Monthly Archives: November 2010

Daily, 11/17

(loud noises including heavy bass music, people being rowdy, walls being thumped from neighbors that started partying at 1:30pm on this Wednesday afternoon, their third annoying party this week)

Bean: (cries) Can’t like the loud noise.
Me: Did you hear a loud noise?
Bean: Yeah, neighbors make loud noise. Can’t like it.
Me: I’m sorry sweetie. I don’t like the loud noises either.
Bean: Neighbors need time out! (shouts) Time out!
Me: (cracking up) Yes, yes they do sweetie, but Mama can’t put them in time out. I’m sorry.
Bean: Don’t worry about it. It’s OK. Don’t worry about neighbors.

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Daily, 11/16


Little girl clothes and accessories are far too cute and irresistible. Saw this hat at Old Navy today and we had to have it.

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Sprout – month 10

The fact that we are in DOUBLE digits is kind of freaking me out. It is going by so fast! I guess this is what I wanted, but jeeze.

We had our 10 month appointment today at the pediatrician and just like Bean did, Sprout has dropped on the charts. He dropped a pound since his last appointment. He’s at the 6th and 7th percentile for weight and height. Our pediatrician said that they see this all the time with breastfed babies. I could tell he was thinning out. He felt lighter and his face looked thinner. Everyone has been commenting on it too.

Plus he’s been moving around so much more this month. He pulls himself up on everything and is doing the real crawl now.

He was also sick almost the whole month and didn’t have much of an appetite during that time. Luckily the appetite is back. He usually winds up eating even more than Bean most nights at dinner and usually lunch and breakfast too. He doesn’t look small next to babies his same age.

So I don’t really understand all those growth charts.

He can drink out of straw cups. He loves vegetables, beans, meat, grains (no wheat yet), and sometimes fruit. He’s not too big on sweet stuff. Lately he’s been really digging pears in the morning for breakfast though.

He’s waking up a ton at night. I figure it was the ear infections and now he’s teething again too. It will pass, I know, but the last month has been kind of tough to get through for me.

He’s pretty much given up the morning nap, but sometimes he still takes one if I’m lucky. I’ve just come to the realization with this kid that he is just not a good sleeper. He never really has been. He doesn’t take good naps and doesn’t sleep well at night. There’s really no point in being frustrated over it though. I just try to work with it and go with the flow. Or that’s my new attitude anyway. And drink lots of coffee. Ha!

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Daily, 11/13

Bean and Papa reading a book together. Love.

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For Paula

My sister left me with a book, Bittersweet by Shuana Niequist, when she came to visit briefly before heading off to Korea for a year to teach English with her husband. I am sad. I will miss her so. Also I am slightly jealous of her life situation and opportunity to go gallivanting off to explore a foreign country for a year.

Anyway, she specifically asked me to blog my favorite parts of the book. We mainly communicate and keep up on each other’s lives through our blogs. That may seem weird, but it isn’t and it works quite nicely for us most of the time especially now that we will be in entirely different time zones. And we acknowledge that sometimes this isn’t nearly sufficient and a several hours long phone call or FaceTime is necessary.

The book is highly relatable if you are a Christian in your mid- to late-twenties as it deals with life circumstances that age bracket faces.

The first few chapters flow really well together. Then it seems a bit disjointed to me and it took me several more chapters to figure out that it was a collection of separate essays which I would have figured out had I read the back cover. I got used to the format though and plundered on through the whole book in just one day.

Niequist wrote the book after a couple years of drastic changes in her life, including she and her husband no longer being on staff at Mars Hill church.

This last season in my life has been characterized, more than anything else, by change. Hard, swirling, one-after-another changes, so many that I can’t quite regain my footing before the next one comes, very much like being tumbled by waves. It began three years ago, in January in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I got pregnant, lost a job I loved, had a baby, wrote a book. A year after I lost my job, my husband, Aaron, left his job in a really painful way, and then for the next year and a half we traveled together and separately almost every week, doing all the freelance work we could find, looking for a new home and trying to pay the bills. Leaving our jobs at the church meant leaving the church community, the heart of our world in Grand Rapids, and that loss left a hole in our lives that was as tender and palpable as a bruise. The day after our son Henry’s first birthday, my brother Todd left on a two-year sailing trip around the world, taking my husband’s best friend Joe with Him. My best friend, Annette, left Grand Rapids and moved back to California. I got pregnant again, our kitchen and basement flooded, and on the Fourth of July I lost the baby. My first thought, there in the doctor’s office, was, “Everything in my life is dying. I can’t keep anything alive.” At some point in all that, we put our house up for sale, which meant lots and lots of showings but no offers. After several months, my husband and our son and I left our house still for sale and moved back to Chicago, to a little house on the same street I lived on as a child, exhausted and battered, out of breath and shaken up.

I guess that was the part most relatable to me because I’ve felt so in limbo since quitting my job, finding out I was pregnant, having a baby, moving to Thousand Oaks, leaving our ministry and church, finding out I was pregnant again, trying to find a church and become part of a new community, having another baby, moving again, etc.

Here’s the part where I learned something though. Because I have pretty much responded to these changes in the same way that she did. A child throwing a temper tantrum. You’ve all seen if here with terrible posts railing on motherhood and feeling stuck in this life and whining about how very awful my life is.

I know that to another person my difficult season would have been a walk in the park, and that all over the world, people suffer in unimaginable ways and manage far worse than my own little list. I was miserable because I lost touch with the heart of the story, the part where life always comes from death. I love the life part, and I always try to skip over that pesky death part. You can’t do that, as much as I’ve tried. I believe that God is making all things new. I believe that Christ overcame death and that pattern is apparent all through life and history: life from death, water from a stone, redemption from failure, connection from alienation. I believe that suffering is part of the narrative, and that nothing really good gets built when everything’s easy. I believe that loss and emptiness and confusion often give way to new fullness and wisdom. But for a long season, I forgot all those things. I didn’t stop believing in God. It wasn’t a crisis of faith. I prayed and served and pursued a life of faith the way I had before that season and the way I still do now. But I realized all at once, sitting in church on a cold dark night, that the story I was telling was the wrong one–or at the very least, an incomplete one. I had been telling the story about how hard it was. That’s not the whole story. The rest of the story is that I failed to live with hope and courage and lived instead a long season of whining, self-indulgence, and fear. This is my confession… Looking back now I can see that it was more than anything a failure to believe in the story of who God is and what he is doing in this world. Instead of living that story–one of sacrifice and purpose and character–I began to live a much smaller story, and that story was only about me. I wanted an answer, a timeline, and a map. I didn’t want to have to trust God or anything I couldn’t see. I didn’t want to wait or follow. I wanted my old life back, and even while I read the mystics and the prophets, even while I prayed fervently, even while I sat in church and begged for God to direct my life, those things didn’t have a chance to transform me, because under those actions and intentions was a rocky layer of faithlessness, fear, and selfishness… If I’m honest I prayed the way you order breakfast from a short-order cook: this is what I want. Period. This is what I want. Aren’t you getting this? I didn’t pray for God’s will to be done in my life, or, at any rate, I didn’t mean it. I prayed to be rescued, not redeemed. I prayed for it to get easier, not that I would be shaped in significant ways. I prayed for the waiting to be over, instead of trying to learn anything about patience or anything else for that matter… Every wave presents us with a choice to make, and quite often, unfortunately, I have stood, both resolute and terrified, staring down a wave. I have been smacked straight on with the force of the water, tumbled, disoriented, gasping for breath and for my swimsuit bottoms, and spit onto shore, embarrassed and sand-burned, standing up only to get knocked down again, refusing to float on the surface and surrender to the sea.

So there it is. Now what do I do about it? Stop being angry and whining and face up to life, my life, just the way it is. That’s what. Because there is no use in complaining or saying I am not built for this or meant for that life circumstance. That this is not the way I planned things or what was supposed to happen. This is what happened. This is right where I am supposed to be learning and living in this situation just as it is.


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Scones

I made some pretty heavenly scones today. I basically just adapted and blended this recipe for Rock Cakes that I made for the Harry Potter party and my friend Cara’s family biscuit recipe. It is kind of ridiculous how delicious they are, even the vegan gluten-free version.

One thing I realized that I did “wrong” though was that I didn’t stack two together before baking to get the really tall and fluffy versions that Cara has. I was trying to figure out why mine were so thin this time around. That’s what I get for skimming through the directions and working from memory. Next time, if there is a next time that I can handle having these in my house, I will not make that mistake.

They are so super fluffy and flaky. I actually can’t believe how fluffy and flakey the gluten-free version came out. Nothing gluten-free that I have made has come out so wonderfully before.

So I am going to attempt to put it all together for you so you can make some too.

Gluten-free, vegan version ingredients
• 2 cups gluten free flour mix
• 1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
• 1/2 cup dried fruit
• 2 over-ripe bananas, mashed
• 1/2 cup almond milk

Regular version ingredients
• 1 cup all purpose flour
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
• 1/2 cup dried fruit
• 1 1/2 cups milk, buttermilk, yogurt or any combination thereof (I used 1 cup homemade plain Greek yogurt and 1/2 cup whole, raw milk)

Preheat oven to 400*F.

Sift flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice together in a bowl. Cut very cold butter/butter substitute into cubes and then cut into flour mixture using a pastry blender until crumbly. But as Cara says, don’t overwork it or you will have flat biscuits.

Cover a sheet of wax paper with flour. Then add your liquid ingredients (for the gluten-free version this is your bananas and almond milk, for the other version this is milk, buttermilk, or yogurt) to the bowl along with the dried fruit. Mix until just moistened. Pour out onto wax paper.

Flour your hands and add flour to the top of the batter then pat out into a rectangle about 1/2″ thick. Using the wax paper, fold the dough in half onto itself, then pat back out, adding more flour to your wax paper to keep it from sticking. Repeat this process until it is possible to cut pieces and have them remain intact without sticking to the paper or your hands.

You can then either cut round, square or triangular pieces of dough from your rectangle. You will stack two on top of each other and then place them on a baking sheet or stone. I also just figured out something else I did wrong, apparently these things are supposed to touch while baking. Mine were an inch apart. Oops!

Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown.


Gluten-free on left, regular on right


Gluten-free front, regular back

For true scones you will want to make a glaze for them, but they are already really yummy without a glaze.

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Daily, 11/12

His middle name may have been involved…

I am in so much trouble with this little boy!

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