Anecdote (13) book reviews (7) chris (1) glimpses (77) marriage (9) mommaville (37) projects (24) recipes (7) scenes (61)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Business stuff

So, apparently Google is doing away with Google Friend Connect (GFC). If you are like me, maybe you had no clue. And maybe you don't really care.  But I know there are some of my followers out there that use GFC to follow my most recent posts. So this will affect you, and I don't want you forgetting about me after GFC is gone!

So here is the deal:
1. I will be doing away with the "follow" me on GFC in the next week or two. Most likely.

2. You will be able to follow me two different ways. Facebook - yes I will try to link my new posts on facebook, under me (Alyssa) and not the Kid Project fan page, as I see the two blogs as two separate entities -OR- you can subscribe at the bottom of the home page -OR- you can put in your email address under Special Delivery and my posts will be emails to you!

3. A bit more about subscribing. Both The Kid Project and Lessons in Semantics are burned using FeedBurner and you can subscribe using a number of different readers- I use GoogleReader (just started today). I highly suggest this! Sounds confusing but say you keep up with a few blogs from time to can simple go to GoogleReader and they are all there in one place for you, new posts and all. No more fishing through windows!

For more info visit:

Easy? I hope so, let me know if you have any questions, concerns, problems!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Meet My Other Half

It has been nearly 7 years that we've been married. Wow. It actually went really fast! I can honestly say I love him more now than the day I married him. For awhile now I've had a secret assignment to capture some pictures of Chris - and so due to some climbing aches and pains we nixed the gym on our last date night, grabbed up the camera and headed down to Trolley Square. To say taking photos at night pushed me is an understatement. But nonetheless, here are some of the ones I got of my love.

But I could use your help. I want to know: which is your favorite and why?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My heart for mommies!

Hi people! Hi mommies! Here is an excerpt from my post over at the Kid Project:

Maybe it is because so many of my friends have newborns (or will soon). Maybe it is because I just moved my youngest out of her crib and I realize how quickly I left the baby stage behind. And I know how much quicker I will forget everything I learned and experienced. But for all these reasons and more I am writing a series of posts focused entirely on that intense [but short] season of life when we have a newborn.

This is going to take a lot of time and writing energy. But I have been putting it off for far too long. I don't like double posting (ie. posting one article on two blogs) but I am considering it.  Cause I think this info is pertinent for all. I haven't decided yet.  But just so you know, I haven't forgotten this blog if you don't see anything over here for a week or two. And who knows, maybe God will multiply my time. I encourage you to check out the posts over there and to pass them on! Love ya all!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

All too fast, I say.

In perfect Erickson style [we are a tad on the spontaneous side], we dismantled Ezzie's crib on Sunday night, which led to us unbunking the beds and realizing we didn't really need the changing table anymore. Which means... we went from one room that shouted "there is a baby here!" To a room that speaks of little girls, growing up way too fast. When they were all babies I couldn't imagine them ever getting bigger.  But they did. And now I cannot make them stop, I guess I never could.

So mamas, enjoy those little warm snuggles. They will start moving all to quickly.  And when they do you will roll and tumble and gain momentum and fly past potty training and bigger beds and bed rails and riding a bike, and before you know it your child will be...well still a child but more like a blur.  Ever moving, every changing, ever growing and learning and doing. This is all a part of it I suppose. But then every mom must be allowed her nostalgic moments...

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Stirring...(part 2, broken by prayer)

Some of us have deep wounds. Some wounds come from things we did or things done to us. Chances are you can think of yours fast...and hide it even faster. Some wounds are from the years we walked without God. But what happens when they are from the years you walked with Him? What happens when they dog you and trip you and grab on for a ride and no matter how many times you try - they won't let go?

I pride myself on some weird things. [The whole idea of "priding yourself' is probably flawed anyways.] But here is a secret- I've always prided myself on assessing hurts in my life, taking them to God and having Him heal them.  Funny how I can some how talk myself into taking the credit for Him healing my life...  I'll have to think on that more. But on we go.

One of my deepest wounds of the last 10 years? Prayer. Of the unanswered type. Not only this, it has tormented my faith for a LONG time. See nearly 10 years ago a team came down to Boulder Colorado to start a church.  And God grabbed hold of my life and my heart and I jumped in with both feet.  God did a lot of awesome things. [I feel like I am short siding it by stating it like this.] He really did.  But after four years the pastors in Fort Collins asked us to move back and essentially pulled the church plant.  Now there is a lot here that I am not going to go into.  A lot of hows and why and things gone wrong. A lot of pain. A lot of dreams and mostly a lot of prayers. But the long of the short of it is - I no longer knew how to trust God beyond the small daily things I could pray for. In fact, the mere mention of it would send me into tears and visions of a small brown room in Estes Park with Brandon and Tom standing before a group of heart broken leaders.

So... of course there was a teaching on prayer.  And not just prayer.  Big prayers.  And of course...the speaker was Brandon.  How could it not be?  God wanted to heal this hurt.  And if you know Brandon at all, then you know he is going to teach on prayer. Questions spinned in my head: What did we do wrong? Did we do anything wrong? Did I?  Was I not abiding?  And if I wasn't, how can I know? Cause I was clueless. Is God faithful?  Is he good? Can I ask Him for anything that big again?

Emotions were clouding my eyes. And my thinking. But Brandon was nice enough to sit for a chat during dinner.  I cannot give you all the answers to my questions. I cannot show you the anecdote to my pain. But I do know by the end of that conversation I felt freed in ways I had never felt before. Somehow God, through his spirit and community, released me.

I know now that one day God will ask me to trust Him for something that big again. And I know it will still scare me. And all the hurt may come back for a moment. But I will not be ruled by it anymore. I guess I think hard things happen, they change who you are and how you react, but they don't have to control you. There is healing in God's wings - just as he promises. Even if it takes 10 or so years to find it.
"Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. With God we will gain the victory." 
Psalm 60:11-12a

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Through the nose... [A mini-assignment]

So, we have some new additions to the Erickson household, in the form of camera gear and I have a lot to learn!  I also had a ton of fun doing mini-assignments before Christmas and posting them.  So you might frequently [hopefully] see some of my latest photo projects posted on here under "Projects."

Today I limited myself to f/2.8 only.  Goal: to become quicker at composing, focusing, and capturing that risky frame with an extremely shallow depth of field. Problem: I was totally uninspired in terms of content.  So Chris sent me on a walk with Kai - my constraints? To capture that which interested Kai.

I must admit visions of grass and more grass and yellow snow and more grass flickered through my mind.  But in the end it was fun- I got some good ones of Kai [ cause being focused on him and what he was interested in naturally led him into my frame.] And there are all the usual suspects [ less grass than I thought]...but then, being a dog, he keeps to the highly predictable nature of the canine species. One moment I was particularly proud of? Kai waltzed blissfully by a construction port-a-potty. Thank God I didn't have to take a picture of that!

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Stirring... (Part 1)

A stirring...pot of soup? What is "Stirring" you might ask? Well, this is the most accurate way I have come up with to describe my Faithwalkers experience this year. A stirring. God with the ladle. Me the pot. Stirring- my heart, my emotions [ I always leave a little raw], my love for the people I am around, my dreams, my motivations, my "I wants" crying out from inside.

The first night Pat Sokoll asked us, "What is it you really want?"  I jotted down the question to ponder later..not when I was trying to keep my baby quiet and content on her blanket, not when my three year old was beginning to melt down from exhaustion, not when my 5 year old was telling me in a whisper all about how much she loves her friend Lindy. But later. The trick is actually returning to the tid bits I jot down.  But I did.
Here is what I wrote: "I want most to live a life that is purposeful and worth living. I want to change the world and be changed [by God].  I want to shine."

Ah. It sounds so beautiful at first doesn't it?  Maybe even poetic.

Well, the conference wore on and tid bits grew on the margins of my notepad:
You cannot take anything to the next life, not even all you accomplish for God.  You can only take your relationship with Him. 

I need Jesus every moment.

If I had it "all together" what would that look like?

Where am I spending my resources? my time, beauty, energy, money?

I came back to the tid bits. I was challenged by them. And slowly they congealed into a whisper from God.

You are using Me.

Yikes! But it wasn't harsh or angry, but quiet, accepting, and all the more convicting for that. I have been using God.
Now this wasn't something I was knowingly doing... our sinful motivations rarely are. [One summer God had to get my attention by being a little more direct and call me a prostitute.] And yet it was true.  I wanted to live a "big" life.  I wanted to change the world and knew the only one with the power and know how to do it was God. He became a means to an end instead of a personal God who wants me to know Him and Him to know me.

So what did I take away?  The same thing I took away from a Christian camp back in 1995 where I first prayed to have Jesus in my heart: that I need to have a RELATIONSHIP with God that is personal and real. It is the same thing I learned my freshman year of college and every year since.  And I guess I will never stop needing to KNOW it. And that is fine by me.

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." Galatians 6:14

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Got to start somewhere...

We went to the Faithwalkers Conference this year- like we do every year.  I guess you can say it is as close to a tradition as anything.  Only this year was different. So many dear friends from Colorado and El Paso and Phoenix and now SLC. But even more than that, both Chris and I left knowing God had stirred and changed something deep in our hearts.

I spent the last couple days trying to figure out where to start. In terms of blogging about them.  But I am coming up short and having a hard time putting it into words.  So I am going to start easy and warm up to it.

So here is one thing I felt led to do at Faithwalkers: Come up with one verse for each letter of the alphabet and have  the kids [and subsequently me] memorize them. Now they aren't perfect.  I never did find a verse that starts with the letter 'x'.  And for many of the verses it is the second word that matches its letter.  But we all get the point.

The verses are a mix of ones they already know, I want them to know, or addressing some sort of sin habit in their lives.  So you might learn alot about our weaknesses over here by reading them!  But here they are:

A Apply your heart of knowledge and your ears to words of wisdom. Proverbs 23:12
B But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
C A cheerful look brings joy to the heart. Prov. 15:30
D Do not add to his words. Prov. 30:6a
E Every word of God is flawless; Prov. 30:5
F For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whomever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John3:16
G A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Prov 15:1
H Honor your mother and father. Deut. 5:16
I I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands. Ps. 119:60
J Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 3:52
K Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his. Ps. 100:3
L Listen when your Father corrects you.  Don't neglect your mother's instruction. Prov. 1:8
M For Man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:20
N The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Prov. 18:10
O Obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord. Col. 3:20
P Pray for those who hurt you. Luke 6:28
Q Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19
R Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Prov. 12:18
S My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. Prov. 1:10
T Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Prov. 3:5
U Unfriendly people care only about themselves. Prov. 18:1
V He holds victory in store for the upright. Prov. 2:7
W The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin. Prov. 10:8
X May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Gal. 6:14
Y Your hands made me and formed me; Ps 119: 73a
Z Zeal for your house will consume me. John 2:17b

Monday, January 2, 2012

Word for the year:

So last year I was asked by my yoga instructor to come up with one word that describes something I want to pursue, change or experience during the up and coming year. To set an intention, so to speak.

Last year my word was "tranquil." This made sense to me. We had a lot of 'untranquil' things happening. We were moving to Utah, selling a house, buying a new house, packing, and driving, and...and...and... All in the dead of winter. I didn't not feel tranquil. My life was at the "height of adventure" (if I can say that) but I wanted to calm my soul in the midst of it. I guess when I am on the proverbial roller coaster, I am an eyes open kind of girl.

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Was this a life changing experience? Um no.  But it did tie some sort of unified theme to my year. To have a 'quiet spirit' when our moving van was buffeted back on forth on I-80 by intense wind. To take a deep breath when my 3 year old came out of his room for the 8th time in a night- for 6 months straight. To calm my breathing while peering out onto the mirror-like rock face that I needed to move onto to complete my first multi-pitch climb. It helped keep me centered.  It reminded me of an intention I set earlier in the year- one I wanted to keep.  Like it says in 1 Peter 3:4:

Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

Picking a new word for 2012 feels like I am tipping my hat goodbye to 'tranquility' - but I hope I am not.  One year of focusing on it intently has not made me a master of it.  Far from.  It will be a life long ambition.

But pick a new word for this up and coming year? I will.
So here goes:
a feeling of thankfulness or appreciation, as for gifts of favours

Really this definition misses what I am trying to focus on.  It isn't just being thankful...My husband and I were having a conversation on the way to the rock gym one day and I loved the way he put it: "Gratitude seems like more than just being thankful.  It is looking around you and seeing bounty everywhere.  No matter the circumstances."

Wow, I GET that! (I mean I understand that.)  But more importantly, I NEED that!  So there it is, my word for 2012.

Please share with me your word! (In one word...or many.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

And to all a good night!

One year ago: we lived in a different house, a different state.  Now it seems like a different world.  So many years come to an end, and I am amazed [disgruntled] at how little has changed in my life.  This year I am amazed [loving] all the change.
Moving is one of the biggest Erickson family adventure to have happened in our little family. Not a huge move, but huge enough.  We left behind the state I was born in, my dear family, a world we knew like the back of our hands and friends we'd gladly give those same hands for...and we moved to Utah.  To a house I'd never even seen [yes, we bought it and only my husband had actually seen it in person], to a state with no relatives and at the time no real friends.
What did we hope to find? Our family.  OUR family.  A love and enjoyment of our Creator again, of life again.  And a love and enjoyment of being parents, of being married, of our kids as people. We hoped to find our passion for the outdoors again and a few adventures along the way.  We didn't expect circumstances to be perfect.  We didn't even want them to be.  But we wanted to know we were actually LIVING our lives, not being lived by them.  Do you know what I mean?
It is the difference between controlling, directing and edging your ski versus riding the 'rear' in terror.  It is like skillfully leading a horse around the ring versus closing your eyes and hoping it doesn't start to move to fast.  We'd become numb.  Everything was routine. And where routine set in too heavily, our hearts began to die.
So here is to a year of change- of the good kind- and a year to come that holds so many mysteries. And I like it like that- the mystery.  We hope you'll be a part of it, all of us figuring out this journey together.