Thursday, September 30, 2010

September wrap up

It was a wild September over here in the Goat family.  It was my second month at New Church and the first one with all my programs up and running.  It has meant some long hours but slowly a routine is coming together.  I'm grateful for that because it is time to start taking my day's off back!  Mr. Goat has had more business this month too and has been busy too.

Baby goat is growing and talking and dancing his way through the month with the greatest of ease.  Or at least ease for him, his parents are feeling the independence of his toddlerhood acutely.  He's a linebacker of a kid and can take all the kids at daycare, but doesn't really understand that he SHOULDN'T.  When he's mad lately, he is mad.  I hope that some language growth will slowly help but it can be frustrating to know how to teach him some boundaries when he doesn't want to listen to you.  (Any tips are helpful...its time to start reading some Toddler books I think).

In other news from the month, I went to a blog conference which was wonderful and so meaningful.  I've made amazing connections though this corner of the internet of mine and it truly is a blessing to me.   I still haven't fully be able to articulate what blogging means to me but one thing that it does is keep me open to possibilities in life.  Even in my worst moods I often end a complaining post with much more optimism that I began, and if it were only that it would be valuable, but it is so much more.  It is my scrapbook, my inner monologue, a social network, a place for advice and support; it is a friend to me.  I will keep thinking.

Also this month,I ran my 1st 5k and have been challenged to another.  I'm not sure how much training I could do in a month but I'm tempted.  That I am even tempted tells me how my attitude has shifted towards running, even though I will never be a runner.  So I'm waffling...but I should decide soon.  On the one hand my schedule is still busy and crazy and I have to find some time to train.  On the other I need to jump start some exercise and healthy eating again to stop the tailspin I've been in.  Hmmmm.  Input is good if you guys want to share.

It is hard to believe that tomorrow is October.  In a way my life has changed so dramatically in the last three months.  I love my new job and even when I get overwhelmed in the newness of it all there is such a sense of call to my being there that I can move with confidence and faith.  That is a great gift.

I really enjoyed my Sept Blog-A-Thon and I hope you did too.  I hope to keep up some serious blogging because it is a great way of helping me process things.  So as Sept ends I'll see you all tomorrow on Oct 1st with an announcement for a monthly focus of great importance to me!  Thanks for everything blogland!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

19 things I've learned about parenthood.

On Sunday baby goat turned 19 months old.  I am more that a little in awe of that number.  19 months is on the cusp of 20 and each passing day, hour and week his 7 week early arrival becomes more insignificant as he takes giant leaps forward.

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of things going into motherhood.  I knew I didn't have it all figured out but I knew I could handle it.  Well, I was right and wrong.  I can handle it, and handle it well, but there was so much that I had no clue about before baby goat came into the world.  So in honor of baby goat's 19 months here are 19 things that I've learned about parenthood.

1.  How (or when) your child enters the world is not ultimately up to you.  There is no "right" way of giving birth, instead there is a "right" way for you and your child at a given time.  That might not be the ideal birth but it is still the right one.  The right birth for us was a c-section at 33 weeks to stop the pre-eclampsia that was shutting down my system.  Not an ideal birth by any means but was the right one for us.

2.  Guilt doesn't help you be a better parent.  It only helps you dwell on the past and not the present. 

3.  Pumping is breastfeeding too and don't let anyone tell you it isn't.  It is also worth it.  But if you can't your child won't be ruined for life.

4.  Ask for advice and then feel free to ignore it.  Your child is unique and what worked for someone might not work for you.

5.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a gift of grace to yourself and your child.

6.  Being a stay-at-home parent is hard.  Being a working parent is hard.  They are hard in similar and different ways.  So don't judge what decisions another family has to make for their children, just support them.

7.  I never knew how hard it would be to scold and warn a child about something while struggling to keep the laughter from my voice.

8.  Milestones will be achieved at a child's own pace.  Be your child's own advocate if you think something is wrong, but don't worry unnecessarily about the speed at which your child reaches developmental milestones.

9.  I didn't know that my love for my husband would grow and expand even more watching him be a Father.

10.  Baby goat has taught me more about God's love and grace for his creation in 19 months than I learned in 3 years of Seminary and all those years of church.

11.  I've learned that to be fully prepared you need always need a change of clothes for the baby AND for the parents.

12. While you will never be the same the person you were before the baby, the "old" you is still there and can still be nurtured.  And nurturing that part of yourself is a good way to keep some sanity.

13.  Saturday mornings are no longer for sleeping in.

14.  Your parents suddenly make a lot more sense.  (Or at least a *little* more sense).

15.  You can't have too many people in your child's life who loves them.

16.  No matter what fancy educational toy you have, chances are your child will still find everything from the remote control to a leaf more fascinating.

17.  Boys really are different from girls, but not in what they play with just in how they play.

18.  Smart-ass-ness is genetic.

19.  Forever and always part of your heart will exist outside yourself and the pull of it will be so powerful and beautiful that if you think about it too deeply you will be overcome by the love you have for that precious child.

What has parenthood taught you?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Well, my giveaway ended today.  Thank you to all who entered, it is really cool to see 100 comments on my little blog.  And I'm thrilled to have supported {So}Sartina because Kristina's things are amazing. If you haven't been over to check her new diaper bag design you should pop over.  And since she's promised a 20% coupon to every person who entered you can find something beautiful for yourself with a nice discount.

Anyway, thanks again to all but I suppose you want to know the winner?   Well went and chose #38 which is....FritzFacts!  Congratulations! You'll be getting an email from me soon!

Thanks for everyone who entered, I have a few giveaways in the works but I hope you will stick around and read these random thoughts of mine from time to time.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Beautiful Day

Today was a beautiful, ordinary, lovely day. 

I worked and it was energizing and uplifting.  My volunteers showed up and were prepared. The kids had fun an I think even learned a thing or two!

I went to church services with my son and listened to my husband sing with the choir. He made it through the whole service, my son that is, though Mr. Goat made it through the whole service too! (Baby goat did give me a swollen lip when he whacked me with a snack container during a "disagreement"with whether or not to stand up for a hymn.)

We had lunch out as a family.  There were chips and salsa! 

I took a nap.

We went to the park with grandpa and played on the slides.

I made dinner and we ate as a family.

Baby goat's cold is much improved and we haven't had to take him to the doctor, much less the hospital.  It looks like his asthma controller meds are working!

The sun was out.

Baby goat went to sleep easily.

Now I am going to go finish the dishes and go to sleep in a bed with fresh clean sheets.

Today was a beautiful, ordinary, lovely day. 

And I couldn't be happier about it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I ran into the family restroom while grocery shopping and saw a dispenser machine.  I didn't think much of it until I looked closer and realized it was a diaper dispenser. No tampons, or advil, or condoms...diapers.

My first thought was, "I love how family friendly this is" but then I immediately thought of the following questions:

1.  If I don't have a diaper with me am I likely to have a $1.00 in quarters?  It is far more likely that at any given time I will have a diaper with me than 4 quarters.

2.  What size diaper is it?  Diapers are hardly a one size fits all sort of thing.

3. Doesn't the grocery store SELL diapers? And wipes too?  At less than a $1 a diaper?

It just makes you think.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Guest Post: Is it Too Late to Start Baby Sign Language with My Toddler?

Liz here with a mommy confession.  I had the best of intentions of signing regularly with baby goat.  We watched the first of a Baby Signing Time DVD from the library and we used those signs and then we just sort of drifted away from it.  With daycare and his illnesses it just was too much for me to keep it up.  We still do "more" and "all done" and a few other things and that's great but I've always felt guilty I haven't done more, particularly when baby goat is in tantrum mode.

So when I was approached by Misty of Baby Sign Language about doing a guest post I thought it was a good time to answer my most pressing sign language question:  Is it too late?  And I am relieved to hear that it isn't.  Thanks Misty for answering my Sign Language question for me and blogland.

Is it Too Late to Start Baby Sign Language with My Toddler?

I hear this question all the time: My baby is two! Isn’t it too late to start baby sign language? Your baby’s cute little brain is primed for language development for the first three years of life. So no, it’s not too late to start signing!

Studies show that Baby Sign Language helps our children learn to speak. It increases their vocabulary and it increases their understanding of the English language and how it works (in areas such as syntax and grammar). Sign Language helps our children learn to speak in longer and more complex sentences, and even helps them learn to read!

But beyond all of the research, there are countless practical reasons to teach your toddler to sign. Children who know how to sign experience fewer temper tantrums and exhibit fewer frustration behaviors, such as biting, kicking, hitting, and screaming. I would never suggest that your toddler would be capable of such things, but if you know of such a kid, feel free to pass this information on to his mother!

Imagine: Your toddler falls down at the park and is screaming in pain. You rush over to evaluate the situation, but the incident and the accompanying emotions are too complicated for your little girl to explain. Yet she makes the sign for “hurt” near her ankle. Now you know where it hurts. You ask her if it hurts anywhere else. She shakes her head no, makes the sign at her ankle again, and looks at you like you’re stupid: I already told you where it hurts! Now fix it Mommy!!!

Or how about this one: Your son doesn’t know how to say the word “sorry” yet. Despite this fact, he runs up to a cute little girl in a cute little white dress at church and absolutely flattens her. Is he sorry? Probably not. But you can start to teach remorse and responsibility by asking him to make the sign for “sorry” to the little girl. And her parents are appeased.

And this one happens to me at least once a week: My son wants me to read to him, and he speaks the word “book.” But I think he says “ball” and go get him his football. In his mind, he accuses me of hampering his education and very slowly pronounces the word “book” to the best of his ability, while making the sign for “book.” Oh! I say, and I read him a story. Without the sign for book, my poor son would be forced to play with a football against his will.

The bottom line is that toddlers love to sign because they love to be able to communicate with their parents (and make demands of them). They can understand what we say, but oftentimes they cannot speak back to us. Baby Sign Language helps with this – it gives them the tools they need to say what they want to say.

And besides, toddlers are fast learners so it’s fun to teach a toddler to sign. And when your daughter first sidles up to you, smiles, and makes the sign for “I love you,” you’ll know you’ve made the right decision.

Liz again just wondering about you blogland.  Do you sign with your kids?  Do you have questions about signing?  Please share your stories here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Random Blessings

I'm feeling very surface today.  Could it be a the cold or the mess of the apartment?  The busy schedules or baby goat's troublesome cough, but I can't seem to dig deep for the blog tonight, but maybe that is ok.  So here are some blessings that I've experienced today. 

1.  The new season of the Big Bang Theory began tonight!  I love that show! 

2.  My supervisor is awesome and all but forced me to take a few hours to myself to recoop and relax this afternoon.  I read my book in Panera and bought new underwear (I'm living on the wild side).

3.  My daycare provider graciously watched baby goat an extra 20 minutes today while I was in a meeting and Mr. Goat is prepping for court. 

4.  So far baby goat's neb treatments seem to be keeping the doctor at bay.

5.  It is almost the weekend!  And I don't really have any PLANs other than a few small things (and work of course).

6. I know the rain has been crazy and it is messing things up down south but I've been loving it for some reason today.  It is so fresh.

7.  Silly I know but I love the traffic the {So}Sartina giveaway is getting.  I'm glad for my friend, her stuff is so cute.  Have you entered?

What blessings did you receive today?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Working Mom's Vent

I am not here to debate the Stay at home, Work outside the home, Work from home, thing.  Let's face it, motherhood is work.  You are always a full time mom even if you work outside the home. And I make no claims that one is easier than the other, they are different in their challenges.  And it is a pointless question for me too as staying at home is not feasible at our current place in life.  And honestly I'm no longer sure what I would pick.  Some days I lean one way, some days the other.  But that is not the issue I bring forward today.  Instead, my question is simple:

Why are there not parent/child classes scheduled at times for working parents to attend?

Seriously!  I have yet to be able to take an ECFE class, swimming lesson or Kindermusik class with baby goat and I want to.  I want to take a class with him. I want to meet other parents and children in a class and form a community for him.  Yes,we have a daycare community.  And yes, baby goat gets some of the same socialization that is important for him from those classes in daycare, but I still miss it.

There are a few classes I've found but they fill so quickly and even then are hard to make work in a schedule.   Assuming commute, dinner, travel time and bedtime the evening is almost over even when it has just begun. And Saturday classes fill so fast if you aren't on top of things you won't get in.

Is it so wrong to want to have the same opportunities to show my child the love of learning as my Stay at home peers do?  Have I missed a set of Twin Cities classes that might work?  Am I the only one who finds this frustrating?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Me, my sister, and a 5k

On Saturday I spent the morning at the MN Children's Museum with baby goat, my sister and my parents (Mr. Goat was home sick).  We had a great time and it served to distract me from the huge challenge awaiting me that evening.  You see that evening I was participating in the Liz Logelin Foundation 5k, the 5k that I committed to running way back in March. I had signed up when registrations opened in June and then my life imploded a bit.  Baby goat was in the hospital a few times as we figured out how to best treat his asthma, then I had a month of job transition which while good is still stressful.  Then the last 6 weeks have been learning the ropes of my new position and new church while trying to get our Sunday School programming up and running.

Whew, I am tried just remembering the last few months.  It is no surprise then that my Couch to 5k training was at zero for almost three whole months before the race on Saturday.  So to say that I was dreading this race was to put it mildly.  But, I knew that I had to do it anyway.  So I swallowed my fears and put on my tighter-than-they-were-two-months-ago running shorts and set out to Minnehaha Park with my sister by my side.
Me, Beth and Missy Pre-race

Once there it was hard not to get caught up in the excitment.  Missy was there, who started training at the same time as me, and whom I have seen grow and flourish this past year in particular.  Beth was there too, 5 weeks postpartum, with an adorable daughter that made my ovaries ache, ready to run again.  Darcie, Kellyn, Cindy, Laura and all sorts of blogger and twitter friends were there volunteering and giving their time to a cause they care about.  To a cause I care about too.  There was a reason I chose this 5k afterall.

I may be telling my story of the day but the real reason for the day was Matt, and his need to serve other people to strive to ease other's pain and to transform his wife's horribly tragic death into something that brings life into the world.  He does it for Liz his wife, now gone, and for his daughter, Maddy, who will know her mother in part by the powerful deeds done in her name.

Here I am with Matt (post race).  A reminder to me that it is about so much more than me and a 5k

Still, despite the wonderful cause and all the friends, there was one other person who made sure I was still there.  My sister, Kristin.  She flew from Michigan people to be here with me for this event, this 5k that I failed to train properly for.  She flew in after a week work trip, on 2.5 hours sleep, to walk beside me on a race that she could have run herself much faster than me.

It was her who acknowledged all those unspoken fears and still said unequivocally "You Rock sister Dear."  She came and she walked with me every step of the way. 

Kristin and I pre-race.  Isn't she lovely?!

Before I knew it, it was time to line up and get this run started.  The runners, like Missy here, were in the front, while the walkers were in the back.

I for one was grateful that there were so many walkers.  Even if I ended up the slowest one there were at least a few people who I'd maybe be able to keep pace with.  Still I was afraid of being the last one in, of being the worst "runner" in something that is just for me and a charity I believed in.

It was surreal being in a sea of runners and athletes.  My place is most often on the sidelines.  With the exception of a few years as a star soccer goalie in elementary school, sports and I haven't been friends.  I am not fast, I am hardly coordinated, and my short stubby legs keep me on the fringes of most events.  Yet, here I was, at the heaviest I've been in years, amongst these people, some of whom I knew, and some of whom I didn't know, ready to run a race.  Again I felt out of place, but it was too late because just as I was trying to process these thoughts it was time to go.

And so we did.  We walked for 5 minutes to have a good warm up and then we alternated walking and running as I felt like I could.  Kristin would say, "Let's run when we get to the streetlight and run until the pedestrian sign" and I would agree and work my way into a slow trot.  I felt every one of those pounds I've gained, but I would complete each stretch and then walk some more while I gained my breath.

"Action" Shot

And sure enough a mile marker passed, and then the turnaround, and then mile two, and we just kept going.  It wasn't fast, it wasn't pretty, but we pushed forward.  I kept asking for the time and to my surprise I found that I was on pace to make it under an hour.  The hour was my goal.  The hour seemed to represent the line between progress made and a complete regression into slug-ness.  But we were on pace, so we kept going with my sister always whispering in my ear, "You can do it, you ROCK!"

After what seemed to be an impossibly long time and yet no time at all the end was in  sight.  And so when we were suitably close we went back to running and ran our way to the finish. (Photos courtesy of Darcie)

As we jogged to the finish there were people cheering for me, my friends, come out to see me accomplish this goal.  It was (is) so easy for me to focus on how much better it could have been, but they were overjoyed on the what was.  Their joy was infectious for me and I ran in feeling that I truly had accomplished something big.

And the time?  58:30.  Under an hour.  Impossibly it seemed I reached my goal that was so daunting in my mind.  I did it, with my sister by my side.
Kristin and I Post-race
Missy and I Post-race

I wish I could say that I finished my Couch to 5k program and RAN my first 5k, but I did accomplish something big this weekend.  It was a 5k, but not a 5k too.  I literally finished the 3.1 miles of the race and met my goal time.  That's true.  But I also accomplished something bigger.  I beat the voice.  You know the voice.  It was the voice who spoke words of fear and doubt in my head.  It was the voice who wanted to compare what I could do to what others could do.  A 5k may not be a challenge for many, it is for me, and I accomplished it.

It is the voice to makes me want to delete these pictures in horror of my weight, but there are here instead on my blog for all to see.  These pictures remind me that the voice speaks out of fear, judgment and criticism of me.  But when I think of this weekend, instead of feeling defeat over what might have been, I think of voices the friends cheering for me crossing that finish line, and the voice of my sister saying "Liz, you ROCK!"

That voice didn't prevail this weekend.  Instead it was the voice of my sister in my ear reminding me constantly that I could.

And I did.

And the voice has lost a little more of its power.

Thank you Kristin.  I love you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

5k Giveaway

So yesterday I completed the Liz Logelin Foundation 5k, remember the one that I committed to running way back in March.  And I planned to blog about that tonight, but then I forgot my camera with all my pictures at work, so I'm swapping posts and you are going to get Monday's post instead.   That post just happens to be an AWESOME GIVEAWAY!

I have been amazed by the blogger friends I've made, particularly the care that they have given me over the last months.  They are so generous with their support of me and of each other and I consider myself very very lucky to count them as friends.  Ironically, I met some of these friends for the first time at the MN Blogger Conference last week, including the fabulous and lovely Kristina Joy.

Earlier this month I sent out a random tweet to see if anyone had a giveaway idea or brand for my September Blog-A-Thon.  I was just itching to give something away to thank all you readers out there.  Kristina dropped me a note that said she'd love to giveaway something from her brand new Etsy shop {So}Sartina.  Now I love supporting etsy and its talented artisans so this was a wonderful fit.  And when you see her wonderful creations you will think so too.

See?  Look at the blue lining peeking out and the blue rose.  I love this!
Just look at this business holder!  So much cuter than my bland target card.  
Just imagine holding your blogger cards (or business cards in this).
I love the idea of green shopping but this elevates your good-deed bagging to a whole new level of cuteness!
So you can see why I was thrilled at the thought of giving away some of her beautiful creations.  After talking over the details of the giveaway with Kristina she decided to giveaway at $30.00 credit to her amazing shop.  And $30 goes a LONG way towards handmade style of your very own.  (You could even snag nearly 5 rose pins which are so pretty.)

So how do you enter?  It is easy - simply visit Kristina's etsy shop and tell us what item you love the most and come back and leave that in a comment here.  Please also leave an email address if is not obviously apparent on your profile.

If you want extra entries you may also do the following things: (Please leave an extra comment for all that apply)

1.  Follow my blog over on my sidebar (for one extra entry).

2.  Friend The Lutheran Geek facebook page (for one extra entry).

3.  Follow me on twitter (for one extra entry).

4.  Follow {So}Sartina on twitter (for one extra entry).

5.  Tweet the following: (only one tweet for one extra entry).

I want to be {So}stylish and win the @SoSartina giveway on @LutherLiz's blog:

I'm so excited to have a giveaway to thank all my wonderful readers, and I'm {So} excited to support {So}Sartina.  Thanks for entering and giving her shop a look.  I love promoting wonderful people!

THIS JUST IN! Kristina has decided to give everyone who enters the giveaway a 20% coupon code to her shop.  So be sure to leave an email so she can send it to you!

The Details: This giveaway will run from now through Monday, September 27, 2010 at 9:00 p.m. CST.   The winner will be selected from the entries by  Once selected, the winner will be contacted and will have 48 hours to respond.  If no response is received in that time frame, a new winner will be chosen.  The winner will recieve a $30 credit to be used for anything from Kristina's etsy shop only.

Disclosure:  I asked for publicly if anyone had a giveaway and Kristina stepped forward.  I am simply delighted to support her new business venture, although she did say I could have one of those amazing business card holders too.  Thanks Kristina!  You rock!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Under the wire

I'm getting my blog post in under the wire today, thus keeping the Sept Blog-A-thon going.  There is lots to say about today but tomorrow comes early, there is a Sunday School to run, and my muscles are sore and a cold going through the family.  So tonight this will suffice.

Tomorrow though there will be a full recap of my exploits completing my first 5k.  For now I will just leave it that I have awesome friends and an awesome sister.  I'm am so very blessed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Missing You.

You were half asleep by the time I got home today.  It is hard, not getting that time to play, to chat, to interact.  It is hard not too see whatever new trick or word you've learned.  These weeks are necessary to put in the hard work to start the year on top of things.  Life should slow next week, or at least I keep insisting on that.

These are the days I wonder if being a working mom is worth it.  I love my job, I am lucky.  I work because we both need to work but I do have a job I love and most of the time that is enough to justify my time away.  But when it adds up and cuts down into my already precious time then I worry that I'm causing you pain.

Do you know how much I love you?  Do you know how it hurts to be away?  Do you know?

I want to work differently with this new job.  I want to put in my time and dedication like I always have, but I want to consistently choose my family first when it comes to it.  It is hard to be a perfectionist in a job that's only limitation is my time and the church's resources.  It is so easy to say to myself "I'll just finish this up" and stay and before you know it another hour has passed.  I want to say, "no it is time to go home, it can wait." 

These last two weeks very little could wait, but this is the goal.  Can a job be a vocation and still just a job?  I hope so.  I miss you baby goat.  I miss you Mr. Goat. I can't wait for next week.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Baby Mountain Goat

*No baby goat's were hurt in taking this picture.  He climbed up himself but I was there to watch him and take him down after an obligatory photo.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Have you ever declared your own brilliance?  It is often considered to be overly boastful to say that we are brilliant at anything.  And yet we are all unique and have our own gifts and skills that we are brilliant at.

I was given this quote today and it cried out to be blogged:
Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our Light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, talented, beautiful, fabulous?"  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God, and your playing small does not serve the world.  There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.  It's not just in some of us, it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.    ~ Marianne Williamson
So I ask you: what makes you brilliant?   Name and claim just one thing for yourself today.  I am brilliant at listening and engaging others in self-reflection.  It is amazing how hard that sentence is to write but it can be helpful to acknowledge our strengths as well as our weaknesses.  So what makes you brilliant?  Will you share it with us?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Moving on.

This weekend was so good for me emotionally.  The Bloggers conference was thought-provoking and something done for me alone which in and of itself is so valuable.  Perhaps even more helpful was this week represented the kickoff of programs at new church.  It has meant a lot of running around to make sure everything is on track with only a little time under my belt and there is still a week of craziness before we will really settle into a routine.  Despite all the things to do it has lead to a distinct shift in my own thoughts.  A very healthy shift I think.

I recently read by Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame).  It is about marriage and coming to terms with some of the failures and issues surround her first marriage (that ended in divorce) and her upcoming second marriage (that was all but forced on her by the Department of Homeland Security).  It was an interesting read but I was struck just how similar a job transition can be to a divorce and remarriage.

When things ended at Old Church, there is no doubt that both sides saw the end coming and thankfully I had the good sense to be keeping an eye out for other jobs.  But I was surprised by the anger and hurt I still felt about the way it ended.  Those stories are not for the blog but the pain is real.  Likewise I was surprised by the frequency with which my thoughts traveled to Old Church and how they were doing.  Were they OK?  Were the programs going to be fine?  There were people I didn't get to say goodbye to...were they mad?  What did they hear and what did they believe about what happened?

It is hard to cut yourself off from something that dominated many of your thoughts and life for nearly 6 years, and the quicker and more severe the break the more abrupt it feels emotionally.

I was so lucky to find a job so soon and I cannot tell you how much better a fit this New Church feels to me.  It feels as though I am meant and called to be there.  That is a beautiful gift for me and it is healing.  Still it has taken a while to shake the ghost of Old Church from my mind.  I have worries that I might repeat the mistakes I had made at Old Church (I'm not so egotistical to think I made none).

This weekend marked the shift for me.  New Church is home and where I am.  I can only be myself and give as much as I am able.  That hasn't changed.  My value is real and I don't want to tarnish this new beautiful thing by dwelling on my "ex."

Mr. Goat said it well.  He said, "I am more happy to be at New Church than I am to be away from Old Church" and I think that sums it up well.  I will always have friends from Old Church but I am closing the door on the worries and frets and stresses that it still brings up in me.  I'll be busy enough without the emotional baggage.  This weekend my programs kicked off at New Church (beautifully I might add) and I am in it for the long haul... for better and for worse.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I'm still in thinking mode over here. Thank you for all the wonderful comments lately and for all the wonderful folks I met and/or connected with yesterday at the MN Blogger Conference.  While I was there Mr. Goat and baby goat were out looking at trains and playing with model trains.  This picture of baby goat just struck me as perfect for what I'm feeling right now.

It is like there is this huge massive thing right in front of you.  It is awe inspiring and a little intimidating and for some reason you can only take in a small portion at a time.  So you sit and analyze a little corner of this big thing in hopes that you come to grips with at least a part of the whole.

So I'm working on backing up and taking in the bigger picture of it all - of blogging and writing and sharing this little world of mine here on the internet, of why it means so much to me, of why I feel more focused when I make sure to write out these words, of what I edit and what I hide and what I reveal, of what I want out of it, of where I want it to go, and of what it says about who I am and how I relate to the world. 

Big questions while perched on the running board of a big blogger thing.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Twitter Typo Queen and the MN Blog Conference

You are now looking at the official Twitter Typo Queen of the MN Blog Conference.  Now, no autographs right now.  You'll have to wait for another time.

It all started with a desire to find a Diet Coke as my caffiene needs were high. And so I got out my phone and tweeted:

 @suzi_MN do you know where to fond diet coke?

Humorous of course, but sadly as the day progressed my typos just kept coming.  My phone keyboard and I were just not compatible today and my brain wasn't even registering.  I miss spelled names and places and all sorts of words.  I left words out.  I kept hitting "o" for an "i" and I missed them EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

To be fair my brain was busy processing the many wonderful things I was hearing.  The blog conference was so much fun and it was wonderfully informative and moving and thought-provoking.  And there is a lot of processing needed for me to write about what it was and what it means.   I can't jump in tonight.

Still it was more than a little embarrassing to have so many typos in a gathering of writers.  I wish I'd made a better impression on them, especially since the morning started off so well with people actually wanting to meet me.  That is so crazy to me.

Maybe typos aren't all bad.  They were a running joke and a source of connection.  And really, deep down aren't we all human?  One of the opening keynote panel, Patrick Rhone, talked about his editing process and how he edits a great deal before he publishes.  That is wonderful, but there are times when real life demands an immediate response, typos and all.

So tonight you get typos.  Tomorrow maybe I'll have something more polished.  But whether polished or rough, I am me, typos and all.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The "Me" Time Paradox

Tonight I had two options after putting baby goat to bed (which was lovely since I've missed bedtime twice this week).

1.  Pack myself off after putting the baby to bed, driving a half hour, and heading to a bar to hand with all of the awesome MN Blog Conference folks that I will be hanging with tomorrow. 


2.  Putting on PJs, blogging, hanging with Mr. Goat and catching up on blog reading and reality TV.

And I was torn.  Mr. Goat was on board with either choice and even suggested I should go out and see my friends.  That is a wonderful "me" time that feeds me.

And after the crazy work hours I had this week the idea of sitting home and vegging was also "me" time.

But in a way they are directly in challege with one another.  One feeds an extroverted side of me.  The desire to be with friends and meet new people and be "doing" stuff.  The other feeds the introverted me. The desire to recharge and recoup and be ready for tomorrow in full form.

Not surprisingly I choose the introverted side but what is suprising is how torn I was about it.  It wasn't that long ago that my introvertedness dominated things to the point where I felt awkward with the amazing people I would meet.   Somewhere along this blogging journey that has changed.  It has changed in the new church job too. 

I feel more confident than ever before in my own identity and I am not as afraid of judgement as I once was.  The awkwardness still rears its head occasionally but my extroverted me is starting to relish in the company and the conversation more and more each day.

The fact that both of the options tonight were legitamate forms of "me" time is a sign to me of just how far I've come.  Ultimately staying in one out of sheer laziness and tiredness from the week and a desire to reconnect with my own family.

But I will be at the MN Blog Conference tomorrow with bells on.  Blogging has brought a greater sense of ME to me and I have a feeling I'll be blogging for a long time to come.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

This too shall pass

It is late. The internet has finally started working on the computer again.  I've been at work until 8 or 8:30 every day this week (nearly 12 hr days), but I don't want to whine about it.  Work is going well and this busyness is going to pass.  Plus I truly feel that the hours put in now are going to go a long way to getting on top of the job and the lots of people I need to meet.

Still this week has been hard.  I haven't seen much of baby goat and that always makes me feel sad.  It is also hard not to see too much of Mr. Goat too.  He's taking on a lot this week, particularly in the evenings.  I know it is temporary but it brings out that working mom guilt.

I watch baby goat's bedtime tick closer while in meetings at work and wonder if he missed my kiss goodnight or not.  I can't decide which would be worse - him wanting a hug and kiss and I'm not there or him being fine without me there to say goodnight.

This busy schedule is only temporary but as I'm tired it all seems harder to be away!  But this craziness simply makes all that I work for more precious to me.

We are busy integrating into the new church but this feels like a place where we will have a home for a long term.  It seems like a place where people will know baby goat and care for him and us.  It feels like a place we will grow and thrive.

And so, the extra work is worth it right now, even if it is still work.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

NICU Reunion

On one of our last summer outings we had a playdate at the zoo with Siena and her parents, Melissa and John. Siena was baby goat's first live-in girlfriend. They shared the NICU room for about 2 weeks before we were released. He was already a month old (and change) by the time she came to join us in the room.
It appears that they picked up just where the left out - check out that hand holding!  Plus baby goat is sharing food!  It must be love.

Baby Goat and Siena - August 2010

Baby goat and Siena and their moms, April 2009

It is amazing how far they have come.  Life is amazing.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Makeup 101

Confession:  I hate makeup.

Or rather I appreciate what it does but hate the time, effort, skills, cost, and skin troubles that makeup causes me.

In full confession I should probably mention that my mother also hated makeup and wore it maybe once a year so I didn't grow up sneaking into her bathroom to experiment.

I have made various attempts to wear makeup throughout my life.  I've worn it for events and weddings.  I had it professionally done for my wedding and it was lovely.  Every couple years I went through a big push to learn how to do it and dumped $$ into a new set of makeup.  I would keep it up somewhat but ultimately it would die away as I reclaimed an extra snooze button push into my morning routine.

But when I got a job at new church it seemed time to start again.  I had interviewed wearing makeup.  It might be that I've aged but suddenly makeup does seem to enhance my look.  Darn It.  And so for the last month I've been wearing makeup everyday I go into the office.  I didn't go back to Clinque that I had in the past but got Neutrogena from Target to try to keep costs down.

And it isn't awful.  I've gotten ok at the plan simple professional look (I think).  I found out about mineral powder foundation and that has helped a ton to keep my skin clear but I still have some issues.  So blogland, help a girl out.  I think it is time to buck up and be a professional and wear the makeup, so if I'm going to do it I should do it right.  So here are my questions:

1.  What kind of makeup do you use?  Is it worth the cost?
2.  Brushes - do you use your own or the ones that come with it?  How often do they need cleaning (how do you clean them?) or replacing?
3.  Any tips on keeping the makeup from irritating my eyes - that is the worst part of it, I keep wanting to rub them!
4.  What do you use to take your makeup off and keep your skin clear?  I have extremely sensitive skin.
5.  Any other tips I should know?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Random Thoughts

It is late and the weekend has been both relaxing and tiring.  Tomorrow starts a two week stretch of events at the new job - working most nights and everyday and meeting tons of new people.  I need to channel my confident, out-going, professional, accessible, superwoman stance.  It is there but it is tiring to keep it up for so much in the next few weeks.  So, tonight you all get random thoughts.  Think of this as a mind purge so I can start focused and fabulous tomorrow morning!

* Whole Foods could be the perfect grocery store if they carried Diet Coke and Oreos. (I know the have Newman-Os but sometimes you just need an Oreo).

* My blog reader is going to be clear by the time I go to bed tonight (it is at 18 right now).  This is fabulous and while I had to speed read and comment less than I'd like I'm feeling thrilled to have a blank slate.

* I want to buy markers just because the school year is starting.  As hard as it will be years from now to send baby goat to school for the first time I sort of can't wait to get to school shop for him.

* I love my friends who are helping me outfit baby goat for the winter.  I owe them big time.  (And how can it be that I'm thinking winter coats already - I know it will be here soon but sheesh).

* Baby goat had a photo shoot this weekend.  I won it from a blog giveaway and it was so much fun.  Allison at Sweet-light studios was great and baby goat loved her from the beginning.  She posted a preview on her blog and it is so cute.  It will be hard not to buy everything in every size when they are done I think.  See the preview here!

* I've caught up on Project Runway this year and I can't believe how mean they are to Michael C. on the show.  They have choosen him to be the scapegoat and send all their negative thoughts and doubts into snark against him. 

* I am still scheduled to do the Liz Logelin 5k in 2 weeks.  I haven't gone out to exercise since I started at the new church.  There has been just too much and I've coveted my down time as truly down time.  I will probably end up walking the vast majority but that is ok.  I will still do it: running, walking or crawling.

* I love cheese.  Yum.

* I wonder what this school year has in store.  We are going to be busy but it all is very exciting.  We'll be pushing our schedule and we could have up to two nights a week where we are both busy.  I hope we haven't overscheduled ourselves away from baby goat.  I already have mom guilt from sending him to daycare (even though daycare is amazing) but they are all choices.  We'll just have to see how it goes.

* I wish there was an extra work day this week but I could still have the labor day off.

* I've been sleeping poorly lately and both my mother and Mr. Goat were recently diagnosed with sleep apnea.  Now I'm wondering if I should get tested.  How do you tell if your constant tired feeling is from apnea or just motherhood.

* I love my new smartphone.  It was a great birthday present.

* Darn, I was going to do my thank you notes tonight.  Oops.

* I am loving the fallish weather but I want it to stop and freeze right here.  I don't want to lose any more light and I don't want it to get any significant degree colder.  Let's keep the Sept weather for the whole year, kay?

* My random thoughts are demanding a lot of the universe tonight.  Sorry about that.

* I am trying to get a video of baby goat doing "Ring Around the Rosy" but haven't had luck yet.

* My only random thought left is ....BED.  So I think it is time to call it for the night.  Happy Labor Day blogland.  You are awesome and I hope you had an awesome holiday.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

How to worship with your Toddler

One of the many things that I am loving about the new job is their worship.  Not only is it extremely well done, with dynamic and engaging preaching and amazing music, but it truly is a family friendly place.  Coming in a mom of young kids and as the Director of Children's Ministry this is HUGE for me!

But the big plus for me is that the schedule actually allows me to worship together with my family, something that I couldn't make work in my old job.  Now that I am sitting down weekly in worship with the family and the toddler-entrenched baby goat  I am even more painfully aware of the challenges and joys that having a small child in worship can bring.
Thus, I thought I should share some of the tips I have about making worship go smoothly for parents and for children.  Rest assured we are not always successful and often baby goat exhibits his toddler opinions fiercely, but already 6 weeks into this planned worship as a family we've come a long way toward creating this habit for him.

So here are some of the things that help us, I may periodically update this as baby goat grows and we have new tricks to help things go smoothly.

Tips for worshiping with your child: The Toddler Edition

* Kids will learn the habit of worship.  If you put off taking them to worship until they are at a certain age you will make it ultimately less meaningful for them than if they witnessed its importance throughout their lives.   Worship doesn't always work well with small children but every time you try it you show your child that worship is important.

* Most members of the congregation are very generous and forgiving of small indescrecions by the child.  They will pick up toys for you and smile knowingly as you try to keep your toddler in check.  Know that they are grateful for your dedication and attempts.  Take the time to greet the people near you during the peace and thank them for their patience.

* That being said know your child's limitations.  If their fussiness or inattention is reaching a meltdown stage take them out.  Either go to the nursery or just walk the halls for a few minutes until they calm down.  Then get down to their level and say "It is time to go back into church now, ok?"  This can be a good time to judge if the meltdown has passed or more down time is necessary.

* Use the nursery if you need and head back to worship yourself.  However if there is communion I recommend stepping out during the offering and gathering your child before communion so that they can witness an important part of the service (and one of the most participatory too!).

* Tag team with your spouse, partner or a trusted adult friend whenever possible.  Sometimes it helps just to have another set of hands to help wrangle the toddler.

* Plan ahead.  Come with some favorite toys, a snack and stuff to color with.  Keep most of it safely tucked away, bringing out only one thing at a time when a distraction is needed.

* Bring only quiet toys - books, cars, figures, small stuffed animals.  Bring things that your child likes to play with.

* Yes, it is OK to bring a snack.  The sermon can be a long stretch to sit and a snack can help keep the mid-morning crabbiness at bay.  We keep the snack hidden until the sermon begins.  This is because the first part of the service is more interactive and it is easier to keep a toddler engaged.  Bring snacks that are dry and easy to eat and clean up - Cheerios, pretzels, graham crackers, goldfish, etc.  You can bring water (or a bottle of milk if they still infants) but keep it in a covered sippy or cup.  Don't risk spills in the sanctuary.

* If your child likes to create art work bring colors and paper to use.  This is a wonderful quiet activity.  However, ONLY use colored pencils in the sanctuary.  They don't mark the pews and can be erased from hymnals and Bibles if your toddler gets away from you.

* If your congregation has worship kid bags consider bringing one so there are new surprises in them but confirm with the congregation that they are safe for under 3s.  Sometimes they contain smaller pieces that aren't appropriate for toddlers.

* Engage your child in Worship.  Toys, books, snacks and coloring are all good to have in your back pocket for worship but remember that your goal is to 1. Model worship for your child and 2. Worship yourself.  To do this have your child participate in the service in age-appropriate ways.  For toddlers have them stand up with you to see the people who are speaking.  Encourage them to fold their hands when we pray and model singing the hymns with your kids.  Follow along yourselves and show kids what the parts of the service are.  Stand up when the congregation stands up, show them the hymns, liturgy and readings in the hymnal and Bible, let your child put an offering in the offering plate, or bring the child up to communion for a blessing.   Every time you engage them in the actual service they become more comfortable.

* Take them up for the Children's sermon.  Young children may be afraid to go up to a children's sermon alone.  Take them up yourself and either sit on the floor or in the front pew in sight.  It will be seen as endearing to the congregation and will help teach your toddler that the Pastor and space are safe for them and a place to learn and participate.

* Most of all try to keep the space sacred while keeping your own attitude open and relaxed.  It is ok to sshhh your toddler but avoid angry or impatience if possible.  They are toddlers and by nature inquisitive.  If you are open and honest with them they will feed off your calmness and engagement.  It is not always possible but take the time and effort to keep yourself calm with your kids.

* Finally, remember that God's grace is sufficient to forgive even the worst Toddler (and parent) worship "transgressions" so give some of that grace to yourself and your toddler.

What would you add to this list?  Share your own story and tips here!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Fantasy World

I've always paid attention to sports.  My dad taught me what he knew and with the help of my uncles, cousins and kuncles (dad's cousins - cousin + uncle, but I spell it with a k because otherwise it looks worse) I grew to love many sports even if my own slow clumsiness precluded any high level of play personally.  But I have found an answer to that.

Fantasy Football.

I have played for 5 years now and I do pretty well.  Having it online makes it pretty easy to keep up with and I really enjoy watching my Sunday afternoon football with an eye to stats and statistics (geek math love).  And it turns out that I am pretty good at it (plus I've been lucky).  Last year I played in three leagues and won two of the championships.  Of course in the third league I think I was last.

This year I am playing in two leagues and am starting to get excited.  My teams are "Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood" and "Toddler Tantrums" and I hope they will both be winners.  We drafted one online tonight and I feel pretty good about my team.  The other one is an auto draft tomorrow and I hope I'll get a good team then too.

Fantasy Football has become a marker of the fall.  Mr. Goat has started to play too and it brings out a healthy competition in us.  Of course when our teams inevitably play each other we have minor wagers on the outcome but generally both of us benefit from the results! *wink*

(Oh my, I just winked on my blog)

I like fantasy football for a few reasons.  One, because I like football.  Two, I like winning.  But also, I like being able to hold my own in men's sports conversations.  I keep up on injuries and trades and always enjoy the quickly hidden look of surprise that comes from men when I pop in with an update they hadn't heard or an analysis of a game.

I've thought about playing fantasy baseball but that is a much larger time commitment, so I'll stick with football for now.

And as for the inevitable conflict that occurs when my fantasy players play against the Packers.  Well, the Packers always trump my own team, but if they can still win and get me the stats I need then that works out well!

Happy Football season everyone. (Go Pack Go!)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Lefty and the Lymph Nodes

Sounds like a good band name huh?  If I ever form one I'll have to use it.

However, what led to the title has been a worrisome issue of the last week.  You see, my left breast pulled a Sarah Palin and went rogue on me.  To be fair it had gone rogue before.  I had first gone in for a panicky mammogram on it in 2006 when I felt two lumps in Lefty.  We discovered that I had two lymph nodes oddly placed inside my breast tissue that were mildly inflammed - probably from a minor winter cold.  Assured that this was fairly normal, I stopped worrying about those two lumps.

All went fine until I got pregnant.  As you recall I developed preeclampsia and ended up being quite sick and swelled an obscene amount (I lost 70 pounds in the 10 days after I delivered).  While in the hospital on bed rest for the week before I delivered baby goat I mentioned to my OB that Lefty was acting strangely.  It was hard, huge, heavy and painful.  My OB, who had been calm and composed all throughout the pretty scary medical stuff that was happening with me, took one look at it and sent me down for an ultrasound on it.

The ultrasound didn't show much but a lot of fluid and I was told that I needed to go in ASAP after 6 weeks postpartum.  I did and while nothing was out of the ordinary, since I was breastfeeding (er... trying to breastfeed) we couldn't do a mammogram at the time.  But everything looked good so we waited 6 months.  And I was still pumping.  So we waited for a year.  And I was just stopping to pump for baby goat, so we decided that 6 months after I stopped I'd have a mammogram.

That was last week.

I wasn't worried.  Things seemed fine so I went in and spent all of 10 minutes at the Imaging center on Friday of last week getting pictures taken.  I wasn't worried.

Until they called me Monday.  I missed the call because I was in meetings but when I talked to them the next day life seemed scarier.  "A new spot, diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound"  They say most of that stuff is benign and that had been my experience so far, but you can't help but worry.  Or at least I can't.

I put on a brave face - railing against Lefty the Renegade Boob, but in my mind I was thinking of Grandma (who battled breast cancer for 8 years before finally dying of complications from cancer), of the other relatives who've had it and beat it, of Emilie finding cancer almost exactly 3 years ago, of the 3-day walk just a few weeks ago with all the hundreds of thousands whose lives are changed because of breast cancer.

I saw pink ribbons everywhere.  I didn't sleep well.  I broke out and ate badly.

My thoughts got way ahead of the present into a world of what-ifs a mile wide.  I knew I was getting ahead of myself but I still wondered.  I kept it mostly to myself and Mr. Goat.  Why worry others when rationally I knew it was likely fine?  And if it was fine, well then wouldn't I look silly for worrying?  (Though I often look silly for worrying beyond a situation).

And it was fine.  It turns out it was another lymph node hiding away.  The reason it showed up now?  Between my '06 mammogram and this one they switched to digital and technology improved so they simply could photograph more of the breast tissue than they could before.

Well don't I feel silly.  Its only Lefty and those Lymph Nodes again.  (Righty doesn't have a desire to offer amnesty to any lymph nodes it seems).

So I'm left with relief and feeling a bit sheepish for my internal fatalism of the week.  So why do I share it with you blogland?  Why share this secret monologue of anxiety that gets me so worked up?  I do it for a few reasons.  First, it will hopefully remind me, sometime in the future, that getting ahead of myself never does any good.  And second, I wonder if I'm not alone in my train of thought.  Perhaps you too get ahead of yourself too?

And while I don't recommend following those worry-driven trains of thought, when they prove to be false, there is a sense of crispness to everything.  There is an appreciation of what you have in the world and the blessings you've been given.  You think fondly and bittersweetly of the friends you've lost and you hug your friends and family a bit tighter.  You know, if only for a fleeting moment, that everything can change in an instant and you are grateful that it wasn't today.

Later the feeling will fade and the joy will be dulled by the daily grind but today you see the world with a bit more clarity and offer it up in prayer to God who created it all in the first place.

Who knows if Lefty will ever harbor anything scarier than lymph nodes?   There have been enough issues that I'm on the every year mammogram plan from now on anyway and given my family history I wouldn't be surprised to end up on the other side of the what-if coin sometime in the future.  But today I am joyful and grateful and more than a little bit sheepish.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Geeking it at the State Fair

Mr. Goat and I headed back to the State Fair last night to attend the Weird Al Concert at the Grandstand.  I had surprised Mr. Goat with the tickets for Father's day and was thrilled that it was time.  It was great, we arrived with time to wander for a few hours and eat plenty of yummy food (porkchop on a stick, roasted corn, polish sausage, ice cream, etc).

We went up on the Space Needle thing for the first time and it was fun to see the whole fair and all of the people walking below.  We wandered through some of the buildings we missed on our first trip to the fair and sampled some new stuff.  We sat at various benches and talked, just the two of us.  I tried to convince Mr. Goat to try to win some stuffed thing from the midway games but a sheet of 30 tickets was $20 and that is like a milkshake AND a bucket of Sweet Martha's Cookies, so we passed.

At quarter to 8pm we wandered into the Grandstand and found our seats.  We wondered if there would be an opening act, but no, at 8pm Weird Al came on the stage and opened with a polka medley of modern songs, leading off with "Polka Face" :)  From that point on it was all Weird Al for the next 2.5 hrs.  He played until 10:30pm.

He had tons of costume changes, bringing out a costume for nearly every song, particularly the famous ones.  He wore the fat suit for "Fat", and channeled full M.J. for "Eat it."  He was an Amish person for "Amish Paradise" and a Gangsta Nerd for "White and Nerdy."  Whenever he had a costume change he had it all timed out with clips of himself doing clipped together interviews with other musicians or clips from his TV and movie appearances and so that we were never without entertainment.

The finale was the best in my book as he did "The Saga Begins" back to back with "Yoda" complete in Star Wars gear with a dance line of Storm Troopers.  At the end of the concert then there were fireworks too.  It was an awesome night.

It definitely brought out the geek in Mr. Goat too.  I would look over and he would be singing along channeling his teenage self.  He knew obscure lyrics that I didn't even know (and I knew my fair share).  It was a perfect date night for us - a beautiful night to sit under the stars and laugh and sing.

There is a bittersweetness to the last time we are at the fair in the summer.  Next week we are going full blast again.  I don't quite know what my new schedule will look like or what stresses I will have coming at me, but it was nice to take a time to breath and rest with my Geek Soul Mate.  Happy Father's Day Mr. Goat. 

Just in case you aren't as geeky as are 4 of my favorite Weird Al songs for your listening pleasure...

White & Nerdy (This could be my theme song)

The Saga Begins (It is missing the dancing storm troopers from the concert)

Amish Paradise


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Fair Fun

* A full fair recap of the Weird Al concert coming tomorrow when I am not so tired and high on Sweet Martha's Cookies.