Monday, January 30, 2012


me: noah, let's do funny faces!
judah: ooo...that sounds interesting

judah: um, actually, you guys look kinda weird
judah: o.k. i'm just gonna eat my banana now

Monday, January 23, 2012

whatcha got cookin'?

i don't think there is anything more classic than kids playing with pots and pans
i'm pretty sure they make childproof locks for these cabinets
but then i would miss moments like these

Friday, January 20, 2012

chocolate party spoons

a friend called stressed that she didn't have party favors for her one-year-old's birthday party the next day. she was calling to hear me say "let it go" and it will be fine. i was completely ready to say that, but then she mentioned she really wanted to make these. i too had seen these on pinterest and thought "could i make those with what i have in my pantry?" the answer was yes and so party favors were made! (although the party would have been just as great without them:)

were they as cute as the pinterest version? no. were they as cute as i am capable of making them? no. but i limited myself to using what i had and not allowing myself to stress. this was a gift of love and if there was any mistreatment of my kids or husband or bitterness involved, then well, it ceases to be a gift.

sometimes if i give myself restrictions on projects (baking, gift shopping, crafting, etc) it helps me to focus on the real reason i'm doing it. i go from "gift of love -mode" to "everyone look at me and what i can do and still do all my mommy duties cuz i'm so amazing-mode" real quick.

gift of love-mode is much healthier. and much easier on those around me.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


we left bright and early new year's morning to get celebratory donuts at our local bakery.
to stay warm, and start a hot new trend for 2012, noah donned this outfit...
judah's hat, ari's footie pajamas and his new construction rain boots

Thursday, January 12, 2012

hapy birthday!

could it really be a YEAR since this day?the infamous "rite of passage" for every one-year-oldmmmm....this is not my usual pureed peas!

i think i'll smoosh this a bit harder into my face and feel the icing ooze through my fingers
are you really letting me eat this?
this makes swallowing the water a lot more tasty!

happy birthday judah dean!

one year

what a wonderful last month of your first year! you were rackin' up the milestones this month, judah! you went from hardly choking down any food to eating like a champ. applesauce, bananas, yogurt, peas, don't just want to consume it!

you also FINALLY seem to have figured out this sleeping thing. and not a moment too soon. mom and dad were out of "tricks".

you are cruising between furniture, behind rolling toys, and even have been caught pushing a dining room chair to stabilize you so you can get where you want to go. i see walking unassisted in your very near future.

and as the video below shows, you completely surprised mommy with spontaneously breaking into the traditional "peek-a-boo" even though i've never done it with you. i laid you down to dress you after a bath, you looked up at me with an intoxicatingly mischievous grin and did this...

what a wonderful first year it has been! we named you "praise" and there could be no better word to reflect how we feel about the gift of you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

when a baby rocks your world

366 days ago

don't i look happy? oh, i was. so very happy. happy like someone standing in the path of a barreling semi-truck completely unaware of what's about to hit them.

this baby changed everything.

now babies are supposed to change things. they are completely dependent. completely consuming. completely wonderful. judah did that kind of changing just like all other totally helpless bundles of joy. but the kind of changing i'm talking about was unique to this experience. judah's birth was a tool. a tool that ripped and destroyed while simultaneously restoring and healing things that were devastated.

the first year of judah's life was very different than the life of my two baby boys that came before. my firstborn was equally wonderful and wanted and celebrated. but he came into a home with a mother deeply affected by depression. a family with opposing views on responding to an infant. the first year with that baby was quite different.

the second baby came suddenly, with no notice. already 7 weeks into life and already knowing so many different caregivers. and this new home, our home, was intended to be temporary like all the others. equally delightful. desperately wanted. but quite a different circumstance. full of anxiety and uncertainty.

both of these experiences gave me my two precious sons. i love them with all the depth and fierceness of any mother. they are my boys. but i had lost something that could never be found, never be restored. and i didn't even know it.

until judah came.

all that i had missed, all that was not as it was supposed to be came crashing down on me. i couldn't hold, feed, change, look at, or engage with judah without a stab of pain. my heart was experiencing the beauty of bonding. the brilliance of attachment. and it was new. and oh, how i ached. how i longed. how i grieved. this should not have been the first time i felt these things. and worse than the realization of what i had lost, was the dark discovery of what my beloved babies had lost. it was too much to bear. i could hardly keep my eyes open as i looked stark reality in the face. i cried. i sobbed. for what never was. for what never could be.

in those same moments i was also feeling sheer joy as this time was different. i was fully present with my baby and it was right. and it was good. and it was a salve on the wounds i had carried for so many years. my husband and i were in harmony as we cared for this baby and so many hurts and painful memories were covered with these new interactions.

the arrival of this baby has broken me down and built me up.
what a gift.

Monday, January 2, 2012

two thousand and eleven

this was one of those years. the kind of year where it feels like your chest is ripped open and heart surgery is being performed. without the kindness of anesthesia. it was a year of extreme cutting, ripping, and slicing.

it was also a year of intense healing. for as intense as the grieving was, there was equally intense joy at the great strides that were made. some years go by without much fanfare, but for my heart, this was a year of great loss and great gain.

today my son said it best. he was melting down over something insignificant and sonny and i were trying to show him that frustration and disappointment are a given, but the way we choose to handle it is what we can control. he was crying and carrying on and saying that we were making things worse. i looked at him and said we were doing our best to guide him and help him grow. he made fists, punched sharply downward as he shouted loudly before storming off...





yes it is, buddy. yes it is.

i am quite literally, a different person than last january 1st. i look different. i feel different. i see everything, well...differently. how does that happen? i smile as i hear the radio, tv, facebook, all talk of "new year's resolutions". some are noble and wonderful goals, worthy of pursuit. the only way i know to achievement, though, is the road of pain. i smile becuase i wonder what it would be like if we really knew that. would we clamor to make more resolutions? would we long to "better ourselves"? in the midst of this year, i was begging to stop. no more self-improvement. this. is. PAINFUL.

oh, but the sweet luxury of reflection. to look back and enjoy the fruit of that toil. it is so, so good.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

house party

is it too late for a christmas post?
i found this in my draft folder and realized i never posted it.
ari's "house" at school had a christmas party last monday. i thought it might be fun to have a hot chocolate bar (thank you pinterest).
there were all sorts of things to jazz up your hot m&ms, christmas sprinkles, marshmallows, redi-whip, and of course a candy cane to mix your concoction!
since i was so excited about my chocolate dipped marshmallows with crushed candy cane i decided to have that be the activity for the party. this naturally led into an entire candy cane theme.
we read the story of Christ's birth and talked about the shepherd's staffs looking like candy canes and how a priest thought of shaping the stick of candy this way so children would have something to help them sit through the long Christmas service. (unfortunately i learned through research that the other legends about candy canes are probably just nice stories, but oh well:)
we also got to make these yummy treats to package up and give to a friend or neighbor to add to their own hot cocoa (although i heard a few were consumed before they ever made it into a mug:)

2011 has been QUITE a year and i'm formulating a post in my head about it, but it hasn't yet been written. i suppose since this post is about christmas i still have a week or so to get that one out. thanks for your comments, friendship, and love this year!