March 26, 2013


yesterday afternoon cruz and i went for an adventure (aka errands). we deposited checks at the drive-through atm, we checked our work p.o. box and then i asked cruz if he'd like to go to the park. he turned and ran out of the post office yelling, "hoops! hoops! basketball!" so we went to find a basketball court.

at the park near our house there are two basketball courts. some high school guys were playing on one, so we ran around on the second, but mostly watched the other players, which is probably as creepy as it seemed. coming off a weekend of indulging in march madness basketball with my dad, cruz was able to offer up a lot of helpful commentary to them:
+ that boy missed the ball!
+ the red boy did the dunk
+ cruz is on this court and those boys are on the other court
+ that's the big ball

cruz liberally sprinkles italics into his speech.
i can't imagine where he gets it from.

March 20, 2013

what {we} wore on wednesday

good morning, lovelies!
per our usual schedule, cruz and i started out the day with some basketball-jammie time. 
 i especially love the last picture.
"okay, paparazzi. picture time is over."
{um yes, that is a marker unibrow}

and then it was on to the next daily activity... stomping on drains!
big lion came with us this time, so it was an extra-special drain stomping morning. 
hanging out in the front of the house has given us the extra bonus of talking to our neighbors on a very regular basis. 
this morning cruz told one of our neighbors that "big lion is a friend."
lunchtime. no nap time. quick shorts and shoes change and...
more. drains. 
 a note about this shirt... we just picked it up at gap, and it is size 3t, so you can go ahead and imagine me weeping into his itty bitty baby onesies. 
there is no getting around it: my baby is growing too quickly.

dress that bump!

+ who has an outie bellybutton and takes super awkward selfies? this girl!
+ please pay attention to the yoga-pants-and-mens-t-shirt pic, because sometimes that's just as good as it gets.
+ i have definitely reached the stage when people (strangers) just make comments about the belly size and i get a lot of tummy pats. 
+ i'm down to about three shirts i feel like wearing, but have lots of summer dresses waiting in the wings. come on, warmer weather! 
{happy wednesday, y'all}

March 19, 2013

those parents

we were all sitting around the other night, about ten of us girls. the conversation ranged all over the place, but several time it came back to the same thing: "what happens when we become those parents?" we asked each other.

you know.
the parents who didn't let you have a phone in your room.
who made you sit down to a family dinner every night.
who taught you to value others over yourself.
who composted.

we talked about how our kids will have it even rougher, will be further outside the norm.
no smart phones for kindergartners.
no computers in their rooms.
parents who know their email passwords and who communicate regularly to their friends' parents.
parents who compost.

and the reason we're asking these questions is because we all had those parents. as we sit around time after time and discuss how to reorient our lives to Jesus and the poor and how to embrace justice and love Creation and to live less for ourselves and more for others, we've all shared the amazing examples we've seen in our parents.

the seeds planted in our childhoods are coming to fruition in adulthood, just in time for us to turn around and start planting them in our own children.

so that got me thinking about obedience, and how i want cruz and baby girl to obey and be receptive to our guidance and leading. for sure in the small things like, "you better listen to mommy when i tell you that you aren't allowed to open the front door," but also in the big picture ways too. the only way i know how, truly, to lead them, is to plant the seeds with prayer, so i have started praying these verses over them:
oh Lord, help this small silly mama to be a wise teacher to the little ones you've given me. help me to be that parent that they may someday be those parents too. 

March 15, 2013

mommy guilt, stomping, and the things we do for love

i've been working a lot lately. like, ten hour days, which needless to say, i am no longer used to. i work park time, mostly from home, but ten hour days should be no one's definition of part time. i know, i know: "a mom's day is never done" etc, but adding ten hours of work work on top of that has proved to be somewhat tiring. in order to get everything done (and it's just a season- this will pass), i have been jumping at every chance to have someone else watch cruz. he's loving it, of course, because he loves having buddies to play with and new people around, but i am feeling the weight of the mommy guilt.

ugh. i never, ever thought i would say those words. "mommy guilt." first off, i usually hate anything called "mommy" that isn't being uttered by my own darling child. mommy wars, mommy blog... all these terms come off as faintly insulting, am i right? but i also have worked hard to take ownership of my choices and not succumb to this arbitrary burden of guilt. if i'm working, i'm working. if i'm home, i'm home. i love sending cruz to daycare because he loves it and i've seen him grow by leaps and bounds since we started. i believe that it takes a village, etc. i love that cruz sees tovi as an equal caregiver. and yet... mommy guilt.

the compromise that i've made with myself is that when cruz and i are together this week, we just do whatever he wants to do. i follow his lead and he LOVES it. and that is why we've ended by in our cul de sac every evening stomping on drains.

cruz has recently rekindled his love for stomping on drains and lucky for him, there are many, many drains right in our own cul de sac. he starts the process by standing by our front door and (as he does when he reallllly wants something), pointing at it silently, hoping i'll get the hint. (tovi has pointed out that this is not unlike someone else in the house) "do you want to go step on the drains?" i asked, sounding kind of bored. "drains! yes!" his whole face lights up and his little feet are moving in place, a mile a minute.

so we run on the drains. we stomp on the drains. we tip-toe on them. but cruz's favorite favorite is when i call out which drains he's stepping on. there i am, standing in my cul de sac as the good people of my neighborhood come home from work, calling out, "water! water! sewer!"

oh, mommy guilt. what will you have me doing next?

March 13, 2013

hello, third trimester

somehow, inexplicably, i have reached my third trimester of this pregnancy. the last ten or so weeks have been so absolutely joyful and delightful, they almost make me want to do this again. i'm not going to say this out loud to my husband because he would just laugh and laugh before reminding me that i barely ever got out of bed between mid-October and mid-November and that i also spent christmas day laying on the floor of my in-laws bathroom and that seventeen weeks is a very, very long time to feel as if you have mono-food poisoning-a hangover-the flu. like labor, you forget the wretchedness of hyperemesis gravidarum once it has passed.

but the last weeks? these last ten weeks have been a baby-cooking dream!

here a few practical things that have made my second trimester awesome:

+ the body pillow. i busted that out a few weeks ago, and even though tovi tries to share it at night, and even though it takes up SO MUCH room in our bed, nothing compares to the comfort it provides.

+ the foam roller. i get occasional bad spells of sciatic nerve pain. tovi makes sure that some foam roller time (even if i hate it, i know it's good for me), and that has helped a lot. (ok-- i should be honest. i have only done this like twice because i hate it-- it's really painful. BUT it's been helpful each time and i should be grateful to my husband for encouraging me to use the foam roller)

+ this is my favorite stretch mark prevention oil, recommended by my friend tara who is my go-to gal about these kinds of things. it's spendy, but one bottle has lasted me through two pregnancies.
+ i am reading '7' with a group of girlfriends (which i highly recommend that you do). the basic premise is to examine seven areas of excess (food, clothing, possessions, media, spending, waste, stress) in our lives, strip them away, and let God fill that space in. we "fast" from each of these areas for a week. one of these areas was clothing, so for seven days, i only wore seven items of clothing. these pants from old navy and this shirt from the gap have been my favorite maternity items lately, so wearing them over and over and over wasn't so bad. that said, maternity dressing has been so much easier this time around because i have shamelessly begged my friends to let me raid their closets. thank you, friends! there is no need to go out and buy a lot of new clothes, and i will joyfully return the favor or pay it forward.

+ in general i try to limit my use of home and skin care products that have a lot of chemicals. my skin has been kind of bonkers during this pregnancy, but this line from sw basics has been a good fit.

i'll probably rue publishing this post, being all braggy about how good i'm feeling, but i know these days are numbered regardless. by next week i'm sure i'll be eating cheese and crackers at 2am and sleeping in our rocker. hello, last trimester!

March 11, 2013

baby in my tummy

i'm wiping out the inside of the refrigerator while cruz supervises from his high chair. "mommy's cleaning," he tells me. "mommy uses a cloth." i note the surprise in his voice. his usual narrations of my day typically sound more like, "mommy's drinking juice" or "mommy's changing cruz's diaper" or "mommy missed the ball." thanks on that last one, by the way. anyhow, "mommy's cleaning," is not uttered quite so often.

"when i have a baby in my tummy i want to clean all the time," i tell him. "when you were in my tummy, i liked to clean a lot too."

i have been telling him this often. your sister is in my tummy now, and you used to be in my tummy too. i can barely wrap my mind around the baby-in-my-tummy concept, but cruz has accepted it without any questions. of course, he's pretty young. he doesn't see a difference between the lions in his bed and those at the zoo, and he is just ever so sweetly catching on to the idea of "'tending," but abstract thought is not in your average two-year old's wheelhouse. he pats my belly, gives it the occasional kiss. "where's your baby sister?" i ask, and he points at my tummy (or my shoulder. his aim is not always spot on). he's not asking the why questions yet, so this strange idea -- baby in mommy's tummy -- is just another part of life.

for me, sometimes it takes a double look in the mirror or the sight of my belly rolling like waves to remind me that there is a miracle happening in the dark. and growing a baby is such a miracle and maybe that's why it happens in secret. i don't know why we lost our small soul last summer or why my friend lost the twin to her son or why couples we know have tried and tried and tried for a baby. i don't know why some babies are born healthy and others are not. for all the science and ultrasounds and prenatal vitamins and refraining from sushi, baby-growing all boils down to a great act of faith. it is stepping forward with your heart in your hands, ready to be broken and rebuilt for someone you have never met. there is simply a baby in my tummy.

March 8, 2013

what {we} wore on wednesday

tovi and i are both self-employed, so our natural family rhythms look a little different than most families. some days tovi is gone long before the sun is up, but some days we are able to get up at the same time and spend a little of the morning together. those are the mornings when we go wake  cruz up and hang out in his room for awhile. 
cruz's morning routine goes like this: wake up, crawl out from underneath the blanket, throw all animals out of the crib, sing "twinkle twinkle little star" until mommy comes in.
sometimes i'll hear him giving directions, willing us to come in. 
"mommy opens the door? get out the crib?"
have mercy, how could you not love saying good morning to this ray of sunshine?

 every once in awhile, cruz gets a little idea in his brain and nothing can talk him about of it. so even though it was 7:30am and even though it was raining, all he could think about doing was stepping on all the drains in our cul de sac.
two is kind of a weirdo age.

i put him in clothes that could get wet and dirty and i somewhat grudgingly took him outside. 
"these are good drains!" he yelled, stepping on each one. we did this for about thirty minutes. 


dress that bump!

+ maternity dressing has gotten a lot easier lately because a couple of good friends just had their babies and passed along their maternity clothes to me. those red pants are like the sisterhood of the traveling maternity pants because they look amazing on everyone, regardless of size.

{happy weekend!}

March 6, 2013

three things

today i'm linking up with some gals from the influence network!

so three things about me. if we were going to be bff, what would i want you to know about me? once i asked my college roommates what my next roommate should know about me. "you smile when you put on blush," they answered. and they're right-- it's how i find my cheekbones. that one's a freebee for you, but i guess it's important to know.

1. i am a total bookworm. i am always, always, always reading a book or dreaming about books. when borders was just a few blocks from our house, tovi and i would walk over, get some frozen yogurt, and then i would wander around borders, just running my fingers over all the book covers. i revisit my favorite books on a regular basis, yes, even mysteries. when i am reading, there is absolutely nothing else in the world that matters. can i tell you a secret? i hope that there's a book hiding somewhere in me, but right now it is deep in my heart and i'm just letting life happen until God calls it to the forefront.

today i'm reading: waiting for birdy, 7, and bread & wine.

2. ten years ago today tovi and i went on our first date! i think we both fell pretty hard for each other (and dang, we were young! just babies!). even though our personalities can be different, we have an amazing relationship, an awesome friendship, and wonderful marriage. baby, here's to ten more (and more and more!).

3. for the love of all that is holy, i cannot drink a green smoothie. but! i totally like the idea of greens and healthy choices in morning, so i often make a breakfast salad. basically the same thing, right? this morning i had a spinach salad with apple, avo, homemade turkey-spinach meatballs (yeah, i got fancy like that), and honey-dijon dressing. yum yum yum.

and what do i love about the influence network? so much!
i've been able to take online classes from annie downs and jessi connolly, and both were so encouraging for my blogging journey-- using this tiny space to speak life and give glory to God and just simply share my journey.

March 3, 2013

the backyard

my friend anna and i have a saying: all problems disappear outside. (ok, i don't know if it's a saying... but we say it). problems disappear outside. outside is like toddler management magic. 
so obviously when it was warm and sunny and we (i) needed to get out of the house, i quick texted anna for a spur of the moment playdate at the natural history museum's backyard.
the backyard is a fairly wild stretch of land. it has a creek and a waterfall, rocks, dirt and wood chips. it has large sticks. it is a dream.

our little guys threw rocks in the creek (well, mason may have thrown himself into the creek, but that would surprise no one). anna and i talked about God and community and fashion and a million topics you'd never think we'd be able to cover while simultaneously rescuing small lads from precarious situations. but that's the kind of friend anna is. 

and because all problems disappear outside, there was very little crying or whining or even mama stress. and when that warm sun hits your skin and the wood chips smell like your college campus and your boy is being adorable and your friend is speaking truth, well, that's just a blessing. 

March 1, 2013


according to instagram in february we:
+ got serious about simplifying (and it's been a process and life giving)
+ learned the hard way that apple-eating is a learned skill for toddlers
+ tovi went to a conference for the weekend and while he was gone i ate an absurd amount of chocolate peanut butter cupcakes from trader joe's and watched a 'catfish' marathon (this show is so sociologically interesting. omg. these people)
+ my pyrex exploded in the oven and we had to order burritos
+ cruz got serious about sports
+ for the first time in my life, i got serious about valentine's day and it was super fun! doing that again next year
+ gosh, my boy is getting handsome
+ also, he is learning to climb fast and well
+ more basketball, more outside backyard adventures
+ and if you're interested in getting your heart absolutely destroyed for Jesus (and learning how to make room for Him in our crazy materialistic culture) read '7,' grab some good friends - and boxes for all the stuff you'll realize you don't need - and prepare to do some good, hard work in your heart.
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