Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Our Other Bike Rider

Some other child in our house no longer uses training wheels.


video

Monday, May 24, 2010

Churches

We went to another church yesterday. We've actually been going every other week for a couple of months. Now that our commitment to our current church in Boulder is over, we aren't planning on heading back to that church over the summer. Possibly not even in the fall. This new church is small. It's so not our style that it's a little scary to me. But, our desire for community has taken over. We just hit our 3 year mark in Colorado, and still don't feel like we're part of anything.

It's interesting - the prospect of changing churches. It's not definite, but the chances are high. I don't want to run the risk again of staying at a place where I don't feel connected. Although I've tried, I feel like I've exhausted all avenues at our current church. We started going to our church in Boulder in July of 2007. We both liked the pastor and worship on Sundays. We were also excited about a couples/marrieds class on Sunday mornings, and I was excited about the prospect of MOPS and the women's Bible study group all being at the same church. I'd been sort of all over the map back in the bay area - doing a mom's group/Bible study in Menlo Park, a playgroup with women from and not from our church, and then going to our church. I was envious of the bond that some of the women in my mom's group had, and part of that was their shared experience of attending the same church, mom's group, and living in close proximity with each other. I wanted that for myself.

The problem, we've found, at our current church has been that we really just don't fit in anywhere. We haven't found our niche. The MOPS group at our church in Boulder was nice - I really liked it the first year - but I felt old. Much older than all but a few women in the group. Same with the couples/marrieds group. It was very much for young couples - "young" being the operative word. We'd been through so much of the "improving your marriage", "improving your parenting" before, and weren't all that interested in repeating it. I worked in childcare for a while, but I found that not only was I exhausted taking care of other children when I spent all my time taking care of my own, but that I was also getting sick ALL.THE.TIME. I'm not joking when I say that I had to stop for my own health! The women's Bible study had promise, but I had a bad experience with my very first small group that has tainted my experience with the group in general since then. Plus, one of the leaders of that first small group is now one of the leaders of the whole women's group. It doesn't make going to Wednesday morning Bible study all that much to look forward to. Our church draws from a more conservative crowd than we're use to. Most people with kids our age are younger than us. Sometimes by more than a decade. People our age have much older children and are in a completely different phase of life. Age and life stages shouldn't be a reason for being unable to find community. However, we're not finding relationships. I'm just not relating. We have very little in common with these other people. The fact that our church also draws from communities north and east of Boulder doesn't help. We live south of there, and the combination of miles, times, and my new personal schedule with school aged children isn't conducive to get togethers and outings.

So, we decided to make changes. After much searching, I found that I couldn't locate any mom's groups (for moms with kids of all ages), so I started attending a different MOPS group in Boulder. I knew a couple of women from Brandon's school who went there. Lo and behold, many of the women there live near me, too (only a few people in my previous MOPS group lived within 10 miles of me). I don't live on the cusp of society, so to speak, for the population of this group. We started attending a small, local church about 5 miles away. So far it seems fine. The people are mildly friendly, and have even invited us to a few church/family events. We continued to attend our church in Boulder until our LifeGroup went on hiatus, which was a week ago. I like our
LifeGroup, but don't feel like I'm a "part" of it (how's that for vague?). There's too much whispering going on between the other women, and while I'm there, I'm not really included by the women of the group. Although Brian doesn't feel excluded in our LifeGroup, we're both looking at this hiatus as an opportunity to find community elsewhere. We've decided to stay at this church through the summer and see where we land in the fall.

It's interesting and scary all at the same time. Our family life is stable, and we've forged a few friendships in our neighborhood and through Brandon's school. But the Christian community I crave isn't there. It hasn't been there, and I miss it. As a stay-at-home mom, I run the risk of being home by myself unless I make a point of getting out. That gets lonely. Most of the people at this new church live near us. Brandon has already commented that some of the same kids from school are at church. I like the prospect that we could actually live near church friends.

That's where we've landed. We'll see how it goes. We're jumping in right away. I hope the splash is big!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Mild Spring Fever

Spring has officially arrived in Colorado. How do I know? For one, it's green outside. Some trees have leaves ... some don't... but the barren brown-ness that is Colorado in winter has given way to signs of life. The hills are a light green and ground cover is growing back. The Rockies have a nice tinge of different greens and browns now, instead of just the green of the evergreens in winter. The snow we get is light, only an inch at a time, and melts completely within a few hours of the sun coming up. My body and soul feel a bit more free in spring. The darkness and heaviness of winter has gone, and we all feel lighter. Of course, not having to covering up with a coat does help! It's also very windy. According to most Coloradoans that I know, it feels like Wyoming right now. No one is happy about that! Yesterday a 70+ MPH gust of wind slammed me against the car as I walked around to make sure Caitlin was buckled in. Didn't feel good. I can't wait for the winds here to die down. It's just generally miserable. At least it's warm, though. Those same winds in winter are brutal.

In the afternoons our street is filled with the sounds of children playing. I hear them going up and down the street on bikes, or running on the sidewalks. Brandon is never happy that he has to read at that time, but it does motivate him to get it done so he can have some playtime outside. I'm happy we are on a street with families again. It's not the same as what we left, but it's getting better. The small-town nature of it all gets to me, but I'm hoping this summer will be better that the last. Trying to avoid the gossip mill here takes work! I was also hoping to do VBS with the kids, but it seems that every church that is hosting VBS is doing it during the same two weeks - June 14th or June 21s - and we're gone those weeks. I wish I could find one that's a bit later in the summer, but that doesn't go along with Colorado's problem of doing everything to early. Luckily our summer has a couple of breaks from our home life, with a trip in June and vacation in July. I'm hoping the kids will love playing with their friends, and won't miss VBS.

Brandon asked me today how many weeks of school were left. Three weeks and one day! It seems so soon. I'm looking forward to this school year being over (as I always am about this time of year), and so is he. Caitlin isn't looking forward to preschool ending, but I think she'll be happy over summer. She'll just miss the fun of hanging with her preschool peeps. Is this spring fever that we all have? Looking forward to summer? If it is, I'm all for it.