Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Lent is one of my favorite times in the church year. Yeah, I know it's a little strange.  It appears to be this dark, contemplative time in the last weeks of winter, to give up chocolate. Or coffee. But, I like lent because it's a time set apart for renewal.  And  a time to participate in my congregational community a bit more deeply with soup suppers and simple mid-week services.  Lent gives me the chance to remember my blessings and simplify my life.  Lent gives me a chance to breathe just when things get crazy and reminds me that I am loved regardless of how much I accomplish.

This week has been full of reminders that things that are NOT going to be simple in the coming months.  Grad school internship interviews, CPE applications for the summer, kindergarten registration & introducing solid foods, and discussions about how much is enough to offer our dream nanny for the crazy summer/fall schedule changes.  My life feels so far from simple these days I could cry. And I have.

But here comes lent. Right at the time I crave it most. Right before I start taking my anxiety out on my family and friends, I am reminded that there is one with me who wants to lighten my load.  One who cares and will not judge my imperfections.  One who actively participates in my suffering, anxiousness, joy, and fear, and who is witnessed to me in my community.  Even when I am unwilling to notice.

My lenten discipline this year will be to pray the psalms.  I am not a pray-er.  I mean, personally.  When asked to pray in public, I can roll out stuff of gold thanks to all of my theological education, but personally, I struggle with the ideas of results from prayer.  Last year around this time I spent 2 weeks with members of the ELCA Deaconess Community and a brother who was there taught me that the psalms are the prayers of all Gods people across the world and time.  AND, even if a psalm doesnt resonate with me as I pray it, I am joining in prayer with Christ for someone who needs that prayed.  Just like, in my prayerlessness, Christ shouts and sings and raises psalm prayers for my wordlessness.

And I do hope to have a personal benefit from this discipline.  I hope to work on hearing every persons story as uniquely theirs and not judge them based on my experience.  And I hope to find a place of refuge from the anger I inherit from injustices - small and large.  For I feel so skeptical of everything and everyone so much of the time that I fear I push people away from myself without knowing it.  May the Psalms of lent be my solace.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

5 months old + some musings

 I've been taking pictures of Shepherd in front of this ikea duvet cover each month.  Here's 5 :) I cannot believe it.  Neither can James.  It's going so fast, we almost have newborn-fever again.  But not really.
 Even though the groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of winter, our front yard would beg to differ.  We have gone on walks, had picnic lunches, and generally frolicked in the spring-shining-sun way more than usual this February.
 Shepherd tried sweet potatoes.  He liked them. Can you tell? He kind of looks like he's gone crazy for them in this photo.  like, really crazy.... heehee.... {gulp!}
 Hazel has the most interesting hair. it's more unique the more you look at it. one of our neighbors once asked if it was grey & i said yes because it certainly can look that way at times.  it has the texture of straightened curls, is so thick we have to get it regularly thinned but it wont hold a clip/pin in place.  this picture is lovely though, isnt it?
 they love one another. when we pick Haze up from school, she snuggles Shep in the hall immediately - blocking all  the foot traffic, and he just grins ear to ear and gives a resounding belly laugh.
and she loves being outside. even when it's cold and raining, shes playing quietly in her own magical land.  She has "pretend kids."  3-5 depending on the day, named Diego, Alecia, Lucia, Martino, & baby Wella. they keep her company.

Today, we took a walk around the block in this marvelous sunshine.  A stay at home dad came out and joined us with his baby boy who is just days older than Shepherd.  As the babies cooed together and Hazel ran around collecting pinecones, the dad told me there are about 5 babies born on our neighborhood block within 3 months of our boys - 4 of which are also boys.  The others have been talking about starting a community group and he was sent to invite us.  If it all shapes up, Shep will have some fun friends to go to school with.  And get this, these boys all have cool names!  Shepherd, Frances, and Royal are a few.... wow!
baby hedgehog!
Hazel has been asking for a pet.  Isn't this little hedgehog to DIE FOR!?! I would name him Henry or her Ingrid...
wishing your days are as bright as ours have been :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

let sleeping babes lie

 Hazel fights quiet/nap time these days.  but it's fairly typical that, if I turn on old episodes of Felicity, she'll lie down on the living room floor to watch Ben (her favorite character - and likely first crush) and conk out.   Today, this is what she looked like - I love her so much when she naps ;-)
Shepherd fell asleep in the middle of the living room this afternoon, too.  And it looks as though he's found his own self-soothers.  When I was a kiddo, I sucked my 2 fingers, also.  Cutie.
 Still not a ton of baby chunk on these legs, but they're filling out nice and squishy-like.  And my-o-my the grin's and giggles we get when we squeeze them :)
Our old trusty point and shoot croaked a few weeks back, but the pawn shop sold us a mighty-fine DSLR - a Nikon D40 to be exact, and I'm LOVING it.  hope y'all like pictures ;-)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

4 months old
Shepherd is actually getting closer to 5 months old, but this picture was too cute to keep to ourselves :)  the 5 month photo may be better since this was one of the last few pictures our 5 year old canon point and shoot took before it retired (ie croaked).  We replaced it with a Nikon D40 (from the pawn shop - way less $$ and free manual's online.  Don't underestimate the pawn shop, people!) and while I am floundering around the thing, it already takes MARVELOUS pictures regardless of how inept the photographer currently is!
off to play with it...