Sunday, February 28, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Sun Rises Again

It was a good morning!  Glory, glory Hallelujah!

The magic pill has proven effective all night and now today.  Eloise is keeping food down and is sleeping a lot.

You know Eloise (or any kid) is sick when...
1.  She walks away from TV and puts herself to bed.
2.  She doesn't finish a snack in the stroller.
3.  She wants to stay in the stoller and "rest."

But some things stay the same...
1.  After puking everywhere, she is more concerned about her clothes getting dirty than anything else.
2.  She will still alert me when Cordelia "needs mommy's milk."  Always the helper.
3.  She still screams with delight when Dora comes on.  Ahh.  Thank you, Dora.

We were all down and out yesterday.

Even Lambie felt the weight.

Cheer up Lambie!  It's sunny and 45 outside and life is looking up!

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Day!

Well, do you like my new blog design?  I have the give my self some pats on the back.  Pat, pat.  I have researched and learned and downloaded and learned some more about HTMLs, blogging, image editing, and more.  Good job, me!

And, I'm doing this all in the dark!  I told you I could juggle and stand on my head.  :-)

No, the power is not out.  (It did go out for a little today but praise the good Lord it has returned.)

I'm sitting in the dark because we have a very sick child.  Eloise has been puking on the hour, every hour.  I kid you not.  She's sleeping now on the couch, and we don't want to leave her or disturb her.  Perfect time to update my blog, don't you think?

We're praying for the little girl.  And the doctor called in a prescription that will help her stop puking.  I didn't know they had such a drug.  Where have they been keeping this secret?  Although, they were reluctant to give it to her.  They wanted to make sure she was REALLY sick first....makes you wonder.  Well, we wondered, then we gave it to her, and she hasn't puked in almost 4 hours.  Maybe it's working!

Needless to say, it's been a day.  And tomorrow will be one too.  Come to think of it, it's been 3 days already.  This darn virus is a meanie.

I hope you enjoy my new layout.  I'm always tinkering with it, so who know what will come next.  But for now, I'm happy.

Good night!

Fix-It Friday

It's Fix-It Friday at I Heart Faces.  A fun opportunity to practice your post editing skills and share with others.   I used Aperture 3.



Thursday, February 25, 2010

Camera Comparison

Old Camera (Boring)

NEW Camera (Ta Da!  Dazzle Dazzle.  Oooh lala!!)

Love Begets Love

This is the last of my Gayle Haggard thoughts.  I'm still digesting and appreciating her book.  Next I want to watch the HBO documentary done by their good friend Alexandra Pelosi.  Yes, that's Nancy's daughter.  Unlikely friends for sure.  But the power of forgiveness crosses all barriers.  Want to catch up?  First click here, then here, then here, and now read this.

Love begets love.  Much like sleep begets sleep.

That was the best advice I received when Eloise was 6 weeks old.  And anyone who knows infants and toddlers will agree.  The more a babe sleeps, the better she sleeps.  The less sleep, the more irritable and difficult it is to get to sleep.  It's counter intuitive.  But it's fact.

The same is true with love.  Just think of Pay It Forward.  A book, movie, and now a "movement" about how random acts of kindness can turn into a chain reaction of kindness that can change the world for better.

The other day I was pushing the stroller on some sidewalk that was not yet cleared.  And as I brewed with anger, "it's been two weeks people, clear your sidewalks for goodness sakes!! what pain in the rear..blah!," a nice lady helped me pick up my stroller and carry it to clean sidewalk.  I was touched by her love to me.  I was instantly put in a better mood and was extra friendly to the teller at the post office.

It reminds me of the song I sang at growing up.  I'm sure you know it:

It only takes a spark to get a fire going
And soon all those around will warm up to its glowing
That's how it is with God's love
Once you've experienced it
You spread the love to everyone
You want to pass it on.

It's true.  Love begets love.  And, we love because God first loved us.

Here's my flow chart: God loved Gayle.  So Gayle could love Ted.  And Ted heals.
Final Gayle Quotes

"Christian people are still people, so I no longer expect more of them than I do of anyone else." (page 265)

"When others criticize Ted in person, he listens respectfully to their comments.  'Scorn and derision would be total justice for me; I deserve that for what I have done,' he says.  'That's why I'm so grateful for people who show me grace.'" (page 328)

"And always remember--love covers a multitude of sins (see 1 Peter 4:8).  When I pressed toward forgiving and loving Ted, I healed.  When I judged and scrutinized him for all the pain he had caused, I only spiraled deeper into dispair.  Love never fails..." (page 336)

Amen, Gayle!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You know your daughter is a princess when...

*When she picks her cereal based on the color of the box. (Raisin Bran is purple. Yum!)

*When she calls me a prince (a serious insult) because I'm wearing pants.

*When she thinks washing and combing her hair makes her look "boring." This is what "fancy" looks like:

*When her old friend O comes to visit late at night (last night-they're visiting from overseas), she gets extremely self conscious that she's in her pajamas. She insists on changing into her dress for the ocassion.

*When her class at school wears birthday party hats to celebrate, she refuses to give her's back to the teacher. She was the only one released from school still wearing her party hat.

*When playing in her princess castle tent, she yells "No Boys Allowed!"

The above is entirely true. You can't makes this stuff up, people.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

After a long day

It's been a long day. I'm sure you know the type or have even had a long one today yourself. Well, in our house, I know it's going to be a long day when at 4:30am I'm 1 of 4 people in bed. In other words, we are all in the same bed. Me, Alex, Eloise, and Cordelia all in my bed. That's not the way we intend it to be. Co-sleeping is sweet but it's just not for us. I can't sleep when everyone is in my bed. I need space.

It's also a long day when Alex is still at work at 10:15 at night. That's a long day. And I know you know what I mean.

So I turn on my computer. Go to my free trial of Aperture 3 and find these shining faces. And I think I can wake up again tomorrow (hopefully with less people in my bed) and do it again.

(Ohhh, and #1 Cordelia and #2 Eloise. Fun pics, aren't they?)

Good Morning!

Bee Love

2 Girls
1 Bed
4 Bees
Same love.

Can you recognize who is Eloise and who is Cordelia?



Monday, February 22, 2010

Not Me Monday

Another Not Me Monday at MckMama's. Click on over to see others or participate yourself!

Cordelia is 3 1/2 months old and I don't have my waist quite back again. No big deal. And that's certainly not going to get in the way of a good time.

So when we went skiing this past weekend, I did NOT wear ski pants that didn't fit. I did NOT leave my button undone and my fly down. I'm much to put together for that.

At first I figured it didn't matter much. At least my coat covered most of it while standing, and while sitting, no one would notice.

Well, Eloise and I went on our last run up the magic carpet. A kid in front of us was messing around on his board and got stuck. Eloise and I were headed right for him. In a heroic move to save Eloise from the crash, I pick her up, manage to get one ski on the side but can't get my second leg over. I end up doing the splits. Eloise is frightened and crying. We recover and ski down the hill.

Needless to say, she did not want to ski again. We were both hot and bothered so we strip down in the lodge. No coat = button and zipper completely exposed. And I didn't care a bit.

Then Eloise, who's only wearing long underwear and no shoes yells "I GOTTA GO!" So I grab her and start jogging to the bathrooms (time was of the essence). And she starts yelling "I'M GOING! I'M GOING PEE!!" (Translation: I'm going to the bathroom to go potty, not I'm actually peeing as my mom runs through the very crowded room in pants that are too small, unbuttoned and not even zipped. But no one else knew that.)

To recap: I did NOT go skiing with pants too small and run through a crowded lodge with a daughter yelling "I'm going pee." That did NOT happen. :-)

I Heart Faces

This week it's "Fun with Hands" at I Heart Faces. I love how art is a process for kids and not just a final product. Eloise was captivated by the colors and feeling of paint between her fingers. Click on over to see more great photos.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Believing I'm Flawed

Some more thoughts inspired by Gayle Haggard's "Why I Stayed." To catch up on the conversation click here and then here.

I think forgiveness begins with a knowledge that we are flawed in some way.

Let's look at Tiger since he's so recently put himself in the public's eye. Who forgives Tiger? Maybe other men who've cheated on their wives, maybe someone who's a sex addict, or a man who looks at porn, or a woman who's an alcoholic, or a mom whose son is addicted to cocaine, or a girl whose sister is anorexic. Charles Barkley is always quick to forgive. Why? Because he's screwed up time and again himself. Mel Gibson is also forgiving Tiger because we all know he's a mess.

VIDEO: Mel Gibson On Tiger Woods - "I Love The Guy" |

How can they all forgive? Because they know they have a bound will too. They know they are not alway free to choose what's good. Something inside them is sick or twisted and disables them from doing the good, right, and healthy thing.

I always wonder why Paris Hilton gets DUIs. Why is she driving in the first place? Come on! Get a driver! But she wants her freedom. She wants to do things her own way and it's twisted.

Let's think about divorce. Does anyone get married thinking they will someday walk away from their spouse? No. The intentions are good, pure, and full of love. The couple stands on the altar and confesses their love and commitment in front of friends, family, and God. Yet divorce happens. Cheating happens and it hurts a lot. There is a dark tide running beneath us all. A sickness that acts out in a variety of disgusting ways.

Or, how many women do you know who suffer a horrible self image. They think their ugly, fat, and undesirable when in fact they're the prettiest in the room. "If only I was a size 6....or 2." It'll never be good enough for her. There is a dark lie being whispered in her soul that she's not good enough, so she self destructs (by not eating, over drinking, cutting, etc). No "sane" person would choose these things yet she does them. Because she's not in control to see the good, do the good, or choose the good.

If we were in control of our druthers, we wouldn't do half the harmful or mean things we do.

We'd maybe even stop eating transfats and go jogging.

When we know we can't, we have compassion on others who can't.

In Gayle's situation, Ted repented. He hates how he cheated on Gayle. He crumbled and told Gayle to divorce him. He hated himself. And by divine inspiration, Gayle had compassion. Gayle recognized a fellow sinner, and had compassion because she knows that God has compassion on both Ted and herself. We love because He first loved us.

Gayle Haggard has come to a deeper understanding of herself and Grace in this process. And it's inspiring. She writes this:

"My son Marcus described me as a "saint" on Larry King Live, but I smile at this because I know I'm still a sinner, and I will be until I reach heaven. I've watched so many people in the process. I've seen the "righteous" not recognize their own sins, even to the point of denial. I don't want to be like that anymore. Those who don't recognize their own sins hurt others."

Gayle, I don't want to be like that either. I know all this in my head and I can write it on my blog, but I want to know it in my heart and act accordingly. I pray that I can.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Skiing Indeed

For all those answering "SKI," you are correct. And all of you who are jealous, I'm so sorry. Don't be jealous of our mid-Atlantic mountains.

It was in fact a beautiful day. And a real family effort. Truth be told, Eloise skied 6 runs, Emily skied 3 runs, and Alex skied 3 as well. There was a day when Alex and I would be utterly disappointed by spending $50 to ski 3 runs. But oh how times have changed. We agreed that the best part of the day was helping Eloise (who LOVED it) and being together (ahhhh).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday the 19th

Can you guess what we did today?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Walk in the Hood

The girls and I decided to pack up and meet Alex on his walk home from work. It was a great idea. But you should have seen the looks I got! It did get a little looney as I tried to hoist them up and over the snow after crossing Connecticut. No pathway there? Come on! I know people thought I was crazy, but what's a mom to do? Stay home?

I bundled them up, I promise.

Alex pushed them home. I wasn't crazy alone anymore.

Is it still permissible to have Christmas decor still up? Is your's still up? Fess up!


Did you see Lindsey Vonn win gold last night? WOWZERS! The post interview was emotional, and then she sees her husband for the first time. The tears start to flow. She runs to him, collapses in his arms, and sobs. Relief, victory, joy, exhaustion are combined in a beautifully intimate moment captured on tv. I've been searching NBC for it but the interview they've posted stops short of that moment.

Watching it brought tears to my eyes. LOVE was so evident between the pair. I hope to find it and post it. But for now, here's our future Olympic stars. Aren't they cute?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Friend Gayle

I have spent the last 4 days with Gayle. Ted Haggard's wife. She's a pastor's wife, like me.

It's been a nice 4 days. I want to spend a snowy day with her by the fire and hear some more because she's warm, calm, and has stories to tell. I feel like we're friends. She pours out her heart in the book and has a universal story of redemption.

It was a book I didn't want to finish. That's when you know it's been good, right?

Gayle Haggard has been to Hell and back. Maybe literally. If you're not familiar with her story, here are some details.

-She is married to Ted Haggard, who was the mega-church Evangelical pastor in Colorado Springs.
-She has 5 children, one being "special needs."
-Her husband, Pastor Ted, was sexually involved with a male massuse, used meth, and apparently had a dark, secret life until it all blew up in the media. Everyone knew Ted's secrets and talked about them and blogged about them and wrote about them. We discussed them. And all the while, she was (still is) married to him. She was the real victim here. The victim of infidelity and betrayal. And she suffered publicly. And has forgiven Ted and everyone else in this horrible mess. Miraculous.

She now has my attention. And the attention of the world. She has now been on talk shows from Oprah, Larry King, HBO, and news stands across the nation. Gayle and Ted are making a comeback focused on GRACE and FORGIVENESS.

She has embodied the scripture "love covers a multitude of sins." She is inspiring me.

I highly recommend Gayle Haggard's new book Why I Stayed: The Choices I Made in My Darkest Hour. I plan on writing about 2 more posts on her book covering a few other topics.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My New(est) Baby

I took the plunge. And here she is. Nikki the Nikon in all her glory.

I think she'll make a nice addition to our family. And our blog.

Welcome Nikki. I pray this is a LONG (price tag shock still wearing off) and fruitful relationship.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I Heart Faces

I Heart Faces' theme is "I Wanna Dance" and we all know the Large Clan LOVES to dance. This is fresh off the press from Eloise's ballet class this morning. Click on the button below to see more fantastic dancing photos OR to participate yourself.

Not Me Monday

Time for another Monday carnival at MckMama's. Click on the button below to see what other ladies are NOT doing.

After a recent visit to the doctor, I realized just how guilty I feel about some of our eating habits at home. I don’t feel bad about what Alex and I eat. We’re adults, after all, and we can eat what we want. Toddlers cannot, or should not, eat whatever they want. They’re growing little people. They need nutritious food.

That is why I lie to our doctor. Well, not lie, but stretch the truth….frequently.

Doc: “How do you handle sweets in your house?”

Me: “I try not to keep them around. They’re so tempting.” LIE. We always have ice cream in the freezer. Alex and I eat some every night.

Doc: “Great. So how often does she eat sweets?”

Me: “Oh, you know, the occasional treat.” ANOTHER LIE

Here is what I Don’t Do:

I do not bribe Eloise to go for a walk in the stroller with a treat from the store.

I do not make up for a lack of donuts at church with cupcakes when we get home. (ahem, yesterday)

I do not bribe Eloise to use the potty with gummy worms. (Chocolate chips didn’t work, but gummy worms did.)

Truth be told, we eat A LOT of sweets. (Yum.) But at least my child also likes asparagus. That’s good, right? (Oh man, I'm a terrible mom!)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Anyone out there in this world wide blogosphere live in NYC?

Or, want to go?

Do you ever wonder why Jesus is relevant today, or if he can heal old wounds?

Want to meet others wondering the same thing, thinking deeply, and asking old questions?

Check out the Mockingbird Conference this Spring
....and meet my husband.

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Camera, New Camera Bag?

Okay, you have all been hearing about the new camera I'm buying "as soon as I shovel my way to the store." Right? Well I'm shoveling tomorrow.

And to honor my new purchase MckMama, the queen of the blogosphere, has decided to give (me) away a beautiful new camera bag. (Not really in honor of me. But it's catchy, no?)

Hop on over to her page to enter yourself.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Fruit of a Blizzard

I love snow. Have I mentioned that before? I love it. I love that I live in a place with 4 distinct seasons, each being so beautiful in its own right. I love to get the family out of the house and out into nature even if it's the neighborhood park. There's a lot fresh air can cure.

I learned that once living with a house full of 8 very active boys. The basketball hoop can work out lots of aggression and help you learn lots of math facts. Just like the ski slope can release the need to fly. Just like the wide open spaces of the Texas plains....okay, I've gone too far. Dixie Chicks have invaded my thought space.

We had a great afternoon in the snow. Tomorrow will be back to normal. SnOMG is almost over.