SING, the cartoon, and the blubbering mother in the middle of the Polish theater

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*Image from Wikipedia*

Oh my blubbering goodness.  You would have been DYING had you been in the theater with me for the movie SING that has recently been in theaters (at least in Poland).   Laughter.  Snotting.  Chortles.  Gasps.  Tears.  All directed at me-the mother sobbing uncontrollably over a children’s cartoon.

It is currently a very gray and cold season in Poland.  When the sun comes out, which is extremely rare these days, Max has to ask, “MOM!!!!  What is the sun made out of?!”  And Josephine, “Mom, WHAT IS THAT?!”

NOT KIDDING.  She literally just asked the other day.  I had to explain it was not the moon, it was the actual sun gracing our presence for a moment.

So it’s gray.

Then it’s also cold.

Not -20 F or C.  But it’s been hovering in the 20s and early 30s.  Obviously that’s F.  In C, it’s been about -7 to 0 C.

On top of all of that, Josephine and MOMMY were both so sick this last week.  She ran a fever for about 7 days, and my head felt as if it was stuck literally in a bucket of sand.  I can’t recall the last time I felt so horrible.

So, needless to say, last week, we were mostly at home.

To make up for a week stuck at home where TV became the literal mother to my children for 24/7, I decided to start going on small daily adventures with Max and Jo.

Yesterday we went to an indoor Botanical Garden.  It was okay.  Nothing too thrilling, but also warm and had plants and fish and turtles and birds.  The vines hanging from ceiling to ground inspired many monkey calls, and we screeched right along with the parrots.  So what is merely a “Meh” place came to life with my Littles in their imaginations, making it a grand adventure.

Max and Jo have wanted to see the cartoon SING ever since their sister, Adelyne, told them all about it.

So, today I decided to leave the house for an early morning showing of SING.

What fun!  Of course, the cartoon is in Polish, but both of my children don’t seem to mind; therefore, away we went!

The movie—it’s AMAZING.  I loved it.  It did not go in the direction that I thought it would — now, mind you, I did not see a single preview for it, but I imagined a much more American Idol direction once the fliers were printed and sailed around town…

It was much more somber than that.  Hardships and struggles and overcoming were quietly being dealt with throughout the movie.

While fears were being squelched, dreams were also simultaneously being shattered.

And then everything literally falls apart.

Nothing went at all like I had expected.

Well, let me not ruin it for any of you that have yet to see SING.  Let me just say, when there came an opportunity for the momma pig to sing, her husband and children watching, I literally began to BAWL.

Not quiet and pretty tears.

I was literally bawling.  I was snotting.  I had to TAKE OFF MY GLASSES and wipe away the waterfall of tears.  I could not stop.

The mother—performing in front of her husband and children.  The mother giving it everything she had.  The mother LIVING out her dream.  And doing it to the BEST of her ability.

The mother taking a risk.  The mother — EXCELLING.

Yes, dear people out there.

A mother cartoon pig singing and dancing.

It was too much for me.  I am afraid I cried literally ALL of my mascara off my lashes.  My blue eyes turning as crystal as the Carribbean’s waters, as they always do when I cry.

To me, this momma pig, she was so much more than an entertainment figure for the little minds.  She was the mother in each and every one of us.

The mother stuck in the mundane routine of washing dishes, cleaning clothes, feeding children, working sunrise to sunset.

She was the mother that danced and sang to herself and dreamed in her own imagination.

She was the mother that put absolutely everyone and everything above the very core of her being.

She IS the epitome of that very word MOTHER!

I have been feeling like that momma pig.  At home.  Stuck.  In a sink of bubbles.

And, then, there I was at the theater with these two miraculous littles that I had to physically fight to bring into the world, and I realized that they are the ultimate dream.

I fought SO LONG and SO HARD to even conceive children.  And then to get them to enter the world safely was another journey.

I grabbed my son’s hand and held it.  His heart beating because my body grew him.  His life living because God gave him to me for another day.

Being a woman is hard.  Being a mother is hard.  Making satisfaction in our souls as both is hard.

And this momma pig brought this pit into my stomach that there lies within each and every one of us a fire and a passion outside of ourselves and our families.  Yet, while we are momma to littles, sometimes those other dreams may be put on the side.

But it doesn’t mean they are squelched.

It just means that our priorities are directed differently—straight.

In the meantime, someday is out there where it will be our turn to sing and dance.

And make our littles proud!

Slow Down…Today’s lessons from the storks.

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My two year old delight is walking around with pretzels in a Boleslawiec pottery bowl.  She is in yesterday’s dress, a dirty face, grubby fingers, and static hair.

She has huge eyes and is divine.

Her brother is flying Batman around the house and has told me on a number of occasions today that he is NOT hungry—he just needs chocolate chips, ice cream, and chips.

Apparently, those are NOT food items 😉

I offered to put my kids in the shower.  Because, when you are a mom, you know your shower is not your shower.  It is sprinkled with bath crayons, rubber toys, cups, and other assortments of water-proof items that make the perfect island escape.

Or Alcatraz.

Depends who is looking at it.

Island escape:  Kids.

Alcatraz:  Moms.

But, you see, the thing is today, outside my kitchen window, I saw a stork soaring over my home.  In circles.  It was so peaceful.  And lovely.  I watched it for about 5 minutes.

I was awestruck at the pace it soared, at the heights it went.  At its perseverance to go around and around and around.

It was lovely and serene.  It was divine.  And it reminded me that I have a job to do that does not require rush.

It requires:

Strength

Perseverance

Patience

Time

And finally…Devotion

We have two extremely large stork nests just hundreds of yards from our home.  I get to watch the divine birth of new stork babies summer in and summer out.  And, yet, I still have so much to learn from them.

One:  Storks are devoted to their mates.  They are willing to travel the world to find the other and build a family together.

Two:  Storks build their homes together.  Piece by piece.  They don’t get everything they want overnight.  It takes hard work and time.  They gather and hunt and place and piece together their home === stick by stick.  This takes time.

Three:  Storks are patient.  The gentle circling to climb higher and higher was peaceful and encouraging in the same breath.  Oftentimes, we want to summit in a sprint.  To truly summit a mountain, however, takes patience.  My husband climbed Mt. Elbrus on the Russian/Georgian border.  It took extreme patience and step-by-step determination to reach the top.  But they made it.  In good shape.   One of the highest peaks in the world.  They did it!  But, had they rushed, their bodies would have given out and they would have gotten sick or worse.

Patience…that’s what I saw this morning when watching my neighboring stork.

Four:  Storks may travel up to 20,000km to go from home to home.  Which means they persevere.  Through it all.  To get where they need to go.  Enough said.

Five:  Lastly, I have seen a stork up close.  It is large and majestic.  It walks without fear and flies unafraid of the neighboring hawk in the sky.  It knows it is brave.  It knows it is strong.  And it knows that it has one job to do:  raise its family right.

Today’s soaring stork reminded me that I don’t need to rush my children into perfection.  That I need to guide them into little people who will, one day, leave the nest when they are ready.  In the meantime, I should enjoy the task at hand.

Now, if you don’t mind…My Littles are running in circles, holding hands, and dancing in the kitchen.  And I was just invited to join them!

I think I shall…

They can definitely HAVE THIS DANCE!

 

My hubby the builder.

We have been married for 14 years. Going on 15. In all of these years, we have lived in many places. Two countries. And plenty of cities.

Did you know that the summer before we moved to Poland that we lived at a camp in Prescott, Arizona? It was a part of my husband’s job at the non-profit where he worked. And, part of working at the camp, he had to live there. The thing is—we were still in our honeymoon phase and wanted to live together.

I had the summer free, as a teacher, so they consented (they being his work) to allowing Rich and I to go to camp to live there together. The difficulty was the lodging. Of course, summer camps are made for cabins with the campers.

SOOOOO…they sent us to the top of the mountain, past many large bouldering rocks perfect for mountain-lion lurching or coyote running, and stuck us in a very remote and very old cabin.

We had holes in the walls. Spiders, every day I had to clean them out of the bathroom tub. And mice made their home in our refrigerator—which was unplugged and was serving dual-fold. 1 as our wardrobe, as we had no wardrobe. And 2 as home to Mickey and Minnie—thankfully our clothes and their home resided on different refrigerator shelves.

Anyhow.  It was a fantastic summer on a mountain, living with mice, walking dangerously past mountain lion boulders (or so I always imagined them to be), watching families of javelinas trespass on our front door stoop, and making a hot tub out of an old horse trough, under the stars.  Twas fun indeed.

Then we moved to Poland.  It was fun there, too.  Our first flat I wrote about in a blog posting on simplicity and contentment.  It was on the fourth floor.

Our second flat in Poland was on the third floor of a new apartment but fully UNFURNISHED 😉  Which means we did a lot of laundry washing in the tub and a lot of supper eating on the floor.  And a whole lot of sleeping on the floor—good thing our backs were young back then, too.

Our third flat was in an old part of Poznan near the center of the city that was very famously known for the 1956 uprisings.  I will write about it one time.

Our fourth place in Poland was a house.  Connected to our landlord’s house.  AND his über crazy wife.  And when I say UBER.  I mean UBER UBER.  And the neighbor was just as crazy.  Perhaps it was a qualification to live in that area?  Anyhow, our across the road neighbors redeemed the neighborhood for us—and they even had wandering hedgehogs that they would feed daily.  So that was always a thrill for our daughter to see.

And our last place is our current place.  It’s an old farmhouse that was brick gray when we first moved in…like communist brick gray.  The grounds are extensive, and the neighbors have had the land in their families for the last 150 years.  It’s a small farmhouse—with a basement that floods.  Believe me===I have sloshed around in a good 5-6 inches of water in the basement just to stoke the coal so that my daughter and I would have heat during the dead of the winter during one of Poland’s worst Siberian storms.  WORST!  And, of course, my husband was traveling through the States being fed steak and potatoes from so many lovely friends and supporters.  Let’s just say, he came home via train (due to the car battery being frozen dead) and two frozen popsicle girls that have yet to stoke the coal EVER again—well, until he leaves me again and I am forced to keep my children warm, that is 😉

Anyhow.  In the process and time of living on this farm lot—we have done a lot of work.  And our landlord has had the outside painted.  So now it is white with a red stone-looking base.  It looks great—and the yard, in great hopes, will be next.

But in the process, because the home didn’t have a functioning kitchen, has been a huge work in process.  One that my husband has done a GREAT job at…for ME!  And boy was I surprised when I walked into our home after my short trip to the States.

Is it complete—well, nearly.  I still desire a new oven hood.  But we all have dreams, don’t we?!

Now, putting the dream on hold, I would like to present for you—for the 1st time in our 14 going on 15 years of marriage—my very own kitchen!  It’s a big day, my friends.  A BIG day!!!  All kudos to my husband that built and our God that gave…

I.Love.It!

Yea for me (can I proclaim that?!)!!!

eatour house

A few signs propped here and there just for fun!

happycoffee and friends

Coffee is a pleasure—and DOES make me happy.  So does my family.  And food.  All fitting signs for my kitchen!

chalkboard cheffamily candle

My daughter wrote on our “Chef” (the theme of our kitchen) chalkboard before Christmas…It has been a little busy since.  But the message is still beautiful for every day—the message of the gift of Jesus!  And, of course, FAMILY reigns again—the photo of our 3!  Blessings from above.

love you morekitchen nearly done

Here is our dining table.  yes, it is extremely small.  It was purchased when we had 2 in our family.  Me.  Richard.  That’s it.  As our family expanded, our table magically did not.  We have not found one that we like yet–and so I am in the process of painting and renovating the table.  It looks as if it would be easy work.  Well, any painting project for me is not easy.  Or quick.  So, it is a half-painted table with half-painted chairs…with GREAT hopes of being a black and white border checkered table with a white bench and red chairs that should bring pizazz to our kitchen!  Yippee!

*If you do notice, our kitchen leads to our living room—which has yet to be painted and will still need photos of our family hung.  But it is looking GREAT, too.  And, obviously, yes.  We believe in foam and nerf weapons in our home.  They are great amounts of fun!

And last but not least…my lovely kitchen (not seen in its entirety due to my lacking photographic skills—but you can get a gist of the loveliness to it all)…

Voile!

kitchen by my hubby!

Home.Sweet.Home…Especially in my kitchen!

Thank you my better half of crazy!

xo always,

your b

I’m preparing for Hell. Or is it hell?

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That’s it.  I am officially preparing for it!  Hell.  Or is it hell?  Lowercase H?  Or am I even allowed to write that word on my blog?  You know…as a pastor’s wife.

Hmmm.  Good question.  Should I have written H-E-double hockey sticks?

But it’s true.  I am officially preparing for it.

Did you know that I have already lived through it?!

It’s called an Arizona summer.

And, yep.  I am definitely preparing for it.

Glad it won’t last an eternity, even though it seems like it.

June 22nd I will escape Hell (hell) and hop on a jet plane…flying back to Poland.  For good.  And good means as long as God directs us to remain.

Feelings.  Well, they are up.  They are down.  Ultimately, however, they are peaceful.

Will I be sad?  More than words.

Will I miss my family?  More than words.

Will I survive?  Barely.  And that’s where God will have to definitely step in and help me change a few diapers.

Okay.  Okay.  He’s not in the business of changing diapers—but he is in the business of being our steadfast.  Our constant.  Our steady.

And so I will survive.  With great joy.  Because I am very excited to return.

That does not cancel out my feelings of sadness.  I love Arizona.  I love my family.  I love the United States.

But I love God more.  And right now, during this season in our life, we have been gifted the privilege of living in Poland.  Of working in Poland.  In seeing people around the world make a difference in the lives of thousands of others.

That is awesome.

And I was just kidding about Arizona being hell.  Or was I?!

To sign off until you see me on the other side of the world, I will leave you with a link to a blog posting by author, speaker, and life coach, Lisa Skabrat, as she wrote a post about a brave young man and his fight.  In it, she made a very loving reference to our daughter Adelyne’s spirit of strength.  Please take a moment to click and read it.

It helped me remember:  Although we are scared, with God we can be brave.  And Fly a Little Higher!

Until you see me on the other side of the pond, I wish all of your crazies out there well (I’ll stop by to update the Top 10 at the end of May).

In the meantime, a big American hug and 3 Polish kisses thrown in for good measure.  Or, as my husband would say, 3 Polish kisses just for fun.  After all, who doesn’t like kissing hot babes?!

Before I leave, remember to click and take a read:  When Life Demands to See What You’re Made Of  (Adelyne is written about in this article)

See you soon…On the other side!

b