Friday, October 30, 2009

1. Ron won a free lunch for 10 at Chipotle for dropping his business card in a bowl by the checkout. Today the girls and I met Ron and his co-workers there for lunch and enjoyed his winnings.

2. Here is our pumpkin that I told you about last time. We named him Simon. Afton kisses him every time we leave the house and assures him that we will be back soon. When we do come back Ponder greets him with a smile and a wave and a special little "Hi!"

Also, Happy Birthday in two days to my sweet husband who did such a good job carving it and who does such a great job being the man of our house and the delight of all our hearts around here.

3. This time of year someone around here always a runny nose or a cough or has had a one off vomiting episode or something. I think that is true for most households with young children. The colder months are fun months, but they are also the months of the sickies. If you are like me you spend a lot of time guessing and trying to figure out if the symptoms du jour are a big deal and especially if they are contagious. I can't tell you how many Sunday mornings we have gone back and forth over whether or not the symptoms one of the girls was showing was reason enough to keep them home from church. I hate to be the mommy that spreads germs around the town so many play dates and trips to the library or play ground have been scratched due to what were probably innocuous little symptoms. I just know how hard it is on the whole family to have a really sick kid so I never want to be responsible for someone else's family having that fortune. More than often I err on the side of caution so we spend a lot of the sickie months indoors. In our own doors. Anyway, this year, the nursery at the church where I attend Bible study handed out a sheet at the beginning of fall listing the symptoms that preclude a child from attending their nursery. To me it has been so helpful! I thought there might be some other mom's who spend their time waffling on just how sick or contagious their child is and would find this list helpful too. A child is likely too contagious to be hanging out with other kids if he/she has any of the following symptoms: 1.) Has vomited or had diarrhea in the last 72 hours. 2.) Has had a fever in the past 24 hours. 3.) Currently has a yellow or green runny nose.
I hope that list will be as liberating and informative to you as it was too me.

4. Speaking of sick little cuties H1N1 made a visit to our house last week and hit our precious little Ponder pretty hard. If anyone ever wondered what swine flu looks like one year here is a picture taken on day three of her bout with it after her fever had broken and she was on the upswing. As you can see she is still look pretty rough!

We are all doing fine now. In fact thanks to Tamiflu none of the rest of us got symptoms at all and Ponder was back to herself about four days from the onset. There are all sorts of rumors and bad press going around Tamiflu and for all I know some of them may be true, but all I can say is it seemed like a miracle drug to us during that week and I am sincerely thankful to God for it. We are so blessed with health in my little family and it humbles me and makes me truly grateful.

Friday, October 16, 2009

They Make Everything We Already Enjoyed So Much More Enjoyable.

1. Today for lunch my children ate cooked carrots and whole wheat tortillas. They had water to drink, which they hate, but I am trying to teach them to love.

2. Here is a thought that has been bungling around in my head for a few years and I have decided to release and share. When your loyalty to someone or something for whatever reason requires you to hate or at least not to love someone else (particularly another Christian) I think it stops being loyalty and starts being sin. I would like to hear other thoughts on that.

3. Ponder is obsessed with feeding herself now. Pretty soon I won't have anyone to feed at the dinner table. I will just sit there and eat. Amazing thought really! I haven't done that since August of 2007. Even after the baby is born I will have six good months where my only responsibility at a meal is to eat it. Pretty exciting!

4. I caramelized my own onions last night. They were quite good, thanks for asking. The thought of doing that a year ago would have terrified me just because it sounds fancy and I am afraid of doing fancy stuff. I have learned, though, pretty much everything I ever try ends up being easier that I thought it was going to be. Except labor. That was much, much harder.

5. We are going to "make puckins" with Afton tomorrow. That's make pumpkins for those of you who don't speak two year old. I love how easy it is to get her excited about things. She is pumped about "fall time". All she knows is that involves "puckins" and "rainbow trees". What a precious delight having little children is. They make everything we already enjoyed so much more enjoyable. Well, maybe except for sleeping.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Weak Spot For Chipotle Has Developed Into A Passionate Love

 I am getting dangerously obsessed with Chipotle.  Ron and I have always had a weak spot for it in our hearts and our eating out budget, but since I have been pregnant and eating (and on bad days even  cooking) a lot of our regular foods grosses me out my weak spot for Chipotle has developed into a passionate love with which there is no reasoning.  I said this to Ron last week, "When Chipotle is SO delicious, SO affordable, fills you up so SO well, and serves wholesome food you can feel good about putting into your body and feeding to your children why would you ever eat anywhere else including your own home?"  He just looked at me for a long time and said "You are making me nervous."  Don't worry, baby, I am making myself nervous too.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Feel Like I Should Be Thirty. I Feel Like It Is Time.

1. 9/11 still breaks my heart.

2. This is my old phone. This is my new phone. I am so excited about it.

3. We have our first ultrasound on Wednesday and I am really excited about that too.

4. Afton has not had one potty accident since we got back from vacation in July. Not even at night! To celebrate I took her to Ben and Jerry's for an ice cream date. Here is my beautiful big girl! Two and a half years old exactly the day this was taken.

5. I have been reading this book. I know, so nineties. It is really good though. If you didn't read it in the nineties you should now just like me. Which reminds me...I am getting ready to read the LOTR books. Also didn't read them in the nineties like I was supposed to. Does anyone know if I need to read The Hobbit first?

6. I turn thirty tomorrow. I am actually kinda happy to be thirty. No reservations at all. I feel like I should be thirty. I feel like it it is time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Probably Won't Bake Something New Everyday

1. I don't have time to have a fancy blog with long double proof read posts, but I do miss having a way to remember my thoughts as my days pass me by, open my life to my friends and acquaintances, and leave a record for my children of their infancy and childhood, so I am back, but keeping it simple.

2. I have decided to bake my brains out this holiday season and I can't wait! I have always loved the idea of holiday goodies everywhere all season long. That was how it was at my Nana's house growing up. There was never a day without a pie or some candies or special bread or something yummy! It made everything so special. I have been wanting to make the holiday season a celebration everyday all season long and I can't really think of an easier or better way to celebrate than with food. My only drawback has been all those calories. How could I make festive goodies everyday and not end up as fat as a Christmas goose myself. This unanswered question has been what has kept me from ever embarking on my holiday baking mission. But I got thinking....what with me pregnant and all and not really supposed to be worried about calories and not really supposed to be too worried about my weight this will be the perfect season to try my experiment.  So here we go!  Well, beginning November 1st (Ron's birthday and my official start of holiday season) pumpkin muffins and pumpkin pie will start things off and will give way to Christmas candies, cookies, and ciders as our thoughts turn from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  It is going to be yummy around here!  I probably won't bake something new everyday, but when the last treat runs out I will know it is time to start something up!  I think it is gonna be a fun way to keep all that we have to celebrate in the forefront of our minds.  If it turns out awesome I will keep doing it in years when I am not pregnant.  Fattening up for winter is good right? Plus I will never be wanting for a New Year's Resolution!

3.  Afton and Ponder went to Chuck E. Cheese's for the first time in her life yesterday.  That place is so fun!  I had forgotten.  We were on a fifteen hour ride home from Florida and we wanted pizza for lunch.  The only pizza place at our exit was Chuck E. Cheese, not really the kind of place you want to stop on a fifteen hour trip.  We really wanted pizza though and I told Ron the kids don't even know what it is so they won't ask to play unless we bring it up.  We could just eat there like it was a regular pizza place and they would be none the wiser.  Good enough plan, but once we got inside the fun took over.  It started with me!  As soon as I saw the skeet ball machines I told Afton me'n Daddy were about to get nasty on some skeet ball.  She had know idea what that even was.    Then there were the tradional singing animals, (Afton adored them of course.) , the blue screen kids could dance in front of and then be put up on huge TV screens so everybody in the restaurant could see them, the five free tokens that came with our food that we just has to use!  We were sunk.  Fun was going to be had.  The trip would have wait.  Our pizza was disgusting, but we left thinking there was no where better we could have stopped!  After a couple of rides on cars and horses and merry go rounds Afton was a new kid, totally renewed for the trip.   Just getting to see the singing animals and watch her sister dancing on a big TV screen was enough to lift Ponder's spirits.  Ron and I did try our hand at the skeet ball.  Let's just say together we didn't make enough tickets to buy even the cheapest toy.  There is always next time though, and there certainly will be a next time!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"Its 1:53 in the morning -- is it time for me to declare my intentions?"

Five years ago tonight the brief silence in my kitchen was broken by those words.

"You tell me." I responded coyly, and so began the conversation that would change my life. Forever. For better.

We discussed whether or not we wanted to "give it a try" for a couple of minutes and then we spent the next two hours discussing what giving it a try would look like for us. It was more than a mere DTR. (Though, we had no doubt that was what our friends would be calling it the next morning.) For us it was the beginning of our Great Attempt . That was what we christened the new direction our relationship was taking that night. Our attempt to learn to love well and then to love as well as we possibly could and to never stop learning to love well and loving as well as we possibly could. Our attempt to work hard at our love from the beginning and meet problems and pitfalls head on and handle them rather than be handled by them. We didn't use all those words just then, for fear of saying too much, but five years into it that is pretty much how I would sum it up. So yeah, pretty heavy stuff for your average DTR. Maybe that explains why we engaged two weeks later.

I have never stopped being thankful for that night. I never will. I will never stop being thankful to Ron for having the courage to "declare his intentions" when it would have been just as easy not to. I will never stop being thankful to God for the little and big providences he crafted into our lives up to that point so that when that night of great importance came we were as ready as we could be. Neither of us deserved to be as ready as we were.

So, how is it going, this Great Attempt of ours? We are about a mile and a half into our marathon. It is still exciting. It is still hard to believe we are actually really going for it. It is fun. It is a whole lot of fun actually. And, it is already harder than I thought it would be. Turns out the hard work that love requires takes more than love alone to accomplish. It takes nothing less than the grace of God. Fortunately, we serve an extravagantly generous God. It is already a whole lot better than I thought it would be too. It is by far the most rich and rewarding endeavor of my life. I am fortunate beyond words that this bright, pleasant path is the path God has chosen for me. When I think about it in that way I realize that the hard work of love is actually really, really easy.

So, Ron, when you read this, know that I am glad. I am glad I didn't have to work that Sunday. I am glad you spent all afternoon at my house. I am glad yet another silly boy was leading Christen S. on at the time. I am glad I had lived enough to be indignant with him for doing so. I am glad you didn't leave for Charlottesville after the Grammys were over. And I am so very glad you chose me as your partner in this Great Attempt. Attempting with you day after day has been the proudest enterprise of my life. Knowing that you will be here with me, until death parts us, attempting with all God gives you is the sure and solid underpinning of all my earthly joys.

Happy five years as us. I love you.

Friday, January 2, 2009

My New Year's Resolutions

In December of 2003 my husband Ron sent me a postcard from Florida. On it he said, "It is cliche not make New Year's because they're cliche, so think of something good." That has pretty much been my view on the subject ever since. Here are mine for this year:

1. Brush Afton's teeth twice a day EVERYDAY.
2. Do the dinner dishes at night instead of the next morning.
3. Have friends over for dinner once a week.

I am sharing these here because I hear publicizing your goals is a good way to keep you from quitting on them. I am totally embarrassed by one and two because having them as goals is like saying to the world "Hey, I don't brush my daughter's teeth and I leave my dishes sitting out all night!" But I posted them anyway. Judge me if you must. I don't blame you.

For the record I do brush Afton's teeth, just not nearly as regularly as I should. She squirms so much that it seems pointless, so it never gets high priority. Now that I have outed myself on the Internet though, hopefully those cute little teeth will get the attention they deserve.

As for the "I leave my dishes sitting out all night" part, well, I have no for the record statement for that. I do it. Pretty much every night. I know, I know! I am stopping though. That is what this humbling (humiliating) post is about.

As for the last one, I know it sounds very ambitious. It is meant to be. It is designed to be a boot camp of sorts, on the reasoning that if you do something a whole bunch of times in a row it stops being scary. Time for embarrassing confession number three. I am terrified of having people over for dinner. Every time we do have company we have a great time. We always talk about how fun it was and wonder why we don't do it more often. I know why though. It is because I get totally nervous about the prospect of cooking for other people. It is quite silly, really. It comes down the fact that I only know how to cook really normal things. I always feel like I need to be able to pull something fancy out of my hat and I know that I have nothing fancy in there. Nothing. Just stuff like spaghetti. Anyway, I always tell myself it is not about fancy food it is about fun and fellowship. I can tell myself that until I am blue in the face, but until I overcome my nervousness I am going to let fretting over fancy food keep me (and my family) from lots of occasions of fellowship and fun. (How is that for alliteration?) That is where resolution number three comes in. If I force myself to cook for friends fifty times this year I think I will beat back the majority of my nerves and I know we will have a lot of fun in the process.

So, there you have it. Wish me Godspeed! Happy New Year!