Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What Smells in Here? ~ Guest Blogging Day

Image "Potpourri used for Aromatherapy" Courtesy of Serge Bertasius/freedigitalphotos.net
 ...and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, 
an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.  
Ephesians 5:2 NASB
I've been reading a lot lately about essential oils and their healing properties.  Having suffered from migraines and anxiety myself, in addition to having a daughter with special needs; anxiety, high blood pressure, kidney problems, and sensory issues~I've been attracted to "homeopathic" or more "natural" remedies for some of our health issues.
What's interesting to me is that, just as "too much of a good thing is still too much" with aromatherapy, so it is with our witnessing to others about Christianity.  In the passage above, the Ephesians are instructed to walk in love and be a fragrant aroma of Christ's love and sacrifice. Fragrant is most often defined as "sweet-smelling".  That conjures up images of a SOFT smell, or a LIGHT scent.
With essential oil aromatherapy, one comes to learn that while lavender might be beneficial to those who suffer from migraines, TOO MUCH lavender can also TRIGGER migraines.  
We must be cautious about HOW MUCH is TOO MUCH for certain people...
But how do we know?  How do we know that we aren't going to overdose on evangelism?  How do we know when to stop so we don't push a friend, family member or acquaintance AWAY from us and God rather than toward God.
Continue reading on Comfort in the Midst of Chaos...

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Homesick...

We've almost been living out West for a year now already.  Wow...that REALLY went fast. 

In that time, I have been homesick twice...not too shabby, if you ask me. 

The first time it happened was back in January, and the second was today. 


Now, I'm not writing about it to make anyone feel bad.  I'm writing about it because I have thought about WHY I'm feeling the way that am, and I'm writing about it so that others who may TOTALLY get what I'm talking about can know that they were not, are not, and will never be alone.

Here's the thing about moving 1800 miles away from home.  NO ONE KNOWS YOU. 
  • No one says, "That's sooooo 'Tammie.'" 
  • No one says, "This is a job for Tammie."
  • No one says, "If only Tammie were here right now." 
  • No one says, "We need someone to paint the sign!  Quick, call Tammie."
Here's the other thing about moving 1800 miles away from home.  NO ONE KNOWS WHO YOU ARE ASIDE FROM BEING YOUR CHILD'S MOTHER.

No one here would call me spontaneous, fun-loving, willing to help, or adventurous-even though I am.  
  • Here, they ONLY know that Tammie can't stay too long because Evie isn't comfortable here.  
  • Here, they only know that Tammie needs things planned ahead of time so she can prepare Evie so Evie doesn't have a meltdown.  
  • Here, they only know that Tammie talks about WAGR Syndrome aaaaaaaaallll the time; but really, that's because everyone in our old hometown has been learning about WAGR for 10 years along side of us; so they don't really have anymore questions to ask in Mount Horeb, WI.  (If you have a child with WAGR and are moving to WI, high-tail it to Mount Horeb...they will have no questions left!)  :):):)  I don't MIND answering the questions...but sometimes you DO feel like it's all you talk about, AND you want people to know that it's NOT the only thing you CAN talk about.
People here don't know what my dream job would be if money and reality were no object.  Easy! Singing and dancing in a musical.  I'd be shuffling off to Buffalo and time-stepping while singing "Meet Me in St. Louis" in a heart beat.

People here don't know that I used to re-write songs using the features and benefits of our new Victoria's Secret bras to train our employees when a new bra was launched.  I'll sing Body By Victoria to "Staying Alive" by the BeeGees for you anytime!   How about English Lace to "Wanna Be" by the Spice Girls?

People here don't know that in my spare time I like to draw and paint.  Do I ever do it?  No, because I have no spare time.
  • If you needed an answer to an 80s or 90s trivia question, who is your phone-a-friend?  Tammie.
  • If you wanted to take a pole-dancing class, but you didn't want to take it alone, who would you call?  Tammie.
  • If you had the urge for Grumpy Troll, you called Tammie.
  • If you needed to go shoe shopping, you called Tammie.
I have homesickness figured out.  It's all mathematical.  

When you have lived in the same town for 13 years, you have gotten together with friends for dinner, drinks, movies, Bible studies...etc, a LOT of times.  You can easily miss a dinner or a Bible study and really not feel like you've missed anything.  Afterall, you have been present and accounted for twelve of the last times you've all gotten together.  No.Big.Deal.

But right now, I don't have the NUMBER of times on my side.  AND, I don't have the ability to be present and accounted for as often because we don't have THAT many people to fall back on for childcare.  So, when I can only really BE THERE one out of four times, suddenly I find that I'm JUST getting caught up, and then I miss something, and I'm behind again. 

It's like trying to bring up your GPA when you're failing a class.  Maintaining a higher GPA is easier than raising up from the bottom of the grading scale.  I'm working at it, but it.is.tough.

So, that's my theory.  I haven't been homesick that many times considering how long we've been out here and how far away we are.  But, when it hits, it hits hard.  Realizing that it's a matter of mathematics has actually helped because that means I CAN survive.  I WILL have enough SHARED experiences, eventually, to help me feel like I'm not a fish out of water. 

I guess today, Dory from Finding Nemo would like my analogy.  She would wink at me and say, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming." 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Why the New "Full House" may NOT Work for Us~WAGR Wednesday

I'm listening to Evie upstairs... 

It's been a bad 1/2 hour.  Just 45 minutes ago, I was watching her sit in the recliner with her legs tossed carelessly over the arm in a "regular kid" kind of way.  She had her iPad in hand and was watching "Sam and Cat."

"Do you want to watch that on the Apple TV?"  I asked.  

"No, I just want to watch my iPad."  

Ok...no big deal.

        Until...

"Mommy, can we watch "Sam and Cat" on the Apple TV by mirroring?"  

Now, for any Apple households out there, that didn't sound like a foreign language.  But, for those who don't know, the Apple TV allows you to watch things from your iDevices on your TV...you can simply watch the videos and TV shows on there through your iTunes accounts.  That's what we normally do. 

However, what Evie was requesting was a feature called "mirroring" where you can transpose your iDevice screen onto your TV via the Apple TV.  So, either way, you could watch something on your TV that you would normally watch on your iPad.

Except tonight it wouldn't work. 

The iPad was giving us some message about the show being protected and couldn't be "shared" onto the Apple TV.  No problem, right?  Nope.  BIG PROBLEM.  She didn't want to just watch her show on Apple TV...she wanted it MIRRORED!!!

Seriously, watching it ON the Apple TV rather than mirroring?~It would have looked the same, sounded the same, lasted the same amount of time.  It would have been EXACTLY the same. 

But not to Evie.

      Because of anxiety.

            Because of WAGR.  

Because something happened today, or happened over the past two or three days which built up, and built up, and built up into one great big colossal meltdown. 

We went from Snow White dancing 
while the bluebirds perched on her shoulder 
to the girl in Poltergeist spewing vomit 
while her head spun around 
in a split second.

So, this takes me to why the new "Full House" on Netflix just might not work for us.  It may...don't get me wrong.  We'll give it a shot...but, I'm preparing myself for the disappointment.

First, if the entire cast is not there, we will be asked over and over again WHERE the missing characters are.  "Why isn't Joey there?"  "What happened to Rebecca Donaldson?"  "Why is there no Comet?"  As we try to answer the questions we will be missing the entire new episode which will lead to even greater confusion. 

Secondly, the actors, if the same actors return, will have aged and may be unrecognizable.  Did any of you parents out there live through the changing of the Marinas on "Fresh Beat Band?"  You know what I'm talking about!  Let's face it, we KNOW that Jesse and Rebecca's twins won't look the same, and we know that DJ will not likely have married Steve...

Thirdly, they won't all live together.  Even now, Evie watches, with great angst, the episode where Jesse and Rebecca consider moving out on their own.  "Where will they go?"  "Are they going to move, Mommy?"  "Where will Jesse live?"

Ev, you have seen this episode a number of times, 
you KNOW they don't move out.

So, as much as I'd like to believe that the new Netflix continuation of "Full House" will be a thrilling event in our home, I have my reservations.  Evie's brain gets into nervous knots, and the best way to untangle them is with things that are familiar and repetitive and predictable.  Life rarely appeases that need.  But, we try to safely introduce new and exciting things which can eventually become familiar and predictable as well. 

Well, it's now an hour later.  Things are a bit quieter upstairs.  I still hear her crying.  I still hear her trying to talk herself into a comfortable place in her brain.  In the midst of the meltdown I gave her medicine and Daddy has brushed her teeth, given her eye drops.  She's been back downstairs to apologize for hitting me and having a tantrum, because she "really misses Peppa [Pig] and really can't go to bed without watching an episode."  

She's slept in a hotel, traveled hundreds of miles to San Francisco to be examined and have bright lights shined in her eyes, been talked about regarding her vision, been to the cardiologist and had her weight, her heart surgery discussed, been up early and in bed late, and been to school where they are prepping for major testing next week.  I KNOW this kid is under stress.  I wish I could take it all away from her and tell her that she'll never have to worry about another doctor taking pictures of her heart, or her belly, or her eyes...but I can't.  

I can't help but to be there and to let her watch a "Peppa Pig" episode despite her behavior, because it's the best thing for her soul right now~that...a maybe mommy or daddy saying in that "Full House" sort of way:  

I'm there for you, Babe.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

My 50 Shades of Infidelity ~ Guest Blogging Day

Photo "Bottle of Wine with Two Glasses" Courtesy of Marin/freedigitalphotos.net
Finally, brothers and sisters, 
whatever is true, whatever is noble, 
whatever is right, whatever is pure, 
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
think about such things.  
Philippians 4:8 NIV

YES!  

It's time to pick up my daughter from school.  I grab my iPad Mini off the counter top and skip out the door.  I can hardly wait to get to the front door of the school so I can stand in my regular "waiting for the bell to ring" spot and open up my digital copy of "the book."   You know, the one EVERYONE was talking about?

Holy cow, look at the time!  1:30 AM...when was the last time I saw 1:30 AM?  And to think it's because I'm reading a book...

Oh.my.goodness...I'm exhausted.  I stayed up WAY too late reading.  Now I can hardly keep my eyes open...well...except to jump back into the story starring Ana and Christian.  

Technically, I think it's called a "50 Shades" hang-over.

Continue reading on Comfort in the Midst of Chaos...

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