where my weight is right now, and if we were to have the privilege of getting pregnant again, I would do nothing but rejoice! Weight is nothing compared to the joy of a child, and I have had way too many friends suffer through miscarriage or infertility to ever take that for granted. I would take the weight if it gave us another child any day.

I know it will only take me 10 minutes or less to organize the bookshelf.

And I don’t really hate our bedroom curtains.

Good thing the crazies are gone and they don’t come very often, or else I’m not sure we would survive them.

However, they do provide for some good, “remember that time when _______” laughing memories, so I thought I would record them to laugh about later.

Happy Monday!

KM.

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Throwback Thursday: Naming Riley, Valiant One

If you talk to my husband, he will tell you that about as soon as we saw those 2 pink lines on a stick, I had a whole list of baby names that I wanted to discuss with him. I say he is exaggerating quite a bit. I’ll let you decide who you believe :).

If you’ve had a child or if you are pregnant, you might agree that naming a child is an exciting, yet daunting task. The name that you give your child will identify them and they will carry it with them for the rest of their lives.

Some people pick names for their children based solely upon the meaning of it, and others don’t care about name meaning at all. I’d say we fall somewhere in the middle. We didn’t pick meaning first, or meaning over the sound of the name; but we did decide that meaning mattered to us. My name means “transparent” and many close friends describe me as very “vulnerable” and “open” with my life. Name meanings may not mean everything, but I think they do mean something.

We actually had a middle name (for a girl) picked out first. “Grace.” I personally thought it was the most beautiful middle name, and grace is the greatest mark of my own personal story. When I mentioned it to Jordan, he loved it too. So each girl’s name that we thought about, we tried with “Grace” as the middle name.

It was actually Jordan who picked the name “Riley.”

Riley means valiant. courageous.

The more I thought about the name, the more I loved it! I loved the way Riley Grace Maroon sounded, and even more, I loved the thought of what a life marked by courage and grace would be like.

So we chose that as her name, and have been praying that name over her ever since.

I’ve been thinking about Riley’s name a lot recently, with all that has been going on in the news around us.

It would be very easy to live in fear right now. Nowhere feels safe. If movie theaters, elementary schools, and marathons are no longer safe places to be, then I don’t know where safe is. Even my brother-in-law and his wife had their nice house in a “safe neighborhood” broken into and robbed this year (you can read that story here). We can’t even be sure that we are safe in our own homes.

When I think about these things laying in bed at night, I have to be careful not to let fear grip me.

I try to think about living life with courage. Boldness. Not driven by fear, but conviction.

Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the assessment that something else is more important than fear.”

I pray that for Riley. I know the world is going to lie to her. It’s going to tell her that she needs to fear for her safety. Fear that others won’t like her. Fear that she isn’t enough. Fear of failure. Fear of pain. Fear of heartbreak. Fear of monotony. But I pray that she encounters God’s grace in such a way that she is ignited with boldness, regardless of how much this world tells her she needs to fear. I pray that showing God’s grace to the world around her is so important to her that it overcomes any fears she may have in life.

Earlier this week I read an awesome analogy about afflictions and fears that we face in the world. It went something like this:

If a billionaire is robbed of $1,000, it hurts that he was robbed but it does not hurt him in a significant way. On the other hand, if a man making minimum wage is robbed of $1,000 it hurts him significantly.

Likewise, for those who have a relationship with Jesus and therefore eternal life, the suffering and affliction in this world is not as significant. Yes, it hurts. Yes, we will stumble. Yes we may have our hearts broken or be tortured in agony. But one year or a few years of pain are pretty small compared to the billions of years of glory ahead.

On the other hand, if there were only 70 or so years of life total, one year or especially a few years of pain are quite significant and can affect you in the deepest of ways.

I pray that Riley has the courage to live like a billionaire.

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KM.

The Blogger Behind the Curtain

A kind and thoughtful blog reader recently nominated me for a “Liebster” Award. Basically it’s a way of saying “I enjoy and appreciate what you have to share” and an attempt to get to know the author behind the blog a bit better. Additionally, it is a way to share other blogs that you think are worth reading and kind of pay it forward.

I felt honored and thought I’d play along :). So my task is to share 11 things about myself, answer 11 questions that were given from the person who nominated me, and share/nominate 11 blogs that I think are worth sharing. Here you go!

Facts about me:

1. I am a major introvert but many people that meet me are surprised by this. You could call me a social introvert, but the more you get to know me the more you will see how much I value and need alone time and how much I hate big crowds!
2. I really admire my husband. I mean I just really, truly look up to him. He is a wise and caring college campus minister and I would feel privileged to even be a student under his teaching and mentorship, but I have the huge honor to be his wife! I learn so much from him constantly and I have grown and matured so much through having a relationship with him.
3. I start each day off with a cup of coffee and end the day with a glass of wine.
4. I’m only 5’1″
5. I have a weird obsession with glasses. I’ve always wanted them, but I have 20/15 vision. I’m so thankful to have such clear vision, it is such a gift. But I just love the way glasses look! Don’t ask me why. I really want librarian looking glasses with black frames but I’m nowhere close to brave enough to wear fake ones. I would be too embarrassed when people say, “Oh I didn’t know you need glasses!” and having to admit that I don’t. (I may or may not know that from experience.)
6. I would eat Chipotle every night of the week if I could. Steak burrito bowl, white rice, mild salsa, corn salsa, cheese and sour cream. If you ever wanted to get me a gift for some reason, you can never go wrong with a Chipotle gift card! True story, one year that is what my brother-in-law got me for Christmas and it was kind of my favorite gift.
7. I love having TV shows to look forward to. My current favorites are Parks & Rec (I will probably like you immediately if you ever quote Ron Swanson), Modern Family, Nashville, and Revenge. Jordan and I also like watching The Voice (the bromance between Adam Levine and Blake Shelton is hilarious and the contestants are very talented).
8. My name (Krystal) means “transparent” and that is very true of me. I am very vulnerable and I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve.
9. I am always moved when I read stories about adoption or about someone coming to know the beautiful redemption found in Jesus.
10. I hate shopping. HATE it. I enjoy fashion and like wearing cute clothes, but absolutely do not enjoy the process of shopping for them.
11. I sometimes crawl into Riley’s crib with her when she wakes up from her nap. I love laying next to her, cuddling, laughing, and feeling like I am a part of her little world, seeing things through her eyes.

Questions I’ve been asked to answer:

What’s your favorite meal?
If Chipotle doesn’t count, then perhaps a good ‘ol steak dinner with roasted veggies and A1 sauce! No…pizza. No wait… maybe this delicious shrimp pasta recipe I got from a close friend! No… actually calizones. No, Japanese Hibachi with white sauce!! Oh I don’t know. (What? I like food)

Have you ever broken a bone, and if so, how?
Um yes, a few. I broke both of my elbows when I was 5 years old from jumping off a swing (yes, both at the same time. I had casts from my hands up to my shoulders on both arms. The pictures are pretty funny). And I broke my foot from running and jumping into the ocean. And I’ve broken my toe a couple of times. I’m really quite accident prone actually.

What is the most interesting place (preferably a foreign country) you’ve visited?
Mexico. That is the only foreign country I’ve been to, but I love it. I’ve been on 2 missions trips there and that is where Jordan and I honeymooned. I have dreams of visiting Italy and France.

Who do you look up to as a writer?
I love Sophie Kinsella because she is hilarious. I wish I could be as brilliantly witty in my writing as she is!

What other hobbies are you passionate about?
Reading and writing, obviously. Enjoying leisurely time and good conversation with friends. Laughing. Cooking. Going on walks. Learning about/drinking wine. Taking Bubble baths. With Candles. And wine. And french music. And pretending that I am in France in a bubble bath. 🙂

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
“What do you mean? An African or European swallow?” 🙂

Traveling by yourself – no rush – do you take a road trip or air flight, and why?
Air Flight. I hate driving/riding in the car. And I sometimes get driving anxiety.

What’s the last good book you read?
Shepherding a Child’s Heart

Do you play a musical instrument or sing?
Nope. I have a guitar, and have “plans” to learn it one day (those “plans” started 4 years ago when I first got my guitar. It will happen one day! I think.)

What “clique” did you fit into in high school? (i.e. jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, gearheads, rockers, school band)
I was a cheerleader in middle school and then dated a guy who claimed that he “made” me popular in high school. But I would say I was always like a layer or two under the popular kids. I was friends with many of them, but wasn’t in the tight “in” circle. I tried pretty hard and cared to be a part of that group, and that is actually something I regret. I really wish I hadn’t cared so much about being cool and liked in high school. I think that robbed me of a lot and I cringe when I think about how exhausting it was to always try to fit a certain mold. I wish I had felt more free to be myself. By my senior year I think I started to realize this and kind of pulled away a little bit and just had my 3 best friends I spent all my time with.

What’s your favorite motivational quote or thought?
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. -2 Cor. 12:9

Phew, that was a lot.

Now here are the blogs that I would like to share with you/nominate and why. I only have 10, not 11 though :):

1. MK in Wonderland MK is a really good writer and blogs about things from life as a mom, pop culture, gives recipes (anything she recommends is worth trying! Everything of hers I’ve tried has been amazing), etc. My absolute favorite posts of hers are her pregnancy posts. I may not have read anything so funny in my life. If you are pregnant and could use some humor, you HAVE to read her posts. You’re welcome.
2.The Anderson Crew Emily, the Author, has 6 kids, a strong faith, and I am so inspired by her life. Her stories of motherhood and adoption roped me in and I get excited when I see she has a new post up!
3. Casey Leigh Wiegand I discovered Casey’s blog through a friend and was drawn to the way she describes motherhood and her love for her children. Her posts often bring me to sweet tears and I am inspired by the way she views parenting. She is an artist, and also does fashion/style posts. Oh and the photography on her blog is beautiful!
4. Through the Ardennes Carolyn’s honesty in her blog is so refreshing. I’ve appreciated the ways that she has invited us along on their adoption journey, and any stories about her 6 year old son are hilarious 🙂
5. She is Called Beloved Kristen lives in Boston and recently wrote very raw, real, and beautiful posts about her experience at the Boston Marathon this week. (sidenote: this is her experience, her story, not a commentary about everyone’s experience overall)
6. Jen Hatmaker Jen makes me laugh to the point of tears (I love funny writers!) but also challenges me constantly in my life and faith through her writing. I read her book “7” with a book club last year and definitely recommend it.
7. Kelly Needham Kelly is married to singer/songwriter Jimmy Needham (Jordan and I actually did our first dance at our wedding to one of his songs) and writes about her life as a wife of a recording artist. Her posts about marriage and motherhood have challenged me, perhaps more than anything else I’ve read. I’ve read her most recent post about servanthood as a mother at least 5 times and will probably read it several more.
8. BigFatOofta Sarah is one of my best friends and we actually found each other through the blogosphere! We realized we lived close to each other, had a lot in common, and hit it off immediately. I love the way each of her blog posts talks about what she is wrestling with currently, yet always leads to the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
9. Brooke Odom Brooke is an actress, artist, and super fun person! Love her. Her blog has beautiful words, poems, art, life experiences, and food for thought. It is such an easy blog to read and look at.
10. Tap Into Your World The idea behind Laura’s blog is to tap into the area you live in, big or small town, and make the most of your time there. Her husband was a former NFL player, and they recently moved here to Chapel Hill for him to coach the team here. She honestly ponders life in new places and I love her perspective.

OK whew, there you have it! Happy Friday everyone!

KM.

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Coffee Date

Hello, friend(s)!

It is a beautiful, sunny day in North Carolina, and I imagine myself sitting down with you for coffee.  Actually, scratch that.  It is a warm 75 degree day, we don’t want coffee.  We are going to sit outside in the breeze and drink a $4 Bellini together :).  Yes that is what we’re going to do. I mean, let’s be honest.  That is cheaper than a coffee anyway and we could all use a little something to make us relax a bit and let our hair down.

If we were on a coffee date Bellini hangout, I would ask about your life.  Where have you felt the most free to be yourself lately?  Where have you been thriving?  What are you learning?  Where are you struggling?  I would have a huge smile on my face, because I love hearing about your life and learning from you.

After some laughs and who knows, maybe some tears (depending on what kind of day you’ve been having), you might ask about me.

I’d tell you that I’ve been learning to take some steps back and just be quieted lately.  I’ve been experiencing the freedom to not have to prove myself all the time.  I have a tendency to jump into as many ministry things as possible and recently I realized that I have spent about 7 years of my life trying to prove myself, my faith, my ability to lead and do ministry.  And I’m tired.  I’m realizing that I don’t have to do these things. That is ok to be “just” a mom.  (I would do the air quotes around “just” to imply that we often act as if motherhood is not enough.  Putting a “just” in front of motherhood would be sarcasm.  Motherhood is a big job, great honor, and huge ministry). Being a mother is my calling right now.  I do not need to additionally lead a bible study and take a leadership class and write a book and lead a retreat and speak at this conference and that women’s event and write thought provoking blog posts.

And so I had taken a little break from writing (among other things) for a little while, which was kind of ironic considering what ended up happening with my “In Defense of the iPhone Mom” post going viral.

You smile because you are curious about what ended up happening with that and what that experience was like for me :).

I tell you what, it was a roller coaster ride.  An exciting one at times, and a discouraging one at others.  You know, it’s crazy.  When I wrote that blog post, I had in mind my typical 100 or so readers, most of whom I know.  I was thinking of my own mom friends, who are all incredible mothers that constantly fear they are not enough and are not doing enough.  These women needed to hear that message.  I had no idea almost half a million people would end up reading that post, or that Bob Joe McGrumpyPants in some corner of the country was going to read it.  I had no idea that people who have never met me would read that post through whatever lens his or her life experience has lent them.

And oh man, the negative feedback and comments that came in were really hard for me.  Not because I’m so sensitive and can’t take criticism (although there is definitely some of that), but primarily because I felt so misunderstood, misread, and unknown.  Many people (I’m thankful and humbled) were blessed and encouraged by my post.  But others assumed things about me and drew conclusions that were unfair.

But perhaps the strangest part of this whole thing was having that post re-blogged or discussed on other blogs.  I am notified any time there is a link to my blog somewhere, so I can see it.  On the one hand, I was blown away and encouraged.  Seeing that people thought what I had written about was worthy of re-posting or discussing with their own readers was simply a sweet and humbling gift.  But then there were a few places where I felt my words were taken to mean something that I never intended for them to.  I remember walking out into our living room one day and telling my husband, “I kind of feel… taken advantage of.”  Here are my words, my mind, and my heart on my own little space on the internet, and now people are taking them and using them however they want to.

I understand that is how the internet works.  Once we put something out there on cyberspace, it is available to the entire world!  Anyone can read it and use it however they want.  I just had never really experienced that before, my words had never spread so far.

I never intended to start a war against the woman who wrote the original iPhone mom post.  I thought I had made clear that there is at least some validity to what she was saying.  I never wanted to be the leader to one side of a mom war.   As a matter of fact, that is part of why I wrote the post that I did.  As a way of saying, “come on, give each other a break.”

I never intended to promote selfishness and this idea that motherhood should be just as much about ourselves as it is about service and sacrifice in love.

I never meant to communicate that we should just neglect our children and indulge in technology, nor did I ever mean to hurt working moms or pin them against SAHMs (as a matter of fact, I thought I had made an intentional effort to include working moms in my post and most of my mom friends are working moms.  I was simply writing from my own experience, which is all I can write from).

Needless to say, it was quite the experience and I learned a lot. But I am so blessed and blown away by the support and encouragement I have received, and some of the new, fabulous people I have been connected to.

But enough about the iPhone mom post.  I’m kind of over it too.

I would also tell you about how I’ve been thinking a lot about adoption lately.  Jordan and I had talked about our heart to adopt before we got married, and I think our desire to adopt has only grown since becoming parents.  I still think it is probably further along in our future, but I find myself at times being consumed with reading adoption blogs.  I’m always filled with tears and a heart about to burst in the pure beauty of it and the incredible picture of the gospel that it is.  I feel so blessed that we have several friends who have adopted, or are in the process of adopting.  I love walking beside them, praying for them, and learning from them.  I am thankful for people who are willing to be honest about the reality and hardship of adopting, but still willing to open their lives, home, and resources for these children, a picture of what God has done for us.  I am so inspired and challenged by people like that.  We are blessed to know people who have or are doing foreign adoption, domestic adoption, adopting babies, adopting older kids, adopting one child, or adopting several.  I have so much to learn from these courageous friends!

One of these families (Carolyn, Reed, and their son Josh) has been waiting for a year now for their baby.  They are adopting domestically, and have had their lives open and ready to receive the child that will be theirs.  Josh is 6 years old (and one of the cutest kids you will ever see in your life), and Carolyn and Reed will seriously be such incredible parents to any baby that would be entrusted to them.  They are awesome parents and Jordan and I often talk about ways that we want to be like them and emulate their parenting.  It is so hard to wait with them, longing for this child.  To think about what it must be like to be an expectant parent without a due date. You can check out their adoption site here, or read Carolyn’s blog here where she talks honestly about this whole process.  And help them get word out!

Finally, as we wrap up our time together, I (of course) would whip out my iPhone to show you pictures of Riley!  She has grown up so much this past month, she is becoming such a little girl!  I really thought I would have a hard time watching her grow up, that I would mourn the traces of baby in her that keep getting left behind.  But to be honest, I really haven’t because it just keeps getting so much better!  I mean, yes there are definitely times when I miss how snugly she used to be, and she needs me less and less as she continues to grow.  But she is so much fun now!  I love learning about her and seeing her personality come about more fully.  She is such a sweet spirited little girl.  She loves to play by herself and is a pretty easy child.  Jordan and I often joke that she is not setting up her future siblings very well.  There are days with her that feel so easy, I am (almost) convinced that I could have like 6 kids. But she is so full of life and joy, I just cannot get over her.  She’s already into “girly” things, sneaking her way into my jewelry, makeup, and wanting bows in her hair.  She loves playing outside, asks me if we can go “bye bye” about 20 times a day, and loves to work out!  Seriously, she will turn on the TV, bring me my workout dvd and say, “run run run!”  She’s quite the motivational little personal trainer ;-).  She even brings me the resistance band and weights.  I don’t know where she gets her energy from, but I have to drink at least 3 cups of coffee a day to try and keep up.

Just indulge me for a minute, and pretend you can’t wait to look through pictures of her:

photo (1)photophoto (12)photo (10) photo (9) photo (8) photo (7) photo (6) photo (5) photo (4) photo (3) photo (2)jordan and riley

Thanks for hanging out with me today! 🙂

KM.