hello Monday

Hello little (big) boy sleeping in his big boy bed!

Hello dirt under my fingernails… goodbye weeds that have been taking over our “flower”beds for 3 years now (thank you very much, postpartum foggy exhaustedness).

Hello rosemary and basil plants.

Hello baby boy saying “Ee-yi, Ee-yi.” First word was his brothers name. Surprise? Not really. :)

Hello windows open for days. In the middle of the summer? In the middle of Ohio? Yes, and yes. It is wonderful!

Hello picture of the real state of real life… no pretty pictures for you today, sorry!


Hello homemade dressing, homemade bread, and only all-natural goat cheese and bleu cheese.

Goodbye the bottled stuff (besides for Eli and his daddy), pre-sliced bread, and, sadly, all other cheeses for me :(

Hello not caring too much.

Hello not thinking too much.

Hello paint. I’ve missed you.



Miscellany Monday {oops, I mean Tuesday}

Fisrt… Something is wrong with my theme/layout thingy. But only when it’s on the home page (not a single post). Does anyone know what happened? The title of some random post is on the right side instead of my picture and tag cloud and whatnot. Help?? —->

Second… Eli is sick… the worst cold he has had since he had RSV as a little baby. He is more snuggly than usual… and taking lots of warm baths and using his Nebulizer. Blah.

But isn’t he cute? :)

Third… I am continuing my list today… yesterday is definitely the kind of day that needed it. So weird how in a day that could easily feel discouraging, purposefully looking for things such as these is just like taking off glasses just to realize they’d been foggy the whole time, and now you can see…

6. Eli is taking naps again without coughing

7. Received a much-awaited package yesterday {and the UPS man read my note on the door and did not knock or ring the bell so my sick baby could nap}

8. freedom {and time} to create

9. link backs from a friend :)

10. bathtubs. ‘nough said.

11. we already have a Nebulizer to help Eli breathe

12. Veggie Tales.

13. A compliment from Eli’s pediatrician

14. a Valentine scavenger hunt that my husband set up (and which I still have yet to find the first clue for…)
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Unwrapping Tuesday {I am slowed}

Today I am slowed…

… to cuddle, wrapped both in a blanket, with my baby boy

… to hand him tiny pieces of string cheese, one at a time, without multitasking (and thank God that Eli can eat string cheese now, for it is the only thing he wants to eat this week) …

… to sit in silence by the Christmas tree and do nothing, even if it was just for two minutes …

… to sew by hand all day long {in between all of those other things up there}, and to sew   s l o w   and lazy, because Eli took almost a two and a half hour nap …

{these hand warmers were inspired by V and Co.’s recent post}

Linking up at Chatting At The Sky.

Second Tuesday Unwrapped

I almost didn’t write another Tuesday Unwrapped post. I tried. But yesterday was busy and the baby didn’t nap well, was fussier and needier than normal and then he burned his little hands on the inside of the oven door (my gosh, he has gotten fast… but don’t worry, he only touched it for a split second and no harm done). He spilled the bowl of cold water that I was trying to use to cool his hands with all over the counter and floor, in the middle of me baking bread and making dinner, and then needless to say I didn’t get anything actually accomplished until Chris came home.

So anyway… I didn’t write a Tuesday Unwrapped post on Tuesday. And to be honest I was getting a little upset about how things were going yesterday. Everything was just messy.

Oh, and did I mention that I messed up the bread I was making? Something about bleached vs. unbleached flour… and the fact that I only had wax paper, not parchment paper (if you read the recipe here you’ll understand). And my dough was too wet and sticky, even with a dusting of flour, and I ended up having to tear it off the wax paper and just plop it on the preheated pizza stone and just hope that those meager attempts at 1/4-in slits (that really just blended in with the rest of the dough blob) did whatever it is that they were supposed to do.

So my imperfect bread went in the oven. And a golden-brown something with a shape that still closely resembled the blob I had put in the oven 30 minutes before came out…

And it smelled delicious…

And it was yummy. I think we ate half the loaf with dinner last night…

And my husband said that it was better than my usual dump-all-the-ingredients-in-the-bread-machine-and-hit-start bread…

And now my once again not napping and once again fussy one-year-old who has barely left my lap this morning – and who hasn’t wanted to eat much solids lately – has eaten almost an entire inch-and-a-half thick slice of still-fluffy bread.

Let me just pause and say that the fact that my bread was still fluffy this morning makes me extremely smiley :) Every time that I have made bread in my bread machine, it is fluffy for the first night and then the next day it is gummy and dense.

I started writing today because something inside said I had to. That I needed to just write, and I’d find it – the gift God had given me yesterday that I couldn’t find in the midst of my mess.

But the gift was the mess. (Ahem. Dear me, go back and read this post).

He blesses me with mess… with the ability to make mess… and the ability to trust Him that through my feeble efforts (making dough by hand for the first time) and mistakes (my wax paper) and tiredness (my blob of dough), that He takes all of that and makes something beautiful. He isn’t hindered by me, He does not rely on me… He wants to do life with me and He wants me to trust Him.

I don’t have any pictures of my bread for you. Yesterday the blob-shaped bread didn’t seem to be photograph-worthy. And today I grab my camera just to realize that the battery is dead and I have NO idea where the battery charger is. So you just get this picture instead, which has nothing to do with bread… but it does have to do with one of my favorite gifts :) 

First Tuesday Unwrapped

My baby boy has gone from I-only-want-to-sleep-on-and-be-held-by-my-mama infant, to a I-will-scream-if-you-leave-the-room baby, to an I-can-stay-with-these-other-people … gulp … near toddler.

I got a glimpse of this new stage the last (and second) time that Chris and I went somewhere overnight. I got another glimpse of it this past weekend when we spent Thanksgiving in Illinois with my family. I’m fairly certain there were close to fifty people at my uncle’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, and the rest of the weekend was spent at my parents’ house where we had eight people, three dogs, two cats, and several visitors. Eli did SO well with everyone, a lot of the time I wasn’t sure what to do with myself besides stand there and watch and wonder where this independent happy-with-seemingly-anyone child came from… torn between happy that he was doing so well, and kind of sad that it didn’t feel like he needed me quite so much.

I told my brother about my torn feelings and, having majored in psychology, he asked some questions and then quickly reassured me that Eli’s behavior was a tell-tale sign of secure attachment to Chris and I. And so I smiled. And so the part of me that has been wondering these whole past 12 months whether I’m doing things right began to relax.

And then, when I went back upstairs Eli crawled over to me. I picked him up, and the sweetest mouth came wide-open to my face and covered me in teething, drool-y kisses.

And that was all the confirmation that I needed.

(I mostly feel like I never know what I am doing. But God’s got us… even this parenting part of us. He’s not letting me do it alone).

Linking up with Tuesdays Unwrapped at Chatting at the Sky

I guess I needed to hear it again

After reading this post by Ann Voskamp (and writing my own post)…

We sang this song yesterday at church…



We also sang Open Up The Sky by Deluge

And then Tom spoke these words (click there, and then click “listen” next to where it says “11-20-11 Submitted”)

And then, though I was planning on reading something else, I ended up reading part of the very last chapter of Linda Dillow’s Creative Counterpart. It is one of my favorite books… if you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend it! This is part of what I read…

There are difficult circumstances in the life of every person in every marriage. We each have a choice. When the hard times come, we can put up our fists and fight with anger and resentment, or we can give the situation to God and trust He will cause good to come out of even a bad situation. The first choice breeds discontent and frustration. The second breeds the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.

God promises to produce godly qualities in our lives as we properly respond to trials. “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Rom. 5:3-5 NIV). Do any of you need perseverance in your live? Or character? Or hope? I do! God has asked us to respond to trials by thanking Him!

By thanking God for the unreliable and difficult circumstances, we are saying, “God, You are the blessed Controller of all things. You are sovereign and in control. I don’t understand all that is happening, but I thank You and trust You to teach me what You want me to learn, and to work it all together for good.” God commands us to thank Him and is pleased when we do. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18).

Giving thanks is different from being thankful. I am thankful for my husband and four children and feel overwhelmed sometimes with gratitude for them. When I give thanks to God for a trial or difficult circumstance, it is not a feeling of thankfulness but a decision of my will to choose to trust God and thank Him in spite of my feelings.

{Linda Dillow – Creative Counterpart}

Giving thanks…

I read Ann Voskamp’s post this morning (you should, too). I feel humbled, and at peace, and all because of this…

“…giving thanks always for all things to God the Father…” {Ephesians 5:20}

Giving thanks to God for everything?

So this morning, after I laid the baby down for a nap, after driving back from my husband’s office, after complaining to him in the car and telling all the things I was feeling overwhelmed over this morning, and begging him “I just need permission to be mad when I am so tired….”

After all that… I thanked God that I still don’t get 8 hours of sleep a night. I thanked Him that I don’t even get more than 3 consecutive hours at a time most nights because the cat wakes me up in the middle of the night, the baby loses his pacifier at 5am, and I still get up to pee. I thanked Him that these last 5 stubborn pounds that I’ve been trying to lose for 10 months have stuck around. I thanked Him that Chris and I sometimes argue. I thanked Him for all the little and big things that I feel like are “wrong” with my world, the “bad,” the not-how-I-think-they-really-ought-to-be…

And you know what? With each thing I thanked Him for, Peace filled Discontented’s and Disouraged’s place. There is something about thanking Him for it that made me remember He really IS in control. I am not, and I do not have to try to be.

I’ve thanked God that Eli was colicky, because although the first 6 months were the hardest I’ve ever gone through, I wouldn’t trade all of the uninterrupted time I got holding him for anything.

So do I thank Him that, 11 months ago, I had to hold my tiny 4-week-old down on an x-ray table so the doctor’s could look for bleeding? That Eli was diagnosed with Milk and Soy Protein Intolerance at 5 weeks old? That he was diagnosed with reflux at 2 months old? That he had a reaction to a piece of chocolate a week ago, which means the intolerance might not have cleared up by a year like I was told it should, and now the doctor wants to test him for allergies?

Okay, God.

Thank You. Thank You that you made my baby’s tummy a sensitive one. He has a sensitive heart, too. Thank You. And Thank You, although I don’t understand, for all that we’ve had to go through to have him diagnosed, to get him the food he needed, to understand just a little better how his little body works.

Thank You. Because You do work in everything, and You can redeem anything, and You’ve proven that to me before and I believe You will do it again. So Thank You, for whatever it is that You are working out in all of these things…

{But I’m not going to lie, God. This is not easy.}