Friday, December 23, 2011

Margaret Virginia

Hi friends!

I don't know what you guys have been up to this holiday season, but Iiiii've been having a baby. And I have the pictures to prove it!

Tuesday, December 6, 2012-- 8am
(Look at that happy idiot! She has NO idea what she's in for!)

12:05 pm
I had seen my doctor the day before, and she said enough was enough!, stripped my membranes, and scheduled me for an induction the next morning.  Because of my history, and a few complications with this pregnancy, my docs had recommended that I not carry past 37 weeks, so I was quite thrilled to have made it to 39.5 weeks before they really put their foot down. I'd also been walking around at 3cm dilated for the past few weeks, and Maggie's growth ultrasound looked good, so we felt pretty ready.

Our biggest goal, other than a healthy baby (duh) was to avoid a c-section this time around, so despite the fact that I'd need to be on an IV (for pitocin) and attached to fetal monitors throughout labor, I wanted to avoid as many interventions as possible and go as 'natural' as you can go... with a VBAC induction that is.

My mom came down the night before to stay with Henry and David I left bright & early Tuesday morning for the hospital. It was a hiiiiighly effective induction. 8 lb 12 oz Maggie was born about 3 1/2 hours after starting the Pitocin drip.  Labor was super-de-duper fast, and I think I'd describe it best by saying that it was like careening wildly down a hill in a car with no brakes. But, at the bottom of the hill, after you crash, you get a BABY!

 Totally worth it, eh?

Henry sure thinks so.

My midwife & nurses were amazing, and I am incredibly thankful to have a healthy baby girl, to have avoided a c-section, and to have survived unmedicated childbirth. If you want the gory details of the birth story, you have only to ask. But, I'm gonna keep it PG rated here. :)

Maggie is a faaaaaabulous baby girl, nursing like gangbusters, sleeping like a miracle, and generally adored by all her fans.

Henry LOVES his baby sister and showers her with kisses, hugs, and toys that are wildly age-inappropriate for her. He also calls her 'Baby Sister' which I would like to continue for... ever.

I am figuring out how to parent a newborn and a toddler... slowly... sort of... is it even possible?? And, basically, that is ALL I am doing. Whiiiich is why its taken me two and half weeks to post any pictures or updates. I'm not even going to apologize for it- I'm impressed with myself that I take a shower most days.

And, David... well, basically he's holding us all together. Picking up allll the slack for me, and saying really encouraging things that I'm pretty sure are lies, but I can't really tell through the post-partum hormone haze, so I'm just choosing to believe him. :)

So, Merry Christmas friends!  We love you, and as soon as we get a handle on life again (and by we, I mean ME) we hope to catch up with all of you!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

He just KNEW.

The whole time I was pregnant with Henry, David 'knew' it was a boy.   At the twenty week ultrasound he was proved right. There was gloating.

This time, he has been SO SURE that it's a girl. Last week, at the twenty week ultrasound he was proved right, AGAIN.

Okay, lets take a momentary but necessary lapse from the purpose of this post (mocking my husband) to do the obligatory celebrating:

WHEEEE!!! A girl! Pink! Bows! Fluff! I will have so much to teach her in the ways of femininity, snazzy dressing, make-up techniques, and the art of catching a man!!  Uhh.. wait... maybe we should appoint one of her aunts to take over those duties... But still! Girl! Yay!

Also, secondary tangent, I know, but humor me: I am now in the market for girl clothes! If you have hand-me downs for baby chicas or know someone who does, let me know. WE ARE NOT PICKY. We are just cheap.


So, after the appointment, in the elevator, I say to David, in a truly shocked and impressed manner "Seriously, how do you do this?!?! How can you be SO SURE and RIGHT both times?  I mean, I'm growing this kid, and I can't tell it's gender. So really, tell me how you're doing this? Is it black magic? Let me see your arm. Do you have the dark mark?"

He says, "You know, with Henry, it was mostly luck. I mean, I did think it was a boy, but I totally could have been wrong. But this time, I was sure."

"Yeah, but HOW were you sure?"I pressed.

"Well, this pregnancy has been really different from last time. So, I figured different pregnancy, different gender."

"Wait... different how? I don't really feel like it's been that different."

"Well, a couple things... like you said your skin was breaking out more, and you've been more tired... but mostly, you've been way more emotional this time."

"What? I have not! What do you mean more emotional?!?"

"Oh, I don't mean in a bad way. You've just been really moody."

*** The Great Space of Silence***

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! Did he just tell a pregnant woman TO HER FACE that she is MOODY? And in an ELEVATOR? In a building full of OTHER PREGNANT WOMEN?!? And did he actually try to soften it with, 'not in a BAD way?!?!' Is he crazy?? Are the pregnancy hormones affecting him, too? Does he have a death wish? Does he WANT me to kill him and leave our children fatherless??

Alright, that was fun, but the boring truth is, I actually wasn't mad at all.

I was more impressed that he thinks our marriage is strong enough to withstand such honesty. Or, that he thinks I'm rational and logical enough to receive such information without throwing things at him or having a weepy meltdown. (I think he's on shaky ground with both, but whatever.)

The TRUE humor of this story is that for the past four months I have been silently patting myself on the back for how NOT moody I thought I had been!!  I'M NOT EVEN KIDDING YOU! Apparently, this is the level of ignorance I operate at!  I have seriously and honestly thought that I had been so LESS emotional, less weepy, less easily offended, more reasonable, etc.

HOW COULD I BE THIS WRONG?!? And, what ELSE am I thinking in my pregnancy-addled brain that is TOTALLY off the mark.

Maybe I should just ask David. Since apparently, he KNOWS EVERYTHING.

I mean, can you blame me for not taking him seriously all the time?

However, the silver lining here is twofold: 1) You guys know I totally love David, and actually think its HILARIOUS that he thinks its okay to say this crap to me. Plus, it makes great blog fodder. And, 2) Now I know I can always rely on him to foretell the gender of our children. However, I WILL NOT be asking him how he knows anymore. Can you imagine what he might say the next time?!?

 "Well, I was pretty sure, because this time your butt has gotten GINORMOUS, and it looked exactly like that the last time it was a girl, so..."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mini Photo Update

I'm still camera cord-less around here, but I did break down and order a new one a couple days ago.  But, I'm too cheap to pay for anything other than the absolute lowest shipping price, so cord should arrive anywhere from 3 days - never. I'll let you know.

In the meantime, we went to the beach this weekend, and I brought my old camera and took pictures. (Also, I know it was like a million degrees this weekend, and only idiots and tourists go to the beach in weather like that, but it was my birthday, and I wanted to go. So we goed.) I am to afraid to take the Nikon anywhere where there is water, sand, or other Dangers.  Because, it is like another child to me and I do not know what I would do if anything happened to it.

HOWEVER, my camera neurosis is a good thing, because now I have a few current pics of La Henri to share! Not a true photo update, I know, but still, you can glory in his cuteness and express shock and awe at his toddlerness.

VA Beach, approx 105 degrees F, fun still had by all:

Sand. Oh, the mystery!

Do your children attack your cameras like this?

I was trying so hard to get a good picture of him in his sunglasses... maybe next time.


Seriously, less than 60 seconds after starting the car.

Happy Weekend, friends! Hope you stay cooler than we did. :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thirteen through Twenty

So, I've made it through 8 books since we last spoke.   This does mean, sadly, that I have fallen rather significantly behind in my (perhaps overly lofty) goal of 52 books in a year.  This is the 29th week of the year and I am currently reading books 21 and 22, which still puts me about 9 books behind schedule.  Although I think I'll close that gap a little during our vacation, (week after next!!!!!! OMG!!!!!! Lakehouse!!!!!) I don't think I'll be able to eliminate it fully.  Plus, you know, full-time work again, the holidays, childbirth, etc. will also occur in 2011, so those may put me off a bit too. Just trying to be realistic here guys.

HOWEVER, I plan on forging ahead regardless.  I like the reading routine I've got going, I have a looming to-read list, and I do want to see how close I can get to 52 books. You never know, I may just pull it off. I'm sorry if the books posts aren't your thing, but you have to put up with them, at least until 2012.

For obvious reasons, these will be abridged reviews. Please feel free to contact me for a more in-depth exploration of my opinion, which I know you just CRAVE like nothing else.

Book 13, Home, by Marilyn Robinson
It was excellent. I love, lovey, loved it.  I read Gilead a few years ago, and Housekeeping the year after that, and although Gilead still stands as my clear favorite, Home was not a disappointment.  Which, is often a problem for me- once I've read a book that I LOVE by an author, I expect to equally love everything else they write, and this can lead to grave disappointment. If you have not read Gilead before, GO GET IT AND READ IT RIGHT NOW. Then, read Home. You will thank me.

Book 14, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
This is a tough book for me to review. I did not love it, but I do not think it was the book's fault.  You see, I started reading it the week before I realized I was in a family way, (looks at floor, blushes) and every time I picked it up to read it, I fell asleep within 5 pages. THIS WENT ON FOR OVER A MONTH, I KID YOU NOT.  Because of that, I feel like my reading of it was very disjointed, and I was never really able to get into the rhythm of the plot.  However, her characters are extremely compelling, the story is quite lovely, and she wrote it when she was TWENTY-THREE!  So, it's like an Outsiders kind of thing- you have to be impressed because WHO has this much life experience, wisdom, and insight into the human soul at 23?!?! Not I, friends. I can tell ya that much.

Book 15, Confessions of a Twentieth Century Pilgrim, Malcolm Muggeridge
This one was a recommendation from my Dad, who is a prolific reader and a forceful recommender. I only tell you this as a defense against my own character- when you come to my house and accidentally start talking to me about books and I shove a book into your hands on your way out the door, and say "Okay, so, read it this week, and let's meet for coffee on Friday and talk all about it! Can't wait to hear what you think! You're gonna love it! Bye!" And then you walk away feeling like you were the just the victim of a drive-by booking... well, I just want you to know that I come by this trait honestly. It's not my fault. :)
HOWEVER, although Dad is a forceful recommender, he's also a pretty good one too, and this book was no exception. I was reading it at the same time as Lonely Hunter, so I was also experiencing the same reading/sleeping issues, but this book is non-fiction, has short chapters, and a bit of a devotional feel, so it was easier to find my groove in it.  I really, really, really like autobiographical works anyway, and found myself rather fascinated by Muggeridge's descriptions of himself at different stages of his life.  A very unique perspective, and challenging without being demoralizing at all.

Book 16, Love the One You're With, Emily Giffin
This book was one of my book club's picks, which I mention because it's probably not one I would have picked up on my own.  It's not that I eschew chick lit, romance, or 'beach read' type books- no, no, not at all.  It's just that, when I'm in the mood to read trash, I already have all my favorite trashy authors, so I usually just go for one of them. You know, loyalty and all. But, here's the thing- this wasn't trash! I swear!  Yes, it certainly has both feet firmly planted in the chick lit genre, but it was quite well written. Well developed characters, interesting plot, and the main character did NOT get everything she wanted in the end.  Whoa! I'll admit it, Giffin, I had you pegged all wrong. Well, mostly wrong.

Book 17, Room, Emma Donoghue
Really, really good. I was hesitant to read it because I do not like scary things, nor do I like overly graphic Criminal Minds-esque delves into the minds of psychopaths.  However, a friend assured me that it was neither, and that she thought I would like it.  She was right on both counts.  Although the setting and situation of the characters is rather dark, it's not a scary or even overly-suspensful book. What stood out to me (and impressed me) the most about the book, was Donoghue's portrayal of the immensely great lengths that a parent will go to in order to preserve the well being of their child, and what happens when that parent reaches the end of what they are capable of.  There are a few parts that are difficult to read- I actually put the book down at one point and walked away because I was just SO MAD at the mother in the book. SO MAD! And she's not even real, so I can't yell at her!  But, back to the point- Donoghue takes on an often ignored topic in a complex and rather beautiful way. I liked it very, very much, and if you decide to read it, I'm dying to talk to you about it.

Book 18, Bossypants, by Tina Fey
So, I made a mistake with this book.  I thought it was going to be a HUMOR book, with a little autobiography thrown in. It's not. It's an AUTOBIOGRAPHY with a little humor thrown in. Once I figured that out, I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of it. Plus she (kinda sorta) explains how she got that scar, which, lets be honest, the world's been dying to know for, like, ever.

Book 19, Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller
Our community group read this book as our last study, and it's a winner.  It was a great book for prompting self-examination and sparking eeeeexcellent discussions.  I am not a WILD Timmy K fan, but I always enjoy his insights when I read him, and this book was no exception.

Book 20, The Ministry of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson
Just finished this one a few days ago.  I read The Mission of Motherhood right after Henry was born and really appreciated it.***  This book is written more like a devotional than the last one. There are a few chapters devoted to a theme, and then there are questions to go along with it.  I liked this format, and thought I really got a lot out of what she had to say by using her questions throughout. I also really appreciated her incorporation of Scripture in each section the book.

*** So, I do have one GIANT disclaimer when it comes to Clarkson. She says some things that drive me absolutely BATTY in both of these books.  First, she's REALLY hard on working moms. Not so cool, Sally. I'd like you back off a smidge. Second, she's a definite proponent of homeschooling and I think is a little dismissive of people who choose to educate their kids otherwise. I'm not opposed to homeschooling at all, but I DO think there are many excellent practical and theological reasons NOT to homeschool, and that's never acknowledged. Third, she's a little.... uhh... sappy? I guess? She tells stories about her kids, and her teenagers say things to her like "Mom, I really appreciate what a great friend and role model you and Dad are to me." I keep wanting to be like, "Seriously, Sally? He said that? Are you sure? Did you write it down for him first?" She also talks about keeping her children 'pure' and 'innocent' which I find annoying, and lacking in terms of scriptural support.
HOWEVER, her approach to motherhood, and her theology of servanthood is awesome, and has been incredibly encouraging to me. Her books have helped me to vocalize my goals and purposes more clearly, and have guided me towards finding (and recognizing the limits of) satisfaction from mothering. So, I will continue to put up with the things I find less than thrilling in her books, because overall, I still like where she's coming from. But, I don't think we could hang out in person. Don't tell her. She'd be SO disappointed.

And thats it! My life, in books, over the past two months. So, have YOU read anything good that should make it onto the list? I still have about 12 spots to fill...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hey guys!!!

Oops. Two months can go by REALLY fast these days.

However, I refuse to apologize for the long stretch of nothingness because I swore in my first blog post ever, that I was not going to feel guilty about blogging or not blogging, and I must stay true to myself! I must! Or, something like that.

Plus, I have FABULOUS excuses for why I have not posted. Read on, friends:

1. I am indeed, knocked up again. To the tune of about 19 weeks. (Please do not yell at me if I have not announced this to you in person.  I can no longer keep track of things like a normal person. I announced that I was pregnant to one friend THREE times, and have also convinced myself that I have indeed told people who actually have no idea. Clearly, I need help.)

2. During the first trimester, I fell asleep every time I sat down. So, not only did I not blog, I did not read, watch TV, or carry on conversations that lasted longer than 5 minutes. I was SO FUN to hang out with!!

3. It is SUMMERTIME! I am only working part time this summer- 3 mornings a week. Which means, Henry and I are doing stuff. Stuff that involves leaving the house. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY! I know, I am wild.

4. I have been busy taking pictures. Adorable ones.  And I would love to share them with you.  But alas, I cannot. Because I lost the cord that connects my camera to my computer. SO, SO, SAD. But honestly, we should all just be happy I didn't lose the camera. Clearly, my mind has not been at its best.  Until I remedy this situation let me just verbally (writtenly?) assure you that in these alleged photos (which I will share eventually, I promise) Henry is one or more of the following: cute, so cute, very cute, big, so big, very big, running, jumping, falling, coloring!, finger painting, eating, making an apocalyptic mess, climbing, swimming, hugging, getting his hair cut (by me! not one of my best decisions!), playing with his friends/aunts/uncles/grandparents, at the zoo, at the park, at the library, or jumping on his bed.

5. I have been planning a preschool curriculum!!!  No, not for Henry. Calm down. I'm not going to try to teach my one year old to read. (Yet.) It's for A! In the fall I'm going to start doing preschool with her twice a week. The bossy, rational part of myself says, "You idiot. Stop giving yourself more things to do." The teacher part of myself says "SQQQUUUUUUEEEEEEEE!!!!" as she jumps up and down and claps her hands and basically overflows with joy. Clearly, she won that argument. CLEARLY.

SO, now that you COMPLETELY understand why I have not been blogging, and of COURSE forgive me for this lapse because my excuses are AIRTIGHT, I promise these things in the coming weeks:

1. A post with all the books I've finished over the past few months! I did make it through a few, despite my aforementioned pre-natal-narcolepsy.

2. Pictures of Henry! As soon as I buy a new cord. Which will have to be soon because there are currently 874 pictures on the camera, and it only (only!?) holds a thousand, so I can't put it off much longer.

3. More frequent postings!  I do miss the blog. Funny things happen and I think, 'I should blog about this!' and then I remember that I haven't blogged in weeks, and it would be weird to break weeks of radio silence with a post about how I think my cat is bi-polar or how I feel weird for thinking grown-up Neville Longbottom is smokin' hot or how my new way of making iced coffee is amazing and perfect and so easy, and how everyone in the world should just do it my way because this is, like, A DISCOVERY. Move over Christopher Columbus.

That's all. Carry on with your lives now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

An Argument for Neglecting your Children

Or, a less funny, but equally as accurate alternate title: "An Argument for Having Multiple Children, Relatively Close Together in Age"  
Or, possibly, "An Overbearing Mother's Argument for More Free Play Time"

BlogFriends, I believe I have, at some point, outed myself to you as an organizer. A scheduler. A planner.

I just really like predictability.  And control. And, since I am at home all day long (no, really, it's been really important for me to treat my job as... well... a job.  With specific tasks, and routines, and responsibilities.  It helps me to stay on top of things. It helps me feel like a worthwhile human being. It helps me to meet everyone's needs before they morph into disaster-level-I-need-you-right-this-second-screw-those-other-kids-screaming-tantrum-fest needs.

However, recently, I have experienced great results with just forgetting the schedule and ignoring everyone for a little while.  JUST A LITTLE WHILE!!! Don't call Social Services just yet! Hear me out!

We still stick to our schedule/routine for eating meals and snacks and bottles and napping and going potty and changing diapers and going for our walk and having circle time, but occasionally, JUST OCCASIONALLY, I really need to get some crap done.  Whether its folding the laundry, or prepping something for dinner, or clearing out my inbox, or making a phone call, sometimes naptime is just not enough time and I really need 30 extra minutes to wrap a few things up.  And, in the past, when this happened, I would usually set A up with some sort of craft or playdough, and set K and Henry up with some toys and books, and just hope and pray that that would get me 20 minutes or so.

This is no more. Henry walks. K crawls REAL fast. And A, well, she's only 2 (almost 3!!!) so her attention span is still, well, 2 year old sized.

What I'm trying to tell you is that NO ONE  STAYS WHERE I PUT THEM ANYMORE.

But, with this increase in mobility and agency has also come an increased ability to entertain themselves. Especially the three of them together.  Unbelievably, the three of them together. Hilariously, the three of them together.

I have compiled some photo evidence for you so that you can, 1) see what bizarre things they think are fun, and 2) become inspired to neglect your own children and see what they come up with to entertain themselves! Come on, it'll be fun!

Awesome Things To Do When Your Mother/Caregiver is Otherwise Occupied:

Pull all of your blankies out of the blankie box. Commence a giant game of peek-a-boo.

Use the laundry basket as an awesome cage.

Terrorize the cat!
 (Okay, this doesn't really count as neglect, because I WAS out there with them, but I was watering the flower beds, so it kinds counts. Plus, look, THEY MATCH!)

Pull out all of the glass nesting bowls from the cabinet.  See what a great clinky-clanky noise they make when banged together.

Pull out all of the blankets you can find, and commandeer the throw pillows. Make giant bed on living room floor.  Convince babies to let you 'put them to bed.'

Keep an eye on the neighborhood.

See? Apparently, I no longer need to constantly entertain them!  When the book reading/song singing/game playing/block building/mommy-provided entertainment ceases, they just come up with their own stuff to do!

I mean, I still do those things. Just with slightly less frequently. THEY LIKE IT THIS WAY, I SWEAR.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The First Haircut

I've been holding out on you.

In the Easter pics, you may have noticed that Henry was looking a little... cleaner? Neater? A little less.... shaggy, perhaps?

Last week, Annie & I took Henry to get his very first haircut.  It was bittersweet.

I LOVED his floppy, wispy, curly hair!!! But, it was really getting unreasonable. It was always in his face. Something had to give.  So. We did it.


OH MY GOSH, I KNOW!!! It was the BEST baby hair EVER!  

Moment of silence, please.

Okay. So. On the way there, Henry was blissful in all of his shagginess. He did not know what awaited him.
First, we went to Chick-Fil-A, because I will shamelessly use ANY excuse to eat there.  Henry ate SEVEN chicken nuggets because he is a bottomless pit, and then shared a few licks of Annie's ice cream cone.
Then Annie took him to play in the playplace, which he loved.
About 5 seconds after this picture was taken, Henry may or may not have thrown up. Just a little. Maybe the seventh nugget was one too many?

Then we arrived at the baby hair cutter place.  It had a cute name, which I have now forgotten, because motherhood has so seriously crippled my brain cells. No matter.

They were really great. The girl who cut his hair was so sweet, and they fed him animal crackers the whole time to distract him, and he got to sit in these cute little seats shaped like cars.
This isn't so bad!

Or is it...
About halfway through, Henry decided he did not want the strange lady touching his blonde tresses anymore, animal crackers or not!
Please don't think I'm a cruel mother for holding his sweet baby face like that. We were like 3 snips away from being finished. The scissors! They were sharp! He was flailing! I had to! Safety!

Then we went home and he recovered by snuggling with his Papa Earl.
And I promised him he would never, ever, ever have to get his hair cut again, ever, ever, ever.

The first of many motherly lies, I'm sure.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Realizations Come Slowly

Guys. I have something to tell you.

I live with a toddler.

I just... I just REALIZED this.

Just now. Like a minute ago.

A toddler. A walking, jabbering, pointing, fit-throwing, snuggly, squirmy, messy, screaming, toy-tossing TODDLER.

I.... I.... I used to have a baby. A BABY.

What happened?? When?? Where??? HOWWWWWW???

I feel confused.

Send help.

See? A BABY. He used to be a BABY.

(Also, please ignore the date stamp on this photo. In my post-partum haze of joy and narcotics, I did not realize that the date was set incorrectly on my camera. This was actually 2/18/2010. If anyone can tell me how to remove this stamp from ALL of my hospital photos, I would greatly appreciate it. The end.)

Friday, April 29, 2011

All thy waste I will repair, Thou shalt be rebuilt anew

Yesterday, I spent the whole day with the TV on mute, so I could get the weather updates, but not have to torture myself with daytime television.  There was Big Weather coming, and in the wake of hearing all about the destruction in Alabama and the other states hit by the recent tornadoes, I was a little fearful.

Let's just say I had decided before noon which closet (we don't have an interior room) we would all go into, had double checked that we would all fit, and had pulled out some cheerios, applesauce pouches, extra sippy cups, and a few diapers. 

WHAT?!?!  Tornadoes move FAST and 3 children move SLOW. I wanted to be ready.  Those 4 months I was in the girl scouts weren't for nothing.

But, obviously, we were fine. We never went in a closet. I didn't need the cheerios & diapers. My fear was all for naught. Thankfully.

But for a lot of people this morning, that is not true.  This morning people woke up without a home. Without a family member. Without a job. Without food. Without any idea how to start putting things back together in the wake of a natural disaster. Without hope.

And I am not one of them. I am safe. And they are not.

My temptation is to just be thankful that it wasn't me, and move on. I know that people will go and help, the government will send money and manpower, somehow things will start rebuilding.  

I really struggle with knowing how to connect to these things.  How to empathize with a disaster so large, with loss so profound, with people I don't know, with places that aren't mine.  How to connect my teeny-tiny life, my searching heart, to something so enormous. But I really want to.

I really want to connect. I don't want to numb myself, or turn away, or simply forget. I want to know about the plight of my fellow man. I want to care. I want to pray. I want to know the world as it is, in it's brokenness, in it's horror, as well as in it's beauty.

I don't really have money to send. I can't physically go and rebuild. I can, however, pray.  Except, I don't really know how. It doesn't feel real to me. I want to pray, I try to pray, but I find my prayers empty. Lacking authenticity.

I read a great post a while ago by Molly Piper that discussed connecting to other people in their grief.  She was encouraging people to stop saying "I can't image" to people who were suffering, and instead, to just TRY to imagine. Just really sit for a minute and try. She said "Real love gets into the trenches of grief and suffering. It imagines. It lets it’s mind’s eye linger. Real love will not avert its eyes. It won’t say, “Your disaster is too much for me.”"

I've thought about this idea a lot since then. What it means to really TRY to imagine. So, last night, I really tried. 

I sat and watched the news, and imagined what it might feel like to live in a neighborhood that was gone. I read some articles, and imagined what it would be like to have lost friends, or family members.  I skimmed through some news blogs and imagined what it would be like to have nowhere to sleep tonight, and nowhere to earn money tomorrow. 

And then, I stumbled on these pictures. And I imagined what it would feel like to walk out of a safe room holding my son. I imagined what it would feel like to hold him, and walk through the rubble. I imagined what it would be like to not know where he would sleep that night. What he would eat the next day.

Molly was right. When I let my mind's eye linger, it actually saw something. And it was not comfortable. But it was effective. Because I have been praying all night. All morning. Because now it does feel more real. Now, I feel like I have something and someone to pray for.  I feel like, a teeny tiny bit, I can understand. I can imagine.

These words were printed on our church's Easter bulletin. It's the final verse from a John Newton hymn. The words are beautiful and moving anytime, but they feel especially so now.

Though afflicted, tempest-tossed
Comfortless awhile thou art
Do not think thou canst be lost
Thou are graven on my heart

All thy waste I will repair 
Thou shalt be rebuilt anew
And in Me it shall appear
What the God of love can do.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Now that most of you have come down from your Peep/chocolate bunny/Reese's Peanut Butter Egg/Cadbury Creme Egg sugar high (What? No? Just me? Fine.) I thought it was time to share Henry's Easter photos with everyone.

This post is really for my mom and sisters, who may storm Norfolk with pitchforks and torches unless I turn over the pictures of Henry all dandied up in pastels.  But you know, the rest of you may enjoy as well.

Unless you still haven't recovered from all the Easter candy.
It might be too soon for you.
I would understand.
Easter candy is the best candy.
It would have been wrong not to indulge.
Two or three or four or a million times.

Confession: Once Easter candy arrives in the stores, I get a Cadbury egg once a week. I CAN'T HELP IT! I look forward to them all year. They are the BEST seasonal candy. With yellow Peeps chicks coming in as a very close second, of course.

Okay, okay, here we go...
Henry's first Easter Basket! With a few treats in it for David & I too!! (Note the coffee and 'Reester Bunny')

Henry's own personal Easter egg hunt in the backyard

David tries to drum up some enthusiasm



We tried to explain/show him that the eggs go in the bucket, and you keep looking for MORE...

But he was unconvinced. He had TWO already. He was perfectly content.

The eggs became a plaything for the rest of the day.

Except he continued to refer to them as 'ball' so really, I think we've just confused him in the shapes area.

Easter Family Photo! Not half bad, eh?

Henry got to spend some quality time with his GreatGreat Nanny before heading home and taking a GIANT nap.

Where he dreamed of Easter deliciousness...
And the best moment of his young life, thus far.

Happy Belated Easter, Friends!

I hope the baskets, bunnies, and blossoms of your Easter were overshadowed by the great love of our Savior, and the promise of eternity.
He is risen, indeed!

(Also, I think there will be Peeps in heaven. At the banquet table. Can't wait!)