Tag Archive: jeff


Thoughts on being back to work

I’ve been back at work for just over a week now. I was very apprehensive about going back and it’s been an interesting experience. Here’s what I’ve learned:

* When working the early shift, I’m the only one with problems about leaving. Jeff is awesome, and P loves her daddy.
* Downside to working an early shift is that P is still asleep most of the time, and she’s at her happiest in the morning. (A morning person… she can’t be our baby! Neither of us are morning people!)

* The late shifts are much harder for all three of us. By about 6:30-7:00pm, P starts to get cranky and tired. She just wants her mommy! When I get home late in the evening, she clings to me in a way that breaks my heart.

Sadly, there’s no way I can arrange my schedule so that I’m home early every evening. So for now, we’re getting through as best we can. I submitted a proposal at work to create a position that I could telecommute, but there’s a lot of legal hoops to jump through before something like that could be approved. Even working a late shift, to be able to step out of the office on my lunch break to console and feed my daughter would be an amazing thing. So I’m hoping things will progress on that front.

I’m SO very grateful when the weekend comes, where we can sleep in past 6am and my daughter and I get to have lots of giggles and smiles together. All of my immediate family is in town today, so I’m looking forward to catching up with my siblings and giving P lots of play time with her aunts, uncles and cousin!

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Something Good 3/18

Happy Friday! We make a point to look back over our week and recall the good and positive things!
Taleah: I got a digital photo frame, so I can take all the pictures of my family to work with me! It’ll be great to have them keeping me company.

Jeff: I finished my quarter’s classes this week. I have a week off before I start again!

 

What’s good in your life this week?

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The Tea Cup

I’m not normally a fan of those email forwards with cute messages, adorable pictures of babies or puppies or threatening DOOM if I don’t forward it on to ten of my best friends in ten minutes. But a friend sent me this story this week, and it just really was sweet. It is a story with a Christian theme, but even if that’s not your faith of choice – I think you can still take away something.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Tea Cup

There was a couple who used to go England to shop in a beautiful antique store. This trip was to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, especially tea-cups.  Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked “May we see that one? We’ve never seen a cup quite so
beautiful.”

As the lady handed it to them suddenly the tea-cup spoke, “You don’t understand.” it said, “I have not always been a tea-cup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me, pounded me, and patted me over and over until I yelled out, ‘Don’t do that. I don’t like it! Let me alone!’, but he only smiled, and gently said; ‘Not yet!’

“Then, WHAM!  I was placed on a spinning wheel, and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. ‘Stop it! I’m getting so dizzy!  I’m going to be sick!’, I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, quietly, ‘Not yet.’  He spun me, poked and prodded me, and bent me out of shape to suit himself, and then……

“Then he put me into the oven.  I had never felt such heat.  I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. ‘Help! Get me out of here!’ I could see him through the opening, and I could read his lips as he shook his
head from side to side, ‘Not yet’.

“When I thought I couldn’t bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! ‘Ah, this is much better,’ I thought.

“But, after I had cooled, he picked me up and brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were terrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Oh, please stop it. Stop it!’ I cried. He only shook his head and said. ‘Not yet!’.

“Then suddenly he put me back into the oven.  Only, this oven was not like the first one. It was twice as hot, and I just knew that I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced that I
would never make it. I was ready to give up. Just then the door opened, and he took me out and placed me once again on the shelf. There I cooled and waited ——- and waited, wondering, ‘What’s he going to do
to me next?’

“An hour later he handed me a mirror and said ‘Look at yourself.’ And I did. I said, ‘That’s not me; that couldn’t be me. It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful!’

“Quietly he spoke: ‘I know that it hurt you to be rolled and pounded and patted, but if I’d left you alone, you would have dried up.

“‘I know that it made you dizzy to be spun around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled.

“‘I know that it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked.

“‘I know that the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened. You would not have had any color in your life.’

“‘If I hadn’t put you back in the second oven, you wouldn’t have survived for long, because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you.’”

The moral of this story is:

God knows what He’s doing [for each of us]. He is the potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us, and make us, and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

So when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance; when your world seems to be spinning out of control; when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials; when life seems to “stink”, try this….Brew a cup of your favorite tea in your prettiest tea cup, sit down and think on this story and then, have a little talk with the Potter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nothing has been going right this week for us. My husband’s car refused to start or even give back his keys (they’re lodged in the ignition!), we had to have it towed and we’re waiting to hear what the costs will be. So while I’m at work, he has no transportation. P’s been going through a growth spurt and been waking up several times during the night hungry, which exhausts me for the next day of working. Bills are due, errands need to be run and I’m trying to manage everything between calls at work – which is a challenge. This story came at just the right time to remind me that I may think my life may be difficult now, but there’s usually something bigger in the works. P’s growth spurt means she’s healthy and growing. As much as that’s exhausting for me now, it means good things for her!
These temporary trials make us stronger. I think that’s going to be my mantra for the next few days.

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Random Monday: Japan

Along with the rest of the world, I’ve been shocked and saddened by the images and stories that are coming out of Japan this week. My prayers are with everyone as they try to recover from this crazy act of nature.

* This quake MOVED Japan. That’s crazy to think about.

* I hate Daylight Savings Time with a passion. It always takes me at least a week to get my body adjusted to the new time. Even though it’s just by an hour, it’s tough. Now how I can manage to adjust from Washington State PST to Michigan’s EST easier than DST… I’ll never know.

* I don’t drink beer, and I’ll be working on the 17th – but I had bangers and mash at our local Irish pub last night and it was downright awesome.

* My 6am wake up is really 5am. This is uncool on SO many levels.

* My 8yr old dog is having sibling jealousy in a big way. We go out of our way to make sure she gets extra attention, give her treats and special toys when we leave the house, but she’s still acting out. Last night, she got into the trash. She shredded diapers all over our living room floor and tore apart an insulated lunch box that I used for work lunches.  The thing of it is that she KNOWS it’s wrong, because she’ll hide when we get home and won’t come meet us. I’m really at my wit’s end.

* Jeff is eying the 50F weather later this week and speculating if the golf courses will be open. He’s talking ways of transporting P on a golf cart during the day.

* Wish I could take a nap today, but it’s Monday and EVERYONE needs to call and pay bills today. So I’ll have a crazy day. Coffee anyone?

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Something Good 3/11

Happy Friday! We spend our Fridays recalling the good and positive over the week.

Taleah: Going back to work was super tough, but my employer has made some changes to my schedule to make it easier for me to keep breastfeeding! And they’re working with Jeff’s school schedule, too! That’s a huge relief!

Jeff: I got to stay home with P all day while Taleah is at work.

P: I got to wear color combination that I never DREAMED of, now that Daddy dresses me!  (Taleah’s note: Jeff’s an awesome parent… but his fashion skills leave a little something to be desired!)

This post is out late, because of working. It’s crazy how much time it takes of my day!

That’s it for us – what’s good in your life this week?


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Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. This reminds us to pause and take stock of our life and faith. Many people make changes during the Lent season for these very reasons.

My biggest change is not one I’m doing voluntarily. Today is my first day back to work after maternity leave. I love my little life at home with my family, but bills have to be paid. Jeff will be a stay-at-home dad for now while he’s looking for work. It’s a good job, but a tiring one – and even before P was on the way, I did not do much else but sleep and work during the week. I’m apprehensive about how I’ll be able to manage everything. It’s just a season, and ideally I will eventually be home with P full-time.

(photo credit)

This year, I’m spending Lent in the Common Book of Prayer. I have a pocket-sized copy from 1945 that belonged to my great-great-aunt Verona. It is a beautiful little book and it’s been a treasure to thumb through. I love the history of this book, the history of this copy and the tradition it stands for. This year, I’ll be diving into it more fully than just a simple turning of the page.  I want to pray the same prayers that my family has prayed for generations before me.

I’m coming into this season also with a heavy heart. The grandson of one of my mother’s dear friends was diagnosed with cancer this week.  Just a child, his liver is 90% covered with a tumor and there are several spots on his lungs as well. It’s been a whirlwind of discovery for this family and my heart aches for them. I can’t imagine myself in their shoes. They did surgery to biopsy the tumor and it did not go well. As of last night, he was in ICU with a breathing tube after losing a lot of blood on the operating table. All of this has been discovered/happened since Friday.

If you have a moment today, please think of little Micah. Whatever your spiritual beliefs, that whole family could use a whole lot of loving.

For Micah, I’ll be praying the following prayers from the Common Book of Prayer today.

A prayer for recovery.

O God of heavenly powers, who, by the might of thy command, drivest away from mens’ bodies all sickness and all infirmity; Be present in thy goodness with this thy servant, that his weakness may be banished and his strength recalled; that his heath being thereupon restored, he may bless thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

A prayer for healing.

O Almighty God, who art the giver of all health, and the aid of them that turn to thee for succour; We entreat thy strength and goodness in behalf of this thy servant, that he may be healed of his infirmities, to thine honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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Something Good – 3/5

Happy Friday! We make a point to look back on our week and reflect on the positive and good!

Taleah: We’re wrapping up our week by attending the Heart For The World Auction tonight. The goal is to raise $35,000 for a hospitality center for Mercy Ships. Mercy Ships are large hospital ships that travel the world providing care. Sierra Leone (where they are currently working) has .02 doctors for each 10,000 people. In the US… that number is 27 doctors for 10,000 people! These ships are doing incredible good! We’ve donated to the auction and now it’ll be fun to see that money be raised!It’s like Christmas, and I love presents!

Jeff: I scored the tying goal in our soccer game this week!

What’s good in your life this week?

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The No-Spend Month: In Review

At the beginning of the month, Jeff and I declared February a ‘no-spend month’.  Now, we’ve made it the full 28 days… so here is our thoughts:

Taleah: The first couple of days were really tough as we adjusted overnight to no TV, fast food or video games. At first, I found myself missing the noise of the television or the games in the background. But after about three days, I began to appreciate the peace.  I read books that I’d been meaning to read for a while. I knit a few rows on my shawl, but you really can’t be distracted in the middle of a row – so not much was done there. I fell in love with baking. I cooked several good meals, and a couple of terrible ones (a cautionary tale).  No fast food was tough at first too – and then we realized how often we relied on that fast food when we were busy. Now, we can make a pretty decent pizza for about three bucks – and it’s not covered in grease. Just the thought of most fast food now is a little bit disgusting, since I can make a lot of it myself now.

Originally, I thought that I’d be all motivated to deep clean the house – and that didn’t happen. As I got into a routine, I noticed that some parts of the house were cleaner and more organized – but overall… not that big of a difference.

I’m very proud that we made it through the whole month. We heard from a neighbor that he couldn’t believe we were giving up TV for a WHOLE MONTH. He had heard of people giving it up for a day, or maybe a week.. but a month? That was crazy.  And it was.  But in a good way, of course.

We’ll go back to watching tv, playing COD: Black Ops and buying the occasional slurpee. But I suspect we will do it with more discretion, that we won’t be glued for hours to the boob tube without a break. We’ll order fast food, but realize how it really doesn’t always taste as good as what we could make at home.  We saved quite a bit of money by cutting the unnecessary out of our lives this month and we’ll take a lot of that experience with us.

I call the month a success.

Jeff: Our month is over and I have to say I really didn’t miss the television.  I haven’t watched any TV nor did I really care to watch any since March has arrived.  I did miss my video games a bit, but after having a massive headache and throwing up after playing last night, I am not sure if I want to go back to it yet even.  The not spending money was kind of nice, I guess.  I don’t ever know how much money we have or should I say, don’t have.  So, that would be up to my wife to actually tell me if that really helped or hurt us at all.  It seems to me like it would, not eating out and not getting a $1.30 Slurpee every other day probably helped a bit, and might help if you look over the year of how much money that actually is.  I am still glad that we did it just to know that we could do it, and if we need to do it in the future.  Of course if my wife didn’t have the internet she might have gone insane.

(Taleah’s Note: I’m the banker in family. We didn’t chart out what the actual dollar savings were, but there was a better cushion of money at the end of each pay period. So it did help! Oh, and of course Jeff would go crazy without the internet too. How else would he spend hours and hours looking at Supreme Court cases and golf videos?)

Have you done any sort of a no-spend month? Or are you thinking about it? Let us know how it goes!

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Something Good – 2/25

Happy Friday! We make a point to look back on the week and remember something positive.

Taleah: As frustrating and upsetting (and expensive) as our car accident was, I’m so grateful that it was minor in the grand scheme of things. None of us were hurt and the car did not roll over (as the Sheriff said it could have). We are so blessed.

Jeff: I scored a goal in our soccer game this week!

P: P had her two month check up this week. While she’s a small baby, at the 23% percentile… she’s rocking the height chart at over 79%!  So her newborn pants fit her around her waist, but she’s wearing the 0-3 month sleepers because she’s so long!
What’s good in your life this week?

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Review – Name of the Wind

Last week I let you all know that I was going to re-read The Name of the Wind and write a review.  Some of you may be thinking, “wait he read a 600 page book in a week.”  No, that would be silly.  I finished it on Monday, I don’t read that slow.  Plus I have homework, biblical debates, thoughts on existentialism to expound upon, and researching supreme court cases as well as other cases in order to try and create loopholes within the system to allow us to attain some of our freedoms back that we have allowed the government to strip from us over the years in our failed social experiment of multiculturalism.  Anyway, with no further ado, I present my review of The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss.

Like I said last week I really enjoy people going through personal growth and learning about characters so that we can grow to feel their pains and their joys.  This book is an autobiography of sorts.  It starts within a present setting and then delves into the main character’s background.  We learn where it all begins for him and how he was raised up from a child.  Let me say that this is not always necessary, in quality books.  In many books we meet people at the beginning of their actual journey and we don’t need to know their entire back story right away to get it.  We can see growth and development through that journey.  In this book Rothfuss chose to start pretty much at the beginning well before the journey.  The thing that is contrary to most stories that I usually engage in, is the lack of action.  There is very little actual battle.  Also, there is very little magic.  Even simple magic.  It is eluded to, mentioned and even performed, but not really emphasized.  They don’t make a big deal out of the little magic and we rarely see the Big magic.  So, at first glance one would think I wouldn’t like this book.  Au contraire, what makes a good book in this sense is not the grandioseness of it but the subtlety of its vastness.  We get to delve into the mind of a potentially earth shattering character.  What drives him?  What brought him to where he is?  What is or was his purpose? Did he give up his life or is he biding his time before awakening anew?

I am also a fan of the first person narrative that does not delve into the minds of other characters.  We don’t know what others are thinking, we don’t know what other plans are being setup to cause his possible downfall.  We don’t have to meddle with trying to figure out the mystery that is unraveled in several characters when we are only dealing with the mind of this one.  Within this book, though, we have both aspects of character development.  We have his narrative, but also those who interact with him outside his narrative pressuring him to tell his story to them.  What is the reason for their inquiries into him?  Why is he so special?  When looking at these characters and their interactions with him, we get a better sense of where the first person narrative within the story is going and how these are setup seamlessly.  Another thing that this book does very well is create tension.  Orson Scott Card, wrote a book called How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy in that he talks about tension being essential to a good story.  By that he meant the stretching of a character and having each scene drastically different from the next.  We tend to need that in movies more than books, because movies are so brief, but in a book exposition can help for a while, but what we want is for bad things to happen, then good things, then bad things, maybe another bad thing, and then a good thing, explaining why these things are happening isn’t as important as them happening.  The Name of the Wind does this superbly, and finishing it just made me that much more anxious for The Wise Man’s Fear.

Some of you may be asking this question, “but what’s the story about?”  I am afraid that I do not answer those kind of questions.  I hate knowing anything about a story before I read it.  So, when I give a review I will not tell you what the story is necessarily about.  I will tell you if it was executed in a way that makes it worth your time to read it.  If the elements that I set forth are something that you may enjoy then go ahead and read it.  I can expound more if somebody asks, but I will not usually give away anything from a story.  You may attempt to deduce or conclude from the fact that I said it is a narrative within a story, that it is about a hero, but it could very well be a about a villain.  And to tell you the truth I don’t know yet what ideology the protagonist may hold, but it has been a wonderful journey into his mind, thus far.

Taleah’s Note: These reviews, unless otherwise noted, are books that Jeff owns or checked out the library. As much as he’d love to get his hands on new releases of fantasy (Tor, are you listening?) – these are his books :)

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