Friday, February 27, 2009

Face lift

So I gave my blog a face lift. Thoughts?

Thursday, February 26, 2009


The economy is going to crap. Wall Street is out of control. I've got no money left in my 401K (and I'm only 28). Korea still has America in it's crosshairs. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and several other conservative personalities are telling me that this is the world I've got to get used to and that it's not going to get any better. But today, I'm not worrying about those things. Today I'm not going to be cynical, depressed, angry, or irritated. Today I'm going to feel fortunate and focus on how truly blessed I am.

I'm sitting on my couch, typing away while my 9 month old son is tearing up my magazines, having the time of his life. Am I annoyed? Nope. I'm blessed. I'm blessed that I get to watch Gabriel concentrate on a task and learn. I'm blessed that I get to be at home with him every day and watch him perfect his army crawl. I'm blessed that each day he'll crawl on top of my stomach, butt his head up to mine and give me the most slobbery kiss you can imagine. I'm blessed that I have a husband that pours his blood, sweat, and tears (although I have yet to see him cry) into his job every day so we can have the life we have. I'm blessed that I can stay at home and experience all the firsts that only come with your firstborn. I'm blessed that I can go back to school and finish up a long over due master's degree so some day I can counsel people and hopefully bless their lives. I'm blessed with amazing friends that encourage me, make me laugh, and will take time out of their busy lives to enjoy a good glass of vino with me. I'm blessed to have a family that loves me, even though I was probably a really crappy, disrespectful teenager growing up, and a mother that will talk to me any day of the week, dropping everything she's doing, just to chat about how much of a genius I think my child is. She loves me that much.

Yesterday I was pessimistic. I'm not sure what tomorrow holds, but as for today, I consider myself blessed.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


All is well and quite. Gabriel is down for a nap, Michael is designing a lightbox and I'm blogging.

My parents just left from a long stay with us, well with me. They kept Gabriel and I company while Michael was busy working C3. I'm a little sad I missed out on all the amazing things that were said at C3, but I'm happy I got to spend some good, quality time with my parents. Having them all to myself made me realize how lucky I am to have two people who love me so much. Two people who would have moved mountains to help me achieve my dreams. I was able to sit down with my parents two nights in a row, after Gabriel had gone to sleep, and just reminisce on their lives as teenagers and college students. Sipping Orange Pekoe around the kitchen table, I learned some things about my parents that I didn't know. For instance, I didn't know my dad was such a scrapper in high school. Apparently he beat up his share of punks back in the day. My dad! The guy who might try to act tough on the outside, but who's a big softy underneath. And I learned that my mom and dad had very different tastes in music; my dad jabbing my mom about her folky-tree-hugging albums she owned, while my mom razzes my dad about listening to Jimmy Hendrix. It's funny how you learn to listen to your parents more after you've gotten older. How did I not know these things about my parents when I was younger?

I just wanted to jot down a note about what a great week I had with mom and dad. I certainly missed Michael a ton, but it was nice to have some time with just my folks. I love you, mom and dad.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Cook's Haiku

Oven full of food
Pulling out delicious treats
OUCH! Pass the burn cream

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Struggle

Alright, so this isn't some deep, philosophical struggle that I'm dealing with. In fact, it's probably quite stupid. Here it is. I love to sleep, as does my husband. Before Gabriel was even a glimmer, Michael and I would snooze the weekends away. Our Saturday mornings consisted of waking up around 9:30 or 10, watching an episode of Seinfeld, lazily eating a bowl of cereal, and then back to sleep we would go until about noon. It was heaven on earth. The weekends were about being lazy. And that's exactly what we were. I have no feelings of shame in regards to the life that was.

Now we're at present day. We have a wonderful 9 month old that doesn't change his routine much and gets us up promptly at the same time every morning, weekday or weekend. I'll get up with him, nurse him, feed him breakfast and play with him until about 9:30. Here is where we meet our dilemma. At 9:30, Gabriel takes a nap, for roughly an hour, every day. (I've been getting lucky lately, as we've bumped up our 45 minute routine by 15 minutes.) I am faced with the tough decision of staying up and being productive whilst my little one rests, or....going back to bed.

Now many of you may think, GO BACK TO BED. SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS. Have I mentioned that I'm also a graduate student? Which means I have massive amounts of reading to do every day that can only be accomplished when my little darling is asleep and not demanding my attention. And, let us not forget, that I'm also a mom who finds very little time to herself and one of my greatest loves, besides a quiet night with my husband and a bottle of wine, is to SLEEP. So, here is the I use the holy hour to rest and re-coop, or do I use it to squeeze in as much study time as humanly possible?

Logically, I know that I should probably use it for the latter, but selfishly I can only think about my bed being only 10 feet away, beckoning me to crawl inside my 600 thread count sheets, pull up the over sized down comforter and snuggle in for a nice morning you see why there is a battle going on inside of me? If you were in my shoes (I wear a size 10, in case you need to know if you'll fit), what would you do?

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Ah, February 14th. The day of love, flowers, chocolates, and romantic dinners. The night where men profess their love to the women in their lives and life is at an all time high.

I love you, Sarah.

I love you too, Robert.

(he gets down on one knee, opening the box containing the ring she has be waiting her whole life for.) Sarah, will you marry me?

(tears in her eyes) Oh yes, Robert, yes!

*insert screeching record here**
Riiiiiight.....In the Freeland house it works a little differently. Valentine's Day is just another day on the calendar. Michael and I have never really celebrated Valentine's Day. We don't bother with it, not to mention my husband is against buying flowers for anyone, let alone me. The thought of being expected to buy me flowers on a certain day because Hallmark tells him it's the thing to do, is repulsive. Second, both of us find it irritating that one day is set aside a year where you're supposed to declare your love for your significant other. Call me cynical, but when I said my vows almost 5 years ago, wasn't I suppose to show my husband I loved him every day of the year?

Now don't get me wrong, I love being wooed. Even though he finds it ridiculous to buy flowers that will eventually die, I enjoy receiving roses, daisies, and the like...I'll never turn those down. But I don't want my husband to give me flowers, chocolates, or ridiculously expensive jewelry because he feels obligated or guilted into it. I want him to show me he loves me intangibly and tangibly when he chooses to (preferably more than once a year!). I think this makes the gesture more genuine and appreciated all the more.

Whether your a cynic like me or you buy into the hub-bub of this commericalized holiday, Happy Valentine's Day. Hopefully your lover will continue telling you how much he/she loves you even after the 14th of February has passed. I know mine will, just not with flowers.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


In the face of tragedy, you tend to do a little soul searching. Here are a couple of things I've discovered this week.

I love my husband as much as I love to breath. I don't know how I would live with out him or how I would go on. My heart aches for two women right now that have just had to find out what this experience is like. Although this world is not the best place for us, as a heavenly reward awaits, my selfish-human nature is to cling to my spouse, my love, with all the strength I have. I want to keep him here as long as possible. I don't want a minute to go by that he doesn't know how much I love him.

Secondly, I've been reminded that family is absolutely key to getting through tragic loss. This week, I've been on the supporting end when it comes to dealing with death. It's hard to know how to support those who are grieving. What do you say? How do you help them? Do you serve as a distraction so they don't have to hone in on their loss? Or do you continually remind them how amazing their loved one was and how they're in a better place? Is that the right thing to say? Maybe you say nothing at all and stay close by to catch the falls and the tears.

Grief is but a chapter that must be read in the book of life. Sometimes it pops up several times throughout the novel. Other times, it just appears at the end. My prayer is that I won't be seeing another chapter like this one for a long time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Wrapped in Chains

This is from a posting I did almost 2 years ago about Forgiveness. I was reflecting on it today and thought I would re-post to see if anyone had any new insight about it. Recently I posted about how it's hard to do things in love. How hard is it to do things in love when your foot is stuck in unforgiveness?

Several years ago, our pastor did a sermon series called, “The Real ‘F’ Word.” This word was “forgiveness,” a word and an idea that I struggle with. I’m sure those reading my post have probably never struggled with forgiving someone who has wronged you…

Being a Christ-follower, I am instructed to forgive others. Jesus tells us in Matthew that we are turn the other cheek rather than take an eye for an eye. We are to even love our enemies. What a strange theology to hold in this day of stepping on whoever and burning what ever bridge you have to, to get what you want. He (Jesus) says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” - Matthew 5:38-42. (NIV)

Jesus goes onto say, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect.” - Matthew 5:43-48. (NIV)

So first we are to turn the other cheek to those who offend us, and then we are to love them as well? This seems like an impossibility. How do we forgive the friend we trusted that stabbed us in the back? How do we forgive the parent that made our childhood a nightmare? How do we forgive a boss who belittles and is unappreciative? How do we forgive a spouse that cheats? I’m not saying that I have experienced all or any of these things, but maybe you have. So where is the hope? My answer is, Jesus Christ. I have seen supernatural behavior (that is behavior that had to be ordained by God) from people that have been absurdly treated. They have been able to speak of their offenders with love and compassion, and not fall victim to the evil one’s (Satan’s) plan for destruction. They have learned from these incidents and have grown as a result of them. Instead of being viewed as martyrs, I see them as teachers. It gives me hope that Christ enables me to take on the mantle of forgiveness and not be tethered to unforgiveness when dealing with issues where I have been wronged. Unforgiveness will eat your lunch. It causes you to harbor resentment, anger, bitterness and sadness, just to name a few. How can this be beneficial for the soul? Soon you distance yourself from your friends, your family and even God.

I want to encourage you, if you are reading this, to give forgiveness a chance. Our time here on earth is far too precious to be wasted away thinking of revenge, retaliation and retribution. I’m not saying that Christ calls us to be doormats. He does however teach us to forgive others, to seek our counsel wisely and to MOVE. Moving may look like this: being a bit more careful about who your chose as as your closest confidant. Maybe it’s having a healthy open conversation with a parent. Maybe it’s taking a leap of faith and sharing with your employer how they make you feel, even if you might get fired. Maybe it’s seeking a Christian counselor for you and your spouse. Maybe doing just one of these things will bring you closer to forgiveness. I don’t know all the answers, but I do know that Christ calls us to live a live worth living for Him and that includes forgiving one another as we have been forgiven by our Heavenly and Eternal Father. It is a bitter pill to swallow at times. My journey through forgiveness has just begun. But, I will continue to strive to be more like Christ who took on MY sins and the sins of the world, forgiving me and you, and building the bridge we need to reach our Father in Heaven. Rid yourself of the chains and the bondage of unforgiveness. Forgive your neighbor, or maybe even yourself, as Christ has forgiven us.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Just say what you mean!

I'm trying to prepare for my Psychopathologies class tonight and find myself frustrated. Why is it that all textbooks have to read like a Swedish instruction manual? (And no, I'm not talking about the ones from IKEA...) We've been instructed to read 4 texts for this class and so far, two of the four could be considered torture devices. Here's just a snippet of what I'm talking about.

"Whether the transfer of authority is due to language and legislation, a shift from modernity to postmodernity, the role words play in shaping our character or all of the above, what keeps Christians in the mental health field from drawing on the language and explanatory framework of sin?" - Modern Psychopathologies, pg.93

WHAT??? I had to re-read this 3 times and OUT LOUD just to make sure this was a real sentence. The WHOLE book reads like this.

Now I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent person (some may disagree), but why can't we just say what we mean when writing textbooks? Why does everything have to be a Thesaurus Challenge? I'm all about learning new words, new phrases, and new ideas, but smashing 35 of these things all together in one paragraph can be a bit intimidating. And when I find myself intimidated, it's hard for me to attack assignments with any type of fervor. It's hard to get myself motivated to read paragraph after paragraph and chapter after chapter when I know I'm going to have to re-read sentences 3-4 times to grasp their meaning.

So far, I'm achieving an A average in grad school....but when I struggle with something like this, I have to ask myself, "Am I cut out for this?"