Saturday, December 25, 2010

christmas 2010

christmas eve this year we invited friends over for munchies and drinks before heading to midnight Mass at the local Cathedral. my Catholic church is much more liberal and laid-back, so it was fun to experience Mass in such a formal setting. my hubs has always gone to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve since he was a teenager, and this was my first time. it was also my first time celebrating the entire Advent season the Catholic way and I have to say that I feel like this was the first year that I truly experienced Christmas. the waiting and anticipating of the birth of our Savior all month, and then, as the clock struck midnight, to celebrate that He is here, our Savior, our Light of the World--at last. oh the feeling was indescribable and beautiful. and it still lingers, since Advent lasts well into the New Year....i cannot wait to celebrate Advent for years to come with all my children, teaching them about the birth of Christ, and all that happened throughout Jewish history leading up to it.
and christmas morning was just magical this year as well. presents were not placed under the tree until the children were nestled all snug in their beds on Christmas Eve. and so, Christmas morning, 4 children awoke to find presents overflowing from the bottom of the tree, packed stockings, and special things already out from Santa. It was really all about the kids this year, and i remembered again the Christmases of my childhood and felt excited to create such special memories for my little man all of these upcoming years. it has never been so fun! especially since this was his first year really understanding (to a degree) what was going on. Santa filled his stocking with work trucks, and one of his big presents was a tricycle. He learned to peddle around the house in just a few quick minutes. he is also learning to (finally!) smile for the camera. he is such a big boy now!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


we spent thanksgiving in charlotte with friends. we had 4 or 5 deep fried turkeys, and we all brought sides and deserts. sooooo yummy:) ate too much, don't we all?
then we drove to sunset beach for one day. i've lost the cord to my camera, so i only have pics from my phone:( i did get to see my dear cousin stephanie, which is always a treat for me! we spent the morning playing in the sand on the beach before it turned really cold. the rest of the day was spent by the fire in a house on the marsh.
this year i was thankful for having music man home for 10 whole days, that i have a beautiful (i just know it) and healthy girl growing bigger and stronger in my belly every day, and a happy, sweet-as-can-be little boy that i get to spend every hour of the day with, and getting to share a home with wonderful friends whom i enjoy immensely. these can certainly be hard times in more ways than one, but the blessings outweigh all of it. i try to be present every moment and cherish it all, because the days are long, but the years are short, and i want to experience these years to the fullest!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

our baby girl

I am having a baby


oh my goodness, how i did not think i would be saying that. i don't know how we got so 100% positive that we were having a boy, when there was no way to know, and we had a 50/50 chance either way, but we sure were positive.
now we are still getting used to the idea--no, the reality, of this beautiful little girl soon coming into all of our lives. i can hardly wait to see her face, to hold her hand. to watch my husband turn to absolute mush, and my son blossom into the big, loving, protective brother that he was born to be.
this little miracle is about to turn our lives upside down, in such a good way.
in fact, this next 5 months might just much too long to wait.

she is still very small (17 weeks), but here are some pictures of the video that we got to watch of her.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

hear me roar

"since when have you been so in to Halloween?" my mother asked me
"um, since i had an adorable kid to dress up!"

i flew out to the west coast for the last week of the october tour. i was in LA, San Fran, Portland and Seattle. halloween was spent in seattle. we went to the residential area of capitol hill and went trick or treating. little man said "trick or treat!" at every door, totally oblivious that candy was going into his Chipotle chip bag from dinner. because it is all for mama and daddy :) cheers to the man or woman that invented trick or treating!

autumn has arrived

happy fall y'all

Saturday, October 30, 2010

west coast fav

if portland wasn't on the other side of the country from everyone that i love, i would move there tomorrow.
a few reasons to love portland, oregon (i haven't discovered all the other ones yet!):
1. it's the #1 Greenest City in America! Half its power comes form renewable sources, a quarter of the workforce commutes by bike, carpool or public transportation, and it has 35 buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
2. water
3. mountains
4. Old Town
5. Stumptown Coffee

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

blowing rock

little man and I just came back from a mountain getaway with my brother, his wife and my niece (who is my son's age)...filled with apple picking, crisp fall air, and night-time chats by the wood-burning fireplace. we had been talking about a fall mountain weekend ever since they moved back south and my sister knew that she would be mourning the loss of a New England Autumn. so we were a bit bummed that the leaves hadn't started changing AT ALL, but that was the only thing that wasn't perfect about the trip, so we decided it didn't matter too much. and plus, my niece turned 2 (!!!) on Saturday, which was so fun to celebrate.
we rented the cutest cabin in Blowing Rcok, NC. the views from the backyard were breathtaking, the cabin was cozy and quaint with everything we needed, and the backyard even had a fire pit where we roasted marshmallows and sang songs with the kids (while they held on to us for dear life, scared of the "real, real hot" fire) most importantly, little man fell in love with his cousin. they are the best of friends!

Blowing Rock is known to be and has been voted "Prettiest town in North Carolina" and it really is. And only 13 minutes down the road is Boone, NC where Appalachian State University and everything young and hippie is (great shops, great food).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

let's try this again...

there's a teensy weensy baby in there!

i am 9 weeks pregnant.
since, last pregnancy, i found out at 16 weeks that i had miscarried an 8 week baby, i contacted my midwife and asked her how soon i could be reassured that all was ok. she said that she could detect heart tones at 10-12 weeks, but that i could get an ultrasound starting at 8 weeks. so last week, i went to get an ultrasound, and saw the most beautiful sight: a heartbeat. and that fluttering little heart almost made my own heart explode as i cried tears of joy. and a weight lifted off of my chest, and i felt like i could breath again.
i never thought i could keep quiet about a pregnancy, but keeping this a secret for a little while was not hard. when we found out that we were pregnant again, we were excited and hopeful. i continually welcomed this new child into my womb, my body, my life. but both of our hearts were still too tender. we decided not to tell anyone for the first trimester, or at least until we found out it was ok. and so for weeks i kept to myself and felt a sense of dread and worry that was almost overwhelming. i didn't want to hear anyone's worries or concerns for me, because i had plenty enough of my own.
but a dear older lady told me that i had to deal with my fear and start celebrating this life that had begun in me. i have to stop saying "if something goes wrong" or "as long as everything goes ok" or "well, if i even have this baby". because regardless of the outcome, there is a life that has begun, that is valued by our Father, that is inside of me. right now. and i have to acknowledge it and celebrate it.
and that rebuke has begun to set me straight. after hearing that everything in there looks perfect and healthy and just as it should, we decided that our friend was right. we needed to start telling people and rejoicing in what the Lord has done for us. after i miscarried He gave me this promise: "..I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." (Gen. 28:15)
this summer was awful. i feel like i haven't even been here--anywhere--like i've just been floating through it. and i'm not sure where all that time went. it's just out there somewhere in the great abyss i suppose. so i apologize to you, my friends, if i have been distant--or completely absent. i'm getting back to my life again.
and i feel confident that this is God's promise fulfillled. i believe that i will have a baby in my arms in early May.
and i even think that it's a boy...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

our move

right now i'm in atlanta at my dad's getting ready to leave my dog here for the next few months. i know i am going to cry when i leave her. the last (and only) time that i had to live without her in the past 9 years of her life was in college, when she lived with my mom for 2 years. i never thought that i'd have to do this again. but here we are, and it's something that i feel like i need to for the sake of my family. i mean, honestly, we are always traveling. we have basically been paying a whole lot of rent to house our dog and her dogsitter, and it just isn't making sense anymore. so, we are moving to....
the suburbs! what?!
our good friends suggested that we move into their house. they have 3 kids (5, 3, and 1 1/2), who i'm pretty sure i've always loved as my own, and my son adores them. she has grown to be one of my closest friends, and music man actually lived with them before earlier in their marriage.
basically, it is going to be great. we are going to save money. they are going to save money. i will never be lonely when i'm off-tour without my husband. our days are going to revolve around doing creative activities with the kids, including some Montessori homeschool curriculum. the only real bummer is that we are moving out of our favorite neighborhood- the one that we've always lived in as a married couple. we are officially moving to the suburbs. and south carolina at that! but even that has a redemptive side--all of my mom friends and their kids live there. in fact, i don't think i have any friends left who still live in the city. they've all migrated south. so that's a plus.
and that's the scoop on our move. we'll be out of our home--the home that we brought our first son home to:(--in a few days, and moving into a new season. but praise God for new seasons, right!? the best is yet to come! :)

Friday, August 6, 2010


the bus is minutes from pulling into Charlotte. we have all of August off, and in september just a few of the guys have to fly around the country all month, so i won't be going.
meaning...i will be home for 2 months!

one of the guys has an "official" new girlfriend. she rode on the bus with us for a couple of days and then made an observation about our seemingly glamorous life on a tour bus...."um, this is camping."

how true that is. if i haven't expressed it enough before, let me do so now: it is not glamorous. this is camping.

and so, as much fun as it is to camp on a tour bus, i am looking forward to enjoying family life with my husband on land. we will be moving this month, which will begin a new season for our family. a fun and good season. (more details to come).
october will be here before we know it and back to the bus it will be!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

holding on and letting go (or, toddlerhood begins)

times they are a-changin' in our little nest. Our sweet, calm, chill, laid-back, always happy baby boy turned into a toddler somewhere in the past few weeks, and he is growing more and more into the role with every passing day.
now, i'm not saying that he isn't still sweet, calm, chill, laid back and happy. he is. but there are new sides to him now. one minute he is holding my face in his hands, belly laughing and giving me kisses, and the next minute he is screaming and hitting me in the face as hard as he can.
i do feel for the little guy. i know he is struggling to learn his emotions and properly communicate them. i know he is having to learn the hard lessons that sometimes the answer is 'no' and that the world does not actually revolve around him. i knew this was inevitable, this stage. every child crosses into this time period when their mind is advanced beyond their communication level. he just doesn't know how to fully express what his feelings are and what he wants. and then sometimes he can express what he wants, but i tell him 'no' and he doesn't know how to handle that.
one of his latest things that i am just totally stuck with is this: he gets completely obsessed with 1 or 3 toys for a few days at a time. he carries them around with him everywhere and he can't sleep without them. it's cute. until he gets in this mood. he'll hold the toy and play with it and then all of the sudden he'll throw it to the ground out of frustration (from what? i couldn't tell you), only to be, seconds later, crying and whining because he wants the toy. this goes on all day, and sometimes even all night in his sleep. i cannot figure out what is going on and haven't really clue what to do about it. (if you have any insights or suggestions, please leave a comment!)
my husband and I have both agreed that this next month off we are really going to have to get on top of discipline and get it under control. we need to get on the same page, figure out what style of correction and teaching works best for him as an individual, and work the kinks out...
but as these kinks are getting worked out--can i be totally honest here?--i've been hit with the realization that i am far from a perfect mother. far from a perfect person. i find myself frustrated more that i'd like, losing patience more than i'd like. i find that i am not always the mother that i aim to be. grant it, it is usually at night time when i am just exhausted and missing out on much-needed sleep (don't we all get a bit cranky when woken in the middle of the night?). these moments are actually few and rare, and maybe i'm being a bit hard on myself. but i know that, left untouched, these things can grow into monsters in my life and slowly turn me into someone that i never want to be--possibly without me even noticing it. these tiny evidences of selfishness must be dealt with now. i am learning to be more patient. to be very very very patient. and to control my feelings of exhaustion and frustration and loss of control. and i think that is the root problem here--that i need to give up trying to always be in control. the fact is that my son is a human being--a tiny little man of a human being, but an individual none the less. and we cannot control others. our children must be led.
and so my days as of late have been filled with a plethora of emotions-- intense love, holding tight, needing space, laughing, sighing, praising, disciplining, playing hard, napping hard, happiness, strength, uncertainity, scratching my head, tiredness and--one minute i feel strong and proud, like i'm possibly starting to get this thing right, the next i feel stripped and weak and completely helpless--but through it all, a LOT of love. intense love.
i so strongly love this kid, and this day-to-day life i live with him. i love learning how to love him, and how to gently lead him. i love getting to know him, and getting to know me. i so badly want to be the best i can be for him.

oh, the things this little man is capable of doing to me!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

home at last

sidewalk fun (thanks Tia Jo!)

morning Mass


i am back on the bus at last. this entire past week has been spent in california. and as my plane flew into the Burbank airport, i felt that unmistakable feeling of relief to finally be home.
i flew into los angeles and spent a couple of days with my friend, Sheinina, before the bus came. she is a beautiful person, whom i so enjoy.
77 degrees with a chill in the air was a nice change after the stale, humid heat of a southern summer. oh, california, how i love you.
we had a day off in LA before heading to san fran (with a high of 58 degrees!). then it was back to los angeles for another day off.
little man came down with a stomach virus the day before i flew, so the adjustment back into bus life has not been a smooth one. quite hellacious, really. which is why this update comes so late. but it seems he is on the mend, finally.
and so tonight i find myself back in this familiar place--my husband doing vocal warm-ups, my baby boy snug in his bunk, myself unshowered and ready for a motion-filled sleep on the way to our next city.
i am home.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

the dragonfly

when i was pregnant with my son, I would see hummingbirds everywhere. with my last pregnancy i wondered if something similar would happen, and it did.
this time it was the Dragonfly. i saw them everywhere. i just recently started looking into the meanings and symbolisms of the dragonfly, trying to learn something about this baby of mine that i am still missing terribly.
here's what i found it to symbolize:
*the power of life in general
*a sense of self that comes with maturity
*the dragonfly reflects the power of light
*no bird or other insect has the flight maneuverability of the dragonfly, which can quickly change directions when necessary. they are experts at going where they ned to be and doing what they need to do.
*they live a short life, but they live it to the fullest
*traditionally, the dragonfly is the symbol of transformation and life's ever-constant process of change
i am always amazed at what i can hear God saying to me when i just take the time to listen to my life

Monday, July 12, 2010


i have never been the 'content in all circumstances' type of person. I blame it on my personality. i've always found it quite fun to look ahead and plan out the coming seasons with the new and better things i'd be doing-- and the new and better person i'd be. you know, like "right now i'm just a nanny and i live in NC, but next summer i'm going to travel to rural kazistan and work with orphans who have no legs and no food, right after my mission trip to an unreached civilization deep in the Amazon. and of course i'm also going to take some college courses to learn web design and start a business on the side. and then i'm going to take some acting classes and might try to be in a movie and make it big..." you, know, that sort of thing.
if i had had a blog 5 years ago, it's one goal would have been to make you super impressed and/or extremely jealous about all the things i was going to be doing at a later time, regardless of whether i ever got around to them.

becoming a mother, while it was what i have always wanted, was a bit hard in the beginning because of this trait of mine. i'd find myself dreaming of all these things that i wanted to learn and wanted to be doing, only to come back to the present and realize--wait...i don't have time to do any of that! i have to change diapers and nurse and make baby food and do the laundry and empty the dishwasher and get dinner ready. and then i'd find myself feeling quite pathetic, like i had no worth. i mean, what did i even have to show for myself at the end of the day? what did i add to society? how were my plans to finish mopping the floors by the end of nap-time going to impress anybody? i avoided the conversations that i once loved--you know, the ones where I share about all these "plans" that I have and the things that I will one day do and be. even if it were as small as what i was going to be doing the upcoming weekend. and it made me feel cool and seem really interesting. maybe i figured if i at least one day planned to learn this or that, or become this or that, or do this or that, then it would justify the fact that i was not doing any of those things now. i always wanted to be something that i wasn't quite yet but possibly could be one day.
are you following me?
i remember when i moved to NC and i had just gotten married and i wasn't a mother yet. i was getting to know a girl who is now a very close friend. she had two small children at the time. i was having one of these conversations of sharing my dreams and plans. it's how i affirmed myself. i thought that it would make others realize my worth. i proceeded to ask her about her plans. was she one day planning to go back to school? to start a business? surely she needed a plan to look forward to, to feel useful. to feel valuable.
but all that she said was "no....i don't really have any plans or ambitions. i'm actually just pretty content in being a wife and a mother. i don't know--is that wrong?"

it was profound. i had never considered this possibility. this idea of just being content. and i realized that it made her a much happier person than me. all of my dreams and plans actually tormented me and just stemmed from insecurity.
so to her comment i answered, for the first time (and from the heart), "wow, i sure do wish i could be like that."

and then about a year ago a miraculous thing happened. it was so subtle that it took months for me to realize that it had even happened. i hadn't strived for it, i hadn't worked hard at it. i had barely even thought about it.

i became very content.

i am suddenly content in my role as a wife and a mother. the humble appearance of these roles disguises the fact that they are the two highest roles that we are called to in life. Jesus Christ of Nazareth did say that to be a servant was the highest position in life, and both roles are essentially that--serving. in being a wife, and especially a mother, a woman is given the opportunity to become more servant-like a little more each day. if one is cooperative, each day she will become a little bit less selfless, forget about herself a little bit more, put others' needs before hers a little bit more, and care about the useless things in life a little bit less. all we are asked is to be faithful with what we are given. what i have been given is a husband and a child, and to put anything above those two would be...well, sinful.

and while there are certainly still things that i want to learn to do and things that i one day aspire to do, i feel perfectly content about the possibility that those things may be years down the road--maybe 20 years. and, most importantly, i don't feel that because i can't do them right away that it makes me less valuable in society. i no longer find my worth in those things.

these days my conversations feel shorter and perhaps even a bit more awkward. friends ask "what's going on with you these days?" and the answer is usually the same as last time they talked to me-- "same ole, same ole." the things that are going on with me now have more to do with what changes that are occuring in my heart, or the latest thing that i am learning. or, even more likely, the latest thing my son is learning and the funny things he does. and i am ok with this. in fact, i wouldn't want it any other way.

i am truly and undeniably happy with being a mother. i believe that i have great value, and that my job is quite possibly the most important job that exists. i love it,
i love my life,
i finally love the person that i am,
and i especially love the person that i am becoming.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

my Amani

when I first got pregnant, there was a day when little mna looked at my belly and said "Amani! Amani!" i only recognized that word because i knew that word. it's a Kenyan word, and i only knew that because my sweet friend and college roomate, Raechel, moved to Kenya after college to work in a center for refugee women and the name of the center was Amani. i told my husband about the experience--could he have just named our baby?--and little man continued to say it at random times throughout my pregnancy.
tuesday morning we got in the car to go to get the ultrasound that would ultimately tell me that we had lost our baby. i woke up that morning already knowing what was going to happen, and i was terrified. the minute that we pulled out of the driveway, my son said "Amani!" over and over again for about a minute. and i wept.
so when we found out what had happened, my husband and I agreed that our baby's name is Amani, and it gave us comfort to think of our Amani up in heaven in the arms of God....

i knew my body still hadn't gone through the miscarriage. the baby, the sac, the placenta--everything in my uterus had to come out. my midwife told me that i would get labor contractions and that it would feel like childbirth, and be just as intense. i didn't quite believe her, but waited for some type of cramping to begin.

when it didn't, i decided to set a doctor's appointment to get a D&C, which is procedure where they give you anesthesia, dialate your cervix and use a device to suck and scrape everything out of your uterus. i usually prefer the most natural route, but at this point i just wanted it to all be over.

a girl that i know who had a miscarriage, and a D&C, told me that funeral homes will pick up the remains of the baby and cremate them for free. she and her husband had that done and they felt that burying the ashes gave them a bit of closure and peace. i decided that sounded nice, and planned to do so myself.
at the doctor's office, i was given a very thorough ultrasound. she told me that my body had already begun the process, and that the baby was already gone. i decided to go home and let my body finish what it had begun. i continued to rub clary sage and lavender oils on my belly at the urging of my doula, and drink red raspberry leaf tea day and night to prepare my uterus (red raspberry leaf tea is what i swear made my last labor so short, i drank it three times a day in my last trimester). by nighttime, contractions had began. i went to sleep, but at 3 am the intensity of the contractions began to wake me from my sleep. i was still able to sleep in between contractions. at 5 am i could no longer lay down, i had to get up and move my body into the positions that it told me to get in. as the pain intensified, it occurred to me that i didn't really know what i was trying to do. i had been so prepared for childbirth. i knew exactly what to expect, and exactly what to do at each point of labor. but now i didn't have a baby to push out. what was the point of this? was i supposed to eventually push? i needed a goal, and searched frantically on my iphone internet for some clue. for the first time i found first hand accounts of miscarriages and realized that it really is like childbirth for a lot of women who are further along. finally i found a woman that said a huge glob of something came out of her and then it was over. so i sat down on the toilet in the most intense pain that a human being can ever feel, and breathed through the ever intensifying contractions, told God over and over again that I couldn't handle it anymore, and waited for the huge glob. at 6:15 it finally came and I had officially labored (naturally) twice in my life. my entire body shook for 20 minutes and i cried because i didn't have a baby in my arms.
but i still had peace.
after my visit with the doctor, my husband called and what he said changed the course of my grieving: "this might sound weird, but i had this thought--this overwhelming feeling--that our baby isn't going to stay in heaven. the baby is going to be given back to us again!". Peace flooded over me like a waterfall, and I knew that was the reason that the baby was already gone in the ultrasound. i wasn't able to put it in the ground and close that chapter, because it isn't over. Amani is in heaven right now with my Father, being ministered to and loved on, and very soon (hopefully just a few months), I will have Amani back with me again. this might sound strange, but i believe it with all my heart. our next child's middle name might be Amani, to honor who he or she is, and the special journey they took back to the heart of the Father for a little while.

God has been amazingly gracious to me during this time. i keep using the words "comfort" and "strength" and "peace" because i don't have any better words to describe what i have felt these past few days. i would never have imagined i could feel those things during a time like this, but that's just the kind of Father that we have. i have been wrapped in His love, and i have not pushed it away. i have embraced it, and clinged to it for dear life.
and now I wait longingly for my Amani to return to me.

Amani means Peace.
how fitting

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

this is a broken heart

i'm the kind of person who retreats when i'm hurting. i don't do good with words. i do good alone in my head, and when i write. so i'm going to try to write and process this miscarriage, although i'm not entirely sure what to say yet.
it happens all the time, and yet i never thought it would happen to me. ever. i never even considered it. especially after my nearly perfect last pregnancy and birth. i'm healthy, i take care of myself...
I remember before i got pregnant with my son, one of our friends had a miscarriage in her 6th month. it was a surprise pregnancy. her two children were already 19 and 21, but she and her family and friends were ecstatic about this new little one. i felt sad for her, and kept her in my prayers, but my husband and I never really did much to show our condolences or to be there for her, or even to let her know how sorry we were. part of me just didn't know what to say, and the other part of me didn't know what a huge deal it is. when i got pregnant with my son I remembered what she had gone through and I finally got it, and I felt awful for my lack of concern for her. i still feel awful.

and this--experiencing it myself--it is crushing. i just didn't know it hurt this much--emotionally. the pain is overwhelming.

our sweet baby only made it to 8 weeks. i found this out at 16 weeks.
what hurts the most is that i had dreams in my heart for this baby. for four months i had been making plans, knowing that he or she would be born close to my son's 2nd birthday. i couldn't wait to watch him be a big brother and take care of his new little baby. we talked all day about the baby in mama's belly, and he knew to point to my belly and say baby and lift up my shirt and look for it. i knew when the baby would learn to sit up, and to crawl and to walk. i listened to songs about our growing family.
i loved this new baby. and i couldn't wait to hold it in my arms.
but now i won't hold this baby in my arms.
and that is devastating.

i don't think this blog post will ever communicate the pain that i am feeling. hope deferred makes the heart grow sick. my heart is VERY sick right now. my heart is very broken right now.

yet, through all of these feelings and emotions, i am finding so much strength in the Lord. my sweet sister said that i would feel everyones prayers, and she was right. i feel so much comfort. and somehow, my mind and heart are focusing on the truth. the truth is that
God is Sovereign.
He alone can restore my heart.
and He has already begun. I can literally feel my Father's arms around me at all times right now like never before. how does He do that? how can i feel anything but pain in a time like this? He knows my hurt and my pain. and He cares.
He is my Comforter.
and God alone is Lord over life. We can't control things no matter how much we want to. But decisions over life and death really are best left to Him. a friend shared this verse, which has meant a lot. Isaiah 57:1 explains "The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; And devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil." we can't know what the Lord was saving this baby from. and to think the God actually loves our children more than we do--it is impossible to comprehend, but at the same time such a wonderful thought. He really has their best interest at heart. He has our best interest at heart.
and while I might not ever get to hold this baby (in this life), the baby was born straight into Heaven! imagine that! straight into the arms of our Father. I can feel His arms around my baby just as I can feel His arms around me.

these are truths that i know and believe. i have trusted Him and clinged to Him more than i ever thought possible during this time. He alone can restore me. He alone.

and so i cry a lot of tears, and i keep praising God. it is all that I know to do. it is all that my hurting soul and my broken heart know to do.
i keep one song on repeat. it's by Hillsong, and some of the lyrics say:

In the quiet
in the stillness
I know that You are God
In the secret of your presence
I know there I am restored....

In the chaos and confusion
I know You're Sovereign still
in the moment of my weakness
You give me grace to do Your will

There is no one else for me
none but Jesus
crucified to set me free
now I live to bring Him praise

all of my HOPE
all of my STRENGTH
all my delight is in You, Lord

it is true. ALL my delight....

Saturday, June 5, 2010

green smoothie revolution!

have you heard about 'green smoothies'? This is the newest craze in our family.
They were developed by raw food pioneer, chef and auther, Victoria Boutenko, (wrote "Green Smoothie Revolution") and they provide endless health benefits! One of the most important things lacking from our diets is usually dark leafy greens. And once blended, they are even more easily digested by your system, allowing your body to get even more of the nutrients out of them (plus they are raw in the smoothie, not cooked so they retain all their nutritional value).

Ok, so here's some of the benefits of green smoothies, just to name a FEW:
1. According to Victoria Boutenko in her book, 12 Steps to Raw Foods, "when blended well, most of the cell walls in the greens and fruits are ruptured, making the valuable nutrients easy for the body to assimilate. Green smoothies literally start to get absorbed in your mouth."
2. They are full of fiber which is very important for good colon ecology and elimination of waste.
3. They are chlorophyll rich. Chlorophyll is the blood of the plant and it is the molecule that most closely resembles human blood. It purifies our blood. It fights bad breath and bad body odor. It is an immune enhancer. It can help to correct anemia. It will rejuvenate your body.
4. They give you much more than the minimal requirements of fruits and veggies recommended by the American Cancer Society.
5. They are high in antioxidants and phytochemicals.
6. They will help to bring down the acidity in your pH and make you more alkaline. Cancer does not grow in an alkaline body. In fact, most disease grows in an acid environment

There are so many ways you can make your green smoothie, so you should definitely experiment to find your favorites. As a general rule, start out using 40% greens (spinach, collard greens, romaine lettuce, kale greens....anything green!) and 60% fruit. But, I do have a suggestion for getting started. Actually it's how i make my smoothie every day. I use about a handful of spinach and 2 bananas and some water. Something about the bananas and the spinach makes it taste so smooth and almost like nothing. You can add honey or real maple syrup if you need it, or just add more banana. You might have to tinker with it to get it perfect.

***note: do not use spinach every day. spinach has phytates in it, which blocks the absorption of iron. (soy has the most phytates of anything ever, one of the 1,000 reasons not to drink/eat soy)
So try it if you are interested! You might not need your cup of coffee anymore in the morning from all the extra energy you'll have! Even Ndi LOVES them and begs for more!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


my excuse for being absent for so darn long is simple: mommydom
little man has entered a new stage in his childhood: bonafide toddler. and toddlers require lots of attention. especially in early toddler-hood when you just don't know what they might try to do when you aren't looking. i think the older they get the more trust you can bestow on them. but it's been months since i made something with my hands, or finished a book, or blogged...i've been quite unproductive, yet in the busy-ness i honestly haven't noticed.
so i have my mind set to get back into my old habits, and be better about creating 'me' time. until then, i have one big piece of news,
we're having baby #2 in early december! yes, another december baby, which i can honestly say was an accident. i mean, who tries to have a baby in december? i was born 2 days after christmas and vowed my entire life that i would never have Christmas babies. but after much thought, i've realized all the perks of God's perfect timing.
#1: it's early december, not late. thank you Lord. little toddler man will turn 2 just a week or 2 after the baby is born. i think the age difference is perfect, and i want to plan a huge birthday for him so that he feels extra special! 
#2: same timing as last baby means that all my pregnancy clothes will fit me at just the right times!
#3: the longest (well, only) break we get in the music industry is Christmas time. and thanksgiving is right before. it makes it easier for music man to be around and for us all to be together and for me to rest!
#4: i love winter babies. their first summertime they can sit up in the sand. second summertime they are walking. and they usually learn to walk during the winter (ie. falling down on carpet is much better than concrete) plus mama has enough time to get that butt and tummy ready for bathing suit season (with the help of breastfeeding and P90X)
i'm so excited to watch my little man become a big brother. I have to admit that it's hard for me to imagine another baby in the picture. i'm so obsessed with my son and focused on him 24/7 that some days i forget i'm even pregnant. but i've heard about the miracle of your heart growing as soon as the baby is born and suddenly you have enough love for both. i know i will adore this new little one, and i know little man will too. he loves babies. don't get me wrong, he is all-boy and very intense most of the time, but he has this soft side to him that makes him love to hug and kiss his mama and daddy, and kiss his toys and stuffed animals...and babies. so i'm hoping that this transition will be a smooth one.
speaking of transitions, last week we stayed home from tour so that i could sleep train the little guy. i think that it is my first real Mama-feat. i was so terrified to let him cry and for us to go through it, but he went through it beautifully (ok, so it was really hard the first night) and by night #3 he was falling right to sleep and sleeping 12 hours straight without waking to nurse, and that is how he sleeps now!

oh but the comment about somedays forgetting i'm pregnant--that has been getting progressively harder now that nausea has officially set in. most days i wake up and count the hours i have left until bedtime. it's pretty horrible. i don't know why this is necessary, but at least i know the baby is thriving with all these hormones making me sick all day and crying quite often over nothings. and to make matters worse my son caught a stomach virus this past weekend.
1st day consisted of 16 hours of vomitting every 10-30 minutes, coupled with diarrhea. somewhere in the middle of that Riley ran away. i was all alone with a vomitting child, worried my dog was about to die, and I had a serious breakdown. i'm talking break.down. i was sobbing so hard i couldn't even talk, but managed to call the hubs, who called his buddy to come help me, who then called my friend. she had already offered to come over earlier that morning, but i told her it wasn't necessary. now it was necessary. riley came back (she always does). and so my friend left her 3 kids with her husband and came over to the friend that i needed that day. it's amazing how things were suddenly 95% better just having her there with me. later we drove him to urgent care, who sent us away to go to the ER, but when we got there he sorta perked up and seemed better so we took him home instead. he stopped vomitting at 7:30pm and he went to sleep and slept all night. next day the vomitting had stopped but he developed a really high fever, and then he laid in my bed without moving for 4 hours. it was so scary to see him like that, that i just had to take him to the ER. when they finally gave us a room, that same friend of mine walked in unannounced. she was worried and wanted to come sit with us. i honestly would never have known how much her gestures could mean to someone. but she knew how i felt. she had been there before. being pregnant makes everything a bigger deal, and she didn't want me to be pregnant with a violently ill child alone. i will be eternally grateful to her for that. and will certainly give the favor to other friends in that position as well.
his fever eventually broke and he was sent home. he still has diarrhea and is only just now starting to eat solid foods again, but he is on the mend. i however am not. i am sick as a dog most days, and had to stay back from tour, again. music man left last night amidst my tears and sorrow thinking of how we might not see him for another 2 weeks, and that's if i'm better by then! i hate being away from him, and i hate hate hate hearing little man ask for his daddy all day long. it breaks my heart.
so, let the countdown to 2nd trimester begin! (and prayers are much appreciated)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

down on the farm

when i was younger and my parents divorced i spent every other weekend with my dad, my step mom, my step brother (my age) and my step sister (one year younger than me). his wife's parents lived about a half mile away on a farm, in an old historic home that was built around the time of the civil war. i spent as much time there as i could. they had horses, chickens, rabbits, and dogs. we rode the horses as much as possible (i got thrown off a horse for the first time on one of our trail rides), there were kid-sized motorcycles we played with, a zip-line, a barn, acres of woods, the list goes on. but what i mostly remember about my times at the farm is exploring off on my own. i remember getting dirty and no one caring. i remember the feeling of mud and horse manure under my feet. learning the smell of the barn and hay, the horses, the chicken feed, the grass....i can still smell them today. i remember watching how the mama rabbits cared for their newborns, and eagerly waiting for them to turn 6 weeks so i could bring one home to my mom's house. i watched newborn horses grow into adults. i tried to nurse birds back to health after the boys shot them...
i also went to horseback riding summer camps, and later in college i lived on a farm with horses, goats, pigs, chickens and lots of dogs (we trained service dogs for handicapped people). and so i learned how to ride a horse properly, and to care for them. as well as the other animals....and that is the story of how a suburbian kid haphazardly learned how to be a farm girl as well.
that farm i once knew has since been turned into a shiny new neighborhood in Cobb County. a few years ago they sold their land and moved to a different farm. shortly after, my step-mom's father passed away. her mother lives in their new home with a few of her sons on the same property. during my Atlanta visit a couple weeks ago, we went out to visit the place. there are only 3 horses now, and 2 chickens, but the land is beautiful and the house is country and homey, as it always was. little man loved every bit of it and even rode in a battery-powered kids truck with my step niece, sort of like we used to do.
being there with my son reminded me how important the outdoors is for kids. and it reminded me how much i long for him to have the opportunities that i had at being in the great outdoors. i want him to have a chance to gain from the natural earth what i was able to. to love the earth and be grateful for what it gives us, to empathize with animals and be thankful to them for what they give us. i want him to learn the smells and the language of animals, and how to care for them. i want him to feel the power of a horse beneath his saddle. i want him to build forts and throw dirt and gather chicken eggs and run wild in the open fields...all the while going to far far away lands in his imagination.
although we are city folks through and through, and we live on a bus and the world is our home, deep down i know i'll find a way to fit it into my children's lives. it's too important not to.