Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happiness?

So I'm a bit intrigued about the idea of happiness lately. I've a bunch of different (and unrelated) people espouse that basically people just want to be happy, and that what matters in life is that you are happy. I got to thinking about what this means - what does it mean to be happy? What does it mean if the meaning of life is the pursuit of happiness?

I wonder if all of this "we've got to be happy", "all that matters is that you are happy" stuff is a bit of a crock. I wonder if people spend so much time trying to be happy, or get happiness, or make other people happy that they end up unhappy themselves. Here is dictionary.com:

hap⋅py

–adjective, -pi⋅er, -pi⋅est.
1. delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing: to be happy to see a person.
2. characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy: a happy mood; a happy frame of mind.


Hmm... pleasure, delight, pleased. Sometimes life is tough, sometimes it isn't pleasurable or delightful or easy. Does that mean we can't be happy during these times? In fact, have you ever looked back at some of your best times as the simplest times, the times when you've had to get together with others and work hard to make it through, where things weren't particularly pleasurable or delightful and yet somehow... fullfilling?

I've started pondering the idea that if you seek happiness it will prove to be elusive. Maybe seeking after a compelling life - a life that matters, that puts others first even to the point of death (yes, like Christ) would be the most rewarding, the best life. But it might not be the happiest...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fifth of 5...


So my friend Dana tagged me on her blog (Delicious Ambiguity...check it out) to post my 5th picture in my 5th photo folder. Hers is classic and much more interesting than mine...but here goes anyways. Honestly, I only have 4 folders since we do ours by year...but I picked the fifth one of this years...and it's a great shot of Addie (shocking I know). I took this one day when I was home with her sick. She's toting around all of her prized possessions in her shopping cart. Remember when life was this easy...all a 18 month old needs to survive are a blankie, milk, a snack, and Elmo?!? I love it...I can't wait to scrapbook it. Life's necessities...age 1.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Girlfriends



So my fantastic college roommates came to town to visit after the holidays and we got some great shots with our babies. They're not as easy to photograph when they're all one and much wigglier than the last time we got together. At any one time, someone was crying or wacking someone else accidentally with a toy. It was exactly chaos...and exactly perfect. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Getting stimulated

So the government just passed a 700 billionish stimulus package... a part of me can't help but look at the people in power with a bit of a wary eye. Essentially what they did was add more money to the previous $700 billion bailout of last year - somehow, these guys have added almost a trillion and a half dollars to our national debt.

A TRILLION AND A HALF DOLLARS. Seriously. These dudes (and ladies) will be long dead before a dent is made in that debt. So to insure their own lifestyles persist, they used a big fat credit card, which basically me and my kids and their kids are going to have to pay...

Here is my new political theory - the Church (big C) has failed to be the hands of Jesus and so the government has seized the responsibilities which I think rightly fall to individuals to do in their own communities. So in the 50s, you used to pay the federal gov't a tiny percent of your income (like 2), now the average is like 24%. Basically the government took that money and used it to do the stuff we should've been doing the whole time (feed/care for old/sick/addicted/orphaned/widowed people). But then they do it it way less efficiently than we could, and oh yeah, Jesus gets no glory. Also they buy a lot of weapons.

If there wasn't a need because we the Church were taking care of people who had fallen on tough times, there would be no need for the government to step in. So we failed in two ways - 1. To do what Jesus told us to do with the least of these, and 2. We lazily gave the governemnt the ability to take a huge portion of our money to do it for us, badly.

Just a musing...

M

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wilderness Survival Merit Badge

Ok, this is going to sound a bit loopy, but go with me. Have you ever had a moment when you're by yourself doing something (like taking out the trash) and the thought pops in your head, "What if the whole thing just came tumbling down?" And by the whole thing you mean the American Way of life - no electricity, no water, no government. And then you think about how you don't know how to farm, hunt, fish, make a candle, fix your clothes, etc. You think about how you go to the grocery store and pull a banana off the shelf without thinking twice about how it got there, who grew it it, etc.

"Well", you think (if you are me), "I did get my wilderness survival merit badge when I was a Boy Scout." Then you laugh at yourself for 30 seconds because that is basically the dumbest thing you've ever thought. So you can build a little hut out of pine needles and a tarp in the woods? Big deal - they didn't teach you how to grow your own food or butcher a pig... how to provide for yourself let alone a family.

Then you start getting defensive with yourself - "But wait, I have valuable skills". Sure, you're a well compensated software engineer, but that doesn't mean crap if people are trying to survive and the best thing a computer can do for you is be a stool to sit on. You realize that all of your engineering skills would be totally worthless if it all came tumbling down.

"But I'm a leader!" Dont make me laugh, bub. That is what all the lifelong mid-level managers are going to be crying - "Follow me, I'll make us a plan on Project on how to get out of this mess!" while everyone else is looting the nearest REI.

I think I need to learn how to hunt. Or may be relearn how to fish - Jesus likes fishermen, right?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Baby Mikayla's on Her Way




So in a few short weeks, Mike and I get to become an Aunt & an Uncle! We're eagerly awaiting this new prominent title, as of course, all of our siblings are already aunts and uncles. It's about time, we say. Last weekend we had Emily & Phil's baby shower. Doesn't Emily look great? The two were so cute and seemed to enjoy all their generous (not to mention adorable) gifts. Check out my diaper cake...it was my first try at one and it was so fun. We can't wait to meet our niece miss Mikayla!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Yuv you!


Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope you and your sweetie have a great day. Our sweetie just recently learned to say "Love you," and it's even cuter because she says "yuv you." Ugh...if only you could capture this time in a bottle. So precious! Lots of Love...jen & mike

Monday, February 9, 2009

Baby Bellies


So after 6 months of being preggo, the time has come to share a baby belly picture. Last time I was pregnant, you may recall that most of my college roommates were also pregnant. (ironic, I know) This time, none of them are preggo yet, but several of my Cleveland family and friends are. They're all having their first babies so I get to sit back and share advice, throw baby showers, and skip all those childbirth classes they're attending. It's quite enjoyable actually. Seriously, though, I love having women to share pregnancy with...it's such a comfort! Here's my friend Sondra at her baby shower and I'll have my sis-in-law Emily's shower up soon. (note: second babies produce larger bellies.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Gah-wiw-ah

Addie has always enjoyed "Good Night, Gorilla", but the recent addition of our pink friend from Build-A-Bear has prompted her to increase her vocabularly - adding "Gah-wiw-ah"!

It is so funny to hear her say "Gawiwah, dada?" She is so smart - adding words almost daily, it seems... must have something to do with mommy being a teacher?