Mairsy Dotes

"No faith is as solid as a wounded faith."

So… January 31, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 12:18 pm

I’ve got an interview with a church. I love this church. There’s always been something about this church that calls to me–even when I was in junior high school, and the idea of being a pastor wasn’t even on my radar’s radar. I have a mole in the congregation, and she called and said that the head of the call committee came to visit her and said the only concern the call committee had about me was my lack of experience (3 years) when I’m up against people who have been in the ministry for 20.

It sort of pissed me off. I wanted to point out that, actually, since I served 3 VERY different congregations, I actually have NINE years of experience. I wanted to point out that someone who has been in the ministry for 20 years is probably eyeing retirement in the very near future, thereby leaving this congregation right back in the needing a pastor place they are now. I wanted to point out that in some ways it’s foolish to compare experience in the form of years when it comes to ministry–that it’s perfectly possible for someone who’s been in minstry three years to have done more than someone who’s been in the ministry for 20 years. For example, I stopped counting the number of funerals I’ve done when I got to 30–in my first year in Kansas. I’ve had extensive experience with crisis ministry. I can preach FAR better than almost any one (I know that sounds arrogant, but it’s not. It’s simply an acknowledgement of a gift I’ve been given. I’m blonde. I’m opinionated. I’m a woman. And I’m a preacher.) I know.

So I’m a little nervous. Mole says I shouldn’t be, because as soon as I open my mouth in the interview I’ll knock the call committee’s socks off, and she knows with everything in her that I’m the pastor her congregation needs.

My mom’s suggestion? To be a little reserved, and not as enthusiastic. What?!? I’m sorry, but if I were on a call committee, and I interviewed a candidate who was reserved and not enthusiastic, I’d think: hmmm, they don’t seem particuarly excited about this call. I think we’ll pass. I really don’t get why my mother’s first avenue of advice is always to not act like myself. To be something other than what I am. To tone myself down. It always has been–it took me years of living very far away from her to let me be comfortable being who I am. Loud. Gregarious. Engaging. Enthusiastic. Direct. All those things that she thinks I should somehow subvert in order to get what I want. She said the same thing when I was dating–my thought has always been how unfair it must be to fall in love with someone who presents themselves as one thing, and then reveals themselves to be something else. Either as a lover, or a pastor.

*sigh* And M and I are misfiring. We can’t seem to spend any time together, and when we do, we just bicker. I’m frusterated because he’s not prepping for his comps like I wish he would, and I’m frustrated because he blames having to watch the girls for that, and I’m frustrated because I’ve watched him watch the girls, and it apparently involves his playing his Nintendo DS for hours in his massage chair while the girls crawl around on the floor and watch videos. Then he tells me he needs “me time”–to the one who works 40 hours a week, who never gets to see her kids, who tries to help out with the kids as much as she can when she IS home, and the only “me time” she gets is if she sneaks off to work a half hour early so she can pick up tampons at Target and grab a cinnamon dulce latte at Starbucks.

I feel like we need to have a fight. A nice, big, loud fight to clear the air. But I refuse to fight in front of my parents, because then my mother is right there, whispering in my ear, wondering if M is unmotivated, and how he doesn’t seem to take care of the girls as well as I take care of the girls, and she just feeds and feeds and feeds the whole situation.



…and you smell like one, too! January 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 12:11 pm

Well. It’s happened. Today, my sweet Nea, turns FOUR.

How did this happen? It seems like just yesterday we drove home in an icestorm from Manhattan, Kansas–crawling along at about 20 miles per hour, with the heater and defroster going full-blast because M was so worried that Linnea (safely tucked into her bucket seat, with a fleece pajama, fleece bucket-seat liner, hat, AND a blanket) would catch a chill, and me continually popping up to peek over the back of my seat to make sure that she was all right. She was fine. She slept through the whole thing.

It seems like just yesterday that my parents drove in that same ice storm from the Kansas City airport to our parsonage in the Middle of Nowhere in order to greet their first grandchild, and proud and excited: I placed my baby girl in her grandpa’s arms for the very first time. Later that night, we celebrated her arrival with sphaghetti and wine. And later that night she celebrated her arrival with a diaper full of meconium. Yum!

But it wasn’t yesterday. It was actually four years ago. And in those four years we’ve moved twice, had another baby, made multiple trips to Texas, and two trips to the “oh-shun”. I’ve watched my sweet baby turn into a whip-smart little girl, and God learned that placed the biggest heart in humanity in her tiny chest. She is generous, she is giving, she is protective, and she is loving. She is funny, and she LOVES to tell knock-knock jokes. Now, on a daily basis, I get to see my baby hurtle herself into her grandfather’s arms, shrieking, “Gwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaampaaaaaaaaaaaa!” as she goes. She started asking “Why is the sky blue and why are clouds white?” and for the time being she is satisfied with my answer, “Because God knew we would love them that way.”

She’s potty trained (finally!) and nuk-free as of Sunday night. She gave all her nuks to my cousin’s newborn. She was remarkably OK with it, until bedtime when she pitifully asked, ‘Can I hide under your covers and cry for a little while? I’m just so SAD without my nuk!’ Monday night’s bedtime? No problem. We should have de-nuked years ago. All her vestigages of babyhood are gone. Now she’s a bike-riding, Leapster playing, joke telling Big Kid.

I miss the baby, but I’m loving the girl. Happy Birthday, Pete. Mama loves you like crazycakes.


Heart like a lion January 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 4:30 pm

First of all: many apologies for not getting in here sooner to update you on my Boogalicious. I worked a 9-day stretch (of mostly closing shifts) and had doctors appointments in the morning so really: no time or energy to get in here.

Last Wednesday, we had Sarah’s echocardiogram.

The first time I ever saw her heart? I was 6 or 7 weeks pregnant. I had a diagnostic ultrasound to see how far along I was in the pregnancy. At the time, Boog was little more than an eggsack with a heartbeat. That heart beat was little more than a vibration…a flutter on the ultrasound screen. But I saw it. It was there. And I knew that my baby was strong.

A week later, I started bleeding. We got to see it again–unexpectedly. Boog was a little less eggsacky, and a lot more weird looking creaturey, but that heartbeat was still there: strong and sure, vibrating and thrumming, and assuring me that my baby was fine–strong.

I got to see Sarah on many ultrasounds through the pregnancy…I lost count, I had so many. And toward the end, I got put on bedrest and had near daily stress tests: I learned the sound of her heart. Shooom. Shooom. Shoooom. Shoooom. We have a recording of Linnea’s heartbeat, and a recording of Sarah’s. I can tell which fetal heartbeat belongs to which baby just by listening. This is some of what it means to be a mother.

So when I saw Sarah’s heart on the echocardiogram last week, it was in a similar darkened room as all my other ultrasounds. I was there with the same nervous anticipation. And I saw the same heart on the monitor–except this time: the heart was outside my body. And it was much bigger. I could see valves–large holes, opening and closing, sending the blood and oxygen my small daughter needed to fuel her rage at the radiologist for subjecting her to the indignity of the echocardiogram, and me for holding her down and letting him do it. I sang to her…blew raspberries on her tummy…tried distracting her with toys…none of it worked. She screamed, and thrashed, and cried, and hollered. She shot the radiologist multiple looks of death. She wasn’t sure if she wanted me to comfort her, or leave her alone. Someone came and closed the door so we wouldn’t disturb other patients in the area.

When we were done, we were all sweaty, tense, disheveled, and a little worn out. But the radiologist smiled and said, ‘Structurally, her heart is perfect. It’s strong. It’s good. And if something was wrong with her heart, she wouldn’t have been able to pitch a fit of that size for that amount of time without passing out or exhausting herself.”

That’s my girl: heart like a lion. Strong. Perfect. Beautiful.

Thanks be to God.


So…damn. January 14, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 11:49 pm

They’ve decided they know who modeled for the Mona Lisa. Why can’t we just let a mystery stand? What is it about humanity that causes us to try and constantly figure things out? I thought it was much more interesting to ponder who the mysterious Mona Lisa was–knowing? Not nearly as intriguing.

At Sarah’s 6-month checkup, the doctor found a heart murmur. He said it was slight, and we’d wait and see what it sounded like at her 9-month check. That was today. It’s still there. He’s sending her in for an echocardiogram on Wednesday. He assured me that her heart is functioning normally, but that he wants to know the nature of the murmur so he can treat it as effectively as possible–if treatment is even necessary.

Rationally? I know my baby is fine. I know it like I know M and I were created to be together. I know it like I know the shape of Linnea’s hands, or Sarah’s eyes. I know it.

And yet.

My mind keeps giving me images I’d be much happier without–her sweet, perfect little chest cracked open with a livid scar running down it, for example, and that’s a perferable one. I feel like I should just take some of M’s Zoloft, just to get me through Wednesday without completely losing my mind. If it worked instantaneously, I probably would.

And I feel a bit betrayed by all the other doctors that have examined her in the hospital and didn’t find the murmur. And I feel a bit betrayed by the doctor who DID find it–I want to say, “Well nobody ELSE heard it, so it’s probably not there.” And over all of it is a fear that God is going to take our sweet Boog away from us, and then I have no idea what I’d do. There’s not enough scream in this world to get a hurt like that out.

So…damn. Damn.


Ahhh…feeling so competent! January 13, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 12:51 pm

M is off doing pulpit supply this morning, and Mom and Dad are out of town skiing with my brothers (well, dad and my brothers are skiing, Mom is hanging out with one of my brother’s girlfriends, sizing her up as a potential daughter-in-law, so you know: an excruciating weekend for Teresa). But because I can’t handle both girls by myself in church on Sunday, and Nea has decided that she’s not a baby and doesn’t need to be in nursery anymore, and Sarah WON’T go to nursery under any circumstances: I’m home with the chirrens. I’ve gotten them both fed, dressed, the house tidied, dinner planned, and Sarah down for a nap. I almost never have them by myself because of work, so I’m always a little surprised that I’m as competent a mother as I am. Yay me! 🙂

One of my dearest friends in all the world has just shared with me that she’s pregnant. She just got married in September, and I knew they weren’t going to wait to start trying (she’s 35, so the clock was definitely ticking), so this is such fabulous news. 🙂 She’s Nea’s godmother, and she and our bestman were Sem classmates of ours. This week was our 5 years class reunion, and they were there (we were not) and she said, “I’m sorry I’m telling you in an email, but Brad keeps pestering me to go out drinking, and I can’t, and he won’t believe that I just don’t feel like it, so I’m going to have to tell him but I’ll be damned if he’s going to get to know before you do.” See? That’s why I love her. Because she knows that I’d be ticked if Brad knew before me. Not seriously, but still: a little squiffed. And she gets that, and she gets why, and it doesn’t even seem strange to her.

She is my first really close friend to get pregnant. And I’m so happy for her. As I’ve been taking care of the girls this weekend, I’ve found myself getting really emotional about motherhood–how good, and how hard, and how blessed, and how mind bending, and how sweet, and how tender, and how loud and how rowdy and how magical and how ordinary it all is. Only for my children would I wipe a bottom without grimace. Only for my children would I haul my exhausted ass out of bed four or five times a night to snuggle, nurse, nuk-hunt, tell stories, close closet doors, check for monsters under the bed, or even just stand in their bedroom door and listen to their sleep-breathing fill the room. The beauty of my children quite literally takes my breath away…the features they share with me seem far more beautiful on their faces than on mine, the features they get from some unknown ancestor become dearly familiar. In them, I see the Biblical concept of M and my “one fleshedness” given life. Here we see his slightly squinty right eye replicated right next to my dimples and blonde hair. Here we see his determination and focus coupled with my love of laughter. It’s amazing to see. I’ve said it before, but I wonder if parents ever get over this blind adoration of their children. This delight in the most mundane of acheivements, and near ecstacy over acheivements their children struggled to get to. If they ever lose the surge of joy when their child comes and snuggles close, burrowing under an arm or resting their head on their parents shoulder. If they ever get over that knowledge that if their child EVER needed ANYTHING: they would move heaven and earth to get it for them.

I think, given my current living situation, I can safely say: they don’t. Or rather: mine didn’t. On a near daily basis, I see them coming to the rescue of me, or one of my brothers. Some days: all three of us at the same time.

I had NO idea how completely motherhood would change me. How things that seemed so important prior to motherhood sort of fade into insignificance, while other things–things that weren’t even on my radar–would take their place. I had no idea how much motherhood would hold a mirror up to my most embarassing character deficits. I had no idea that I could go from shame at my deficits to absolute triumph over my ability to get BOTH children down for a nap at the same time within minutes.

So, my beloved friend? You’re in for one hell of a ride. This ride will cost you a lot. But it gives you so much more in return! Blessings to you and the wee peanut. We love you like mad. ~familia beege


Speaking of fat… January 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 5:20 pm

So, working where I do, I run into all sorts of women with varying degrees of body issues. One thing I’ve learned? A 4 and a 3X have the exact same problems–nobody carries clothes that fit them. And that the teeny-tiny women are by far more likely to be the ones that have issues with their bodies. The larger women? For the most part: they’re at peace with their curves, their dimples, their rounded softness. They may speak  of days when they only had one chin, or when they could fit into a single-digit size–but it’s generally with an air of amused acceptance.

The other night though? I helped a woman who was so far away from being at peace with her body that I felt quite sorry for her. She was big, but not huge. But apparently she used to be quite tiny. I got to hear about how when she was a freshman in high school she was 98 lbs, and when she was married she was 118 (but thought she was fat because her ‘ideal’ weight was 110), she told me about how her jeans never rested against her belly because her hip bones stuck out, and how now she’s got the “upper arm wings” and can’t wear tight clothing, etc. She was so clearly miserable, that I felt quite a lot of pity for her.

Me? I weigh more than I want to. But I can only remember ONE time in my entire life when I didn’t weigh more than I wanted to–and that was when I’d dieted myself down to a size 6 by only eating a maximum of 1000 calories a day. Once I started eating like a normal person, the weight all came back. And while I’m not significantly larger now than I was pre-pregnancies and childbirths, EVERYTHING is stretched out. Anne Lamott says her stretched out belly lies beside her in bed at night like a beloved pet. Mine, too, Anne.

But you know? I don’t hate my body. It is what it is. It’s basically healthy, it’s carried two children to healthy and successful deliveries. My husband loves it, and can’t believe that I let him play with it on a semi-regular basis. It’s strong, and lets me do the things I want to do. Would I like it if it weighed a few less pounds? Of course. But I’m miles ahead of that woman in the store the other night. Maybe because I only had the flat tummy and hip bones for a little while? And even then it was with a sort of astonished disbelief that THAT body in the mirror was mine–hungry, cranky, but hot. I never really accepted it as mine. So maybe that’s why big women are more accepting of their curves. I celebrate the fact that I’ve got fabulous cleavage and fabulous hips. And I don’t feel guilty for taking a big bite out of life–sometimes literally. 🙂 You only go around once. It seems a shame to spend that time counting calories and feeling guilty about the cookie you have with your lunch.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this entry, only that the sad woman has stayed with me for the last few days. I think of her telling me all that she wears to try and hide her belly (which is a total losing battle, once you get to a certain size), and I think that if she would just stop obsessing about where she was 20 or 30 years ago, accept where she is now, and work with the body she has: she’d be so much happier. And I realize that there’s a lot more to a body than how society tells us it should look. There’s plenty of cancer patients who weigh less than 100 lbs, and I’m sure they’d give anything to have my full-figured, healthy, strong, capable body.

Just something I’ve been thinking about.

Needless spending: still at $0. But before I get all smug: I’ve not gone ANYWHERE to shop, and I’ve left all my cards, checks, etc. at home when I go to work. I have enough to get something next door at Starbucks if I want, and that’s about it. I’m struggling, though, with all the new spring things. We have to try them on, because we have to know how they fit so we can share that information with our customer. So (returning to my alcoholic working in a liquor store analogy) it’s like telling the alky they need to just have sips of the liquor so they can tell customers what it tastes like. Snort. Now I know how they fit, how cute they are, which ones look particularly flattering on me—argh! But I will be strong. I will. Mostly because I have no other choice. 🙂


If there’s a better tasting fat than pig fat… January 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 12:00 am

…I don’t know what it is. M made a pork roast last night for dinner, and I nearly denuded the poor thing by picking off the crispy, brown, fat that lay on the top. It was delightful. Mmmmm. I’m a big fan of pig. Pork chops,  pork roast, pork tamales, pork ribs….BACON. Don’t even get me started on bacon. I’ve waxed plenty eloquent on my abiding passion for the BLT…preferibly heavy on the B and light-to-nonexistant on the T. 🙂 With Hellman’s/BestFoods mayo? Lord. SO good.

So my mom signed the entire family up for a “financial fitness” class. I was dragging my feet about going. I took a quiz once about what my financial personality was, and I’m an ostrich. This means, I stick my head in the sand and sing the “Star Spangled Banner” real loud whenever money discussions come up, because frankly: I don’t wanna know. But it was really good. There are three more weeks to go, and I’m glad we’re doing it. There’s no good reason why finances should scare me, but they do. So I’m hoping this helps me get over that. Between this and my no spending fast, I should be a new woman in no time. 😉

Speaking of no spending: I wore my new sweater to work the other day. Zach, who works for us, stopped cold when I came around the corner and said, “Beege. WOW. You look amazing in that sweater!” He’s always so complimentary–no matter what I’m wearing, he’s got a positive thing to say about it. One day, I’d schlepped in for a management meeting in a sweat suit (a.k.a my Sexy Bitch Pants), no makeup, dirty hair in a ponytail, crocs, and my glasses and he said, “My, Beege. You look SO comfy today!” Snort. I told him, “I’m going to shrink you down and make you live in my closet, so that every time I open it, you tell me, ‘Beege, you look AMAZING.'” Every woman needs a Zach in her closet. I’ve decided.

OK. I’m off. “Ghost Hunters International” premiers tonight, and I don’t want to miss it. I’m such a dork. 😉