Friday, February 3, 2012

Date Night {IN}: Family Planning

 When you are Type A personality and you are married to a fellow who is Type A personality AND a lawyer, you tend to have your documents in order.  When Matt goes out of town, he leaves his will and end of life documents on his bedside table so I don't have to hunt for them in case of an accident.  No kidding.

My husband also happens to be getting an LLM in entrepreneurial law which means he is crazy into contracts and business plans.  I'd totally make fun of him but you should see me geek out over the survey tool maker I'm using for my Ph.D. work.

We are the Kaufmans.  We are bringing nerdy back.

I have a point which I will get to .... now.

For Christmas I gave Matt 12 Sealed Dates for the year.  January's date was called "The Business of Being a Family".  Here's what the card said inside:

The Business of Being a Family

A successful family, like a successful business, needs a mission, a vision, and goals.

This month, we will put together a family business plan.

We will:
  • ·      Create a biblically based vision statement;
  • ·      Create a biblically based mission statement;
  • ·      Create goals on how to do faith-time as a family;
  • ·      Create parenting goals;
  • ·      Create rules;
  • ·      Create a “plan” to keep the family marriage-centered instead of kid centered; and
  • ·      Create a “bucket list” of 10 things we’d like to do as a family before our children are grown.

Before the date we each need to:
  • ·      Find 3-5 guiding scriptures for our family
  • ·      Write down 3 things you do well as a parent and 3 things I do well as a parent.
  • ·      Write down 3 things you need to improve on as a parent.
  • ·      Write down 3 things I need to improve on as a parent.

 During the date we will:
  • ·   Spend time talking seriously
  •      Spend time dreaming
  •      Spend time praying
  •      Spend time evaluating.

In the end, we will publish and post our family mission, vision, and goals.

Matt and I spent about three hours making brain webs and praying and dreaming.  Though this wasn't a physically intimate date, the daydreaming, the praying, the words of affirmation ... they all made this an incredibly intimate date on an emotional and spiritual level.  Though we haven't officially "published" our plan yet (because I'm still finding ideas on how to do this really officially/artistically), here is some of what we came up with.

VISION: The Kaufmans are builders.  Starting with a firm foundation in Christ, we will build disciplines of Godly people, including being fearlessly hopeful and generous.  We will build positive attitudes that reflect humility and gratitude.  We will build relationships that we passionately pursue and will be known as people who love.  We will build a legacy that reflects love and grace through our words and deeds.

MISSION: The Kaufmans will run the race with joy and will finish strong.  We will daily live a surrendered life.  We will push forward without looking back.   

  1. The Kaufmans will resolve conflict.  We will not ignore or hide from problems or conflict. We will talk openly, honestly, and respectfully.  We will seek peaceful resolutions. We will apologize.
  2. The Kaufmans will treat people with respect.  We will be polite and courteous.  We will think more highly of others than ourselves.  We will acknowledge the feelings of others and how our words/actions affect those around us.
  3. The Kaufmans will be purposeful with our actions.  The way we spend our time will reflect our values.  We will do what we say we are going to do.   We will be firm and consistent.  We will be honest and do work with integrity.
  4. The Kaufmans will not be blind followers of society.  We will not observe customs merely for the sake of tradition.  We will live radically different lives.  The Word, not the world with its temptations and pressures, will light our path.
  5. The Kaufmans will always try.  We will not say, "I can't."  We can and we will.  We will fail.  We will succeed. We will take risks. We will try.
  6. The Kaufmans will be thankful at all times.  We are not entitled to anything.  We will live grateful for what we have and will work hard for what we want.  As we were given grace freely, freely we will give grace.  
  7. The Kaufmans will share: our time, our talents, our dreams, our fears, our money, our possessions.  We will share.
  8. The Kaufmans will not have anything they cannot live without. There will be nothing that impedes our pursuit of Christ.
BUCKET LIST (my favorite part of the date!)
  1. Go to Disney World
  2. Go on a family rafting trip (ideally through the Grand Canyon)
  3. Do a family mission trip in a foreign country
  4. Summit a mountain together (mountain must be tall enough to have a registry)
  5. Do a radical service project for another family (our initial thought: buy a family a car)
  6. Serve in a soup kitchen together.
  7. Go one Christmas with NO presents.  Make memories instead.
  8. Have the kids plan a vacation to the destination of their choosing.
  9. Host a foreign exchange student.
  10. Go see all of the Wonders of the World together.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Things I Love: Growing Older

Today is Ground Hog's Day.  For most of you, that means nothing except that a ball of hair is either gonna make your day by saying Spring is coming early or make you want to fry him up for dinner by saying winter is staying longer.  For me, it means adding another year to my age.

I know some people who want to hide from their birthdays and pretend they aren't getting older.  As for me, I'm so grateful for one more year.  What a pleasure it is to look back and see how I'm not who I once was.  Each year I'm being made new--more compassionate, more patient, more disciplined, more affectionate ... more.

Sure there's more of me too.  More wrinkles on my forehead.  More cellulite on by butthigh.  More blond peach-fuzz on my upper lip.  More.

In the end, though, I'll take the the "growing older" badges of honor with pleasure because crow eyes have nothing on a lifetime of laughter and wrinkles can't diminish wisdom earned (sometimes the hard way) and fuzzy lips can't stop a smile and cellulite ... can be hidden by a good pair of Miss Me jeans.

So as I climb the hill every so slowly, one year at a time, I'm determined to do so with grace and humility--being grateful for a life well lived.  Each day. Each year.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What I Think About: Facebook

Ah Facebook.  I love hating you.  Or maybe I hate loving you.  It's so hard to tell.

Watch this.  It's important.  And it's from Easy A--a movie I big fat love!

I took a Facebook break during the season of Advent and it was amazing.  I never knew I would miss Facebook so little. On the other hand, once I joined and stalked all my friends' pages, I realized how much I missed.  What's a girl to do?

Real Simple did a whole spread on Facebook in their  January 2012 issue.  It was great to see all the reasons why people hate Facebook.  And yet, we're still logging in.  As for me, I'm still logging in because it keeps me connected to a community of people I actually talk to; I don't want to miss out on that.  But I'm also logging in less because, as luck would have it, I can talk to these people on my iPhone and e-mail without all the irritating updates.

As a point of comedic relief, here are the top 10 updates I hate seeing on Facebook (which is precisely why I log in less):

1.  The "I'm digging for you to ask me about it" bragging update.

**I just got the best present!
**Test driving a new car!

This update can also read like like: 

The "I'm digging for you to ask me about it" sympathy update.

**Could this day get any worse?
**Life sucks!

2.  The "I will shove my religion down your throat" update.
** I just finished day 12 of the How to Parent a Christian child book and I feel so bad that all the rest of your children are going to hell.  But for mine, I'm going to discipline them and support their decisions.
**Don't pray in my school and I won't think in your church.

3.  The "Clearly Facebook is my agenda book so I will write my to do list on here so every one knows how busy and important I am" update.

**Today I'm going to eat breakfast, workout, read the newspaper, drive to Denver, eat at Old Chicago's, and buy a blue shirt."

**First I'm going to work out then I'll pick up the dry cleaning, and then I'll go tanning.

4.  The "Facebook users must know what I'm eating" update

**Tonight I'm making crescent rolled hot dogs with orange jello for dinner.
**Going out to Chili's for nachos!  Boom!

This is more irritating when it's a normal meal.  If you are making Scallops Saint Jaques, brag.  Hot dogs--keep it to yourself!).  Oh, and pictures of food?  Seriously, if you aren't a food blogger WE DON'T CARE!

5.  The "If you aren't in my political party you are clearly an idiot" update.

**Michelle Bachman is a witch!
**Don't bitch to me about the President.  I voted for the American.

6.  The "I know this is painfully obvious but I'm going to say it anyway" update.

**It is so cold outside!
**The Broncos won!  The Broncos won!

Thanks for the update folks but I have windows to see the weather and sports center to check scores.  Move on.

7.  The "I'm not clever enough to come up with my own status so I'll use a status update tool or post a photo with some lame, misspelled quotation on it" update

**Reagan is poking you with a spork.

This is funny.  That does NOT make it a status update.  The end.
Source: via Reagan on Pinterest

9. The habitual "Oh dear God I am so in love with this man" update. 

(NOTE: complimenting your spouse or saying "I love you" every now and then is cute.  Doing it daily is irritating.  Use walls for that--not status updates.)

**My husband is the most magnificent man in the world!  I love him with all the lovely lovey loveness that I have!  And his arse ain't bad either.
**My beautiful bride brought me powdered donuts in bed.  I am so in love with the donut deliverer!

10.  The "I don't have a journal so I'll use Facebook" update.

**I'm at my wit's end!  Seriously, the dog puked on the carpet, the kids drew on the walls with permanent markers, and my Mother-in-law just chewed me out for typing in the address bar of her computer!"
**Last night I put on my swanky black thigh highs and slutty lingerie and did things to Dale that made the neighbors call the cops!

What I think is Facebook can be fun.  And irritating.  It's a love hate relationship.  Darn it!

Share your best/worst facebook pet peeves or status updates.  Or if you need to, confess to the above and resolve to STOP doing it! Thank you to Shell at Things I Can't Say for letting me Pour My Heart Out.  It's been a long six months.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Days of Play: Hide and Go EEK!

You've played Hide and Go Seek.   Really, that's for amateurs.  When you're ready to play big time, try "hide and go EEK!"

This game was introduced to me by my friend Krista.  Her family swears by its awesomeness.  My family ... agrees!

How to play:

Same rules as hide and go seek EXCEPT you don't want to hide from the searching person, you want to scare them (and make them go EEK!)  So get behind that closet door and where your seeker turns his/her back, jump out and yell EEK!  Bonus happy points if you get them to jump!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Music Monday: Hot Hot Heat

As I write this it is cold and snowy in Wyoming which is precisely why I decided it was time to blog about Hot Hot Heat.  My husband introduced me to this Canadian indie rock band.  They aren't my absolute fave but I like them.


Talk to Me, Dance with Me (with a little cowbell!)


 21@12 (wait for it ... wait for it ...)