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Archive for May, 2007

For Christmas I received an Anthropologie gift certificate from my mother-in-law, which I was ecstatic to receive, yet it was hard for me to use. First of all because I found out I was pregnant just over a month later and didn’t want to get something that wouldn’t fit anyway, and secondly because, although I think their clothes are very interesting and unique, it is just hard to pick one thing that you love enough to spend 100, or 200, or in some cases even 400 dollars on (I’m talking about individual pieces of clothing here). Finally, a couple of weeks ago I was browsing through their monthly catalog and saw itthe sweatshirt. Beautiful colors and patterns, simple enough style. I used my gift card to buy it, and then waited patiently for its arrival. I must say that it’s a bit snug around the tummy, but I love it anyways. Thank you Becky, for the nice Christmas gift.

(As you can see from the picture, not only do I love my sweatshirt, but Sophia’s still lovin’ that helmet, too.)

I meant to get on here yesterday and write a few funny things that we’ve been experiencing with Sophia lately, but I was too caught up in reading stories and crocheting to actually force myself to sit in front of a computer. So, here’s a little of what’s been making us laugh lately:

Papa was playing the guitar the other night, singing and having a grand old time. After a few minutes of it Sophia tried to get his attention by calling out, “Papa! Papa!” When he finally stopped to answer her she said, “Don’t sing the guitar, Papa. It’s too loud.”

*

One day last week Sophia had an idea for a game that she and her Papa could play, and so she asked in every way she could imagine:

“Ring-a-rosie?”

“Pock-a-posie?”

“Ashes?”

“All fall down?”

As if to say, Do any of these ring a bell to you? If so, can we play that game?

*

She’s also been doing this thing lately where she’ll tell me to remember to do something or to please not do something, which she follows up with Okay? I put her down for a nap the other day and then went into the bathroom to start a load of laundry, and not 10 seconds into it she says, Please be quiet, I try to sleep! Okay?!. On the same day she was telling me Please member close the door, kay?! Kay, Mama? Well, I didn’t really see a door that had to be closed so I just kind of said, Okay and left it at that. That was obviously the bad choice because she came over to and swatted me, saying, That’s a spank, Mama.

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20 Weeks

Well, Baby, we’re half-way there in our journey to get to meet you. You are in our thoughts and prayers each day, especially since we have your sister to remind us by saying, “And thank you Jesus the baby in Mama’s tummy.” I wonder… does she realize how important you’ll be to her one day, as a brother or a sister? The fact that she remembers to pray for you is proof enough that she knows you are already one of the family, but I don’t think even we can understand how much you’ll mean to us until you’ve arrived.

Mid-mornings and evenings are your favorite times to move around. I can just imagine you adjusting your position to get comfortable in there. In the evening you move most when your papa says goodnight to you. He gave you a kiss last night and you nudged right where his lips rested on my belly and kissed him back! We laughed for quite a while about that one before finally going to sleep.

You love oranges, and other citrus-y fruits and juices. You love movie theater popcorn. We have one of those fancy poppers at work that I’ve never touched until just a few months ago. I never really cared for it before but now it’s a daily craving. You’re not really a big meat fan like Sophia was in utero, but isn’t now, which probably means you’ll be the one who will end up surviving off meat if we let you.

There are a lot of people out here who love you already, but take your time. At Week 37 I might suggest something totally opposite, but for now, I’m enjoying holding you each and every second of your life.

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Do you suppose God made seasons because he knew we would welcome the change? Cold to not-so-cold to warmer to hot to cooler before it’s finally cold again? There’s a time for me in spring where I could swear that it is fall: that everything is dying instead of coming back to life. There seems to be such a fine line when this happens, between life and death. Almost as if one is the other. Our spring air here mimics that of the fall – I dare not leave the house without my jacket yet – and is filled with the smell of rain throughout the day.

We spent much of the evening on Mother’s Day helping Isaac build a bonfire out of the brush he’s been clearing on our property. While he moved the great big branches, we puddered around the yard, picking up trash that was left after the snow piles from winter finally finished melting, and inspected stumps and bugs and dirt. Sophia saw a spider and announced, “I love a spider!” and tried to pick it up before I advised against it. She took the advice, thank goodness, and squatted there staring at it for quite a while. The sweetness that accompanies afternoons outside with almost no agenda is something that always causes my heart to leap. To sit with my family by the fire and to talk, or not to talk. Doesn’t really matter because there’s always something to keep you occupied in times like this, even if that “something” means simply staring at the fire and thinking of ways to get it to burn even stronger.

Our very short spring will soon turn into summer before I again start to contemplate this ever changing cycle. Life to death to life again. And as we approach the anniversary of my brother’s accident, I can’t help but wonder if seasons are a way for God to explain life after our own deaths on this earth. Sometimes, most times, the idea of forever is too much for me to contemplate, let alone understand. But in the case of my brother it is like a fresh water spring that you happen upon after having run out of water on a long hike. It is relief from pain and discomfort, and hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. Not to say that a lump doesn’t form in my throat when I stumble upon emails that mention him – even if the mentioning was from my mom or dad just saying that, “John stopped over last night” – or that my heart doesn’t sink when I think of something from our childhood to remind him of and then realize I can’t simply pick up the phone and call. And the worst part about that is he’s the only other person besides me who would remember that part of our childhood! It’s not to say that I’ve stopped missing him because I haven’t. But it is to say that I don’t know where my heart would be if I didn’t believe that, “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).

I do believe that God’s grace and mercy are sufficient in every situation. He prepares us for the unimaginable in unimaginable ways. For me, the seasons explaining the idea of a new life in Christ has turned out to be one of them.

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Decisions, decisions

Sally: I’d like the chef salad, please, with the oil and vinegar on the side. And the apple pie a la mode….But I’d like the pie heated, and I don’t want the ice cream on top. I want it on the side. And I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it. If not, then no ice cream, just whipped cream, but only if it’s real. If it’s out of a can, then nothing.

Waitress: Not even the pie?

 Sally: No, just the pie. But then not heated.

(When Harry Met Sally, 1989)

We are in the midst of many changes, but somehow are lacking any decision making progress. The reason? Variables. Example: Will we sell our furniture or move it down to our new home? Answer: If the place we are moving into (which we haven’t yet seen) is big enough to fit our big bedroom furniture, then we will move it down there, and maybe even our couch and Sophia’s bed – that is if we can do so economically. If we can’t, then we will try to sell it so that we will have money to buy something once there, but if we can’t sell it, then we will have to store it. You see, simple question = not-so-simple answer, which makes it hard to actually make any decisions.

I feel like I need to break out my notes from 6th grade science class on making a key. My particular key project was on types of herbs. I had about 6 different dried herbs that one could identify by using my key, which started out kind of like this: 1. If the herb is made up of individual pieces 1 mm in length or smaller, see #2; if the pieces are longer than 1 mm, see #3. And so on. It was fun, except for that I had a bad habit of saving everything I did in school, mostly by shoving it underneath my side of the lower bunkbed. My stepmom was cleaning under there a few months after I did this particular school project and was compelled to have a heart-to-heart with me about how drugs will ruin my life. I had to explain to her that the baggies she held were actually full of basil, and thyme, and marjoram, among other spices. We both laughed.

So if I created a key now, it wouldn’t be just one key, there would be hundreds of them to diagram all the different stuff we’ll have to decide on in the next few months.  I would need all the wall space in our house to pin up all the posterboards that displayed the information.  In the end, it would create far more work than just doing as Meg Ryan’s character in When Harry Met Sally and have it all in my head to confuse those around me (especially my husband) .  Wish me luck.

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To My Mom

Your grandkids call you Grandma Donna,
Your children call you Mom.
Sophia calls you Oma
Just to prove the others wrong.

You like to dress up and go out to dance
With Pete in shirt and tie,
And watch old movies, or even new ones,
As long as they make you cry.

You’ve crocheted a hundred million blankets
For family and friends alike.
Maybe someday Sophia will get hers,
Can’t wait to see that sight!

You’ve had every single hair color I can think of,
From red, brown, blonde, to black.
Not the really crazy colors however,
Except for the purple you had way back.

You love your family with all your heart,
And for that I thank you tons.
Just another Happy Mother’s Day wish,
From one of those loved ones.

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Math Question

A woman, with an office job, who sits in her office chair for 12 hours a day, is 19 weeks, 1 day pregnant. How much water does she need to consume to keep her from retaining water and her legs from swelling up?

Or should she just do like the managers do, and sit all day with her feet propped up on her desk?

Or does she simply have to start wearing control pantyhose?

I talked to a friend of mine a few days ago who’s also pregnant and lives in Minnesota, where they have been experiencing VERY warm days (in the 80s – for those of you in Morocco, or L.A. or some other generally warm place). She is currently somewhere around 34 weeks along and is under doctor’s orders to wear contol hose every day. Even in the intense heat. I have this crazy picture of her in my head with her usual summer wear: cut-off shorts, a tank-top and sandals, but with a pair of nylons on underneath. I think maybe I’ll just wear mine, too, and be grateful that our thermometer reads 50 at its peak these days (IF I can remember to put them on at 4:30 in the morning, which hasn’t happened yet).

Our days have been cool, but pleasant. Little rain, but lots of clouds, and the occasional peek-a-boo from the sun. We’ve been spending as many evenings as possible (meaning those where I don’t give in to the temptation to just sit on the couch all evening) out on our bikes, with Sophia riding behind Isaac in her new bike seat. She loves it, but more than she loves the riding part she loves the helmet-wearing part. Any time spent at home for her lately is one with her shiny read bike helmet, mounted backwards on her head. If she doesn’t have it on, she doesn’t get too far into whatever she’s doing before stopping to ask, “Wait, where’s my helmet?” And then rushes off to find where she had left it because, after all, tasks like coloring and trying to use the potty and feeding her baby dolls can be quite hazardous and might just require some head protection. And hey, it might just make me worry less about her tripping and hitting her head on the coffee table or something.

 If anything, it makes me laugh and keeps my mind off those swollen legs of mine.  🙂 

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So, the reason we went down to L.A. last week: a wedding. We found out at the end of March/beginning of April that Isaac’s cousin (who also happens to be one of my very best girlfriends) was to be married. With Grandma’s help, we made arrangements for me and Sophia to travel South to wish her and her soon-to-be husband a life filled with love, in person. The week was packed full of different events: from the bridal shower, to the rehearsal, to the wedding itself. We never found ourselves without some sort of event to get ready for, even if it was just dinner out with family.

The wedding day arrived and turned out to be the hottest day of our stay there! Although I never saw an actual thermometer that day, I heard it reached way into the 80s. But, as I heard many others say that day, better that than rain.

Corie was a beautiful bride, and Justin a handsome groom. Together, they took on each obstacle with such grace. I remember at one point noticing that Justin, in his dark Army Uniform, didn’t even break a sweat. While I, on the other hand, red-faced, didn’t venture far from the shade and when I did it was to offer Sophia some more water. Another thing that impressed me so much was seeing the two of them, with heads bowed, asking a blessing for their meal amidst all the wedding reception chaos.

At the bridal shower, Grammy prayed the most beautiful prayer over Corie. I don’t remember her exact wording, but I recall her requesting that Jesus build a hedge of thorns around their relationship with Him in their marriage, so that if they ever begin to stray from His guidance, that they couldn’t go far without realizing where they really needed to be. Ever since I heard those words I’ve been praying for the same in my own marriage – that the Lord would love me and my husband enough to keep us on the right path, whatever the cost.

It was a gorgeous wedding; I’m glad we got to be there.

(The first, third, and fifth pictures shown above were taken by Charif.)

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