21 March 2012

Update (mostly for you non-Facebookers)

Well, we have now lived in southeast Georgia for 16 months. This is the longest we’ve lived anywhere in the U.S. (our next longest being eight months in Visalia, California). Sometimes it feels like home. Other times, not so much. I finally hung up some pictures in photo frames and some of Timothy’s artwork—even a poster. After we’d lived here a year, I found myself wanting something for the kids’ room so got those peel-and-stick wall stickers. Now it feels a little more homey. But not really. Still, what does a home need besides a family inside it? And that I’ve got.

DSCF1766 Timothy turned 4 in November with a Mickey Mouse cake, a Cars pinata, and Toy Story invitations that never got mailed. :/ My cousin Alyssa was a huge help in putting the party together, and I think everyone had fun. In January, we were playing in an indoor playground, and Timothy had a run-in with a slide, knocking out a tooth and breaking two more, which had to be extracted a week later. So he’s got a different smile—just as adorable. :) stinkin cute kiddos 2-22-2012 8-44-43 PM

Timothy also went through minor surgery at the end of January to correct his umbilical hernia, so now his “belly button is better and smaller.” He is learning his letters at his own pace. So many of my acquaintances are “home-schooling” their three- and four-year-olds. Well, I’m not. Timothy knows his alphabet and can write his name. He can also count to 50 if he tries—leaving out 13 and 15—and told me today that he knows that ants love crumbs and will eat leftovers at a picnic if you leave them out. (He learned that from Babar, he says.) He loves to use big words, even though he doesn’t know what they mean, and he’s mostly a fun and agreeable little guy. We’ve had rotten luck this year getting him into organized sports (partly due to timing and partly due to sharing a car with Daddy), but we’re thinking of maybe doing gymnastics again starting in April. He’ll be ready for Pre-K in the fall!

huggable 2-3-2012 5-38-08 PM Anna turned one in December, but I was a lazy bum and didn’t do anything at all except hug her a little more tightly. I think we’ll go for an 18-month celebration in June so she can enjoy some cake. Both kids are super active. Anna started walking in November and now runs as often as she walks. She loves being chased and giving “kisses.” Her first distinguishable word was “Mommy,” which of course warms my heart. :) On top of that, she’s added “baby" and “no,” as well as “ca,” which usually means either “cup” or “car,” “wa” for “water.” and “tee” for “TV.” (Yes, I suppose that tells you something of our household.) She adores her big brother, and Timothy just dotes on her. Right now we’re struggling with sleep issues, but I keep trying to convince myself it’s only a matter of time before she finally gets the hang of sleeping through the night in her own crib. Maybe not until she stops nursing, though. I can wait! Naps are my friends!

I’ve been enjoying my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups and a nearby women’s Bible study, in which we’re studying the New Testament. We’re part of a Presbyterian church here, but it is tiny, and while I have religiously attended services and weekday activities, I still feel disconnected, possibly because I have no peers in the church. This has caused me to branch out, so Timothy goes to AWANA at another church, I attend MOPS & monthly ladies’ craft nights at a third church, and my Bible study is at a fourth church. (I was attending a second MOPS group until recently, which was at yet another church.) I’m really hoping that the next place we live, we can really fit into a community without having to sprawl out quite so much. And I’d dearly love to get Timothy into a children’s choir!

But even with all the activities in which I’m involved, I still feel disconnected generally. I don’t mean to complain; there are some wonderful and amazing ladies I consider good friends. They have helped me through challenging times and have given encouragement and support, and I thank God for them. At the same time, each of them has other close friends, so I wouldn’t really say I have found a “best friend.” I know it’s not likely ever to happen again, now that I’ve entered this stage of life, but I keep hoping, everywhere we move. I have made lifelong friends here, but I do miss the deep friendships I made in grade school and occasionally in college. Maybe someday… I’ve been super blessed to be able to see my best friend since 1991, Laura, half a dozen times in the past couple years since we moved away from California. She is a med student in the Navy and such an example to me of determination and Christ-centeredness. I want to be like her someday!

We’re likely to be here until the end of the year, and then, who knows? God has plans for us and will guide us in His time. I make myself sound so trusting and at peace, but in reality, I agonize about it more than I ought. While I have the foundation of a family and a loving God, I still feel restless and aimless. I want to make something of my life, and not just as a wife and mother. I’ve discovered that being a stay-at-home mom has made me lazy and selfish. I need to get out of myself, and at this point in my life, I am really struggling with where God is leading me in that sense. Is there a great job out there waiting for me? I would love to part of a non-profit organization, even if the pay weren’t great. Or should I return to school? If so, in what field? Once upon a time, I thought of medicine. Is that even realistic anymore? What about nursing? I’ve taken hardly any of the prerequisites so would have to pretty much start from scratch, even though I have a BA already. Or should I get a second Bachelor’s degree in something more practical such as engineering? That would be awfully expensive, since I wouldn’t qualify for any financial aid except loans. Then again, perhaps grad school is a better fit, learning to be a writing instructor to teach at a community college or online. I know my professional strengths, and they’re strong, but they don’t seem to be marketable right now. So in which direction should I look for something more marketable? These are some of the questions with which I struggle, and so far I’ve not gotten any answers. I suppose I will eventually.

So that’s our little recap. I am not promising to keep this blog up regularly, but I do promise to write when I get the urge.