Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hello, Josie!

Josie Jane made her arrival this morning at 10:55am weighing in at 7lbs, 4oz! Welcome, Josie Jane!

Love at First Bite

Jude's inaugural donut run!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Batten Down The Hatches

After the shock of the earthquake last week, Virginia brought us another natural disaster this weekend. Saturday we watched the trees bending and the rains pour down as Hurricane Irene moved inland. Comparatively, we suffered only minimal damage...though I do believe most of the city is still without power.

David took the opportunity to give Jude some man-initiation.

They spent the better part of Saturday morning learning how to splash in puddles and play in rain. Jude loved it! Don't worry, though. Once the winds blew in, we were hunkered down inside:)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Busy Hands

We've been in meetings for a few hours a day...for almost 5 weeks now. Let me just say, it can be a little hard to stay focused.

This week, I picked up a project though, and I'm guessing my retention increased by at least 50%. For me, busy hands = an increase in attention span. I intend to eventually turn the above into a pillow...

Inspired by the discovery, I decided to try out a new craft....knitting. We'll see how my first project turns out!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Jude has been crying in his sleep for the past 5 nights. We're not talking a little bit of crying...but throughout the night. He appears to be asleep. He's not easily comforted. He's wiggly.

And we're beginning to feel a little sleep deprived. (let's be honest: hubs more than me because he's bearing the brunt of it)

I've talked to several moms who said their kids had night terrors around this age. Lasting anywhere from a week to on and off for months. hmm. It's sad, sad to watch.

Any advice?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Lately, I've had a pimento cheese fetish. This is definitely a new phase for me...but I'm in it with both feet.

I've yet to try my hand at making it though. Anyone have a great recipe they want to share?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All Shook Up

Around 2pm today, we were sitting in a room with around 100 people, listening to a seminar. The ground began to shake. Confusion began to mount. The presenter stopped presenting. And within seconds people were running out the door and crawling under tables. It felt a bit surreal.

About 40 miles away, at the core, the earthquake measured 5.9. Around here, it was definitely enough to get your heart beating and your blood pumping but the damage amounted to a few picture frames that fell down in our apartment:) The closest injury report we've heard was from Jude's teacher. The babies were napping and slept through all the excitement. However, in the required evacuation, the teachers started wheeling their cribs outside. Jude and a friend rode together. In the excitement of a wheeling crib, Jude lost his balance and sat on the other kid. They both survived without permanent damage:)

I came home in wonder about the power of a God who can shake the earth, shut down entire cities in a matter of seconds. My mind always runs back to Psalm 147 & 148 when I dwell on that topic.

Praise the Lord from the earth
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!

Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!

Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.

Psalm 148: 7-10, 13 esv

Monday, August 22, 2011

Udderly Fun

Friday night was a Target-sponsored $1 night at the CMOR so we loaded up and headed downtown. It was worth every penny:) Jude had a great time...and I admit that mom and dad were just as entertained.

My personal favorite...the milking cow. Here are a few of the best shots of the little man:

Maybe I should start building stuff like this at our house:)

Friday, August 19, 2011


I have a long and terrible history with bats. My first recollection of an encounter was one summer at camp. It was late at night, the moon was full and it seemed like an excellent idea to take one of those lonely canoes out into the middle of the lake to watch stars fall. I paddled out, turned my head upward, and after a few minutes of star gazing, bats began swooping my canoe. I screamed, I tried to hit them with my paddle. And I got that boat back in as quickly as I could.

In Africa, a year or two later, they began to terrorize me. It seemed that they sought me out, somehow sensing my intense fear.

A couple of years ago, I was spelunking with a group. We were in a crawl space, on our knees with stone above and below. A bat flew through a foot from my head.

It seems that Virginia has a lot of bats. They live outside our apartment. I am finding them to be great deterrents to night running. Any one know stats on how many bats actually attack each year?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Storehouse

Jude's stomach is huge. It evokes comments on a daily basis. Half the time, it looks like his belly is pulling him along when he walks. And he's been known to use it to bully other children or push his way into spaces.

This picture hardly even does it justice. It's beyond capturing.

If it continues to grow at the current rate, he'll soon be wider than he is long.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

the soul of the sluggard

I read a proverb last week that's been rolling around in my head ever since.

"The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied." (prov 13:4esv)

I could give a long list of days and settings lately when I'd say my soul has been less than richly supplied. Sluggard might be the appropriate word for describing my concern over the state.

But that poverty of heart didn't come from a lack of provision.

The provision is there for me in abundance...pressed down and overflowing abundance. Thinking through the connectivity has spurred me on to diligence...to seeking truth, turning those dull and thoughtless moments into times to draw the Word before my mind, or hum a hymn of truth.

I'd like it to be evident of me that my soul is, indeed, richly supplied.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Day at the Beach

We had a free day this Saturday and the temptation to make the 2 hour trek to the beach got the better of us. Jude is particularly into animals at this stage of life, and so we made a trip to the VA Beach Aquarium on our way to the oceanfront.

It was a hit! He was wide eyed the entire time and even learned a new word: fish.

By the time we made it to the shore, the crowds were beginning to thin out and the clouds were beginning to form. It was a bit cool...which actually made it a perfect setting for baby-at-the-beach:)

It was a good break from the usual pace:)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Shots & Shakes

Friday was Round 1 of the shot days for our household. South Asia has some nasty illnesses. Japanese Encephalitis being among them. There's a shot available. Problem? Hasn't been approved by the CDC for children under 17. The dilemma? We'll be in a high risk area and mosquitos love Jude.

So, we had to make a tough decision.

We opted for the immunization. Actually, truth be known, I was so stressed out by the entire dilemma that I finally told my husband that I married him, in part, because of his ability to make wise decisions and so...the final call was in his hands.

I can be a bit dramatic. (shocker?) So by the time he received the immunization I was fairly certain that we would be in the emergency room by night fall. Thanks to the prayers of many, my anxieties calmed and Jude had nothing more than a strong desire for a lollipop after it was all over.

To celebrate the completion, we took in some regional goodness on Friday night. Folks around here rave about the great prices and delicious food at CookOut. I must say...it was quite an experience:) Jude would probably even take another shot or two for another caramel cheesecake milkshake!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Public Parenting

This weekend we had an hour long meeting...with no child care provided. Jude was wild. He walked the aisles. He ate a green apple, and spit out the skin. He talked loudly. And when he was corrected for pulling the AV cords or hugging strangers' legs, he threw fits. Basically, he was his one year old self.

He's not a quiet one year old.

It seemed like everyone else's kid was sitting mutely in their parent's lap. They didn't throw fits or spit apple. They just sat and listened.

Is Jude supposed to sit and listen at this age?

I'm finding that living in such close quarters definitely makes parenting feel like a more public affair. I was embarrassed. And when that girl with no kids turned her head to look when Jude let out a little noise, I wanted to tell her to turn around. Suddenly, I pictured myself pre-parenthood, with my neck stretched out on a Sunday morning when some child was breaking my concentration. This is payback time for all that judgement I poured out in those years. All those times I thought "I'll never let my kid act like that." And trust me, I've thought it plenty. I think I'll be eating my own judgement for about 18 years now.

Consider this my inaugural lament over judging other parents.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Comfort Foods

While Jude is dealing with all the changes in his world with a hunger strike (which didn't last long:) I, on the other hand, find myself craving a few comfort foods.

Oddly enough, at the top of my list this week: Lime Tostitos and Rainbow Nerds. Go Figure?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hunger Strike

When I picked Jude up from school today, his teacher pulled me aside. Apparently, the adjustment back into the real world isn't going so well. She told me that the little man refused to eat and drink for most of the day. She said it's possible that this is a hunger strike.

As soon as we got home? Cheese and juice.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg

Jude has been on the mend all weekend. Hand & Mouth was followed by a 3 day fever that's been going around...but it seems he's on the up and up now! I haven't broken the news to him quite yet...but it's back to culture school today. NanNan stayed for a full week, giving all sorts of grandmotherly affection and fun to the little man.

Before she flew out on Saturday, we made a quick mother-daughter trip to Williamsburg, Virginia. It was particularly nostalgic, because 20 years ago we made the same trip (along with my little sis and Aunt Melissa) for the American Girl Doll's Tea Party.

Miss you already, Mom!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cluttered Loneliness

I have noticed a tendency in my life to be most lonely when I am most surrounded.

It is likely that it has something to do with my introvert-need to recollect myself in quiet spaces. When you live on a campus with over a hundred other people, in very close quarters, quiet spaces can be hard to come by. We eat with people, we walk to class with people, we wave to people before we tuck ourselves into bed at night. And in the midst of this transition, I have been somewhat surprised to find loneliness creeping up in my heart...here in these cluttered places.

We are about to move. We are moving so far away that if Jude happened to get a little virus and we were in need of help, by the time my mom flew across oceans to be there, he'd probably be better. We are moving so far away that if I happened to have a funny story to tell my sister, it would most likely be the middle of the night at her house when I wanted to call. We are moving so far away that hardly anything I find at the supermarket or in a shop will be the same as what I'm used to. Oreos will probably taste different. (And fruit will probably taste better:)

When I think about those changes, the emotion I feel is loneliness.

The right response to that emotion? A promise from One who never changes, leaves or forsakes. One who transcends culture, is unbound on water, and promises to be with me to the end of the ages. I'll take the loneliness if it reminds me more deeply of the promise.

The loneliness itself is material for sacrifice. -Elisabeth Elliot

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Waiting for Josie Jane

Have I mentioned lately that I am SO excited about meeting little Josie Jane? Lindsey is due at the end of August.

A few of you were interested in seeing the wonder of Josie's adorably girlie room. I'll be posting them in the next month or two...but here's a little sneak peak of the hello kitty fun:)

Let's hope Lindsey doesn't go into labor before my mom flys back from Virginia, right?!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

To The Rescue

Jude was quarantined on Saturday, we were unsure what this week would look like for us. By Monday morning, we had offers from two different grandmas to come help with Jude for the week. By noon, my mom was on a plane bound for Virginia. Jude hasn't seemed to miss culture school one bit.

He's been far too busy hangin' with NanNan.

What would we do without mothers?

All Ye Runners

Rejoice with me a bit in the view along my new route:)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hoof & Mouth

Jude has Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. Not to be confused with that wild cow disease that raged a few years ago: Hoof & Mouth. HFMD is a pretty common childhood ailment. General fussiness, blisters in most inconvenient places, and a high capacity for contaminating other tots. Poor guy.

The hardest part has been the angst of one year old loneliness.

He spent the weekend quarantined. When we would walk past the playground where his little friends were playing, he would wail. He's been waving to passer-bys from the window. And, enjoying the baby swing on his own....since it can be lysoled afterwards.

We tried a dose of Benadryl last night, in hopes that it would help him through the night. It had a rather adverse effect than that for which we'd hoped. 1am found him doing flips and throwing himself off of furniture. When it finally wore off, he slept like a baby.

The bright side? At least he doesn't have to go to culture school this week!