the waiting game

First babies tend to make you wait.

This is the general experience many have been sharing with Greg and I in the last few days.

But just a few months ago, nearly every woman I spoke to reported the exact opposite… their firstborns had come early, by up to four weeks!

As was natural I think, hearing story after story of early arrivals whipped up quite the fervor within me.  I just knew our little lady would find a way to sneak into March.  And I was determined to be ready when she did.

In between weeks of work, I stationed myself at the sewing machine, piecing together the crib skirt, sheets, changing pad cover, and burp clothes.  The sewing machine was then set aside in favor of scissors and the hot glue gun.  Greg (willingly!) cut out felt circle after felt circle after felt circle (repeat waay too many times) while I glued them to Styrofoam balls (aka: mobile-making).  Art was hung, books displayed, clothes washed, drawers organized, car seat installed.  It was intense, but we were finally ready for our early arriver.

But it seems our little lady had no intention of coming early at all.  She did not surprise us in March and has now surpassed her due date.  She is, apparently, perfectly content with life on the inside.

Which has left us parents-to-be with unexpected time.  Time we thought would be spent not sleeping, caring for a newborn, but is now just extra… wide open.  Put me in almost any other situation and I would LOVE to have so much spare time.  But when you’re waiting for your life to change dramatically, spare time passes so slowly and seems impossible to fill.

These are the time-fillers we’ve come up with so far:

  • Catch up on BBC’s Planet Earth (we’ll be wrapping up Wild China tonight)
  • Go on walks… stop frequently because that hill is Just. So. Steep.
  • Reorganize baby clothes
  • Clean the apartment
  • Attempt to finish knitting that scarf I started fourteen months ago
  • Organize favorite recipes
  • Host a game day with friends (because a night just wasn’t long enough)
  • Fill the freezer… seriously, the contents of our tiny freezer-above-the-fridge now includes:

42 muffins

16 egg rolls

8 taquitos

7 calzones

60 Swedish meatballs

8 hot ham and cheese sandwiches

1 lb prepped Mongolian beef

4 chicken breasts with mushroom / artichoke sauce

2 chicken cordon bleu casseroles

2 sour cream noodle bakes

2 lbs shredded pork

1 lb cooked ham chunks

1.5 lbs browned ground beef

2 lbs browned ground sausage

11 salmon fillets

6 raw chicken breasts

  • Catch up on Disney movies (Toy Story 3 and Frozen thus far)
  • Bake bread
  • Think about organizing the wedding book purchased two years ago
  • Double check Skype connection with out-of-state grandparents
  • Replace wiper blades
  • Air up tires
  • Check out local second-hand kids clothing store
  • Reply to excited inquiries:  no, she has not arrived yet
  • Write blog post about waiting for baby

If you have any other suggestions, do share.  We’re running out of ideas here :)

jumbled thoughts of a mom-to-be

I’m about to become a mother.

(seriously folks, our due date is less than five days away)

It’s such a simple statement, but the implications… extraordinarily profound.  Most days I feel ready for the challenge.  Ready for the unknowns to become daily habit.  Even ready for labor, mostly because of the unspeakable joy I know will follow.  I cannot wait to hold this little one in our arms, to discover her personality, to watch the man I love become her biggest hero.

I know that what’s coming is God’s best.  And I am so thankful He has chosen to entrust us with this little one.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn and live out a fresh, selfless love.  Thankful for the new ways I’ll understand His love for me. Thankful for the work He will accomplish in, through, and despite me because of this little life.

There are moments though, when the reality of the coming change overwhelms me.

In these moments, I turn here:

In hope he believed against hope,

that he should become the father of many nations,

as he had been told, ‘So shall your offspring be.’

He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body,

which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old),

or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.

No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God,

but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,

fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.

Romans 4:18-21

 And here:

And after you have suffered a little while,

the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ,

will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

1 Peter 5:10

 

And then I pray:

May my faith be strengthened as the Lord leads me down this path of parenthood.  May I put my trust in His power and in His wisdom, rather than my own.  May I give glory to God each day for His capacity and desire to use weak little me to raise up a new generation.  And may God graciously restore my sanity, confirm this calling, strengthen, and establish me in the moments I need it most.

So begins a new chapter in this adventure of life!

today marks two

Two years since this beautiful day:

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SO thankful for the memory of this day and the life it began…

 

**All photos taken by the incredible Solar Photographers**

valentine’s day, redefined

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love. pure and simple.

But it can easily turn into an overthought scramble to find the perfect a decent gift for the one you love…  or is that just me?  At our house, V-day sets in motion a three month spree of birthday and anniversary gifting, not to mention the fact that we just exchanged Christmas gifts AND we’ll be adding in mom and dad’s day this year.

Trying to think of fun and unique ways to express love and appreciation on each one of these special days can be overwhelming for me, an unnatural gifter.

So this year, we decided to skip it… not the holiday itself (that just seemed wrong) but the scramble.  And in its place, we established a family-friendly tradition (since we’ll be one in T-31 days!) – spend the day cooking up a French feast, with the help of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Several other tradition potentials were entertained, mostly revolving around heart-shaped food or hand-written notes, but this one seemed to fit us best.  It emphasizes quality time together and culinary adventures… two things we value a lot around here.

And let me just say, it was a HUGE success.  Waking up the morning of with no pressure or expectations was beautifully freeing.  The only thing on my mind was a joyful dose of anticipation for the time (and tastes) we would share together.  Such a refreshing change!

This was our menu:

Jarrets de Devant

Oignons Glaces a Brun

Champignons Sautés au Beurre

Pommes de Terre a L’ail

Reine de Saba 

Otherwise known as:

Lamb Shanks

Brown-braised Onions

Sautéed Mushrooms

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Chocolate and Almond Cake

 Here’s a visual depiction of how the day went down:

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the supplies

the process

the process

 

the end result!

the end result!

Lamb Shank Dinner

and my cold leftovers the next day :)

All in all we spent roughly seven (yes, SEVEN) hours prepping in the kitchen, all of which culminated into one lovely, home-made French dining experience.  Not one iota of letdown to be found.  And the best part? We continued feasting off our efforts for the next seven days, seriously.  well worth it by anyone’s standards :)

innately creative

I used to think only some people were born with a slant towards creativity.  My business-bent mind, competitive nature, and complete lack of natural artistic talent led me to believe I was just not one of them.

Years passed as I appreciated the amazing creativity of others – and inadvertently convinced myself all the more of the creative void within me… which is precisely why I was blown away after listening to this sermon series at our church in Kansas City (entitled Cathedral Work).  My take-away: God is the ultimate Creator… and He created me in His image.

It was a basic truth that completely changed my set-in-stone assumptions.  I AM creative – because of the Image I was formed after.  WOW.

What a fun revelation!  And now that I’m only working part-time, I have so much more time to explore (and enjoy) it.  Creativity feels almost normal now, although it’s still a bit strange to those who know me best… My sister flat out told me I was the last one (of the three sisters) she would have expected to find a crafty side.  I agreed whole-heartedly :)  That was said after opening these Christmas presents I made for the nieces:

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I can confidently say that my crafty Christmas was just the beginning… Turns out discovering you have a creative side while expecting your first child is super handy.  More on that later though :)