Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Many Hats of Alli...

Alli has a LOT of hats. Seriously. Dad and Alli could start their own hat business just with all of their personal head gear! Needless to say, her hats are pretty cool...PLUS, it seems like every picture I have of her in one of her hats is in a really cool place.

So Kudos, Alli, to having the most adventurous life and the sweetest hats by age 25! And now.....(drum roll here....).....enjoy the many many MANY hats of Alli!!!

I think the little boy steals the picture in this one...

Technically a scarf, but then again, a rubber duck isn't really a conventional hat either....

The grunge baseball cat coolio look.

I believe she's waiting for Jim to come galloping down the mountain in this one...

The warm Beanie.

The Peruvian alpaca hat (burro not included...)

I thought this was a cool chinese party hat or something, but I just realized that it may actually be a scarf. Hmmm.... Well, I like it anyway.

Peace and Love, man.... Peace and Love.

Another Peruvian alpaca sacrifice turned into a hat... Here she is wearing it in the D.R. (which is a little strange, considering the tropical climate....)

And the gang-banger look. Not my favorite, but the fact that she is about to put her face in a pie makes it slightly more bearable.

As far as a contest goes, her hats a slightly more legit.... although I have to say, mine are slightly more on the creative side! :)

Thanks for being so cool, Al!

Kangaroos and Popcorn

To celebrate being about halfway through my 8th month of pregnancy, I decided to share with you my absolute fascination with Kangaroos.

"Pregnancy", if you can call it that, is the most AMAZING thing about Kangaroos!
No kidding.

Here is the link to the video about it. Time for science class, girlies!!! :) This is truly awesome. Trust me. God is super cool.


Coming soon to a blog near you: "How my Hot Buttered Popcorn Bread turned out", AND "The Many hats of Alli"...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

So the real question is, Alli, do YOU like my hat???

Alli and I are having a little contest of hats...

(Important Disclaimer: any resemblence of the person in the pictures to someone you know is purely coincidental...also, I have too much time on my hands.)
So now I ask you, Alli, do you LIKE my hat?

How about THIS one???


DO you like my hat???

Do YOU like my hat???

How about a hat that quacks???

Say cheese!!!

OR...an edible hat!!! With bulbous deliciousness inside! (orange hair net included!)

Or a little more conservative perhaps??? The Baptist approach...

So now I ask you once again, Alli...
Do you like my HAT????

Wave to the invisible baby...

Caleb totally made my week. For those of you who don't know Caleb (which would be everyone except for me, I do believe), he is the cutest, most enjoyable 17-month-old I have ever been a Nanny for! This week, whenever I am sitting on the floor playing with him, he would come up to me, poke my belly with one little finger, gently lay his head on it in a hug, and then wave to it, with the cutest hand-flopping baby wave ever!
I have told him many times that "there is a baby in there" - but while Caleb knows that something is up, I doubt he realizes what truly is inside, as well as the fact that that something is going to be taking me away from him and plopping him into daycare next fall...
Anyway, Caleb waving to the baby in my belly (waving to a concept, really) has made my week - and makes me smile every time he does it. And while I am truly excited to have a baby of my own (minus the ten bucks an hour...bummer!), I will miss hanging out with Caleb - eating yogurt while sitting on the kitchen floor, tickling him until he can't laugh anymore, chasing him through the apartment while he runs away on chubby feet, digging him out of the kitty litter, telling him "no" every five minutes when he asks for "joooooooose????" (translation: juice) and so on. I have been caring for him since he was 3 months old...and it seems strange that in May, that will be over. I guess it's time to grow up and be the mom myself (although I am pretty sure I am just a kid myself...o well. We'll figure it out).

On another note, this week I have had three random people ask me when I am due - which hasn't happened before (kind of strange, since it has been pretty obvious for a couple of months now). A friend of mine keeps telling me to say that I'm not actually pregnant. :) I may have to try that....
Also, shopping for a stroller is like shopping for a car. I am so done with this. Everyone has an opinion and they are all different (like belly-buttons - everyone has one and they serve no purpose). How am I supposed to find the best stroller??? Where's that gut feeling I'm supposed to have? How come having a baby is so hard and why do they have to have so much stuff??? I mean, I don't even have my own transportation vehicle! Babies are spoiled. Seriously, I should have just done the tupperware-under-the-bed thing. No crib necessary. Maybe we should just get a radio flyer wagon and pull baby around in that.

We are doing cloth diapers, though we still have to figure out how and all that it involves....I think I'm getting a little electricity free, counter-top washing device, since we don't have laundry in our building and we really like where we are living right now (veto moving). Also, Eric wants to live in a house with a bunch of other people and have intentional Christian community.

Bottom line: I think we are turning into hippies. I guess that's cool. I mean, I always wanted to be a hippy artist. Just livin' the dream.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Only 8 more weeks and counting...

Here is me at 32 weeks today!
I decided to give you a different side view, since I was balancing on the edge of the bathtub (I know...not the best idea, but hey, I don't have a full size mirror so there.). And yes, I am still wearing my normal non-maternity stretchy jeans that my lovely sister Alli so graciously bestowed upon me before leaving for the D.R. They are miracle pants, let me tell you!
I took this picture yesterday right before I left for work. I like how the baby belly is playing peek-a-boo out of my sweater. :)
Only approx. 8 weeks to go!
"Can you just pop that thing out so I can play with it already?" Eric, be patient, I'm working on it.

P.S. Eric's laptop bit the dust two days ago, which means no skype (I know girlies, I'm working on it!) and limited blog writing for me (since Eric works from home on his computer every day). But never fear! Babysitting money is a lifesaver. I will be buying a netbook within the week! :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Apple crisp - re-vamped!

I really should have taken a picture of this crisp before I ate all of it, but (blame it on baby) it's gone, so too bad - you won't get the visual pleasure of seeing it.

I have to write about it simply because it was the most delicious apple crisp I have ever eaten. No offense to Molly, I love yours, but I tried a new recipe and then added my own wonderfulness and BLAMO! Heaven in a 8x8 glass pan.

So for those interested in the wonderful world of fruit and baking and delicious sweet things, here is what I did. I used good 'ol Betty Crocker's Apple crisp recipe for the topping (with a little less brown sugar then is called for, since I don't like this dessert super sweet). Then, I put the sliced apples in the pan and sprinkled a handful of raspberries and blueberries on top (I happened to have a bag of garden berries still in my freezer from my mother-in-law's last summer garden). I happened to have a huge bag of limes on my kitchen table left over from our big taco party last week, so after consulting Eric (he happens to have a big say when it comes to altering any of his favorite desserts!), I used our handy dandy Mexican lime squeezer thingy and squeezed a whole lime over the fruit. Then I put on the topping, pressed it down, and baked it in the oven.

Let me tell you...it was incredible. The baby was really hungry last night, so I fed it half the pan. Eric ate a little piece too. Then the baby was really hungry again this morning, so I fed it another quarter of the pan. And it was happy...for a while. And then it got hungry again.... Yeah, ok, so I have a hungry baby...and no more apple crisp... So be it.

Ok, confession. My cravings for sweet wonderful deliciousness has returned with a vengeance. We (Eric, baby, and yes, me...) consumed a batch of fresh scones, an entire pan of brownies and an entire pan of apple crisp in three consecutive days... And then I go in for an appointment with the Midwives and feign shock and surprise when I find that I have gained 2 pounds in two weeks. I know. It's terrible. The funny thing, though, is all the weight is in the baby belly package, since none of it is appearing elsewhere, which is great (I can keep eating...;).

I think after 7 months of not even liking cookies and cakes and anything sweet, baby has decided to change it's eating habits. I still can't even bear the sight of chicken, but pass the cookies please!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Molly Kathleen is beautiful...inside and out.

A world of beauty

The compelling thing about making art - or making anything, I suppose - is the moment when the vaporous, insubstantial idea becomes a solid there, a thing, a substance in a world of substances.

-Audrey Niffenegger

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bloated whale syndrome....

...in some places known as Pregnancy.

It is 62 degrees F today and it's March 16th. This has been the craziest spring ever! I think we may just have an all around early one, unless it decides to snow again in April, which could happen. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and I went on a long walk on the path with a good friend who is also semi-jobless and recently married.

As we were walking in the sunshine (I was in a T-shirt and jeans) I felt like a bloated whale just emerging from hibernation into a glorious spring. I mean, I don't have a full length mirror in my apartment or anything, so anytime we walked by a reflective window I was like "O MY GOSH, I'M HUGE!" Usually I just see my belly by looking down. And it doesn't really seem that big. But it actually is. So I'm a little self conscious. And I am walking fine, but kind of have started this little swaying walk that is definitely not a waddle (yet), but is on it's way there. And this baby seems to love popping its head onto my bladder when I am least expecting it. That's fun.

So, we are outside walking and all these people are staring at me...some giving me these "Oh, she's pregnant, how cute!" looks, and others (who are somewhat knowledgeable of my existence from being associated with North Park) are giving me these weird "WHAT happened to you????" looks that I kind of just laugh off and feel self conscious afterwards. I mean really, after a winter of a tiny baby bump and a heavy winter coat that hides everything anyway, I really fell like I am coming out the closet here!
And the boys at the basketball court definitely did NOT whistle at me when I walked by them, which was kind of strange, but I guess I kind of look like I have an enormous over-ripe mango looking fruit bloat that has become an extra appendage of sorts protruding from what used to be my entire mid-section. It goes like this: My head, neck, breast bulge, huge belly bulge, short legs, feet. If I were them, I wouldn't be so keen on whistling either, come to think of it. ;)

And then the baby decides it's fun to turn in weird ways so that its little butt is sticking out on one half of my belly leaving me with this goofy pointy-lopsided look. Not really the round look I always associated with pregnancy, but ok, whatever. At this point, I don't really care that I look ridiculous because in approx. 9 weeks, this baby will be OUT! :)

I made apple cinnamon scones this morning as well as some cranberry ones and filled our apartment with wonderful baking smells to overpower the taco-ness that still lingered in the air from last night (and thoroughly permeated the baby's room...don't ask me how that happened...).
That was kind of a mess.
There is flour and sticky dishes everywhere.
I mean, I DO know how to bake, but something went weird and it was really really gooey, but we added tons more flour and they seemed to turn out alright in the end. Now my kitchen is a disaster, but I will have to start dinner soon so I don't really want to go in there yet. As you can see, I opted for the walk instead of the cleaning. And I would still be outside right now, except that the baby and all of its accessories are getting quite heavy these days and I needed to just rest a little bit before continuing...

Laura made the comment that I will be having the baby just in time for bikini season! I am still laughing. NO FREAKIN' WAY.
Actually, no stretch marks so far (which is kind of a miracle...thanks mom for the stretchy skin!!! Let's hope it snaps back tight too!) although I do not remain too hopeful.... I think I may be skipping the bikini this summer - though I'm sure we will still be found at the beach on nice days! At least I won't be a whale in the water and will have my spring hatch-ling in tow.

That was really random. Ok, I'm done.

Coca-cola, babies, and Tacos

No folks, don't give your baby Cola...no matter how young... I did. And it was way too soon. Trust me. (that baby's happy face is just a facade...)

I drank two classes of regular coke on Sunday night at about 9 o'clock. At 10:30, I go to bed. For the next two hours I am laying in bed, exhausted, not able to sleep because my unborn child was literally bouncing off the walls (of my uterus) for a full TWO HOURS. Apparently, coke had the perfect sugar/caffeine combo and my baby drank it up rather greedily...and then I had to be the victimized one. O boy. That won't be happening again.

Last night we had a big taco party here with all of our friends in the apartment building (5 others plus Eric and I)! Eric is a genius at cooking Mexican Alambre (which is funny to me since he never even lived there, but let me tell you...it's AWESOME!)... He does the whole beef and bacon combo complete with chili de arbol and a bunch of other stuffs that he doesn't let me see. ;) Luc made a huge pitcher of Sangria and let me tell you, these boys are getting just a little too good at making this stuff...(I believe you know what I am talking about)
Pete and Rachael brought a massive bowl of homemade salsa, and Eric grilled green peppers to be in place of the nopales (which we didn't have, since Eric shopped at Jewel for said ingredients). So you can imagine... Tacos de alambre topped with onions, cilantro, lime, grilled green pepper, and spicy fresh salsa.... HEAVEN!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Baby update

I had an appointment this morning with the midwives. Baby-in-belly is measuring perfectly, with a strong heart rate of 150 beats per minute. And, baby is in the head down position! (and should stay that way now until it arrives...no wonder I have been getting kicked in the ribs!!!)
After Sherri was finished taking the heartbeat, she looked at me and said, "So, do you notice how when we started taking the heartbeat your uterus was all hard and bunched up and now it is nice and relaxed? That was a Braxton Hicks contraction!"

I had no idea I was having those. Probably a good thing, since now I feel a little paranoid, although she said not be worried unless I am in pain or am having consistent cramping. It's just my body stretching and practicing! Fun fun fun.

Here's a web image of a baby at 31 weeks to give you an idea of size. In my case, however, the placenta is in the back, not the front, which is the reason why I feel every move the baby makes (and have since week 15!).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happy Birthday 'leners!!!!

Happy 8th Birthday Elenita!!!
I remember the day you were born so well... It was such a special time for me to be there the very second you took your first breath. You fill our family with so many giggles, hugs, silliness and lots of joy! Thank you for being YOU!
I love you so much!
And, you are way cute!

By the way, the weather this afternoon decided to celebrate Spring in honor of you! It is in the mid 60's, very humid, and the sun is peeking through the clouds! Eric and I went to the Asian coffee shop to celebrate with some delicious bubble tea! Mine was Kiwi and Eric's was watermelon. We went on a walk on our nice path by the river and enjoyed the sunshine and the "tea" (which is like a thick cold fruit smoothie with tapioca balls the size of marbles!) After drinking mine and chewing up all the tapioca balls, my little squished stomach was pressing up against my ribs! That kind of hurts (thank you, baby). Luckily, liquid fruit digests fast. All the snow is melting and all that is left are these pathetic little dirty lumps on the sides of the road in some places. The ground is thawing, and the air smells like fresh earth. Unfortunately, it's March. Which means that it could very well snow again tomorrow... but for today, Happy Spring to Chicago, and Happy Birthday to Elena!!!

Some boring nonsense:
I spent this morning cleaning the baby's room (again...). It is a never ending process and a never ending power struggle for space. It always looks half-way decent in the end, but by the next day, I realize there is still no room for a baby. Grrr.... That's what happens when you make a walk in closet into a baby's room and have to use it both for storage and for baby, since there is no other storage elsewhere in our building (yes, our bikes are in the living room...lol). It's getting there, though, and should be up and running by the time baby decides to reveal itself (I keep asking and asking, but it just won't tell me if it's a boy or a girl!!!). And can someone tell me why the only "gender neutral" colors are lime green and lemon yellow??? I mean, really. And this is why I am having my baby shower after the baby is born!
And now you may be thinking that I am completely and utterly consumed with this baby...and the truth is, I am. I mean, if you were a walking and talking hippopotamus every day and had crazy baby dreams at night (believe me, they are getting weird!) and had a squished stomach that bruised your ribs every time you ate, I think you would be a little baby-crazed yourself. After all, in just over two months, this baby will be actually HERE. And we all know how fast months go by these days...(except when you are 7 and are counting down the months and weeks and days until you turn 8....I know how that is, 'lena!).

Oh, and Jack says hi.
Lily would, but she is just fat.

Monday, March 8, 2010

30 Weeks Prego

The ironic thing about being married to a professional photographer is that it is like pulling teeth to get him to take pictures of me/for me. So, while we plan on doing some nice studio shots next month, here is my little bathroom mirror record of how crazy huge this baby is getting at 30 weeks.

This one is for you, Kate. Say hello to the puffy donut.

Profile... I can't feel the bottom portion of my ribs anymore...the baby's home has officially crawled its way up my ribcage. I never thought I would be kicked in the ribs from the inside. What a strange sensation that is!

Here is the modest profile (boys, you can open your eyes now)

I was trying on some of my spring skirts yesterday thinking that I would fit into them no problem since I wear them low anyway. Low and behold, there was a full 4 inches between the two halves that the zipper is supposed to close... "Eeeerrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiicccccccccccccc!!! Why don't these fit me??? Do you think my butt got fat???"
Eric looked at me like I was crazy. And I was being sincere, really!
"Umm..." he said, looking at me funny. "Did you happen to notice that you have a BABY growing inside you???"
Yup, so I was in denial. Not about the baby. Just about the fact that I can't fit into any of my normal clothes anymore. Luckily, I have heard that this condition does not last forever, though my cravings for cottage cheese and yogurt and avacados just might.... (good thing avacados are really expensive!!! Although....they DO keep showing up in my kitchen regardless of that fact...hmmm...).
Speaking of avacados... it's lunch time! :)

48 pounds of Joy

The other day, I came home from work, walked into my apartment, and was confronted with the biggest baddest box I have EVER seen! Seriously, I think Eric and me and our baby and our two kitties could live inside it pretty comfortably. (ok, maybe not. But it was HUGE!)

Here is Lily sitting in front of it, after being rescued from falling into it several times...what IS it with cats and boxes?


...and Lily wants out...but is too fat to jump that high. Kudos to Jack for eating responsibly.

So anyway, inside this gigantic beast was a full 48 pounds of maternity clothes sent to me from by dearly beloved Aunt Helen - all the way in Kansas! They came in the knick of time, too! Because the week they arrived, I officially grew out of pretty much every item of clothing I own (minus the socks and underwear - thank goodness!) making it rather difficult to do anything or go anywhere without looking absolutely ridiculous. Yesterday I spent the afternoon baking (yes, I do this quite often...but my husband brags about me to his friends, so I can't stop now!!!) and cleaning out my drawers of all the things I pretend I can still wear but really just look like an elephant in a tube top when I actually put them on...

Thanks to my wonderful, exquisite, lovely Aunt and her sweet friends from church who are exactly my size, my drawers are full of lovely things that actually fit me and make me look cute! Who would ever have known!?!

Yes. I am officially graduated to wearing maternity clothes almost exclusively now. And, I have an entire borrowed spring wardrobe that has raised my self esteem and given me all the more reason to get out of bed in the morning and get dressed! Yay for being 30 weeks pregnant and looking cute!!! (kind of... Dan knocked on the door last night and when I answered it he says "Hi Bethany! You are looking very....um...preggers...." Thank you, Dan, yes, I do realize this...)

Birthday Re-cap...

Michael is truly the best brother ever. He is totally my favorite! Plus, I love this picture of him - this is pretty much how he looks whenever he is not studying or in class....gleeful! :) And you gotta love the leather vest...

My girls. Left to right: Elizabeth, Morgan, Keziah, Rachael, and me (notice the lump of belly I am trying to squish out of the picture rather unsuccessfully!)

And the boys. Our best friends who are as close as family to us. Luc and Dan and Eric M. (who was at work, so he came later, thus not making it into the picture)... They live upstairs - minus my Eric who lives with me! ;) (although sometimes I do question where his true residence is...)

This is the FANTASTIC spread that Eric and friends cooked up! Check out those racks of ribs!!!

What fun times!!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

hot cocoa explosions and cheese hamburgers

Yesterday, I was making some hot cocoa for Maata (the almost-three-year old I babysit on Thursdays). The process was going fine until I decided to pour it into his cup. His cup was three-fourths of the way full before I realized that I had poured half the pot on the kitchen counter in the process! Go me.

So I wipe it up, pour what's left into my mug, and bring them both to the table.
I tell Maata that the cocoa is hot - that he should blow on it first and THEN take a very SMALL sip, just in case it is still too hot. So Maata, smart as he is (no offense, but the kid does whatever the heck he wants to, regardless of what I say) brings the cup to his lips and takes a big GULP.

The cup goes flying.
Maata is cocoa covered and screaming.
Hot cocoa is EVERYWHERE.

Confession: And then I swore, kind of, in front of him.

I know he is not burned, I had already tested the cocoa, and it was pretty warm, but definitely not scalding or hot enough to burn at all. But Maata is a drama king. If he decides he is upset, he opens his mouth as big as it gets (and this kid has a BIG mouth! Seriously, a softball could fit easily in there...with room to spare probably) and then screams and howls like an animal as loud as he can. It's not even crying really. It's more like projecting his voice as loud as he can in a big long blast. Super annoying, actually. Definitely not cute when he does that.

Anyway, while he is blowing out my eardrums, I lift him down from his highchair (no easy feat considering he is over 30 pounds and I am 6.5 months prego), narrowly avoid having him whipe his chocolate covered face all over my beautiful spring scarf, drag him into the bathroom, and put his sticky wet hands under the faucet. I turned on the cold water and then got him an icecube to suck on to console his wounded tongue (if it was indeed wounded, which I kind of doubt).

While he is intertaining himself in the bathroom (at this point the animal howling is over and he is playing in the water singing to himself), I attempt to clean up the cocoa explosion. It was everywhere. On the floor, table, table legs, all over his highchair, his clothes (which he refused to change out of...I'm sure his mom thinks very highly of me after seeing what a mess he was when she got home), etc.

Alright, so I clean it up, get Maata back into his chair, put some more cocoa into his mug and this time add an icecube and cold milk to it. I even tasted it to be sure...lukewarm at most. So He begins to drink the cocoa. And it goes everywhere. I don't even know how he did it, but the kid managed to spill, slosh, and jostle that mug at least 5 times before it was even halfway gone... As if the placemats and the cloth napkins hadn't drunk enough, now they were filled with enough cocoa to last them clear through next winter!

Finally, after what felt like an eternity of liquid chocolate fountains exploding randomly where you least expect it, he finished it! Very cheerfully, I gathered the mugs and brought them into the kitchen and started rinsing them in the sink. I return to the dining room only to find Maata using the chocolate sopping cloth napkins to wrap up his toys on the floor. Seriously?! He screams when I take them away, but I don't care. I put the napkins in the laundry bin, wipe off his toys, and then tried my hardest to engage him in a different game. Which worked, actually. We played on the floor with his toys until his mom came to pick us up and give me a ride home.

As soon as we got into the car, Maata began arguing with his mom and throwing a loud an obnoxious tantrum. Why? Because he was insisting that the drive to Dominicks and drink hot cocoa at the Starbucks there. O my gosh. As if the kid didn't get enough of the cocoa thing this afternoon! This kid is not even 3 yet and he is already setting his parents' agenda! Well, his mom (who is 7.5 months prego and looks like she has 3 babies in there instead of one) obviously says No, because she already did the grocery shopping, etc. etc. etc.... To which he replies with screaming and yelling and demanding that they go to Dominicks.

And then, the most aweful thing happens. In the midst of this tantrum, Maata starts saying out of the blue that he wants a cheese hamburger. And she says yes. And then he tells her exactly WHICH McDonalds to go to. I'm not even kidding. So now all is quiet. Maata is happy and begins singing to himself cheerfully. After all, he is getting a cheese hamburger after all that work he put in to demand something.

Honestly, I don't even know if he cared whether he had more hot cocoa and went to Dominick's. I think he just wanted his mom to do something according to HIS plans, giving him the power to decide and execute his every whim and fancy. Hence why he was happy after she agreed to get him a cheese hamburger.

Before any of this happened, while Maata was taking his nap, I was purusing the living room bookshelf and came across the family's child training book....if you can call it that, anyway. After skimming through half of it, definitely HIGHLY amused at what I was reading, I decided to look up the chapter on Tantrums and find out exactly what the logic is of how his parents deal with his constant power battles. And believe it or not, this book says that while it may be embarassing (especially if you are in public), don't feel like you are a bad parent! Simply LET THE CHILD HAVE THE TANTRUM! Why? Because the child has strong emotions that need to be expressed, and after the tantrum, he will feel relieved and much better, creating a calmer, less angry child. And then find ways next time to avoid the tantrum. Compromise, decide to change your mind after saying "no" if there wasn't a strong reason for it in the first place, and do what the child wants to do if it is not impossible or illogical.


I wonder how long this philosophy will hold with a newborn in the house next month to disrupt Maata's little self-centered, sin-nature kingdom he's built in that little apartment of theirs... I told Eric this when I got home last night and he just laughed, unbelieving. It just seems absurd that this little three foot twerp who has been alive for three years is ruling over his parents who are in their late 30's!!!

So, I know that every family is different. And I don't expect everyone to raise their kids the same way. And I do realize that with Eric and my kids, we will deal with behaviour issues. I know that we will have little miniature sin-natures to deal with - I am in no way naiive to that (I did grow up with some rock-headed siblings...heh heh). However, I am a little more confident that my kids will NOT get away with walking all over me! And NO! They will NOT be rewarded with a cheese hamburger after a screaming tantrum! They only reward they will receive is a visit from the "Uncle Rod."

That's my story. Oh, and I actually took Maata to Dominick's last week and we did have hot cocoa at Starbucks with our upstairs friends Kristy and her 1.5 year old son Caleb (the other little boy I babysit). And it was a complete and utter disaster. Along with the food being torn off the shelves in every aisle, cocoa all over the floor, and animal howling, there were mulitple tantrums as well. Yeah. That's never happening again. I took him to the park yesterday only after all of the other kids had left.

Just know that while I adore Kelly as an artist and friend, I am more than happy to come home and be with Eric and my kitties every Thursday evening...and of course, catch up on The Office with the guys upstairs! (Pam and Jim had their baby!!!)

And this is my life.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The vast unknown called "Life"

We thought for a while that the Lord wanted us to be serving in Bolivia this next year and following, but it turns out that the Lord's plans may be slightly different from our own (doesn't it always happen that way?). It seems as if we may be serving the world in a more arts-focused approach to missions, but it remains to be seen how it will all come out. For now, we are trying to get involved in our new church, meet with Believers in our neighborhood, and begin to invest our lives a bit here where we live in Chicago. It is difficult sometimes to feel like our lives here have the same amount of purpose and focus that Alli's life in the DR and my family in Mexico have... Sometimes it feels like the place where you live and are from can be the hardest place to serve. Maybe that's just my MK itchiness coming out, or maybe others feel the same way...

I don't mind living in the US anymore. I actually enjoy it now, but still feel like for some reason, ministry elsewhere is more important...more glamorous perhaps. Even though I know it's not. I know that God's plan for the people of Chicago is just as close to His heart as his plan for the people of Haiti, the DR, Mexico, Bolivia, and every other country in the world. I guess sometimes it just doesn't feel that way, especially having lived in other countries and never been fully satisfied with my own.

I guess I just feel like I am spending this semester watching other people's kids so that they can live out their destinies while I change the poopy diapers and deal with their runny noses and crazy tantrums. So how can my life be purposeful with a baby of my own coming, an introverted personality, an unsure future, and a rented apartment?

Winter has never seemed so much to be about waiting as it is this year. I feel like I am waiting for everything, when I should be living in the here and now. I guess I am also disappointed because we were so close to starting a small group with other like-minded believers in the neighborhood and then the other couple bailed today. Eric and I were so sure that this is where the Lord was/is leading us - and now??? That was the first step to really starting to figure out how to do life together with others who have a heart for this neighborhood. With the other couple not willing to commit to us because they want to be in a structured "Married small group", that step is gone. Now what?