Much Ado Over A New ‘Do

So, we like to live on the wild side here at the Stuehlmeyer house.  We cut our own hair.  Every one of us.  Well, actually, Banana & Bear do not cut their own hair.  Trust me, I know better than to give a 2 yr old or 4 yr old sharp scissors.   I cut their hair and mine.  Husband cuts his own hair.  I got fired from that job.  You see, I used to cut it.  Then I got pregnant with Hannah.  And I may have had a dramatic exhausted moment one time in the middle of his haircut and claimed that I couldn’t finish because I couldn’t stand up any longer.  He no longer trusts me.  Sad, really.  One less thing I have to do.  Backfired on me, eh?  😉

I figure we save a ton of time and money.  Husband likes his cut every 3 weeks or so so that’s an easy $15/month we save.  The girls and I usually only get cuts every 2 – 4 months, but still that’s $45 every 3 months (more if we go to the fancy salon).  I figure we save $400 or more a year on haircuts (including gas, cut, and tip).  Plus, we save a ton of time by not driving to the salon and having to wait.  And time may just be more valuable than the money we save…time is a big deal in the world of a 2 year old, a 4 year old, and their mother.

Always a pose from this one.

She’s a little blurry.  She just will not stand still.  If you think it was an issue for the picture, you should have seen us during the hair cut.  I kept asking telling her to sit still and she just kept telling me, “I can’t, Mom.”  What’s a mom to do?  Wise words from a two year old.  If you can’t sit still, be honest about it.

Anyways, for now it’s a win-win.  Until I cut someone.  That happened to one of my siblings once.  Sibling got cut by a family member cutting their hair and they never forgot it.  It was rather traumatic.  Good thing it wasn’t me.  Good thing I haven’t cut my kids ear.  They’ll never let me forget it.  I digress…it’s a win-win.
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Would you cut your kids’ hair?

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Green in the Bathroom

ha  But, not the bodily fluid kind of green.

Meet the fabric shower curtain liner.  That’s it.  It’s pretty naked…my tub and shower, that is.  No plastic.  I love it.  No moldy liner.  I take it down and toss it in my washing machine and dryer when I need to.  We all know that the plastic is bad for us and we hate to clean them and we pay to keep replacing them.  I’m over it.  I made the switch to a fabric liner and I’ll never go back.  It’s an easy switch.  I dare you to try it.

We have 3 towel hooks.  We use our towels at least twice.  I love the hooks on the wall.  I love doing half the towel laundry.  If only I could cut down the rest of my laundry to half.  My girls probably wouldn’t mind wearing everything twice, but me and Husband, not so much.

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How are you green in the bathroom?

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One Comment

So, I’m not typically a big political junkie, but I do know that this whole Todd Akin thing is a big deal.  I don’t even want to touch on his actual comments.  I do want to ponder the fact that one mispoken comment has the potential to ruin his career.  I don’t know how people live with that kind of pressure.  I get things wrong all the time and say dumb things and I certainly don’t know everything.  I’m human afterall.  I think it’s kind of true that most of us, but especially us loudmouths, and lets face it, politicians are all loudmouths, say stupid things.

Seriously, if I had a dollar for every wrong fact, hurtful thing, harmful thing, loud thing, stupid thing, or mean thing I said I would be rich.  ha  Maybe I should be a politician and then I would be rich.  Or not.  I can’t handle the pressure.  I have enough pressure being a human, a wife, a mom, etc.  I fail a lot.  Luckily there’s grace.  Which is more than Mr. Akin will get from the media and public.  Seriously, that’s a sad life.  I used to live that life.

I lived under the pressure of the fear of saying the wrong thing or hurting someone.  Fear of being judged.  Fear of not being able to make up for what I’d say.  Fear of apologizing.  Fear of letting people down.  Fear of being wrong.  Fear of people.  Fear of God.

Lately though, I’ve been learning grace.  Grace from God.  A lot of it.  Turns out, there’s a lot of grace.  A ton of it.  And it’s always there and always ready and it’s great.  Funny that it’s not at all shameful like I thought it would be.  Even funnier, the people in my life actually have grace too.  I guess God gave it to them.  Lots of it too.  I’m pretty grateful for the people in my life.   I’m also pretty grateful I’m not a politician.

Good luck, Mr. Akin.  Glad I have Jesus.

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What do you fear?

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Ugh.

I hate ticks.  I despise them.  I see absolutely no reason for them to be on this earth.  They generally make me want to freak out.  And, I must be tasty because I seem to get them easily.  Ugh.

I found 2 ticks on me and 1 H-banana.  My little, or not so little, H-banana started preschool this week.  And wouldn’t you know Chad’s gone this week.  We were gone the end of last week so I’m putting the house back together this week.  And my whole house needs a good deep-clean since we’ve been gone so much this summer and my cleaning leaves a lot to be desired.  Ugh.  And, now we have these ticks that I can’t figure out where they’re coming from.  Ugh.  And did I mention that Chad’s gone this week.  Ugh.

And all this follows the “hell week” from a couple weeks ago.  Ugh.

You know what?   I’ve cancelled my to do list.  I made it on Monday and today I threw it in the trash  recycled it.  I think the to do list is now down to one thing, to survive this week despite the ticks and turmoil.  I can handle just one thing.  And, on the slight chance that I manage to get some laundry or cleaning done it will be a huge bonus because it means that I’m doing the only thing on my to do list AND I still have something in me to do more.  Not because I have to do the trashed recycled to do list, but because my only thing this week is to handle the ticks and turmoil and live life despite them.

I mean, I twitch a lot and inspect every mole, freckle, or piece of dirt that might possibly be another tick.  I made a game out of it with the girls.  We check each other for ticks.  There’s strength in numbers and I’m happy to have the moral support, even its from a 2 yr old and 4 yr old.  Oh, and did I mention my brave friend, Anna.  Seriously, she has now checked me not once, but twice, for ticks and my little dogs too!  She brought me the Starbucks drink in the pic and encouraged me that ticks will not take over my world and that I’m handling this very well.  ha  So there, very well.  Her words not mine.   I did cry a little bit today and asked God to supernaturally take away the ticks (after I found and removed and flushed one though).

And, I found this.  It really has helped.  ha

Image

I have the best of friends, in Cleveland, but mostly here in my real life.

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Which do you hate more, ticks or spiders?

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Yeah, I’m good at that

So my sister-in-law said something the other day that really caught me off guard.  She was talking about how open I am about my faults and that I’m lovely.  Isn’t she sweet?  🙂  I think she’s pretty fabulous and she’s taught me a lot in the last couple years.  Anyways, her comment made me really aware of something.  I’ll explain.

I try very hard to be real and genuine.  Sometimes maybe more so than you (or I) wish.  ha  Women, men too, but I’m more familiar with the female version since the majority of my relationships and conversations are with ladies, tend to hide.  Thanks a lot, Eve.  We hide our faults and our sins.  Especially in the Christian world.  Afterall, we wouldn’t want the “non-Christians” to think we “sin” and “struggle”, now would we?  Newsflash: we sin and struggle.  Just like “them”.  Only we have Jesus.  Thank goodness.  Newsflash: He makes the difference, not you.  Not me.

Moving on.  I am very aware of my faults.  I hide them, to be sure.  But, I try very hard in life and in my blog-life to be legit in where I’m at and what I’m processing.  Now, in my blog-life I do try to protect the innocent and blah blah blah, but I give you as much info as feels safe for those in my life.  I keep my swearing to a minimum and keep people nameless…that’s pretty nice of me, right?

Well, here’s the big kicker.  We, people (and especially “Christians”) also hide what we’re good at.  Boo.  We call it humility and condemn the boastful.  But, what if, maybe, just maybe, we shared what we’re good at??  If we share our strengths, talents, and goodness He might actually get more glory.  It’s his goodness that he gave us.  What if we actually claimed our goods and gave him the credit.  That might just make us all a little more real.  I get pretty freaking tired of hiding…I’m supposed to hide my faults and my goodness, ugh, it just makes me tired and quite frankly it just makes me not me.

I think it would be terrific if we could learn to appreciate the goods of each other.  Shoot, if I could ask my friend Andrea to help me when I need to bake or if I could ask my friend Julia to help me run better or Katie to help me hem better or Kelly to help me dress better or Mom to help me know what books to read to the girls or Anna to help me pray in the moment with people or Alicia to help me Zumba better (may not happen, my hips just don’t move like that, but I could ask) or Sarah to help me be more natural or LaToya to help me not mind messes or Ashley to help me accessorize and “own my shit” and Aunt Denice to help me be compassionate and thoughtful and Husband to help me chill out and think things through and solve problems??  They get to use what they’re good at and I get better at what I’m not good at.  That sounds like a super fun world.  Seriously, makes me excited to think about people in my world helping me with what they’re good at.  Saves me time and energy and I get to have better relationships with my friends and family.  Super fun world filled with our goodness…God’s goodness given to us, lived out through us.  He gets the glory and the credit and we get his grace and his goodness.

And I named names and swore.

Lets be real people…good and bad.  We all have it.  Here are a few of my goods.  I can sew pretty well.  I can craft it up with the best of them.  I see the holes in plans and schedules.  I am really good with details and organizing.  I can cook decently well.  I can account and use excel.  I’m a good mom.  I’m a good wife.  I’m covered by his blood and that’s the best of all.

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What are your goods?  Go ahead, name them.  As many as you want.  I’d love to read them.   I’m excited to read them actually.

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Seasons of Change

I live in the midwest…but you all know that, seeing as you live here too.  (Well, except for my CA and PA friends, but they used to live here too so that doesn’t really count.  Besides I still like to pretend they live here.)  I love it.  We have actual seasons.  We see all the temperatures, from 0 to 100 degrees (F) and beyond.  And I kinda love it.  Well, not that I love all the temperatures, I’d be ok never seeing 95 + again, but I do love the changing of the seasons.  You see, I love each season, there are certainly pros and cons for each, but I especially love the changing part.  Every few months we get a change.  It helps me to remember that things are the not the same, things are changing, moving, and not stagnant.  Sometimes I think I love change a little too much.  I’m not always content with the current season. Like right now, I’m so ready for fall that I can’t hardly stand it and we’re not done with summer yet.

Oh, kinda like my life.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, another seasonal metaphor.  But, really, I’m ready for a change.  I’ve struggled hard to be content this summer.  And, on my good days, I was content.  And on the rest of the days, well, I was not.  I thought we, meaning my household, were ready for change, but then God changed the plan.  Apparently we were having a change in plan and not a change in life.  Must have been our plan and not his.  Seems strange when we had prayed about things and thought it was his plan.

Regardless, I’m so ready for fall.  I still feel like change might be coming, but only time will tell.  At least the leaves and scenery will change.  ha  I suppose we have plenty of changes in life stage and seasons without actual major life changes.  And, lets be honest, I’m a quitter from way back, so usually once I get the change I’m ready to quit and high-tail it back to where I was…where I was at least familiar with my surroundings.  I suppose that’s where the most important change takes place…my heart.  Changing it from the loveless, joyless, cold, selfish, and ugly heart it was where it just wanted all that it couldn’t have into one that believes and trusts Jesus, one that wants his story for my life more than it wants my version of the story.  That seems to be the hardest change.  I guess that’s why only Jesus can change hearts.  I’m pretty lousy at it.  Ironic that I work so hard to try to change other peoples’ hearts when I can’t change my own, but that’s another whole post.

So, bring on the fall.  Falling leaves, changing colors, changing scenery, changing of the wardrobe, changing of food, changing of temperatures, and changing of me.

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What is your struggle with change?

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Reusable

…and not everyone likes it!  ha

We are trying to reuse more and more at our house.

These are “paper towels”.  Reusable paper towels, that is.  I took old cloth diapers and cut them to the same size a single paper towel.  Well, half a full-size paper towel, one single of the select-a-size paper towels.  I serged the edges so that it wouldn’t unravel.  (Let me assure you that these cloth diapers were not used on bums, but as burp cloths.)  I use them just like I would use a regular paper towel and then throw it in my dirty laundry instead of the trash.  I have adjusted just fine to them and have found that I use less “paper towels” overall this way.

Fine Print: I do have a couple admissions.  First, I do keep regular paper, paper towels on hand.  I would rather not use my reusable ones for cleaning up bodily fluids (kids or dogs) or for anything that really grosses me out.  Second, Husband really is not a fan of the reusables so I keep paper ones on hand for him.  I store my paper ones in the bathroom closet so they’re accessible, but not handy.  Win-win, right?  One small step.

It saves me money because I buy a lot less paper towels and it saves on waste so I feel quite good about my decision.

TUTORIAL-ISH #1:  I would have given a sewing tutorial, but its really not worth even a tutorial!  I literally measured half a full-size paper towel and took my old gerber cloth diapers (the cheapos from Wal-mart) and cut out as many as possible from one cloth diaper.  Then, this is the hardest part, serged all the sides (good practice for serging corners!) and tied off and trimmed off the strings.  I do a simple tri-fold and put them in my homemade paper towel hanger.  Get it, its a hanger.  ha  I totally stole the hanger idea from my super crafty friend, Katie!

TUTORIAL-ISH #2:  Here’s the tutorial for that hanger.  Fold a hanger.  Roughly trace it on some paper.  Cut out 2 pieces from your traced pattern.  Sew around them, leaving the end open.  I didn’t even hem the raw end.  Flip it right side out.  Maneuver it onto your hanger, trying not to cuss out SarahFae.  Fold the raw ends in and safety pin it closed.

And, as my little Banana would say, TA DAAA!

Bad Week

So, I had a pretty bad week last week.  I’ll spare you the gory details, just know that it involved a lot of tears, a lot of sadness, a lot of long hard conversations, and a lot of hard stuff.  What do you do when you have a bad week?  I’ll tell you what I did.  I cried a lot.  I asked God a lot of hard questions.  I yelled.  I was mean and hateful.  I was confused.  I was concerned.  I talked through it all with Husband.  I met with my fight club.  I prayed and read the Bible.  And you know, it was still a really hard crappy week.  One of those weeks that it didn’t really matter what I did, it was going to be a hard week.  I survived.  My family survived.  I didn’t get a ton of answers.  I did get a ton of grace from God and from the people in my life.  I got a lot of prayer, because I asked for it.  I asked people to pray for me.  I didn’t hide where I was.  And that might have been one of the hardest parts of my week.  I like to hide my pain and struggles so that people think I have it all together.

** News flash **  I don’t have it all together.

I wish I did.  But I don’t.  I hate that I sin and hurt people.  I hate that I don’t understand why things happen. I hate that I don’t have all the answers.  Oh, excuse me, that was prideful SarahFae talking.  I know deep down that if I had all the right answers and didn’t sin and understood everything that I would have a lot of responsibility and that only Jesus can handle that.  But, still, part of me really wishes that I had it all together.  Mostly because I care waaayyyy tooooooo much what people think of me.  I can feel God ripping that away from me.  It seems that I keep having to learn that dang lesson.  What does it matter what people think of me?  What does it matter if people judge me?  People can’t take away Jesus from me.  People can’t define me.  People can’t make me do or think things.  I’m responsible for my own actions and reactions to people.

Next time I have a bad week, which hopefully won’t be for a reaaaallllllllyyyyyy long time, I hope that I will be in a genuine place.   A place to be real with my own sin, my own pain, my own struggle, and my own questions.  I want to have genuine conversation  and be real with where I am.  I’m a human walking around trying to figure this life out.  Just like you.  Ugh, if only it was easy.  

Random Ponderings of a Tired Girl

So, I’m pretty tired from last week.  More to come on that later.

For now, this is all I got…

I cannot for the life of me figure out how in the freaking world I made it through two, not one, but two, c-sections without passing out once.

And yet, when I went to the doctor and had an ear flush I passed right out, hit my head on the way down, and ended up in the ER via an ambulance ride.

Moral to the story: 1) sometimes things just don’t make sense and 2) don’t get an ear flush.

What was that?

I am a horrible listener.  In my head I just have a ton to do and can’t stop.  Well, that, and the simple fact that whatever is going on in my head or life is just more important or more of a priority than you and your life.  Yikes, that’s my pride in black and white for the whole world (or 2 of you) to see.  I could pretend like I’m better than that, but a spade is a spade whether I call it that or not, right?

What?  I didn’t hear you.  =  I wasn’t actually listening or paying attention.

I am a bad listener, and apparently a liar as well.  I did hear you.  I just chose not to listen or pay attention.

I really am a bad listener.  It seems I always have something to say or do.  Of course I know its bad, but until recently I haven’t really thought about the effect that it has on other people.  It tells my husband and my girls that what they think, say, and do isn’t important.  If I’m not listening then they’ll find someone who will.  And suddenly the relationships are as good as I want them to be, mostly because I’m not listening.

So, what do I do.  I’m going to go a little RG on myself.  Why don’t I listen?  I really think that me and my stuff is more important and that if I stop then I will get behind on my schedule.  What do I really have to lose by not listening?  Ultimately at stake is my relationship with my girls and my husband.  If they don’t think I’ll listen then they’ll stop talking.  It will hurt their feelings.  They’ll have to be louder and worse and do more and more to actually get my attention.  Ugh.  And, all for the sake of my agenda, my to do list, my schedule, or my own words.

More RG…what happens if my words don’t get spoken?  What happens if my schedule gets thrown off?  What happens if my list doesn’t get done?  What happens if my agenda doesn’t get accomplished?  ha  Like those things really happen anyways.  The futility of me promoting myself when my schedule rarely gets followed, my list rarely gets done, and my words rarely mean what I think they will mean.  So, I’m really fighting for my own self when even what I’m fighting for and working so hard to maintain isn’t working and getting accomplished even when I spend most of my energy on it.  Is what I have to say and do really more important than others?  No.  But, I tend to think that they are.  What happens if my words don’t get spoken?  I am afraid of that.  I’m afraid that I’ll lose my power, importance, won’t be validated, won’t be needed, etc.  I guess I believe that my words give me power and importance and that God needs me and my words in order to accomplish things.

Truth is, God doesn’t need me or my words.

So, will I listen?  Will I give people, especially Husband and the little girls, my undivided attention?  I hope so.  When I can live in the place that my words and my agenda aren’t the most important and that the world really isn’t going to come crashing down if I stop for like 2 minutes to listen to somebody else, then I think I will listen.

So, how does it work?  It means that when a little tug is wanting me to watch and listen I actually stop and listen.  When I hear the whisper that I don’t have time to stop and instead I talk myself through it.  Is finishing the blog post, grating the cheese, etc., really so urgent that I can’t stop for 2 minutes?  Is stating my own opinion really worth it?

Let them talk. And actually listen.  Because it shows them that I love them and that they are important to me.

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When do you have the hardest time listening?

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