Saturday, February 28, 2009

Love and Marriage

Today I am very excited Bill and I are going to a marriage conference put on by our church. When I say that the church we go to is our family... I mean it. It provides a safe place where this family goes to gain wisdom love others and let God be in the center of it all. I believe God brought us to Durango to be a significant part of this "community" (church) to make us better people. Not by the might or will of others but by putting God first in all of it and letting him work in our hearts and minds. Remember I said we were a church of perfectly imperfect people. When I look at my own imperfections and gain wisdom... God works in that. BIG TIME.

BK and I are also part of a small group. A group of amazing people who get together every Thursday night to study books some weeks and play games other weeks. Our children play together. We're honest, we respect each other (even in our differences) and we're blessed by these relationships.

Right now we are reading a book called Sacred Marriage (What if God Designed Marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?). This is one of those books that is giving me wisdom to see myself... to step outside of myself and think about the ways God would have me treat and love my husband. Even when I don't feel like it.

What I didn't reallize when I got married is how easy it is to keep a checklist. A checklist of the things I have done and the things my husband has not done. In talking with other women and men about marriage it is one of those things that is universal. It is totally human. And it comes out most vibrantly in the context of marriage. You live with the person day in and day out.. you see their faults moreso than anyone else you know. The other universal part is that this checklist is directly related to the thing Jesus died on the cross for... it is our OWN sin that makes it so easy to keep our checklists.

In reading this book this paragraph stood out to me. This is a paragraph written by a great Anglican writer William Law:

No one is of the Spirit of Christ but he that has the utmost compassion for sinners. Nor is there any greater sign of your own perfection that you find yourself all love and compassion toward them that are every weak and defective. And on the other hand, you have never less reason to be pleased with yourself than when you find yourself most angry and offended at the behavior of others. All sin is certainly to be hated and abhorred where it is, but then we must set ourselves against sin as we do sickness and diseases by showing ourselves tender and compassionate to the sick and diseased.

... when my respect slips into contempt, it's because I'm weak, not because my husband is failing. If I were really mature, I would have the same compassion for his weakness as Christ does. Respect is a spiritual discipline, an obligation of what I owe my husband.

Lord, please help me to have the spiritual discipline it takes to be compassionate for the weakness in others...especially my husband. Please show me how you want me to treat and love my husband. Lord, thanks for this awesome opportunity for me to learn more and know more about what loving well looks like to you. Bless this day, bless all my friends who read this. Amen.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Story...

My friend Jill seems to have a plethora of blog ideas in her head... and I'm not sure what's going on with me because some days I sit here, just tapping my head racking my brain what to write.

But my friend, helped me today. She asked what my "story" was in her blog... you can read it here . It was an exercise she did at a women's conference where they were able to write their "story" their saga... and she asked us..what's our story.

Here's my version... it reads like the inside cover of a book or a movie trailer.

Jen is a goofy, fun, loud and friendly Mom (raised in the 80's) who desires to be a great wife and Mom to her family of five and grow in her relationship with God.

Suddenly, she realizes that the word "great" is very big... and hard to achieve and her relationship with God and her family takes her to places where she scratches her head, scrunches her eyebrows and says "Hmmmm....", God is taking her on a true life adventure. But she's up for it.

Will the songs in her head from the 80's ever stop? Will her hormones ever stabilize? Will they ever make a waterproof mascara that does not lacquer your eyelashes?" Only time will tell...

This was fun. Who knows what my story will be... but an adventure it will be. A truly God given God driven adventure of a lifetime.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Grocery Shopping and bad timing...

Yesterday we went to the grocery store. I think much of mothering and parenting has to do with being able to discern when my children are "working me..." and an awareness of their emotional state. My children have two stages of crazy. There are times when they are whiney and needy and angry and frustrated because they are trying to manipulate Mommy. But there are other times when they are exhausted, overwhelmed and sick and tired and just emotionally can't handle one more thing. I don't think kids have the ability to know when they are "spent." So as mothers, we just keep going with our normal schedule or add things onto the schedule and pray that our kids can keep up.

That was me this week. We had stayed out late a couple nights this week for good reasons... but it really took it's toll on Grace and Toby. Toby has a head cold and Grace is well on her way to one. We kept them up late because we had a couple social things we did this week that ran way past bedtime. On most occasions the kids can handle it because they are healthy and they make it. I know usually know their breaking point.

But yesterday I took them to run two errands... to my work and the grocery store. This would seem to most that this would not be "too much" for the kids to handle. Well on the way from my first errand to the second (dropping something off at my work and heading to the grocery store) both of my kids fell asleep in the car. Grace NEVER falls asleep during the day anymore... so that's how I know she is not feeling well. So, I did like any prego mother would do. I made my way to City Market parked the car... reclined my chair and fell asleep as well... for 30 minutes. Napping in my van... I'm livin the dream baby! :)

But the real fun began when they woke up. I call them nap hangovers for lack of a better term. It's when you wake up from a nap and feel worse than before. It's no fun and BOTH were in a nap hangover.

Now.. the dilemma is getting them out of the "funk" and into the grocery store. Both were whining about wanting to go to McDonalds, being hungry or DQ. I told them that City Market was where the budget would take us... and that just sent them both into a tornado of whining, crying and yelling in my van. Toby's stuffy nose was dripping, Grace was making her body melt onto the floor and crying big huge alligator tears. I absolutely had to go to City Market because we had nothing for dinner that evening. I panicked, I felt bad for them and the ridiculous schedule we ran them through this week... so I did it. I made the cardinal sin of motherhood and caved.

When your a Mom and you feel a little defeated. No mother wants to give their children everything they want... when the children want it... that's just bad parenting - but I have learned in my six years of parenting that you truly need to pick your battles. And this was one I was willing to lose.

So... I told the kids... that we were not going to go to McDonalds... (more screaming and crying) but I said, if you pull it together so we can get through City Market and get the small list of groceries I need... we will go to Dairy queen and get a kids cone. (seriously... a hot fudge sundae sounded so good to me that very minute).

In the end, I got my shopping done, the kids "barely" made it through City Market... and I kept thinking the entire time... what the heck am I going to do when I have a new little baby in this crazy mix? I'm thinking two hot fudge sundaes! Pray for me guys.. just pray for me. :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

And so the adventure... and transformation begins

I am going to be blogging about this part of our lives because quite frankly getting prepared for it is like running a marathon. It is called The Passion Play of Durango. The Passion Play for those of you who don't know is a community theatre production that tells the Easter story of Jesus. It tells people about Jesus his life on earth conversations he had with his disciples and people before he died, . It depicts Jesus' death on the cross and the true story of when he was raised from the dead for all to see that he as truly the son of God.

This play reveals the truth about Jesus to people all over the world. When I was traveling in Europe after graduating college... I was in Oberammergau in Germany and I remember everyone in town was all excited because they had a huge production coming of the Passion Play. The truth about Jesus is revealed to people through theatre, this also becomes an opportunity for people to begin a to pray to ask Jesus into their hearts. Which is a huge honor and awesome opportunity.

Our church has run this production for the last three years. For the past two years Bill played Caiaphas one of the Sanhedrin who made sure Jesus was put to death on the cross. My husband is quiet, reserved and rather introverted. He does not have acting background or training. But he has a passion for it and for not having any of that.. he has done an amazing job each year. Every year I am blown away by his acting. He had a lot of lines in his last part and his talent to be able to first of all remember all of them and deliver them without passing out... and deliver them well, with expression and passtion. He has done an amazing job. I am very proud of him.

This year he is playing the part of Jesus in the play. The main role... the big kahuna. Frankly when he told me he was going to play it, he said it very quietly and really doesn't talk about it much. I believe he is relying on God to prepare him for this part. He takes this part very seriously and wants to do a good job. He is working out... (because from what we've heard.. being a carpenter and all... Jesus was pretty buff) :) He is pretty blonde so we will have to dye his hair more brown to reflect Jesus' dark hair and he was hanging out a lot outside, so BK is going to have to get himself tan... in the next two months. I am posting this post to being to document this awesome journey for BK... his transformation from Bill Kline from St. Ansgar Iowa to Jesus of Nazareth... he is preparing his body mind and spirit for this role... so I want to get this down in a blog.

The church has a cast of about 50-60 people and the show runs in April. So between now and then they are practicing lines, preparing costumes, sets, sound, etc.etc. and praying... that this production touch the hearts and lives of a TON of people in the four corners area.

To be completely honest... I am not sure I am ready to see my husband up on the cross crucified, playing my Jesus... my savior. So we are praying ourselves up, asking God to prepare our hearts and our minds... and to work mightily in this awesome production.

PS... the kids and I are going to be playing kind of background parts of being "the crowd".

We will keep you posted and I will post pics of BK's physical transformation to Jesus. Please be praying for us as we move into this season of spring... it's a big deal in the Kline family and I could not be more proud of my husband.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Life in Durango

I am thankful today for living in Durango. This small resort town in the far southwest corner of Colorado has been the biggest blessing in my life. It just goes to show you that when you follow what God has planned for your life... even though it may not make sense to you... it is goodness. Pure goodness.

1. I am thankful for the awesome sun in Durango. The sun that makes me walk out the front door, look at the mountains and smile.

2. I am thankful for Durango Joe's that makes an awesome cup of coffee that I can drive right up and purchase. I'm thankful for Jerry the managerthere... who is part of my community and talks to me about 80's music he has playing while he makes my coffee.

3. I am thankful for this beautiful home and land my Mom and Dad purchased with dreams for their families in mind.

4. I am thankful for my job and my boss who understood how important family is to me and allowed me to work from home. Allowing me to be a better wife and Mom.

5. I am thankful for nature that we see daily. Hawks, elk, deer, beautiful lakes, rivers, colors of the mountains, sunsets. They are daily reminders to me that God is ever present in my life. That God is abundantly creative and if he made all of those beautiful things... I see the beauty in people too.

6. Speaking of people. I thought when I moved here I was simply doing it to move to a place to be closer to my family. Which is very true. But he double blessed me when I became involved with my church family. Never being a "church girl" for most of my life. I really don't see myself going to church each Sunday. I go to see my friends who love God as much as I do. A great group of perfectly imperfect people who love me and my family.

7. I am thankful for Grace and Toby's teachers and the school they attend. Again, the most amazing people in my kid's lives. People who have invested in them, loved them, taught them amazing things and continue to blow me away.

8. I am thankful for the rec center. A place to climb the rock wall, swim in the pool, go down the water slide and have a blast. I am also thankful for the multitude of cool Parks in the area where the kids can play and enjoy the outdoors.

9. I am thankful for main street. That draws all of the tourists to Durango... and fuels the economy in Durango. Although during some seasons the traffic is enough to send me through the roof... and I can't get a parking spot at the grocery store. I am thankful for people who come and appreciate this town.

10. I am thankful for the abundance of creative arts opportunities and outdoor sports the kids can be involved in. I am thankful that this is a place where my children can grow up feeling safe and have lots of fun things to do.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It takes two... (to make a thing go right)

My husband loves this song. I guess this is one of the little known facts I am STILL learning about him after 8 years of marriage. It was popular when we were in our teens... so it is nostalgic for him. Kind of like me and Cyndi Lauper. He is becoming blog obsessed like his wife, because he wanted me to incorporate it into my next blog. So here it is... (enjoy)

Today BK was home from work. His schedule has been switched to four ten hour days with one day off. He had a blast today. He spent it playing with Toby, taking him out to the garage and hanging a cork board in my office for me. They also went shopping and got a part for our broken oven and Toby helped Daddy fix it. I guess on their way home they stopped at 31 flavors and Daddy treated him to a chocolate ice cream cone. There is something that is so special watching a father and son bond like that. Listening to them play and laugh and hearing Toby have a very "big boy" type conversation with his Daddy... just makes my heart swell.

I am so excited to watch them grow in relationship and hang out together and play sports together... Billy has so much to teach this young boy of ours and Toby is learning from an awesome man. I couldn't be prouder of these two wonderful men in my life.

And if hangin with Toby is all BK needs to motivate him to get some projects done around the house... then these two can hang out together ALL THE TIME! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Doing the hard thing...

As I get older and as I grow in closer relationship with Jesus he is revealing to me many times when I have to "do the hard thing." Whether I am correcting my kids, managing finances, friendships, family relationships and different situations... some decisions and choices are just hard.

When I was younger, I would disregard the hard stuff, shove it to the back of my brain. Ignore the voice inside of me that told me the thing I needed to do that may be difficult. But today I am understanding that that still soft voice is the voice of the Lord encouraging me to step out in faith and love and face the "tough decisions" with Him by my side and trusting completely.

The best example I can give you is our decision to move to Durango. BK and I owned a beautiful big house in Minnesota, it had this big chandelier in the front entrance, it was brand new and at the time had two bedrooms and one bath. My Mom would jokingly call it "the mansion." When we sold it... the basement was remodeled and it had four bedrooms and two bathrooms. It was a beautiful home. When God began to stir it in our hearts to come to Durango, we listened both wanting God to lead us. We were blown away that God sent us a buyer... we needed no realtor and no planning. The buyer walked up to our front door and heard we were thinking about moving and told us they wanted to buy the house.

My Dad made the "not popular" decision in the family to buy a lodge of a home at a campground near his house and move it onto his 2.5 acres in Durango. Many people told him he was crazy... gave him a hard time for the decision, but he listened to the still soft voice... If he had not listened, I do not think we would be in Durango... I am forever grateful that he "did the hard thing."

Eventually we made it out here and totally love it. We are renting from my Dad and Mom and to tell you the truth... it is one of the hardest things I have done. I like to be independent have all my bases covered and accomplish my goals.

The thing about God's voice and hearing the truths he speaks to us... is that once you think he's moved you through one thing... you have to remember he is still there moving you through the next thing. In my mind, we would sell the house, rent for a couple months and go ahead and buy another home. I wanted God to come along for the ride... follow my lead after we moved here. I was like.. OK Lord... we listened to you to get us here, but now that we're here... I got it covered.

So I began researching homes in Durango, we spend a lot of months looking at homes in Durango and the surrounding area. We prayed (mostly that God would deliver what my heart so desired), we saved, we made sure we were credit worthy. I wanted to be independent. Live the American dream, buy a house.

The problem with this hard thing was that I didn't ask the Lord what he wanted for me? What do YOU want Lord? What would you desire for us to do now that we are here? What's next Lord? Please reveal it to us... Nope. I was like... yo Lord... let's buy a house... end of story.

So now I am doing that. God is revealing to me to take it slow. To appreciate this house my Dad worked so hard to put on this land. Appreciate the view of the mountains, Grace's school that is within walking distance. To appreciate I have my Dad close by, in case he needs us or we need him. I am doing what the Lord would have me do, because to me this is no longer my plan, but I am on autopilot... seeking, waiting and listening to the still soft voice in my head that has this plan for our lives. Thank you Lord for speaking truth to me so I can do the hard thing. Please make sure I keep you at the forefront of it all. I love you Lord and I thank you for loving me back. Amen.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My best analogy...

I am in my 18th week of pregnancy. Which means I am well into my 5th month. I am starting to show... and feeling it too. I have been trying to think of some way some how I could explain to my husband how I feel in this 5th month. I am not myself, I am tired all the time, I want to sleep, and eat and I cry easily and laugh easily and I feel huge and I feel like I am moving slow through molasses. My tatas are seriously scaring me because they are tough to move around with... and once I am lactating... I can only imagine how my body will feel. (again... not complaining... just trying to put it into a picture visual for others to help them gain some understanding of what "my" pregnancies feel like... and in some cases look like. So, here it is... some women glow and look radiant and feel light and happy all the time...

I feel like a gorilla...
I am slow moving...

I get angry very fast

Weird things make me laugh...

I anticipate my ta ta's will work overtime

Don't mess with my food...

Just a little pregnancy humor to lighten up my day. Again... only a few more weeks until we find out if this baby is a boy or a girl... and we are elated... and through it all we are totally excited... but I've forgotten what Jen Kline pregnancies feel like... this should give you a good glimpse. :) (and hopefully make you chuckle)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Little Miracles...

If you're ever wondering if God exists or doesn't exist watch for miracles. One happened to me yesterday and I wanted to tell people. So you understand why I believe what I believe and how I know God loves us all more than we can imagine. So much so... he answers my measly little prayers.

My Mom was taking a trip to New York to visit my brother. She was very excited to go as he was cast in a play and has a great part and it is one of his first important roles at NYU. The day before she left we were talking and I could tell she was worried about finances. She just bought a new house in New Mexico is living off of her retirement and has just started a part time job to fund these big new changes. She was telling me that she was going to New York on a shoe string budget. Which if you've ever traveled... it feels nice to have some extra money in your pocket in case of emergency.

I have heard a mom on our Christian radio station talk about something called "arrow prayers" you shoot them up to god as you go through your day. You just pray and speak to God from your heart to continue your daily conversations with him. I often use them with my children... "dear lord... I need your help today... help me with Tobias and his inability to stay in his bed..."

Well, I was washing my floor yesterday and I thought about my Mom. I remember traveling and not having much cash on hand... and feeling uneasy. So I just shot a little prayer up to the Lord and said, "Lord... maybe my Mom could find some cash in New York... what an awesome blessing that would be and gave it to the Lord as my simple request and forgot all about it.

Later in the afternoon my Mom called me from the airport in Minneapolis. She was telling me how her early flight went and how tired she was and that she was feeling better because she got something to eat. Then she told me... guess what? I found a $20.00 bill in the airport. I was like WHAT? She repeated herself and I was a little stunned. You know no matter how faithful you are... it is still hard to fathom in my puny little brain how much God loves me. So it is still unbelievable to me when he sends me a miracle. I told my Mom about my prayer and we were both giddy and laughing. Both delighted that God had touched us that day. What an awesome cool little miracle. He loves us that much. He loves us that much.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thankful Thursdays - I love it when...

My daughter is on her way to school with Valentines in hand and a big pink heart on her shirt. She is going to have a fun party at her school with healthy snacks and fun times with her friends and teachers. I am usually not a big fan of Valentines Day... it seems very contrived and a holiday. But this year for some reason I can appreciate it because I am feeling so much LOVE for my life.

I am thankful this Thursday for love and because of that my post this Thursday talks about the things I love in my life...

I love ...
1. When Billy gives me one of his signature hugs. He is the worlds best hug giver. EVER.
2. When we get to spend together as a family.
3. When I make Gracie laugh hard at something silly.
4. When Toby tells me that I am the best cook in the whole wide world.
5. When my kitchen is clean and I have laundry complete.
6. When my kids are all tucked in and sleeping and BK and I can talk and laugh.
7. When we have a family trip planned.
8. To read my Bible and have it stir in my heart something big.
9. My Dad's ability to accomplish anything he puts his mind to.
10. When I watch my Mom love on her grandkids
11. My brothers... all three of them, make me laugh and understand me very well.
12. When I hear a great song and how it makes me feel.
13. When The sun shines on my face and the stars light up the sky.
14. My job and what it provides for me and my family. It is a blessing.
15. Toby's constant love and snuggles. His sensitive soft side.
16. The life inside of me. It is a gift and a blessing and gives me great joy.
17. Deer or elk pass through our yard...
18. When I get to go to our home group.
19. When I am challenged.
20. My church and my pastors.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Am I a Princess?

My Mom for years has referred to herself as a "princess". For most of my life, I think it is because she likes things that are girly..sparkly things, feathery things, dresses, make up etc.etc. My daughter is following suit... LOVES to dress up, wear dresses, paint her nails, accessories, etc.

Last night, when we got 6 inches of snow in our driveway overnight and I look and there is no path to my car and my minivan is buried, I feel vulnerable, overwhelmed and "princess like." I wish I had a fairy Godmother who would come and swoosh all of the snow away, make a path for my feet (and my two children) and assist me with all of my obstacles. I can shovel like a mad woman (and I did) I got the kids breakfast and went out and wiped down the car and started it. I looked all around me wondering if the van would make it through the accumulation of snow that had been dumped on us and just said a little prayer. I don't need a fairy godmother like Cinderella had. I have Jesus.

If Jesus is the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace.... and I am considered one of his children.. then man... I know I've got some princess blood in me somewhere!

I've had moments where I've been praying and sought to be in the "presence" of Jesus and have seen him sitting next to me in a park like setting, putting his hand over mine... and looking at me with complete compassion as if to say "why do you carry weight of the world your shoulders?" I don't think Jesus wants his princesses to live that way.

He sees women as precious and soft, regardless if we wear pants or big huge ball gowns and boas and tiaras. He gave us hearts that are soft and squishy. He gave us passionate emotion that allows us to be sad and soft when we feel weak and powerful and passionate and strong warrior women when we are on the mountaintop. He gives us the ability to nurture, love and big huge hearts.

I think in the past I have seen some of my "princess like" qualities as being weak, but as I get older I am learning to embrace it. I am a princess who needs Jesus and needs God to take care of me, protect me, watch over me and most of all love me when I need it most. Thank you Jesus, for helping me understand what it means to be a true princess and showing me your love when I need it most.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Jen of all trades... master of some?!?

These past couple of weeks I have felt and continue to feel like I am a jack of all trades and "sometimes" good at the things I put my mind to. I can blame it on the pregnancy. I can blame it on my ADD (self diagnosed) or I can just chalk it up to a day in the life if Jen Kline.

Having had a miscarriage prior to this pregnancy, I have to say I am very much more aware of my body, of how I should take care of it and listen to what it needs. I have faith that God is taking care of me. But I also know that I am the kind of person who will try to "do it all" save the world and burn myself out.
My body needs food and I am SO good at feeding it. :) It needs rest. I am doing this more often and my body loves me for it. I take naps when I have a free afternoon. This is SO needed by this body of mine.

Being a Mom is a priority for me so I have been very focused on assisting Grace and Toby in learning some things... with Grace it is spelling. We are working on spelling words weekly and reading books. With Toby I am working with him on helping around the house... teaching him to be responsible for his things and that everything he owns has a place and he can make sure it gets to that place. Toby and I are also working on what month it is and what Day it is. He also dresses his weather frog here and there and is helping me cook. So in the Mom department I feel like I'm doing pretty good.

I am a wife, this is something I also take very seriously. My husband however has not been home due to his busy schedule with a play he is going to be in, work priorities, bible studies refing basketball and youth group... so when we have time together I just pray we are able to laugh and have some good quick talks. We were blessed with a date after church today where we went and drooled over ovens at Home Depot... (our oven is broken) it was actually a lot of fun!

It's amazing that when I pick a couple things to focus on and give priority to... I start to feel like I am not "doing" enough. I want to remain in a peaceful place and I know that if I try to keep the pace I have had in the past... I will deplete.

So I take a deep breath in and out and continue to said, "no" or "not now" to the lingering voice in my head telling me what a slacker I am. I keep telling myself it's ok to pull back a little bit. That it's ok to focus on what I am able to do rather than my big picture dreams.

There are things I want to do and expand in Children's ministry... things I want to do personally (play the guitar/mandolin and go on a missions trip) things I want to do and plan for my friends... house projects and financial planning that all just have this tidy little place in the back of my head. Where they sit and wait to be called upon. It is annoying that I cannot juggle them all right now... but I am trying an new approach to multi tasking... taking it a "couple" things at a time. It's still multiple tasks... does that count? :)


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thankful Thursdays...

I am glad my friends are such amazing examples of women who are disciplined enough to write this blog every Thursday. I have missed some. Please forgive. I know however... that when I think about what I am thankful for... and tell my bloggy world... it is a good thing for my spirit.

1. I am thankful for my husband... maybe I've said this before. But I really am thankful for his spirit, how he pursues to know God in a closer way... and that he is a committed wonderful husband and father.

2. I am thankful for my Mom... that throughout her life, she has done so many cool things in her life. Made great choices, and most of all gave me a great example to pursue my faith.

3. I am thankful for my Dad... that he adopted me legally. That he provided an awesome fun and great life for me and was the ultimate provider.

4. I am thankful for the sun... and the beautiful Durango mountains.... lately the way they are striped with snow and thier red rock color... it has been stunning to me.

5. I am thankful for my Grandpa L... that he taught us how to have fun.. no matter what and just enjoy life.

6. I am thankful for my Grandpa H... that he was such a great example of a husband and father. He was a cornerstone in the family in a cool subtle strong way.

7. I am thankful for my Grandma H... that she was so peaceful. That she loved me and showed me in a multitude of ways while I was growing up.

8. I am thankful for my Grandma L... that she helped raise me as a toddler - that she knew exactly how to communicate with kids, that she was humble and loved God.

9. I am thankful for my God... who created and knit together this beautiful baby inside me. I am thankful God has a plan and a purpose for this baby... I am so so thankful for this gift of life.

10. I am thankful for my girlfriends... they have all been on my mind lots lately. So important... so awesome to have other women to love and grow our friendships.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Taking me back...

As I watched the Superbowl on Sunday... Bruce Springsteen sang this song. It blows me away how a song can take me back in time to the exact place and time and moment in my life... I used to laugh at my Mom when she would get all giddy about Hermans Hermits... she LOVED them and it made her remember times from high school. Good times. Good friends. I never understood it until now.

This song as well as the first couple on my playlist take me back in time to my college days. I do not know what I liked more in college... going to school or getting to know a lot of people because I worked part-time bartending and waitressing jobs in a couple of different local establishments in town. The bars I worked at were my community, my friends and my family when I was far away from everything familiar. I worked and played with good people who really cared about each other. Now that I think about it... I love my church community for the same reason I used to work and play at the bar. I was accepted, loved and had a blast in the meantime. :)

The cool part was that I was able to bartend with my best friend Nikki. We were friends since 1st grade. We went to the same college. ( I talked her into coming to Winona with me) We were a team and we had so much fun together. One of the bars we worked at was called Bullseye. Our bosses were Vern and Dave. They hired us both at the same time and watched out for us like big brothers.
Nikki would bartend (I could barely see over the bar) and I was working the shot bar which served mostly watered down schnapps from a weed sprayer... (it was insanity) she would chuck ice at me all night long. We would write notes to each other on napkins... and pass them back and forth. Our favorite part of the night was when a good song came on the jukebox... we had the remote behind the bar... we would crank it up loud on our favorite songs. If we didn't like the song we would skip it... I always skipped the song "Cecelia... your breakin my heart... ". It was way overplayed it drove me nuts.

We would laugh and sing and shout and hoot and holler. We would watch out for girls who were drinking too much and keep an eye out when we needed a bouncer or two in the area for boys who were drinking their bottles of "courage". But mostly the crowds we had in Bullseye was a great group of kids who were having fun. No one really drove in Winona. You could walk anywhere you wanted and there were super cheap cabs that would take you anywhere.

At the end of the night we were deliriously tired. We would count our tips, mop up nasty bar floors... clean nasty ashtrays.... cups of chew spit and junk everywhere. We even had to mop the bathrooms. It is a good thing we were deliriously tired because I am not sure if I were fully aware of the clean up process... I would have loved the job so much.