Tuesday, August 31, 2010

2 Winners

Our little Miss Cordelia is a big winner in our book.  Last night I was going through some photos and hanging new ones up and changing a few around and I noticed I have 1,001 of Eloise and 3 of Cordelia.

I've got to get this girl caught up.  So I got her all gussied-up this morning and headed to the front yard to take some portraits.  I want to hang one in our hallway.  Which should I hang?

And our second winner, is Neena!

Congratulations Neena, you won the pez and coffee.  I know you'll love the coffee, and the pez, I'm sure you'll find some good use for those too.  We have your info on file and we'll send the package right away!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lessons From Preschoolers

Saying "I'm sorry" is really, really hard.

It's admitting that I am wrong.  And we know that never happens.  So instead of recognizing my fault and saying I'm sorry and moving on like a "mature" adult would do, I come up with every justification in the book.  "It's not technically my fault."  Or, "if he didn't do that, I wouldn't have done this."

But worse yet, most of the time I don't even see my own fault.  I'm completely blind to my culpability.  And when a small infraction becomes a mountain, when I see the writing on the wall, and I finally realize I am wrong and I have to say sorry, the words get stuck in my throat.

I have to cough them out.

It's so hard.

And it's not just me.  It's hard for Eloise too.  Today, Eloise and I had 2 instances when she needed to say sorry.  First, she threw a fit and hit me a couple of times.  After she calmed down, we talked about the problem, and I asked if she could say sorry for hitting me because it really hurt.

She said, "No.  I can't say sorry because it makes me too sad."

Wow.  How true.  It's so disappointing to be wrong.  It's devastates us.  We can't be wrong because then we're not perfect.  To admit imperfection is really sad for people like me.

Second, Eloise took a handful of vitamins, hid them in her hand and started to throw them in her mouth.  (She loves vitamins and it's really hard for her only to have one at a time.)  She threw a fit.  So I pulled her aside and explained again why we don't overeat vitamins.  I asked her to say sorry for doing it, and she said,

"I can say a silly sorry or a fancy sorry or a cute sorry."  She smiles and tries out all the different sorrys in her different voices.  She never could give me a real sorry.

Because it's so hard.

So I reminded her that the quicker she says it, the better she'll feel inside.  I remind her of this all the time.

And I hope going through these apologies with Eloise will help teach me to apologize more quickly and more fully in the future.  Because I don't know about you, but saying sorry is really hard for me.


Last call!  Enter my giveaway before tomorrow.  Click here.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Reflections

It's Sunday.  The day we worship at church and spend important time with our friends.  Some Sundays fall flat for me.  I get up, get everyone ready for church, race out the door, find a seat in the pew and think about 100 different things, then head back to the nursery to pick-up the girls, and leave.  I don't always connect spiritually with God at church.

But some Sundays are fantastically enlightening.  I feel the spirit moving among the people in the pews.  The word of God is read and preached and I connect with the people around me in a deep ways.

Today lots of positive, churchy things happened.  Parts of the sermon and the hymns and the conversations really moved me.  I'm moved by the incredible news of freedom and joy.

So, I thought I'd share 3 of my Sunday reflections with you.  2 are serious, 1 is adorable.

1.  While driving to church this morning, I listened to Christian radio.  A man was contrasting the reception he receives when we arrives late to his AA meeting and when we arrives late to church.  At church, he is hushed and frowned upon.  He shuffles into the pew and feels badly.  At AA, his friends stand and hug him and are thankful he has come again.  He wondered, "What if we all stood up at church and said, I'm Bob.  I'm a sinner.  Saved by grace."

That'd be cool.  The radio show reminded me of a book our friends wrote.  Called Grace in Addiction: What the Church Can Learn from Alcoholics Anonymous.  I've heard numerous testimonies where God has used AA and similar organizations to reach people.  It's a fantastic read.  Click here to see more.

2.  Yesterday we visited the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.  It's a stunning place of worship.  Simply put, it's the center of Catholic worship in our country.  And quote from St. Patrick caught my eye.  It was etched on the wall in a small chapel space.  The words physically surrounded me and their meaning hugged me.  Wrapped me up warm and tight, in a way that I never want to be let go.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left...

Such a physical picture of Christ's love.
To see the entire poem by St. Patrick, click here.  Simply beautiful.

3.  While walking in the Shrine, Cordelia kept squealing.  And jabbering a lot.  Eloise seriously scolded her, "Cordelia, shhhh, be quiet.  Jesus is sleeping."

We were tickled beyond words and successfully managed to not let her see us laugh.  And we most definitely did not correct her.  We have plenty of time for that later.

4.  Oh, and fourth, here's our actual reflection from today.  (I'm holding the peace sign.  Eloise has a thumbs up.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy Weekend

Happy Weekend!

(And for goodness sakes, don't forget to enter the giveaway.  Pez + coffee = Love.  I'll be drawing the winner on Tuesday. Click now :-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sister Sister

(Don't forget to enter my contest!  There's no good reason not to.  So click here to do so.)

I know the chief reason most of you read my blog.  It's to see these little guys.  And I've deprived you of them for too long.

So for those who want me to stop typing and just post photos of Eloise and Cordelia, this is for you.


Eloise how tall are you?
This is what I got.
Eloise's mug shot.  
It tickled me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Raw(e) Faith

(Don't forget to enter my 500th Post Giveaway, here, and check out our Maine photos, here.)

I have 2 things going on today.

First, it's a PINK theme at Sailor and Company, Raw(e).  And because little Miss Eloise loves all things pink, I would be amiss if I didn't submit a photo.  So, here is a throw-back.  This is from last Spring.  Eloise tinkering with her camera, much like her mama.  It's unedited.  And Raw(e) and PINK.  Check out other submissions.

And Second, in honor of this Eloise- centric post, I will give a quick snap shot of my day. . .  We are at the grocery store.  Eloise says, "I gotta go!!!!" because she had to go, you know.  We get into the stall and she says, "I change my mind.  Don't need to any more."  This sweet lady in the stall next door starts giggling because it was funny.  Clearly she had to go BUT she was clearly not going to go.

So we leave.  Can't make a person go the the bathroom.  So we leave and quickly proceed to the check-out because I'm afraid she won't be able to hold it.

We pass the giggling lady in the line.  She says, "Did you have any luck?"

I said, "No, I've just turned to prayer."  She laughed.

And it struck me, especially since I know my sister-in-law is potty training and I know how stressful it is,  "there is no such thing as an atheists in a foxhole."

There is no such thing as an atheist when potty training.  

You have to pray and hope and pray that they really can hold it until they get home.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Post 500 means Giveaway Time

Here's the deal. Every 100 posts (starting at 400) I give something away.  A reward for being my reader. That makes this my 2nd giveaway.  Hooray!

Here's my criterion for a giveaway: Cheap.  I'm only a pastor's wife.  Yummy.  Because yummy food helps me get through my long days of parenting.  And finally, kid friendly.  I've got kiddos.  Most of you have kiddos.  And candy is awesome bribery.  

Chocolate is out, bummer, because I can't mail it.  Gummys are out because I used them for the 400th.  What will I pick, you ask?  

The answer is clear.  

(Cheap, Yummy, and Kid Friendly.)

Exactly 2 will be given away.

And on top of that, I'll give the winner a bag of Rwandan coffee from Land of a Thousand Hills.  I've been talking about this fair trade, reconciliation producing Rwandan coffee for weeks.  And you can have some so that you will then buy some and tell all your friends about it.  Check it out: Here.

To enter to win:
1.  Don't be shy.  Comment on this post.  Say anything you want.

Then I'll randomly pick the winner.

May the most random person win.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


And to say it once again, we are home.  Home safe and sound after a whirl wind tour of Mt. Desert Island in Maine.  Has anyone been there before?  The Obamas have.  They went about a month ago and enjoyed Acadia National Park and the fresh lobster just like us.

Yeah, that's how we roll.

We arrived Thursday.  And were greeted with an outstanding view of fog over the water from our host family's house.  We danced and ate late into the night.  We enjoyed hiking Cadillac Mountain and boating in the chilly ocean.  We napped.  And we ate ourselves silly.

But most importantly, we celebrated the wedding of Ben and Courtney with their many friends and family.  The bride and groom were beautiful.  Each event exquisite.  And, the priest who performed it--so hot!  (-:

It was a dream for us.  Thank you to Ben and Courtney for such a lovely time.  And double thank you to my sweet parents who stayed here with our kiddos.  So many sweet people made this weekend possible. We couldn't ask for more in our lives!

The view from our host house.  Seal Harbor, Maine.


The Fiji.

The wedding.  Bar Harbor, Maine.

Alex preparing.  Getting wine for communion.  (Kinda funny looking, I thought.)

Welcome Courtney to our Washington and Lee crowd!!!

Aren't we an impressive bunch?

Acadia National Park.  View from Cadillac Mountain.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Good Night

We're home.  Safe and sound.

Thank you, Jesus.

To say I was anxious on our plane flight to Maine with my sweet husband and without my beautiful babies is an understatement.  Every worst case scenario flew through my head.  What is it with my fearful logic?  It goes like this:  Nothing bad has happened in a while, so it is bound to happen right now.... or right now.... or right now....  I admit.  I live in fear and not by faith.  It's terrible.

Thankfully, nothing bad happened.  Only good things--really really great things actually.  And I'll catch you up on that in the next few days.

For now, I'm home and content.  Because the 4 of us are enclosed in the same four walls.  My feet are on the ground and my head is about to hit the pillow.

Good night!

P.S.  Maine is beautiful!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Quality Time, Right Now

We all know how it is.  2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc, etc children are neglected.  They never get the 1 on 1 attention that the oldest child gets.  For better or for worse, it's just the way it is.

So I'm taking this opportunity as my eldest takes a rare nap to spend some quality time with #2.

Here we are.  5 minutes ago.

Ha!  Not such a happy camper, is she now?

I suppose I should stop making meatballs, sweeping the kitchen, taking self timed portraits, and blogging so that I can spend some real quality time with her.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Big Celebration

Yesterday was a special day.  I wasn't allowed to tell you about it because my Mom didn't want to make a big deal of it.  She didn't want anyone to get a crazy idea and do something special.  Like crazy people who like to party.  Who'd want to do anything special anyway?  No fun here for big occasions.  (Sheesh.)

Yesterday, 40 years ago, these two love birds tied the knot.  They probably didn't even do anything special.  Probably went to church.  Ate at El Fenix.  Maybe watched the end of the golf tournament.

But they should.  They should celebrate!  They deserve a BIG PARTY, if that was their type of thing.  I suggested they take a big trip to somewhere big like the Grand Canyon or Alaska.  Because it is that BIG of a deal.

But they didn't.  They're just living their life like any other day.  Which isn't bad, I suppose.

Because it's 40 years.  No biggie.  They have many, many more to go.  :-)

I Heart Faces

Got To Wear Shades is the theme this week at I HEART FACES.  There is bound to be tons of cute shots this week!

This is Eloise 2 years ago.  She is ready for a visit to the zoo.  I remember this shot so vividly because we had just moved here.  Everything was fresh in my mind.  (And yes, this girl was born to accessorize!)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Pastor's Wife

Being a stay at home mom with a pastor for a husband means being frugal.   And nothing says frugal quite like canning, especially when I can with Christmas in mind.  And canning on a Sunday afternoon really brings it home.

I am undoubtedly a PASTOR'S WIFE.


Today I made Dilly Beans.  Or, Pickled Green Beans.  Delicious.

What did you do with your Sunday?

I hope it was an awesome day for you.

Showcasing, part 2

Here are a few of my favorite things, part 2.

(If you missed part 1, click here, it's still relevant.)

1.  Willa J. Photography.  This girl is a talent behind the lens.  She's a beautiful mommy and a fun friend as well.  She's giving away a free photo shoot.  I suggest that you enter to win.  She's available in Northern Virginia, Maryland, DC, and even the Pittsburgh area.  Check out her site.  Enter to win.  And if you don't live in the area, pass it on to your friends that do.  Because this contest is BIG.  Worth 100s of dollars.  Don't miss it.  Click now.

2.  Rwandan Coffee.  Oh, did I already say that?  I did?  Oh, well, I must really love it.  I'm drinking it right now and it's so smooth.  Makes Starbucks taste like I'm sucking on a battery.  Seriously people.

3.  Teeth.  Aren't they great?  They help us eat.

4.  Finally, Summer.  Need I say more?