Thursday, December 31, 2009

One for the road


Jon is upstairs putting Owen to sleep.  I can't say enough how much my heart is locked to those two guys.  

It's New Year's Eve.  

I told a friend today that Owen is at that age where he'll probably be up drinking all night.  
Baby jokes are so, so very funny.  Thankfully she's in the same boat and didn't report me to the authorities. 

That said, other than celebrating periodically through the night with my nursing babe, I'm not really feeling the partying.  Maybe it's holidays in general, maybe it's the fact that I've been wearing Jon's fleece shirt for a few days now, maybe it's that a small person felt like dancing at 6am this morning - no one knows - but it's going to be low key.

But - in the spirit of marking the passing of time and all it's milestones - I was thinking today about the places we've come from and traveled through this past year.  2009 was a great year.

I had barely gotten used to writing 09 on everything when suddenly (or not so suddenly since it did take 9 months and 14 hours of labor) Owen arrived.

And instantly I was a mother.  And instantly I was in love.

And we were a family.

Over the next few months, while we watched Owen grow (rapidly), we worked on growing some friendships too.  

Before the year was half way through we uprooted and moved to Baltimore for a year so I could study and Jon could experience a 1.5 hour commute (one way).  Yikes.

To ease the sting of such a commute we soaked our moving weary muscles at the beach - Owen's first taste of sand and surf.

Giving him time to hang with some of his cousins (and an uncle).

Bravely stepping into the mix comes Gina.  See the light - she's like our angel.  Sent from heaven.

Our little house slowly became home.  And we grew a lot of tomatoes.  A lot.

And we are happy.

I hired a cleaning service.

And Owen started walking.

And learned to program computers.

So the year went by.  A year of starting something fresh.  More than likely the type of new that tipped off the first domino in a long series - stretched from here as far as I can see down the road.

More change coming I'm sure.  Remembering to write 2010 on all my papers is probably the least of it.

Here's to newness!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


The end of fall was celebrated with a visit from Nana, 
darling little baby H (who we all loved cuddling),  and

two feet of snow - appropriate to announce the beginning of winter.  It did however scare Gina to warmer climates as she's now vacationing in Florida with her 'real' family.

School was wrapped up with a nice little bow just in time for Christmas Eve festivities
Which darted in then out - probably chasing all the little ones - 

Including out own. A little whirlwind

Interviews have come and gone - new job starts late January - my own little whirlwind.

Our days are now spent playing, napping (Owen), braving the wind for swing time (a small reminder of coming warmer days), counting the extra minutes of daylight as they accumulate, and trying to catch up on life during small moments of peace.

Oh - and prepping for the new year.


Monday, December 7, 2009

A little heaven in each bite

This is for Pete, Ryan, Mike and all the other air-puffed-snack haters out there.

Owen loves Pirates Booty.  I think he'd eat it all day.  In fact, he told me it tastes exactly like a snack they serve in heaven.  

And he would remember something like that.

And he will probably say the same thing about rice cakes.  So there.

117 - going green.

Today I harvested this from our little garden.

Yes, today, as in December 7th.  I figured I should pick the last of them since, oh, you know, it snowed this weekend.

Why are my amazing tomato plants still producing these shiny green gems?  And seriously - there are still flowers as well.   Should I thank global warming?  GMOs?  Baltimore's arsenic and chromium laced soil? My mom??  (the plants were a gift from her)

I just can't get over how many there are. 
(hint - it's in the title)

Anyone know of any good green tomato recipes?  I hate to waste these beauties.

Oh, and thanks mom!

Friday, December 4, 2009

10 Happy Months

About as cute as you can get.  

10 months already?  Owen is one happy walking camper.  He's venturing farther and farther on his own - soon I'll need to start a training program to keep up with him. 

He's definitely looking and acting more like a toddler and less like a baby every day.  I'm glad that I cherished his baby days because they are gone brother, gone. 

Some fun things he's into:

Eating mostly what we easy - for all involved.
Saying Durka,durka,durka (Jessica: I taught him this because of Clara)
Offering me toys to eat

It's awesome.

You are such a great little boy Owen!  It really has been 10 very happy months.

PS:  dear Owen's top teeth,  I really wish you would quit flirting and just come in.  Every time I see a little piece of tooth break through the skin the gums swell up and it looks super painful.'s been weeks now.  Do your thing.  It's so sad watching the little guy grate food with his bottom teeth just to avoid biting down on you.  

PPS:  dear sickness that infected Gina, Owen, Jon, and finally got me tonight,  GO AWAY.  Yes - it is super cute when Owen tries to talk with his gravely, hoarse voice, and maybe his lost ability to squeal in a piercingly high pitch has been nice, but we are done with you.  I'll take a happy, healthy squealing baby over a sad, sick quiet one any day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Spicy Week: Exotic Destinations

Baltimore Maryland:  a short photo essay.

This is the view from school.  Facing south you can see the harbor, Butcher's Hill, Fells Point and a tiny bit of Canton. And you can almost see our house.  Most of the following pictures are taken around these neighborhood.

The Pagoda in Patterson Park is very art deco-ish and has great view of the city.

The local street art is pretty good.

The crab knocker is so appropriate.

The city is filled with old treasures like this.

Yay for bowling!

Pottery Mosaic WITH mirrors - yes!

Hope you enjoyed your tour!  Come visit for real - it's even better in person!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Spicy Week: Yum

Good blogs feature food, right?  Yummy food that is easy to make and pretty to look at. is a great recipe for a quick and delicious appetizer.  Thanks to my mom.

What you need:
Asparagus (thin is good)
lemon juice
sliced ham deli meat
crescent roll dough
Parmesan cheese

Step one:  mix up a little mayo, horseradish, and lemon juice - you just need a bit.

Step two:  spread some of the mixture onto a piece of thinly sliced ham.

Step three:  wrap the asparagus in the ham

Step four:  unroll the crescent roll package dough into a long strip (don't split into individual rolls).  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out super thin.  Maybe sprinkle with some parmesan cheese.

Step five:  slice dough into thin (1.5-2 ince strips)

Step six: spiral wrap the dough strips around the asparagus.

Step seven:  bake at 300 F - watch them - they don't take long to brown up since the dough is so thin!

Step eight:  serve warm or cool!  Yum!

Sadly - I have no pictures of the final product.  I was too busy eating.  

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mommy much?

Usually after I finish an exam or a paper I zone out a bit - kind of like eating a big bowl of ice cream right after you finish a long run.  Still not good for you but you feel more justified doing it.  Life is a process people...I'm working on it. 

Usually this means I catch up on The Office (Jim and Pam!) or cyber stalk my friends on facebook.  The other day I was reading a blog entry - post paper writing - and I hit the "next blog" arrow up at the top.  It takes you to a random blog somewhere on the vast interweb - like a mini surprise!

Somehow it wasn't so surprising that I hit about 20 mommy blogs in a row.  You know, the ones titled "The XXXX family - fun and frolicking in fabulous Florida!" which have thousands of pictures of the kids and the dog, family updates, a Christmas photo, random musings on parenthood, links to their outdated webpages, videos of their son taking his first steps...wait a second.  

Am I a mommy blog???  (Jon does still post occasionally, but I'm thinking of highlighting his sections as a featured guest.  Is that a challenge?  Hmmmm.)

I think the answer is yes which isn't really a bad thing.  We did start this blog as an update mechanism so our far away family would feel more in the loop.

BUT - a little bit of spice doesn't hurt anything.

So, in an attempt to up the piquancy, I've identified characteristics from other mom-written blogs that might help.  Let's see how we measure up to the top five:

1) They are usually crafty, creative, and have great tips (I created our semi-finished header.  Does that count?)
2) They get to the point and don't blab.  (uh, whoops)
3) They contain interesting, thought provoking, witty essays. (Come back Jon!)
4) They feature awesome, artsy photos of adorable families,  exotic locals, fun ideas (Got adorable down pat.)
5) They post regularly. (no comment)

On the spicy scale I give HP View a mild to bland rating.

Never fear, however!  Gina's mystery mexican nights have already livened up life around our little abode!  Get ready to party because the chile train is coming!  

(total inside joke - woowoo!)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What's new.

This is what Owen is up to these days.  He's one busy, busy boy.  

Thanks to Gina - who finally was able to capture his new trick after I failed several times.  

Monday, November 16, 2009


If you've known me for awhile then undoubtedly you've heard me mention (brag?) that I went to Space Camp in middle school.  There is a fine line between awesome and nerdy and I think I walk it well.

I was going to be an astronaut at one point and I couldn't wait to see the view from space.  

I'm happily planted on solid ground now but my mind still wanders star-ward from time to time.  I just can't wrap my brain around a light year.  Or the fact that our galaxy is so tiny compared to the universe.

An old friend posted this video link on facebook.  It's broken into five parts - each about 9 minutes.  I'm not a fan of stadium-style, hype-it-up, emotion-driven preaching...but sometimes I get caught up in the 'enormity' of my life and the simple facts and images presented here about the universe re-calibrated my mind.  I've been thinking about the Indescribable nature of God for a few weeks now.

Here's part one.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


This is how I feel about birthdays.

Mine was awesome.  29 is going to be a great year - I can just tell.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Here's some change.

I feel like blogging.   (I also feel like pouring a whole bag of dried fruit and nuts down my throat - but I already did that once and I don't want to be greedy.)

It's probably because I'm procrastinating doing homework and readings.  Or maybe because I'm hopped up on sugar.  Or maybe both.

Life is changing.

This morning we drove to PA for a quick visit with new nephew Blake.  He is so tiny and sweet and brand, brand new.  Trish and Dan have entered the world of two kids and seem  to be handling it wonderfully.  I asked Trish what it felt like to be doing this all a second time - she said it was so different.

I had a group meeting at school today.  I'm not a groupie.  But today - I was slower to correct obnoxiously, listened a little more intently, and overall balanced varied personalities just a tad better than the bull-in-china-shop approach I usually take.  I'm pretty sure it's an answer to prayers.  Life is to short to waste it on me being me so I'm always happy to see a little less of myself show up.

[I have one more story - though I can't tell it just yet.  But it's not about babies - I already told one of those.]  

Jon and I have noticed something.  It's not just the leaves that are switching out their green cloaks for something more festive, life is changing, something's afoot.

I've been thinking a lot the past few days about the plans God has in His mind for the world, and for me.  Frankly - blown away that He has plans for me.  And thankful - very thankful.

I'm gearing up and getting excited!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

9 Happy Months!

A quiet little song woke me up this morning.  "dAAAbrrrababammaaa!"

Moments later a little finger shot up my nose.  Is there a better way to wake up? 

I think not.
Owen, my little two-toothed, army-crawling, babble-talking, world sparkles more brightly each month because of you.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

He's done it again.

Family photoshoot #3!  

Here is a sneak peak of our session last week with the talented G.I. of Describe Photography.

More to come.  They are awesome.

I'm getting ready to commission a cool project from him - I can't wait!  But shhhhh...he doesn't know it yet!  


Jon's last post gave our gentle readers a little taste of our early Christian days.  I'm fairly certain that there now exists an urgent demand (from our 8 subscribers and 6 follower - hi Mom) for an update!  Who are we now that there are no flashing, spinning, or blinking links on the blog?  So here is my stab at connecting the dots.  Oh, and I added a little link of my own.  Look who's the html wizard now.  

That last post unleashed a flood of memories, mostly happy scenes of our early days, weeks, and months together.  Months critical to not only the formation of our life together but also to our faith.

We were fiery.  Consumed, eager, hot, chomping at the bit, willing to jump, longing to be let loose on the world, sure of our role.  Impetuous in many ways.

The early blush of love is a massive force.  Under its influence you willingly belt out off-key songs on national television (or build a website with every flashing link known to man).  Possibly not the most effective use of your romantic energy, but accepted lovingly by the object of your affection, possibly with a tear or two. 

Then, as if to test the true intentions of our faith, Jon and I were taken through some seriously dark circumstances, where it seemed that the beautiful reality around us had been a mirage.  Trust me.  Everything that could be shaken, was.  We were left with only faith, hope, and love.  (and that is not meant to sound nice or cute - that is ALL we had, and hope was starting to fray a bit.)

Just as it seems we had hit the nadir we turned around and realized that actually, truth was closer now than ever before, closer than if life had continued.  And adversity had a secondary benefit...greater maturity.

The initial explosion of heat and light has left, in its place, something stronger, deeper, more lasting:  passion.  Still consuming, but measured now by the glow of a life's work, not a moment's sparkle.  Still eager, but paced and steady.  Still willing, but strategic.

Even more importantly, we were not alone.

We are EC.  A global borderless kingdom community.

Feel free to check out our new link for more info!

Monday, October 26, 2009


For those that may not know, this blog is not our first foray into the 'blogosphere'. Years ago, back in the beginning of my journey as a believer and ours as a married couple, I put together this somewhat-scary website on Geocities. The reason I'm 'exposing' myself and my mediocre web design skills is because Geocities will soon be shutting down for good.

What you will see on this website will probably be somewhat surprising to some of you. I was incredibly exuberant at the beginning of my walk as a believer and it is dramatically evident in how I constructed this webpage. Needless to say, I am still as exuberant in my faith - even more so, in fact - but probably slightly less dramatic.

One of the more interesting parts of the website are some pictures I posted from our wedding. (Let me tell you, those falling flowers were hard to make work correctly!)

And for humor, you'll see how we thought we were going to go to Trinidad to be missionaries when, in fact, it was about us being introduced to Elijah Centre, which is now our home church. Needless to say, we deep-sixed our plans to go to the mission field.

So stop by and enjoy my over-use of graphics and such. I lost the password to the site and Yahoo doesn't believe it's me who created it, no matter what I tell them... oh well.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


"Though summer may have seen the sun slip past it's peak and begin a slow, dimming descent, do not let my spirit succumb to the sucking quiet of early night but rather let it rise up.  Rise with the energy of a new day."