Saturday, April 29, 2006

love those appliances

Something I know for sure...if I didn't have access to a washer and dryer, I sure wouldn't own as many clothes.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


For an interesting and (mostly) civil discussion regarding the use of certain words, check out Joe's April 24 post titled On Language.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

my new title

The latest report on Rowan? He's taken to calling me "Big Momma." I'm really hoping it's a phase.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

survey says: professions

Every once in a while, Brandon and I send out “surveys” to our family and friends. That’s one of the cool things about email; you can seek out scads of wisdom with the click of a button. We recently sent out a “survey” that said something along these lines: “Though we both enjoy our full-time professions (stay-at-home parent for Jana, architect for Brandon), we also have recently been feeling the need for something more. We feel like we have an idea of what our gifts might be, but we’re not sure how to hone in on those gifts and use them to better our world. And we started wondering if you, our family and friends, all felt content in your professions.”

So we did a little brain-pickin’. I thought some of their responses might interest you bloggin’ buddies. The insight of some people amazes me! The specific questions we asked in our survey were:
1) What do you consider your full-time profession?
2) Does it give you joy?
3) Why or why not?

NURSE. It gives me joy, but it also at times gives me sadness. According to the Teacher, it is good for a man to enjoy his life, and his work, and his wife - for to have a life, a profession, and/or a wife one can enjoy is a gift from God. So, I guess I am blessed. (50-something male)

STAY-AT-HOME MOM, WRITER, ARTIST. Yes, I love it. I know that this window into their lives is very small and they will soon be away at school all day. And so I treasure each moment that we have together...even when they drive me crazy. The pay certainly isn't the motivation (ha ha). Those moments give me inspiration for the other things...which I am not paid for either.

It is interesting to think about the idea of a "profession". To profess or to declare is a sort of consecration. To carve out your time in the dedication to something or someone is to declare to the world your priority and passion. Of course, it is tempered by practicality, but it is still what you "profess" on a daily basis. What if we chose our "professions" that way? For some their true profession would not be the job they go to everyday, but that which is given sacred time within their heart. (30-something female)

PHYSICAL THERAPIST. It does bring me joy to be able to educate and empower people through therapy with the ability to help themselves. However, it can also be very frustrating when people don't want this information or would simply rather have someone "fix them". (30-something female)

FATHER, PHYSICIAN. Being a father is the only "full time" profession I have, meaning 24/7/365, but being a physician is my full-time profession by society's definition. By "father", I mean the leader of my house both for my son and wife, so I guess a more clear description is father and husband.

Both of my professions give me great joy. There is nothing I would rather do than spend time w/my family. I chose a subspecialty within medicine for this very reason (all outpatient, no call, no weekends, no overnights). I'm lucky in that I really enjoy this subspecialty and that it allows me to be a full-time father too. This is a very difficult niche to find in medicine, and I'm the luckiest guy in world since it works for me.

My dad coached me in baseball all the way to High School and his job allowed him time to do that. I'm lucky in that my job will allow me to do the same for for my son (not just baseball but whatever) AND I can be a doctor, a very full-filling profession. I'm extremely blessed. That being said, my current job is a pain and I can't wait to be a real doctor again. (30-something male)

SCHOOL COMMUNITY CAMPUS MANAGER. I am basically a social worker/counselor working with "at-risk" adolescents. I do believe that my job gives me joy - although I have to step away from it in order to see it. My job lets me have relationships with kids that most people would never glance at twice. I get to see them succeed. At the same time, I hear about a lot of crap that they have to endure or that they get themselves into. It brings me joy to think that somehow, someway I am affecting their lives.

I guess the biggest thing for me is that my life have meaning. I never have to doubt that with my job. Now, I may think some days that I haven't done very much, but I have to remember that my work is done in the little things - encouragement, a smile, listening, etc. Is it always joyful? Definitely not. Does it pay well? Hell no. But it keeps me grounded. (30-something male)

TEACHER. Dream maker: that's what one of my students called me two years ago and I kind of like that title. Now I do teach fourth grade and love what I do. I believe that God has called me to reach young children, and I believe that I do my job well. Every day a child says something that makes me smile. I am blessed to be at a school with a principal that trusts me to do my job. But…I would also love to open my own catering business. (50-something female)

SOCIAL WORKER. Even though I am not working as a social worker anymore, because my training is so specific and I spent so much time working at my "profession" over the past 10 years, I am a social worker. Currently, I work full-time from home which is a better description to me of a “stay-at-home mom.” Working full-time from home does not give me joy per se...being a mom is a joy, but I have had a tough time developing a schedule for the regular working hours of 8 to 5. It is like I am at work 24/7 with no end and no beginning. I adore the role of being a mom. I just do not know if I have really figured out how to juggle motherhood, wifehood, and managing the house. (30-something female)

SALES MANAGER. Most days my job gives me joy, knowing I'm providing products and services our customers appreciate. Also, knowing there's something that can always be improved on (part of the frustration of management too). It gives me joy knowing that while I'm at work, using my ability to earn money to support my family, my wife and kids are off interacting with other moms and kids in the community. My wife’s full-time profession would be spouse/mother. She definitely deserves a raise as she does an excellent job at both! I think these early years of getting our children introduced into the world are so important to their lives and our future humanity and society. I would say she takes great pride in parenting our kids and they bring her joy (most days).

There is something to say for the social and humanitarian responsibilities you feel pulling at you (I feel a little guilty for not feeling them currently). I feel like being a good husband, dad, friend is extremely important. Could those things count towards my social and civic duties? Here's something to ponder: If everyone focused on family and friends and treating people with respect, would society as a whole be improved and take care of itself? (30-something male)

CANCER/MICROBIOLOGY RESEARCHER. Does it give me joy? Yes and no. When you gals with kids talk about not seeing results on a daily basis I can completely relate. The only difference is that you will eventually see results with your grown children. I may not see results in my lifetime. This frustrates me. But, I love the people that I work with, my boss, and the flexibility of my schedule. And I do know that things I do now may someday help lead to a cure for cancer or help with antibiotic-resistant bacteria or something similar. And on that note, it does bring me joy. (20-something female)

TEACHER. My common response to people asking me if I like my job is, "I really enjoy my job 80% of the time." There are many days and seasons of sport that I think, "how important is World History?", or "do I really need to be breaking down film of a high school football game at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon?"

So I have to look at my job in a different light. I go to work to make a difference in kids’ lives. I will most of the time never see the impact I make in the lives of my students and athletes, and for my personality that really sucks. But I try to control my pride and trust that I am really impacting at least one kid a year. By “really impacting” I mean doing things daily and weekly that will influence one of the kids I'm in contact with somewhere down the road. Again, so very often I never see that effect. Again, that sucks.

Some kids you can tell are going to make it with or without you. Those kids are fun to be with and to teach and coach and befriend. It is the kids that seem really screwed up, and they don't really have much a chance of improving in life and just seem to be surviving their high school years. When those kids make it and become successful and come up to…and remind you of something you said years ago, then you feel really good about what you do day after day.

Some days I hate my job. Some days I love it. Honestly, if I could, I would quit and go plan worship services at church. But I have to work, so I do and I try to make the best of it. I go to work to make a difference in kids’ lives. If they learn some history along the way then all the better. (30-something male)

HOUSEWIFE, MUSICIAN’S ASSISTANT. Does it give you joy? Yes. I get to spend most of my time w/my husband. I have the flexibility to do what I feel is important: spending time w/family and friends and trying to help others. Although with having no structure/schedule, I often times find myself being lazy and not actually doing what I feel is important. (20-something female)

PUBLIC SERVANT. The work I do helps provide police services, fire protection, park and recreation activities, library services, clean water, removal of solid waste, streets and transportation to jobs where people can support their families. The community benefits from my work and that of my co-workers. Day-to-day, I'm a mentor, a teacher, a leader. I try to create an environment for my employees that will enable them and empower them to do their jobs in satisfying and fulfilling ways. Sometimes, my work is frustrating because I deal with imperfect humans. It does give me joy because the community benefits from what I do. I'm not the hero rushing into the burning building to rescue the injured child. I'm the encourager, the water bottle carrier, the gas pumper, the pay check printer, the servant working in the background, unseen and without fanfare, who cares for the hero and injured child. I'm proud of what I do. I like what I do. And I do it well. And most of the time, it's fun. (60-something male)

NURSE. Does it give you joy? Yes. I think the key lies in feeling VALUED, and I think good nursing care is very valuable both to society and to the individual patient. And it puts food on the table. (30-something female)

Monday, April 10, 2006

united 93

Is it too soon for this?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

pie & pillows

At the end of this day, I will have eaten half of a blueberry pie. Half.

Rowan just did the most sweet thing. He, Brandon and I were playing on our bed. Brandon and Rowan both had pillows in front of them and started pounding away together, beating their feathery drums. Then Rowan stopped, grabbed another pillow, swung it in my direction, and said "Mama". He wanted me to play along with them! It was the sweetest moment of my day.

Besides finishing that blueberry pie.