Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Little Goat Votes.

Yesterday Little Goat voted for the presidential election at school. I think he was maybe a bit confused. Watch and see!

 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Have I been away too long?

If I just write here today will anyone notice this spill of words on a blog that has stalled?

And what do I say?

Do I ponder the weight loss and stalls and blogging at PriorFatGirl, do I talk about hating potty training, or always being busy, or how little goat is not so little and enjoying preschool and how I can't help but feel a little hole in my soul over how fast he is growing.

Do I say that I miss this place, and you, and the sense of identity the blog helps me discover in myself?  Do I say that life is hard, and beautiful and sometimes I just want to sit awestruck in wonder of it all, but that there is always more to do.

Do I talk about that feeling that everyone seems to have it more together than me, even though I am fairly together these days as my own standards go. 

Do I talk about the funny stories, the painful ones? 

This blog is my blog and I can write about what I want, but the problem is I just don't know.  The words are wrapped up in a knot of yarn.  Tangled by a life of twists and turns and bumps.  I want to unravel that yarn but first you have to find the ends, and coax out the knots.

I want to pause and take a picture of my life and have time to study it before moving on.  To commit each moment to memory, but it seems to zoom by faster and faster.  And I tumble after it trying to keep up and hold on, and I wonder if I can possibly keep up.

What would it mean to just stop the running?  To sit and wonder and commit a moment to memory?  Am I brave enough to try it, even if it means being counter-cultural?

And if I stop, then how do I know I won't be left behind like my blog.  A casualty of busy.  Or is stopping the solution.

So what do you say to start again, or to stop and look and listen and feel, but then to move forward with intent?

I don't know, but I'd like to try.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Day out with Thomas

Whew, July is super busy with VBS and Camp and all sorts of things, but thankfully the worst is past and now I am starting to emerge again.  And yesterday we had a lovely day as a family up in Duluth.  We went up to see Thomas the Tank Engine and have a fun day away.  Little Goat had a blast and the pictures speak for themselves.







Monday, June 25, 2012

Book Review: The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation

I always am honored when I am asked to review a book for TLC book tours, they always seem to introduce me to really interesting books that I might not find on my own.  Whether I enjoy the book or loathe it (a rare experience for me), I always come away with some new information, ideas and knowledge.  Stephen Prothero's  The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation is no exception.

Prothero sets out to create a sort of American Canon, a collection of texts and commentaries that have deeply shaped the political landscape of the United States.  What I found so accessible in this book is that Prothero crafts and shapes the book in a parallel to the way that the Christian Bible is set up - a sense of beginning in Genesis, the foundation of the law, historical songs (Psalms), influential novels (Chronicles), and a host of other "primary" texts.  Take a look for yourself at the "The American Canon" as found in Prothero's book:
  • Genesis
    The Exodus Story
    John Winthrop, “A Model of Christian Charity (1630)
    Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)
    The Declaration of Independence (1776)
    Noah Webster, The Blue-Back Speller (1783-)
  • Law
    The Constitution (1787)
    Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
    Roe v. Wade (1973)
  • Chronicles
    Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)
    Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
    Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (1957)
  • Psalms
    Francis Scott Key, “The Star-Spangled Banner” (1814)
    Irving Berlin, “God Bless America” (1938)
    Woody Guthrie, “This Land Is Your Land” (1940)
  • Proverbs
    Benjamin Franklin, “Remember that time is money” (1748)
    Benjamin Franklin, “God helps those who help themselves” (1758)
    Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death” (1775)
    Abigail Adams, “Remember the ladies” (1776)
    Sojourner Truth, “Ain’t I a woman?” (1851)
    Abraham Lincoln, “With malice toward none, with charity for all” (1865)
    Chief Joseph, “I will fight no more forever” (1877)
    Calvin Coolidge, ” The business of America is business” (1925)
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people” (1932)
    John F. Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” (1961)
    Ronald Reagan, “Evil empire” (1983)
  • Prophets
    Henry David Thoreau, “Civil Disobedience” (1849)
    Dwight Eisenhower, Farewell Address (1961)
    Marin Luther King Jr., “I Have a Dream” (1963)
    Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)
  • Lamentations
    Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address (1863)
    Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial (1982)
  • Gospels
    Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address (1933)
    Ronald Reagan, “The Speech” (1964)
  • Acts
    The Pledge of Allegiance (1892, 1954)
  • Epistles
    George Washington, Farewell Address (1796)
    Thomas Jefferson, “Letter to the Danbury Baptists” (1802)
    Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963)
What is so interesting is that Prothero himself admits that these are not necessarily the books that he would have chosen for himself to include, but are instead an attempt at compiling the texts, speeches, and writings that have truly shaped the American nation.

The other advantage to the way that Prothero has shaped this book is that each of the primary texts is surrounded by an introduction from Prothero and followed by several "commentaries" on it.  These are instances where the primary text influences other famous texts or speeches.  What I found so fascinating is that similar themes and texts were used by both political parties for their own means.   The Exodus Story for example influenced the rhetoric of both the Confederates wishing to leave the Union (making Lincoln into Pharaoh) and the slaves wishing for freedom (making the Confederates into Pharaoh).  This happened quite a bit, primarily in the earliest defining texts of America.

What this book gives is a lens from which to view things from a historical and intellectual perspective before leaping into the partisan politics that so dominates our political landscape today.  It is helpful to know that both JFK and Ronald Reagan quote from John Winthrop's, “A Model of Christian Charity (1630) for their own political gains.

Much like religious issues between the right and left are becoming increasingly polarized, so are political ones.  For me it is essential to go back to the primary texts (the Bible in religious instances) and the various texts that Porthero includes in his book, to seek out what the original historical context for something was, as well as the model of how that writing has later been shaped our religious or political history.

The goal of Prothero is not to get all American's to agree, the goal is to encourage dialogue.  One of the key elements that Prothero used to pick his texts was "the ability of a given text to generate controversy and conversation." (p. 7)  After all, it is the conversation and controversy that is foundational and essential to the American experience.

I think by reading the American Bible you won't always agree with Prothero, but that is the point.  However, I do think that your view of the American landscape will end up more nuanced and better able to recognize the themes and rhetoric that still dominate the American political scene today.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Say Cheese


I'm not sure how you've gotten so big, or so talkative.  Whenever I dream of saying "I don't know" to one of your many questions you respond, "Well, let's talk about it."  You ride a bike, you are swimming on your own (with floatation assistance).  Your new favorite show is Super Why and you ask what every letter and number is you see.

You can be so stubborn, especially at bedtime, but most of the time you are please to be interacting and learning new things.  You are solidly one of the "big" kids at daycare now and your art and stories from the day are becoming more advanced and elaborate.

You embody the concept of paradox for me, of being both/and.  You are both sensitive and destructive.  Both obstinate and obedient.  Both fearless and afraid.  You flip on a dime, but your joy can fill a room.

Say Cheese Little Goat, Say Cheese

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Short Stories

Apparently my son hates shorts and sandals for some reason.  The temperatures  have been increasing this week and he still wants to insist on long pants and tennis shoes.  Of course this morning he didn't want to get dressed at all.

In other news I am not no longer strong enough to pin my son down and dress him without his compliance.  It isn't so much strength as lack of limbs to contain his flailing ones.

************
At daycare on Tuesday Little Goat was playing with two combs (for some reason).  He put them together perpendicularly and went to his daycare provider and said:  "This is the number at church!"

In short, he made a cross and recognized it as belonging to church.

Just remember that kids do learn.

*************

We've been going to Music Together regularly for about a  year now.  The songs change ever quarter and I'm always amazed how fast he seems to find favorites and can start singing them.  He naturally doesn't sing very often in class, but will frequently serenade me later, typically during bedtime.

*************

Last night Little Goat started hitting me with both hands on my chest.  I asked him to stop hitting Mommy and he said very seriously, "I not hitting you, I playing drum!"

*************
Little Goat is a categorizer.  He likes to know what color, size, and shape everything is.  It is important to point out that the light is green, or that his asthma medicine is an oval.  If you answer the wrong color or shape he'll point out (quickly and eagerly) that you are wrong!

*************

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Mile Revisited

Remember this post about the Presidential Fitness Test and the Mile Run?

Here is today's update on that dreaded mile.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad!

Shortly after I posted yesterday's blog post about my Mom's birthday I realized my dilemma.  You see today is my DAD's birthday.  My parents are only about 12 hours apart in age a fact they both use to their advantage depending on the occasion.  (My mother is the "older woman" or conversely she is "older and wiser").

Anyway,  I would be remiss to honor my mother and leave out my father on his birthday too. Afterall he has given me a great many gifts as well!  Not to mention 100% of any cool factor I may have comes from him (no offense mom).

So here are some things that I want to thank my Dad for.  This list is by no means comprehensive but it is from the heart!

Thank you for teaching me cribbage and backgammon.

Thank you for playing horsey rides with me and then with Little Goat.

Thank you for learning about things we love.

Thank you for being unbeatable in Trivial Pursuit.

Thank you for showing me how a woman ought to be treated.

Thank you for not being squeamish about girl things.

Thank you for fighting for a spot in the Ole Band, even if it took you 4 years.

Thank you for your musical influences and eclectic tastes.

Thank you for supporting our family growing up.

Thank you for teaching me about baseball, football and soccer.

Thank you loving and caring for your mom.

Thank you for pushing me past my anxieties.

Thank you for serving and volunteering and showing me the importance of giving back.

Thank you for the financial support even if I'm embarrassed about it.

Thank you for never giving up who you are, even when working for the "Man."

Thank you for accepting my husband and loving my son.

Thank you for being proud of me.

Thank you for hilarious stories and memories.
 
Thank  you for being a "dad" to so many of friends growing up.

Thank you for chaperoning the church trips and being fun enough to be seen with in public.

Thank you for showing me that weight loss is not only worthwhile but possible.

Thank you for showing me what a man of faith looks like.

Thank you for growing a pony tail after Mr. Goat chopped off his.

I hope this doesn't seem cliche doing this in the similar way to Moms.  The fact of the matter is that I am so grateful to have both of you as my parents and role models.  You gave me something to look for in my own future spouse - someone who loves, respects and treats women as equals.  You give me something to aspire for Edward to be.  And you are just a smart-ass enough that things are never boring.

I know you and Mom say that you are glad I'm your kid, but the reverse is also true.  I am glad I'm your kid as well.  I couldn't ask for better parents.  So Dad,  Happy Birthday too you!  Don't give mom too much grief for being the older parent today, just remember - you went gray first!  I'm thinking about you today and I love you!

Liz

Monday, June 04, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!


Happy Birthday Mom!  Last night as I was falling asleep I was thinking about today being your birthday.  I wanted to make sure to do something special for it.  I have a present but it isn't wrapped, the card isn't purchased yet and honestly I'll probably have to give it to you the next time we see you.  But today is still important to me.

Since I've become a mother of my own I've been thinking a lot about motherhood.  I ponder the traits that we learn from our mothers.  The genetic history that is passed on we can't get away from.  The way our mother's can shape our view of the world.  I think of these things and it is a little scary to think of having so much responsibility for Little Goat's future.  But I think about myself and all of the pieces of me that are shaped by having you as a mother and I know that it is alright.  Because these things are unique treasures of who I am, and even when I don't always love all my quirks I am glad to have gotten them from you.

So Mom, on this birthday, I want to say thank you to you.

Thank you for sharing the love of cheesy sci-fi.

Thank you for teaching me that honesty is the best policy.

Thank you for Bridge, and for Scrabble and for the pursuit of the 7 letter word.

Thank sharing the birds and bees honestly, even if it was mortifying at the time.

Thank you for love of words, and for the willingness to spend several days in search of the perfect phrase.

Thank you for the proofreading of my endless papers and not letting me slack off on grammar.

Thank you for staying up late to watch eclipses and meteor showers.

Thank you for DLE support.

Thank you modeling to me that a loving and vibrant marriage does not mean always agreeing with your spouse.

Thank you for being strong enough to voice your opinion.

Thank you for being strict when I needed it.

Thank you for showing me how to use power tools.

Thank you for making me wear a helmet.

Thank you for helping me build my telescope.

Thank you for the belief that I can do anything with enough time and enough practice.

Thank you for creativity.

Thank you for teaching me to value the sleepy morning in bed, just so long as you have a notepad handy.

Thank you for loving St. Olaf.

Thank you for making me practice piano.

Thank you for teaching me to care for others.

Thank you for teaching me the value of eating dessert first.

Thank you for sitting through all those band concerts.

Thank you for encouraging me to play trumpet in church.

Thank you for being friends with my ILs (it isn't hard though! :)

Thank you for teaching me about giving back.

Thank you for being a friend and parent for my friends too.

Thank you for not needing to wear makeup daily.

Thank you for dragging me to art festivals.

Thank you for staying up late to watch old movies, and for falling asleep in chairs.

Thank you for always loving me even when I was being a brat.

The truth is there are thousands of more thank yous that you probably deserve, and probably several more I'm forgetting from when I was writing this post in bed last night.  Nevertheless, I hope that you get the idea.

Motherhood can seem daunting and hard, even when it is rewarding and life-giving.  I hope you know that I consider myself impossibly blessed to have you as my mom.  I only hope Little Goat will feel the same way some day.

In the meantime Mom, know that I am thinking of you today and wishing you the happiest of birthdays.  You had a hand it making all the very best parts of me, and I think you did a pretty good job at it too!

Love You!

Liz

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Halfway There!

This weekend I finished my 25th book for the year, which means that I am officially half-way through my 2012 Book Challenge.  In fact since the year isn't half done yet I am ahead of schedule!  Yay!
Here are the books I've read so far this year.  I have quite a list of books to still read so I know that I'll make a lot of progress.  Happy Reading!  As always I love book recommendations!

50 Book Challenge 2012

1.  Little Black Dress: A Novel by Susan McBride
2.  Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
3. The Printmaker's Daughter: A Novel by Katherine Govier
4. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
5. The Designated Fat Girl: A Memoir by Jennifer Joyner
6. A Monster Calls: Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd by Patrick Ness
7. If I stay by Gayle Forman
8. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen
9. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown
10. Missed Connections: Love, Lost & Found by Sophie Blackall
11. Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
12. The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas
13. Soul Cravings by Erwin Raphael McManus
14. The House at Tyneford: A Novel by Natasha Solomons
15. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
16. The Poisoned House: A Ghost Story by Michael Ford
17. A Trail of Ink: The Third Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon by Mel Starr
18. Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon by Mel Starr
19. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
20. Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
21. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
22. The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
23. Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson
24. Wonder by R. J. Palacio
25. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes 

Monday, May 21, 2012

$8 of fun

Friday I went to visit a friends garage sale, it just so happened that there were other garage sales going on in her neighborhood as well. As I cruised slowly by something caught my eye - a boys 2-4 age bike with training wheels.

I hadn't planned on getting Little Goat E a bike of that size.  I thought we might make due with our scooter and tricycle until he was older.  (Man do I have a spoiled kid).  However, he has been asking for a bike since the older kids at daycare have gotten theirs out this spring.

So I stopped to look.

$8 later I had a bike just the right size for Little Goat.


It was the best $8 I've ever spent.  Not only did Little Goat take to the bike like a fish to water, but it has been a great tool to teach about road safety and things too.  And he loves it.  So much.



Seriously.  The boy is in love.


And it is so much fun to watch.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Love is a contact sport

He runs to the opposite wall, takes a deep breath and runs toward me at a full tilt leaping into my lap.  His heels dig into my thighs and his claws rake my neck (seriously can you ever cut them enough?)  The other kids are sitting nicely in their parents laps during music class.  Mine uses my back like a climbing wall, tumbling over my head in a fit of giggles.  "Gentle," I try to say.  He giggles some more and begins to tickle me.  (Seriously, the CLAWS?!)

Then it begins again.  The climbing, tackling, running full tilt love from my boy.  He isn't acting out, he isn't seeking to hurt, is love is just expressed best in a whole body sort of way.  The tackles are ways of showing his closeness.

With the other mother's he runs up to them and stops short, not crossing the imaginary boundaries of their "otherness."  With me my lap is the safe zone in a game of tag and he wants to get there as fast as he can.  I am the safe zone.  My arms, his protection.

My scratches are battle scars, but also love marks - physical signs of his real love for me.  They hurt yes, but won't the pain of him refusing to hug me as a teenager hurt more?  For now I am the physical manifestation of love and he is mine.  And sometimes it means bruises.

He doesn't know his own strength, and sometimes I underestimate it.  But his love, his fierce, feisty, physical love?  I don't doubt that for a second.

But still I call out, "gently, gently" and wince at the pressure points his heels find.   I watch him and wonder at his energy, his power, and I know that his love is my inertia, just has I am his.

Love is a contact sport for my son, and I refuse to be just a spectator.

#justwrite

Friday, May 11, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Identity


I've been thinking about how to blog here now that all my weight loss stuff is over at PriorFatGirl (Have you been reading my posts? - you can find them here!)  One thing I want to keep doing is writing and practicing my voice and sharing my thoughts so it is important for me to maintain this space, but sometimes I'm at a loss of what to say since Weight Loss is such an all encompassing thing right now.  So today I'm going to participate in something called 5-minute Friday.  It is a link up and the goal is to write for 5 minutes on the topic or word of the day.  Just 5 minutes with no backtracking, editing, or over-thinking.  And I think that is perfect for me right now.  So here you go.  The topic: Identity.


Go

I always have wondered about this word, mostly because my identity always seems to be in flux.  I like so many diverse things that I fit easily into so many groups (when I can get over my introvertedness that is), but the reality is that I always wondered if that meant that I was too easily influenced by others.  When I get down to the core of my identity, what is there?

I'm a mother, and a wife, and a Children's Ministry director.  I'm a geek. I'm a bookworm.  I'm becoming an avid exerciser (?!).  Are those ME?  Are they the essence of who I am?

The reality is both and then some.  I am all those things but they do not contain all that I am.  I am bigger than labels and adjectives and nouns.  I am Elizabeth, child of God, created in his image and reborn in the waters of baptism.  I am chosen and accepted just as I am - no labels or definitions necessary.  Just as I am.  Me, in all my diversity and undefined edges.  Me, in all my brokenness and shame.  Me, in all my joys and sorrows, in all my love.  I am Me - accepted and loved and declared to be enough, just as I am.

Stop

Just click here to come over and play along

Friday, May 04, 2012

Updates

Boy, having two blogs, a 3 yr old, a full time job and a weight loss routine is hard!  Sorry I haven't posted here this week.  I'm still figuring out my voice over at PriorFatGirl and have had a hard time separating anything in my life from trying to lose weight right now.  Sometimes things are just so big that they sort of sneak into everyday life.  But I do have some things to share and a giveaway coming up next week.  It is a BIG one!

But I feel like I owe the blog some air time and some updates, so here you go.

Mr. Goat Update:  Mr. Goat continues to do well after surgery.  He went in for a weigh in on Wed and had lost 18lbs over the last 9 days!  Wow.  He also got bumped up from all liquids to soft foods which makes him infinitely happier.  His energy is returning and he's been at work at least a half day every day this week.  He's doing so well and I continue to be impressed with his dedication and resilience!  I am so proud of him.

Little Goat Update:  Little Goat is handling things like a champ.  He's been a bit mommy-clingy lately but that is to be expected with the surgery.  He's very gentle with Mr. Goat and he's been slowly becoming a better listener and helper around the house.  He's still very 3 which means he can be very stubborn, but he's doing well.  He graduated out of parent/child swimming and loves his new class.  He also loves his music class - especially playing the finger cymbals.

Me:  Weight loss is going well.  You can see my latest weigh in results over here!  We are in a great time of year for me.  The school year activities are coming to a close and we are gearing up for the summer activities - including VBS!  I love VBS even though it seems very daunting at this stage of the game.  There are some fun summer family things too - including a great big family wedding that I'm looking forward to.  Things are looking up on many levels.

Oh, and Mr. Goat and I went out last night to see Weird Al.  He's such a good show - so funny!  It was a great night out with my incredible shrinking man!

So that's what's up with me lately, what's up with you?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

All True.

The following was found on Facebook by Garrison Keillor and is all true.  It made me smile today and I hope it does for you too. 
By Garrison Keillor

I have made fun of Lutherans for years - who wouldn't, if you lived in Minnesota? But I have also sung with Lutherans and that is one of the main joys of life, along with hot baths and fresh sweet corn.

We make fun of Lutherans for their blandness, their excessive calm, their fear of giving offense, their lack of speed and also for their secret fondness for macaroni and cheese. But nobody sings like they do.

If you ask an audience in New York City , a relatively Lutheranless place, to sing along on the chorus of 'Michael Row the Boat Ashore,' they will look daggers at you as if you had asked them to strip to their under-wear. But if you do this among Lutherans they'll smile and row that boat ashore and up on the beach! And down the road!

Lutherans are bred from childhood to sing in four-part harmony. It's a talent that comes from sitting on the lap of someone singing alto or tenor or bass and hearing the harmonic intervals by putting your little head against that person's rib cage. It's natural for Lutherans to sing in harmony. We're too modest to be soloists, too worldly to sing in unison. When you're singing in the key of C and you slide into the A7th and D7th chords, all two hundred of you, it's an emotionally fulfilling moment.

I once sang the bass line of Children of the Heavenly Father in a room with about three thousand Lutherans in it; and when we finished, we all had tears in our eyes, partly from the promise that God will not forsake us, partly from the proximity of all those lovely voices. By our joining in harmony, we somehow promise that we will not forsake each other.

I do believe this: These Lutherans are the sort of people you could call up when you're in deep distress. If you're dying, they'll comfort you. If you're lonely, they'll talk to you. And if you're hungry, they'll give you tuna salad!

The following list was compiled by a 20th century Lutheran who, observing other Lutherans, wrote down exactly what he saw or heard:

1. Lutherans believe in prayer, but would practically die if asked to pray out loud.

2. Lutherans like to sing, except when confronted with a new hymn or a hymn with more than four stanzas.

3. Lutherans believe their pastors will visit them in the hospital, even if they don't notify them that they are there.

4. Lutherans usually follow the official liturgy and will feel it is their way of suffering for their sins.

5. Lutherans believe in miracles and even expect miracles, especially during their stewardship visitation programs or when passing the plate.

6. Lutherans feel that applauding for their children's choirs would make the kids too proud and conceited.

7. Lutherans think that the Bible forbids them from crossing the aisle while passing the peace.

8. Lutherans drink coffee as if it were the Third Sacrament.

9. Some Lutherans believe that an ELCA bride and an LC-MS groom make for a mixed marriage. (For those of you who are not Lutherans, ELCA is Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and LC-MS is Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. When and where I grew up in Minnesota , intermarriage between the two was about as popular as Lutherans and Catholics marrying.)

10. Lutherans feel guilty for not staying to clean up after their own wedding reception in the Fellowship Hall.

11. Lutherans are willing to pay up to one dollar for a meal at church.

12. Lutherans think that Garrison Keillor stories are totally factual.

13. Lutherans still serve Jell-O in the proper liturgical color of the season and think that peas in a tuna noodle casserole add too much color.

14. Lutherans believe that it is OK to poke fun at themselves and never take themselves too seriously.

And finally, you know you're a Lutheran when:

*It's 100 degrees, with 90% humidity, and you still have coffee after the service;

*You hear something really funny during the sermon and smile as loudly as you can;

*Donuts are a line item in the church budget, just like coffee;

*The communion cabinet is open to all, but the coffee cabinet is locked up tight;

*When you watch a STAR WARS movie and they say, :May the Force be with you," you respond, "And also with you."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Coming up for air

It has been a fast and slow week for me and the whole Goat household.  Mr. Goat continues to do well after surgery.  He gets worn out very quickly but he is eating well (just liquids so far) and things look good.  We have our follow up Doctor appointment on Tuesday.

It is strange to take a week off from work and to be more tired heading back to work than you were when you left, but the week has gone smoothly and I am grateful for that.  I am especially grateful to my father and Mr. Goat's parents for their help last week and to Melissa and Sara who brought us delicious Weight Watcher friendly meals for Little Goat and myself.  It made this week a lot easier.

I'm back at work and Mr. Goat still has another week at least of recovery before heading back to work himself.  Plus another 3 weeks or so until he can pick up Little Goat so I am digging in for the long haul of childcare, husbandcare and selfcare.  Despite always being busy at work, the upcoming month isn't too bad and I am confident that I can ride this change out.

In other news, my first post is up at PriorFatGirl.  I will be moving my weight loss blogging efforts there but will post links here for those of you who still wish to follow that part of the journey.  I hope I can maintain too blogs and will try, but it might be a bit quiet around here as I figure it out, so I'd love it if you visit me over at PriorFatGirl.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weigh In Week 15

I went into this week determined to take good care of me and Mr. Goat and Little Goat.  It was surgery week, a BIG deal, and I wanted to navigate it well.  I wanted to make good choices and stay on track.  I wanted to prove to myself that I could handle this stress without getting off track.  I did.  This week:

- 7.6 Pounds
 40 lbs Lost to Date!!
I am now UNDER 300 lbs!!!

I think this proves it pretty definitively.  I am a little in shock.  I hoped to lose something, or hoped to lose the 3 lbs that I had gained last week.  Instead I blew both of those out of the water.  And it feels great.  It feels great to be in the 200s again.  It feels great to have lost 40lbs.  It feels great to have proven to myself that I can be in stressful situation and still take control of my eating.  It feels great that Mr. Goat goes home in a few hours and we can keep on doing this together.  Today feels great.


I'm not on my work computer so I won't share a picture of sugar with how much I've lost (8 5lb bags of sugar) but here is a comparison:  I have lost more weight than my 3' 2" toddler weighs.  He came in at 39 lbs at his 3 year check in last in March.  I've lost this 3 foot person from my frame.




It feels great to see a 2 in the front of my weight.  If feels good to be awaiting Mr. Goat's discharge instructions.  It feels so good.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How I know.

Here are a few reasons that I know that I'm "in it to win it" with weight loss that I have experienced over the last few days.

* For Mr. Goat's last meal, I bought both regular brats and chicken/pork ones.  I didn't have any regular brats at all and didn't miss it.  I also didn't have any buns, preferring spicy mustard and cutting them.

* On the day of surgery I managed to make healthy choices all day long.  I ate three meals, met my Weight Watcher "Good health Guidelines" and managed to eat exactly my points.  When I realized that the cafeteria was NOT a healthy place for me to get food I figured out healthy delivery options. 

* Best of all, I thought before I ate anything.  I waited until I was hungry, kept up on the water and did not eat out of stress or anxiety (despite having plenty).  When I needed a private meltdown I went to the mediation chapel and not the vending machine.

* Today I kept up the good tracking and eating.  I had my father bring my Subway, ate a good breakfast but perhaps the most telling story was ordering dinner:  I found out I had to spend $15 to get Jason's Deli to deliver so I needed to add one more thing.  He started mentioning desserts as options (without my asking) and as he was talking the nurses came in to do something unpleasant to Mr. Goat.  Wanting to get off the phone I just said cheesecake and finished my transaction. 

After I got off the phone and the nurses left I thought about it.  I didn't really need the cheesecake.  I looked up the points - 14, the amount of weekly points I have left, but I knew I wouldn't need it with a side salad and a wrap on its way.  I stewed about what to do with the cheesecake.  When the food was delivered I made my move.  I paid and set out all my food.  Before even eating my dinner I took the cheesecake, walked down to the nurses station and offered them my cheesecake.  I had to work to convince the nurse I didn't want it, but I think they were grateful for the treat and I was grateful to see it go.

Now I did WANT the cheesecake, but it wasn't worth the points and I had more than enough food to make me full.  And the salad even sounded better.  So I gave cheesecake away after a day supporting my husband in the hospital.  And that when I knew that if I can do that today, with all that is going on, then I can do it anytime.  That is how I know that I'll make it this time.

* One final way I know?  I've been selected as one of the new PriorFatGirl's and will be moving my weight loss blogging over there in a little while.  I hope to still blog here in my own space and share about non weight loss stuff.  I'll keep you posted when I start blogging there too.  In the meantime tune in tomorrow for my latest weight loss results.  Hopefully this week will have a good number.  It should.

(P.S.  Mr Goat's recover continues to go well, we should be taking him home sometime tomorrow)

Monday, April 16, 2012

All is well

First and foremost, by all accounts Mr. Goat's surgery has gone very well.  It was routine with no complications so far.  He's been up for a walk once this evening and has been resting a lot.  Now he is enjoying ice chips and the Twins game.  Glad we are beating the Yankees.

It has been a tiring day.  I feel torn between wanting to see Little Goat and not wanting to leave Mr. Goat's side.  Luckily I know that Little Goat is in wonderful grandparental hands, even if I still feel like a bit of a delinquent for having E with others rightnow.  I had a little private meltdown this afternoon realizing that the next few weeks are going to be HARD on me.  Right now I'm torn between physical and emotional desires.  My emotions want me to be here with Mr. Goat, but my body is starting to protest its long stressful day.  I won't leave just yet.  Mr Goat's blood pressure has been fairly low - likely due to some dehydration - and I'd like to see the IV help raise it a bit before I go.

But we'll see.  I do need to care for myself too. 

I want to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers today.  I could feel them as I waited during Mr. Goat's surgery.  It is a powerful thing to be aware of so many people loving and caring for your family.  We are blessed.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

T- 12 hours

In less than 12 hours Mr. Goat will be in surgery.  Or going under, or something.  The whole timeline is a little unclear to me.  All I know is that at this point tomorrow morning I'll be in a waiting room, Grandma will be wrangling a toddler, and Mr. Goat will be underway.

We are sitting here tonight and most everything is done (well not the dishes).  The T's are crossed, the I's are dotted, Grandma is here and the toddler is in bed.  The alarm goes off at 4am and we are on our way.  Surgery begins at 7:30.

It seems abrupt to people who are just hearing about it but the reality is that we have been preparing for this for over 8 months.  And now it is here and that in and of itself is a little scary.  There are what ifs and nerves, but we are also excited and confident that we are making the right choice.

My week has gone pretty well.  I've used a few weekly points for a burger and some lower fat brats, but I've stayed on track.  I haven't binged or eaten out of stress.  I worked out 3 times for over an hour and had light activity on the other days.  I even did a 5k on treadmills with friends on Friday and got my personal best - 50:56.  Not fast but it is good for me!

Tomorrow is the start of a new part of our quest for health.  It changes everything, but really it changes nothing too.  It is still up to us to make choices and use the tools that we are given.  Tomorrow Mr. Goat gets a big tool to help his journey and I am excited for him.

We have had so much kindness around this - prayers, good wishes and support.  We have Grandparents changing their schedules to be with Little Goat, we have friends and family keeping us in prayer, and a whole church praying for us too.  I am so grateful for the love and support.  Thank you.

I'm not sure when I'll post again this week but I will be on twitter and will keep people posted on how things go.   Thank you!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Prior Fat Girl Voting

The Future Prior Fat Girl voting is open.  If you didn't read my nomination you can do so, as well as the 8 other inspiring ladies who are up for being the next Prior Fat Girl.

I'd love it if you would go vote for one of us.  Please choose the person you really want to hear more from.  I'll blog either way whether it is here or there or both so just vote from your heart.  All 9 of us are on journey's that need a lot of support and voting this weekend is a way to support us all!

So vote!


I will update you all on Mr. Goat's surgery preparations later this weekend.  Monday is the big day so I imagine I will be fretting over on twitter if anyone wants to come to my virtual waiting room.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

20 Questions

Thank you for the support yesterday.  After a good eating day yesterday and an intense workout this morning I'm feeling a bit more focused and determined.  The truth is that this is a long road and a gain is just a small gain, but it is important to stop it at 3 lbs before it gets to 5, 8, 10 or more.  So I'm going to work on it.

I am also going to stay true to my own goals while supporting Mr. Goat.  Please know that he is 100% behind me and supports me all the way.  My failings last week were my own and no one else's.

Ok, now that that's done I thought we'd play 20 questions.  Here are some questions I have right now.  Please answer 1 or all 20 in the comments or on your own blog.  If you play on your blog please post a link here.

Oh and before I get that.  I have a nomination post up to be the next Prior Fat Girl today.  You can go visit if you want here.

20 Questions: Healthy Living Edition

1.  What is your favorite vegetable and way to prepare it?

2.  What do you like to pack for lunch to work?

3.  What is your favorite healthy dinner recipe?

4.  What is your favorite way of working out?

5.  Where do you buy your gym clothes?

6.  How often a week do you work out? (how often would you like to?)

7.  What is your "mantra" to help keep you focused on healthy living?

8.  What is one health goal you have for the next month?

9.  What is one health goal you have for the next 6 months?

10. What is one health goal you have for the next year?

11.  Do you have a favorite healthy salty snack?

12.  Do you have a favorite healthy sweet snack?

13.  Do you prefer to workout alone or with others?

14.  Do you prefer to workout in the morning, over lunch or in the evening?

15.  What is your favorite healthy breakfast?

16.  What is one food that you will not change to a low calorie version and plan your eating to eat the real thing?

17.  If you could tell someone who is struggling one thing that helped you what would it be?

18.  Do you have a favorite health related book that you've read?

19.  What is your favorite workout song?

20.  What is one thing that you are going to do TODAY to make today a healthy day?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Weigh In Week 14

I knew it was going to be bad.  And it was.

+ 3.0 Pounds
- 32.4 lbs Lost to Date

I want to make excuses - surgery, stress, birthday, Easter.  But the truth is I knew what I was eating.  I was eating bacon, and desserts.  I did well with Easter candy but ate plenty of other crappy for me things.

Honestly I am scared.  The week ahead is going to be stressful and difficult to work out.  I am facing meals out with some of my favorite foods as Mr. Goat wants some "last suppers."  I can't fault him for this desire but I'm not sure how to support him and stay strong myself.

I don't want to fail at this, but I'm so afraid that my progress is already starting to slip away.  What if I am not strong enough?

I should end this on a positive - with acknowledging how far I've come and some non-scale victories, but I'm just not feeling it.  I am my own weakest link and am ashamed of my choices this week.  I guess I should take heart that my "bad" week was still a lot healthier than my eating before, but it is a small comfort today.  

Monday, April 09, 2012

One Week

A week from now Mr. Goat should be out of surgery and we can start moving towards a new normal.   It blows my mind.  Just 10 days ago surgery was on the table but no date had been set.  Now we are nearly there.

I for one fluctuate between anxiety and excitement.  I am excited to see what strides we can make toward becoming healthier people, but it is scary too.  Just as I have always been "fat," I've always known my husband as overweight too.  We have no concept of what it means to be at a healthy weight.  It is almost like we have no real clue who we are going to become in the next year or two.

And that is scary.

I am glad we are doing this together, it is so much easier having someone by your side to support you, and I know I'm going to need it as will Mr. Goat. 

This weekend was a fun one - Mr. Goat's birthday celebration, Holy Week and Easter services and Easter brunch.  All told I've eaten like a pig this weekend, even if I have limited my choices and subbed out some things in order to spend points on what I've really wanted.  It isn't all bad but it feels like I've been a bit out of control on my eating. 

The thought of surgery and the risks and the changes do seem to push me toward food.  That combined with Mr. Goat's real desire to eat some foods he might not get an opportunity to eat again, possibly ever, well it feels a bit indulgent.

I'm not going to be surprised if I have a gain this week, even though I have not eaten all my activity points yet (my weeklies are long gone at this point).  I'm going to have to take it one day at a time and make the best choices I can make at every single meal.  The last thing I want is for Mr. Goat to make the changes and for me to be left behind.

Here is the thing about change though.  Change is scary but it is also vital to moving forward.  Seasons change.  Weather changes.  To change is to live.  And I want to live a full and vibrant life.  Mr. Goat does too.  And so we change.  A whole lot change is on the horizon. 


Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Weigh In Week 13

This week was a challenge.  I worked out well, which was my saving grace because my eating wasn't on point.  It wasn't off plan exactly but it was just driven by more emotions, hormones, anxiety and stress than I'd like.  I used all my weekly points this week which I like to avoid.  I even dipped into my activity points.  Despite that I still did show a loss this week which I am grateful for.  I am even more grateful that today is the start of a new weigh in week!

-1.0 Pounds Lost
-35.4 lbs Lost to Date

A pound of weight loss is respectable and I will take it.  This week provides its own challenges, with Mr. Goat's birthday and Easter brunch both this weekend.   Beyond that I am struggling with the desire to eat my feelings and fears.  You see there is big news in the Goat household.  Mr. Goat is having gastric bypass surgery in a little under two weeks.

This may be a shock to you out there but Mr. Goat and I have been discussing it, praying about it, and researching it for nearly a year.  He's done all his prep work for insurance and the surgeon, lost about 24 pounds so far and got approval for the surgery last week.  The dates we were given were surprisingly close - one option in May and one in April. The April date worked better from his work stand point, so we've thrown our hat into the ring and are in full prep mode now.

I won't lie.  It is scary to me.  Beyond the actual risk of surgery and the pain of recovery, there are countless unknowns.  What will be our new normal?  I'm not sure.  I do know that we are determined to make healthy changes together and while I am not having surgery we are partners in this.  I am glad I have 3 months under my belt with the changes I need to make already.  This month will be a test of my new eating, tracking, working out habits as I see him through surgery and care for little goat and myself.  There are emotions and excitement and fear that swirl around me as I look at the month ahead and I need to keep them from spilling out into my eating habits.

Still I feel ready for the challenge.  I have support.  Mr. Goat has support.  We have so much love surrounding us that I know we can succeed in this.  We're in this together.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Friend Makin' Mondays

Weight Loss Blogger and all around awesome lady Kenlie does a fun post every Monday designed to learn more about others.  And since I've lots on my mind (but not so much that I can put on the blog yet) I thought I'd play along today.  And since it is all about when I was a kid it seemed like a very fun one to do!

When I was a kid…


  1. My parents told me…to stop picking on my little sister.
  2. I wanted to grow up to be a…astronaut, more specifically the first person on Mars.
  3. I refused to eat…tuna casserole.  I still don't like it even though I will now eat tuna.  *Shudder*
  4. My favorite thing to do outside was…neighborhood games of tag and others at dusk in the summer.  Also swimming.
  5. I broke my… nothing.  I've never actually broken a bone or anything.
  6. I liked to wear…whatever.  I wasn't too concerned with clothes.  That started when I got older.
  7. My parents always…tucked me in.
  8. I thought that Santa was…real until Kindergarten when my friend Maja from Norway spilled the beans.
  9. My favorite cartoon was...Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers
  10. I was the…oldest.
  11. I got in trouble when…I kicked in the screen door when I was mad and scared because I got home before my mom from school.
  12. My bedroom was…a place to read books.
  13. My favorite food was…ribs.
  14. My parents always made me…do my chores.  How mean! (Now I'm wondering at what age little goat can start doing work around the house!)
  15. My first crush was…My first real crush was Josh Price in 6th grade.  He was geeky, played trumpet like me, wanted to be an astronaut too and was so sweet.  He was Mormon so it never would have worked out, but I harbored a flame for him for years.
  16. My favorite toy was…My Breyer horses
  17. I thought school was…so much fun, except spelling.
  18. My biggest fear was…tornadoes.
  19. My favorite story was…Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Hobbit, and any of my mother's books.
  20. My favorite memories…Camp Onaway, Family Reunions in MI, learning to play Sheepshead with my family, game nights, etc.  I had a really lovely childhood.
If you want to play along to please add your link to Kenlie's post and then visit other blogs and say hello.  Or just tell me your answers in my comments too!

I hope to be back tomorrow with something concrete about what's going on in this head of mine!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Weigh In Week 12

Twelve weeks, just under 3 months of this Weight Watchers weight loss journey.  As you can tell from yesterday's post it was a tough day.  But I rebounded from the day and was only one daily point over on the day (and I had weekly points to cover it).  I was so happy to wake up this morning and know that it was Wednesday and I got a fresh start.  It almost didn't matter what the scale said, I just got to start fresh today without the negativity of yesterday.  A major non-scale victory right?

Of course I did care a little bit about the scale and my work this week didn't disappoint me.  (I should swim a mile every week).

-3.0 Pounds Lost
- 34.4 lbs Lost to Date
10 % Weight Loss Goal Reached!!

This week I hit my 10% weight loss goal.  I am ecstatic about that.  You always here about all the health benefits of losing *just* 10% of your weight.  Well when you are over 300 pounds 10% is a pretty big number.  It was big enough that when I began this trip I couldn't quite imagine reaching it any time soon.  This was my 2nd goal reached on my journey.  When I hit 5% I had hope of getting to 10%.  Now I am here and it feels wonderful.

It does make me wonder what my next goal should be.  Another 10%?  That'd be just over 30lbs.  Getting to 50 lbs lost?  I like having something I'm working towards.  Though honestly my next little goal is the next 3.3 pounds lost.  That would put me out of the 300s which would be HUGE.  I am close to it.  It might not happen next week, but it is coming and I know that I can do it.

Here is some perspective for me.  I put this photo on the facebook when little goat was sick several weeks back and a ton of people commented on how huge our cat Doppler is.


He's a big cat and weighs about 17 pounds.  People I've lost TWO of these giant cats.  TWO.  I am really doing this.  Sometimes it shocks me that I've done so well so far.  Other times I get caught up in how far there is to go.  But I wouldn't trade these 3 months and I hope that the next 3 months keep me just as focused and determined as the last.
 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The monster inside

It hits first thing this morning.  An insatiable pit in my stomach.  Some living breathing monster calling for your soul, and for donuts.  It pulls my brain inward until all my actions seem to be viewed through my stomach's eyes.

It starts calling for those things that have been denied it.....Buuuuurgers.  Friiiiiiiiiiiiies. Baaaaaaaacon. Caaaaaaaaaaaaake. Chiiiiiiiiiiips.  Braiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiins.

And I am left staggering in response as coherent and articulate as a zombie.

In a rational moment, I know what gave birth to this monster:  weigh -in day, hormones, stress, more hormones, and more stress.

I know what the cause is but I feel so powerless against the monster's whispered urge to spin through the baked goods like some fat Tasmanian devil.  I want to create a tornado of powdered sugar and sprinkles around me.  I want to eat fast and furious without even tasting.  I just want to eat.

It's been a while since this pull felt so strong or powerful.  It had been reducing as I saw success, but today it feels alive inside of me.  A Mr. Jekyll trying to get out and take control.

I don't want to let it have that power.  I want to deny that it even exists, but that side of me does and today it is hungry.  It is the sort of day when I wish that food wasn't actually required to survive because abstinence seems like the only want to not fall down a slippery slope to a buffet somewhere.

There are plans in place to combat this, but even my plans didn't keep me from that bag of chex mix when I had to fill up the car this morning.  I managed to get the chex mix instead of the chips but it still feels like I gave that monster just a little too much power.  But it tasted so good.

And I don't like it.

I don't like that this monster lives within me and food is the source of its power.

I don't like that even a meal or a day of giving into it can mean that many more hours of responsible eating and working out.

I don't like that 30 pounds could be erased so quickly if I give in.

Some people's monster's live under the bed, lurking in the dark.  Mine lives in my stomach and he's hungry.  And today I'm not sure I'm strong enough to defeat him.

But I'm going to try.

#justwrite

Sunday, March 25, 2012

This and That

It is Sunday night, and I want to blog but I'm feeling lazy so you get bullet points!  Hooray!

*  I can't run a mile (yet) but I can swim one.  Tonight I swam a mile without stopping - 35 laps at the YMCA.  It took me 65 minutes - my pace just kept slowing down.  But I did it and I didn't stop.  And apparently earned 23 activity points for the 65 minutes of lap swimming.  Wow.

* I have not watched the Hunger Games movie yet that opened this week.  I am hoping to actually take my day off on Friday and treat myself to a matinee.  The trick will be facing the popcorn dilemma.  I might have to save some weekly points to have some.

* I bagged up some of my too-big clothes this weekend.  I didn't even get to my sweaters, just the pants and dresses.  They are currently sitting in my spare bedroom and I am uncertain what to do with them.  I know that I should get rid of them, but that seems scary.  What if I falter or fail this time around? But keeping them might seem like a jinx too - clinging to the fear that I might gain it all back as opposed to moving forward.  I have no intention of going back, but there is real anxiety in giving up the security of the clothes that I have.  What do you guys think?

* I have amazing friends.  Several friends have given me or promised me clothes they've grown out of.  Another sent me a gift card to use to buy some new clothes this week.  Knowing how much money losing weight can cost those little things are so HUGE for me.  And beyond that, with every message, and cheer and comment I feel so much love and support for what I'm doing.  It really chokes me up to know that there are so many people rooting for me.

* I was approached by a PhD student named Amanda to see if I would share a survey for her final research.  It is on how partner's can influence weight loss, specifically whether partner's can undermine weight loss.  Here is an excerpt of her email with all the information you need to participate if you'd like.  She only needs 15 more people to participate to complete her research.  From Amanda:

I think many of your readers have a ton of precious insight on this topic and I’d like to ask them to share.  Many people who have taken the survey have written to thank me for bringing this topic to light in a scientific way.  My long term aim is to develop a couples-level intervention to address partner undermining directly through building acceptance and deeper understanding.

All the information about the anonymous, online survey is hosted here at my university’s website:  http://surveys.clarku.edu/Survey.aspx?s=aab073a40aa64a55a2ad7a0f72c7ea0a

This survey is designed for those who can answer yes to the following questions:
Have you been participating in a weight loss program for the last 5 consecutive weeks
Have you been in a committed, cohabitating relationship for the last two years
Do you ever feel like your current partner/spouse gets in the way of your weight loss? 

Besides helping to advance scientific inquiry on this topic, each participant who completes the survey may also select to have $1 donated by the researcher to the participant’s choice of 1 of these 5 charities:  Playworks, The Carter Center , Teach for America, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, or MAP International.  Additionally, participants may opt to enter a drawing for 1 of 10 gift cards (one $100 card and nine $25 cards).
 For my own part I know that both Mr. Goat and I have both underminded each other's weight loss attempts before.  This time we are both on board at the same time and it makes a world of difference!  I hope you will share with Amanda if you are able.

* One more amazing link.  My friend Erica has lost over 90 lbs and she has decided to give back as she approaches 100 pounds lost.  So she is raising money to dig a well for people who need fresh water.  If you'd like to help her with her goal and support her amazing success you can do so here.