Wednesday, January 30, 2008

wordless wednesday

"Oh, it's Amelia's 1st birthday today!"
"I hope it's special and wish I could be there with you. I miss you!"

Sunday, January 27, 2008


My friend Rachel and I went to see this delightful film yesterday morning. If you see any new movie, see this one. It's heartfelt and strikingly honest, a quality I deeply appreciate in film. Although there is some language and sexual references, I can look past this to see the beauty in this rich film. Not only is it humorous and quick-witted, but thematically, it highlights adoption vs. abortion, familial support in a tough situation, and sticking close to your friends, no matter the choices they have made.
The cast is spectacular, specifically the newcomer, Ellen Page, who plays Juno. And the script itself is outstanding; throughout the movie, I kept leaning over to Rachel and commenting on how well-written it was. I would love to see Diablo Cody win for his screenplay.

Using Celeste's rating system, I give this an S/W in NO way.
Her system is explained here:
"A movie will fall into one of four categories.
1. Strong, Weak in NO Way - this is a rating for an outstanding film. Perfect in every way for its genre. This is not an easily given rating.
2. Strong, Weak in A Way - this is a good film but something was lacking. It just didn't quite do a perfect job but was still a great movie, and can be highly recommended.
3. Weak, Strong in A way - this a still an okay film but would usually be a rental. Hard to swallow the price you might have just paid at the movie for this film. Unfortunately, a LOT of films will fall into this category.
4. Weak, Strong in NO Way - this is a crap film. A complete waste of time. Everything done poorly. Leaves a bad taste in your mouth kind of film.
Now, understand that my idea of S/W in No way is obviously objective and you take it or leave it. But it's a good system. You'll find my reviews on the side with a simple rating. No commentary. However, if you want a commentary, I'll be glad to give you that through e-mail."
I'd like to get a bar going on the side with this system. I'll have to chat with my computer-savy husband and get his help. :)

Friday, January 25, 2008


Before you mock me for this post, know that this death has struck a chord with me for some reason. I'm sure it's in part because I enjoyed Heath Ledger as an actor. He was one of my favorites, with so much potential and such diverse roles accrued; there are a handful of actors I highly admire and he is on this short list.

But, I think his death has made me reflect moreso on the brevity of life, perhaps because he is my age and that he is a parent of a little girl not much older than Maggie (what would it be like for her to grow up without one of us around?). Our time here on earth is short and hearing of any untimely death makes this truth resonate anew. And, baring casting judgement on Ledger's spiritual state, his death makes me think about the life to come. What I am doing to spread the name of Christ to those around me? I want to speak His truth in both word and deed and too often, I think I put the emphasis on deed alone. I'm at a loss for elaborating here, my written words don't seem to convey where my heart is, so for now, I'll leave it at this. Farewell, to a bright young actor and father.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Patti tagged me in a post, so here we go; enjoy!

On Marriage...

How long have you been together? 11 years...married for 5.4 (Meg, that was for you! hehe)

How old is he? the big 3-0

Who eats more? aron (what a strange question because, well, who really cares!? i love food too).

Who said I love you first? I honestly don't know; I think him, but I was pretty agressive back then, so it might have been me (for shame!)

Who is taller? Aron

Who sings better? Is this a serious question!?? If I have to answer this, then you must not know us. :)

Who is smarter? *so* Aron (although, he is very good at affirming my intellect)

Who does the laundry? mostly me, but he totally isn't opposed to helping out

Who does the dishes? see previous question

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? me

Who pays the bills? James Hardie

Who mows the lawn? no one at this time

Who cooks dinner? mostly me

Who drives when you are together? Aron, though if he hasn't really seen Maggie, he'll sit in back and hang out with her

Who is more stubborn? that's hard but I think I must admit it is me

Who kissed who first? it was all me...for shame! :) and a little fun trivia...i was aron's first and only kiss...

Who asked who out? i think we just mutually agreed to hang out one night and well, the rest is history

Who proposed? thank goodness, Aron

Who is more sensitive? while Aron has totally kept me balanced, I'm the more sensitive one for sure

Who has more friends? me; I tend to keep up with quite a few that don't live nearby, too.

Who has more siblings? him (1 sister, 1 brother), and me, well, you all know my lovely sister, Shannon!

Who wears the pants in the family? really? I don't like this question...probably Aron, but I feel we have a really healthy relationship that I can speak my mind and he totally listens to me and respects me.

I tag (those who I think will actually do this...): La (of course), Shannon, Renee, Megan (because I want to learn new things about you!), Shey, Bailey, and Amy...and any one else who wants to do this!

kentucky waterfall

I've been in denial for a few weeks now, but I've come around to the fact that Maggie has a little baby mullet (focus on the back, here). I need to get it cut. I usually put her hair in one rubber band with a clip on top because, as you can see, it's getting very long there, too.

What should I do? I think I just need to go to a baby-friendly salon and get a trim.

PS: The second shot is a shout-out to Tam. Here, we see Mags proudly showing off her nose. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It's about time!!

After 7 Golden Globe nominations (the first in 1991 and the last 4 consecutively since 2004), Johnny Depp received his 8th nod, and finally, a win for his role as Sweeney Todd.

It's about time.

And it's just too darn bad that the writer's strike was going on and we didn't get to hear his acceptance speech. In the same breath, it almost seems appropriate given his aversion to the Hollywood lifestyle.

Here's hoping for his first Oscar come February 24.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

cold tangerines

A long blog posting is here! I figure I'm due for one anyway. And this one is deeply personal, so if you are in the mood for such as this, then read on. I hope you find it meaningful.

One of my lifelong, closest friends, Lindsey, gave me this book for my birthday back in November and it's been *exactly* what I have needed. The author, Shauna Niequest, is a gifted writer, conveying the truth of God's grace and the beauty of seeing Him in everyday life, through short, real-life stories and musings.

I share this book with you because the opening chapter hooked me instantly, as she concisely writes about something I have wrestled with for almost 4 years now. Let me back up first, though, to a February afternoon in 2004. I had just cleaned out my closet and Lindsey came over to see if she wanted anything; I often clean out my closet and love to both give and receive hand-me-downs (in fact, Churchills, Shannon and I used to love to get your old clothes!). Anyway, back to the point of this post. I was in a spiritual funk when Linds came over. I'm sure many of you know what I mean by this: you don't feel close to God, don't feel like you know yourself, feel like you have taken 1 step forward, 2 steps back, etc. Specifically, I was wrestling with grace versus works. I remember sharing with Linds that I was struggling with feeling close to God, hearing His voice, knowing His will, and seeing growth/fruit in my life (always a big one for me). I processed for at least 2 hours, and finally came to the conclusion of, "Enjoy the journey." God is going to do what He is going to do and I need to be OK with that, to enjoy the moments and the time it takes to get to where I'm going. That may not seem all that insightful to any of you, but at the moment, it was an incredible "aha" moment for me and I've been trying to rest and enjoy the journey ever since. And when I came across this exact point in Cold Tangerines, I had to share it because it conveys, incredibly simply, a life lesson I am still learning and trying to live today.

The opening chapter, "On Waiting," summed up that 2 hour conversation from almost 4 years ago. I have pieced together what spoke to me specifically, the words that had me sit up straighter and say aloud several times, "yes! yes!" It's lengthy, but well worth your time (and I highlighted what I really loved):

"I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have...and through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start...I love movies with the "Big Moment"--the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event...The "Big Moment" however is an urban myth...[yet], this is what I am finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I'm waiting for, that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets--this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience....I don't want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another...the big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting. I believe that if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along...the nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage and parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look. Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you have been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter you are having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural. You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and image of God. And you have been given Today." (p.15-18)

I am seeking to live out this truth. Enjoy the journey, see God today, and walk in His grace, moment by moment.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

wordless wednesday

Here's M, practicing blowing kisses. She also let me put this old bow on her head and she walked around for the longest time. Too funny!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Saturday, January 5, 2008

good eats

Aron and I set a monetary limit and bought eachother stocking stuffers this year. In fact, I think this will probably be a yearly tradition for us because well, if you look back over the course of this past year, we spent money in so many fun ways: travel, Aron bought me new jewelry for my first Mother's Day, and we moved and bought a house. Yet, I still think it's fun to get eachother something for Christmas, so this seems to be a good compromise--a few simple things that don't break the bank. But, I digress...the cookbook pictured here was one of my stocking stuffers and I'm already itching to cook from it!! I've been perusing recipes today and told Shannon that I want to make several dishes from it this coming week. I'm sure most of you have heard of Jessica Seinfeld's new cookbook--she teaches you how to integrate good foods into dishes that your kids would never suspect. Yum! I don't think Maggie is all that picky just yet (though she turned up her nose this week to most of her standbys--yogurt, cheese, carrots, apples, etc), but I would love to be armed with some healthy, tasty dishes for when she might become that way.

If you have this book, I would love to hear what dishes you loved and which you could pass on.

Friday, January 4, 2008

a few tidbits of newness

I realize I missed my Wordless Wednesday post this week! My sister is in town for an extra 11 days, and we have been hanging out and shopping and just enjoying being together.

I feel like Maggie has just exploded on the learning curve lately...she is a pro at a few signs now--"all done," "more," and "please." Just today I started working with her on sitting patiently in the high chair and folding her hands to wait (as she has taken to screeching when she wants our attenion and her plate is empty), and after a few demonstrations on my part, she folded her hands, by herself. It was so sweet (and hopefully, it will stick!). When asked where her nose, head, and ear are, she will point to them with surprising accuracy and even coyly point to the wrong one when asked specifically, "Where is your nose?" When we were children, my dad would put us to bed and do "walk-a-bear" on our backs--simply using the index and middle finger to walk up and down our back. There were all sorts of "bears" that had different speeds and pressures--Shannon and Suzanne bears were very quick and jumpy. Daddy bear was fast and sure-footed. Mama bear was quick and light-footed. Grandpa and Grandma bears were slow. You get the picture. Anyway, while here for Christmas my dad started doing "walk-a-bear" to Maggie and she totally will do it on her chest when asked! It's especially fun to watch her walk and do this trick at the same time. Lastly, she will do an on command "cheese face" as pictured above.

And in other exciting news, she is now walking unassisted about 80% of the time. Aron spent literally 1.5 hours on Monday at my aunt's house in OK, holding Maggie by the hand and walking her around the house. She was downright giddy and hasn't stopped walking since. Now, she wants to lead us around the house by the hand (and doesn't want to let go and play somewhere, just walk) and when not doing this, she walks around the house unassisted. And of course with this comes new challenges (Sarah/Laura, I might be calling you soon!). In this last week alone, she is no longer content to sit quietly in her stroller as we shop, but wants out. I'm already working with her on being patient if I am holding her, and teaching her not to arch and jump out of my arms before I put her down to walk. I am hoping to instill good habits early on; we shall see how it goes!