Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Baby Weight

I have a new theory.  Before I share, let me clarify a few of my beliefs.

1.  I think childbirth is a picture of Christ on the cross--the agony, the pain, the laboring, and then the new birth--I bring forth a baby; He brought forth the Church.

2.  I think women stress too much about losing baby weight (self included).

3.  I don't believe there is a certain time frame in which you must lose it (Ignore that "9 months to gain, 9 months to lose" lie.).

So, my theory?

I think a pregnant body and a postpartum body is beautiful.  Even though I sometimes struggle with the way I look now (usually a result of comparing myself to others), I do truly think it is a beautiful thing.  Why?

In the same way that Jesus' body was battered, bruised, torn, tattered, bleeding, gushing water, heart exploding, so does mine.

Now, I know you may be thinking that I'm crazy to compare the pains of pregnancy and childbirth to a crucifixion, and I get that--just hear me out--I, in no way, think I have EVER physically suffered even close to what my Savior endured on that cross.  But look at the similarities:

1.  He had stripes on his back from being whipped (cannot fathom that kind of pain).
     I have stretch marks.

2.  His body was torn by the cat of nine tails.
     Mine was torn by babies.

3.  He had blood pouring out of his body.
     I did too.

4.  When he died, they stabbed him with a spear, and blood and water gushed out.
     When my bags of water broke, the water gushed out.

5.  He labored to breathe.
     I labored with measured, meted breaths.

6.  His heart finally exploded.
     Mine exploded in JOY.

Now, I realize I may be reaching with this one, but I thought of it the other day after I'd been asked if I was pregnant with #6 (and I'm SO NOT)...which doesn't HURT my feelings, really, because I know my abs LOOK pregnant. And this has happened to me many times because twins just destroy the abdominal muscles.  But, I was mourning my pre-baby body, my pre-TWINS body, and then this thought occurred to me:

After Jesus arose, even His glorified body still had scars.  Why?

As proof?  For Thomas?  For me?

So, when I stand in front of the mirror and see my twin-skin, the stretch marks, and the separated ab muscles that could only EVER be repaired with surgery, I am going to remind myself of what I accomplished--

I brought forth NEW LIFE.

And so did He.  And for that, I am ever grateful.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Naming His Gifts

I love that as I thank God for the gifts He's given, I worship Him.  I'm telling Him that He is a good Father, a good Savior, a good Creator, and the list will never end.

"To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God.  To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it."  Alexander Schmemann (For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy)

And so, today, I take some time here, in this bit of cyberspace, to name some gifts and bless Him for them and in them.

I bless Him...

for blue skies with white clouds,

for wild roses by my front door, 

for prequilted cotton for little girls' skirts, 

for a baby learning to crawl,

for a baby getting two teeth and still smiling,

for sharing the playmat,

for an eldest who daily surprises me with his brain,

for my vivacious sing-songy girl,

for those curls,

for sweaty, red-faced "Bright Light,"

for popsicles on a hot summer day, 

for boxes just her size, 

for wiggly guys...

who climb on each other, 

and think it's normal.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Own Personal Bob Ross

Dave is creative.  He can draw, paint, write poetry, play the guitar...he's talented.  We've recently been watching a lot of Bob Ross with the kids on Saturday mornings.  We're fascinated with how easy he makes it look.  As I began thinking about what I wanted to get Dave for Father's Day, I first thought that a Bob Ross art kit would be perfect.  They're really expensive when you buy them at Hobby Lobby, but I got one for HALF online.  

He was so excited when I let him open his gift a day early (I have such a hard time waiting!!!).  He has painted with acrylics and watercolors plenty of times before, but this was his first venture into oil painting.  I am so proud of him.  I think he did a great job.

Here he is in action!

Smoothing out the bottom of the mountain to make it all misty.

Impressive, eh??

Rockin' it Bob Ross style!  

Adding the land and happy trees...

Time for some bushes and reflection in the water

The finished masterpiece!  

Happy Father's Day to my most talented husband!  The kids are gonna flip when they wake up in the morning and see this!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Pretty Things

Reading One Thousand Gifts is one of the best things I've ever done in my life.  I am not exaggerating.  It has truly been a huge blessing.  One of the things Ann Voskamp encourages is taking photos and using the camera as a way to document your thankfulness.  I took her advice this morning and went around my house and outdoors looking for beauty--looking for the blessings He so abundantly supplies.

My $5 vase

My anniversary gift this year: a Hakuro Nashiki Willow

My homemade kitchen curtains

Work in progress


Sunlight in the Trees

The Diaper Rainbow

A Gift

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Things

1.  Felix is getting his first tooth.  It broke through the other day.  Milo is still toothless.

2.  Milo started pushing up on his hands and knees.

And does some push-ups that I will never be able to do.

Felix still won't roll from back to belly, but he loves his feet.

3.  Felix jabbers all the time.  Milo just started trying out his voice.

Not the same, folks!  It's neat to see how their personalities assist them in their development.

1.  Lucy had a 103+ fever for four days.  I am glad it went away.

2.  Sam has poison ivy (or something).  It's EVERYWHERE.

3.  Maryn and I are getting our hair cut on Saturday.  I'm going back to my pixie ways.  These locks are driving me crazy.

In other news:

1.  I really, really like The Vespers.

2.  I also really like Ray LaMontagne (I realize I'm a bit slow to hop on this boat...but I had twins, so give me a break.)

3.  Dave and I are still working on our movie project blog.  We are getting more accomplished since it is summer and our shows aren't on.  I will be posting about Dr. Zhivago soon.  Next up is In the Heat of the Night.

4.  I finally got some important things mailed.  It makes me feel better to get them out of the house.

5.  Working on a sweater for my friend, Manda.  It's actually for her baby girl, Charlie, who needs to hurry up and get here so we can see how cute she is.

6.  I found some new cotton yarn colors to add to my granny square afghan that I'm patterning after this lovely one.

That is all.  Sorry to be brief and shallow.  :)  My thoughts are quite unorganized these days, and my opportunities to blog are few--so this is what you get today!!!  Thanks to those who read--I am shocked you still do--I hope to someday be interesting again!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Our Memorial Day

 Dave was on call Memorial Weekend, so we stuck around town.  We had thought up a few plans, but when all was said and done, we ended up picking up dinner and heading to the park.

After we ate, the kids ran straight for the swings.  Lucy LOVES to swing.  She would do it forever, I'm pretty sure.

Maryn likes swinging, and can pump her legs really well, but she also loves to swing on her belly.

I gave Sam a few underdogs (remember those?).

By the way, his hair is not long anymore.  We got it cut short for the summer last weekend.  He looks so mature!  I will have to get some pics to put on here.

After the swings, they headed to the merry-go-round.  I liked this picture the best.

While the kids were playing, the babies just chilled in the stroller.  They were pretty good for awhile.



Our playground has equipment either as old as I am or older.  Kids don't seem to mind.

The babies started to fuss, so we headed off on a walk.  Our park connects to a walking track by ball fields.  We headed that direction and ran into some acquaintances and stopped to talk.  Lucy began running everywhere and making me nervous.  It's hard to keep an eye on that girl!  I like this action shot--definitive Lucy!!!

Maryn picked some weeds flowers for me.  I let her carry them.  :)

It was a nice, relaxing evening.  I so love my family.

Thank you, veterans, for your sacrifices that make our peaceful lives here possible.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Reply to Comments on Blogger

I just discovered this.  Blogger doesn't have this kind of option, and it annoys me.  I found this tutorial that helped me figure out how to do this.  I will warn you, you have to scroll about 3/4 of the way down on your Edit Html page to find the code you need to insert your NEW code after.

AND you have to make sure under your settings that you have embedded your comments at the end of your posts instead of on a separate page.

Here's the LINK.  Now you can reply to comments!!!  Isn't that great?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

We wanted cookies today, but our baking stores were limited.  So, I got creative!!!!  I can't take full credit for these because I've borrowed from several recipes to concoct them.  But they are a little taste of the full blown Strawberry Shortcake.

First, I start with Amy Karol's shortbread recipe (you can print off a clean copy!).  This is so fast and easy!!!

Mix together in a bowl:

1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1 cup flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar

On wax paper, I used my hands to make the dough into a ball and then I rolled it out into a cyllinder (kind of like rolled dough you buy at the store--slice and bake but a little smaller).  I sliced the roll into 1/2 pieces and put them on a cookie sheet.  Then, I took the jam thumbprint route and used my thumb to make an indention in the middle of each one.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Then, I used my homemade strawberry freezer jam!  I used a baby spoon to push the indentions deeper on the hot cookies, then I filled each indention with the jam.  I put them back in the oven for 5 minutes.  Remove to wire rack.

Then, I piped some Cool Whip (in a plastic bag with the corner cut off) on the tops.  Voila!  Strawberry Shortcake Cookies!!!  Delicious!  And SOOOO easy--about 20 minutes start to finish.  Makes about 15 cookies (just enough so you don't overdo it!).  Enjoy!