My forehead tensed up as I saw the homeless man alongside of the road where I was going to have to stop at a stoplight. My mind raced. I sized up the older man clothed in a big jacket against the Minnesota cold holding a cardboard sign. I looked over at him as I pulled to a stop. He didn’t even look at me.
2018 has been sweet (baby smiles), salty (tears), achy (from moving), satisfying (from making a home together in a new place), and invigorating (from serving at a new Bible study group!)
The sweetness of seeing a baby grow and flourish in front of you is better than I even hoped! Sometimes Joel’s blue eyes sparkle when I come in to see him after his nap. He likes turning my head to look and see if I have earrings on. First he started rolling across the room in the summer, then he switched to crawling with one peg-leg or “crab” crawl. Now he is a quick crawler and is practicing standing without holding onto anything. He loves playing in the kitchen and exploring the pots and pantry items. Yesterday he was making a drum out of a big soup pot. At 13 months he is able to balance without holding anything, and he has tried to take one step between his walker and a freezer; running will be in the near future! This year sweetness also came through getting to help a friend with the labor of her third baby. Babies are such a blessing Continue reading
One day a couple of months ago, after Joel woke up from his morning nap, in his still-sleepy state, he cuddled with me for a bit. I keep books on the dresser near his chair, and on this day he reached for his children’s Bible, so I brought it over for him to hold.
He studied the cover intently; his eyes scrunched into a smile as he looked down at the picture of Jesus. There was love in his eyes.
My son still can’t handle me eating tomatoes (they come through my breast milk and cause him to spit up or at least burp and be sad), so I’ve had to learn to make white pizza! My husband had the recipe (which was just an ingredient list) for this pizza, and it is amazing! Here’s how I put it together:
Need an artsy, relaxing book to read when you have a free minute? My brother (Aaron Campbell of Campby Designs) graphically designed the book, La La Lovely: The Art of Finding Beauty in the Everyday, by Trina McNeilly, and the layout AND the words bring refreshment, hope, beauty to the reader.
Started as a blog, (so that part encourages me greatly that a blog can lead to so much more!), this book tells of her journey of recent years through her parents’ divorce, the loss of a grandmother, and how to look for beauty to show up throughout all of life. The book is like a long version of her lifestyle blog with chapters on interior design, family relationships, and even an art project or two with photographs and fonts that bring it to life.
Her chapters can be read individually, so they are great for when you just have a minute or two to read something. I read most of the book while I was breastfeeding my son or right before bed when I wanted to have something fun (but short) to read.
For example, Trina says, “Trees, I once heard, represent rest. And here, without realizing it, I’ve been neighboring with respite. I can never decide when I like them best. Every year, each season, I try to decide again and again. I judge what the woods wear, as if I’m a regular on Project Runway. Autumn is pushing for first place with all of its colors and crunch. Summer is a shoo-in for second with its wealth of green, stately and regal, emanating a fairy-tale feel…” (page 159-160 of La La Lovely: The Art of Finding Beauty in the Everyday). Her words poetically paint pictures and draw you toward the beauty she wants to share.
This has been a summer full of transitions: Moving from Illinois to Minnesota, but still selling a house in Illinois (that should be wrapped up this month), my Dad passing away, traveling almost every weekend for a month and a half…
Taking a bit of time alone throughout this whole time and connecting with loved ones and God has helped me stay (mostly) steady throughout this time!
Oh, and lots of walks…
Here’s some peaceful images that have helped me transition well this summer:
My Dad passed away last week, so during this sad time of transition, I had been craving comfort food. Today’s craving was beef stew and mashed potatoes! Another comfort food I enjoy is spaghetti with tomato sauce, but my baby spits up if I eat tomatoes, so I should not eat them. (I tried eating them last night and he woke up screaming at 3am, so he is still not over it!) So as I figured out this stew recipe, I incorporated tomato spaghetti sauce elements without the tomato. Enjoy!
Pregnant with your first baby or just want to know of some knowledgeable books to have on hand while parenting? Four that I have been dipping into recently include one on breastfeeding (that I read before the baby arrived and now have been looking up different sections for reassurance about different topics), a step-by-step developmental guidebook, a book about sleeping (that I read while my baby was just a couple of months old) and a book about eating. Continue reading
My Dad will be 81 on June 4th, and I’m pondering my favorite memories of him…here are a few:
Let’s start with some food memories (since Dad and I both love our food!) We had a huge hickory tree next to our driveway, and each fall it would drop thousands of nuts—at first they we insulated in 1/2inch thick covering, that would fall off in quarters as they dried, then leaving the small (about the size of a blackberry) nut that also had 1/8-inch of shell. My dad made me a “Hickory nut cracker” –a strong contraption that would break through that heavy shell. Once when I was around 10, I took the time to crack a lot of hickory nuts and then I baked them into cookies. They had a strong, pecan-like flavor. I took some out to Dad working in his shop, and he liked them. Continue reading
He surprised me! Mother’s Day started on Thursday when Stephen came home with a bouquet of iris and yellow lilies plus a bar of white chocolate (since dark chocolate makes the baby spit up). Continue reading