Sunday, June 12, 2011


The house is finally quiet. I'm suposed to be sleeping - I promised Jon I'd go to bed early since this 'family cold' is threatening to create a long night of baby comforting. But I just got Owen (back) down and want to give him a few minutes to work his way to a deeper slumber before I go the same direction.

As I rocked Owen for the last little bit I could not stop thinking about how I have CHILDREN. To be given the responsibility of stewarding these tiny growing lives is a privilege that sometimes floors me.

I thought about their births and how my different labor experiences speak volumes into who they are now and who they will become. I know it's not like that for every person. But Jon and I were talking today about all the moments where we can pinpoint God working very specifically in our lives. Two moments that I know, without the tiniest doubt, that God was there moving and working and communicating are the labors and births of Owen and Everly. They were unreal experiences, even in their vast differences. I am still learning from them.

I thought about how the preference of God is to partner with us. It's not that we stumble into destiny, it's that we look to Him to define our future, to explain who we are supposed to be, so that we can build life purposefully. He started drawing out the picture of Owen and Ever's future for us during those hours of labor...USING those hours of labor. And it's our job to teach them and raise them so that as their lives begin unfolding they'll be prepared for it.

Already, as they get older, I see those hints, those initial sketches, beginning to be fleshed out. Shadowing and depth added, color splashed on. The picture is becoming alive and it's like watching this amazing movie that you know the ending to. The process and the partnership are both so beautiful.

Summer Food

I bought Jon an electric grill starter for Father's Day. (Thanks to this post on charcoal grilling). He already used it because, you know what, neither of us could wait 3 hours for the coals to get hot enough to grill up some bratwurst on Tuesday. The thing is awesome. It made me really happy that there are people out there willing to share their little successes online so that other people can benefit as well.

Along those lines I thought I'd share some posts I've come across. A few great recipes that I've found...and tried...and loved. All thanks to the bloggysphere.

Cantaloupe Freeze - what do you do with too much cantaloupe? This is a delicious option.

Ge Rhee Gai - takes Trader Joe's Thai Curry sauce to a whole new level.

Greek Quinoa Burgers - Yummy. I make them with black beans.

Kale Salad Pizza - I would say trust me...but why should you? What I will say instead is that EVEN JON ATE THIS PIZZA. Make it now.

Along those lines, I'm officially addicted to the the Kale Salad - just plain, by itself. I ate about four servings. By myself, alone, in front of my computer. I'm hopefully that it's going to become my new ice-cream replacement. Sorry about the garlic breath, Jon.

Thanks interweb!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ugly but yummy

Honey oatmeal

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hair brained theory.

deep thinker

So, I have this theory.

I have lots of theories, actually. Mostly I try to keep them in my head, I think because I often feel like they'd just end up a sermon for the choir. But this one managed to escape. It's not a sermon though. Just some loose thoughts that have been going around and around in my head. Little pieces of grit that keep bugging me. Caught just under my skin. Maybe writing it out will help me figure out if this is really what's been pestering me.


More and more my eyes are being opened to how much stuff we, as a nation, have. I've been to a couple places around the world where people have nothing. Literally nothing. Mud or cardboard hut nothing. And it's impacting and jarring and sickening when you get back home and are surrounded by air conditioners and electricity that turns on with a flick of my finger. Ever single time.

Yet somehow, all of that becomes normal again.

Today I thought about this as I was washing dishes. Clear, pure, drinkable water gushed out of the faucet and down the drain while I scrubbed a dish. The feeling of excess was disturbing in that moment.

But that's not what my theory is about. Kind of. But not.

I guess that our taken-for-granted excesses naturally extend to our children. We have so much stuff. The kids have so much stuff.

It's hard for me to look at some of the colorful toys and chairs and bouncers that Everly has for too long. I start to feel cluttered and my brain goes a little crazy. Maybe I have a sensitive brain or something but it feels like I'm looking at one of those Magic Eye posters sometimes. If I just squint, or relax my eyes, or cross my eyes, or look out of the corner of my eye...whatever it is you have to do...I'll see the hidden image. But when you're not trying to see the image it just looks busy. And loud. And it starts to hurt my head.

I wonder if maybe it feels like that for babies too.

I know 'they' say that babies are stimulated by bright colors and blocky patterns. But do we have to stimulate them every single second? Is that really that crucial for their future learning and development? Or that helpful?

Or, maybe, is it creating cranky, hyper children with short-attention spans who need constant color and movement and sound for something to keep their focus.

Am I training my children from birth to be over-stimulated?

If I feel tired from looking at all this clown-like gear all day then what is it doing to Ever?

Awhile ago I started boxing up a portion of Owen's toys and rotating them in and out of use. It kept the mess down. But something happened and all of them ended up out at one point.

It was chaos. Too many toys seemed to make him agitated. He was distracted and acted out more than normal. I boxed up a bunch and we do regular pick-ups during the day now. Maybe it helped or maybe he was just teething or maybe I feel better with less mess. Whatever. I see a difference.

So my theory is this: more toys, more color, more music, more lights and flashing, more puzzles, more books, more education mobiles, more chairs and rattles and play kitchens, more games and more primary colors won't necessarily result in a smarter, more well adjusted child (no matter what the toy manufactures advertise). It might actually be harmful.

Maybe all those toys and things are just stuff. Not magic stuff. Not even developmental stuff.

Just stuff.

Maybe it's actually a case of less being more.

What do other people think?

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Remember this little guy?

I was thisclose to digging up this space hogging, nutrient sucking, unknown and unwanted WEED.

But I didn't. I was too curious to see what would happen to it. It meant sacrificing the chives - but, eh, I wasn't that excited about chives anyway (if I'm totally honest - and why would I lie about something like chives?).

The other day I was diligently watering my wilted weed when I noticed something. Which led to some frantic googling.



Slightly square and stunted...with a jumbled mess for a taproot...but nonetheless...


I feel like a farmer and I didn't even plant it (on purpose).

Here I was, growing this older brother to my beloved radishes and I had no idea. I would have been harvesting it's leaves and chowing down on some extra riboflavin instead of letting the bugs eat them all.


The only mystery now is what culinary masterpiece it will contribute to.

Or should I eat it on it's own? As a sort of thank you/sorry-for-calling-you-a-weed/tribute.

Any suggestions?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Six Happy Months

(I continue to be obsessed with wanting to eat Ever up. I call her sweet cheeks, honey bun, sugar pie, honey pie, sweetie baby, dumpling...and I could go on.)

She reached the half-year mark with style last week and partied it up by starting back on three naps a day. Probably a growth spurt but I like to think she's doing it for me.

At six months Ever:
  • Is starting to sit up on her own. Meaning, she will stay in a seated position when placed there. For about 15 seconds. Then she slumps over into this adorable heap of melty baby fat and drool.
  • Loves to cuddle. Right up on your chest is preferred, but she's happy being held any which way. Jon likes the one handed, up over his head hold.
  • Loves to be outside. Stroller rides will keep her quiet and occupied for over an hour.
  • Still laughs hard at everything Owen does. The rest of us get an occasional pity chuckle.
  • I'm waiting on the solid foods for a few more weeks - but this little chunker knows how to worries there. No teeth yet either - and not too much drool - but EVERYTHING goes in Ever's mouth. And gets bitten. So the teeth must be close.
  • Discovered fake coughing last week and high pitched screaming this week. And singing. All the time with the singing. It's awesome.
Aaaaand...writing this post has made me miss her. Silly me. So smitten. I'm going to go to bed so that I can be closer to her.

Happy Half Year! (sweetie pie - as Owen says. Guess he got that one from me too. I blame it on my sweet tooth.)