29 November 2011

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Srsly, what is this stuff? I mean, I only have one recipe that calls for it, but I don't enjoy feeding people I like weird things. Anybody seen/come up with a substitution/make-your-own for this goop?

In other news, I'm making up my own potato soup recipe this week. Wish me luck!

25 November 2011

Love

So yes, I watched Breaking Dawn with some friends Sunday night. And I'm not saying Bella + Edward = my idea of what love should be, so let's all just calm down, take a deep breath, and unclench our fists.
Okay.

One thing Stephenie Meyer does know (and I think portrayed well) is motherly love. I mean, it's not a rational thing. Or, rather, it's trans-rational. It's not irrational; it has its own logic. This "I can do this" babbling aside, of course Bella is willing to risk her life, to die, to give her baby life. As a mom, it's kind of an "of course." I know I would die any day of the week for Ezra. And I undergo annoyance, pain, exhaustion, frustration, limitation and constraints I never thought I would be able to bear because I love him. I am willing (beyond what I honestly thought possible for how selfish I am) to sacrifice my life because... because Ezra... is. He doesn't have to do anything. He just is. And it's enough.

Stephen and I were talking about experiences we wanted to have before we died. And almost all of them (I think there was one exception) involved our future children (for me, at least). There's just something about being with Ezra that is wonderful (except when it sucks, of course). But he is wonderful. And he's not even trying. I cannot think of being able to talk about Jesus with him without tears welling up in my eyes. I cannot wait to have him as a brother as well as a son. What a beautiful life God has given me. What an amazing day that will be.

This is so helpful for me to be able to understand the Lord's logic. Why does He do what He does? I think of His mother-heart (as well as His father-heart; I'm just not a father, so don't get your knickers in a twist), and lots more makes sense. Yes He delights in me; yes, His mercies are new every morning; yes, He really does always want to spend time with me. Of course He binds up the broken-hearted. Of course He won't snuff out the smoldering wick. Of course He (gleefully) tramples the enemies of His children. He's the original mother and the perfect one. 
Help me accept Your love more and more, Lord. I want to be just like You.

24 November 2011

Thanks

So I didn't do the 30 days of thankfulness because I'm the kind of person who won't do something just because it's a "thing," even though that's sometimes (like in this case) a stupid reason because the thing is a good thing. [I'm not proud of it, but I know it's there. I'm working on it, okay?]

But today's Thanksgiving, so I'll say one. I'm thankful for our child's birthmother. Wherever she is (possibly pregnant with him/her already), she's choosing (or will choose) to carry our child, to give him/her life, that we may be able to love him/her with the fierce joy that is parenthood. Our little one's birth mommy loves him/her enough to allow her body and her life to be forever changed by this baby.  Relinquishing a child is not easy. I will always be humbled by the way God makes families - how He uses us. He redeems everything.

Who knows the circumstances surrounding our child's relinquishment? God. His plan will be beautiful, even though it's sure to be messy. We are here, Lord. Our hands are open in praise. You make beautiful things out of dust.

23 November 2011

Family Pics

Our friend Jenni Olowo of Reflections Photojournalism took a few family pictures for us, and how cute are we? I mean, I'm just sayin'!


Jenni's done some beautiful work with our engagement photos.


And we're equally happy with these! [The jury's still out for Ezra, as you can see above]


We may or may not have only taken about 15 minutes for these pictures...

...which was plenty of time for her to get some great shots.

Thanks, Jenni! I'm so glad I have talented friends! Hope I can someday bless you in turn. :)
[And if you, reader, want some great pictures, feel free to email Jenni O]

22 November 2011

Crawling Maniac

So this video is from a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to display his pretty great crawling skillz. I also wanted to show how cute it is that he kind of pounds the floor with his hands - is this an all-babies-do-that thing? So cute.
video

One of my very favorite things to shake my head at is that he's started to try and crawl away from us (as in run away but crawling). Nice try, little boy. We have at least a couple of months before you're faster than us. I hope.

09 November 2011

How Many?


I know it's heavy, and I don't want to be too serious (look, I have some broken places. If'n you haven't noticed...), but for real. When I think about my children being the exact same as these children, it gets real.

Let's rise up.

08 November 2011

Snotty Baby

video

While he doesn't have a cold or a fever, Ezra has been dealing with MAJOR snot the past few days. I thought I'd upload this video of him mouth-breathing, with snot coming down his face, trying to steal the camera from me. Because he's my son and it's my job to be able to embarrass him when he's 13 (assuming he's got good self-confidence and is also embarrass-able).

Enjoy!

05 November 2011

The Waiting

So, if you know me, you probably know I am crap at waiting. I mean, constant pout-fest. Whining, tantrums. Srsly, I'm actually still three years old.

So this semester has been a time of waiting. Waiting on Stephen; waiting on the Lord; waiting on myself. It is said that hope deferred makes the heart sick and I've been feeling that. I also know a certain pastor John who says, "the problem with persevering is that it feels like persevering."

I was pleased that the Lord gave me the hint that this was what my semester was going to look like. I am grateful He gave me the warning; who knows how my behavior would have been if He hadn't! Just bein' real...

But on Tuesday, the Lord (and Stephen) assented to my desire. And it has (no joke) felt just like my birthday every day since. What's even better (and what made the waiting, in my mind, even harder) was that the longing of my heart is also a longing of the Lord's (I believe). So it is a tree of life.

I can't wait to share more with you, but I'll leave you with this: November is national orphan awareness month. Srsly, think about your parents (by parents, I mean the people who raised you). Sure, they have flaws - some niggling, some serious - but you'd rather have imperfect parents than no parents at all, right? For almost all of us, we can at least find something for which we are profoundly grateful. My parents have loved me through some really difficult and self-inflicted trials. They stuck by me and tell me how proud they are of me. They gave me everything I had going into my marriage (except for a coffee table and a bust of Napoleon; those I bought with money I earned). I cannot imagine growing up without them. Or a family at all.

162 MILLION children in this world don't have parents. If you take God seriously, this means something to us. Let's care.