Thursday, March 31, 2011


I captured them! I'm so excited! Do you know how HARD it is to get a picture of a baby's bottom teeth when that baby doesn't just smile on command? My bottom teeth don't even show when I smile. Well, I got 'em! Here they are, in all their sweet snaggly glory. You may have to squint a little to see them.

He was a very happy baby; he'd just had a bowlful of his favorite greek yogurt with mangos AND a head massage (hence the hair slicked up). And while we're on the subject of babies eating, William is feeling very proud of his pincer grasp...when it works. Mealtimes are now an opportunity to witness the whole range of our baby's emotions (minus the screaming at the top of his lungs wail. That one, he saves for just me when no one else is around).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Steel Magnolias

Growing up, I never understood why the movie was called "Steel Magnolias." My older sister explained that it was because the women were beautiful, like the magnolias that grow on trees here in the south, but they were made of steel. I've come to know that women, especially women who are carried along by faith in Him, are indeed made of steel. We may bend, but we do not break because something much stronger sustains us.

This Saturday was Jenny's baby shower. It was for girls only; Jenny's house was filled with women of all ages, all life stages. Women who are mamas, women who have lost babies, women who have raised generations of children and are still around to tell the story. There were women who are missionaries, care providers, interior designers, teachers, professional caterers, business owners. My husband always jokingly asks me where I'd want to be if there was a zombie apocalypse. Well, in that houseful of women is where I would want to be. We would not only survive, but there would be clean dishes and cake for dessert. Jenny, I am so happy to have been part of this group of women that helped you celebrate Myles' arrival into this world.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Return to Paper

In a world obsessed with going paperless, I find myself seeking solace in the pleasing weight of a Sunday newspaper. Yes, we subscribe to the "touch it just once" method of sorting the mail, and our shredder and recycling bin are in the garage so that we never bring Chinese food flyers and credit card offers into the house. But I will never understand the desire to own a Kindle. I didn't understand it even last year, when I was still a professional traveler and spent Monday through Friday on bumper flights and long commercial plane rides back and forth across the country. My Polish arms are well-suited to bear the weight of a carry-on loaded with three magazines and a Bible. (And a laptop, Chi straightening iron, and a big fat bag of know, the essentials.) Some things are just meant to be held and read, like magazines and the newspaper.

Don and I are going paper-ish! We subscribed to the Sunday paper. Maybe that's not really blog-worthy, but it's my blog and I thought I'd share.

In largely unrelated news, I was bummed to see the following for sale from Pottery Barn.

Book Bundles from Pottery Barn

For real? I love PB as much as the next girl, but you ripped the covers off of books and tied them together and are selling them? What's next? Are you going to start selling books as part of your "found objects" collection? In the words of my sister, "Yeah, right. Like they just happened to find 10,000 old-world bread paddles."

I have to stop now. I actually love Pottery Barn. But not these book bundles. Creepy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Two Boys

Sometimes Don chases me around our front yard while he holds a wriggling earthworm, which makes me scream and get hysterical and our neighbors start peeking out through their windows and wondering what on earth is wrong with us. Sometimes he actually moves our sleeping child from his crib, places him on the floor, and then brings me the video monitor and says, "Oh no! Where's William?" And sometimes he drinks the last of the soy milk and then puts the empty container back in the fridge. AGH!

But he also does things like this.

William had a bit of a "plumbing problem" last week, but we were hesitant to buy apple juice from the store in case it had too much sugar for his little system. Don got down our crazy huge juicer and made homemade apple juice for William and then bottle fed him (even though William is officially off the bottle and uses sippy cups). It was pretty adorable. William drank it up.

Seeing the two of them sitting still together is such a rare treat. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Color of a Memory

Several years ago, when I was newly married and was not a mother, I read an article in an issue of "O Magazine" on an airplane. It was written by an older mother and writer who was remembering all of the seasons of her life; she recounted being a young nursing mother with a baby on her hip, and how that season was the shortest of all. I have looked high and low for that article online to no avail; the writer's words were so poignant that they stuck with me, even though I had no child of my own when I read it.

This weekend was ordinary and poignant, and just like that article I read years ago, I suspect I will try to find and capture this weekend as time wears on. Like so many moms my age, I document everything, it seems: my family asks where my friend is if I am NOT holding a camera; I blog; I journal; I try to tattoo everything on my heart.

I can take pictures in different styles and edit them to be different shades, based on what I remember at the time. Was he wearing a white hat? A blue outfit or was it yellow? If I choose the wrong picture, some of the details will be changed or lost.

I can zoom in very close, but even a picture can't really capture all there is to see.

Saturday was pink, in my mind anyway. Full of love and ordinary things and the life of two people who have hurts and dreams and plans and all of the things that make us human, and who also happen to be in love and to have a little boy to raise. We bathed William outside on Saturday night. We'd worked and played all day in the backyard, trying to build our garden, and it seemed like the right way to end the day.

A pink weekend. That's how I'll remember it, anyway.

A Hot Breakfast

Don loves muffin tops (both the blueberry streusel and post-pregnant wife kind). He sweetly stayed at home two weeknights this week so that I could catch up with friends, so I figured the least I could do was make some blueberry muffins for him. I made the Barefoot Contessa recipe for blueberry streusel muffins. They were the kind of muffins that could bring a grown man to tears of happiness.

Or a little man back from the edge of a meltdown.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

There's Food on the Wall

I mean this literally. I have a nine-month old who likes to sneeze when he eats. But in other news, I am thinking of making a geometric collage of my favorite food photos and putting them up in the kitchen.

Natural food is so beautiful! But so are Oreos. And beef jerky.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What Will I Bear?

Little lion man, what will I bear for you? For you, William, I will bear many things. I will bear your weight (from tadpole to watermelon). I will bear your kicks and flutters, your contractions and your birth. For you, I will bear a scar, eight inches long, fading to a thin white line, and staples of steel. I will let myself be turned into a surgeon's art project for you (a long paint stroke of iodine, some staples here, a little tape there). I will bear worry for you, and hope for you, and love love love for you. I will bear your crying and rejoice in your laughing and in your learning. I will bear your rebellion and your questions and I will lift you up in prayer. I will kiss your scratched knees and puree your bananas and put cinnamon in your yogurt and read to you and rock you and teach you and sing to you.

You are nine months old today. You are a crawler and a stander and a laugher and a pointer and an observer. And you love the washing machine. It's your favorite thing. And you are our favorite thing.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Yard Work is Hard Work or Being a Dirty Girl

It's no secret that the little bit of land we own could use some work. Don and I decided it was time to start cleaning things up so that we can finally have our vegetable garden. Hey, I've kept this orchid alive for a long time now, so I can handle a whole garden, right?

We bought a LOT of seeds to plant...two types of green beans, pumpkins, potatoes, strawberries, herbs, onions, tomatoes, flowers, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, canteloupe, okra, radishes, broccoli, and more. But before we could plant, we had to prepare. Dang is all I have to say. Yard work is hard work. We spent over 8 hours bagging 25 massive piles of leaves (we've raked leaves just once in the 1.5 years we've lived here...did I mention we have an ash needle tree in the back yard?). By Saturday afternoon, I looked like this.

That's a dirt line, in case you're wondering. My hand is clean because I wore work gloves.

This wasn't the kind of yard work where you wear a tank top and shorts and work on your tan while you work at a leisurely pace. This was the kind of work where you cover yourself in sunscreen, wear old jeans and a huge maternity shirt to protect yourself from the dirt and dust of shredded leaves that creates a brown cloud around your entire being each time you unhook the back of the leaf blower to fill another huge leaf bag to the brim.

William thought it was fun to play in his exercauser and scream at the people walking dogs past our house. He would scream and laugh and flail his arms around, frantically trying to get the dogs to come see him.

It felt really good to get that dirty and to create a little bit of order where previously there was chaos. I tore up the huge dried butterfly bush in our front yard and planted twelve marigolds in its place. They smell so good! When I was 7, my mom put marigold plants in paper bags decorated with fairy stickers and gave them away as party favors at my birthday party. I'm so doing things like that for my children. This garden will be the start.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Change of Seasons

From something ugly, something beautiful. Here are the trees in our front yard. The flowering pictures were taken today. He leaves reminders everywhere, doesn't he? It's just whether or not we're ready to see them.

Don and I cannot make William believe in God, or Christ, or redemption. I cannot make him feel humble before the cross. But I will show him as best I know how. I will let him see how out of my own ugliness, God created beauty with His grace. How he forgave a staunch enemy and set me free. How He loved me enough to pull me in, bring me back, and take away my heart of stone, my haughty words that showed my bitterness.

I took this picture today, too. I was putting on this Sakura sling when William almost crawled off the bed. I pulled him back, but he hit his head on the bedside table. It was a hard hit; it didn't leave a mark, but he howled. I put him in the sling to comfort him and took a picture.

Parenting is such a varied job, isn't it? Teaching about eternal salvation and glorifying God and planting seeds and changing diapers and pureeing fruit. And making babies laugh for pictures.

I'm pretty sure he has the cutest little chubby, wrinkly hands ever.