Sunday, July 28, 2013

Into the Woods

I have been going into the mountains a lot lately.  I went the last two weekends and I'm going again this weekend.  I just feel like there's too much going on around me.  Too much noise.  Too much busy.  Too much entertainment.
I'm tired of being entertained.  I think because this past year was so difficult for me I've turned to television and the internets more than I care to admit.  Sometimes I think you just have to numb yourself to make it through the end of the day.  Well, it worked and I have been good and numb.  But now it's time to come back to life and quit wasting it away.
(Speaking of back to life)
Totally off topic side note:  you know how Igloo got really into zombies 10 years ago, but now they're mainstream?  Everyone is talking about the zombie apocalypse these days.  So we watched a zombie movie last night because all our friends recommended it.  Neither of us liked it and we realized that its like when Fran Drescher said, "fuh shizzle" and "shizzle" stopped being cool.
That has happened to zombies.  They're officially overplayed.
That and we're snobs.

So I've been pondering on all the esoteric questions that have plagued man for centuries.  The scientist part of my brain wants to know and understand the mind of God, as if that were somehow attainable at this point in my life.  And I find myself perplexed and angry that my puny little mortal mind doesn't understand all His ways. Why DO all these young mothers keep dying?  Why do other people's choices have to hurt me so much?  How exactly does the atonement work for ______ particular situation?  And why the heck am I being trusted to teach a bunch of little children the gospel of Jesus Christ when my own understanding is so limited??

So I went into the woods to ask God about these things and would like to share what He told me.
He said to stop spending do much time worrying about how the tree grows.  Trust that God knows how it grows and spend more time enjoying the beauty of the leaves and the bark and the shade.  God has time to worry about all these things, but I don't.

Maybe you're thinking, "well, duh!" because you're more enlightened than I.  Congratulations!  Hard advice for this curious and prideful mind, but I felt like it was deeply important so I wanted to share it with someone else who needed to hear it.  You know who you are. (I wish I did...)

With this I'm not trying to say we shouldn't thirst for more knowledge and understanding.  But to realize that sometimes we learn more when we stop asking and just observe and be.

So this week I'm hoping my venture into the woods will consist of less pondering and staring with furrowed brow and include more naps and hikes and marshmallows and deep inhalations of fresh mountain air.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Facts of Life Conversation With Munchkin

Munchkin is in a super inquisitive phase right now.  She wants to know everything about everything.  In fact, when you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she says she wants to study everything. And be a zoologist.  Who studies everything.
I've noticed the past couple of days she's been drawing pictures of pregnant women.
(I like the little stick figure fetus in there.)
So it wasn't surprising when earlier today she asked, "mommy, do babies come out of your belly button?"
"Um, no."
"Then where do they come out?"
"Well, there's a place between your legs that women push them out from."
Pause.
"You mean your bum?!"
"No, it's another hole.  Near your bum."
"You mean where I PEE?!"
"No.  It's between those.  It's called your vagina."
"Oh.  Can I see it?"
"Well, no.  Not really. Like you can't see your bum."
"Can I see a picture?"
"No, sweetie.  That's why we call them private parts.  If you saw someone else's then it wouldn't be private, would it?"
"Not on a real person!!!"  (Duh, mom) "I mean will you draw a picture?"
"Ummmm...no.  Here.  Lets find a picture in this book..."   
I then proceeded to grab our American Medical Guide because its the only book I could think of that we had that had some kind of illustration of female anatomy.
"Now, this is what a girl would look like if you cut her in half..."
"They cut her in half?!!!  Why would they do that!?"
"No.  IF.  It's pretend."
I think you get the gist of it.  We talked a little about how boys are different, but luckily she didn't ask anything more about how it all happens (thank you!).  She was content with a part from the mommy and a part from the daddy.  She asked about babies being born and she asked about God.
My favorite question though was the one I didn't have answer for...
"Mommy..." (in an annoyed tone) "why do girls have to be the ones to have the babies?"
Then she answered it herself.
"I know!  It's because we're mammals and we make the milk to feed them!"

Smarty pants.
Although I really don't see why men can't have the babies and then give them to us to feed.  
Just sayin'.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Small or Not So Small?

I've been debating an addition lately.  I have a lot of friends buying homes right now and I look at the pictures or walk through their homes and feel that stab of envy.
If you live in a small house, you know it isn't easy.  Especially with kids.  Never mind the amazing amounts of stuff from Outer Mongolia that accumulates, one bathroom is hard when someone has a bladder disease.  And when it's hot out (and I don't have central air) I long for a basement.  I also like the idea of my kids being able to have friends over to our house and have it be more comfortable for everyone.
So I sat down with my grid paper and pencil and designed an addition for our home.  If I could just add a bathroom, I think I would.  But that makes no sense for resale (and that is important, I know).  Plus if you're already digging and doing the work, it makes more financial sense to add a bedroom.  So I designed a master suite with some stairs that lead to a basement family room.  A basement made sense since we'd already be paying digging and footings.  It only ends up costing about 5K more for an unfinished basement.  That's what the internet told me.
All told it would be an additional 500 to 600 sqft.  That would take my house from 900 to 1500 sqft.  A not so small house.
It blows my mind that 1500 is considered on the small side...but that's for another post.
Do I want to deal with this?
The cost? The hassle?  We evaluated adding on vs. moving and adding on wins out in the cost department.  I think they're tied for the headache department.  
Still....
I keep coming back to this:
That's right.  The tiny house.  I. Just. Love them.
And my kids love them too.  When I'm being honest with myself, the main reason I want an addition is so other people are more comfortable with my small house.  That and the bathroom, but we're managing so far.  But really, I just want one of these tiny houses.
Is that the best use of money?  Probably not.  An addition will add more value to the property.  Plus with a tiny house I'll want to take it camping, which means I'll need a truck, which means I'll have to pay for owning a truck.
But I don't really need either.
I don't think it's bad to want more space, I really don't.  We're surrounded by that.  But I just look at my friends who live in small apartments with their kids and make it work in smaller homes than mine.  Maybe they worry that none of their kids' friends never want to come over to their place... maybe not.  Do they even want their kids hanging out with snobby people like that?  What about when family comes to visit?
What say you, small house friends?  Is it really that big of a deal?  If you had 50K (or a big ol pay raise) would you get a bigger place?  Or pay off your existing one?  I don't have 50K.  I wish I did, but unfortunately it's a make believe question.