The rest of the story.

There were a few things in life that my father was adamant about while we were growing up, and one was his radio. On those cold Oregon mornings, the speakers crackled with KBZY, the local AM station, just waiting for Dad to leave so we could flick that little switch from AM to FM and tune it to the station that just screamed coolness, Z100. At the time I thought talk radio would surely be the death of me (and never mind my own NPR obsession now – are you there Ira, it’s me, Cara…), but I remember fondly Paul Harvey’s send off quote: “And now you know the rest of the story.” We’d say it along with him, pausing after “the rest,” jutting our chins out like we were an old man winking into the crackling microphone.

And here I am, at my own Paul Harvey moment in life. The problem is, of course, that I don’t know the rest of the story – in fact, I haven’t the slightest idea what’s in store. Tomorrow marks my last day with Young Life, a ministry that I have been a part of for the past 18 years, first as a student, then as a leader, and finally on staff for the past seven and a half years. So tomorrow I’ll pack up the office, and I’ll shoot off the final files and clean out my inbox; I’ll do one last lunch with Cathy D and Shan Shan, and we’ll reminisce and then the clock will strike 5.

And then Tuesday morning will roll around, and since it’s a national holiday, I won’t think much of it – but then Wednesday morning will come, and I won’t have an email to write. I won’t have a donor to meet with or a meeting to organize or Cash Flow to check, but I’ll just have little Canon beside me. I’m thrilled and I’m delighted and I’m scared out of my mind all at the same time. I always thought that I’d at least work part-time when we had kids, but then the kid came, and babies, I realized, are a game changer. But still, come September and it was time to return to work, I wanted to have it all: yes, I can work full-time and care for my baby and finish up grad school and be a good wife, and perhaps have a life on the side as well. I think I secretly wished for a cape with a big “S” on the back, along with my own personal secretary and perhaps an extra six hours in the day.

But that’s also when I started to learn that even if I can do something, it doesn’t necessarily mean it should be done, or that it’s healthy in the process.

I suppose that’s part of the present-day conversation, that women can’t have it all. The tension is present, the paradox exists, and every woman everywhere who brings a baby into this world has a choice to make. And no matter what choice we make, the decision’s gonna be tough. It’s hard if you stay home, and it’s hard if you go back to work. It’s hard if you work part-time, and it’s hard if you work full-time, even if you’re able to take your baby along with you (like I found myself doing).

And so we – me, myself and I, with a little man on the side – enter into the rest of the story this week, although to me, it seems as though we don’t know the rest of the story as much as we just plain have the rest of the story. On one hand, I’m delighted to be able to slow down, and have the time to dream and think and read and actually put words to the many thoughts swirling around in my head, further pursuing the dream of writing and speaking. I can’t wait to walk the streets of San Francisco with my little man, and get to know the various neighborhoods, and become a regular at a local coffee shop. I’ll finish my Master’s and I’ll hit up the YMCA; we’ll have more than Trader Joe’s frozen meals for dinner, and I’ll begin to rest and decompress and get to know who I am outside of my identity in ministry. This last one, perhaps, is the trickiest, and it’s the thing that scares me the most, but I know I have to deal with the muck inside, processing and just learning to BE, outside of a job title.

So will you join me? Will you join me as together we begin to learn …the rest of the story? Click on “Follow Me” over in the right hand column, and join in the journey with me.

Blessings, chm.

the canon chronicles, 5.

My friend Ceej interrupted our staff meeting at approximately 12:11:47 pm yesterday with the news that 12:12:12 was about to happen in 25 seconds or so. Silly CJ, we all said, while secretly excited for the break in announcements to celebrate that 1 second – or 1 minute, however you look at it – of history in the making. But really people, does that even begin to top 12-14-12 that’s soon happening in 3 hours and 38 minutes, thus topping the obviously hoop-lah of Canon’s five month birthday?

I think not. Happy five months, baby boy.

He slays me.
My friend Juvy wins for this excellent pic – are you kidding me? Look at that smile!

Current nicknames: Cancan, bubs, bubba, baby…

Weight & length: He was just over 14 pounds a month ago, so I’m thinking he’s close to 15 now! As per length, that I do not remember, nor am I going to try and measure the squirmy little bugger.

Sleep story: Why is it that I’m even more tired when he actually FULLY sleeps through the night than when he wakes up at 12.30, 3.30 & 6.30 (as he did earlier this week)? My body’s playing tricks on me… Sleep story #2: we tried and miserably failed at sleep training – but let’s be honest: he HAD slept through the night before our little bout with sleep training, and he’s back to doing it again, well, all two nights in a row. I’m realizing that parenting is more and more all about what’s comfortable and right for you and your family.

Poop story: Did you know that babies can go up to a week and a half without taking a poo …and doctors think nothing of it? It’s totally normal. Ugh. Although Canon didn’t hit any world records, I must say that saving up a couple days’ worth of innards is not very pretty when it becomes out-ards. Hellooooooo blow-out.

Baby Daddy story: last Saturday Baby Daddy successfully took Cancan to the park for a play date with another dad (and his boy), and then took him to the grocery store by himself the next day. The latter, of course, attracted quite the conversations in the produce section; needless to say, the same doesn’t happen to me.

Feeling: at peace in the midst of heart-tensions.

Musing over: Christmas. Family. January. Resting. Maui. New directions. Writing. Hellos and good-byes. The cycle of life. Mourning and birth.

(Re)Learning: that I’m not superwoman, nor do I want to be.

Reading: Beautiful Ruins; Help, Thanks, Wow; The Nursing Mother’s Companion; The NIV Application Commentary (- oh that sermon prep!) And because it’s football season and Fuller is over for the quarter, I just finished Are You There, Vodka, It’s Me, Chelsea & 90 Minutes in Heaven. Seeing those two paired together is rather indicative of my taste in reading – although it’s all over the place, my mama says that makes me a more rounded individual. I’m going to just say yes to that advice.

Anticipating: January 1st.

And just to tickle your Canon-buds, here’s one last pic of US:

Cookie baking time - aka: Canon falls asleep in the Ergo while mama bakes.
Cookie baking time – aka: Canon falls asleep in the Ergo while mama bakes.

Xo, chm.